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Noted and passed
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• This month’s award for poor taste goes to the Pima County (Arizona) Republican Party, which is planning to raffle off a gun like the one used to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Our dim view of this has nothing to do with second amendment rights, but rather spotlights an exercise in poor judgment, given the tragedy that occurred in Rep. Giffords’ district in January, in which a gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others.

• We note with sadness the death of Carroll Furman, a World War II veteran who practiced law in Camden for many years. Furman was a one-of-a-kind guy, a collector of many things who was still parachuting out of airplanes at an age when many people were rocking away in retirement. He was a skilled raconteur and cultivated a number of hobbies. He left Camdenites who knew him with many pleasant memories.

• The beginning of the new college football season has brought with it the usual conjecture about a national championship. And there’s a new topic of conversation: new-style, futuristic uniforms unveiled by Georgia, Maryland and a few other teams. The Bulldogs’ new opening-game unis, dubbed “Nike combat,” looked like something out of a  “24” television episode, while the Terps’ conglomeration of colors and designs left fans confused. Count us among the traditionalists, but we like the old look better.

• We’re not big fans of the Academy Awards telecast -- lasts too long to suit us -- but the producers have chosen a top-notch talent in Eddie Murphy to host the event. The Oscar program, slated for Feb. 26 of next year, can drag without a lively host to keep things flowing. Murphy should be just the right guy for the job.

• We’ll give former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz high marks for credibility. After being sacked by the company’s board of directors, Bartz sent out an e-mail saying, “I’ve been fired.” In most instances, canned executives and their companies provide a plethora of excuses; one news story pointed out those often range from “to pursue other opportunities” to “spend more time with their families.” Those don’t usually fool anybody, and it’s refreshing to see Bartz be so candid.