March 08, 2001 11:00 pm

Time-change bill

too narrow in focus

The efforts of an Oregon legislator to do away with daylight savings time in the Ontario area is ill-advised.

Rep. Tom Butler, an Ontario Republican, has proposed a bill that would allow his hometown and northern Malheur County to ignore the April shift to daylight savings time.

Ontario is on Mountain Standard Time, an hour ahead of La Grande and other parts of Oregon that are in the Pacific time zone, but consistent with Boise and all of southern Idaho.

If Butlers bill is approved, Ontario would remain on Mountain Standard Time during the summer. The communitys time would be the same as the rest of Oregon for six months, but an hour behind Boise. All that would change in October when Ontarios time would be the same as Boises, but an hour ahead of the rest of Oregon.

Butler believes daylight saving time, which gives people more sunlight at the end of the day in summer, is a useless artifact. Hes annoyed that watches and clocks must be changed twice a year (falling back 60 minutes in October and springing forward an hour in April).

Butlers bill would tinker with time in only one tiny portion of Oregon, and that would be wrong. If he wants to do away with daylight savings time, he should convince the Legislature that it no longer is useful throughout all of Oregon and the state as a whole should change its system. He could also argue his case in Idaho.

The Ontario legislators bill might light a fire to get a discussion going about scrapping daylight saving time. But it would make little sense to pass it as it is written.

Scrap the name

The University of North Dakotas Fighting Sioux nickname is being heavily debated on campus. Opponents say the nickname demeans American Indians and undermines the universitys efforts to provide educational programs for Indians.

The fact the Fighting Sioux nickname is controversial is a sign that the university would be better off to scrap the name and come up with something new.

Other schools should follow suit. Enterprise High School has eliminated its Indian caricature from its logo, but is reluctant to drop its Savages team nickname.

Schools and sports teams should willingly drop names like Fighting Sioux, Redskins and Savages if the end result helps to honor the history and culture of the American Indians living in our nation today.