THE BLOG

Indiana's Time Zone SNAFU

10/21/2013 12:26 pm ET | Updated Mar 18, 2014

Nantucket, Maine lies almost one thousand miles from Indianapolis, Indiana. Minute to minute, hour for hour, we are on the same time. Yet Evansville, Indiana is less than 175 miles from Indianapolis, and the two cities are always one hour apart. Illogical.

On the morning of this writing, sunrise in Nantucket was at 6:57. Sunrise in Indianapolis was at 8:00. Sunrise in Evansville was at 7:03 Central Time; as a technical matter, a mere one hundred-eighty seconds after first light was officially noted for Indy. From December 30 of this year to January 9, 2014, sunrise in Indiana Eastern Time Zones is calculated to occur at 8:06 am, which when considered respective to the clocks as we read them now, would be after 9:00 in the morning. For anyone waking to standard work and school schedules, this means rising in the dark all year long.

Take note of this: 80 Indiana counties are Eastern Time Zone, and 12 Indiana counties are Central Time Zone. And get this gem of legislated reality: 29 of Indiana's Eastern Time Zone counties can be found immediately to the South and West of the 12 Central Time Zone counties.

Time as we measure it is a relative and somewhat faulty grid Man has imposed on the cyclical rotation of our earth around the sun. Although this fact is still subject to some speculation by those who prefer to believe the Earth is the object around which the whole universe revolves, this is not a commentary on extremist conservative religious worldviews. This article is my attempt to help shed some light on the literal, not figurative, dark of this Midwest State.

It is time for me to revisit Indiana's time zone SNAFU because I am sick of pitch black mornings. A few weeks from now we "fall back," plunging us from utter, complete darkness into a kinder, gentler relative darkness. Soon, thanks to the sun's diminishing daily return, we are once again subjected to utter, complete darkness for our mornings. There is a brief interlude in the Spring, about a week or two before we set our clocks forward, where the basic work/school day does indeed begin in the real light of the given day. But nice as it is brief, the Spring time change kicks in and once again we send our children out to meet school buses that appear in front of houses like invisible, roaring submarines, with their rows of yellow lights the only visible sign of approach, and once again we see parents huddled in idling cars with their older school age children, waiting for their buses. Regardless of what timing and schedule dictates, what parent can let their child stand alone outside in the shadows? Likewise, groggy commuters head out in droves in what is essentially the dark of night, our highways and streets choked rivers of streaming headlights, for ours is a public transportation-stunted, automobile-reliant state. The local morning news shows are, no surprise, peppered with breaking news of one traffic accident after another.

It is also time to revisit Indiana's Time Zone SNAFU because our primary proponent group, the Indiana Central Time Zone Coalition (Hoosiers for Central Time) continues to build and advance their cause and website, and it is now set up for the filing of online signatures.
 Picture this: Every 4th of July, Hoosiers patiently await fireworks displays that are delayed until 10pm and later, for dusk does not set in until the late-night hours. What kind of advantage lies in nights that never appear to set in? Don't tell me that going out to eat and drink needs facilitating. And I have to wonder, with bedtime rituals already impaired by today's EZ appeasement, friend-focused parenting styles, how much less possible is it to get all those petite princes and princesses into their respective beds while the suns shines bright and the day still beckons? Come Halloween, don't try and tell me the candy industry's sales matter. Trick or treating in broad daylight is not now and never should be a deciding factor or even a consideration. Don't go there, for it insults us all.

Farmers, with their massive, lighted and mechanized factories on wheels no longer need the romance of a harvest moon or over-late sunsets by which to prep and plant their fields or later on bring in their crops. Don't give me that excuse.

Investors and traders, tracking and buying their way 24/7 in and out of fickle global markets and multiple time zones the world over, rely on super-high tech programs and prompts to facilitate every last transaction. They don't give a flying frock what hour is indicated on their desk clocks. Don't give me that excuse.

Mike Pence, currently serving some Hoosiers as Indiana governor, should consider taking a break from Just Saying No to the duly enacted, Supreme-Court upheld Affordable Care Act and he should also think about taking time off his latest media-provoking crusade, that of establishing a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, in order to address Indiana's illogical, impractical, outdated and outmoded Time Zone SNAFU. Our State, which sits in the crook of this continent's Midwest region, immediately south of the western-most Great Lake, with a capital city that exists like a super-connected little sister to her big sis, Chicago, deserves at least some dignified and enlightened existence as a State with

1) A Unified Time Zone
2) A Central Time Zone designation

Hoosiers: voice your support via your elected representatives. The resolution of our Time Zone SNAFU has been made a convoluted, multi-layered, pass-the-buck process, so I say pester them all. Links are posted below.

Everyone: read more about the very real issues connected with Indiana's Time Zone issues and show your support by signing their online guestbook, or as Indiana resident by downloading and/or signing their petitions at www.hoosiersforcentraltime.com.

photo by kimann