• 61°

Nothing good comes out of gridlock

It has been a heck of a week, and the last thing I want to write about is politics.

But I just have to blow off a little steam.

Thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time, which took place last weekend, my sleep pattern has been altered. Now, I wake up before the coffeemaker starts.

My body clock has not yet adjusted, and it’s wearing me out.

In my research on how one might go about requesting we continue Daylight Savings Time (DST) all year long, I discovered that Congress would have to take action.

Well, I guess I can forget about that ever happening.

In fact, according to the Congressional Research Service, nearly all of the states have proposed either permanently keeping DST or Standard Time with some even passing legislation in their state. They are just waiting for action at the federal level.

In September, Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott proposed legislation that would, at least, allow us to maintain DST until next year.

This was proposed in an effort to keep the country from going through yet another change this year. The legislators said it would “provide one year of stability for families who are already dealing with enough change with virtual learning, work from home, and other disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has placed into our daily lives.”

Tried and failed.

DST was introduced in the U.S. during WWI and formally enacted in 1918 as a means to conserve fuel.

After the war, DST was repealed.

However, During WWII, President Franklin Roosevelt instituted it once again, and from 1945 until 1966, DST was not governed by federal law, meaning states were free to choose whether or not to observe DST, and if so, when it would end and start.

As you could imagine this was a problem for the transportation and broadcast industries. Therefore, in 1966, when Congress was actually functioning, the Uniform Time Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. This set specific dates for DST to be observed.

But, in 1974, in response to the oil embargo by OPEC, President Richard Nixon enacted the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act, which allowed for a year-long trial period of DST.

Through the years, changes have been made to the Uniform Time Act, which has included adjustments to when DST is observed.

With so many out there wanting the government to enact a continual set time, the best our leaders have been able to do is require studies on the pros and cons of DST.

While there is no conclusive evidence of energy savings, the studies did show potential health effects with the semi-annual changing of the clock.

This year the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has recommended we have a year-round fixed time because the transition one may experience from the change could cause “significant” health and safety risks, which include heart issues, mood disorders and vehicle accidents.

Nothing good ever comes from gridlock, so, I hope our leaders will decide this coming year they are going to work together for the sake of the country, and while doing so, vote to make DST year long.

Hopefully, then we can all sleep better.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

email author More by Terri Cowart