Ditching Daylight Saving? Commission Votes On Time Zone Change Wednesday

BOSTON (CBS) — This Sunday, the end of daylight saving time means the sun will set at 4:33 p.m.–but a commission will vote Wednesday on whether or not Massachusetts will back out of daylight saving time and join an entirely different time zone.

The move would mean that, from November through February, Massachusetts would be one hour ahead of the Eastern time zone, and the practice of setting clocks forward and backward would be eliminated.

It also would bring complications in everything from transportation to finance to school start times to TV.

Those in support of the change, including commission chair State Senator Eileen Donoghue, say that moving to the Atlantic Time Zone would help attract young workers who might otherwise fear the long, dark New England winters.

“We love to attract millennials, and they love to come here and work, but one thing we do hear from millennials is they don’t like the weather and they don’t like it when it is dark,” Donoghue told CBS News’ Meg Oliver.

But last month, Donoghue’s commission released a report saying that the state should only make the move if other neighboring states join in. She told Oliver she worries about the Commonwealth making the move alone.

“Well, I think anything is possible, but it’s not what we recommend,” she said. “You know, Massachusetts is not a big state. People travel back and forth over borders for work, for shopping, and a lot of activities. And so, it would cause confusion if we went it alone.”

The commission studied the pros and cons of the move for months and found, for example, that retailers liked the idea of more daylight late in the day for shoppers, while educators objected because it would be dark when students head to school.

The change would affect some industries in a positive way. Massachusetts cranberry growers, whose harvest peaks in the Fall, will be up against an earlier sunset after Sunday. They say every hour of daylight is precious for them.

“You know, you’d have to quit that much sooner, you’d have to have everything picked up before the sun goes down,” said cranberry harvester Scott Harding.

But Dr. David Prerau, who authored a book about daylight saving time called “Seize The Daylight,” pointed out that we would see the effects of a time zone change in other unexpected places.

“Every live TV show in New England would be one hour later,” Prerau said. “So you would have the football games and the Academy Awards and things like that lasting deep into the morning.”

The move would put Massachusetts in the same time zone as the Canadian Maritime provinces, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several other Caribbean and South American countries.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Joanne Earle says:

    YES! Get rid of DST! It’s unnecessary! For those of you who complain it gets dark early, that only happens for about 65 days in the winter. SUCK IT UP.

  2. Joanne, they’re proposing they stay on standard time year round, but they want to move ahead 1 time zone, so the end result is they’ll effectively be on (current) daylight savings time year round and never have to change their clocks.

    When people say they want to get rid of daylight savings time, I think what they actually mean is they want to stay on daylight savings time year round, which means more daylight in the evening.

  3. Arizona has no problems keeping the same time year round. Clocks and phones automatically adjust. I would enjoy not changing clocks twice a year. Most people are affected physically adjusting their bodies to changing sleep patterns. Kids could play outdoors after school instead of being on electronics. One fact not noted in the news article is that fact that there were fewer car accidents the year of the gas crisis 1973 when the nation kept Daylight Savings thru winter to save energy. Office buildings noted there was less electricity and heating consumption having sunset later.

  4. Umm…I don’t want to cause trouble by saying the obvious, but…
    IT’S THE SAME AMOUNT OF DAYLIGHT!
    You’re not really moving the sun around, you’re just playing games with the clock.
    Do you want more light in the evenings,? Get up earlier in the morning. Afraid the time zone will take valuable sunlight away from your cranberries? The day is the same length, whatever you do to the clock. Just get up with the sun, like farmers have been doing for millennia.
    All DST accomplishes is to annoy people twice a year, cause sleep deprivation and accidents during the transitions and let us pretend that we can control the length of the day. We can’t.
    So pick a time zone that puts the sun closest to the meridian at noon and stop the nonsense.

  5. I saw a saying once that only an idiot would think they could cut a foot off of the end of a blanket and sew it on the other end and think the blanket was longer. It should end, period, not just in New England. Farmers can get up when they want to and go to bed when they want to. That should have no say at all in this nonsense.

  6. This policy is so outdated. I don’t understand why they have not gotten rid of it years ago.

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