Time to join Atlantic Time



From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' column in GoLocal24.

Good news: The Massachusetts legislature is studying whether to have the state join Canada’s Maritime Provinces (and Puerto and the U.S, Virgin Islands) by ditching Eastern Time and joining Atlantic Time. Since New England is so far east, this would make a lot of sense. It would give us more afternoonsunlight in the late fall and winter and end the sleep deprivation caused by our move into Eastern Daylight Time in March. If New England’s dominant state makes the move, then the rest of the region, perhaps excepting Connecticut, or just its Fairfield County, which operates almost as part of New York, would have to follow suit.

Atlantic Time matches the time that New Englanders already use in the summer;  adopting it would simply mean that in the fall, we wouldn’t have to fall back but rather we’dkeep the clock an hour forward all year.

The change would, based on current school hours, result in kids going to school when it’s still dark some of the year.  So open school an hour later than now. You’d probably get more alert students: Studies have suggested that the sleeping cycles of young people, especially teens, clash with the typical 7:20-8 a.m. openings of public schools.

We’re in the wrong time zone. Consider that Boston lies so far east in the Eastern Time Zone that during standard time, Boston’s earliest nightfall of the year – Dec. 7 --  is a mere 27 minutes later than in Anchorage, Alaska.