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By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, March 2, 2000

Sports fan finds niche

HERE'S one sales rep who won't have trouble getting a foot in the door. She's Michele Francis, new account exec at KHNL, who's been variously a Hanes hosiery model and a private investigator, the latter assignment getting her an eight-page pictorial in Playboy magazine in 1987. Being with a Mug shotsports oriented organization -- sister station K-5 carries most UH sports -- is a good fit for the former Nebraska farm girl who started attending Orange Bowl games as a kid. She eventually married all-Pro tight end Russ Francis, quipping, "I took being a football fan waaaay too far." The two have been divorced for a couple of years now, but have a son, Riley, and she wishes Russ all the best. Michele feels fortunate to be in her new position as she'll be able to live and raise Riley here ...

THERE was a quarter-page ad in yesterday's "Today!" section showing two women with limos and a line reading, "Coupons won't make you look cheaper, just smarter." The ad was for Valassas. Since I'd never heard of Valassas I did a quick survey and found zero people who'd heard of it. A check of the Internet revealed it's a communications company. Go figure ... How can NBC with a straight face refer to the 10-hour version of "The 10th Kingdom" as a "mini-series." Maxi-series, maybe, but it's about the length of three "Gone With the Winds." ... Ever diligently checking out the hostess bar ads for oddities, I came across one called "Club Strip Search" which states it's across the street from Honolulu Community College. Wouldn't it be more appropriate near the cop house? ...

Call Guinness

WITH St. Patrick's Day just over two weeks away, it seems like a good time to resurrect and update an item I was sent from a March of '84 column: "Both consumer affairs columnist Russ Lynch and I were amused that the court case which brought about the Supreme Court's decision to okay Nativity scenes in schools was Lynch vs. Donnelly." I've now passed that along to business editor Ed Lynch so he can share it with Christine Donnelly. All are Star-Bulletin staffers, but only Ed and Christine are related -- they're married ...

OUI, OUI! There's nothing French about this item except that the designer, artist and illustrator who's exhibiting some of his finest work over the past 20 years is Bonhui Uy. Yep, pronounced "bone-wee wee." His one-man show will be free and open to the public weekdays from March 7 through April 7 at the UH School of Architecture Gallery. In addition, Uy will deliver a free public lecture on his work Monday at 5 p.m. at the School of Architecture auditorium, followed by an opening reception. Uy has published four books on architecture and has consulted with such giants as Philip Johnson and I.M. Pei. He's been shuffling between homes in New York, Taiwan and Hawaii for 35 years, and now resides in Honolulu ...

Another broadcaster gone

THOUGH former sportscaster Jim Lathrop died of cancer on Nov. 29 of last year, his death went unreported in Honolulu. His former wife, Bobbi Becker, felt with good reason that as one of the pioneers of TV sportscasting in Hawaii, he deserved a decent tribute. Lathrop was the sportscaster on the dynamite Channel 9 news team that included Bob Sevey, Bob Jones and Tim Tindall. He was succeeded by a young whipper-snapper named Joe Moore at the KGMB-TV sports desk ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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