Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

The job tax unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in May was purportedly intended to fund affordable housing efforts. Although the tax has...
Seattle housing

Housing inventory woes may ease

It’s no surprise that Seattle and King County have problems with expensive housing prices and inventory shortages, Seattle was ranked 2nd on Forbes’ list...
Straw in strawberry milkshake

Seattle goes strawless: no more plastic pointy things…

Seattle has become the largest metropolitan city to forbid the use of plastic straws and utensils as part of the plastic utensil and straw...
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...
The road to redevelopment in Yakima

The road to redevelopment in Yakima

The possible transformation of a former lumber mill site located just outside the city of Yakima into a mixed-use development has the potential to...
Wine tasting

A look into Woodinville’s thriving wine industry

When planning a trip to taste Washington wine you don’t have to travel five hours east of Seattle. Woodinville is only 30 minutes from...
Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

Assembling the right public policy for driverless cars

There may be as many components needed to form Washington’s public policy for driverless cars as the actual vehicles. It’s a challenge the Washington’s...
video

Lens Video: Woodinville- An unexpected hub for wine

Lens sat down with two Woodinville winemakers to discuss what the city has to offer for starting winemakers, and why it became a hub...
Worries linger over Washington’s economy growth

Worries linger over Washington’s economic growth

The city of Seattle’s short-lived head tax may be dead, but for some state officials a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the long-term...
video

Lens Video: Head tax- Sending the right message to business

"It's not as if they (the Seattle City Council) had a change of mind, so I worry that we will see some other form of anti-growth, anti-jobs tax that will replace this one" -State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

A class action lawsuit recently filed against Sound Transit and Washington state by seven plaintiffs could answer the question already asked by some lawmakers...
Crate of apples

Trade war bites Washington apple industry

Washington state may be losing its largest market for apples given Mexico’s new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports. Agricultural stakeholders say they are disappointed...
21 Acres Market

Giving local farms a boost

One of the hardest challenges for a small, local farm is spreading awareness of its products and pushing its goods into market. In Woodinville,...
Grocery store checkout line

Grocers embrace new tech to stay afloat

Grocery stores across Washington are stepping up their efforts to modernize and reformat their stores to better highlight what online shopping can never quite...
Rendering of U District Target

What’s up with retail downsizing?

Several large retailers are thinking small when it comes to expanding their businesses and promoting sales efficiency, especially within urban neighborhoods. Target has announced that...
Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

If Seattle’s recently approved job tax survives a voter initiative backed by the local business community and possible legislative action, its direct impact on...

Preserving Washington’s prosperity

Eight years since Washington voters overwhelmingly rejected Initiative 1098 that would have created a progressive income tax, state revenue has grown from approximately $29...
The new ‘battle for Seattle’

The new ‘battle for Seattle’

It’s a fight where the battlefields are drawn by political jurisdictions, casualties are measured by lost economic output, and victories are determined by new...
Seattle's Original Starbucks

Head tax shows Seattle is “hostile” to business

The Seattle City Council’s unanimous passage of a business head tax sent ripples throughout the business community and economic development organizations who are sounding...
video

Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
BNSF Railway Train

BNSF Railway proposes bridge project to ease congestion

BNSF Railway has proposed to build a second rail line that would run over Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho to help prevent congestion...
Employees helping at a grocery store check out line

Head tax passes despite business outcry

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved its head tax proposal that will impose a significant penalty on Seattle’s largest businesses in the name...
video

Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...
Lens Retrospect: Washington’s Arrested Development

Lens Reflections: Washington’s Arrested Development  

In recent years, major development efforts in Washington state have floundered due to environmental regulations that in the past would have stymied major infrastructure...
Welder at work

National associations join MBT lawsuit

National trade and resource associations and several states are joining Millennium Bulk Terminals’ (MBT) lawsuit against Governor Jay Inslee and his administration for obstructing...
City of Seattle at night

Head tax “last nail in the coffin”

In the latest development in the controversy surrounding the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan, or “head tax,” Amazon has stopped development in...
Digital world solutions to physical world problems

Digital world solutions to physical world problems

New technology can bring uncertainty about its impact on society. As companies such as Waymo begin rolling out self-driving vehicles, safety concerns have led...
First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

First GMA appeal under new Hirst law

Earlier this year state lawmakers and Governor Jay Inslee approved a law addressing rural growth restrictions imposed by the State Supreme Court’s 2016 Hirst...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s trade future

Lens sat down with Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, to discuss what Washington state industries reliant on global...
App demand for road user charge fee

App demand for road user charge fee

One planned feature of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) ongoing road user charge (RUC) pilot program is obtaining frequent participant feedback on their...
Residential well

Development picks up with Hirst fix

Three months since Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 6091, commonly referred to as the Hirst fix, into law, representatives from the Legislature, the...
How safety shapes driverless car technology

How safety shapes driverless car technology

A new state law that takes effect in June creates a state work group that assists the Washington State Transportation Commission on making annual...
The politics of congestion tolling

The politics of congestion tolling

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced plans to toll certain roads in the city to reduce congestion and carbon emissions. Although the details aren’t...
Milk being poured

Organic milk farmers surviving, not thriving

Although market indicators in the 1990s pointed to organic dairy as the next fad, those farmers today are determining how to stay afloat in...
How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

Of recent interest to both state lawmakers and the business community is the health of Washington’s manufacturing industry. Since 2000, the sector has shrunk...
Apple harvesting

Washington agriculture and the Chinese trade war

Washington agricultural businesses and producers need to find a new trade partner, and quick. That is what industry stakeholders are saying in response to...
video

Lens Video: Promoting free trade for agriculture

Darigold President and CEO Stan Ryan discusses the importance of free trade for the agricultural industry during the 2018 Washington Council on International Trade...
Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Avoiding a misfire with Cascadia bullet train

Proponents of an ultra-high-speed rail line between British Columbia, Seattle and Oregon recently achieved another necessary step toward realizing that vision, while recent nightmare...
Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Washington state is expected to receive billions in unexpected revenue in the 2017-19 biennium, and the legislature’s intent via the 2018 supplemental operating budget...
Running the circuit for electric vehicles

Running the circuit for electric vehicles

A state sales tax exemption for electric vehicle purchases in Washington state is set to expire after reaching a threshold set by the legislature...
Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

Seattle ripe for ‘cottage’ industry

The city of Seattle has 55,000 ways to add more rentals to the market without developing new land. That’s according to a recent article...
Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Washington state is conducting a road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program to test different ways drivers might one day track and pay a...
Steel worker welding a plate

Trump tariffs would harm small business

Following President Donald Trump’s announcement of new tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, U.S. lawmakers and business stakeholders are saying that the levies would...
When driverless cars and public policy collide

When driverless cars and public policy collide

A recent deadly accident in Arizona involving a self-driving Uber vehicle and the company’s decision to halt their use on roads indicates the level...
Construction workers discussing plan

Addressing Washington’s skilled worker gap

With an aging workforce and new jobs appearing weekly across the state, one thing is clear: Washington needs to double down on preparing to...
Navigating a road mileage charge

Navigating a road mileage charge

Washington’s road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program is underway with 2,000 volunteer drivers testing out a variety of ways to keep track of...
Raw law export in Longview

Longview: Tenant would feed city’s tech appetite

A company with a focus on powering supercomputers has set its sights on Longview, Washington as its potential location for operations. Both the company...
Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Puget Sound drivers who want a reduced ST3 car tab tax may have to get as loud as the Seahawks stadium at gametime if...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo

Lens Video: Revitalizing Washington’s tourism program

Lens sat down with State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) to discuss the future of tourism in Washington state. Lawmakers are pushing to reopen a...
Ships docked

Modernizing the state’s fishing fleet

Lawmakers and stakeholders are praising a proposal which would help encourage competitiveness of the state’s fishing and seafood processing sectors by establishing a preferential...
The route to driverless cars

The route to driverless cars

Driverless vehicle technology is still under development, but Washington stakeholders aren’t waiting to encourage its inclusion in regional transportation policy. A presentation last year...
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