This weekend marks the annual grumpfest where we complain about that dang Daylight Saving Time and how here in the bright North, why the heck do we need it?
“Now that we’re slouching toward the equinox and gaining more than 5 minutes a day, what’s the point?” is the standard argument.
People who weren’t here when Ronald Reagan was president might not know it, but in 1983, Alaska went from four time zones to two as a way to get the capital in Juneau and most of the rest of the state in the same time zone.
Back then, Juneau was on Pacific time and Southcentral was two hours behind on Alaska Time, with a little sliver of the state on Yukon Time in between and the Bering Sea region in its own time. If lived in Anchorage and had to call Juneau, good luck trying to reach someone. To get Southcentral and Southeast in the same zone, both moved to Yukon Time, now called Alaska Time.
We did that in the fall of 1983 by Southcentral Alaska not going off Daylight Saving Time. That means if you lived in Southcentral in 1983, you lost an hour you have never got back. Never.
That also meant that if you’d endured winters where the sun rose at 9 a.m. and set at 4 p.m., the new time zone shifted everything an hour forward and the sun rose at 10 a.m. and set at 5 p.m. Also, that means in effect we’re on double Daylight Saving Time every spring.
Holy Chronos! Well, as the saying goes, that’s just another spot on the leopard when you think about how much sun we eventually get. If you live in Utqiagvik and 24-hours of daylight, what exactly is being saved? All we get out of the deal is staying not too far behind the rest of the country.
So set your clocks ahead at 2 a.m. Sunday, hang in there, and try not to get too discombombulated next week, because it’s time for a lot of fun, like these Best Bets:
BEST GET HEALTHY BET: The poor old SVT Health and Wellness Center in Anchor Point has been through some rough times, like when someone drove into the front of the rented building. It now has a brand-new, shiny building at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Milo Fritz Avenue. Celebrate the grand opening and tour the new center at noon Saturday with a ribbon cutting. Enjoy dessert and tours until 3 p.m.
BEST SKING IN SUNSHINE BET: Homer’s most epic ski ever returns with the Kachemak Nordic Ski Marathon, starting with registration at 9 a.m. at the Lookout Mountain Trails. This is not a race for wimps. From Ohlson Mountain to the Baycrest Hill finish, skiers have to go down from the start, climb up to Crossman Ridge, down again, climb up to Diamond Ridge, and then hang in there for the ski down to the finish. Whew! It’s kind of like the Tour of Anchorage, but with way better scenery.
BEST FUNDAY BET: To top off the weekend, rent some snowshoes or take your own for Sunday Funday at the Wynn Nature Center, about Mile 2 East Skyline Drive. That’s a bit more sedate event, with activities and maybe a nice stroll around the trails there. The fun starts at 2 p.m.
BEST AND ANOTHER DANG THING BET: There’s one good thing to be said about all the fireworks in the Alaska Legislature: at the Homer City Council, things have been pretty mellow. And did you notice that other than that thing with Stormy the Cat, we slipped through February without our annual Cabin Fever Controversy? Well, if you do want to discuss city issues, brown-bag it for Lunch with a Council member at noon Monday at the Homer Public Library. Council member Heath Smith is this month’s participant.
BEST LUNCH AGAIN BET: Make it another lunch date at noon Wednesday for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge’s Winter Science Lecture Series. One of the biologists there will talk about something cool and scienc-y.