Bellamy Pailthorp

Environment Reporter

Bellamy Pailthorp joined the staff of KPLU as a general assignment reporter in 1999 and covered the business and labor beat for more than a decade. She now covers the environment beat. She was raised in Seattle, but spent 8 years in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989. She holds a Bachelors degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006.

Bellamy's most memorable KPLU radio moment: “Seeing the INS open a shipping container at the Port of Seattle that contained stowaways from China, three of whom died en route of seasickness. Harrowing stuff, with global economics and inequity at its root.”

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Coal Export
4:24 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Oregon Agency Rejects Coal Terminal On The Columbia River

Oregon state regulators have rejected a proposal for a coal terminal on the Columbia River that would be a conduit for exporting millions of tons of American coal a year to Asia.

The decision is a victory for tribal groups that said the terminal threatened their fishing. It's also a win for Washington state, said Kimberly Larsen with the group Climate Solutions.

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Elwha Restoration
2:42 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

As Life Rebounds, Rangers Offer Tour Of Elwha's Once-Underwater Landscapes

"Oregon Sunshine blooms in former Lake Aldwell."
National Park Service

With crews working to remove the last of the second dam on the Elwha River, Olympia National Park officials are inviting the public to take a guided tour of land that sat underwater just two years ago.

Lake Aldwell disappeared after the removal of the Elwha Dam, revealing “a fascinating, up-close look at shifting sediments, both old and new vegetation, giant stumps logged a century ago, and the river re-establishing itself,” according to the National Park Service.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:19 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Mass: Summer In Western Wash. Went From Dry To Normal In Just One Week

Aaron Brethorst

A week of rain has turned what was a dry summer into a normal one, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

But don’t let the clouds and drizzle get you down. Mass says the forecast will progressively warmer and sunnier over the weekend.

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Environment
5:01 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Head Of EPA Tours Puget Sound, Supports Congressional Cleanup Caucus

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy touring Commencement Bay on August 13, 2014, with Puget Sound Partnership Executive Director Sheida Sahandy in the background.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

She’s been called President Obama’s “green quarterback.” Gina McCarthy is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and she's known for tackling sources of climate change. And now she’s shining a light on efforts to clean up Puget Sound.

McCarthy met with government officials and community groups in Tacoma on Wednesday and toured Commencement Bay by boat to learn more about what still needs to be done. 

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Climate Change
11:10 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

New Ocean Acidification Monitors Could Protect Nation's $70 Billion Fisheries Industry

The prototype of an underwater ocean glider is one of many new tools that are said to be smarter, smaller, more durable and more accurate for gathering data on ocean conditions including acidification.
Bellamy Pailthorp

Federal scientists and their supporters are seeking increased funding to monitor ocean acidification in an effort to gather additional environmental intelligence.

U.S Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and fellow Democrat Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska toured a lab in Seattle Monday to see the latest technology and highlight their hopes of making ocean acidification monitoring a national priority. 

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Environment
5:08 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Crews At Work On Slow, Expensive Disposal Of Notorious Derelict Vessel Helena Star

The Helena Star at Stabbert Marine in Seattle on August 8, 2014.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

A poster child for Washington state’s problem with abandoned boats is at a shipyard in Seattle. The notorious Helena Star is being scrapped by Stabbert Maritime in Ballard.

The decrepit vessel once made headlines as a drug-smuggling ship; in 1978, the U.S. Coast Guard seized the ship off the coast of Washington with $75 million worth of marijuana on board. Now it’s an object lesson on how and why the process of cleanup and recovery of abandoned boats is so complex and expensive.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:05 am
Fri August 8, 2014

This Weekend's High Temps, Sunny Skies Pushing Toward Record-Breaking Summer

Tim Durkan

Go ahead and gloat. We’ve got one of those hot, sunny August western Washington weekends ahead that make it worth living here despite the long, dark winters.

Low clouds will melt away, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, as temperatures steadily rise over the weekend, hitting 90 maybe even as early as Sunday and certainly by Monday.  

“A warming period is going to happen,” said Mass. “And that’s because a trough that brought us cooler temperatures this week is moving off and a pretty high-amplitude ridge is building in its place.”

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Elwha Restoration
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

New Life After Dam Removal: Surf Smelt Spawning In Mouth Of Elwha

File image of surf smelt.
NOAA Fisheries West Coast

Tiny forage fish don’t have the iconic status of Northwest species such as salmon or orcas, but the marine creatures at the bottom of the food chain play a critical role. So scientists are excited to see signs they’re spawning in new habitat created by the Elwha dam removals. 

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Climate Change
2:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Why The Northwest Is A Potential 'Climate Refuge' From Effects Of Global Warming

The colored dots plot out expected effects of climate change.
Courtesy Cliff Mass

The Pacific Northwest stands out as just about the only part of the country that will be largely spared from the ill effects associated with global warming, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, who mapped out all the calamities expected to result from climate change over the next century.

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Labor Dispute
1:26 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

NLRB Judge: Boeing Failed To Bargain In Good Faith With SPEEA

FILE - With a model 757 over his shoulder, Ernest Griffin drops his ballot at the headquarters of the union for Boeing Co.'s engineers and technical workers, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Tukwila, Washington.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Boeing failed to negotiate in good faith when it refused to provide evidence to substantiate its claim that workers in the Puget Sound area cost more than workers elsewhere, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled Friday.

The ruling was in response to an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:58 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Plenty Of Sun For Seafair, But Lightning Threat Spells Increasing Wildfire Danger

Four of the six members of the Blue Angels, flying U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets, billow vapor trails as they arrive at Boeing Field Monday, July 28, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

There will be plenty of sunshine for Seafair weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but dry conditions and a chance of lightning could mean trouble for firefighters.

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Washington Wilderness
9:38 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area Expansion Bill Clears Key Committee In Congress

The Pratt River Valley, which is the heart of the more than 20,000 acres of Wilderness additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The bill would also designate the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers (pictured) as "wild and scenic."
Rick McGuire Courtesy Washington Wild

A bill that would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area east of Seattle is one step closer to becoming law. For the first time in nearly four years, the proposal has moved forward in the U.S. House.  

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Climate Change
5:00 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Inslee Touring Wash. Sites That Show Costs Of Climate Change

Constructed in 1966, West Point treats the wastewater generated by approx. 1.5 million people in the greater Seattle area. Its shoreside location makes it vulnerable to sea level rise.
Courtesy of King County Wastewater Division.

Gov. Jay Inslee took a walk through King County’s wastewater facility in Discovery Park on Tuesday as part of his tour of sites affected by climate change. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Summer Is Back! Dry Weather And Warm, Sunny Skies In the Forecast

The last week of July is historically the driest week of the year. And despite record-breaking rain last week, the forecast for the days ahead fits the bill for this time of year, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“We’re going to have sun, warmth and virtually no precipitation,” Mass said of the week ahead.

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Rail Safety
2:41 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Oil Train Derailment Under Busy Seattle Bridge Highlights Safety Concerns

Derailed oil tanker cars beneath Seattle's Magnolia Bridge on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
courtesy Dana Robinson Slote Seattle City Council

Three tanker cars derailed at a Seattle rail yard early Thursday while carrying oil from North Dakota to a refinery in Anacortes.

No one was hurt and none of the oil spilled, according to Burlington Northern Santa Fe. But the incident spurred renewed calls from the city for a ban on oil train traffic near neighborhoods.  

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