Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sun Glare While Driving – October 2015

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving, and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Read our weekly news summary “Sun Glare and Driving” at:

Hung out my shingle 20 years ago today Oct 2nd. Seems like only yesterday. Thank you to all my Clients for their support over the years.

Great fall driving tips

With fall in full swing, drivers can face a series of new challenges.

Of course the most common is an increase in deer activity. Last year more than 18,000 deer were in hit in Wisconsin and the numbers trend upwards in autumn. Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger is urging motorists to use extra caution, especially at dawn and dusk, prime time for deer to be moving…

In addition to deer, harvest season is also underway, meaning farmers and motorists are sharing the road in many areas...

Finally the sun’s glare can be blinding at day break and sunset. IN addition to slowing down the DOT reminds drivers to use their visor, try polarized sun glasses and keep your windshield as clean as possible.


September was a bad month for sun glare while driving

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Sun glare being investigated >

Groundskeeper killed in crash died of multiple traumatic injuries

WEST CHESTER TWP. — A 68-year-old man killed in a Tuesday morning crash died of multiple traumatic injuries, according to a Butler County Coroner’s Office autopsy performed today. 

The death has been ruled accidental, according to the coroner’s office.

Terry Frey, of West Chester Twp., was pronounced dead at the Beckett Ridge Boulevard crash scene at about 8:30 a.m. Frey was traveling east on Beckett Ridge near Sawgrass Drive when his utility vehicle was hit from behind by a Honda Odyssey driven by Ashley Money, 29, of West Chester Twp., according to Officer Michelle Berling…

West Chester police are investigating the crash, but speed, alcohol and cell phone use are not believed to be factors, Berling said.

Investigators are working to determine if sun glare was a factor.

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Driver blames blinding sun after hitting Marshall Co. woman -  Montgomery Alabama news.

BOAZ, AL (WAFF) - A Marshall County woman was sent to the hospital after she was hit by a car while crossing a street in the city of Boaz.

Boaz police say the incident happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday on Highway 168 near Weathers Hardware…

Police say the driver claims to have been blinded by the setting sun.

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Terrible time of year for sun glare >

A look at the passenger van v septic truck crash in Bristol. Officials say sun glare likely a factor…

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Truck driver pleads not guilty in deadly bicycle collision | via @cantonrepdotcom

GARFIELD HEIGHTS - A northeast Ohio man has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide charges for an accident in his pickup truck that killed two bicyclists and injured three others…

Police say two cyclists, including 33-year-old Matt Billings of Plain Township, were killed when Wolf struck them while making a left turn in the Cleveland suburb of Brecksville on Sept. 17…

Wolf told investigators that sun glare prevented him from seeing the cyclists…

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AAA Mid-Atlantic and the National Weather Service offer tips on driving with the sun in your eyes

Sun Glare Can Be Deadly for Drivers

Sun glare can be a major hazard and a threat to safety this time of year.

Whether it’s the rising or the setting sun, it can be blinding for motorists who are trying to see the road, other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and traffic signals.

“Unfortunately, most drivers don’t anticipate the dangers of sun glare until they are overtaken by it, and then that can be too late to react safely,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Drivers are far more attentive to road conditions like snow, rain, sleet or high winds.  They tend not to give glare the degree of risk needed…

In the fall, the rising sun aligns itself perfectly with many east-west roadways according to the National Weather Service.  It is during the first 15 to 45 minutes of sunrise that sun-glare is most hazardous.  Motorists traveling westbound can also experience sun-glare as the sun drops lower toward the horizon.

To avoid sun-related crashes, AAA Mid-Atlantic advises motorists to drive as they would in low-visibility conditions like rain or fog.  Most glare-related incidents occur when the sun is coming up or going down.

A study conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that older drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes if glare obstructs their vision.  In fact, 38.5 percent of drivers involved in crashes related to glare exposure were 45 years of age or older.

The avoid sun-related crashes, AAA Mid-Atlantic and the National Weather Service offer drivers the following tips:

  • Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses, or wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective    coating.  Scratched eyeglasses or contact lenses make the glare worse.
  • Heed the speed limit, particularly if you are driving into the sunrise on your way into work or the sunset on your way home.
  • Slow down. The more space you have, the more time you have to react.
  • Increase your following distance beyond the recommended safe distances to allow three or more seconds between vehicles.
  • Turn headlights on so oncoming motorists can see you as they are driving toward the sun.
  • Clean your windshield outside and inside. A cracked or dirty windshield can magnify glare.
  • Use your visor as much as possible, but remember that visors can also block your vision.
  • Consider alternate routes to minimize east/west driving whenever possible. Use north/south streets until you find an east/west road with lots of trees or taller buildings.

It’s also suggested that you keep every surface between your eyes and the road as clear as possible, including both sides of your windshield and your eyeglasses.

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Time of year for sun glare + fogged up windshield  > 

Driver blames crash on car controls, sun glare

A man who recently bought a new car said he was unfamiliar with its controls and couldn't see out the foggy windshield just before he struck another vehicle from behind, police said… 

Luciani told police he recently bought the car and wasn't familiar with all of its controls, including the defroster, police said. He reported his windshield became foggy and the sun was shining directly on it, according to police.

When the red traffic signal turned green, police said Luciani stepped on the gas thinking the driver in front of him had moved forward but had not...

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Crash shows danger of morning sun

MUNCIE — A doctor remains hospitalized after his Toyota Camry was rammed on the driver's side by a full-size Chevrolet pickup truck whose driver told police he was blinded by the sun…

According to the weather service, the rising sun this time of year aligns with many east-west roadways, creating a serious hazard during the first 15 to 45 minutes of sunrise…

To keep yourself safe, the weather service says you should use your visor, wear polarized sunglasses, clean your windshield inside and out because dirt and haze on the glass increase glare, turn your headlights on so oncoming motorists can see you as they drive into the sun, increase your following distance, and try to change your driving routes to north-south streets until you find an east-west road with lots of trees or taller buildings… 

Epidemic of these in NJ, why?  > 

School crossing guard hit by vehicle, sun glare may have played a role

WESTWOOD, New Jersey — Police say a school crossing guard was struck by a car while helping a woman cross a street in Westwood…

Regino says police are investigating whether sun glare played a role in the accident…

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Another left turn + sun glare crash, car vs. cyclist  >

Driver Who Injured Cyclist in Logan Square Blames Sun in His Eyes

It’s every bike rider’s nightmare. You legally proceed through an intersection with the green light, only to have a careless driver run into you while making a left turn, a phenomenon known as the “left hook.” 

That’s what happened to a female cyclist in Logan Square this morning. According to Officer Thomas Sweeney from Police News Affairs, the 45-year-old woman was riding northwest on Milwaukee Avenue at 8:50 a.m. When she reached Fullerton Avenue, she entered the intersection on a green. At that point, a 26-year-old man heading southeast in a Chevy Cavalier made a left turn from Milwaukee to head east on Fullerton, striking the cyclist…

According to a police source, the driver claimed he didn’t see the cyclist because he was blinded by the sun…

more -  @streetsblogchi

Good cycling tips  > 

Fall Bike Rides: Six Safety Tips for Pennsylvania Bicyclists

Bicycling is the perfect way to enjoy fall foliage, but cooler temperatures and shorter days can affect your ride. Here are six tips to help you stay safe while biking this fall. 

  1. Check your lights.
  2. Don’t forget about glare.
  3. Check your tire pressure.
  4. Wipe and lubricate your chains.
  5. Prepare for the weather.
  6. Watch for leaves.

read full article - 

Bedford Woman Injured After Sun Glare Causes Accident

A Bedford woman was injured after she crashed her car into a utility pole Monday afternoon.

According to a Bedford Police report, 27-year-old Shantel Foster of Bedford was traveling south on Washington Avenue and approaching the intersection of 25th Street and Washington Avenue when the glare of the sun caused her to lose sight of the roadway and she drove her 2002 Kia Spectra off the roadway and struck a utility pole…

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Great driving tips  > 

Watch out for sun-glare when driving warns IAM | Stroud Life

The Institute of Advanced Motorist's head of driving standards Peter Rodger has come up with some tips to help drivers prevent the dangers and hazards caused by low sun and glare experienced at this time of year. 

  • You will often see dirt and grime highlighted on your windscreen in low sun, so it's important that you clean your windows. Use a microfibre cloth to wipe down the inside and make sure your washer bottle is filled with a good quality screen washer liquid.
  • A sun visor will not necessarily stop low sun from beaming into your windscreen. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your glove box so you can get to them easily.
  • With the night's drawing in, ensure you switch on your headlights before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise so there is no possibility of other road users not seeing you.
  • Always drive at a steady speed, and if low sun is obstructing what you see ahead slow down – this is particularly important at sharp bends where it's important to have a clear view of the approaching hazard.
  • When road surfaces are wet, the dazzle from the sun is increased by the reflection of the sun. Take care when driving on wet road surfaces and ease off the accelerator if necessary.
  • Look out for vulnerable road users including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, mobility scooter and electric wheelchair users – they are all difficult to spot in low sun conditions. Always take extra precautions at known hazard spots like schools, junctions and crossings.
  • If you're affected by low sun, the chances are other drivers are too. Pay attention to vehicles around you and anticipate any sudden manoeuvres. As a rule of thumb you should increase the stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Looking directly at low and sharp rays can affect your vision. If this happens to you, take a break from driving by stopping safely and legally.

Peter said: "The key aspect of driving in low sunlight is how it reduces your vision. If you cannot see, you cannot drive the same way. Don't continue at the same speed if you cannot see where you are going. It might sound obvious, but many drivers will battle on in near zero visibility despite being blinded by the sun. Trust your instincts – slow down and prepare to stop if this happens to you."…

more - via @stroudlife

A dangerous time for deer, drivers in NJ

Part of nature’s rhythms have these deer being most active during the early morning and in the evening, during dawn and dusk.” 

“It is at the time of day, dusk and dawn, when sun glare can be really bad and low light conditions can persist and it can be really, really difficult.”

more - @nj1015

And low sun this time of year. "@TranBC: Why pedestrians and drivers need to be aware NOW more then ever”

Left turns one of most dangerous manoeuvres drivers make. Even worse with sun glare >

Sun glare factors into morning collision, Harley rider seriously injured | St George News

CEDAR CITY A rider out on his Harley Davidson in Cedar City Saturday morning was struck by a Western Rock Products truck when sun glare blinded the truck driver’s view while making a left turn… 

The bright glare of the early morning sun rising up over the mountain was too much, Pollock said, and the driver of the truck didn’t even see the motorcycle until they collided…

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Lehigh University bus carrying rowing team involved in fatal crash with car on Route 22.

A bus driver and members of the Lehigh University rowing team injured in a crash on Route 22 in Bethlehem late Tuesday afternoon have all been released from the hospital. 

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim identified Rodney Sigley Jr., a 28-year-old Bethlehem man, as the driver who died after his car struck the bus…

The accident happened about 15 minutes before sunset, with both drivers facing the low sun in a clear sky. It wasn't immediately clear whether sun glare played a role in the crash…

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NCDOT: Pay attention to what time change means for you

For many people, the time change means the commute home or the evening walk, run or bike ride will take place in the dusk or even darkness of night.

N.C. Transportation offers some very easy steps to take to improve safety in such conditions, like ensuring vehicle headlights are turned on and for walkers, runners and bike riders, carrying a light and wearing bright, preferably reflective clothing…

Other tips for motorists include:
* Protect your eyes from glare — allow them to adapt to darkness before driving, especially as you get older.
* Adjust the rearview mirror to the “night” setting to avoid headlight glare.
* Make sure headlights and the windshield (including the inside) are cleaned off and clear.
* Make sure headlights are properly aimed because if they’re pointed the wrong way, they can blind others on the road and reduce the ability to see where you’re going.
* If going east in the morning or west in the afternoon, allow extra travel time as you may be dealing with sun glare as it sets and rises.
* As dusk approaches, take off sunglasses.
* Slow down and leave more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, especially on unlit or winding roads as the faster you go, the less reaction time you will have to avoid a collision with another vehicle, cyclist, pedestrian or animal.
* Be mindful that high beams can blind an approaching driver, cyclist or pedestrian, so quickly switch to low beams in that situation.
* If blinded by light from a vehicle coming from the opposite direction, look down and toward the right edge of the road.
* Pay extra attention to the possibility of pedestrians, cyclists and deer along the roadway.

Tips for pedestrians and cyclists include:
* Pedestrians should walk facing traffic so they see oncoming vehicles.
* Cyclists should travel in the same direction as other vehicles.
* In addition to wearing brightly-colored or even reflective or fluorescent clothing, put reflective strips on items you may be carrying.
* When crossing at a traffic signal, remember to look right and left and don’t depend just on the light or a crosswalk signal.
* Avoid jaywalking and crossing a road between parked vehicles.

more - via @Courier_Tribune @NCDOT

Note to drivers: After time change this weekend, driving conditions will change as sun rises/sets 1 hour earlier. @bobtraffic

> bob summers ‏@bobtraffic : @SunPosition after the time change we will be dealing with an earlier sunrise/sunset PLUS the sun is lower in the sky= much more glare.

> @bobtraffic Good point. In fact, the sun will continue to get lower in the sky until the winter solstice Dec 21.

> @bobtraffic to put this in perspective, the sun's height in Toronto around noon on Dec 21 is the same as at 8 am and 6:40 pm on Jun 21.

Transport Canada ‏@Transport_gc : As days get shorter and we Fall Back to Standard Time, remember to See And Be Seen on the road

 > @Transport_gc and be mindful that sun conditions will be completely different than what we're used to.

Cheers, Ralph

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 2015

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, and to specific projects with sun/shade issues in particular. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Check out our weekly news summary “Sun, Shadow & Urban Development” at

What are your thoughts about shadowing from proposed buildings?

Take our survey -

Disagreement among experts  > 

Report suggests the 88-storey Iluka tower will leave darkness after the dawn |

Sections of Surfers Paradise will remain in darkness after dawn because of shadowing from the planned Iluka supertower, says a technical report.

The proposed 88-storey tower will cast a shadow not just on the beach but across the other accommodation buildings just south of the site along The Esplanade.

A peer review by the sustainable design and development group Greensphere Consulting on behalf of residents challenges the work conducted by specialists working for the Iluka developers…

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Four 120-metre-plus towers may rise in Toronto's Entertainment District | via @buzzbuzzhome

A trio of proposed high-rise developments, including four towers, could significantly alter the skyline of Toronto’s Entertainment District…

For two of the projects, proposals from Graywood Developments and Carlyle Communities, applications have not been put through to the City. A third, from Humbold Properties Limited, is currently in the rezoning process.

Graywood’s pre-application proposal is for a mostly residential development with commercial tenants at street level at 102-118 Peter Street and 350-354 Adelaide Street West. It encompasses two towers for a combined total of about 900 units. The taller tower would be roughly 50 storeys tall, or about 150 metres — just seven metres shy of the nearby TIFF building — while the shorter tower would be 39 storeys, or a height of about 120 metres…

 The Carlyle Communities’ vision for 122-128 Peter Street and 357 Richmond Street West is a two-tone, 46-storey, 138-metre-tall tower...

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Sounds minimal IMHO  > 

Proposed Sixth Street Development Prompts Hearing On Shadow's Impact On SoMa Parks | @HoodlineSF

The Rec & Parks Commission is joining the Planning Commission at a special joint hearing Thursday to consider whether a proposed development at Sixth and Clara streets will have an adverse effect on Central SoMa's green spaces…

According to the Planning Department's assessment, the plans adhere to the guidelines set by the Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plan (which was approved by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors in December 2008) and will not result in significant environmental impacts beyond those already identified in the area plan's environmental review. Therefore, the project is not required to compile a project-specific environmental review.

However, given that the development is over 40 feet tall and could have the potential to cast new shadows on Gene Friend Recreation Center and Victoria Manalo Draves Park, the city was required to conduct a shadow analysis under Proposition K Sunlight Ordinance — which was approved by city voters in 1985 to protect public open spaces under Rec & Parks jurisdiction from negative impacts of development.

According to the shadow analysis conducted by CADP on behalf of the departments, the development would not cast any new shadows on Victoria Manalo Draves Park. Shadows resulting from the complex in the morning and evening would fall on areas already shadowed by surrounding buildings.

The analysis does find that the proposed Saturn Apartments would increase shadows on Gene Friend Recreation Center — which may receive a complete redesign in coming years — by .028 percent a year, but CADP predicts that the new shadow would subside before the park opens at 9am.

"The longest duration of new shadow would be approximately 22 minutes and the average shadow would be cast for less than 12 minutes," the report states. "All new shadow cast occurs before the park opens and is mostly projected on walkways, a small portion of the green field adjacent to the corner of Sixth Street and Folsom Street."…

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See below for more on this story

Shadows over the CBD: have Melbourne's skyscrapers reached a tipping point? | The Age

In early 2013, Michael Buxton was pondering what central Melbourne was becoming. On every available site, yet another skyscraper was being either built or planned or spruiked. There was a deep, unsettling sense we were witnessing a city being transformed. 

Buxton, a planning expert from RMIT, had not long before given the then planning minister Matthew Guy the moniker Mr Skyscraper. Catchy and contentious, the characterisation stuck, neatly capturing the minister's enthusiasm for buildings tall.

Is it too late for Melbourne? Has too much damage already been done?

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Sixth & Clara Development Wins Planning Commission Approval, Shadows And All | via @HoodlineSF

The days are numbered for the 95-year-old industrial building at 363 Sixth St., as the Planning Commission has approved plans to construct a mixed-use apartment complex on the site.

Given that the 85-foot-tall building would cast a shadow on the nearby Gene Friend Recreation Center, the Planning and Rec and Parks commissions were first required to hold a special joint hearing to determine whether raising the park's shadow limit by .02 percent to allow the development to proceed would have an adverse affect on the center and its green space. While the two commissions voted 10 to 1 in favor of raising the shadow limit, the matter wasn't taken lightly.

The first major concern for the commissions was the number of developments that could also add shadows to Gene Friend and Victoria Manalo Draves Park in the near future. While presenting the prepared shadow analysis for 363 6th St., Planning Department staff noted that development plans are being drafted for at least four sites surrounding the two recreation spaces. Based on early-stage plans, three of those projects could add new shadows to at least one of the parks.

Another key issue: the idea of trading sunlight for other community benefits. While community members and commissioners widely applauded the project's developer, Realtex, for providing a laundry list of long-term benefits—including $185,000 in contributions to a variety of neighborhood recreation and youth programs, to be disbursed over the next five years—Rec and Parks Commissioner Eric McDonnell for urged his peers to strictly focus on the issue of the shadows.

“It feels like a slippery slope when we begin to add to the consideration how good the company is,” he said.

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Part 3: The Architecture of Change | Opencity Projects

At first glance, the proposed changes to the built environment in Mirvish Village are dizzying...

The proposed height of the tallest tower at Bloor and Bathurst is 29 storeys...

In planning land, it is conventional wisdom that pedestrians only engage with the first eight storeys of a building; whether 15 or 29 storeys, there is negligible impact on the pedestrian. But perhaps the main source of concern is the shadow impact on the adjacent neighbourhoods and businesses. To mitigate these effects, a typology common to Vancouver has been proposed: the micro tower. Micro towers are narrower than typical buildings erected in Toronto, having a smaller floor plate, thus casting narrower shadows…

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Marymount School Unveils Rendering of 229-Foot Tower Planned for UES via @Dnainfo

The Marymount School for girls unveiled plans this week to construct a new state-of-the-art sustainable school building that will allow the school to consolidate its programs into one facility. 

The 229-foot-tall building planned for 115 E. 97th St. will feature green terraces, gardens and possibly a solar panel system...

…the school will complete an environmental impact assessment before plans move forward, and that the school will follow the city regulations and have an open-door policy for those concerned about the work.

Jules Feinman, a resident and member of 97-98 Lexington & Park Ave. Neighbors, said he liked the project but was worried about the shadow the building would cast on the neighborhood. Currently, the lot is empty and is being used by the school as a tennis court.

"It is a really big building," Feinman said. "That air space is kind of everybody's solace and respite and the light is already blocked from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This is pretty much going to kill all morning light. I'm supportive but this is something you need to consider. We’re giving up a lot."…

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Cheers, Ralph

Miscellaneous “Sun & Shadow” Items – October 2015

The following are miscellaneous sun, shade, solar and solar energy facts and comments. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition
Our monthly sunrise/sunset tables have been updated

Halloween 2015 sunset times -

Trudeau: "Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways." Could be a cool vision statement for my firm.

Lockheed Martin Parking Catches Sun Power | Lockheed Martin

On October 20, 2015, Lockheed Martin joined Florida Governor Rick Scott, Duke Energy President of Florida Utility Operations Alex Glenn and other local officials to celebrate the powering up of its 151,400 square foot solar array covering the parking lot at its facility near Clearwater, Florida. The project represents Florida’s largest, private solar array.
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Watch the sun set in line with Toronto east-west streets on Monday Oct 26 6:17 pm.

Special 'Torontohenge' sunset to wow commuters - Toronto - CBC News

A specially timed sunset gave some Toronto commuters a nice sight on their way home Monday (Oct 26/15) - the sun set in line with the city grid: a phenomenon known as "Torontohenge."
The sun set at 6:17 p.m., and the clear conditions made it a nice night to watch the sun drop in line with Toronto's major east-west streets like King, Queen and Bloor.
While a delight for photographers, the setting sun can make driving difficult.
The sun has been setting in similar positions all week. But Ralph Bouwmeester, who specializes in tracking the sun and shadows, tweeted that Monday would be the optimal day for seeing "Torontohenge".
The "henge" part of the name is a reference to England's famous Stonehenge, which was built so the rising sun aligns in a specific way during the summer solstice.
Manhattanhenge, in New York, always generates thousands of photos.
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Thank you @Spacing for the Torontohenge shout-out!

TORONTO-HENGE IS TONIGHT (Oct 26/15)! Thanks to Ralph from @SunPosition on Twitter, we know that tonight at 6:17pm the sunset will line up perfectly with Toronto's east-west streets.
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Darkest morning of the year in Toronto on Oct 31/15. Sunrise at 7:52 am. Nice to go back to Standard Time - at least for the mornings.

Cheers, Ralph