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.

Crown Prince Aaron called to missionary service in North Carolina

ROSEWOOD – Crown Prince Aaron of Überstadt has been accepted for two years of missionary service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) and assigned to the church’s North Carolina Raleigh Mission in the southeastern United States. He is assigned to preach in the Spanish language, and will commence service on 6 December of this year.

Aaron applied to the LDS missionary program earlier this summer and received a letter from church leadership extending his call last Saturday, though he delayed opening it until today so it could be done in the presence of the entire Royal Family. Several of the prince’s friends were also present at the “opening party,” as the phenomenon is known.

This mission will prevent Aaron from fulfilling the duties of his Überstadti offices, so he will resign his roles as Admiral of HM Navy and Secretary of the Treasury. Sterling MacLeod, a retired Brigadier General in the Massachusetts National Guard, is to be given command of the navy, while King Adam will resume custody of the treasury.

Most Mormon men, as well as many women, serve volunteer proselytizing missions in their early adulthood. These missions are full-time commitments that involve putting most secular affairs on hold, including education and courtship.

National contest held for international art show submission

ROSEWOOD – Überstadt’s participation in the 1st Venedigbiennalen for Micronations has been confirmed, and the Culture Ministry is holding a national competition to choose an artwork to send to the show in Sweden this September.

King Adam sent an announcement to all citizens Saturday night that they are all invited to submit works of art for consideration to send to the exhibition, which will be the first major international display of micronational art. The Überstadti government intends to feature all citizen submissions in a future publication aimed at highlighting artistic achievement in Überstadt.

The Vendigbiennalen will feature public displays of micronational art of various media in “micro-pavilions” roughly the size of birdhouses. According to the event website, the exhibit’s opening will feature “micro-speeches” and “micro-celebrations.” Other participating nations include Aerica and Ladonia.

King Adam delivers UN address

BELLINGHAM, Washington – On 23 March, King Adam spoke in the United Nations General Assembly Hall on Überstadt’s place in the global community.

Though acknowledging that Überstadt would never have a permanent seat in the General Assembly, Adam affirmed Überstadt’s “commitment to the values of the UN Charter and the principles codified by the international system.” He expressed hope for the global community’s respect for the dignity of small nations, or micronations, in general. Speaking from the seat of the Republic of Macedonia, he declared Überstadt’s recognition of that state by its constitutional name.

As reported before, the king had access to the General Assembly Hall to attend the final meetings of the United States’ foremost Model United Nations conference. The General Assembly was not in session at the time of the address, but this is believed to represent the first time a micronational leader was able to speak in this venue, and Adam is known to be the first sitting GUM Chair to deliver a speech at the United Nations.

BELOW: King Adam speaks at the UN General Assembly Hall. Credit: Terrah Perera

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Citizenship reform expected in Überstadt

BELLINGHAM, Washington – Überstadt’s parliament is likely to pass citizenship reforms, dramatically expanding the availability of full Überstadti citizenship.

King Adam has informed The Chronicle of his intention to bring forth a bill within the coming week that will alter the structure of Überstadt’s citizenship system. The partial-citizen rank of Auxiliary Citizen, created last September to allow more people abroad to become Überstadtis, is to be absorbed into full citizenship. The only nonstandard status will be Social Citizenship, an element of relations between states of the Social System which Überstadt shares with Kumano and Sandus.

New regulations on who may vote on what matters in Parliament are anticipated in the forthcoming bill. Überstadt is a direct democracy, a fact that prompted debate on potential political restrictions for non-residential citizens. Because the reforms will make residents into a minority of citizens, provisions will be included blocking non-residents from voting on matters pertaining exclusively to Rosewood, the kingdom’s sole population center.

In a 2 March debate in Parliament on the proposed change, the possibility of preventing non-residential citizens from holding cabinet office was also considered, although non-residents have held such posts before. This idea was abandoned in deference to royal discretion on ministerial appointments.

At this same debate, Adam emphasized the potential for more governmental activity and cultural advancement that would accompany a broadening of citizenship. He argued that the success of the Auxiliary Citizen program proved the willingness of people not directly connected to Überstadt to identify with and work for it.

The Baroness Rosewood expressed concern in that meeting about preserving Überstadti identity as it now exists.

“I would not like for us to be overrun with those who would do things differently,” she said.

The king replied that citizenship applications would rightfully include affirmations of core Überstadti values. The bill he intends to propose will also give him discretion over whether to grant individual citizenship requests.

In his Independence Day speech to Parliament, Adam described the anticipated reforms as a return to the inclusivity of early Überstadt.

“Everyone who shares our values, is willing to work for the Kingdom, and believes in the idea of Überstadt should get to be a full citizen,” he said. “I hope that in 2017, we find a way to make Überstadt work for everyone who truly wants to be part of it. Doing so will restore the inclusive spirit of 2010, and will only make us stronger.”

King Adam to speak at UN

BELLINGHAM, Washington – The Überstadti government announced Thursday night that King Adam will speak at the United Nations General Assembly during his upcoming trip to New York City.

The king is traveling to New York later this month as a member of Western Washington University’s International Affairs Association to participate in National Model United Nations – New York conference. A portion of the conference will take place in the General Assembly chamber, during which time Adam intends to make an address in his royal capacity.

Royal sources indicate that this speech, which is expected on March 23, will detail Überstadt’s position on UN membership and major issues in international politics. The king is expected to make special mention of the Republic of Macedonia, which his university’s team is representing at the conference and at whose place in the General Assembly he will be seated.

Adam and his entourage will also meet with staff of the Macedonian Permanent Mission to the UN, and the king may visit other diplomatic missions in addition to various sites of historic and cultural importance.

Überstadti officials are looking into possible meetings with other leaders of small nations.

Also on the trip will be High Chancellor Terrah Perera, who has offered to record the king’s UN speech.

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.

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.

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.