Daylight Savings Time takes effect this Sunday at 2 a.m., and none too soon, as far as some folks I’ve spoken with are concerned. This will be the “spring forward” that now precedes the official arrival of spring, not the “fall back” we experience, usually about the first weekend in November. We tend to greet “fall back” because, as the term indicates, clocks are turned back one hour and we benefit from that additional 60 minutes of slumber before winter comes knocking on the door. That is, if you don’t mind it being pitch dark at 5 p.m. until the winter solstice prior to Christmas.
“Spring forward” means that we lose that hour by sending time pieces ahead. The compensation comes from an extension of daylight and a resulting improved mental outlook, especially for those individuals whose favorite outdoor activities, be it gardening or golf, can be enjoyed in the evening hours.
My own personal complaint about spring forward stems from the impact it has on my sleep pattern. Back in the ’80s and needless to say, considerably younger, I spent the night of the spring time change (in late April that particular year) talking with some friends until we realized it was now an hour later than the time on the wall clock we forgot to set forward, birds were chirping outside and it was becoming lighter. It was a good thing that it was a Sunday, at the time my only day off from work, as I slunk back to my apartment to retrieve the sleep I didn’t get hours before. The rocky effect that experience had on me haunts me to this day.
But I was speaking about how people are looking forward to the promise of spring offered by the time change. Promise being the operative word since winter, having taken a hiatus in February, made its return in the past week and looks to linger into the coming week. Such anticipation is understandable, given a season of persistently cold temperatures at the beginning and flu, colds and related sicknesses stubbornly hanging on for the duration. It’s only in the past week that health officials announced that the flu strain of 2018 has finally peaked. Finally, people are treating you differently, actually welcoming your presence — as if you don’t have the plague.
There have probably been worse winters, but there does seem to be a certain anxiousness this year about the return of warmer weather, longer hours of daylight and being outside without fear of catching something. Those are all factors to remember when it gets too hot for comfort, there’s not enough hours in the day to do everything despite all the sunlight, and the only thing you may catch is a wasp sting. Lawn care and yard work — too horrible to contemplate at this early stage. Instead, enjoy March Madness while it lasts.
But I must agree with those who want a change. A rejuvenating Earth, clearing skies and peepers sounding off in the early evening are signs that one of the more enjoyable seasonal transitions is in place. And for the record, fall back returns Nov. 4.
Dean Wright’s March 6 article in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune (“Taking a Closer Look”) about a planning study on access to and from U.S. 35 and Ohio 7 in and around Gallipolis mentioned an advisory from Gallia County Commissioners Harold Montgomery and David Smith: Consider the possibility of completing the Farm Road bypass of Eastern Avenue.
Steve Bergman, project manager with a consulting firm for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said his staff is aware of the proposed second phase of the Farm Road project “and would (be) presenting some conceptual alternative traffic solutions” as discussion of a potential interchange continues.
If so, we would be interested in hearing what alternatives may be suggested. At the same time, Phase II of Farm Road is still a possible solution to the traffic congestion issues experienced along Eastern, the busy section of Route 7 handling local flow as well as from surrounding counties.
Initially, the proposal called for making Farm Road a means of directing traffic around Eastern and into downtown Gallipolis by providing access off Ohio 735 at Kanauga south to the intersection of Third Avenue and Sycamore Street. In addition, it was also to serve as a flood escape route, particularly after Ohio River flooding in March 1997 actually crept across Eastern.
The first phase, from 735 to the newly-created GKN Sinter Drive, was completed; a guardrail offers a reminder of where the next half of the project begins.
Some food for thought as resolution of traffic and access concerns in the affected area proceed. If ODOT’s consultant jettisons the entire Farm Road concept, we’d welcome any other ideas. And while this writer is not an engineer and unaware of any potential issues that Farm Road’s completion may present, it’d seem to be a waste not to take that closer look at finishing the road.
Condolences to the family of Richard S. “Dick” Owen, Ohio Valley Publishing Co.’s longtime publisher who passed away at 94 on March 4. A 1949 graduate of Ohio University, Mr. Owen began his career in local newspapers with The Daily Sentinel. He expanded the company’s holdings with the 1959 purchase of the Gallipolis Daily Tribune and of the Point Pleasant Register a decade later. The Sunday Times-Sentinel, combining news and advertising from Gallia and Meigs counties, was created during his tenure in 1966, replacing the weekend publication of the venerable Gallia Times.
A soft-spoken, pipe-puffing promoter of the communities in which he published his newspapers, Mr. Owen was a presence in the tri-county area and its business environment as publisher from 1952 until 1978. In that role, his place in the history of local newspaperdom is assured for having created a base in the business that continues today.
Kevin Kelly, who was affiliated with Ohio Valley Publishing for 21 years, resides in Vinton, Ohio.