Bellamy Pailthorp

Environment Reporter

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat from the Seattle offices of KNKX Public Radio News, where she has worked since 1999. She also hosts and produces the weekly segment, The Weather With Cliff Mass, which airs every Friday. She holds a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006 mid-career during her stint on KNKX’s Business and Labor Beat from 2000-2012.

From 1989-98 she lived in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a bi-lingual producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 for a project on theater studies and communist history. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. (Yes, she is fluent in German.)

She strives to tell memorable stories about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Character-driven narratives of exploration and innovation excite her. 

Outside work, she practices and instructs yoga, walks half marathons with friends, backpacks with her husband and extended family, reads and watches fiction with nieces, enjoys tasting new foods and admiring all kinds of animals -- especially her two house cats, who often remind her she should spend more time sitting on the couch with them.

Ways to Connect

AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries Service, Candice Emmons

Following the release of a federal report on the state of endangered orcas, one local researcher says there's one factor that matters more to the whales' wellness than toxins and vessel traffic: fish. 

Ken Balcomb, who many regard as the godfather of whale conservation, is the director of the Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor. For almost 40 years now, the center has been keeping track of every individual whale in the three pods that make up the southern resident population of the iconic orcas that live in Puget Sound.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Scientists studying southern resident killer whales for the past decade now know they are among the most contaminated marine mammals and prefer to eat Chinook salmon.

Snohomish County Flickr

Three months after a deadly landslide hit the town of Oso, Washington, Snohomish County is again looking at options to tighten land-use policy in slide-prone areas. 

Bellamy Pailthorp

A cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s election campaign was the promise of new jobs in clean technology.

But how healthy is the sector in Washington and what’s still holding it back? Hard data on those questions is yet to come, but a visit to the state's inaugural Clean Technology Showcase provided some answers.

Rachel La Corte / AP Photo

Search and rescue teams are combing the east side of Mount Rainier where a Seattle woman has gone missing amid snowy conditions.

Tim Durkan

The nude cyclists at Seattle’s Fremont parade can look forward to comfortable summer temperatures on Saturday afternoon. And it might even be a bit too hot for runners at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

A weak front has passed through, says Mass, and the clouds and sprinkles are expected to subside in time for the summer solstice Saturday.

AP Photo

Ridesharing services like Sidecar, Uber and Lyft have won the first round in a battle to decide how regulate them in Seattle. There will be no cap on the number of drivers using these apps under a new proposed agreement announced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Tim Durkan

Friday will bear the worst of the weekend weather, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, but don’t expect sunshine on Father’s Day.

The rain returned on Friday with a “fairly good drenching” — “the first substantial rain” in nearly two weeks — and the clouds are expected to stick around for most of the weekend, Mass said.

Alison Marcotte / KPLU News

Three sets of oversized orange headphones have arrived at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

They’re parts of  “YOU ARE HEAR,” a temporary installation by Seattle sound artist Trimpin that will be unveiled Saturday.

AP Photo

Saying it is not an action he takes lightly, King County Executive Down Constantine vetoed a King County Council vote that would have staved off cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service next year.

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

The King County Council has voted to postpone a portion of planned cuts to King County Metro Transit bus service — at least for now.

In a 5-to-4 vote, the council on Monday decided to delay three of the four planned rounds of service cuts.

The decision does not affect the first round of cuts planned for this September; all three of the postponed reductions were slated to take effect in 2015, in February, June and September. 

Dan Hershman / Flickr

For the first time in 20 years, the Wenatchee River in eastern Washington has opened for spring Chinook salmon fishing.

Wildlife officials say it’s a sign of successful management of the hatcheries program. 

Tim Durkan

It appears the infamous June Gloom will spare us — at least for now.

“Normally this month, we have June Gloom: cloudy skies, temperatures in the 60s. But this year, it’s been unusually nice, [with] temperatures above normal and extraordinary amounts of sun,” Mass said.

Matthew Brown / AP Photo

The rapid increase of trains carrying crude oil across the region has raised alarm bells in the wake of a series of serious accidents. Communities and first responders say they can’t adequately prepare for possible disasters because railroads are not required to give any information on the shipments.

That’s about to change, at least to some extent, with a new regulation that takes effect Friday.

AP Photo

The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 per hour, the highest in the nation.

Starting on April 1, 2015, the clock will begin ticking for Seattle-based employers to boost their minimum wage workforce up to $15 per hour. Raises will be phased in over the next three to seven years, depending on how large the business is and what other benefits it offers. 

Chris Kittredge Photo

In recent years, the Samish River Basin in Skagit County has suffered severe pollution from fecal coliform bacteria. Water polluted with untreated sewage and manure leads to frequent closures of shellfish beds and beaches. County authorities are testing a new method to find the sources: poop-sniffing dogs

Erin Hennessey

It’s time to get out the sunscreen and summer clothes.

KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass says we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us.

Paul Morigi / AP Images for National Portrait Gallery

Poet and author Maya Angelou died today at age 86. Her autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" broke new ground with its descriptions of overcoming racism and trauma in the South. Throughout her life, Angelou was celebrated for her words. She shared a few of those words with KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp, in a 2011 interview we're reposting here:

Denise Walker photo

“First things first,” said KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. “For Mother’s Day, it looks good.”

Mass predicts sunny skies and temperatures of at least 70 “and maybe even into the low 70s” for Sunday.

But before then, there’s some rain to get through.

Photo by andreyphoto.com Flickr

Global climate change is having tangible effects all over the country, including in Washington and the greater northwest.

That’s according to the latest National Climate Assessment released Tuesday by the Obama administration.

courtesy of Puget Sound Bike Share

It’s official: Seattle’s much-anticipated bike share program will launch with 500 bikes in September, thanks to a $2.5 million grant from Alaska Airlines.

City officials unveiled the plan for the program, called "Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share," on Monday.

In the wake of the deadly disaster in Oso, many people may be worrying about the potential for mudslides in their neighborhoods.

AP Photo

It seems the curse of the wet weekend is upon us again.

This week's unseasonably hot transition from April to May is giving way to much cooler temps and heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

It comes on the heels of a gloriously sunny and hot work week.

Potjie photo / Flickr via Compfight

In 2011, biofuels in the Northwest got a huge boost. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $80 million in grants to researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University. It’s meant to help turn woody biomass into environmentally-friendly fuels for cars and jets.

Now they’re at about the half-way point in their research, and several hundred are attending a conference on wood-based biofuels in Seattle.  

C4Chaos / Flickr

Don’t put your parkas away just yet. 

It’s classic April weather this weekend with lots of showers but plenty of sunbreaks, too, according to KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. 

Saturday, in particular, is going to be nice, says Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

King County Metro Transit's Facebook Page

King County's Proposition 1, which would have raised sales taxes and car tab fees to preserve Metro bus service, is failing. Initial counts show 55 percent of voters rejected the measure, leaving low odds of passage.

Still, Seattle transit advocates are down, but not out of ideas.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Forty four years ago, the modern environmental movement was born with the celebration of the first Earth Day. At massive teach-ins around the country, people called on industries to stop polluting.

Now the messages have become more personal, says former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is speaking at Pacific Lutheran University Tuesday night.

Jessica Robinson

An elderly man from Lake Stevens has become a reluctant symbol of resilience in the face of terrorism. 

An image of 79-year-old Bill Iffrig, blown off his feet in an orange singlet near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, went around the world. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and interviewed for a 12-minute online documentary titled "The Finish Line." 

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