Click on the ad above to go to the Spirit of Schuyler website.


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

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


Senka Agency

When is the last time you had your Insurance reviewed? If you haven't had a review done lately, NOW is the time.

Our friendly staff will be happy to talk with you and go over your policies to make sure you are properly protected. Not a customer yet? Stop in or give us a call. We may be able to SAVE you money! We have many companies to choose from and several discounts you may qualify for.

Senka Agency ... Always "Working to Serve YOU Better."

Main Steet, Odessa, NY Telephone 607-594-3335


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!


Click on the ad below to go to the Red Newt website.

Current Menu at WWW.REDNEWT.COM

3675 Tichenor Road, Hector NY (607)546-4100


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

3 months for $99.
Special rates with
1-year agreement starting as low as $25/month.

Accepting most insurance wellness plans.

Located 140 N. Catherine St., Montour Falls.

(607) 210-4058

For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 

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.

Free wine tasting every Friday.


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 7:30-5:30 (Cut off time 3 pm)
Sat. 10-2 (no pickups)
306 N. Franklin Street
Watkins Glen NY 14891

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

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


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

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

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Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

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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 go to Schuyler Hospital's website.


Saturday Scoreboard

Boys Swimming
IAC Championships

O-M 3rd, Watkins Glen 4th. WG's Matt Doppel wins twice

Sect. IV Championships

WG's Brandon Gould (132 pounds) and Ian Chedzoy (182) win titles.

Indoor Track
State Qualifier

Watkins' Patrick Hazlitt finishes second at 600 Meters, advances to States.

Section IV Tourney

Watkins Glen boys (Class C), O-M boys (Class D) end season.

Stories on Sports.

WG's Matt Doppel

Artist's rendering of State Park gathering area near Franklin St.


State Park entrance makeover announced

Dignitaries, including New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, were on hand Thursday for the unveiling of a $6.5 million plan to transform the Watkins Glen State Park entrance, moving the parking lot and turning the entryway green. Government.

Left: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul


Judge reserves decision on DA's motion

Schuyler County Judge Dennis Morris reserved decision Thursday on a motion by Schuyler County District Attorney Joe Fazzary to unseal the records in the Kate Bartholomew "stun gun" case. The motion was made "in the interest of justice" because Fazzary wants to examine the trial record to determine if testimony by Bartholomew at her trial on a weapon possession charge warrants pursuit of a perjury charge. He contends she contradicted herself from one day's testimony to the next in the two-day trial. Bartholomew was found not guilty on the possession charge by Judge Morris.

Fazzary said that unsealing the file would also enable the Watkins Glen School District, where she has worked as a science teacher, to utilize trial testimony with an eye toward terminating her employment, and provide the State Education Department with enough information to determine "whether or not the defendant should ever be able to teach in this State again."

Bartholomew has been on suspension since the May 2014 incident in which a student took on a school bus a plastic-knuckles-shaped stun gun Bartholomew purchased for him online. The bottom line, the DA said after Thursday's court session -- in which arguments by Fazzary and defense attorney David Parks were made before Judge Morris in chambers -- is that Bartholomew "should not be allowed back in the classroom."

Files in acquittals are normally sealed. The DA said that if the file in this case remains sealed, he will not appeal. If it is unsealed by the judge, however, Parks will likely appeal.

Photo in text: Kate Bartholomew (File photo)


Chedzoy honored as Student of the Month

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club honored Watkins Glen High School senior Ian Chedzoy Thursday as its February WGHS Student of the Month. Chedzoy, introduced by teacher Karen Armstrong, is a standout three-sport athlete (football, wrestling and lacrosse), a High Honor student and a two-time member of the Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athlete-citizens. He plans to attend Alfred University and study ceramic engineering, as well as play lacrosse.

Left: Ian Chedzoy (Photo by Fred Hall)

Click on the ad below for more information

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.




About the Green Arbor Program ...

A story on the Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District's Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale, also known as the Green Arbor Program, and on the second year of the revived Fish Stocking Program, appears on our Agriculture Page. Click here.

Beekeeping and Fruit Production workshops set. Click here.

For 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.

Bernard E. Youngs, 66, of Montour Falls.
April C. Wetzler, 68, of Montour Falls.
Eleanor S. (Fuller) Rogers, 79, of Cayutaville.
William A. Feliton, Jr., 73, of Montour Falls.
Rose Catherine Ciccone, 92, of Watkins Glen.
Elsie VanDuzer, 98, of Watkins Glen.
Marion R. Graves, 83, formerly of Alpine.

.(For earlier Vedder & Scott obituaries, click here.)

Pancake Supper diners Frank Steber and Robin Burnett.


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper held

The annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper was held Tuesday evening at St. James' Parish House in Watkins Glen -- and while the food was excellent as usual, attendance was lower than expected, likely thanks to the snowstorm that struck the region that afternoon, creating some traffic issues on the hills surrounding Watkins. For those who missed it, the dinner consisted of buckwheat and buttermilk pancakes, sausage, eggs, applesauce (that served well as a pancake topping), home-fried potatoes and beverages.

Montour Falls Mayor John King, left, and Watkins Glen Village Trustee Gary Schmidt were among the diners.

Traffic stops yield charges

Two traffic stops -- Sunday in Montour Falls and Monday in the Town of Dix -- lead to various charges against out-of-county residents. People.


This month's column from the Valicenti firm

The Elmira firm offers a look at one of its newsletter features -- a monthly column titled 'Bull and Bear Bulletin' -- along with a list of its services. Valicenti.

Left: Andrew R. Clark, Valicenti vice president of Investment Research/Portfolio Manager.

Click on the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

Legislators Carl Blowers, left, and Michael Lausell at Monday night's monthly meeting.


Animal cruelty ticket law OKd; sales tax up

The Schuyler County Legislature Monday night approved a Local Law that will streamline animal cruelty investigations by authorizing the county Animal Control Officer to issue appearance tickets in cases of dog licensing and cruelty cases, a move that county Humane Society president Georgie Taylor (right) told legislators "will serve to increase the number of animals being licensed," will "make cruelty / neglect investigations more efficient" and "bring animals to safety more quickly." Often in the past, the control officer has worked jointly with a deputy, says Taylor, who notes that under such a system, "there is the risk of one person assuming another is doing something and it slips through the cracks." With shared responsibility, she adds, "it is also difficult for all parties to stay current on (changing) state laws."

The meeting also saw mention of the 2015 sales tax revenue in Schuyler, which Administrator Tim O'Hearn noted was up about 1.5% from 2014 at $10,262,786. Between $500,000 and $700,000 of that total was attributed to the Phish concert last summer, he said, which helped counter losses tied to the Watkins Glen International track closure (for repaving) and the drop in gasoline prices. That drop, he said, led to a $308,000 reduction in sales tax revenue on gasoline from the previous year.

Photo in text: The Humane Society's Georgie Taylor


SWCD bestows honors at annual luncheon

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District provides Merit and Lifetime Service awards at its annual luncheon, held at the WGI Media Center. Awards.

Left: Three of the honorees.


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column from Albany. This time: "A property tax crisis in waiting." Column.

Left: State Sen.Tom O'Mara

O-M Fitness Center open

The fitness center in the Odessa-Montour school complex is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30-8:00 p.m. School officials are asking the community to enter the building by the Hanlon Office and enter the gym from the hallway, not directly from the outside.


This week's deals at Famous Brands

We are carrying the weekly ad showcasing the latest deals available at Jim Guild's Famous Brands store on Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. For a look, click here.

To reach the Famous Brands website, click here
or on the drawing above

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

10th Annual Celebrity Guest Chef Pasta Nights return to Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars! Every Thursday through April, local celebrities will serve fresh custom-made pasta dishes from a selection of homemade sauces, meats, fresh vegetables, garlic and herbs. Enjoy a salad, bread and unlimited trips to the pasta station for only $18.95, with a portion of the proceeds each evening donated to a local charity! Fish & Brew Fridays and Simply Steak & Potato nights are back as well! For more information, see Sports or visit

115 East Fourth Street, PO Box 30, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.
To visit the Erie & Niagara website, click here.


Drinks were poured from the top of an ice sculpture, down into waiting glasses.


The Ice Bar weekend draws to a close

The annual Ice Bar at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel began Thursday night, Feb. 4, continued Friday night and concluded Saturday night, Feb. 6 with ice sculptures, fireworks and plenty of wine and food. The first night was Chamber of Commerce night, whereby members of the Corning, Watkins Area, Chemung and Yates Chambers received a complimentary drink. Friday saw a large increase in the crowd, and Saturday night was likewise a sell-out. Whereas the temperature in recent years has been frigid during Ice Bar, organizers this time faced the challenge of keeping the ice from melting in springlike conditions -- and used dry ice and thermal covers to accomplish it. A portion of the proceeds from the Ice Bar goes each year to the American Red Cross, where a spokesperson said the money realized from the event stays in the region and helps cover costs incurred when residents are forced from their homes by fire.

Photo in text: An ice sculpture on the patio behind the hotel

Half-court game-winner

Odessa-Montour 5th grader Daniel Lewis of Montour Falls sank a half-court basket at the buzzer Friday in a travel league basketball game in the Jack Davis Gym at O-M to defeat Watkins Glen. The moment was caught on video by Andrew Malaney, who posted it on Twitter. To view the video, click here.

The north wall of the Franklin Street Gallery is adorned with impressionist art.


Impressionism is on display at gallery

An opening reception was held Friday evening, Feb. 5 at the Franklin Street Gallery in Watkins Glen for an exhibit on display through the month of February featuring Impressionist works by regional artists. Most of the north wall of the gallery is covered by the artwork, which ranges from acrylics to oil to digital to photography. The works are for sale. The gallery's winter hours: Sunday through Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Above right: The Wanderer, an oil by Meaghan Troupe.

From Odessa-Montour Central School:

Starting August 1st, 2015

Join the OMCS community on Twitter and follow us
to get the latest OM announcements, updates, and news.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

State Award: Keuka Brewing Company was awarded the 2014 F.X. Matt Memorial Cup at the recent TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Festival, held in the Hudson Valley. "Having our beer named the top craft beer in New York State in 2014 is testament to the hard work we've put in for six years," said Keuka Brewing owner Richard Musso. Added his son, head brewer Mark Musso: "It's an absolute honor."

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.


Now 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.

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


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

To reach the Harbor Hotel website, click on the ad above.

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

16 N. Franklin St.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1221
(607) 535-6116

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, left, and State Senator Tom O'Mara at the Rotary Club luncheon. Palmesano discussed the need for a better organ-donation system in New York because current shortcomings cost lives. "We can and must do better," he said.


Palmesano, O'Mara weigh in on Albany

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano were guest speakers at the weekly Watkins-Montour Rotary Club luncheon Feb. 4 at the Elks Lodge in Watkins Glen, and each touched on the major issues in the current legislative session: a proposed hike in the minimum wage over five years to $15 an hour (which they fear will counter economic development in the state); the heroin epidemic across the country (officials are "really struggling to get a grip on it," O'Mara said); and the delay in a state decision regarding the proposed storage of LPG in salt caverns west of Seneca Lake -- a situation O'Mara termed "frustrating ... to do nothing is to exacerbate the situation."

Longtime O-M bus driver Chuck Vary has hung up his keys.


Vary wraps up 43-year career as bus driver

After driving more than a million miles with up to 72 passengers across an accident-free 43-year period, Chuck Vary stepped down Jan. 29 as an Odessa-Montour school bus driver. Vary began his driving career in 1973, so he served generations of students. Along the way, he also worked as a furnace repairman, operated concession stands at the state park, and owned an ice cream store/restaurant in Montour Falls. Chuck celebrated his retirement with family and friends Saturday at the Montour Moose Lodge as he nears his dream of escaping the New York winters by heading for sunny Florida.

Guest of honor Andy Manzer, left, speaks with one of the many people on hand to wish him well as he leaves his post as President and CEO of Schuyler Hospital.


Scores on hand to honor departing Manzer

Schuyler Hospital President and CEO Andy Manzer, who is departing soon for a job as Executive Vice President and network Chief Operating Officer at Bassett Health Care in Cooperstown, was honored by scores of friends and colleagues Tuesday evening, Feb. 2 at a reception organized by the hospital and held in the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Manzer, who has served at Schuyler Hospital since 2011, and recently led its affiliation with the Cayuga Health System in Ithaca, will be succeeded by James B. Watson, who has been serving as president and chief operating officer of the Arnot Health-Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath.

Left: One of the many well-wishers on hand at the reception was Ken Wilson.

Watkins School Board members Kris Clarkson and Gloria Brubaker


Baseball step OK'd; D'Alleva gets tenure

The Watkins Glen School Board Monday night, Feb. 1 approved submission of an application to Section IV officials "to let them know we are moving ahead" with combined Watkins/Odessa-Montour varsity and Modified baseball teams this spring, said Superintendent Tom Phillips. Official documents detailing specifics of the merged squad will be ready soon, he said.

The board also approved a tenure appointment as administrator, effective July 1, for High School Principal Kai D'Alleva, who was praised by Phillips "for his leadership" and for "the smoothest transition" melding a Middle School into a High School "that I've seen in my 30 years in education. What he's done with the high school is incredible."

Photo in text: Kai D'Alleva at Monday's meeting.

For a meeting summary, click here.


Watkins Village Board vote switch sought; Chief Struble weighs in on heroin 'epidemic'

The Watkins Glen Village Board was asked Feb. 1 to visit the Crestwood energy firm's propane facility in Savona. The invitation came from a US Salt rep who hopes to reverse the previous village administration's vote opposing propane storage in Crestwood salt caverns west of Seneca Lake -- a proposal hung up at the state level.

And Village Police Chief Tom Struble, asked by Mayor Sam Schimizzi to assess the heroin problem in the area, said it was an "epidemic" that far exceeded the boundaries of Watkins Glen. He said law enforcement needs the help of residents to help combat the drug's spread, which has resulted in several overdose fatalities. Government.

Left: Police Chief Tom Struble at Monday's board meeting.

Brandon Gould, left, and Ian Chedzoy.

Gould, Chedzoy win at IAC tourney

Watkins Glen High School wrestlers Brandon Gould (132 pounds) and Ian Chedzoy (182 pounds) won titles at the IAC Championships in the WGHS Field House. Sports.


Schuyler Steps Out nears its 10th season

Schuyler Steps Out -- the free community walking program presented by Schuyler Hospital -- is returning for its 10th year of exercise, kicking off next month. People.


Farewell to more friends ...

The editor considers the loss of three notables in his world, with particular emphasis on a man with whom he worked for three years at The Leader in Corning. Column.


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


Grand jury indicts 2 in rape case

A Schuyler County Grand Jury on Jan. 28 indicted two men on charges that they raped an 18-year-old female on Aug. 25, 2015 after providing her with alcohol which "rendered her physically helpless," according to the county District Attorney's office. Charged with First Degree Rape were Jeffrey A. Forney Jr., 21, of Watkins Glen, and Aaron G. Bowen, 22, of Beaver Dams. The crimes are alleged to have occurred at the home of Forney, who is also charged with two counts of Criminal Sexual Act, First Degree. Bowen was charged with one act of Criminal Sexual Act, First Degree.

Bowen's charges, described as B Violent Felonies, carry "a sentencing potential of 5 to 25 years in prison," the DA's office said, adding that Forney's charges -- described as "Predatory Sexual Assaults, A-II Felonies" -- carry "a sentencing potential with a minimum of 10 to 25 years, but a ... maximum of life in prison."

"The case came to the attention of law enforcement," the DA's office said, "when just after 6:00 a.m." on Aug. 25, "the victim was found face down and non-responsive, in a state of undress, in a grassy area next to a parking lot off the Old Ithaca Road in Horseheads."

Photos: Jeffrey A. Forney Jr. (top) and Aaron G. Bowen


13 arrested at Crestwood gate

Thirteen people -- 11 of them veterans of various branches of the U.S. armed forces, including former New York gubernatorial candidate (Green Party) and Marine Corps veteran Howie Hawkins of Syracuse -- were arrested on disorderly conduct charges Jan. 26 in the ongoing protest against the storage of natural gas by Crestwood in abandoned salt caverns west of Seneca Lake. The arrests occurred -- as they usually do, at the main Crestwood gate along Rte. 14 north of Watkins Glen -- shortly after 9 a.m. when protesters blocked traffic entering and leaving the facility. The arrests brought to 480 the number charged since late October 2014.


Chamber holds its annual Winter Gala

Men and women in elegant attire, live music by the group Suspect, a fine meal, silent auction packages, a Stock Your Cellar Wine Raffle, a masquerade theme (left) and awards for Community Spirit and Lifetime Achievement were all part of annual Winter Gala Jan. 22 at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen -- a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce. Features.

The view of the Winterfest gathering from outside.


Various local artists and vendors were on hand with their wares Saturday night, Jan. 23 for Winterfest at the new Rooster Fish Brewing tasting room at 111 N. Franklin Street in Watkins Glen. There was live music by Evandjoe and Sean Farley for a sizable crowd that also filtered outside to a food truck and fire pits. Attendance was free. Organizers promoting the event described it as "a one-stop evening for drinks, dinner and fun," showcasing "what upstate New York has to offer in the winter."


Rotary honors Barrett as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour senior Logan Barrett was honored Jan. 21 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its Student of the Month for January. Barrett was introduced by teacher Holly Faulk, who said the honoree -- a member of National Honor Society, Chorus and the school play, the Student Council treasurer and Senior Class president -- "stands up for what he believes in, and for others," and is "definitely deserving of this award." Barrett plans to attend college and study music and the law.


Bonnie Scott honored as Citizen of Year

Longtime Odessa resident and businesswoman Bonnie Scott was honored Jan. 18 with the third annual Odessa Citizen of the Year Award, presented by the Odessa Village Board prior to a public hearing and the board's regular monthly meeting. Scott, who operates the Joyful Adornments glass studio in Odessa and previously operated a Longaberger basket business as well as helping her husband, Fred, operate the Vedder and Scott Funeral Home, said she loves small-town living as embodied in Odessa. Scott, raised on the southside of Elmira, and her husband, now retired, will be moving in the summer to the Roanoke, Virginia area. Said Mayor Keith Pierce: Scott "has done a lot for the community but never goes out of the way for credit."

Photo in text: Bonnie Scott is presented her Citizen of the Year plaque by Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce.

Public Hearing: Brian Bleiler (above left) spoke on behalf of the Odessa Baptist Church at a public hearing Jan. 18 before the Odessa Village Board on the church's plan to build a new structure on a 4.8-acre parcel of land off Fowler Place on the village's eastern end. The original Baptist church in the village was sold in anticipation of the new, one-story, 50-by-100-foot structure, for which work is expected to begin this year, with occupancy a year later. Discussion at the hearing focused on drainage and plans for a parking lot with 35-40 spots.

Photo in text: A map outlining the new church and parking.


Watson named Schuyler Hospital president

The boards of directors of Schuyler Hospital and the Cayuga Health System have named James B. Watson (pictured at right) to the position of president of Schuyler Hospital and vice president of the Cayuga Health System, succeeding Andy Manzer, who is taking a job as executive vice president and network chief operating officer at Bassett Health Care in Cooperstown. Watson, the current president and chief operating officer of the Arnot Health-Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath, will assume his new duties in February. People.


Cain returns to O-M

Odessa-Montour School District Superintendent Chris Wood, right in the photo above, welcomes Kelly Cain back to the district as Assistant Director of Facilities. Cain -- approved by the School Board Jan. 14 -- worked at O-M from 1994-2011 as a bus driver and custodian/night maintenance supervisor before working for GST BOCES as a working foreperson. "I'm very excited to be back at Odessa-Montour," said Cain, who has continued to live in Odessa. Said Wood: "We had an excellent pool of candidates for this position," which opened with the retirement of facilities chief Red Lapierre. "The skills that Kelly has gained in his previous positions, along with his knowledge of our facilities, community and staff, will be great assets to our district."


Rotary honors Murphy as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Brenen Murphy (left) was honored by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club Jan. 14 as its WGHS Student of the Month for January. Murphy was introduced by teacher Kelsey Wood, who said the honoree -- the kicker last fall on the Watkins/O-M varsity football team -- "looks at school as a scholar" who "values the whole thought process," and is a "true leader, a true moral compass." Murphy plans to become a math teacher.

White wall

We received these photos from Ted Marks, owner of Atwater Estate Vineyards along the east shore of Seneca Lake, with a note saying he snapped them "right out of my office window" as snow moved into the area Jan. 12.

Goals and priorities

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano weighs in with a column on the important subjects facing state officials in the 2016 Legislative Session in Albany. Palmesano.

Clear view

With the old Frozen Food Locker building demolished at the north end of Watkins Glen's business district, the view north from Rt. 14 gives an unobstructed look at the railroad tracks running close to where the building stood -- and close to where its successor will rise: a structure with seven apartments that might later be sold as townhouses. The Watkins Brewery Holdings investment group behind the project has a completion target date of November 1.

Schuyler County Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan, left, and new legislator Mark Rondinaro at Jan. 11 session.


Appointments, discussion mark meeting

The Schuyler County Legislature met for its regular monthly session Jan. 11 -- a meeting short on resolutions and long on discussion. Topics included the appointment procedure for the Industrial Development Agency; belt-tightening measures at Corning Community College; and the DEC's approach to the Crestwood LPG storage proposal. Appointments were made to various committees and boards; and legislators backed a Local Law that would authorize the county Animal Control Officer to issue appearance tickets. A public hearing on that law will be held at the Legislature's next monthly meeting, on Feb. 8.

The sunset on Jan. 7, as seen from Odessa.


Legislature names Getman to County Attorney post

Steven J. Getman, who has been serving as interim Schuyler County Attorney, was named Jan. 6 to a four-year term as County Attorney by the county Legislature. Government.

Left: Steven J. Getman

A Christmas poem

A story in verse called "Genesis," written by the editor in 2014 and published near the end of that year, is presented here once again in the spirit of the season. Genesis.


Bartholomew not guilty in stun-gun case

Schuyler County Judge Dennis Morris has found suspended Watkins Glen High School teacher Kate Bartholomew (left) not guilty. Barthlomew had been charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in a May 2, 2014 stun-gun-on-a-bus incident. The case, after several delays, was heard before Morris on Dec. 14 and 15 in Schuyler County Court. He had reserved judgment until Jan. 5. People.


O-M unveils second
2015-16 Honor Roll

Odessa-Montour Junior-Senior High School lists its High Honor and Honor Roll students for the second marking period of the 2015-16 school year. Honors.

Village trustees Laurie DeNardo and Tony Fraboni listen as Sara Caldwell outlines her summer Clute Park plans.


On a cold night, thoughts of summer films

Outdoor movie maven Sara Caldwell (pictured at right) proposed to the Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night, Jan. 4th -- a windy, snowy, bone-chilling night -- that her Movies on the Lake program at Clute Park (which debuted once a week for four weeks in the warmth of July last summer) run on Wednesday nights in both July and August this year (except for Aug. 10, Italian Festival week). She also wants the number of vendors on hand to expand into a Wednesday Farmer's Market at Clute from late spring through September, from 6-9 p.m. (and later in the evening once the movie shows start), and envisions the addition of live music. She has a list of family-friendly films, and says she will pick four of them, with the others to be picked by the public. The Village Board expressed enthusiasm, and asked her to file all necessary paperwork with details.

Photo in text: Sara Caldwell at Monday's board meeting.

The musical honorees at Monday's School Board meeting.


District recognizes musical achievements

Area All State Music Students from Watkins Glen High School were honored Jan. 4 by the Watkins School Board for their musical achievements. They included, from left in the photo above: James St. Julien, Ruthe Gardner, Gabi Decker, Hanley Elliott and Conlin Wysocki. The board also heard a lengthy explanation of the district's technology advancements, outlined by technology director Melanie Chandler. For a district summary of the meeting, click here.


A spike in Schuyler opioid overdoses

Schuyler County Public Health and the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs are citing an increase in opioid overdoses locally, and offering suggestions on how to deal with overdose emergencies. People.


Cargill donates money to Robotics Club

Keith Klug, left in the photo above -- representing Cargill, Inc. -- recently presented a donation of $4,185 to the Schuyler County 4-H Robotics Club, Deus ex Machina. Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County -- which oversees the 4-H program -- has been recognized by Cargill, Inc. for engaging local youth in Science, Technology, and Math skills and connecting them to careers in engineering.


Fitzgerald novel named to Best Books list

"Fracking Justice," the second novel published by Watkins Glen author Michael Fitzgerald, was named to the Kirkus Reviews list of Best Indie Books of 2015 in the magazine's mid-December issue. The novel, set in a fictional Pennsylvania town and dealing with the controversial issue of hydrofracking, "reads like an emergency manual for activists battling environmental despoliation," said Kirkus Reviews. "To be honest, I'm stunned -- and very happy too, of course," said Fitzgerald."Kirkus Reviews is the industry standard. (This) certainly sets the bar pretty high for my next novel." Fitzgerald has been a journalist for more than 40 years, and is a professor emeritus of journalism at California State University, Sacramento.

Photo in text: Michael Fitzgerald with a store display featuring his book.


WGFA leads holiday service project

The Watkins Glen Faculty Association collects packaged socks and underwear for people in need in our area. Schools.

Left: Collected items

Ian Chedzoy holds his Joel Stephens Award. From left, Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour football coach Lou Condon Jr.; Chedzoy, who helped the football team to seven wins; assistant coach Tom Struble and Modified coach Jack McCauley.
(Photo by Don Romeo)


Chedzoy receives Joel Stephens Award

Watkins Glen three-sport standout Ian Chedzoy was among four outstanding area athletes honored Dec. 17 with the annual Joel Stephens Award given to football standouts who reflect the commitment, courage and character of Stephens -- a record-setting Elmira Notre Dame athlete who died of cancer at the age of 22 in 1998. "It means a great deal," said Chedzoy. "It's an honor to be mentioned in the same category as him." The awards were presented by the Kiwanis Club during a luncheon at the downtown Holiday Inn in Elmira.


Manzer to take post in Cooperstown

Schuyler Hospital President and CEO Andy Manzer (right) will be leaving March 1 to take the job as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Bassett Healthcare Network. He succeeds Bertine McKenna, who left the organization in May. A national search resulted in a pool of 30 applicants that was whittled to six semifinalists and two finalists, with Manzer the top choice. He will be responsible for the operating performance of Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown and Bassett Healthcare Network, a system that provides care and service to people living in a 5,600 square-mile region in upstate New York. Manzer has served as President and CEO at Schuyler since 2011, and recently led its affiliation with Cayuga Health System in Ithaca, serving as system vice president since 2014 in addition to retaining his roles at Schuyler. He lives in Montour Falls with his wife, Michele, and daughters Mia and Emily.

Photo in text: Andy Manzer (File photo)

Sarah Schleuter-Eisman entertained Rotarians Dec. 17 by singing holiday songs at their weekly luncheon meeting at the Elks Lodge in Watkins Glen. Sarah, a theater major at Corning Community College and a veteran of regional plays, performed eight songs, including "Away in a Manger," "Silver and Gold" and "O Holy Night," and received a standing ovation.


Rotary honors Lodge as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Madison Lodge (left) was honored Dec. 17 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for December. She was introduced by teacher Holly Campbell, who called the honoree "compassionate" and "a gifted student and athlete ... who treats others with dignity and kindness." Maddie plans to attend Ithaca College and pursue a career in Physical Therapy.

WGHS Cross Country Coach John Fazzary hands certificate to team member Shawn Rutledge. The team finished second in New York State among Class C schools.


School Board honors Sectional champions

The Watkins Glen School Board on Dec. 14 presented certificates to Section IV champions and to State Tournament participants. They included the boys cross country team, No. 2 in the state in Class C; Lexi Castellaneta, sectional Diving champ and a State tourney competitor; Katherine Meehan, the Section IV Breaststroke champion; and Maggie Bond, who earned a spot at States in cross country.

Left top: Maggie Bond with State 2nd place plaque earned by the boys cross country team. She made States, too.

Left bottom: Katherine Meehan gets hug from her swim coach, Andrew Chouinard.

Raffles were a feature of the Dec. 12 Seneca Santa fund-raising.


Music, food, fun mark Seneca Santa party

The annual Seneca Santa fund-raising party -- held Dec. 12 at the Grist Iron Brewing Company in Hector in conjunction with previous longtime host Hazlitt's 1852 Vineyards -- drew a large crowd enjoying the warm weather, live music, raffles, wine, and food. The event generates thousands of dollars each year for the Seneca Santa program, which since the 1940s has provided presents at Christmas for underprivileged children in Schuyler County.

Left top: Lou Cicconi, part of the musical entertainment.

Left bottom: State Senator Tom O'Mara arrives at the party.

At the party were, from left, 2012 Watkins Glen High School grads Chelsea Lehman, Hannah Pastrick and Cassie Wait.

O'Mara: Southern Tier big winner in grants

State Senator Tom O’Mara applauded the Dec. 10 announcement that the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) are two of the three winners in this year’s Upstate Revitalization Incentive (URI) economic development aid competition. Each region will receive a $500 million portion of the $1.5 billion in URI grants being awarded for the first time this year. The URI awards will be distributed over the next five years. Government.

SCOPED finds grants exciting. Government.


Rotary honors Bond as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Maggie Bond was honored Thursday, Dec. 10 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for December. Bond was introduced by club president Chris Burns, who noted that the honoree is a three-sport athlete in cross country (where she earned a spot in the state tournament this past season), basketball and track. She is also secretary of the Student Council and Varsity Club, and treasurer of the school's chapter of the National Honor Society. (Photo in text: Maggie Bond receives her Student of the Month plaque from Rotary Club president Chris Burns.)


Winter Concert held

Seventh through 12th grade Watkins Glen students presented a Winter Concert (left) in the high school auditorium Tuesday night, Dec. 8. Concert.

Eslinger named to Watkins Planning Board

Brian Eslinger (right), innkeeper at The Blackberry Inn Bed and Breakfast on 6th Street in Watkins Glen, was named to the Watkins Glen Planning Board Monday night, Dec. 7 to succeed Tom Merrill, who resigned his seat at last month's Planning Board session. Eslinger was approved by the Village Board at its Monday meeting after he had -- following a similar plea by Colonial Inn & Motel owner Paul Marcellus -- urged the village to consider altering its signage laws to allow changeable message signs at local businesses. The law currently precludes such signs but is allowed at a couple of locations, he said, and thus is applied unevenly.

Photo in text: Brian Eslinger at Monday's Village Board meeting.

Santa and Mrs. Claus proved popular in the parade. Santa later appeared at the Famous Brands store.


Watkins holds annual Village Christmas

The weather cooperated -- mid 40s temperatures and almost no wind off the lake -- as Watkins Glen held its annual Village Christmas Friday night, Dec. 4. The event -- with vendors, reindeer, songs and a parade, and with stores open late -- drew a large crowd downtown. The parade offered trucks from various fire departments; floats; marchers representing Scouting, the Relay for Life and Four Dragon Martial Arts; and Santa and Mrs. Claus. The line of march was described to the crowd by annual announcer Jim Howell.


Left top: This dancer was one of several performing in the streets as a prelude to the Dec. 19 performance of Nutcracker in Motion by the New Heights Dance Theater at the Clemens Center in Elmira.

Left bottom: Odessa Fire Chief Mike Tomassi leads his department in the parade.

Floats like this one helped enliven the Village Christmas parade, which had Visions of a Wine Country Christmas theme. The parade was sponsored by Visions Federal Credit Union.

Check presentation

The USW Local 124604 at US Salt donated a check for $2,561 Saturday morning, Dec. 5th to the Seneca Santa program, which distributes presents each Christmas to underprivileged children in Schuyler County. Receiving the donation were Santa and his helpers during a USW Local-sponsored breakfast fund-raiser at the Mechanics Club in Montour Falls. The funds were from the breakfast and through raffles at the plant.

The Glenora sign that adorned the south side of the building for years was in two sections. Here, the second half is knocked down.


Frozen Food Locker demolition begins

Demolition of the old Frozen Food Locker building on the north end of the Watkins Glen business district -- a building with its origins in the mid-19th century -- began shortly after 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 4th.

Swarthout Recycling did the honors, battling the strongly built building's southern half, with the steel-beamed northern portion targeted for next week. The building, which has served as a brewery, mill and Welch's Grape Juice facility in its long history -- and has been in disrepair for years -- will make way for a building with seven apartments that might eventually be sold as town houses.

"It's a tough old girl," said Brian Swarthout, the demolition equipment operator, during a break.

Members of the Watkins Brewery Holdings investment group behind the project said demolition should be done next week. The new building has a completion target date of Nov. 1, 2016.


Above: Equiipment operator Brian Swarthout tightens a nut, stopping a hydraulic fluid leak; and, later, debris tumbles to the ground.

Dust was a frequent component of Friday's demolition work.

National Honor Society ceremonial candles.


Induction held at O-M

An annual induction ceremony at Odessa-Montour High School welcomes 11 new members into the school's chapter of the National Honor Society. Schools.

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Click on the ad above to reach the Eyes on Seneca website.


Click here or on the ad above to reach the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development website


The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Wine & Tourism Page. To reach the page, click here. To reach the Chamber website, click on the ad above. To reach the Chamber's recent blog, click here.


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1-year agreement starting as low as $25/month.

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Would you like to help reduce underage alcohol use and drugs in Schuyler County? Then the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs is for you! We are looking for parents, students, concerned community members and professionals to join our cause in making Schuyler County a drug- free, safe environment for families and youth. We need you to help make this social change. Please visit our website here to find out how.

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Health Blog

Visit Pureats --
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Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

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Watkins Glen
Winter Farmer's Market

November 1 to February 28
Fridays 3 to 6pm
St. James Parish Hall
on Sixth Street

Fresh produce, meats and crafts

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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 O'Shaughnessy Antiques in Watkins Glen and at the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum.


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
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P.O. Box 434
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


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The number of visits to this site has been steadily growing -- about 20,000 a week -- as readers in all 50 states and dozens of countries check out what's happening in Schuyler County.

Statistics are from an online tracking service, DeepMetrix Live Stats.


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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 2016
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594