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Noted and passed -- Feb. 27, 2012

Posted: February 24, 2012 11:31 a.m.
Updated: February 27, 2012 5:00 a.m.

• A recent news story indicated that this year’s mild winter had confused plants and animals alike. Flowering shrubs and trees seem to think that it’s already spring, and humans are sniffling with allergies which don’t normally show up until late March or April. But we’d wager that nearly everyone in Kershaw County has taken great pleasure in the lack of cold weather and the unseasonably warm days which have allowed people to be outdoors and enjoying themselves. By this time in February, we’re usually weary of scraping frost off windshields and wearing heavy coats, but we’ve had a respite this year. Hasn’t it been a welcome change?

• Democrats in Columbia are challenging the appointment of Catherine Templeton to head the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, and it seems a strange choice for Gov. Nikki Haley to have made. She doesn’t have a great deal of experience in health and environmental matters, but compounding the situation is the fact that she says she won’t move to Columbia and will instead work out of the agency’s North Charleston office near her home. Being head of a state agency is in many ways a political job -- that might not be perfect, but it’s a reality -- and we can see the difficulties in trying to run the agency from afar. A strange choice, indeed.

• One of the best lines we’ve heard during the GOP primary -- there haven’t been that many of them, that’s for sure -- was uttered by Rick Santorum recently. Discussing the controversy over birth control and insurance, Santorum said in reply to a hostile question, “Just because I’m talking about it doesn’t mean I want a government program to fix it.” If more elected officials took that attitude about a variety of issues, the United States might not be strangling on its own debt.

• We notice that former National Basketball Association superstar Shaquille O'Neal is scheduled to enter the world of professional wrestling. News stories say he'll be in the ring April 1 at WrestleMania, with speculation on his opponent centering on a guy named Big Show, who's 7 feet tall and weighs between 440 and 500 pounds. We encourage those sitting at ringside to be vigilant lest one of the wrestlers gets tossed from the ring.

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