Altamont, Mar. 13, 2014

Jim, my husband, was rummaging around in the kitchen when I called  to him asking what he was doing. “Looking for a snack” he responded.  He walked around the corner with a big smile on his face, and I knew that I had caught him in the act of nighttime kitchen raiding. Without losing the grin he replied, “I’m just changing the clocks so we can be on time tomorrow.”

How could I have forgotten? It was on the radio, the television, in the newspaper and everyone I saw today reminded me to change my clocks. With spring approaching, it means that the snow will eventually vanish and be replaced with green grass once again, and our days are going to get longer. It is time to move our clocks ahead an hour to begin daylight saving time.

Jim was still standing in the doorway and I asked him, “We always turn our clocks ahead an hour in the spring, you know, spring ahead and fall back, but why do we do it?” “I don’t know” he responded, “but I think it had something to do with farming and the number of hours that were available to work in the daylight.” He said he would find out for us and return with an answer.

We were both surprised when we found out that it had nothing to do with farming but was instituted because of World War I. In 1918 the Standard Time Act was passed to officially establish time zones and daylight savings months by federal law. National efforts were made to conserve materials for the war effort. It was believed that if daytime hours could correspond better with natural light, fewer tasks would need to be done at night and homes would need less energy. After the war, daylight saving time was revoked.

When food conservation became mandatory in the United Sates during World War II, rather than just being encouraged as it was in WWI, daylight saving time was reinstated. Referred to as War Time, it spanned from early February until the end of September.

After the war Peace Time was back in effect and the issue of daylight saving time was handled on a local level. This led to a great deal of confusion as different locations were constantly operating at different times. The Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966 to solve the problem. States were given the option to opt out of daylight saving time if they passed proper ordinances.

With daylight saving no longer a federal mandate, some states have chosen not to observe it. Among the states that don’t currently participate in daylight saving are Arizona and Hawaii, with several U.S. territories choosing not to follow it as well. Arizona has such intense heat in daylight hours that it’s not considered a benefit for its residents.

As for Hawaii, its location is closer to the equator that gives them more consistent days year round. They wouldn’t be gaining, or losing, many daylight hours by observing the time change.

Daylight saving time is observed in many countries all over the world, though the time frame for it varies. In the United States it ran from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in October until the Energy Policy Act was passed in 2005. 

As of 2007, daylight saving now runs from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

Speaking of days and dates brings to mind the calendar. It is another system that we use all of the time and know very little about. A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system.

A calendar is also a physical device, often made of paper. This is the most common usage of a calendar and is used mostly to remind  us of upcoming events and appointments. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar.

The English word calendar is derived from the Latin word kalendae, which was the Latin name of the first day of every month. In the United States we use what is known as the Gregorian calendar.

The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. A regular Gregorian year consists of 365 days and in a leap year, an intercalary or leap day is added as February 29 making the year 366 days. Normally a leap year occurs every 4 years, but the Gregorian calendar omits 3 leap days every 400 years, unlike the Julian calendar, which retains those leap days.

A Gregorian year is divided into twelve months. Many children in the United States were taught the number of days in each month by memorizing a traditional verse: 

Thirty days has September, April, June, and November.

All the rest have thirty-one,

Except February alone,

This has twenty-eight days clear, and twenty-nine in each leap year.

English names used for the Gregorian calendar were frequently derived from Greek  or  Latin:

— January: Janus (Roman God of gates, doorways, and beginnings);

— February: Februus (Etruscan God of death);

— March: Mars (Roman God of war);

— April: “Modern scholars associate the name with an ancient root meaning other;

— May: Maia Maiestas (Roman Goddess of springtime, warmth, and increase);

  — June: Juno (Roman Goddess, wife of Jupiter);

—  July: Julius Caesar (Roman dictator);

— August: Augustus (first Roman Emperor);

— September: septem; 

— October: octo;        

— November: novem; 

— December: decem.

As you can see there are many things we use in our every day language that we do not know or do not remember. I guess we will go throughout life learning more each day.

By the way, did you remember to turn your clock ahead on Saturday night before retiring or first thing Sunday morning? Don’t forget to use this as a reminder to also change the batteries in your smoke detector.

Shriner’s parade

Members of Cyprus Temple are reminded that the parade in Kingston on March 16 will begin at 1 p.m., from the Kingston Plaza.

There will be carpooling from the Cyprus Temple at 10 a.m. sharp.  Seating in the van will be on a first come basis.

It is assumed that there will be a great corned beef and cabbage dinner served following the parade as has been done in the past.


Registration deadline for the May3  SAT test is April 4, and the  registration date for the June 14 ACT test is May 9.  Students can register on line for the SAT by going online to and for the ACT test go to

Helderberg Chapter

Members of Helderberg Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star will meet tonight, March 13, at the Altamont Masonic Hall on Maple Avenue.  Refreshments will be enjoyed at 7 p.m., with the meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. Stacey Wright, matron and Gerald Irwin, patron will preside.

Interim reports

Farnsworth Middle School’s 3rd quarter interim reports were made available to students yesterday, March 12.

Parking regulations

Altamont residents are reminded that the winter parking regulations prohibit parking on the streets between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. until May 1.

St. Andrew’s Society

The monthly meeting of the St. Andrew’s Society will meet on Thursday, March 20, for their board meeting at 7 p.m., and their monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Celtic Hall on Karner Road in Colonie. 

AFD annual ball

The Altamont Fire Department will hold its annual event on Saturday, March 22, in the village community room.  Tickets are $30 per person and will be on sale through March 15.  Come and enjoy an evening of fun, good food, and entertainment plus you are supporting the fire department and their annual  fund-raiser.


Happy-anniversary wishes are extended to Gigi and Chuck Mealey celebrating their special day on March14.


Happy-birthday wishes are extended to:

— Eric Fisher, Madison Lee Munroe, Rae Ann Sanderson and Dean Rosen on March 14;

— Kristina Alterwisher, Patricia Marciano, Jean, Monaco and Rich Sanderson on March 15;

— Arnie Adams Jr. Jim Gardner Sr., and Anne Gardner on March 16;

— Christa-Marie Caruso, Pam Drake, Pat Dwyer, Fran Gorka, Diane Gorka, Ted Ingle, Michael LaForte, and Matthew Percoskion March 18,

— Joan Beals, and Steve Schiltz on March 19; and

— Sara Edson, Andrew Licari, Ron Lindell, Dan Miller, Karen Naginey and Mike Thomason on March 20.