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.”

Pages

Consumer Choices
10:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Bag your bags' King County says of troublesome plastics

If you’re confused about what to do with the plastic bags you get at grocery stores, you’re not alone. 

Many people know that they’re bad for the environment and that they can be recycled, but how to recycle them is another question.

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Consumer Choices
5:50 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Ban on plastic bags in Seattle? Group gearing up for one more try

Plastic bags such as these can choke fish and whales when they get into the waste stream. In many communities around Washington, they are banned or no longer allowed in recycling bins.
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

When you go to the grocery store, it’s easy to forget to bring a reusable bag with you.

But the consequences of just taking the plastic bags that are doled out at most grocery chains is devastating to the health of local waters and wildlife. That’s the message from Environment Washington – a group that has issued a renewed call for a ban on plastic at checkout stands in Seattle.

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Business of the Internet
12:15 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

Seattle looks to expand broadband Internet with help from private businesses

City of Seattle CTO Bill Schrier shows odd fiber optic cable lines running through underground pipes near Pioneer Square (May 2011.)
Charla Bear Photo KPLU News

Do you have a high-speed Internet connection?

If you do, you’re pretty lucky ... because many people in the Puget Sound region don’t ... even in relatively big cities, such as Seattle.

As part of a national push, the city has teamed up with the University of Washington to try and bring more private investment to broadband infrastructure.

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Tidal Power
6:03 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Ocean energy gaining momentum in Washington

You might call it harnessing the power of the moon.

Ocean energy is electricity that is generated when the power of tides, waves and currents moves turbines and windmills. It’s an idea that’s caught on already in Oregon. And there are plans on the horizon to bring it to Washington. 

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Business of the Environment
5:25 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Alaska Air demonstrating aviation biofuels

It’s a big week for aviation biofuels.

A United flight took off Monday from Houston, for the first time burning jet fuel that was made from algae-based oil. And Alaska Air begins its demonstration flights from Seattle tomorrow (Wednesday, 2 p.m.)  – with fuel made from used cooking oil. 

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Consumer news
2:22 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Ford unveiling all-new Focus electric car in Seattle

Ford's new Focus all-electric car.
Courtesy of Ford

Seattle's Century Link Field is again the location for the unveiling of a new all-electric car. 

The Nissan Leaf debuted here nearly a year ago. Tomorrow morning there will be a demonstration of the plug-in technology at the charging stations near the stadium – to mark the opening of order banks for owning the new Ford electric vehicle. 

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Election 2011
4:30 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

State poll: Liquor initiative passing; road toll too close to call

Statewide initiatives on the Washington ballot have many people here still studying up and wondering how to vote. Registered voters have about a week left to make up their minds. Two of the most talked about issues are whether to get rid of state-run liquor stores and on how highway tolls can be spent. A survey of voters, done by researchers at the University of Washington, offers some insight into what voters might decide after all the votes are tallied.

The statewide Washington Poll, put together by UW political science Professor Matt Barreto, says the liquor privatization measure, I-1183, will likely pass because it has the hit the crucial tipping point of 50 percent. Barreto's poll says only 43 percent of those surveyed opposed the measure.

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Election 2011
8:50 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Referendum on status quo in race for Snohomish County Executive

State Representative Mike Hope (L) , the Republican challenger, and incumbent Democrat Aaron Reardon at a candidates forum put on by the AAUW in Stanwood, WA
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Tough times demand tough leaders.  But what kind of tough?

Voters from places as diverse as Stanwood, Edmonds and Everett are deciding who will serve as Snohomish County Executive.

Incumbent Democrat Aaron Reardon is seeking a 3rd term. His Republican challenger is Mike Hope, a state lawmaker who is a former Marine Corps reservist and works as a Seattle police detective. 

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Alaskan Way Viaduct Closure
5:15 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

West Seattle Water Taxi becomes popular alternative to 'Viadoom'

Commuters line up in West Seattle to catch the Water Taxi. Many more filed onto the boat today instead of attempting to make it through the 'viadoom' scenario feared on many roadways due to the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Joey Cohn KPLU

So far – not so bad. That seems to be the upshot of the first weekday commute without the Alaskan Way Viaduct through Seattle. Traffic was slow, but not totally gridlocked Monday morning.

The state Department of Transportation says many people heeded their warnings and changed their commute patterns. That was certainly the case on board the West Seattle water taxi, which picked up nearly twice as many riders.

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Fair Housing
10:16 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Undercover sting finds illegal housing discrimination in Seattle

A snapshot of everyday business practices displays a pattern of discrimination against black and disabled renters in Seattle. That’s the conclusion of an undercover investigation by the city’s Office for Civil Rights. 

The city contracted with the non-profit Fair Housing Center of Washington to test 48 properties that were randomly selected. It found more than half of all properties tested showed evidence of illegal housing discrimination.

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Environment
11:40 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Enviros say new stormwater guidelines too lax

Stormwater runoff must be reduced and monitored under draft rules just issued by the state Department of Ecology.
Thirteen of Clubs photo Flickr
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It’s the single largest source of pollution entering Puget Sound – rain that hits pavement and carries grease, metals and other toxins into the water.

The Department of Ecology has just issued new rules that aim to keep stormwater runoff in check. However, several environmental groups complain the new rules are full of loopholes.

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Fish versus Gold
4:30 am
Mon October 17, 2011

'Save Bristol Bay Road Show' to highlight risk to jobs in Seattle

Site of the proposed Pebble Mine.
National Park Conservation Assn.

It’s thousands of miles away, but supporters of a campaign to stop a controversial mine proposal in Alaska say it would harm more than just the pristine ecosystem where it’s located.

They’re launching a “Save Bristol Bay Road Show” in Seattle tonight, claiming the city’s fishing industry could lose thousands of jobs if the mine is built. 

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Education
10:08 am
Fri October 14, 2011

After teacher strike, Tacoma School Board moves to back Santorno

The Tacoma school board has given a vote of confidence to Deputy Superintendent Carla Santorno. They’ve approved a plan to appoint her to two temporary posts as interim superintendant. That puts her in a strong position to take on that role permanently a year and a half from now.

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Fisher Slough
6:40 am
Fri October 14, 2011

More than fish depending on Skagit Valley estuary restoration

The Skagit River Valley is home to farmland that brings us everything from tulips to potatoes and berries. But the river that makes such rich soil possible is also home to all five native species of Pacific salmon – including threatened Chinook.

Efforts to restore fish habitat have sparked bitter battles in the past. Now, hopes are high as work wraps up on a project in the Skagit River Delta that has support from advocates for fish and farmers alike.

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Transportation
4:30 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Expect Seattle's own 'Carmageddon' during 9-day viaduct closure

King County's passenger-only ferry service to West Seattle has become a hit among downtown commuters. It's adding five round-trips a day during the weekdays of the upcoming viaduct closure.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It’ll be the longest full closure of a Seattle area highway the region’s ever dealt with. In less than two weeks, demolition begins on the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Several miles of State Route 99 will be closed for nine days starting Oct 21st. 

The state says all commuters will be affected – but none more than those near West Seattle.

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