2016-03-10 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

by Mary Gallagher

•This week is supposed to be lovely here on the South Shore. Temps are expected to be 60 degrees or warmer all week…this after three inches of snow late last week!

•This Sun., March 13, we “spring forward” at 2 a.m. into Daylight Savings Time. On Nov. 6, we’ll “fall back” to Eastern Standard Time. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead Saturday night!

Now here’s some history about the time changes. While Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay suggesting something like Daylight Savings Time, it never began until 1908 when the people of Thunder Bay, Ontario, became the first city in modern history to observe it. In 1916, Germany adopted the time change with a goal of saving energy on lighting during WWI, and was soon followed by Britain, France and the U.S., but the practice ended with the war. FDR revived the time change across the U.S. in 1942, calling it “War Time.” Once more, it ended after the war was over.

In 1966 the Uniform Time Act established Daylight Savings Time from the last Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October. States were allowed to exempt themselves if so desired. Congress modified Daylight Savings Time several times, beginning with the oil embargo in the 1970s. A 2005 Energy Policy Act extended the period by about a month. It now begins the second Sunday in March, and ends the first Sunday in November.

Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not observe Daylight Savings Time. Most of Arizona also is exempt, but it is observed in the Navajo Nation lands.

Arguments for eliminating Daylight Savings Time include questions about whether it really promotes energy savings, concerns that early morning darkness puts children and others at risk and even that it could lead more people to suffer heart attacks by disrupting people's biological rhythm.

I remember that even as a little girl it didn’t make sense to end it before Halloween, in my opinion. It’s safer for children who go trick or treating in the late evening. I felt quite proud when it was changed, as it seemed that Congress began to see things my way. (Well in this regard, anyway.)

•I’m sorry to report the recent death of Peter Lo- Cascio of Babylon. Peter leaves his wife, Connie, and children, Robert and Lisa, as well as two grandchildren. A wake will be held at Chapey Funeral Home, Fri., March 11, 8:30 to 10 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church at 10:45 a.m.

•For the third year in a row, the Babylon Rotary has held its Annual Dictionary Project, sponsored by Frank Seibert. The event was held in the Babylon Memorial Grade School, and about 120 third-grade students participated.

The program, which is supported by local sponsors, assists students throughout the United States to become good writers, active readers, creative thinkers and resourceful learners.

The program of providing each learner with a personal dictionary usually begins in the third grade, since this is the age at which dictionary skills are typically taught. Educators describe this as the time when students transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

Since its implementation in 1995, more than 18 million children received dictionaries throughout the United States. For some of these children, this dictionary may be the first time they have owned a book of their own!

•Happy birthday to Tom Donnelly, Babylon Town Councilman, who turned 50 on March 1! We had another local politician celebrating his natal day on March 3, Mayor Ralph Scordino.

•Don’t forget that next Thursday is the wonderful celebration of the green…March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. You don’t have to go overboard, but don’t forget the wearin’ of the green!

•The Nathaniel Conklin House will be the scene of Afternoon Tea, accompanied by scones, petite sandwiches, and delectable desserts on April 3 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Susan Harris will present her beautiful vintage hat collection, and if you attend, please feel free to wear your own favorite hat.

Space is limited and reservations are on a first come, first served basis. Please call 669-8164. The non-refundable cost is $25 per person. Checks should be made out to the Nathaniel Conklin Trust and be mailed to P.O. Box 145, Babylon, NY 11702. House tours will be available after the tea, and your donation is tax deductible.

•The Mayor E. Donald Conroy Scholarship will be accepting applications by March 15. The scholarship is an award to a high school senior who is a resident of Babylon Village and attends a private or public high school and plans to enroll in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an accredited two or four-year college or university, business school, school of nursing, or technical school. The amount of the scholarship is $10,000, payable after presentation of evidence of registration. You must have a sponsor and the sponsor must submit a statement no later than March 15. The Guidance Department at the Babylon High School of the High School should have an application form and information.

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