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. 

The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

Summer hours:
(Memorial Day-Labor Day)
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fall hours: 12-9 p.m.

--Vegan Coconut
& Soymilk-Base Ice Cream
--Fresh Gelato & Sorbet
--Homemade Hard Ice Cream
--Soft Custard

Saturday, June 17th
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Decorate a Cake for Dad Event!

And we are now sponsoring the American Pride Ride on June 24. We are a donation collection point and will be vending on the 24th at the American Legion in Horseheads from 2:30-6:00 p.m. Wink 104.9 will be doing a live broadcast for us from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

To visit our website, 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.


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 the Schuyler Hospital website.


Campbell: I won't challenge election result

Joseph Campbell (right), Democratic challenger for the District 2 seat on the Schuyler County Legislature won by incumbent Republican Van Harp by a single vote, 313-312, says he will not challenge the result, although "there was one ballot that could conceivably have been argued in court." His concesson letter appears on the Forum Page.

  Chief to Board: No gas detected at ceremony

Watkins Glen Fire Chief Charlie Smith told the Watkins Glen Village Board Monday night that detectors showed no gas during or after the Veterans Day ceremony at the fire department where three people collapsed. Government.

  Harp certified as winner in District 2 by 1 vote

Incumbent Republican Legislator Van Harp was certified Monday by the Schuyler County Board of Elections as the winner of the District 2 race for the Schuyler County Legislature. The margin over Democratic challenger Joseph Campbell was one vote, 313-312. Election Commissioner Joseph Fazzary said that the outcome, while official, could conceivably be challenged through a court-ordered recount. But he doubted one could be obtained, since Campbell sat in on the vote count and the counting of absentee and affidavit ballots without raising an objection to the process. (Addendum the next day: Campbell concedes in letter on the Forum Page.)

Photos in text: Van Harp (left) and Joseph Campbell.

Superintendent Greg Kelahan and School Board President Gloria Brubaker at Monday's board meeting.

  Kelahan cautions: reduced revenue ahead

Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan told the School Board Monday night that "the financial picture is not terribly reassuring" as the federal government moves toward a tax reform package that could negatively affect education financing in New York State. That, with other local tax issues, "indicates less revenue than anticipated ... a bitter pill to swallow" as the board moves into its budget considerations. For a summary of the board's meeting, click here.


Kennedy gets 235 months in meth-ring case

Scott Kennedy, 40, of Beaver Dams, who was convicted of federal drug charges in connection with a methamphetamine ring operating across Schuyler, Chemung and Steuben Counties, was sentenced in federal court Monday to 235 months in prison. People.


The 11th 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 11th installment: "Thanksgiving from the WGFA to our School-Related Professionals." Column.


Left: Travis Durfee


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


Lexi places 10th at NY Diving Championships

Watkins Glen High School senior Lexi Castellaneta finished in 10th place Friday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Diving Championships at Ithaca College. Castellaneta completed her 11 dives with 459.40 points, just 5.70 points from 7th place. She earned a spot on the podium, along with medals. Sports.

Photo: Lexi with her medals.

For full ad, click here or on the ad above.

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




And inside

--Friday on Franklin, an engaging way to connect with downtown businesses, is back in Watkins Glen. Business.

--Rotary Club and The Hepcats Big Band are presenting "Swingin' on Seneca's Shores" Nov. 11 at the Community Center in Watkins Glen. Features.

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.

Donald "Peter" McBride, 86, of Burdett.
Floyd S. Miller, 78, of Watkins Glen.
Edwin "Buck" Voorheis, 79, of Burdett.
JoAnn Grow 66, of Flagler Beach, FL & Watkins Glen.
Margaret Dean, 77, of Burdett.
Charles Donald Ackley, Sr., 87, of Burdett.
James Dutton, 89, of Beaver Dams.
James H. Bowman, 79, of Odessa.
Barbara Grace Chouinard, 84, of Montour Falls.
Joyce E. Tunnicliff, 84, of Watkins Glen.
Mary Lou Webster, 66, of Odessa.
LaRae J. Barney, 81, formerly of Beaver Dams.
David B. Comfort, Jr., 52, of Watkins Glen.

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

Small Business Saturday is set locally. Business.

Small Business Saturday is set locally. Business.


Bazaars offer crafts, food, holiday cheer

Holiday Bazaars were held Saturday at the Odessa-Catharine United Methodist Church, St. Mary's of the Lake Parish Center and St. James' Episcopal Church's Friendship Hall -- marking the start of the holiday season in Schuyler County. People.

Photo: Santa was available for photos in Odessa.


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.


Rotary honors Kleist as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Erin Kleist (right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for November. Kleist was introduced by O-M counselor Holly McNelis, who described the honoree -- president of the school's National Honor Society and a member of the Interact Club and Student Council -- as "determined to succeed" and "tireless." Among Erin's outside interests: a job at Burger King in Watkins Glen, where she was recently promoted to Team Leader, a management position. She plans to attend college to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Erin, said McNelis, "is a true treasure within the Odessa-Montour family."


Lt. Governor tours Chicone cabinet firm

Kathy Hochul visits Chicone Cabinetmakers' workshop in Montour Falls and views the firm's expansion site, which is being partially funded by a state grant. Business.

Left: New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul during her visit.


Legislature OKs budget with no levy increase

Schuyler County's Legislature Monday night approved a 2018 county budget following a public hearing at the Human Services Complex. The $49.4 million spending plan calls for a reduced tax rate -- from $7.75 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2017 to $7.46 in 2018 -- and for a tax levy identical to that in 2017: $11,058,944. All members present voted for it; Legislator Jim Howell was absent. The vote followed a 40-minute presentation by County Administrator Tim O'Hearn (pictured) regarding the budget.


Lions honor vets from Vietnam Era at dinner

Vietnam Era veterans were feted Monday night by the Watkins-Montour Lions Club at the second annual such dinner at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Features.


Photo at left: Children from Watkins Glen Elementary School played a musical role in the ceremony.


Watkins boys finish 2nd at XC State Meet

The Watkins Glen boys varsity cross-country team finished second Saturday behind Mount Academy in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C State Championship held at Wayne Central School east of Rochester. Mount Academy won with 50 points, while the Senecas -- the state champion last year -- totaled 67 points. Aaron Planty led Watkins Glen, placing 11th. Sports.


Vets honored; event jarred as 3 collapse

Veterans were the focus of speeches at a Veterans Day ceremony Saturday at the Watkins Glen Fire Department, but the event was interrupted when three people there -- two youngsters and a senior citizen -- collapsed and were taken by ambulances to the hospital. People.

Photo above: American Leigon Post 676 Commander Rick Lewis was among the speakers at the Veterans Day ceremony.

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.


Fire destroys home outside village of Burdett

A fire starting at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday destroyed a log-style home on Carpenter Road near the village of Burdett. A black plume could be seen in the distance rising from the structure, which was a total loss. The cause was still under investigation, although one early report attributed the fire to a woodstove. Nobody was home at the time.

The Hepcats are shown performing Saturday night at the Watkins Glen Community Center. An auxiliary generator was on hand for the band's use if the power outage had continued, but the rest of the Community Center would have been lit by candles.


Power outage strikes Glen for over 2 hours

The power was out in Watkins Glen from about 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Saturday, adding some stress to a couple of scheduled events: the Hepcats dance at the Watkins Glen Community Center at 7 p.m., and the second night of the Lake Country Players' performance of "Sister Act" at the Watkins Glen High School at 7:30. But power was restored in time for both -- although the turnout at the dance was only about half of what it was last year, according to organizer John King.

Sara Caldwell, left, played Deloris Van Cartier and Lisa McKnight portrayed Mother Superior in "Sister Act."

  'Sister Act' ends its 3-day run at Watkins High

The Lake Country Players' "Sister Act, The Musical"-- which opened Friday night -- was presented again Saturday night in the Watkins Glen High School Auditorium, and concluded with a third performance Sunday afternoon. Sara Caldwell portrayed showgirl Deloris Van Cartier, who becomes a protected witness in a convent after seeing a murder, and while there develops the convent choir into a dynamic singing group. Joel Wilbur was the play's director, with choreography by Heather Evans.

Photo in text: Steve Hovis & Stephen Cole in an early scene.

  Some scenic photos from Watkins' Liz Fraboni

Watkins Glen resident and photographer Liz Fraboni -- who in past years has contributed hundreds of photos to this website -- returns with some more, this time of Schuyler County and of Maine, where she recently vacationed. Photos.


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

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 says she just found out she will likely have to seek care in New York City, creating an even bigger financial burden.

Her Cornell colleagues have created a GoFundMe page for her that you can find right here. I hope we all can help out.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.


This week's deals at Famous Brands

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

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


Ben & Jerry's

The Ben & Jerry's store at 418 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen opened for business in April with a Free Cone Day -- which drew a large crowd. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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.

Among the event's record 290 diners were Phil and Judy Cherry.

  November Splendor raises funds for hospital

The annual November Splendor dinner Friday night at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel drew an event record 290 diners who spent thousands of dollars on silent and live auction items. Funds raised were for Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. The event was presented by the Schuyler Health Foundation and the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary. Among the silent auction items were trips to San Francisco Wine Country, Alaska, Costa Rica, France, Greek islands, Spain, Tuscany and Ireland.

Photo in text: Josh and Lisa Navone were among the diners.

L to R: Michelle & Tim Benjamin; Wayne & and Heidi Pike.

Left: Matt Hayden served as auctioneer. Right: A one-of-a-kind handcrafted table by Matthew Taylor sold at auction for $500.


BOE gives blessing for scoreboard fund-drive

The Odessa-Montour Board of Education Thursday night gave its approval for a fund drive planned by district resident Jeff Confer (pictured at right at the meeting) to finance the purchase and installation of a $5,000 scoreboard for the school's baseball field. Confer said the recent resurgence of baseball at O-M (which has teamed with Watkins Glen to create the Seneca Indians) merits such a step. Funds will be channeled through the O-M Sports Boosters, who will use the donations to pay for the board when enough money has been collected. Any excess will be applied to the purchase of team equipment.


Our Schuyler Fall MVP, and All-Star teams

Watkins Glen High School soccer standout Hannah Morse is The Odessa File's Schuyler Fall MVP after a remarkable season that saw her team, despite an 0-7 start, reach the postseason Section IV tournament and earn a win in the opening round there. We also unveil our All-Schuyler All-Star teams. Sports.

Right: Hannah Morse


A day of victory gone awry ...

The editor weighs in on the disqualification of a Notre Dame swimmer at the Section IV, Class C Tournament at Owego Free Academy. Column.


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

  Rotary honors Hayes as WG Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Meghan Hayes (pictured at right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for November. Hayes was introduced by teacher and coach Chris Clark, who described the honoree as "an extremely organized person" who ranks third in her class academically. She has been a member of the school's varsity golf team since 7th grade, a member of the varsity soccer team since 10th grade, and is a member of National Honor Society, the Rotary Interact Club, Music Club, the Yearbook, and Youth Court. She is also involved in her church youth group and officiates CVSA Soccer. She plans to attend college and undertake Physician Assistant studies.

Mariah Gonzalez signs a Letter of Intent and a Financial Aid Agreement providing a full scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. Her mother Michelle Simiele is at right.

  Gonzalez signs Letter of Intent to play at UNH

Mariah Gonzalez, a member of the 2016-17 New York State Class C champion basketball team from Watkins Glen High School -- and now, in her senior year, a student-athlete at Elmira High School -- signed a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to attend and play basketball at the Division 1 University of New Hampshire. Gonzalez will receive a full scholarship to play for the Wildcats. She thanked the coaches in her life, her family, and in particular her mother -- seated next to her at the ceremony -- who she called "my biggest critic and my Number One fan." The estimated 70 people on hand for the ceremony at the Seneca Harbor Station Restaurant in Watkins Glen were then treated to a free buffet meal.

Photos: Three of Mariah's teammates (from left: Hannah Morse, Emmie Bond and Taylor Kelly) from the WGHS state championship basketball team were among those on hand for the ceremony; at right, the celebratory cake.


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.

Legislators Van Harp, left, and Jim Howell.


Howell, Reed win seats; Harp in close battle

Incumbent Schuyler County Legislator Van Harp narrowly led Tuesday night in his bid for re-election to his second 4-year term, topping challenger Joseph Campbell 295-291 in District 2. Steven Crout was third with 122 votes. Harp is a Republican, Campbell a Democrat. Absentee ballots were yet to be counted. (The race days later tightened, with absentee and affidavit votes counted, down to a one-vote lead for Harp, 313-312. That count was certified on Nov. 20.)

Incumbent Legislator Jim Howell won re-election easily in District 4, outpolling challenger Richard Ballard 366-123. Howell is a Republican; Ballard a Democrat.

In District 1, the race to succeed retiring Legislator Barb Halpin went to Republican David M. Reed (pictured at right), who defeated Democrat John Van Soest 279-215.

In the Town of Hector race for three Council seats in a six-person field, Democrats Jessica Rodgers (881), Liz Martin (831) and Bob Barton (820) won, defeating Republicans Michael J. Bergen (810), Robert Landon (787) and Gretta Zafonte (727).

In the race for Town Clerk/Tax Collector in the Town of Dix, Helen Teed (D, pictured at right) defeated James A. McMahon (R) 386-249.

In the Town of Orange contest for Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Republican Thomas G. Peer defeated Democrat Caitlyn Roser 243-72. In the race for a seat on the Town Council, Susan R. Allen (R) defeated Carol Rhoades (D) 192-100. In the contest for Highway Superintendent, Jeremy Abbey (D, R) defeated Jeffrey L. Sutton (Listening Party) 204-122.

In the Town of Tyrone race for two council seats, Joe T. Sevier (R) led with 212 votes, followed by Troy W. Eyer with 209. They defeated Kerri S. Bartlett (D) with 186, and Christopher W. Bason with 182.


Watkins Glen schools eye safety measures

The Watkins Glen School Board Monday night heard recommendations from Elementary School Principal Rebecca Trank and High School Principal Kai D'Alleva (both pictured at right) regarding safety in the schools -- a subject that has grown in prominence thanks to repeated violence in school and church settings around the U.S. One key recommendation, expected to be acted upon in the near future: employment of a security officer (or two part-timers), in addition to the School Resource Officer, to add what Superintendent Greg Kelahan said would be "another level of authority," something he called "very attractive to me."

Also discussed: sports enrollment, in particular boys swimming (with just five sign-ups and a new coach); and wrestling (11 signups but only six with completed physicals). Bowling, indoor track and basketball have plenty of participants.

For school district meeting summary, click here.


Glen girls swim team wins sectional crown

The Senecas take the Class C championship as well as two individual titles.

Story on Sports.

Left: Watkins' Amanda Wilbur, the 200 IM champion.


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 2017-18 school year. Honors.

Glen committee seeks DRI project proposals

The Watkins Glen Local Planning Committee (LPC) is seeking proposals for private projects to be considered for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding -- the $10 million awarded to the village by New York State. Government.


Readers say Jerlando's has Best Upstate Pizza

Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizza Co. in Watkins Glen has won the Readers' Choice award for Upstate New York's Best Pizza in a contest run by The Judges' Choice award went to O'Scugnizzo Pizzeria in Utica. The Readers' Choice award was determined by online voting, while a team of judges visited the six finalists chosen in semifinal voting. Jerlando's easily outdistanced the competition in the online vote, garnering 50.26% of the ballots. O'Scugnizzo Pizzeria was second with 18.03%.

Ag plastic container recycling set

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District is once again working with USAg Recycling Inc. to offer local agricultural producers an environmentally “green,” convenient option for disposing of their empty agricultural plastic containers for the 2017 crop season. See Containers.


Rotary honors Perraut as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hailey Perraut (right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for October. She was introduced by O-M Superintendent Chris Wood, who described her as "an incredibly well-rounded individual taking an intense course load" while ranking No. 2 in her class academically. She is President of O-M's Rotary Interact Club; a 4-year varsity soccer player and a 5-year member of the school's track team; a member of Student Council and of the Superintendent's Advisory Group; a scorekeeper during basketball season; a photographer for the Yearbook and, on occasion, for The Odessa File; and a tutor for underclassmen. She also creates pottery. "She is very mature and highly motivated," said Wood, noting that Perraut hopes to attend the University of Rochester and major in engineering. "She is a great student and a great person," he added. "She is both outgoing and a quiet leader. She will be incredibly successful in whatever she does because of who she is."

Schuyler County Legislature candidates in District 2: from left, Steven Crout, incumbent Van Harp, and Joseph Campbell.


County office candidates field forum questions

The candidates for county-level offices took the stage at the Schuyler County League of Women Voters Meet the Candidates forum Wednesday evening in the Watkins Glen Elementary School auditorium. Government.


A message from our area's Assemblyman

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says there is more work to be done to promote organ donation. Signing up, he says, is easy, quick and the right thing to do. Palmesano.

Left: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.

Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were, from left: Schuyler County Legislature Chair Dennis Fagan, Arc of Schuyler Board President Harold (Jay) Hoffmeier, Schuyler County Office for the Aging Director Tamre Waite, County Administrator Tim O'Hearn, Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi, Office for the Aging Nutrition Coordinator Roxanne Stanko; Watkins Glen Village Board member Kevin Thornton, and Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Brittany Gibson.


Congregate meal site opens at former school

The Watkins Glen School Apartments building is home to a new congregate meal site provided by the Schuyler County Office for the Aging. Arc of Schuyler workers will operate the site, which officially opened Oct. 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. The site, located in the first-floor community room of the Apartments building (the former and renovated Watkins Glen Middle School), will provide meals and social interaction from noon to 1:30 p.m. Fridays.


Tax rate down, levy flat in county budget plan

The Schuyler County Legislature will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2018 county budget at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13 in Room 120 of the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls. The $49,410,000 spending plan calls for a reduced tax rate -- from $7.75 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2017 to $7.46 in 2018, and for a tax levy identical to that in 2017: $11,058,944. County Administrator Tim O'Hearn (inset) attributed the absence of a tax hike to sales-tax growth and revenue-generators such as a partnership in which BOCES is paying the county to handle purchasing functions. A vote on the budget is expected to follow the hearing as the Legislature conducts its regular monthly meeting.


Glen meeting focus: Downtown Revitalization

More than 120 people attended a community session on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative -- which is providing Watkins Glen with $10 million in state funds and investments. Government.

Right: A Post-It note in answer to a proposal to enhance, under the Initiative, the downtown with murals.


Shortcuts: A history of ferries on Seneca Lake

Local historian Gary Emerson revisits a time when ferries were an important part of Seneca Lake traffic. This was an article that first appeared in the Schuyler County Historical Journal. It is the second in a series of articles that we are re-publishing. History.


Appeals Court rules in Schuyler abuse case

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has issued a decision largely upholding a Schuyler County Family Court order that found two local children to be neglected and abused. People.

WG State Park vies for Best NY Attraction

The Watkins Glen State Park is on a list of nominees for Best New York Attraction in a contest being run by USA Today. Business.

  Watkins school enrollment rises for a change

Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan (right) reported to the School Board on Oct. 16 that for the first time in years, the district enrollment has shown an increase instead of a drop, rising by 14 students to 1,098. He termed it "terrific news," and said "reversing the trend of reduction ... means we have a product that people want."

Another subject: safety. Kelahan and other administrators touched on state-mandated drills, cybersecurity, and the matter of seniors and National Honor Society juniors leaving campus for lunch -- something on which Kelahan said he was taking no position. But he added that some districts don't permit such a practice -- during which school officials lose sight of the students in their charge. "I'm just sharing it with you; something for us to consider," he said.

For a meeting summary, click here.


Jeff Kellogg thanks 'Community of Heroes'

Watkins Glen High School graduate Jeff Kellogg has written what he describes as "a bit of a reflection given the 10-year-anniversary of my accident (a broken neck and spinal cord injury) and the important role the community played in my recovery." People.

Bob and Dee performed live at the Spirit of Schuyler Gathering.


SOS raises funds at its annual Gathering

The Spirit of Schuyler, a non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to county residents in need, drew hundreds of people to its annual fund-raising Gathering Oct. 14 at the Hidden Valley 4-H Camp Lodge. The event, with plenty of food from local restaurants and volunteer chefs, also featured basket raffles, a gun raffle, silent auctions, live music by Bob and Dee, and prizes including a flat-screen TV. All proceeds raised will go to benefit the efforts of the Spirit of Schuyler.

Photo in text: Tony & Harriett Vickio, the Gathering's hosts.

  Odessa awarded $691,000 wastewater grant

The Village of Odessa will receive a $691,000 New York State Environmental Faciilties Corp. grant toward a $2,875,000 Main Street Corridor wastewater treatment plant project. Mayor Keith Pierce termed the grant "huge" and "the next hurdle cleared" in a sewer-system project in the planning stages for the past couple of years. "This was the biggest chunk needed" to reduce the cost and bring residents' monthly payments down, he said, noting that other grants are being pursued. "Now we'll go back and see if we still have the no-interest loan approved two years ago by the EFC." The Main Street Corridor project would include properties along the village's Main Street and the Odessa-Montour Central School. The plant would be near the west end of the village. The village currently relies on septic systems.

  Memorial service honors '92 murder victims

More than 100 people gathered Oct. 13 in front of the Schuyler County Court House for a public memorial service honoring the four Schuyler County employees murdered on Oct. 15, 1992 while working at the County Office Building.

The ceremony remembered and celebrated the lives of Florence Pike, Phyllis Caslin, Nancy Wheeler and Denise VanAmburg 25 years after their deaths.

Speakers were retired Schuyler County Sheriff Michael J. Maloney and State Senator Tom O’Mara.

Maloney spoke at length, detailing "the worst day of my life" -- when he lost "friends of mine" killed in their offices by a man named John Miller. Security at the county building was not as stringent as it is today. But said Maloney: "All the security in the world is nice, but if someone wants to hurt someone, they're going to do it ... Nothing is going to prevent a madman from doing bad things to good people."

Photo in text: Retired Sheriff Michael Maloney at the service.


Rotary's WG Student of Month: Kayla Smith

Watkins Glen High School senior Kayla Smith was honored Oct. 12th by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for October. Smith was introduced by teacher Kaz Popovich, who described the honoree as a self-motivated and organized person with a strong work ethic who has served as a teaching assistant in Popovich's business class this year and last, taking over the class on occasion. A member of National Honor Society and the Business Honor Society, Smith plans to attend Corning Community College in its nursing program, and said she will probably pursue further education in the health-care field.

Photo in text: Kayla Smith is congratulated by Rotary Club President Rich Greenberger.

A bonfire was the highlight of Homecoming festivities Friday night, Oct. 13 at Watkins Glen High School. A parade is set for 3 p.m. Saturday from Lafayette Park to the school, followed by a 3:30 p.m. tailgate party, the Homecoming game (against Lansing) at 7, and a Homecoming Dance from 9-11 p.m.

Left: A youngster tries on fire gear as part of the open house.
Right: Fire truck rides were popular during the open house.

  Firefighters host fire-prevention open house

The Watkins Glen Fire Department, as part of Fire Prevention Week, held a Fire Prevention Open House Tuesday evening, Oct. 10 at the fire hall. Sparky the Fire Prevention Dog was on hand, along with a Smoke House, Rope Repelling, live fire extinguishing, and fire truck rides. Hot dogs were also available.

Copies of Barb Warner Deane's novels, on display at the library.


Deane signs her books, speaks at museum

Author Barb Warner Deane of Elmhurst, IL, who grew up in Schuyler County and graduated from Watkins Glen High School, was selling and signing copies of her novels "On the Homefront" and "Killing Her Softly" Oct. 7 at the Watkins Glen Public Library. She later discussed "Women of WW II" at the Schuyler County Historical Society's Brick Tavern Museum. Her "Homefront" book is a World War II historical novel, while "Killing Her Softly" is a contemporary romantic suspense novel.

Photo: Barb Warner Deane at the Watkins library.

The band Black Diamond Express performed at the festival.


Annual Falls Harvest Festival held in Montour

The 11th annual Falls Harvest Festival -- featuring vendors, kids' games, a chicken barbecue, alpacas, crafts, a reading tent, live music and a fireworks display -- was held Oct. 7 at the carnival grounds off Rt. 224 in Montour Falls, a change from its traditional Main Street locale. Organizers reported a steady turnout on a day in which the rain held off -- unlike last year, when it poured.

Photo: An alpaca from Owl Ridge Alpacas, Interlaken.

Watkins Glen School Superintendent Greg Kelahan is spearheading a drive to formalize the district's vision, incorporating Ingenuity, Achievement, Perseverance, Dignity and Synergy. He said 10 different mission statements have been suggested. A goal likely to be incorporated, the School Board indicated at its meeting, is the preparation of students "for an ever-changing world." Further input is being sought before a final draft is created.


School Board reduces out-of-district tuition

The Watkins Glen School Board on Oct. 2 approved a reduction in the annual tuition charged to Watkins Glen students who live outside the district, cutting it from $7,000-plus for secondary school enrollees down to $3,000, and reducing the elementary-school rate of $2,500 to a new rate of $1,500. The issue was raised by Board President Gloria Brubaker (pictured), who said the old rate, the maximum allowed under State guidelines, was too high. Board member Kristin Hazlitt suggested, too, that it was unwise to effectively be turning people away in a period of declining enrollment. The new rate runs retroactively from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Any seniors who moved from the district after July 1 but are still attending Watkins Glen High School in their final year can do so without charge, although the tuition will apply to younger siblings. The board will revisit the tuition issue near the end of the school year, but both Brubaker and Hazlitt doubted another change would be forthcoming so soon.


Blue-green algae blooms identified on lakes

Schuyler County Public Health is warning the community that harmful blue-green algae blooms have been identified on the east side of Seneca Lake and on Waneta Lake. Contact can result in health issues. Government.


Watkins Best Western plan is 'dead in water'

The plan for a three-story Best Western hotel proposed on land currently occupied by the Seneca Clipper Inn in Watkins Glen is “dead in the water, for lack of a better term,” says Code Enforcement Officer Greg Larnard. Government.

Photo: Greg Larnard

Members of the Hoffman family of the Town of Catharine are this year's leaders of the annual United Way of Schuyler County campaign, which seeks to raise $123,000 for 22 agencies. Ron and Carmella Hoffman are fourth-generation operators of a dairy farm at Catharine Corners, where the clan lives.


United Way sets goal, names Bailey winner

The United Way of Schuyler County held its annual luncheon Sept. 20 at the Montour Moose Lodge -- a gathering of its board members and of representatives from the 22 agencies it serves. The luncheon marks the start of the United Way fund drive ($123,000), and introduces the campaign chair -- which this year is the entire Hoffman clan led by matriarch Carmella and patriarch Ron. The annual Kickoff Pasta and Meatball dinner is set for Monday, Oct. 9 at the Moose Lodge, with serving starting at 5 p.m.

Photo: Sherry O'Neill, left, who has long represented Cargill for the United Way and who has served on the United Way Board, was named winner Sept. 20 of the annual Marie Bailey Volunteer of the Year Award by United Way Executive Director Peggy Scott (right).

Watkins-Montour Rotary Club President Rich Greenberger and Odessa-Montour exchange student Beatriz Silva of Brazil hold a Brazilian flag presented by Silva to the club at its weekly luncheon meeting Thursday.

  Rotary honors Robinson as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Nakiaha Robinson was honored Thursday, Sept. 21 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for September. She was introduced by O-M Superintendent Chris Wood, who described Robinson as "one of the most amazing individuals that I have ever presented at Rotary." She is a member of the National Honor Society and Rotary Interact, president of the Student Council, the school's Homecoming Queen, a 5-year varsity basketball player and recipient of various awards, including the Susan Award presented by this website annually for Sportsmanship. She is ranked 8th in her class.

Photo at right: Nakiaha Robinson at Rotary.


Bond hike, ZBA resignations highlight session

The Watkins Glen Village Board on Sept. 18 approved a motion to increase by $3 million the amount permitted under the bonding resolution for the upcoming water treatment plant, and accepted the resignation of two members of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Government.

Photo: Village Baord member Tony Fraboni.


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King and Queen

The Odessa-Montour Homecoming King and Queen were crowned during halftime of the Sept. 15 football game against Oneonta: Jeremiah Lynch and Nakiaha Robinson.

  Rotary honors Ryan as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Tanner Ryan (right) was honored Sept. 14 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for September. He was introduced by teacher Alex Richmond, who described Ryan -- a member of the school's defending state champion cross country team -- as "an exemplary young man with a commendable devotion to both character and academics." The honoree, Richmond added, is "a capable leader" who "shines brighter than most" students academically at school, but is "far more than grades and awards. Indeed, his character is second to none." Ryan thanked his parents and teachers, and said he plans to attend college in an engineering program and "hopefully continue this trend of success in life."


County rebounds from a malware attack

Schuyler County was looking to return to full functionality Sept. 18, nearly two weeks after its computer system was compromised by what County Administrator Tim O’Hearn (pictured at right) said was a “brute force” malware attack that threw the county's workers back to a paper recording and filing system. Government.

Jerlando's Pizzeria and Ristorante's Bill Tague and his daughter Emerie, 4, celebrate the eatery's anniversary milestone.


Celebration marks Jerlando's 20th anniversary

Family and friends gathered Sept. 13 at Jerlando's Pizzeria and Ristorante at the corner of 4th and Franklin Streets in Watkins Glen to celebrate the 20th anniversary milestone of the eatery. Bill and Serafina Tague own and operate the establishment after partnering with Serafina's father, Sal Purpura, until Sal's retirement in 2015. The Tagues' three children were on hand, too: Billy, 17; Syria, 16, and Emerie, 4. Representatives from the offices of Congressman Tom Reed and State Senator Tom O'Mara (also representing Assemblyman Phil Palmesano) delivered written proclamations to the Tagues on their milestone. Said Bill: "We look forward to providing a unique dining experience for many years to come."

Photo from left: Bill Tague, daughter Emerie, Sharon Murphy from Congressman Reed's office, and Serafina Tague with the proclamation presented by Murphy.

A story preceding the celebration appeared on Business.

Check out our Wine and Tourism page

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

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For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

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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.


To reach the Chamber's Small Business Saturday website, click on the ad below.

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


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

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Sponsors' Page

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

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

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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

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

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


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

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


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

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



Some sports stories and essays inside

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


Some special feature packages

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



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

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

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

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




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

(607) 594-3594