Daylight Saving Time: One of the three hardest-to-grasp concepts in the known world.
  • Daylight Saving Time: One of the three hardest-to-grasp concepts in the known world.
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Don’t turn back the clock

I am writing to oppose Prop 7, the proposition that Daylight Saving Time (DST) be abandoned for the state of California (“Daylight Saving Time: Deal with it,” Ask a Hipster, March 8, 2017). I am legally blind. That means that I cannot go out in the dark. In late afternoon during Spring and Winter — without DST — I am confined to my condominium. Without DST, a good share of the opportunities for shopping, cultural opportunities and entertainment activities are out of my reach — and I suspect many elderly voters and those with vision challenges would find the same. One argument proposed for abandoning DST is that school children must wait in the dark to catch their buses to school—however, every study I know finds that school begins much too early for the good of the students. I would inform the voter that, although I understand the inconvenience of changing clocks, many of us who have a hard time driving or seeing in the dark would have their lives curtailed by the abandoning of DST.

  • Art Seamans
  • North Park
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Visduh Oct. 17, 2018 @ 4:59 p.m.

It is not at all clear just what Prop 7 would do. Today, under federal law, all states go on and off DST on the same day of the year. There is an option for a state to stay on standard time, something done by Arizona and Hawaii. All other states fully conform. The Prop seems to prohibit California from exercising the option to stay on standard time while other states shift.

Someone must think the federal law will change. If it does, and depending on how it does, there could be many outcomes. One might be year-round DST. Another might be no DST at all (something I'm hearing is seriously under consideration.) Back during the "energy crisis" of the early 70's, we stayed on DST all winter at least one year. It was ridiculous how many of us had go to work or school in the pre-dawn darkness. NOBODY seemed to like that, and it was soon dropped. Annoying as they are, those cut-overs twice a year seem to satisfy more folks than they offend.

There's all the talk about kids going to school in the dark, and that is a nasty detail. But it isn't due to DST or lack of it as much as it is actions taken by school districts. A whole lot of research has shown that kids do better in school if they don't start prior to about 8:30. Yet, I have seen situations where they were starting at 7:00 am. That was the case not so long ago when I was a teacher (I'm now retired) and had a college-prep chemistry class at 7 am. You need to be fully awake to handle that sort of academic rigor, and 7 am was absurd. Poor kids! (Poor teacher!) Some schools with a special earlier period had some students in their seats around 6:30. To me that's child abuse. When the schools are put on an effective schedule with a decent start time, educational results will improve, the kids will be happier, and everyone should win. As to why it is such a hard sell, I do not know.

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