Cheney Free Press -

By PAUL DELANEY
Staff reporter 

Dump the time change, Ringo and I need sleep

Write to the Point

 

Last updated 3/12/2020 at 12:03pm



While this plea may not carry much weight I’m going to present it anyway.

Ringo my beagle has an eating disorder, meaning that if an entire bag of food were somehow left within reach of his snout, he just might eat until he burst.

But that’s not the point. Somehow when we got him as a pup nearly 14 years ago on Father’s Day we were told that he was typical of many beagles. They eat, eat, eat and slowly become big and round.

Through careful exercise, Ringo has remained a constant 35 or so pounds. He became my wife’s regular walking partner — named like every animal we’ve had in 44 years together after famous people. Our Ringo’s namesake was some musician from band a half-century ago and the inspiration, a white ring of fur on his rear haunches.

But pooch parenting made us think he had to have one of his two daily feedings at 6 a.m. to fit into our work schedules. But breakfast time has spiraled out of control when we “fell back.” He snorts, sneezes and flaps his ears at the base of the bed about 4:30 a.m.

The twice-yearly switch back and forth only exacerbates our normal circadian rhythms which experts say get out of whack when we “fall back” with the return to standard time or, as we did on March 8, “spring forward” to Daylight Saving Time.

Last spring here in Washington state the passage and signing of House Bill 1196 would end the switch and keep us permanently on Daylight Savings Time. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure into law on May 8.

But…and isn’t there generally always a BIG but when it comes to things?

Saving some evening daylight is not solely up to the states. But the idea is gaining steam and hopefully that pushes Congress to act, which it must. Plus the Sunshine Protection Act is national legislation in the works, has 12 bipartisan cosponsors and awaits action before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Some 97 percent of Americans are forced to change their clocks once again, advancing them an hour into daylight saving time. The U.S. has observed this practice since after World War II and the idea had its start in 1916 to conserve fuel in Germany. According to U.S. News and World Report, Utah is the latest of, “A handful of states (that) have advanced legislation seeking to either outlaw daylight saving time outright or make it permanent throughout the year.”

Like Washington, the Utah House — by a whopping 70-1 margin on Feb. 26 — joined its Senate to advance a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent across the state. It awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert.

Others like Alabama, Idaho, Iowa and Maryland, have toyed with similar legislation. Seven other states besides Washington have enacted legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent. They include South Carolina, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee and Florida. California residents voted on year-round daylight saving time in 2018, but implementation stalled in the state Capitol.

“It doesn’t appear to be a partisan issue, and it doesn’t appear to be a red state or blue state issue, either,” Jim Reed from the National Conference of State Legislatures told U.S. News, adding, “It’s not a rural-urban or conservative-liberal split. It kind of varies by the state.”

It has been 60 years since Arizona and Hawaii ended this twice-a-year routine. But legislation, the Uniform Time Act in 1966, ended what might be considered any haphazard state-by-state efforts to streamline time.

Congressional approval is required before states can enact permanent daylight saving legislation. But Utah, for instance, appears to be able to bypass this step should at least four other Western states adopt year-round daylight time.

The physical issues related to switching clocks — like with the Delaney dog’s internal clock that cannot be switched — are not just anecdotal. Studies show the detrimental effects include more industrial accidents and increased suicide. And some agree simply staying on Standard Time is preferable.

Daylight Savings or Standard Time, pick one and stick with it.

Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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