State's time change law may not be workable

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Column by Jim Clark

There are two weekends that I despise every year. Many others talk about changing them, but one is here again. Can you guess what they are?
Here’s a hint: Did you turn your clocks ahead this weekend.
I have railed against the time change for years. I want it one way, I don’t care which, just be consistent.
The state Legislature has taken up the cause, and this year considered different proposals. However, I was not in favor of any of them.
As of this writing, the Legislature has apparently agreed to put the entire state on daylight saving time all year-round.
While on the surface this seems like a wonderful idea, more daylight at the end of the work and school day.
But remember, for every action there is an opposite reaction (go back to your physics class). If you want to have more daylight when you get free late in the day, that means you lose an hour of daylight in the morning, and that means you’ll be going to work or school sometimes in the dark. Can you imagine how many hundreds or more, children will be out in the dark waiting for the school bus?
There’s a convoluted law that evidently says that if we want to have the state, which includes two time zones, go on daylight saving all year, it has to be approved by Congress. I’m hoping they reject Florida’s plan and vote to put the entire country on the same system, with no time changes during the year.
If Florida is the odd man out, it could mean many difficulties.
There are so many things that operate on time. Let’s look at a few where Florida would be out of step.
Computers. Many are now programmed so the time change automatically takes place.
Television. Would programs be telecast on New York time or local station time? What about stations such as those in Jacksonville, who cover South Georgia. Would people in one state have to adjust to Florida time when they watch TV?
Sporting events. NFL teams would have a field day trying to figure out what time to start games so they fit into the league’s TV windows. And all leagues would have to hire a starting time coordinator.
Airlines. It’s mind boggling what the online schedules for flights would look like. At least now they don’t print timetables any more, I think. Same goes for Amtrak.
There are other things, such as schools, church schedules, buses, store and mall hours (would they stay open later?), stock market and brokerage houses, bank hours, etc.
So Congress, let’s get the entire nation on the same page, and let’s do it in time for the fall.
Jim Clark is the editor of the West Marion Messenger and South Marion Citizen.