Articles By Jennifer Granzow

About Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

IT’S TIME TO GET WITH THE PROGRAM.


Here in Onondaga County, we are very fortunate to have curbside recycling available to us as a free service. We’ve been dutifully tossing our cans, jars, and newspapers into blue bins for years and polishing our own haloes for our contributions to keeping the Earth green. I’ve got some news for you, though, and it may come as a big surprise – if you’ve been checking the code on the bottom of your plastic containers to determine if they are recyclable – you’re doing it wrong. We no longer need to memorize the various codes – plastic bottles, jugs, the containers your cottage cheese comes in – all can be recycled. If you’ve been tossing your pizzeria pizza box in the trash but your late night Digiorno frozen pizza box in the blue bin – you’re doing it wrong. I know! That was a shocker for me, too, but your pizzeria box is recyclable and the waxed paper boxes frozen foods come in go in the trash.

Recycling protocols have changed, and your good intentions might be making things a whole lot harder for the folks who work for OCRRA and have the unenviable but oh so important job of separating recyclables. You probably figured out that the Styrofoam egg cartons are trash, but did you know that the cardboard ones are too? Not recyclable. Those plastic clamshell containers that your strawberries come in are not recyclable, and when you put them in your blue bin and they end up on the sorting belt, they often jam up the works and the whole system has to be shut down while the machine is fixed. The presence of your trash in the recycling stream can contaminate the whole lot, rendering it all trash. You don’t have to sort your plastic laundry jugs from your child’s drawings brought home from school (oh come on, it’s ok to admit that you sneak some of them into the recycling bin when your kids aren’t looking!). Put all your recyclables in the blue bin together. If you aren’t sure if something is recyclable, just trash it. These handy infographics from OCRRA are an easy way to remember what goes in your blue bin and what goes in the trash:

These handy infographics from OCRRA are an easy way to remember what goes in your blue bin and what goes in the trash:

Pictures: www.knowyourmeme.com; www.ocrra.org

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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Sing It, Celine. My Heart Will Go On.

February 14 is fast upon us and you fall into one of two camps: you either agree with the J. Geils Band that love stinks, or you are all about the chocolate and sweet nothings. History books will record the great NECCO Conversation Heart Tragedy of ’19, when the elementary school classic took a year off after the company changed hands. I’m not really sure how to ask you to be mine if I can’t do it with a peachy hued little gem of tooth-cracking pasty sugar with blurry words printed on it. These Dysfunctional Valentine Hearts appeal to my sense of humor.

When my older daughter was a pre-school age, her wonderful daycare provider was having a little Valentine party for the kids. My friend Marilyn and I joked about how we were going to out-supermom each other, and I spent hours late at night after my kids were asleep doing crafts (I am NOT a craft person) but I am pretty sure I won. These little felt pouches held Hershey kisses and little notes for each kid. I won, right?

All of this is the intro to what I really want to talk about today – not love and Valentines, but hearts. More particularly, heart health.

Do you know the difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack? Did you think they were the same thing? (It’s ok to admit that, I think lots of people confuse the two).

Simply, cardiac arrest is an electrical problem and a heart attack is a circulation problem. With cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeat disrupts the heart’s pumping action and blood can’t get to the brain and other organs.

With a heart attack, a blockage in an artery prevents blood flow within the heart. Even though they are different health events, they are connected in that heart attacks can sometimes lead to cardiac arrest.

You have probably heard that heart attacks present differently in women than they do in men, but do you know the difference? For women, signs include nausea and vomiting, back or jaw pain, and a little thing called shortness of breath. If you (like me!) thought that shortness of breath was like that feeling after you just ran the Corporate Challenge and are totally out of breath, you are wrong. Shortness of breath actually feels like you can’t take deep breaths (I know this first hand, it’s ok to ask me next time you see me, and no, I did not have a heart attack). For men, it’s more like Redd Foxx on Sanford & Son – “I’m coming, Elizabeth!” with the sudden onset and intense chest pain (plus shortness of breath, nausea, etc.).

Whether it’s cardiac arrest or a heart attack, the first thing to do is call 911. The sooner medical intervention starts, the more likely it is that the person will have a positive outcome. I strongly encourage you to learn CPR so that if you ever find yourself in a situation where that skill is needed, you will be prepared. If you are reluctant because you still think of CPR as including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, I have great news for you – we have gone the way of hands only CPR. Many places of business have AED devices (Automated External Defibrillators) and the machines literally talk you through each step so even if you are completely flustered by the situation, the robot voice will still help you help someone having cardiac arrest.

If you have a family history of heart disease, or if you have risk factors like smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise, you can still take control of your health and start some heart-healthy habits to reduce your overall risk of cardiac arrest or heart attack. You should always talk to your doctor first, but changes to your diet (more leafy greens, fewer Baconator sandwiches at the Fair) and an exercise regimen will go a long way toward helping YOU go a long way in life. Your friends, family, and your lawyer all agree – you’re worth it.

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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Giving Thanks

Over the river and through the woods…many of us will go tomorrow, to a dining table laden with traditional Thanksgiving feasts and ringed with family members, all waiting for the chance to dig into Grandma’s top-secret recipe sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. My husband, kids and I will celebrate “Friendsgiving” with close friends who are like family to us.  No matter how you celebrate the fourth Thursday in November, the ribbon weaving the celebrations together is one of gratitude.

The endless string of news stories that bombard us daily bring tragedy into our homes in real time as it unfolds – right now, we are seeing entire neighborhoods destroyed by forest fires in California. We’ve seen mud slides and floods wash away lifetimes of possessions, crumbling houses into piles of debris. Hurricanes flattened cities, stranding families in makeshift shelters with only the clothes on their backs. There’s no clicking your ruby slippers together three times to make everything better again. There’s no place like home – but what would you do if faced with the loss of your home, your neighborhood, the playground where your kids tried to reach the clouds by swinging higher and higher?

It’s really hard to imagine the devastation that these natural disasters bring to people, the instant loss of everything they have spent a lifetime building, and the need to sometimes literally run for their lives. I feel incredibly fortunate that the worst thing I really have to complain about is that we get a lot of snow here. Perspective is a beautiful thing.

At the end of the day, though, there is the ribbon of gratitude. No matter what, we have our families, we have our friends, people who we love and who love us in return. Here in Syracuse, almost always away from the horror of Mother Nature’s wrath, we have the opportunity to put our gratitude into action. Maybe you can build a bigger table, literally or figuratively, for those whose needs exceed your own this holiday season. Maybe this is the year that you volunteer for organizations that are doing good things for your community, day in and day out. Maybe you can open your heart in understanding of those whose culture and beliefs don’t mirror yours. Maybe for every time your Aunt Karen asks why you are still single or don’t have a better job, and you restrain yourself from delivering a grumpy response, you will make a donation to a charity.

On behalf of my colleagues here at the Wladis Law Firm, thank you for allowing us to assist you with your personal and business legal matters this year. We are fortunate to have the privilege of doing meaningful work for you and we are honored that you have placed your trust in us. Our very best wishes of gratitude and true thanksgiving to each and every one of you.

Picture: www.patlive.com

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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Back to School and Moving Forward

“Car Drop Off Line? No. Parking Lot? Yes!”

 

Yet another summer has come to a screeching halt before any of us were really ready for it to go.  It’s still been nearly 90 degrees out, sun blazing.  But it’s September, and those glossy floors that the custodians so carefully cleaned and waxed are now home to lost class schedules, those little scraps of paper left from tearing a sheet from a notebook, and the footprints of the hundreds of students and staff who have returned, filling schools with the everyday noise, chaos and life that is back to school season. If you have kids in school, you are in one of two camps:  you either are sad that you’re apart during school hours after a summer together, or you are relieved for the restored routine, happy that school is back in session.  The start of school is definitely a beginning and an ending all at the same time.

Since we’re talking about things that divide the parents of schoolchildren, let’s talk about the dreaded school drop off line.  If your kids ride the bus, complain all you want about having to rush to get to the stop on time, but consider yourself lucky that you are not part of the daily drama of the drop off line. If your kids don’t ride the bus, you are either part of Club Tuck and Roll, or you need to use the parking lot.  There are no other options.

Don’t even think about getting in the drop off line if your student is still finishing up her Latin homework in the car, or needs your help retrieving his cello from the back of your SUV. No. The car line is not for you. That is why there are parking lots. The parking lot is where you go when your child (or you!) is in need of a bit of extra time before exiting your vehicle and skipping joyfully toward the school doorway.  I am the parent of middle schoolers, I know there is no joyful skipping (but that there is plenty of Latin homework). If you want those extra minutes together for a heartfelt goodbye and a pep talk for the day ahead, nobody is going to give you a single bit of shade about that so long as you are doing so in the parking lot and not the drop off line.

Those of us who are part of Club Tuck and Roll know that the very essence of the drop off line is that it is a continuous stream of stops and starts but that it is meant to keep moving forward.  Pull ahead, don’t just park in the spot that is nearest to the door.  You need to pull up to let the other cars behind you file into place and not back up onto the street. Cars pull up, kids – having already gathered their things and said their goodbyes – hop out, cars pull away so the next batch repeats the routine.  Over and over, until every car in the drop off line has deposited its precious cargo at the curb.

When someone who belongs in the parking lot decides to enter the drop off line, that breaks the zen of the drop off line (note:  if you have ever been in the drop off line, you know there is no zen there). There is a wrench thrown in the works, the machinery of the drop off line comes to a (muttering, sometimes honking) frustrating halt. The parents in the cars behind you, Parking Lot Parent in the Drop Off Line, are not thinking pleasant thoughts about you. You are the substance of countless internet memes and funny Facebook videos that make the Club Tuck and Roll Team nod in knowing solidarity. Don’t be that person.

In all seriousness, there is a real safety issue that arises when the drop off line doesn’t continue its smooth orderly progression. Traffic gets backed up, snaking through lots and onto the street. There are plenty of pedestrians around school grounds, and it’s important to keep things safe. Let’s all do our part to help keep things moving and most of all – keep things safe.  Here’s to a fantastic school year for all the kids, teachers and staff. We’d honk and wave, but we’ve got to keep moving.

 

Picture: Beattie Elementary School

 

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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MOVE. OVER.

 

Janis Joplin famously sang “Please don’t do it to me…won’t you move over?”, and in New York and many other states, her plea to move over has been codified into law.  Formally titled the Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act, Section 1144-a of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law is commonly called the Move Over Law.  Named after two law enforcement officers who lost their lives after being struck by cars during traffic stops, the law is intended to make roadways safer for those who work on and near New York roadways.

The law originally went into effect January 1, 2011 but was revised in 2016 to include additional classes of roadside workers.  When they come upon red, or any combination of red, white and blue flashing lights signifying the presence of emergency vehicles like those driven by law enforcement officers, fire fighters and ambulance personnel, or tow/auto maintenance vehicles, highway maintenance vehicles, as well as garbage and recycling trucks, whether those emergency vehicles are parked or moving, drivers must do two things:

  1. First, they must slow down to a safe speed for the situation, and
  2. Second, they must move over to the furthest lane from the emergency vehicle provided that the lane change is safe.

Drivers should always be alert when operating a motor vehicle and should be on the lookout not only for the flashing lights, but for signs, workers wearing safety vests or shirts, and other indications that a potentially hazardous situation exists.  A violation of the Move Over Law can result in three points on your license, plus a hefty fine and mandatory NYS surcharge.  You may also be ticketed with other violations, like speeding and unsafe lane change, which range from 3 – 11 points plus fines and surcharges depending on the charge – this is on top of the Move Over Law points, fine and surcharge. More importantly, though, your failure to obey the Move Over Law could result in death or serious injury to a roadside worker, someone receiving emergency assistance, or others – including you.

It’s just not worth it.

We have two seasons here in Central New York, winter and construction.  Now that summer is officially here, crews are hard at work on roadsides everywhere you go.  Please exercise caution when you are driving and make sure that everyone makes it home safely.

 

Picture: Wonderopolis.org

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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KINDNESS MATTERS

 

kindness-1080x776 (2)We are living in unusual times, with segments of our population totally polarized from one another, unwilling to listen, demanding to be heard. It’s hard to know how to help our children navigate these times when we don’t always know how ourselves. We try to practice and teach compassion, and above all else, be kind.  Be kind, be kind, be kind.

In reflecting on the past year, it strikes us that we all could benefit from more doing more acts of kindness for others. Kindness will help break down barriers, build understanding. Kindness feels good.  It is good.

There is an enormous difference between doing favors and giving to others.  A favor is a checkmark waiting for repayment. A favor granted is a favor expected to be repaid. A gift, on the other hand, is given with no expectation of reciprocity. A favor ultimately benefits you, and a gift benefits the recipient – that is the essence of the gift. To give to or do for someone with no power to pay you back and no expectation that they should try is the true gift.

What if we all decided, in 2018 and beyond, to be givers and not granters of favors?  What if we saw individual need in our neighborhoods and rose to meet those needs simply because the need is there and we are able to do so?  We find ourselves talking to our children about wants versus needs and trying to impress the difference upon them. They want all sorts of things but their needs are more than covered; they are out of touch with the reality of many children in our community whose needs are not met. Foster children moved in the night from one home to another, their belongings in trash bags. Children walking to school in the winter on slushy streets, wearing the hand me down sneakers with the hole in the toe. Seniors who rely on Meals on Wheels for a warm meal, perhaps the only one they will have that day. Neighbors who struggle to keep a roof over their heads, and keep their thermostats low to save fuel. Here we are, with more than enough. Do we look the other way and pretend not to see, worrying only about ourselves? Or do we dig in, reach out, offer a hand in friendship and kindness simply because we can?  Imagine what our world would look like if we made that second choice.

Here are two great examples to inspire you, from the StoryCorps project.  If you are a podcast person, subscribe. You will not regret it.  Above all else, be kind. https://www.npr.org/2017/12/22/572275571/when-money-cant-buy-the-best-christmas-gift  https://www.npr.org/2017/12/15/570806606/on-christmas-eve-a-stolen-bicycle-and-a-lesson-in-giving

Wishing you the very best that 2018 has to offer, and a world filled with giving.

Picture: Pinterest

 

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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ON WEDNESDAYS, WE WEAR PINK.

 

1 in 8

With credit to the movie Mean Girls for my blog post title today, I am setting aside humor for the moment.  Let’s talk some real talk here. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s not about wearing pink (but feel free – I love it, too). Some facts for you:

In the United States, 1 in 8 women, and 1 in 1,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

After skin cancer, it is the most common cancer diagnosis for women, accounting for an expected 30% of all new cancer diagnoses in women this year.

There will be over 300,000 women who will get that life-changing call from their doctor this year.

In 2017, there were well over 3 million US women who either currently have, or previously had, breast cancer.

Up to 10% of cases of breast cancer are caused by a genetic mutation (see more here about BRCA1 and BRCA2).

Less than 15% of those diagnosed have a family member who had breast cancer (with the risk almost double for those whose mother, daughter or sister are diagnosed) but an overwhelming 85% of those diagnosed have no family history of breast cancer.

Proper routine screening is instrumental in early detection of breast cancer.  It is still true that in many cases that by the time it is able to be imaged, the cancerous cells have already been in the body for years.  Standards in the United States recently changed, moving the year for baseline mammography for women with no family history of breast cancer to 45 from the former standard of 40.  There is currently available 3D imaging, called tomosynthesis, that is a remarkable improvement over traditional 2D imaging. If you’d like to see a kind of mind-blowing example of that improvement, and learn a little more about the battle to require insurers to cover this advanced imaging, click here.

Those with heightened risk factors should seek the guidance of a trusted physician specializing in breast health, to determine when and how frequently to screen using either mammography, ultrasound, MRI or some combination of the three.

Regular self-examination is also recommended. For more information about proper technique, click here.  There can also be external, visible changes to breast tissue that are indicators of possible breast cancer.  This infographic from Know Your Lemons is excellent.

12+signs+of+breast+cancer+using+lemons

 

As much as I love the color pink, all the so-called “pinkwashing” – pink colored items to bring awareness to breast cancer research – doesn’t actually amount to dollars for research or the support of warriors fighting the battle. If you would like to help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, we like these local organizations:

http://findacurecny.org/wp/

http://www.saintagathafoundation.org/

https://www.facebook.com/bottlesforacure/

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care/our-services/womens-services

Most importantly, in October and every other day of the year, we wish you the best of health.

 

Pictures:

National Institutes of Health

worldwidebreastcancer.org

 

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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“Dela-where? Why You Should Probably Incorporate Your New York Business Here in New York”

toon-1907-1

It is often said that Delaware is one of the best states in the nation for business incorporation.  This thought process stems from several factors including tax benefits, flexibility of law, and longevity and consistency in legislation and court decisions.  However, small businesses doing business primarily in New York are unlikely to realize these benefits, and, thus, are more likely to benefit from incorporating in New York.

Large corporations see three primary benefits from incorporating in Delaware.  First, there are several cost saving benefits.  For example, corporations incorporated in Delaware, but not transacting business in the state, are not subject to corporate income taxes, and shares of stock owned by those who reside outside of Delaware are not subject to Delaware taxes.  Further, the cost of incorporation is one of the lowest in the country.  Second, corporations benefit from Delaware’s corporation laws.  Delaware law allows one person to hold all of the offices of a corporation; does not require shareholders, directors, or officers to reside in Delaware; and provides great flexibility in establishing the maximum number of authorized shares of stock.  Finally, corporations benefit from Delaware’s unique court system.  Corporate legal matters are handled exclusively by the Delaware Court of Chancery.  The long standing Court system provides quick resolution of conflict, specialized rules regarding the award of attorney’s fees (which encourage expedient settlement of conflicts), and over one hundred years of common law dedicated to interpreting commercial litigation issues.

However, “closely held” (i.e. small business) corporations doing business primarily in New York are often better off skipping the middle man and incorporating directly in New York.  To begin, New York requires that businesses organized in other states doing business primarily in New York register as “foreign corporations.”  This registration process costs nearly as much as incorporating in New York, and the business must still pay to incorporate in Delaware.  While the corporation may not be required to pay Delaware taxes, as a corporation doing business primarily in New York it will still be subject to a variety of New York taxes.  And, if the business is a private rather than public corporation it will not realize any of the stock benefits available to Delaware corporations.  Finally, by incorporating in Delaware a business subjects itself to a lawsuit in the state of Delaware.  For a small business the costs of traveling out of state to litigate a dispute could be extensive.  Additionally, in 1993 the New York Supreme Court developed a Commercial Division which is exclusively responsible for commercial litigation matters.  While the New York Commercial Division cannot boast the longevity of the Delaware Court of Chancery, New York is well on its way to streamlining the way it handles complex commercial litigation.

While there are many benefits for large corporations to incorporate in Delaware, for small businesses doing business primarily in New York it is probably best to stick close to home when incorporating.  That being said, each business’s needs are unique.  If you are considering incorporating your New York based business contact Jennifer Granzow, at Wladis Law Firm to discuss which state may be best for your incorporation needs.

Photo: http://www.glasbergen.com/wp-content/gallery/cartoons/toon-1907-1.gif

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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WHAT’S NEW IN NEW YORK STATUTES – 2017

Law

I love a good list, don’t you?  I particularly enjoy that sense of satisfaction when I am able to cross something off my list – and fully admit that there are some days when I just need to add little things to the list just so I can feel that accomplishment.  Yes, “pack lunches”, that’s done.

We’re about to roll into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so here is a list just for you, a quick read so you can cross “read the list” off your list.  Following are some key new laws that have taken effect here in New York in 2017

 

 

Picture: www.ldanj.org

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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IT’S TRUE WHAT THEY SAY.

 

Volunteer

No doubt you have heard someone who did an act of kindness say that they got more out of it than the person they helped. It’s not just a feel-good statement intended to deflect attention away from the helper.  There are concrete benefits to volunteering in your community that go well beyond the assistance to people and pets in need.  When you give of your time and expertise, the rewards are rich.

Being a volunteer is a great way to become engaged in your local community and build a strong network. You will meet others who share similar interests, and have the opportunity to develop relationships with them that will be helpful outside of the volunteer setting.  It’s a resume builder, and it helps you build your business.

Volunteering gives you a chance to learn new things, contributing to your growth and development on both a personal and professional level. You might learn the right way to pound a nail from Habitat for Humanity, or how to care for a rescue dog from Helping Hounds.  You might also learn how to fundraise, how to plan special events and meetings, and how to build support for important projects.  These are all skills that are transferable to other areas of your life.

When you volunteer for an organization, you get a chance to really spread your wings.  You can try out new activities and interests, and in the process, you might discover something that really makes your heart sing.

Last but certainly not least, being a volunteer will bring you joy and happiness.  It really, truly does make you feel good to be part of something that is bigger than you, something that makes life better for others and improves your community.

Now more than ever, we live in a world where acts of kindness are especially needed.  If you are looking for ways to get involved, here are a few suggestions for groups that are near and dear to us, and that can use your helping hands.

Jewish Federation of CNY

Early Childhood Alliance

The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund (as an aside, bring us your returnable cans and bottles and we will give them to Laurence Segal, a guy who has found a real purpose by volunteering)

Meals on Wheels of Eastern Onondaga County

Habitat for Humanity

Cuse Pit Crew

Arise, Inc.

 

 

 

Picture By: clipartfest.com

 

Jennifer Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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