News Highlights of the Week
Activist Dominique Alexander, Now Free, Says He Befriended Aryan Brotherhood Members in Prison
What happens when you put a Black Lives Matter protest organizer in prison with a racist gang? According to recently released Dominique Alexander, they become uneasy chums.
6 Things We Learned From Reading Records of Drug Busts at Love Field Airport
The Dallas Observer filed a Texas Public Information Act request to the Dallas Police Department seeking records for a slew of drug arrests at various spots in the city — including Love Field Airport. Here's what learned about the cat-and-mouse games played with drugs and money at airports.
Deep Ellum Crime Bump Prompts Extra Police Patrols Around "Entertainment Districts"
Muggings and assaults lead to a shift in officers on the street. "We want entertainment districts to feel safe," says one deputy chief.
Dallas City Council Draws a Line On DART's Suburban Ambition
The Dallas City Council's transportation committee wants DART to build a subway downtown and fix the dysfunctional bus system, and put the Cotton Belt funding behind those efforts.
In what looks now more and more like it was an attempt to head off other proposals, Mayor Mike Rawlings personally appointed or anointed retired oil executive Walt Humann to come up with a Fair Park plan. Humann did. His plan is to leave the State Fair entirely alone – not touch its deal – and tax the citizens of Dallas hundreds of millions of dollars to fix up the buildings. I call Humann’s plan a good-old-geezer deal because he and the people on the State Fair board of directors are good old geezers. They represent the aging social infrastructure of yesteryear – the way things used to be – and maybe the best way they represent that tradition is in their belief that matters like these are theirs alone to settle, behind closed doors by the powers that be, perhaps more accurately described now as the powers that were.
— Jim Schutze, from Rumors That the Plan for a Privated Fair Park Is in Trouble Spark New Proposals
The Horse's Mouth
Billion for the Border
The Texas Department of Public Safety is asking the state legislature to spend close to $1 billion on border security in 2017. The map below is part of a Powerpoint presented by DPS director Steven McCraw to the Texas House Appropriations Committee in support of the plan, which targets border areas with layers of sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and personnel.
Texas and Taxes
Texas has the 14th most competitive tax code in the nation according to the 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, released this week by the Tax Foundation. The report measures how "well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing over 100 tax variables in five different tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance." Here's a breakdown of Texas’s rankings this year, with #1 being the best and #50 the worst:
Overall tax climate: #14
Corporate tax structure: #49
Individual income tax structure: #6
Sales tax structure: #37
Property tax structure: #37
Unemployment insurance tax structure: #12
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