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CITY BEAT: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME AND OTHER ITEMS TO DISCUSS

 

 

 

Paul Osborne
Editor/Publisher

     Daylight Saving Time begins this coming Sunday, March 10.

     Do you turn your clocks up or back?

     The easy way to remember is that, in the Spring, when Daylight Saving Time begins you “spring” your clocks forward one hour. When Daylight Saving Time ends in the Fall, you “fall” back one hour.

     Like everything else, Daylight Saving Time is not without its critics. I remember one elderly man in a church I attended years ago, asking if it was right to “tamper with God’s time”? I guess he felt that God was on Central Standard Time and not Daylight Saving Time. For years in my grandparents Bolin’s home in Hammond, just east of Decatur on Route 36, half of the clocks were on Central Standard Time and the other half on Daylight Saving Time. Grandma liked Daylight Saving Time and Grandpa didn’t care for it — so they settled the debate by going “half and half” on the clocks in the house!

     • THE REASON? There’s a popular misconception that Daylight Saving Time was originated by farmers to give them more daylight to work in the fields. Not true. Brianna Taylor of the Sacramento Bee recently consulted Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and National Geographic to understand the origin of daylight saving time and how the biannual time change came to be. This year, clocks will spring forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10. Daylight saving time was never created for farmers but instead to save money and energy.

     “The applicable concept is officially credited to New Zealand entomologist George Hudson in 1895. However, famous inventor Benjamin Franklin toyed with the idea nearly 100 years earlier. “In 1784, Franklin pondered the shift to rising earlier in a satirical letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris, adding that doing so would decrease the use of candles and save money.

     “The modern-day concept resurfaced in 1895 when Hudson proposed shifting the clocks to create more daylight for studying bugs, according to National Geographic. Clocks were briefly pushed forward as a global attempt to save energy during World War I, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated. Germany implemented DST in 1916 and the U.S. followed suit two years later, according to The University of Colorado Boulder. It was repealed the next year.

     “President Franklin Roosevelt resurfaced it during World War II before the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established the biannual time change similar to what we use today. The start and end of daylight saving time went through several shifts until the early 2000s, according to timeanddate.com. Starting in 2007, daylight saving time began on the second Sunday in March and ended on the first Sunday in November.”

     • I’VE mentioned before in this column how I have to manually reset the digital clock in my infamous-possessed car “Christine” who nags me with her screen messages about “low air” in one tire (when it is really cold) or when it is snowing and zero degrees “there may be ice on the road” (as if I couldn’t figure that out myself). With all of her messages to me, she can’t automatically reset her clock! My cellphone and computers reset for the time changes, but “Christine” refuses to accept that responsibility. In protest, I usually just mentally add an hour when Daylight Saving Time begins and, when it ends, the clock is right again. It takes only a few seconds to make the change manually, but I refuse. (Maybe I picked up that habit from Grandpa Bolin who I wrote about at the beginning of this column.) I have a feeling that, if Christine starts resetting her clock, as old as she is, it may be in Roman numerals!

     • I’VE HAD quite-a-few comments about last week’s mention in this column about the time I lived on Central Drive in The Elms on Decatur’s near northside. I don’t want to print the house number because the people now living there might not appreciate it, but I did check on the price of the house the last time it was sold. It was sold for about 5 times what I paid for it a half century ago. Its value had gone up $1,000-a-year, every year, since I bought it!

     I remember the entire basement panelling was knotty pine, which was extremely popular “back in the day”. I also remember that movers brought a big wooden desk to the house that I had purchased for the upstairs room which was going to be my home office and, one leg of the desk prevented them from being able to get it through the doorway and up the stairs. It was only about two inches too long! Just two inches prevented being able to maneuver the desk. Soooooo, I got a saw and sawed two inches off of one leg of the desk and when they got the desk upstairs, I took the saw and sawed two inches off the other three desk legs so it would be even — and sat on a lower chair. (Thinking back, maybe I should have put a 2” block under the cut-off leg instead of sawing 2 inches off of the other 3 legs of the desk.)

     Everytime I would see one of the movers downtown, he would ask if I had moved any big desks lately and then laugh! When we sold the house in The Elms, the desk went with the house! I also sawed a ping pong table in half when the entire sheet of plywood wouldn’t fit through the hallway to the basement! Last year, I sawed a hole in the back of a big wooden entertainment/ bookcase in our house in order to get to the cable/electrical connection in the wall! (My grandsons like to see that “work of art” everytime they come over to the house.) Little wonder that my family hides the saw from me. (smile)

     • THE Primary Election is March 19th, and frankly, I’ve never seen such little interest in an upcoming primary election in our county. The only Macon County race that is drawing any interest is the coroner’s race where three candidates are seeking to be the Republican that moves on to face Democrat Tiffany Hall in the General Election in November. The coroner candidates are active and attending forums. Macon County Republican Women were scheduled to host all four candidates (including the Democrat candidate) at its regular monthly meeting last night (Tuesday). Advertisements for the three Republican candidates for coroner can be found elsewhere in this week’s print and online editions. Not much else is going on in the county races with the majority of candidates having no opponent.

     As mentioned last week, Macon County is represented by five state representative districts, with each candidate having a piece of the county. There are a couple of those races that have more than one candidate, but many voters will not know which representative district candidates will be on their ballot (unless they have done some minor research) until they show up to vote. Usually, if it is a year when we are going to elect a president, the voter interest and turnout is better, but we’ll see what happens between now and when the votes are counted at the end of Primary Election Day 2024. I plan on early voting. The county clerk’s office is only a block away from my office. I’m not real enthusiastic about having so little on the ballot that requires making a choice but I will exercise my right as a United States citizen and vote in the election as I have done in every election since I was old enough to vote.

     • ‘”TIME HAS TAUGHT ME THAT YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN” is the title of my “Viewpoint” column on page 3 of this week’s print and online editions.  You can subscribe to the Decatur Tribune and get all of the pages and features of every edition by using your credit card elsewhere on this site at “To Subscribe”, or by sending your name and address and a check for $50 for 52 print editions (one year) to: Decatur Tribune, P. O. Box 1490, Decatur, IL 62525-1490.   

     • I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00. to discuss what’s happening in our community, including elections.

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