The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 5 - November 16, 2011


Burning daylight


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Time's a wasting.

It's been more than a week now since we switched from Daylight Saving Time to standard time, but standard time still does not seem normal.

Island residents like sunshine; that's one of the reasons we live here, otherwise, we'd be in Norway or North Dakota or somewhere where we could see the northern lights.

It doesn't seem fair to make us chop an hour off our daylight just as the days are starting to get shorter naturally anyway.

Where did the day go?

Some studies indicate that heart attacks and suicide rates increase when the time changes due to body clocks struggling to readjust.

Sunset at 5:30 p.m.? Talk about a shock to the system.

If you work normal hours, standard time gives you zero time after a short commute to get home and go outside for a walk on the beach in the daylight.

Sleep schedules are disrupted for days.

People are cranky, partly because they're not sleeping and partly because if they miss just one clock or watch, or can't find the car manual to figure out how to switch the dashboard clock back, they wind up being late for something.

There's no leisurely reading on the porch as the sun goes down. No playing catch with the kids. No dog walks without flashlights.

Golfers have to come in off the Key Royale course sooner. Bicyclists have to take their lives in their hands on Gulf Drive or end their rides early.

It's bad for tourism, too – tour boats and bike, kayak, sailboat and Jet Ski rentals book fewer hours. Shoppers stop walking around shopping areas after dark, nature's cue to go home. Diners have to get to a beachfront restaurant for the early bird specials just to watch the sunset.

Standard time also forces a confusing, twice annual name change in all the time zones – for example, Eastern Standard Time (EST) becomes Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

And how many marital quarrels have sprung from springing forward and falling back or springing back and falling forward?

It's downright monstrous.

Here comes the sun

Daylight Saving Time, on the other hand, is more than just a bright idea; it's brilliant.

It cuts down on crime, since it's light longer, and many dirty deeds are done in the dark.

It reduces energy usage because you don't have to turn the lights on as soon.

It helps depressed people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

It gives people a chance to exercise outdoors after work, improving their health.

It lets you mow the lawn on a Wednesday night instead of interrupting your weekend.

It allows those with sensitive skin to go outside and enjoy the sun when it's not blistering hot.

It lets seniors and teenagers who can't drive at night go to a late afternoon movie.

It keeps people from numbing their minds with early evening TV reruns because they can stay outside and talk to their neighbors until 9 p.m.

It keeps vampires at bay an hour longer.

But mainly, it gives you that long, lazy summer day feeling all year around.

And who couldn't use that during Thanksgiving, Christmas and the height of tourist season?

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper