Think before undoing daylight savings time

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

House Bill 19, a bill to repeal daylight savings time in Alaska, is rapidly moving through the Senate. It quietly passed the House at the end of the last session. It may sound harmless, but think for a minute about what this really means for Juneau.

This is the land of the midnight sun, of long summer evenings when you can put in a full day of fun in the sun after you get off work. But repealing daylight savings time puts that hour of sun into the early morning, before you go to work, not after.

Repealing daylight savings time might be OK for Anchorage, but it's bad for Juneau and even worse because we're already in the wrong time zone. Alaska Standard Time matches Anchorage, not Juneau, so even with daylight savings time, we're cut short on the evening sun for this longitude. If we repeal daylight savings time, we lose even more evening sun, and that light goes back to 3 a.m.

It's a well-known fact that I am not a "morning person." But this debate is not about early versus late-risers. It's about having daylight hours that are compatible with this geographic location, and the right to enjoy Alaska's priceless long summer days after work, not before.

If this bill passes and you work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you'll be sleeping through the first four to five hours of daylight with just a few hours of daylight left after work. You'll be splitting the daylight hours in half with your work day. How is this useful? It's not.

If daylight savings time is repealed, the sun will set in Juneau somewhere around 9:30 p.m. in the summer when, according to our geography, the sun should set at midnight. Does that sound like the Land of the Midnight Sun? Not to me.

This bill seems to be moving through the Legislature because few people understand what it means. Take a hard look and write your legislators and all the legislators. This bill is bad for Juneau, bad for business, bad for Southeast Alaska.

Teri Camery


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