Every second counts: Time for a change in Massachusetts?

An 11-member state commission today begins the grueling work of considering whether to remove Massachusetts from the semi-annual time-change ritual, WBZ reports. And why not? We're special! We deserve our very own dropdown in computer operating systems for setting the default time.

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        It is completely depressing

        By on

        It is completely depressing to get out of work and have it be pitch black already. I realize theoretically the sun is available in the morning, but most people are already groggy and getting up before the sun rises ANYWAY, so it's of limited usefulness. Much rather have the sunshine on the way home.

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        Computer Operating Systems

        Its really depressing that no one seems to realize the immense issues surrounding different time zones and how it relates to computers. It all seems to be rather short sighted in the grand scheme of things, people don't want it to get dark out as early as it does, so lets move to a different time zone/not do DST.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5wpm-gesOY

        Awesome, now we have to reprogram countless websites, programs, interfaces, etc for the even more countless businesses, hospitals, institutions, devices, on and on and on that operate in our state. Oh and not to mention any of those that operate in multiple states, people that commute from different states, trains and planes the run to different time zones.

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        More jobs

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        Cool. Reminds me a little of Y2K or when we adjusted the DST dates in the mid-2000s. Making these computer adjustments is a job creator. :)

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        we already have to do that constantly

        By on

        This is why time zone information is usually in a data file somewhere that can be easily updated. There haven't been any changes in the U.S. since 2007 (several Indiana counties moved from Central to Eastern), but globally time zones are moving all over the place all the time. The IANA released 9 new versions of tzdata over the course of just last year.

        Software that can't handle the change is bad software.

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        I see your point

        But legacy software is a thing, certainly hardware that doesn't or can't have its software easily updated.

        But I think we are also overlooking having a such a small state in a region with other small states that would have differing times. What about when someone forgets that Maine or Vermont or New Hampshire have a different time?

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        What did those systems do

        By on

        What did those systems do when we moved DST by a month?
        If we were to move to AST with no DST it would be the same time zone and same lack of changes as Puerto Rico is presently.

        Central and Eastern run right through the middle of TN and KY. Also, NH/ME needs this time zone too.

        You think its bad to have the sun set at 4pm here, try 2:30 in northern maine.

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        By rights,

        By on

        We, and New England in general (especially Maine) should be in the Atlantic Time Zone, not Eastern Standard or Daylight. Atlantic Time Zone includes the Canadian Maritimes, islands in the Atlantic, including Caribbean, like Puerto Rico, Cuba, etc. But, from an economic and cultural angle, we should remain Eastern.

        Whether we should not remain on daylight savings time year 'round is debatable. For economic reasons, and being in sync with the rest of the eastern North America, I would say no changes should be made.

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        Eastern Daylight Time = Atlantic Standard Time

        By on

        There is no difference between keeping Daylight Savings Time year-round and going to Atlantic Standard Time. They are the same.

        I think year-round DST is an excellent idea. I haven't been on an airplane in fifteen years, but I get jet-lagged twice a year, and to what purpose?

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        It would create some minor

        By on

        It would create some minor annoyances but anything is better than sunsets before 4:30, so I'd be for it.

        One of the criticisms stated in the link is that it would be dark out when kids go to school. Well then don't send them to school at 6AM. Problem solved! Common sense and scientific studies show that starting the school day later is a great idea, so do it already.

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        Sure, lets make children and

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        Sure, lets make children and parents across the state make changes to their schedules. Lets also hope the parents employers will allow the changes needed to allow the kiddies to start school a little later to accommodate this change. That makes perfect sense. This makes almost as much sense as having to change your clock when driving into a neighboring state does.

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        Think of the children!!!1!

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        Think of the children!!!1! Better not ever make any changes ever or little Kayyden and his unreasonable parents will get upset.

        Have you looked at a map? People all over the country and world go from one time zone to another all the time. And we have these things now called cell phones which update the clock for you. I suggest investing in one.

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        I'm thinking of the big

        By on

        I'm thinking of the big picture, not just the kids. One state moving into a different time zone is as ridiculous as your logic. But, coming from the guy who thinks all street parking should be banned in the city I guess my expectations of your intelligence were too high. Come back when you've grown up a little junior.

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        "This makes almost as much

        By on

        "This makes almost as much sense as having to change your clock when driving into a neighboring state does."

        Oh yeah, so you think no one ever drives across neighboring states/provinces/time zones in the US/Canada?

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        Canada

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        Canada has no problem with this - check out the sunrise and set times for Edmonton.

        They just put little vests on the kids and fine drivers heavily for hitting people.

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        Well it's dark when they come

        By on

        Well it's dark when they come home from school right now, and release time corresponds more tightly with afternoon rush hour than starting does with morning rush hour. If they're going to be in the dark it'd make sense to have them in the dark when there's less cars on the road in the morning.

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        Two questions

        By on

        1)Do schools get out at 4:30 PM where you live?
        2)Do schools start at 6 AM where you live?

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        My kids start at 7:55 am. We

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        My kids start at 7:55 am. We walk to school.

        Sunrise today was 7:12 am. You shift clocks by an hour, and he's walking to school in the dark.

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        Been there, done that

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        People in the US living above the 45th parallel. Lots of them!

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        I'm in full support

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        Not that that matters but this makes a lot of sense. Doubt this has any more negative impact on farmers than climate change will. And who couldn't stand to see a little daylight when they get off of work in the evening. Kids traveling to school when it's dark is a fair enough trade off to me.

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        I stand corrected

        By on

        Did a little digging and you're right, thanks for the en-light-enment.

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        Nicely done!

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        You really planted those puns!

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        Farmers?

        The "farmers" argument is, and always has been, nonsense. Farmers adjust their schedule of activities to the available daylight and the needs of their livestock. Clock time is pretty much irrelevant.

        DST causes accidents, as people drive to or from work with less sleep than they are used to. Also, some commuters who drive into the sun on one of their trips get through the 2 weeks when the sun is right in their eyes, then get to go through it all again when the time changes.

        It's a bad idea, and we should dump it.

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        Not going to happen.

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        The Feds would have to approve any such change and they are not going to approve such a move for one state.

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        As I recall

        Mass had previously said they wouldn't consider the switch unless at least one other New England state did as well.

        The change makes sense and should be done.

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        Makes sense?

        By on

        The change makes sense and should be done.

        Not unless neighboring states also do it. Think of the number of people who commute from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, for instance. Would you want to switch time zones twice a day?

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        Explain

        By on

        Why would it matter?

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        Is it really that difficult?

        By on

        You live in New Hampshire. You have to be at work in Massachusetts at 8 am. You get up in New Hampshire at 6 am, when it's 7 am at work. Hmm, maybe you'd better get up at 5 am. So, you get up at 5 am, get on the road by 6, arrive at 7 which is 8. Then you leave at 5 which is 4 and get home at 5.

        You'd probably get your daily routine down pretty quickly (although to hear the way people bellyache over changing to/from DST, maybe I'm giving too much credit here), but if you crossed state lines for other reasons, the whole "what time is it open" thing would break a lot of brains. I state this with confidence, having regular conversations with people in other time zones whose heads explode when I say, "We'll call at 2 pm our time, 11 am your time" or something like that.

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        Sure, but people who live in

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        Sure, but people who live in New Hampshire and drive down to Boston every day are pretty much the worst kind of people, so screw 'em.

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        ...because there totally aren

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        ...because there totally aren't any time zone borders anywhere in the US that people cross regularly.

        Hell, as I mentioned down thread there's even a commuter rail line in Indiana that crosses a time zone boundary! Those people don't seem to have a problem getting up in time to catch their trains to work.

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        Those people don't seem to have a problem

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        Those people don't seem to have a problem getting up in time to catch their trains to work.

        And yet you think that the very people who wail like the damned when the clocks shift an hour twice a year are not going to have a problem? Are you daft?

        You think it's not a big deal; I might more or less agree with you, except I think there's a bit of a difference between Indiana and Massachusetts (the former is approximately 3.5x the size of the latter, and shares borders with four states vs. five). But if you think the population at large won't have a complete meltdown, given how they cry and carry on about DST every spring and fall, you're crazy.

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        Nope. The federal government

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        Nope. The federal government has a say in time zones - not in whether or not a state observes daylight savings.

        There's even precedent: Arizona doesn't observe DST (except for the Navajo nation), Hawaii doesn't observe it, Indiana didn't observe it until 2006, and none of the US territories (Puerto Rico, etc) observe it.

        The Uniform Time Act of 1966 explicitly says that states may choose to exempt themselves from DST.

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        Indiana?

        By on

        Indiana?

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        Your point?

        By on

        Your point?

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        Stop DST!

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        Daylight Savings Time might have been good in primitive agrarian societies, but it's bad for modern office workers and students.

        Also, I'm sick of selecting "New York" as my timezone. I just had to do it again this week, on a device that made me specify my city as NY. I pay way to much rent to have to do that.

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        Daylight Savings Time might

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        Daylight Savings Time might have been good in primitive agrarian societies

        It might have, but considering it was thought up during World War I we'll never know!

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        Has nothing to do with that

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        It has to do with fuel conservation during the summer - specifically, lighting.

        Time zones are a creation of the transcontinental railroads.

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        We need DST AND Alantic Time

        I am surprised no one has mentioned the fact that the sun sets at 8:25pm at the latest in the summer with DST and rises at 5:07 at the earliest. I cherish my afternoon runs and bike rides in the summer, wish we had an extra hour for this, certainly not at 5 am when I'm sleeping!

        So I am all for moving to Atlantic time along with DST to give us that extra evening hour of daylight., plus that extra hour in the winter.

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        wow

        By on

        wow

        Talk about background illiteracy and/or convenient omissions!

        Nowhere in the article do they mention that Standard Time (what we're on now) is the "normal" and that Daylight Time is the artificial deviation.

        I realize that Standard Time is somewhat arbitrary, but you've got to be referenced to something, and GMT (sorry, showing my age... "Universal Time") & the meridians are the basis for those definitions. Essential now more than ever.

        Personally, I see pros and cons in switching back and forth between standard time and daylight time, but it was absolutely ludicrous when we started going to altered time for more than half of the year.

        As to the idea of sticking with daylight time all year round (or to state it another way, moving Massachusetts from the Eastern Time Zone to, umm..... Atlantic), it says nothing about the fact that we're a small part of a region with a lot of north-south commuting across state borders. For it to work, it would need to be (at a minimum) Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine moving with the eastern half of Massachusetts. It would be better with VT and CT too, but southwest Connecticut is oriented to NYC, and thus would never change away from that.

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        Yeah

        Stick with Standard Time. It's DST that's the aberration.

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        Wrong

        By on

        Standard time should be Atlantic Time, not Eastern time.

        We are way off of eastern time.

        You might not know that if you have never driven through the US - this time zone is way too wide.

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        Nope.

        By on

        Nope.

        Time zone layouts start with latitude. 24 "one hour" segments of 15 degrees each. Baseline time zone (universal) is 7&1/2 degrees on either side of the prime meridian, then each zone is 15 degrees wide, then adjusted by geography/boundaries/preferences (including one or two places that put themselves a half-hour off).

        Boston being at about 71 degrees west latitude, we are in the 5th latitudinal zone west of universal. (7.5 + 15 + 15 + 15 +15 = 67.5)

        Geographically/boundaries/borders: we are in our correct hour - in STANDARD time.

        Preferentially speaking is something else, of course.

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        NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

        By on

        The sun sets later in Northern Saskatchewan than it does here!

        DUMB IDEA!

        REPEAT AFTER ME: WE ARE NOT IN THE EASTERN TIME ZONE AND SHOULD NOT STAY IN THE EASTERN TIME ZONE.

        In Northern Maine, there are places where you head WEST into Atlantic time going across the border.

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        Thank you.

        Thank you.

        DST is a collective self-delusion that the sun isn't at the meridian when the sun is at the meridian. It's bad enough we pretend this half the year, we don't need to do it all the year.

        Now, if we were at the extreme edge of at time zone, and our noon were way off from actual noon, that would be one thing. But the sun will reach the meridian at 11:52am today in Boston, and only for a few weeks in Oct/Nov is solar noon ever more than 30 minutes from 12:00pm EST.

        Granted, I would prefer going full EDT over switching twice a year, which causes pointless harms.

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        Exactly.

        By on

        The eastern edge of Eastern Time is 67.5˚ W longitude, which includes, in New England, a tiny bit of Downeast Maine. At 71˚ W, we are far from that point. The rest of the country changes time on the same dates, and so should we. Is it perfect? No. (I'd advocate for a move from May to July to Atlantic Daylight Time, when the sun rises before 5:30 and it's really wasted time.) We live somewhere with seasons, and in the winter we only have 9 hours of daylight. If you want more evenly-spaced daylight, go somewhere awful like Florida. If you want later sunsets in the winter, go to Houghton, Michigan (sunset today: 5:15. Sunrise: 8:40). If you live here, STFU and deal with it.

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        The rest of the country

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        The rest of the country changes time on the same dates, and so should we.

        But they don't. Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana (until 2006), and all US territories don't observe DST.

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        Time isn't a social construct!

        By on

        Agreed! Time is a measurement of the earth's movement. Not a social construct like calendars. (aside from the length of the year, our current calendar is arbitrary and nonsense.) Time should be synced up as closely as possible with the sun's "movement" across the sky. If you like going for a walk while it's still daylight after work, maybe your boss will let you come in an hour earlier in the winter. THAT kind of workplace flexibility is what we should be fighting for. You can't change the earths orbit.

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        The decisions in how we

        By on

        The decisions in how we collectively measure time is absolutely a social construct, people aren't going to rearrange their schedules to match their weather ad hoc because that's why have clocks and calendars and all do DST at the same time in the first place, and the rest of country has decided, through the position of time zones, that being east of a zone's ideal center is undesirable. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2572317/Are-YOU-living-sy...

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        Rhode Island already onboard

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        Rhode Island has already passed a law saying that they'll observe the same time Massachusetts does, so if Mass fixes this, RI will automatically follow.

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        Freeze Time

        MA should pass a law saying we'll abide by RI time.

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        lots of state borders with time zone changes

        By on

        Why do you think changing time zone when you cross the state border would be any more trouble in MA than in other places? There are even states that cross time zones, such as Kentucky and Tennessee (see map at http://www.worldtimezone.com/time-usa12.php)

        As to moving to Atlantic time and staying on it year round - it would be lovely. I spent a year in Michigan, which is at the western end of our time zone, and it was glorious having it get dark an hour later.

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        And it sucked

        By on

        When the sun came up at 8:15.

        The amount of daylight is the same.

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        Why?

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        Why?

        High occurrence of trans-border commuter work population.

        Impractical for their work world to be on one time zone and their home life - kids' school, doctor appointments, shopping, etc.... - to be on a different time zone.

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        Typical half-measure

        By on

        Typical governmental half-measures, avoiding the real problem. No one will step up and address the elephant in the room, the fluxuation of the length of day vs the length of night. Our competitiveness is at stake: we are worse than half the other states! The impact is astronomical.

        Same old Massachusetts. The politician that solves this problem has my vote!

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        Time changes

        I really don't care if we stay in DST or EST, there are pros and cons to both, I just want the spring ahead and fall back time changes to stop. These time changes are inconvenient, unnecessary and terribly outdated.

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        They would adjust - just like airline

        By on

        They would adjust, just like the airlines do with time zones. There are times where we are on DST but Europe and other parts of the world is still on standard time so the time difference,say between Boston and London, is only 4 hours versus the normal 5. Just like some states (i.e. AZ) do not change for DST - I am sure Amtrak to accommodate this if they had to.

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        It wouldn't affect them

        By on

        It wouldn't affect them appreciably. Amtrak already has several trains that cross time zone lines, and they just note "(ET)" next to the first station in the new time zone.

        And for their one train that passes through Arizona - the Sunset Limited - they have a note on the schedule about Arizona not observing DST.

        There's even precedent for commuter trains - NICTD's South Shore Line from Chicago to South Bend, IN crosses the Central/Eastern time zone boundary. It looks weird at first to see a train with the next stop earlier than the first, but there's a note about the time zone change on the schedule.

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        yes!

        By on

        really hope this happens. Makes so much sense.

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        Why not just change start times

        By on

        Just how difficult would it be to change the start time of the school day and perhaps some workdays?

        Same outcome would result with essentially NO other steps needed.

        In fact, shifting the start of some start times - done intelligently, that is - would ALSO greatly reduce rush hour traffic congestion.

        Just peeling off - say - but a mere 5% of peak rush hour traffic would result in a far more significant level of better traffic flow as traffic flow degrades at rates more so as it approaches gridlock then the simple percentage increase in the number of cars added into the mix.

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