(To the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”)

Senior therapy dog Blaze visits memory care patients at Brookdale Senior Living in Round Rock Dec. 13. For the holidays, senior dog sanctuary Living Grace Canine Ranch is on a 24-date tour of memory care facilities in the Austin area, building on the sanctuary's Seniors for Seniors Program. (Photo by John Anderson)

Eight – Drought A-Droughting: The ongoing drought is affecting Deep Eddy Pool, KVUE reported this week. Staff drain and refill the pool daily, but it's taking longer to fill, sometimes delaying opening.

Seven – Food Bank Feeding: The Food FARMacy program between Central Texas Food Bank and People's Community Clinic launched this week, providing free groceries to patients who struggle with food insecurity. It's based in People's Clinic in North Austin and People's Center for Women's Health at 2909 N. I-35.

Six – Survey's Findings: Black Trans Leadership of Austin and Out Youth released the results of their survey of trans and gender diverse BIPOC Austinites this week. It identified several top issues for the community; housing costs, direspect from health care providers, and feeling unsafe on public transit were among them.

Five – Coach in Jail: UT men's basketball coach Chris Beard, one of the highest-paid college basketball coaches in the country, was arrested for suspected domestic violence Monday morning. As of press time, UT had suspended him without pay (he gets $5 million per year).

Four – Cost of Living: City Council voted Dec. 8 to raise City Manager Spencer Cronk's salary by around 11%. The deprived public servant's salary went up from roughly $350,000 to $388,000. Some Council members characterized his first raise in four years as a much-needed cost-of-living boost. Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter railed on his performance but abstained from voting, as did CMs Kathie Tovo and Paige Ellis.

Three – Lame Duck: Hays County District Attorney Wes Mau, to be replaced by Democrat Kelly Higgins next month, isn't happy with the city's new measure decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis. So, he's requesting A.G. Ken Paxton's opinion on whether state law trumps the ordinance, and if so, whether cops should enact an "unlawful ordinance."

Two – Ballot Initiatives: Meanwhile, Ground Game Texas – the progressive nonprofit that organized to pass that San Marcos ordinance – announced last week that it "is full steam ahead" on collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to decriminalize abortion in San Antonio.

… And a Marriage Protected Federally: During a ceremony with thousands of attendees on the White House South Lawn, Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act codifying protections for same-sex and interracial couples. It doesn't guarantee the right to marry, but states must recognize those marriages across state lines and all married couples have the same federal benefits as straight married couples.

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