Civic calendar of events, Aug. 25-Sept. 1
PUBLIC HEARING ON TAX INCREASE A property tax hike is on tap to help pay for all those public services we value. City Council is all ears for today's public hearing on the proposed 4% increase. 4pm. City Council chambers, 301 W. Second. www.cityofaustin.org/budget.
FORBIDDEN FRUIT CLOSING PARTY Celebrate the history of this Downtown hot spot on its last night in business at this location (the North Loop store is still open). 9pm-12mid. Forbidden Fruit, 512 Neches, 478-8358.
BATFEST Bat lovers fill the Congress Avenue bridge with vendors, arts & crafts, kids' activities, live music, and thousands of people paying their respects to the winged creatures of the night. A portion of the proceeds go to Bat Conservation International. 1pm-12mid. Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. Free. www.roadwayevents.com.
'THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE' HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL Join other heat masochists who come out every year for a taste of hundreds of hot sauces made by local individuals, restaurants, and commercial bottlers – all for a good cause. 11am-5:30pm. Waterloo Park, 500 E. 12th, 974-6700. Free with a donation of three nonperishable food items to the Capital Area Food Bank.
RICK PERRY'S ARMY OF GOD Hear how a movement of radical Christians is trying to infiltrate our government with help from our governor. The Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder shares what he knows. 7pm. MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop.
TEXAS GREEN NETWORK There's nothing like mixing and mingling with other greens on a summer day. This meeting features Council Member Kathie Tovo and Tom "Smitty" Smith, Texas director of Public Citizen. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. 5:30-8:30pm. Barr Mansion, 10463 Sprinkle, 917-7749. www.texasgreennetwork.org.
PUBLIC HEARING ON TAX INCREASE See the Thursday, Aug. 25, listing on this very topic. Same time and place. www.cityofaustin.org/budget.
ELECTRIC RATE HEARING Do you have something to say about Austin Energy's proposed rate increase, and can you say it in three minutes or less? You may also submit your comments to email@example.com. 6pm. City Hall, 301 W. Second. www.rates.austinenergy.com.
ONLINE BUDGET FORUM Tell the city how to hammer out a 2012 budget at www.speakupaustin.org.
CAP METRO BUDGET ON THE GO Capital Metro's budget process is under way, and the agency is soliciting public input. Have any suggestions? See www.capmetro.org/insidemetro/ci-budget.asp or www.capmetro.icanmakeitbetter.com.
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM REBATE BONUS To access Austin Energy's new (temporary) rebate increase, call for an estimate: 482-5346.