Editorials

Daylight Saving Time not our finest hour

We’ve just passed the semi-annual ritual of clock tinkering, in which we “spring forward” into the months of long, lingering days that encourage shopping and outdoor recreation after work — as proponents have promised. But there are also critics who seem increasingly vocal this time around.

It’s true: There are many tradeoffs in Sunday morning’s change to daylight saving time. Those at home have to get their days going an hour earlier and must wait an hour later in the morning for daylight. Those on the farm see a disruption in the milking and delivery schedule for dairy cows. Some studies say the change can be harmful to general health; the studies have found that auto accidents, heart attacks and strokes see an uptick in the days following the time change.

So there are plenty of critics who believe that time marches on well enough on its own. Those critics have a champion in state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, who introduced a bill in the current legislative session to keep Washington on Pacific Standard Time year-round.

Honeyford’s bill died in committee, but now the senator, with an eye toward limiting the twice-yearly ritual of daylight disruption, is advancing the tactic of keeping daylight saving time permanent. And on that idea, he has cross-border backing.

An Oregon legislator has approached Honeyford about a move to put the three West Coast states permanently onto Mountain Standard Time, which is effectively Pacific Daylight Time.

Keeping the time permanent would end the seasonal cycle. In winter, permanent daylight saving time also brings dark morning days for the commute to work and school, perhaps necessitating tweaks in schedules; think school children waiting for buses in the morning gloom.

As with everything, time will tell.

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