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Considering the Effects of Mass Incarceration

A Public Forum on Criminal Justice Sentencing Reform held in Burke.

There is a racial disparity in the number of people incarcerated in the United States. Nearly one in ten black men in their thirties is in jail. This number has increased due to the war on drugs, which has also seen a racial disparity in the numbers of those convicted.

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Clifton Resident Shares Stepdaughter’s Story

Debbie Sausville’s stepdaughter Lauren died after underage drinking in 2004.

As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, Debbie Sausville of Clifton is continuing her work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), speaking out against underage drinking.

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Betting on PetConnect Rescue

Raising funds to save animals from high-kill shelters.

It was a “place your bets on the pets” night — and the pets won. Last Saturday, Potomac’s PetConnect Rescue held its first fundraising gala in Chevy Chase called Casino Night, hosting more than 240 people for a sellout evening.

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International Night at Hybla Valley

Hybla Valley Elementary held an International Night on Thursday, April 3. Student-made decorations were used by the physical education, art and music teachers to transform the hallways into several Halls of Nations. Even the ceiling was lined with kites inspired by international cultures.

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Have Harmonica, Will Mentor

94-year-old Jack Hopkins hosts weekly gathering.

There are harmonicas that fit into pant pockets and there are harmonicas two feet long. There are harmonicas for guitar accompaniment and harmonicas designed for orchestras. Alexandria resident Jack Hopkins, co-founder of the 23-year-old Capitol Harmonica Club, has at least 16 different types and has been playing since he was six years old. The instrument has taken him to a variety of places and brought him a number of opportunities.

Teens Are Most in Need of Foster Care Homes

Virginia's largest age group in need of homes is between 16 to 18-years-old.

At 54 years old, Julie wanted to be an adoptive parent for over a decade. But it wasn't until last year that she finally brought a child home. Single, she had recently left her federal government position and felt like she was ready. In May, she welcomed her 17-year-old foster son into her McLean home. "For me I was never a parent before," said Julie. "So I had to run fast and catch up."

4-Year-Olds Learn About Entrepreneurship

“Camila’s Lemonade Stand” author visits Potomac Nursery School.

“If you could start your own business — any business you wanted, what would you choose?” asked teacher Barbara Haas to her class of 4-year-olds at Potomac Nursery School. The question prompted answers from the children of “I would have a business where I could take care of animals” to “I would want to make delicious food for people.” Some wanted to become home builders, doctors or fire-fighters; others wanted to become lawyers to help other people.

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Herald Spring with Fun Patterns and Bright Colors

Lively springtime accessories and flowers can make a room seem more cheerful and seasonable.

With yellow and blue flower buds starting to poke their way through the ground, you might be forgiven for believing that spring is actually coming this year. Even if your yard still looks like a winter wasteland, however, one place to make spring a reality is on the home front. Designers say there is fun to be had. Use bursts of bright colors, energetic patterns and spring accessories to create a seamless transition into the new season.

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The Seven Faces of Erin Peterson

Annual Gospel Celebration of Life is this Sunday, April 13.

Nearly seven years have passed since Centreville’s Erin Peterson — an 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Tech — was killed in a massacre there, along with 31 others. But although short, her life counted; and each year, the local community gathers to remember her. This year, the 7th Annual Erin Peterson Gospel Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, April 13, at 4 p.m., at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 6600 Old Centreville Road in Centreville. The theme is “Keeping Hope Alive: The Seven Faces of Erin – Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mentor, Visionary, Peacemaker, Inspiration.”

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Bonsai Show Coming Up at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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Friends Promote Lake Accotink Park

A secure donation box installed at the Lake Accotink Marina.

Lake Accotink Park visitors can now show how much the park means to them, and lend their support via a secure donation box installed at the Lake Accotink Marina. Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP) President, Tony Vellucci, led an inauguration ceremony for the donation box prior to the Spring Watershed Cleanup Day April 5. Vellucci introduced Jim Hickey, former FLAP President and Park Authority Elly Doyle awardee for his sustained support of Fairfax County parks, noting that Hickey was a key individual in making the donation box a reality. Donations are voluntary and will be used by FLAP toward stewardship and recreational park projects.

Reverend C. L. Bryant to Speak at Republican Women of Clifton April Meeting

Reverend C. L. Bryant, former president of the Garland, Texas chapter of the NAACP and noted speaker will speak at the April 16 meeting of the Republican Women of Clifton (RWC). Rev. Bryant is a conservative activist and frequent commentator on Fox News. He dazzled audiences at Glenn Beck’s FreePAC event when he encouraged thousands in the audience to "defend the republic" while also tackling the enslavement of government dependency. Rev. Bryant is a radio and television host and creator of the independent film, The Runaway Slave, a movie about the race to free the Black community from the slavery of tyranny and progressive policies.

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Bill to Help Homeowners’ Associations

Del. Filler-Corn passes legislation to help constituent homeowners’ associations.

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41), working with constituents, has spearheaded legislation aimed at helping many residents of her district and across Virginia. The 41st District contains several self-managed homeowners’ associations, made up of volunteers in the community working in the best interests of their shared neighborhood.

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Bonsai Show at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bonsai experts will give demonstrations, and attendees may vote on the trees they believe should then compete at the Potomac Bonsai Association show at the National Arboretum.

Living Legends: A Head for Numbers, a Heart for People

For Richard Allyn “Rick” Glassco, volunteering started early.

Richard Glassco has been the treasurer for ALIVE! (Alexandrians InVolved Ecumenically!) for 23 years. During that time ALIVE!, which was founded in 1969, has grown from an all-volunteer organization to one with volunteers from about 40 faith communities, a $1.3 million budget and about 14 employees.