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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Real Estate
6:00 am
Thu July 21, 2011

State homeowners gain new rights when facing foreclosure

South Seattle resident Marilyn Takemaru was part of a group of protestors who occupied the regional headquarters of Bank of America to get loan modifications.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Starting tomorrow, struggling homeowners in Washington have new rights. 

The Foreclosure Fairness Act signed into law in April is designed to prevent unnecessary foreclosures primarily by requiring banks to take part in mediation if borrowers ask for it and doubling the number of housing counselors.

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Sustainability
6:20 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Seattleites recycling more than ever before

A model Seattle family of recyclers: Bing Tso, Janet Gwilym and their kids put more than 70% of their waste each week into recycling and yard waste bins. Their trash fits into tiny receptacle at their feet.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

Seattle residents and businesses have hit an all-time high for recycling rates. And from the front yard of a model recycling family in Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn gave the city a pat on the back:

“53 percent – an all-time high– 53 percent of the waste produced in the city of Seattle is taken out of the waste-stream and recycled,” McGinn said.

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Environment
10:06 pm
Sun July 10, 2011

Baseline radiation mapping beginning in Seattle and Bellevue

The Bell Helicopter that will perform the aerial survey has radiation detection equipment located in the capsules attached to its sides.
Photo courtesy Washington State Dept of Health

If you see an unusually low-flying helicopter cruising above Seattle or Bellevue, don't worry. It’s just a project of the State Department of Health to measure naturally occurring radiation in King and Pierce Counties.

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Weather
3:10 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

Average July 4th: sunnier and warmer than you might think

This Fourth of July, like almost all Fourths in Seattle, will have sunny skies and warm temps.
Brianna Flickr

The weather for the 4th of July this year is looking pretty good, with scattered clouds in the forecast and highs in the low seventies.  

That’s actually pretty typical, says Carl Carniglia with the national weather service in Seattle.  He looked back at local statistics from the late 1800s to the present and found the historical data contradicts the cliché of rainy weather for Independence day.

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Fourth of July
1:21 pm
Fri July 1, 2011

What fireworks can you use? In some cities: None

Time for fireworks, bans and warnings and fun!
Piero Sierra Flickr

Here comes that day that cats and dogs really hate, but most American humans love!

Yes, it’s time for burning, smoking and exploding devices used for celebrating the Fourth of July. It is also time for the many reminders and warnings about what fireworks you can use, how dangerous they are and where you can or can’t use them (should you really feel like you have to).

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Environment
8:40 am
Fri July 1, 2011

Update: Shooting spotted owl's rival won't work, expert laments

A new plan for saving the northern spotted owl was released this week.
Associated Press

A new plan released yesterday for saving the northern spotted owl is taking aim – maybe literally – at a rival bird.

Federal agency leaders said Thursday the spotted owl is losing out to a bigger, more aggressive invader from the eastern United States, the barred owl.

However, one biologist whose research led to the listing of the spotted owl believes shooting and other measures to control the barred owl are too little too late.  Because, he lamented, the spotted owl's population has shrunk over the last 15 years in spite of conservation efforts. (Interactive map inside)

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Spotted owl recovery plan pits one species against another

Threatened northern spotted owl adult with young (Strix occidentalis caurina.)
Photo by Jim Thrailkill USFWS

It’s an icon of the northwest.

With its muted brown feathers and dark eyes, the northern spotted owl doesn’t look all that impressive. But scientists say its survival indicates the health of the entire forest ecosystem. That’s why conservationists want the government to protect more of the old-growth habitat spotted owls prefer.

But a recovery plan for the owl due for release this morning is ruffing feathers.

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Law
5:33 am
Mon June 13, 2011

Did Boeing retaliate against the Machinists union? NLRB hearing begins Tuesday

Will the NLRB make labor history when it rules on testimony that begins in Seattle this week?
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Last week, Boeing opened a new plant in South Carolina, where it's putting the second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner.

That’s led to a fight between the aerospace giant and the National Labor Relations Board. The nation’s top enforcer of labor laws filed a complaint against Boeing in April. Proceedings in the case begin Tuesday in Seattle. 

The NLRB alleges Boeing built the second assembly line for the Dreamliner in South Carolina as retaliation for past strikes by the Machinists union in Washington state.  And that, it says, is against the law.

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Environment
4:16 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

Fishing for the ghost nets of Whatcom County

Dead crabs and live sea stars are among the creatures pulled up with derelict fishing gear collected by the Northwest Straits Initiative in Puget Sound, here on a boat at Alden Bank, off the coast of Ferndale.The coalition has mapped 934 remaining nets.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

They’re known as ghost nets – old tangles of synthetic lines snagged on underwater rocks or reefs and left behind by fishermen as long as seventy years ago.   

A coalition out of Mount Vernon has removed thousands of them over the past decade.  There’s still work to be done, but they’re running out of funding. 

Since 2002, The Northwest Straights Initiative has removed nearly four thousand derelict fishing nets from shallow waters of Puget Sound. 

“Because they just don’t degrade. They can get torn apart by wave action, but they won’t degrade," says Northwest Straits Initiative Director, Ginny Broadhurst.

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Environment
9:55 am
Thu June 9, 2011

Preview: Fishing for the ghost nets of Whatcom County

Fishing for ghost nets in the Puget Sound too often yields injured or dead wildlife.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

(Updated at 11:49 a.m. with new photos)

This morning I’ll be up early, heading to Sandy Point Marina, near Bellingham, for a short field trip with the non-profit Northwest Straits.  They’re a non-partisan group that’s been removing derelict fishing gear from the waters of the region for the past decade. 

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Business
3:52 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Union cries foul over U.S. House plans for Boeing hearing

Associated Press

The Machinists Union says it's surprised and disappointed to hear of plans by Congress to hold a hearing next week over the federal labor lawsuit against Boeing. 

The National Labor Relations Board has filed suit against the aerospace giant claiming the company moved manufacturing facilities to South Carolina to avoid unionized workers.  A hearing on that issue starts Tuesday morning in Seattle.  Now the NLRB's attorney is being summoned to a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government later in the week.

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Businesses Facing Climate Change
6:44 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

Is Amazon.com sustainable?

Cheuk-man Kong Flikr

Amazon.com has been thriving, despite the economic downturn. Shares in the company are now worth more than five times a much as they were five years ago, thanks in part to innovations such as its electronic book reader, the Kindle, or its move into data storage of all kinds of things "in the cloud."

But it's just these futuristic lines of business that have some shareholders worried. 

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Climate Change
6:30 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

"Here on Earth" author shares optimism about global warming

One of the world's best-known thinkers about global climate change is Australian writer Tim Flannery. He's not only a best-selling author, he's also his country's first Chief Commissioner for Climate Change.

His latest book, Here on Earth: a Natural History of the Planet, paints a hopeful picture of the future of human life on earth. He recently gave a talk in Seattle, where he said his message of optimism seemed to have trouble getting through to his audience.

KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with him for an interview.

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Environment
2:04 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Rainwater gardens preventing toxic runoff into Puget Sound

Anne Butler, Community Education Programs Coordinator with People for Puget Sound, shows off a "Rain Wise" garden in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.She says the native plants and troughs that replaced a lawn here filter runoff naturally.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

The forecast is for sunny skies this weekend and some of the warmest temps we've seen all year. 

But when it rains a lot – as it has been lately – the runoff from city streets and houses pours toxins straight into Puget Sound. 

How homeowners can address that kind of water pollution is the subject of a series of neighborhood tours put on throughout the region this summer.  The first one is this weekend in Seattle.

 

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Mergers and Acquisitions
6:57 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

Soon to be official: Walgreens' acquisition of Drugstore.com

Investors in Bellevue-based drugstore.com gather Thursday for their annual shareholder meeting. It's likely the last time they'll meet there. 

The online-retailer is being acquired by its biggest brick and mortar competitor: Illinois-based Walgreens. 

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