Click on the ad above to go to the J.R. Dill website.


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

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


Senka Agency


We are deeply thankful
for our loyal customers
and extend to you our
best wishes for a happy
holiday season.
May the new year bring you
health & happiness.

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

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


Click on the ad above to visit the Visions Credit Union web site -- you deserve a financial partner that has your best interest in mind!



Continue Your Story
at Elmira College

To visit the Elmira College website, click here.

To visit our Elmira College page on this website,
click here.

Learn more about Elmira College and courses being offered!
Click here or here.

Elmira College alumni receive a 20% discount on course fees.

Phone: (607) 735-1825.


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

Current Menu at WWW.REDNEWT.COM

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


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

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

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 Wines
and Spirits

Opening for business

This Saturday, Dec. 20, we will be open from 10 am to 9 pm.

The business is 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


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 -- Learn Motor Co.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- Unoccupied


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. 



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


Click below to see
Lottery Numbers


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 Schuyler Hospital's website.

Athletes of the Week

This week we honor two wrestlers and a swimmer as Odessa File Athletes of the Week. Sports.


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara graces our pages with a weekly column from Albany. This time: "Carrying on in more ways than one." Column.

Left: State Sen.Tom O'Mara

"And why do you feel nobody likes you, Mr. Fruitcake?"

Christmas cheer from Ron Havens

As Christmas nears, the humorist from Catharine Corners gives us some holiday humor in these three panels.

Click on the ad below to learn more.




And inside ...

The Cast List for the WGHS senior play, Shrek the Musical, has been set. Rehearsals start Jan. 4. Features.

For Part 1 of "Schuyler County and Me," reprised, Click here.
For Part 2, click here.
For Part 3, click here .
For Part 4, click here.
For Part 5, click here.


The Editor's Columns

A Christmas poem

The editor has composed a story in verse that might
or might not shed light on how The Odessa File came to be.
It's called Genesis.


Death Notices on the Obituary Page.

Betsy (Betty) Searles of Hector.
Vincent Pastore, 70, formerly of Watkins .
James L. “Jamie” Compese, Jr., 61, of Trumansburg.
Gary W. Tuttle, 60, of Burdett.
Alene G. Green, 76, of Trumansburg.
Virginia L. Litteer, 72, of Dundee.

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

Open for business

The new Odessa Wines and Spirits business on Main Street in Odessa, next to the Tompkins Trust Company office, opened its doors to customers on Saturday, Dec. 20. "We are very excited that we can be open for the holiday season," said a Wines and Spirits spokesperson.


Watkins students show talents on the stage

The annual Watkins Glen High School Talent Show featured a range of musical abilities onstage Friday morning in the school auditorium. To see who won the competition, visit Schools.


Left: Lydia Myers competes in the Talent Show.


Rotary honors Roberts as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Dana Roberts (pictured at right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for December. Roberts was introduced by teacher and coach Burton Brewster, who described the honoree as "responsible and respectful," and "a genuine person, a person of integrity" always working to improve as a member of the soccer and track teams Brewster coaches. Roberts, a member of the school chorus and band, a veteran theater performer, a two-time member of the Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athletes and last year's Odessa File O-M Athlete of the Year, says she is considering attending Bethune-Cookman University in Tampa, Florida.


Hanlon students stage Holiday Program

Hanlon Elementary School 4th and 5th graders presented a concert of holiday music Thursday night in the Odessa-Montour school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Schools.

Left: Members of the 5th Grade Band at Thursday's concert.


Montour Falls woman wins Fiat, trip to Italy

Nancy Loughlin of Montour Falls is the winner of the Fiat 500 Abarth and trip to Italy offered by the International Motor Racing Research Center. People.


Left: Car raffle winner Nancy Loughlin. (Photo by Kevin Hughey)

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Click on the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

To visit the Quinlans website, click here.


Jan. 2 concert will help raise funds for library

A fund-raising concert for the Montour Falls Memorial Library featuring acclaimed musicians Donna Stewart and Ron Andrico, better known as Duo Mignarda, will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, January 2 at the Old Havana Courthouse Theatre, located on the second floor of the Montour Falls Village Hall. The duo specializes in lute music of the 16th century. The concert is titled “A New Year’s Gift.” Features.

Protesters Wednesday blocked access to Crestwood before being arrested by State Police, Sheriff's Deputies and Village Police.


Music, 28 arrests and then news on fracking

Twenty-eight more arrests were recorded Wednesday at Crestwood's north gate along Rt. 14 north of Watkins Glen -- including 18 musicians, some of whom were playing guitars and banjos before being taken into custody in the ongoing protest movement against the planned storage of methane, propone and butane in abandoned Crestwood salt caverns.

But that news was trumped when word came down -- after the arrests -- that hydraulic fracturing (fracking, a method for extracting gas from deep underground) is being rejected in New York State as a potential health risk. Cheers for the arrestees -- as they came out of the Sheriff's Office in pairs after being processed and given appearance tickets for trespass -- were transplanted by a mingling of cheers and tears ... of happiness at the decision on fracking, a basic evil to environmentalists. "I never thought I'd see the day," said one of the protesters. "Crestwood, you're next," said another.

Above left: Gas-storage protest leaders Sandra Steingraber (top) and Colleen Boland react to news that fracking has been rejected in New York State; Watkins Police Sgt. Steve Decker escorts an arrestee to a vehicle. Inset: Noted musician Richie Stearns, one of the arrestees.

Arrestee Crow Marley reacts to news of the fracking ban after her release from the Sheriff's Office.


This week's deals at Famous Brands

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

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

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Experience New Year’s Eve the Glenora Wine Cellars way! Veraisons Restaurant & the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars invite you to ring in 2015 in style - we've got the whole evening planned; you just have to decide how you'd like to celebrate! Take advantage of our NYE package at the Inn and stay the evening in one of our elegant guestrooms overlooking beautiful Seneca Lake! For more information, see Sports or visit

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

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.

In order to visit the Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty website, click here.

A trooper leads away a pair of protesters.


41 arrested in protest at Crestwood gate

The protest against the Crestwood energy firm's plans to store gas in abandoned salt caverns escalated Tuesday morning with the arrest of 41 people on trespass charges as they blocked Crestwood's north gate along Rt. 14 north of Watkins Glen. Among the arrestees were 25 educators ranging from kindergarten teachers to college professors. The arrests bring to 133 the number occurring since the current protest campaign -- triggered by federal approval of methane storage by Crestwood -- began in late October. State and village police, along with sheriff's deputies from Schuyler and Yates counties, participated in Tuesday's arrests. Government.


Left top: A deputy and a news photographer have a close encounter.
Left bottom: Protest organizer Sandra Steingraber and one of the arrestees, her son's 5th grade science teacher in Trumansburg, Andy Moore.


Watkins-Odessa grid talks set to kick off

The superintendents and high-school principals of the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour school districts will meet Wednesday to discuss a possible merger of the two districts' football programs, Watkins Superintendent Tom Phillips (left) announced Monday. Talks.


Watkins, O-M districts stage Winter Concerts

Both the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour school districts attracted enthusiastic audiences to their auditoriums Monday night as students in both districts performed in annual Winter Concerts. Schools.

Left: Watkins Glen High School Chorus soloist Andrew Likoudis.

The cap bespeaks the Christmas and Seneca Santa spirit at Saturday's party at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards.


Hazlitt hosts annual Seneca Santa bash

The turnout was large and the expectations optimistic for a solid fund-raising effort Saturday at the 18th annual Seneca Santa party at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards in Hector. The wine, music and raffle affair -- a popular party each year -- has raised thousands of dollars annually for the Seneca Santa program that provides Christmas gifts to Schuyler County underprivileged children. Each year, local businesses and individuals offer donations of cash, goods and services to help the cause.

Left: Scenes at the party

Willie Hayes, left, and Lou Cicconi, part of the party's band.

Party bartender Joe Fazzary and a scene amid the crowd on hand.


A guest column by
our Assemblyman

New York State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano weighs in with a column on how we can and should honor and thank the military men and women who protect our freedoms. Column.

Left: Assemblyman Palmesano

O-M School Board President Robert Halpin, left, and Interim Superintendent Peter Punzo at Thursday's meeting.


'Separation benefits' draw ire at O-M

The Odessa-Montour School Board approved a transfer of funds totaling $68,491.07 from a reserve fund to the general fund Thursday night, Dec. 11 to pay "contractual separation benefits" to the recently departed district superintendent, Jim Frame. The payment -- which one board member said was for accrued vacation and sick days -- drew fire from a representative of the O-M Civil Service Employees Association. Schools.


This month's column from the Valicenti firm

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

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

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

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.


Now available on Kindle: The Maiden of Mackinac

This story -- which spans 700 years and ranges from our region to Northern Michigan -- tells of a quest for the truth behind a legend ... the legend of a Native American maiden reputed to be centuries old. It was written by Charlie Haeffner, and is available now on Kindle at To see the ad, click here.

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

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


Visit Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Three locations: in Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Montour Falls

Click here or on the photo at left to go to the Jerlando's website. There you will find information about all three locations, plus menus.

Left: The front of the recently renovated Jerlando's at Franklin and 4th Streets, Watkins Glen

Public Service

... now have their own page. To see them, click here.


In the judge's arena ...

The editor takes a look at a recent court session at which 19 protest cases were heard and six people jailed. Yet it was marked by a new judicial flexibility and some surprising personal exchanges. Column.


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


Rotary honors Caslin as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior LynnAnn Caslin (left) was honored Dec. 11 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for December. Caslin was introduced by teacher Sam Brubaker, who called the honoree a "hard-working" and "respectful" student who loves school. She is a member of National Honor Society and captain of the cheerleading squad, with plans to attend Keuka College and study Business Administration with an eye toward a Master's degree and what she said would be her "dream job" -- fraud investigator with the FBI.


4 jailed protesters released after 8 days

The four Crestwood gas-storage protesters jailed last week after pleading guilty to trespass and refusing to pay fines in Reading Town Court on Dec. 3rd were released Thursday, Dec. 11. The three men, housed at the Schuyler County Jail -- James Betts, 30, of Ames, Iowa; Michael J. Clark, 30, of Cleveland, Ohio; and John P. Dennis, 54, of Ithaca -- were released shortly after 8 a.m. Kelsey Erickson, 23, a Cornell University graduate living in Massachusetts, was released later in the day after being transported to Schuyler County from the Yates County Jail. Schuyler has no facilities for female inmates. Betts had fasted during his incarceration, and after his release ate breakfast at the Glen Mountain Market.


Montour Falls man draws 8-year sentence

Stephen A. Jakob II, age 36, of Montour Falls was sentenced in Schuyler County Court Dec. 11 to eight years in prison as a second-felony offender for a string of burglaries committed in the county over a 10-month period beginning in December 2012. Officials said Jakob admitted to stealing $30,000 worth of property during the burglaries, including cash, computers, jewelry and guns.


WGI gets $2.25 million repaving grant

Watkins Glen International racetrack will receive $2.25 million from New York State to -- in the state's words -- "undertake a necessary and complete racetrack re-paving project" that will address safety concerns and include "removing and replacing the existing track, portions of the aprons/runoffs, and pit road pavement." The money is part of $709.2 million in awards announced Dec. 11 under Round 4 of a Regional Economic Development Council initiative developed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The grant, WGI said, "comes on the heels of $33.5 million in private capital investments at WGI over the past 10 years, with an additional $12 million committed for 2015." WGI announced its intention in November to repave the road course following the 2015 NASCAR race there.

Ian Chedzoy dons a robe as part of his induction.


5 join ranks of National Honor Society

Five Watkins Glen High School students were inducted Monday evening, Dec. 8 into the school's chapter of the National Honor Society. The inductees: Kalea Jones, Ian Chedzoy, Ashley Palmer, Jon Brown and Brooke Shaffer. Schools.


Dugo won't seek re-election

Watkins Glen Village Justice Nicholas Dugo (pictured at right) will not seek re-election in the spring. Dugo, who has served in the judge's post for 28 years, says "I think that is long enough." He says he is letting people know now because "it's almost time to start circulating petitions, etc." to get on the March ballot, "so best to let folks know so they have time to prepare for an election" without him in it. His term expires on April 1st.

Schuyler County Legislature Chair Dennis Fagan, left, presents a Certificate of Recognition to outgoing Legislator Tom Gifford.


Gifford honored at his final meeting

Longtime Schuyler County Legislator Tom Gifford, in the final month of his final term in office, was honored at the Dec. 8 Legislature session for his service to the county. He received a Certificate of Recognition noting his 17 years on the Legislature, most of them as chairman preceding current chair Dennis Fagan. Gifford, in accepting the certificate, said: "It has been a challenge, and that's all I'm going to say." He later noted that he still has some committee work ahead, but will miss the Legislature's year-end session on Dec. 29.


Fire Dept. holds its annual kids' party

Children and their parents turned out in force Dec. 7 for the annual Odessa Fire Department Children's Christmas Party at the Village Hall -- featuring face painting, cookie decorating, snacks, and presents for every girl and boy. The party was followed by the lighting of the village Christmas Tree outside.

Left: Santa and Odessa Village Clerk Kristi Pierce at the party. (Photo by Taylor Rounds)

An antique Montour Falls fire truck, carried on a trailer, was among the Village Christmas parade entires.


Watkins Glen hosts
a Village Christmas

The annual Watkins Glen Village Christmas, called Visions of a Vintage Christmas, was held Friday, Dec. 5 amid a light rainfall. The event, on Franklin Street, featured a parade, local choral groups, crafts, food vendors, fireworks, and the lighting of the village Christmas tree. Winners in the parade, which was sponsored by Visions Federal Credit Union, were: The U.S. Post Office (Most Christmas Spirit), Elmira Savings Bank (Best Decorated), Watkins Glen Fire Dept. (Most Decorated Fire Truck), and Four Dragons Martial Arts (Judges' Choice).

Left: Santa and Mrs. Claus at Famous Brands, where they met with children; and Pluto greeting a young fan during the parade.

Left: Members of Four Dragons Martial Arts provided a demonstration during the parade. Right: Judy Phillips posed as Mrs. Potts.

The frame at left was part of the garage, where officials say the blaze started before jumping to the trailer home (right).


Fire races through Rt. 228 trailer home

Investigators determined that a 3 a.m. fire on Dec. 4 at a trailer home at 2426 Rte. 228 outside Odessa was caused by a woodstove positioned too close to a wall in the nearby garage. The blaze swept quickly from there to and through the home. The property, owned by Tom Morgan, was rented to a man present at the time of the blaze, but who got out safely. The home, a total loss, was insured. Firefighters from Odessa, Montour Falls, Mecklenburg and Burdett responded, with Millport on standby..

Left: Flames raced to the end of the trailer home (top); firefighters hose down the front of the building.

Firefighters from Odessa, Montour Falls, Mecklenburg and Burdett were at the scene of the blaze.

From left: Kelsey Erickson, James Betts and John Dennis addressed the pre-court rally. Each later pleaded guilty, refused to pay a fine, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.


Busy court night; 6 protesters get jail terms

Nineteen Crestwood trespass cases were heard Wednesday night, Dec. 3 in Reading Town Court on an evening notable for a change in sentencing philosophy by Town Justice Raymond Berry; six guilty pleas resulting in jail sentences; a couple of fines, and nearly a dozen not-guilty pleas leading to adjournments until March and April. The court session was preceded by a rally outside attended by about 100 people in support of the trespass movement -- which is in opposition to the Crestwood energy firm's plans to store methane, propane and butane in abandoned salt caverns just west of Seneca Lake. (Addendum With 9 more arrests this morning (Thursday), a total of 92 arrests have occurred since Oct. 29.)

Sentenced to 15-day jail terms Tuesday night were James Betts, 30, of Ames, Iowa; Michael J. Clark, 30, of Cleveland, Ohio; John P. Dennis, 54, of Ithaca; and Kelsey Erickson, 23, a Cornell University graduate living in Carlisle, Mass. Following arguments by a legal advisor for the protest group, Atty. Sujata S. Gibson of Ithaca, Judge Berry acceded to requests for lesser sentences in two cases, dispensing a one-day jail stay to Judith Leaf, 67, of Ithaca, and a 7-day term to Susan S. Mead of Ithaca. Leaf was released shortly after midnight, technically one day after sentencing.

The six prisoners were gathered in a town hall meeting area outside the courtroom after sentencing until about 9:25 p.m., and then handcuffed and taken from the scene by deputies. The court session ran from 7 p.m. until after 10:30.

Photo in text: Protest leader Sandra Steingraber speaks at the rally.

9 arrested at Crestwood gates. Government.


Board resolution: Let's talk athletics

The Watkins Glen School Board passed a resolution Dec. 1st embracing talks with the Odessa-Montour School District regarding shared services, "including athletics." Board President Mike Myers (pictured at right) said the move was made "to clear up confusion" regarding the district's position on the possibility of a joint athletic effort -- to show "that we're behind it" -- as Superintendent Tom Phillips heads into talks next week with interim O-M Superintendent Peter Punzo, whose first day on the job Monday included a call to Watkins requesting such a meeting. Talk of merged teams has been raised from time to time over the past couple of years -- and more often since O-M's 2014 football season ended early when the team failed to maintain a minimum roster of 15 players.

Swimmer Katherine Meehan receives a certificate and congratulations from Coach Andrew Chouinard.


Athletes honored at Board meeting

Several Watkins Glen High School athletes -- Section IV, Class C champions and a state qualifier -- were honored Dec. 1st at a meeting of the district School Board. Honorees included Section IV champion diver Lexi Castellaneta (absent due to gymnastics training), Section IV Breaststroke champion Katherine Meehan, the Sectional champion girls cross-country team (Taylor Kennard, Cambria Weeden, Brooke Shaffer, Kai Sutterby, Maggie Bond, Julia Reilly, Clara Chedzoy and Aran Holland), and cross-country state qualifier Patrick Hazlitt (pictured). Each athlete received a certificate from the Board, presented by Swim Coach Andrew Chouinard (to Meehan) and by Athletic Director Rod Weeden (to the runners). Board.

Arrestees outside the Sheriff's Office afterward. (Photo provided)


10 protesters arrested; all Schuyler residents

Ten protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing Monday, Dec. 1 at the Crestwood energy company gates along Rt. 14 north of Watkins Glen -- all of them Schuyler County residents. The 10, protesting without any help from outside participants to make a point (according to a press release) that the opposition to Crestwood's gas storage plans is largely resident-driven, brings to 83 the number of arrests at the company gates since Oct. 29. Monday's arrestees were as follows:

Phil Davis, 62, Hector, co-owner, Damiani Wine Cellars;
Paula Fitzsimmons, 57, Hector, Physician Assistant;
Scott Signori, 47, Hector, owner & executive chef, Stonecat Cafe;
Audrey Southern, 31, Burdett, teacher;
Daphne Nolder, 29, Hector, pastry chef, Stonecat Cafe;
James "Jimmer" Bond, 28, Hector, employee, Damiani Wine Cellars;
Chris Tate, 52, Hector, musician;
Jessie Smith, 24, Burdett, employee, Glen Mountain Market;
Alexandra Doniger, 26, Hector, assistant winemaker, Hector Wine Company, Forge Cellars;
Kyle Barnhart, 30, Hector, general manager, Stonecat Cafe; owner, Hector Pallet.

Photo in text: Scott Signori before the arrests.

(For video of the arrests, click here.)


'Keep Wreath Blue' campaign under way

The 10th annual Keep the Wreath Blue campaign to highlight fire safety in the home is in progress in Schuyler County. Features.


Jailed protesters Sandra Steingraber, left, and Colleen Boland spoke to about 30 supporters outside the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office upon their release early Wednesday morning, Nov. 26. Each had been jailed the previous Wednesday after pleading guilty to trespassing on Crestwood property and refusing to pay the accompanying fine. They had been arrested while blocking a company gate along Rt. 14 north of Watkins Glen in late October. They served their time in Chemung County Jail, since Schuyler doesn't have facilities for female inmates.

Tony Vickio signs a copy of his book as Phil Barnes (seated) and Rick Hughey look on at the Racing Center.


Book signing marks 'Shifting Gears' debut

Tony Vickio's long-awaited book on his career in auto racing and as a professional sign painter was the subject of a book signing Wednesday night, Nov. 26 at Watkins Glen's International Motor Racing Research Center. Vickio, on hand with his wife Harriett, signed copies for a steady stream of well-wishers anxious to read about his life's work and adventures.


WG unveils honor roll

Watkins Glen High School rolls out its first Honor Roll of the school year. Honors.


Students help out on Seneca Santa delivery

Dozens of students from Watkins Glen High School gathered after school at the First Presbyterian Church in Watkins Glen on Nov. 25 to help offload scores of boxes containing toys. The toys were delivered by the Hesselson store in Elmira Heights on order from the Seneca Santa program, which uses a large room in the church for organizing gifts in preparation for delivery to families in need at Christmastime.

Above: The line of students passing along packages was a long one, running outside, inside and upstairs. The students were recruited for the job by various WGHS coaches.

Speaker Clinton R. Van Zandt makes a point during his talk.


Conference focuses on violence prevention

Scores of representatives from government, law enforcement, education and business gathered Monday, Nov. 24 at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen for a conference titled "Violence Prevention Awareness and Training." Speakers included:
-- Attorney Mary A. Lentz, a former public school teacher whose practice is in public law, school law and child safety;
--Janet H. Williams, a Licensed Clinical Social worker who addressed "Understanding Workplace Violence";
--Clinton R. Van Zandt, retired FBI Supervisor and now chief on-air criminalist for NBC/MSNBC, who discussed workplace violence warning signs, lessons learned and crisis plans; and
--Van Harp, a retired FBI agent, current Schuyler County Legislator and the conference organizer. As head of Harp & Associates, Violence Prevention Consultants, he discussed security technology.

Inset: Van Zandt


Odessa church bazaar proves to be a big hit

The annual Odessa-Catharine United Methodist Church bazaar drew a large crowd that ate every bit of the available luncheon food -- a first in the event's history. Features.

Left: Jewelry at the bazaar


Lexi 25th at States; barely misses cut

Watkins Glen High School freshman Lexi Castellaneta was 25th among 57 divers competing at the New York State High School Diving Championship on Nov. 21 at Ithaca College, missing the cut to the second round by less than a point, 198.40-197.85. Sports.

Left: Lexi strikes a pose.

Candles played a key role in the NHS ceremony.


O-M holds National Honor Society induction

A half-dozen Odessa-Montour High School students were inducted into the National Honor Society Thursday night, Nov. 20 during a ceremony in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Schools.


A column by Odessa Mayor Keith PIerce

Mayor Keith Pierce returns with his 25th in a series of columns about life and issues in the Village of Odessa. This time the title is "Striving to Always Improve." Column.



Left: Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce

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

Flying leaves

Leaves were going airborne as a solitary raker pushed a huge mound toward the street corner at Maple Avenue and Church Street in Odessa on Nov. 22 -- or so it seemed from a streetside view. Actually, a Toro blower out of sight behind the mound (and operated by the property owner, John Jelliff) was sending the leaves up and out while the raker, Village Mayor Keith Pierce, wielded a rake to direct wandering leaves back to the pile. The village DPW picks up leaves at curbsides with a vacuum recently purchased by the village.


Odessa's latest report on water quality

To see the Village of Odessa's latest Water Quality Report, click here.

Want to contact us?

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

You can call: (607) 594-3594

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

For Corning Community College news, click here.

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


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


The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a new Wine & Tourism Page. To reach the page, click here. To reach the Chamber website, click on the logo above.



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

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


Want to see what 344pm is about?

Click here to go to the website.



Health Blog

Visit Pureats --
A health blog providing ideas, creativity and support in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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

Be sure to visit

Watkins Glen
Winter Farmer's Market

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

Fresh produce, meats and crafts

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Read The Stoneware of Havana, N.Y. and Its Makers
by Allen F. Sweet.

A history of the manufacturing of Stoneware in that village (Montour Falls) from 1850-1888. More than 100 color photos.

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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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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.


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An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

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

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


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

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


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

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



Some sports stories and essays inside

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


Some special feature packages

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



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

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

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

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




© The Odessa File 2014
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594