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Citizens' calendar, Dec. 23-30

Thursday23

DON'T MISS THE 350 Flying for the holidays? Be sure to get a window seat so you can check out the giant, abstract "350" landscaped into a field north of the airport. The project – from farmer Brenton Johnson and Austin Green Art's Randy Jewart – is part of the 350.org project, a global campaign with a worthy goal of lowering atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million to fight climate change (right now, we're at 390). Guess you can start by getting some carbon offsets for that flight. www.350.org

HOLIDAY CLOSINGS Most city offices and municipal facilities will be closed Thursday through Sunday this week, including City Hall, public libraries, and most city-run museums and cultural centers (Recycled Reads, the used bookstore run by the library, will remain open Thu.-Fri., noon-6pm). www.cityofaustin.org

Friday24

HOLIDAY BOOK DRIVE: LAST DAY Donate a new book to the Women's Storybook Project, which helps incarcerated mothers connect with their children through literature. Barnes & Noble Arboretum, 10000 Research #158, 418-8985. www.storybookproject.org

Monday27

CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Curbside collection of Christmas trees begins Monday for Pay-as-You-Throw customers. (Set your tree – no tree bag, no decorations – at the curb by 6:30am; trees taller than 6 feet must be cut in half.) Not a Pay-as-You-Throw customer? Just bring your tree to Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Rd.; follow the signs to the polo fields) on one of the following dates: Sun., Jan. 2; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 8-9; Sat., Jan. 15, 10am-4pm. All trees will be ground into mulch to be given away, for free, later in the new year. www.ci.austin.tx.us/zilker/zhttreerecycle.htm

Wednesday29

MUTT CRACKER CIRCUS Five dogs, a scarlet macaw, puppets, two jugglers, two unicyclists, live music, and a post-holiday partridge in a pear tree. Circus Chickendog will entertain all ages while benefiting the Austin Humane Society. 9:30am. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd., 771-8836. $10 ($8, advance). www.chickendog.net

Thursday30

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MUTT CRACKER CIRCUS (See Wednesday.) 6:30pm. Dougherty Arts Center. 1110 Barton Springs Rd., 771-8836. $10 ($8, advance).

Ongoing

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CALENDARS FOR CATS AND CANINES The 2011 calendars from the Austin Humane Society ($5) and Blue Dog Rescue ($15, includes pics of local musicians with their mutts) will make the perfect New Year's gift for the animal lovers in your life, with your money benefiting two worthy – and local – causes. Both are available for purchase online. www.austinhumanesociety.org, www.bluedogrescue.com

DARE TO GO ZERO WASTE CHALLENGE Ready to be a reality-TV star of municipal proportions? All you gotta do is take the zero-waste challenge – on camera. You'll be filmed at home for a few hours every week, for five weeks, plus you'll attend other events. Sign up at the city's website. Deadline: Dec. 31, 5pm. www.cityofaustin.org/sws/zerowaste_challenge.htm

HOLIDAY HOUNDS & CATS The Town Lake Animal Center has dropped its adoption fee to $35 this month, so there's no reason not to bring a new companion home for the holidays. Through Dec. 31. TLAC, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez. www.ci.austin.tx.us/health/pets

DOWNTOWN AUSTIN PLAN Recommendations on improvements related to historic preservation, density, transportation, and other Downtown issues are available at www.cityofaustin.org/downtown. Public meetings on the plan begin in January.

FACES OF AUSTIN SHORT FILM CONTEST Want to see your movie on the biggish screen at City Hall? It's better than seeing someone else's, right? All entries should show "an aspect of the nature and character of Austin that has the potential to educate, inform, and/or entertain audiences." Deadline: Jan. 28. Call 974-7860 or visit the city's website for details. www.cityofaustin.org/redevelopment/austinfaces.htm

WHAT SHOULD AUSTIN SAVE? Sure, Austin's going to change, but aren't there a few things you think ought to stay the same? The National Trust for Historic Preservation came to Austin this fall and filmed people all over town answering this question. See what they had to say, and answer the question yourself at NTHP's Austin Unscripted website. www.preservationnation.org/resources/training/npc/austin-unscripted

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