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Let's Hear It for More Light--Or, We Can Form New State

October 04, 1987|GERI MASSION | Gerri Massion enjoys the summer evenings in Del Mar

OK, here it comes again, sure as taxes, sure as death. And we won't be ready. We never are, even though every year, Bang! there it is. And then, like the weather, everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything.

So what is this ugly occurrence? The annual end of daylight-saving time.

Do you realize how little time there is before we lose the lovely, long daylight hours we now enjoy? Are you ready to give up five months of your evening picnics, your tennis or golf, or even the yard work you do just so you can be free to spend the weekend sailing? Are you willing to give up all that just because we down here at the southern tip of California are governed by a bureaucracy more than 500 miles north and--get this--nearly 215 miles west ? I repeat, are you willing to give this up without a fight?

Well, I'm not. Not this year. Because this year I'm going to make my feelings public instead of sitting back and seething when all of a sudden, in late October, my precious evening hours are preempted.

If anyone out there agrees, let's get together and make some changes.

First we have to analyze the reasons we're in this bind. The proponents of Pacific Standard Time (PST) tell us that staying on daylight would work a hardship on farmers. Balderdash! Everybody knows farmers work from dawn to dusk. Every story you've ever read about life on the farm told you that. Every farm movie, every TV show agrees. And every father who grew up on a farm tells his kids, "Why, at your age I was up before daylight doing the chores." Didn't the Waltons get up at dawn?

And does dawn--or even dusk for that matter--pay attention to clocks? Of course not! Will the roosters crow an hour later on Oct. 26 than they did on Oct. 25, the day we go back on standard time? Balderdash again!

Another specious reason we're given is that little children will have to go to school in the dark. Now the shortest day of the year is Dec. 21, and the sun rises at about 6:30 PST in San Diego. (That's 7:30 PDT.) Classes in the primary grades start at 8 a.m. (This varies by school district, but that's the earliest.) From Dec. 20 to Jan. 2 (give or take a day or two on either end), the kids aren't even in school; they're home for Christmas vacation. So for only a few weeks they might be eating breakfast--not going to school, mind you, but eating breakfast--with the lights on. Soon after, they'll begin to notice the sun coming up earlier and earlier.

And while we're on the subject, why should our little kids down here in the Southland be deprived of that beautiful, outdoor playtime after school, just because the northern part of the state has less daylight?

A third reason we hear is that the state capital in Sacramento, the place where all those bureaucrats hang out, does business between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and it would work a hardship on San Diegans wanting to reach their leaders if we were in a different time zone. Why? If we were on year-round daylight, or Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is the same, our 9 to 5 would be their 10 to 6. Although our phone contacts might have to wait an hour in the morning, they would have the advantage of lower rates between 5 and 6 p.m.

Is there a solution? Easy. Let's simply change to Mountain Standard Time, just like that. Would we get a lot of static from the State of California? Probably, but we can always secede, and form a new state. Or, annex ourselves to Arizona.

It wouldn't surprise me a lot to find areas north of San Diego interested in joining us, once we get this ball rolling--for instance Orange County, maybe even Los Angeles County, San Bernardino and several of the inland areas. Everybody likes the laid-back, summertime feel we get from those long daylight hours here in the finest climate in the nation.

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, we don't get no respect from the north anyhow. Even though we are the second-largest city in California (we're not happy about that, but we're just so doggone attractive everyone wants to live here), we're the Cinderella of the state. In Sacramento, they don't seem to know that we're larger than San Francisco.

So, are there any takers? Let's hear it for the Sovereign State of San Diego. Or Dieguito. Or Arizona West. Or South California.

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