Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Why are we still changing our clocks…didn’t we vote to stop this some years ago?

Saturday night I couldn’t sleep…so, what’s new? Usually I can’t shut down my mind and most often I read late into the night and into the early morning hours. This night was no different.

Somewhere just before 2 a.m. on what had now morphed into Sunday I looked at my phone for a time check. It was 1:50 something. A few minutes later, with another glance, it was shortly after 3 a.m.

I realized I had just lost an hour of my life in a “poof” with one of the two time changes each year. I get it, I’ll get it back next fall, but that’s not the point.

There are two schools of thought on Daylight Savings Time. In the spring (spring forward) once the change comes, people seem to like the later evening daylight.

I’m strongly in that camp. It actually fools my mind into thinking the day is so much longer and I’m able to get so much more done.

Likewise, come the fall, I hate the “fall-back” where the clocks revert and make daylight seemingly disappear in complete darkness around 5 p.m. It depresses me, and again makes my mind feel like the days just got so much shorter.

So, why do we continue to do this?

Medical authorities join in saying it’s actually bad for our health.

The American Heart Association suggests that there’s “an uptick in heart attacks on the Monday after daylight savings.”

If that’s true and you’re still standing, congratulations, you made it to Tuesday. Still, the medical community also suggests the possibility of strokes last for two days afterwards, so technically we’re not out of the woods yet.

Again, why do we do this to ourselves?

Well, if you go back to November 2018, the voters of California passed Proposition 7…not only passed it, but actually got nearly 60% of the vote, or translating this a little bit further to say that 7.1 million voted “Yes.” That’s convincing in my book!

The measure allowed that the state legislature could now (or then) change daylight savings time by either establishing it year-round or by abolishing it.

Unfortunately, the elected officials did neither. So much for the people speaking and all that money being spent on an election.

So, here’s the kicker – yes, we the people voted saying that’s what we want; unfortunately, the way the measure was written that decision only allowed the opportunity for our state legislators to make a change by getting a two-thirds vote, one way or another, among themselves.

That just seems wrong. We apparently don’t count.

Today, the time change just sits there like no one has ever spoken out on the issue.

I like it for a number of reasons: I love to see the young ones, particularly my grandchildren (7, 4 and 3), playing in the quiet residential streets into the evening with the other kids in the neighborhood; I love heading out for a few evening holes of golf when the course is not that crowded; the extra light also makes the evening ideal for a long walk, or hanging out in the backyard to enjoy the evening air and/or perhaps even firing up the BBQ.

I also know that Buddy the Bulldog and his pals hate the changes, if only because their mealtime is different and that confuses them.

Still, we wait on Sacramento.

I lobbed in an inquiry to our Assemblymember Diane Dixon and she agreed with me saying, “I wish DST was permanent.” But she also admitted that it appears no one in Sacramento seems to want to bring the issue up.

However, she said that Westminster-area Assemblymember Tri Ta appears to be the exception and has introduced Bill 1776 which would require the state to observe year-round standard time. That means we change in the fall and then it stays that way year round. Not my favorite, but glad he’s up for getting some discussion going on the issue.

Despite several assumptions that say time changes were created for farmers, or for kids heading off to school in the light, etc., all are wrong.

DST was first implemented in the United States with the Standard Time Act of 1918, which was a wartime measure designed for seven months during World War l for the specific purpose of adding more daylight hours to conserve energy resources.

News alert, World War l has ended. One hundred and six years later, I feel it’s time for a permanent change.

Let’s get this done!

• • •

Well, with the days now longer, what better time to focus on the home and garden as we prepare for spring. A good place to always start is Sherman Library & Gardens. This weekend will be no different.

The Clivia Show & Sale will be featured this Saturday and Sunday (March 16 and 17) from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

The North American Clivia Society will present the two-day Clivia (pronounced cly-vee-ah) Show and Sale at Sherman Library & Gardens. Clivia plants are native to South Africa and have become popular with collectors. These exquisite flowering plants were named after Lady Charlotte Florentina Clive, Duchess of Northumberland, England (1787-1866).

A unique variety of clivia plants will be on display and available for purchase.

• • •

If you like a good glass of wine to knock off the rust say mid-week, this is for you. Napa Comes to Newport: Wine Wednesdays in March at Bayside Restaurant. The Wine Wednesdays (March 13, 20 and 27) will feature Napa’s Levendi Winery. Glasses up at 6:30 p.m. at a cost of $40/person.

Check it out at www.baysiderestaurant.com, or RSVP to cameron@diningasart.com.

• • •

Don’t forget, there’s a special date to Speak Up Newport’s next community presentation. Next Tuesday, March 19, Speak Up will look at where the 4,845 new housing units mandated by the state will go.

It’s a discussion every resident should be interested in.

The program is free and will feature Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director Seimone Jurjis. The pre-reception begins at 5:15 p.m. in the Civic Center Community Room, followed by the program from 6-7 p.m.

It will also be Zoomed! Click here to register for that.


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