COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Residents of a Norwegian island where the sun doesn’t set for 69 days of the year want to go “time-free” and have more flexible school and working hours to make the most of their long summer days.
People on the island of Sommaroey are pushing to get rid of traditional business hours and “conventional time-keeping” during the midnight sun period that lasts from May 18 to July 26, resident Kjell Ove Hveding said Wednesday.
Hveding met with a Norwegian lawmaker this month to present a petition signed by dozens of islanders in support of declaring a “time-free zone” and to discuss any practical and legal obstacles to basically ignoring what clocks say about day and night.
“It’s a bit crazy, but at the same it is pretty serious,” he said.
Sommaroey, which lies north of the Arctic Circle, stays dark from November to January. The idea behind the time-free zone is that disregarding timepieces would make it easier for residents, especially students, employers and workers, to make the most of the precious months when the opposite is true.
Going off the clock “is a great solution but we likely won’t become an entirely time-free zone as it will be too complex,” Hveding said. “But we have put the time element on the agenda, and we might get more flexibility … to adjust to the daylight.”
“The idea is also to chill out. I have seen people suffering from stress because they were pressed by time,” he said.
Sitting west of Tromsoe, the island has a population of 350. Fishery and tourism are the main industries.
Finland last year lobbied for the abolition of European Union daylight savings time after a citizens’ initiative collected more than 70,000 signatures.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
Never miss the important parts with insightful (and entertaining) news from The Signal, the best weekly Alaska news email.
- Despite the risk of a landslide, Gee Denton refuses to leave her house. “I've had to spend five-and-a-half years in this season of my life begging for people to be responsible for their responsibilities,” she says.
- Former assistant public advocate Kelly Parker filed the lawsuit in Anchorage Superior Court on Oct. 8 against Gov. Mike Dunleavy, his former chief of staff Tuckerman Babcock, and the state of Alaska.
Can high school teams in Southeast Alaska compete with rivals on the North Slope? With esports, it’s possible.Esports is growing in many high schools across Alaska. The sport was sanctioned by the the Alaska School Activities Association in April, and more and more students are getting involved.
- The Army Corps of Engineers says it has sufficient information to rule on a permit for a floating megaship dock in Ward Cove. That’s despite requests from the city of Ketchikan to hold hearings.