Remarking time and progress in the Waterside ~
following the tradition of the old style "Julian" calendar
This old-style civic term (March 25, 2010 - March 24, 2011) is termed
"The Year of Boundless Ambitions" as determined below
 

Marking civic years using the old style (OS) calendar (March 25 - March 24) was seeded in the deed for the 1629 Massachusetts Bay Charter's colonial plantation.1 Planters soon found the calendar to be quite natural to their New World, as they adopted (and adapted to) a seasonal rhythm which the indigenous Amerindian tribes themselves followed for planting, fishing and hunting.

Let us take a smaller step back in time, albeit latter-day, from"The Year of the First Step" (link within). On February 8, 1999 an historical presentation was made on city council floor to remark the 235th anniversary of the Waterside community's first town meeting (after the establishment of the Waterside Third Parish of Newbury as the separate town of Newburyport in 1764).

On that occasion, the memorialized petition was praised as Newburyport's founding document ~ defining the Waterside people’s timeless agenda which was itself termed The Waterside Plan in Motion. Today's generations of the Waterside people were urged to revere our past when planning our future, a phrase itself paraphrased as the motto of the Newburyport Master Planning process (to follow).

Thus commenced the next five-year term in the Waterside Plan in Motion, with each "old style"calendar year named (anticipated and influenced by the community endeavors and aspirations the year may entail). On a more universal, cosmic paragon, the lunar calendar and phases would be used to mark progress and remark "high tidings" ~ with "Once in a Blue Moon opportunity" touchstones at the beginning (January and March of 1999, mid-point (November 2001) and end of the term in July 2004 ~ during the Year of Opportunity, which itself remarked a new generation for the Waterside people and began the new 5-year term.

Thus, it followed that ~ while orders for the 2002 and 2003 Annual "town meeting" Public Forums were set forth in accordance of Section 20 of the original 1851 City Charter ~ the timeline for setting the primary annual spring and fall forums and other benchmarks would follow the old style (Julian) calendar2 ~ remarking each new year with a unique name, reference or term became an annual flourish each spring ~ and with a half turn of the wheel, the seasonal harvest of the fruits would be reckoned each autumn.

Since the Waterside Plan in Motion was remarked anew ~ each old style "Julian" calendar year has been named as follows:

March 25, 1999 -
March 24, 2000
The Year of (Coming to) Terms Beginning anew: a contemporary 5-year term for the Waterside Plan in Motion ~ under Mayor Mary Carrier’s administration into Mayor Lisa Mead’s administration. So called since this established the terminus a quo for the 5-year term, with the convention of naming each old style (OS) year (terms coincidentally aligned with a "blue moon," a term itself with a "new style" and "old style" definition). Further relevant given discourse (forwarded in a Motion of Comity) about extending the elected terms of office for the executive and legislative branch.
March 25, 2000 -
March 24, 2001
The Year of the Plan Commencing the master planning process and plans for the celebration and cerebration to remark the City of Newburyport's (150th) Sesquicentennial anniversary. Under Mayor Lisa Mead’s administration.
March 25, 2001 -
March 24, 2002
The Year of Inauguration Completing/inaugurating the City's Master Plan and celebrating the 150th year milestone of Newburyport’s organization as a city form of government under our first city charter, remarked on Inauguration Day, June 24, 2004. Under Mayor Lisa Mead’s administration into Mayor Al Lavender’s administration ~ a "Once in a Blue Moon opportunity" to reorient ourselves as individuals and a community in November 2001.
March 25, 2002 -
March 24, 2003
The Year of the First Step Implementing the concept of an Annual “town meeting” proposed in 1999 through 2001, in a motion by Councilor Karen Kelley and seconded by Councilor Joseph Spaulding, approved and endorsed by Mayor Al Lavender, who was previously a sitting councilor-at-large (link within).
March 25, 2003 -
March 24, 2004
The Year of the Better Way So called because of the completion of the established (eastern-most and western-most) “historic wayes” to the Waterside and the promise of a new, improved city website to establish “better ways of communicating as a community" ~ as spotlighted during the second Annual “town meeting” Forum and its follow-up conversation ~ with hopes for follow-through forum to establish momentum. Under Mayor Al Lavender into Mayor Mary Ann Clancy’s term.
March 25, 2004 -
March 24, 2005
The Year of Opportunity So called because of the end of the 5-year term would be remarked with the Once in a Blue Moon opportunity: A re:generational year which marked the 240th year milestone (9 generations of 30 years) that the Waterside Third Parish of Newbury was established as the separate town of Newburyport in 1764, and the 360th year (13 generations of 30 years) milestone that the Waterside was settled in 1644. Under the new city council and administration, experimenting with the Annual “town meeting” Forum was abandoned, returning to ward meetings arranged by Mayor Clancy. Under Mayor Mary Ann Clancy's term.
March 25, 2005 -
March 24, 2006
The Year of Reckoning So called because of the reckoning and recalibration of the Long Term Elementary Building Needs (LTEBN) with adjustments to the projected student elementary seats and the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority’s recalibration of needed parking spaces and the City's ninth downtown parking plan ~ with the respective “reckoning” of projected costs for each project ~ along several other municipal "reckonings" in the form of the long-term planning document (as well as Comity's personal "reckoning" at the beginning of this year). Under Mayor Mary Anne Clancy’s administration into the new and present administration of Mayor John Moak.
March 25, 2006 -
March 24, 2007
The Year of Common Ground So called because of the historical and generational milestones remarked this year, including the 1826 resolution of an ongoing dispute ~ thereby establishing common grounds aside two waters within the bounds of the Waterside community of Newburyport, reserving a way on the easterly side of Market Landing (Middle Shipyard) and common grounds surrounding Frog Pond for public use.3 (Recently restored, Frog Pond known as Bartlet Mall ~ with a compromise reached in spring of 2006, the playground area completed. Ever hopeful, the promise of compromise regarding the NRA waterfront lots.)

Further, in remarking the 200th anniversaries of Lord Timothy Dexter’s passing (interred at Old Hill Burying Ground which marked milestones this and last year, spotlighting this and other historic burial grounds) and the Plum Island Bridge (nearing completion of the PI water and sewer project and the addition of bike paths).

Further still, the "history in the making" regarding the reclaimed North Pasture, and the the upland grounds held in common with Newbury, Coffin's Island, so called ~ for passive recreational use and future acquisition of the remaining Common Pasture lands.
March 25, 2007 -
March 24, 2008
The Year of Golden Opportunities S0 called because of the many "golden opportunities" we may well venture as a community or individually. Moreover, this year's "once in a blue moon opportunity" will be remarked with the second full moon in the month of May ~ offering an ideal opportunity to orient & reflect where we have been, where we are & where we are going as a community ~ (mid-point in the current five-year term which will conclude in 2009).

This blue moon "benchmark" or "touchstone" falls at a critical point in the budget process & coincidentally the week following the results of the special election ballot question on a Proposition 2-1/2 tax override (of $1.58 million) for the schools (link without).

And incidentally, this year, as we build a cairn to indicate we have come this far, there are many milestones in history (and history in the making) to weigh ~ including Yankee Homecoming's 50-year (golden) anniversary festival ~ (duly noting Yankee Homecoming began during a blue moon in July 1958).

With that milestone in mind, all generations of the Waterside people would gather among friends, family and community ~ at an event held in a Motion of Comity during the waxing Full Buck Moon ~ with more occasions planned for moons to come.
March 25, 2008 -
March 24, 2009
The Year of Historic Proportions

S0 called in anticipation of the "history in the making" here in the local (and national and global) community. Combined, the adjective historic confers a "great and lasting importance" to acknowledging the "harmonious relationship between the parts and the whole" with balanced proportions ~ which seems the perfect reference (and inference and preference) for the old style (Julian) civic calendar year (March 25, 2008 to March 24, 2009) and all that unfolds during its term.

This year, an old style blue moon (traditionally, the third full moon in a season with four moons) will be remarked on Tuesday, May 20. This cosmic "benchmark" or "touchstone" falls at a critical point in the Waterside's budget process, as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its 351 cities and towns develop and approve their respective FY09 budgets during these fiscally challenging times.

Follow the chronicle, compass and calendar at this Comity.org link within and join in the conversation at the Virtual Wolfe Tavern.

March 25, 2009 -
March 24, 2010
The Year of Charting (New) Courses

S0 called given the importance of charting new courses in the local, national and global community toward the common destination of peace and prosperity. Towardly.

NOTE: To quote Robert Frost, "Poetry is what gets lost in translation." Thus and so, at the beginning of every year, Comity chooses a "proem" for the submission to the Newburyport High School "Annual Favorite Poem Project" ~ to coincide with beginning of the old style calendar term.

This year's entry was a medley of lyrics (link within). As Fate would have it, the "forethought" would be selected by students for recitation at the Firehouse Center for the Arts to conclude the Newburyport Literary Festival. The poem: Walt Whitman's "One Thought Ever at the Fore."

March 25, 2010 -
March 24, 2011
The Year of Boundless Ambitions

S0 called because of the "boundless ambitions" of community (local, regional, national and global) ~ and reconcilation of the bounds (ambits) and ambitions as a smooth transition from "The Year of Charting Courses" above.

[NOTE: Despite a steady hand at the helm under the former administration, "The Ship" did get a "a bit off course" when weathering the economic storms, which is still in turmoil. But let us persevere, attempt to right the course (with the right course of action) and make "forward movement."
]

The turn of phrase for this old-style calendar civic year well frames this timeframe ~ as we come to terms with the history and history in the making here in the Waterside community and beyond ~ with the realization how interdependent we are as a community (local, regional, national and global).

More shall come to light with the waxing Sap Moon ~ with revelations (and resolutions) made three days before and three days after the Full Sap Moon (99% visibility on March 30 - 31,2010) which is ~ in more cosmic terms _ to be the lunar terminus a quo ~ in anticipation that of the Full Sap Moon (99% visibilty on March 18 - 19, 2011) is to be the lunar terminus ad quem.

[NOTE: Duly and dually noting that March 18, 2011 marks a signficant milestone in history ~ demarking 160 years since the last official "town meeting" held by the residents of the Waterside community before the town of Newburyport was officially organized as a city form of government on June 24, 1851.

This, as the Charter Commission begins to engage today's generations of the Waterside people about refining and (potentially) redefining its form of government (link within).]

March 25, 2011 -
March 24, 2012
The Year of Resolution (and Resolve)

S0 called because of the resolution and resolve to effecitvely effect (and affect) progress of the community (local, regional, national and global) ~ while marking and remarking milestones in history and "history in the making."

March 25, 2013 -
March 24, 2014
The Year of Commonwealth (and Weal)

S0 called, in that the common good of the community ~ locally here in the Waterside, regionally in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, nationally in these United Stares of America, and globally as United [sovereign] Nations ~ prospers by enriching the common wealth (and weal).

March 25, 2014 -
March 24, 2015
The Year of Renewed Confidence

Posted and posited as the tentative term for the next OS calendar year.

Review from top of page for more context


1 Allowed under Section 20 of the 1851 City Charter, the practice of an Annual "town meeting" Forum held each March is actually rooted in an earlier document: the 1629 Massachusetts Bay Charter ~ which offered freeholders the means to experiment in self-government of the colonial municipalities. The timeline for the annual town meeting is based upon the old style (Julian) calendar that marked the legal/civil new year beginning on March 25th. The old style Julian calendar was in place in Britain and its colonies until 1752 and was one of the four terms (Hillary, Easter, Trinity and Michaelmas) specified in the Massachusetts Bay Charter which followed the liturgical calendar, itself a lunar-based calendar. After Britain and its colonies accepted the Gregorian calendar, the tradition for the annual March town meeting was upheld. (Given the budget process, communities occasionally delay the annual meeting until April.) Newburyport held its last annual town meeting on March 18, 1851 ~ having organized as a city form of government on June 24, 1851.

2 While the spring forum (and follow-up conversation) would be the purview of the legislative branch of local government, the ward and at-large councilors, respectively, it would be the role of the executive branch to convey status via report, at minimum a State of the City address. Further still, the present administration has expressed interest in organizing a benchmark in the September/October timeframe, with a fall "reckoning."

3 Ending a dispute (of nearly two generations) by way of the Newbury proprietors’ quitclaim: "Reserving the road of one and one-half rods wide on the easterly side of the Middle Shipyard or Market Landing, so called, from Merrimac Street to the River … also a four rod way at the southerly end and a four rod way at the northerly end of Frog Pond … also a strip of land one rode (sic) wide all around said Pond adjoining thereto and on the margin thereof, being for public use and at no time hereafter to be appropriated to the private and exclusive rights of said inhabitants.”



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