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 the tyranny imposed on us by the nation's foolhardy twice-annual time switches, as we toggle between standard time and daylight saving time. We're scheduled to make the change again this weekend: At 2 a.m. Sunday, we will once again heed the instructions from our time lords and dutifully spring ahead one hour, losing an hour of sleep forever.
But resistance is growing to these time switches, as evidence mounts that they come with real health risks. And the last thing an already sleep-deprived nation needs is to lose any more sleep.
So we joyfully deliver ROSES to the sponsors of Senate Bill 320 in the Oregon Legislature. If the measure passes, it would put this question to voters in the 2020 general election: Should Oregon switch to daylight saving time and stay there year-round?
Oregon is not alone in rising up against these time switches: Puerto Rico, Arizona and Hawaii already don't change their clocks. Legislators in California, Florida and Washington are considering various legislative proposals to do the same.
Although we have no specific compliant against either daylight saving time or standard time (it's the switching back and forth that we object to), the truth is that the reasons why we adopted daylight saving time in the first place have not panned out. It has not, for example, reduced energy costs. And the evidence is mounting that the time switches result in health and safety risks. A researcher at the University of Washington reports that heart attacks increase 24 percent in the week after the United States springs forward. (They also increase a bit in the week after we fall back.)
So the way forward is clear: Do away with the time switches. Choose either standard time or daylight saving time and stick with it. Our preference would be for year-round daylight saving time, as is called for in Senate Bill 320.
We'll still grudgingly turn our clocks forward before we go to bed this Saturday night. But we'll do so with a glimmer of hope that the last time we'll have to perform this odious ritual could be in March 2021: If voters approve the measure in November 2020, we simply won't switch back to standard time in November 2021. It's about time.
• ROSES to Corvallis native Sara Nelson, the subject of a long and generally admiring Feb. 23 profile in The New York Times which dubbed her a rising star in the U.S. labor movement — or, as the headline of the story put it, "America's Most Powerful Flight Attendant." Sara Nelson, the daughter of Corvallis' Carol Nelson, is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants union, and the Times story makes the case that her Jan. 20 speech during the government shutdown calling for a general strike played a critical role in forcing an end to the shutdown. (The online version of today's Roses column includes a link to the Times story.)
The Times story calls Corvallis a "city with small-town vibes," and includes an amusing anecdote about Nelson's training to be a flight attendant, which included a “makeup day” — "when the men took the day off and the women learned how to apply mascara. This was helpful to Ms. Nelson, 'a granola from Oregon,' she said, who had never worn any."
These days, Nelson draws praise from both sides of the negotiating table: “I think she is truly one of the most effective labor leaders I have ever met,” the Times quoted Jonathan Ornstein, the chief executive of Mesa Airlines, as saying.
The story includes speculation that Nelson might take a run at the presidency of the AFL-CIO when the current president, Richard Trumka, ends his term. One thing seems certain: You'll be hearing more about Sara Nelson.
• ROSES to the alert reader who, after reading our editorial comments this week about Sen. Jeff Merkley's decision not to run for president, passed along this bit of history that ought to worry all the Democratic U.S. senators who are running — which is, well, just about all of the rest of them: Only three sitting U.S. senators have been elected president — John Kennedy, Barack Obama and, of course, Warren G. Harding. (mm)