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Leading Off (1/21/10)

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1. You know how things were really bad last year? Yeah, well, not so for top execs at Parkland Hospital. Twenty-seven of their top people increased their salary by 12 percent. But unlike some other execs in some other companies who maybe didn’t deserve their bonuses, these Parkland employees deserved their bonuses, er, incentives.

“We kind of stay away from the word bonus,” says Dr. Lauren McDonald, president of Parkland’s board of managers. “It’s really earned incentives. We have certain goals that we set forth as a board. Working with a consultant, we made sure these were earned, instead of just given.”

I want to meet this consultant.

2. As Zac mentioned yesterday, a robber left her purse behind. But there’s more to it. She had a sick baby in the getaway car. The child is supposed to be on oxygen 24 hours a day. Instead of saying she’s a horrible parent, I’m going to take the “maybe she doesn’t have insurance and was going to use the money to take care of her child” approach. Glass half-full, right?

3. Irving’s about to get greener. A new middle school is being built to be “net-zero.”(I’ve tried being net-zero before for three whole days. It’s hard. I had to recycle, ride a bike, plant trees, and turn off lights and stuff to reduce or negate my carbon footprint.) Although the school will cost about an extra $3 to $4 million to build, administrators think perhaps the school’s electricity bills could drop from $250,000 to $50,000. So that’s worth it. Also, kids will take field trips to the school, there will be hands-on activities focused on geothermal science, and all sorts of cool, hip, green-related things. Coolest. School. Ever.

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