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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Traffic News
3:45 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Update: Viaduct to close for 9 days to put up detour connections

Construction of the new southbound SR 99 roadway underway just west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle.
WSDOT

It’s the beginning of the end for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Demolition work will shut down the double-decker highway for 9 days about two months from now, from October 21 – 31. According the state Department of Transportation, it’s the longest full closure of a Seattle area highway the city’s ever dealt with.

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Business
11:55 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Washington wheat crops way above average

Wheat on the Palouse.
Nikky Stephen Flickr

Cooler temperatures this year have given Washington’s wheat famers a boost. The cool wet spring combined with good ripening conditions in July and August have increased yields here. At the same time, severe drought has diminished the harvest in the nation’s Plain states. 

As a result, Washington is expected to surpass Texas and Oklahoma in winter-wheat production this year, making it second only to Kansas.   

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Transportation Funding
3:36 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

It's (finally) official: Tolls on SR-520 Bridge start in December

An example of the signs that will be installed to let drivers know the SR 520 bridge is a toll bridge - starting in December. A trip during rush hour will cost $3.50 each way.
WSDOT photo

Get ready to pay if you drive on the floating bridge across Lake Washington. The state Department of Transportation has announced the much-delayed tolls on the 520 bridge will start in December.

Tolling on the bridge was originally set to begin this spring, then that was bumped to this summer. Now, the state says the all-electronic system will be up and running four months from now. 

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Environment
6:02 pm
Sun August 21, 2011

Enviro groups say Clean Water Act is under attack

Joost Nelissen Flickr

Nearly 40 years ago, the U.S. government began setting federal standards to clean up water pollution with the passage of the landmark Clean Water Act. Now, many environmental groups say that law is under attack and they’re worried about consequences.

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Culture
7:25 am
Wed August 17, 2011

'65 on 65' – Baby boomers reflect on aging

Though she has since learned to use an iPad, Kaycee Krysty says she wrote her "65 on 65" essay the old fashioned way, with pen and paper.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

The first of the nation’s 75 million baby boomers are turning 65 this year. That’s a milestone that incites a lot of fear. But at least one woman thinks it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Kaycee Krysty, the former CEO and now "president emerita" of the Seattle wealth management firm, Laird Norton Tyee, believes baby boomers are redefining an age once known as the end of work and productivity. She is challenging her generation to write 65 words on turning 65.  (If you'd like to join her, click here.)

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Transportation Funding
3:56 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Seattle asking voters to approve a $60 car tab fee

Seattle voters will face a proposed car tab fee on the November ballot. The city council has unanimously agreed to ask for an additional $60 annually for the next 10 years to help pay for road and transit projects. 

The news comes just a day after the King County Council added a temporary $20 car tab fee to maintain bus service.

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Transportation
5:42 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Likely passage of car tab tax for Metro buses means no more free-ride zone

Oran Virivincy Flickr

A grand compromise, showing that bi-partisanship and good government still exist. That's what members of the King County Council are saying after the announcement that they have a super majority to back a temporary $20 car tab fee and stave off massive cuts to metro transit.

Two Republicans - Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert - have agreed to back the deal when the council votes on Monday. Among other things, it will phase out Metro's subsidy for the free ride zone in downtown Seattle starting October 2012.

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Solar energy
8:45 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Community Solar program has benefits, needs more supporters

Architectural Illustration of the design for solar power generation atop a picnic shelter at Beacon Hill's Jefferson Park.
By Stephanie Bower Courtesy Seattle City Light

As interest in solar power gains momentum, Seattle City Light is marketing a new program to make it more widely available. 

Community Solar gives people who can’t install solar panels on their own homes the chance to reap the rewards of a cash investment in solar power.

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Solar energy
5:00 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Solar power gaining momentum in Seattle

Outside the solar-powered carousel at Woodland Park Zoo, visitors can see how much power is generated and used. The solar panels on the roof have exceeded expectations in the six months since the demonstration project went online.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

From carousels to picnic shelters and libraries, solar power is becoming more commonplace in Seattle.

City Light says it has seen big growth in customer demand for alternative energy over the past decade – and small solar is one of the biggest draws. 

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Floating Bridge
9:14 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Feds approve state's plan to rebuild 520 with 6 lanes

The new 520 bridge across Lake Washington got a big green light yesterday, as federal officials approved the state’s plan to put in a six-lane replacement.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
5:30 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Anti-tunnel rally in Seattle tries to build opposition to referendum

The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

At a rally in downtown Seattle late this afternoon roughly 60 protesters marched on city hall to show their opposition to the waterfront tunnel scheduled to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”

A smaller group of tunnel supporters also showed up with props to argue that killing the tunnel would cause too much congestion.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Campaign to protect precious lands in San Juan Islands

A grassroots campaign of local conservation groups is hoping to get federally owned land in the San Juans declared a National Conservation Area.
Courtesy of San Juan Islands National Conservation Area

The San Juan Islands are known for pristine natural beauty that includes a national wildlife refuge and several remote state parks.  

But they also contain about 1,000 acres of federally owned land that has been largely forgotten by authorities. Some islanders fear it might be sold off to developers.

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King County Council
11:49 am
Tue July 26, 2011

$20 car tab hearing draws supporters; council postpones vote

The King County Council postponed a decision on a two-year, $20 car tab fee to maintain Metro bus service until August 15th in an attempt to pass the measure without it having to go before voters.

Advocates for social justice, economic development and environmental protection packed council chambers for the hearing. Nearly all testified in favor of the council enacting the fee.

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Budget crisis
6:58 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Seattle forced to sell property to fix streets

Seattle sold property to boost street repairs.
Allie Gerlach Flickr

The City council has confirmed a commitment to spend $3 million dollars from the sale of a property along Aurora Avenue north, known as the “Rubble Yard.”

The one-time boost increases the city’s street repair budget by about 33% for the year. Declining tax revenues have taken a bite out of money available for backlogged road repair projects.

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Media in Motion
3:35 pm
Fri July 22, 2011

P-I globe’s future unclear as staff moves, but MOHAI wants it

What will happen to the P-I globe? Museum of History and Industry is interested in taking stewardship of it.
druid labs Flickr

The staff of the SeattlePI.com is moving out of the waterfront building with the iconic spinning globe on its top. It's unclear what will happen to the globe, but at least one Seattle organization is interested in taking control of it.

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