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DrumBeats Through Time hits 16th year of celebrating history

WAVERLY — Dancing and archaeological findings were presented in celebration of this year’s DrumBeats Through Time event at the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center in Waverly on Saturday.

According to event organizer Deb Twigg, the event has gone on for 16 years with patrons and supporters coming to see what the center has to present each year.

“It’s our way of sharing our Native American heritage — all our heritage really,” said Twigg. “Isn’t heritage the history of the place? That’s the way I see it. It’s our celebration of what SRAC does.”

Along with scientific findings being presented at the event, the Seneca Dancers presented traditional Native American dances.

“We have the Seneca here and they will present their part of the story — because they are still here.” stated Twigg. “These guys have been with us since we have had this building and have been doing these. They are like family to us. They have won national awards and they have stayed with us to make sure that we always have representation. The last thing I would want to do is represent someone else’s culture, so this is our way of saying, ‘hey you take it from here.’”

The museum had displays of local findings with some being apart of the collection of the cofounder of the center, 95-year-old Dick Cowles.

“I was one of the founders and it was my dad’s collection,” said Cowles. “Along with a few others. There were several of us that founded the organization and the idea of the organization, even before we had a building and a place. Our first meeting was in 2004. Deb, Sue and I are the only remainders of the original founders.”

For Cowles, it is a honor to see the event still take place each year.

“I am always glad, I come down from the Corning area every year,” said Cowles. “I am hoping to be hear next year too.

Sayre High School throws third annual Fall Extravaganza

SAYRE — Sayre High School’s Future Business Leaders of America members were busy on Saturday helping run their third annual Fall Extravaganza.

The event, which has been held at two different locations previously, saw it’s first year at the High School gym and is set to be held there every year moving forward, according to event organizer Kelly Stedge.

Vendors came to the event with goods to sell and students helped them set up their booths and carry product.

“It went well — we are considering this our rebuild year,” stated Stedge. “We have had to change the venue and the month a couple times, but this is our permanent spot and permanent month going forward. This is something we can now start building on every year to make it bigger and better.”

The transition to the gym made for a better atmosphere for the event and students, according to Stedge.

“This is the home of the FBLA, so instead of moving it off site, it is always best to have everything here,” she said. “This is where the students are comfortable and the students have been absolutely awesome. They came last night and helped us tape things off. They took shifts today working tables. They unloaded all the vehicles this year and are reloading vehicles.”

The event helps the FBLA group raise funds for travel expenses that come from winning competitions and in the event’s first year, the FBLA raised over $3,000 towards those expenses.

“The kids are awesome, they all have really positive attitudes. They are very community minded and I think when we make them work as part of the event, it is better because they get it. They are not just getting a whole bunch of monetary award out of it without work — it is kind of like a job. They all had to clock in for their hours and clock out. They show up, if we say 7’o clock, they are here at 7.”

For Stedge, the event is encouraging because the students are so active and driven to see the event succeed.

“That is what we need our kids to be. I think these kids are really the epitome of what kids in society should be like — contributing members of society.”

Trump outstripping Obama on pace of executive orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — It wasn’t too long ago that Donald Trump derided presidential executive orders as “power grabs” and a “basic disaster.”

He’s switched sides in a big way: In each year of his presidency, he has issued more executive orders than did former President Barack Obama during the same time span. He surpassed Obama’s third-year total just recently.

Back in 2012, Trump had tweeted: “Why Is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”

That criticism continued once he entered the presidential race.

“The country wasn’t based on executive orders,” Trump said at a South Carolina campaign stop in February 2016. “Right now, Obama goes around signing executive orders. He can’t even get along with the Democrats, and he goes around signing all these executive orders. It’s a basic disaster. You can’t do it.”

But Trump appears to have learned what his predecessors discovered as well: It’s easier and often more satisfying to get things done through administrative action than to get Congress to go along, said Andrew Rudalevige, a professor at Bowdoin College who studies the history and effectiveness of presidential executive actions.

“Most candidates don’t realize the utility of executive actions while campaigning,” Rudalevige said. “When they become president, they quickly gain an appreciation of how difficult it is to get things done in government.”

The White House declined to comment on Trump’s use of executive orders. He surpassed Obama’s third-year total when, in the last two weeks, he issued five executive orders relating to Medicare, government transparency, federal spending and imposing sanctions on Turkish officials.

An executive order can have the same effect as a federal law — but its impact can be fleeting. Congress can pass a new law to override an executive order and future presidents can undo them.

Every president since George Washington has used the executive order power, according to the National Constitution Center, and some of those orders played a critical role in American history. President Franklin Roosevelt established internment camps during World War II. President Harry Truman mandated equal treatment of all members of the armed forces through executive orders. And President Dwight Eisenhower used an executive order to enforce school desegregation in Little Rock.

When Obama became frustrated with how difficult it was to push legislation through Congress, he warned Republicans he would take executive action when he considered it necessary.

He famously declared in 2014: “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”

Few candidates for office have placed so much emphasis on criticizing a predecessor’s executive orders as Trump did. He reasoned that Obama’s use of executive orders made him look like a weak negotiator. But Trump himself has had little success with Congress in that regard. His biggest legislative achievement so far, a $1.5 trillion tax cut, failed to gain one Democratic vote.

Trump has so far issued 130 executive orders. By comparison, Obama issued 108 in his first three years.

Still, Rudalevige says that comparing executive orders from one president to the next can provide a misleading snapshot of a president’s propensity for taking executive action. That’s because presidents also use memoranda and proclamations to achieve policy goals or to get the message out about their priorities. One president’s executive order might be another’s memoranda, or phone call even.

Obama relied on memoranda and proclamations for some of his most disputed executive actions, so just counting his executive orders understates his efforts to take action without Congress passing a bill.

For example, protections for young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children came about through a Department of Homeland Security memorandum. That effort allowed eligible individuals to request temporary relief from deportation and apply for authorization to work in the U.S.

Obama took the action after Congress had declined to pass the Dream Act, legislation that would have helped a similar group of migrants. Republicans argued Obama overstepped his constitutional authority. In November, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Trump administration’s plan to end the program, which has protected roughly 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. Lower courts have so far blocked the administration from ending the program.

Obama also issued proclamations to declare new national monuments in Utah and Nevada in his final days in office. In all, he issued 34 monument proclamations, including designating 29 new monuments and enlargement of five existing monuments as he brandished his conservation legacy. Some of the largest monument designations were heavily criticized by state and local officials.

Rudalevige said that Trump appears to favor the pomp and ceremony that often comes with an executive order. He routinely makes a speech, administration officials and potentially affected Americans get to thank him for taking action and Trump often signs the order before the cameras, holding it up in the air for photographers to capture the moment.

“I think it fits his personality,” Rudalevige said.