Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

 

November 5, 2020



What Time Is It?

Twice a year the time changes have caused those who forget to set their clocks to be either early or late. Daylight saving time (DST) in the United States is the practice of advancing clocks during autumn so that darkness falls later each day according to the clock. The usual application of DST is to set clocks forward by one hour in the spring and set clocks back by one hour in autumn to return to standard time. As a result, there is one 23-hour day in late winter or early spring and one 25-hour day in the autumn.

George Vernon Hudson was a British-born New Zealand entomologist and astronomer who was one of the first to propose the idea of daylight saving in 1895. Several countries have used DST at various times. Asia and Africa do not observe it. DST is commonly not observed near the equator because the sunrise and sunset times do not fluctuate enough to rationalize it.


Most advocates for DST argue that it conserves energy while encouraging outdoor leisure activity in the summer. It is considered good for physical and psychological health as well as reducing traffic accidents and crime. This is good for business. On the other hand, challengers claim that DST disrupts human circadian rhythms that have a negative impact on human health in the process. That it increases fatal traffic collisions that the actual energy savings are inconclusive, and that DST increases health risks such as heart attack. The United States Department of Transportation in 1975 (DOT) conservatively identified a 0.7% reduction in traffic fatalities during DST, and estimated the real reduction at 1.5% to 2.0%, but the 1976 NBS review of the DOT study found no differences in traffic fatalities.


According to a 2001 article published in Sleep Medicine, Volume II, issue 1, the author suggested that “sleep deprivation on the Monday following shift to DST in the spring results in a small increase in fatal accidents…Public health educators should probably consider issuing warnings both about the effects of sleep loss in the spring shift and possible behaviors such as staying out later... Sleep clinicians should be aware that health consequences from forced changes in the circadian patterns resulting from DST come not only from physiological adjustments but also from behavioral responses to forced circadian changes.”

There are some dairy farmers that have tended to oppose DST and who have complained of the change. Some dairy farmers hinted that the cows get used to the milking schedule and by milking them at a new time has a tendency to disrupt their routine. One dairy farmer solved his own problem. He grew up never using an alarm clock so he always got up at the same time despite the time changes, and the cows didn't know the difference.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 1995 had an estimated reduction of 1.2%, including a 5.0% reduction in crashes fatal to pedestrians. A 2009 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology indicated that Mondays after the switch to DST, workers sleep an average of 40 minutes less, and are injured at work more often and more severely.

Wahkiakum County fire safety officials encourage the community to use the time change twice a year to replace batteries in your home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before the rainy season when there is an increase in home fires.

Westend News

The CAP Senior Lunch delivered to Rosburg Hall at 12:00 noon on Thursdays for the month of November will be: Thursday, November 5 - Cheeseburger Casserole, Potato Salad, and Sliced Melon; Thursday, November 12 - Pulled Pork Sandwich, Baked Beans, Pineapple Coleslaw, and Sliced Carrots; Thursday, November 19 - Roast Turkey, Baked Yams, Stuffing, Peas and Cauliflower, and Ambrosia Salad; Thursday, November 26 - No lunch Delivery, Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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