Letter to the Editor

Speaking out against DST

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To the Editor:

Here we go again, fellow Hoosiers.

Just when daylight was beginning to return to our morning routines, we go and artificially set our clocks ahead another hour, thereby aligning ourselves with a time zone whose geographic center runs through Vermont.

This causes us to return to driving to work in darkness, and more significantly, it causes our children to return to bus stops, bus rides and first period classes in darkness.

Bur for what it's worth, we now have mid-July evening sunlight right here in March. When will our legislation finally do something about this gross misalignment?

And remember, even though the general public tends to blame Daylight Savings Time for this anomaly, the real culprit is the wrong time zone. Our mornings are abnormally dark and our evenings are abnormally light due to our observation of the Eastern Time Zone rather than our geographically correct Center Time Zone. The recent Winter Olympics and the recent Oscar telecast would have been televised one hour earlier had we been logically situated in the correct time zone. Hoosiers might have actually been able to stay up to watch the conclusion of these broadcasts. The same thing will happen soon with the NCAA basketball tournament games, most of which won't even begin until after the kids are in bed.

One of the crowning achievements of Mitch Daniels' tenure as our governor has been to finally recognize Daylight Savings Time in this state. But the job is only half finished. I'd like to see the governor champion a realignment of our state to its original (and geographically correct) time zone. Daniels has stated many times that he believes Indiana needs to observe the Central Time Zone. With his sites perhaps set on a higher office, it is never too late to use his bully pulpit to enact this much-needed change.

There are four avenues for correcting our time zone misalignment, and the easiest of these is for the General Assembly to pass a resolution requesting USDOT to return Indiana to the Central Time Zone. Next year's is a long session. There will be plenty of time to address this crucial issue.

Our legislators (and challengers to their offices) need to hear from us. A list of candidates is available at www.in.gov/sos/elections/files/2010_Primary_Election_Candidate_List_03_08_1. Republicans are listed in one group and Democrats in another.

Be sure to contact candidates from both parties.

This is not a partisan issue. Both sides need to hear from us. Now.

Don't wait until the session begins next January. By that time, the legislators have already chosen issues they plan to push. You can also join me and others who support this cause by visiting www.hoosiersforcentraltime.com.

I hope to see you there.

Andy Ray,