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Civics 101

Thursday 16

BIDNESS AS USUAL The Texas Tribune's Ross Ramsey moderates a discussion about ethics and transparency in Texas' part-time Legislature. RSVP required for attendance. 7:30-9am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 512/716-8641. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/may/16/bidness-as-usual/.

SCHOOLYARD HABITAT RIBBON CUTTING Help open the National Wildlife Federation’s model outdoor classroom. The site will be utilized to train teachers how to use the outdoors to boost student achievement in science and other disciplines and connect students to nature. 5:30pm. AISD Science & Health Resource Center, 305 North Bluff. Free. www.nwf.org.

BAD OFFICER INSTALLATION Help welcome the 2013 officers of the Black Austin Democrats. The evening will include a fundraising event and program. RSVP by May 10 to attend. 6-8pm. Millenium Youth Entertainment Complex 1156 Hargrave. Free, donations encouraged.. roxevans@aol.com, rsvp@makingthingsclear.com.

COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN MEETING Travis County and the City of Austin are asking for the public’s help in identifying local issues related to wildland fire risk, local assets requiring protection, and recommendations for addressing wildfire risks. 6:30-8pm. Travis County East Service Center, 6011 Blue Bluff. Free. www.traviscountytx.gov/wildfire.

OPERATION SUICIDE PREVENTION FUNDRAISER Join suicide survivor and veteran's advocate Andrew O'Brien before he embarks on a national tour. Event will include live music and a silent auction, including three autographed items from Ed Begley Jr. 7-10pm. Rebels Honky Tonk, 305 W. Fifth, 512/576-1643. Free. wyshproject.org.

Friday 17

BIKE TO WORK DAY Get off your duff and do something for your body and the environment. Still need convincing? Organizers have breakfast stations set up throughout the city with live music and swag bags. Go online for participating sites. 7-9:30am, 4-6:30pm. Various sites. Free. biketoworkaustin.org.

CAMPO REGIONAL MOBILITY SUMMIT The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization kicks off its 2040 regional planning process with panel discussions, a video, group discussions and an opportunity for group polling. 8-10:30am. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-2282. Free. bryce.bencivengo@campotexas.org, www.palmereventscenter.com.

Saturday 18

CATHOLICS FOR JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH An independent affiliate of Call To Action, the national Catholic reform movement, meets the third Saturday of each month. 10am-noon. Little Walnut Creek Library, 835 W. Rundberg, 512/906-1268. tom4peace@austin.rr.com.

AUSTIN SUSTAINABLE SWAP Bring the bounty from your garden or a craft you made, or just offer your services to folks in exchange for something you want or need. It's bartering at its best to keep waste at a minimum. Untraded items can be donated to local nonprofits. Third Saturdays of the month, noon-4pm Hot Mama's Espresso Bar, 2401 E. Sixth, 512/476-6262. Free. hotmamasaustin.blogspot.com.

CENTRAL TEXAS SPCA COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE/REUNION Looking for a new furry friend? The Central Texas SPCA open house will have discounted adoption fees and free micro chipping in celebration on its 25th anniversary. Bring the whole family, CTSPCA adopted dogs included. noon-4pm. Central Texas SPCA, 909 S. Bagdad, Leander, 512/260-7722. www.centraltexasspca.org/open-house25th-anniversary-reunion.html.

SPRING FOR WATER Celebrate the clean water movement in Central Texas. Event includes live music, drinks and food, and a silent auction. 6:30-9:30pm. Amala Foundation, 1006 S. Eighth, 512/476-8884. $25. www.cleanwaterfund.org/tx.

Sunday 19

30TH INTERNATIONAL AIDS CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE Remember those lost to AIDS and help raise consciousness about HIV. This year's anniversary event will include a 30-year presentation on the history of the epidemic. Reps from area HIV/AIDS service organization will be on hand for additional assistance immediately following the service. 7:30-8:30pm. Republic Square Park, 422 Guadalupe, 512/974-6700. Free. www.facebook.com/events/296496587095995/.

Monday 20

SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT: MUELLER COMMUNITY AT MID-COURSE Join Mueller area neighbors to discuss the development by sharing information, raising questions, and offering opinions on topics such as parks and pool, affordable housing, and public schools. 6-8pm. Our Lady's Maronite Catholic Church, 1320 E. 51st. Free. mna@muellercommunity.com.

BIG, HOT, CHEAP, AND RIGHT: WHAT AMERICA CAN LEARN FROM THE STRANGE GENIUS OF TEXAS Join LBJ Future Forum and Texas Monthly for a lively evening debating Erica Grieder’s new book "Big, Hot, Cheap and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas." A reception and book-signing will follow. 6:30-8pm. LBJ Library, 512/721-0176. $10, free for Future Forum members. www.lbjlibrary.org/events/big-hot-cheap-and-right.

Thursday 23

PROPERTY TAX FORUM - MAY 23RD Lago Vista Community Library, 20505 Dawn Drive, Lago Vista, TX 78645. Free. tax_office@co.travis.tx.us.

ART IN THE PARKS Want to wrap Pease Park in yellow plastic? Maybe lead a multimedia performance inspired by Judy Chicago? Art in Public Places wants to hear from you. Creative types who live or work within 35 miles of Austin are invited to submit proposals for site-specific, short-term artworks or time-based performances for Austin parkland. www.publicartist.org.

HOW'D THE HOUSE DO? A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE 83RD LEGISLATIVE SESSION State Representatives Trey Martinez Fischer and Dan Branch talk about the highs and lows of the 83rd Legislative Session. RSVP required for attendance. 7:30-9am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 512/716-8641. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/may/23/howd-the-house-do-83rd-legislative-session-recap/.

ATX CIVIC TECH EXPO The future of civic engagement is now. See the ways local hackers are changing community involvement. Get hands-on experience with new apps and websites that aim to help the city run better. Observe a one-day hackathon to see how it all comes together. 10am-5pm. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 512/974-2220. Free. www.open-austin.org.

5604 MANOR COMMUNITY GARDEN DINNER AND MOVIE NIGHT Learn how food can be a tool of social change with a screening of The Garden, a documentary chronicling an urban farm movement following the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Dinner features produce from 5604 Manor's community garden. 7pm. 5604 Manor Rd. Free. www.5604manor.org.

TEXAS OBSERVER DISCUSSION - WILL TEXAS TURN BLUE? Can Texas change partisan colors? Join Texas Observer editor Dave Mann to find out whether Democratic control is an inevitability or a pipe dream. 8pm. Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto, 512/477-0746. Free. walthall@texasobserver.org, www.texasobserver.org.

Ongoing

BUDGET IN A BOX How should Austin spend its money? Let city leaders know. Participants will be asked to decide to increase, decrease, or maintain current funding levels for common city services. Accumulated feedback will be taken into consideration as the city develops its proposed 2014 budget this summer. 512/974-2324. www.austintexas.gov/biab.

PARKS & REC LIFEGUARD RECRUITMENT The city is looking for a few good lifeguards, pool managers, and swim instructors. Call to find out more. 400 Deep Eddy Ave. www.austintexas.gov/parks.

PARD MAIN OFFICE CALL FOR NAMES 90-day period for public comment begins. www.austintexas.gov/department/parks-and-recreation.

ZILKER PARK CLUBHOUSE CALL FOR NAMES 90-day period for public comment begins. Contact Victor Ovalle. 512/974-6745.

VOLUNTEER DEPUTY REGISTRAR TRAINING Would you like to register people to vote? Get trained and deputized! Email Mary Patrick to RSVP. Include "VDR Training" in the subject line. 10am. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 512/452-6168. Free. maptrick@gmail.com.

CALL FOR PLATELET DONORS The supply of platelets has fallen to an unsafe level. Anyone who is able is urged to make a platelet donation appointment as soon as possible. Platelet donation may be done every 7 days or 24 times per year. The entire process from the time a donor walks through the doors until they leave is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Call to make an appointment. Open seven days a week. Blood Center of Central Texas, 4300 N. Lamar, 512/206-1266. www.inyourhands.org.