We can’t stop time, but must we keep changing it?

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin

I don’t let go very easily. People who know me well, know that about me. That said, I try to be reasonable; accept the things I cannot change; change the things I can; and be moderately wise in trying to decide the difference between the two.

So, for those reasons, every spring, after I’ve written a reasonable and logical column with a good measure of sarcasm of all the reasons I despise daylight-saving time – particularly the first days and weeks after spring forward – I adjust. For the life of me I can’t and don’t understand the logic for twice-a-year time changes, but I set my clocks and go through the monumental inconvenience of the silly alteration.

But aside from actually physically resetting the clocks, there’s not – or hasn’t been before – anything I can or could do to change what has been decided we should all do – even though no one remembers why we do it. I’ve noticed, too, there are those who prefer standard time, and some who prefer daylight-saving time; but I don’t know a soul who likes changing the time from one to another. Well, I love the fall back, but only because it’s such a relief from the spring forward. I like gaining the hour. I hate losing it.

I have said before, and will say again, daylight can’t be saved. The sun comes up in the morning. The sun goes down in the evening. God had it all worked out so that as the seasons pass, the hours of daylight and the hours in the night expand and decrease almost imperceptibly. In the summer the days are longer and in the winter the days are shorter, but they all fit into a 24-hour cycle.

My issues with daylight-saving time are not the extended daylight in the evening, but with the lasting-until-later darkness in the morning. It’s dangerous, I think, to have our school children at school bus stops when it’s quite dark. The stops may be lit well enough, but the crosswalks are not – at least at the two school zones I go through in my morning commutes.

Our school children suffer because they don’t want to go to bed while it’s light, or get up when it’s dark. The altered schedule makes them less alert in class and – at least in the preschool and kindergarten classes where I volunteer – tired and sleepy throughout the day.

Anyway, back to the changing the things I can. House Bill 150, which favors stopping the time changes (after one last fall back in November) and ending daylight-saving time in Texas, has made it out of committee and is awaiting its calendar date to go before the House.

I tell you what, when I read the bill had been drafted and there was even a chance we’d rid ourselves of the dreaded time changes I all but leapt for joy. And I started reading everything I could about the possible legislation.

Here’s the deal. The federally legislated Uniform Time Act of 1966 allows states to allow or disallow daylight-saving time, but states cannot disallow the original standard time of their zone. For that reason, the main option is to stop the time changing from standard to daylight-saving and back again. In doing so we would effectively end daylight-saving time in Texas.

Every year when I write my column of complaint about how much I dislike daylight-saving time, I hear from readers who despise it just as much as I do. If you’re one of those, I hope you’ll let your state representatives know you are in favor of HB 150 (that is ending the time changes and abandoning daylight-saving time). A strong show of support is needed and a letter-writing campaign citing reasons the arbitrary time changes need to be stopped is underway.

You can help. You’ll need to get your own paper, envelope and stamp, but I’ve already looked up Sen. Troy Fraser’s and Rep. Jim Keffer’s addresses for you.

Contact Sen. Fraser at P.O. Box 12068, Capitol Station; Austin, TX 78711. His phone number is (512) 463-0124.

Rep. Keffer’s addresses and phone numbers are P.O. Box 2910; Austin, TX 78768 at the Capitol and the phone number for that office is (512) 463-0656; and his district address is 1100 E. Hwy. 377, Ste. 105; Granbury TX 76048; phone number (800) 586-4515.

It’s about time. We need to do this for Texas and for Texans’ health, safety and well-being.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Candace Cooksey Fulton is a freelance writer, formerly of Brownwood, living now in San Angelo. She can be reached at ccfulton2002@yahoo.com.