Editorial: Time, it’s relative 


This week, the Washington House of Representatives passed a measure that may allow us to ditch the hour we lost this Sunday, permanently. 

Now it’s up to Congress to see if they’ve got the gumption to agree.

By golly, we hope they do. 

Now that you’ve spun your clocks forward an hour, let’s forget the past for a moment and think on the modern-day disadvantages of springing forward and falling back. 

Sure we get to spend more of our waking hours, if you’re not a morning person, under the glowing warmth of our nearest star, the sun. Come summer solstice, you can soak in those rays (with the proper amount of sun protection) from just after 5 a.m. to slightly past 9 p.m. 

A few in town have argued that by flicking that digit one hour forward in the spring and one hour back in the fall, we’re keeping the sun on the backs of our children on their way to school. While that may be a sound argument for the 7 a.m morning impaired, you’d be hard-pressed to find any data to back it up. The opposite appears to be true.

If you’re to believe a recent study done by the University of Washington, the tradition of trading an hour twice a year is bad for your health. The lack of sleep lowers performance. 

And while it may add a few bucks to your local barista’s tip jar, it lessens their ability to make you that piping-hot cup of Joe. 

Aside from the poor performance in work and school, the added stress of the lost hour leads to a higher rate of strokes and heart attacks. That’s according to “Health Impact Review” from the Washington State Board of Health where one study found a 29 percent increase in the cadence of non-fatal acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) during the first four workdays after the transition to Daylight Savings Time. That figure jumps to a 44 percent increase in the fall. 

We’ve moved past any argument for agricultural needs, increased work production or energy savings. We live in a time of perpetual light. Bright white under the sun, blue at night with that laptop sitting too close to your eyeballs.


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Tom Camfield

Does this mean we'll be out of sync with other states? If so, I suppose we could live with that. In any case, I think our state legislature has many bigger fish to fry than telling us what time of day it is.

Wednesday, March 13

I'm in favor of the permanent change, but there be some confusion in many devices that are hard-programmed to change under the current rules. My no-so-smart thermostat, for example, 'knows' when the 1-hour changes are to be done both times of the year. Technology issues notwithstanding, the easy fix for this is to just make it a national rule and eliminate this state-by-state creep away from something that is no longer needed and is actually harmful.

Thursday, March 14