- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 22, 2004

Praise and politics

Associated Press

Sandi Patty has made it big in music. Now she hopes to start small in politics.

The Grammy-winning gospel singer filed papers Thursday expressing intent to run for a seat on the Anderson Community Schools board in Anderson, Ind. She will challenge Brian K. Kohles and incumbent Keith Millikan in the May 4 election.

Although the 47-year-old singer has never held public office, she’s familiar with the Anderson school system — she and her husband, Don Peslis, have eight children, all of whom have attended Anderson schools.

“My passion is already in the schools, and I want to be part of something that will be good for the community,” Miss Patty said.

Mr. Millikan, a former Anderson teacher and a past president of the Anderson Federation of Teachers, is seeking a fourth term. “It’s good for the voters to have choices,” he said of Miss Patty’s entrance in the race. “She is probably the best known, and I know she is the best singer I have ever faced.”

Miss Patty is the winner of 39 Dove Awards and five Grammys.

True Hef

New York Post

It’s meant to be a treasury of advice and wisdom from the greatest living symbol of hedonism — Hugh Hefner — but “Hef’s Little Black Book” comes off as a guidebook to arrested development.

The book, written with author Bill Zehme, details how Mr. Hefner’s life is a pre-adolescent’s dream of comfort food and video games — with wonderment and no cynicism.

“He is truly touched by little things that remind him of his boyhood backyard — ants and butterflies and crickets,” Mr. Zehme wrote, “and then he gets to go upstairs to see naked women waiting for him.”

The book, due in May from HarperCollins, includes the following gems:

• Hef learned his romantic moves from leading men Cary Grant, William Powell and Fred Astaire. Humphrey Bogart demonstrated that being a wry rogue was not a bad thing.

• Even Hef knows heartbreak. “We’ve all been there,” Hef said. “We’ve all had our punches in the gut.” And he fancies himself the Rick Blaine character in his favorite film, “Casablanca,” waiting in Paris for Ilsa Lund, who never comes.

• Hef’s music to woo by is strictly old school and includes Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost,” Errol Garner’s “Misty,” and “Is That All There Is?” by Peggy Lee.

• As recently as August 2002, Hef served Jell-O shots at his Playboy Mansion parties.

• Pepsi rules. “He is a Pepsi generation unto himself,” Mr. Zehme wrote. “If he was seen without a Pepsi in his hand, they were to immediately fill that hand with a Pepsi bottle. There was a time when Coca-Cola was all but banned from his premises.”

• Fried chicken occupies a special place in Hef’s heart. He needs three drumsticks, and it must have a dark crust on the outside, be tender, well-cooked and be accompanied by gravy that is “fairly thick tan to light brown in color,” Mr. Zehme wrote.

• He also loves Wonder Bread, but “only slices pulled from fresh, unopened packs.”

Off Keys

New York Post

Alicia Keys pulled a no-show at the debut party for America Magazine at the Mondrian in Los Angeles last week, even though she had promised a month earlier to host the bash, the New York Post reports.

“All night she said she was on her way, but never showed,” said a rep for the event. Miss Keys later claimed she had to “make a flight to New York,” but some say the Grammy winner may not have wanted to talk about her interview in the magazine, in which she noted she had once been in an abusive relationship with a gun-toting older man. However, Billy Zane, Jose Canseco and Derek Jeter did show and partied hard.

Back in the slammer

Associated Press

Singer Bobby Brown is back in jail for violating his probation on a prior drunken-driving conviction.

Mr. Brown, 35, was being held Saturday without bond at the DeKalb County Jail, sheriff’s spokeswoman Mikki Jones said. He was taken into custody after appearing before a judge last Friday, but officials could not confirm exactly what Mr. Brown had done to violate his probation.

He was expected to remain jailed until a court hearing on Friday.

The judge’s ruling may have been related to Mr. Brown’s charge of misdemeanor battery in December, following an argument with his wife, singer Whitney Houston. A preliminary hearing in that case was set for May 5.

Mr. Brown left the R&B; group New Edition in the late 1980s for a solo career. His hits include “My Prerogative” and “Every Little Step.” He has been on probation since January 2003, when he was convicted of a 1996 drunken-driving incident. Mr. Brown had been ordered to remain on probation until Feb. 17, 2005.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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