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


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

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


Senka Agency

We are happy to welcome James Shutts to our agency.

James is a Marine Veteran who graduated from Watkins Glen. James works in personal lines providing great customer service.

Stop in or give James a call to see how much he may be able to SAVE you!

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

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


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


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

Current Menu at WWW.REDNEWT.COM

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


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

We're back for our 33rd year

Open Daily with indoor and outdoor seating.

Still Serving Up Hard
Vegan Ice Cream

On Wednesday nights starting April 22, a special treat: ice cream made on site, on the spot, using whatever ingredients you want -- perhaps something you've always dreamed you wanted in your ice cream.

Visit our Facebook page here.

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 -- Schuyler Hospital.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- Valicenti Advisory Services


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


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Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The IBEW Local 241 is a sponsor of this website


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 



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Click below to see
Lottery Numbers


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4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







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

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Thanksgiving Weekend Door Busters at Famous Brands

Check out the 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

Crowd of runners gathers at the corner of 4th and Franklin Streets just before start of the 2nd annual Turkey Trot.


Turkey Trot takes to streets of Watkins

A 2nd annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot run, jog and walk through Watkins Glen drew a crowd of participants Thursday that organizer Kathie Notarfonzo of Exercise Enterprise noted was significantly larger than in the inaugural run of 2014. The group met at the Community Bank downtown and ran on the sidewalks of the village over a 5K course in what was described as "a pre-caloric burn" heading into heavy Thanksgiving feasting.


Left top: Runner dressed as a turkey.
Left bottom: Brenda Fitch and daughter Courtney Warren were on hand.

Tom and Carol Peters were among the many diners.


Burdett church hosts a Thanksgiving feast

Scores of diners made their way Thursday to the Burdett Presbyterian Church for a free Thanksgiving meal and a shared camaraderie in the friendly confines of the church's dining hall. The meal -- the fifth annual such gathering -- consisted of traditional fare: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, green beans, squash, fruit salad, rolls, pies, coffee, iced tea and lemonade.
Photo in text: Alexis Gonzalez and Billy Bacon at work in the kitchen during the Thanksgiving meal.

Note: The First Baptist Church of Montour Falls also conducted a free Thanksgiving meal Thursday.


Climate March set in Watkins Glen Sunday

The Finger Lakes March for Climate Justice -- an event in conjunction with worldwide activities on the eve of the Paris Climate Summit -- will be held in Watkins Glen Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29. The event, organized by Gas Free Seneca, will start at 1 p.m. at Seneca Harbor Park, with the marchers moving down Franklin Street to the State Park gorge and back again. There will be a number of speakers, including We Are Seneca Lake co-founder Sandra Steingraber.

Local events Friday & Saturday

--Tip-Off Tournament: O-M hosts a girls JV and varsity basketball tourney with games Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27-28, at 2, 3:45, 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. The Odessa JV plays at 3:45 Friday against Groton, with the winner playing Saturday at 7:15 against the winner of a Friday game between Spencer-Van Etten and Lansing. The O-M varsity plays at 7:15 p.m. Friday against Groton. The winner plays at 7:15 Saturday against the winner of a Friday Lansing-Edison game. There will also be consolation games. (Left: O-M's Sage Garrison)

Christmas Tree Lighting: The annual lighting of the village Christmas tree in front of Odessa's Municipal Building will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. The event will feature Christmas carols, hot cocoa and hot dogs with all the fixings.

--Small Business Saturday: Both Watkins Glen and Montour Falls will be observing this marketing movement on Nov. 28, encouraging local shopping as the Christmas season kicks into gear. For more information, visit here and here.

Click on the ad below for more information


Thanksgiving Weekend Door Busters at Famous Brands

Check out the 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

WGHS Interact members before the dinner. (Photo provided)

A team effort leads to Thanksgiving dinner

Watkins Glen High School's Interact Club joined folks who run the Community Table to serve free Thanksgiving Dinners Tuesday evening, Nov. 24 to 125 people at St. Mary's Center in Watkins. Interact, with a long history of providing such Thanksgiving meals, joined forces this year under the guidance of chef Brud Holland (pictured at right) and Deacon Tom Ruda to set up, serve and clean up -- and baked pies, cupcakes and cookies in the bargain to supplement the complete turkey dinner. Every Tuesday at 5 p.m., the soup is on at the Community Table at the Center, and everyone is invited. There is no cost, no expectation -- just good soup and good company. As Interact advisor Marie Fitzsimmons put it: "Here's to many more ventures where our youth work hand in hand with our adults to create community. Perfect."

$25,000 raised

The annual November Splendor fund-raising dinner-dance at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel on Nov. 13 raised more than $25,000 for use by Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility in Montour Falls. Features.


WGHS autumn athletes honored at ceremony

The Watkins Glen High School Sports Awards Night sponsored by the Sports Boosters' Club is held in the school cafeteria, celebrating a fall season of athletic achievements. Sports.


Left: MVP plaque held by soccer's Matt Hulbert.

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




And a note ...

Steve Coolican of Cooly's Butcher Bay, 5035 Brink Road, Alpine urges hunters to donate to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier a couple of pounds of venison burger from each deer taken this year. Just two pounds will feed a family of four for a day, he said.

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

The Editor's


Death Notices on the Obituary Page.

Ida May Ameigh, 78, of Townsend.
Thomas C. Lewis, 63, of Watkins Glen.
Robert S. (Bob) Rounds, 54, of Montour Falls.
Rachel E. Cleary, 32, formerly of Watkins Glen.
George W. Hill, 82, of Montour Falls.
Janet Mary (Johnson) Hoxie, 64, formerly of Montour Falls.

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


Thanksgiving Weekend Door Busters at Famous Brands

Check out the 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


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column from Albany. This time: "A tradition of giving." Column.

Left: State Sen.Tom O'Mara

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr .....

It was a cold day Monday, Nov. 23 and especially so on the southern shore of Seneca Lake, whose water was steel gray. Air temperatures were in the 30s, and down into the 20s after nightfall.

Holiday Bazaar

Santa Claus was among the highlights Nov. 21 of the annual Holiday Bazaar at the Odessa-Catharine United Methodist Church. The event also featured a bake sale, art and craft vendors, door prizes and lunch.


This month's 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.

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

All-Star teams, MVPs

The Odessa File Fall MVP Awards go to a runner and a diver, honors unveiled along with the website's autumn All-Schuyler All-Star First, Second and Third teams. See Sports.

Click on the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

To visit the Quinlans website, click here.


A speech, yuletide, b-ball and other matters

The editor touches on a number of subjects of an ongoing nature. Column.


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

Watkins Glen Planning Board Chairman Chris Bond, left, and board member Joe Fazzary at Wednesday's meeting.


Frustrated Planning Board member: 'I'm done'

Watkins Glen Planning Board member Tom Merrill (pictured at right) said "you will have my official resignation. I'm done" before leaving prior to the end of the board's monthly meeting Wednesday night, Nov. 18 at Village Hall. Merrill's move was prompted by what he called ongoing "frustration" with the board's ineffectiveness -- triggered at the meeting by a preliminary site plan approval granted on a project calling for construction of six apartments in a two-building complex on Old Corning Road. Government.


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

418 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen.
Open 12 noon to 8 p.m. daily.
To visit the Ben & Jerry's website, click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Take advantage of amazing Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals at Glenora Wine Cellars, the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars and Veraisons Restaurant this Friday and Saturday! Shop small and save big this weekend! For more information, see Sports or visit

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

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.
To visit the Erie & Niagara website, click here.

Watkins XC team 14th at Federation Meet

The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity cross-country team competes in the annual gathering of outstanding New York State high school runners at Wappinger Falls, and finishes better than its seeded position. Sports.


Lexi barely misses cut at State diving meet

Watkins Glen High School sophomore Lexi Castellaneta placed 26th Friday for the second straight year at the New York State Diving Championships at Ithaca College, barely missing the cut that sent 25 divers on to a second round. Her five-dive point total of 183.30 was short of the 25th-place total, 186.90, by 3.6 points. Her coach, Kim Suddaby, said Lexi "was focused and she should be proud of herself." Sports.


Left: Lexi Castellaneta hits the water on her first dive at Friday's State diving meet at Ithaca College.


O'M's Eberhardt honored by Rotary

Odessa-Montour High School senior Luke Eberhardt (left) was honored Nov. 19 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for November. He was introduced by teacher Russ Gardner, who described the honoree -- a member of the soccer and track teams -- as "academically strong" with "a bright personality," and as "a great example for all of his peers." Eberhardt plans to attend Corning Community College in its Criminal Justice program.

Photo: Luke Eberhardt at the Rotary Club's luncheon, with teacher Russ Gardner in the background.

Left: O-M's Sage Garrison (left) goes up for a shot. Right: The Indians' Gillian Clark.


Scrimmages mark onset of b-ball season

The Odessa-Montour girls varsity and junior varsity basketball teams scrimmaged Nov. 19 at home against Dryden in preparation for the upcoming season, which starts with the Indians' Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 27 and 28. O-M will play Groton in one tourney semifinal, while Lansing and Edison meet in the other.

The varsity squad will scrimmage next at home against Addison and Troy at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.


Left: O-M's Kennedey Heichel at Thursday's scrimmage.

Three of the many pies arrive at Wednesday's Pie-Palooza -- a themed annual meeting of Cooperative Extension.


Buy local, eat local is theme at annual meet

The annual meeting of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Schuyler County, held Nov. 18 in the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls, was billed as "Pie Palooza" -- and in fact featured sweet and dinner pies of various kinds as part of a buffet meal. The pies, all locally produced, reflected the evening theme of "buy local, eat local" -- the subject of a speech by Roger Ort of Cooperative Extension titled "CCE and Your Local Food Connection."


Top left: Cooperative Extension's Roger Ort serves himself some food at the meeting. Bottom left: One of the annual meeting's speakers, Brittney Loughlin, local chef at Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg.

Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi, left, and Trustee Gary Schmidt at Monday's Village Board meeting.


New Italian fest date; water rate hike OK'd

The Watkins Glen Village Board on Nov. 16 approved a Local Law that permits a hike in the village water rate by a minimum of $3 per month. The increase, the first since 2009, goes into effect Dec. 1 and will be applied to the January bills.

The board also gave its blessing to a change in the Italian American Festival date -- announced by festival chief Lou Perazzini (pictured at right) -- from its usual early August date to the weekend of Aug. 12-14. The change moves the festival away from the NASCAR weekend, which is earlier this year, on Aug 4-7.

And Code Enforcement Officer Greg Larnard told the board that the demolition of the Frozen Food Locker building -- which will make way for rental units -- will likely begin Nov. 23 on the building's north end. Demolition had been delayed for asbestos removal.

School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School Board conducted a meeting on Monday, Nov. 16. A summary of that session can be found by clicking here.


A column by Odessa Mayor Keith PIerce

Mayor Keith Pierce returns with another in a series of columns about life and issues in the Village of Odessa. This time the title is "On roads, water, leaves and a sewer." Column.


Left: Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce

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

From Odessa-Montour Central School:

Starting August 1st, 2015

Join the OMCS community on Twitter and follow us
to get the latest OM announcements, updates, and news.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

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

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.


Now available on Kindle: The Maiden of Mackinac

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

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

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


Visit Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Three locations: in Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Montour Falls

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

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

To reach the Harbor Hotel website, click on the ad above.

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

16 N. Franklin St.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1221
(607) 535-6116

Senior April Dunn gets away for a long run, just eluding the reach of sophomore Hailey Perraut, during the O-M Pixie Bowl.


Sophs, juniors win Odessa's Pixie Bowl

Odessa-Montour High School's 9th annual Pixie Bowl -- a flag-football game featuring females -- saw the sophomore-junior team defeat the freshmen-seniors 23-12 on Nov. 16 after building a 23-0 halftime lead. Sports.

Left: One of the players, Exchange student Danielle Fuschilo, tries to stay warm along the sideline.


O-M unveils first
2015-16 Honor Roll

The Odessa-Montour Junior-Senior High School lists its High Honor and Honor Roll students for the first marking period of the 2015-16 school year. Honors.

David Scott as Professor Harold Hill in "The Music Man."


LCP's 'Music Man' ends its 3-day run

The Lake Country Players' production of "The Music Man" was presented for the third and final time Sunday afternoon, Nov. 15 in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium after evening showings Friday and Saturday. The play -- popular on stage and screeen and full of well-known songs -- was directed by Kim Laursen.


Left: Sarra Solomon as the mayor's wife.

From left: Mia Manzer, William Yeater and Terry Neufer in a scene from"The Music Man."

Big Band Sound

The Hepcats Big Band out of Corning performed Saturday night, Nov. 14 at the Clute Park Community Center in Watkins Glen at a dance sponsored by the Hepcats and the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club designed to raise funds for Rotary's ongoing fight to eradicate polio in the world. An audience of 160 people were on hand, many of them dancing to the jazz music from the Big Band era.


Cross Country: Glen boys take 2nd at States

The Watkins Glen boys varsity cross-country team -- led by Patrick Hazlitt's 11th-place run -- finished second among Class C competitors Saturday, Nov. 14 at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships in Woodbury, NY.

The Senecas posted a score of 89 points, second only to East Aurora's 36 and ahead of Mount Academy's 91 and Pleasantville's 95 in the 11-team, sectional-champions field. Watkins entered the race ranked third in the state behind East Aurora and Mount Academy.

In the girls' Class C race, WGHS' Maggie Bond -- the school's lone entrant -- placed 54th among 129 runners with a time of 21:33.6 She was also named recipient of the girls' Section IV Sportsmanship Award, based on a vote of section coaches. Sports.

Photo in text: Watkins' Patrick Hazlitt (Photo by Pamela Rutledge)

Alpacas from the Four Seasons farm in Altay attracted attention in front of St. Mary's Center, all part of the bazaar.


St. Mary's Bazaar raises church funds

Santa and Mrs. Claus were among the attractions Saturday, Nov. 14 at the annual Holiday Bazaar at St. Mary's Parish Center in Watkins Glen -- an event that raises funds for St. Mary's of the Lake Church. The bazaar featured a Christmas cafe, a cake wheel, raffles, baked goods and various vendor stands.

Top left: Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at noon.
Bottom left: Among the visitors: Paul and Michelle Fuksman.

These cars were on display behind the Center -- representative of different eras of competition at the Syracuse Mile track.


Syracuse Mile cars, talks draw crowds

Nearly 100 people were on hand in Watkins Glen Saturday, Nov. 14 at both morning and afternoon discussions held as part of the International Motor Racing Research Center's Syracuse Mile day. Cars from different eras of competition at the historic Syracuse Mile track were on display, and a live radio show was broadcast from the center. Discussions included stories from drivers who have competed at the track, a facility that dates back to 1903. State and county officials have a $50 million plan to replace the track with an equestrian complex, hockey facility and RV park.

On hand in the crowd were, from left: Brenda and Tom Fitch, Kristin Hazlitt and Fred Wickham.


November Splendor raises hospital funds

The annual November Splendor fund-raiser at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel attracted a large crowd of diners Nov. 13 for an evening of great food, music, raffles and live auctions -- all for a good cause. Proceeds go toward the 2015 Family of Friends Campaign to benefit Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility

Left: The evening's auctioneer, Matt Hayden.

Among the many people present were Schuyler Hospital President Andy Manzer, left, and Attorney Josh Navone.


O-M Board gives baseball talks the go-ahead

The Odessa-Montour School Board on Nov. 12 approved a request from Superintendent Chris Wood (right) to proceed with negotitations with the Watkins Glen School District toward merging the two districts' varsity baseball, Modified baseball and boys Modified swimming programs. The mergers would be fashioned after the football merger effected this year, whereby Watkins Glen handles 60% of the cost and O-M 40%. Wood said he hopes to have a resolution on the Modified swimming merger for School Board approval in December, and an agreement on baseball for Board consideration in January or February. The mergers would take effect this school year.

Wood also commended retiring O-M maintenance chief Red Lapierre, who will complete a 16-year career at the school next Friday. Lapierre, Wood noted, has been at Odessa through five capital projects, four austerity budgets and several superintendents. Red will be honored at a barbecue luncheon at the school on his final day.


Rotary honors Teed as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Allison Teed (right) was honored Nov. 12 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for November. Teed was introduced by teacher Eileen Malaney, who described the honoree as a "creative thinker" who is "engaging, intelligent and responsible with a drive to excel" in classwork and in such pursuits as design work on the Yearbook. Teed, a three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball and softball) who is a member of the National Honor Society, the Business and Management Honor Society and the School Yearbook Club, plans to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology with an eye toward a career as an echocardiographer.

People's Choice award winner announced

The Franklin Street Gallery in Watkins Glen has announced artist Daniel Gallagher of Corning as the People’s Choice award winner of its 4th annual Homegrown Arts exhibit -- paintings and other works celebrating the landscapes and agriculture of the Finger Lakes. The exhibit is on display until Nov. 15.

Gallagher’s entry, “String of Pearls,” is a close-up image of a sequence of cascading pools with fall leaves. The high gloss metal printing technique gives the image a glowing effect.

Colleen Maas Pastore of Watkins Glen was awarded an Honorable Mention for her acrylic painting, “Autumn Mist.”

Left: Bernie Riley plays "Taps." Right: Boy Scouts from Troop 2674 raise the flag.


Veterans honored at Courthouse ceremony

Veterans past and present were honored in Schuyler County Nov. 11 with an annual Veterans Day ceremony in front of the Schuyler County Courthouse. The event, emceed as it has been for many years by veteran Tony Specchio, featured as its keynote speaker Jim Cutting of Watkins Glen, a 9-year Army veteran and a retired postal employee, who thanked veterans from "all walks of life" for their "courage, pride, integrity, selflessness, and call to duty." Schuyler County Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan presented a brief speech that is presented in its entirety on the Columns page. Other speakers included Watkins Glen Village Trustee Kevin Thornton; Joan Scott of the Schuyler County Veterans Service Office; and leaders of local veterans and service organizations.

Left: Keynote speaker Jim Cutting, an Army veteran.


Jim Scott checks off a Bucket List item

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With an upcoming “milestone” birthday (70, on Nov. 16) to celebrate, Watkins Glen High School basketball and softball Coach Jim Scott received a very special gift from his daughter Colleen, who resides in Florida. She knew that one of the items on Jim’s Bucket List was to meet golfing great Arnold Palmer.

With the help of a close friend, Mike Moss (in charge of food and beverage at Orlando's Bay Hill Country Club, where Palmer lives and plays golf), Colleen arranged a meet-and-greet with Palmer for her father, who flew down to Orlando specifically for the event. The two men posed for the picture above on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Bay Hill club. Jim said that Palmer is a gracious man who still gives his time and talent back to the people who've supported him through the years. 

Photo in text: Arnold Palmer, left, and Jim Scott (Photo provided)

Legislators Michael Lausell, left, and Van Harp study the budget report presented by County Administrator Tim O'Hearn.


Legislature passes 2016 county budget

A 2016 Schuyler County budget with a tax-levy hike of .34% and a tax rate of $8.15 per $1,000 of assessed valuation -- down 1.08% from this year -- was approved 8-0 on Nov. 9 by the County Legislature. Passage followed a public hearing that drew no comments, and which included a 47-minute outline of the $45,401,029 spending plan by County Administrator Tim O'Hearn -- who said that this budget was "not as challenging as some in the past, but none of them are ever easy."

Left: County Administrator Tim O'Hearn at Monday's session.


Meehan repeats as sectional champion

The Watkins Glen girls varsity swim team finished in second place at the Section IV, Class C Championships in Owego on Nov. 7. One of the Senecas, Katherine Meehan, captured her second straight sectional title in the 100 Breaststroke. Sports.

Left: Watkins' Katherine Meehan on the podium after winning the 100 Breaststroke.

Four of the Watkins Brewery Holdings LLC group spearheading the Frozen Food Locker project pose at the ceremony outside the building (rear). From left: Chuck Franzese, John Franzese, Gary Thompson and LLC Managing Member Dan Bower.


Toast marks start of Glen Locker project

A wine toast marked the start Nov. 6 of the Watkins Glen building project at the old Frozen Food Locker building, where 7 rental units will soon rise in place of the old structure. Business.

Left: Chuck Franzese lifts a ceremonial cup of wine to celebrate the project.

Left: Watkins Glen's Jenna Slater. Right: Lexi Castellaneta.


Lexi wins Class C title; tops 'A' divers, too

Watkins Glen sophomore Lexi Castellaneta won her second straight Section IV, Class C championship Nov. 6 in a combined Class A/C meet at the natatorium behind Ernie Davis Middle School. She totaled 488.20 points on 11 dives to top Section IV competitors Meghan Matheny of Lansing (420.80), Sam Hatch of Dryden (245.75) and Jenna Slater of Watkins Glen (229.70).

She also outscored the 12 Class A divers, led by Elmira's Loren Sayers (487.40) and Ithaca's Jordan Lu (443.75). The top three scores all qualified for the State meet on Nov. 20 at Ithaca College, an event for which Castellaneta also qualified earlier this season.

Photos in text:
Top: Watkins' Lexi Castellaneta smiles after executing one of her 11 dives.
Bottom: Lexi (right) with Watkins Glen teammate and Section IV competitor Jenna Slater.


People's Voice challenge turned back

Republicans carried the day in the Town of Reading on Election Day Nov. 3. Gary Conklin won the Supervisor's seat, defeating Democrat-People's Voice candidate William (Buzz) DeSarno, 350-149, and Stephen Miller turned back the challenge of Democrat-People's Voice candidates Gita Devi and Tamra K. Jankowski. Miller received 344 votes while write-in (and incumbent) Robert Everett received 217, Jankowski 175 and Devi 142. Alice Conklin retained the town clerk's job, defeating Muriel Osborne-Petryk, 326-169.

In the Town of Catharine (see the voting site, the Town Hall, in photo above), Democrat Supervisor John VanSoest defeated Republican challenger Richard Lewis 149-97.

In the Town of Hector, a tight race saw Republicans William T. Preston (697 votes) and John White (670) defeat Democrats Justin Boyette (658) and Debra Reid (632).

And in the County Legislature race in District 8, incumbent Republican and Legislature chair Dennis Fagan defeated Democrat challenger Sandra Rhodes 272-140.

For complete Schuyler County election results, click here.

A reason to celebrate

The Watkins Glen High School varsity volleyball team defeated Dryden 3-1 Tuesday, Nov. 3rd in an opening-round contest of the Section IV, Class C Tournament. Celebrating their win (above) were (from left) Taylor Kelly, Hanley Elliott, Nateah Cornish and Amanda Pike. The Senecas advanced to pool play two days later at Windsor, where they were eliminated from championship contention. (Photo by Charlie Haeffner)

From left: Watkins senior account clerk/typist Rhonda Slater and trustees Laurie DeNardo and Tony Fraboni.


Watkins to go dark for four hours on Nov. 12

Power will be out in the Village of Watkins Glen for four hours starting at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 12, Utilities Superintendent Mark Specchio told the Village Board at its meeting on Nov. 2.

The outage, overseen by the New York Power Authority and in conjunction with Watkins village crews, will permit system repairs, including replacement of burned-out transformers. "Hopefully people will go to bed and wake up and the only thing different," said Specchio, will be stopped clocks. Without power, he noted, Walmart will close during the repair hours. Similar electrical work was done during daytime hours about five years ago, he added, noting that "if the weather is too inclement, this will be rescheduled." Users of village power who live outside Watkins will not be affected, he said.

The board also approved a 2015-16 Water Department Budget which, in conjunction with a Local Law introduced by Village Clerk Donna Beardsley Monday and scheduled for a board vote next month, will raise water rates a minimum of $3 per month.

Streets chief Don Perry (pictured) said that paving is planned later this week on Perry Street between 7th and 10th Streets, where the road "is really pretty bad." And he said that leaf pickup is going well and will continue "as long as they keep coming down and people pile them up" by the road.


Rotary honors Brown as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour senior Courtney Brown was honored Oct. 29 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month. Brown was introduced by her volleyball coach, Kayla Kelly, who described the honoree as "a hard-working and determined young lady" who is also on the track team and secretary of the senior class. Brown plans to attend Corning Community College before transferring to a four-year school.


Above: Rotary honoree Courtney Brown, right, with her
volleyball coach, Kayla Kelly.


Homecoming King and Queen at WGHS

Watkins Glen High School seniors Ian Chedzoy and Katherine Meehan (left) were announced as the Homecoming King and Queen during halftime of the Watkins/O-M varsity football game Oct. 24 at Watkins Glen.

NASCAR commits to WGI through 2020

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series has agreed to run annually at the Watkins Glen International racetrack through 2020, the track said Oct. 26 in announcing a return date in 2016 of Aug. 7. Race weekend in 2016 will also include the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 on Aug. 6.

Sheriff Bill Yessman discusses meth at an Oct. 26 information session. Other speakers: Danielle Tilden of FLACRA; Dr. Benjamin Saks, right; Schuyler County Social Services Commissioner JoAnn Fratarcangelo; and two area women in recovery who told their stories of addiction.


Meth subject of information session

About 40 people turned out Oct. 26 night at the Watkins Glen Elementary School to hear Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman and other speakers discuss the ongoing methamphetamine plague in our area -- the dangers involved in a meth lab, the drug's addictive effects, signs of usage, treatment options, and the role Social Services and the courts play in dealing with chiildren whose families are affected by it.

Among the speakers were two women who fought meth use and are now clean -- including one who said she once tried all sorts of drugs, "but none took hold of me like meth." She gave birth at 17, lost her son to a foster home because of the meth use, spent time in prison, temporarily lost a daughter born during incarceration, and finally "got it together, thank God. I've come so far, and if feels so good" now that she has her children, a job and an apartment, and is "sober. I know I can make it."

Photo in text: A visual part of Monday's presentation.

Watkins School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School Board met Monday night, Oct 26. A summary of the meeting appears here.


Rotary hears tales from author Vickio

Tony Vickio of Watkins Glen, Spirit of Schuyler founder, former race-car driver and longtime auto-racing sign painter, entertained the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club Oct. 22 with tales of his career told in a book he wrote, published last year, titled "Shifting Gears." It is available for $19.99 from Vickio or at Famous Brands or the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen.

Left: Tony Vickio at Rotary


Frozen Food Locker demolition expected soon

The Watkins Glen Village Board was told Oct. 19 that demolition of the vacant Seneca Frozen Food Locker along the bend of Rte. 14 at the north end of the village's business district is anticipated soon. Code Enforcement Officer Greg Larnard said the demolition could come within a month, following abatement of a small amount of asbestos found inside. The building, which Trustee Laurie DeNardo noted was seen recently being entered by area youths -- an ongoing concern, said Police Chief Tom Struble -- will be leveled and replaced by a new structure with 7 dwelling units, apartments at first, although that could eventually change to townhouses.

The new building, planned by a group of partners called Watkins Brewery Holdings and headed by Dan Bower of HUNT Engineers, will follow the basic shape of the current building: one story visible from Rte 14, and three stories visible from the lake. Four garages are included in the plan, which Larnard said would retain only the building's far-west retaining wall that ties into part of the Rte. 14 road structure. Approval has been granted by the New York State Department of Transportation to make the wall larger and stronger.

Photo in text: Village Trustee Laurie DeNardo, right, and clerk Rhonda Slater at Monday's meeting.

A customer at the Doug's Fish Fry mobile unit in front of the Odessa Fire Department.


Odessa Fire Dept. holds a fund-raiser

Doug's Fish Fry was on hand contributing a portion of proceeds Oct. 17 as the Odessa Fire Department hosted a fund-raiser. Also featured: local vendors, raffle items, a bake sale and a Chinese Auction. Fire extinguisher training was also provided.

Left: Mayor Keith Pierce poses with one of the day's sale items.

Spirit of Schuyler leader Tony Vickio affixes a wrist band to one of the visitors at The Gathering. (Photo by Doug Yeater)


SOS holds its annual Gathering

The Spirit of Schuyler, which provides emergency funding for county residents, drew a hungry crowd to the Hidden Valley Lodge Oct. 17 for its annual fund-raiser, known as The Gathering. Local residents and volunteers provided a large buffet, while local businesses provided raffle and auction items.

Left: One of the raffle tables; and musical performers Bob & Dee.


Schuyler tentative budget: small levy hike

Schuyler County's tentative 2016 budget calls for a tax-levy increase of 0.67% ($73,360) from 2015 and a drop of 0.75% in the tax rate, from $8.21 to $8.18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, Administrator Tim O'Hearn announced at the monthly meeting of the Schuyler County Legislature on Oct. 13. The tax cap for the county is 1.77%.

And the levy hike might end up even smaller, said Legislature Chair Dennis Fagan, thanks to a robust sales-tax report that shows September's county share up by $171,000 over the same month in 2014 thanks primarily to the Phish concert weekend at Watkins Glen International. The year-to-year hike, he said, could be $250,000. "I feel very confident that we'll have a good outcome when the budget is finalized," he said. The full Legislature will tackle the tentative spending plan next week, and a public hearing date was approved: Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 120 of the Human Services Complex.

Photos in text: Tim O'Hearn (top) and Dennis Fagan.

A large crowd was on hand early at the spaghetti dinner.


United Way holds annual kickoff dinner

The United Way of Schuyler County's campaign to raise funds for 22 human service agencies kicked off with a Spaghetti Dinner Oct. 12 at the Montour Moose Lodge -- and as usual drew a large crowd. To learn about the campaign, see Features.

Top left photo: United Way campaign co-chairs Tom and Jenny Lewis at the dinner.

Bottom left: A serving of the evening's specialty.

Student servers were out in force at the dinner, including, from left, Patrick Hazlitt, Daniel Paradiso and Clara Chedzoy.

O-M School Board president Rob Halpin listens to an audit report by Jerry Mickelson of Ciaschi, Dietershagen, Little, Mickelson and Company, certified public accountants.


O-M School Board meeting: good audit; baseball merger brewing

The Odessa-Montour School Board heard Thursday night, Oct. 8 from CPA Jerry Mickelson (right) that a review of the district's 2014-15 finances was positive, prompting "no comments regarding corrective actions." He said O-M is in "a good position going forward to meet the challenges of the 2016-17 budget."

Also highlighted at Thursday's session was a report by Superintendent Chris Wood, who said he would likely be recommending in November a merger of varsity (though not Modified) baseball with Watkins Glen in the spring since signups this week indicated a roster of only a half-dozen O-M players. "We have to do something about varsity or we won't have a baseball team," he said. "This is something that is coming. Have it on your radar." And the board, at Wood's urging, gave the go-ahead for the O-M boys Modified swim team to merge with the one at Watkins Glen. The Watkins Glen School Board approved a similar measure Monday.

Danielle Fuschilo of Brazil, left, and Marie Bucher of France during a question-and-answer period at Rotary Club.


Rotary Club honors local & exchange youths

It was Youth Day at the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club on Thursday, Oct. 8, with two Watkins Glen High School seniors honored as Students of the Month -- one for September and one for October -- and the area's two exchange students presenting power-point presentations about their homelands: Brazil and France.

The monthly honorees were Megan Chilson (for September) and Cheyenne Stansfield, introduced respectively by teachers Karen Armstrong and Eileen Malaney. Chilson was praised for being "so mature" beyond her years and for "putting others before herself" by constantly helping them with their studies or other projects. Stansfield -- a key part of the Yearbook staff and involved in sports, the school play, National Honor Society and Interact Club -- is "polite, engaging, steadfast, responsible and proactive," said Malaney.

The exchange students are Danielle Colpani Fuschilo of Brazil (attending Odessa-Montour High School and staying with Greg and Heather Lodge) and Marie Bucher of France (attending Watkins Glen High School and staying with Andy and Michele Manzer).

Photo in text: Megan Chilson, WGHS September honoree.

Cheyenne Stansfield, WGHS October honoree.

Watkins Glen School Board President Kelly McCarthy and board member Mark Franzese at Oct. 5 meeting.


More sports mergers ahead?

With the early success of the merged Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour football programs, the Watkins Glen School Board on Oct. 5 approved a measure that would enable a joining of the Modified Boys swim program at Watkins with that at Odessa-Montour. Also discussed was the possibility of a joint baseball program. The O-M School Board meets Thursday night, where reports "regarding" baseball and Modified Swimming are on the agenda. For a summary of Monday's board meeting, click here.

Watkins Glen Village Board members Gary Schmidt, left, and Kevin Thornton.


Schmidt returns to his Village Board seat

Gary Schmidt, elected earlier this year to the Watkins Glen Village Board but then hospitalized in Cleveland for four months for heart surgery and then lung and kidney complications, was back in his Village Board seat Oct. 5th, a week after returning home from Cleveland. "It was a long summer," he said, "but I made it. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers while I was in Cleveland. They meant a lot to me and my wife (Deb). I'm here."


Sports teams raising funds for teacher Brown

Edison and Watkins Glen sports teams are raising funds to help teacher/coach Zach Brown (right) in his battle against lymphoma. Brown, a teacher at Watkins Glen High School and the Edison varsity baseball coach, is on leave from school while undergoing treatment for the disease. The Watkins Glen-Edison volleyball match on Sept. 25 served as a lymphoma awareness night and raised funds for Brown's fight, and the Oct. 3 Watkins Glen-Edison football game at Edison did the same. Among the fund-raisers: the sale of T-shirts with a green lymphoma ribbon, the letter Z and the words "No one fights alone! Support Lymphoma Awareness." Says Brown: "It's amazing what people give ... in your time of need."

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball is flanked by State Senator Tom O'Mara, left, and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano at the Oct. 2 meeting.


State Ag commissioner meets with area unit

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball (left) sat down Oct. 2 with an Agriculture Advisory Committee formed by Assemblyman Phil Palmesano -- composed of area farmers and related agency reps -- to discuss current issues involving dairy farmers, wineries and other groups affected by state agriculture laws and regulations. The session, in the Watkins Glen Municipal Building, drew nearly 20 committee members and generated talk on milk pricing, a desire to expand wine sales to food stores, food safety, the Upstate economy and other subjects.

Left: Commissioner Ball



'Calling card' leads to jail for Penn Yan man

The Schuyler County District Attorney's office reports that Sean J. Hanes, 22, of Penn Yan has been sentenced to four months of weekends in jail, five years probation and restitution after pleading guilty in Schuyler County Court to Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree for "destroying property of a Watkins Glen resident." How was he caught?

"During the commission of the crime," said the DA's office, "Hanes left fecal matter containing his DNA. The crime was solved when the New York State Police Crime Laboratory in Albany matched the DNA sample from the scene to one contained in the New York State DNA Database."


Community leaders tour Schuyler farms

The Schuyler County Ag and Farmland Protection Board recently sponsored a tour of 3 Schuyler County farms for elected officials and other community leaders. Tour.

The moon as the eclipse progressed Sunday night, Sept. 27, and the blood moon that followed.


Blood moon over Schuyler

The clouds parted long enough Sunday night, Sept. 27above the southern portion of Schuyler County to provide a clear view of the lunar eclipse that led to a rare "blood moon." Such an event occurs when a full moon relatively close to the earth (called a super moon) is eclipsed as the Earth passes between the sun and the moon. The event generates a reddish glow around the eclipsed, darkened moon that lasts for about an hour. The last time a "blood moon" was seen was in 1982; the next one comes in 2033.

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


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


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


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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.

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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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Watkins Glen
Winter Farmer's Market

November 1 to February 28
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on Sixth Street

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

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

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


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


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The Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund
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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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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.

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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 2015
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594