JOHN PEPPER: The former Procter & Gamble chairman and CEO donated a “sizable gift” toward retiring $47 million in construction debt at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Business Courier reported. Also, Pepper — who currently is board chairman at Walt Disney Co. — signed guarantees so the troubled facility could receive $1.3 million in state grants. No matter what you might think about the museum’s location and design, two factors often cited as contributing to lackluster attendance, Pepper’s generosity is exactly the type of attitude that should be emulated throughout corporate America. The Wyoming resident is a believer in the Freedom Center’s mission and isn’t afraid to put his money where his mouth is.
DUKE CUSTOMERS: People who get their electricity and natural gas from North Carolina-based Duke Energy pay some of the highest rates in the nation.
Perhaps one reason why is the excessive pay and benefits given to Jim Rogers, Duke’s CEO. Recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Roger’s compensation package increased by 29 percent in 2010, mostly due to stock awards and options. Also, Rogers gets almost $423,000 in fringe benefits including nearly $399,000 in personal aircraft use and $4,000 in charitable contributions made in his name. Meanwhile, the company is getting an extra $14 million from Ohio customers to repay itself for damages caused by the 2008 windstorm. Revolution, anyone?
CHARLIE WINBURN: CityBeat feels a little like an enabler right now, as the bombastic reverend-turned-Cincinnati councilman is addicted to making headlines and seems willing to say or do just about anything for a little media attention. Still, Winburn’s most recent proposal is a good one that’s long overdue. The Republican wants City Council to cancel its usual two-month summer recess — in July and August — so it can remain in session and work on methods to avoid another $55 million deficit. Council members are paid $60,646 annually, so they should earn their keep by working year-round, especially in light of last year’s disastrous last-minute budget scrambling in December after ignoring the problem for months.
KEN HAM: The founder of Answers in Genesis, the science-denying group that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., ostracized even some of his fellow true believers with his recent remarks. Ham was banned from a home schooling convention held in Cincinnati this week after he criticized one of its planned speakers. Ham didn’t like that Peter Enns of the BioLogos Foundation said that the biblical story of Adam and Eve was metaphorical, instead of literal. Ham said that view is an “outright liberal theology that totally undermines the authority of the Word of God.” Convention organizers called Ham’s remarks “ungoldy and mean-spirited.” We sense a fatwa forming.