Editorial Roundup: Kansas

Kansas City Star. March 11, 2023.

Editorial: Changing the clock for daylight saving time is an idea that belongs in the past

What does daylight saving time really save? Not aggravation or inconvenience. It causes them.

Then what does it serve? Confusion and irritation, as we’re forever in a state of springing forward and falling back. The only people who don’t have this problem are the residents of the handful of American states and territories that don’t observe it, or those who have given up on clocks entirely and rely on their cellphones and other electronics to keep them timely and prompt.

And in these highly partisan times in which we live, breathe, sleep and fight, one of the few issues that seem to have bipartisan support is staying on the same time all year long. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida recently reintroduced his Sunshine Protection Act of 2023, which he first proposed in 2018. The legislation would end standard time. Or as Rubio put it in statesmanlike fashion: “This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid.”

The bill garnered co-sponsors from both parties, including former Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt. The Senate finally approved it by unanimous consent last year, but the House of Representatives is apparently still stuck on sundials. If you’re reading this on Sunday morning after losing an hour of your sleep, you already know no law changed the time. The Sunshine Protection Act died.


So what is the point of daylight saving time anyway, and how did it ever come about? The switch generates plenty of confusion. (Rubio’s fact sheet about his bill has to explain that no, it wouldn’t change the number of hours of sunlight in a day.)

The average person probably has no idea about the origin of changing the clocks. But since this is the era of internet information, when a good guess will do, many would stumble into assuming that it’s about farmers. You know — early to bed, early to rise for crops and animals.

But no, generally speaking, agricultural professionals have long lobbied against the time change because they find that the sun, not the clock, dictates their work schedules. A cow on a Missouri dairy farm doesn’t know or care if it gets milked at 5 or 6 in the morning.

What a concept, following the laws and guidance of nature.

So if not farmers, who wants to mess with our time? Historically, those concerned about saving energy resources during wartime. The conservation measure started in 1918, and was made permanent as “War Time” for about three years during World War II. And then there was 1974’s Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act, when Congress put year-round DST on a two-year trial period. The experiment ended before its planned sunset, as Americans balked at kids waiting for school buses and commuters driving to work in the dark.

Almost 50 years later, shouldn’t we have better ways of regulating our lives and schedules to sunlight? Our highways, cars, streetlights and neighborhoods have evolved. We’re constantly finding new ways to make our infrastructure easier and safer to navigate, with smarter lights and barriers that keep cars from accidentally vaulting into the Missouri River while driving over the Bond Bridges.

Rather than messing with clocks to keep us safer, why not promote the idea of driving with our vehicles’ headlights on all the time — even on sunny days — so that we’re all better illuminated? Studies show it helps prevent accidents. We know public campaigns can change habits. Littering used to be much more prevalent in the United States, but a coordinated push from the government and packaging manufacturers helped significantly cut Americans’ habits of carelessly discarding their trash. It still happens but not nearly as much before the late 1950s, when lawmakers across the country started banning it.


More than 60% of countries in the world observe standard time all year, so it’s not as if we would be bucking some global trend. So why can’t we deal with the changing light without being required to change our body clocks on command?

Because the single biggest loser with all that springing forward and falling back is our health.

You might not care about the sun’s impact on your astrological chart, but some sleep professionals say eliminating daylight saving time would put our internal clock more in sync with the Earth’s rotation and seasonal changes.

For those who think one little hour doesn’t matter, research shows that in the week of the shift to DST, there is a 24% higher risk of heart attacks, a 6% spike in fatal car accidents, an 8% increase in stroke rates and an 11% percent rise in depressive episodes.

There are studies that show bouncy-house changes of moving the clock back and forth impact our memory, focus, mood — and can even cause weight gain as we find ourselves reaching for more donuts.

Whether we land on standard or daylight saving, at some point we’ll all have to get on the same time, and stay there. Let’s allow our bodies to adjust to changing light. Let’s let our habits follow the sun. And let’s think about making our ever-changing infrastructure and habits keep us safer. After all, we’re humans, always operating under the sun or the moon. Do we really need clocks to dictate exactly how we do that?


Topeka Capital-Journal. March 10, 2023.

Editorial: Topeka and Kansas tourism leaders hit a homerun with sweepstakes for New York visitors

In September, New York City Mayor Eric Adams took a potshot at Kansas.

“Kansas doesn’t have a brand,” Adams said at the time with the intent of making us a punchline.

After learning of the remarks we politely suggested he learn a bit more about our state and what it has to offer.

Gov. Laura Kelly responded by sending her family members to personally deliver a gift basket to Mayor Adams’ official residence.

Well, that dose of Kansas hospitality didn’t seem to change the mayor’s heart. In late February, he took another jab at Kansas and Topeka, saying at a prayer breakfast that he strongly believed God decided to take “the most broken person” and elevate him to a place as the mayor of the “most powerful city on the globe,” adding, “He could have made me the mayor of Topeka, Kansas.”

At this point, we don’t need an apology from Mayor Adams. An apology won’t mean much without action. We’d just prefer he keep his comments to himself.

The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tim Hrenchir reports Topeka and Kansas leaders have responded by offering an all-expenses-paid trip for four New Yorkers to come and visit Topeka.

The trip is sponsored by Visit Topeka and Kansas Tourism. Hrenchir reports residents of New York City — including the five boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island — are eligible for the chance to win an all-inclusive, three-day, two-night stay in Topeka. The visit will include roundtrip airfare for four people into Kansas City, Mo., as well as hotel accommodations, tickets to local attractions and $500 in gift certificates to local restaurant and retail locations.

We love this. It comes from a place of love. It shows others we like ourselves more than we dislike those who jeer at us.

Rather than responding in kind with low-hanging potshots based on New York stereotypes, our leaders chose to take the high road and try to change hearts that way. And while we’d like to point out some of those things, it’s frankly counterproductive.

That’s such a Kansas thing to do. And to use Mayor Adams’ term, it’s “on brand.”

So let’s point out and share some of the great things about Kansas and our capital with some New Yorkers.

That being said, if Mayor Adams says anything about us again, the kid gloves come off. We’ve got jokes ready to go, and they, too, will be “on brand.” Kansans are taught to take no bull.