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The Winchester Sun from Winchester, Kentucky on November 12, 2019 · A4

OpinionTHE WINCHESTER SUNA 4 — T U E S DAY, N O V . 1 2 , 2 0 1 9 20 WALL STREET , WINCHESTER, KY 40391 • (859) 744-3123 • WINCHESTERSUN.COM MIKE CALDWELL, Publisher WHITNEY LEGGETT, Managing Editor LANA SMITH, Advertising Manager Well, the coun-try has just completed its semi-annual insanity of changing the hour of its clocks once again. Why we continue to engage in this madness is virtually impossible to explain. Maybe at one time it made some sense. It was origi- nally sold as a way to save energy or as a way for farmers to take advantage of longer daylight hours … or some such nonsense, but more specifi cally to get people out and shopping for lon- ger periods of the day. Of course, there never was any longer day- light, it was always just a method of changing one’s perception of the periods of daylight and darkness. Those periods have remained virtually unchanged since long before man even kept track of time by use of a vertical stick impaled in the ground and watching its shadow move about. Everyone realizes time on Earth is determined by the period of rotation of the planet, approxi- mately 24 hours to make one complete rotation. Virtually everyone also realizes the length of time any part of the planet receives daylight is dependent not on what our clocks say, but on the tilt of the Earth and its relationship to the sun as it circumnav- igates that star through a period of one year (the year being suffi ciently inexact that it requires a quadrennial adjustment of one extra day). Mankind has pro- gressed in his ability to measure time to the extent it can now be measured by the vibra- tion cycle of cesium atoms (or maybe some- thing even more exact by now), and yet, at least here in the United States, we subject our- selves to the ludicrous practice of moving our clock hands twice a year and pretend we are affecting the length of daylight and darkness. Every year there are those who bemoan this archaic practice and even legislators who listen to those outcries and offer legislation to remove their state or municipality from clock adjustments. There are isolated areas within the United States where the prac- tice is not followed. Hawaii and Arizona have not observed Daylight Saving Time since 1967 and 1968 respectively. If one looks at a world map of time zones, it is easy to see the foolish- ness of the concept of such zones. Oh, the idea is fi ne and was originally developed because the faster transportation available through the railroads required a more precise way of set- ting arrival and depar- ture times. If the concept simply stated a time zone would follow a line of longitude, all would be well. But, looking at a time zone map of today, it’s easy to see a good idea gone awry, with huge jigs and jags in the zones, many well beyond the intended longitude line. The simple method of the time zones set them to occur 7.5 degrees each side of the longitude, 0 longitude being through Greenwich, England. Mainland USA contains four time zones; China, which geographically spans fi ve time zones, observes only one time throughout the entire country. Even the In- ternational Date Line, which should logically be a straight line, running north-south in the Pa- cifi c Ocean, jogs around certain island groups which wanted to either be a day early or a day late. Recent studies have even suggested changing the clocks is unhealthy, with potential links of doing so with an increase in heart attacks. This practice has been in effect for more than 100 years and virtually no benefi ts of it have ever been demonstrated, so let’s just do away with it as Massachusetts is in the process of doing, and those who want an extra hour of daylight can just console themselves by getting up an hour earlier and let the rest of humanity off the hook for changing their clocks twice a year. Which, incidentally, if one has multiple clocks in the house, can never get all of them on the same time anyway. Chuck Witt is a retired architect and a lifelong resident of Winchester. He can be reached at chuck740@bellsouth. net. The insanity of time change Chuck Witt “This practice has been in ef-fect for more than 100 years and virtually no benefi ts of it have ever been demonstrated, so let’s just do away with it. mouthsFROM THE babes Name: Avery Mullins Grade: Kindergarten School: Shearer Elementary School Q: Who is your hero? A: “My dad.” Honor veterans by reducing suicide rate Yesterday, we celebrated Veterans Day. Many peo-ple found many ways to say “thank you” to the people who have served in the U.S. military. But there were 541 service members who never heard those thank-yous — they are the 541 service members who died from suicide in 2018. Everyone who is serious about thanking veterans for their ser- vice should lend their voices to the effort to fi x the military sui- cide rate. The rate of active-duty military suicide across all branches of the military was 24.8 per 100,000 ser- vice members in 2018, according to Department of Defense’s most recent annual suicide report. That’s up signifi cantly from just fi ve years earlier, when it was 18.5 per 100,000. “Service members who died by suicide were primarily enlisted, less than 30 years of age, male, and died by fi rearm,” according to the report. The suicide rate is higher among military service mem- bers than the general popula- tion, where it’s just over 18 per 100,000. After controlling for differences in demographics be- tween the military and the gen- eral population, the suicide rates look “roughly equal,” according to the report. But that doesn’t change the fact military suicides have spiked in recent years. What can be done to make things better? The Department of Defense says it is working to fi x the problem and “embraces a public health approach to suicide prevention that acknowledges a complex interplay of individual-, relationship-, and communi- ty-level risk factors.” But each of us individually can take steps to help, too. And the good news is these same steps help everyone who is at risk of suicide, not just members of the military. It’s important to remember that suicide is never a foregone conclusion for anyone. People may be more or less predisposed to attempt suicide, but every time someone does attempt to kill themselves, that attempt occurs within a larger context. There are many other factors at play, including how society has made that individual feel about themselves, what methods for suicide are available and what community supports are present — or absent. We can all help decrease sui- cide attempts by: — encouraging healthy, posi- tive attitudes about seeking help for mental health problems; — being strong, loyal sup- porters of our friends and family members; and — taking steps to limit or delay access to easy suicide methods within our homes. If you or someone you know is suicidal or in need of help dealing with suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273- 8255. Editorials represent the opin- ion of the newspaper’s editorial board. The board is comprised of publisher Michael Caldwell and Bluegrass Newsmedia ed- itors Whitney Leggett and Ben Kleppinger. To inquire about a meeting with the board, contact Caldwell at 759-0095. OUR VIEW Opinions from The Winchester Sun editorial board Name: Sophie Schmieg Grade: Fourth grader School: Shearer Elementary School Q: What makes you happy? A: “What makes me happy is my family and when we do stu , and when I don’t feel good I like to be surrounded by people who help me and hug me and I like feeling loved.”