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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Daylight concerns

Uploaded: Nov 6, 2022
Did you fall back on Sunday morning? Gently? Or are you one of the70 percent of Americans, according to polls, who no longer want to switch from daylight savings time (DST) to Standard Time (ST) twice a year? Or maybe you are one of those who don’t want to go around their house and set and reset their clocks, forward and back, because it’s too much of a nuisance – or something?

Yes, the move to have our nationwide clocks consistent all year round is escalating. If it is successful, it will mean an end to “Spring forward, fall back” – alas, such a catchy phrase. The only trouble is those who want year-round consistency are divided – some want us to have Standard Time year-long, meaning lighter early mornings but also darker early evenings.

Or maybe you are one of the year-round Standard Time fans, which means, as we experienced last week, it’s really dark at 6 a.m. and even at 7 a.m., and by the end of December it will be dark in the morning way past 8 a.m.

On the one hand, sleep experts support permanent ST, as this shift would be more in line with human circadian rhythms and result in better sleep. And this, they say, is “more natural.” Yet a long time ago we relied on sun dials – were they also more natural?

Parents and educators, however, say they are worried about their kids going to bed in the dark and getting up in the dark, and about their youngsters waiting for buses in the dark during late fall and winter with year-round Daily Savings Time.

Polls show younger individuals are less likely to support abolishing the clock change, largely because they’re more flexible than their elders who support nixing the springing and falling practice.

Each year, I wonder if the same-time-all-year supporters have really thought out the pros and cons of what they say they want. With Standard Time, little kids going around in the dark after to trick and treat after 4:30 p.m. And have they considered those long summer evening hours will be diminished?

Germany was the first to adopt daylight saving time on May 1, 1916, during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. The rest of Europe followed soon after. The United States didn't adopt daylight saving time until March 19, 1918. The pendulum then swung back and forth. The practice of Daylight Saving Time became official in 1975 as a way to save energy and take advantage of natural daylight.

In March, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, it passed unanimously with bipartisan support. However, the U.S. House has not taken up the matter.

Obviously, I want to keep things as they are.

And to those who say it’s too much trouble to change clocks forward and then back, and they find that too big a task, I say, “Oh, you poor, poor, things.” It can’t take more than an hour at most in your house to fall back.

I have a compromise: Why don’t we decide to have 25-hour days? Darn, I’m not sure how that would work.

Another ‘daylight’ issue

A few weeks ago, Palo Alto Police Chief Andrew Binder announced that because of low staffing, he would only release the Palo Alto Police Blotter listings weekly, and not daily, which has been the case for years. It would be only temporary, he said, but “temporary” was not defined.

I find the cutback to once a week troublesome, because residents who read the police blotter in local newspapers will have to wait longer to learn about police arrests, break-ins, etc., in their community.

I cheered Binder when he decided to end encryptions (live radio transmissions to the press and public about police activities). Former Police Chief Robert Jonsen had eliminated the live broadcasts, and I was happy to see encryption gone.

But just suppose you hear neighborhood rumors about a break-in across the street from you. The couple living there do not speak English, so you only know them through smiles and waves.

Their home was robbed early on a Thursday morning, but by the time the police looked into it, their report was not posted until late in the day -- too late to be included in the police blotter sent to the papers. So, it was not until the following Friday’s papers, eight days later, you see the crime reported. How would you feel about the delay? I would be upset because a robbery so close to me would have propelled me to recheck my home security at the very least.

Surrounding cities release their blotters daily listing several incidents. Recently, Palo Alto’s daily reports sent out by the department have reduced d to one or two cases a day when there used to be several.

How long can it take to prepare a blotter daily? It’s a usually a copy-and-paste procedure from the actual report, with a bit of editing. And why can’t our department afford this when other cities can? Just asking.

To me, this is another sign of opaqueness, not transparency, from the police department. I want the public to learn daily about our police and the hard work they do.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 6, 2022 at 5:43 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I am one of the people who enjoy the fact that we change time spring and fall.

I have lived in the far north and long light evenings are wonderful but this far south our summer evenings end far too early for my liking. Also I do not like the dark mornings as we have been having up until today. I have been turning lights on when I get up and they usually get left on all day. So much for us changing the weekend we do this to save power, I usually end up wasting power because of things being left on all day.

For those who are on about body clocks, well I find that we change time zones from one side of the country to the other without much complaint. Yes I know animals and children find it harder than adults, but really, we have been doing it all our lives and if this couple of days to adjust makes it safer for school children in the mornings, gives us longer evenings in summer, and makes us more appreciative of the light we have when we want it, then that's a good thing.

One last point, most crime happens in the dark. Do we really want to add to the hours of darkness in summer when teenagers are less likely to be home doing homework and have more chance to get up to mischief in the dark? My rule as a teen was to be home by dark in summer. That would mean home by 8pm in summer if we stayed on winter time all year round. Think about it.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Nov 6, 2022 at 6:12 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

I take time changes in stride. I change the clocks, and life goes on. One hour light or dark doesn't make any difference to me. I go with the flow. When we were raising three kids, we made the necessary changes depending on the time of year.

Posted by Geraldine Whitcomb, a resident of Los Altos,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 8:47 am

Geraldine Whitcomb is a registered user.

Another option would be to split the one hour time differential between PDST and PST by 30 minutes and call it Standard Time.

Right now it is 8:45AM/PST.

Changing it to 8:15AM/PST would be hardly noticeable and settle the issue once and for all.

Posted by The Time Machine, a resident of Barron Park,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 8:58 am

The Time Machine is a registered user.

> Right now it is 8:45AM/PST.

>>Changing it to 8:15AM/PST would be hardly noticeable and settle the issue once and for all.

If the current 8:45am PST was once 9:45am PDST, shouldn't this time compromise and adjustment actually be 9:15 am PST?

If so, no complaints.

Posted by Eeyore, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 9:25 am

Eeyore is a registered user.

I love quiet, dark mornings.

Most crime may occur during the hours of darkness, but I very much doubt if criminals set their alarm for 5:00am to catch us early risers. ????

Posted by Hal Lange, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 9:33 am

Hal Lange is a registered user.

What I don't like about the one hour fallback for PST is the disruption it makes on my morning brunch.

When one is used to having brunch at 10:00 AM daylight savings time, you are now hungry at 9:00 AM standard time and this is very discomforting.

A half-hour time differential is much better.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 11:16 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Australia has half hour time zones, and some of their time zones are based on latitude rather than longitude. They still seem to change their clocks though.

Posted by Consider Your Options. , a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 11:21 am

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

I don't mind the time change. It's just not that hard. We have so many other more important problems to solve. Let's move onto those.

Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 12:31 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Daylight Savings: I prefer to not change back and forth, but I don't think anyone needs to worry about this for even one dark hour; chances that this will percolate to the top of a legislative priority list are pretty slim.

As for the police blotter, based on news reports I'm guessing it must be taking longer and longer to pull together a complete report. Wouldn't this be a perfect job for a volunteer or the City's spokesperson? Knowing what sort of crimes were committed and when should reduce curious calls to the PAPD. It would also help residents with decisions about their personal safety and the safety of their home and car.

Posted by Claire Beaumont, a resident of Woodside,
on Nov 7, 2022 at 4:09 pm

Claire Beaumont is a registered user.

Our rooster adapts to the change in time & sunlight quite easily as do our dogs.

My daughter is a flight attendant & travels through various time zones on any given day. Her viewpoint on this particular topic is, eat when you're hungry & sleep when you're sleepy.

Cycadian rhythms aside, how hard it to deal with only one hour of change rather than several?

If humans are so bright, why is this such an issue?

Posted by mhavern11, a resident of Professorville,
on Nov 8, 2022 at 3:34 pm

mhavern11 is a registered user.

Doesn't anyone remember that the US tried permanent daylight savings time in the 1970s, and most people hated it? Sure, let's waste time and effort trying it again.

(If we're going to stop changing clocks, we should actually stay on standard time.)

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 8, 2022 at 4:39 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

All this talk about what happened a couple of days ago when we fell back and the same topic will come up in April when we spring forward.

By today, we should be much more concerned about driving in rain. For the first time in a couple of years we have had a very wet morning commute. For local driving we have had residential streets with leaves which make the streets and sidewalks very slippy and inexperienced drivers and bikers in these wet conditions. It is interesting to remember that when doing drivers experience with permit before the behind the wheel test, the instructions say drive in all weathers. For many younger drivers there has been no real wet weather for them to learn in so this wet weather is a first for them.

Dark evenings coupled with wet streets, wet leaves, parked vehicles and huge garbage cans, we have obstacles that make using the streets very difficult to use these early dark evenings.

I would much rather we discuss how difficult it is to see pedestrians, bikes, etc. in dark colored clothing when they have no lights, particularly in the rain, rather than what changing the clocks does to our body rhythms.

It is dark at 5.30 and will get darker earlier for the next couple of months. Don't worry too much about the time change, just deal with being seen in the dark when using the streets. Dpn't wear dark clothing at night particularly in the rain, carry flashlights use lit leashes for dogs, etc. etc. And as drivers need to be careful to see you, you must make it easy to be seen.

Posted by Paul Bustamante, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Nov 9, 2022 at 3:52 pm

Paul Bustamante is a registered user.

We can control the hour hands on our clocks but we have no control over the weather (rain, snow, drought, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, monsoons etc.).

As an older person pushing 65, I have found that my night driving skills have diminished and it is even worse when the road surface is wet and reflective from the rain.

The watery mist kicked up by the rear tires on the car in front doesn't help either.

As a result, I only drive when the sun is out and the weather is clear.

Posted by Erin Hawke, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 10:38 am

Erin Hawke is a registered user.

Geeze, what would you folks do if you were living in northern Alaska or near the Arctic Circle?

Picture residing in an environment where seasonal changes create 18 hours of sunlight or 18 hours of darkness depending upon the season.

A one hour changeover and the resultant amount of +/- sunlight is TRIVIAL.

Posted by Butch Logan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 1:50 pm

Butch Logan is a registered user.

"Picture residing in an environment where seasonal changes create 18 hours of sunlight or 18 hours of darkness depending upon the season."

"Geeze, what would you folks do if you were living in northern Alaska or near the Arctic Circle?"

^ If you are referring to the majority of Palo Altans, they would make sure that their Apple watches were fully charged and be tastefully attired in L.L Bean, Patagonia, and/or North Face outerwear.

Posted by Lucy Caldwell, a resident of Midtown,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Lucy Caldwell is a registered user.

When you are 87 years old, a change of one hour makes minimal difference.

Just waking up in the morning is all that matters.

Posted by Jessica Zhiang, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Nov 10, 2022 at 3:24 pm

Jessica Zhiang is a registered user.

Our dog does not wear a watch and awakes when the sun comes out.

PST and PDST variances are immaterial to him.

Posted by Fritz Weldon, a resident of Los Altos,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 9:33 am

Fritz Weldon is a registered user.

It only takes about 2 days at best to adjust to a one hour changeover.

No big deal and anyone who is letting such a minor diversion adversely impact their life probably has more pressing (aka mental) issues to further address.

Posted by Noelle Whitlock, a resident of Community Center,
on Nov 11, 2022 at 11:56 am

Noelle Whitlock is a registered user.

"It only takes about 2 days at best to adjust to a one hour changeover....and anyone who is letting such a minor diversion adversely impact their life probably has more pressing (aka mental) issues to further address."

Concurring. Despite any alleged cycadian rhythms, a one hour switch-over is a minor adjustment that most normal people should easily be able to adapt to.

It does not require a therapist.

Posted by JeffreyLKaiser, a resident of Monta Loma,
on Nov 12, 2022 at 8:38 pm

JeffreyLKaiser is a registered user.

Those of us who own and refer to our sundials regularly would really rather just stay on standard time as that aligns with solar time, mostly. It is really hard to change the numbers on our dials twice a year.

Posted by Jacob Weiss, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 9:25 am

Jacob Weiss is a registered user.

The key is to make better use of artificial lighting.

Modern LEDs are capable of transmitting far more usable light than conventional incandescent or gas bulbs.

Why not simply erect massive lighting towers throughout town like they have at sports stadiums?

Then the PST and PDST debate will be rendered pointless.

Posted by Fred Turner, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Nov 13, 2022 at 12:39 pm

Fred Turner is a registered user.

@Jerry Kaiser...couldn't one simply have two sundials, one set for PST & the other for PDST?

And to avoid any hourly confusion, just throw a cover over the one not being used?

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