May 20, 2019
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MOD Pizza creates new design, experience at Pioneer Square store

MOD Pizza was scheduled to open a new restaurant in Weyerhaeuser’s Seattle headquarters today, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports. The 4,000 square foot restaurant will be used as a trial store for new ideas and equipment.

The new space includes a concept bar, digital menus and a second counter and cooking area that can be used for training and online ordering.

The company makes an effort to hire people with challenges, such as those with developmental disabilities or in recovery from substance abuse, for example. The second cooking area provides more flexibility for training and education, and a second pizza oven enables staff to make 500 pizzas an hour.

"When we first talked about this store, when there was a clean sheet of paper, we asked if there were things we could do to differentiate it from, not just our other stores, but from what other people are doing as well," said Darren Medina, MOD's director of design concepts. "What we tried to do in this location is add different things to add to the customer experience that you don't see in other stores."

MOD Pizza was founded by Scott and Ally Svenson in 2008 and was selected as AWB’s 2018 Advance Award winner, and is featured in the Grow Here campaign. There are now 429 locations worldwide.

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Housing Forum
Moving Backward

Gov. Inslee is wrong to flip-flop on liquefied natural-gas facility in Tacoma

By The Seatte Times Editorial Board

Gov. Jay Inslee is doing an outstanding job staying on message in his presidential campaign, making climate change his signature issue and a focus of the primaries.

But Inslee went too far last week when he pulled support for a project in Tacoma that will cut emissions and create jobs.

Early in his governorship, Inslee championed the Tacoma liquefied natural-gas (LNG) facility. That pragmatic, nuanced approach provided certainty for local companies to commit more than $500 million to a project that will substantially reduce emissions from ships sailing between Puget Sound and Alaska.

That stance no longer jibes with the current mantra of his far-left environmental base, which now advocates for halting additional fossil-fuel consumption. It also had put Inslee in conflict with one of the state's wealthiest tribes, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, which opposed the project.

Moving goal posts late in the game may discourage companies from innovating and investing in cleaner ways of doing business, at least in Washington....

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
A New Challenge for Border Towns

Lawmakers changed the sales tax exemption. Will Oregon residents still want to shop Tri-Cities?

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Of all the new, last-minute tax measures approved by the Legislature two weeks ago, one in particular likely will cause headaches for Mid-Columbia retailers in coming months.

Oregon residents will no longer get a sales tax exemption right away at a Tri-Cities checkout counter.

Thanks to ESSB 5997, out-of-state shoppers will have to pay the sales tax upfront, save their receipts and file for a one-time, yearly reimbursement from the state of Washington.

They will qualify only if the amount they are requesting exceeds $25.

Clay Hill, government affairs director for the Association of Washington Business, said approval of ESSB 5997 was "especially disheartening" because there was a unified voice of opposition by business and retail organizations.

Democratic lawmakers are betting they will raise $53 million for a two-year budget from out-of-state shoppers who don't turn in their paperwork or who don't meet the $25 minimum threshold.

But it is the border communities that will pay the biggest price for the tax grab, and it isn't right to put the burden primarily on the edges of the state.

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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