A shorten version of the following was published in today's Sunday Indianapolis Star newspaper.
Two Hours Before the Sun
What are Senate President Pro Tempore David Long and House Speaker Brian Bosma afraid of? Why won’t they permit a summer study to review Indiana’s time zone? Is it because there is no social, commercial, or geographical reason for any portion of Indiana to be in the Eastern Time Zone? In 2005, the leadership of the General Assembly killed a proposal for a time zone referendum to be placed on the 2006 ballot. It is obvious that Big Brother believes Big Brother knows what is best for us. In a more perfect world, acts of government would be reviewed periodically to determine if they had achieved their original purposes and free of unintended consequences.
The proposed summer study would not be a rehash of the Daylight Saving Time debacle of 2005 in which the time zone issue was conveniently ignored. The Central Time Coalition is not opposed to Central Daylight Time. 4:15 AM sunrises in June with Central Standard Time don’t make any more sense than post 8 AM sunrises in January, March, October, November, and December do with Eastern Time.
Time zones are based on geography and by geography all of Indiana is located in the Central Time Zone. During the 1960s, federal agencies relocated most of the Central-Eastern time zone boundary from the Indiana-Ohio border to the Illinois-Indiana border. 6 northwestern and 6 southwestern Indiana counties remain in the Central Time Zone. In 1971, the Eastern counties were granted an exemption from Eastern Daylight Time because they were in effect observing Central Daylight Time the year round.
If they were to observe EDT their clocks would be two hours ahead of the sun. The 2005 Indiana General Assembly voted to surrender the exemption from EDT and now Hoosiers in the 80 Eastern zone counties set their clocks to the same as Atlantic Standard Time 34 weeks of the year and to Eastern Standard Time the remaining 18 weeks. This results in most of Indiana having on average the latest sunrises and darkest mornings of any location in the 48 adjacent states.
For Hoosier kids on their way to school the difference between Eastern Time and Central Time is the same as the difference between night and day. Eastern morning darkness amounts to an insidious type of child abuse. Strong words? Yes, but probably not strong enough. The Central Time Coalition has compiled a list of recent incidents in which students have been robbed, raped, beaten or killed. All of these unnecessary tragedies occurred in the dark while on the way to school. This list is available on request. The harm done by Eastern Time to our children’s education is not nearly as apparent but it has nevertheless done so. This damage cannot be repaired by more tax dollars or more school days.
It is our responsibility as adults to provide a safe environment where the young can learn and grow and achieve. Instead, we needlessly force them out into the dark where they are placed at unnecessary risk. We give our children an unnatural clock that tends to deprive them of sleep then we agonize over their low test scores and poor attitudes. More money, a longer school year, and innovations such as charter schools, have barely made a dent in the problem.
The Central Time Coalition believes the Eastern morning darkness is part of the problem and Central morning daylight is part of the solution. Brighter Central mornings should make for safer, brighter students. Resetting our clocks to a more Hoosier friendly time will provide the most educational improvement for the dollar. We shouldn’t just request Central Time. We should demand it. After all, Central Time is every Hoosier’s birthright that has been taken from us by a federal bureaucracy without our permission.
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.
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 317-844-3558 www.hoosiersforcentraltime.com shdillon at indy.rr.com