Daylight Time Does Begin on Sunday, Despite the Local Law

When the rest of America springs forward Sunday morning, there might be some New Yorkers under the impression that they can doze for an extra hour and presumably still legally comply with court deadlines or other official proceedings.

Those New Yorkers would most likely be familiar – for reasons that would be a mystery to most – with Section 2-106 of Volume 2 of the New York City Administrative Code (there are 21 volumes in total).

That section states that “all courts, public offices and legal and official proceedings shall be regulated” by clocks that are switched from Eastern Standard to Eastern Daylight Time on the last Sunday of April and returned to Standard Time on the last Sunday of October.

That New York City seems to be behind the times when it comes to daylight saving time may be all the more surprising since standard time in America was conceived by a school principal in upstate New York. It was formally inaugurated in 1883 at Grand Central Terminal. And not for nothing did Johnny Carson define that instant between a traffic light turning green and the driver behind you honking his horn as the proverbial New York Minute.

Standard time was established in the late 19th century by the nation’s railroads in response to train crashes and to missed connections by bewildered passengers. More than 100 local time zones (noon was determined when the sun was directly overhead) were integrated into four.

Among the fathers of standard time was the Rev. Charles F. Dowd, a Methodist minister and a principal, along with his wife, of a girls’ boarding school that later became Skidmore College. He proposed four zones 15 degrees longitude wide (the sun moves across 15 degrees every hour). A version of his proposal was finally embraced by most railroads in 1883. (Dowd himself met an untimely end; he was struck by a locomotive at a grade crossing in Saratoga in 1904. History does not record whether the train was on time.)

Congress did not formally establish standard time and daylight saving time until 1918 (five years after the New York Central Railroad, proud of its role in inaugurating time zones, carved “Eastern Standard Time” into the marble under the clock in Grand Central’s Graybar Passage, which means the sign is wrong for nearly half the year).

In 1883, Americans greeted the time change with Y2K-style trepidation and with not a little resentment that the railroads were once again impinging on their daily routines.

The bankruptcy commissioner in Boston, for one, refused to comply. He declared a Massachusetts man in default because he got to court a minute late by local time but 15 minutes early under standard time. A Massachusetts Superior Court justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, ruled in favor of the man. The justice said that though the standard had not been adopted by the State Legislature, the popular community consensus — standard time, which was imposed in Boston by the City Council the day before the man’s court appearance — nonetheless applied.

New York officials say their situation is analogous. While the schedule for daylight time in the city’s administrative code mirrors the federal April-to-October definition adopted in 1966, the provision is just another anachronism that has not been updated.

Legally and practically, the city says, that schedule was superseded by Congress in 2005 when the federal government extended daylight time another four weeks, to begin at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and to last until the first Sunday in November. For New Yorkers who take local laws literally, consider this a timely reminder.

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Deep Thoughts on the Bus

Dear Diary:

What is it about riding the bus that makes some of us wax philosophical? Maybe the rush-hour crush of bodies squeezes thoughts that had been brewing in us all day out of our brains.

I usually keep my thoughts to myself. But every now and then, I run into a public speaker who might have given Socrates a run for his money.

One frigid night on the Q26 in Forest Hills, a jolly, portly middle-aged woman tried to make conversation with anyone in her vicinity near the front of the bus. Who was watching the Golden Globes tonight? Like most of the other passengers, I quickly tuned out.

But then the woman burst out laughing, apparently at a remark of her own, making someone next to her ask: What’s so funny?

“What, I can’t laugh in public?”

“I was just wondering…”

“Why does everyone want to laugh with you when you’re laughing, but no one wants to go near you when you’re crying?”

Most in the woman’s now more attentive audience shrugged. I did, too. But I’ve been trying to figure her question out many a cold night on the Q26 since.


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Generating Leads with Insurance SEO

Insurance Search Engine Marketing When you think about marketing strategies for your insurance company, most often you are thinking about the particular consumers you would like to reach. In fact, programs you create are often designed with a specific target audience in mind, and all marketing materials are then developed around that end goal. But how many times have you stopped to think about catering to the search engines that these potential customers are using to find your website? Insurance search engine marketing, believe it or not, could significantly boost the amount of insurance leads your company receives in a very short amount of time.

Search Engine Optimization

The idea of search engine optimization (SEO) is not a new one, but is something that has become increasingly important to the businesses that hope to survive in the digital age of today. Search engines have to sift through thousands of internet pages when they go looking for results of a keyword phrase someone types into them. Generally, these search engines select the sites that appear most legitimate—those that are of the highest ranking, have the most supportive links in them, and are recognized by the most outside sources. Search engine optimization simply helps you do all of these things to convince the search engine to select your website as a top choice.

Get Help From A Professional

Experienced companies specializing in insurance search engine marketing can help your business to gain relevance and ranking in the “eyes” of the biggest search engines in use by consumers today. Talk to a professional SEO company to get started.

Clues Sought in Burning of Bag Holding 5 Dogs

Animal protection authorities are looking for the people who set fire to a bag containing five pit bulls behind a beverage distribution warehouse in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, on Saturday.

The dogs, four puppies and one adult dog, are all dead, said Bret Hopman, a spokesman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “It is unclear whether the dogs were dead or alive prior to being place in the bag,” he added. He said necropsy results expected by the end of the week should answer that question.

The bag was found by workers at the warehouse, at East 91st Street and Ditmas Avenue, on Monday, and they examined security footage and found images of men getting out of a van with a bag and setting it aflame, Mr. Hopman said.

Sammy Omar, a worker at the warehouse, told WNBC-TV: “We seen the dog outside all burnt up, the babies all burnt up. It was horrible.”

Grainy footage shown on WNBC (see video below) shows two men with backs to the camera, one carrying a plastic garbage bag, walking toward a trash pile, and then a bag burning.

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