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.


Senka Agency

As an independent insurance agent we work for YOU. 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



The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

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
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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.


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.


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We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


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

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

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Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

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Our Primary Pages


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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.

Time change for girls' game

The starting time of the Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team's Section IV, Class C semifinal game against Elmira Notre Dame on Tuesday at Tompkins Cortland Community College has been changed from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Moravia will face Bainbridge-Guilford in the 6 p.m. semifinal. If Watkins Glen wins, it will play in the final at 3 p.m. Saturday -- also at TC3.

Athletes of the Week

This week we honor five Athletes of the Week for notable postseason exploits -- four basketball players and a runner. Sports.


The sixth 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 sixth installment. Column.



Left: Travis Durfee


A. Moralis:
The schools' capital project

The proposed capital project coming to a vote of Watkins Glen school district residents on March 28 is the subject of the latest musings by columnist A. Moralis. Column.


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: "Declining bee populations threaten agriculture." Column

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara


Hazlitt advances to States in 1600 Meters

Watkins Glen High School track standout Patrick Hazlitt (left) finished second with a new school record Saturday in the 1600 Meter Run at the State Qualifier at Cornell. Hazlitt posted a time of 4:24.09 -- breaking his own school mark of 4:24.70 -- in advancing to next weekend's State Meet at Ocean Breeze Complex on Staten Island. The top 24 runners in Section IV competed Saturday; only two advanced. Sports.

Photo above: Patrick Hazlitt at Saturday's State Qualifier.

Scenes of the Mardi Gras at the Watkins Community Center.


Humane Society holds 5th annual Mardi Gras

The Humane Society of Schuyler County's 5th annual Mardi Gras fund-raising party was held Saturday night at the Watkins Glen Community Center. Food and catering were donated by Nickel's Pit BBQ, and music was provided by Li'l Anne & Hot Cayenne (for the fifth straight year) and the Jess Novak Band of Syracuse. Patrons danced to both groups' tunes. There was also a silent auction with items donated by local businesses and individuals, caricature drawings, and a cash bar featuring local wines and craft beers. And as always, many of those in attendance wore masks, Mardi Gras-style.

Photo at right: Humane Society president Georgie Taylor

Li'l Anne & Hot Cayenne, one of two bands at the Mardi Gras.

Click on the ad below for more information

Stocum again chairs Arc's Spaghetti Dinner. People.

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 International Motor Racing Research Center is organizing a bus trip to the New York International Auto Show on April 19. People.

Registration is open for participation in the annual Arc Grand Prix Run at Watkins Glen International, set for the track's opening day, April 8. Features.

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.

Brandon B. Niver, 33, of Millport.
Duane R. Derr, 66, of Montour Falls.
Richard "Dick" Richtmyer, 80, of Watkins Glen.
Stewart F. "Babe" Field Sr., 86.
Aaniyah Naveiah Amari Leenah Jones, 4 months.

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


Friday Scoreboard

Girls Basketball
Section IV, Class C tourney

Watkins Glen 54, Walton 27
Notre Dame 50, O-M 47

See stories on Sports


Left: O-M's Nakiaha Robinson drives to the basket.


27 years later, Monks gets championship ring

Former Odessa-Montour High School wrestling standout Troy Monks, a three-time Section IV champion who went on to win a national title while wrestling for SUNY Cortland, finally receives a ring for that Division III championship. See story here.


Order deadline nears for conservation plants

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale order deadline is March 10. Orders should be placed as soon as possible to ensure availability. Tree order forms are available on line at or stop by the Soil and Water Office at 2400 Meads Hill Road, Watkins Glen. Call the District at 535-0878 for more information.


SWCD bestows honors at its annual luncheon

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District showcases agricultural projects, presents Merit and Lifetime Service awards. Luncheon.


Rotary honors Crout as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Alyssa Crout (pictured at right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for February. Crout was introduced by teacher/coach Greg Gavich, who described the honoree as "tough as nails" and "a very good student who takes her studies seriously." He said she is involved in numerous service organizations "and is president of virtually all of them," and is a member of Student Council and Interact, and vice-president of the Senior Class. She is a three-sport athlete -- volleyball, basketball and softball -- and an Honor Roll student. She plans to attend Corning Community College and enter the field of Nursing.

Map of proposed fast-food venture on vacant site in Watkins Glen where Pudgies Pizza once stood.


Developer tests water on fast-food venture

The Watkins Glen Planning Board Wednesday night heard from a representative of Kashyap Shah, who is interested in building a fast food restaurant on the now-vacant site that years ago held Pudgies Pizza. Shah -- the owner of the Franklin Plaza in Watkins Glen -- has an option on the vacant land, and wants assurances that he can obtain zoning variances to meet his needs before purchasing the property and building the business. For that and other items of interest at Wednesday's meeting, see Government.


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.


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.

Workers restore the Collier Stone to an upright position. (Photo by Tony Vickio)


Workers restore race course Collier Stone site

Watkins Glen International workers on Wednesday helped preserve a piece of Watkins Glen racing history by restoring the Collier Stone to an upright, solid position alongside the original Grand Prix course above the village. The stone, a native granite boulder, has a bronze plaque that says Samuel Carnes Collier (pictured at right) crashed there "while leading the Grand Prix 1950" -- a fatal accident in a Ferrari he had borrowed. His brother Miles, winner of the 1949 Grand Prix on the same course, never raced again, dying in 1954. The stone had in recent years been tipping and sinking. Tony Vickio, who snapped the photo above with his drone, said "Thanks to the WGI crew the stone now stands straight, marking a historic spot in the history ... of Road Racing in Watkins Glen."


O-M's 3rd marking period Honor Roll

Odessa-Montour Junior/Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2016-17 school year. Honors.

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel presented a $25,000 check Wednesday to the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross -- proceeds from the hotel's recent 6th annual Ice Bar celebration. From left: Hotel General Manager Carolyn Guyer; Finger Lakes Chapter board member Benita Nesbitt; Chapter Executive Director Brian McConnell; Chapter Major Gifts Officer Elizabeth Morrisey; and Hotel Sales Manager Liz Salamendra.


Ice Bar at hotel raises $25,000 for Red Cross

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel's "hottest party in the coolest town" raises $25,000 this year and has now generated $100,000 in its six years for the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross. Business.


Above: Advertising pieces are among the ice sculptures at the Ice Bar event. (Photo provided)

Eric Hollenbeck addresses the Village Board, saying he would like to discuss the festival plans with them in the near future.


Village Board hears pitch on Film Festival

The Watkins Glen Village Board Tuesday night heard Eric Hollenbeck (right), a filmmaker and founder of the Finger Lakes Film Society, outline plans for the Oct. 20-24 Seneca Film Festival he is planning for Watkins Glen. He said he plans to screen films at The Glen Theater and hold events at other locales as a first step in attracting future film talent and production to this area, where they can take advantage of generous tax credits. Among his plans: utilizing talent in the high school. Hollenbeck, raised in Horseheads but a summer visitor to Seneca Lake growing up, says he recently returned to this area -- his "favorite place in the world" -- and hopes to spread his enthusiasm for it in the film community. He wants to make the festival an annual event: "I hope we can look back 50 years from now and see how big it has grown." His plan for October might involve a street closure -- "probably Second Street between the theater and Glen Mountain Market" -- and he urged beautification efforts at a couple of buildings he said need painting. "If I have to," he said, "I'll write letters to the owners offering to paint the buildings myself."

The Corning Museum of Glass will host a fundraiser for the Seneca Film Festival on Sunday night -- Oscar Night -- titled The 1st Annual Hollywood-Inspired Black-Tie Gala Celebrating The Academy Awards. See details here.


Arriving at a new favorite ...

The editor has a new favorite movie, at least his favorite in this century. That and other matters populate his Column.

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


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.


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.


3 SWCD units combine forces on repair work

Soil and Water Conservation Districts from Schuyler, Yates and Chemung counties join together to repair and stabilize sections of the Keuka Lake outlet and Outlet Trail. Joint.


A message from our area's Assemblyman

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano takes a hard look at Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal, and asks for your input on it. Palmesano.


Left: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.

O-M's Andy Fudala, left, and Watkins Glen's Aidan DeBolt.


DeBolt wins 50, 100; Fudala wins Breaststroke

Watkins Glen's Aidan DeBolt posts two victories at the Section IV, Class C Swimming Championships, while Odessa-Montour's Andy Fudala wraps up an unbeaten 100 Breaststroke season with a sectional title in his specialty. Sports.

The cast members of Honk! pose on stage. They are under the direction of Holly Campbell, Jennifer Kraemer and Ian MacDonald. (Photo provided)


O-M Fine Arts Boosters will present Honk!

The musical Honk! -- presented by the Odessa-Montour Fine Arts Boosters and with roles filled by O-M students -- will be presented at the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 18. The play is a story about a duckling named Ugly who doesn't fit in with the rest of the barnyard poultry and turns mistakenly to a villain, the Cat. He escapes the Cat's clutches, gets lost and encounters a goose squadron leader and other memorable characters, including a bullfrog who tells him "Someone's gonna love ya -- warts and all." Does he get back home to the barnyard? Do the other barnyard characters realize the error of their ways? Tickets ($8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, children 4 and under free) will be available at the door.


Project eases flooding risk in Town of Cayuta

State funding enables the Jackson Creek flood attenuation and fish habitat project to proceed -- the intent being to eliminate a flooding risk to nearby County Route 13. Project.


Danks Burke: I'm not running for Congress

Democrat Leslie Dank -- who lost in her bid to unseat Republican State Senator Tom O'Mara in the November election -- announces that despite "multiple calls" for her to run for Congress against incumbent Tom Reed, she has decided against doing so. Forum.

Photo at right: Leslie Danks Burke

Legislator Barbara Halpin talks to Legislator Mark Rondinaro before the start of the meeting.


Legislators OK 10-year underwater license

Schuyler County Legislators on Feb. 13, at their regular monthly meeting, approved a 10-year license with the State Office of General Services for the use by the county of state-owned underwater land at Seneca Harbor Park and beneath the marina there. County Administrator Tim O'Hearn explained that land underwater is controlled by the state, and that before this license the county had a 25-year lease at the park that extended to 2016. The new license, for a shorter period of time, costs a total of $10,795.42. "It allows us to continue using the park -- and the marina and docks -- for public purposes," O'Hearn said.

Legislators also:

--Approved the hiring of a third Assistant District Attorney, Jeremiah King of the Rochester area, at an annual salary of $62,000, effective this week.
--Acknowledged the appointment of Kate Bartholomew as the Town of Montour representative on the Environmental Management Council for a three-year term.

Photo in text: County Attorney Steven Getman makes a point at the Legislature meeting.


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.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Jefferson Award nominations

Do you know a volunteer who has made our area a better place? Click here for information on the 2017 Jefferson Award nominations.


A walk along the Catharine Valley Trail

The weather was chilling but the walk energizing Monday, Jan. 30th along the Catharine Valley Trail between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. Photographer Liz Fraboni hiked with a camera, and snapped some photos of nature's way along the trail. The photos by Fraboni, who has been featured on these pages many times in past years, are presented this time at right and on Features.

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.

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

Roche running for Steuben judge

Philip J. Roche of Painted Post announces his candidacy for Steuben County and Family Court Judge. Government.

The result of work at the park on Friday, Feb. 10.


Work on State Park involves Indian Trail

Work on Feb 10 at the Watkins Glen State Park -- site of an ongoing, yearlong $6.5 million project that will transform the park entrance -- included carving out a path to, and up, the old Indian Trail, closed to hikers for years. Among the project goals, which include returning the longstanding parking area to green space and expanding parking across Franklin Street, is a reopening of the Indian Trail.


The Seneca Harbor Pier, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017: The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing, and the icicles were forming and growing.


Rotary honors Rong Lin as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Rong Lin was honored Feb. 9 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for February. He was introduced by teacher Kelsey Wood, who said the honoree -- who came to this country from China four years ago and has been in her history classes for the past two years -- is "the most incredibly hard-working student" and has "been learning English while learning American history, American culture and American figures of speech ... He values learning in a way that is very unique." She said he is also on the varsity swim team, whose other members "love having him" there. "It has been a real privilege" having him as a student, she added, noting: "He is an amazing young man" who will do well in the world, and "is a true asset to the community." He plans to attend college in New York State.


O'Mara, Palmesano give update at Rotary

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano paid their annual visit Feb. 9 to a meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club at the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge.

The event was held in conjunction with the Schuyler County League of Women Voters.

The two men provided an update on state politics, touching on: (Click here)

Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara, right, speaks as Assemblyman Phil Palmesano watches at Rotary session.

Drawing highlights the planned turf fields (the tan infield areas on the baseball and softball fields would be turf, too)


Watkins School Board OKs capital project

A $12.64 million project with "no impact on taxes" will go to Watkins Glen school district voters on March 28, the School Board decided Monday night, Feb. 6. The project includes elementary school and high school upgrades, a turf football field, turf baseball and softball infields, extensive school roof repair work, and other improvements. The project, in four phases, was outlined to the School Board by the Hunt engineering firm's Director of Architecture, Jeffrey Robbins, pictured at right. Schools.

Alfredo Garcia of Elmira poses on a large ice chair, a popular spot for pictures and centrally located among the ice sculptures.


Annual Ice Bar concludes at Hotel

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel's mid-winter Ice Bar featuring ice-sculpted bars, ice-sculpted advertising signs and a large ice chair, ended its 3-day run Saturday night, Feb. 4. The event was sold out Friday and Saturday nights.

Left: Visitors could sample wines and various foods at the Ice Bar gathering.

One of the ice bars set up to distribute drinks behind the hotel.


Man faces multiple charges following rollover

An Indiana, Pa. man was charged with multiple driving offenses after his pickup truck crashed and overturned early Saturday, Feb. 4 following a traffic stop that he allegedly fled in the Village of Watkins Glen. People.


School Board OKs special-session resolution

The Watkins Glen School Board, meeting in special session Jan. 31, approved -- after "a spirited lengthy discussion" -- a resolution related to the then-pending confirmation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, but which did not mention her by name. Schools.

Two School Board members' objections. Forum.


Man, snowmobile pulled from Cayuta Lake

An Alpine man was pulled from Cayuta Lake in Alpine Sunday, Jan. 29 after he fell through the ice while riding a snowmobile on it. Investigators said Wayne Simpkins had driven the snowmobile onto the lake when it fell through the ice a short distance from shore. He was pulled from the water by rescuers and transported to Robert Packer Hospital. The snowmobile was also pulled from the water.

The Odessa Fire Department, Schuyler Ambulance and the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office responded. The Sheriff's Office urged everyone "to use extra caution in the area of any ice-covered waterways due to the warmer temperatures."

A view of the Watkins Glen State Park entrance photographed Jan. 27 from a drone shows the parking area ripped up and heavy equipment at work. (Photo by Tony Vickio)


Work under way at Glen State Park entrance

The parking lot off of Franklin Street leading to the Watkins Glen State Park gorge has been ripped up as work has begun on the overhaul of the entrance area. The $6.5 million project announced almost a year ago will relocate the parking away from the gorge, creating a less congested and more welcoming approach to what is a leading Finger Lakes tourism destination. The former parking area will be returned to green space, as it once was, and new park amenities will be created, including a visitor center. Parking will be across the street in space now occupied by a dirt lot and by properties yet to be cleared.

The Stamp family's Lakewood Vineyards was honored with the Chamber's Leader in Business Award. Present from Lakewood at the Jan. 20 gala were, from left, Chris, Liz and Beverly Stamp.


Chamber holds its annual Winter Gala at hotel

The annual Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Winter Gala on Jan. 20 at the Harbor Hotel featured a social hour, dinner, keepsake photos, live and silent auction packages, a wine raffle, live music (by Top Shelf), dancing, a blackjack table, and programs honoring various Schuyler notables. Among the honorees were Jeff and Linda Confer (right), recipients of the annual Community Spirit Award; Lakewood Vineyards, recipient of the Leader in Business Award; Susan Silhan of Selah Yoga and Music, recipient of the Chamber's Ambassador of the Year Award; and the hotel general manager, Carolyn Guyer, recipient of the Max Neal Award for dedication to and support of the Chamber's efforts.

Photo in text: Community Spirit Award winners Jeff and Linda Confer at Friday's gala.

At the gala, from left: Max Neal, Jim Howell, and Betty Vinti.


Rotary honors Frasier as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Kyle Frasier was honored Jan. 19 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for January. Frasier was introduced by O-M teacher Russ Gardner, who said the honoree -- a High Honor student, a member of the school swim team and a member of "outside organizations like the Future Farmers of America" -- has a "positive outlook" that makes him "the kind of student that teachers love to have in the classroom, the kind of student we want in our schools, the kind of person other students want on their team." Frasier, who works on the Hoffman farm, hopes to have his own farm one day. He is undecided about college, but said that if he goes, it will be to Morrisville State for its agricultural program.

Photo in text: Kyle Frasier at Rotary Club, with teacher Russ Gardner watching in the background.


Community leader Jean Argetsinger dies

Schuyler County Hall of Fame member Jean Argetsinger, the widow of Cameron Argetsinger and a community leader in Watkins Glen for decades, dies at her home at the age of 97. Argetsinger.


Left: Jean Argetsinger


Green Arbor, Fish Stocking programs set

Every year -- and again in 2017 -- the Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District offers the Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale, also known as the Green Arbor Program, and the Fish Stocking Program. For details, click here.

Part of the act: Hanlon third grader Isaac Hough brandishes a plastic bat as he chases a Wizard who is hiding behind O-M Athletic Manager Greg Gavich.


Harlem Wizards pack gym on PFO's behalf

A capacity crowd filled the Odessa-Montour gym Tuesday night, Jan. 17 as the traveling and entertaining Harlem Wizards basketball team -- whose ads read "tricks, hoops and alley oops" -- met O-M faculty and administrators in a game full of fun that often interacted with the crowd. The event, organized by the B.C. Cate/Hanlon PFO, raised funds for that group's public events. Said a spokeswoman: The PFO wanted to provide "a community event," and that the turnout and support was "amazing."

Left: Dunks were plentiful; and the gym spectators, who packed the bleachers, were amused by the Wizard hijinks.

Tom Cook after receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.


Odessa Board honors Cook as Citizen of Year

Former Odessa Village Mayor Tom Cook (who served from 1989 to 1995), well-known locally for his construction business and a man often sought by the village for his knowledge and opinions regarding the water system there, was honored by the Odessa Village Board on Jan. 16 as the village's fourth annual Citizen of the Year. Cook, present at Monday's Village Board session to discuss water issues, had no idea he was being honored -- standard each year with the award presentation. The honor was previously bestowed on Charlie Haeffner, Jeff Parmenter and Bonnie Scott.


Rally: Hike Arc funds to offset wage increase

Rally participants at the Arnot Mall call on Governor Cuomo to increase state support for human-service agencies to help offset the effects of the minimum-wage hike. People.

Left: At the rally.


Rotary honors Wickham as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Phebe Wickham (right) was honored Jan. 12 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for January. Wickham was introduced by teacher Maggie Field, who lauded the honoree's dedication and skill in video production at the school and her participation in school plays, as a photographer for the yearbook, and as a lifeguard.

Wickham, a member of National Honor Society, a High Honor student and a self-taught piano and ukulele player, hopes to attend college in the East to study film, a field she says she loves.


A column by Odessa Mayor Keith PIerce

Mayor Keith Pierce returns with another in a series of columns about life and issues in the Village of Odessa. This time the title is "Moving toward a sewer system, and a decision to run for mayor, after all." Column.

Left: Mayor Keith Pierce

Check out The Odessa File's Village of Odessa page here.

Schuyler Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan left, and Legislator Mark Rondinaro at Monday night's meeting.


County to take Cultural Center under its wing

The Schuyler County Legislature will meet in special session on Jan. 23 to approve a lease agreement to oversee the public-use portion of the renovated Middle School on Decatur Street, in the building's auditorium and former gym. County Administrator Tim O'Hearn (pictured at right) told the legislature at its monthly meeting Monday night -- and an hour earlier told the annual Project Seneca meeting at the Harbor Hotel -- that once the lease is signed with the Two Plus Four management firm and the county assumes oversight, a Request for Proposals will be issued to find professional management to bring in cultural events at the former school -- thereby enhancing options for tourists. That will lead to "more feet on the street" in Schuyler County and increased traffic for local businesses, he said, as "somewhat of a cultural void" is filled.

About 60 people were on hand to hear about area projects under way or envisioned under the Project Seneca umbrella.


Project Seneca session outlines projects

The annual meeting Monday of Project Seneca -- the name that serves as an umbrella for millions of dollars worth of water treatment, infrastructure, traffic, recreational and other enhancements aimed at improving life and tourism in Schuyler County -- attracted about 60 people, many of them community leaders, to the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. With Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry serving as emcee, several officials took the podium to describe progress on various projects, most notably the regional wastewater treatment plant on the canal, a facility that will serve both Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. Other projects, some nearing completion and some still concepts: a kayak and canoe project on Seneca Lake; a downtown revitalization initiative for Watkins; Montour Falls canal dredging; a Business Improvement District for Watkins; a boutique hotel in the Chamber of Commerce building; and the Seneca Terrace Apartments on the hill above the Elks Lodge, with expected completion in the summer.

Photo in text: Dan Bower of Hunt Engineers, who described the progress on construction of the Watkins Glen Brewery Vacation Rentals in the old frozen food locker building on the north end of the Watkins Glen business district. Expected completion date: April 2017.

Legislator Michael Lausell, left, and Chairman Dennis Fagan.


Fagan re-elected as Legislature chairman

The Schuyler County Legislature, at its annual organizational meeting January 4th, named incumbent chairman Dennis Fagan to another year in the post. There was no competition, although Legislator Michael Lausell criticized Fagan for his consistent support of the Crestwood energy firm's LPG storage proposal, something Lausell has staunchly opposed. Legislator Jim Howell in turn weighed in on Fagan's side for the solid economic footing on which the county finds itself. The vote re-electing Fagan soon followed.


Board topics: safety, special-needs student

The Watkins Glen School Board discusses the need for medical personnel at sporting events, and hears from the parent of a special-needs student. Board.

Left: Supt. Tom Phillips.

For a district summary of the Board meeting, click here.


This website has now operated for 14 years ...

The Odessa File was launched on Dec. 29, 2002 -- a day (I like to tell people, and which is true) on which it received three visitors, two of them being me. Much has occurred since, but little (I think) has changed about The File. And I mean that in a good way. To those who have helped keep it afloat, I thank you. I hope everyone -- members of our Schuyler County family -- continue to find it both useful and enjoyable.

--Charlie Haeffner, Editor & Publisher


How the Masonic mural came to be

Myrtle-Jefferson Lodge No. 131 tells how the mural on the east wall of its Masonic Temple in Montour Falls was created last summer. People.

Check out our Wine and Tourism page

We've updated our Wine and Tourism Page, with links to recent Chamber of Commerce blogs. Check it out here.

Members of the Montour Falls Village Board listen at Thursday night's meeting. From left are Trustee Phil Smith, Mayor John King and Trustee Steve Lawton.


Rumor put to rest: No gas-storage stance

A rumor that had spread -- that the Montour Falls Village Board was going to vote in favor of the Crestwood LPG storage plan -- drew 20 people to the board's meeting on Dec. 15. But there was no resolution, and no position. "We haven't discussed the issue," said Mayor John King. "We're neutral on the subject. I don't feel we have the expertise" to issue a vote on it. "We don't even know what the residents of Montour Falls think on the subject ... We're not prepared to have a resolution on Crestwood, period."

One visitor, Michael Warren Thomas of Rochester, a radio personality and steadfast LPG storage opponent, said that "to be neutral would seem to go against what's best" for Seneca Lake, which project opponents worry will be ruined by an LPG accident. Another person, Marcia Douglas, presented the board with a sample resolution in opposition, much in the style of one passed a couple of years ago by the Watkins Glen Village Board. And county legislator Michael Lausell, also an opponent, said that even with amendments made to the storage plan, "there is still the issue of cavern integrity," salt caverns being the storage of choice in the LPG plan. When asked by resident Tom Weidemann if the village populace would be surveyed should the board decide to vote on a resolution, King said: "That's the best way. Can we close this subject?"

Photos in text: Michael Lausell and Michael Warren Thomas

O-M volleyball coach Kayla Kelly, left, and honoree Paxtyn Brown, who was a captain on the volleyball team this year.


Brown honored as Rotary Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Paxtyn Brown was honored Dec. 15 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for December. She was introduced by school librarian Kayla Kelly, who has been Brown's varsity volleyball coach for two years. Kelly said the honoree -- president of her class, ranked 5th academically, and a member of the National Honor Society -- is "a student who will go above and beyond; someone you can always count on for help. She is an all-around great student and person." Brown plans to attend Daemen College.

The view Tuesday night after the decorative lights were turned on in the courtyard outside the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility.


Seneca View holds annual Festival of Lights

Lights on the trees and fencing in the courtyard outside the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility -- as well as decorative lights inside -- were turned on Tuesday night, Dec. 13 during the Facility's annual Festival of Lights ceremony. The festival generates donations to honor loved ones and recognize family members or friends, or special events. Proceeds go to the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary to support the hospital and Seneca View. The lights were turned on at a switch outside by Facility resident Kathleen Dempsey, assisted by Activities Director Sally Daniels.


Upscale hotel planned in Chamber building

Plans are underway to turn most of the building at 214 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen (left) -- current home of the Chamber of Commerce -- into an upscale, four-diamond boutique hotel. Business.

Plan prompts memories of another hotel. Column.

Candy canes were distributed just before Monday's meeting. Legislature Clerk Stacy Husted watches as County Administrator Tim O'Hearn digs into the bag holding them.


Appointments, salaries among session actions

The Schuyler County Legislature on Dec. 12th appointed two election commissioners (Republican Joe Fazzary and Democrat Carolyn Elkins) to two-year terms effective Jan. 1; approved a Local Law establishing 2017 salaries for legislators ($9,000), Sheriff Bill Yessman ($82,500), County Treasurer Harriett Vickio ($70,000) and County Clerk Linda Compton ($69,000); and ordered the levy of the Lamoka/Waneta Lakes' Protection and Rehabiliation District taxes, which call for the first increases since 2003.

Legislators also voted to use the General Fund Balance to help pay off the debt balance of the Mill Creek Facility; and set their final meeting of the year for 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, and their 2017 Organizational Meeting for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 in the Legislative Chambers.

Photos in text:
Legislators Carl Blowers, right, and Jim Howell talk before the meeting.
Bottom: County Attorney Steven Getman with a festive bow

Willie Hayes, left, and Lou Cicconi of the Seneca Santa Blues Band, which provided live music at the party.


Party raises funds for Seneca Santa program

The 20th annual fund-raising Seneca Santa party was held Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Grist Iron Brewing Co. north of Burdett. The event, held in conjunction with Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards -- which hosted the event for many years -- raises funds to purchase Christmas presents for underprivileged children aged 2-12 in Schuyler County. The event featured a live band, raffles and live and silent auctions.

Left: A seasonal hat, one of several at the party; raffles were part of the fund-raising.

Present at the party, from left: BOCES Superintendent Jim Frame, State Senator Tom O'Mara, Watkins Glen School Board member Mark Franzese.


Schuyler included in development awards

Schuyler County has been designated to receive about $2.5 million as part of the state's annual Regional Economic Development awards. It was a portion of $60.4 million awarded to the Southern Tier Regional Council encompassing the Binghamton-Elmira-Corning area. Government.

Annual Report

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

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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.



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.

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

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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


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


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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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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.


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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 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594