Local News

Opinions Mixed On Longer Days

Posted October 31, 2005

— For produce farmer Fred Miller, working the land means a working schedule that is dictated by the sun.

"You take advantage of all the daylight hours anyway, regardless of what the clock says," Miller said. "Plants don't care about the clock."

  • Interactive:

    Learn About Daylight-Saving Time

  • But people do.

    Falling back from daylight-saving time to standard time, for Miller, means cutting short deliveries to his customers.

    "During daylight-saving time, it's fine, it's light 'til 6:30," Miller said. "But after the time change, it's dark. No one wants to be picking up vegetables in the dark and I don't want to be delivering them in the dark."

    So, extending daylight-saving time could be a bright spot for him.

    "That could help extend my delivery schedule one more week into the fall because we still have plenty of things growing this time of year," he said.

    Starting in 2007, a federal law will extend daylight-saving time by four weeks. It will begin three weeks earlier on March 11 and end one week later on Nov. 4. Only Arizona Hawaii and part of Indiana would stay on standard time all year long.

    Growing organic produce for community-supported agriculture is Miller's full-time job. But some people, other than farmers, object because starting work in the field an hour later cuts into their ability to work a second job at night.

    The National Parent Teacher Association also objects to the daylight-saving time extension. It claims more kids would be waiting for the bus in the dark, for more school weeks.

    The issue of safety worries parents like Sylvia Silva.

    "We don't have time to be out here waiting to get them on the bus," Silva said. "I mean, they're already out here at 6:10 to begin with, so that's not good. I don't like it."

    But lawmakers like the idea of an extended daylight-saving time to save on electricity.

    As for Miller's crops -- what they need is not more daylight.

    "What we need is more rain," he said.

    And that is something no one has figured out how to legislate.


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