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California Falls Behind Arizona - For a Few Months, Anyway Featured

As if you don’t have enough chaos in your life with this crazy election, along comes Daylight Saving Time. Except, not in Arizona. Well, most of Arizona, that is. Confused yet? 

No Daylight Saving Time for Arizona. 

Arizona is steadfast. We stand our ground. Not wishy-washy, changing our time back and forth a couple of times a year. But, why?

Well, it has something to do with lots of sunshine, air conditioning and drive-in movies.

But, first, let's clear up one thing: while most of Arizona doesn't participate in Daylight Saving Time (DST), did you know that the Navajo Nation does? Even though the Hopi Nation doesn't? Yikes! This is getting confusing.

The Navajo Nation has territory within three different states: Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. If you look at this map of the Navajo Nation, you'll see a darker yellow, which depicts the boundaries of the Navajo Nation. In the lower left portion of the map, there's a lighter yellow section which is the Hopi Nation. As you can see, the Hopi Nation is entirely within the State of Arizona, as well as being surrounded completely by the Navajo Nation. However, the Hopi decided to join the rest of Arizona in choosing not to observe DST.

The whole idea of DST is that by turning your clocks ahead or back, you can take advantage of the natural sunlight and save on energy. But, Arizona is sunny anyway - really sunny. And in the summer, let's face it, Arizona can be downright hot. So, adding additional sunshine hours to the day doesn't help. Wikipedia explains it like this:

Arizona observed DST in 1967 under the Uniform Time Act because the state legislature did not enact an exemption statute that year. In March 1968, the DST exemption statute was enacted and the state of Arizona has not observed DST since 1967 (however, the large Navajo Indian Reservation, which extends from Arizona into two adjacent states, does). This is in large part due to energy conservation: Phoenix and Tucson are hotter than any other large U.S. metropolitan area during the summer, resulting in more power usage from air conditioning units and evaporative coolers in homes and businesses. An extra hour of sunlight while people are active would cause people to run their cooling systems longer, thereby using more energy. Local residents remember the summer of 1967, the one year DST was observed. The State Senate Majority leader at the time owned drive-in movie theaters and was nearly bankrupted by the practice. Movies could not start until 22:00 at the height of summer: well past normal hours for most Arizona residents. There has never been any serious consideration of reversing the exemption.

The State of Sonora in Mexico, because of it's economic ties to Arizona, has not observed DST since 1998, although the rest of Mexico does. Due to the tropical climate in Mexico, the practice of DST is said to be rather controversial. Hawaii also declines to participate in DST. Alaska finds DST a bit of a nuisance (think almost-24-hour sun in the summer due to the high latitude) but at this point continues the practice. California briefly flirted with the idea of ending DST, but their State Senate put the kibosh on that idea and the voters didn’t have an opportunity to make their views known. Indiana is a bit schizophrenic about their time zones, 12 counties observe Central Daylight Time, while the other 80 counties observe Eastern Daylight Time. Michigan has a bit of a split, too. Nevada’s Assembly voted to stay on DST throughout the year, which would put it on the same timewarp as Arizona. They’re just waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) for the US Congress to approve the change. 

If you like, you can mark your calendars now: March 12, 2017 is the date that the clocks will move forward an hour, people will get less sleep, and California will catch up to Arizona again.

For the rest of the country, well, around 2 am this morning, they were supposed to move their clocks back one hour. So, go ahead and call someone in California - Maybe you’ll wake them up.

PS: In case you're wondering, it's 'Daylight Saving Time' not 'Daylight Savings Time'. I know, I get it messed up, too. 

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Last modified on Sunday, 06 November 2016 11:30
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.

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