Opinion: Autumn Redux and other musings



Shawn Mercer

Shawn Mercer

Shawn Mercer is a senior integrated life sciences major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

This fall is particularly exciting to me, and it deserves to be summarized it terms of what has been going on.

Changing leaves: Deciduous trees and plants are those plants that shed their leaves seasonally. This tends to correspond with the winter or dry season, depending on the climate. The reason there is a color change in the leaves of deciduous trees is the changing levels of pigment within the leaves. The green chlorophyll decreases in the fall as carotenoids (yellow, orange and brown) become predominant within the leaves. Some trees produce anthocyanin as a red pigment in their leaves. The leaves ultimately shed because maintaining the structures in the cold and dry parts of the year is detrimental to the tree.

Elections: I have heard partisan elections can be detrimental to local politics. Rather, nonpartisan elections encourage citizen participation more. With a partisan election, the party of the candidate appears next to his or her name on the ballot. In a nonpartisan election, no party affiliations appears next to the candidate’s name. This way, voting strictly along party lines and riding the coattails of a more prominent candidate occurs less in local politics that have nonpartisan elections, and local citizens have to learn what the candidate actually stands for.

Daylight saving time: On Nov. 3, we gained an hour as daylight saving time ended. Then again, the sun sets earlier so I’m not sure if it is all that great. Daylight saving time begins in the spring each year as an effort to increase the amount of sun present in the evening. The way the reasoning goes is that people will use less energy and be more productive into the evening if there are more hours of apparent daylight. On the other hand, changing clocks twice a year disrupts business, causes lateness and changes sleeping patterns.

Obamacare rollout fails: It has never been a secret the government is not particularly adept at running a website. As enrollment into Obamacare began, it became apparent the website was not functioning. Apparently the bugs are being worked out from recent servicing to the website, but only time will tell how effective they are. The more pressing issue is that people are losing their health coverage. The president’s promise that if you like your plan and your doctor, then you can keep them has been demonstrated to be false. People are being kicked off their health plans because they are considered substandard. This speaks to the paternalism of an administration and law that redefines what insurance is.

Autumn is the most exciting time of year as the seasons change, and we enjoy the beautiful colors of nature. The holiday season is ushered in as the sunny season fades into the background. A new year approaches, in addition to changing administrations in our local politics. The future of Obamacare remains uncertain as the year comes to a close and a new one approaches from just around the corner.