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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.’”

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.

Drinking and driving and the holidays. Let’s hope this doesn’t apply to you…

injury law

Today we are going to talk about what to do if you are hurt in  a car accident involving a driver who was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. 

While it’s not a topic that you want to think about, with the holidays come increased drinking and driving, and if you find yourself (or a family member) in a car accident caused by a driver who was intoxicated, you may be asking: What do I do now?

There are a couple of things that you need to think about if and when you are involved in an accident involving a drunk driver, or a driver who was under the influence of drugs, including marijuana which is now recreationally legal in New York.

The first thing to do following an accident is make sure that the police are called, so that a police report can be generated which identifies parties involved, witnesses and insurance coverage, and may even help establish fault.   In particular, if a driver is under the influence they will likely be issued tickets, which is important because it can help you establish liability down the road.

Following the accident you or your attorney will want to reach out to the local court or district attorney who is responsible for prosecuting any charges against the other driver, notifying them of the severity of your injuries.  

Why is that important? Because then the prosecutor is less likely to give a quick plea deal to the wrongdoer if the case involves serious injuries.  This may become very important later, because if there is an admission of wrongdoing (i.e. a guilty plea), it will help establish liability against the other driver.  

You’ll next want to be sure that the other driver had insurance, and that the relevant insurance companies are given notice of the potential claim.  This will help you determine the applicable coverage limits on the other driver’s vehicle.  

Once you determine the coverage limits of the other vehicle you may want to notify your own insurance company that you have a potential SUM or UM claim.   As we’ve discussed before, this is a claim that allows you to seek damages from your own insurance company in excess of the other driver’s insurance.

This is important because many times if you are hurt because of a drunk driver you will have sustained very serious injuries.  You may need surgery or significant medical treatment.  You may have a long recovery and miss work.  If the other driver has $25,000 or $50,000 in insurance coverage, it will likely be insufficient to wholly compensate you.

If you have sufficient SUM or UM coverage under your own insurance policy you may be able to make a claim against that coverage for damages beyond the other driver’s policy.  But remember that it is critical to notify your carrier, as part of your responsibility as an insured is to notify the insurance company that you have the potential for a SUM or UM claim. If you are unsure about your Sum or UM coverage, take a look at the declarations page on your auto insurance policy.  

In addition to everything else – and this goes without saying – get medical treatment.  You have to take care of yourself and your family so that you can move on from the accident. And the best way to do that is to get medical treatment immediately and as needed.

To learn more about how D’Orazio Peterson can help you, visit here or go to our website: www.doraziopeterson.com

*This article is informational only and is not intended as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship*


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott M. Peterson is the founding partner of D’Orazio Peterson, having left a partnership at a large regional law firm to limit his practice and focus on exclusively representing individuals in a small number of employment and serious injury/medical malpractice matters.

Tis the Season for Holiday Party Troubles

We love a good non-work-related holiday party.  Work related? As lawyers like to say, it depends.  But both can get the host – and attendees – in trouble.  Here are some tips for avoiding lawsuits and headaches related to holiday parties.

Employment issues:  Sexual harassment or assault is an obvious concern particularly when alcohol is involved.  If something happens at a work function, and it’s reported and the employer does nothing about it – or the perpetrator of bad behavior is the boss – it can result in a host of legal problems.  Not only can this conduct implicate employment law issues, but intentional conduct by the boss can get around the Workers’ Compensation bar that usually prevents employees from suing their employer in negligence or for intentional torts (like assault or battery).  And if the victim is a guest, and not an employee, they can also sue for negligence. 

Tip to avoid: If you are the employer, the party pooper in us says spare your employees another work-related obligation and give everyone a bonus. Barring that, keep an eye on how much alcohol is served and if someone is starting to behave badly, get them home safely. If inappropriate behavior is reported, take it seriously, don’t brush it off, do an investigation and, if appropriate, discipline or counsel the perpetrator. Don’t retaliate against the complainer or make them feel like they aren’t being protected – this is when people call lawyers. 

If you are the employee, remember that this is fun but still work. Inappropriate behavior or offensive conversation can have repercussions. Most employees in New York are at will, meaning that you can be fired at any time for any reason as long as it’s not discriminatory or because of protected activity (i.e., retaliatory). As long as an employer applies its code of conduct evenly, it’s unlikely you’ll have any recourse if you’re fired for behaving badly at a holiday party.   

Premises liability: If you are hosting a party on property you own or have control over, you are liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the property that you knew or should have known of, or that you created.  This can include dangerous people present on the property.

Tip to avoid: Make sure your homeowner’s insurance is up to date. This would also be a good time to fix any safety issues you know about and have been ignoring (for example, is everyone going to be entering your house on a wobbly front step, or where a handrail is loose?). In winter, you also want to be sure there isn’t an accumulation of ice or snow where people will be parking and walking. The law only gives us a reasonable period of time after a storm to clean up. 

Dog bites: Does your dog get too excited, anxious or aggressive when strangers or a lot of people are around? Pet owners are strictly liable (meaning it doesn’t matter if you were negligent, i.e., careful or not careful) for injuries caused by their animals if they knew or should have known that the animal has dangerous propensities. Under the law, “dangerous” doesn’t always have to be “vicious” (as in Cujo), even though that’s a common term used when talking about dog-bite legal issues.

Tip to avoid: Put your dog somewhere it can’t escape or will not be walked in on, or out of the house completely. Warning people is not going to help you in this situation. 

Dram Shop (bar owners and commercial sales):  Do you own a bar?  Bars in New York are liable for injuries caused by individuals who are over served. So, if you serve a visibly intoxicated person and they leave and injure or kill someone in a drunk driving accident, you can get in big trouble. 

Tip to avoid: Don’t be afraid to refuse to serve, refuse to pour shots, or kick people out. 

Dram Shop (furnishing alcohol to minors):  New York’s Dram Shop law also makes it illegal to furnish or procure alcohol for minors (under the age of 21).  This is a good way to get in trouble during a house party and or if you have rented an establishment for a party and serve minors. 

Tip to avoid: Don’t do it and don’t turn a blind eye to it if it’s happening under your roof. 

We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season, and thank you for reading!

To learn more about how D’Orazio Peterson can help you, visit here or go to our website: www.doraziopeterson.com


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.

Man Arrested in Connection with Queensbury Walmart Shooting

Photo Courtesy of Warren County Sheriff’s Office

A man has been arrested in connection with the Nov. 27 shooting in the parking lot of the Walmart on Route 9 in Queensbury. According to a press release, The Warren County Sheriff’s Office arrested 33-year-old Adrian Simental of Moreau on the evening of Nov. 29.

Simental has been charged with felony counts of attempted first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the incident.

He is accused of firing a handgun at a 52-year-old New York City man after an aggressive driving encounter that occurred between Simental and the victim moments earlier on Route 9. The investigation determined the encounter had occurred near Northway Plaza, and that Simental’s vehicle followed the victim’s vehicle into the Walmart parking lot, where a verbal and physical confrontation ensued. Simental is accused of firing a handgun during the confrontation and hitting the victim in the lower abdomen.

The victim was treated at Glens Falls Hospital and Albany Medical Center, and has since been released. His injuries are not considered life-threatening. Simental fled the scene after the shooting, and was located after an investigation involving members of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police.

Simental was arraigned on Nov. 30 in Warren County CAP Court and remanded to Warren County Jail for lack of $200,000 cash bail or $600,000 bail bond. He is due back in Queensbury Town Court on Monday, Dec. 5.

Warren County Sheriff Jim LaFarr thanked all of the agencies and members of the public who assisted the Sheriff’s Office in their investigation and worked diligently to locate Simental. He said, “We strongly encourage everyone to avoid confrontations when faced with aggressive driving encounters and we ask the public to seek assistance from law enforcement when confronted by a ‘road rage’ incident, rather than attempting to resolve these matters themselves.”

Narcotics Arrest in South Glens Falls

On November 23, 2022, members of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant after a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking. The search warrant was executed by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Team, Narcotics Unit, and South Glens Falls Police Department at 42 Ferry Boulevard, in South Glens Falls.

 The press release indicated that multiple subjects were located in the residence and were arrested. One of them, Caitllin Pruess, is accused of possessing and selling quantities of crack/cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and crystal methamphetamine throughout Saratoga County. Zachary King, Brandan Pulica, Bobbie Demgerd, Patricia Sexton, Rachel Cenate, and Auriel Dabb were also arrested. 

As a result of the investigation and search warrant, scales, packaging material, quantities of fentanyl, crack/cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, heroin, suboxone, oxycodone, and a shotgun were seized. All arrested were arraigned in front of the honorable Judge Hogan, in the Town of Moreau Court; of the seven that were arrested, only two – Rachel Cenate & Brendan Pulica – were held in lieu of bail. The other five were released on their own recognizance, and are due to appear in Moreau Town Court at a later date.  

John Teflan, New Warren County Administrator Formerly of the NSA

John Teflan

The Warren County Board of Supervisors hired John Taflan as new Warren County Administrator at a salary of $120,000. He is taking the place of Ryan Moore, who will be taking over as CEO at Behan Communications. Ryan Moore had filled the position of Warren County Administrator since 2018; Taflan plans to start the administrator post on December 1st. The Warren County Board of Supervisors was happy to find a candidate with the experience and accomplishments of Taflan: he has both management skills, and a stake in the community. They feel this combination is important to help the board overcome challenges that are bound to arise.

Teflan is coming to the position after having completed his career in Washington D.C. He served as a Director of Human Resources, and as an Intelligence Officer overseas; Teflan is a retired U.S. Army officer who received his commission from West Point. His family has owned a property in the hamlet of Cleverdale on Lake George since 1937, but the Teflan family replaced the original seasonal campground with a newly built, year-round home in 2019.

John and his wife Heidi both have military backgrounds: Heidi is a retired naval officer. The two met at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and now have two grown daughters who live in Maryland. 

Teflan is looking forward to working with the Board of Supervisors and the county departments, and acknowledged the competitive group of applicants from which he was chosen. He is looking forward to having a positive impact in the community that’s been his home away from home for the past 25 years.

Minich MacGregor Wealth Management to Host Tax Planning Webinars

Tax Planning Webinar

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — Minich MacGregor Wealth Management, an SEC-registered investment advisor with offices in Saratoga Springs, NY, and St. Augustine, FL, is hosting Tax Strategies to Help Manage Income Taxes in Retirement webinars on Tuesday, December 13th at 1:00pm and Thursday, December 15th at 5:00pm.

In these webinars, you will learn the the answers to your questions:

  • What and how do Roth Conversions work?
  • Is Social Security taxable in retirement? What is the tax torpedo?
  • How are my capital gains on my investments taxed?​

At this webinar you will learn:

  • Pros and cons of Roth Conversions
  • When is Social Security income not taxable
  • Why mutual funds can increase your taxes

To register for an upcoming zoom webinar, hosted by Cory Laird, visit https://www.mmwealth.com/tax-planning-webinar/.

Catholic Charities Hosts 27th Annual Saratoga Festival of Trees Event

Festival of Trees

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties invites the local community to unwrap the magic of the holiday season at their 27th annual fundraiser – The Festival of Trees – on Wednesday, November 30 through Sunday, December 4, at the Saratoga Springs City Center.

The Festival returns with a showcase of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and other holiday and gift items for purchase. Festival proceeds will benefit the programs of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. The Festival of Trees event hours vary as follows: Festival of Trees Preview Reception, Wednesday, November 30, 6-8pm; Festival of Trees, Thursday, Dec. 1, 4-9pm; Friday, Dec. 2, 3-8pm; Saturday, Dec. 3, 12-7pm; and Sunday, Dec 4, 11-2pm. Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for Seniors, $5 for ages over 10 and free for anyone 10 and under, when accompanied by an adult. Special admission pricing set at $5 will be offered on Thursday of Victorian Streetwalk Weekend after 5pm. Festival of Trees tickets can be purchased at the entrance to the Festival. Festival of Trees Preview Reception tickets can be purchased online at http://www.saratogafestivaloftrees.com/ or by calling 518-587-5000.

After a two-year pause, Breakfast with Santa returns this year. There are three Breakfasts with Santa on Saturday, December 3: the first scheduled for 8:30-9:30, then 10-11 and 11:30-12:30; Sundaes with Santa follows from 1-2pm. Tickets are $10 each. Children 2 and under are free. Adults must accompany children. Tickets include either the breakfast or sundae, a tour of the Festival of Trees, a photo with Santa and access to a variety of children’s activities for $1 per ticket. Activities include cookie decorating, face painting, manicures, ornament making, picture frame creating and letters to Santa. There will also be a Holiday Shop with gifts for purchase. Breakfast with Santa and Sundaes with Santa admission tickets are sold in advance only and can be purchased online at http://www.saratogafestivaloftrees.com/ or by calling 518-587-5000.

Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties, Sister Charla Commins said, “The Festival of Trees is the biggest fundraiser and community event of the year for Catholic Charities. With decreasing funding and increased need, it is becoming more difficult to assist people in the tri-county communities who have been seriously impacted during these difficult times. This festive and magical event has been greatly modified in the last few years because of COVID, but this year we are reinstating all of the Festival’s activities, including the ever- popular Breakfast with Santa. Proceeds will assist us in providing services to individuals and families across the ages. We are sure the generosity of our communities will continue to support this wondrous holiday event and we are grateful.”

About Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties

Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties has been serving the tri-county area through a wide spectrum of counseling and programming efforts since 1975. In 2021, the agency served more than 4000 tri-county residents regardless of race, creed or lifestyle, with special emphasis on the economically poor and the vulnerable. Catholic Charities services are provided by caring, skilled professionals, and services benefit youth at risk, victims of domestic violence, families in need of counseling, the terminally ill and countless others. For more information on the mission or services provided by Catholic Charities, call 518-587-5000.

Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties is an agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany.

You’re Invited…. Park & Elm to Host Open House November 19

Park & Elm Rendering
In collaboration with Adirondack Studios, renderings of Park & Elm were produced and are available for public viewing. 

Park Street Hospitality invites you to the Park & Elm open house on Saturday, November 19th, 2022 (7am-9pm) in downtown Glens Falls.

Park & Elm Open House

Developed by Park Street Hospitality, the same team that operates Doc’s Restaurant and The Park Theater, Park & Elm is a multi-concept eatery featuring a gourmet food market, delicatessen and fine dining restaurant located in downtown Glens Falls. 

The open house will celebrate the initial stage in launching Park & Elm. The market and delicatessen will be fully open to the public with the restaurant opening date to be announced. 

This event will feature samples of house-made products, local goods and more. In addition, tours of the bar and dining room will be available, along with a chance to be among the first customers to sign-up for the exclusive restaurant opening next month. 

“The team and I are beyond excited to welcome the community into our new space. Whether you are looking for a date night out on the town, a quick sandwich on your lunch break, or all of the fixings to make a gourmet meal at home, I hope that Park & Elm will offer a little something for everyone.” – Ben Miller (Operations Manager, Park Street Hospitality)

A Metropolitan Market in Hometown, USA

The market and delicatessen will feature farm-to-table ingredients, highlighting local produce and dairy products, a deli counter with artisanal meats and cheeses, house-made breads, charcuterie, baked goods and desserts, as well as imported specialty products from across the globe. 

There will be an in-house butcher with a focus on premium meats, such as organic and free-range poultry, certified angus beef, heritage breed pork, sustainably caught seafood and more. In addition, basic grocery necessities will be available for purchase. 

Fast-casual breakfast and lunch counter service will be available until 4pm, featuring a variety of breakfast items, deli sandwiches, soups, salads and house-made baked goods. There will be a prepared foods section that will include individual entrées and family-style meals to-go. 

A New Era of Fine Dining

Building on the reputation established by Doc’s Restaurant, Park & Elm will continue to elevate its high-quality food and beverage programs. Curated by executive chef, Matthew J. Delos, the restaurant will continue to showcase quality local ingredients, featuring the quintessential dishes that everyone knows and loves, while elevating the dining experience with creative flair and flavor combinations. 

Park Street Hospitality’s beverage programs have garnered attention throughout the Capital Region. Park & Elm will provide the ideal environment to elevate these programs through continuous innovation and creativity, including a state of the art wine dispensing and preservation system. The dining room will also feature an expanded cocktail menu curated by lead bartender, Ethan McKee.

Further Information

Park & Elm is located at 19 Park Street, Glens Falls, NY, 12801. The market will be open Tuesday – Saturday from 7am – 9pm. The restaurant will be opening mid-December and will mark the completion of Park & Elm.


Glens Falls TODAY has aspirations to be the primary source of ‘all things local’ in the Glens Falls community. When it comes to reaching locals, brand trust, and a hometown feel, Glens Falls TODAY will deliver results. 

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