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Most of the forecasts agree that snow showers will start in North County overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, Christmas Eve.

May All Your Christmases Be White

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If you are in need of a little injection of Christmas spirit amid all of the chaos of the season, you are in luck: It looks like we might have a white Christmas here in northern Berkshire County.

That will make us pretty special, according to Accuweather.com: The standard for a white Christmas is an inch of snow on the ground during the morning. The regions most likely to have a blanket of snow on the ground this Christmas include, the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the mountains of the West.

Most of the forecasts agree that snow showers will start in North County overnight Sunday night into Monday morning, Christmas Eve, then becoming more scattered later, with showers more likely between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. With highs in the mid-30s, the snow likely won't pile up or stick to the roads too much, but this system could leave 1 to 3 inches of the white stuff on the ground to cover up the brown mud and gray muck left by a fairly uneventful December.

There has not been a winter storm warning announced as of late Sunday, but the National Weather Service has issued a "hazardous weather outlook" for the entire region to warn of the light snow expected to fall on Christmas Eve - during the day anyway.

So if you have any last minute shopping to do, use caution, as the roads could get a little wet. If you're lucky enough to have the day off from work, it looks to be a pretty day to curl up with some cocoa and watch the snow fall while you finish preparing for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone, from iBerkshires.com, and happy New Year, too!

 


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Letter: Standouts to Support Public Higher Education

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

During this time in which many of our day to day activities have been affected by Covid-19, one thing has not changed: the value of our public higher education institutions. Here in Berkshire County, MCLA and Berkshire Community College continue to serve our students, many of them local residents and the majority residents of this Commonwealth. While the modalities we are using to teach, counsel, advise, and provide all types services have widened to include more online and hybrid as well as in person delivery when it can be safely done, BCC and MCLA are open to our students. We remain the most affordable and accessible institutions in the county. Together with our colleagues at the University of Massachusetts campuses, we continue to educate our citizens.

It is for these reasons that we wish to express our opinion that public higher education campuses deserve level funding at the very least. Our students deserve and should have access to the range of programs, courses, and support services of all kinds; during this pandemic, students have more needs to be met, not fewer. Public higher education has suffered through many years of underfunding. Although the work done at public institutions of higher education is often praised, such lip service doesn’t pay the salaries and other fixed costs on our campuses. Praise has never funded a scholarship or kept tuition and fees from the increases necessary when state aid is insufficient. If ever there was a time to turn praise into line items of the budget, this is that time.

Our public colleges and universities provide the workers that are needed in our communities. From nurses to teachers, from scientists to computer specialists, from professors to hospitality workers, from writers to public servants of all kinds, how many of us were educated at least in part at our public colleges? Workforce development and adult basic education also takes place on our campuses. We provide those who cannot or choose not to leave the area with quality education that is relatively affordable. Those employed by the colleges are able to invest in the community as well, buying homes, raising families, and supporting local businesses.

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