A CHEER … to those singing the praises of an unsung hero of the abolition movement, Austin Steward. A ceremony Feb. 15 will dedicate a historical marker for the former slave and author of the well-regarded autobiography, “Twenty-two Years a Slave and Forty Years a Freeman,” who is buried in the West Avenue Cemetery. The Ontario County Historical Society is behind the effort, as is the Rev. Chester Freeman, who also has written on this man who escaped slavery in 1815, ran his own business in Rochester and taught school in Canandaigua in addition to writing and orating. The ceremony, which also marks the 150th anniversary of his death, starts at 1 p.m. Friday at the Ontario County Historical Society Museum, 55 N. Main St., Canandaigua.
A CHEER … to Sally Bateman, who has retired as city of Canandaigua wastewater treatment operator after 30-plus years of service. City Council recognized her years of service Thursday night, noting how she happily greeted and helped anyone who visited the plant — especially the students who stopped by. Councilmembers also noted she performed her duties of protecting the natural resources of the city and downstream region with dedication and professionalism while earning the respect and admiration of the community, her peers and coworkers — and six city managers, two mayors and 16 City Councils during her career. Legacies like this are difficult to replace.
A JEER … to the 139 motorists — including eight in the Finger Lakes region — arrested by state troopers and charged with impaired during a Super Bowl weekend crackdown. Troopers investigated 456 crashes, 67 of which resulted in injuries and one fatality. Yes, drivers should by now already know enough about the dangers associated with drinking and driving. But, hello, this was announced in advance — so what were you thinking?
A CHEER ... to 31 Bloomfield High School students who traveled to Peru over Christmas break for a service project in the Andes mountains, where they worked to build a school and water infrastructure for the people in the South American country's Sacred Valley region. The people of the region benefited, but so did the Bloomfield students, many of whom told the Daily Messenger about changed lives and ways of thinking as a result of their nine-day stay. Like Jaclyn Bell, who noted, "I think we're all eager to get involved with service and to not only travel, but to make change in your own community, because we saw the difference that we made in Peru." A further cheer to the high school International Baccalaureate Creativity, Activity and Service Program for making these opportunities — which have included previous service trips to Cuba and the Dominican Republic — available to students.
A CHEER ... to Canandaigua eatery Simply Crepes, which will be featured April 8 on the Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." The particular "best thing" getting the focus is a crepe called "The Rugby," a take on the flavors of McDonald's signature sandwich the Big Mac — and munched by famed Chef Fabio Viviani, a veteran of "Top Chef" and owner of Portico by Fabio at del Lago in Seneca County. "To get a big high-five from a celebrity chef is pretty cool," says owner Pierre Heroux, who also has locations in Pittsford and Raleigh, North Carolina. Congratulations, and bon appetit.