Yes, the move to have our nationwide clocks consistent all year round is escalating. If it is successful, it will mean an end to “Spring forward, fall back” – alas, such a catchy phrase. The only trouble is those who want year-round consistency are divided – some want us to have Standard Time year-long, meaning lighter early mornings but also darker early evenings.
Or maybe you are one of the year-round Standard Time fans, which means, as we experienced last week, it’s really dark at 6 a.m. and even at 7 a.m., and by the end of December it will be dark in the morning way past 8 a.m.
On the one hand, sleep experts support permanent ST, as this shift would be more in line with human circadian rhythms and result in better sleep. And this, they say, is “more natural.” Yet a long time ago we relied on sun dials – were they also more natural?
Parents and educators, however, say they are worried about their kids going to bed in the dark and getting up in the dark, and about their youngsters waiting for buses in the dark during late fall and winter with year-round Daily Savings Time.
Polls show younger individuals are less likely to support abolishing the clock change, largely because they’re more flexible than their elders who support nixing the springing and falling practice.
Each year, I wonder if the same-time-all-year supporters have really thought out the pros and cons of what they say they want. With Standard Time, little kids going around in the dark after to trick and treat after 4:30 p.m. And have they considered those long summer evening hours will be diminished?
Germany was the first to adopt daylight saving time on May 1, 1916, during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe followed soon after. The United States didn't adopt daylight saving time until March 19, 1918. The pendulum then swung back and forth. The practice of Daylight Saving Time became official in 1975 as a way to save energy and take advantage of natural daylight.
In March, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, it passed unanimously with bipartisan support. However, the U.S. House has not taken up the matter.
Obviously, I want to keep things as they are.
And to those who say it’s too much trouble to change clocks forward and then back, and they find that too big a task, I say, “Oh, you poor, poor, things.” It can’t take more than an hour at most in your house to fall back.
I have a compromise: Why don’t we decide to have 25-hour days? Darn, I’m not sure how that would work.
Another ‘daylight’ issue
A few weeks ago, Palo Alto Police Chief Andrew Binder announced that because of low staffing, he would only release the Palo Alto Police Blotter listings weekly, and not daily, which has been the case for years. It would be only temporary, he said, but “temporary” was not defined.
I find the cutback to once a week troublesome, because residents who read the police blotter in local newspapers will have to wait longer to learn about police arrests, break-ins, etc., in their community.
I cheered Binder when he decided to end encryptions (live radio transmissions to the press and public about police activities). Former Police Chief Robert Jonsen had eliminated the live broadcasts, and I was happy to see encryption gone.
But just suppose you hear neighborhood rumors about a break-in across the street from you. The couple living there do not speak English, so you only know them through smiles and waves.
Their home was robbed early on a Thursday morning, but by the time the police looked into it, their report was not posted until late in the day -- too late to be included in the police blotter sent to the papers. So, it was not until the following Friday’s papers, eight days later, you see the crime reported. How would you feel about the delay? I would be upset because a robbery so close to me would have propelled me to recheck my home security at the very least.
Surrounding cities release their blotters daily listing several incidents. Recently, Palo Alto’s daily reports sent out by the department have reduced d to one or two cases a day when there used to be several.
How long can it take to prepare a blotter daily? It’s a usually a copy-and-paste procedure from the actual report, with a bit of editing. And why can’t our department afford this when other cities can? Just asking.
To me, this is another sign of opaqueness, not transparency, from the police department. I want the public to learn daily about our police and the hard work they do.