Elimination of Daylight Saving Time Opposed by Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
By MARY KAUFFMAN
April 09, 2015
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Legislation has been introduced and passed through the Alaska State Senate that would do away with Daylight Saving Time in Alaska. According to the Executive Director of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, Chelsea Goucher, this change would have major negative ramifications for many Southeast Alaskan businesses, particularly those associated with the cruise and tourism industries or those whom frequently do business with operators in the Puget Sound region or points farther East.
In an email Goucher stated, "Despite the fact that the legislative process thus far has resulted in changes that might lessen these negative impacts, the Ketchikan Chamber's Board of Directors feel that the status quo has been working and oppose passage of this legislation - as do both the Sitka and Juneau Chambers, Southeast Conference, and the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau."
In a recent letter written by Goucher on behalf of the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to Representatives Bob Lynn and Wes Keller, she communicated the Chamber's opposition to this bill.
The only acceptable compromise, according to Goucher's letter, is to ensure that if Daylight Saving Time is repealed, that Alaska be moved to Pacific Standard Time. Doing this will preserve the hour of daylight that affects business and the overall quality of life for Alaskans during the most active months. Goucher stated that this compromise is complicated by the size of Alaska and the fact that, internally, population centers such as Anchorage, Fiarbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan must be able to do business with each other efficiently making multiple time zones as equally messy proposition.
Goucher stated in the letter that the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce and Ketchikan businesses implores Representatives Lynn and Keller to consider SB6 carefully and to ensure that this bill stays in the House State Affiars Committee and is not passed during this legislative session.
Chelsea Goucher, the Executive Director, wrote on behalf of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to communicate their opposition to the passage of SB6. Goucher noted Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce is specifically concerned with the following:
- Alaska will stay on 'winter' time year-round and thus will be two hours behind Seattle and five hours behind New York when they shift to Daylight Saving Time along with the rest of the country. One result of this discrepance will be that south-bound cruise ships departing Ketchikan and Alaska for points south will have to leave an hour earlier to achieve parity with Pacific Daylight Time, resulting in a nearly 9,000,000.00 loss in revenues to Ketchikan and Alaska.
- When these regions return to Standard Time, Ketchikan will be one hour behind Seattle and fours hours behind New York as Ketchikan is currently. This will confuse businesses and individuals across the country and complicate communications, particularly the scheduling of teleconferences and appointments. Businesses in Alaska may have to shift their start times to earlier in the day for half the year (then switch back) in order not to lose valuable time with partners farther East.
- Sunset during the summer months will be an hour earlier than it is currently. This will detrimentally impact flight operations, marine charters, tour businesses, and the safety of shift worker transportation. Individuals will lose time to participate in valuable recreational activiites that make Ketchikan and the Southeast Alaska region a special place to live,a nd thouse who depend on subsistence activities will suffer both culturally and economically by darkness coming earlier. Similarly, commercial fishermen will be forced to shirt their schedules and suffer the burden of having to wake up at 2 or 3 AM in order to maximize their fishing time.
- Financially, there will be a rise in programming costs to transportation, shipping, logistics, and broadcasting businesses. Municipal governments such as Ketchikan's will lose sales tax revenues, particularly as a result of losses in the tourism sector, and a negative "trickle-down" effect will damage sales at those businesses which support other, directly-impacted sectors.
Goucher stated that the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce understands the necessity of living within its means both as Alaskans and advocates for reductions in state spending in order to approach budget sustainability. The Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce must protect those parts of Ketchikan's economy that generage revenue for the state and Ketchikan's people. Goucher further stated, "Now is not the time to raise logistical and technical issues for Alaska's businesses and taxpayers."
On the Web:
Listen to the SB6 STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE Hearing Held April 09, 2015
SB6 - "An Act exempting the state from daylight saving time; petitioning the United States Department of Transportation to change the time zones of Alaska; and providing for an effective date."
Source of News:
Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce
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