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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Business
11:02 am
Thu April 12, 2012

U.S. letter carriers rally to 'save America's postal service'

Curtis Gregory Perry Photo Flickr

U.S. postage rates went up again at the start of this year. But the service is still in financial crisis.

And letter carriers say the latest legislative fix about to come before the U.S. Senate could devastate the mail service as we know it.

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Seattle Police Dept
10:19 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Living room conversations invite cops in to communities

A living room conversation with Seattle police, taking place in a residential home.
Courtesy Seattle Police Dept.

Small talk isn’t usually encouraged between police officers and the public.

But, the Seattle Police Department is trying to change that, with a program that encourages people to invite the cops in for “living room conversations. ”

For most people, seeing a police officer in uniform is intimidating. You don’t usually get up close and personal with a cop unless something bad is happening. Seattle Lieutenant Carmen Best says inviting police in for a living room conversation helps build trust.

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Environment
10:20 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Climate change could cost Wash. $10 billion a year; state crafting response

A visualization of Washington's future water supply, based on assumptions about population growth and climate change.
courtesy Wa Dept of Ecology

Climate change is happening, and not preparing for it could cost the state $10 billion a year by 2020.

That’s according to the Department of Ecology, which has just released a response strategy to changing climate conditions.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Seattle celebrates composting with 'big dig' for treasure

A good example of wonderful compost!
normanack Flickr

Food and yard waste make up more than a third of Seattle’s waste stream. Much of that used to go into the trash, but now it’s being composted.

Since 2009, the city has been providing weekly pick up of organic waste. Last year it dramatically increased the kinds of things allowed in municipal compost bins, to include meats and dairy products. Seattle residents composted 125,000 tons of food and yard waste last year. That represents a big shift over the past decade or so.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Why did Bigfoot grow up in the Northwest?

Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It’s one of the most enduring legends of the Northwest – hundreds of people report sightings of Bigfoot every year. Native American stories also call it Sasquatch or “the Hairy Man.” The idea of a giant, ape-like creature that hides in the woods and might be related to humans has been around for centuries.

Why has this “myth” endured in the Northwest? Is it because Bigfoot is really here? Or, is it because it’s the kind of wild alter ego Northwesterners love to imagine for themselves?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Environment
3:43 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Senate holds hearing on protection for San Juans' public lands

Shorelines and lighthouses such as this one, at Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island, would be permanently protected as part of a National Conservation Area under leglislation moving through Congress.
Photo by KenBungay Flickr

A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation this afternoon. Senator Maria Cantwell told a panel, the bill would stave off the threat of future development.

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Environment
6:06 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Controversy continues over proposed coal export terminals

On September 14, 2011, activists projected anti-coal light banners on iconic Seattle locations, such as Kerry Park, to elevate the profile of controversial proposed coal ports in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo by Marcus Donner Rainforest Action Network / Flickr

Trainloads of coal from Montana and Wyoming will soon be shipped through Northwest ports to Asia, if Seattle’s SSA Marine gets its way.

The company has filed several permit applications with Whatcom County.

At the same time, the County held a meeting in Bellingham, aimed at helping anti-coal activists most effectively register their concerns. 

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Environment
11:18 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Ban on cruise ship discharges proposed for Washington waters

Cruise ships such as the Norwegian Star are cabable of holding their sewage for the 24 hours or less that they typically berth in Seattle. The Department of Ecology and several non profits are asking for a ban on all discharges in Washington waters.
Photo by Drewski2112 Flickr

Cruise ships are big business for the Port of Seattle.

Last season, about 200 calls brought nearly 900,000 passengers and their wallets though the city. Projections for this season are about the same. Each call equates to about $1.9 million in local spending.

But that economic benefit comes with ecological risk.

Now the state’s Department of Ecology is backing a proposed ban on cruise ship discharges while the vessels are in Washington waters.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:02 am
Fri March 16, 2012

We're stuck! Expect 10 days of off-and-on rain, even some snow

Spring is in the future, but so is the rain.
Steve Wall Flickr

Sure spring is coming next week, but KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass says we'll be seeing plenty of rain and even some snow this weekend and it doesn't get any better for days to come.

Mass explains on his blog: "Last winter we were securely in La Nina conditions and the region experienced a miserable, cold, wet spring that lasted into mid summer.   Horror to all soccer and Little League parents.

"This winter we have also been in a La Nina and since early February we have been colder and wetter than normal, with snowpack surging in our mountains. Yes, it appears we are dealing with  the revenge of La Nina."

Renewable Energy
1:48 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

An under-used resource in Washington: forest biomass

Slash such as the branches and stumps shown here in Wishkah, Washington could be used for sustainable biofuels. A new study from the Commissioner of Public Lands says market use of such biomass could double without any impacts to forest sustainability.
Photo by Hugo90 Flickr

Renewable energy is growing on trees in Washington – and right now, much of it is going up in smoke.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who has just released the results of a study on forest biomass.

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Environment
10:48 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Seen a wolf? Report it on state's new website

This Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife photo shows OR-11, a male pup from the Walla Walla pack, waking up from anesthesia after being fitted with a radio tracking collar in northeastern Oregon.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — People who think they've seen a wolf, heard one howl or found other evidence of wolves in Washington have a new place to share their story.

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Energy Efficiency
10:17 am
Tue March 6, 2012

LED streetlight test puts Seattle arterial in national spotlight

New LED lamps like this one on 15th Avenue NW in Ballard will be tested this week, with hopes of setting energy-saving standards for new lighting on major arterials. Officials say they can save millions of dollars once installed citywide.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Later today, road crews will shut down a 15-block stretch of a major arterial in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. For three nights, the city is testing the use of new LED lighting to replace old-fashioned street lamps.

The study is part of a regional effort that could set the standard for more energy efficient streetlights across the country.

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Washington politics
5:36 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Rep. Norm Dicks, 18-term Democrat for Washington, is retiring 

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. speaking on Capitol Hill last year in Washington.
The Associated Press

Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks, a former college football player who cast a huge presence over state and national politics for more than 30 years, announced Friday he'll retire at the end of the year after 18 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I have been thinking about this for years. At some point you have to retire. I just decided this was the right time," Dicks told The Associated Press.

In an interview with KPLU, he  pointed out that he's been commuting to work in the other Washington for 44 years. 

"You know, eight with Senator Magnuson and 36 years in the house of representatives," Dicks said.

He said he also has a neck issue from football that's been bugging him recently. All of that added up to his conclusion that it's time to step aside and let somebody else be the Congressman from the 6th District.

"I hope a Democrat wins, but there's no guarantee. There was no guarantee that I was going to win," Dicks said.

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TRooper Memorial
4:22 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Trooper looking out for others, even after his death, says son

Police honor guard officers wait for the arrival of a motorcade procession before a memorial service for Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu today in Kent, Wash. Radulescu was shot and killed Feb. 23 during a traffic stop in Gorst,
The Associated Press

“A trooper’s trooper.” That was a phrase used repeatedly to describe Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu at a memorial this afternoon in Kent.

He was born in Bucharest and immigrated to the United States at age 14. He served in the US Army, spoke five languages and was well known for having a great sense of humor and a radiant smile.

His son Eric spoke at the memorial. He said his Dad was always looking out for others, adding that the tragedy of his killing seems to be pushing legislation forward that will continue to do so.

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Environment
7:18 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Spotted owl recovery plan: more active forestry management...and shooting rivals

The highly adaptable barred owl has moved in from points east and pushed out the endangered northern spotted owl. Lethal and non-lethal removals are part of the new spotted owl recovery plan announced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
caroltlw photo Flickr

In the long saga to protect the northern spotted owl, it's now officially "owl vs owl."

US Fish and Wildlife says the decline of the iconic northwest species can’t be helped without killing some of its more aggressive cousins, the barred owl.

It’s part of a court-ordered plan to increase the spotted owl’s forest habitat.

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