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To Crook County drivers:
   For 10 years or more the need for a traffic light at the corner of Combs Flat Road and Third Street has been like a mantra (traffic light - traffic light - traffic light) to the citizens of Prineville. Increased traffic due to new businesses in the area and residents who live out toward the lakes have made the intersection among the most dangerous and difficult to cross in this area.
   We find it curious that while we've needed only one light (traffic light - traffic light - traffic light) for so many years, we've been left off the list. ODOT must have some money because we received an Oregon Department of Transportation news release last week announcing the installation of SEVEN new traffic lights in Bend.
   It was encouraging to see that Robert Bryant, Regional Manager of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), told Mayor Uffelman that the traffic light would be installed by April 2002 and further that the postponed paving of Third street would also be done by then.
   Mayor Uffelman quickly asked Bryant to get those promises in writing and received a letter dated March 1 affirming that both projects (traffic light - traffic light - traffic light) were committed to as part of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
   Now let's hope ODOT lives up to its letter. All together now ... "traffic light - traffic light - traffic light."
   To anyone with a clock:
   Don't forget to set your clocks and check the batteries in all smoke detectors - Sunday is Daylight Saving Time.
   Note that it is Daylight Saving (singular) Time, not Daylight Savings Time. We are saving daylight, so it is singular and not plural.
   In the U.S., clocks change at 2 a.m. In Spring, clocks spring forward to 3 a.m.; in Fall, clocks fall back to 1 a.m. In the EU (European Union), clocks change at 1 a.m. In Spring, clocks spring forward to 2 a.m; in Fall, clocks fall back to midnight.
   Nationwide, restaurants and bars have varied closing policies. In many states, liquor cannot be served after 2 a.m. But at 2 a.m. in the Fall, the time switches back one hour. So, can they serve for that additional hour in October? The official answer is that the bars do not close at 2 a.m. but actually at 1:59 a.m. So, they are already closed when the time changes from Daylight Saving Time into Standard Time. In practice however, many establishments stay open an extra hour in the Fall.
   In the U.S., the changeover time was arbitrarily chosen to be 2 a.m, when most people are at home. This is practical and minimizes disruption. It is late enough to minimally affect bars and restaurants, and prevent the day from switching to yesterday (which would be confusing). It is early enough that the entire continental U.S. has switched by daybreak, and the changeover occurs before most early shift workers and early church-goers (particularly on Easter) are out of bed.
   [On the night the clocks are set back] "Supposing some unfortunate lady was giving birth to twins and one child was born a few minutes before 2 a.m., the other a few minutes after ... would the time of birth of the two children be reversed?"
   To everyone:
   Many fire departments encourage people to change the battery in the smoke detector when they change their clocks, because it can be so easy to forget otherwise. A working smoke detector more than doubles a person's chances of surviving a home fire. More than 90 percent of homes in the United States have smoke detectors, but one-third are estimated to have worn-out or missing batteries.