Nary a peep has been heard from the Nightlife and Music Association since it formed in response to an ongoing crackdown on nightlife a month ago, but rumor has it that association lobbyist Tim Hatley is negotiating with Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis on compromise nightlife regulations. New rules proposed by the mayor's office would enable the city to force bars and nightclubs to agree to conditions (including dress codes, noise requirements, and mandates that clubs clean up and patrol for crime and litter on adjoining properties) before obtaining city and state licenses and permits. The Mayor's Office of Film and Music director, James Keblas, is scheduled to brief Sally Clark's neighborhoods committee on the proposals Thursday, August 17, at the Capitol Hill library at 6:00 p.m. Neither Hatley nor Ceis had responded to calls by press time.

On Monday, August 14, the council postponed one citizens' initiative and put another on the ballot, pushing forward a measure that would repeal new strip-club regulations while punting on another proposal that would raise property taxes for Seattle schools. The latter measure, Initiative 87, has been challenged by the city because, City Attorney Tom Carr has argued, it constitutes illegal budgeting by initiative. Meanwhile, the strip-club referendum will go on the November ballot, giving voters a chance to decide whether strip-club employees and customers will have to endure bright lighting, tall railings between dancers and patrons, and no lap dances (the so-called four-foot rule).

Longtime Seattle Weekly writer (and my former boss) George Howland has been hired on an interim (six- to eight-week) basis to fill what is arguably the hardest job in the city: public-information officer for the city council. The PIO is charged with turning the agendas of nine often-bickering politicians into a unified political agenda. "You can't have your own political agenda and you have to have good relationships with all the council members," Jan Drago says. "You have nine bosses, so you're always walking a thin, thin line." Howland, one of several longtime staffers to leave the Weekly after it was sold eight months ago, was spotted in front of the council dais shaking hands convivially with all the council members on the morning of Monday, August 14. Will Howland's seven-plus years at the Weekly (which endorsed Drago opponent Casey Corr and Jean Godden opponent Judy Nicastro) bring him in conflict with his new bosses at the council? Not likely, Drago says. "The Weekly doesn't cover city hall much at all, to say the least. I don't pay much attention to the Weekly."

The debate surrounding two-time Seattle Housing Authority Board of Directors nominee Sybil Bailey reached new heights of hyperbole this week, with opponents accusing Bailey of lying about her testimony to the state legislature eight years ago and proponents (notably Richard McIver) accusing opponents of "character assassination."

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Opponents of Bailey's appointment have charged vocally that Bailey is a mere puppet for SHA who testified (that's right, eight years ago) against the creation of the very seat she is currently seeking. For more than a week, a cassette tape containing Bailey's testimony languished on a McIver staffer's desk. On Friday, August 11, the staffer listened to the tape, putting that part of the debate to rest. Yes, Bailey testified against the bill. But the reason she opposed it was because she wanted the bill amended to allow resident commissioners to vote. On Tuesday, August 15, a council committee unanimously approved Bailey's nomination; it goes to the full council September 5. recommended

barnett@thestranger.com