(Marco Island, FL) I've been wanting to comment on the time zone issues facing Indiana for a while, but it seemed like petty nonsense most of the time. It still is, but here's the two cents anyhow.
There are some who clamor for a statewide switch to Central Time. To them I say, please just move one state west. Not only do I strongly prefer Eastern Time, I'd be even happier if Eastern Time occurred one hour earlier than it currently does.
I've been working in the Chicago suburbs for the better part of the last month. Now that DST has ended, dusk begins around 4:30pm, and sunset happens at 5:15! It seems like endless night time, especially to someone who is doing outdoor work on projects that pay by the job rather than the hour, and would dearly love to continue field work beyond a mere 10-hour span. How great Summer EDST was, working outdoors until 9pm! Now I'm vacationing in Florida, far to the east of the eastern time zone, and the sunsets come around 6pm. It's crazy early! I'm not ready to get off the beach yet!
I can understand those in NW Indiana wanting to be linked with Chicago time, what with the obvious business links and the convenience of knowing what time your favorite TV shows will air on the Chicago stations. Apart from that? Darkness before evening? Hermits may not care, but those of us working outside would like to finish the day with natural lighting, thank you very much.
I was always chucking at the opponents of DST who argued against it on the basis that mornings were dark, leaving kids waiting for buses in the scary darkness. Well, where are the complaints about kids arriving home from school in the dark?
Here's the business argument for Eastern Time:
New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toronto, Montreal, Detroit.. to say nothing of Buffalo, Rochester, Cincinnati, Columbus, Newark, etc.
Compare that list and the populations there with the list of Central Time cities:
Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, Kansas City... with places like Tulsa, Omaha, and Birmingham.
It's really no contest from this standpoint. In fact, Central Time is downright foolish in these terms. But at the end of the day, most arguments are purely subjective- just as my main argument is. I'm not a morning person, and I like daylight late into the day. Morning people seem to complain the most about the recent institution of DST in Indiana. But if you are going to be objective and make a business oriented argument, look no further than the lists of the cities within the zones. Let NW Indiana associate with Chicago, but the rest of the state really belongs on EST.