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The Indianapolis Star

DST story's conclusions fail to merit Page 1

The research I have read indicates that having the sun up near the time of awakening is more beneficial in treating and minimizing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) than having it shifted to the other end of the day. http://www.cnn.com /HEALTH/alternativ e/9907/12/sun.depr ession/ If it feels like Indiana residents on eastern time are losing about two hours of morning daylight this time of year, there's a good reason. According to the US Naval Observatory, the sun passed overhead in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 8 at 12:55 pm (http://tinyurl.co m/2setkh). So we already had 55 minutes of daylight shifted from morning to evening the day before starting DST, just from being on eastern time rather than central. On Sunday, the solar transit was 1:55 pm, so we had almost two full hours of daylight shifted from morning to evening with DST on March 9. When a public referendum was held in 1956 asking Hoosier voters their preference on Eastern versus Central time and whether to use daylight-saving time in the summer months, the only clear consensus that emerged was that most opposed the "double-fast time" that would result from being on Eastern Standard Time and switching to Eastern Daylight Time in the summer (http://tinyurl.co m/296mt9). Shifting two hours of daylight from morning to evening in March would be more tolerable if it were saving us energy, per the conventional wisdom. That was the supposed justification for Congress's extending DST from 7 to 8 months starting in 2007. However, as the Star has covered, a recent study of Hoosier energy usage by University of California-Santa Barbara researchers indicates that DST actually increases energy usage by 1 to 4 percent, and therefore costs us money. The study does not indicate whether the artificial "DST" effect of being in the geographically incorrect time zone might be adding even more cost. The original paper dated 5 Feb 2008 can be found at "http://tinyu rl.com/366x8x ". A Wall Street Journal summary by Justin Lahart on 27 Feb 2008 communicated the findings to a broader audience (http://tinyurl.co m/35oz8d). Mr. Lahart wrote, "Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million [per year] in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings... The energy-savings numbers often cited by lawmakers and others come from research conducted in the 1970s. Yet a key difference between now and the '70s... is the prevalence of air conditioning. " If you'd like to see a more equitable share of morning daylight, and potentially cut your utility bills as well, here are two actions to consider. 1) Encourage your two state legislators to sponsor and support legislation like this session's Senate Bill 34 (http://tinyurl.co m/2x5wgm), which would request the DOT to move Indiana back to the central time zone. Even if the 5 counties by Louisville and Cincinnati stayed on eastern, we'd still increase the number of Hoosiers in a single time zone from 81.6 to 95.7 percent. 2) Encourage your three U.S. Congressmen to sponsor and support legislation to cut the DST period back to 7 or 6 months, or even eliminate DST altogether. Besides potentially reducing national energy use and costs, who knows how many person-hours the country could put to better use than changing clocks twice per year. Regards, Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Fri, 14 Mar 2008, 8:09 am EDT  (Mar 14, 2008 | post #163)

The Indianapolis Star

Interpreting poll results takes a little work

I don't think it makes much financial sense for anybody to be switching clocks twice a year these days, especially now that the bulk of the electrical cost has switched from lighting to heating and cooling. But until enough constituents convince Congress to cancel DST, I think it makes sense for Hoosiers to observe it with most of the rest of the U.S. What I don't want is the same thing that most Hoosiers didn't want when the last nonbinding, statewide referendum was conducted in 1956, asking general election voters their preference on Eastern versus Central time and whether to use daylight-saving time in the summer months. "The only clear consensus that emerges is that most oppose the 'double-fast time' that would result from being on Eastern Standard Time and switching to Eastern Daylight Time in the summer." http://www2.indyst ar.com/library/fac tfiles/history/tim e/index.html I would be happier observing DST for six, seven, or even eight months of the year like we do now, if our clocks followed St. Louis on central time instead of Philadelphia on eastern. St. Louis is the middle of central time and Philadelphia the middle of eastern and we are three times further from Philadelphia than from St. Louis. Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Sun, 2 Dec 2007, 5:55 am EST  (Dec 2, 2007 | post #3)

The Indianapolis Star

Five counties move to Eastern time

Bryan (#112) wrote, "Bill I am firm believer in a county by county petition process. Tell me what Switzerland, Franklin, Ripley, Jefferson, Union Counties or any county along the Eastern border have anything to do with Chicago or Central Time for that matter when they have more common with shopping and recreational activities with Ohio and Eastern Time?" Hi, Bryan. I think that it makes the most sense to put the time zone boundary between states whenever possible. I believe a lot of the complaining we heard from counties in the southwest corner in particular is more due to the pain of having the boundary between Indiana counties than to a particular time zone preference. As I said earlier, I doubt that anyone can point to a county-by-county process having resulted in the boundary leaping from the eastern border of Indiana, first halfway, and then almost all the way across Indiana in the early and mid 1960s. If some compromise is needed short of putting all 92 counties back on the same time again, we'd have about 98 percent of Hoosiers on the same time if we had the whole state back on central time except for these five counties you have listed -- compared to 80 percent on eastern and 20 percent on central that we have now. On a different subject, I skimmed the DOT decision yesterday and found some interesting notes toward the end. http://dmses.dot.g ov/docimages/pdf10 3/487891_web.pdf "Furthermore, with regard to comments requesting that DOT move the entire state to the same time zone, DOT does not have a statewide proposal before it nor has the Indiana legislature endorsed such an approach. It is, therefore, beyond the scope of this proceeding to consider such a significant change to the state's time zone boundaries." "The effective date of this final rule is November 4, 2007..." "To minimize disruption to Indiana communities and their residents and to allow DOT and these communities to fully assess the impact of changes to the time zone boundaries, DOT will not consider any petitions for a time change from any elected officials in Indiana for at least one year after the effective date of this final rule." "We expect the economic impact of this final rule to be so minimal that a full Regulatory Evaluation... is unnecessary. The rule primarily affects the convenience of individuals in scheduling activities. By itself, it imposes no direct costs. Its impact is localized in nature." "Although it would affect some small businesses, not-for-profits and, perhaps, a number of small governmental jurisdictions, we have not received comments asserting that our proposal, if adopted, would have had a significant economic impact on small entities." These DOT comments sparked a couple of thoughts. 1) For those who would like to see Indiana back on a single time zone, the DOT says again that the path leads through the state legislature. If a majority of our legislators ask for it, the DOT will consider it. Since the DOT won't consider a new proposal any earlier than 4 Nov 2008 (general election day), those who would like to see the legislature move us back toward a single time zone could lobby their legislators to pass a measure in the January 2008 session providing for a statewide nonbinding referendum on the Fall 2008 ballot, followed by a legislative proposal to the DOT in the 2009 session, taking into account the results of the Fall 2008 referendum. 2) It strikes me as ironic, after all of the emphasis by the DOT on "convenience of commerce" in their data requests, that they conclude that "the rule primarily affects the convenience of individuals in scheduling activities" and they add that they have not "received comments asserting that our proposal... would have had a significant economic impact on small entities." Bill Tue, 25 Sep 2007, 2:01 pm EDT  (Sep 25, 2007 | post #115)

The Indianapolis Star

Five counties move to Eastern time

I came late to this discussion, but a few thoughts came to mind as I skimmed the 100 or so posts so far. Nothing real original, but maybe there are some new readers who haven't heard these ideas before. The natural boundary between eastern and central time (82.5 degrees west longitude) runs down the middle of Ohio and along the eastern borders of Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Contrary to one post I saw, even the middle of Detroit falls geographically into the central time zone. Its longitude is about 83 degrees, putting it just west of the natural boundary too. It's easy to see why Ohio residents would have wanted to have the time zone boundary moved from the middle of their state over to the Indiana border. It's harder to see why anybody thought it was a good idea to move it from there to the middle of Indiana as happened in 1961, and again even further westward in 1967. Indiana is the narrowest state split between two time zones, by quite a margin. http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Time_in _Indiana I'm sure the ICC didn't decide to split us into two time zones in 1961 in a vacuum. It would be interesting to hear from some of the folks who were "in the know" then as to why that came about. "A nonbinding, statewide referendum is conducted in 1956, asking general election voters their preference on Eastern versus Central time and whether to use daylight-saving time in the summer months... The only clear consensus that emerges is that most oppose the 'double-fast time' that would result from being on Eastern Standard Time and switching to Eastern Daylight Time in the summer." http://www2.indyst ar.com/library/fac tfiles/history/tim e/index.html Because of lack of support so far from the Indiana legislators and the governor in Senate Bill 127 for a single statewide time zone, the DOT chooses to limit itself to the current county-by-county petition process. http://www.in.gov/ legislative/bills/ 2005/SE/SE0127.1.h tml It appears highly unlikely that Indiana was split into two time zones in the 1960's based on county-by-county petitions and it's unrealistic to think that we can be "unsplit " again based on that approach. But it will require consistent and persistent citizen pressure on the legislature and the governor to get the DOT to consider reuniting the state into a single time zone again on same basis other than country-by-county petitions. Indiana was united into a single time zone (central) longer than it has been split. The last time we tried it, we were well above the national average for per capita income and it has only been downhill since then. While the time zone is likely not a primary factor in that slide, it's also hard to make a serious case that being united on central time was bad for us economically the last time we tried it. Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Mon, 24 Sep 2007, 8:08 am EDT (6:26 am Local Mean Time)  (Sep 24, 2007 | post #111)

The Indianapolis Star

5 counties are moved back to Eastern time

"NIght owl" (Post 12) wrote, "Even if Daniels is not re-elected, it is highly unlikely that DST will be repealed in Indiana." Some people might want to repeal DST, but I and many others would not mind observing DST, if it were central DST (45 minutes sunlight shifted from morning to evening) and not eastern DST (105 minutes shifted from morning to evening). I agree with "Stir Fried Monkey" (8), "DST is fine, but this whole state should be on Central time...not Eastern." "Reply" (11) wrote, "It will not happen, Indiana does not use referendums on these types of decisions." Agreed we have not had one for some time now, but there is a precedent for a referendum on the time issue, according to the following article. http://www2.indyst ar.com/library/fac tfiles/history/tim e/index.html "A nonbinding, statewide referendum is conducted in 1956, asking general election voters their preference on Eastern versus Central time and whether to use daylight-saving time in the summer months... The only clear consensus that emerges is that most oppose the 'double-fast time' that would result from being on Eastern Standard Time and switching to Eastern Daylight Time in the summer." Bill Starr Sat, 22 Sep 2007, 9:00 am EDT  (Sep 22, 2007 | post #13)

The Indianapolis Star

5 counties are moved back to Eastern time

"Libertarian for DST" wrote, "So before when Indiana had 3 time zones was better?" No, before that, when Indiana had one time zone, was better. The natural boundary between eastern and central time (82.5 degrees west longitude) runs down the middle of Ohio and along the eastern borders of Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. It's easy to see why Ohio residents would have wanted to have the time zone boundary moved from the middle of their state over to the Indiana border. It's harder to see why anybody thought it was a good idea to move it from there to the middle of Indiana as happened in 1961, and again even further westward in 1967. Indiana is the narrowest state split between two time zones, by quite a margin. http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Time_in _Indiana http://www2.indyst ar.com/library/fac tfiles/history/tim e/index.html If our whole state were back on central time, still observing DST with all of our neighboring states, central Indiana would have about 45 minutes of sunlight shifted from morning to evening during the 8 months of DST and about 15 minutes of sun shifted from evening to morning the other 4 months of "standard " time. Because of lack of support from the Indiana legislators and the governor in Senate Bill 127 for a single statewide time zone, the DOT chooses to limit itself to the current county-by-county petition process. http://www.in.gov/ legislative/bills/ 2005/SE/SE0127.1.h tml It appears highly unlikely that Indiana was split into two time zones in the 1960's based on county-by-county petitions and it's unrealistic to think that we can be unsplit using that approach. But it will require consistent and persistent citizen pressure on the legislature and the governor to get the DOT to consider reuniting the state into a single time zone again. Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Fri, 21 Sep 2007, 1:22 pm EDT  (Sep 21, 2007 | post #9)

The Indianapolis Star

Feds propose 5 counties jump time zones

Thank you for your reply to my posting. While we have a different bias toward the time zone, your position is one of the best-informed, eyes wide open, well thought out cases for staying on eastern daylight time that I have seen. If I could summarize our two positions, I would say that people like you, more of the night owls so to speak, recognize that we pay for having sunsets 45 minutes later than typical for our latitude by having sunrises 45 minutes later too, but you feel that it is worth it. Whereas the people like me (an early bird wannabe) also recognize this, but feel that the late sunrises are too high a price to pay for the idyllic late sunsets, especially in the early and late months of DST. Where we might also differ is in whether the post-9-pm Indiana sunsets of late-May to late-July are just later than we prefer, regardless of the impact on the sunrise time. Of course the typical latest sunsets for our latitude are about 8:30 in the middle of a time zone, plus-or-minus 30 minutes or so depending on how far one is from the central meridian. I understand that eastern advocates feel discouraged by the thought of 4:20 pm sunsets of early December, but I assure you that many central advocates feel similarly about the post-8-am sunrises of mid-December to late-January, not to mention the same in late-October to early-November and a few days in early March most years too. I agree with you that it would be best not to return to the old system of effectively three time zones in the same state. And we both would like to see Congress reduce the DST period from 8 months. 6 or 7 would be fine with me and I would even be open to a move to eliminate the time changing altogether, although if that happened the old system of 45 minutes of DST year-round by being on EST would look more attractive again. Best regards, Bill Starr Wed, 25 Jul 2007, 6:38 am EDT  (Jul 25, 2007 | post #178)

The Indianapolis Star

Proposal OKs time switch

Looks like this discussion needs someone to voice the other viewpoint. I think that it makes sense for Indiana to observe DST whatever months the states around us are observing it, although I would certainly would not mind if Congress decided to cut the DST period back to shorter than 8 months again. I would also prefer to see the entire state officially on the same time, but I would definitely prefer that we return to the central zone where we started. Assuming that we observe DST with the states around us, there are two options. Option A: Shift about 1 hour 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening during the 8 months of DST and about 45 minutes from morning to evening during the other 4 months. This is eastern time, with an average of about 85 minutes per day of sunlight shifted from morning to evening in Indiana. Option B: Shift about 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening during DST and about 15 minutes from evening to morning during non-DST. This is central time, with an average of 25 minutes per day of sunlight shifted from morning to evening. For comparison, the typical or average pattern at the middle of a time zone would be about 60 minutes shifted from morning to evening during DST and no sunlight shifted during the non-DST months. This averages out to about 40 minutes per day shifted from morning to evening over the course of a year. This is a baseline against which to compare Options A and B. I prefer Option B, partly because it more equitably balances our available sunlight between those who prefer enjoying it in the evening and those who prefer enjoying it in the morning. Bill Starr Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 6:45 pm EDT  (Jul 23, 2007 | post #3)

The Indianapolis Star

Feds propose 5 counties jump time zones

word cop (#175) wrote, "The time zone matters to me and we have been affected by it but its life... things happen and I try to adjust. I've enjoyed the extra time in the evening to do daylight things. My wife isn't crazy about it. I will say that I never have a clue what time it is anymore. I haven't worn a watch in 15 years and its seems its always later than I realize. I don't know about your computer but on mine anytime there is activity on a thread it tells me this. So it came across the radar screen..." Thanks for your reply, word cop. I try to get a sense for the person behind the words and I was pleasantly surprised at the friendly civility of your follow-up. It can be pretty easy to lose track that there are real people with feelings behind every posting here. I try to make the best of eastern daylight too. Life goes on. I admit that having the sun still up until 7:45 pm in Columbus the second Sunday of March seemed pretty magical, especially since sunsets this late typically (at the middle of the time zone) do not occur at our latitude until late-April through late-August. My wife isn't crazy about eastern daylight time either. She likes taking a walk in the early morning light, before the pace of the day picks up too much. At our latitude, the typical sunrise time varies from about 5:30 to 7:30 am during the 8 months of DST and from about 6:15 to 7:20 during the other four months. The sun is up by 7:00 am from about Mar 22 through Dec 1 and then from Feb 8 until DST starts. This amounts to only about 25 percent of the year with the sun up later than 7:00 am. In Columbus, on eastern time, the sunrise time varies from about 6:15 to 8:15 during DST and from about 7:00 to 8:05 during non-DST. The sun is up by 7:00 here only from about April 20 through August 19, coming up after 7:00 am the other 2/3 of the year. If we were on central time, we would still have the 8 months from March to November with 45 minutes of sunlight shifted from morning to evening like we had before with year-round EST (aka CDT), but we would have about 15 minutes shifted from evening to morning during the non-DST period. The only periods when we would have to endure sunrises later than 7:00 am would be about 2 weeks from Oct 23 through the end of DST and then another 3 or so weeks from Dec 24 through Jan 17 -- only about 10 percent of the year with sunrises later than 7:00, compared to 25 percent typical for our latitude and 67 percent with eastern time. I enjoy converting clock time to approximate sun time in my head by subtracting 2 hours and then adding 15 minutes. Sometimes I try to go the other way and estimate the sun time from its position in the sky and then check myself by adding on the 1 hour 45 minutes to get clock time. I found a neat freeware program for my PDA called Sidereal. I have it configured to simultaneously display clock time, local mean time, and local apparent time. That's also a good way to occasionally check my estimate of the solar time from the sun position. A friend of mine with a keen interest in time zones and DST actually bought a Palm TX just to run this program. http://www.edgar-b onet.org/palm/ Yes, when I view any of the IndyStar forums, it also shows me when any of the threads in which I have made a comment has had a follow-up posting. Regards, Bill Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 6:24 pm EDT  (Jul 23, 2007 | post #176)

The Indianapolis Star

Feds propose 5 counties jump time zones

word cop (#171) wrote, "No wonder things never get accomplished. Adapt and get on with life. There are issues that really matter and this isn't in any remote way one of them." I freely admit that it matters in my life what time the clock reads when the sun rises, passes overhead, and sets. I think cultural conditioning tells most of us that the clock should read somewhere close to 12:00 at midday and midnight (or 1:00 when observing DST). I see this implied in the very layout of the time zones -- 24 one-hour-wide regions with the clocks for the whole region set to match Local Mean Time (LMT) at the middle of each zone, with no one's clock meant to be more than plus or minus 30 minutes from their own LMT, depending on which side of the middle they happen to be on. http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Local_m ean_time I read the implication in your post that the time zone issue does not matter to you, and therefore should not matter to anyone else either. But it crosses my mind that perhaps the writer "doth protest too much," when I see that you have just added posts 171 and 173 to a near-dormant thread largely about Indiana's time zone. A man once said, "Woe to you.... [who] have neglected the weightier matters.... These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others [i.e., the less weighty matters]." I certainly agree with you that there are other worthy issues for public discourse. I frequently contact my state legislators and U.S. Congressmen on other topics, but without ignoring the time zone issue, which is also important to me. There is certainly nothing mutually exclusive about weighing in on both the time zone and on other issues of the day. Best regards, Bill Starr Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 1:46 pm EDT  (Jul 23, 2007 | post #174)

The Indianapolis Star

Feds propose 5 counties jump time zones

Southern Indiana (#50 Tuesday Jul 17) wrote, "There is only 1 reason Martin and Daviees petitioned to be changed back to Eastern and it isn't because they want to be in sync with Indy (frankly most people down here don't care about Indy), and it isn't because they realized how much they want an extra hour of daylight in the evening..." The big question in my mind is how would Hoosiers reply if you asked it something like this. "What time zone would you want to be in if Indianapolis and your surrounding counties were in the same zone?" Hoosiers Love Everyone (#69 Tuesday Jul 17) wrote, "If the entire state was on Central Time, the light patterns in the winter months would be drastically changed, resulting in the sunset occurring before 5:00 pm in the winter months. If you think people are angry now about the light patterns, see what will happen if THAT scenario came to pass. By the way, aren't 13 or so states on multiple time zones? If they can do it, why can't we?" I don't see enough people asking, "What is the normal winter sunset time for our distance from the equator?" For places near the middle of their time zone, and at the same latitude as Indianapolis (like Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, Reno), the normal earliest sunset on December 7 is about 4:35 pm, so if we were on central time and had our earliest sunset at 4:20, that would be pretty close to average for our latitude. Regarding multiple time zones, the other states split between multiple time zones are all significantly wider than Indiana, and I can't think of any that fall geographically entirely into one zone that are split like us. Several posts (99, 118) mention that many prefer shifting a maximum of 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening (central daylight time), rather than 1 hour and 45 minutes (eastern daylight). I am among those. Student (#126 Tuesday Jul 17), "Oh, and if you look at a map, you'll realize that the line between Eastern and Central should be the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. So, not only should Indiana be on Central, but so should Michigan and Ohio." Fortunately, Bryan corrected this error (#153). The natural boundary of 82.5 degrees longitude runs through the middle of Ohio and very near the eastern borders of Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I can see why Ohio would have wanted the natural boundary shifted to its western border, so the entire state would be on the same time zone. I can see why Michigan and Kentucky might have shifted the boundary westward in their states as well, to line up with Ohio's western border. South of Kentucky, it appears that the boundary pretty much aligns with Ohio's western border all the way to the gulf. Bill Starr Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 8:00 am EDT  (Jul 23, 2007 | post #170)

The Indianapolis Star

Thompson promises new direction for state

One issue is not enough to make me want to vote for JLT, but I am glad to see her candidacy bring the time zone back into the public discourse. I agree that Indiana has a lot of other pressing issues to tackle, although I believe that the beginning of the solution to a lot of them is to cut the size of government and get out of the way of private enterprise. I get a hint that some think I am of a mind to undo Indiana's participation in DST. I would not be in favor of Indiana's going off DST again unless the rest of the country did too, which does not appear likely in the foreseeable future. I think switching clocks twice a year with most of the rest of the country is the lesser of evils, although from a global standpoint, there are quite a few countries which have tried DST and no longer observe it. I would not mind if the national legislators scaled back how many months of DST we observe, and I see some potential benefits to putting virtually the entire state back in a single time zone. I agree that 1956 was a long time ago. Maybe a statewide referendum would turn out differently today, but bills to put one on the ballot have not made much progress in the legislature recently. Those who like the current status quo declare the time issue is "solved" ; others feel that the state government still has an opportunity to work with the USDOT to improve the situation. Indiana need not be the narrowest state divided between two time zones. Bill Starr Mon, 16 Jul 2007, 7:50 am EDT  (Jul 16, 2007 | post #145)

The Indianapolis Star

Thompson promises new direction for state

Huh (#102) writes, "The State has never been on one time zone since DST was started, by my memory which goes back to the 40s." From what I have been able to find, Indiana was officially all on central time until 1961, when the national government moved the boundary west from the Indiana-Ohio border to about halfway across Indiana. http://www2.indyst ar.com/library/fac tfiles/history/tim e/index.html There is another interesting item on this page. "A nonbinding, statewide referendum is conducted in 1956, asking general election voters their preference on Eastern versus Central time and whether to use daylight-saving time in the summer months. A slim majority favors Central time with no jump to daylight-saving time, but it is clear that Hoosiers are evenly divided on both questions. The only clear consensus that emerges is that most oppose the 'double-fast time' that would result from being on Eastern Standard Time and switching to Eastern Daylight Time in the summer." Ironically, this "double-fast " time, with 1 hour 45 minutes of sunlight (on average) shifted from morning to evening for 8 months of the year, is exactly what most of Indiana has now ended up with 50 years later. For the record, I am in favor of shifting 45 minutes of sun from morning to evening by observing DST while on central time. It would also be fine with me for the national legislators to prune the DST period back from 8 months to 7 or even 6 again, as provided for in the law which extended us to 8 months. It seems sort of a misnomer to call it "standard " time when we now observe it only 4 months out of 12. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, PL 109-058, passed by Congress 29 July 2005, says "Not later than 9 months after the effective date stated in subsection (b) [ 1 March 2007 ], the Secretary shall report to Congress on the impact of this section on energy consumption in the United States. Congress retains the right to revert the Daylight Saving Time back to the 2005 time schedules once the Department study is complete." (Section 110) Of course even without this symbolic clause, the Congress always retains the right to decree that we observe however many months of DST they think is best for us that year. http://tinyurl.com /d87wb Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Sun, 15 Jul 2007, 8:53 pm EDT  (Jul 15, 2007 | post #129)

The Indianapolis Star

Ex-congresswoman enters race for Indiana governor

Jeremy (#76) wrote, "... you have to admit that this quote is irrelevant. Think of how much has changed since 1953... There has been a change in the country and these statistics have absolutely nothing to do with Central/Eastern timezone... think about all of the cities (and just land) in between Philly, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Denver, etc. Each of those cities are located pretty close to the middle of their respective time zones. Indianapolis is located at the edge of its time zone (whether that's Eastern or Central)..." Thanks for your thoughtful comments Jeremy. I agree that we cannot make too much of the state's per capita income history. About all I make of it is that there was no apparent harm to Indiana's economy when the entire state was on one time zone and when we were on the same time zone as our western neighbors, and I doubt that it would do any harm to the state economically to return to that situation. You accurately point out that the four cities that I picked as examples are each very near the central meridian for their respective North American time zones, as well as being near the same latitude as Indiana. Therefore, there are pretty representative of "normal" for our distance from the equator. We were on year-round eastern standard time for so long, which was effectively central daylight saving time given our longitude, that it is really easy to lose track of what is typical for our latitude. During that time, we averaged about 45 minutes of DST year-round -- about 45 minutes of sunlight shifted from the morning to the evening. The time zones were laid out so that places like these four cities that are near the central meridian for their time zone (75, 90, 105, and 120 degrees longitude) would set their clocks to match their local mean time (solar time averaged out over the year). Locations in the eastern half of the time zone would have their clocks up to 30 minutes slower than their LMT and those in the western half would have the clock up to 30 minutes faster than their LMT. The mid-point between these meridians for eastern (75) and central (90) is 82.5 degrees. This natural boundary runs near the eastern edge of Michigan and Kentucky, and right down the middle of Ohio. It's pretty easy to see why Ohio asked the national government to move the boundary to their western border, so the entire state could be in a single time zone. It's harder to figure out why Indiana would have asked to have it moved even further west to divide us into two zones. Quite a few Hoosiers can attest how awkward it is to have the boundary running between the counties within a state. "USDOT decides" (#83) wrote, "Time zones are decided by the USDOT, not a governor, not the legislature, and local politicians... " While that is technically correct, the DOT certainly weighs heavily the input and requests of state and local politicians, as the duly elected representatives of the people, when they make these sort of decisions. In 1967, for example, six years after the federal government had first divided us by moving half of Indiana from central to eastern time, Governor Branigan petitioned the DOT to place all of Indiana back in the central time zone. http://www.indiana lawblog.com/docume nts/Timezone.pdf In their opening post (Docket OST-2005-22114-1), the DOT's position is, "The General Assembly and Governor of the State of Indiana have asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) to initiate proceedings to hold hearings in the appropriate locations in Indiana on the issue of the location of the boundary between the Eastern and Central Time Zones in Indiana. The General Assembly and Governor did not, however, take a position on where the boundary should be..." The strong implication from the DOT is that if the General Assembly and Governor took such a position, the awkward county-by-county petition process would no longer be needed. Bill Thu, 12 Jul 2007, 7:12 am EDT  (Jul 12, 2007 | post #85)

The Indianapolis Star

Ex-congresswoman enters race for Indiana governor

Politics aside, I certainly like to hear anyone in a position of influence talking about trying to return the entire state to the central time zone again. For my taste, and compared to average for our latitude, the sun sets about 45 minutes too late in the summer and rises about 45 minutes too late most of the rest of the year. Just check out Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, or Reno if you want to see what is normal for our latitude. http://tinyurl.com /32orxx On central time, our sunrises and sunsets are only about 15 minutes earlier than typical for our latitude. Long Thompson said she also would consider seeking to move the entire state to the Central time zone. "It's pretty ridiculous when it's still daylight to almost midnight," she said. Terry Martzall (#2) wrote, "... apparently the sun goes down later in northern Indiana because in central Indiana it is dark by 9:30 p.m.... if her definition of 'close' is 2 1/2 hours... perhaps we should review the other things she promises?" It appears likely that Long Thompson was using hyperbole. Depending on whether you consider the daylight hours over at sunset, civil twilight, nautical twilight, or astronomical twilight, the latest daylight on June 28 in Indy on eastern daylight time was either 9:17, 9:49, 10:30, or 11:18 pm. Astronomical twilight is getting pretty close to midnight, although 10:33 pm is the typical astronomical twilight for our latitude that day. Jeremy (#6) wrote, "For everyone who is in favor of being on central time, remember that means it will get dark between 3:30 and 4:00 PM during the winter. Do you really want to make winter days any shorter?" Again, I guess it depends on what you mean by dark. The earliest sunset of the year is about Dec 8. On eastern time, the sun sets about 5:20 pm in Indy, with twilight at 5:50, 6:23, or 6:56 pm depending on which definition you use. The typical latest sunset at our latitude (see Phila, Denver, etc.) is about 4:35 pm. On central time, the latest sunset in Indy would be 4:20, with twilight at 4:50, 5:23, or 5:56 pm -- only 15 minutes earlier than normal for our latitude. As far as making the winter days shorter, that has nothing to do with the time zone. There are only 9 hours 21 minutes from sunrise to sunset in Indy from Dec 18 through Dec 25, no matter what time zone we are in. The only way to have longer winter days is to move closer to the equator. "Come on Jill" (#58) wrote, "How embarassing (sic) for her that she has no ideas except to criticize Daylight Savings Time." I didn't see any criticism of DST in this article -- only a comment about which time zone might be preferable for Indiana. Central DST is still DST. It just shifts 45 minutes of sunlight from morning to evening instead of one hour and 45 minutes like eastern DST. Bryan (#71) wrote, "People we are always going to have two time zones. We have had them for over 40 years and got along just fine." Conversely, we had virtually a single time zone for over 40 years before that and got along just fine then too. By the state's own figures (pdf page 7 of 44), Indiana's per capita income was 106.4 percent of the national average in 1953 (when most or all of the state was on central time year-round, and had been for decades). By 2006 this figure had dropped to 91.4 percent. http://www.in.gov/ iedc/pdfs/Strategi c_Plan.pdf Bill Starr Columbus, Indiana Wed, 11 Jul 2007, 12:42 am EDT  (Jul 10, 2007 | post #75)

Q & A with bill_starr

Hometown:

Columbus, Indiana

I'm Listening To:

bluegrass music

On My Mind:

politics, computers, Indiana time zone

Blog / Website / Homepage:

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3770/

I Believe In:

Christian, married since 1978, children born 1989, 1990, 1993; homeschoolers since 1997, Constitutionalist / libertarian