Set clocks back one hour on Saturday night

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The end of daylight saving time used to bring no end of problems for the Washington County Communications Center, but with the current system, the change is automatic.

Washington Communications Center supervisor Cara Sorrells said there will be no problem early Sunday morning when the clocks fall back an hour for the ending of daylight saving time. She said the only possible problem that could occur would be that there may be an hour between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday that would happen twice on the report sheets. The answer to that, she said, is as simple as a notation explaining that this is when daylight saving time ended.

?The computers just change at the right time,? she said. ?Hopefully it is quiet so nothing will happen.?

Daylight saving time (DST), which began March 12, is scheduled to end at 2 a.m. Sunday. People are asked to turn their clocks back an hour as they get back the hour of sleep they lost in March. It also will mean the sun will set an hour earlier. Previously DST ended in late October, but in 2007 congress voted to make it the first Sunday in November. Daylight saving time, or ?summer time,? is the practice of setting clocks ahead one hour during summer months so evening daylight lasts an hour longer, while sacrificing an hour of sunrise time. In the United States, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy, according to David Prerau, author of ?Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.? By moving clocks forward, people could take advantage of the extra evening daylight rather than wasting energy on lighting. At the time, Franklin was ambassador to Paris and so wrote a witty letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784, rejoicing over his ?discovery? that the sun provides light as soon as it rises. In 1918, the United States adopted daylight saving time. Fewer than 40 percent of the world?s countries observe daylight saving time.

Earlier this year, a bill submitted to the Iowa House by local representative Jarad Klein didn?t make it through committee and is dead for the year. Klein said the bill to rework daylight saving time that he introduced at the start of this session had drawn much discussion, which he said was the reason he introduced it. He said he had been approached several times by constituents to introduce the bill and had decided it was time to at least discuss the issue. He said during discussion in subcommittee, the bill had crossed party lines.

He said the bill had drawn some Democrat and more Republican support.

He also said there was bipartisan opposition to the bill.

One of the problems Klein spoke of is if neighboring states didn?t remove daylight saving time.

He said the time change would be difficult for people traveling through the state.

He had also heard from business people that there would be problems if Iowa?s clock-based schedule didn?t match other businesses in other states.

Klein also said many businesses, such as manufacturing and agriculture, now have lighting so they can keep working throughout the night, which is something that didn?t exist at the time daylight saving time was introduced.