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Ford CEO earns $34.5 million from stock grant

DETROIT >> Ford CEO Alan Mulally is $34.5 million richer after shares granted two years ago vested this week.

The payout is sure to be a sore subject among some Ford factory workers, who have cited Mulally’s pay when they have voted against contract changes. Mulally made $26.5 million in 2010, making him the ninth highest-paid CEO in the U.S. last year, according to calculations by The Associated Press. United Auto Workers President Bob King has called Mulally’s pay “morally wrong.” But the company says Mulally’s compensation is fair because it’s tied to the shares’ success.

The stock awards were disclosed Tuesday in a regulatory filing.  Mulally’s 2011 salary and other compensation will be released later this spring.

Weinberg Foundation gives $1.5M to Shriners

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Hono­lulu has been given $1.5 million for its capital campaign from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The Honolulu hospital completed a new $73 million, 149,000-square-foot facility in 2010, and the money received from the foundation is expected to be used for additional expansion. The previous Shriners facility was built in 1967.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States and each year gives nearly $100 million to nonprofit organizations in Hawaii, Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania, Israel and the former Soviet Union.

Price of popular drugs up 26%, AARP says

The prices of the most widely used drugs by older Americans rose nearly 26 percent from 2005 to 2009 — nearly twice the rate of inflation — according to a report issued Tuesday by AARP, the lobbying group for seniors.

The increase happened even as the price of generic drugs, which account for the vast majority of prescriptions, has been falling in recent years, the report found.

"At a time when our country is contracting economically and inflation is really, really low, inflation in the cost of prescription drugs is going in the other direction," said Cheryl Matheis, senior vice president for policy strategy at AARP. "The word we use is ‘relentless’ because it just doesn’t seem to abate."

But officials in the pharmaceutical industry criticized the report, saying the expanded availability of generic drugs has slowed the increase in drug prices in recent years.

"AARP has released yet another misleading pricing report that ignores key facts about the marketplace for prescription medicines and paints an inaccurate picture of prescription drug spending in the U.S.," the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry trade and lobbying group, said in a statement Tuesday.

The AARP report, which examined the retail prices of the 514 brand name and generic drugs most widely used by Medicare recipients, said the price of generic drugs fell nearly 31 percent from 2005 to 2009.

But at the same time, brand-name drug prices grew nearly 41 percent, and specialty drugs rose more than 48 percent. The rate of inflation, by contrast, grew by just over 13 percent over the same period.

Some criticized the AARP report because it reported on only the full retail price consumers paid at the pharmacy, even though many patients were responsible for only a small co-payment or nothing at all.

Cupcake vending machine is launched

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. » Sprinkles, the Beverly Hills bakery that helped inspire the craze for sweet frosting in snack-size portions, will launch a cupcake dispensing machine at its flagship store.

Founder and owner Candace Nelson said her company rolled out the first high-tech vending machine Tuesday, with three more in the works for New York City by the summer.

The ATM-like machine features a touch screen and a robotic arm that pulls the right-flavored cupcake from a wall of single-serving boxes inside the store.

Nelson said the custom-built gadget is in response to demand for increased hours at the popular store.

"After dinner people want a cupcake. But we can’t be open all night long because of our poor employees. So we’ll just stock it fresh before they leave for the evening, and it’ll be good to go," she said.

The machines will be restocked constantly throughout the day so the goods stay fresh.

A boxed cupcake will cost $4 for a buyer at the vending machine. The same sugary sweet sells for $3.25 in the store, with no box.

Singapore mandates day off for maids

SINGAPORE » Maids in Singapore soon will get something that many people around the world take for granted: a day off. Starting next year, maids must receive one day off a week or additional compensation to work that day, Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin told Parliament late Monday.

Worker and human-rights groups praised the change Tuesday, saying it will bring Singapore closer to international labor norms.

About 1 in 5 Singaporean households has a full-time, live-in maid.

Rights groups have urged the government to bolster safeguards for the city-state’s 206,000 domestic workers, who mostly come from Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and India.

Employers are not currently legally required to give domestic workers any days off, while local and nonmaid foreign workers are allowed at least one day off a week.

On the Move

The Hawaii Health Systems Corp. has appointed Dr. Ramsey Hasan as the state community hospital’s chief medical information officer. He was previously an emergency department physician as well as hospital chief of staff and governing board member at Castle Medical Center. Hasan’s experience also includes 10 years as an international surveyor for hospital accreditation with the Joint Commission International.


The Queen’s Medical Center has named Dr. Kathleen L. Mah as medical director of operating rooms. She is a general surgeon at QMC and has been assistant chief of the Department of Surgery as well as chief of the Division of General Surgery for QMC.


Tissue Genesis has elected Lawrence D. “Larry” Rodriguez to its board of directors. His experience includes being executive vice president and chief financial officer of Central Pacific Bank until his retirement in November and former managing partner of Ernst & Young LLP. Tissue Genesis is a Hono­lulu-based clinical stage company specializing in adipose-derived cell therapy and regenerative medicine.



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