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KEYS IN ON THE PROBLEM: When he gets on a soapbox, as he has been doing to denounce the killing of elephants, actor JIMMY STEWART doesn’t stumble over his words. “Elephants are the size of dinosaurs, with smarts. And they’re disappearing fast, being slaughtered for ivory,” says Stewart, who has joined wildlife advocates in calling for an ivory boycott. (Stewart’s new book of poems has become a best-seller.) “You know, a piano without ivory keys sounds just as good. Pianos are made today without ivory keys, and they’re still composing songs, aren’t they? Billiard balls are no longer made of ivory, and the pool sharks are still taking bets, aren’t they? So please, think about it before you buy an ivory bracelet, ring or pin. Or don’t you want your great grandchildren to get the chance to see a living elephant? Just like dinosaurs, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.”

O NO: She may be 58, but actress ANGIE DICKINSON seems still to have a few lives left as a sex kitten. “In the ’60s, [agent] IRVING [“SWIFTY”] LAZAR said to me, ‘You’re too old to be wearing hot pants.’ I was in my early 30s, and he was right,” says Dickinson, who stars with TELLY SAVALAS in a forthcoming ABC Kojak movie. “Certain things don’t work after a certain point—it’s just not good taste. You think you’ll I look good or that they’ve photographed you well, but you end up fooling yourself.” As for life after cheesecake, Angie says, “When I’m too old, when the ‘O’ [old] word hits, it’s either Broadway or hosting a conversation show.”

PERSONAL CHECKS: During a recent lecture at New York University, NBC Nightly News anchorman TOM BROKAW discussed how the press of late has jumped all over the personal lives of JOHN TOWER and other public figures. “It’s time for television networks to develop their own Press Watch,” said Brokaw. “Were it left to me, I would arrange for every newcomer to this grand calling [of journalism] to be subjected to a newspaper or television story about their personal background, their qualifications and motivations. It is a ritual that should be repeated every 10 years or so, so they can have a keener appreciation of the effects of their work on others.”

DEF-LY HANDLED: With a B.A. in economics from the University of Southern California, YOUNG MC is a degree different from other popular rappers. “The way I acted in the classroom is a great deal different from the way I act onstage,” says the recording star, whose real name is Marvin Young and whose new album is titled Stone Cold Rhymin’. “You see, if you’re a rapper you can act or speak a certain way or adhere to some of the stereotypes [untied shoelaces, gold jewelry] that will guarantee you’ll be accepted by your peers. Now, my mother would shoot me if I acted like that. So I have to do things onstage in order to appeal to an audience, but offstage I also have to please Mommy. Not that pleasing her is the most important thing.”

HAIR TODAY: Singer TAYLOR DAYNE, whose once overabundant hair made her the Rapunzel of rock, has cut a new image (at left). “A lot of people change their look the way they change their underwear,” says Dayne, whose new album is called Can’t Fight Fate, “so this was just a progression for me. I just felt the need to cut my coif off. It was getting too crazy for me. It was a lot of hair, a lot of [hair] extensions and I a lot of upkeep. It was like boarding a dog. It was mad. I had to be on top of it all the time, and I was I tired of it. Now it’s not so heavy—my head feels much lighter.”