Jennifer Whitson for the Evansville Courier Press reports that the Dubois County Commissioners voted Monday to keep up their fight for a switch to Central by sending more supporting data to the feds. In fact, reviewing the USDOT docket, here is the additional submission by Dubois County. (pdf).
Also, Congressman Mark Souder (pdf) has written to the USDOT to request that St. Joseph County’s petition be rejected. I think it’s important to note (which the Congressman does not do in his letter) that Rep. Souder does not represent St. Joseph County, but rather represents Elkhart County and points east — it’s a bit ironic that the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts divide on almost the exact line that the time zone line would have followed if all of the petitioning counties were granted their requests. ((Map).
Also, The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (pdf) endorses the inclusion of St. Joseph County into the Central Time Zone. Along side the “convenience of commerce” factor specified by statute is a factor requiring the Sec’y of Transportation to have regard for “the existing junction points and division points of common carriers engaged in interstate or foreign commerce”. I wonder if the NICTD qualifies for such consideration.
Also, frequent contributor Paul O’Malley has made a submission (pdf). That particular comment limits itself to the effects of the proposed line in relation to school corporation boundaries and to suggest a different route for the time line, adding Pulaski and Marshall counties to the Central Time Zone, with a view to minimizing the number of school corporations split. I’m a sucker for maps, and he puts some good ones in there. Paul has another submission which addresses and urges the USDOT to reconsider its preliminary decision to deny Dubois County’s request. As always, he’s good with the maps and the numbers.
Jim Burdsall, another reader and frequent commenter, has a substantial submission of his own (pdf) with arguments to put all of Indiana on Central Time, relying on geography and the history of the time zone process in Indiana. In particular, he finds it objectionable that counties find themselves in the position of having to observe Eastern Daylight Time because they agreed to a compromise in the 60s whereby they were placed in the Eastern Time Zone with the understanding that they would not be obliged to observe Central Time. Had they not gone along with that compromise, Central Time would now be the default with counties having to fight to get into Eastern Time if they so desired.
There are a lot of submissions to that docket. 1,645 submissions it looks like. It’s tough to pick out the submissions with substance from the large volume of submissions that just express an opinion without really providing much in the way of justification.
Bill Starr points out that Central Time is better for those Hoosier golfers who prefer to golf in the morning.
I found a site called Global Standard Time which opposes Daylight Saving Time but which also is of the opinion that St. Joseph County is trying to “bully” Elkhart County into Central Time.
Ansplog urges the Governor to take matters in hand and get the entire state on one time zone. Ansplog prefers Central Time, as do I, but I understand that point is debatable. What I don’t think is debatable is that putting time lines at state borders is really the only thing that makes sense — particularly in a state like Indiana that is longest north-to-south. Indiana is something like 140 miles wide. There is just no need to break it in half.