Early start of DST
is bad for children
Martin DeAngelis' March 8 Sand in My Shoes column, "Longing for the light/Tired of this winter's dismal weather, many can't wait to spring ahead tonight," was a pleasant and cheery article on the advent of Daylight Saving Time. There was an unfortunate omission, however, regarding its effects on schoolchildren, who are forced to wake up and stand outside in the dark for the first month of it. The effects of that on their performance in school all day are further negatives.
The result of the start of DST is to, in effect, start school one hour earlier than it was - and it was already too early. Much literature exists indicating that an early start of school - before 8 a.m. - is deleterious to children's wakefulness in class and their ability to learn. It is contrary to the very nature of children of most ages to get up in the solid black night, and it seriously compromises their safety to have them standing outside waiting for buses and crossing streets in the dark, foggy of mind and vulnerable to cars driven by sometimes equally tired adults. There are organizations in the U.S. pushing for school starts of 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., and they have the statistics to support their position, in terms of both the physical well-being of the child and his/her scholastic performance.
Putting DST back where it started, from April to October, would mean school children would wake up to at least a real dawn and wait for their school buses in daylight. And they will far more likely be awake in class and, given the more normal onset of night, to go to bed earlier and get more sleep. We humans are sun-governed. We want to get up by day and move toward night, not the other way around.
ALAN E. KLIGERMAN
Plant's gas conversion
offers many benefits
Regarding the March 3 letter, "Pollution could increase at plant":
The letter writer's arguments concerning the now-idle plan to convert the B.L. England power plant to all (fracked) natural gas were at best an innocent presentation of incomplete facts or at worst total hoo-hah.
Are we to accept the connection of a report that he read two years ago, based on data from further in the past, to the current state of power-plant operations? The report he cites uses data from when the power plant was burning coal for many more days a year than it does now, which contributed directly to Ocean City's ranking for adverse health effects from exposure to fine particle emissions.
Ultimately, the fact is that other considerations are in play.
One is the cost benefit associated with the switch to natural gas, which as a result of hydraulic fracturing has enabled America to almost completely obtain energy independence.
Second is the benefit of modernizing and retrofitting the very old B.L. England power plant, avoiding a shutdown and saving jobs.
Third, there is the energy security associated with not having to import all of our power from out of state. Lastly, the conversion to gas would lessen carbon emissions.
The plan should move forward.
a good compromise
Regarding the March 12 editorial, "Adoptee rights/Sign this bill":
Kudos to The Press for supporting this legislation. As a former head of the New Jersey Adoption Registry, I knew years ago that both birth family members and adult adoptees would embrace the concept of open records. As a Franciscan, I am saddened by the New Jersey Catholic Conference's less-than-enlightened stand on this issue.
This legislation is a good compromise bill. It's long past time for New Jersey to get this done.
I pray Gov. Chris Christie will sign the bill into law.
GERALD R. GIOGLIO
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Guv should push BPU
on wind-energy rules
I agree with the Feb. 3 letter, "Offshore wind can boost N.J. economy," by Edward Gant, business manager of Local 351 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Developing wind power in New Jersey can provide the jobs and economic development that our state needs. Manufacturing, construction and maintenance are just the beginning. Wind power also attracts tourists and helps stabilize energy costs.
Offshore wind has the potential to help New Jersey lead the national clean-energy economy if, and only if, the state Board of Public Utilities moves forward on the necessary rules to help finance the development of this untapped resource.
The BPU has delayed financial regulations for offshore wind projects for more than three years. There are several offshore wind companies waiting to invest in New Jersey's energy market, but they cannot do that without action from the BPU.
Gov. Chris Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act in 2010. He recognized the economic and environmental benefits that offshore wind would provide to New Jersey. It is up to the governor to direct the BPU to get moving on the rules that will move offshore wind forward.