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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Northwest History
8:34 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Bellingham mayor apologizes, 125 years after expulsion of Chinese

The Seattle Riot. Harpers Magazine, March 6, 1886. Image from the UW Digital Collection.
Courtesy of Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project

Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike has issued a formal apology to the Chinese community for the expulsion of their people,125 years ago.

Pike says the apology is meant to make it clear: authorities now see the racist actions by regional governments and their supporters more than a century ago were wrong.

In 1885 and 1886, thousands of Chinese immigrants were driven out of Puget Sound towns during an economic downturn. Civic leaders and town newspapers argued the new residents were taking jobs away from white people.

The apology and related events this week in Bellingham are part of a year-long Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project. Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Mount Vernon are also taking part. The project also has a Facebook page.

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Tough Times
7:19 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Grays Harbor Paper closing Hoquiam mill

Hoquiam's skyline, in better days. Grays Harbor Paper is closing its mill there, eliminating 240 'green' jobs in a county with unemployment already at nearly 15%.
Photo by MïK Flickr

Grays Harbor Paper has shut down its mill in Hoquiam, putting a dour end to what had been a success story for 18 years. 

240 workers are losing their jobs. Many were shocked by the announcement, according to King-5 news.

“I thought this place was going to be in for the long haul,” said Tony Harris, who had worked for Grays Harbor Paper for two years.

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Growing Jobs
6:35 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Northwest consortium aiming to become hub for aviation biofuels

Camelina, a member of the mustard family, is a viable candidate for producing oil for biofuels, requiring minimal inputs of water and fertilizer compared to a number of other oilseed feedstocks.
Washington State University photo

A new industry is emerging in the Pacific Northwest – for development, production and distribution of aviation biofuels.

A consortium called Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest has just spent ten months producing an exhaustive study.  They've identified the four-state region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana as a serious contender in the race to produce environmentally friendly jet fuels.

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EVERGREEN POINT BRIDGE REPLACEMENT
8:46 am
Wed May 25, 2011

How to mitigate the impact of a new 520 bridge on the Arboretum?

A kayaker paddles through the waters of Union Bay near the west end of the 520 bridge in the Washington Park Arboretum.
urbanvillages.com

Unless a lawsuit derails the process, a new 520 bridge will soon be built across Lake Washington. 

A company in Aberdeen is already constructing the huge pontoons that will keep the new, 6-lane structure afloat.

And the state is widening the highway on the east side of the lake. 

But exactly what the project will look like on the Seattle side is still being worked out.

Seattle's Board of Park Commissioners will get a briefing on impacts to the Washington Park Arboretum tomorrow night (Thursday).

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Law
4:11 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Seattle can vote on viaduct tunnel, judge says

Seattle voters will have a chance to chime in again on the planned deep-bore tunnel that's supposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

That's the word from Judge Laura Middaugh who this afternoon sided with the supporters of a referendum, saying  her goal is to make sure that the voices of the people are heard when a policy decision is made.  She said she had not been able to find any precedents in case law to support her stance.

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Post-viaduct Seattle
1:31 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

New York architect presents design ideas for Seattle waterfront

Computer-generated image of the proposed redesign and redevelopment of the Seattle Waterfront after the demolition of the Alaskan Way viaduct. This the the proposed " Beach at Pioneer Square", looking north.
Image by James Corner Field Operations, courtesy of the City of Seattle, 2011

Hundreds of people packed into a waterfront auditorium last night (Thurs.) in Seattle. They came to see concepts of what the city might look like, once the Alaskan Way Viaduct comes down.

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Cyber security
2:12 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

WCO in Seattle: Protecting computer data in "the cloud"

A dog can sniff out security threats that are tangible, but how can governments protect sensitive data shared on remote computer servers? That was a key question at the World Customs Organization meeting this week in Seattle.
CBP Photography Flickr

The famous "battle in Seattle" more than a decade ago put the letters "W-T-O" into the collective consciousness. Now most people have at least a vague idea about the role the World Trade Organization plays in regulating international commerce. 

But what about the letters W-C-O?

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Arts Education
9:15 am
Fri May 13, 2011

Essentially Ellington again features Seattle-area school jazz bands in New York City

Scott Brown directs the award-winning Roosevelt High School jazz band in Seattle. His group is again in the finals at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Florangela Davila KPLU

It's another banner year for Seattle-area high school jazz bands. 

Ensembles from Roosevelt and Mountlake Terrace High Schools are once again at Lincoln center in New York, NY - competing in what many critics regard as the nation's top bout for young jazz artists, the Essentially Ellington competition.

The Seattle Times is covering the event and has this note in today's print copy of the  paper:

"On Friday, the competition runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with Roosevelt appearing last. There are two segments on Saturday, 7 to 8:30 a.m., with Mountlake Terrace playing last, and 10 a.m. to noon. The three top bands will be announced on the live stream at 1 p. m. (All times PST.)"

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Other News
5:30 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

President Obama's Chief Technology Officer in Seattle

University of Washington Computer Science Professor Ed Lasowska (l) interviewing his friend, Aneesh Chopra, the United States' Chief Technology Officer. Chopra keynoted the annual Technology Alliance State of Technology luncheon this week in Seattle.
Photo by Annie Laurie Malarkey Courtesy of the Technology Alliance

There are 25 assistant advisors in the White House who report directly to President Obama.  One of them is the President's Chief Technology Officer. Anish Chopra has been in Seattle this week, meeting with all kinds of players - in everything from energy and education to global health. 

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Business of Technology
5:54 pm
Tue May 10, 2011

Analysts say Microsoft should keep Skype as-is in company's biggest-ever acquisition

Will Skype phones such as this one become completely obsolete or just outmoded as the Microsoft deal goes through?
Image courtesy of voipnovatos.es

Microsoft's biggest acquisition ever might have people in the region worrying about layoffs. Often when companies merge, redundant workers get pink slips.

But it sounds like employees of the Redmond tech giant don't have much cause for concern with Microsoft's $8.5-billion purchase of Skype.

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Transportation Choices
6:19 pm
Fri May 6, 2011

Commissioners must slash bus service in Pierce County

In Snohomish County, transit officials have eliminated Sunday bus service. So far, Pierce Transit isn't planning to do so, but they are poised to cut schedules by more than a third because there isn't enough sales tax revenue to support existing service.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp

Update: On Monday, May 9, the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners approved a 20% permanent service reduction scheduled to start June 12. But the board rejected the proposed plan for the final 15% reduction scheduled for October, and instead directed staff to develop a modified plan that focuses on maximizing ridership.

The next time you're stuck in traffic, frustrated by the length of your commute time, take a moment to consider how long your trip would be if you couldn't drive to your workplace, your doctors office, or your church. 

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Transportation
9:23 am
Fri May 6, 2011

Kids break piñata, officials break ground to celebrate future bridge

The Mariachi Band Ayutla in front of the closed South Park Bridge. One man tells Bellamy, "I love to kayak and we've had the river to ourselves," so there's a bright side to the troubles the neighborhood's seen with restaurants closing and no access.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

A gigantic bridge-shaped piñata spewed more than four hundred pounds of candy last night in south Seattle. It was part of the Cinco de Mayo celebration going on in the city's South Park neighborhood. 

Earlier in the day, officials broke ground on a new $130-million-dollar bridge that's going to re-connect that community to major highways.

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Business
3:05 am
Fri April 22, 2011

Two online companies' IPOs bode well for Seattle's tech biz scene

Seattle-based PopCap Games San Francisco studios general manager Dave Rohrl, left, plays a guitar video game with PopCap senior game designer George Fan in 2006, at the company office in San Francisco.
Ben Margot AP

"Initial Public Offering," or I-P-O, is a buzz term that was talked about a lot in the boom years of the late 1990s – especially in Seattle, where lots of high-tech startup companies were thriving at that time.  They've been pretty scarce lately.  But they may be coming back.

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Environment
10:03 am
Wed April 20, 2011

"GoGreen '11" conference showcasing best practices from who's who of Seattle businesses

The company behind those "Redbox" DVD vending machines is one of the local businesses making a presentation about sustainability in the workplace at the "Going Green '11" conference in Seattle.
AP photo

Insiders from many of Seattle's most recognizable big businesses are gathering today at the Washington State Convention Center downtown.

Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, and The Mariners have all been invited to give interactive presentations meant to inspire others in the region to follow in their footsteps. The topic? Going Green.

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Real Estate Law
7:05 am
Mon April 18, 2011

Appraisers upset as big banks drag feet on new regulations

Bad appraisals contributed to problems that led to the wave of foreclosures that has swept the nation. But regulations meant to fix them aren't working, according to many in the industry. They're demanding more intervention by the feds.
File photo

Despite the massive fraud that has emerged as the U.S. tries to dig itself out of the foreclosure mess at the heart of the great recession, there are still huge numbers of honest folks working in the real estate business. 

That's according to professional appraisers in Washington state, dozens of whom have signed an on-line petition. 

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