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WINTER CAME early to the region on Tuesday, with 2.4 inches of snow reported in the city of Pittsburgh, which broke a record for that date set in 1911, when 1.7 inches fell. Motorists had to find their scrapers and residents their snow shovels, but they might want to keep them handy. As for the stores playing Christmas songs already, maybe they could give a rest to the refrains of "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ..." There will be time enough for that without encouraging nature.

WHEN IT COMES to winters of our discontent, the name US Airways has made Pittsburghers grumpy in all sorts of weather for a long time. Residents remember when US Airways was Allegheny Airlines, a.k.a. Agony Airlines, and the airline never quite lived down the name — a problem exacerbated when US Airways abandoned Pittsburgh International Airport as its hub and took thousands of jobs with it. But in the deal merging US Airways and American Airlines, approved by the Justice Department last week, the new carrier will be known as American. What’s in a name? Maybe a better image locally?

VISITORS FLYING into Pittsburgh, now permitting, will find a city with many advantages, but one that isn’t much heralded. But, a national real estate information website, has ranked Pittsburgh as the nation’s fifth most affordable metro area for housing. The region’s median home price is $137,000 compared with $203,500 nationally. Let us glow, let us glow, let us glow.

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