Matters of the public, Dec. 11-17
AUSTIN GAY AND LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOLIDAY PARTY LGBT-friendly businesses are welcome to join in the fun. 7pm. Sheraton Hotel, 701 E. 11th. $50 ($45, members). www.aglcc.org.
CAPITAL METRO HOP 'N SHOP EXTRAVAGANZA Check out the MetroRail at the new Downtown station, do some holiday shopping, and learn about 'Dillo discounts at Katz's Deli, RunTex, Alamo Drafthouse, and other businesses. 11:30am-1:30pm. Brush Square, Fifth & Trinity. www.capmetro.org.
EAT LOCAL WEEK CONTINUES There are three days left of Edible Austin's week of events celebrating local foods; proceeds go to the Urban Roots program, which teaches teens to plant, cultivate, and share their own food. Through Dec. 13. See www.edibleaustin.com for details.
FREE RAIN BARRELS The city has accumulated 127 damaged but repairable rain barrels and will give them away for free today – one per Austin Water Utility customer. 8-10am. 6014 Techni Center Dr., Bldg. 2. www.cityofaustin.org/watercon/rbdamaged.htm.
JEFFREY BADGER discusses his book, Finding Granddad's War, a chronicle of his search for his grandfather's experiences in World War II. 6pm. Frugal Media, 5400 N. Lamar. www.frugalmedia.com.
LAURENCE PARENT The famed Lone Star State photographer discusses his Portrait of Austin. 7pm. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar, 472-5050.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN & BOYS CONFERENCE 10am. Round Rock High School, 300 Lake Creek Dr. Free. www.aambharvestfoundation.com.
HUMANITIES TEXAS BOOK FAIR The Texas arm of the National Endowment for the Humanities hosts, to help repair libraries damaged by Hurricane Ike. Featured readers include Stephen Harrigan, Lawrence Wright, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sarah Bird, and many others. 10am-1pm. Byrne-Reed House, 1410 Rio Grande. www.humanitiestexas.org.
NEXT ECONOMY POTLUCK LUNCH & WORKSHOP Discuss sustainable economic models that can get Austin through this downturn and beyond. 10:30am-2:30pm. Ruiz Branch Library, 1600 Grove Blvd. www.nexteconomy.eventbrite.com.
SUSAN MEREDITH reads from her Beyond Light Bulbs: Lighting the Way to Smarter Energy Management. Noon. Barnes & Noble South, 5601 Brodie.
TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS MEETING 2:30pm. Call for location, 448-6354. www.tentex.org.
BE A CHRISTMAS STOCKING-STUFFER Volunteer to help fill stockings for abandoned, neglected, or abused children; stocking stuff will be supplied. 2-5pm. Elgin Public Library, 404 N. Main, Elgin. www.elginsangels.org.
PHILANTHROPY & VOLUNTEERISM FORUM David Porter, executive director of A Glimmer of Hope Austin, discusses the art of giving and the spirit of volunteerism. 11:30am. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover. Free.
STOP DOMAIN SUBSIDIES PARTY The Chronicle may not have endorsed Prop. 2, but we'll always endorse a party. Help SDS celebrate the launch of www.changeaustin.org. 4-6pm. Opal Divine's Penn Field, 3601 S. Congress.
UPLIFT GETDOWN DANCE PARTY Shake off holiday stress with salsa from Ritmo Tres and the Brazilian funk of Seu Jacinto. Proceeds go to UpLift Austin's efforts to get students involved in making their schools more sustainable. 8pm-12mid. Rhizome Collective, 300 Allen, 385-3695. $5.
GEOGRAPHY LUNCHTIME LECTURE The Center for Environmental Research presents Kevin Anderson discussing one "Austin urban creek and the complexity of nature and culture that it conceals and reveals." Noon-1pm. Waller Center, 625 E. 10th, Rm. 105.
GREEN HOLIDAY PARTY Hobnob with local environmental organizations at the first certified organic events facility in the country. E-mail to RSVP. 5:30-9:30pm. Barr Mansion, 10463 Sprinkle Rd., 371-8770. $20 ($16, advance). email@example.com, www.texasgreennetwork.org.
METROPOLITAN BREAKFAST CLUB Sigmund Cornelius, CFO of ConocoPhillips, discusses future energy needs. 7am. Memorial Stadium, UT Club, sixth floor. $15. www.mbcaustin.org.
CITY COUNCIL ON DEMAND Can't get enough of that wacky City Council? See www.cityofaustin.org, which features archived videos of past meetings.
HILL COUNTRY PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT & SILENT AUCTION features the stunning work of the photographers who won the 2008 Hill Country Photography Contest, on display at the lovely Westcave Preserve. The photos are featured in a calendar that raises money to help preserve the area's natural beauty (see "Holiday Gift Guide"), and autographed originals are included in a monthlong silent auction. Through Dec. 31. Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center, Westcave Preserve, 24814 Hamilton Pool Rd., Round Mountain, 830/825-3442. www.hillcountryalliance.org, www.westcave.org.
OPERATION SANDY CLAUS Help emergency responders in hurricane-torn Galveston this holiday season with donations of toys, games, candy, cookies, and gift cards for the families of EMS and fire units. Drive-Thru Postal, 1712 E. Riverside, 443-5848. www.rehabsector.org.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR IKE VICTIMS AISD is looking for clothing and school supplies for students who were affected by Hurricane Ike. Drop them off at Baker Administration Center, 3908 Ave. B, Rm. 204, weekdays, 8am-4pm. Deadline: Jan. 30.