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Evolution of Business: Taco Bell Eyes Busy Intersection in Queensbury for New Location

Binley Florist & Garden Center

Quaker Road in Queensbury is the proposed next location for a new Taco Bell. The franchise – which is known for its tacos and catch phrase ‘Live Mas” – is looking to expand and build a restaurant at the intersection of Dix Avenue and Quaker Road. The restaurant would be constructed on a portion of land currently owned by Binley Florist & Garden Center. The Taco Bell franchisee – Hospitality Syracuse Inc. – has 17 locations in the Albany Area. 

Binley Garden Center currently has 7.18 acres of property at 773 Quaker Road. Plans for a subdivision have been filed with the Queensbury Planning Board, which is scheduled to review the request on February 21, 2023. This project will require subdivision approval as well as site plan approvals for the restaurant, and minor adjustments on the remaining 5.83 acres of the garden center. The preliminary plans call for the construction of a 2,650 square-foot restaurant with 42 seats and a drive thru. The restaurant would be located between the garden center and the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant.

Binley Florist & Garden Center has been providing flowers and plants to the Glens Falls & Queensbury area for about 130 years. The business has been owned by two families; it was started by Arthur Binley in 1893, and later the business flourished under the leadership of Alexander Hirsh. Today, it is operated by the younger generation of the Hirsh family. The 773 Quaker Road location was purchased by Binley Florist & Garden Center as an expansion in 1978. Understanding the evolution of business has helped keep the business alive: according to the Binley website, Al Hirsh shortly before his death said, “We discovered early on in business, that as years go by people’s tastes change. A flower or a plant that is very popular in today’s market won’t be as popular in a few years so we try to follow the trends.”

Following these trends have led the business to look for new ways to use the land, as well as carry on the traditions of Binley Florist & Garden Center.

Dunham’s Bay Resort & Restaurants Sold For $1.8 Million… Rebranded “Bayside Resort”

Bayside Resort: Formally Dunham’s Bay Resort

The 132-acre property located at 2999 State Route 9L on the east side of Lake George formerly known as the Dunham’s Bay Resort was acquired for $1.8 million by investors Mike Caruso and Daniel Ellsworth. Dunham’s Bay Resort was purchased along with an adjacent property, and the deed filed with the Warren County Clerk’s Office states that the transaction closed in November. 

This resort features two restaurants: The Brasserie At Bayside, and Tavern on the Bay, both operated by Chef Jason Travis and his wife Nicole. These two restaurants will have guests’ expectations covered, providing both an upscale farm to table restaurant, and an upscale tavern dining option. Travis and his wife have also owned 10 McGillis Public House in the Village of Lake George since 2019. 

In addition to the two restaurants, the resort features amenities including banquet spaces, 36 year round and seasonal cabins and cottages, fire pits, pickleball courts, and an indoor heated pool with a jacuzzi. There are also 118 acres of wooded hiking trails.

The property was purchased from Swordfish Realty, a holding company for a NYC hedge fund company. The previous owners had purchased the resort for $2.62 million in 2013; during this time, hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested in bringing internet lines from the Village of Lake George to the resort. This resort was used by their investment management firm to give employees a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City while still allowing them to conduct business.  

Spa City Digital and Five Towers Design announce merger as Five Towers Media

Chad Beatty (left), owner/publisher of Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Brad Colacino (middle) and Michael Nelson (right), co-founders and partners of Five Towers Media.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Five Towers Design Company and Spa City Digital have officially announced a merger of the two companies, forming Five Towers Media.

Five Towers Media will combine the offerings of both companies, providing digital marketing and design in a variety of spaces. The company will offer website design, SEO services, social media management, videography, graphic design, branding services, digital marketing, and more for clients. Five Towers Media also owns print publications, online news platforms, and podcasts. 

Co-founders and partners Michael Nelson, Brad Colacino, and Chad Beatty said the merger came about as a way for both companies to grow, expand, and improve their offerings in the community.

“We were both at a point where we were looking to expand, and we both have very similar business offerings,” said Colacino. “We have very similar views on how to conduct business, and goals for where we wanted to take our business. … It just seemed like a really good complement of skills.”

Nelson said that Spa City Digital was looking to grow, and said that Five Towers and Colacino were a “perfect fit” for the company’s goals.

“From our standpoint, growth over the course of the next one to two years was going to be challenging without Brad,” Nelson said. “His personality, his skills, and his company were a perfect fit.”

The merged company will be known as Five Towers Media, with Nelson saying the name change reflects the long-term goals of the company.

“We have plans on moving into Vermont and Florida very soon, with an overall long-term objective of being all across the country,” said Nelson. “Our brand, Spa City Digital, would not allow that type of growth into other markets, because it is such a geographic name. The rebrand will make for a seamless transition into new markets.”

Nelson, Colacino, and Beatty said that the merger will make things more efficient and convenient for their clients, compressing all of their offerings into one location. 

“From a client standpoint, they are going to see an increase in deliverability from us,” said Nelson. “Not only are we going to be able to do what we were doing, but we’re going to be able to do it better, and we’re going to be able to do it faster.”

“If (clients) wanted, for instance, Google ad campaigns or email marketing, I would send them over to Mike before,” Colacino added. “Well now, I don’t have to do that. Now, we’re one company. It just integrates things a little more cleanly, and we can provide those clients with an expanded offering, more opportunities.”

Colacino said this will make things more convenient for clients, and provide them with additional methods of growing their businesses.

“We have print marketing available with the news publications, we have these marketing automation email campaigns we can do,” said Colacino. “We can do online paid ads, things like that, all under one roof, with a single bill.”

Nelson, Colacino, and Beatty also stressed the importance of building connections with their clients, noting that they work with many small businesses in the local community. 

“It’s always going to be more important for us to form relationships than make a sale,” Colacino said. “We want to form long-term partnerships with them, and help them grow. It’s a case where the rising tide floats all ships.”

Five Towers Media is located on Route 50 in Saratoga Springs, sharing a building with Saratoga TODAY Newspaper. Beatty is the publisher of Saratoga TODAY.

“It really is a perfect fit,” said Beatty. “Our teams work side-by-side and form a symbiotic relationship. As the old Chinese proverb states, ‘None of us is as smart as all of us.’”

January 2023 DBA Filings

WARREN COUNTY

Standard Barbell Club – Michael Montanye, 13 Fieldview Rd S, Queensbury, NY 12804

Rita D’s Cleaning Service – Rita Maria Dejnozka, 91 Montray Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804

Halsted’s Drywall – Jacob Halsted, 4 Park Pl, Lake George, NY 12845

Pink Hair Tarot – Mikayla Wadsworth, 1 Zenas Dr, Queensbury, NY 12804

UV Oasis – Martina Jones, 643 Upper Glen St, Queensbury, NY 12804

White Daisy Cleaning Services – Becky Litchfield & Terri Lobdell, 280 Aviation Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804

Adirondack Real Estate Photography – Justin Crannell, 857 Luzerne Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804

Ward Construction – Tyler Ward, 889 High St, Athol, NY 12810

Sarah Tether Photography – Sarah Tether, 8 Wayne Ct, Queensbury, NY 12804

Adirondack Photography by Brisbane B. Young – Brisbane B. Young, 5 Columbine Ave, South Glens Falls, NY 12803

ESG Construction – Thomas Bolton, 559 Pease Hill Rd, Pottersville, NY 12860

Hair by Gigi – Shirley Padasak, 24 Sanford St, Glens Falls, NY 12801

Stunad’s Smoke Shop – Michael Ditroia, 144 Canada St, Lake George, NY 12845

Ken’s Custom Carving – Kurt Donald Rinamon, 471 Landon Hill Rd, Apt 3, Chestertown, NY 12817

Twice Treasured – Jessica LeBlanc, 3 Timmons Ln, Queensbury, NY 12804

J&L Mowing and Snow Removal – Joe Baker, 4 Stewart Ave, Glens Falls, NY 12801

The Crow Nest – Brandon Lee, 35 Fox Farm Rd, Queensbury, NY 12804

East Coast Products – Peyton Phillips, 1C Manor Dr, Queensbury, NY 12804

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Whitney’s Hunting Supply – Dennis, Carrie, and Jami Whitney, 2 Church St, Granville, NY 12832

Green Tiger Martial Arts – Korey Michael Kennedy, 11 Wall St, Hudson Falls, NY 12839

Pirate King Enterprises – Elijah Enzensperger, 125 East Main St, Cambridge, NY 12816

Care Fox Enterprises – Joseph Allen, 60 N Park St, Cambridge, NY 12816

Whittaker Brook – Abraham Schrock, 173 County Route 49, Salem, NY 12865

Gathering Ivy Doula Care – Jennifer Lauren Steinberger, 24 East St, Argyle, NY 12809

CCB Contracting – Cory Bishop, 160 County Route 45, Argyle, NY 12809

Chestnut Hill Carpentry – Donald R. Disorda, Jr., 883 Chestnut Hill Rd, Cambridge, NY 12816

Upstate Land Management – Brennan Strong, 15 Hendee Rd, Hudson Falls, NY 12839

Start Line – Anthony M. Flewelling, 3 Browns Ln, Fort Edward, NY 12828

The Greenwich Local – Keisha M. Timms, 2809 State Route 40, Greenwich, NY 12834

The Bridge House Pub – Erin Wood, 1 West Main St, Granville, NY 12832

Campbell’s Euro Mounts And Taxidermy – Austin Campbell, 199 Middleton Rd, Granville, NY 12832

Critter’s Caretaker – Victoria L. Rasanen, 795 County Route 68, Eagle Bridge, NY 12057

Just A Little Love Home Cleaning Service – Michelle L. Spear, 7 Barber Ave, Greenwich, NY 12834

Gambles Bakery Location Eyed for WellNow Expansion

Gambles Bakery

The half-acre property located at 920 Route 9 in Queensbury – previously known for Gambles Bakery – is currently under contract to be purchased by Real Estate developer and Dunkin franchisee Tom Burke III. John Jarosz’s family owned and operated Gambles Bakery for about forty years, but recently, the bakery had struggled to find employees, and closed in early January of 2023.

This location is a well-traveled, high-capacity section of Route 9 in Queensbury, and a variety of franchises have recently invested in this highly visible location.

The developer is currently seeking approvals to build a WellNow Urgent Care facility; WellNow Urgent Care has been expanding to provide better access to quality healthcare for more patients in more communities. The mission of the company is to provide quality convenient urgent care services to individuals and families. 

In 2012, WellNow (formally Five Star Urgent Care) was founded by Dr. John Radford, a former emergency room Physician. WellNow employs very few Physicians, instead opting to primarily employ mid-level providers: Physician assistants, Medical Assistants, and LPNs as clinical staff.  The services provided include treatments for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. WellNow Urgent Care is growing exponentially – the Albany area had five locations three years ago, and now has over twelve, with five more in the planning stages… And this former bakery may well become their sixth.

DEC Announces Free Lifeguard Qualifying Procedures to Begin in February

photocredit: Pixabay.com

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced free lifeguard-qualifying procedures to begin Saturday, February 4, 2023. Individuals 15 years and older interested in lifeguarding positions at DEC facilities this summer are eligible to register.

The qualifying procedures consist of two parts: a cardio-pulmonary (CPR) skills component, and a water skills evaluation. Candidates may attend the qualifying locations most convenient to them, and the results will be forwarded to their preferred work location. 

Seasonal lifeguard positions are available at DEC campgrounds throughout the Adirondacks and Catskill parks. The current hourly starting rate for New York State lifeguards is $20 an hour, and most DEC facilities offer free housing or site accommodations.

At the time of employment, all DEC lifeguards must:

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Possess a valid certificate in waterfront skills, lifeguarding, first aid, and CPR for Professional Rescuers or equivalent
  • Have successfully completed the NYS lifeguarding qualifying procedure
  • Submit a current NYS DEC medical form stating the candidate’s physical ability to perform lifeguarding duties
  • Meet the vision requirements of 20/70 uncorrected in both eyes and be correctable to the 20/40 standard. Candidates tested at a vision level below 20/40 in either one or both eyes must correct to a minimum of 20/40, with 20/20 preferred
  • Complete a personal interview with the DEC 
  • Attend lifeguarding orientation

2023 Lifeguarding Qualifying Dates & Locations:

DateTimeLocationAddressCity
Saturday, Feb. 49 a.m.Franklin Academy42 Huskie LaneMalone
Friday, Feb. 244:30 p.m.Gloversville Middle School234 Lincoln StreetGloversville
Saturday, Feb. 259 a.m.Queensbury Elementary School431 Aviation RoadQueensbury
Friday, March 34 p.m.Catskill Recreation Center651 County Hwy 38Arkville
Monday, April 109 a.m.Gloversville Middle School234 Lincoln StreetGloversville
Friday, April 144:30 p.m.Gloversville Middle School234 Lincoln StreetGloversville
Saturday, April 299 a.m.Moriah Central School39 Viking LanePort Henry
Friday, May 264 p.m.Catskill Recreation Center651 County Hwy 38Arkville
Saturday, June 39 a.m.Gloversville Middle School234 Lincoln StreetGloversville
Saturday, June 249 a.m.Moriah Central School39 Viking LanePort Henry
dec.ny.gov

Qualifying procedures will begin on time, and late arrivals will not be accepted. Candidates must bring photo ID, current certifications (if available), and their own CPR mask and one-way valve. DEC reserves the right to cancel, and is an equal opportunity employer. 
For more information, updates or to pre register, call (518) 457-2500 Extension 1, email DEC at info.Lifeguarding@dec.ny.gov, or visit the employment opportunities on summer recreation webpage on the DEC’s website.

It’s Chicken Soup Season: Will a Doctor’s Note Save My Job?

Out off office – memo on office workplace. Holiday Announcement, Day Off or Quarantine Covid-19.

The last couple of years have seen an increased focus on sick time at work mainly due to the COVID pandemic.  But it’s also regular old cold and flu season, and we are often asked whether an employee can lose their job for being out sick and whether providing a doctor’s note will protect their job.  As always, the answer is “it depends” because not all illnesses are protected.

New York does have a relatively new law requiring employers to provide some protected sick days.  But, in general, if you need to be out for a significant period of time – or if you have exceeded those days – a doctor’s note is not necessarily going to protect you.  The law protects the jobs of private employees in New York who are absent for medical reasons typically in two ways: (1) under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act); and (2) under the disability discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the New York State Human Rights Law (NYHRL).  (This isn’t an exhaustive list and employees may be further protected under union contracts or laws applicable to public employees, among other things).

Not all illnesses, however, will be covered.  The FMLA applies only to employees of larger (50+ employees) or public employers, who suffer from serious health conditions.  A serious health condition is usually not something like the flu, a cold or a stomach virus.  It is typically an issue requiring surgery or hospitalization or a medical condition that requires a period of follow-up treatment or that is chronic.  The disability discrimination laws also may not apply to minor illnesses suffered by most individuals.  Instead, the ADA requires that a disability substantially limit a major life activity or bodily function.  The NYHRL is more broad than the ADA and, it is possible, given the particular facts of a case, that a disability not covered by the ADA is covered by the NYHRL.  This will come down to the particular facts of an employee’s situation.

The take-away is that providing a doctor’s note is not necessarily going to protect your job. It may not hurt and could show your employer some proof that you are not abusing your time, but it won’t guarantee that you won’t be fired for excessive absenteeism.  We encourage employees who do have a serious health condition to speak to their doctors or Human Resources about the availability of FMLA time.  When it comes to disabilities, the law also typically wants the employee to actually ask for a reasonable accommodation, so making a formal request is another way to achieve some job protection or at least trigger the employer’s obligations to engage in an interactive process under the ADA and NYHRL to attempt to accommodate a disability.

In the same vein, we speak to many employees in the course of our practice, and often they are protective of their medical conditions and do not want to share personal, private and sometimes embarrassing information with their employers.  However, if an employer is completely in the dark, you may have a hard time going back and proving some sort of discrimination or interference with your rights if you are fired.  So, if an employee needs time off for a disability or serious health condition, we encourage them to consult their employee handbook and consider following the process for formally requesting leave.  There is no guarantee that you will not be retaliated or discriminated against, but at the very least you will have some proof that you were not abusing your time or being excessively absent without a potentially protected reason.  Ideally, your employer will do the right thing and notify you of your rights and work with you to accommodate your situation.  

All employment situations are different and depend on the particular facts and circumstances.  This article should not be relied on as legal advice in taking action in your specific situation, and you should speak to an attorney, Human Resources and/or consult your employee handbook for guidance on how to proceed. 


Giovanna-DOrazio

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Giovanna A. D’Orazio has experience litigating, among other things, commercial, general civil, employment, land use and personal injury matters in New York State and federal courts. Giovanna also has experience litigating Article 78 proceedings in New York State court.

ARCC Announces Dr. John Rugge as Recipient of The 34th Annual J. Walter Juckett Community Service Award

Photo Provided by: ARCC

The Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce (ARCC) is pleased to announce that the 34th Annual J. Walter Juckett Community Service Award will be presented to retired physician and founder of Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Dr. John Rugge. Dr. Rugge will be presented with the award at the ARCC Annual Dinner on the evening of March 10, 2023, at The Sagamore Resort.


“We are excited to celebrate Dr. John Rugge as the 34th Annual J. Walter Juckett award honoree. Dr. Rugge is so deserving of this honor. As the founder of Hudson Headwaters Health Network, his passion and drive to further healthcare in our region is admirable. We are fortunate that Dr. Rugge chose to stay in our region and establish a healthcare system that helps so many of our community members,” said ARCC President & CEO Tricia Rogers.

John Rugge was a family physician who dropped into the Adirondacks to finish writing a canoe book in 1974. He then accepted a position with the Glens Falls Hospital to serve as supervising physician at a brand-new health center in Chestertown, with the intention of practicing for six months before returning to Albany Medical Center.


As it turned out, all the surrounding communities were losing their GPs to retirement, and he found it impossible to depart with no one to take his place… So instead, he combined medical practice with community engagement – and grant writing – to establish the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. This network has grown to include 21 health centers from Saratoga County all the way up to the Canadian border, with some 200 medical providers and more than 150,000 patients. Dr. Rugge observes the way local needs generated remarkable community support, and this attracted the attention of health care policymakers in Albany and Washington, leading him to serve on 40 government advisory panels, task forces, and councils… All of which has served to make Hudson Headwaters a model for others across the state, and across the nation.

Faces Of City Hall: City Clerk, Megan Nolin

Photo Provided by: City of Glens Falls: Megan Nolin

Megan Nolin is a well known face at City Hall – she is the City Clerk, and has been working intermittently at the Clerk’s Office since 2007. In the City Clerk’s Office, Megan and her team assist taxpayers and residents of the City by providing a variety of diverse services. The Clerk’s Office houses the records of all of the City’s public board and commission meetings, as well as other vital statistics.

The staff in the City Clerk’s Office is made up of seven employees:  five full-time, and two part-time. There are three full-time clerks, a part-time records manager/historian, a part-time records manager, the Deputy Clerk, and the City Clerk.  “People are mostly coming in (to City Hall) to pay their taxes, coming in for court, and they come into our office for a wide array of things. Birth, death, marriage, vital records really and to take out marriage licenses so that they can get married. We have records back to 1888 in our vaults. Right now it is people traveling and people getting passports” Megan said in a recent interview.

One of the reasons that Megan is so well known in City Hall is that everyone stops at the City Clerk’s Office first: “Everyone comes to our office first. A lot of people come through to go to City Court.  If they are wondering where that is, it’s on the third floor.” 

Megan also recommends stopping into the City Clerk’s Office:  “The girls in our office are great. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll find the answer for you.” 

Megan was born in Glens Falls and raised in the area around Glens Falls, Queensbury and Hudson Falls. Her role in City Hall has shifted and changed throughout the years – she is both the City Clerk, and the Webmaster. “I started out in the Clerk’s office in ‘07 as a part time clerk. I had my daughter in 2010, and came back for a little while. Then I wasn’t able to secure daycare that my husband and I were ok with, so we decided with the cost and how we both felt that I would stay home. Then around 2018, I got a call from Bob Curtis who was the former City Clerk asking how I was with technology and asking me to come in and meet with Mayor Hall and himself to discuss taking care of the website part time. Then in 2020, I started as the Deputy Clerk, and then at the end of 2021 Bob Curtis retired and in 2022, I became the City Clerk and still retained the webmaster role as well.”

For anyone who is interested in working in the City Clerk’s Office or City Hall, Megan recommends starting part-time: “If you want to work in City Hall, start part-time. There are a lot of opportunities. Most people who are here started part-time. Everyone in our office started out 15 hours a week, 20 hours a week. That’s a good way to get in the door.”

The City Clerk’s office is located on the first floor of City Hall, and is open from Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Marriage licenses, Hunting/Fishing licenses and Dog Redemptions are available until 4:00 PM. For more information, visit Cityofglensfalls.com

Hey, Glens Falls! Let’s Talk About Parking!

Glen Street

On January 1, 2023, the City of Glens Falls returned to their pre-COVID parking regulations and enforcement methods – the City had previously suspended its parking enforcement in March of 2020, but the City now once again enforces the two-hour parking limit for parking spots in the downtown area. To communicate this upcoming change, the City had given out “warning” tickets when a car was parked in a spot for too long, issuing approximately 900 warnings in the last three months of 2022.  The return of these regulations has been met by the business community with exasperation and support alike. 

Bill Dingman – District Operations Manager for Spot Coffee – is concerned not only about the availability of parking spots, but also the cost to his employees: “My workers are 18 to 25 (years old), they are just starting out in their careers and they can’t afford the extra expense” Dingman said. Since the reinstatement, Spot Coffee employees have had to stop work to move their cars, with some even having been ticketed! “This is costing the company employee productivity… The tickets are $30 and $60 if you don’t pay in 10 days. For an 18-year old cashier at a coffee shop to pay a $60 parking ticket is punitive” Dingman said.

Dingman knows that the parking in the downtown area is a complex situation: “I fully understand that businesses need convenient parking for their businesses, I fully support that… (But parking) is equally important to the workers, the business owners and the residents who live downtown. There are not enough spots” Dingman said.

Dingman also has an eye on the upcoming tourist season when the parking will become that much harder for people in the community to navigate:  “I think there has to be a solution from the City… whether it be a seasonal approach or a discounted rate for workers.” 

Another perspective on the parking situation comes from Robb, who’ has been’s worked with the Lake George Olive Oil company for 8 years and has been vocal about the lack of parking enforcement – during the two-year enforcement hiatus, he has seen cars parked for hours taking up valuable downtown spots. This is a detriment to his business, where customers have come into the store because, “I saw a spot, so I stopped.” 

Samantha from Rude Betty buys a pass for parking – she found that in a year’s time, she was paying about $300 for parking in the garages in town, while the parking pass was only $150, and she has always found a spot for her car. 

The City is invested in finding parking solutions moving forward – there is a Special Parking Committee that is looking over the entire issue, who will provide recommendations in February. Glens Falls has also invested in parking sensors that will feed into an app that can be downloaded onto any phone; this app will show where the open parking spots and occupied parking spots are throughout the downtown area. The City is currently working on calibrating this system.   

The COVID pandemic which led to the pause of the parking enforcement has had lasting effects on communities and businesses alike.  “I think there has to be a solution for the workers and the employees… In the restaurant industry we, in this city, are lagging dramatically behind the state and the region… In re-employment… So, how can I then ask the employees that I’ve got to incur extra expense to work here?” Dingman asked.


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