Right to Party

Ex-Council Member Tina Podlodowski was spotted last week mingling at Capitol Hill's space-age gay bar, Manray. That's surprising. Just last year, Podlodowski proposed a noise ordinance that would have effectively shut down the bar. She crafted the legislation after cranky neighbors complained about Manray and other loud night spots.

Noise law cohort and City Attorney Mark Sidran also made a surprise appearance at Manray that night. Lucky for them, socializing at Manray is still legal, since Podlodowski's noise law flopped. NANCY DREW

Sex Workers Screwed

Sources familiar with Seth Warshavsky's Seattle porn website company, Internet Entertainment Group, report that sex workers are being abused again. The sources say that several employees' September 5 paychecks bounced. Apparently the $50 million Warshavsky bragged about making last year just wasn't enough. ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB

This Amp Goes to 11

The Seattle City Council is considering raising campaign contribution limits for city candidates from $400 to $800. Their "thinking" is that upping the limit will help challengers raise enough cash to take out Seattle's well-funded incumbents. But this Spinal Tap logic (raising the volume on campaign cash) would obviously help incumbents as much as challengers. In fact, a recent study shows that raising the limits will simply maintain the incumbents' advantage. The study, prepared by the newly formed Washington Forum, a non-partisan research group, looked at all 1997 and 1999 city council races where an incumbent faced a challenger. In those four cases, the study found that the incumbent would come out with more cash. Indeed, assuming just 50 percent of the donors who gave $400 could afford to max out at $800, incumbents would have received an additional $63,000 to their challengers' additional $11,000, the study says. JOSH FEIT

Was It Something We Said?

For months now, officials from the Seattle Police Officers Guild have refused to return phone calls from The Stranger. Guild Vice President J. D. Miller had promised us an exclusive interview about how he felt contract negotiations went after they were over, and now he's not even acknowledging our existence.

Please call us. We'd like to work something out. Really. After all, even City Attorney Mark Sidran has been returning our calls. PHIL CAMPBELL