By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
No, I havent forgotten the darkest moments of the City Council
and their dreadful flirtation with repealing term limits. The gang of 22 and its seven
Queens members who spat on the public and tried to overturn the will of the people can do
little to restore their respect or credibility. They have the remainder of this year to
gracefully fade away, hopefully forever from public view.
Public service is no career for those who cannot put the people first.
There are 22 such people on the City Council seven from Queens.
So we turn from the dark days of Council term limit repeal and look
towards the light the daylight.
And it is a spring when a young mans fancy likely turns to
thoughts of love, baseball and daylight saving time.
Yes, Daylight Saving Time, that annual ritual that we never quite could
You know, Spring ahead, Fall back its Daylight Saving
Lets see, its Spring ahead, so in April, we move our clocks
from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. This Sunday morning, April 1st. Hmmm!
Okay, I know April first is April Fools Day and those of you that know
me believe Im capable of mischief. But let me clearly state we move our clocks on
Sunday, April 1st well actually Saturday night, March 31st you change from 2
a.m. to 3 a.m. This April Fools Day is really the beginning of Daylight Saving Time this
The US Time Zones
Because, its the law!
Actually, Congress passed a law, The
Uniform Time Act of 1966 (15 U.S. Code Section 260a) creating Daylight Saving Time. Any
area that wanted to be exempt could do so by passing a local ordinance theres
a chance for the City Council to mess things up. A 1986 Amendment set DST to begin on the
first Sunday in April.
A little background might prove helpful for
those of you who have always been befuddled by this strange custom.
Time zones were first used by the railroads
in 1883 to standardize their schedules. In 1918, Congress made the U.S. rail zones
official under federal law. When they created the Department of Transportation in 1966, it
transferred the responsibility for the time laws to the new department and passed the
Uniform Time Act.
Historically, the concept is much older.
Our hero, Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in a
humorous essay in 1784 titled "Turkey vs. Eagle, McCauley is my Beagle." But it
wasnt for more than a century later that an Englishman, William Willett, suggested
it again in 1907 eventually resulting in the introduction of British Summer Time by an Act
of Parliament in 1916. Clocks were put one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during
the summer months. England recognized that the nation could save energy and changed their
clocks during the First World War.
In 1918, in order to conserve resources for
the war effort, the U.S. Congress placed the country on Daylight Saving Time for the
remainder of WW1. The law, however, proved so unpopular that it was later repealed.
When America went to war again, Congress
reinstated Daylight Saving Time on February 2, 1942 and it remained so year-round until
September 30, 1945.
From 1945 to 1966, there was no U.S. law
about Daylight Saving Time. So, states and localities were free to observe DST or not,
By 1966, some 100 million Americans were
observing Daylight Saving Time through local laws and customs and Congress decided to step
in, end the confusion and establish one pattern across the country. It was one of those
rare occasions where Congress ended (as opposed to begun) the confusion.
During the Arab-Israeli War in October
1973, gasoline became scarce in the U.S. and prices jumped 40 percent, impacting the
American economy. Following the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, Congress put most of the nation on
extended Daylight Saving Time for two years in hopes of saving additional energy. This
experiment worked, but Congress did not continue the experiment in 1975 because of
opposition mostly from the farming states.
Perhaps the biggest reasons we change our
clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it saves energy. Energy use and the demand
for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when
we get up. Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we
trim the entire countrys electricity usage by about one percent each day with
Daylight Saving Time.
Studies and modeling are currently being
done by the State of Californias Energy Commission to see if creating an early DST
or going to a year-round DST will help with the electricity problems the state is facing.
Look out New York; you could be next.
Over the years, supporters have advanced
new reasons in support of DST. One is safety. Some people believe that if we have more
daylight at the end of the day, we will have fewer accidents.
The most frequent complaint is the
inconvenience of changing many clocks, and adjusting to a new sleep schedule. People who
wake at dawn often put a more legitimate complaint forth. Farmers often dislike the clocks
changing mid year.
And the argument continues.
Everything is politics.
Now, if instead of the present system, you
changed when we adjusted the clocks, you could likely win more universal support. It seems
Hey Congress, pay attention.
This Sunday morning at 2AM (Saturday night), its Spring ahead to 3AM. Happy April
You should fall back on Saturday
night in October Id make it earlier than two AM giving folks more time
to party, dine, play or enjoy their weekly hottest night out. If they moved the clocks
Saturday night at lets say, 9PM (making it 8PM), you could catch a 6:30 PM flick and
be sipping wine with your salad at your favorite restaurant by 8:30 PM. Now who
wouldnt like that?
On the other hand, if they made the April
"Spring Forward" move Monday at 2PM (in the afternoon instead of night),
wed all go home an hour early from work or school. You wont get a lot of
complaints there either.
I mean we could save energy, pick up an
hour of playtime in October and lose an hour of school or work time in April. Congress,
you could be heroic!
Hey, why not do it 6 or more times a year?
Now, remember, Sunday, Spring ahead.
Oh, Happy April Fools Day!
Why Is Sheldon
THEN THERE WERE SIX: The first photo of the six announced Queens Dem
Borough Presidential Candidates: (rear, l. to r.) Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz, Sheldon
Leffler, and Helen Marshall; (front, l. to r.) former Board of Educ Prez Carol Gresser,
newly announced Haydee Zambrana and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer.
For Good Health:
Its Sex Three Times A Week
photo by: Dee Richard
CBS News radio ran a report one day last week saying, "they
(whoever they are) based on research" Im not sure by who "it
has been determined that having sex three times a week is very good for ones
I listen carefully as do 91% of all Queens men and a yet
undetermined percent of Queens women that somehow we never meet. The news report is
repeated, "it has been determined that having sex three times a week is very good for
ones health . . . if you are married."
Now let us get this straight. Sex three times a week is good for your
health if youre married? And is it bad if youre not?
Well, my wife heard the same report only a little different.
"Its only good for your health if you have the sex with your spouse three times
Still not a bad report and Im not complaining, but I want to see
the research statistics.
It sure sounds like a Republican plot to me. Cmon. The
researchers really distinguished between married partners and those that just had a good
time? Now Im not here preaching infidelity. Im just interested in the politics
of research science.
And this conclusion with your spouse only sure sounds
like its been influenced by the desire to have continued funding from the Bush
Now there is nothing wrong with that, except if researchers change or
modify their results to achieve or increase their funding.
"Well, Im sorry Mr. Secretary, if the results offend the
President, well go back and take a second look."
Or, "Our faith-based programs cannot abide by sexual researchers
that encourage behavior inconsistent with Christian principles of family values."
Now, do you guys out there think that this liberal New York columnist
is pushing the envelope?
No, I dont think so. Look at it this way.
Mightnt any researcher try to please his funding source in order
to get continued funding? Isnt the federal governement the largest funding source,
by far, for health research? And is our righteous President George (Jesus Day)
"Dubya" in ultimate control of those funds?
Now if I havent convinced you yet, let me try to spin it the
If Bill Clinton was the President in control of the funding, do you
really think the researcher would have added that "with your own spouse" line?
I really dont have time for this argument, I gotta go and get
by Dom Nunziato
Michael Schenkler can be reached at: MSchenkler@QueensTribune.com
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