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

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. 

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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
  • Audio processing, please check back momentarily.

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.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Environment
8:30 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Demand that Duwamish River be cleaned up enough to eat the fish

Duwamish Cleanup Coalition Coordinator, James Rasmussen, says the EPA's plan for restoring ecological health to the 32 square miles of Seattle's Superfund site should include the goal of being able to eat a fish out of the river.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

There’s a major milestone this week in the cleanup of Seattle’s Duwamish River. Excavators are removing toxic sludge from one of the most polluted spots in the city’s industrial core. Completion of this work will allow cleanup on the rest of the river. 

But critics say there are already signs it won’t go far enough.

Read more
Environment
3:15 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Work begins on Slip 4 'hotspot' in Duwamish River

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran celebrates the start of dredging on Slip 4, a hot spot in the Superfund cleanup plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It’s one of the most polluted waterways in all of the Pacific Northwest. The lower five miles of Seattle’s Duwamish River were listed as a Superfund site a decade ago. This week, cleanup work has begun on one of its most toxic sections. 

Read more
Charity Cause
9:10 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Rachel’s charity raises more than $1 million for clean water

A 9-year-old girl’s selfless dream has raised more than $1.26 million dollars for clean water in Africa.

Rachel Beckwith, of Bellevue, died in a car crash in July. She had turned 9 in June and said her birthday wish was to raise $300 dollars for the cause.

Read more
Alternative Energy
3:20 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Update: Biofuel demand high; $80 million to UW, WSU for research

Efforts to turn wood into biofuels received a major boost today in with the award of $80 million for research at the University of Washington and Washington State University.
Nigel Beaumont Flickr

Producing biofuels as an environmentally-friendly alternative to petroleum-based fossil fuels is a puzzle that has been bedeviling researchers for years.

Now, with $80 million pouring into research at the University of Washington and Washington State University, stakeholders hope to find the key for turning biomass from wood products into fuel for cars and jets.

Read more

Pages