Time Zone Shift

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2008, file photo, Electric Time Company employee Dan Lamoore adjusts the color on a 67-inch square LED color-changing clock at the plant in Medfield, Mass. As most U.S. residents prepare to "fall back," a special Massachusetts commission, examining the possibility of year-round daylight savings time, plans to release its final recommendations. But it's unlikely the state would shift from the Eastern to the Atlantic Time Zone anytime soon -- if at all. Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at 2 a.m. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Elise Amendola

• ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

• RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

We hereby deliver:

• RASPBERRIES to our twice-a-year ritual of changing our clocks (and every other device that includes a clock) as we switch from daylight saving time to standard time, as we'll do this weekend. We'll switch back again in March.

Of course, we welcome the opportunity to regain the hour of sleep we lost earlier this year, when we began daylight saving time. This couldn't happen soon enough, from our perspective: We've been feeling a little groggy since March, when we "sprung ahead" and lost that hour.

But we shouldn't be making these time shifts at all: Daylight saving time has long outlived its usefulness — if, in fact, it ever did serve any real purpose.

As we've written before, the United States should move either to daylight saving time or standard time and stay there. (Our preference would be to embrace daylight saving time year-round.)

An increasing amount of research suggests that daylight saving time does not save any energy, which was the original idea. And switching back and forth between daylight and standard time could be a factor in a variety of health and safety issues, including an increase in traffic accidents in the spring as sleep-deprived drivers hit the road.

As for the belief that daylight saving time was created to aid farmers, forget about that. Farmers easily can adjust to the shift in time, and the same is true for their crops and livestock. In the words of a memorable "Last Week Tonight" report about daylight saving time: "Cows don't care what time it is because they're cows and cows are idiots."

At least 16 states this year have considered changes to daylight saving time. But this is best handled on a national level: Let's end our time switches once and for all.

• ROSES to you if you remember to check your smoke alarms this weekend. This used to be the weekend when you were urged to change the batteries in those alarms, but you may not need to do that: Some of these alarms now come with 10-year batteries, so they may still be full of juice.

One advantage of our shifts back and forth between standard time and daylight saving time is that they give us a convenient reminder to check into the status of our smoke alarms. But our hunch is that a nation that can put men on the moon can find other ways to remind you about this potentially lifesaving chore.

• ROSES to you, Benton County voter, if you have returned your ballot for the Nov. 7 election — or if you have plans to do so over the weekend. In either event, you are in the minority: The county Elections Office reports that turnout as of Thursday afternoon was just under 23 percent.

Most county voters will just have one issue on the ballot: whether to renew the county's levy that helps pay for law enforcement and health services. Our recommendation is that you vote "yes:" The levy does not represent an increase in tax rates, and the services that it helps to pay for are essential.

But the important thing is that you vote. Chances are that the ballot is stacked in that pile of mail on your desk or kitchen table. Pull it out and vote; to be sure that your ballot arrives at the Elections Office by the 8 p.m. Tuesday deadline, drop it off in one of the county's ballot drop-off boxes. 

We know this is an off-year election and that this campaign has not exactly been riveting, but it's this type of election that often has a real impact on us locally. The proposal to renew the county levy, Measure 2-110, is a good example of an issue like that. It's worth your time to vote.

• RASPBERRIES to word of a new scam at work in the  mid-valley: In this new scam, Dish Network customers get a call saying that their receiver is old (older than three months!) and needs to be upgraded. Money needs to change hands for the upgrade to occur. Here's the bottom line: The company doesn't ask customers to make a payment outside of their normal payment method. Hang up and call your local law enforcement agency and the main number for Dish Network: 800-333-DISH. (mm)

 

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