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

Are you receiving the great customer service you deserve? If not, give us a call or stop in. We provide great customer service and are happy to help you with all your insurance needs.


Monday-Thursday 8:30-5
Friday 8:30-2

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!


The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

Decorate Father's Day cakes for Dad Saturday, June 16th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Call to sign up at
(607) 535-7354.

Summer hours in effect:
(through Labor Day)
11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Fall hours: 12 Noon-9 p.m.

--Vegan Options
--Gluten-free Options
--Homemade Hard Ice Cream
--Soft Custard

(607) 535-7354

Click on the ad below
to learn more.


Pavilion, Picnic Area, BBQ Pit available with reservation.

Memorial Day Service
every Memorial Day 11 a.m.

Check out this beautiful park.

Forms for engraved bricks or benches are available at
visitors center or at

Questions? Call Clayton Snow


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
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.


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. 


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

Sports -- Cayuga Medical Ctr.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- The Colonial Pottery & Creamery


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


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


To reach the Odessa Government Page, click here or on the logo below.


Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The IBEW Local 241 is a sponsor of this website


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Click below to go to the
Rotary Club website.


To reach the website of the Five Rivers Council, Boys Scouts of America, click here or on the logo above.



To reach the Watkins Glen School District website, click here


Check this out:


Contact this website at:



4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler Hospital website.


Planning Board gets 1st look at Cheese Co.

Further steps ahead as new business owners prepare building on North Franklin Street in Watkins Glen for a possible fall opening. Cheese, wines, beer, and paired offerings ahead. Business.

Left: The front of the Seneca Cheese Company building.

School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School District office has issued a draft summary of the June 18, 2018 meeting of the Board of Education. To read it, click here.


State Park renovation ceremony held; NY unveils DRI projects

The dedication of the upgraded Watkins Glen State Park entrance area drew more than 130 people to the park's new amphitheater Monday, and served another function: the unveiling by the state of the 14 projects that have won funding under Watkins Glen's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Government.

Photo: A ribbon was cut as part of the park dedication.


Border politics dog
a visit to La Bourgade

Congressman Tom Reed gets a tour of the "hillside village" being built -- and rented out -- by Bruno Schickel along Rt. 414. Reed also weighs in on tariffs and responds to questions about the President's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. Bourgade.


Left: Congressman Tom Reed, left, and Bruno Schickel.

  Grand Prix Fitness wins walking competition

Grand Prix Fitness is the champion of the 8-week Schuyler Steps Out walking competition, ahead of runnerup Watkins Glen High. The 2017 champion Humane Society was third. The walking program, in its 12th year and designed to get participants walking in the spring, had 13 teams. GP Fitness, with 16 walkers, had a cumulative average of 973,886 steps. Watkins Glen High, with 10 walkers, had a cumulative average of 889,659 steps, while the Humane Society, with 16 walkers, had a cumulative average of 889,390 steps. The program was sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Sunset on Seneca

This photo of the Tuesday, June 19 sunset on Seneca Lake was sent by Joe Fazzary. It was snapped from the deck at his home, looking to the northwest.


WGHS champs, State qualifiers are honored

Watkins High School sectional champions and State tourney competitors are recognized by the school district at a School Board meeting. Four retirees are also honored. Schools.

  Glen Village Board OKs sewer rate increase

The Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night approved a $1 increase in sewer rates -- to $15.50 per month from $14.50 -- to help maintain the village's distribution system. The increase -- which also includes hikes for usage above 300 cubic feet -- is effective July 1. The board also approved a Joint Project Committee audit showing 10 invoices totaling $939,000 in expenditures for the sewage treatment plant planned along the canal. Much of that money was for construction of a road leading to the site, bringing to just over $5 million the amount spent on the project thus far. Trustee and JPC member Tony Fraboni said almost $27 million remains budgeted for construction of the plant itself.

Photo: Watkins Glen Village Trustee Tony Fraboni.

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.




And inside

--WGHS junior Isabella Fazzary (right) will attend Empire Girls State this summer, sponsored by Rotary. Schools.

--And WGHS junior Kathleen Clifford will be at Girls State, too, sponsored by the SFLW. People.

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.

Russell King, 49, of Montour Falls.
Pauline Byron, 86, of Montour Falls.
Jay Robert "Bob" Kelchner, 82, of Watkins Glen.
Karen Heid-Stegner, 64, of Beaver Dams.
Robert L. Good, 71, of Montour Falls.
James G. Root, 100, of Watkins Glen.
Marilyn A. (Maloney) VanNordstrand, 74, of Odessa.
Jeffrey C. Buchanan, 62, of Sayre, Pa.
James A. Dixon, 73, of Watkins Glen.
Frank J. Pastore, 82, formerly of Watkins Glen.

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

Editor's Note

Debbie Stayer Kelly of Burdett -- a lifelong Schuyler resident, a single parent of two sons and a highly praised Cornell employee -- has Stage 4 cancer as well as a rare genetic mutation called Lynch Syndrome. She is facing a large financial burden as her battle continues.

Her Cornell colleagues have created a GoFundMe page for her that you can find right here. An update can be found by clicking on the Updates button on that site. I hope we all can help out.


Now that the year is ending ...

The editor surveys the landscape as high school sports come to an end for another year, and graduations and summer loom. Column.


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


Far away from Schuyler County, out West ...

Photographer Liz Fraboni of Watkins Glen -- a frequent contributor to this website in years past -- provides us with a look through her lens at the landscape -- and regional features -- of Arizona, snapped while she was visiting family out there. For a look at her offerings, click here.


Photo: One of the scenes that caught Liz Fraboni's eye on her Arizona journey.

Aaron Planty at his signing ceremony, and his Geneseo cake.

  Planty signing ceremony held at Watkins High

Watkins Glen High School senior Aaron Planty -- who will be attending Division III SUNY Geneseo in the fall and competing in cross country and track there -- was the center of attention Monday afternoon at a celebratory signing ceremony in the WGHS Library. Friends and family watched as Planty signed a form in which he pledged to participate in those two sports at Geneseo. Aaron capped an outstanding high school career this year with The Odessa File WGHS Male Co-Athlete of the Year Award, shared with his brother Gabe, also a runner.

Tinker Bell (Jule Osburn) and Peter Pan (Molly Heichel) soar.


'Peter Pan Jr.' ends its 3-day run at WGHS

The Lake Country Players' production of Disney's musical "Peter Pan Jr." -- with flying provided by ZFX Flying Effects of Louisville, Kentucky -- ended its 3-day, 4-performance run with a matinee Sunday afternoon before an enthusiasic audience of more than 260 people in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. The three-day attendance totaled about 1,000.

The flying rigging, installed last weekend, enabled several of the play's young actors to fly -- much to the delight of the audience.

Kim Laursen and Kelsey Johnson were co-directors. Features.

Photo: Emma Malnoske as Wendy Darling takes to the air.


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: "An unacceptable risk to our neighborhoods." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Rosie Newton, left, and Lydia Garrison performed Saturday.

  Lakewood hosts annual Fiddlers Gathering

The first day of the two-day 29th annual Old Time Fiddlers Gathering and Folk Arts Festival drew a larger-than-usual crowd Saturday to Lakewood Vineyards north of Watkins Glen. Musical acts featuring Old Time selections in the main tent highlighted the day along with various items for sale, such as quilts and handmade banjos. The event concluded Sunday with an Irish Folk Arts theme.

Photo: Jamming is a staple of the Fiddlers Gathering.

A boat rounds the final turn of the Seneca Marina course.

  25th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta held

The 25th annual Watkins Glen Waterfront Festival concluded Saturday with the popular Cardboard Boat Regatta held in the Seneca Harbor Marina. The regatta, held under clear skies and warm temperatures, drew its usual large crowd lining the pier, the breakwater and the shoreline. The evening before, the festival featured live music, plenty of food, vendors, and Harbor Lights of various colors and effects. The regatta, featuring both solidly built and porous homemade crafts, resulted in various awards, such as Best Construction (a Flintstone-themed boat), Best Sinking (ironically, it was named Unsinkable), Best Name (Hull and Boats), and People's Choice (the Tiki Torpedo).

Photo: The breakwater was a great place to watch from.

Left: The Seneca Harbor Pier during the Harbor Lights portion of the Waterfront Festival on Friday night. Right: The True Love's 'sails on Friday night.


A legal column from Ziff Law's Jim Reed

Attorney James B. Reed of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira offers this regular column, tackling issues that you might encounter in your daily lives. This time: "Watkins welcomes Lime Bikes, but let's ride/drive safely." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed

O-M distributes its annual sports awards

The event, sponsored by the Sports Boosters, was held in the school auditorium. Highlights were awards for Athletes of the Year and for Sportsmanship. Sports.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.


Owner seeks lost cat

A 12-year-old male cat (shown at left) has been lost in Odessa, its owner reported on May 31. If you see the cat, please call Donna at (607) 228-7301.

  Enrollment numbers look promising at O-M

The Odessa-Montour School Board on Thursday night, June 14 heard a report from an independent consultant -- Dr. Paul Seversky, a former school superintendent -- that foresees O-M's enrollment, now about 800 students, will stabilize or grow slightly in the next 10 years, to between 825 and 950 students. Seversky's report, presented for an hour in person to the Board, dealt with various subjects, such as enrollment, building use and optimum class sizes. Said Superintendent Chris Wood of the enrollment projection: "It's great news. The fact that we're not decreasing" -- a problem in some area schools -- "is pretty great."

Photo: Board members Jeff Parmenter, left, and Will Shrout.


Schuyler Scholars honored at dinner

The 11th annual Schuyler Scholars celebration at the Harbor Hotel on Tuesday night, June 12 honored 19 seniors from three school districts for their academic achievements. Schools.

Left: Each honoree received a plaque.

  3 blood drives this week in Schuyler County

Schuyler Hospital's next Red Cross Blood Drive is scheduled for Friday, June 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at September Hill, 250 Stueben Street, Montour Falls (two buildngs up the hill from the hospital). Donors can pre-register at or by calling the hospital at (607) 535-7121 ext. 2359. Drop-ins are also welcome. Other drives: June 19 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cargill Salt's Administration Building, 518 E. 4th St., Watkins Glen; and June 20 from 1-6 p.m. at the Montour Moose Lodge, 2096 State Rte. 14, Montour Falls.

  Conservation Field Day teaches 6th graders

A total of 142 sixth-grade students from the Odessa-Montour, Bradford and Watkins Glen school districts attended the annual Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District-led Conservation Field Day on June 5 at the Millport Hunting and Fishing Club. Field Day.

Photo: O-M student Lily Bixby caught a largemouth bass at the Field Day's fishing station. The fish was released.


Legislators Blowers, Barnes seek re-election

Incumbent Schuyler County Legislators Carl Blowers (left) and Phil Barnes (right) -- both Republicans -- are seeking re-election this fall, running as a team. For a story on their announcement and background, see Government.

Schuyler opposes Seneca Army Depot incinerator plan. Government.

Youth Bureau holds annual celebration

More than 60 attend the event at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls. A mock trial and several awards highlight the gathering. People.


Erie Canalway Photo Contest is under way

The 13th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest for professional and amateur photographers has begun. The Canalway Corridor reaches as far south as Montour Falls. Winning photos will be featured in the 2019 Erie Canalway calendar. For details on entering, see Features.


Montour parade draws crowd to Main Street

The 62nd annual Montour Falls Fire Department Parade of Bands -- featuring nearly a dozen musical groups and 21 fire departments, along with floats, tractors and vintage cars -- attracted a large gathering of spectators who lined Main Street through the village for the hour-long procession on June 9. Features.


Left: The Montour Falls Fire Department color guard.

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


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 Erie and Niagara website, click here.

One of the many carnival attractions.

  Fire Department Festival ends its 3-day run

The 62nd annual Montour Falls Fire Department Festival on the carnival grounds alongside Route 224 -- which opened on Thursday evening, June 7, concluded June 9th. The highlight that last day was an annual parade down Main Street in the village beginning at 5 p.m. and featuring firefighters, firetrucks, bands, floats and classic cars. The festival featured food, rides, games, bingo, clams, and craft beer. Admission was free. Live music Thursday was by Rusted Bucks. Friday it was classic rock by RUST; Saturday it was country music by Devon Franks.

Photo: One of the several rides available at the festival.

Ryanna LaMoreaux, center, at the celebratory signing with her sister Ali and mother Rebekah Carroll.

  LaMoreaux signing ceremony held at WGHS

Watkins Glen High School senior Ryanna LaMoreaux, who will be attending and playing basketball at Division III Lycoming College in Pennsylvania in the fall, was the center of attention June 8th at a celebratory signing ceremony in the WGHS Library. Friends and family, along with basketball coach Alicia Learn, watched as LaMoreaux signed forms in which she pledged to play basketball at Lycoming, where she will be studying pre-law. A letter from Lycoming official Mike Konopski, a 1981 graduate of WGHS, welcomed Ryanna to college "as she makes the transition from Senecan to Warrior. I invite fans from Watkins Glen and Schuyler County to make the short trip south to Williamsport to see her play and for underclassmen to perhaps consider joining her in attending Lycoming College in the future." LaMoreaux was a member of two Section IV championship basketball teams and a state titleist at WGHS.

Some of the members of the Top Drawer 24 pose for the team photo. The full team photo appears with a story inside.
(This photo by Hailey Perraut)

  Top Drawer 24 are honored at park ceremony

The 13th annual Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding high school scholar-athlete-citizens -- two dozen honorees from 10 area high schools -- were celebrated Monday evening, June 4th at a ceremony at the Watkins Glen State Park pavilion. Party.

Photo: Honoree Kai Sutterby of Watkins Glen High School.

Exchange students Beatriz Silva of Brazil (left, attending Odessa-Montour High School) and Arnaz Bhoruche of India (attending Watkins Glen High School) -- both of whom will soon be going home -- gave accounts of their school year and various travels when they appeared June 7th at a luncheon meeting of the sponsoring Watkins-Montour Rotary Club at Seneca Lodge.

  Rotary honors Tague as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Syria Tague was honored June 7th by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for June. The honoree -- listed as a junior but completing her high school requirements a year early and entering Hartwick College in Oneonta in the fall -- was introduced by teacher Russ Gardner. He described Tague as "an excellent example ... of a well-rounded student" who carries a 96 average, has participated in swimming, tennis and cheerleading, and is a member of Interact and the National Honor Society. Tague, said Gardner, is a determined individual, never turning defensive or creating excuses "if she gets something wrong," instead digging in and figuring how to correct it. "She's a pleasure to be around," he added.

Photo: Syria Tague at the Rotary Club luncheon.

Watkins Glen High School's Female Athlete of the Year is Hannah Morse, pictured with WGHS Male Athletes of the Year Aaron Planty (center) and his brother Gabe. The awards were presented Monday at the Watkins Glen State Park pavilion.


Odessa File names its Athletes of Year

The Odessa File distributed trophies June 4th to its Female and Male Athletes of the Year from the Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen High Schools: Kennedey Heichel and Curtis Harris at Odessa, and Hannah Morse and the Planty brothers, Aaron and Gabe, at WGHS. The awards were sponsored by E.C. Cooper Insurance.

Photo: O-M Athletes of the Year Kennedey Heichel and Curtis Harris.

Lime Bikes across the street from the Watkins Glen State Park.

  Lime Bikes have arrived in Watkins Glen

A new way to get around has come to Watkins Glen: Lime Bikes -- a bike-sharing program using apps on a phone for rentals at $1 per half hour. For details, see Business.


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

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.

Hanley Elliott putts as Gabi Decker watches in practice round. (Photo provided by Steve Decker)

  Section 4 golfers finish tourney in 6th place

The nine-member Section 4 girls golf team finished near the middle of the pack at the two-day New York State Public High School Athletic Association Golf Championships on the par-72 Bethpage Yellow Course on Long Island. Sports.


WGHS distributes awards at assembly

Academic and athletic honors were handed out at an evening gathering in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. Awards.


Photo: Lexi Castellaneta with one of the awards.


Introducing the 2018
Top Drawer 24 team

The 13th annual Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding area student-athlete-citizens contains 16 seniors and 8 juniors from 10 schools. To see who they are, click here.

Top Drawer celebration held at State Park. Party.

Diners networked first on the Seneca Lodge porch. Here Liz Stamp of Lakewood Vineyards chats with Phil Cherry. Wine was provided by Lakewood, J.R. Dill Winery, Atwater Estates Vineyards and Chateau LaFayette Reneau.

  Ribs & Riesling draws crowd to Seneca Lodge

More than 80 diners attended the third annual Ribs & Riesling fund-raising dinner May 24 at Seneca Lodge in Watkins Glen. The event, sponsored by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club, was conceived by Rotarian Rebekah Carroll. It raised funds Thursday for the Montour Falls Library's Early Literacy Program. Rotarian Jim Howell was the emcee. Speaking briefly was Montour Falls Library Director Roxanne Leyes.

Photo: Emcee Jim Howell and Rebekah Carroll.


Montour earns Clean Energy designation

The Village of Montour Falls has been recognized for its leadership in reducing energy use and cutting costs. A related energy study could lead to a renovation of the Village Hall. Government.


A Track Day at WGI

Montour Falls' Bob Brown participates in a learning experience at Watkins Glen International racetrack that is popular among a diverse group of drivers. Track.


Memorial Day observed in 4 Schuyler ceremonies

Ceremonies in Montour Falls, Watkins Glen (two) and outside Odessa remember those who have given their lives in defense of our nation. People.


At the Montour Falls ceremony

Schuyler Spring All-Stars

The spring All-Schuyler All-Star teams of high school athletes are unveiled, led by Odessa-Montour track standouts Kennedey Heichel and Zach Elliott. Sports.

  Watkins places 3rd for Small Town Adventure

Watkins Glen placed third in USA Today’s latest 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest! It finished behind Marquette, Michigan, and Florence, Oregon for Best Small Town for Adventure. Voting took place until May 14. Results were announced May 18. Twenty locales were nominated.

Photo: Seneca Harbor Pier.

  Ken Wilson is a Jefferson Award honoree

Schuyler County Hall of Famer and community leader Ken Wilson (pictured at right) was honored May 17 as a Jefferson Award recipient by the Chemung Canal Trust Company and Corning Enterprises during a luncheon at the Elmira Country Club. The award is presented for outstanding leadership and volunteerism over the years. Other recipients: David Biviano and Betty Hess, along with Elmira's Carl Hayden, who was named the "National Jefferson Award Representative." Hayden will represent the Twin Tiers region next month at a Jefferson Awards event in Washington, D.C. with about 80 other designees from communities around the nation.

Wine tasting and sales are a staple of Seneca Lake Wine & Food.

  Wine & Food event draws crowd to Clute Park

Wine and food lovers flocked on May 19 -- despite overcast skies and the occasional rain -- to the aptly named (and annual) Seneca Lake Wine & Food at Clute Park in Watkins Glen. About 1,500 people had passed through the entry gate in the first three hours, and another 500 or so were expected before the event ended. Tents with more than 40 area food and wine vendors were present selling their products, and there were wine and cheese seminars along with live music.

Photo: Organizer Jeff Dill.

Sara Caldwell was on hand running her Global Taco truck.


Ground broken for Kayak/Canoe Launch

A groundbreaking ceremony on May 18 drew village, county and state officials to the site of a planned Kayak/Canoe Launch at the eastern end of Clute Park. Government.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, center, and State Senator Tom O'Mara with Arc of Schuyler Executive Director Jeannette Frank. The Arc's 40th anniversary drew a proclamation and resolution of praise from Albany officials.

  Arc of Schuyler celebrates its 40th anniversary

Longtime Board member Harold J. Hoffmeier, right, was among the speakers May 18 as The Arc of Schuyler celebrated its 40th anniversary with a luncheon at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. The main ballroom was packed with Arc supporters and local dignitaries. Said State Senator Tom O'Mara: "Nothing exemplifies community more than the Schuyler Arc does." Assemblyman Phil Palmesano praised The Arc for "improving the quality of life of our most vulnerable citizens. There can be no greater calling or greater mission." Arc Executive Director Jeannette Frank thanked both men for their recent efforts in securing improved wages for Direct Support Professionals, employees The Arc calls "the linchpin in a system of supports that empower people with disabilities to lead self-directed, meaningful, and productive lives."

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hailey Hoose at Rotary.

  Rotary honors Hoose as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hailey Hoose was honored May 17 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for May. Hoose was introduced by O-M teacher Lisa Frost, who called the honoree "an amazing and unique individual" who has been "very active in the Odessa school community." Hoose has competed in swimming and tennis and has been part of school musicals for two years while also a student in the BOCES Dental Assisting program. She is known, Frost said, for "her perseverance and caring nature" and for always helping those in need.

Photo in text: Hailey Hoose receives her Student of the Month plaque from Rotary's John King.

The ribbon is cut at the expanded Sunset View Creamery.

  Ribbon-cutting held at expanded business

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 16 at the Sunset View Creamery on the Hoffman farm at Catharine Corners -- marking the grand opening of a new tasting room and retail space for the long-estabished cheese business. "After years in a very humble tasting room," says creamery owner Carmella Hoffman (pictured at right), "we now have a full-size retail shop and tasting area." The ceremony was part of a Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce After-Hours Mixer -- a Chamber tradition offering networking opportunities. Notes Chamber President Rebekah Carroll: "The Hoffmans are an integral part of our agritourism and local food communities."


O-M's 5th marking period Honor Rolls

Odessa-Montour Junior/Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the fifth marking period of the 2017-18 year. Honors.

  Palmesano welcomes Bacalles to Albany

Special to The Odessa File

ALBANY, May 16, 2018 -- Assemblyman Phil Palmesano welcomed his predecessor, Jim Bacalles, back to the Assembly during a recent visit by Bacalles to the Capitol.

"It was a real privilege for me to welcome Jim back to Albany," said Palmesano. "Jim is a true friend to this institution. He was a principled legislator who set a tremendous example for all of us. I'm honored to follow in his footsteps."

Palmesano noted that he and Bacalles have maintained an excellent relationship over the years: "Jim was my mentor in government. I worked for him from 1995 to 2004, and during that time I learned so much. He epitomizes what public service should be all about."

Photo: Jim Bacalles, left, and Phil Palmesano. (Photo provided)

  Budgets pass easily at Watkins Glen, Odessa

Voters overwhelmingly approved budget proposals on May 15 in the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour School Districts. The $27.2 million budget passed 207-36 in Watkins Glen, while a proposition to lease buses passed 195-47. In Odessa, the $16.8 million budget passed 221-43, while propositions for the purchase of buses and for an increase in the library tax for the Montour Falls Library passed 209-54 and 165-104, respectively. Incumbent School Board members Barb Schimizzi and Kelly McCarthy ran unopposed for two seats in Watkins Glen, receiving 213 and 190 votes, respectively. Three incumbents -- Rob Halpin, Karen Rock and Jeff Parmenter -- and newcomer Dana Sgrecci ran unopposed. Halpin, Parmenter and Sgrecci will serve three-year terms, and Rock a one-year term.


WGHS holds its annual Spring Concert

Students in grades 7 through 12 perform an array of choral and instrumental music in the school auditorium. Schools.


Photo: The flute section in the Grade 7/8 Band.

  Legislature acts on coroner, bridge, noms

Schuyler County Legislators on May 14 approved the appointment of Patricia Kelly, NP, as one of two County Coroners to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. James P. Coleman III "until such time (as) a general election can be held." The appointment runs from June 1 through Dec. 31.

In other businesss, legislators: --Accepted a bid for construction of a bridge replacement over Johns Creek on North L'Hommedieu Street in Montour Falls.
--Approved Harold J. Hoffmeier Jr. and John Terry as Schuyler County nominees for the 2018 New York State Office for the Aging Senior Citizen of the Year award.
--Heard Chairman Dennis Fagan say Sales Tax for the first four months of 2018 are 8.1% higher than the same period in 2017. "We are experiencing a strong local economy," Fagan noted.
--Approved an independent audit report that, for the second straight year, fournd no significant problems in county finances. The treasurer's office under Harriett Vickio, said Fagan, is doing "a fantastic job."
Photo in text: Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan at his computer during Monday's meeting.

  Glen teacher places 2nd in Jeopardy semifinal

Watkins Glen Elementary School Special Education teacher Rachel Niegelberg of Trumansburg -- who won a quarterfinal "Jeopardy" match aired May 8 in the popular TV show's annual Teachers' Tournament -- finished second in a semifinal aired May 15, ending her TV run. According to a "Jeopardy" fan website, she trailed Claire Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky by $100 entering Final Jeopardy, where both answered correctly -- Niegelberg betting $10,000 and finishing with $25,900, and Bishop betting $15,801 and finishing wih $31,801. The clue was in the U.N. Languages category: "Of the 6 official U.N. languages, it's the one that is written in cursive form only." The correct response: "What is Arabic?" Bishop moved on to the two-show finale in the quest for a $100,000 prize. The two-week tourney -- taped earlier -- has featured 15 teachers from around the U.S. Each received a $2,500 educational grant to help fund classroom projects.

Photo: Niegelberg with "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek.

  Ground broken for new Burdett Fire Station

The long-awaited Burdett Fire Depaartment took a symbolic step toward completion May 11 with a groundbreaking ceremony on the site, fronting Rt. 79 at the eastern end of the village. Various dignitaries were on hand. Groundbreaking.

  Lausell to challenge O'Mara for Senate seat

Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell (right), a Democrat, has opened a campaign office in Montour Falls as he launches a challenge to incumbent Thomas O'Mara for the State Senate seat held by O'Mara in our 58th Senate District. O'Mara, a Republican and Conservative, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. Lausell has been a legislator since 2013, and was re-elected in 2017. The Senate term runs four years. Lausell, who held a campaign kickoff at his headquarters at 232 W. Main St. in Montour Falls on Thursday, May 17, says he believes voters should have a choice in picking their senator. The election is in November. Lausell is a lawyer, and raises beef cattle, selling some of his product at the Farmer's Market held Thursdays seasonally at the park in Montour Falls directly next to his campaign office.

School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School District has issued a summary of the School Board meeting held May 7. To see it, click here.

  Rotary honors Chedzoy as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Clara Chedzoy (right) was honored May 10 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for May. Chedzoy -- the class Valedictorian -- was introduced by teacher Kelsey Wood, who called the honoree "a great scholar" and "a truly kind, lovely person. I can't think of a better person to go out in the world to make it better." Chedzoy -- a defensive standout on the school's girls basketball team that won the Class C state title in 2017 and reached the finals of the Section IV tournament this year -- plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and study astrophysics and astronomy. She says she would like a career in Research and Development in the aerospace industry.

  Missing Montour Falls infant found safe

The infant girl missing from a Montour Falls residence on Rock Cabin Road -- Gionna K. Harter, 15 days old -- was located "safe and sound" along with her mother in the City of Geneva by Geneva and State Police Officers, the Schuyler County Sheriff's Department reported Thursday night, May 10. The Sheriff's office said the child was removed from the Montour Falls residence by her mother, Katrina M. Harter, over a court order that had granted temporary custody to a third party on May 9. The Sheriff's Department, which said no criminal charges are pending against the mother "at this time," thanked the public "in calling in tips and providing information to assist in the investigation. Law Enforcement followed up on over 100 leads in Schuyler, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Erie, Seneca, and Yates Counties."

Photo: Gionna K. Harter (Photo provided)

Kai Sutterby, right, and Isabella Fazzary arrive at the prom.


WGHS holds prom at Logan Ridge Estates

The annual prom drew a large gathering of gown-clad young women and tuxedo-clad young men for an evening of fun, food, music and camaraderie. For photos of the night, see Prom.




Left: WGHS senior Amber Benjamin.


The 15th 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 15th installment: "Good Ideas Bloom in Albany this Spring." Column.


Left: Travis Durfee

  League luncheon topic: DOT project in Glen

The annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of Schuyler County was held May 1 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Guest speakers were Mike Griffin and Jeremy Ferris of the New York State Department of Transportation, who outlined the Route 14 reconstruction project that has begun in Watkins Glen and will be completed next spring. It is being done in stages that the two men said are designed to minimize disruption downtown. The project includes new sidewalks and roadwork designed to reduce speed as motorists enter the village from the north.

Photo: The DOT's Mike Griffin (left) and Jeremy Ferris.


Ceremony marks breakthrough at park

Various dignitaries were on hand April 30 for a ground-breaking ceremony at the Schuyler County Business Park -- the symbolic start of the planned construction of a beverage production facility there -- the park's first tenant. Business.

Left: State Ag & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball.


O-M team wins county Envirothon crown

The Otters, one of five Odessa-Montour teams in the April 30 Southern Tier Envirothon in Owego, won the Schuyler County team title and will compete in a statewide event. Schools.

Left: Billy Tague (left) and Andy Ink of winning Otters.

  It's a time for youth to stand up and be heard

Watkins Glen High School junior Kathleen Clifford -- an Odessa File intern -- has written about the recent March for Our Lives in Ithaca and elsewhere and about youth empowerment in general as the younger generation has lifted the issues of gun violence and gun control into a national debate. Her thoughts are on Schools.

Photo at right: At the Ithaca March for Our Lives. (Photo provided by Kathleen Clifford)

Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 28, was a day on which law enforcement agencies operated drop-off centers to allow for the safe and responsible disposal of unused prescription drugs. In Schuyler County, the Odessa and Tyrone Fire Departments were such centers. In the photo above, Corrections officer Anthony Nieves stands beside two bags full of prescription drugs dropped off at the Odessa site that morning. (Take Back Day important: Government.)

Some of the large crowd at the Watkins Glen Community Center.

  Burdett Fire Dept. holds fund-raising dinner

The annual Burdett Dinner-Dance hosted by the Burdett Fire Department drew more than 400 people April 28 to the Watkins Glen Community Center. The event -- featuring thousands of dollars in raffle prizes -- is a major fund-raiser for the department, with proceeds going toward the purchase of trucks and equipment. One such truck, a new rescue vehicle, was put into service a week ago.

Photo at right: A buffet dinner was served by Carol Bower Catering.

From left: Watkins Glen Fire Chief Charlie Smith 3rd, emcee Tom Carson, and Junior Specchio, being honored for 70 years with the department. He joined in 1948.

  Watkins Fire Dept. holds its annual banquet

The annual Watkins Glen Fire Department banquet drew a crowd April 28 to the Hidden Valley lodge. The evening saw the installation of officers by Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi: Charlie Smith 3rd as Chief, Derek Bacon as 1st Assistant, Robert Gruver as 2nd Assistant and Jason Hudson as 3rd Assistant. There were Years of Service awards, Appreciation awards, and Training and Response awards.

Two of the vehicles on display April 28: a 1933 Chevrolet sedan (left) and a 1930 Ford Model A.

  Car show featured at Paint the Town Purple

The annual Paint the Town Purple fund-raiser -- aimed at helping finance cancer-cure research -- was held April 28 at the Montour Firemen's Carnival Grounds. The event, with a flea market, chicken barbecue and various displays, also featured a car show with a wide range of vintage vehicles. The 1941 Ford Super Deluxe pictured in the inset was for sale at $22,000 by its owners, Don and Mary Paterson of Elmira, who said they could be reached at (607) 739-7051. Other vehicles were there for show.

Youth production

Some of the cast of the Lake Country Players' youth production of Peter Pan, Jr., set for June 15-17 at Watkins Glen High School. Features.

Opportunity Zones recommended

New York State has recommended 514 census tracts -- including two in Schuyler County -- for designation as Opportunity Zones, a new federal community development program. Government.


OFD installs officers, gives annual awards

The Odessa Fire Department's annual banquet Saturday, April 21 at the Fontainebleau Inn drew 125 to a dinner evening marked by the installation of incumbent chiefs (and one new one) and the distribution of response and longevity awards. See another photo on People.

Left: Keith Pierce, honored for most fire calls last year, and Charlene Mahnke, the top rescue responder.

Rotary offers grant request guidelines

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club annually accepts requests for community grants, which are funded by a variety of club efforts. The guidelines are on People.


France Family will be honored on June 28

The fifth annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports will be presented to the France Family -- now led by patriarch James C. France -- during a dinner ceremony at the Corning Museum of Glass. People.

  They're promoting Donate Life New York State

Employees in the Schuyler County Clerk's office and Department of Motor Vehicles, along with other county workers, have been supporting New York's Donate Life campaign by wearing t-shirts, pins and bracelets touting the movement, which encourages organ and tissue donations. The campaign is of special interest to Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, who years ago donated a kidney to his sister and often preaches the benefits of the program. (Photo provided)

To learn more, visit


A transplant journey: the Schmidts' story

Deb Schmidt of Watkins Glen recounts -- in the third person -- the experiences she and her husband Gary underwent as Gary received lung and kidney transplants and Deb donated one of her own kidneys. The couple were guests at a Rotary Club meeting on Thursday, April 19 at which Assemblyman Phil Palmesano spoke of the importance of organ donations. Journey.


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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.

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

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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



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


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


Chair Yoga

Deep Release Yoga:
Explore simple yoga practices that can ease back pain, relieve patterns of chronic stress, increase flexibility and range of motion. Connect with your inner shining self.

Exercise Enterprise
300 S. Madison Ave.,
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Tues. +/or Thursday.
1:30-3:00 p.m.


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.

229 S. Catherine St., Montour Falls
(607) 210-6600

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.


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


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


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

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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.


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 2018
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 742-2772