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

As an independent insurance agent we work for YOU. We have many companies to choose from to get YOU the best coverage and price.

If you are looking for someone who works for YOU, please call, email or stop in and we'll be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

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

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Special rates with
1-year agreement starting as low as $25/month.

Accepting most insurance wellness plans.

Located 140 N. Catherine St., Montour Falls.

(607) 210-4058

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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.


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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


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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 Hospital website.


Friday Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

N. Dame 50, Watkins Glen 40

Girls Basketball

Watkins Glen 56, N. Dame 30
Odessa-Montour 49, Tioga 47


Girls: Watkins Glen 4, O-M 0
Boys: Watkins Glen 3, O-M 1


For stories, see Sports.


Left: O-M's Gillian Clark, who scored 22 points.


In the Forest of Sherwood...

A Watkins Glen High School alum will soon be a published author -- of a young adult novel that reimagines the Robin Hood tale. Column.

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

The Stamp family's Lakewood Vineyards was honored with the Chamber's Leader in Business Award. Present from Lakewood at Friday's gala were, from left, Chris, Liz and Beverly Stamp.


Chamber holds its annual Winter Gala at hotel

The annual Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Winter Gala Friday at the Harbor Hotel featured a social hour, dinner, keepsake photos, live and silent auction packages, a wine raffle, live music (by Top Shelf), dancing, a blackjack table, and programs honoring various Schuyler notables. Among the honorees were Jeff and Linda Confer (right), recipients of the annual Community Spirit Award; Lakewood Vineyards, recipient of the Leader in Business Award; Susan Silhan of Selah Yoga and Music, recipient of the Chamber's Ambassador of the Year Award; and the hotel general manager, Carolyn Guyer, recipient of the Max Neal Award for dedication to and support of the Chamber's efforts.

Photo in text: Community Spirit Award winners Jeff and Linda Confer at Friday's gala.

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.




Other News

Chamber plans first Think Tank of 2017. Business.

Four WGHS students are Red Ribbon Week contest winners. Schools.

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.

Ronald K. Welch, 80, of Horseheads.
Carol A. Wilson, 70, of Watkins Glen.
Walter F. Carson, 74, formerly of Trumansburg.
Philip A. Biever, 58, of Burdett.
George M. Emery, Jr., 70, of Watkins Glen.
Bonnie Hagin Green, 75, of Trumansburg.
Barbara Ann Cross (Nee Jacobs), 85.
Jean S. Argetsinger, 97, of Burdett.
Samuel G. Baldwin, 89, of Watkins Glen.
Kenneth E. Gridley, Jr., 57, of Montour Falls.
John M. Buckbee, 82, of Odessa.
Merritt L. "Skeet" Seymour, 78, of Odessa.

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

Volunteer sought

United Way of Schuyler County is looking for a volunteer with experience in QuickBook bookkeeping to be assigned to the position of Executive Secretary. The job description is to record all United Way contributions and disbursements; keep budget accounts current, keep all United Way files and records, gather all information for income tax return preparation, and make regular campaign reports to Board members and the Executive Director. Please contact Peggy Scott at: or call 546-8268 and leave a message.


Rotary honors Frasier as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Kyle Frasier was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for January. Frasier was introduced by O-M teacher Russ Gardner, who said the honoree -- a High Honor student, a member of the school swim team and a member of "outside organizations like the Future Farmers of America" -- has a "positive outlook" that makes him "the kind of student that teachers love to have in the classroom, the kind of student we want in our schools, the kind of person other students want on their team." Frasier, who works on the Hoffman farm, hopes to have his own farm one day. He is undecided about college, but said that if he goes, it will be to Morrisville State for its agricultural program.

Photo in text: Kyle Frasier at Rotary Club, with teacher Russ Gardner watching in the background.


Community leader Jean Argetsinger dies

Schuyler County Hall of Fame member Jean Argetsinger, the widow of Cameron Argetsinger and a community leader in Watkins Glen for decades, dies at her home at the age of 97. Argetsinger.


Left: Jean Argetsinger


Part of the act: Hanlon third grader Isaac Hough brandishes a plastic bat as he chases a Wizard who is hiding behind O-M Athletic Manager Greg Gavich.


Harlem Wizards pack gym on PFO's behalf

A capacity crowd filled the Odessa-Montour gym Tuesday night as the traveling and entertaining Harlem Wizards basketball team -- whose ads read "tricks, hoops and alley oops" -- met O-M faculty and administrators in a game full of fun that often interacted with the crowd. The event, organized by the B.C. Cate/Hanlon PFO, raised funds for that group's public events. Said a spokeswoman: The PFO wanted to provide "a community event," and that the turnout and support was "amazing."

Left: Dunks were plentiful; and the gym spectators, who packed the bleachers, were amused by the Wizard hijinks.

Tom Cook after receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.


Odessa Board honors Cook as Citizen of Year

Former Odessa Village Mayor Tom Cook (who served from 1989 to 1995), well-known locally for his construction business and a man often sought by the village for his knowledge and opinions regarding the water system there, was honored by the Odessa Village Board Monday as the village's fourth annual Citizen of the Year. Cook, present at Monday's Village Board session to discuss water issues, had no idea he was being honored -- standard each year with the award presentation. The honor was previously bestowed on Charlie Haeffner, Jeff Parmenter and Bonnie Scott.


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: "Governor goes from 'costs too much' to 'let's spend more.'" Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara


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.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.


O-M's 2nd marking period Honor Roll

The Odessa-Montour Junior/Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the second marking period of the 2016-17 school year. Honors.

Jefferson Award nominations

Do you know a volunteer who has made our area a better place? Click here for information on the 2017 Jefferson Award nominations.


Rally: Hike Arc funds to offset wage increase

Rally participants at the Arnot Mall call on Governor Cuomo to increase state support for human-service agencies to help offset the effects of the minimum-wage hike. People.

Left: At the rally.


Center talk to focus on Walk of Fame racers

The careers of 15 racers honored in the Watkins Glen Drivers Walk of Fame will be examined when International Motor Racing Research Center historian Bill Green kicks off the annual Center Conversations speaker series on Jan. 21. Sports.

Photo at right: Walk of Fame marker. (From provided photo)


Rotary honors Wickham as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Phebe Wickham (right) was honored Jan. 12 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for January. Wickham was introduced by teacher Maggie Field, who lauded the honoree's dedication and skill in video production at the school and her participation in school plays, as a photographer for the yearbook, and as a lifeguard.

Wickham, a member of National Honor Society, a High Honor student and a self-taught piano and ukulele player, hopes to attend college in the East to study film, a field she says she loves.

Green Arbor, Fish Stocking programs set

Every year -- and again in 2017 -- the Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District offers the Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale, also known as the Green Arbor Program, and the Fish Stocking Program. For details, click here.


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 Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty website, click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Schuyler Legislature Chairman Dennis Fagan left, and Legislator Mark Rondinaro at Monday night's meeting.


County to take Cultural Center under its wing

The Schuyler County Legislature will meet in special session on Jan. 23 to approve a lease agreement to oversee the public-use portion of the renovated Middle School on Decatur Street, in the building's auditorium and former gym. County Administrator Tim O'Hearn (pictured at right) told the legislature at its monthly meeting Monday night -- and an hour earlier told the annual Project Seneca meeting at the Harbor Hotel -- that once the lease is signed with the Two Plus Four management firm and the county assumes oversight, a Request for Proposals will be issued to find professional management to bring in cultural events at the former school -- thereby enhancing options for tourists. That will lead to "more feet on the street" in Schuyler County and increased traffic for local businesses, he said, as "somewhat of a cultural void" is filled.

About 60 people were on hand to hear about area projects under way or envisioned under the Project Seneca umbrella.


Project Seneca session outlines projects

The annual meeting Monday of Project Seneca -- the name that serves as an umbrella for millions of dollars worth of water treatment, infrastructure, traffic, recreational and other enhancements aimed at improving life and tourism in Schuyler County -- attracted about 60 people, many of them community leaders, to the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. With Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry serving as emcee, several officials took the podium to describe progress on various projects, most notably the regional wastewater treatment plant on the canal, a facility that will serve both Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. Other projects, some nearing completion and some still concepts: a kayak and canoe project on Seneca Lake; a downtown revitalization initiative for Watkins; Montour Falls canal dredging; a Business Improvement District for Watkins; a boutique hotel in the Chamber of Commerce building; and the Seneca Terrace Apartments on the hill above the Elks Lodge, with expected completion in the summer.

Photo in text: Dan Bower of Hunt Engineers, who described the progress on construction of the Watkins Glen Brewery Vacation Rentals in the old frozen food locker building on the north end of the Watkins Glen business district. Expected completion date: April 2017.

Legislator Michael Lausell, left, and Chairman Dennis Fagan.


Fagan re-elected as Legislature chairman

The Schuyler County Legislature, at its annual organizational meeting January 4th, named incumbent chairman Dennis Fagan to another year in the post. There was no competition, although Legislator Michael Lausell criticized Fagan for his consistent support of the Crestwood energy firm's LPG storage proposal, something Lausell has staunchly opposed. Legislator Jim Howell in turn weighed in on Fagan's side for the solid economic footing on which the county finds itself. The vote re-electing Fagan soon followed.


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 "Moving toward a sewer system, and a decision to run for mayor, after all." Column.

Left: Mayor Keith Pierce

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

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.

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 photo below

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

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


Board topics: safety, special-needs student

The Watkins Glen School Board discusses the need for medical personnel at sporting events, and hears from the parent of a special-needs student. Board.

Left: Supt. Tom Phillips.

For a district summary of the Board meeting, click here.


This website has now operated for 14 years ...

The Odessa File was launched on Dec. 29, 2002 -- a day (I like to tell people, and which is true) on which it received three visitors, two of them being me. Much has occurred since, but little (I think) has changed about The File. And I mean that in a good way. To those who have helped keep it afloat, I thank you. I hope everyone -- members of our Schuyler County family -- continue to find it both useful and enjoyable.

--Charlie Haeffner, Editor & Publisher


A message from our area's Assemblyman

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano urges us, in this season of giving, to consider the gift of life -- by registering as an organ donor. Palmesano.


Left: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano.


How the Masonic mural came to be

Myrtle-Jefferson Lodge No. 131 tells how the mural on the east wall of its Masonic Temple in Montour Falls was created last summer. People.


The fourth 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 fourth installment. Column.



Left: Travis Durfee

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.

Members of the Montour Falls Village Board listen at Thursday night's meeting. From left are Trustee Phil Smith, Mayor John King and Trustee Steve Lawton.


Rumor put to rest: No gas-storage stance

A rumor that had spread -- that the Montour Falls Village Board was going to vote in favor of the Crestwood LPG storage plan -- drew 20 people to the board's meeting on Dec. 15. But there was no resolution, and no position. "We haven't discussed the issue," said Mayor John King. "We're neutral on the subject. I don't feel we have the expertise" to issue a vote on it. "We don't even know what the residents of Montour Falls think on the subject ... We're not prepared to have a resolution on Crestwood, period."

One visitor, Michael Warren Thomas of Rochester, a radio personality and steadfast LPG storage opponent, said that "to be neutral would seem to go against what's best" for Seneca Lake, which project opponents worry will be ruined by an LPG accident. Another person, Marcia Douglas, presented the board with a sample resolution in opposition, much in the style of one passed a couple of years ago by the Watkins Glen Village Board. And county legislator Michael Lausell, also an opponent, said that even with amendments made to the storage plan, "there is still the issue of cavern integrity," salt caverns being the storage of choice in the LPG plan. When asked by resident Tom Weidemann if the village populace would be surveyed should the board decide to vote on a resolution, King said: "That's the best way. Can we close this subject?"

Photos in text: Michael Lausell and Michael Warren Thomas

O-M volleyball coach Kayla Kelly, left, and honoree Paxtyn Brown, who was a captain on the volleyball team this year.


Brown honored as Rotary Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Paxtyn Brown was honored Dec. 15 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for December. She was introduced by school librarian Kayla Kelly, who has been Brown's varsity volleyball coach for two years. Kelly said the honoree -- president of her class, ranked 5th academically, and a member of the National Honor Society -- is "a student who will go above and beyond; someone you can always count on for help. She is an all-around great student and person." Brown plans to attend Daemen College.

The view Tuesday night after the decorative lights were turned on in the courtyard outside the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility.


Seneca View holds annual Festival of Lights

Lights on the trees and fencing in the courtyard outside the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility -- as well as decorative lights inside -- were turned on Tuesday night, Dec. 13 during the Facility's annual Festival of Lights ceremony. The festival generates donations to honor loved ones and recognize family members or friends, or special events. Proceeds go to the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary to support the hospital and Seneca View. The lights were turned on at a switch outside by Facility resident Kathleen Dempsey, assisted by Activities Director Sally Daniels.


Upscale hotel planned in Chamber building

Plans are underway to turn most of the building at 214 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen (left) -- current home of the Chamber of Commerce -- into an upscale, four-diamond boutique hotel. Business.

Plan prompts memories of another hotel. Column.

Candy canes were distributed just before Monday's meeting. Legislature Clerk Stacy Husted watches as County Administrator Tim O'Hearn digs into the bag holding them.


Appointments, salaries among session actions

The Schuyler County Legislature on Dec. 12th appointed two election commissioners (Republican Joe Fazzary and Democrat Carolyn Elkins) to two-year terms effective Jan. 1; approved a Local Law establishing 2017 salaries for legislators ($9,000), Sheriff Bill Yessman ($82,500), County Treasurer Harriett Vickio ($70,000) and County Clerk Linda Compton ($69,000); and ordered the levy of the Lamoka/Waneta Lakes' Protection and Rehabiliation District taxes, which call for the first increases since 2003.

Legislators also voted to use the General Fund Balance to help pay off the debt balance of the Mill Creek Facility; and set their final meeting of the year for 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, and their 2017 Organizational Meeting for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 in the Legislative Chambers.

Photos in text:
Legislators Carl Blowers, right, and Jim Howell talk before the meeting.
Bottom: County Attorney Steven Getman with a festive bow

Willie Hayes, left, and Lou Cicconi of the Seneca Santa Blues Band, which provided live music at the party.


Party raises funds for Seneca Santa program

The 20th annual fund-raising Seneca Santa party was held Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Grist Iron Brewing Co. north of Burdett. The event, held in conjunction with Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards -- which hosted the event for many years -- raises funds to purchase Christmas presents for underprivileged children aged 2-12 in Schuyler County. The event featured a live band, raffles and live and silent auctions.

Left: A seasonal hat, one of several at the party; raffles were part of the fund-raising.

Present at the party, from left: BOCES Superintendent Jim Frame, State Senator Tom O'Mara, Watkins Glen School Board member Mark Franzese.


Schuyler included in development awards

Schuyler County has been designated to receive about $2.5 million as part of the state's annual Regional Economic Development awards. It was a portion of $60.4 million awarded to the Southern Tier Regional Council encompassing the Binghamton-Elmira-Corning area. Government.


Post-election column: Leslie Danks Burke

The Democratic challenger for State Senate in the recent election looks back at her unsuccessful effort, draws positives from the experience, and urges voters to stay involved. Column.



Left: Leslie Danks Burke


Irwin honored as Rotary Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Courtney Irwin was honored Thursday, Dec. 8 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for December. The honoree was introduced by teacher Chris Clark, who described her as "an absolutely exceptional student" who works at the school Fitness Center, is a varsity golfer, and is a member of National Honor Society and other organizations. Irwin told Rotarians she believes in "always striving for better." She said she loves Science and "helping people," and plans to "put the two together and become a nurse." She plans to attend East Stroudsburg University and play Division 2 golf.

Photo in text: Courtney Irwin is congratulated by Rotary Club President Bill Phoenix.

Charges lodged in hunting incident

A 27-year-old man is charged in a Nov. 19 hunting-related incident in the Town of Dix. DEC investigators said the man shot his stepbrother, mistaking him for a deer on the opening day of the Southern Zone deer season, two hours before legal hunting time. People.


School Board: driver praised, consultant met

Fast thinkng by a school bus driver was praised Dec. 5th by Superintendent Tom Phllips at a meeting of the Watkins Glen School Board. Driver Skip Opdyke (pictured at right) was presented a Certificate of Merit and Appreciation for an incident Nov. 29 when he let two students -- a first grader and a kindergartener -- off the bus near their Hector homes and realized that only one of them was in his line of sight. He couldn't leave his seat -- state law prohibits it when he has passengers -- so he honked until the kindergartener, a girl, popped into sight after retrieving a dropped paper from underneath the front of the bus. Phillips praised Opdyke's alertness, averting "what could have been a disaster" had he not realized the girl's disappearance and had he moved the bus forward. The superintendent said additional training for students on exiting a bus and crossing the road -- and staying three feet back from the bus -- will be held in the school.

The board members also heard from Vincent J. Coppola (pictured at right), who was approved at their last meeting as a consultant in the search for a superintendent to succeed Phillips, who retires in 2017. Coppola, once a superintendent in the Corning-Painted Post district, has consulted in 90 such searches over the past 18 years. He said the Watkins school facilities are "astonishing" -- a sure draw for applicants -- and said Phillips' lengthy tenure (11 years compared to a statewide average of 4.5 to 5) will encourage applicants who realize they might be able to stay long term.

A meeting summary can be found here.


Village Christmas Parade winners announced

The parade held as a highlight of the Watkins Glen Village Christmas on Dec. 2 has generated the following winners announced by the Village Christmas committee:

"Most Christmas Spirit": Visions Federal Credit Union.
"Best Decorated": Elmira Savings Bank (photo above).
"Most Decorated Fire Truck": Watkins Glen Fire Dept.
"Judges' Choice": Lakewood Vineyards, which featured, in addition to a float, a small army of snowmen.

Said Committee Chair Susanne Vedder: "We were thrilled to see so many people come downtown to celebrate with us this year. It was a true community event."

William Yeater and Hannah Rosier perform a duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside."


Youths welcome yule season with cabaret

Young actors -- members of the Dream Barn Productions troupe -- performed Christmas-themed skits, solos and other musical acts Dec. 2-3 in three "Holiday Cabaret 2016" performances at the Dream Barn headquarters, the former Methodist church near Catharine Corners. Participants: Maria Brubaker, Scott Brubaker, John Coates, Douglas DiGregorio, Gina Gavich, Marisa Hubbard, Kasey Lenzner, Emma Malnoske, Jack Muir, Kymerea Sparbanie, Hannah Rosier, Casey Underdown, Phebe Wickham and William Yeater. The performances were at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Left Top: Maria Brubaker sings "Let It Snow."
Left Bottom: Kasey Lenzner in a skit, "Judith of the Jungle."

Gina Gavich, left, and Kymerea Sparbanie were stockings in one of the cabaret skits.

Santa and Mrs. Claus brought up the rear of the Dec. 2 parade.


Watkins holds annual Village Christmas

Food stands with warming treats like chili, hot cider and hot chocolate, a manger scene, reindeer, a parade and fireworks highlighted the annual Watkins Glen Village Christmas on Dec. 2. The event was held on North Franklin Street.

Left: One of many Elmira Savings Bank snowmen; and a young Four Dragons Martial Arts member breaks a board.

Inset: Announcer Jim Howell.

Cartoon characters were among the entrants in the parade.

From left: Max Neal, Phyllisa DeSarno and Rebekah Carroll, current president of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce, at Friday's party. Both Neal and DeSarno also served in that role.


Max Neal returns to celebrate her birthday

Schuyler County Hall of Famer and former local Chamber of Commerce chief Max Neal was back in Watkins Glen Friday, Dec. 2, celebrating her 80th birthday with a party at the Harbor Hotel. Neal, who retired several years ago to move back to her old home in Vermont -- where she is, not surprisingly, overseeing the Chamber of Commerce -- was staying in this area through the weekend in order to also attend the funeral of retired Elmira College President Thomas Meier.


Former boxer warns of concussions' effects

Former middleweight boxer Ray Ciancaglini, a native of Geneva, tells the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club of the effects of untended concussions and how they have impacted his life. Features.

Ray Ciancaglini at the weekly Rotary luncheon.


14 join NHS at O-M

One junior and 13 sophomores are inducted into the Odessa-Montour chapter of the National Honor Society during a ceremony in the school auditorium. Schools.

Left: Candles are a part of the ceremony. (File photo)


Mr. Chicken provides details on its closing

The Mr. Chicken restaurant in Watkins Glen closes its doors on Dec. 17 after selling the property to the state, reportedly for parking for the Watkins Glen State Park. The Bond family that owns Mr. Chicken has explained the move in a Facebook posting: "After 50 years of operation, Mr. Chicken will be closing on December 17, 2016 due to health reasons. The Bond family and staff would like to thank their loyal customers for the years of support. It's been an honor to be a part of the Watkins Glen community. We take great pride in the fact that Mr. Chicken has been part of the 'you can't miss this' list for many years. Closing Mr. Chicken was not an easy decision for our family to make. When we learned that Watkins Glen State Park was going to be redone, we approached the Parks to see if they would be interested in purchasing the property. While our closing is sad, we will be a part of Watkins Glen State Park, a place that we love and was part of what made us successful all these years."


Dr. Thomas Meier, former EC president, dies

Dr. Thomas K. Meier, 76, former president of Elmira College and board president of the Five Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, has died, according to a statement issued Nov. 30 by the Five Rivers Council. Meier served as Elmira College president for 25 years, retiring in 2012, and served on the boards of United Way, Southern Tier Economic Growth, the Chemung Canal Trust Company and the Arnot Art Museum. He previously was president of Castleton State College in Vermont.


Rep. Reed added to Trump transition team

Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, right) has been added by President-elect Donald Trump to the Trump transition team as a vice chairman, one of nine new ones and one of 13 total. Reed, first elected to Congress in 2010, represents the 23rd District, including Schuyler County. He was a stalwart supporter of Trump's throughout the campaign.

Binghamton State Senator Fred Akshar, left, and Senator Tom O'Mara with the Food Bank's Natasha Thompson during visit to the Food Bank in early November in support of the legislation vetoed this week by Governor Cuomo.


O-Mara, Palmesano blast Cuomo ag veto

State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano were highly critical Nov. 29 of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's veto -- for the second straight year -- of legislation to provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 to farmers who donate fresh produce to food banks and other emergency food providers. "This veto is incredibly disappointing and frustrating," said O'Mara, who co-sponsored the "Farm to Food Bank" legislation unanimously approved by the Senate and Assembly. The legislation "was a win-win for everyone," said Palmesano (pictured). "It was a win for emergency food pantries and other food security programs, for the hungry families who rely on them and for farmers who are struggling to make ends meet and keep their neighbors employed."

At November Splendor were, from left: Lori Welliver, Anne Myers, Joan Argetsinger and Brenda Fitch. (Photo provided)


November Splendor raises record $32,000

The Nov. 18 November Splendor fund-raiser at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel raised a record-high $32,000 for Schuyler Hospital and the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility. The dinner-dance, which attracted 260 people and featured a live auction and raffles, was hosted by the Schuyler Health Foundation and the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary. The evening is the signature event of the Foundation's Family of Friends campaign. Said hospital President/CEO James Watson of the fund-raising success: "It is validation that you appreciate the improvements we are making and value the service we provide."

Photo in text: Donna DeGloria, left, receives assistance from Jessica Adams in carrying her prize package, won at the November Splendor dinner-dance. (Photo provided)


Lions honor 26 vets of Vietnam War at dinner

The Watkins-Montour Lions Club holds the ceremony at the Harbor Hotel, part of a national move to thank veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the country. Features.


Left: One of the table centerpieces at the dinner.

Annual Report

The Village of Odessa releases its annual Drinking Water Quality Report. For a look, click here.

Want to contact us?

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

You can call: (607) 594-3594

You can email:

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

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


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.


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


3 months for $99.
Special rates with
1-year agreement starting as low as $25/month.

Accepting most insurance wellness plans.

Located 140 N. Catherine St., Montour Falls.

(607) 210-4058


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.

Want to see what 344pm is about?

Click here to go to the website.


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.

Be sure to visit

Watkins Glen
Winter Farmer's Market

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

Fresh produce, meats and crafts

Find us on Facebook.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


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

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

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


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


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


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


Contact us about our ad rates




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


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


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


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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Yes, we're still seeking donations

Click here

Sponsors' Page

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

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

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


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

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

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


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

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


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

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



Some sports stories and essays inside

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


Some special feature packages

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



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

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

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

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




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

(607) 594-3594