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The problem with time

Maybe I just missed it; I haven’t been following the state legislative session that closely. But they seem to be dodging a crucial issue

That would be time. Like daylight or regular, central or mountain.

This month we are changing again from one to another, I forget from which to which. It seems like we do this every other month or so. It has finally become easier to get up, with dawn arriving earlier, and now we are pushing sunrise back an hour yet again, from like 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

This is hardly great for anyone, especially for families with kids to pry out of bed for school. Studies have shown that most kids do not really wake up until nine or 10. Rousting them out hours earlier makes it tougher on them, their parents and their teachers. Why do this?

At least we could ease the rousting routine by having no daylight savings time, or morning darkening time, during the school year. Give us all a break.

If we weren’t switching to DST this month, we’d have easier rising times the rest of the school year, even those of us no longer having kids at home to get up for school.

As for my personal problems with DST, they date back to the mid 1970s, before we moved to North Dakota, when I was watching the late news out of a Milwaukee TV station. As he was signing off, the weekend news guy reminded us about the time switch the next morning.

With his voice fading out, he said something like: “It’s simple. Just remember: Spring ahead, fall back or is it spring back, fall ahead or is it spring backward, fall forward or is it.?”

If I wasn’t confused before, I was then, and have been ever since. This was one of only a few times I watched this station. One other time, the news guy (I don’t think it was the same guy) was doing his last broadcast before switching to another station.

They were talking about a little party they had before the show and about how the guy had had a bit to drink. He was slurring his words. He was drunk or doing a very good acting job. (Now that I’ve thought more about it, it must have been the same guy.)

Anyway, with or without this guy, the time change is confusing. It’s also unnecessary and should be discontinued at least during the school year.

Also confusing and unnecessary are the two time zones in the state. In my humble opinion, or as they text these days, IMHO, we should scrap both Daylight Time and Mountain Time. Leave Mountain Time for where they have real mountains.

State legislatures can do such things: opt out of DST and change time zones. Arizona and Hawaii have no Daylight Time. And North Dakota has moved the Central-Mountain time zone line at least once before. Why not move it further west, to the Montana border?

That’s it. I’m out of humble opinions. On the subject of time, that is.

I do have one more humble opinion on another subject, the budget deadlock in Congress. One behavior expert has called it middle school behavior. It is that. It is also guy behavior. Stupid standoffs seem to be our specialty.

Why not turn negotiations over to the women in Congress. Let them select an equal number from each party and show how things can be settled, how adults behave. And if they can’t do it, well, like the ending of an old cheerleading chant from way back in the last century, “nobody can.”

(James Lein is a community columnist for The Minot Daily News)