Home Opinion Mike’s Musings Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor Why, Oh Why, Must We Change Time?
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Mike’s Musings Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor Why, Oh Why, Must We Change Time?

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I think it’s time to give the boot to daylight saving time. That’s right, I don’t know about you, but the hour of lost sleep Sunday morning, and the driving to work in the dark- well, I’m just not crazy about it.To that end, Rep. Michelle Hoitenga has introduced in the Michigan legislature a bill that would do just that- make Michigan one of the few states that doesn’t recognize daylight saving time. Hoitenga, who represents a portion of the Marion Press’s coverage area, has a steep hill to climb. Similar bills have been introduced in the past to no avail.On the flipside, Sen. Marco Rubio and Congress-man Vernon Buchanan (a transplanted Michigander now representing a district in Florida) have authored a bill that would force all states to recognize and en-act daylight saving time. As you might well have figured out, this bill would circumvent states’ rights and personally I find it appalling that a couple of Florida lawmakers are attempting to tell folks in other states like Michigan or Alabama, what they can and cannot do.The time change always seems to confuse my feeble mind. Is the clock moving forward an hour, or is it the other way, moving back an hour? Jeez you’d think I would know by now. After all President Woodrow Wilson signed it in to law back in 1918.Today’s trek to work was interesting. My normal drive is typically uneventful, but on the other hand, the moon is usually gone, and the sun is breaking through the clouds. Today it was pitch black with the exception of my headlights.A couple of miles from home, I encountered a lone coyote, at least I thought it was alone. It’s difficult to tell in the dark. I literally had to stop as the no-good varmint made its way across the road. I’m thinking what the heck is this creature doing in a populated area. Then I remembered reports of these pests gaining in population and playing havoc with livestock. It was just a few years ago the passenger jet I was on, had to circle the landing strip in Detroit, because a lone coyote had decided to meander across the runway.Three miles later, Rocky Raccoon and his family decided to cross in front of me. Screech go my brakes. Although I had had plenty of run-ins with raccoons in the past, I still was fond of the critters, and didn’t want to rundown a baby. They slowly passed and I continued on.Thus my first day of daylight saving time circa 2019 was very eventful. If I continue to play dodge-em with nocturnal critters the next few weeks, I’m sure a few will be dead and my vehicle will be in the bump shop. Let’s hope the dead critters are of the coyote-variety, and not a spray happy skunk.There are, however, more important reasons to do away with daylight saving time- or at least pick one time and keep it year around Studies show a spike in heart attacks on the Monday following the spring time change. I’m not making this up, folks. Open Heart Journal claims there are 24% more heart attacks on the Monday after spring forward than a typical day. That’s a humungous uptick. Researchers claim losing one hour’s sleep triggers the heart attacks.Other studies claim the time change causes more traffic accidents. Again, lack of sleep is blamed. Drivers are thought to be less alert therefore more prone to accidents. That’s certainly me as I swerve and brake to avoid nocturnal critters.Daylight saving time has been proposed since 1784 when Benjamin Franklin championed the time change. It wasn’t changed in colonial times, but President Wilson and others made it law in 1918 to save energy costs in World War 1.It has remained in place ever since. In the mid-1900’s, it was thought the extra hour of daylight gave farmers more time to tend to their crops. But techno-logical advances in farm equipment have essentially eliminated that argument.I see no useful purpose for the time change other than it’s always been the thing to do. I don’t think the farmers need it. And World War 1 has been done and won, a 100 years ago. If one of our federal law-makers wanted to be useful, they might introduce a bill to eliminate daylight saving time. Then constituents like me, who even after half a century, still can’t get use to the darn change, will be satisfied.