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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

Chris Goodman: This agent with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control has a job out of a gangster movie: shutting down Virginia bootleggers. For some reason, moonshine is making a comeback, and the state has busted five stills already in March. We’d love to hear Goodman’s stories, and maybe even mix cocktails with some of the seized product—just ’cause it’s backwoods doesn’t mean it doesn’t do the trick.

Kimberly McLurkin: The cochair of Emerging Young Leaders thinks there’s an alternative to expelling middle-school girls who have gotten themselves into serious trouble. The program, a national project of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, picks out troubled girls and aims to turn them into community leaders, whether by exposing them to cultural experiences that previously were out of reach or by turning their energy toward service projects.

Chris Mooney: It’s a great month for basketball in Virginia, and for Richmond coach Mooney it just got better. After Mooney led his team to the Sweet Sixteen, the University of Richmond signed him to a ten-year contract to avoid losing him to Georgia Tech. Local college-hoops fans can rest a bit easier on this score and hope that Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and George Mason—all of which have made big runs in the Big Dance—will continue to provide an embarrassment of basketball riches.

Bill McLaughlin
: Cherry-blossom season may be all the rage (though this chilly weather may cut it short). But McLaughlin, the plant curator at the US Botanical Garden, is a devotee of another bloom that shows up around the same time: the skunk cabbage. So if you want to avoid the crowds or prove you’re too cool for tourist attractions, check out the banks of the Potomac, but make sure not to break the leaves while you’re at it. The cabbages have their name for a reason.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein: Maryland’s Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene has to contend with a new local anxiety: worries about radioactive fallout as Japan struggles to contain a nuclear-power-plant crisis in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Sharfstein says not to worry—the state does tests to check radiation levels on a regular basis, and you can keep drinking your tap water.

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