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Letters, Nov. 8

In this together

The heart, it’s been observed, leans a little to the left — and with your right hand on your heart, you pledge allegiance. Over the ageless arc of civilization’s evolution, there have always been progressive elements and conservative ones counterbalancing each other.

Without the brake of cautionary conservatism’s respect for tradition, progressivism would become ungrounded and chaotic. Without progressive ideas, civilization would stagnate. Both make up the whole and we need (desperately, right now) to appreciate this fact.

Take the immigration issue, for example. Who would not have, save the heartless, a heart for refugees fleeing for their lives. And who would think, save the irrational, that there need not be a reasoned, structured way to meet them at the border to help them survive and also to protect the integrity of our society?

Unfortunately, we are being bombarded by hyperbole and fear-mongering about this and other hot topics. In these troubled times, both reason and compassion are needed in order for creative solutions to emerge.

Joel Turgesen


Time change risks lives

I like Daylight Savings Time in the spring with longer sunlight after work, less now with darkness after work.

Modern support for DST came from a 1975 Department of Transportation study reporting a 1 percent energy savings may be moot with the increased use of air conditioning and seasonal-affective-disorder light therapy. What hasn’t changed is the spike in pedestrian fatalities by automobiles around 6 p.m. in the weeks after DST change.

Carnegie-Mellon University researchers found pedestrians are three times more likely to be struck and killed by a car in the week after DST compared to the month before. In 2005, researchers at the University of Michigan reported 63 pedestrian fatalities the week before DST and, sadly, 227 killed the week after. Fatalities decline in the weeks after DST, demonstrating drivers go through a period of adjustment.

When Benjamin Franklin mused about being thrifty with his lamp oil and proposed resetting clocks in a letter to the editor of the Journal de Paris in 1784 he couldn’t have had this evidence. We do. Let’s drive more cautiously at this time and be extra vigilant for pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the road. We don’t want to make any more sad news.

Rick Foster


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