My turn: Daylight savings time helps Alaskans

Posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Well folks, here it comes again! A few legislators are trying to kill daylight savings time because it is an inconvenience to some of their constituents who don't like the changing of sleep patterns twice a year. I don't know who these constituents are but I don't think they're aware of the inconvenience Senate Bill 120 would have on the business and recreational community in Alaska.

Seven months out of the year Alaska would be isolated even further in time by being two hours behind our major West coast market where most of the out-of-state business is conducted and five hours behind the East coast where the financial market is located. Is this good business for Alaska? I don't thinks so. If this SB 120 passes, the Alaskan businessperson (minus lunch break), would have only five hours a day to conduct business with Seattle or L.A., and only three hours a day to conduct business with the East coast.

Travelers would have to change their watches by two hours every time they crossed the Alaska/Canadian border and airline travelers would have to leave earlier in the day when making connecting flights out of Seattle. If you like to garden, hike, fish, kayak, or just enjoy the warmth of the late evening sun to relieve the workday stresses you would be a looser if SB120 passed. Yes, Alaska has a lot of daylight on June 21, but by the time August gets here (even in Fairbanks) we all start to notice the changes in the evening. What would it be like if we lost daylight savings time?

In the early 1980's, thanks to Mayor Bill Overstreet and Gov. Bill Sheffield almost all of Alaska was finally unified from four to just one time zone, and I think it brought all Alaskans a little closer together. We are all part of the United States and to isolate ourselves from the rest of the country by another hour will not bring us closer together.

• Douglas resident Rich Poor was raised in Juneau and served seven years on the Juneau Assembly.

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