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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Minimum Wage
11:39 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Symposium On Income Inequality Pushing Seattle Toward $15 Minimum Wage

AP Photo

Seattle is getting serious about the possibility of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A symposium on income inequality called by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray honed in on the option as a key policy question.  

Several hundred people gathered at Seattle University for Thursday's symposium, which is part of the work of the mayor’s Advisory Committee on Income Inequality.

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Natural Disaster
5:16 am
Tue March 25, 2014

'It’s Just Surreal': Families Cling To Hope In Wake Of Deadly Mudslide

A sign outside a coffee shop references a deadly mudslide that happened two days earlier, Monday, March 24, 2014, in Arlington, Wash.
Elaine Thomopson AP Photo

Doug Dix was in his barn, listening to music, when a screeching sound filled the air.

"It sounded like a double twin Huey, with the engine being torn into shrapnel. I honestly thought one was crashing and I’m up looking for the explosion,” said Dix.

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Natural Disaster
9:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Fears Rise That More Than 8 Died In Snohomish County Mudslide

The massive mudslide that killed at least eight people and left dozens missing is shown in this aerial photo, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

The search for survivors of a deadly Washington state mudslide grew Monday to include 108 names of people who were reported missing or were unaccounted for, but authorities cautioned the figure would likely decline dramatically.

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Wolf Protection
5:01 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Federal Push To Lift Protection For Wolves Has Conservation Groups Howling

FILE - This April 18, 2008, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf.
Gary Kramer AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Don’t be alarmed if you hear the eerie sound of wolves howling in the distance at noon today. The group howl heard in the city will be put on by humans.

The howl is a protest action aimed at stopping active management programs that allow the killing of a species, which, until recently, was listed as endangered under federal law. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
11:44 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Warm Spring Days To Come, But Not In Time For The Weekend

Jonathan Cooper

Spring has officially arrived, but warmer temperatures have not. Those warmer days lie ahead, but first we’ll have to get through a cool and wet weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

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Hydropower
1:02 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Feds OK Snohomish County PUD's Tidal Power Project In Admiralty Inlet

Admiralty Inlet
hj_west Flickr

Federal regulators have given unanimous approval for an underwater energy project powered by the tides in Washington’s Admiralty Inlet.

Two turbines will take advantage of the fast-moving currents and daily tidal movements in the busy passage west of Whidbey Island, at a depth of about 200 feet.

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Smart Grid Technology
5:00 am
Mon March 17, 2014

UW Using Smart Grid Technology To Conserve Energy, Save Money

University of Washington

It’s often said that the best way to reduce our carbon emissions is through energy conservation. One way to do that more effectively is by using computer technology to make the electric grid more intelligent.  

It’s known as smart grid technology and for the past two years, the U.S. Department of Energy has been spending $178 million to test it in five Northwest states.

One of the biggest demonstration projects is on the campus of the University of Washington where knowledge of when power is used is saving big money.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:51 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Here Comes the Rain Again This Weekend — But We'll Have Sun Breaks, Too

This March 12, 2014 photo shows "a tantalizing taste of Spring sunsets arrives in Seattle," says photographer Tim Durkan.
Tim Durkan

 

Just when you thought spring had arrived in the Pacific Northwest, winds and wet weather are sweeping in.

We're in for another wet weekend, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass — but not without sun breaks.

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Wild Vs. Hatchery Fish
5:24 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Wild Fish In Gene Banks, Hatchery Fish In Elwha — Why The Two-Headed Strategy?

Bellamy Pailthorp

Washington state has banned hatchery-raised steelhead from three tributaries of the Upper Columbia River basin. The aim of these so-called "gene banks" is to maintain strongholds for wild fish, and the state plans to designate additional gene banks in the future.

So why were the state and federal governments back in court this week, defending the decision to place a new hatchery on the Elwha River as part of the dam removal process?

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Environment
5:41 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

State Of Our Salmon The Focus Of 2-Day Puget Sound Partnership Meeting

File image of Puget Sound.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Puget Sound Partnership, one of the state’s newest agencies, is holding a two-day meeting on salmon recovery this week. 

On the agenda is a presentation called “report card forum,” but there won’t be an announcement of a letter grade. That’s because there isn’t yet a grading system in place, says Jeaneatte Dorner, the agency’s Director of Local Ecosystem and Salmon Recovery.

“And until we actually have that system in place, it’s sort of like we don’t have the test scores to actually give a grade,” she said.

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Wild Vs. Hatchery Fish
2:35 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

To Protect Steelhead, State Bans Hatchery Fish From Designated Wild 'Gene Banks'

Earl Steele Flickr

Steelhead trout may be Washington’s official state fish, but they also make up some of the region's most vulnerable populations, first listed as threatened in the Columbia River basin in 1998. 

In an effort to reverse their decline, the state has designated three tributaries of the Columbia River as wild steelhead gene banks, which means they’re off-limits to hatchery fish.

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Environment
3:46 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Cantwell, Murray Join Senate Democrats' All-Nighter Focused On Climate Change

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., left, is joined by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Evan Vucci AP Photo

U.S. senators pulled an all-nighter Monday night to call attention to climate change. Democrats Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Barbara Boxer of California led the effort to shine light on the need for more curbs on carbon emissions.

Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray were both present for the event. Cantwell took the floor early Tuesday morning following more than 12 hours of testimony. She said the issue isn’t about the future; it’s about negative effects that industries here are already seeing.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:49 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Mass: Rain Returns This Weekend, But Next Week Will Bring Signs Of Spring

Expect to see wet cherry blossoms in western Washington this weekend.
Jaymar Turner photo Compfight/Flickr

After a record-breaking week of strong rain, Friday will bring a bit of reprieve. But the rain will return this weekend, even in the mountains, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

Still, there is good news: come next week, we’ll start transitioning into spring.

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Arts
5:01 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Seattle Artist Turning Centuries-Old Pieces Of Wood Into One-Of-A-Kind Sculptures

"I Love You"
Bellevue Arts Museum, Collection of Cathy and Michael Casteel

Where does the creativity come from that fuels a work of art?

For Seattle woodcarver Daniel Webb, it comes from the dialogue he has with centuries-old wood as he carves into them.

Webb uses mostly reclaimed wood, much of it more than 200 years old. His first solo exhibition opens today at Bellevue Arts Museum, where you can see how he transforms discarded stumps and I-beams into objects as delicate as a shimmering balloon, a wispy dandelion or child’s pillow. 

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Oil Trains
5:08 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle Mulls Resolution Calling For Closer Scrutiny Of Oil Trains

File image
AP Photo

Seattle is on its way to joining Spokane and Bellingham in demanding tougher scrutiny of oil trains traveling through the city. A resolution that would restrict oil shipments until further review has passed out of a city council committee, and is scheduled for a vote before the full council on Monday.

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