Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunset on daylight saving time?

Lindsey Treffry | Argonaut 

If approved, a recent bill introduced to the Idaho legislature would exempt Idaho from participating in daylight saving time.

Sponsored by Democratic House Rep. Wendy Jaquet and other Republican representatives, the bill would encompass the entire state of Idaho — both Pacific and Mountain time zones.

“Idaho seems inclined to go its own way as regards (to) other federal practices, so this interest in HB 692 to exempt itself from what other states are doing seems fitting,” Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney said. “I am skeptical that it will go very far this legislative session.”

For six months out of the year, areas like Coeur d’Alene and Spokane, as well as Moscow and Pullman, would be an hour apart.

“Locals would eventually adjust, although the many visitors to our universities might be baffled,” Chaney said.

The only states that disregard daylight saving time in the U.S. are Arizona and Hawaii.

Time zone confusions would include daycares and workplaces in the neighboring states, as well as Washington State University and University of Idaho students with cross-border farming jobs who would be required to wake at “obscenely early hours,” Chaney said.

UI Food Science major Jenny Lim said the last two years of her degree require classes at both WSU and UI, despite the school in which a student is registered. Travel between the two schools is constant.

“(Some Food Science majors) joked about that,” Lim said. “Because I think Idaho is (one of a few) split states where we have two different time zones. We were saying that would suck completely if we were under the Mountain Time zone, where it’s an hour ahead.”

Lim said the Food Science program recently switched registration processes and prospective majors have to register under both UI and WSU to enroll in desired classes.

Problems in border communities like ours would not be insurmountable and cross-listed class schedules at WSU and UI could be worked out Chaney said.

“(The time zone switch) would depend on the faculty and departments, for just figuring out scheduling and making sure that classes can’t overlap,” Lim said. “I can’t even imagine if one place is one hour ahead of the other.”

As seen in March 31 issue of the Argonaut.

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