Click on the ad above to reach the Glenora website.


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

To reach the website of the Seneca Harbor Station and Captain Bill's, click here.


Click on the ad above to visit the Visions Credit Union web site -- you deserve a financial partner that has your best interest in mind!


Watkins Glen Supply, Inc.

P.O. Box 70
2768 State Route 14


The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen, NY

Opened April 1st.

_____________ .

The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

Click here or on the ad above to reach a Chamber of Commerce website.


Odessa Wine
and Spirits

We are located on Main Street in Odessa, next to the Tompkins Trust Company branch.

Send us an email to to let us know what you would like us to have in stock.


SCT Computers

Apple Certified Technicians
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers
A+ Certified Technicians

Visit us at 306 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, 607-535-2495

Main St., Penn Yan
(315) 694-7399



Your authorized FedEx ship center
M-F 8:00-5:30 (Cut off time 3 pm)
Sat. 10-2 (no pickups)
306 N. Franklin Street
Watkins Glen NY 14891

Click on the ad below to go to the United Way of Schuyler County website.


Curly's Restaurant is a page sponsor -- of our People Page. People.

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

Sports -- Cayuga Health

Features -- Jeff's On-Site Services

Government -- Jr. Specchio's Inc.

Schools -- Public Health

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum --Gokey & Compton


To reach the FOWL website, click on the logo above.


To go to Jim Guild's Famous Brands website, click on the drawing above or here.


Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


Click below to go to the
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Contact this website at:



4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







Click on the ad below to reach the website.


Schuyler Farm Tour Weekend starts Sept. 29

The 4th Annual Schuyler County Farm Tour Weekend returns Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Schuyler County's finest farms are once more opening their doors to the public, offering tours, tastings, hayrides, demonstrations, apple picking, shopping, and opportunities to meet the farm animals. Farm Tour.


O-M has its 1st cross country runner in years

Seventh grader Lexi Strobel is running cross country for Odessa-Montour Junior/Senior High School, the first XC runner at O-M in about two decades. Tuesday, she was second among 24 girls competing in an IAC modified race at Trumansburg. To find out how she became a "team of one" for O-M, see Sports.


Photo: Lexi Strobel (Photo by Gail Sgrecci)


Hector Harvest 5K held; raises funds for Lions

More than 100 people participated Sunday in the third annual Hector Harvest 5K, which helps raise funds for the service-oriented Hector Area Lions Club. For story and photos, see Features.


A weekly column from
State Senator O'Mara

State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column -- this one titled "Rescue New York calls for a new direction in this state.” Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara


And inside:

--Storyteller Perry Ground (right) will speak about Iroquois traditions on Sept. 24 at Catharine church. Features.
--Warning issued by Ag & Markets on Sunset View raw milk. Business.
--State GOP opposes 'Migrant Tax' idea. Govt.
--Cayuga Health offers urology services. Business.
--Till to perform at Lawrence Chapel. People.
--CMC, Schuyler Hospital recognized for community investment. Business.
--Cayuga Health has named Elizabeth Velizas its first Chief Human Resources Officer. People.


Looking up ...

A total solar eclilpse is coming in April, and with it a sort of mania. The editor touches on that and on a couple of impressive local sports teams. Column.

Anyone caring to advertise may contact the publisher, Charlie Haeffner, at for information.


Bond leaving Glen parks post for theater job

Craig Bond has resigned his position as the Watkins Glen Superintendent of Parks and Recreation to take a position with the Clemens Center in Elmira. As Superintendent, Bond -- a Schuyler County native who moved back here from Colorado two years ago, and who has an extensive background in theater production -- has been in charge of Clute Park as it has grown with the addition of the Seneca Lake Events Center and a winter ice rink. He has also overseen the campers who congregate across the street from the park, as well as events at both Clute and Lafayette Parks. Mayor Laurie DeNardo said the resignation, efffective on Sept. 13, will be accepted by the Village Board at its next meeting, and that the village will soon advertise for a successor. "Change happens," she said. "We'll figure it out."

Photo: Craig Bond at Sept. 15 Schuyler Storm football game.


On the lakefront,
early in the morning ...

Area photographer Liz Fraboni's camera has captured hundreds of images published on these pages over the years, and she has added another wiith this shot along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, snapped Saturday morning, Sept. 16, 2023.






Left: Photo by Liz Fraboni


With Clute & Burnett, The Essentials total 36

Two individuals -- musicians Ed Clute and Robin Burnett -- have been added to The Essentials, a group of outstanding Schuyler County residents or natives who have impacted life here or elsewhere. The group now totals 36 -- 18 men and 18 women. None of the Essentials are in the Schuyler County Hall of Fame, but perhaps will be someday. Essentials.

To learn more, click on the ad below.

Click on the ad below for more information or to apply.

Deputy Commissioner sought

The Schuyler County Board of Elections is seeking to fill the position of Deputy Commissioner (Democratic Party). For details, see the Classified Page.

Looking to buy baseball, football, basketball, hockey, non-sports cards, mostly pre-1988. Call
Charlie Haeffner at (607) 742-2772.




And inside

Read the latest Letters to the Editor on the Forum Page.

Part 1 of "Schuyler County and Me," reprised, Click here.
For Part 2, click here.
For Part 3, click here .
For Part 4, click here.
For Part 5, click here.

The Editor's


Death Notices on the Obituary Page.

Shirley Marie DuVall, 66, of Montour Falls.
Daniel W. Impson, 74, of Beaver Dams.
June Ellen Cullen, 94, of Watkins Glen.
Charles F. Darling, 94, of Sodus and Rock Stream.
Dawn Marie Vincent, 52, of Alpine.
Megan E. O’Hearn, 58, of Binghamton.
Gloria (Filippetti) Menio, 100, of Watkins Glen.
Brooke Taylor Gardner, 33, of Montour Falls.
Sally Louy, 58, formerly of Watkins Glen.
Robert J. Everett, 89, of Watkins Glen.
Rev. Leonard A. Miller, 85, of Lindley.
Katherine A. Davis, 67, of Alpine.

Service: Todd Morgan on Sept. 30.

To reach the Famous Brands website, click here.


Legislature appoints new Public Defender

Schuyler County Legislators Monday night approved the appointment of Josette Colon, Chief Assistant Public Defender in Chemung County, as the next Schuyler County Public Defender at an annual salary of $118,000. Officials said Colon, who already had a deputy and a confidential secretary lined up last week, takes office on Sept. 18. She succeeds Nancy Farrell, who served as Public Defender from October 2022 until the end of May.

The board also heard from Interim County Administrator Shawn Rosno that sales tax revenue remains strong, and that 2024 budget projections are more positive than initially thought.

Photo: Josette Colon at Monday's Legislature session

The 1951 GM LeSabre concept car, a popular feature at Sept. 8 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival.


Annual Grand Prix Festival draws a crowd

The annual and always popular Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival drew a large crowd of motor-vehicle enthusiasts on Sept. 8, with spectators lining both sides of downtown Franklin Street to watch passing parades of vintage and modern cars. The focus -- the honored car -- was the Corvette, first produced 70 years ago. For a story and more photos, see Features.


Cayuga Health returns to mandatory masking

The Cayuga Health System has announced a return to required masking in response to current COVID community and transmission levels in the counties the health system serves, including Schuyler. The masking is scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Masking.


A column from
Ziff Law's Jim Reed

Attorney James B. Reed of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira offers this regular column, tackling issues that you might encounter in your daily lives. This time: "Looking for a challenge? Ride the Bike the Finger Lakes 11 Challenge." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

Want to phone The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772

Click on the first ad below to see
more about Cabins to Castles.

Click on the ad below to reach the
Seneca Harbor Station and the
Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises site.

The Seneca Legacy dinner cruise ship.

The ribbon-cutting at the Lulu-B Women's Clothing Outlet celebration was a Guild family affair. Joining Jim Guild (center) were, from left, daughter-in-law and son Ally and Jamie, grandsons Eli and Brody, granddaughters Natalie and Chloe, and daughter Erin and her husband Andy. At right is Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nigar Hale.


Ribbon cutting celebrates Lulu-B arrival in WG

The Lulu-B Women's Clothing Outlet held a Grand Opening, ribbon-cutting celebration Sept. 6 at the store, located in the former Watkins Sporting Goods building at 123 E. Fourth St., Watkins Glen. The Outlet, specializing in "colorful and comfortable" women's clothing, is owned by Jim Guild, who also owns the Famous Brands store on Franklin Street in Watkins. The Outlet had a soft opening starting with NASCAR weekend. Open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, it offers what Guild called "a really good, quality brand of clothing" at 75% off the retail price.

Speakers at the ceremony included Nigar Hale, Executive Director of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce; Watkins Glen Village Trustee Margaret Schimizzi; Schuyler County Legislator Mark Rondinaro; Sharon Murphy of Congressman Nick Langworthy's office, and Jim Guild, described by Hale as "visionary."

Photo in text: A certificate presented to the Lulu-B store by the office of Congressman Nick Langworthy.

For another photo from the ribbon-cutting, see Business.


Eslinger appointed Election Commissioner

The Schuyler County Legislature, in special session Wednesday morning, appointed Brian Eslinger as the new Democratic Commissioner of the county Board of Elections. He will complete the unexpired term of Carolyn Elkins, which ends on Dec. 31, 2024. Elkins -- who had served in the post since 2017 -- and her deputy, Kathryn Elkins, submitted their resignations in August, effective Sept. 6. Eslinger, whose salary will be $22,950, will start without a deputy. Finding one, a county official said, "will be up to Brian." Eslinger, co-owner of the Blackberry Inn Bed & Breakfast and the Blackberry Inn Kitchen in Watkins Glen, has in recent years been serving as a member of the Watkins Glen Planning Board.

Photo: Election Commissioner Brian Eslinger.


Dundee approves Wood as its superintendent

The Dundee School Board, in an emergency session on Sept. 1, approved Chris Wood (pictured at right) as its superintendent of schools, effective Sept. 28. Wood served as superintendent in the Odessa-Montour school distirct for seven years before resigning last December, and then was named principal in the Bradford school district, where he has served since. He will succeed Christopher Barnard, who left Dundee upon accepting the superintendency of the Manchester-Shortsville school district.


A view of a Super Blue Moon on August 31st

The photo at right comes from Marti Dense. She wrote, upon emailing it on Thursday, Aug. 31, that this view of a Super Blue Moon -- the last until January of 2037 -- was "taken this morning between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes." A Blue Moon isn't blue, but is the term applied to two full moons appearing in the same month, while "supermoon" (according to an online article) "refers to a full moon that occurs when the moon is closer to Earth in its orbit, resulting in a slightly larger and brighter appearance."

Owner Jonathan Twombley cuts the ribbon celebrating the opening of The Hotel Laurel at Seneca. From left: Schuyler County Legislator Mark Rondinaro, Sharon Murphy from Congressman Nick Langworthy's office, Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nigar Hale, Interim Schuyler County Administrator Shawn Rosno, Twombley's daughters Emma and Erin, Twombley with the scissors, Shiv Parbhoo, president of Victoria Falls Enterprises of St. Augustine, Florida (with whom Twombley partnered and which is overseeing the hotel's operation), and Twombley's wife Kaori.


Ribbon cut, celebrating renovated Hotel Laurel

The former Glen Motor Inn, purchased last year by Brooklyn real estate investor (and Penn Yan area summer-home owner) Jonathan Twombley and renovated and renamed The Hotel Laurel at Seneca, was the scene Aug. 30 of a celebratory ribbon-cutting. Twombley, who partnered with Victoria Falls Enterprises President Shiv Parbhoo in redeveloping the property (Victoria Falls is in charge of its operation), said the purchase price was "about $2 million" and the renovations another $1.8 million. The iconic inn was purchased from the Franzese family; one member of the family, Nancy, is providing continuity by serving as the hotel manager. The renovation, now all but completed, took eight months. The Franzese family opened the inn in 1948, making it at the time the only motel in Schuyler County.


Rail trail cleared from Odessa to Hayes Road

A trail on a 2.5-mile stretch of forest land that housed a Lehigh Valley rail line for decades from the late 1800s through the 1970s has been cleared from Odessa to Hayes Road through the efforts of Bruno Schickel. It will be used for hiking, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling. A grand opening celebration is expected this fall. Features.

Photo: Sign at the Odessa end of the new, 2.5-mile trail.

The Humane Society's Executive Director, Georgie Taylor, left, with her organization's Resiliency in Business award presented by Chamber Executive Director Nigar Hale.


Lodge, Hop Notch, HSSC, Haeffner win awards

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce unveiled the winners Aug. 23rd of its Schuyler Tributes -- awards in four categories: Endurance in Business (won by Seneca Lodge), Resiliency in Business (won by the Humane Society of Schuyler County), Best New Business (won by the Hop Notch Brewing Company) and Schuyler Samaritan (won by Charlie Haeffner of The Odessa File). The awards were presented during a luncheon at the Seneca Lake Events Center at Clute Park in Watkins Glen. A total of 3,600 ballots were cast in online voting, with one source saying the Samaritan category drew the most interest.

Photo in text: Odessa File Editor-Publisher Charlie Haeffner won the Chamber's Schuyler Samaritan Award. There were five nominees for the award, created to honor a person who was "a vocal champion in our region," appreciates its beauty and natural resources, and "advocates for inclusion, diversity and equity in Schuyler County." (Photo by Laurie DeNardo)

Chamber Executive Director Nigar Hale presents the Best New Business Award to the Hop Notch Brewing Company's owner, Jeff Klossner (left), and the Endurance in Business Award, won by Seneca Lodge, to Brett Brubaker, the Lodge's Vice President and Manager.


Parental behavior at games prompts new rules

Watkins Glen Athletic Director Rod Weeden (pictured at right) is alerting area residents that an uptick in bad parental behavior at high school sporting events in New York has prompted a new state policy, with consequences. Sports.


Ribbon-cutting marks completion of project

SCOPED and the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce hold a ribbon-cutting marking the completion of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) project at the Graft Wine+Cider Bar in downtown Watkins Glen. Business.

Photo: Chef and owner Orlando Rodriguez cuts the ribbon.

Richard Childress, right, receives the Cameron Argetsinger Award from Cameron's eldest son, J.C. Argetsinger.


Childress receives annual Argetsinger Award

NASCAR race car driver and team owner Richard Childress was honored Aug. 18th at a dinner at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel with the annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports presented by the International Motor Racing Research Center. Childress, who drove in 285 races in NASCAR's premier series before turning to team ownership, recorded several season championships with Dale Earnhardt driving his #3 car. The late Cameron Argetsinger conceived of and organized the first road racing in Watkins Glen -- in what would become the Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Previous winners of the award have included Chip Ganassi, Richard Petty, Roger Penske, Mario Andretti, The France Family, Bobby Rahal, Lyn St. James and Mike Helton. The emcee for Friday night's event, as in past years, was Dr. Jerry Punch, who concluded the ceremony by interviewing Childress on stage about the latter's storied career.

Photo: Honoree Richard Childress at the podium.

Left: Reverend Michael Hartney, who delivered the Invocation.
Right: John Saunders, former President of the International Speedway Corp., delivered a speech at the dinner.

Jud Spena with one of his fans who purchased his revised history of the Squires, "Echoes in the Valley."


Squires gather as Spena sells, signs new book

Jud Spena's revised version of his book "Echoes in the Valley" -- a 50-year history of drum and bugle corps activity in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County -- was the subject of a gathering Aug. 19th where Spena was selling and signing his book. The event was held on Durland Place in Watkins Glen, at the home of Margaret Scimizzi, who was a member of the Watkins-based Squires Drum & Bugle Corps brass section for a half-dozen years in the group's 1970s heyday. The event also served as a reunion for Squires members, several of whom were on hand, talking about the book and catching up with one another. People.

Photo in text: Sign fastened to host Margaret Schimizzi's front porch railing.


Available on Kindle:
The Maiden of Mackinac

This story -- which spans 700 years and ranges from our region to Northern Michigan -- tells of a quest for the truth behind a legend ... the legend of a Native American maiden reputed to be centuries old. It was written by Charlie Haeffner, and is available now on Kindle at To see the ad, click here.

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


Visit Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Three locations: in Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Montour Falls

Click here or on the photo at left to go to the Jerlando's website. There you will find information about all three locations, plus menus.

Left: The front of the recently renovated Jerlando's at Franklin and 4th Streets, Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
on the Seneca Lake waterfront.
16 N. Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY
(607) 535-6116

Upscale, contemporary rooms and suites plus an American restaurant, an indoor pool and a fitness center.


Humane Society seeks owner of Lost Dog

The Humane Society of Schuyler County takes in lost dogs while hoping to find their owners. For example:

This pretty little lady was out for a stroll on the afternoon of June 12 on Hayes Road in Montour Falls. She's dressed with a gray striped nylon collar but no other jewelry. If you know where she belongs, please contact The Humane Society at 607-594-2255 ext 201.


Pet of the Week: Backer

Name: Backer
Sex: Neutered Male
Age: ~2 years
Breed: Pit Bull
Size: Medium

This adorable little guy is a puppy in a two-year-old body. Backer came to us from another area shelter where he had arrived as a stray. If you're looking for a playful, outgoing, affectionate, fun-loving companion, Backer may just be your guy! He's anxious to learn what he missed in his puppyhood. He's a very willing student, anxious to please, but needs someone to show him what is expected of him, and is anxious to sign up for school. Backer enjoys the company of other dogs, and promises to be a great family dog.

Adoption Fee: The adoption fee for adult dogs is $200. All have been spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, kennel cough, DH(L)PP, have had a complete fecal analysis, been treated for internal and external parasites, are heartworm tested and on heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative, and are microchipped.

You are welcome to call us at 607-594-2255 to schedule an appointment or stop in on Mondays and Fridays from 11-1, Saturdays from 10-1 or Sundays from 3-5 without an appointment. Or, visit our website,, to fill out an adoption application to get the process started.


Humane Society seeks owner of Lost Dog

The Humane Society of Schuyler County takes in lost dogs while hoping to find their owners. For example:

This guy took advantage of the break from the rain to go out for an adventure with a buddy. He was apprehended by a good Sam on Beardsley Hollow Road in the town of Catharine. His buddy, a golden retriever type, evaded capture. Looks like they enjoyed a good swim along the way. This handsome boy is sporting a green and orange nylon collar, by Acadia, but no tags or microchips. If you know where he belongs, please contact The Humane Society of Schuyler County at 607-594-2255 ext 201.

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.

Phoning The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772

or reach us by email at


William Byron wins Cup Series race at WGI

William Byron led for 66 of the 90 laps Aug. 20th to win the Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR race, his Cup Series leading 5th victory of the year. It also marked the 5th straight NASCAR Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports cars at Watkins Glen International. Second place went to Denny Hamlin, with Christopher Bell third, AJ Allmendinger fourth, and Ty Gibbs fifth. Kyle Larson, the defending back-to-back winner at The Glen, finished far back, in 26th place.

Congressman Nick Langworthy points toward the gorge where a creek overflowed on July 9th and flooded the US Salt plant. Next to him: plant official Paul Clifford.


Officials get update on July 9 US Salt flooding, subsequent cleanup and hopes for the future

Officials including New York Congressman Nick Langworthy, State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, County Legislator Jim Howell, County Administrator Shawn Rosno and County Emergency Services Director Kirk Smith were provided with a tour of the US Salt plant in Watkins Glen on Aug. 15 -- serving as an update on progress since the facility was flooded by heavy rains and overflowing creeks on July 9th. The update also served as a brainstorming session on future measures that might prevent a flood recurrence. Features.

Photo: Water flows into the plant on July 9th. (Provided)


Legislature names Rosno interim administrator

The Schuyler County Legislature Monday night appointed Shawn Rosno (pictured at right), the county's Director of Community Services, as Interim County Administrator effective Aug. 15 and in effect until the position is filled with a permanent successor to Fonda Chronis, or until "other arrangements have been made." The position became vacant when Chronis was placed on administrative leave on July 10 for reasons not specified. His permanent departure was announced three weeks later. The administrator duties had been shared since then by department heads led by Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers.


SCCUDD Project Coordinator Brower resigns

Ward Brower (pictured at right), longtime Project Coordinator for the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD), is resigning effective Aug. 30 and taking a job as an Academic Intervention teacher at Bradford Central School. Brower attributed his job change to the "uncertainty of employment after the Drug-Free Community grant that funds my position is set to end." He was lauded by several officials with whom he worked, including District Attorney Joe Fazzary, who thanked him "for your dedication to our community over the years. We at the DA's Office congratulate you on a job well done and hope that your new career path brings you happiness." SCCUDD's mission is to prevent, reduce and delay the onset of substance use among Schuyler County youths.

Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer, left center, accepts the sign from woodworker Seth Case. Looking on: Village Trustees Tom Letteer and Pam Cicconi. (Photo provided)


Sign donated to Odessa by area woodworker

Members of the Odessa Village Board on Aug. 14th were presented a sign reading "Welcome" above "Odessa Village Office" for placement in front of the Village facility on County Route 15. It was created and donated by Seth Case of Odessa, a full-time Corrections Officer who has started a business, Case Craft Woodworks, on the side. The sign, presented by Case during a block party in downtown Odessa, will replace a less formal-looking yard sign.

Trucks turn the corner from Fairgrounds Lane onto Decatur.


Fire trucks carry Camp Star kids in WG parade

Decatur Street in Watkins Glen, the scene on Aug. 14th of an Italian-American Festival parade, saw another parade -- made up of police vehicles and fire trucks -- on Tuesday in connection with Camp Star. That's a week-long camp at Watson Homestead (and sponsored by Rotary Club) whose participants -- kids aged 6-12 with a physical or developmental disability -- spent the day in Watkins Glen, mainly at Clute Park. Camp kids rode in parade vehicles from fire departments in Watkins Glen, Odessa, Montour Falls, Hector and Beaver Dams. The police cars and fire trucks gathered at Fairgrounds Lane and moved down Decatur, lights flashing and horns blaring, turning onto 4th Street on the way back to Clute Park.

Photo: A Camp Star rider waves from a Montour Falls truck.

Workers put the finishing touches on the Rt. 13 cleanup.


Diesel cleanup follows truck rollover on Rt. 13

A crane truck rolled over trying to avoid collision with a van on Aug. 14th on Route 13 about a mile north of Alpine Junction, resulting in a diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid spill. Firefighters from the Odessa and Montour Falls Fire Departments responded for the cleanup, with the roadway closed from the accident site to Alpine Junction for about four hours. Nobody was injured in the accident, and fire officials said there was no fresh-water contamination. The crane truck was towed from the scene.

Robin Burnett and Scott Muir provided music at the block party.


Chicken BBQ block party celebrates Bucket

The Bucket Bar & Grill in Odessa threw its second annual block party on Aug. 14th to celebrate its 8th anniversary of business at the corner of Main and Church Streets. The first block of Church Street was closed for a Bucket chicken barbecue, seating for the diners who bought out the 175 available dinners, and for various vendors. Music was provided by Robin Burnett and Scott Muir, ice cream by Ben & Jerry's, and caricatures by Jon Haeffner. Vegetables, insulated cups, scented products and other items were also available. Bucket owner Erich Thorpe said the event will be repeated each year on the Bucket's anniversary.

Photo: One man came dressed in keeping with the BBQ theme.


Veterans Agency's Cole-Scott honored at hotel

Schuyler County Veterans Service Agency Officer (and former Director) Joan Cole-Scott -- who will retire at the end of the year after 15 years of helping veterans and their families -- was honored Aug. 13th at a brunch at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel attended by 80 veterans and by members of Cole-Scott's family. She was presented a Quilt of Valor prepared by members of the Corning American Legion Post. Such quilts are awarded to service members or veterans as a thank-you for "service and sacrifice in serving our nation."

Photo: From left with the quilt: Joan Cole-Scott, Schuyler County Veterans Service Agency Director Kristine Gardner and agency Officer Dewayne Butler, and Marcia Dunlap, Quilts of Valor Coordinator in the Finger Lakes Region.

Italian-American Festival Grand Marshals Dominick and Midge Franzese are presented a plaque during Saturday's parade by Festival Committee President Lou Perazzini.


Italian-American Festival ends its 3-day run

The annual Watkins Glen Italian-American Festival concluded Aug. 13 with an afternoon of food, fun, music and camaraderie at Clute Park in Watkins Glen.

The festival was highlighted on its second day, Aug. 12th, by a parade on Decatur Street from the high school down to 5th Street, and by fireworks after dark over the south end of Seneca Lake.

Live music was provided Friday night, Aug. 11th by the Rusted Bucks, Saturday afteroon by the Doc Possum band, Saturday night by Right Turn Clyde, and Sunday afternoon by Muirimage. The weather, which featured light rain periodically Saturday, was sunny and breezy for the final day. For first-day photos, see Features. For parade photos, see People.

Photo in text: Large bubbles created with "Big Bubble Powder" -- a blend of non-toxic polymers that mixes with water and dish soap -- were a popular festival attraction.


$100K available for ARPA facade upgrades

That much money is currently available to some Schuyler County building owners for facade improvements to commercial and mixed-use properties under the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) matching-grant program. Government.


Mechanics Club gives $500 to help veterans

The Mechanics Club in Montour Falls has donated $500 to the Veterans for Schuyler group, a non-profit founded in 2022 to help veterans in Schuyler County in need of emergency funding. Features.

Left: Veterans for Schuyler board members hold the check.


2 Cats Cakery adds to Main Street comeback

Two Cats Cakery & Sweet Treats -- offering a variety of baked delights -- has opened at 109 Main Street in Odessa, a sign of a business comeback in the village's downtown. Business.

Left: Sign in front of the 2 Cats Cakery in Odessa.


Eagles resting on a dreary day in Glen

Marti Dense sent us this shot of a pair of juvenile Bald Eagles taking their rest near the Yacht Club along the canal south of Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen. The photo was snapped on an overcast, misty August morning. (Photo by Marti Dense)

Senator Chuck Schumer toured the Business Park's Lucky Hare Brewing Company, sampling its popular Glen Ale. Lucky Hare co-owner Richard Thiel is at right.


Schumer visits Business Park, says bill aims to return manufacturing jobs to Southern Tier

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer visited Schuyler County on Aug. 1st for what he said was the 25th time in 25 years in office -- this time at the Schuyler County Business Park to unveil a bill known as the ONSHORE Act designed to breathe new life into Upstate New York manufacturing and bring back "good-paying jobs from overseas to places like the Southern Tier." The legislation, he said, should be passed this year and ready for applicants in January -- vying for $100 million in grants per year for five years. The act, Schumer said, "will give municipalities federal assistance for workforce development, infrastructure, and site readiness for complexes like the business park" -- which currently houses the Lucky Hare Brewing Company but has 14,000 square feet available for lease. Other similar site-ready facilities in the region, he said, include a business park in Wayland and the former Chemung Foundry in Elmira. "I'm on board to help you," he told dignitaries on hand, including Schuyler County Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers, Legislator Michael Lausell, SCOPED Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry, and Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nigar Hale.

Photo in text: Senator Chuck Schumer at the podium, with Legislator Michael Lausell in the background.

Lifeguard Hannah Nolan, right, is congratulated by Mayor DeNardo. Lifeguard Isabella La Face is in the background.


Lifeguards honored for response at Clute

Five Clute Park lifeguards were presented Certificates of Valor on Aug. 1st from Watkins Glen Mayor Laurie DeNardo at a meeting of the Village Board. Cameron Holland, Hannah Nolan, Isabella La Face, Giuseppe La Face and Nikhil Manakkal were cited for their action July 23 in responding to what DeNardo called "a swimmer in distress" -- a man who was injured when he dove from a boat into shallow water to the east of where the lifeguards were working. "They knew what to do," she said, noting that the village is "very proud of them. They did a heroic job" along with the village police and fire departments. "Kudos to all of you." DeNardo also recognized the long service of Joe Fazzary on the Village Planning Board, a post he is vacating under recently adopted term limits.

Photo: One of the Certificates of Valor issued by the village.

Village Board meeting summary: Government.


Can't Count Trio -- all 4 -- perform at LaFayette

The Can't Count Trio -- a quartet of jazz musicians -- were the performers at Tuesday night's edition of the summer LaFayette Park Concert Series in Watkins Glen. The group -- Bob Brown on drums; vocalist Christopher Schiavone on piano and tenor sax; Jerry Leonard on bass, and Kevin Hooey on trumpet and piano -- entertained an appreciative audience on a pleasant, sunny evening at the park. Next up: blues rock by Meg Williams and Travis Bowlin on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

The front page of the July 29, 1973 Elmira Sunday Telegram.


50th anniversary of Summer Jam has passed; some folks have sent along reminiscences

The famous Summer Jam rock concert is 50 years in Schuyler County's rearview, but so impactful that people still talk about it, usually shaking their heads at the sheer enormity of it. On Thursday, July 27, the 50th anniversary of the July 27-29, 1973 Watkins Glen event arrived. A call from this website for reminiscences prompted a few people to send along theirs, as recounted here. Does anyone else have memories to share? Write them down and send them to The Odessa File. Just e-mail us at

Photo in text: The Aug. 2, 1973 cover of Ithaca New Times.

A popular stop for Family A-Fair attendees was one where they could create bubbles galore.


Hector Family A-Fair: a sense of community

The Hector Family A-Fair -- advertised as "a reimagined Hector Fair" and launched by a group of young adults intent on re-establishing a sense of community that the pandemic had dealt a blow -- was held Saturday on the old fairgrounds field behind the Valois Logan Hector Fire Department. Though afternoon rain chased away some attendees as well as some service and product tents -- spokeswoman Abby Ganton (whose Family A-Fair organizing group operates separate from the fire department, which used to oversee the old fair) deemed the event a success. She pointed to a large early turnout and clearing skies that would draw fair-lovers back for an evening of games, music and fireworks. The fair featured a book sale, yoga class, hot dog eating contest, inflatable bounce houses, cake booth, axe throwing, kids' relay races, food trucks, dunk tank, and cornhole tournament. A portion of the proceeds, raised through sponsorships, vendor fees, game charges, and raffles, were earmarked for the fire department.

Photo in text: One of the event's inflatable attractions.

Product and service stands populated the fair's perimeter.


Chronis out as Schuyler County Administrator

Schuyler County Administrator Fonda Chronis (left), placed on administrative leave by Schuyler County on July 10 for reasons not specified publicly, will not be returning to the post. A joint statement from the county Legistlature and Chronis specified Chronis's "gratitude" and his "honor" in serving the county. "I am thankful," he was quoted as saying, "for the trust placed in me and the opportunity to serve. Together, we achieved significant milestones such as the new ambulance service, the NY Forward award, the ARPA facade program, and the establishment of stronger fiscal guidelines. ... Sometimes, however, parties move in different directions and view progress differently, and to ensure the team's future success, it is best for the Legislature to seek administrative leadership that more closely aligns with their vision for the future." Added Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers: "We extend our thanks to Fonda for his efforts and we wish him and his family the very best in future endeavors."

Photos in text: Fonda Chronis, left, and Carl Blowers


A 2nd guest column from
Rep. Nick Langworthy

Congressman Nick Langworthy (R-NY) provides us with a column regarding natural gas hookups and their importance to small business -- his second offering this week. Column 2. To read his earlier one, see Column1.

Left: Congressman Nick Langworthy


Woman dies in car-truck accident on Rte. 414

The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal accident that occurred Thursday afternoon when an SUV and a logging truck collided at the intersection of State Route 414 and Mathews Road in the Town of Hector. The Sheriff's Office said Angela Spang, 38, driving the SUV, failed to yield to the truck operated by Daniel Byler, who was traveling north on 414. Both vehicles traveled about 500 feet, leaving pieces of wreckage along the way, and came to rest on the west side of 414. Spang was pronounced dead at the scene.


Legislature tables move to hire NYC firm; will seek to advertise for Public Defender position

The Schuyler County Legislature, in a special session July 25th, tabled resolutions that would have employed a New York City-based service to replace the county's present Public Defender's Office, and approved a motion to advertise for a Public Defender to (in the words of Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers) "gauge interest from qualified attorneys" -- leaving to a future session any decision on which way to vote. The argument against abolishing the Defender's Office was put forth in a Letter to the Editor the day before by Attorney Jessica Saks, prompting a response from County Attorney Steven Getman (pictured). There was no word on whether the Saks letter prompted the tabling move, with one legislator commenting: "This is an interesting turn of events." To see the letters, visit Forum.


Ribbon-cutting celebrates Lakeside Trolley

The recent opening of Lakeside Trolley was celebrated July 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony as part of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Summer Rendezvous event held at the Seneca Lake Events Center at Clute Park. Business.

Photo: Lakeside Trolley owners Joe Irwin and Katrina Gonsorick cut the celebratory ribbon, with Watkins Glen Trustee Nan Woodworth at left. Behind them is the trolley.

Holly Campbell, right, onstage at AGT with Kim Scadlock.


Holly and Kim receive 4 yes votes on AGT

Odessa-Montour High School English teacher Holly Campbell (right) appeared July 18 on America's Got Talent, a popular NBC variety show, singing a duet with Kim Scadlock of Oregon. Kim is the mother of the boy who received the heart of Holly's son, Jake, after Jake died in 2007 at 11 weeks of age. "We had a chance," Holly said of the taped AGT appearance, "to share the story of the very special heart that unites us," presented "through a very special song"-- "For Good" from the musical "Wicked," which was the last song Holly sang to Jake as she said goodbye, and the first song Kim sang to her son Beckham after he had received Jake's heart. The two women didn't know each other back then, but became friends years later. All four AGT judges -- Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel -- voted yes after the emotionally charged performance. For more details, click here.


Printup to oversee Vintage Racing Association

Parella Motorsports Holdings has announced that Michael Printup will join the company as President of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA). In his new role, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of one of the oldest and largest national vintage racing organizations in America. "When I heard that Michael was retiring from Watkins Glen International, I couldn't call him fast enough," said Tony Parella, CEO of Parella Motorsports, which purchased SVRA 10 years ago. Printup spent nearly three decades working for NASCAR, most notably in the role of President of WGI. In addition, he was President of Americrown, and more recently oversaw the Levy food service contract for 12 NASCAR-owned racetracks, and directed the Mobil 1 show car program for Tony Stewart. Printup will begin his new role later this month..

Photo: Michael Printup (Provided)

Some of the crowd filling the Burdett Fire Hall truck bays.


Benefit for Craig Kelly draws large turnout

The Burdett Fire Hall truck bays were packed with people on hand July 16 for a fundraiser on behalf of former Burdett Fire Chief Craig Kelly (right), who has been battling cancer with chemo and radiation treatments. A spaghetti-and-meatball dinner in the adjoining fire hall raised money, as did extensive raffles and a silent auction of donated items. The lot beside the fire hall was packed with parked cars, as were the sides of Rt. 79 in front of the hall, far in either direction. Kelly, on hand for the event, said he was "overwhelmed" by the show of support. Said attendee Tom Phillips, shaking his head in admiration: "Small-town life. You don't see this kind of thing everywhere."

Left: A raffle was part of the fundraising effort for Craig Kelly. Right: Donated items were available through a silent auction.

Town of Hector Historian Sandra Bradford and Logan's Landmark president James Jensen unveil the new sign.


Logan's Landmark historical sign unveiled

A sign commemorating the placement in 2001 of Logan's Landmark -- a former Methodist church and more recently known as the Logan Community Center -- on the National Register of Historic Places was unveiled in a ceremony outside the building on July 16. .The sign was funded through a grant from the Willliam G. Pomeroy Foundation. Speakers at the ceremony included James Jensen, president of the Logan's Landmark group that is actively restoring the building (focusing currently on the steeple and a choir loft), and Town of Hector Historian Sandra Bradford, who said the sign will encourage pride in the structure, and help attract tourists to the site. Among those present was Town of Hector Supervisor Ben Dickens.

Schuyler County Legislature Chair Carl Blowers at July 10 Legislature meeting, next to the empty County Administrator's chair.


Chronis's name removed from county website

The Schuyler County website has eliminated the name of Fonda Chronis as its County Administrator, listing the job as "Vacant" on one page and "TBA, Vacant" on another. Chronis was placed on administrative leave on July 10, but county officials have not said why or whether the move might lead to his termination. Carl Blowers, chair of the County Legislature, confirmed the leave Monday night, but said "no comment" when asked what prompted it, and -- when pressed on how long the leave might last -- said only that it would continue "for a while." Blowers, who will be assuming Chronis's duties, said that since the matter was a personnel issue, he could comment no further, but did say, when asked, that it is not a situation in which charges have been filed, and that the county was not advertising yet to secure a successor. When asked if the county would have a further statement, Blowers said: "Maybe sometime." Chronis succeeded Tim O'Hearn in the post, gaining appointment by the legislature a year and a half ago. The job carries a salary of $130,000.

Photo in text: Fonda Chronis (File photo)

Tracey VanSkiver is sworn in remotely by Watkins Glen School Business Administrator Kyle Percey.


Stansfield is president of WG School Board

Watkins Glen School Board member Joe Stansfield was elected president of the board July 10th at its annual organizational meeting, while Craig Bianco was elected vice president. The meeting also saw incumbents Theresa Butler and Jessica Saks sworn in for new terms on the board, and Tracey VanSkiver -- who won a seat in May but could not be present Monday--sworn in remotely. Stansfield, the lone nominee for president, succeeds incumbent Barb Schimizzi.

Photo in text: Joe Stansfield as he was sworn in by Watkins Glen School Business Administrator Kyle Percey.


Tburg theater troupe will present Spamalot

The Encore Players Community Theatre will present the lively, award-winning musical "Monty Python's Spamalot" on succeeding weekends -- from July 27-30 and August 3-6 -- in the Arena Theatre at 9706 Congress Street Extension, Trumansburg. Features.


Glen School District wins Schuyler Steps Out

The Watkins Glen School District's 15-member Wacky Walkers team has won the championship of the 17th annual Schuyler Steps Out walking competition. The Odessa-Montour School district finished second, while the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce was third. People.

Left: The Sprague Vineyards tent at the Launch of the Lakes featured workers in togas.
Right: The Launch included toga and costume contests.


Launch of the Lakes-Wine Fest weekend ends

The annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival at the Watkins Glen International racetrack concluded Sunday, July 9th after a busy Saturday that followed a Friday night Launch of the Lakes celebration on the WGI grounds. Togas and other ancient Roman garb were worn by many of the Launch party-goers, who were entertained by live music and sampled wines from various area wineries. The Saturday-Sunday Wine Festival featured more than 85 wineries, scores of other vendors, seminars, demos, live music and gourmet tastings.

Photo: Togas were worn by many Launch party-goers.

Congressman Nick Langworthy, left, talks to Schuyler County Legislator Mark Rondinaro during July 7th visit to Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria.


Langworthy visits Jerlando's in Watkins Glen

Congressman Nick Langworthy dropped by Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria in Watkins Glen July 7th as part of a swing through Chemung and Schuyler counties. His visit to Jerlando's was designed to discuss recent Congressional legislation aimed at preventing a ban on the purchase of future gas stoves -- a move afoot in New York and other states.

"We're trying to offset the nonsense coming out of Albany," said Langworthy, noting that such a ban would negatively impact pizzerias that depend on the intense heat generated by natural gas, a quality that Jerlando's owner Bill Tague said is lacking in electric ovens. Present to meet with the Congressman -- who also discussed the economy, the health of lake waters, proposals to mandate electric vehicles ("We're just not there yet"), and interest rates -- were Schuyler County Legislators Mark Rondinaro and Laurence Jaynes, along with Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nigar Hale.

Photo: Congressman Nick Langworthy examines a gas pizza oven at Jerlando's.


Friends throw 80th birthday party for Ed Clute

The gathering was a surprise for the talented and popular Watkins Glen pianist -- a party at Seneca Lodge featuring food, a cake and music at the piano by Mr. Clute. Features.

A red-tinged display lights up the sky above Seneca Lake.


Rain recedes in time for dry Watkins fireworks

The heavy rain that fell on Schuyler County on Sunday afternoon, July 2nd, passed through in plenty of time for a dry, almost breezeless fireworks display that night on the southern end of Seneca Lake. With Clute Park loaded with visitors and the Rte. 414 roadway full of parked cars, the fireworks show went off on schedule. For the first time, the fireworks were launched this year from a barge on the lake instead of from Clute Park.

Some of the area residents on hand for the meeting at the Montour Falls Fire Hall.


NY Forward subject of session; input sought

About 40 people were on hand Tuesday evening, June 27 at the Montour Falls Fire Hall for a Public Engagement Meeting #1 designed to elicit suggestions for individual projects to be included in the village's $4.5 million NY Forward development plan. Representatives from the consultant Cameron Engineering firm were on hand to discuss the program and receive recommendations from the public. Those who were unable to attend can provide input virtually through July 2nd at, where the project and its goals are presented in detail.

Flames shoot upward at the Brooklyn Terrace structure. (Photo by Maureen Letteer)


Firefighters knock down front porch flames

Firefighters from Odessa, Montour Falls and Watkins Glen raced to a residence at 112 Brooklyn Terrace in Odessa on June 29 after receiving a report of flames on the building's front porch. The report was called in at 4:39 p.m. by a tenant who escaped the building unharmed, as did two cats who disappeared into the nearby woods. Three other cats were rescued by firefighters and returned to their owner. The fire -- the cause of which was a cigarette butt, according to one official -- scorched the porch and worked through the front door and into the front foyer, but was stopped there. Other damage was from smoke and water. Also present at the scene were Schuyler EMS, fire coordinators and the county Fire Investigation Team. Mecklenburg firefighters were on standby at the Odessa station, and answered an EMS call while there.

Photo: Firefighters gather on the charred front porch.


Hay announces run for NYS Supreme Court

Deirdre L. Hay (right) has announced her campaign for New York State Supreme Court Justice, Sixth Judicial District, which covers 10 New York counties including Schuyler, Chemung and Tompkins. Hay has been a lawyer since 1990 and a member of the NYS Bar for 25 years. She points to her experience in complex, highly emotional and high-stakes cases as evidence of her preparedness for the Supreme Court bench. The State Supreme Court decides civil cases, from election law to construction and zoning cases, to contested divorces, personal injury cases, and medical malpractice. An Adjunct Professor at Cornell Law School teaching business law, a legal scholar, a law book author, and former Managing Editor of the American Bar Association's Antitrust Law Journal, she was also President of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, has served on statewide boards and organizations, and has received various law-related awards.


Watkins Glen High bids Class of 2023 goodbye

The Watkins Glen High School Commencement on Saturday, June 24, saw 73 seniors graduate. The diplomas were distributed in the High School Auditorium following speeches by Co-Salutatorians Nikhil Manakkal and Jenna Solomon and Valedictorian Katrina Ricca. Schools.

Photo: WGHS Valedictorian Katrina Ricca.


WGHS Alumni Banquet: 1995 graduate honored with Distinguished Alumni Award; seven 2023 graduates receive scholarships. People.


Odessa-Montour hands diplomas to 36 grads

The Odessa-Montour High School Commencement on Friday, June 23, saw 36 seniors graduate. The diplomas (right) were distributed before family and friends in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Schools.


Watkins School Board adopts "Lake Hawks"

The Watkins Glen School Board on June 21 officially retired the school nickname "Senecas" and adopted a new one: "Lake Hawks." The retirement was forced by a state policy eliminating Indian mascots and imagery from high school team names. Schools.


The Odessa File's Tribute Award honorees

The Odessa File, with input from school administrators and coaches, announces the winners of its third annual Tribute Awards: 20 students -- 10 each at the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour high schools. The awards, co-sponsored by WETM-TV, are based on academics, athletics, character and citizenship, spotlighting some of the best and brightest that Schuyler County schools have in their midst in 2023. Awards.


Watkins Glen board gets positive report on Corvette Fest, rejects Italian Fest fee request

The Watkins Glen Village Board hears a positive report on the recent inaugural Corvette Festival in Watkins, rejects a parking fee request from the Italian American Festival, and deals with other issues at a meeting in the Village Hall. Government.

Photo: Watkins Glen Mayor Laurie DeNardo.


SCOPED plans Craft Beverage Roundtable

The Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development will host a Craft Beverage Roundtable on June 29 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. The session is for all craft beverage business reps interested in the Craft Beverage Micro-Grant Program. Business.


Childress to receive 2023 Argetsinger Award

Richard Childress, famed NASCAR team owner, will join a select group of recipients of the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports. Presented annually by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC), this year’s gala and award ceremony will be held on Aug. 18 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Motorsports broadcast journalist Dr. Jerry Punch will emcee the evening’s festivities. Past award recipients include Chip Ganassi, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Richard Petty, Lyn St. James and Mario Andretti. The award memorializes Cameron Argetsinger, often referred to as the father of American road racing.

The Three Amigos craft capsized almost as soon as it launched -- one of several boats that sank in the regatta.


Cardboard Boats draw crowd to Seneca shore

The annual Watkins Glen Waterfront Festival and its highlight, the Cardboard Boat Regatta, was held at Seneca Harbor Park and its marina on Saturday, June 17, drawing a large crowd. The festivities included food vendors, free children's activities, and live music. More details on the regatta, which featured some sturdy and some not-so-sturdy cardboard boats, can be found on Features.

Photo: April Ruda holds a paddle she won for being chosen by judges as winner of the Best Sinking category.

Members of the "Frozen JR." cast conclude a musical number.


Disney's Frozen JR. delights Glen audience

The Lake Country Players' production of Disney's musical "Frozen JR." was a success June 16 in its final of four performances -- in particular delighting children familiar with the hit 2013 film. The mullti-aged cast included 42 actors from five counties, led by co-directors Kim Laursen and Kelsey Gill. LCP utilized digital backgrounds which helped bring the Kingdom of Arendelle to life. The play was presented in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium.

Photo: Elsa (Mabel Kaufman) sings "Let It Go."


Rotary provides $5,000 in Community Grants

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club, at a luncheon June 15, disbursed checks totaling $5,000 to 10 organizations as part of its Community Grant program. Checks ranging from $150 to $800 were distributed to the Flare Robotics Club, the Watkins Glen Summer Swim Program, the Watkins Glen Public Library, the Glen Gators swim club, the Catholic Charities Backpack Program, The My Place childcare center, Habitat for Humanity, the S.A.F.E (Suicide Awareness for Everyone) Coalition, the Schuyler County Historical Society, and the Village of Watkins Glen Summer Rec Program.


Health Foundation gets $20K Ice Bar donation

A total of $20,000 in proceeds from the annual Ice Bar celebration held at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel have been donated to the Schuyler Health Foundation. A ceremony marking the occasion was held June 14 at the hotel. Features.

Photo: Hart Hotels President and CEO David Hart was on hand for the check ceremony.


Odessa Coffee Depot offers relaxed setting

The Odessa Coffee Depot is a recent addition to the Odessa business scene, a shop run by Evan Stewart in a large building at 205 Main Street in the village. The Depot -- in the past utilized as a hardware store and hobby shop -- now offers brewed coffee, a wide variety of Espresso drinks, baked goods such as cookies and croissants, plus WiFi access. Stewart, who offers his patrons a relaxed atmosphere, hopes the Depot instills a sense of community. People.

Photo: Evan Stewart in front of the Depot.


Foerster named Assistant County Attorney

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman has announced his appointment of Dina Foerster as an Assistant County Attorney, effective immediately. Foerster will join Getman in representing Schuyler County in civil litigation, family court prosecutions and social services law. Foerster, a graduate of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, has been serving as an assistant county attorney in Allegany County, and before that worked as Legal Process Manager at Dime Community Bank in Hauppauge, Long Island, as well as working at several downstate New York law firms.

Photo in text: Dina Foerster


Schuyler legislators hold monthly meeting

The Schuyler County Legislature, at its monthly meeting on June 12th, approved several resolutions and heard County Administrator Fonda Chronis caution that "money will be tight this year" as he prepares the next budget. For a closer look at the meeting, see Government.

Photo: Legislators Jim Howell, left, and Gary Gray converse before the start of the meeting.


Montour Falls holds its annual parade

The 65th annual Montour Falls Firemen's Parade was held on Main Street in the village Saturday, June 10, with fire trucks, marching bands, antique vehicles, floats and tractors in the line of march. Features.

Photo: Member of a Fife & Drum Corps from Macedon.

L to R: Hannah Nolan (Odessa-Montour), Tori Brewster (O-M)
and Faye Mooney (Watkins Glen).

From left: Jacob Yontz (Watkins Glen)
and Daniel Lewis (Odessa-Montour).


The Odessa File's Athletes of the Year

The Odessa File has named five high school seniors as its Athletes of the Year -- awards sponsored by E.C. Cooper Insurance in Watkins Glen. At Odessa-Montour High School, the honorees are Hannah Nolan (soccer, basketball, track), Tori Brewster (soccer, basketball, track), and Daniel Lewis (football, basketball, baseball). At Watkins Glen, the honorees are Faye Mooney (swimming, tennis) and Jacob Yontz (soccer, basketball). Each will receive a plaque commemorating the achievement.

Inside: Odessa-Montour High School names its Athletes of the Year and other award winners. Sports.


Schuyler Scholars honored at hotel dinner

Thirteen seniors in the Watkins Glen, Odessa-Montour and Bradford school districts were honored Thursday night at the 16th annual Schuyler Scholars dinner, held at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. The honorees, ranked academically in the top 10% of their class, were presented plaques marking the occasion. To see who they are, click here.

Photo: A Schuyler Scholar plaque.


Odessa File unveils its spring All-Star teams

The Odessa File's Spring Schuyler County All-Sports All-Stars are topped by two Most Valuable Players -- teammates on the Odessa-Montour High School girls track team. Sports.


Chamber celebrates renovated phone booth

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday celebrated the completed renovation of its Red Phone Booth -- a 1930s structure located for years in front of the Rooster Fish Pub. The phone booth is located in front of the Chamber's Downtown Visitor Center at 214 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen. Features.

Photo in text: The renovated booth.

Sarah Stolpinski holds her celebratory signing form with her family at her side.


WG senior Stolpinski signs Celebratory Form

Watkins Glen High School senior Sarah Stolpinski, a member of the highly successful Schuyler Storm swim team (a combined WGHS and Odessa-Montour squad) throughout her high school career, signed a celebratory form Friday in the WGHS library affirming her intent to join the Saxon Swim Team at Division III Alfred University, where she has received a $76,000 academic scholarship. Family and friends were on hand for a party that included pizza and an ice cream cake (pictured) prepared by the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor.


O-M gives its State competitors a send-off

The student population of the Odessa-Montour School District gave a warm outdoor send-off Thursday to O-M seniors Hannah Nolan and Tori Brewster as the two departed for the New York State Track & Field Championships in Middletown, scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Schools.

Photo: Tori, left, and Hannah with their Odessa File Athlete of the Year plaques presented just before their departure to Middletown for the State tournament.

Festival-goers hustled toward shelter when heavy rain struck Montour Falls early Thursday evening.


Annual Montour Falls festival comes to end

The annual Fire Department Festival on the carnival grounds in Montour Falls concluded Saturday night -- preceded by a late afternoon Parade of Bands on Main Street in the village. The festival featured live music each day -- The Variables on Thursday, Bad Bear on Friday, and Still Kickin' on Saturday -- as well as a Chicken BBQ Friday and Saturday, bingo, raffles, and a cornhole tournament on Saturday. All proceeds from the festival benefit the Montour Falls Fire Department Equipment Fund.

Shea Young, seated in front of his signing sheet, with his family, including brother Kyren, like Shea a member of the WGHS track & field team.


WGHS senior Young signs Celebratory Form

Watkins Glen High School senior Shea Young inked a Celebratory Signing Form June 5th affirming his intent to play football next fall when he attends St. John Fisher University, a Division III college in Rochester. Young was praised by WGHS Athletic Director Rod Weeden as "a great asset" during his high school career, as well as "a great mentor and great leader." Young, a member of the varsity track & field team as well as a varsity football player, was lauded by track coaches Kelly Sterner and Travis Durfee, the latter saying Young was "dedicated to hard work that leads to success."

Photo: Shea Young with his Celebratory Signing Form.

Faye Mooney, flanked by her parents, listens to Athletic Director Rod Weeden talk about her before she inked a Celebratory Signing Form from Skidmore College.


Watkins' Mooney signs to swim at Skidmore

Watkins Glen High School senior Faye Mooney signed a Celebratory Form June 1st affirming her intent to participate in the Women's Swimming program when she attends Division III Skidmore College in the fall. Mooney, a state-level swimmer who helped the WGHS girls swim team to its 6th straight Section IV, Class C title this year, was praised at the signing by Athletic Director Rod Weeden and her swim coach, Jason Westervelt, for her strong work ethic. Each said she has served as a role model for younger swimmers, and both she "will definitely be missed."

Photo in text: Faye Mooney cuts into an ice cream cake prepared for Thursday's signing celebration by Jackie Honsberger of the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor. Athletic Director Rod Weeden is at left.


Montour Falls grant program seeks proposals

The next phase of the project triggered by a $4.5 million grant awarded through New York State's NY Forward Program to the Village of Montour Falls is an Open Call for Proposals to the village, according to the Local Planning Committee co-chairs, Montour Falls Mayor James Ryan and Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development.

A virtual informational session regarding the Open Call will be held on Monday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for community members, building owners, and the public to learn more about how to submit a project, which may be included in the final Strategic Investment Plan submitted to the state later this year. All Open Call applications will be due no later than Friday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m. To register for the June 19 virtual meeting, for more information about the NY Forward Grant Award and to download the Project Application, visit:

Photo in text: Montour Falls Mayor James Ryan


Memorial Day observances held in Schuyler

Retired Army Lt. Col. Gerry Messmer, the mayor of Odessa, was the keynote speaker at Memorial Day services Monday in Montour Falls and at the Schuyler County Veterans Memorial Park outside Odessa. For a look at those services and a copy of Messmer's speech, click here.

Photo: Gerry Messmer

The Section IV, Class C champion Schuyler Storm varsity baseball team poses after its victory in the title game.


Storm rallies for Section IV, Class C title, 6-4

The Schuyler Storm varsity baseball team -- a combined squad of Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen High School athletes -- came from behind to defeat Bainbridge-Guilford 6-4 Friday in the Section IV, Class C championship game, played on the Union-Endicott High School baseball field. The sectional title was the first in baseball for WGHS, and the second for O-M, which won in 2007. Next up: A regional game against a Section III foe yet to be determined, played on Saturday, June 3 at a Section IV site and time to be announced. Sports.


Nolan featured in Guthrie Health campaign

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hannah Nolan (pictured at right) appears in a new Guthrie Health media campaign (billboards, flyers, and a TV commercial spot). Her father Jim said "they found her through a social media and internet search, and it led them to discover some of her accomplishments," which include school records in soccer, basketball and track. To see the TV spot, click here.


$2 million awarded for IMRRC property project

The state's Restore New York Communities Initiative has awarded a $2 million grant to the Village of Watkins Glen -- on behalf of the International Motor Racing Research Center -- for the redevelopment of property owned by the IMRRC at the corner of North Franklin and Second Streets in the village, site of the former Clifford Motors (and, later, Rooster Fish brewpub). The vacant buildings on the site were recently demolished to make way for establishment in the future of an IMRRC structure there that will serve, according to Racing Center Executive Director Mark Steigerwald, as "a much needed expansion" of the IMRRC, which is located in limited leased space on South Decatur Street. The new project is still in the planning stages, but reports indicate it could be museum-like, including interactive activities and a display of motor vehicles.

Photo: The former Clifford Motors as it was demolished.


O-M's Sarah Barr wins the 2023 Susan Award

Odessa-Montour High School senior Sarah Barr has been awarded the annual Susan B. Haeffner Sportsmanship Award by The Odessa File. The award, presented annually since 2005, is named in honor of Odessa File Editor Charlie Haeffner's wife, who died in 2004 after a battle with cancer. It honors one Schuyler County student-athlete each year who exhibits traits embraced by Susan: kindness, toughness, and a sense of fair play in competition and in life.

Photo: Sarah Barr with her Susan Award.


Printup plans retirement from WGI on June 26

Michael Printup, the Watkins Glen International track president for 14 years, has announced that he is retiring. His last day: June 26, the day after WGI hosts the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. Printup, 58, has led the NASCAR-owned course since June 2009. He said he and his wife Stephanie had been discussing retirement for several months. "I'm going to relax," said Printup, a resident of Horseheads. "I've got a granddaughter down in D.C. with my son (Brendan) and his wife. I want to start spending some time with them." The Printups' other son, Matthew, graduated last year from Horseheads High School.

Photo: Michael Printup (File photo)


Vondracek's CCC softball team falls in finale

The Corning Community College softball team came within an out Saturday of winning the NJCAA D3 World Series, but yielded six runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to top-seeded North Dakota State College of Science en route to a 13-12 loss. The No. 2 seeded CCC entered the day needing one win over North Dakota, which it had beaten 3-2 earlier in the double-elimination tourney. But North Dakota forced a second game Saturday by winning an opener 11-4, setting the stage for the second-game slugfest -- which saw each team amass 18 hits. This was the third straight year that Corning finished as the runnerup in the Series. Odessa-Montour alum Grace Vondracek, the NJCAA Region III Player of the Year, went 6-for-8 in Saturday's two games and 13-for-18 in the Series.

Photo: Grace Vondracek (CCC photo)

Corvettes turn onto Route 329 off of Franklin Street -- the start of their tour of the old Watkins Glen race circuit.


Festival puts Corvettes on display in Watkins

More than 100 Corvettes toured the old Watkins Glen race circuit Sunday, May 21 on the second day of Watkins' inaugural two-day Corvette Festival. Sunny skies graced the event, and a sizable number of spectators were on hand to see the cars and hear related speeches. Features.


Author Cynthia Neale reads from "Catharine"

Author Cynthia Neale, a Schuyler County native who lives in New Hampshire, introduced her latest novel, "Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters," during a reading and book signing Saturday afternoon at Havana Glen Park in Montour Falls. The novel is a story based on the life of Queen Catharine Montour -- an Iroquois leader who figures heavily in the history and legend of this region. Neale explained how she came to write the book, read a passage from it, and then signed copies that were purchased by area residents on hand for the event. Neale has written other historical novels, including "The Irish Dresser," "Hope in New York City," "Norah" and "The Irish Milliner."

Photo: Cynthia Neale signing copies of her latest novel.


Rotary honors Glen's Mooney, O-M's Elliott

Watkins Glen High School senior Faye Mooney and Odessa-Montour High School senior Dominick Elliott were honored May 18 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its Students of the Month.

Mooney was introduced by teacher Liam O'Kane, who praised her "focus, determination and commitment to her academic obligations," calling her "a talented musician, a formidable athlete and a responsible leader." Mooney, president of the school's National Honor Society, Student Council and Varsity Club, is a state-level swimmer and skilled violinist. She plans to attend Skidmore College.

Elliott was introduced by teacher Holly Campbell, who pointed to his participation in school musicals and volleyball, and said he is always "encouraging to others and kind" -- a "true asset to the school." Elliott, in the Fashion Design program at BOCES, "always dresses in a snazzy way," she said. "He's a fashion icon" at O-M who is "never afraid to be himself" and is "a huge inspiration to others." He plans to attend the Tommy Hilfiger School of Business and Fashion at Elmira College.

Photo: Faye Mooney and Dominick Elliott.


School budgets pass at Watkins and Odessa

Voters in the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour school districts passed their proposed 2023-24 budgets on May 16, Watkins by a 176-48 margin, and O-M 228-38. Bus financing propositions easily passed in both districts, and O-M's separate library tax was approved 179-91.

Incumbent Jennifer Mosher (169 votes) and newcomer Kyle VanGalder (142) won three-year seats on the O-M School Board, defeating Jason Dechow and Erica Lohmeyer. Three candidates -- incumbents Jessica Saks and Theresa Butler, along with Tracey VanSkiver -- were elected to three available 3-year terms on the Watkins Glen School Board..


Schuyler extends its state of emergency

Schuyler County Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers has extended for an additional five days the county's state of emergency issued May 11 over the possible relocation of illegal immigrants within the state. Government.

Photo: Schuyler Legislature Chairman Carl Blowers

Building demolished

The former Clifford Motors building at the corner of Second and Franklin Streets in Watkins Glen came down May 15th. For a sequence of photos, click here.

Officers salute during the singing of the National Anthem.


Watkins Memorial Service honors fallen police

A Police Memorial Service was held May 20 in front of the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office in Watkins Glen -- an event that honored those in the region who have fallen over the years in the line of law enforcement duty.

The event began with a parade of officers led by Schuyler County Sheriff Kevin Rumsey, followed by the National Anthem sung by Mrs. Emily Peckham, and speeches by Schuyler County Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Hourihan -- who spoke of the impact of police "by just existing, by wearing uniforms and being present" -- and Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, who commented on the bond that binds law enforcement officers together in a shared existence whereby, if one falls who another officer never met, the latter can say, "I knew him well."

Homage was also paid to the late Sheriff Michael Maloney, who passed away in March. Hourihan said Maloney was respected across the state, "inspiring many along the way." He said other officers are "ordinary people who take on extraordinary duty and responsibility in the most difficult job in the world." Monday's service, he said, was an apt time to honor those "who have given their lives in the course of an impossible job. We will continue to remember and honor their courage."

Photos in text: Assistant DA Jeremy Hourihan (top) and Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike.


Watkins Glen holds its prom at Logan Ridge

Watkins Glen High School held its annual prom Saturday night, May 13 at Logan Ridge, with an estimated 150 students on hand for an evening of fun and music. For a look at some photos from the event, see Schools.



Photo: Lois Hosley and Corbin Riddle arrive at Logan Ridge.


Pair of placid scenes from area photographers

The two photos above were sent to The Odessa File by area photographers. John Juhasz submitted the photo of the Seneca Lake shoreline, describing it as "peace and serenity." The springlike one on the right comes from Marti Bianco Dense, who snapped it early in May at Shequaga Falls following a rainfall.

A Watkins Glen firefighter shows Watkins Glen Elementary School students equipment on a fire truck.


Learn Not to Burn program pays visit to WGES

The Learn Not to Burn program at the Watkins Glen Elementary School reached its annual May climax Tuesday with a visit by Watkins Glen and Hector firefighters with fire engines. Kids from pre-K through 4th grade got a close-up look at the engines, explained to them by visiting firefighters. The program, which started in the 1970s, sees monthly visits by firefighters to area elementary schools, culminating in the visit with trucks. Fourth graders received a Learn Not to Burn drawstring backpack (pictured), while the younger kids received plastic fire helmets. The kids also presented colored drawings of firefighters to the visiting instructors.

Congressman Langworthy, right, discusses business issues with Schuyler County goverment and business leaders.


Langworthy visits Watkins, talking business

Congressman Nick Langworthy visited the Horseheads Brewing restaurant at Seneca Harbor in Watkins Glen May 8th, meeting there with local government and business leaders in conjunction with National Small Business Week. He toured the Arnot Ogden Medical Center and met with Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG) officials beforehand. His Watkins visit was keyed to the subject of small businesses, with the Congressman speaking first to the national economic issues, including the debt limit. He also criticized the New York Democrats' plan to force electrification through measures including the future elimination of natural gas in homes, calling it "nonsense" and "not based in reality," and saying the state -- which built the plan into the recently adopted budget -- "will have to walk back everything they just passed because nobody can comply." The visit was arranged by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce.

Photo in text: Congressman Nick Langworthy at Monday's Watkins Glen meeting.

Arriving at the prom, from left: Mary Collier, Allison Packer, Maddie Stone and Aidan Summers.


O-M holds its prom at the Ginny Lee Cafe

The Odessa-Montour prom was held Saturday evening at a new locale. The site chosen, for the first time, was the Ginny Lee Cafe along Route 414 north of Valois. The theme of the gathering was Las Vegas, with dice a prominent prop -- although no gambling was permitted. The weather cooperated -- with a bright sun and temperatures in the 60s greeting the students as they arrived, Prom.

Right: Gabe Williams and Katie Adams.


DeSarno named to IMRRC Governing Council

The Governing Council of the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) in Watkins Glen has appointed Phyllisa A. DeSarno (pictured at right) as its most recent member. The IMRRC’s Governing Council guides the organization and is composed of racing aficionados, library professionals and civic and community leaders from across the United States. “Phyllisa’s varied professional experience will benefit us considerably as we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and beyond,” said IMRRC Executive Director Mark Steigerwald. DeSarno, of Watkins Glen, has worked in Community and Economic Development. She was employed by Corning Inc. and Corning Community College before retiring as the City of Ithaca’s Director of Economic Development. She has been a member of various community organizations, and currently sits on the Schuyler Health Foundation Board.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano addresses the Rotarians.


O'Mara, Palmesano rip 'frustrating' budget

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano addressed the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club Thursday on the State of the State, with an emphasis on the state budget passed this week -- and predicted that the spending plan will add to an already sizable exodus of residents from New York. One Rotarian, describing the talk as "Gloom and Doom," asked if anything positive came out in the budget, prompting O'Mara to look down at the podium in front of him and respond: "I have a list of things here, and none of them are positive." The two legislators criticized the budget's lack of bail reform; its move toward a costly electrification of the state and a potential to overwhelm the grid; its largesse in doubling the Hollywood Film Tax Credit while ignoring a need to adequately support Direct Support Professionals caring for "our most vulnerable citizens," the developmentally disabled; its massive overall increase to $230 billion; its move to help immigrants in New York City, which O'Mara said will impact property taxes upstate, and so on. "It's a frustrating budget," said Palmesano. A document so large "is going to have some good things," but this one is taking New Yorkers "on an unsustainable path." For O'Mara's and Palmesano's responses after the budget was passed, see Government.

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara Thursday.


Students at WGHS building a race car

Watkins Glen High School students are incorporating the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math to build, market, race and sell a Shelby Cobra race car. Schools.


A column by Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

Assemblyman Palmesano urges all of us to consider an organ donation upon death. It is a highly personal issue with him, and something he says can have a profound impact -- that just one person who donates at the time of death can save up to eight lives. Column.

Photo: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano


CCE Schuyler names new Executive Director

Melissa (Mel) Schroeder, who has had over 20 years of experience with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, has been appointed its Executive Director. Schroeder, said CCE Board President Chad Hendrickson, "has consistently demonstrated her passion and commitment to the mission and programs of the Association." Schroeder said she looks forward "to following the strong mentors that I have had throughout the years." She will continue to serve as Issue Lead for CCE Schuyler, which includes the management and stewardship of 4-H Youth Development, Hidden Valley 4-H Camp, 21st Century Afterschool programs and Parenting Education projects.

Photo: Melissa (Mel) Schroeder (Photo provided)

Bald Eagle majesty

This photo, provided by Maggie Field, is of an eagle from the Watkins Glen canal nests off of Seneca Lake. This is the third such shot from Maggie that we have published, with eagles shown in trees near their nest, and in or across from Clute Park. "If you go to Clute Park, you can often see one in the trees at the lake's edge," says Maggie.

From left, Robin Burnett, Laurie DeNardo and Mary Barnes on barbecue roll duty. (Photo provided)


Lions BBQ raises funds for WG swim program

The Watkins-Montour Lions Club sold 200 dinners Saturday, April 29 at a chicken barbecue hosted by the Montour Moose Lodge that raised funds for the Watkins Glen Summer Swim Program. The dinners included ice cream certificates donated by the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor, Ben and Jerry's and the Glen Dairy Bar. "With the generosity of the Montour Moose Lodge and local ice cream shops," said a club spokeswoman, "the Lions Club earned a good portion of their $2,000 donation to the swim program." The program, under the leadership of Nikki Chaffee, is open to those as young as six months through adulthood. It runs from June 26 to July 14 mornings at the Watkins Glen Central School pool for a $35 fee. Sign-ups are open and information can be found on the school district website or by emailing

Photo in text: David LaMoreaux, left, and Tom Phillips keep an eye on the grill. (Photo provided)

An e-mail issue

One of my e-mails has developed a stubborn streak: most items don't seem to be coming through on it. Use this one, which I'm incorporating in the links at the bottom of each page:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Want to e-mail this website? Just click below.

Want to contact us?

You can write to: P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869

You can call: (607) 742-2772

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area historical photos can be found on History.

For full coverage of the 2013 Alice Trappler murder trial, you can click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.
























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Looking to earn some back to school clothes money -- or start saving for Christmas? I'm looking for an energetic, dependable person to help with Odessa home deep cleaning/organization projects. Dates and times are flexible and the pay is good! Please call 607-594-3141 for more details.


Watkins Glen's Annette Rodriguez has published her second book of poetry, titled "Surfaced. See me, Understand Me." It is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and on her website here.


Read The Stoneware of Havana, N.Y. and Its Makers
by Allen F. Sweet.

A history of the manufacturing of Stoneware in that village (Montour Falls) from 1850-1888. More than 100 color photos.

Available at the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum.


A book of poetry by J.A. Bauman of Watkins Glen -- "words that God gave me to share with you." Available through


A Christian-based autobiography written by Melinda Kreischer, pen name for a long-time Finger Lakes area resident. Ordering information can be found here.


My Wild Ride: The Untamed Life of a Girl with No Self-esteem, an autobiography by ex-Throughbred trainer Susan Bump -- who grew up in Montour Falls -- is now available in e-book formats at major retailers including


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The Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund
Live Like Liz, Inc.
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Watkins Glen NY 14891


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A novel by Steve Piacente about a military cover-up, and about the ethical boundaries of journalism. For a closer look, click here.


The author, J.N. Brown, is a 2005 graduate of Odessa-Montour High School. He works at Corning Inc. To visit his website, click here.


An account of a daughter's eating disorder and her mother's seeming helplessness and desperation in the face of it -- and yet a story of hope, love and survival, and a lifeline to other parents dealing with obsessive behavior. $17.95 from


A self-help guide to understanding the role of emotions, this book offers a four-step path to emotional mastery and freedom. $15.95 from


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

The week following Susan Haeffner's passing was fraught with signs -- most of them light-based, and one in the form of a vision. Here the editor relives those days in an effort to pass along a message of hope and faith. Message.

Above: The Aurora Borealis (From the Internet--as seen in Scandinavia)


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

The editor has been thinking about fame (a commodity foreign to him personally), and about the famous people he has encountered. Some thoughts on the subject. Famous.


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

Some things in life can mean a great deal -- can embody hope and dreams ... and memories. The sailboat is one such thing for the author. Silence.



Some sports stories and essays inside

Check out our sports related stories and essays, located at the bottom of the Sports Page.


Some special feature packages

From stories of life years ago along Steam Mill Road, to stories by the editor -- you can find them at the bottom of Features.



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

When he was a child, the editor let fear get the better of him while he was watching a pair of beloved TV heroes in peril. The scar from that experience lingered for decades. For a journey through what the editor's son calls "a weird obsession," click here.

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

The editor travels, figuratively, back in time to an old haunt, familiar faces and warm memories. Cabin.




© The Odessa File 2023
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 742-2772