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.

Let us provide a fast and friendly no obligation quote. You'll see why so many people have made the SENKA AGENCY their agency of choice in Schuyler County.

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 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.

  Local robotics team qualifies for Worlds

A team of seven high school-aged students from Schuyler County and Ithaca has advanced to face robotics competition from throughout the Northern Hemisphere in Detroit in April. Now the team is looking for ways to help finance the trip. Features.

Photo: The team's robotic creation, named Renaldo.

Cast members of this weekend's Watkins Glen High School spring musical, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," sang a selection of songs from the play Thursday at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club. Among the cast (from left in photo above) are Wyatt Brower, H. Nathaniel Rose and Conlin Wysocki. The play, in the WGHS auditorium, will be presented at 7:30 tonight (Friday), 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

  Rotary honors Elliott as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Hanley Elliott (right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for March. Elliott was introduced by teacher-coach Chris Clark, who said the honoree has earned many accolades, among them qualification in four straight years to the New York State high school golf championships. She has been a key member of the school's varsity volleyball team, as well as a member last year of the Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student athletes in the region. She is ranked 7th in her class academically, and plans to attend Ithaca College as she pursues a doctorate in Physical Therapy.

  Odessa, Montour voters re-elect incumbents

The turnout was low, and there were no surprises Tuesday as the Village of Odessa saw trustees Sally Hill and Thomas Letteer re-elected to 2-year terms on the Village Board. Only 14 residents voted, with Letteer named on 14 ballots, Hill on 12, and write-in Gerry Messmer on 1.

Montour Falls: 41 ballots were cast, with incumbents James Ryan (38 votes) and Philip Smith (37 votes) re-elected to 4-year terms. There were two write-in votes -- one each for Harriet Farrell and Pat Nelson. Incumbent Village Justice Donald Spaccio was re-elected, named on all 41 ballots.

  Coffey to row in 'The Boat Race' on Thames

Former Watkins Glen High School student Olivia Coffey -- who was on the Senecas' sectional final basketball team in her freshman year before moving on to prep school, Harvard, All-American status and a rowing career on U.S. National teams and an Olympics berth -- will be rowing Saturday for Cambridge University's Women’s Boat Club against Oxford University's Women’s Boat Club in “The Boat Race” on The River Thames as part of Cambridge’s elite women’s eight team. She’s attending Cambridge, working on her MBA. The 6-foot-1 Coffey, 29, also known for her hockey prowess in her prep school days (and whose father stroked the men’s pair to a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics), is one of two Americans on the Cambridge squad -- seated next to the coxswain and helping dictate the boat’s pace. The race starts at 12:31 p.m. Eastern time and will be streamed live on You Tube.

  Sidewalk work in Glen to precede road paving

The New York State Department of Transportation will soon begin construction on new sidewalks in Watkins Glen, along with lmprovements to crosswalks, signage and signals, in anticipation of a mill and pave of State Route 14 in 2019. A look presented by the Chamber of Commerce appears on Business.


'Hunchback' to open
at WGHS tonight

The Watkins Glen High School production of the musical "Hunchback of Notre Dame" starts its 3-day run at 7:30 tonight (Friday) in the WGHS auditorium. Schools.

Photo: Wyatt Brower in the title role.


Baseball conjures the past

The editor muses about baseball past and present, local and national. Column.


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

  Opportunity Zone tag could be game-changer

The Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) is urging citizen participation in an effort to secure federal designation of an Opportunity Zone in the county. Such a zone, says SCOPED, could greatly benefit Schuyler. Forum.

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

--The Schuyler Transit bus run between Schuyler Hospital and the Cayuga Medical Center draws raves. Business.

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.

Helen M. Hurley, 86, of Watkins Glen.
Carolyn S. Clarke, formerly of Watkins Glen.
Marion Roberts, 104, Town of Catharine.
Mary M. Marcin, 97, of Watkins Glen.
Frank W. Steber, 96, of Watkins Glen.
Frederick G. Watson, 82 formerly of Elmira.
Bert William Pyle Jr., of Burdett.
Jane A. Franzese, 76, 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.

The scene inside St. Paul's Parish House in Montour Falls.

  Montour Falls Library book sale is underway

A five-day Montour Falls Library book sale opened Tuesday at St. Paul's Parish House, 108 Genesee St., Montour Falls. The sale -- offering novels, non-fiction works, children's books and movies -- continues daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Saturday, March 24. The cost: a cash donation of the buyer's choice. The sale helps support the library.

Village trustee Tony Fraboni listens as Chamber of Commerce President Rebekah Carroll, right, and Tourism & Marketing Manager Brittany Gibson outline plans to help merchants during upcoming work by the state on Franklin Street and adjoining sidewalks. The Chamber will coordinate with the Department of Transportation and merchants to help minimize the disruption of business.

  Village Board hears Market-Movie Night plans

The Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night heard Movie Night originator Sara Caldwell outline the 2018 plans that combine a Farmers' Market with movies at Clute Park. The Wednesday events begin on July 4, and continue through Aug. 29, with the exception of Aug. 8. The market will run from roughly 5:30-8:30 p.m., with each movie outdoors at dusk. The board also accepted a state grant for the Kayak Launch at Tank Beach and approved Silverline Construction as general contractor for the project. The target date for groundbreakng is April, with completion planned by June 30. (Photo inset: Trustee Gary Schmidt)

School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School Board met in regular session Monday night, and honored three winter athletes. For a meeting summary provided by the district, click here.


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: "Budget adoption process reaches the homestretch." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara


Sheriffs' Institute drive starts; benefits camp

Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman is encouraging support of the New York State Sheriff's Institute through its Honorary Membership drive. The Institute's programs include a summer camp (left) on Keuka Lake for economically challenged children. People.


The latest 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.


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: "When it comes to wills, the process can get messy." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.


'Secret Garden' ends run at Odessa-Montour

The Odessa-Montour High School spring musical "The Secret Garden" ended its two-day, three-performance run with matinee and evening performances Saturday, March 17 in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Features.

Left: Rhys Stermer and Molly Heichel in a "Secret Garden" dance number.

  Rotary to hold New Member Open Call at hotel

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club will hold a New Member Open Call from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 29 at the Harbor Hotel to give anyone interested in joining a chance to find out more about Rotary and the services it provides to the community. The club meets weekly at the Upper Deck Bar & Grill in the Elks Lodge building at the north end of Watkins Glen, and is nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races and creeds. For more information, contact club President Rich Greenberger at (312) 519-8355.


Hotel Ice Bar raises $25,000 for Red Cross

The 7th annual Ice Bar -- a 3-day celebration of area wines and foods and a showcase of sculpted and colorful ice bars at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in February -- raised $25,000 for the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross. That amount -- $25,000, which brings to $125,000 the 7-year total donated by the hotel to the Red Cross -- was presented in a check ceremony March 16 at the hotel. Attending were both hotel and Red Cross representatives. Plans are already underway for the 8th Ice Bar in 2019. Business.

Photo: Red Cross Finger Lakes Chapter Executive Director Brian McConnell at Friday's ceremony.

Guest Speaker

Andrew Tompkins, former director of the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum and now director of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum in Hammondsport, was guest speaker at the March 15 luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club. He described the exhibits and services of the museum, located in the former Taylor Wine Company buildings. It is open 7 days a week, year round, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $7, although free to members and youths 12 and under.

  Rotary honors Coates as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior John Coates (right) was honored March 15 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for March. The honoree was introduced by music teacher Jennifer Kraemer, who said she has taught Coates for years and finds he is someone "you can always rely on," and someone who is "happy to do whatever task needs to be done." She also said he is "a wonderful leader in our ensembles" -- for Coates' specialty is music. He is a member of the school Choir and Band, its Brass Quintet and Jazz Club, the Honor Choir, and the current and previous school musicals, in addition to belonging to Drama Club. Coates said the award was "a huge honor. I've never been Student of the Month or Student of Anything before." He will perform as Archibald Craven in this weekend's O-M spring musical, "The Secret Garden."


Students hold walkouts, silent vigils at O-M, Glen

Some students at the Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen school districts staged 17-minute walkouts from their classrooms March 14 on the day of a nationwide movement created in reaction to the Parkland, Florida school shooting. At both Schuyler schools, silence marked the day instead of protest. Schools.

Left: Friends shared a blanket in a WGHS courtyard vigil.

Members of the band Kilrush perform at Wednesday's concert.

  Kilrush in concert at Performing Arts Center

The Elmira-based Celtic Rock group Kilrush performed March 14 in a free pre-St. Patrick's Day concert sponsored by the Schuyler County Legislature at the Watkins Glen Performing Arts Center. The county, which recently took over operation of the facility -- in the former Middle School -- says it hopes the Kilrush concert "is the first of many performances there" in a drive to develop it into a cultural center. Also performing Wednesday -- before a crowd estimated by one county official as more than 300 people -- were The Ring of Chiarraighe Celtic Dancers from Horseheads.

Odessa File Winter Sports MVP, All-Stars

We unveil our 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team high school All-Stars, and honor an O-M swimmer as our Winter Sports MVP. Sports.


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.

  Sheriff's Office plans Shooter Response class

The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office will host a "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event" (CRASE) class on Wednesday, March 28 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Watkins Glen Performing Arts Center at the former Middle School, 906 S. Decatur St. The class is open to anyone who would like to attend. Any questions may be directed to Lt. Todd Day at the Sheriff’s Office, (607)535-8222.

From left: WGI President Michael Printup, State Senator Tom O'Mara, race car driver Katherine Legge, and Assemblymen Phil Palmesano and Chris Friend. (Photo provided)

  State Legislature recognizes WGI in Albany

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblymen Phil Palmesano and Chris Friend welcomed Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup, WGI Vice President Andrew Smith and race car driver Katherine Legge to the State Capitol March 13 to celebrate the contributions of motorsports to the economy and culture of the Southern Tier and statewide. Legge competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Together, the group officially opened a New York State Motorsports Exhibit in the Empire State Plaza, and both houses of the Legislature adopted a resolution proclaiming March 11-17 as Motorsports Appreciation Week in New York.


Legislature backs the wage tip credit system

Schuyler legislators back local restaurateurs who see dire consequences-- rising prices, fewer customers and fewer employees -- if the state terminates the credit system. Business.

Also: Legislators pass Local Law on opioid cost recovery that draws emotional response. Government.

Photo: Watkins restaurateur Curt Connelly at Monday meeting.


Wood: Robocalls will be used in the future

Odessa-Montour School Superintendent Chris Wood (left) said at the March 8 School Board meeting that the district -- after notifying parents by letter following a student-issued threat recently -- will employ much faster robocalls in the future. The announcement came after one parent complained at the board meeting. Schools.


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.


Mark Rondinaro and Emily Peckham at the Rotary Club.

  Rondinaro, Peckham join local Rotary Club

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club welcomed two new members during its weekly luncheon meeting March 8 at the Upper Deck Grill located in the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge. Schuyler County Legislator Mark Rondinaro and Schuyler Public Health Specialist Emily Peckham joined the club -- introduced respectively by members Judy Cherry and Ken Wilson.


Program showcases students' talents

The annual Artists in Residence program at Watkins Glen High School culminates with two concerts featuring students' musical talents. Schools.

Photo: Student Sarah Joslin sings "Beneath Your Beautiful."


Final public workshop held on DRI projects

The third and final public workshop is held regarding Watkins Glen's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Government.

Photo: DRI consultant Susan Favate at Wednesday's session.

  Village Board approves Lafayette Park clock

The Watkins Glen Village Board on March 5th held a 37-minute meeting at which it approved purchase of a Howard Replica Victorian Style Street Clock for Lafayette Park with $14,995 from $50,000 in funds bequeathed to the Parks Department by the Robert Louis Paradiso Estate for the beautification and improvement of the park. The Board also:
--voted to advertise for bids for one of the phases of the wastewater treatment project;
--heard Trustee Laurie DeNardo say that the final public workshop of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative is Wednesday, March 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the Community Center.
--heard Mayor Sam Schimizzi say that in addition to his sister Patti, appointed at the last meeting to one of two vacancies on the Watkins Glen Housing Authority Board, a second person is interested in the other vacancy.

Photo: Trustees Laurie DeNardo and Tony Fraboni.

Watkins' Hannah Morse shoots as B-G-s Macie Leizear defends.

Watkins girls fall in title game, 59-48

Top-seeded Bainbridge-Guilford pulled away in the closing minutes of the Section IV, Class C final, ending Watkins Glen's sectional title streak at three. The Senecas, who won last year's state championship, finished this season with a 16-6 record. Sports.

Aaron Planty 26th in the 1600 at States

Watkins Glen High School senior Aaron Planty posted his personal-best time at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships, held on Staten Island. Brother Gabe competed in the Intersectional Relay. Sports.


O-M's Tague places 50th at State Meet

Odessa-Montour senior Billy Tague (left) completes his stellar high school swimming career at the New York State Championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center. For story and photos, see Sports.

Winter in Odessa, looking up toward the tower of the former Baptist Church.

  Power outages strike area; thousands affected

The winter storm that struck the Southern Tier March 2 caused power outages around the area, including more than 3,000 NYSEG customers in Schuyler County, almost one third of the total number of customers here. The total was down to 1,240 by 8 p.m., but some outages lingered for the next two days.


O-M's 3rd marking period Honor Rolls

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


Assembly talk: Safety in age of shootings

The 7th through 12th graders at Watkins Glen High School gather to discuss their fears and ideas in the wake of the attack at a Florida school. Schools.

Left: One of many sheets with ideas from the assembly.


SCOPED holds annual meeting, with students

Schuyler County's Partnership for Economic Development hears reports on tourism-related projects, and a pitch from students for something more. Government.

Left: Schuyler County Planning Director Kristin VanHorn, one of the meeting speakers.

  Donations sought for O-M students' STEM trip

The STEM Group, a Not-for-Profit, is seeking donations to help finance participation by four 8th grade Odessa-Montour students accepted to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Explore STEM at Villanova University in June. A letter explaining the situation appears here.

O-M's Billy Tague on the way to victory in the 200 IM.


O-M's Tague wins 2 titles, reaches States

Takes 200 Yard Individual Medley and 100 Breaststroke at Section IV, Class C Swimming Championships, qualifies for State Tournament. Sports.

Left: Billy Tague after IM win.

Phish adds WGI to schedule

The rumored return of the rock band Phish to Watkins Glen International has been verified by the band on Facebook and on its schedule -- which lists a three-day Phish Curveball Festival from Aug. 17-19 at WGI. The band played there before in 2011 and 2015, proving a boon to the local economy both times. For details, visit


The 13th 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 13th installment: "Reading suggestions from the WGFA." Column.


Left: Travis Durfee


Are WG snow-removal fines in the forecast?

Watkins Glen Trustee Kevin Thornton (pictured at right) said at the Feb. 20 Village Board meeting that the village's method of trying to enforce sidewalk snow removal is "antiquated," and suggested that any residents failing to clear their walkways following snowfalls might instead be fined. The village, he said, currently sends letters to violators that often go unanswered. He said Burdett imposes fines, and that Watkins Glen would be better served doing the same thing. Trustees took no action, but kicked the idea around, with Mayor Sam Schimizzi saying a $10 fine "might freak people out, but it would get their attention." He added: "Whatever the board wants to do, but maybe we can look around at other municipalities" for ideas.


Urged: Inclusion of area lakes on priority list

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano have urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to amend his budget proposal to add Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua lakes to a list of priority lakes considered vulnerable to harmful algal blooms threatening drinking water sources. Government.

Photo at right: Assemblyman Palmesano

O'Mara seeks expanded Student Journalist rights. Schools.

Seeking nominations

State Senator Tom O'Mara is seeking nominations by April 13 for the New York State Senate's Veterans Hall of Fame -- an online tribute to the military and civilian lives of veterans from our region. Government.

  Rotary honors Clark as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Gillian Clark was honored Feb. 15 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for February. Clark was introduced by teacher Russ Gardner, who described the honoree as "a great student" -- 4th in her class academically -- who volunteers frequently for school and community events, and is a standout three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball and golf, and a two-time Odessa File O-M Athlete of the Year). Clark, who has qualified for States in golf in each of the past four years, cited that sport as her best. She plans to attend college, and is considering the University of Buffalo or Tompkins Cortland Community College.


Mr. Chicken building comes tumbling down

The building that for decades housed the Mr. Chicken restaurant was demolished Tuesday morning, Feb. 13. Some scenes from the ground, and one from the air, are on Business.


At the demolition site.


A message from our area's Assemblyman

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says that New York needs a comprehensive and compassionate response to domestic violence. Palmesano.

Left: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.


Humane Society stages Bridal Gown Blowout

More than 150 off-the-rack designer wedding gowns and 200 prom and formal dresses were available for sale at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel Feb. 11 to raise funds to help benefit the Humane Society of Schuyler County and its shelter animals. Features.

  $80 million in projects as Watkins heats up

"Look at the money coming in. It's huge," SCOPED Executive Director Judy Cherry told the Watkins Glen Village Board Feb. 5 as she outlined projects totaling more than $80 million in and near Watkins Glen. Among them, a soon-to-be-built beer and wine production and distribution facility (like at right) in the long-vacant Schuyler County Business Park, and Cargill plant expansion. Government.

  Rotary honors Prien as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Jared Prien (right) was honored Feb. 8 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WG Student of the Month for February. Prien was introduced by English teacher Kelly Muir, who described the honoree as "a kind and generous person" who overcame a difficult circumstance -- the death of his mother and a move here from Illinois in the 10th grade to live with a cousin -- and an extreme distaste for school to become "a tremendous student." He was helped by teachers who saw his potential, she said, and now "gives back" by encouraging and leading other students. A gifted writer, he plans to attend Corning Community College and then a four-year school. While he isn't sure which career path to follow, he said he might become a history teacher, perhaps even at Watkins Glen.

  Palmesano gives State of the State speech

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (right) was the guest speaker at the Feb. 8 luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club at the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge, a session co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters. While attendees expected a State of the State message from Palmesano and State Senator Tom O'Mara, the Assemblyman did solo duty when O'Mara was unable to attend -- stuck in Albany for key meetings, Palmesano explained. Subjects of his talk: the high tax burden in New York State (which he said has helped drive a net total of one million residents out of the state since 2010), budget deliberations, the heroin-opioid crisis ("We have to take an all-hands-on-deck-approach"), and the lack of broadband access in rural areas ("a significant problem" and "a priority issue"). After the luncheon, he met with students at Watkins Glen High School and with a robotics club in the village.

An ice sculpture in the shape of a crane. The sculpture, behind the Harbor Hotel, was sponsored by Silverline Construction.


Ice Bar wraps up its 3-day run at Harbor Hotel

The 7th annual Ice Bar at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel concluded its 3-day 2018 run on Feb. 3, with all sorts of wines and other adult beverages dispensed in the ballroom and through carved ice bars behind the hotel. The event -- sold out Friday and Saturday nights -- raised funds for the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross. In the Ice Bar's first six years, $100,000 was donated to the Red Cross through the event.

A total of $25,000 was donated last year alone, and hotel officials said they hoped to raise that amount again, although costs (ice, for instance, runs $20,000) have gone up. Employees of The Ice House in Auburn brought the ice to the hotel Thursday and carved it into various bars and a two-seat throne through the day. About 450 people attended Thursday night, 1,000 people Friday night, and another 1,000 Saturday night.

Photos: Sculpted ice sponsor blocks, and one of the several ice bars that served beverages behind the Harbor Hotel.


Barnes named Vice Chairman of Western OTB

Schuyler County Legislator Phil Barnes -- a member of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation Board of Directors, has been named the board Vice Chairman, succeeding former vice chair Thomas Wamp, who decided to step down. Richard Bianchi continues as board chairman. Said Barnes: "We have some challenges, things to deal with," and said he was looking forward to it. Western Regional Off-Track Betting is a public benefit corporation that is owned by 15 counties and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester. It operates various betting locations and a telephone wagering service in those counties, and owns and operates Batavia Downs Gaming, a racetrack and gaming facility.

Photo at right: Phil Barnes.


Chamber's Winter Gala offers a '20s theme

The annual Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Winter Gala at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel Jan. 20 drew a crowd enjoying an evening of food, drink, music, auctions and a Great Gatsby theme with Roaring '20s style clothing. People.


Watkins Glen Library has a new Director

Beth Staff has been selected by the Watkins Glen Library Board of Trustees to succeed Sarah Kurcoba as the new Library Director. People.

Left: Beth Staff (Photo provided)

Rotary Club President Rich Greenberger congratulates Trey McCarty on his selection as Rotary Student of the Month.

  Rotary honors McCarty as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Trey McCarty was honored Jan. 18 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for January. McCarty was introduced by teacher and Interact advisor Lynda Kramer, who said the honoree -- a three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball and golf), Student Council secretary and Yearbook treasurer -- is "dependable and diligent" and "cares about his school and community," volunteering "behind the scenes in many ways." He plans to attend SUNY Cortland and study sports management.


Tailor Shop seamstress Marie Maiden dies

Locally known seamstress Marie Maiden has died after operating The Tailor Shop on Main Street in Montour Falls for almost 20 years. An acquaintance said Maiden died last week a day or two after confiding that she was planning to retire. There is no obituary, but family members have issued a memorial note thanking her friends and clients, and concluding: "Mom: We love you so much and will miss you. Earlene, Roger and Dani."

Jill Wendela, with her award, is flanked by Schuyler County Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan, left, and County Administrator Tim O'Hearn. (Photo provided)


Public Health names Employee of the Year

Schuyler County Public Health has named Jill Wendela as its 2017 Employee of the Year. Wendela, RN, MS, manages Public Health's programs for lead poisoning prevention and immunizations. She also serves as the department's Accreditation Coordinator, and in that role guided Public Health through the process of applying to become a federally accredited health department. Said Public Health Director Marcia Kasprzyk: "Jill Wendela is committed to making sure the department is doing the best it can to improve the health of the community."

Erick Thorpe, left, owner of the Bucket Bar & Grill, is presented the Odessa Citizen of the Year Award by Mayor Keith Pierce.

  Thorpe honored as Odessa Citizen of the Year

Bucket Bar & Grill owner Erick Thorpe was named the Odessa CItizen of the Year for 2017 Jan. 15 at a meeting of the Odessa Village Board. The fifth annual honor, Mayor Keith Pierce said in a prepared statement, was presented for the "tremendous impact" Thorpe and his business have had "on the future and well-being of our village by bringing to us a place to gather, talk to neighbors and just take a few moments to enjoy life." He also cited Thorpe's practice of taking time "to help any and all local causes," including "recently donating all the food for a wounded warriors hunting trip held in Newfield." Pierce said the board wanted "to thank this year's recipient for bringing a sense of community and caring back to Odessa."

Photo in text: Thorpe displays his plaque.

WGHS senior Kaitlyn Valla receives her Student of the Month plaque from Rotary Club President Rich Greenberger.


Rotary honors Valla as Student of the Month; Sweet discusses Havana Stoneware history

Watkins Glen High School senior Kaitlyn Valla was honored Jan. 11 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for January. Valla, who plans to pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering and a career that focuses on water quality, was introduced by teacher Karen Armstrong, who praised the honoree's humility and work ethic, and her ability to raise the performance of other students around her who feed off of her efforts.

Valla is a member of Rotary Interact, National Honor Society, Youth Court, Debate Club, History Club, and Yearbook, and competes in powerlifting, soccer and lacrosse -- the latter as goalie on the school's boys team. She plans to attend Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

The Rotary program was presented by Al Sweet, an expert on Stoneware of Havana -- Havana being what became Montour Falls in 1894. Sweet outlined the history of such pottery, produced in large quantities in the 19th century but hard to find now. He has written a book on the subject, which is available at the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum.

Photo: Al Sweet with an 1855 piece of Havana Stoneware.


Rehearsals start for 'Hunchback' at WGHS

Rehearsals began Jan. 4 in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium for the March 23-25 WGHS production of the musical "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Features.

Left: Cast member Kelsey Kernan strikes a pose.


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 "Year-end wrap-up." Column.



Left: Mayor Keith Pierce


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.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

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

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.

Want to contact us?

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

You can call: (607) 594-3594

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

Area historical photos can be found on History.

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

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.







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


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.,
Watkins Glen.
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.


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


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


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


Contact us about our ad rates




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


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


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


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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Yes, we're still seeking donations

Click here

Sponsors' Page

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

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

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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

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

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


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

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


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

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



Some sports stories and essays inside

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


Some special feature packages

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



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

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

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

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




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

(607) 594-3594