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Lens Team

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When Lens Team isn't smoking our own salmon, composting, or hiking, we're parsing the cosmos to deliver you the best stories in Washington state.
Seattle view from the water

Seattle becomes this decade’s fastest-growing big U.S. city

The Seattle freeze can’t keep away new residents- the city is now ranked first for fastest population growth out of U.S. cities this decade.

State senator proposes rural job tax credit

Sen. Steve O’Ban has proposed a $275 business and occupation (B&O) tax credit to employers for each new qualifying job they create in counties...

Statewide water quality permit

The Department of Ecology (DOE) and Washington wineries have worked together to develop the first statewide water quality permit. DOE announced that the New...
Silicon Valley cities mull Seattle-style job tax

Silicon Valley cities mull Seattle-style job tax

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that several Silicon Valley cities are contemplating a job tax similar to one recently approved by the Seattle...

Extra pay ruling limits farmers’ options

Earlier this month, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that farmworkers paid piece rate for their work must also receive wages for additional tasks...

Pierce County announces head tax credit

Tacoma and Pierce County officials have announced plans to offer a $275 per-employee tax credit. The announcement came after the Seattle City Council approved...
Seattle storefront

Opposition to head tax raises $300,000

Crosscut reports that members from the business community and economic development organizations have already pledged more than $300,000 to repeal the head tax…

Madrona raises $300 million for Northwest startups

Seattle venture investing firm Madrona Venture Group announced this week it has raised $300 million for its next pool of funds for Northwest startups....

Seattle City Council considers waterfront tax

The Seattle City Council is expected to vote Monday on a local improvement district (LID) levy which would tax 6,900 properties on the city’s...
Trump calls for truce in trade war with China

Trump calls for truce in trade war with China

The Associated Press reports that President Donald Trump has called for a temporary truce with China on trade after previously calling for increased tarrifs....

“I firmly believe it undermines our international and national reputation.”

– former Governor Christine Gregoire on Seattle’s head tax.

Business campaign created to fight head tax

Members of the business community have launched the “No Tax on Jobs” campaign in an effort to overturn the Seattle City Council’s head tax...

Head tax may face lawmaker pushback

Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna told KIRO-TV that the Legislature may work to stop the head tax by banning certain kinds of taxes....

Microsoft strikes cloud agreement

Microsoft announced it has secured a cloud agreement deal with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Valued at hundreds of millions of...
Seattle homes rental rate declines

Slowed growth for Seattle homes rental increases

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that rent increases for single-family homes in the Puget Sound area has slowed to less than 1 percent...

Seattle metro’s new most common job: software developer

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that software developer is the most common occupation in the Seattle metro area, with 600,000 people employed in...

Association of American Railroads joins MBT Lawsuit

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has signed an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) parent company brought forward against Governor...

National retail sales continue to increase

The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported this week that April’s national retail sales increased 2.8 percent compared to April 2017, and 0.4 percent since...

Sears to consider selling assets

Sears Holdings Corp.’s stock rose after announcing the possible sale of several assets. Although the stock rose by $.23 to $3.65, it’s still down...

Albertsons to close stores in Seattle

Albertsons has announced that it will close two of its stores in the city of Seattle, just after the City Council approved a new...
City of Seattle

Amazon moves forward with construction, but hesitant  

Amazon will continue construction on one of its downtown towers, however the company will proceed with caution in the wake of the Seattle City Council's approval of its business head tax plan...
Trump to help revitalize Chinese smartphone company

Trump recruits help for Chinese smartphone company

After announcing his plans for increased tariffs on Chinese-imported goods, President Trump is now asking the State Department of Commerce to help a Chinese telecom and smartphone company...

Farmworkers to be paid for additional tasks

The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that farmworkers paid a piece rate for field or orchard labor must also receive wages for additional...

King County sues oil companies

King County has filed a lawsuit against the five largest oil companies for knowingly contributing to climate change. The suit claims that BP, Chevron,...

Amazon looks to Bellevue for new buildings

Amazon has stopped development on two office buildings in Seattle until the City Council votes on the proposed head tax. In the meantime, the...

Mayor Durkan proposes own tax plan

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has put forth her own business tax proposal to raise money for affordable housing and homeless services. Durkan’s head tax would...

Amazon paid $250 million in Washington taxes last year

The Seattle Times reports that Amazon paid $250 million in state and local taxes in Washington, according to a source close to the company....
seattle skyline

131 businesses sign letter opposing head tax

KUOW News reports that big businesses aren’t the only ones speaking out against the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan…

Judge rejects lawsuit over “Zestimate” tool

A U.S. District Court in Illinois has dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit against Seattle real estate company Zillow over its “Zestimate” tool used to...

April showers bolster local crops

As measured at the Walla Walla Regional Airport, the region received generous amounts of rainfall last month totaling 2.37 inches, nearly half an inch...

The fate of Boeing’s Iran deal

On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that the United States is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, effectively ending Boeing’s potential $9.5...

Survey: Puget Sound residents divided over growth changes

A new public opinion survey commissioned by the Puget Sound Regional Council found that King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap residents  were evenly divided over whether...

Washington state ranks first in GDP growth

Washington state’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.4 percent last year, the largest increase of any state in the country. The growth...
gas pump

Oil prices highest in four years

Feeling a squeeze at the pump? ABC News reports that oil prices have risen above $70 per barrel this week...

Nestle to start distributing Starbucks products

Nestle has agreed to a $7.15 billion deal to start marketing Starbucks products. Under the agreement, Nestle would be able to sell beans and...

Farm stakeholders concerned over trade war

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) recently met with Washington fruit and grain producers, agricultural stakeholders and members from Farmers for Free Trade to...

Where people move when they leave King County

As reported by the Seattle Times, approximately 104,000 people move out of King County each year, according to census data. According to 2011-2015 migration...

National Association of Manufacturers joins support of Millennium lawsuit

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has filed an amicus brief backing up Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and his...

Amazon stops construction work over Seattle head tax

Amazon has announced that it has ceased construction work in downtown Seattle while awaiting a possible City Council vote on a proposed head tax....

Anacortes refinery prepares for new leadership

The Andeavor Anacortes Refinery is expecting an ownership change after the Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) acquired the refinery’s parent company. The $23 billion deal,...

Expanded legal water for Big Lake

Although currently under review by Skagit County Commissioners, progress is being made on the Big Lake Mitigation Plan which would give 96 households access...

Puget Sound Energy to pass tax savings to customers

Puget Sound Energy has announced plans to pass on its $96.5-million cut in federal taxes to its electric and natural gas customers. The total...

Boeing buys part supplier

Aerospace giant Boeing is set to acquire KLX Inc. for $4.25 billion, paying $63 per share for the purchase. KLX’s Aerospace Solutions Group has...

T-Mobile and Sprint reach merger deal

On Apr. 29, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to a $27 billion merger which would place the company as the second largest wireless carrier in...

Kittitas County plans to expand water metering program

According to a recent news release, Kittitas County is bolstering its water mitigation and metering program and asking for new meter reading and programming...

Amazon hiring rates slow

Amazon experienced its first employee count decline since 2009 this past quarter. At the end of March, the company reported having employed 563,100 people,...

Governor proposes “opportunities zones” to boost development

Governor Jay Inslee has named seven Clark County communities “opportunity zones” providing tax breaks for developers working on projects inside those areas. Read more...

Boeing prepares for China completion center

Boeing announced that it would finish construction on its 737 completion center in Zhoushan, China by the end of 2018. The facility would allow...

Uber, Lyft more popular than taxis in Seattle

People in Seattle use Lyft and Uber 3.5 times more than a taxi, according to data from market-research company Nielsen. Users tend to be...

Light and display testing company moves to Redmond

Radiant Vision Solutions has moved its headquarters to a two-story facility in downtown Redmond to accommodate growth. The company tests the quality and consistency...

Key Arena Rework study forecasts slow exit

The draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the KeyArena rework is predicting short commute times to nighttime events and lengthy commutes home. The study...
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