New trellis for Rosewood’s raspberries

ROSEWOOD – On Thursday evening, workers from horticultural cooperative Rosewood Fruits finished construction of a permanent trellis for Überstadt’s raspberry crop. The new structure will support the plants as they become heavy with summer fruit.

The trellising work began the previous Saturday, with the work being done intermittently until the project’s completion. The structure consists of two vertical posts with crosspieces, with wires running from one end of the hedgerow to the other. Ornamental caps for the posts remain to be installed.

King Adam has led a push for better raspberry-growing practices in the last several months, making the crop central to his agricultural policy after two consecutive years of its being the most productive plant in Überstadt. He oversaw the thinning of the berry patch’s canes in the fall, and has scheduled an application of compost in a bid to produce larger fruit this year.

Below: the new trellis in front of the Royal Residency

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First census announced

ROSEWOOD – On Monday evening, King Adam announced in a printed statement that Überstadt is to hold its first annual census this month. Citizens will receive census forms on the 11th, and responses will be due the 25th.

Last year’s law on nationality directed that a census occur each year, and made it mandatory for all Überstadtis. Those who do not participate are subject to losing their citizenship. The king emphasized in his statement that the data collected will help the government better serve the people and produce insightful statistics.

The census questionnaire will ask citizens about their languages, religions, levels of education, and other demographic information. According to the king’s office, supplemental questions meant to help the government integrate new citizens will also be included.

During the two weeks of the census, the government will not process naturalization petitions.

From the King: Überstadt at eight

The first Überstadti constitution, signed 6 March 2010, declared that the state it established would be an example of “peace, hope, and brotherly love.” This line gave us the motto we have had for most of our history: Pacem et spem, “peace and hope.” This Independence Day, I wish to reflect on what these words mean at this moment in our nation’s history.

I think that today, Überstadt is more at peace than ever before. I do not mean that we only recently found peace in the community of small nations; we have never been a country that attracts enemies. The sort of peace I see in the Kingdom today might be better described as concord. We are free of major rifts among our people, and have nation-building as a point of consensus.

This was not always so. Like most small nations, our earliest years were considerably more chaotic. We had our share of unnecessary show trials, questionable elections, and politicians whose sole purpose was to destabilize the nation. In the recent past, we found a way to grow and seek new opportunities without threatening stability or sanity. Today, all our citizens agree to key values and participation in our direct democracy. We have diverse citizens with unique interests and insights, all interested in doing something constructive for their nation. We will be able to find special roles for them all. From collegiality, we gain concord.

The achievement of domestic peace is a cause for hope. It means we are free from the turmoil of the past and well-equipped to build a strong nation together. I have faith in the Überstadti people, and affirm my commitment to helping them make this realm something in which they find a reflection of themselves. As Überstadt turns eight, I invite them to define the next eight years.

A R

King opens Parliament, nominates ministers

ROSEWOOD – King Adam gave a speech opening Überstadt’s ninth parliament tonight, announcing his government’s priorities and welcoming new citizens. He then submitted his cabinet nominations for the legislature’s approval.

A major emphasis of the king’s speech (text available here) was building national unity. The government proposes integrating new citizens through actively working to find them roles in national life, as well as through distributing Überstadti flags to citizens free of charge. A system of grants to fund cultural celebrations is also proposed.

Sustainable development was another focus of the speech. The king’s announced program for economic growth and environmental protection largely follows existing precedent, highlighting watershed health and the control of industry-related pollution, with a focus on conservation as a way of preserving indigenous rights. One major policy shift is new support for transferring public-owned economic cooperatives to the control of their workers, similar to Juclandia’s 2013 reforms promoting a socialistic private sector.

For the first time since 2016’s moratorium on welfare and taxes, the government will address the question of public revenue by implementing what the speech described as a “voluntary head tax,” which would recommend a specific level of financial contribution from all citizens. Since this practice would technically be a continuation of the current practice of all-volunteer donations to the treasury, it may move forward without legislation. The king’s speech also endorsed the creation of an online shop for selling Überstadti memorabilia.

Toward the end of his address, Adam turned to national security, declaring that “more must be done to prepare our citizens and infrastructure for emergencies of all sorts.” He proposed using the military as a vehicle for increasing citizens’ preparedness against physical and cyber threats.

After completing the ceremonial speech and seeing it posted to the online venue of Parliament, the king nominated his new cabinet. He seeks to retain himself as environment minister and the Baroness Rosewood as culture minister, appoint citizen William H. economy minister, and himself take charge of the treasury.

King graduates from university

ROSEWOOD – On 16 December, King Adam graduated from Western Washington University magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History, in a ceremony conferring more than 740 undergraduate and 40 postgraduate degrees. His parents were in attendance.

While at the university, the King earned numerous honors. He became a member of three honor societies, appeared three times of the President’s List for perfect quarterly grade point averages, and by faculty invitation, presented during the university’s Scholars Week honoring undergraduate research. He also delivered a paper at this year’s Northwest regional conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society in the United States. His senior thesis, “Joining the ‘Empire of the Whites’: Fort Nisqually’s Families and American Colonization, 1846-1860,” received a grade of A and was praised by the curator of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, who added the paper to the museum’s research collection. In his final quarter of studies, he completed and received an A in a graduate history and methods course, taken by faculty invitation. He completed an academic minor in political science with a perfect grade point average. By a quirk of grade calculation, his graduation honors were announced at the commencement ceremony as cum laude, but upgraded after final scores for this quarter were tallied.

As a student, the King was involved in various extracurricular activities. He served one academic year as secretary, and another as president, of an environmental education club, and spent two years on the university’s Model United Nations team. In this latter capacity, he attended eight Model United Nations conferences and crisis simulations, winning several awards. He began staffing conferences this past spring. Additionally, he taught an adult Sunday school class for over a year and participated in political campaigns on campus and in the surrounding community.

The King began attending Western Washington as a junior in January 2016, after completing general education requirements at a Washington state community college in June 2014 and working in food service, academic tutoring, and political campaigning until resuming his studies. Measured in credits earned, he completed a quarter of his postsecondary education while in high school, having attended the community college part-time his final two years of compulsory schooling.

Crown Prince Aaron resigns posts, commences mission

ROSEWOOD – On Tuesday night, Crown Prince Aaron resigned command of His Majesty’s Navy and leadership of the Treasury, prior to the Wednesday start of his missionary service.

As previously reported, King Adam is to take custody of the Treasury, and intends to offer naval command to a retired American general. Other high-level shakeups are anticipated in the next month, with the King’s office indicating its intention to open a new session of Parliament.

Crown Prince Aaron will spend about six weeks in the Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before proceeding to his two-year proselytizing assignment in the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Record berry haul in Rosewood

BELLINGHAM, Washington – Figures released by the economy ministry indicate that this year’s harvest of berries in Rosewood’s farms was the largest recorded, with raspberries proving by far the most successful Überstadti crop.

The total mass of all crops weighed by officials over the summer was 3.1 kilos, with 2.8 kilos combined of berries. Raspberries alone accounted for nearly two-fifths of the total harvest, at more than 1.2 kilos. Other crops included blueberries, huckleberries, and strawberries, as well as snap peas. Two volunteer stalks of wheat also grew, the berries of which are now in storage.

Although the scope of agriculture in Überstadt is far too small to contribute much to meeting residents’ nutritional needs, this year has seen domestically-grown fruits play an important symbolic role in national life. Fresh, domestic produce became a common evening snack in the capital. Both wild and cultivated berries featured in popular desserts, including at the Royal Family’s celebration of the Harvest Festival.

Small-scale farming may be more significant to the country’s culture than its subsistence, but Rosewood Fruits cooperative workers are taking steps to improve next year’s raspberry yield even further. They recently properly pruned the canes for the first time, and are preparing plans for trellising and fertilization.