Letter to the Editor

Time for Hoosiers to be on Central Time

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To the Editor:

Sue Dillon's June 29 letter to the editor, "Time for a summertime reality check," was right on target. Late sunsets in the summer, because of Indiana's placement in the Eastern Time Zone, play havoc with families, especially those with young children.

But that's only part of the whole picture. Shortly after school begins in August, schoolchildren start to find themselves waiting for the bus in the dark. This continues throughout the winter until March, when, just as it begins to get light around 7 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time kicks in and plunges children back into the dark.

This situation is not only dangerous for children, but the later sunsets, and hence, later bedtimes, mean that many children arrive at school sleep-deprived and not ready to learn. An extra hour of daylight in the morning would also reduce or eliminate many two-hour delays, increasing student learning time and relieving problems for employers and employees alike.

Studies have shown that Eastern Time costs Hoosier homeowners more money on their utilities. Furnaces work harder in winter, and air conditioners run longer in summer. As a consequence, we use up more of our nonrenewable natural resources while adding to the pollution of our skies with more greenhouse gases.

Geographically, Indiana lies well within the Central Time Zone and in close proximity to major urban centers in the zone. In terms of our state's economy, the safety and welfare of our children, and our general quality of life, Hoosiers should be on Central time.

We need to let our legislators know that it's time for a time change.

Gary VanMiddlesworth Greencastle