- - Monday, July 23, 2012

WICHITA, Kan. — The Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog agency is fighting a move by Hawker Beechcraft to pay eight senior executives more than $5.3 million in bonuses.

In a court filing Monday, U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis argues that the Kansas-based plane maker hasn’t shown that its proposed bonus plan isn’t a disguised retention plan.

Bonuses are allowed but must include more than a reward for staying with a company.

Hawker Beechcraft calls it an incentive award and says its plans are consistent with its commitment to strongly emerge from bankruptcy.

A hearing on the proposed bonuses is set for Thursday.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in May. The court approved exclusive talks with a Chinese firm that has offered nearly $1.8 billion to purchase the company’s business jet and general aviation operations.

CALIFORNIA

Alameda County to vote on medication disposal

OAKLAND — Officials in a Northern California county are considering a law that would require the pharmaceutical industry to foot the bill for getting rid of unused medication.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors could vote on the Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance on Tuesday. Government and industry officials say the ordinance would be the first of its kind nationwide.  

Alameda County residents can already drop off expired and leftover drugs in 28 places, but it comes with a price tag of $330,000 a year, a cost that county officials say the drug companies should pay.

Advocates for the disposal programs say it saves lives by preventing accidental drug overdose and keeping flushed pills from contaminating water. Critics say no evidence shows drug take-back programs help the environment or curb drug abuse.

LAYOFFS

Cisco to let go 1,300 employees

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cisco Systems is preparing to lay off about 1,300 workers just a few months after the world’s largest maker of computer networking equipment warned that growing economic uncertainty is making it tougher to close sales with its customers.

The cuts announced Monday represent about 2 percent of Cisco System Inc.’s payroll of 65,000 workers.
The upcoming layoffs are only the company’s latest austerity measure. Last year, Cisco shed about 10,000 jobs as part of a program aimed at saving about $1 billion annually.

Cisco says it is shedding jobs to simplify its operations and adjust to changing economic conditions around the world. The company didn’t specify what parts of its operations will be trimmed.

The belt tightening comes after Cisco offered revenue guidance for its current quarter that was well below Wall Street expectations. Cisco cautioned its revenue for the period that ends this month is likely to increase by as little as 2 percent from the same time last year. At the time that guidance was issued in early May, analysts had been anticipating a revenue increase of 7 percent.

FAA

Official: Radar center will be in New York

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — A new air traffic control center that will serve the busy New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas will be built somewhere in New York, although a decision on an exact location is still likely many months away, acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Monday.

“We’re very early in a process for a very important decision,” Mr. Huerta told reporters after touring Long Island MacArthur Airport, one of the sites local officials have proposed for the new facility. The FAA has announced a $2.3 billion modernization plan that will consolidate 49 aging air traffic facilities in the Northeast down to four by 2023.

So far, Mr. Huerta said, $95 million has been allocated for preliminary site review, cost analysis and design preparations, but he noted actual construction of the new air traffic control center is expected to be $220 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports