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-Friday 8:30-5:00.
After hours and weekends by appointment.

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

Hours: 12 noon-8 p.m.

Open until Thanksgiving Eve

--Vegan Options
--Gluten-free Options
--Homemade Hard Ice Cream
--Homemade Chocolates
--Grape Pies

(607) 535-7354

Other locations in the
Finger Lakes where you can
find The Great Escape's homemade hard ice cream:

The Grist Iron, Wright's Beverages, FLX Wienery, Sunset View Creamery, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, FLX Fry Bird


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 -- Warren Real Estate


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 orthopedics website.


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: "A tradition of giving." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara


Harvest Schuyler Celebration set for Dec. 10

The Harvest Schuyler Committee of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is calling on farmers, restaurant owners, bed and breakfast owners, chefs -- anyone looking to supply local ingredients to local businesses OR looking to source local ingredients from local farmers -- to attend the Harvest Schuyler Progressive Celebration on Dec. 10 in downtown Watkins Glen. Business.

Open Letter from the Watkins School Board

See Schools.


In the land of Baba Yaga ...

The editor tiptoes into the virtual minefield known as the Watkins Glen School District ... Column.


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

First snowstorm

The Southern Tier was hit with its first snowstorm of the season Thursday. The storm dropped up to a foot of snow and forced the closing of schools Friday. In the photo above, the snow was falling steadily Thursday night along Main Street in Odessa.


Barnes is unofficial winner in DIstrict 6 race

Incumbent Republican Phil Barnes is the unofficial winner over Democratic challenger Brian Eslinger in the District 6 race for a seat on the Schuyler County Legislature. With all absentee ballots counted, the final totals show Barnes winning 496-488 -- totals expected to be certified on Nov. 20. Commissioner Joe Fazzary said that barring an unforeseen circumstance -- such as a court challenge -- the 496-488 total will hold. "And it looks like everyone is accepting of it," he said. Barnes had led by 17 votes after balloting on Nov 6. Absentees trimmmed his lead by nine, to the final eight-vote margin. This will be his third term on the Legislature.

Photos: Phil Barnes at the Board of Elections Tuesday.

To learn more, click on the ad below.

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 at (607) 742-2772.




And inside

--Dakota Cole earns the Eagle Scout award. People.

--A Hornell couple win a Porsche 911 in the annual International Motor Racing Research Center raffle.

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.

Edson N. Howell, 94, of Tyrone.
Alice Joyce Haughey, 82, of Watkins Glen.
Charles "Carl" Langenfeld, 75, of Burdett.
Thomas Leslie Couch, 84, formerly of Odessa.
Wayne A. Osborne, 54, of Watkins Glen.
Phyllis J. Kibbe, 81, of Montour Falls.
Janice A. Martz, 65, of Montour Falls.
Clarence E. "Barnie" Parker, 83, of Odessa.
Norma "Jean" Eldridge, 93, of Tyrone.

(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.

Phoning The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772

  Honoring The Essentials: Schuyler standouts

A dozen women and a dozen men populate this committee-selected group of outstanding Schuyler County residents or natives who have impacted life here or elsewhere. None is in the Schuyler County Hall of Fame, but perhaps will be. Essentials.

Photo: Honoree Peggy Scott.


Mitrano is planning 2020 bid for Congress

Democrat Tracy Mitrano, defeated Nov. 6 in her run for Congress against incumbent Republican Tom Reed, says she will seek the 2020 Democratic nomination again. She said in a press release that "a grassroots movement" that rose over the past two years will "continue to grow over the next two years," building on the just-completed campaign. "The last Democrat to win this district did so on his second run and I now understand why," she said, noting that she will launch her 2020 campaign with a Thank You Tour for volunteers and supporters, followed by a Listening Tour "to hear the concerns of constituents."

Photo: Tracy Mitrano at a recent town hall meeting.


Schuyler Legislature approves 2019 budget

Schuyler County legislators Tuesday night unanimously approved a $49 million 2019 county budget that calls for a tax levy of $11,116,913 -- up $57,969 from 2018 -- and a tax rate down .71% from the previous year. The budget was approved following a 40-minute presentation by County Administrator Tim O'Hearn, who outlined the many projects underway or planned in the county and, in conclusion, praised County Treasurer Harrriett Vickio, who he said was attending "her final budget meeting" prior to retirement. In four years, he said, Vickio has established "fiscal stability, accountability and control" in county finances and developed a strong staff that can carry on effectively after her retirement. His words triggered a standing ovation for Vickio, seated in the back of the room.

The board also, following a public hearing at which nobody spoke, approved adjustments in salaries for "certain public officials." Those salaries, in 45 days, will include: $99,064 for the Commissioner of Social Services, $94,675 for the Real Property Tax Collector, $93,887 for the Highway Superintendent, $110,351 for the County Attorney, and $97,985 for the Public Defender.

Photo: County Administrator Tim O'Hearn


Vietnam-era veterans honored at ceremony

The third annual event, sponsored by the Rotary and Lions Clubs, was held at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Each honoree received a lapel pin emblematic of "the nation's gratitude." People.

Photo: The keynote speaker, retired Col. A. Phillip Waite, Jr.

Veterans Day ceremony held in Watkins Glen. People.


Some more photos from dinner, musical

Here are a few more photos from the weekend of Nov. 9-11: from 'Shrek the Musical' and from the November Splendor dinner-dance. Features.

Left: At November Splendor: Ken Wilson and Stacey Parrish.


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: "Memories of my Dad on Veterans Day." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

Want to phone The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772

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

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.
To visit the Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty Company website, click here.


Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce

Status: Full-Time/Hourly Employee
Rate of Pay: $13.00-$15.00/Hour

The Office Assistant is the front-line representative for the Chamber of Commerce's Headquarter Visitor Center at 214 N. Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY. This position's primary function is to interact with visitors and chamber members in providing information and guidance to enhance the visitor's stay and to be an information resource to the Chamber membership. This position is also responsible for office organization, administrative support to the President & CEO, and training and scheduling volunteers.

The perfect candidate will be friendly, customer-focused, detail-oriented, a good team player, organized, skilled in Microsoft office products, computer-savvy, and have extensive knowledge of Schuyler County and the surrounding area.

Please email resumes to Rebekah@watkinsglenchamber.


The 16th installment of The Answers

Travis Durfee, President of the Watkins Glen Faculty Association, weighs in with The Answers, a regular column dealing with education in the Watkins Glen School District. This is the 16th installment: "What's going on in Watkins?" Column.


Left: Travis Durfee

Camaraderie was in full swing at November Splendor, here with Phil Cherry (right) and wife Judy talking with Schuyler Hospital President Jim Watson.


November Splendor packs the hotel ballroom

The annual November Splendor dinner-dance at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel ballroom was a sold-out affair Saturday night, with 290 attending. The event, featuring raffles and auctions and presented by the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary and Schuyler Health Foundation, is a key fundraiser for Schuyler Hospital. Music was provided by Letizia and the Z Band. Another feature: an open bar for the first hour of the 5-11 p.m. gathering.

Photo: Among the 290 people present were David and Tiffany Zinger.


A message from our area's Assemblyman

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says we should all try to show our appreciation to veterans and active service members all year long. Palmesano.

Left: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.


Glen's Planty places 3rd in Class C at States

Watkins Glen High School junior Gabe Planty finishes six seconds back, qualifies for next weekend's Federation Meet at Wappingers Falls. Sports.

Photo: WGHS junior Gabe Planty on the course during Long Island race. (Photo provided)

Rhys Stermer portrayed Donkey, a humorous sidekick to Shrek.


'Shrek the Musical' completes its 3-day run

The Lake Country Players' production of "Shrek The Musical" was presented for the third and final time Sunday afternoon before an appreciative audience in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. From the editor, here is a short review of this play about an ogre who finds true love: Comedic; colorful; pleasing sets; lots of energy; lengthy but moves fast; great voices; exceptional pit band. Shrek is portrayed by new-to-the-LCP Alex Gill, with a powerful voice reminiscent of the great Glenn Yarbrough. Funny toss-off lines and great song from Donkey (Rhys Stermer). A mind-blowing showing by Lord Farquaad (Anthony Curren). Four different Princess Fionas, all exceptional. A great finale with "I'm a Believer." (I am a believer). Go. Enjoy." Now, if you didn't, it's too late.

Photo: Alex Gill as Shrek putting on a dance move.

Left: Anthony Curren portrayed Lord Farquaad. Right: Melissa Neufer was Princess Fiona.

Watkins Glen's Allie Gibson, left, and Hannah Morse.


Our All-Schuyler Autumn All-Stars and MVPs

The Odessa File's First, Second and Third Team Autumn All-Stars have been selected, as well as the Schuyler Fall MVPs -- Watkins Glen High School swimmer Allie Gibson and WGHS soccer record-setter Hannah Morse. Sports.


The Arc kicks off its Transformation 2020 drive

The Arc of Schuyler's Transformation 2020 fundraising campaign had its official launch Thursday evening at a social gathering for Arc supporters at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Co-chairs Dominick Franzese and daughter Margaret Lawrence spoke after a poignant video featuring Steve Rondinaro, whose sister Cindy has received Arc services for years. Also speaking were Arc Board President Jay Hoffmeier and Executive Director Jeannette Frank, who outlined the projects the campaign will finance. Features.

Photo: The Arc's executive director, Jeannette Frank, right, and Watkins Glen Village Trustee Laurie DeNardo.


Rotary honors Stephani as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Emilee Stephani was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for November. She was introduced by teacher Rebecca Gilfus, who described the honoree as "a leader, a planner and a person who walks the talk." She commended Stephani for a key role in the success of the recent Homecoming Dance, and said she "is kind and helpful toward other students and respectful toward adults." Stephani, a member of National Honor Society, Interact and the Student Council and a High Honor student, plans to attend Corning Community College and then transfer to a four-year school to pursue a degree in criminal psychology. She thanked Rotary for its interest in, and encouragement of, area students.

Photo: Emilee Stephani, left, and teacher Rebecca Gilfus.


Absentee vote count starts Nov. 13 in District 6

The absentee vote count in the race for Schuyler County Legislature in District 6 between incumbent Republican Phil Barnes and Democratic challenger Brian Eslinger begins Tuesday, Nov. 13. In voting Nov. 6, Barnes led 464-447.

There were 82 absentee ballots sent out, of which 62 had been received as of Thursday morning, Nov. 8. The other 20 have time to arrive: civilian absentee ballots until next Tuesday (Nov. 13), and military and some federal ballots (from people with local ties) until Nov. 19. Certification will follow the next day.

Election officials say the election could be settled Tuesday if either candidate has a lead exceeding the number of military and federal ballots still outstanding. If not, the decision will have to await the arrival of those ballots by Nov. 19. In either event, certification is on Nov. 20.

Meanwhile: Incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed (right) defeated Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano in the race for the 23rd Congressional District House seat. Reed won with 55% of the ballots cast.

State Senator Tom O'Mara (Rep.) defeated Amanda Kirchgessner (Dem.) handily. With 92% of the vote counted, he had a 50,341-34,312 lead.

Photos: Brian Eslinger top left; Phil Barnes top right; Tom Reed


A monthly column from Cooperative Extension

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County is providing a monthly column here on its ongoing educational activities and offerings. The fifth column -- "The woods we call home" -- is by Brett Chedzoy of CCE Schuyler. Column.


Photo: Brett Chedzoy (Provided)

Watkins Glen Village Board weighs in on BID, tax limit. Government.

School Board summary

An Exempt Session regarding a disciplinary ruling; appointments; comments and concerns by several teachers; a resignation, and more: all part of the Watkins Glen School Board's meeting on Nov. 5th. To see a district-prepared summary, click here.


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


O-M's 1st marking period Honor Rolls

Odessa-Montour Junior-Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the first marking period of the 2018-19 year. Honors.

12-year-old's "school shooter" comments draw Social Service ruling from Schuyler County Family Court. Government.


Watkins board reinstates 30 mph speed limit

The 20 mile per hour speed limit established on Watkins Glen side streets by Local Law in 2012 has been scrapped and the original 30 mph reinstated. The Village Board Monday night approved a Local Law altering the 2012 ruling, making the speed zone throughout the village 30 mph -- including a stretch of Rt. 14 north of downtown that has been 40. With that exception, state roads in the village have been 30 all along. Officials said the state notified Watkins recently that the 20 mph it had adopted was not enforceable -- although the 15 mph zone near the school remains in force. The new law takes effect upon filing with the state, whiich is expected this week.

The board also: decided to enforce existing odd-even parking rules from November through March instead of relying on "Code Red" calls; approved the annual Village Christmas celebration on Dec. 7 on Franklin Street; and approved the fifth annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning along village streets.

Photo: Mayor Sam Schimizzi, left, and trustee Gary Schimidt.


Ask Amy columnist draws crowd at Inn

Amy Dickinson presents a speech, answers questions and signs copies of her books as more than 100 turn out at the Fontainebleau Inn. The event raised funds for the Dutton Peterson Library in Odessa. People.

Left: Amy Dickinson, right, signs one of her books for one of her readers.

Rasa Spa opens Watkins location

The Ithaca-based business offers massage, facials, waxing and other services at 210 N. Franklin St. Business.


Glen girls claim Section 4, Class C swim title

The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity swim team got wins from Allie Gibson in the 50 Free and 100 Free, from Peighton Cervoni in the 100 Back, and from the 200 Free Relay team of Gibson, Cervoni, Jillian Cantieni and Amanda Wilbur on the way to a lopsided victory in the Section IV, Class C Tournament in the WGHS pool. Sports.

Photo: The Section IV, Class C championship plaque.

Gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro at Friday's GOP rally at the Seneca Harbor Station restaurant.


GOP faithful turn out for Molinaro visit

Republican gubernatorial candiate Marc Molinaro is cheered at a Watkins Glen rally attended by the area GOP. Government.

Left: Congressman Tom Reed was on hand.


ZBA: 3rd floor on proposed apartments is OK

The Watkins Glen Zoning Board of Appeals Thursday night give its blessing, 4-0, to a third floor on a proposed apartment complex on East Second Street, across from Jefferson Village. The building, planned by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, would occupy what is currently a vacant lot in a residential area. It would include a child care center operated by My Place, a child-care business currently in Montour Falls. The structure's height would be 35 feet, within the parameters of the zoning code, which currently also specifies a maximum of two stories. Next up for the project will be the Village Planning Board, scheduled to meet Nov. 14.

Photo: ZBA Chair Bob Lee at Thursday's meeting.

O-M Sports Hall to induct 4

The Odessa-Montour Sports Hall of Fame will induct Doug Cooper, Kelly Legare, Tom Lewis and Katie Taber in a dinner ceremony on Nov. 30. Sports.


A new method for youth political activism

Watkins Glen High School senior Kathleen Clifford (pictured at right) weighs in with some thoughts on how teens could gain power through careful, informed consumerism. "Teenagers have the ability to use their discretionary spending to influence corporations" and, by extension, politics, she writes. Schools.

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


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.


Rotary honors Heichel as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Kennedey Heichel was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for October. The honoree was introduced by teacher Doug Chapman, who said Heichel "has a desire for perfection that you rarely see." He also outlined her achievements: No 1 in her class academically, Interact vice president, Student Council president, member of the Superintendent's Leadership Cabinet, three-sport standout (soccer, basketball and track) and school record holder in the Pole Vault. She was The Odessa File's O-M Female Athlete of the Year last year, as well as a member of the Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athletes in the region. She hopes to attend Harvard, with Cornell and the University of Michigan as backups. She wants to pursue a degree in biological science and ultimately become a doctor.


Rotary honors Rose as WG Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior H. Nathaniel Rose was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for October. He was introduced by school district Library Media Specialist Maggie Field, who described him as "respectful, smart, kind, caring, fearless, willing and energetic," as well as "a talented performer, with a great sense of humor." Rose, a member of National Honor Society, Chorus and Band, is a veteran theater performer in school and, recently, in the Dream Barn production of "Little Shop of Horrors," where he played a Venus Fly Trap. He plans to attend college, possibly Corning Community before transferring to the Rochester Institute of Technology, and says his "fantasy" career would be working in the field of quantum computers. He said he is inspired by theater, and enjoys the Watkins community -- "how everybody works together."


Rhodes, Willow gather honors at World Expo

Odessa-Montour sophomore Mallory Rhodes brings home awards from exhibiting her calf, Willow, at the recent World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. People.



Photo: Mallory Rhodes with her medal haul.

A few Schuyler County flood photos snapped from a drone camera by Tony Vickio can be seen here.


A column by Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer

The mayor provides us with his second in a series of columns on what is happening in Odessa. Column.


Photo: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer


Planning Board OKs El Rancho facade plans

The Watkins Glen Planning Board Wednesday night gave its blessing to a facade design planned for the new El Rancho restaurant slated to open soon at 212 N. Franklin St., site of the former Unique Country Boutique store. The owner, Cynthia Ruiz, currently runs El Rancho at the former Garcia's Restaurant site on 4th Street, which she leases. But she has purchased the new site and, following renovations, will move the business there in the near future. Said Planning Board member Brian Eslinger: "Cynthia has worked herself up from waitressing at Garcia's to running her own restaurant, and now to owning it. She's the type of small-business owner we need -- one who works hard and has a commitment to excellence."

Photo: Planning Board member Brian Eslinger at Wednesday evening's meeting.


Board says Italian Fest can continue at Clute

The Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night put to rest rumors that the Italian-American Festival would be forced out of Clute Park with upcoming changes there, including an ice rink. "There will be plenty of room" for the festival, said Mayor Sam Schimizzi. "There's no intention to eliminate it," added Trustee Tony Fraboni, although the board said the festival might be laid out a little differently than in the past. The board also:

--Gave the go-ahead to Watkins Promotions for Village Christmas to be held on Franklin Street on Dec. 7 "provided all permits are provided."
--Heard Park Manager Michelle Hyde say the new Kayak Launch will be removed for the winter, although the method of removal is still being considered.
--Discussed an expected change soon in the 40 mph speed limit at the village's northern end on Rt. 14. The change will make it 30, in keeping with other state roads in the village.

Photo: Trustee Tony Fraboni at Monday's meeting.

California Toe Jam, a Florida band that specializes in 1960s-'80s music, was in concert Tuesday night at WGHS.


California Toe Jam performs at Glen school

The four-man Central Florida band California Toe Jam presented a concert Tuesday night in Watkins Glen for the second time in two years. The group, which plays popular songs from the 1960s, '70s and '80s, played in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium, a change from last year's Middle School venue. Proceeds were earmarked for the Watkins Glen Rotary Club, a community service organization.

Photo: Among the concert fans were Ken Wilson and Max Neal.


O-M teacher Kimmerly wins national honor

Marc Kimmerly, an Odessa-Montour junior high school history teacher, earns a national award presented monthly by Honored, a nonprofit organization that celebrates life-changing teachers across the U.S. A story about Kimmerly and his impact on students -- one of them, Gabriel Grover, nominated him -- was written for Honored by Shaun Waterman, a journalist from Politico and the BBC. For a look at the article, click here.

Photo: Marc Kimmerly (From the Honored website)

Homecoming Queen

Watkins Glen High School senior Claudia Parker was crowned Homecoming Queen on Saturday night, Oct. 13, during halftime of a game won by the homestanding Seneca Indians at WGHS, 51-6. Nate Wickham was named Homecoming King.

The BFC Family Band -- with Jim Guild on bongo -- performed Sunday evening at The Glen Theater.


Glen Theater rocks with gospel-music concert

An evening of gospel music by opening act Sara Heit -- Worship Leader for the host Fresh Start Church Watkins Glen Campus -- and the BFC Family Band from Sebring, Florida drew almost 100 people to the Glen Theater Sunday evening. The music, billed as "gospel with a classic rock vibe," was free along with various foods -- cookies, crackers and cheese -- and beverages, with "love offerings" accepted to help finance Fresh Start's Mission Fund. Fresh Start, which holds Sunday services at the theater, is a ministry of the Pennsylvania Avenue United Methodist Church of Elmira.

Photo: Opening act Sara Heit performed several songs.

An attendee at Thursday's Hall of Fame induction ceremony checks out inductee Georgie Taylor's plaque, which contains a list of some of her accomplishments.


4 added to Schuyler County Hall of Fame

Four people were inducted Thursday into the Schuyler County Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Seneca Lodge: Georgie Taylor, Judy Phillips, Brian O'Donnell and Kate LaMoreaux. For story, see People.

The hosts of The Gathering, Tony and Harriett Vickio, who spearhead The Spirit of Schuyler.


Gathering raises funds for Spirit of Schuyler

The Spirit of Schuyler held its annual fund-raising Gathering Saturday night at the Hidden Valley lodge, attracting a crowd for food, music and prizes -- the latter provided through raffles and silent auctions. The event usually raises between $5,000 and $7,000 to help finance the organization's mission to help Schuyler residents who have emergency funding needs. The Spirit of Schuyler started as an annual party in the Vickios' garage, but eventually outgrew that venue and was moved to Hidden Valley.

Photo in text: One of the raffle prizes offered a mix of items donated by The Arc of Schuyler.


Rotary honors Brewster as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Noah Brewster (right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for September. He was introduced by teacher Russ Gardner, who described the honoree as "well-rounded" -- No. 2 academically in his class; a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Band and Chorus; a frequent performer in school plays; a distance runner in track, and active in his church youth group.

Left: Odessa-Montour Brazilian exchange student Manuela Buffo told Rotarians about her country's geography and culture, saying: "I'm proud of being Brazilian. I love my country." Right: Jackie Honsberger, at microphone, of The Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor, presented Rotary's Camp Star program with $250 from a recent fund-raiser at her business. Another $250 was raised for the Watkins Glen Summer Swim Program. Pictured far right: Rotary Club president Rebecca Carroll.


Cayuga Health System CEO plans to retire

John Rudd, president and chief executive officer of Cayuga Medical Center and the Cayuga Health System, announced Tuesday his plans to retire in the fall of 2019. Martin Stallone, MD, vice president of physician operations at Cayuga Medical Center and president of Cayuga Medical Associates, will succeed him on Jan. 1, 2019 as president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center, and then in the fall of 2019 as president and CEO of Cayuga Health System -- which has two hospitals, Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center, as well as a multi-specialty group, Cayuga Medical Associates.

Photo: John Rudd, left, and Dr. Martin Stallone (Provided)


Wine Trail names Gibson Executive Director

The Executive Committee of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail has announced that Brittany Gibson (pictured at right) has been selected to lead the organization as Executive Director. She has most recently been serving as Tourism and Marketing Manager at the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. Business.

The Moose Lodge was filled with Spaghetti Dinner diners.


Annual United Way dinner fills Moose Lodge

The usual crowd of diners turned out Monday to the Montour Moose Lodge for the annual United Way of Schuyler County Spaghetti Dinner -- a key fund-raiser for an organization that serves 22 agencies. The campaign goal: $123,000. On hand were servers from the Odessa-Montour High School National Honor Society, as well as various other volunteers. About 400 dinners -- possibly more with an early order from the Lions Club for two-dozen take-outs -- were expected to be consumed.

Inset: National Honor Society members from O-M -- like (L to R) Olivia, McKennah and Maria -- were on hand to help.

Busy in the kitchen were Jessica Smith (left) and Taylor Kelly.

The United Way campaign chairs -- the Dominick and Stacy Smith family, here with daughter Kayla -- ran a 50-50 raffle.


Falls Harvest Festival draws crowd to Montour

Montour Falls' Main Street was busy with foot traffic Saturday as a crowd ventured there to the annual Falls Harvest Festival, a celebration of the season featuring food, crafts and entertainment. For a story, see Features.

Left: Balloons were a staple of the festival's entertainment.


Penn Yan chosen for $10 million DRI Award

Penn Yan will receive this year's New York State $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award in the Finger Lakes region -- a year after Watkins Glen won a similar funding influx. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement Friday morning in Penn Yan. "This award will help the village and all of Yates County move forward," said State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano in a joint statement.


Planning Board gives go-ahead to Cheese Co.

The Watkins Glen Planning Board gave Final Site Plan approval Wednesday night to Robert MacBlane (right) and his wife Barbara for creation of the Seneca Cheese Company in the former Eyes on Seneca building at 29 N. Franklin St. -- a business that will sell local cheeses as well as local beers and wines. It will have an added second floor, part of which will be long-term apartments. Construction is expected later this month, with an opening in March. Also approved: demoliton of a house at South Glen and Second Streets belonging to Al McMichael, who plans to replace it. Preliminary Site Plan approval was given the Glen Racig Grill -- a racing-themed eatery -- at 107 Eleventh St. A public hearing on that project will be held on Oct. 17.


FEMA aid for flood recovery is announced

Schuyler is among the counties named Tuesday as major disaster areas impacted by significant flooding in mid-August. Congressman Tom Reed's office announced that President Trump had named Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Seneca and Tioga counties and authorized Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. The FEMA Public Assistance Program will provide grants to state and local governments, and certain non-profits, to assist with debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent restoration of infrastructure. The federal government will cover 75 percent of the cost of approved recovery projects.


Woodworth appointed to Glen Village Board

The Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night welcomed a new member: Nan Woodworth, appointed to the vacancy created with the recent resignation of Kevin Thornton from the board. Woodworth, a retired educator, was sworn in for a period extending until the next election in March. If she wishes to continue on the board after that, she will need to seek election.

Meanwhile, the board canceled a public hearing on a proposed and controversial Business Improvement District. Village Clerk Lonnie Childs said it is "on hold until further notice. ... A lot of projects take precedence over that."

Photo in text: Nan Woodworth at Monday's meeting.


Glen wrestlers to compete under O-M banner

The Watkins Glen School Board Monday night approved a measure that permits WGHS varsity wrestlers to compete as part of the Odessa-Montour varsity wrestling team this season, with an eye toward reestablishing a team at WGHS in the future. The partial merger -- which involves four or five WGHS athletes -- is viewed as temporary, according to O-M Superintendent Chris Wood, and falls short of the mergers in football and baseball that have created Seneca Indian squads. This one will remain O-M in title.


Saunders to lead IMRRC Governing Council

John Saunders (left), president of the International Speedway Corporation, is the new chairman of the International Motor Racing Research Center. He was chosen by his fellow IMRRC governing council members at the Center's recent council meeting. He has served as vice-chair since 2002. He succeeds IMRRC governing council chair Bobby Rahal, elected to the position in 2014.

A musical puppet show was among the Fit Fest features.


Family Fit Fest draws a crowd to Montour

The turnout was steady, the weather cooperating, and the organizers pleased at the first Schuyler Family Fit Fest Sept. 29 at the Montour Falls Carnival Grounds along Route 224. The event, which included the Strong Kids, Safe Kids program that has been on-again and off-again in recent years (previously at Clute Park in Watkins Glen), featured dozens of tables under a large, long tent where various agencies and businesses offered information and games -- including one table where the Glen Gators were recruiting new swimmers, and another featuring massage therapy.

There was recorded music, and a puppet show, and free burgers and hotdogs provided by the Salvation Army, with accompanying healthy drinks. The inaugural event -- plans call for it to be held annually -- was presented by the Cayuga Health System (Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center), Schuyler County Public Health, and Strong Kids, Safe Kids.

Photos: Cooperative Extension offered some fun through large soap bubbles; and a pumpkin advertised the Glen Gators table.

Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer, left, makes a point in his meeting with State Senator Tom O'Mara.


Odessa mayor, O'Mara meet, discuss projects

Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer met one-on-one with State Senator Tom O'Mara Sept. 28 in the Odessa Municipal Building to discuss a wide range of challenges facing the village, and how O'Mara might help. Infrastructure -- including the village water system and a proposed sewage treatment system -- was discussed, along with available grant funds for various other projects, such as development of a park. Additional subjects: procuring natural gas for the village; addressing speeding, especially on Main Street, Church Street and Speedway; and the possible development of a logging industry museum.


Rotary honors Sutterby as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Kai Sutterby was honored Sept. 27 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for September. Sutterby, the school's Student Council president and a member of last year's Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athlete-citizens -- was introduced by teacher Sam Brubaker, who decribed her as "the epitome of what a Student of the Month stands for." Sutterby, a State-level cross-country runner for several years, and founder of a multi-school clothing swap program that Brubaker said "gives students the chance to enhance their wardrobe without draining their wallets," plans to pursue a career in medicine. She said she loves small-town life, but wants to "do good on a larger scale," becoming a surgeon "to save lives."


Planning Board OKs Franklin St. project

The Watkins Glen Planning Board, after much debate, gives Final Site Plan approval to a mixed use (commmercial and apartment) complex on the site of the former Clifford Motors. Government.

Photo: Representatives from Lakewood Development listen as Village Trusee Laurie DeNardo addresses the Planning Board.


Ribbon cutting

The Grand Opening Sept. 20 of the new Warren Real Estate office at 210 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen featured a ribbon cutting and speeches. On hand along with Warren employees were Schuyler County Legislature Chair Dennis Fagan, left, Village Trustee Gary Schmidt (next to him) and Rebecca Carroll, president and CEO of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce (right). (Photo provided)

Dominick and Stacy Smith -- with daughters Kayla, left, and Ashley, right --are the 2018 United Way of Schuyler County Campaign Chairs. (Photo provided)


United Way campaign sets goal of $123,000

The United Way of Schuyler County held its annual Agency Luncheon Sept. 19 at the Montour Moose Lodge, where 2017 Campaign Chairs Ron and Carmella Hoffman were honored for their service, and the new Campaign Chairs -- the Dominick and Stacy Smith family, long devoted to the Watkins Glen Fire Department -- were introduced. The campaign goal is $123,000 for 22 agencies that serve Schuyler County. The Marie Bailey Volunteer of the Year Award went to Glenda Gephart, a United Way past Secretary, of whom Executive Director Peggy Scott said: "Glenda was always there -- one step ahead of all of us to help meet our goals for many, many years." The annual United Way Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser will be held Oct. 8th at the Moose Lodge.

Photo in text: Marie Bailey Volunteer of the Year Award winner Glenda Gephart, right, with United Way Executive Director Peggy Scott. (Photo provided)


Glen Board tables action on short-term rentals

The Watkins Glen Village Board on Sept. 17 tabled action until its next meeting on a proposed Local Law designed to amend the Village Zoning Code in an attempt to deal with the rise of short-term rentals in the village. A standing-room-only crowd weighed in pro and con on the proposal, which the board decided needed "some tweaking" before any action is taken. Government.

Photo in text: Village trustee Tony Fraboni, seated, addresses one of the meeting speakers, Tony Compese.


Coffey helps U.S. win gold at World Rowing

Olivia Coffey, 29, a one-time Watkins Glen High School student-athlete who went on to prep school, All-America rowing status at Harvard and an alternate rowing spot at the Olympics, was on the winning U.S. women's eights team Sept. 16 at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Her team finished 2.08 seconds ahead of runnerup Canada in the finals to win the event for the 12th time in the past 13 years. It was Coffey's fourth career gold at Worlds. "It was," said Coffey, "a great way to end an incredible year" -- which included a spot in The Boat Race as she helped Cambridge beat Oxford in England. She had attended Cambridge as part of a Master of Business Administration program.

Photo: Olivia Coffey (File photo)

Glass blowing demonstrations were the order of the day on the GlassBarge Friday. They continued through Sunday.


GlassBarge visit triggers Glen celebration

The touring Corning Museum of Glass GlassBarge -- marking the 150th anniversary of the relocation of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company from Brooklyn to Corning -- opened to the public Friday, Sept. 14 for the first of three days as Seneca Harbor Park turned into festival grounds with vendors and live music --including Donna the Buffalo (inset). The 30-by-80-foot canal barge -- equipped with glassmaking equipment -- was berthed at the Seneca Harbor Pier. The three-day celebration (which ended Sunday, Sept. 16) included live hot-glass demos, fireworks, music, vendors and local artisans. Business.

Historian Gary Emerson talks about the Chemung Canal. Business.


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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.

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(607) 210-6600

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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.


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


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


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


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


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


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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