Our picks for civic nerds:

State Legislative Preview (and Review)

As a longtime statehouse reporter, I cannot recommend this event enough. Soon-to-be-retired state senate majority leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) and soon-to-be-retired senate ways and means committee ranking member Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-18, Ridgefield)—two of the major movers in Olympia from opposing sides of the partisan divide—promise a candid assessment of the upcoming session in Olympia.

Hopefully, they'll be candid about last session as well.

Zarelli is brave to show up in Seattle; he's the guy who organized the GOP budget coup earlier this year—infuriating Brown and her budget ways and means chair, Seattle state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43).

Zarelli headed up the reform-before-revenue mantra that ticked off liberals and tickled the Seattle Times editorial board. Brown, an economist, is the one who ultimately organized her troops to pass a more Democratic budget in the special session—one that funded education instead of Zarelli's $73 million cut.

KUOW host Ross Reynolds is moderating and you get to ask questions.

This is a must for political junkies.

Outgoing Senators Give Inside Scoop, Town Hall, 1119 8th Avenue, $5, Thursday, September 13, 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)

Free drinks on Chris Hansen

Okay. This one isn't so much for nerds as it is for Sonics fans. But let's be honest, Sonics fans did just go through some super nerdy stuff—MOUs, EISs, transit studies, and, if you read the latest wonked-out plan from the city council, intercreditor agreements.

Why did sports fans have to go through all this? To get the Sonics back.

San Francicso hedge fund manager Chris Hansen agreed to personally guarantee the debt payments—$490 million, plus a promise to buy back the stadium if the new Sonics leave, plus anything above $25 million if there's a shortfall on the new transportation and KeyArena fund—to get the green light from the city council to build a basketball arena in SoDo and lure an NBA team here.

To celebrate the agreement, Hansen has also promised to buy the first round for anyone who shows up at F.X. McCrory's between 5:00 and 7:00 tomorrow.

Thank You to Chris Hansen. Arena Deal Done!, F.X. McCrory's Steak Chop & Oyster House, 491 Occidental Ave. S, Thursday, September 13, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm

Meet this Toby Crittenden Guy

If you're young and progressive and you want to get involved in local politics, the Washington Bus is your gateway drug. And the pusher is Bus director Toby Crittenden.

The Bus, which organizes get-out-the-vote drives for lefty causes such as supporting R-74, the gay marriage measure, is holding an open house at Bus HQ on Capitol Hill tomorrow, dinner included.

Washington Bus Welcome Wagon, 1100 E. Union St.,  Thursday, September 13, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Free.

And don't forget our PubliCal picks for today:

Second Annual Eat Out on Capitol Hill

Fill your stomach with ice cream, rich foods, and booze for the well-being of doctors! All day, participating restaurants will donate a portion of your meal cost to the local, non-profit medical clinic, Country Doctor, to show their support for affordable, quality health care. Many popular restaurants, including Coastal Kitchen, Cascina Spinasse, and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream, will participate. Go, eat, save lives.

Second Annual Eat Out on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, September 12, all day. Cost varies.

Free Home Energy Efficiency Training

Looking down your nose at your friends’ not-so-green homes? Want to gild your judgment with an official badge? The Sustainable Neighbors Action Program is offering a two-session advocacy training series to those who are interested in educating their peer circle (and, ultimately, the public) in reducing energy consumption. You even get to take home a goodie bag full of CFL light bulbs and weathering strips.

Free Home Energy Efficiency Training, Wednesday, September 12, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm, Centerstone Main Office, 722 18th Ave. Free.
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