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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ARTSCAPE
5:09 pm
Sun February 20, 2011

"Next to Normal" tackles tough subject of mental health with lighthearted song and dance

Alice Ripley and Jeremy Kushnier in the national tour of "Next to Normal." The show is written by Brian Yorkey, who together with composer Tom Kitt pulled off a surprizing win last year of the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Photo by Craig Schwartz. Courtesy 5th Avenue Theatre.

Bipolar disorder has been the inspiration for many artists and many works of art…from the movie A Beautiful Mind to Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar

Now it's showing up in a musical, called "Next to Normal." 

Ten years ago, the production had its genesis at The Village Theater in Issaquah.  Now, after numerous revisions, it's back in the Seattle area at the 5th Avenue Theatre.  For the latest in our series ARTSCAPE, KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp caught up with Bryan Yorkey, the writer of the show, who together with the composer, Tom Kitt, was the surprise winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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State Budget
8:52 am
Fri February 18, 2011

State workers union ads regarding more violence at Western State Hospital deemed 'mostly false'

A new TV ad created by the Washington Federation of state Employees claims that violence has increased at Western State Hospital – because of budget cuts by the state. 

The Seattle Times "Truthneedle" picked that ad apart and says it's misleading and "mostly false."

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Transportation
7:55 am
Fri February 18, 2011

Glitches in Good to Go electronic tolling system

Aeter Flickr

While it's a good idea to be prepared, sometimes it's good not to move too fast. 

Apparently there are glitches in the state's new "Good to Go" tolling system.  The State Department of Transportation says it will revamp the sign-up process after complaints by frustrated motorists trying to buy transponders online.  As Mike Lindblom reports in The Seattle Times:

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Aerospace
12:13 am
Fri February 11, 2011

Premiere of 747-8 to cap big week for Boeing

Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental will be flying "in a matter of weeks," says spokesman Jm Proulx. The superlative version of the company's iconic jet will have its premiere at a celebration this weekend in Everett.
Image courtesy of Boeing

It's been a big week for aerospace in the Puget Sound region. The Boeing company turned in its final bid for the air force refueling tanker on Thursday. CEO Jim McNerney took his strongest stance yet for building a 737 successor. And earlier this week, analysts and suppliers heard briefings on the state of the industry at an aerospace convention in Lynnwood

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Reporter's Notebook
5:02 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

Local Egyptian reacts to news in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Anti-government protesters react with anger and sadness to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's televised statement to his nation in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Thurs., Feb. 10, 2011. Mubarak says he's handing some power to VP Omar Suleiman.
AP

Like so many of us, I am on the edge of my seat as I watch the news unfold in Egypt. Dramatic moments such as these are the stuff a news journalist's dreams are made of. But there's so much more at stake for people who have friends and families in Cairo. Microsoft software salesman Alaa Badr is one of them. I reached him this afternoon right after Mubarak's speech.

"I'm just extremely upset and frustrated and resentful about Mubarek -- even more so now than ever before," Badr says. 

Badr and his compatriots have been calling for Mubarak's resignation for more than two weeks. 

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Egyptian Uprising
3:05 pm
Fri February 4, 2011

WSU journalism dean has perfect timing with book on Arab media revolution

"Nations no longer can hope to control the flow of information nor isolate their citizens from the outside world," says Lawrence Pintak, Founding Dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.
Photo courtesy of the author.

The Dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University is all smiles this week. His book, The New Arab Journalist is coming out at the same time as the mass protests going on in Egypt. You couldn't ask for better timing.

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Police Accountability
8:53 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Probe of native woodcarver shooting deemed fair, but mistakes made by Seattle investigators

Another peer review of Seattle's handling of the John T. Williams shooting has found the police department conducted a fair and thorough investigation. 

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Payday Lending
3:35 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Internet lending worries spur move to end payday loan limits

Under a law that went into effect last year, brick-and-mortar payday lenders are highly regulated in Washington state. There's concern the law may be driving low-income borrowers to the "wild west" of the Internet, where fees are even higher.
Photo by taberandrew Flickr

A state law that went into effect early last year limited the number of payday loans borrowers could get per year to eight. It aims to protect people from falling into an endless spiral of debt.

But a Tacoma legislator, who originally backed the law, says it's driving people into the clutches of far worse lenders, on the Internet. 

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Egypt Protests
4:11 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Rally Saturday in Seattle to support demonstrations in Egypt

An Egyptian Army soldier riding in an armored vehicle is surrounded by anti-government protesters near Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Fri., Jan. 28, 2011. Seattle is one of a few US cities with weekend rallies supporting the protests.
Ben Curtis AP

A rally in support of the anti-government protests in Egypt will begin at noon Saturday in downtown Seattle's Westlake Park.  

One of the organizers is Alaa Badr, an Egyptian American who has been in the United States for 17 years. He works for Microsoft and lives in Issaquah with his wife and three children. Lately, he says, they've been staying up till one in the morning watching Al Jazeera.

"But then we get up again at 5 a.m., just to see what's happened, because of the time difference," he says.  

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Smart Commuting
3:06 pm
Fri January 28, 2011

Mobile app for ridesharing could ease pain of 520 tolls

A new smart phone app is being piloted by the state to reduce SR 520 congestion and pollution.
WSDOT Flickr

Tolls on the 520 bridge are set to start this spring and they could be as high as $3.50 each way. 

Frustrated?  There's an app for that. 

An Irish company called Avego created a new smart phone app for "real-time ride sharing." Company leaders say it encourages more carpooling. 

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Business
7:51 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Microsoft beats expectations for Q2 with strong sales of Xbox Kinect and Office 2010

Strong holiday sales of XBox 360 consoles with the new Kinect motion controller played a starring role in Microsoft's strong financial report.
PRNewsFoto Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft handily beat Wall Street's expectations, posting record revenue: nearly $20 billion in its second quarter.

The company says the strong financial report was fuelled by rebounding business demand, as well as swift sales of the Kinect motion controller for its Xbox 360 video games. 

Xbox sales booming

Microsoft says it sold 8 million Kinect motion controllers in just 60 days this past holiday season, far exceeding the company’s expectations, as well as Wall Street's.  

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Veterans Affairs
5:06 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Senator Patty Murray to chair Committee on Veterans Affairs

Newly named Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP

Washington's Senior US Senator, Patty Murray, has become the first woman ever appointed as chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Murray replaces Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii as the new committee chair.  According to Rob Hotakainen, Staff writer at the Olympian, Akaka is an 86-year-old veteran of World War II and has headed the committee for the last four years.

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Transportation
4:47 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Seattle responds to criticism, adjusts scheduled parking rate increases

Seattle parking rates are going up in 4 neighborhoods, down in 11 neighborhoods and will stay the same in 7 others. Seattle Transportation Department spokesman Rick Sheridan says the upshot is that 73% of the city’s paid parking spaces will either stay the same or get a rate reduction. But several areas still face big hikes and community leaders are worried.

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Coffee Business
6:36 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Starbucks sales and earnings up again, shares down on outlook

Another strong financial report is boosting Starbuck's morale, but not its stock price.
Photo by Gary Davis KPLU

Starbucks has done it again. The coffee giant says its global revenues reached a record: $3 billion in the first quarter. Profits were up 44 percent compared to a year ago, thanks in part to the chain's growing popularity with coffee drinkers around the world.

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Payday Loans
6:45 pm
Fri January 21, 2011

Payday lenders finding ways around Washington's new law

A law that went into effect at the start of last year puts new limits on payday lenders.  It created a registry of borrowers and restricts them from taking out more than eight of the high-interest loans in a year. 

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