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!


The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

May 12: Decorate
a Mother's Day Cake Event

Time slots 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 noon

Call 607-535-7354 to sign up by May 9th

Spring Hours:
12 Noon-9 p.m.
7 days a week

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

Fall hours: 12 Noon-9 p.m.

--Vegan Options
--Gluten-free Options
--Homemade Hard Ice Cream
--Soft Custard

(607) 535-7354

Click on the ad below
to learn more.


Pavilion, Picnic Area, BBQ Pit available with reservation.

Memorial Day Service
every Memorial Day 11 a.m.

Check out this beautiful park.

Forms for engraved bricks or benches are available at
visitors center or at

Questions? Call Clayton Snow


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 

Odessa Wine
and Spirits

We are located on Main Street in Odessa, next to the Tompkins Trust Company branch.

Send us an email to to let us know what you would like us to have in stock.

Free wine tasting every Friday.


SCT Computers

Apple Certified Technicians
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers
A+ Certified Technicians

Visit us at 306 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, 607-535-2495

Main St., Penn Yan
(315) 694-7399



Your authorized FedEx ship center
M-F 7:30-5:30 (Cut off time 3 pm)
Sat. 10-2 (no pickups)
306 N. Franklin Street
Watkins Glen NY 14891

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

Click on the ad below to go to the United Way of Schuyler County website.


For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Curly's Restaurant is a page sponsor -- of our People Page. People.

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

Sports -- Cayuga Medical Ctr.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- The Colonial Pottery & Creamery


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


To go to Jim Guild's Famous Brands website, click on the drawing above or here.


To reach the Odessa Government Page, click here or on the logo below.


Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The IBEW Local 241 is a sponsor of this website


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Click below to go to the
Rotary Club website.


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



To reach the Watkins Glen School District website, click here


Check this out:


Contact this website at:



4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







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


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: "Tick here, tick there, ticks everywhere." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Athletes of the Week

An IAC Track & Field Tournament double winner and three school-record setters at the same meet are this week's Odessa File Athletes of the Week. Sports.

  Ken Wilson is a Jefferson Award honoree

Schuyler County Hall of Famer and community leader Ken Wilson (pictured at right) was honored Thursday as a Jefferson Award recipient by the Chemung Canal Trust Company and Corning Enterprises during a luncheon at the Elmira Country Club. The award is presented for outstanding leadership and volunteerism over the years. Other recipients: David Biviano and Betty Hess, along with Elmira's Carl Hayden, who was named the "National Jefferson Award Representative." Hayden will represent the Twin Tiers region next month at a Jefferson Awards event in Washington, D.C. with about 80 other designees from communities around the nation.


Inspiration, thy name is ...

The editor has turned his attention to annual awards.
It is Top Drawer 24, Athlete of the Year and Susan Award time. Column.


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

Wine tasting and sales are a staple of Seneca Lake Wine & Food.

  Wine & Food event draws crowd to Clute Park

Wine and food lovers flocked Saturday -- despite overcast skies and the occasional rain -- to the aptly named (and annual) Seneca Lake Wine & Food at Clute Park in Watkins Glen. About 1,500 people had passed through the entry gate in the first three hours, and another 500 or so were expected before the event ended. Tents with more than 40 area food and wine vendors were present selling their products, and there were wine and cheese seminars along with live music.

Photo: Organizer Jeff Dill.

Sara Caldwell was on hand running her Global Taco truck.


Friday Scoreboard

Girls Golf
Odessa-Montour 2nd, Watkins Glen 3rd at IAC Tourney.

IAC Track Championships
Watkins Glen's Isobel Scheffey wins the 200; O-M's girls varsity wins the Small Schools championship.

T-burg at Odessa-Montour


Stories, photos on Sports

Photo: Watkins Glen's Isobel Scheffey after winning the 200.


Ground broken for Kayak/Canoe Launch

A groundbreaking ceremony Friday drew village, county and state officials to the site of a planned Kayak/Canoe Launch at the eastern end of Clute Park. Government.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, center, and State Senator Tom O'Mara with Arc of Schuyler Executive Director Jeannette Frank. The Arc's 40th anniversary drew a proclamation and resolution of praise from Albany officials.

  Arc of Schuyler celebrates its 40th anniversary

Longtime Board member Harold J. Hoffmeier, right, was among the speakers Friday as The Arc of Schuyler celebrated its 40th anniversary with a luncheon at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. The main ballroom was packed with Arc supporters and local dignitaries. Said State Senator Tom O'Mara: "Nothing exemplifies community more than the Schuyler Arc does." Assemblyman Phil Palmesano praised The Arc for "improving the quality of life of our most vulnerable citizens. There can be no greater calling or greater mission." Arc Executive Director Jeannette Frank thanked both men for their recent efforts in securing improved wages for Direct Support Professionals, employees The Arc calls "the linchpin in a system of supports that empower people with disabilities to lead self-directed, meaningful, and productive lives."

  Watkins places 3rd for Small Town Adventure

Watkins Glen placed third in USA Today’s latest 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest! It finished behind Marquette, Michigan, and Florence, Oregon for Best Small Town for Adventure. Voting took place until May 14. Results were announced May 18. Twenty locales were nominated.

Photo: Seneca Harbor Pier.


Speakers set for
Top Drawer celebration

The 13th annual Top Drawer 24 celebration of outstanding area student-athletes will be held June 4 at the Watkins Glen State Park pavilion, with a lineup of compelling speakers. Top Drawer.

Click on the ad below for more information.

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




And inside

--WGHS junior Isabella Fazzary (right) will attend Empire Girls State in August, sponsored by Rotary. Schools.

--An Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop will be held June 2 at the Montour Falls Library. Workshop.

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.

Bonnie Arnold Fenton, 77, of Horseheads.
Elsie Arlene Rarrick, 81, formerly of Cayuta,
Wilma L. (Smith) Fretz, 88, of Elmira.
Tadeusz "Tad" Jaconski, 69, of Watkins Glen.
George Clark Rumsey, 69, of Reading Center.
James Henry Bond Jr., 79, of Valois.
James Munroe, 82, of Hector and Newark, NY.
R. Bruce Tappan, 81, of Watkins Glen.
Dave White, formerly of Odessa.
Nellie B. Ellison, 82, of Watkins Glen.
Virginia Eaton, 94, of Burdett.
Thomas H. Elliott, 92, of Watkins Glen.
Richard A. Morrill, 67, of Deltona, Fla.
Morgan L. Woodworth, D.C., 61, of Covington, Pa.
Dano Hutnik, 69, of Lodi.

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

Editor's Note

Debbie Stayer Kelly of Burdett -- a lifelong Schuyler resident, a single parent of two sons and a highly praised Cornell employee -- has Stage 4 cancer as well as a rare genetic mutation called Lynch Syndrome. She is facing a large financial burden as her battle continues.

Her Cornell colleagues have created a GoFundMe page for her that you can find right here. An update can be found by clicking on the Updates button on that site. I hope we all can help out.

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hailey Hoose at Rotary.

  Rotary honors Hoose as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Hailey Hoose was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for May. Hoose was introduced by O-M teacher Lisa Frost, who called the honoree "an amazing and unique individual" who has been "very active in the Odessa school community." Hoose has competed in swimming and tennis and has been part of school musicals for two years while also a student in the BOCES Dental Assisting program. She is known, Frost said, for "her perseverance and caring nature" and for always helping those in need.

Photo in text: Hailey Hoose receives her Student of the Month plaque from Rotary's John King.

The ribbon is cut at the expanded Sunset View Creamery.

  Ribbon-cutting held at expanded business

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 16 at the Sunset View Creamery on the Hoffman farm at Catharine Corners -- marking the grand opening of a new tasting room and retail space for the long-estabished cheese business. "After years in a very humble tasting room," says creamery owner Carmella Hoffman (pictured at right), "we now have a full-size retail shop and tasting area." The ceremony was part of a Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce After-Hours Mixer -- a Chamber tradition offering networking opportunities. Notes Chamber President Rebekah Carroll: "The Hoffmans are an integral part of our agritourism and local food communities."


O-M's 5th marking period Honor Rolls

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

  Palmesano welcomes Bacalles to Albany

Special to The Odessa File

ALBANY, May 16, 2018 -- Assemblyman Phil Palmesano welcomed his predecessor, Jim Bacalles, back to the Assembly during a recent visit by Bacalles to the Capitol.

"It was a real privilege for me to welcome Jim back to Albany," said Palmesano. "Jim is a true friend to this institution. He was a principled legislator who set a tremendous example for all of us. I'm honored to follow in his footsteps."

Palmesano noted that he and Bacalles have maintained an excellent relationship over the years: "Jim was my mentor in government. I worked for him from 1995 to 2004, and during that time I learned so much. He epitomizes what public service should be all about."

Photo: Jim Bacalles, left, and Phil Palmesano. (Photo provided)


A Track Day at WGI

Montour Falls' Bob Brown participates in a learning experience at Watkins Glen International racetrack that is popular among a diverse group of drivers. Track.


A legal column from Ziff Law's Jim Reed

Attorney James B. Reed of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira offers this regular column, tackling issues that you might encounter in your daily lives. This time: "Always put safety first when boating on the lake." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

  Budgets pass easily at Watkins Glen, Odessa

Voters overwhelmingly approved budget proposals Tuesday in the Watkins Glen and Odessa-Montour School Districts. The $27.2 million budget passed 207-36 in Watkins Glen, while a proposition to lease buses passed 195-47. In Odessa, the $16.8 million budget passed 221-43, while propositions for the purchase of buses and for an increase in the library tax for the Montour Falls Library passed 209-54 and 165-104, respectively. Incumbent School Board members Barb Schimizzi and Kelly McCarthy ran unopposed for two seats in Watkins Glen, receiving 213 and 190 votes, respectively. Three incumbents -- Rob Halpin, Karen Rock and Jeff Parmenter -- and newcomer Dana Sgrecci ran unopposed. Halpin, Parmenter and Sgrecci will serve three-year terms, and Rock a one-year term.


WGHS holds its annual Spring Concert

Students in grades 7 through 12 perform an array of choral and instrumental music in the school auditorium. Schools.


Photo: The flute section in the Grade 7/8 Band.

  Legislature acts on coroner, bridge, noms

Schuyler County Legislators Monday night approved the appointment of Patricia Kelly, NP, as one of two County Coroners to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. James P. Coleman III "until such time (as) a general election can be held." The appointment runs from June 1 through Dec. 31.

In other businesss, legislators: --Accepted a bid for construction of a bridge replacement over Johns Creek on North L'Hommedieu Street in Montour Falls.
--Approved Harold J. Hoffmeier Jr. and John Terry as Schuyler County nominees for the 2018 New York State Office for the Aging Senior Citizen of the Year award.
--Heard Chairman Dennis Fagan say Sales Tax for the first four months of 2018 are 8.1% higher than the same period in 2017. "We are experiencing a strong local economy," Fagan noted.
--Approved an independent audit report that, for the second straight year, fournd no significant problems in county finances. The treasurer's office under Harriett Vickio, said Fagan, is doing "a fantastic job."
Photo in text: Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan at his computer during Monday's meeting.

  Glen teacher places 2nd in Jeopardy semifinal

Watkins Glen Elementary School Special Education teacher Rachel Niegelberg of Trumansburg -- who won a quarterfinal "Jeopardy" match aired May 8 in the popular TV show's annual Teachers' Tournament -- finished second in a semifinal aired Tuesday, ending her TV run. According to a "Jeopardy" fan website, she trailed Claire Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky by $100 entering Final Jeopardy, where both answered correctly -- Niegelberg betting $10,000 and finishing with $25,900, and Bishop betting $15,801 and finishing wih $31,801. The clue was in the U.N. Languages category: "Of the 6 official U.N. languages, it's the one that is written in cursive form only." The correct response: "What is Arabic?" Bishop moved on to the two-show finale in the quest for a $100,000 prize. The two-week tourney -- taped earlier -- has featured 15 teachers from around the U.S. Each received a $2,500 educational grant to help fund classroom projects.

Photo: Niegelberg with "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek.

Accepting books for annual sale

WATKINS GLEN -- The Friends of the Watkins Library Annual Used Book Sale is now accepting books, puzzles, DVDs, audiobooks and magazines.

Donations may be taken to The Arc of Schuyler on 12th Street in Watkins Glen through Friday, May 25, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The sale does not accept encyclopedias, textbooks, VHS tapes or Reader’s Digest books.

If you are unable to take your donation to The Arc, please leave a message for Glenda Gephart at (607) 346-4719 and arrangements can be made to pick them up.

The sale will be Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1, from 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Arc.


Now available on Kindle: The Maiden of Mackinac

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

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner


This week's deals at Famous Brands

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

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

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

Proudly Representing:

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

  Ground broken for new Burdett Fire Station

The long-awaited Burdett Fire Depaartment took a symbolic step toward completion May 11 with a groundbreaking ceremony on the site, fronting Rt. 79 at the eastern end of the village. Various dignitaries were on hand. Groundbreaking.

  Lausell to challenge O'Mara for Senate seat

Schuyler County Legislator Michael Lausell (right), a Democrat, will soon open a campaign office in Montour Falls as he launches a challenge to incumbent Thomas O'Mara for the State Senate seat held by O'Mara in our 58th Senate District. O'Mara, a Republican and Conservative, was first elected to the Senate in 2010. Lausell has been a legislator since 2013, and was re-elected in 2017. The Senate term runs four years. Lausell, who held a campaign kickoff at his headquarters at 232 W. Main St. in Montour Falls on Thursday, May 17, says he believes voters should have a choice in picking their senator. The election is in November. Lausell is a lawyer, and raises beef cattle, selling some of his product at the Farmer's Market held Thursdays seasonally at the park in Montour Falls directly next to his campaign office.

School Board summary

The Watkins Glen School District has issued a summary of the School Board meeting held May 7. To see it, click here.

  Rotary honors Chedzoy as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Clara Chedzoy (right) was honored May 10 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for May. Chedzoy -- the class Valedictorian -- was introduced by teacher Kelsey Wood, who called the honoree "a great scholar" and "a truly kind, lovely person. I can't think of a better person to go out in the world to make it better." Chedzoy -- a defensive standout on the school's girls basketball team that won the Class C state title in 2017 and reached the finals of the Section IV tournament this year -- plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, and study astrophysics and astronomy. She says she would like a career in Research and Development in the aerospace industry.

  Grand Prix Fitness takes over walking lead

Grand Prix Fitness edged into the lead over the 2017 champion, the Humane Society, during the third week of the 2018 Schuyler Steps Out walking competition -- the 12th year of Schuyler Hospital's community walking program designed to get participants from businesses and organizations up and walking in the spring. Grand Prix Fitness, with 16 walkers, has a cumulative average of 321,062 steps, while The Humane Society, with 16 walkers, has an average of 319,311 steps. A total of 308 walkers represented 13 teams. The program, sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, lasts eight weeks.


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.

  Missing Montour Falls infant found safe

The infant girl missing from a Montour Falls residence on Rock Cabin Road -- Gionna K. Harter, 15 days old -- was located "safe and sound" along with her mother in the City of Geneva by Geneva and State Police Officers, the Schuyler County Sheriff's Department reported Thursday night, May 10. The Sheriff's office said the child was removed from the Montour Falls residence by her mother, Katrina M. Harter, over a court order that had granted temporary custody to a third party on May 9. The Sheriff's Department, which said no criminal charges are pending against the mother "at this time," thanked the public "in calling in tips and providing information to assist in the investigation. Law Enforcement followed up on over 100 leads in Schuyler, Ontario, Wayne, Monroe, Erie, Seneca, and Yates Counties."

Photo: Gionna K. Harter (Photo provided)

Kai Sutterby, right, and Isabella Fazzary arrive at the prom.


WGHS holds prom at Logan Ridge Estates

The annual prom drew a large gathering of gown-clad young women and tuxedo-clad young men for an evening of fun, food, music and camaraderie. For photos of the night, see Prom.




Left: WGHS senior Amber Benjamin.


The 15th 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 15th installment: "Good Ideas Bloom in Albany this Spring." Column.


Left: Travis Durfee

  League luncheon topic: DOT project in Glen

The annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of Schuyler County was held May 1 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. Guest speakers were Mike Griffin and Jeremy Ferris of the New York State Department of Transportation, who outlined the Route 14 reconstruction project that has begun in Watkins Glen and will be completed next spring. It is being done in stages that the two men said are designed to minimize disruption downtown. The project includes new sidewalks and roadwork designed to reduce speed as motorists enter the village from the north.

Photo: The DOT's Mike Griffin (left) and Jeremy Ferris.


Ceremony marks breakthrough at park

Various dignitaries were on hand April 30 for a ground-breaking ceremony at the Schuyler County Business Park -- the symbolic start of the planned construction of a beverage production facility there -- the park's first tenant. Business.

Left: State Ag & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball.


O-M team wins county Envirothon crown

The Otters, one of five Odessa-Montour teams in the April 30 Southern Tier Envirothon in Owego, won the Schuyler County team title and will compete in a statewide event. Schools.

Left: Billy Tague (left) and Andy Ink of winning Otters.

  It's a time for youth to stand up and be heard

Watkins Glen High School junior Kathleen Clifford -- an Odessa File intern -- has written about the recent March for Our Lives in Ithaca and elsewhere and about youth empowerment in general as the younger generation has lifted the issues of gun violence and gun control into a national debate. Her thoughts are on Schools.

Photo at right: At the Ithaca March for Our Lives. (Photo provided by Kathleen Clifford)

Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 28, was a day on which law enforcement agencies operated drop-off centers to allow for the safe and responsible disposal of unused prescription drugs. In Schuyler County, the Odessa and Tyrone Fire Departments were such centers. In the photo above, Corrections officer Anthony Nieves stands beside two bags full of prescription drugs dropped off at the Odessa site that morning. (Take Back Day important: Government.)

Some of the large crowd at the Watkins Glen Community Center.

  Burdett Fire Dept. holds fund-raising dinner

The annual Burdett Dinner-Dance hosted by the Burdett Fire Department drew more than 400 people April 28 to the Watkins Glen Community Center. The event -- featuring thousands of dollars in raffle prizes -- is a major fund-raiser for the department, with proceeds going toward the purchase of trucks and equipment. One such truck, a new rescue vehicle, was put into service a week ago.

Photo at right: A buffet dinner was served by Carol Bower Catering.

From left: Watkins Glen Fire Chief Charlie Smith 3rd, emcee Tom Carson, and Junior Specchio, being honored for 70 years with the department. He joined in 1948.

  Watkins Fire Dept. holds its annual banquet

The annual Watkins Glen Fire Department banquet drew a crowd April 28 to the Hidden Valley lodge. The evening saw the installation of officers by Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi: Charlie Smith 3rd as Chief, Derek Bacon as 1st Assistant, Robert Gruver as 2nd Assistant and Jason Hudson as 3rd Assistant. There were Years of Service awards, Appreciation awards, and Training and Response awards.

Two of the vehicles on display April 28: a 1933 Chevrolet sedan (left) and a 1930 Ford Model A.

  Car show featured at Paint the Town Purple

The annual Paint the Town Purple fund-raiser -- aimed at helping finance cancer-cure research -- was held April 28 at the Montour Firemen's Carnival Grounds. The event, with a flea market, chicken barbecue and various displays, also featured a car show with a wide range of vintage vehicles. The 1941 Ford Super Deluxe pictured in the inset was for sale at $22,000 by its owners, Don and Mary Paterson of Elmira, who said they could be reached at (607) 739-7051. Other vehicles were there for show.

Youth production

Some of the cast of the Lake Country Players' youth production of Peter Pan, Jr., set for June 15-17 at Watkins Glen High School. Features.

Opportunity Zones recommended

New York State has recommended 514 census tracts -- including two in Schuyler County -- for designation as Opportunity Zones, a new federal community development program. Government.


OFD installs officers, gives annual awards

The Odessa Fire Department's annual banquet Saturday, April 21 at the Fontainebleau Inn drew 125 to a dinner evening marked by the installation of incumbent chiefs (and one new one) and the distribution of response and longevity awards. See another photo on People.

Left: Keith Pierce, honored for most fire calls last year, and Charlene Mahnke, the top rescue responder.

Rotary offers grant request guidelines

The Watkins-Montour Rotary Club annually accepts requests for community grants, which are funded by a variety of club efforts. The guidelines are on People.


France Family will be honored on June 28

The fifth annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports will be presented to the France Family -- now led by patriarch James C. France -- during a dinner ceremony at the Corning Museum of Glass. People.

  They're promoting Donate Life New York State

Employees in the Schuyler County Clerk's office and Department of Motor Vehicles, along with other county workers, have been supporting New York's Donate Life campaign by wearing t-shirts, pins and bracelets touting the movement, which encourages organ and tissue donations. The campaign is of special interest to Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, who years ago donated a kidney to his sister and often preaches the benefits of the program. (Photo provided)

To learn more, visit


A transplant journey: the Schmidts' story

Deb Schmidt of Watkins Glen recounts -- in the third person -- the experiences she and her husband Gary underwent as Gary received lung and kidney transplants and Deb donated one of her own kidneys. The couple were guests at a Rotary Club meeting on Thursday, April 19 at which Assemblyman Phil Palmesano spoke of the importance of organ donations. Journey.


Tyrone meal site celebrates 25 years

The Office for the Aging and Tyrone Methodist Church hold an anniversary gathering at the church. 80 attend. People.

Photo: Legislature Chair Dennis Fagan and OFA Director Tammy Waite at the event.

  Rotary honors Dunn as Student of the Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Trevor Dunn (right) was honored April 19 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for April. Dunn was introduced by teacher Peter Fitch, who described the honoree as "a leader and a positive role model" who has twice been a GST BOCES Student of the Month while studying welding there. He has also been involved for years in robotics, and is on the seven-member team from FLARE (Finger Lakes Area Robotics Education) that has qualified for robotics competition at a world gathering next week in Detroit, Michigan. Dunn, who Fitch said is always "willing to try things" that others might shy from, plans to pursue a college degree in engineering technology.

A booth operated by the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition was one of many booths at the Business Expo.

  Glen Center hosts 12th annual Business Expo

The 12th annual Business Expo -- organized by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by Elmira Savings Bank -- was held April 18 at the Watkins Glen Community Center. It started with a public portion of the event from 4 to 5 p.m., and then transitiioned into the Chamber's monthly After Hours Mixer with refreshments, a raffle and networking. Dozens of businesses and organizations participated, providing information booths explaining or touting their various services or products.

Supports for at-risk students was among the subjects discussed.

  School safety forum focuses on mental health

The Watkins Glen School District -- which recently held a safety forum focusing on physical safety and the threat of guns in schools -- shifted gears to another piece of the gun debate Tuesday night, April 17: "Mental Health Services and Psychological Safety." On hand were counselors, psychologists and a social worker from the schools, and a representative from the nearby Mental Health Clinic on Porter Street. They discussed their roles and that of the district in assessing troubled students who might be helped -- a key element, they said, in a two-prong approach (with physical preventative measures) needed in the effort to keep the schools safe. "It truly takes a village" -- parents, teachers, counselors, mental health experts, the community and fellow students -- "to ensure the mental health of our students," said one speaker. That, in turn, some experts say, should help prevent tragedies like the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida school recently. The forum was live-streamed from the Watkins Glen Elementary School auditorium.

Photo: Watkins Glen Elementary School Psychologist Katie Richardson was among the speakers.

  In the heart of April

Just when we think we're out of the winter, it keeps pulling us back in. Snow paid a return visit to Schuyler County -- mostly in the higher elevations -- on Tuesday, April 17. The photo here was snapped from College Avenue in Odessa looking out onto Route 224 in the afternoon.

Gerry Messmer is sworn in as Odessa mayor by his predecessor, Keith Pierce, at Monday's Odessa Village Board meeting.

  Pierce resigns in Odessa; Messmer new mayor

Keith Pierce, mayor of Odessa for the past nine years and a village official for the past 13 -- resigned Monday night, April 16 at the outset of a meeting of the Village Board -- which in turn named as his successor Gerry Messmer, 53, a retired Army Lt. Colonel who moved to the village last year. Messmer, a 31-year Army veteran with significant administrative experience during a career that took him to various combat areas, lives with his wife Cathy at the corner of Church Street and Speedway. Both run their own businesses -- Cathy in custom embroidery and Gerry in powderhorns. He will serve the final year of Pierce's latest two-year term, and indicated an intent to seek election next year. Pierce explains his decision in a column here.

Budget approved: The Village Board, after Messmer was sworn in, approved a 2018-19 budget. It shows a drop in the tax rate from $6.35 per $1,000 of assessed value to $6.23, but with full-value assessment recently instituted, tax totals have gone up in many cases. The tax levy: $159,662.

Photo: Keith Pierce, facing camera, shakes the hand of Fire Chief Mike Tomassi after leaving the mayor's post Monday.


A final column by Mayor Keith PIerce

Keith Pierce presents his final column as he leaves the post of Odessa Mayor -- one of more than 30 Odessa File columns he has written over the past few years. In this farewell, he explains his decision to give up his seat as he assumes another role -- that of 3rd Assistant Chief in the village fire department. Column

Left: Mayor Keith Pierce

  4 seek 4 seats in Odessa; ballot positions set

Four candidates are vying for four openings on the Odessa-Montour School Board in the May 15 election. Positions on the ballot were determined April 16 in the district office when Superintendent Chris Wood picked names of the four out of a paper cup, the first name getting the top ballot position, the second the next position, and so on.

Incumbent Board President Rob Halpin has the top spot, followed by incumbent Karen Rock, newcomer Dana Sgrecci, and incumbent Jeff Parmenter. Three of the vacancies are for three-year terms, and one to fill the unexpired year of a seat held by Mel Switzer before he left the board several months ago. The top three vote-getters earn the three-year terms.

Watkins Glen drew for ballot positions April 17. Two seats are up for grabs -- each for three years -- and there are only two candidates: incumbents Barbara Schimizzi and Kelly McCarthy.

Photo: O-M Superintendent Chris Wood holds the last name drawn -- that of incumbent board member Jeff Parmenter.


Arc Grand Prix held in thick fog; 600 on hand

The fifth annual Arc of Schuyler Grand Prix Run/Walk on the Watkins Glen International racetrack Saturday morning, April 14, was fog-shrouded as 600 participants tested their physical capacities and raised money at the same time for The Arc. Grand Prix.

Photo: During the National Anthem.


Odessa-Montour holds its annual prom at WGI

The annual gathering -- on Friday night, April 13 -- of students wearing gowns and tuxedos had the theme of "Garden Gala." Junior and Senior Class courts were announced at 11 p.m. For story and photos, click here.




Photo: Lexi Castellaneta makes an entrance at the prom.

Patricia Enriquez of Brooklyn charges her 2016 Tesla at the new charging station in Montour Falls. She was participating in the Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International when she heard that village officials were looking for a volunteer with an electric car to help unveil the station.

  Montour unveils electric-car charging station

Montour Falls officials on April 13 unveiled a new electric-car charging station (right) -- the first in Schuyler County -- installed the day before at the rear of the park along Main Street that is often used for Farmers' Markets. The $16,000 station -- which cost $1,600 thanks to local DPW labor and a NYSERDA rebate -- can charge two electric vehicles at a time. On hand April 13 was a 2016 Tesla and its owner, recruited from the Green Grand Prix being held that day at Watkins Glen International. The owner, Patricia Enriquez of Brooklyn, was in touch by phone with the station operator, EV Connect -- which is located in El Segundo, California, and controls the station through the internet. Electric car drivers with proper apps will be able to find the station through remote guidance from EV Connect. The station was an action item tackled by Village Trustee Jim Ryan, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, that was a prerequisite for application for a $50,000 grant -- which, if attained, might be used to enhance the Village Hall's second floor to make it usable year-round.


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

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For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

Area historical photos can be found on History.

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

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.








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



To reach the Seneca Physical Therapy website, click on the ad above.


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


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

Still available: Tony Vickio's book, titled "Shifting Gears." You can order it on his website here.


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

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.


A Christian-based autobiography written by Melinda Kreischer, pen name for a long-time Finger Lakes area resident. Ordering information can be found here.


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


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


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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.

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An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

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

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


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

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


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

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



Some sports stories and essays inside

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


Some special feature packages

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



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

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

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

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




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

(607) 742-2772