To the Editor:
On March 11, clocks moved forward one hour as daylight saving time goes into effect.
Just when Hoosiers are getting energized by the hint of spring and starting to enjoy morning sunshine, bam! We will be plunged back into darkness.
Not only is morning darkness depressing, it's unsafe.
On Monday, March 12, school buses will begin picking up students at 6:30 a.m., but the sun won't rise until 8:03, in Indiana's Eastern Time counties. Classes will have started in most schools while it is still dark outside.
Ron Chew, president of the Indiana State School Bus Drivers Association says, "Indiana's Eastern Time students have no choice but to be pedestrians on dark streets for more than half of their school year. A school bus driver's greatest nightmare is to hit a child. Indiana's excessively dark mornings are a constant worry. On Central Time, the latest sunrise would be around 7:15, and the majority of travel to and from school would occur in daylight."
The Central Time Coalition is gathering signatures on petitions in support of restoring Indiana to the Central Zone.
Sue Dillon, spokesperson, says, "The Coalition supports daylight saving time because we agree that it benefits Indiana's economic health, but what we support is Central Daylight Time. Our summers would return to the way they used to be. Kids could see the stars, earlier darkness would ease bedtimes, and July 4th fireworks could return to 9 o'clock."
The Coalition has set a goal of 100,000 signatures by this time next year. Petitions can be downloaded from www.hoosiersforcentraltime.com.
Dillon says the east on getting signatures indicates the level of dissatisfaction with our time zone inconveniences. Tens of thousands of Hoosiers live in one time zone and work in the other. Social, educational and business interaction is a constant frustration.
Eastern is hurting Indiana's ability to keep and attract businesses. Just last week, Zimmer Orthopedics (located in Warsaw) announced that Indiana's time zone constraints are prompting them to move their distribution center to Memphis (Central Time).
Zimmer spokesman is quoted, "We believe the changes to our logistics functions will lower the cost of service delivery to our hospital customers, helping them address challenges brought on by healthcare reform?"
Is this the start of an exodus of manufacturers from Indiana to logistic hubs in Central?
Is Memphis becoming the new "Crossroads of America?"
On Central, Indianapolis could become a major logistics hub.
Central Time is business-friendly, family friendly and student-friendly.
Eastern in Indiana isn't any of these.
Sue Dillion, President,
Central Time Coalition