Sunday, November 13, 2005

IET in the NYT.

Today's New York Times has a story on Indiana's ongoing time zone debate. Though this may be the first time the NYT has commented on the issue, Indiana has been mulling changes in this area for quite some time. In this July post, I bemoaned the possible demise of "Indiana East Time," under which much of the Hoosier State effectively spends half the year in the Eastern time zone and the other half on Central time. When I lived in Indiana, I found that the minor inconveniences brought about by Indiana East Time - mainly occasional uncertainty about whether it was the same time in Chicago as it was in South Bend - were outweighed by the luxury of never having to reset one's wristwatch or clocks and the novelty of being in a state with its own time zone. Though IET seems to be on its way out, it's far from clear what it will be replaced with. Right now, each of the 92 counties in Indiana is wrestling with the question of what time zone they want to be in. For some counties - mainly those that find themselves in the cultural and economic orbit of big cities in one of the abutting time zones - this is a fairly easy decision, but for others - especially rural counties in the middle of the state - it isn't. Hopefully, Indiana's leaders will find a reasonable way out of the quagmire. In the meantime, I wonder if the state was better off simply putting up with IET in all its quirkiness. It certainly made sense to me. AMDG.


At November 16, 2005 12:34 AM, Blogger Steph Youstra said...

The problem _I_ have with Indiana time, as a transplant to here, is the fact that "The novelty of being in a state with its own time zone" doesn't exist. Some parts of the state changed, some didn't; some matched Eastern (sometimes), some matched Central (sometimes).

I'm envisioning a MasterCard ad ...
Time in Evansville: What day is it?
Time in Indy: What day is it?
Time in Indiana: God only knows.

At November 17, 2005 1:30 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Steph -
Your concerns are very well-taken. IET has to be much more of a nuisance in Ferdinand than it was for me in South Bend. In Northern Indiana, the boundary between IET (St. Joe County and points east and south) and Central (LaPorte County and points west) was easily to pin down. In Southern Indiana, it's a lot more confusing - which is why in some sense I really do wish they'd impose one time zone for the whole state and get rid of the patchwork of different counties observing different times that Indiana has had up to now.

At November 22, 2005 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Joe. IET should be applied statewide. Not only would Hoosiers be spared the nuisance of resetting wristwatches, alarm clocks, DVD players, microwave clocks, automobile clocks, etc., but also the biennial, several day thrash getting young kids used to the daylight savings/standard time switchover.





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