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Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

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


Senka Agency

As an independent insurance agent we work for YOU, not the big insurance companies. We have many companies to choose from to get YOU the best coverage and price.

If you are looking for someone who works for YOU, please call, email or stop in and we'll be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

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


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(607) 210-4058

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

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



Your authorized FedEx ship center
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306 N. Franklin Street
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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.

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


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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 the Hospital website.


Tuesday's Scoreboard

Girls Basketball

Watkins Glen 53, NV 35
O-M 55, Edison 19

Boys Basketball

NV 63, Watkins Glen 42
Edison 50, O-M 39

Boys Swimming

O-M 59, So. Cayuga 35
Waverly 90, Watkins Glen 83


Boys: Watkins 4, Notre Dame 0
Girls: Watkins 4, Notre Dame 0
Boys: Tioga 3, O-M 1
Girls: Tioga 3, O-M 1

For stories, see Sports.

Above: Watkins' Mariah Gonzalez shoots. (Don Romeo photo)


School Board: driver praised, consultant met

Fast thinkng by a school bus driver was praised Monday night by Superintendent Tom Phllips at a meeting of the Watkins Glen School Board. Driver Skip Opdyke (pictured at right) was presented a Certificate of Merit and Appreciation for an incident Nov. 29 when he let two students -- a first grader and a kindergartener -- off the bus near their Hector homes and realized that only one of them was in his line of sight. He couldn't leave his seat -- state law prohibits it when he has passengers -- so he honked until the kindergartener, a girl, popped into sight after retrieving a dropped paper from underneath the front of the bus. Phillips praised Opdyke's alertness, averting "what could have been a disaster" had he not realized the girl's disappearance and had he moved the bus forward. The superintendent said additional training for students on exiting a bus and crossing the road -- and staying three feet back from the bus -- will be held in the school.

The board members also heard from Vincent J. Coppola (pictured at right), who was approved at their last meeting as a consultant in the search for a superintendent to succeed Phillips, who retires in 2017. Coppola, once a superintendent in the Corning-Painted Post district, has consulted in 90 such searches over the past 18 years. He said the Watkins school facilities are "astonishing" -- a sure draw for applicants -- and said Phillips' lengthy tenure (11 years compared to a statewide average of 4.5 to 5) will encourage applicants who realize they might be able to stay long term.

A meeting summary can be found here.


Village Christmas Parade winners announced

The parade held as a highlight of the Watkins Glen Village Christmas on Dec. 2 has generated the following winners announced by the Village Christmas committee:

"Most Christmas Spirit": Visions Federal Credit Union.
"Best Decorated": Elmira Savings Bank (photo above).
"Most Decorated Fire Truck": Watkins Glen Fire Dept.
"Judges' Choice": Lakewood Vineyards, which featured, in addition to a float, a small army of snowmen.

Said Committee Chair Susanne Vedder: "We were thrilled to see so many people come downtown to celebrate with us this year. It was a true community event."


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column from Albany. This week: "Governor Cuomo says no to commonsense actions." Column

Left: State Sen.Tom O'Mara

Athletes of the Week

A runner and a basketball player are this week's Odessa File Athletes of the Week. Sports.


Watkins Glen's
1st quarter Honor Roll

We're a little late with this, but better late than never. Watkins Glen High School lists its High Honor, Honor and Merit Roll students. Honors.

William Yeater and Hannah Rosier perform a duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside."


Youths welcome yule season with cabaret

Young actors -- members of the Dream Barn Productions troupe -- performed Christmas-themed skits, solos and other musical acts this past weekend in three "Holiday Cabaret 2016" performances at the Dream Barn headquarters, the former Methodist church near Catharine Corners. Participants: Maria Brubaker, Scott Brubaker, John Coates, Douglas DiGregorio, Gina Gavich, Marisa Hubbard, Kasey Lenzner, Emma Malnoske, Jack Muir, Kymerea Sparbanie, Hannah Rosier, Casey Underdown, Phebe Wickham and William Yeater. The performances were at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Left Top: Maria Brubaker sings "Let It Snow."
Left Bottom: Kasey Lenzner in a skit, "Judith of the Jungle."

Gina Gavich, left, and Kymerea Sparbanie were stockings in one of the cabaret skits.


On meeting Marly ...

The editor gets a chance to meet his first grandchild,
and finds ... joy. Column.

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

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.




Other News

The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary donates $18,000 to the hospital. Business.

State Senator Tom O'Mara criticizes Gov. Andrew Cuomo's veto of a bill that would have established an Upstate Transit Funding Board. Government.

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.

Edward J. Cullen, 85, of Watkins Glen.
Brian Cooper Kent, 78, formerly of Watkins Glen.
Charles Andrew Hayes, 82, of Montour Falls.
Terrance "T" Hawthorne, 66, of Watkins Glen.
Antoinette J. Praschunus, 83, of Big Flats.
James A. King, 71, formerly of Odessa.
Thomas R. Thorp, 69, of Hector.
F. Ellen Kinney, 69, formerly of Hector.
Bernard Allen, Sr., 61, of Montour Falls.
Frances Mallory Miller, 94, of Watkins Glen.

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


Looking to kickstart the next chapter ...

Odessa artist Jon Haeffner has created the first chapter of a new comic-book character in "Phantom Hurricane," about a woman lost in another galaxy with no memory of where she came from, or who she is, except for her own name. It is available online here. In order to create the next chapter and combine the two into a printed comic book, Haeffner has initiated a Kickstarter campaign to finance the effort. Anyone interested in helping out can reach the Kickstarter site here. For a story on the effort, see People.

Photo in text: A page from "Phantom Hurricane."

Santa and Mrs. Claus brought up the rear of Friday's parade.


Watkins holds annual Village Christmas

Food stands with warming treats like chili, hot cider and hot chocolate, a manger scene, reindeer, a parade and fireworks highlighted the annual Watkins Glen Village Christmas on Dec. 2. The event was held on North Franklin Street.

Left: One of many Elmira Savings Bank snowmen; and a young Four Dragons Martial Arts member breaks a board.

Inset: Announcer Jim Howell.

Cartoon characters were among the entrants in the parade.

From left: Max Neal, Phyllisa DeSarno and Rebekah Carroll, current president of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce, at Friday's party. Both Neal and DeSarno also served in that role.


Max Neal returns to celebrate her birthday

Schuyler County Hall of Famer and former local Chamber of Commerce chief Max Neal was back in Watkins Glen Friday, Dec. 2, celebrating her 80th birthday with a party at the Harbor Hotel. Neal, who retired several years ago to move back to her old home in Vermont -- where she is, not surprisingly, overseeing the Chamber of Commerce -- was staying in this area through the weekend in order to also attend the funeral of retired Elmira College President Thomas Meier.


Former boxer warns of concussions' effects

Former middleweight boxer Ray Ciancaglini, a native of Geneva, tells the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club of the effects of untended concussions and how they have impacted his life. Features.

Ray Ciancaglini at the weekly Rotary luncheon.


14 join NHS at O-M

One junior and 13 sophomores are inducted into the Odessa-Montour chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony in the school auditorium. Schools.

Left: Candles are a part of the ceremony. (File photo)


Mr. Chicken provides details on its closing

The Mr. Chicken restaurant in Watkins Glen closes its doors on Dec. 17 after selling the property to the state, reportedly for parking for the Watkins Glen State Park. The Bond family that owns Mr. Chicken has explained the move in a Facebook posting: "After 50 years of operation, Mr. Chicken will be closing on December 17, 2016 due to health reasons. The Bond family and staff would like to thank their loyal customers for the years of support. It's been an honor to be a part of the Watkins Glen community. We take great pride in the fact that Mr. Chicken has been part of the 'you can't miss this' list for many years. Closing Mr. Chicken was not an easy decision for our family to make. When we learned that Watkins Glen State Park was going to be redone, we approached the Parks to see if they would be interested in purchasing the property. While our closing is sad, we will be a part of Watkins Glen State Park, a place that we love and was part of what made us successful all these years."


Dr. Thomas Meier, former EC president, dies

Dr. Thomas K. Meier, 76, former president of Elmira College and board president of the Five Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, has died, according to a statement issued Nov. 30 by the Five Rivers Council. Meier served as Elmira College president for 25 years, retiring in 2012, and served on the boards of United Way, Southern Tier Economic Growth, the Chemung Canal Trust Company and the Arnot Art Museum. He previously was president of Castleton State College in Vermont.


Rep. Reed added to Trump transition team

Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, right) has been added by President-elect Donald Trump to the Trump transition team as a vice chairman, one of nine new ones and one of 13 total. Reed, first elected to Congress in 2010, represents the 23rd District, including Schuyler County. He was a stalwart supporter of Trump's throughout the campaign.


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.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

Binghamton State Senator Fred Akshar, left, and Senator Tom O'Mara with the Food Bank's Natasha Thompson during visit to the Food Bank in early November in support of the legislation vetoed this week by Governor Cuomo.


O-Mara, Palmesano blast Cuomo ag veto

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano were highly critical Nov. 29 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's veto -- for the second straight year -- of legislation to provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 to farmers who donate fresh produce to food banks and other emergency food providers. "This veto is incredibly disappointing and frustrating," said O'Mara, who co-sponsored the "Farm to Food Bank" legislation unanimously approved by the Senate and Assembly. The legislation "was a win-win for everyone," said Palmesano (pictured). "It was a win for emergency food pantries and other food security programs, for the hungry families who rely on them and for farmers who are struggling to make ends meet and keep their neighbors employed."


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

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 Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty website, click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

At November Splendor were, from left: Lori Welliver, Anne Myers, Joan Argetsinger and Brenda Fitch. (Photo provided)


November Splendor raises record $32,000

The Nov. 18 November Splendor fund-raiser at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel raised a record-high $32,000 for Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. The dinner-dance, which attracted 260 people and featured a live auction and raffles, was hosted by the Schuyler Health Foundation and the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary. The evening is the signature event of the Foundation's Family of Friends campaign. Said hospital President/CEO James Watson of the fund-raising success: "It is validation that you appreciate the improvements we are making and value the service we provide."

Photo in text: Donna DeGloria, left, receives assistance from Jessica Adams in carrying her prize package, won at the November Splendor dinner-dance. (Photo provided)


Lions honor 26 vets of Vietnam War at dinner

The Watkins-Montour Lions Club holds the ceremony at the Harbor Hotel, part of a national move to thank veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the country. Features.


Left: One of the table centerpieces at the dinner.


Winner drawn in
Labor of Love raffle

A total of $1,000 was the prize in a Labor of Love raffle conducted Nov. 22. Features.

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.

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 photo below

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

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

Walkers and runners start out on the 5K at Fourth and Franklin.


3rd annual Turkey Trot raises food, funds

The third annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot was held in a cold rain early Nov. 24 on the streets of Watkins Glen. The 5K walkers/runners gathered at Landon's Pub & Pizza on Fourth Street to register before starting at the corner of Franklin Street, heading east to Lafayette Park, turning south on Decatur, and following that before turning west and returning to Franklin Street for the jaunt or walk back. Bottled water was provided by Sam's Club of Big Flats, which also presented a $750 gift card to Catholic Charities, whose Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry is the designated recipient of donations (non-perishable food items constituted the registration fee). The event -- started two years ago by its organizer, Kathie Notarfonzo of Exercise Enterprise -- drew a few dozen runners the first year, more than 130 last year, and probably more this time in 35-degree, rainy conditions.

Photo in text: Organizer Kathie Notarfonzo, center, receives a $750 gift card from Sam's Club's John Tuttle for presentation to Catholic Charities' Kris Morseman, left, for the Outreach program.

Food presented by participants as their registration fee for the 3rd annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Donations go to the Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry. (Photo provided)

Diners line up for meals distributed at the church kitchen.


Burdett church feeds 250 on Thanksgiving

The Burdett Presbyterian Church's annual Thanksgiving dinner provided meals Nov. 24 for more than 250 people, including 150 people whose food was delivered to their senior citizen housing facilities in the county. The dinner, begun in 2005 when 37 people were fed, has grown to an operation with 40 volunteers -- kitchen workers, waiters, cleaners, delivery people and so on -- keeping the food moving out the door in styrofoam containers, or ladled onto the plates of those eating at the church. The meal was free, but donations were accepted. A posted note from the church read: "It's our way of saying 'Thank You!' for allowing us to be part of your community."

Above left: A welcoming church note and the dessert table.
Inset: Greeter Dick Evans.


School celebrates its recent sports success

Watkins Glen honors its runners, diver in a Field House ceremony. Sports.

Left: One of 11 stars on a paper "walk of fame."

Students pass along packages from Hesselson's, moving them from truck to hallway to stairway to storage room.


WG students help offload Seneca Santa gifts

About 40 Watkins Glen High School students -- members of the cheerleading and girls basketball squads and the wrestling team -- helped offload about 150 boxes of toys and games Nov. 22 that were purchased at cost by the Seneca Santa organization from -- and delivered by truck to Watkins Glen's First Presbyterian Church by -- Hesselson's store in Elmira Heights. The packages are part of the annual Seneca Santa effort to provide gifts for children from ages 2 to 12 in Schuyler County families in need during the holidays. The boxes were passed from student to student outside, along a church hallway and upstairs to a storage room, where they were stacked until further organization and then delivery by area firefighters to the designated families on Christmas Eve day.

Photo in text: Passing along the packages.


School Board hires search consultant

Vincent J. Coppola will help the Watkins Glen School Board in its search for a new superintendent. Schools.

Left: Cross country runners, including Kai Sutterby, were honored at the meeting.


Holiday Bazaars are a hit in Odessa, Watkins

Annual holiday bazaars featuring crafts, food and Santa Claus were a hit Nov. 19 in Odessa and Watkins Glen. Features.


Left: This tree adorned a craft table at the Odessa-Catharine United Methodist Church's annual bazaar.

From left: diner Chuck Franzese, dessert, a mirror that was among the many raffle items.


November Splendor draws 265 to hotel

The annual November Splendor dinner at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel -- a fundraiser for Schuyler Hospital -- attracted 265 people Friday night, Nov. 18 for an evening of camaraderie, raffles, a live auction and fun in an antique-style photo booth. Live music was provided by the group Atlas after the dinner, speakers and auction had concluded.

Schuyler Hospital President and CEO James Watson noted the growth of the dinner since two years ago, when "something like 180 were present." The sit-down dinner featured a platter of chicken and beef or a vegetarian lasagna.

The event was sponsored by the Schuyler Health Foundation and the Hospital Auxiliary.


Left: From top, Schuyler Hospital President James Watson; Allen and Emily Peckham; Fred Wickham and Kristin Hazlitt.

Among the 260 diners present were, from left, Don Spaccio, Esther Heichel and Mike Learn.


Rotary honors Sgrecci as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Nick Sgrecci (pictured at right) was honored Nov. 17 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for November. He was introduced by O-M teacher-coach Burton Brewster, who said Sgrecci fits the criteria of previous Rotary honorees -- students who "do things right for the right reason and do it that way all the time ... Nick is a hard-working, genuine kid" who "treats all people with kindness and respect. He is a quiet leader and role model in the classroom and on the athletic field." Sgrecci is a member of the National Honor Society and a three-sport athlete -- in soccer, basketball and track.


Legislature approves 2017 county budget

The Schuyler County Legislature on Nov. 14 approved without dissent a 2017 county spending plan totaling $46 million. It contains a tax-rate drop of 5.11%, from $8.17 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $7.75, and a tax-levy hike of .36%. Key factors: projected revenues from new casinos, a leveling of Medicaid and pension costs, and the retirement of debt from the Millcreek facility. Going up: law enforcement costs in the battle against drug use.

Left: County Administrator Tim O'Hearn outlines the budget at a hearing preceding the vote.

From left: Students Amber Updike, Alexus Niver and Kelsey Kernan, members of a SCCUDD subcommittee, received Shining Star Recognition (above) and a Certificate of Special Congessional Recognition from the office U.S. Rep Tom Reed for their work in the effort to combat drug use.


Drug traffic subject of SCCUDD discussion

District Attorney Joe Fazzary (right) was the keynote speaker Nov. 14 at the Fall Planning Retreat of the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD) and Schuyler County Public Health at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Fazzary explained the ongoing meth and heroin challenges facing law enforcement, saying it will take a combination of education (earlier, starting in 3rd or 4th grade), continuing prosecution ("for every dealer we take off the street, one or two replace him") and drug treatment -- though the latter is expensive and thus difficult to mount.

Left: District Attorney Joe Fazzary addresses the dozens of county and health officials, SCCUDD representatives and students on hand at the Fall Planning Retreat.


Veterans honored at courthouse ceremony

An annual Veterans Day service was held Nov. 11 in front of the Schuyler County Courthouse in Watkins Glen -- an event sponsored by local veterans' organizations that attracted 150 people. Guest speaker was John R. Antes (pictured at right), retired Army Sgt. 1st Class. Various local dignitaries also spoke. Tony Specchio was coordinator of the ceremony, as he has been for many years. People.

Stephanie Friess as Eliza performs a song in Act One.


LCP's 'My Fair Lady' ends its 3-day run

The Lake Country Players' production of the musical "My Fair Lady" concluded its three-day run in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium with a matinee performance Sunday, Nov. 13. The play opened Friday night, Nov. 11 and was presented Saturday night, Nov. 12 as well. The 28-member cast and chorus sang such well-known songs as "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" and "I Could Have Danced All Night" in a play about a common street vendor transformed into a lady. Choreography was by Kelsey Johnson. The director was Kim Laursen.

Left: Joel Wilbur (let) as Colonel Pickering and Drew Guild as Professor Henry Higgins.

The pit band performs during "My Fair Lady."


Rotary honors Lokken as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Jacob Lokken (pictured at right) was honored Nov. 10 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for November. He was introduced by teacher Karen Armstrong, who described the honoree as "self-motivated and, beyond that, self-directed" -- a person who always has encouragement and a kind word for others. A member of the Burdett Fire Department, he also volunteers at the Saturday morning basketball program at WGHS, works with Seneca Santa, and "assists other students in class." Armstrong said Jacob is "honest and fair, and doesn't judge others." He plans to attend the University of Buffalo and study Architecture, and said he hopes "to settle down wherever I can find work."


School Board hears support for Holland

The Watkins Glen School Board receives strong support for varsity football coach Trevor Holland (in photo at right) from the Schuyler County Youth Football Association; approves another fund-raising effort on behalf of South Sudan water; hears two members apologize to the Boosters, and backs an effort by one member that could lead to a capital project. Schools.


Dollhouse raffle will benefit St. James'

A dollhouse (left) custom-built by parishioner Nick Dugo will be raffled Dec. 12 to benefit St. James' Episcopal Church in Watkins Glen. Features.


The third installment of The Answers

Travis Durfee, President of the Watkins Glen Faculty Association, weighs in with The Answers, a monthly column dealing with education in the Watkins Glen School District. This is the third installment. Column.



Left: Travis Durfee

L to R: John White, Robert Barton, Dominick Smith, Gerald Purvis


White wins in Hector; Smith defeats Purvis

Incumbent Republican John R. White defeated Democrat Robert O. Barton Nov. 8 in the race for a 1-year unexpired term on the Hector Town Board, 1195-1021. In the Town of Dix, Democrat Dominick C. Smith defeated Republican Gerald H. Purvis, 782-666, in the race for a 3-year unexpired Council term.

Reed turns back Plumb; O'Mara wins

Incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed (pictured at right) defeated Democratic challenger John Plumb Nov. 8, carrying a 57-43% lead with more than 90% of the 586 precincts reporting.

In the State Senate race, incumbent Republican Tom O'Mara claimed victory late Tuesday night after pulling ahead of Democratic challenger Leslie Danks Burke, who he said conceded at about 11:30 p.m. O'Mara was leading 53,300-45,600 with just 25 of 266 districts yet to report.

State Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke, left, with supporter Sue Brill during a lunch stop Tuesday at Glen Mountain Market in Watkins Glen.


On the day of the vote, students have their say

While New Yorkers went to the polls in the Nov. 8 election, Watkins Glen High School students were voting their presidential preference in a paper-ballot election in the school. Returns (251 out of 505 students) showed Donald Trump the preferred candidate, 46.2% to Hillary Clinton's 25,5%, Gary Johnson's 8.0% and Jill Stein's 6.0%. Meanwhile, Democratic State Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke made two stops in Schuyler County, sharing sandwiches with supporters at Glen Mountain Market in Watkins Glen before visiting the Hector Wine Company. Her campaign gathered Tuesday night at the Hotel Ithaca to await returns. She ended up losing to incumbent GOP Senator Tom O'Mara.

Diver Lexi Castellaneta, right, greets WG teammate Jena Slater.


Lexi wins Section IV diving title again

Watkins Glen High School junior Lexi Castellaneta finished first among divers for the third straight year Nov. 5 at the Section IV, Class C Swimming and Diving Championships at Owego Free Academy. Watkins Glen placed second to Lansing in the swim meet, with the Senecas' Jill Kilcoyne and Peighton Cervoni finishing 3rd in the 100 Fly and 100 Back events, respectively. Sports.


Racing Center accepts John Fitch archives

The life of the late racer and engineer John Cooper Fitch is reflected in the many items recently presented to the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen. The gift from Fitch's sons significantly enlarges the John Fitch Collection created at the Racing Research Center in 1999, when papers were donated related to his career as a safety designer and consultant. Center.

Photo: John Fitch with his racing trophies. (Photo provided)


Rotary honors Garrison as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Sage Garrison was honored Oct. 27 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for October. Garrison was introduced by School Superintendent Chris Wood, who described her as "a fierce competitor" with "leadership skills and tenacity ... in everything she does." She also "marches to the beat of her own drum," he added, "and always does what's right." Garrison, ranked fourth in her class academically, holds the school's girls soccer record for career goals and points, and is a member of the varsity basketball team. She was named to last year's Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athlete-citizens, and has been an Odessa File Athlete of the Week three times this season for her soccer exploits. She plans to attend college in the field of health exercise.

Photo: Sage Garrison with her Student of the Month plaque.


O-M show displays Community Talent

Singers, dancers and pianists displayed their musical skills Oct. 21 at a Community Talent Show held in Odessa-Montour's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Schools.

Left: Singers Alexis Ayers, left, and Maddy Vogel.


Rhoads named SFLW's Woman of the Year

Lisa Rhoads of Burdett is presented with the Southern Finger Lakes Women's annual Woman of the Year award --designed to recognize local women of achievement. People.


Left: Lisa Rhoads with her award. (Photo provided)

Robert O. Barton, left, running for Hector Town Council, was without a debate opponent since Republican candidate John R. White was unable to attend. Dominick C. Smith, right, was part of a debate for Town of Dix Council against Gerald H. Purvis.


O'Mara, Danks Burke square off at debate

A debate between GOP State Senator Tom O'Mara and his challenger in the Nov. 8 election, Democrat Leslie Danks Burke, highlighted a Meet the Candidates forum Wednesday night, Oct. 19 at the Watkins Glen Elementary School.

The event, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, saw the two Senate candidates debate -- often at stark odds -- on the subjects of how to handle the problem of lead in schools, the key challenges facing schools, and the role of the state in supporting childcare, and whether there should be term limits. Neither favored limits.

Also debating earlier in the evening were Town of Dix council candidates Dominick C. Smith (Democrat) and Gerald H. Purvis (Republican).


Left: Leslie Danks Burke and State Senator Tom O'Mara.

Check presented

Cargill has presented a $12,000 check to Catholic Charities of Schuyler County to help Charities implement its Family Nutrition Program. From left in photo: Schuyler Outreach Food Pantry Coordinator Kris Morseman, Catholic Charities' Schuyler Agency Director Deb MacDonald, and Cargill Plant Manager Keith Klug. For story, see Business.

Dutton S. Peterson, left, and William "Bill" Wickham IV.


Induction ceremony adds 3 to Hall of Fame

Tony Specchio and the late Dutton S. Peterson and William "Bill" Wickham IV were inducted Oct. 18 into the Schuyler County Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Seneca Lodge. Their induction brings to 44 the number of people in the Hall. People.


Left: Tony Specchio


Awards night revival; Glen enrollment down

The Watkins Glen School Board, told Oct. 17 that the district Booster Club had decided not to hold a sports awards banquet for the ongoing fall season, pledged that it will be held -- as will winter and spring banquets. The issue was raised by board member Barb Schimizzi, who said "the kids are upset about" the decision not to have the fall event. Superintendent Tom Phillips urged Athletic Director Rod Weeden to talk to the Boosters in an attempt to coordinate the effort, although "worst case" was that he would reach out to the Board so that it can oversee the banquet. Weeden said the annual cost of the three banquets -- of plaques -- is about $600, which Phillips said could be covered by grant funds. The Boosters have been covering the cost, but their decision, Weeden suggested, might be in part because of absenteeism at past events by some athletes being honored. Said Board President Kelly McCarthy: "The message from the Board is we want to support the kids each season."

The board also received an update on enrollment, down in UPK-Grade 12 this year to 1,096 (25 fewer than last year, which was 30 fewer than the year before) and down 237 from 2007-08. A drop of another 32 students is projected for 2017-18.

Photo in text: Board member Gloria Brubaker at the meeting.

Bob and Dee provided music at the beginning of the party. Later, Tom Bloodgood, Scott Muir and friends performed their music.


Spirit of Schuyler Gathering draws crowd

The annual Gathering -- a fundraiser for the Spirit of Schuyler (SOS) -- drew a large crowd of diners and donors to the Hidden Valley lodge on Oct. 15. The event featured food, beer, wine, raffle items, silent auction items, and live music. SOS -- a non-profit organization overseen by Tony, Harriett and Beth Vickio -- provides funds for Schuyler County residents in emergency situations.


Left top: A silent-auction painting.

Left bottom: State Senator Tom O'Mara converses.

Tony and Harriett Vickio of the Spirit of Schuyler were greeting diners at the door.

Annual Report

The Village of Odessa releases its annual Drinking Water Quality Report. For a look, click here.

Want to contact us?

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

You can call: (607) 594-3594

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

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.





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.


To reach the Seneca Physical Therapy website, click on the ad above.


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


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.

Want to see what 344pm is about?

Click here to go to the website.


Still available: Tony Vickio's book, titled "Shifting Gears." You can order it on his website here.


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

Be sure to visit

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

Find us on Facebook.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click 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 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


Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler County Transit schedule.


The Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund
Live Like Liz, Inc.
P.O. Box 434
Watkins Glen NY 14891


Contact us about our ad rates




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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Yes, we're still seeking donations

Click here

Sponsors' Page

Check out our list of readers who have contributed to keeping this site going. Sponsors.

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.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


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