B+L claims wages in Roc 30% lower than in Ireland

It's been a perennial complaint among American manufacturers that it's tough to compete with companies overseas because the wages there are so much lower.That's not the case when it comes to Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Bausch + Lomb unit, where salaries in Rochester apparently are a bargain.Irish news outlets reported Thursday that B+L is cutting 200 of the 1,100 jobs at its plant in Waterford, Ireland. The plant will be closed unless workers accept a 20 percent pay cut, company officials are quoted as saying."Our review of our manufacturing facilities shows that Waterford's cost base is substantially out of line with other plants within the Bausch & Lomb infrastructure." Angelo Conti, vice president of manufacturing, told The Independent.In fact, wages in Rochester are more than 30 percent lower than what workers in Waterford are paid, the company said.Last November, state and federal officials announced a deal where Valeant agreed to make B+L's Ultra silicone hydrogel contact lenses in Rochester instead of Waterford. The deal included $12 million in tax credits and grants from the state. Continue Reading

SUNY Poly declares former B+L building as photonics HQ

ALBANY – The fight over where in downtown Rochester to locate a $600 million photonics center went another round Monday.The SUNY Polytechnic Institute announced that the headquarters would be located in the former Bausch + Lomb building, saying it has the legal authority to decide where the business operations for the center would be based. Hours later, supporters of the Sibley Building denied their claim."In support of Governor Andrew Cuomo's innovation-driven economic growth strategy and vision to establish Rochester as the global center of photonics research, SUNY Poly in partnership with the region's business leaders sought a headquarters location that would not only meet the direct needs of the institute but would contribute to the city's downtown renewal, and the Legacy Tower was the resoundingly consensus choice," Michael Liehr, an executive with the college and the CEO of the photonics center, said in a statement.University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle then issued a joint statement: "Despite press reports to the contrary, no decision has been finalized on a new downtown headquarters for AIM Photonics. We welcome SUNY Polytechnic's interest in locating a headquarters downtown and we thank them for their recommendation, which we will take under advisement. The Rochester leadership, in conjunction with Governor Cuomo, will make the final decision on where to locate the appropriate photonics facilities in our community."The back-and-forth was the latest salvo in the dispute over whether to put the headquarters at the B+L building, now called the Legacy Tower, or at the Sibley Building nearby off East Main Street.Local business leaders declared last week that the Bausch + Lomb building was more suited for the offices. Seligman and other local officials, including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, countered two days later that they preferred the Sibley Building.But late Monday, the Continue Reading

Railsplitters claim title, return plenty of talent next season

GLENS FALLS - He's explosive to the hoop, has the court vision to throw laser-beam passes, and can pull up for mid-range jumpers or long bombs. It's a nice package for any high school player to have, never mind the 6-6, 210-pound man-child frame it comes wrapped in.Lance Stephenson from his peers is his insatiable appetite. Simply put, and as witnessed in Lincoln's 86-67 rout of Holy Cross as the Railsplitters won their second straight State Federation Class 'AA' championship on Sunday, Stephenson wants to beat his opponents — and bad. After the blowout, the star swingman didn't waste any time setting the bar even higher for his senior season.Darwin Ellis), Padge (James Padgett) … we are going to lead the team (and) try to get every win," Stephenson said. "I want to go undefeated next year. We just need three good players that will help (us) and we're good." Stephenson may have the confidence to win it all next year, but Lincoln will sorely miss graduating seniors Vincent Council, Khalif Staten, Timothy Flowers and Justin Greene.Dwayne Morton this season.Tiny Morton said. "We're not thinking about next year now."JAMESVILLE-DEWITT 66, TRANSIT TECH 49Syracuse, didn't get the memo that the Express is from East New York and backing down is never an option.Jamesville eventually pulled away behind Ashlawn Hymes and Brandon Triche, who combined for 29 points.Michael Perazzo said. "I'm proud of the way our kids competed."Barry Posey and Joshua Lambert. L.I. LUTHERAN 77, BISHOP FORD 66Chaz Williams is so fast that he often seems to have an extra gear he can shift into any time.Jeriel Henriquez, who scored a game-high 28 points, completed the meltdown.Jermaine Braumuller, Andre Robinson and Don Marbury, the nephew of Knick guard Stephon Marbury. Williams, Collin Nurse, and Samuel Haigler all return, so the Falcons should remain solid.ST. AGNES 55, SECONDARY SCHOOL 51Manhattan's St. Agnes in the Class 'B' semifinal. Secondary School senior Akeem Ellis Continue Reading

N.Y. lawyer’s act flops in L.A.

LOS ANGELES - In his heyday defending mob boss John Gotti, lawyer Bruce Cutler's cross examinations were so deadly, the battered prosecution witnesses were jokingly described as having been "Brucified" on the stand. But in Phil Spector's murder trial, the New York defense attorney may find himself "Californicated" by his own Big Apple bluster, which has provoked reprimands from the bench and slack-jawed looks from jurors in this town where laid-back rules. A sign of Cutler's possible L.A.-itis appeared April 30, the third day of trial, when he mysteriously called in sick, forcing the judge to send 18 jurors and alternates home. Later that day, Cutler told the Daily News he was felled by "kryptonite," the comic book substance capable of destroying Superman's powers, and perhaps a bad reaction to his diabetes medication.But some observers suspected the nattily dressed mouthpiece was in danger of being booted from the five-member defense team because he had screwed up the trial's opening statement, leaving his oddball client visibly fuming.To support the defense contention that victim Lana Clarkson shot herself, Cutler had planned to hang his hat on Spector's statement to police after the B-movie actress' body was found in his foyer on Feb. 3, 2003."I don't know what her f---ing problem was, but she certainly had no right to come to my f---ing castle and blow her f---ing head open," Spector told cops that day.But just minutes before Cutler was set to lay that line on the jury, he realized he'd been suckered by prosecutors. He'd assumed they were going to mention Spector's statements to police in their opening. When they didn't, Spector's claims to cops became off-limits to the defense as "hearsay" under California law."I didn't know until this minute that the prosecution team was not going to use those statements ... I feel like my pants are down and I am naked before the court," Cutler complained."It's completely unfair," whined Cutler.Judge Larry Paul Fidler shot Continue Reading


DAVID BERGANIO JR. still can't wrap his mind around the notion, which is noteworthy for a guy whose mere presence on the PGA Tour is the stuff of B-movie fantasy. "It was very stunning," Berganio said yesterday of the call he received four years ago informing him that the man who had changed his life - the Catholic priest who had introduced him to the game of golf - had been accused of child molestation. "I was in shock." A product of some of the meanest streets of Los Angeles - the Pacoima neighborhood that also produced Leonardo DiCaprio, Ritchie Valens, George Lopez and Cheech Marin - Berganio is hardly naive. A PGA Tour pro since 1997 who will tee it up at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck at 9:01 this morning in his sixth U.S. Open, Berganio has seen a lot. But when informed that Father George Miller had been accused of molesting children in his parish as far back as 1977, Berganio was flabbergasted. Miller was the pastor and football and basketball coach of Pacoima's Guardian Angel Parish who, in 1981, presented Berganio with the tools to fashion a life far from the drugs and crime that would claim so many of his neighborhood buddies: A starter set of Chi-Chi Rodriguez golf clubs. "He took me aside and told me I had too much time on my hands," Berganio recalled. "So he gave me those clubs to keep me occupied and keep my time consumed in a positive way instead of a negative way. "It totally did that." Berganio, 37, went on to a stellar amateur career capped by playing on the same University of Arizona team as Jim Furyk. He earned his PGA Tour card in 1997 and immediately showed promise by making 14 of 30 cuts. An admitted temper problem held him back for a while. And since breakout 2001 and 2002 seasons in which he made a combined $1,258,233 on Tour and lost a playoff to Phil Mickelson at the '02 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, he has been plagued by chronic back problems. Perhaps it only makes sense, given Berganio's unlikely career path, that he made it Continue Reading

An ex-associate’s claim for doing Lady Gaga makeup means loss of face for famed artist Billy B

It's the war  of the makeup artists responsible for Lady Gaga’s many faces. Famed makeup guru Billy B — who has painted the faces of Gaga, Sharon Stone and Mary J. Blige, among countless stars — is considered one of the best in the business and has been venting to pals that a former underling, now Gaga’s makeup artist, has been taking credit for his signature “look.” “Billy was responsible for Gaga’s ever-changing image and her ‘glam’ looks. He showed her that she could be beautiful and didn’t have to hide behind masks,” one source who has worked with him tells [email protected] But the battle started after Gaga moved on to makeup artist Tara Savelo (near r.), who happens to be Billy B’s former assistant. When E! Online posted a story crediting her with the singer’s most famous looks, Billy (r.) was “hurt,” he tells us. Making matters worse, Gaga poached Savelo after meeting her on the set of the “Bad Romance” video, for which Billy did the makeup. “By Tara positioning herself (for supposedly cultivating those looks), she’s insinuating those were her creations,” Billy tells us. “For people to read that she’s responsible for the look, no. This is all I’ve got, and I’m proud of it. This is not gonna happen, girl.” Billy adds that Savelo, who he says shadowed him for a short time from 2009-11, is no longer working for Gaga but isn’t correcting people who think she’s responsible for Gaga’s magazine covers and music videos that feature Billy’s artistry. “I’m not mad, frankly. I’m hurt and disappointed that she would do that to herself,” he says. “She knew what she was doing. I’ve created many iconic looks for many people, and the reason I could not let this go is because never before in my career has there Continue Reading


LOS ANGELES - The family of slain rapper Biggie Smalls is still fighting for justice in the unsolved case in which they've accused rogue cops of plotting the murder and coverup. The Brooklyn-born rapper's mom and his widow, R&B singer Faith Evans, may add a civil-racketeering charge to their soon-to-be-filed renewed wrongful death suit against the city and LAPD, one of their lawyers said yesterday. The family alleges convicted corrupt LAPD cops Rafael Perez and David Mack conspired with Smalls' archrival, Death Row Records honcho Marion (Suge) Knight, to have the rapper killed after a party in March 1997. "We are considering a racketeering action," lawyer Perry Sanders told the Daily News yesterday. A successful racketeering claim could result in triple money damages if B. I. G. 's family wins the case. Sanders said he has yet to receive and review 81 CDs containing new discovery from the cops' Internal Affairs Bureau. A federal judge declared a mistrial in the case last July after she found the LAPD concealed reports about a jailhouse informant who linked the ex-cops to the March 1997 slaying of Smalls, who was also known as the Notorious B. I. G. and Christopher Wallace. As punishment for the misconduct, the judge ordered Los Angeles on Friday to pay Smalls' legal team $1. 1 million in costs racked up during the tainted trial. The legal team had sought $2 million in compensation. A recent ruling by the 9th Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals paved the way for plaintiffs to make civil claims against the LAPD under the federal RICO Act. The law allows plaintiffs in such claims to recover as much as three times the damages awarded by a jury. Last year, the L. A. City Council rejected an offer by B. I. G. 's family to settle the case for $18 million. In an unrelated wrongful death case, a jury ordered actor Robert Blake to pay $30 million to the family of his murdered wife Bonny Lee Bakley after they found the actor responsible Continue Reading

Sunscreens don’t always meet their SPF claims: Consumer Reports

Your sunscreen may not actually be protecting you from skin cancer. A new Consumer Reports study found that 11 out of 34 sunscreens it tested did not meet their sun protection claims, sometimes by as much as 70%. Sun protection factor is a measure of how much a sunscreen blocks ultraviolet B rays, which cause sunburn and skin cancer. Most dermatologists recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher in order to block nearly 100% of UVB rays. Products from Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, Yes to Cucumbers and generics by CVS and Walgreens all failed to meet their claims and had actual SPFs under 30. And no sunscreen labeled “natural” — containing only the minerals zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients — met Consumer Reports’ standards. What's worse, people often don't apply enough sunscreen, or reapply often enough, says Consumer Reports health and food deputy content editor Trisha Calvo. People need nearly a shot glass full of sunscreen to cover their bodies. Calvo recommends that consumers apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before heading out, seeking shade whenever possible, and using one of these four sunscreens that passed the test: La Roche-Posay's Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk Vichy Capital Soleil 50 Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50 Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50 Some sunscreens boasted a higher SPF than they actually had, but still had an SPF higher than 30, which made them worth consideration: Coppertone UltraGuard SPF 70+ (actually had SPF 59) Coppertone ClearlySheer for Beach & Pool SPF 50+ (actually had SPF 37) Banana Boat Sport Performance with Powerstay Technology SPF 100 (actually had SPF 36). The group also looked at sunscreen sprays, but did not recommend them for children unless parents first sprayed them on their hands and then rubbed them onto their kids. Consumer Reports just deemed two sprays acceptable: Banana Boat Sun Comfort Continuous Continue Reading

L.I. teacher Catherine Engelhardt knocked out by irate mom in hallway beatdown at Hempstead middle school: cops

An irate mom and her teenage niece were arrested after choking, punching and kicking a teacher unconscious inside a middle school in Hempstead, L.I., officials said. Annika McKenzie, 34, allegedly ambushed a veteran math teacher at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School on Wednesday after claiming the instructor "put her hands on" on McKenzie's 12-year-old daughter that day, Hempstead Village police said. McKenzie reportedly walked past a security checkpoint and confronted Catherine Engelhardt, a 22-year veteran of the Hempstead School District, outside her classroom at 2 p.m., where she shoved the teacher against a wall, placed her in a headlock and then threw her to the floor in an incident caught on school surveillance. "She's taught in the middle school for over 20 years. She's very passionate and committed about her job," fellow middle school teacher Elias Mestizo told the Daily News. "I was talking to parents today and all spoke highly of her." He said McKenzie's daughter called her mom from school and not long after the mom put Engelhardt in a chokehold. The teacher lost consciousness for several minutes, Mestizo said. Once on the ground, Engelhardt was punched and kicked by several students, including McKenzie's 14-year-old niece, police said. "A juvenile female, relative of the adult, began to punch the teacher in the head," Hempstead Police Chief Michael McGowan told Newsday. McKenzie was arraigned at Nassau County's First District Court on Thursday, charged with second-degree assault and strangulation. Bail was set at $5,000. The niece, who was not named, has been charged as a minor. And more teens could face discipline, according to reports. The investigation has been handed over to Nassau County police. McKenzie could not be reached for comment. "It's not like I thought a parent would do something, but I knew something violent was going to Continue Reading

Gay porn star Jarec Wentworth blackmailed rich L.A. man for his money, car, condo: feds

A gay porn star threatened to publicly reveal intimate details and photos of a wealthy Los Angeles man unless he forked over $500,000 and the keys to his car, federal prosecutors say. Teofil Brank, aka Jarec Wentworth, was arrested last month by FBI agents after his villainous blackmail scheme actually worked — that is, up until deciding he wanted more, The Los Angeles Times reported. That allegedly included $1 million cash and ownership of the man’s condo. "I'm going to bite hard," the 25-year-old allegedly threatened his victim, only identified in court documents as D.B, in text message sent on Feb. 16. "I want a new car, motorcycle and both hands full of cash." If D.B. failed to meet his demands, Brank pledged to post photos and other embarrassing details of the man's trysts through his Twitter account, according to the affidavit. Fearful of potentially damaging information being flaunted by the adult entertainer, D.B. said he consented and not only wired the actor the money but handed over his Audi sports car. I want a new car, motorcycle and both hands full of cash. He thought it was over, but Brank's greed instead got the best of him. His demands continued, the alleged victim claims. Two weeks after he contacted his attorney, a sting operation was set up by FBI agents at a coffee shop in El Segundo. There, an undercover agent handed Brank the title to the Audi R8 and promised that the $1 million cash was in the trunk of the sports car, according to the court documents. When Brank left the coffee shop with the document he was arrested by agents. Inside of his car they reported finding a loaded revolver. He was charged with felony extortion by threatening to injure someone's reputation. He has a bail review hearing scheduled for Thursday. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading