By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, September 6, 2001

Ex-island newswoman
to pose for Playboy

THERE are a great many attractive young women reporters and anchors on local TV stations, but it's hard to picture any of them -- well, maybe one -- posing nude in Playboy. Now picture them doing so in their 50s! Well, a former Honolulu newswoman who was on the air here about 20 years ago, and who went on to big things nationally as the first woman to be a regular solo anchor on a prime-time newscast on CNN Headline News, Lynn Russell reportedly will be doing a Playboy spread in the altogether. Jay Leno made the revelation on the "Tonight" show. Russell is retiring from CNN, but has other interests besides posing nude. She's a licensed private investigator and bodyguard, a county deputy sheriff and a holder of two black belts in Choi Kwang Do. Sounds like someone not likely to be hit on after her Playboy spread. Oh yes, she's the author of "How to Win Friends, Kick Ass & Influence People." ...

The exec director of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Carol Pregill knew she'd be busy as she gears up for this year's annual conference, "The Great Retail Adventure," Sept. 26 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. But once duty called, she found herself busier than ever. The duty that called was jury duty and her assistant, Iris Watanabe, got the nod in the middle of planning and producing the trade group's largest event of the year. Still, while the verdict is still out for Watanabe, Pregill predicts this will be the most exciting conference ever, with Jeff Hoke (and that's no joke), Marketing Director for Mall of America, as the keynote speaker. For more info call 592-4200 ...

He looked so honest

DINING at Beau Soleil in Manoa the other night were friends Jean Chun of First Pacific Capital, massage therapist Pam Yorita and public relations exec Mona Wood. Suddenly a man approached the table and asked if anyone had parked a car at the convenience store across the street. Chun allowed she had. It was going to be towed, he said, and offered to move it for her. He left with the keys and suddenly the three woman began wondering if the man worked there, or what? Everyone at the restaurant started chiding them for being so trusting and they began to get nervous. Suddenly the man returned, told them where he'd parked the car legally for them, and they asked his name. Turned out he was the restaurant's owner, Moumen El Hajji. The three left a nice tip for their server --and the valet! ...

Posthumous memoir

UH Press had a celebration for the publication of the posthumous book of late UH Professor Leon Edel, "The Visitable Past: A Wartime Memoir." (Edel won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of novelist and critic Henry James.) At the UH Press party were Edel's widow, Marjorie; Rep. Neil Abercrombie and his wife, playwright Nancie Caraway; Interim Manoa Chancellor Deane Neubauer; and the Dean of the Outreach College, Victor Kobayashi. The party was hosted by Craig Howes, director of the UH Center for Biographical Research, and readings from Edel's book were by David C. Farmer, exec director of the state Foundation on Culture and the Arts and a student of Edel's in the early 70s ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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