That Time of Year …

This weekend we change back to the “real” time not the fictitious Daylight Savings Time that much of the world observes each spring. Personally, I love that extra hour …who couldn’t use more time?

Daylight saving time is one thing that Benjamin Franklin did not invent. He only suggested Parisians change their sleep schedules to save money on candles and lamp oil. The common misconception comes from a satirical essay he wrote in the spring of 1784 that was published in the Journal de Paris.

About 100 years later George Hudson proposed the idea of daylight saving in 1895. The German Empire and Austria-Hungary organized the first nationwide implementation starting on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the 1970s energy crisis.

Originally enacted in the United States as a wartime conservation effort, observance of DST became federal law in 1918. To dispel a common myth: It was not enacted for farmers—in fact, most farmers fought for its repeal. While it was quickly repealed after the war ended, DST was observed nationally again during World War II. By 1966, some 100 million Americans were practicing some type of DST through their own local laws.

In 1966, Congress acted to end the confusion and establish one consistent nationwide pattern. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 stated that DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. Any area that wanted to be exempt from DST could do so by passing a local ordinance. Hawaii and most of Arizona, are exempt from DST. By 2005, the Energy Policy Act established that DST begins each year on the second Sunday in March at 2 a.m. and that the changeover back to standard time (ST) occurs on the first Sunday in November at 2 a.m.

How much difference can an hour make? Opinions about the 60-minute swap tend to be passionate. For instance, proponents say that DST saves energy because in the spring and summer months, more people may be outside in the evening and not using energy (in the form of artificial light) at home.

Some simply relish long summer evenings full of outdoor barbecues, swims, and late sunsets. Opponents say that any energy savings due to using less artificial light have been offset by increased use of air-conditioning over the past few decades. They also argue that the drawbacks of springing ahead include increased sleep debt, lost productivity, and a rise in traffic accidents due to drowsy driving during the first few days after the spring time change.

Sadly, those traffic accidents can even include cars and bus drivers hitting young students who are walking to their bus stops or standing at them during the dark, early morning hours in the late spring and early fall.

Over the past century or so, the U.S. has had conflicting views about the usefulness of DST. Will DST be around forever? Only time will tell.

Election Voting Underway in Clallam

Voting in Washington’s 2019 General Election is now underway. Ballots have been mailed to all registered Clallam County voters.

Voters can register or update their voter record until Election Night at 8 p.m. in person at the Auditor’s Office in the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. 4th St. in Port Angeles, to participate in this election.

Those needing a replacement ballot may securely access a printable ballot via the website at www.votewa.gov, or obtain one by contacting Clallam County Elections directly at 360-417-2221 or [email protected]

Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 5, or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. that day.

Ballot drop off options include: • PUD in Sekiu just off Highway 101

• 24-hour walk-up ballot drop boxes Clallam Bay Library in Clallam Bay (outside)

• Forks City Hall (outside)

• Washburn’s General Store in Neah Bay (outside)

Printed statewide voters’ pamphlets featuring local candidate races and measures were mailed to all Clallam County residences earlier this month. Additional copies are available at the Clallam County Auditor’s Office as well as local libraries and city halls. A local Online Voters’ Guide is also available on the Clallam County Elections website at www.clallam.net/elections.

Many West End candidates are running unopposed. Forks city council, position 5, has two candidates Mike Gilstrap and Danny Smith. Both longtime Forks residents. The Charter Review for District 3 has 10 candidates.

If you need a Voter Guide stop by the Forks Forum office.

Beginning this Sunday enjoy that extra hour …maybe use that hour to fill out your ballot?

Christi Baron, Editor