Überstadt to drop Roy’s birthday, add new holidays

ROSEWOOD – Überstadt’s culture minister recommended Saturday that the kingdom make several changes to its official holiday roster. They will later be confirmed by a parliamentary vote.

One pending change is removing a day celebrating Prince Roy of Sealand’s birthday. King Adam first made it a holiday to honor the man who inspired him to found Überstadt, but he and Minister for Culture the Baroness Rosewood agreed that such an observation was no longer suitable. “We are driven by ourselves, not some outside inspiration,” the king said.

The existing observation called the Day of Fire is to be moved from the end of July to the beginning of August. It originally marked the day when Edmount Island, Überstadt’s first territory, suffered a major wildfire in 2009. The new date will be anniversary of the fire’s defeat, and will become the only holiday in August.

New holidays include some already celebrated culturally by most or all citizens, including Christmas and Easter. One major new addition to the summer calendar will be Navy Day in late June, honoring His Majesty’s Überstadti Navy.

King Adam chairs first GUM Quorum, faces shock rejection of VC nominee

BELLINGHAM, Washington – On Monday, King Adam of Überstadt presided over his first GUM Quorum as Chair in a marathon session that passed 12 motions. The meeting lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, extended in part by votes on several of Adam’s officer nominations.

After giving remarks on the start of his tenure as chair, Adam formally nominated Emperor Adam of Adammia as GUM Vice Chair. In a shock to the king and several other delegates, the vote quickly failed, posing the first challenge to the new chair’s leadership. A somewhat confused discussion of why the nomination was rejected followed. No delegation that opposed the motion or abstained from voting provided an explanation for their decision.

After a delay, King Adam nominated Emperor Thomas of Zenrax instead. Thomas, who ran against Adam for chairmanship, was confirmed vice chair with only one vote against.

Other appointments made included Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia as GUM Archivist and Bradley of Dullahan, delegate from Wyvern, as Supreme Justice.

Eight votes on membership were taken, resulting in the admission of four new observers and one new candidate for full membership. The Quorum also voted to sponsor a project to chart the diplomatic relations of members of the MicroWiki community.

New year celebrated in Rosewood

BELLINGHAM, Washington – The Überstadti royal family rang in the new year at Rosewood last Saturday in the barony’s traditional fashion.

Custom in Rosewood is to eat assorted appetizers throughout the evening while viewing musical performances and fireworks displays on television. Überstadt’s residents did the same to welcome 2017, watching broadcasts from New York City and Seattle. The celebratory food included spinach dip, dumplings, sausages, chocolates, and baked brie.

As is typical for New Year’s Eve as well as American Independence Day, the navy was on high alert to keep watch for fires sparked by pyrotechnic devices. Fireworks are illegal in the American town that surrounds Rosewood, but are often deployed by unruly neighbors of the royals. No fires or injuries were reported in Überstadt or nearby.

Adam takes charge of GUM

ROSEWOOD – King Adam of Überstadt is the 25th Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational after winning half the vote in a three-way race. He assumed office on 25 December at 00:01 UTC, relieving Acting Chair Jonathan I of Austenasia.

Adam received nine of 18 votes, with three member-states not voting. King Eden of Edenopolis placed second with six votes, and Emperor Thomas of Zenrax came in third with three votes. Seven votes were sufficient to guarantee victory, which Adam attained two days into the week-long voting period.

Eden found some of his strongest support among younger members, while nations often counted among the so-called “old guard” of the MicroWiki community tended to favor Adam. Such preferences were not without exception. Paravia, Roseland, and Shorewell, all founded since 2014, voted for the winner. The new chair will still face a generational gap in the organization, and will have to avoid alienating younger members.

Adam has not yet made a public statement on his victory, but reports that he has already received private messages of congratulations from other GUM members.

King Adam in GUM Chair bid

ROSEWOOD – King Adam of Überstadt has begun campaigning to be the next Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational, a long-time institution of the MicroWiki community. The other candidates are Emperor Thomas of Zenrax and King Eden of Edenopolis.

The king released a statement Saturday night highlighting his political experience and outlining his platform. He emphasized education and using GUM activities to promote members’ internal development. The other candidates have also publicly detailed their platforms, and similarities between the three have led some within the organization to say the race will be decided by personal loyalties rather than ideological differences between the candidates.

Adam nominated himself in the late hours of 4 December and announced his campaign to the GUM Lounge the same night. The other candidates’ declarations of candidacy preceded his by days or, in the case of Thomas, weeks. The news confirmed rumors that he would run, and it became clear that the election would be a three-way race when Bradley of Dullahan, Wyvernian delegate acting Vice Chair, refrained from nominating himself. Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia, acting Chair, had previously indicated that he would not run.

No GUM member has publicly indicated preferences in the race. Voting will begin on 18 December, and on Christmas Day, the 25th Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational will assume office.

First snow for Northwest nations doesn’t stick around

ROSEWOOD – Last Thursday night, the lowlands of the Pacific Northwest were awed and inconvenienced by their first snow of the season, but the powder did not stay for long.

American weather forecasts days before the snowfall suggested the possibility of several inches of precipitation, but gradually decreased their predictions. By Thursday morning, the US National Weather Service was predicting between one and three inches in the Puget Sound basin, home of the small nations Higgsbury and Überstadt.

The snow clouds came ashore in Oregon and drifted north. Flakes began falling on Higgsbury in the early afternoon, and Überstadt in the evening. At the Überstadti capital, Rosewood, about three inches fell overnight.

While this is not an extreme amount of snow, the region’s steep hills and curving thoroughfares make driving on slippery roads especially hazardous. No citizens of affected small nations were involved in any vehicular accidents, but were impacted by the overall slowing of surrounding traffic.

The thaw began Friday, and by Saturday afternoon, the blanket of snow had melted away and trickled into the streams and rivers. For the brief time it lasted, though, the beauty of the frozen outdoors was a delightful spectacle. In the words of Higgsbury’s leader, “the crisp, clean aesthetic of winter [hung] from every limb of every tree; all of life seemed muffled by the peace of the snowfall, familiar forms still echoed in its shape but exciting and different with the prospect of the icy powder.

“It was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen in my entire life.”

first-snow

Above: Snow covers western Rosewood and surroundings. Photo by the Duke of Edmount.

Social System treaty enters effect

BELLINGHAM, Washington – The Social System treaty strengthening ties between Kumano, Sandus, and Überstadt recently entered effect following ratification by all three states. By agreement of the three governments, 7 November was the effective date.

A national referendum in Kumano ended on 7 November with 80% in favor of the treaty. Sandus and Überstadt previously ratified the agreement with unanimous votes of their legislatures, and the three leaders chose the date the agreement would enter into effect upon learning of the referendum’s passage.

The Treaty on the Establishment of the Systema Socialis restructures and strengthens the relationship shared by the member-states of what has come to be known as the Social System. The system originated as a Sandum project to allow foreigners to become partial citizens of Sandus. The new treaty turns the system into a multilateral organizations whose members allow each other’s citizens to apply for partial ranks of nationality. This is meant to enable citizens of member-states to contribute to the political and cultural life of others. Members retain the right to reject applications for “Social Citizenship” and to define Social Citizens’ rights and duties within the treaty’s guidelines.

The treaty also allows the Social System to adopt common policies by consensus of the membership. Leaders of the three ratifying governments are already discussing a conference on security issues, with King Adam of Überstadt emphasizing the concept of human security as a guiding principle.