Editorial: More to consider right now than abandoning daylight savings time

Published: 1/15/2017 10:16:00 PM

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

League of Women Voters revival

The results of last year’s presidential election has plenty of people looking at what they can do on the political front. One effort to emerge locally is the drive to start a chapter of the League of Women Voters in Franklin County. The league doesn’t take sides, but encourages people to become educated on issues and candidates and active participants in elections. An initial meeting in Shelburne Falls attracted roughly 40 people. That sounds like a good start, and there are plans to meet in Greenfield on Jan. 29. It is expected that Marilyn Peterson, LWV state membership chairwoman, will attend. As stated on the national organization’s website, “The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public.”

While Greenfield once had a chapter that folded because of dwindling membership, we suspect that there are plenty of people who will see this organization as a viable outlet for their interests and concerns following one of recent history’s most contentious and polarizing national elections.

Starrett teams up with Athol High School

Kudos to the Athol-based L.S. Starrett Co. for its efforts to see beyond its walls and into the community. The latest example of this as reported in The Recorder, involves hooking up with Athol High School to open the Starrett science lab. The idea behind this, expected to start this month, is to train and certify seniors in using precision tools. “They have a need to try to maintain what they offer here in the Athol area, which is precision measurement (instruments). They have a need to try to integrate new people into their aging staff,” Assistant Principal David King said. “Athol High School has a need of trying to provide some hands-on type of learning for our students.” This program sounds like a win-win for the community and the company.

Automotive education gets a boost

Proving there are all kinds of ways to help high school students further their education, we’ll add the North Quabbin Cruisers Club to the list. The group of automotive enthusiasts, known for organizing those vehicle gatherings — known as “cruise nights” — in a number of the region’s communities, is offering scholarships aimed at grads who are looking at an automotive career. The idea here, according to Cindy Houle, the club’s secretary, is to use the education so that the type of car repair needed for classic and antique vehicles, and therefore the car shows, doesn’t disappear.

Trying to find more daylight

The Massachusetts Legislature gets plenty of criticism from the public, some deserved and some not. We suspect that for plenty of people a special commission examining whether the state should keep daylight savings time 12 months out of the year fits into the former category. Proponents say that keeping daylight savings time would provide some energy savings and help reduce seasonal depression. But there are several problems with this, particularly that the rest of New England and New York don’t follow suit. Given the amount of travel that occurs among these states, we would think Massachusetts diverging from the norm would cause plenty of headaches. Perhaps more to the point is that this doesn’t increase (or decrease) the amount of daylight we get — that’s controlled by the Sun and Earth’s rotation. The bottom line here is that lawmakers would be better off dealing with more pressing issues.




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