I'm not sure if this is a question for serverfault or stackoverflow but it seems like it has a lot to do with server config.
We have a server in chicago and the server's clock is on chicago time. But since the business is located in California, it would seem to make sense to use pacific time.
What happens when server time is Chicago, and php.ini directive date.timezone is set to "America/Los_Angeles"? How will that affect logs written to mysql, error logs, etc?
I've looked at the Apache error log and, as I expected, the php directive does not affect it. Times are all servertime.