Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tragic accident related to Indiana's time zone

From: Bill Starr
To: Tom Jekel <tjekel at therepublic.com>
Cc: Susannah H. Dillon <shdillon at indy.rr.com>; Dr. John B. Quick <bcscsupt at bcsc.k12.in.us>; Barry Wright -- WCSI News <news at wcsiradio.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:24 AM
Subject: Fw: News release

Hello, Mr. Jekel.

This is not a letter to the editor for publication, but I encourage you to run the attached letter from my friend, Sue Dillon, as a guest column. Sue is president of the Central Time Coalition, an organization of Hoosiers, including myself, who would like to see Indiana restored to the central time zone.

In some ways, it might be a bit late, but in light of yesterday's tragic accident involving 13-year-old student, Jaden Lee, who was struck in traffic in Columbus yesterday while walking to catch his school bus, it could hardly be more timely.

Boy, 13, in critical but stable condition

The article says that the accident occurred about 7:04 am. On Eastern Daylight Time, that's quite dark -- about an hour before sunrise. The natural clock time for sunrise in Columbus yesterday is about 6:15 am. If Indiana were restored to our natural time zone of central time, sunrise yesterday would have been 7:01 am. The article says "Investigators think the dark conditions — daylight saving time went into effect over the weekend, making it darker than usual at that time of the morning — and rainy weather played a role in the accident."

Even with DST starting so early in the year now, if Indiana were on Central Daylight Time the sun would have been almost up, making a big difference in visibility for both students and drivers. And for those who like extra daylight in the evenings, Central Daylight Time still shifts about 45 minutes of daylight from morning to evening.

Sincerely, Bill Starr
Columbus, Indiana
Tue, 12 Mar 2013, 8:24 am EST

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Susannah Dillon <shdillon at indy.rr.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 7, 2013 11:32 AM
Subject: News release

Eastern Time in Indiana Defies Common Sense

Nobody complains more than Hoosiers about changing their clocks.  And there’s a valid reason – DST in Indiana’s Eastern Time Zone is painful!  Just as we are beginning to be cheered by morning sunshine after coming out of a long, dark winter, Hoosiers in Indiana’s Eastern Time counties will be plunged back into dark mornings on Sunday, March 10.  It’s depressing!  In contrast, Hoosiers in Indiana’s Central Time counties will barely notice the switch to DST because it will be daylight when most of them get out of bed this Sunday.

It wasn’t always this way.  When time zones were established, Indiana was a Central Time state.  Portions of Indiana were switched to the Eastern Time Zone in the 1960s to facilitate communications with financial centers and network television in New York.   Today’s instantaneous information transfer through e-technology has negated “perceived” advantages of Eastern Time in Indiana.  In the meantime, Eastern Time is causing many “inconveniences to commerce”.  The demand for nationwide same-day delivery of specialized products and parts is forcing Indiana manufacturers to relocate to logistics hubs in the Central Time Zone.  Eastern Time hubs can’t meet that demand.  The 3-hour time difference with the West Coast is now a year-round inconvenience for direct communications and a deterrent to business interaction with Indiana.  Late broadcast of nationally televised sports and cultural events is inconvenient for Hoosier audiences and reduces the viewership.  Indiana is not taking advantage of its natural Central Time location.

At the same time, when it doesn’t get dark until around 10 p.m., Eastern Time has stolen the darkness from summer evenings.   Darkness brings the magic to campfires, allows stars to be visible, brings focus to the music at summer concerts, and provides intimacy for evening chats.  The late sunlight of Eastern Time is family-unfriendly when it comes to bedtime and July 4th fireworks.

20,000 Hoosiers and 42 school districts have signed petitions and resolutions in support of restoring Indiana to its original, geographically correct Central Time Zone.  The General Assembly is being asked to appoint a study committee to examine the consequences of Indiana’s split time zone designations and to evaluate their effects on Hoosiers.   Time Zone issues have never been vetted by our legislators.  Hoosiers are saying that this discussion is overdue.

Susannah H. Dillon, President
Central Time Coalition
shdillon at indy.rr.com

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