Week in Arlington

The Connection [Arlington VA]
February 9, 2006

Court Confirms Marriages Performed by O'Brian

The Arlington Circuit Court has announced that all marriages presided over by Richard P. O'Brian, who is charged with one count of aggravated sexual battery, are legitimate.

Concern had been raised in the community over the status of marriages performed by O'Brian, who was arrested by Arlington County police on Jan. 26. at his home in Annandale. Although the Office of the Circuit Court learned that O'Brian's status as a religious celebrant may be in question, any persons married by O'Brian are indeed married. Section 20-31 of the Code of Virginia states that "Belief of parties in lawful marriage validates certain defects."

On Sunday, Jan. 22, an employee of an assisted living center in Cherrydale, located in the 3700 block of Lee Highway, reported to police that she observed O'Brian having sexual contact with an adult female resident of the facility who could not give consent.

If convicted, O'Brian faces between one to 20 years in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000. He is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County jail.

Arlington and Alexandria to clean Four Mile Run

Between now and the end of March, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will be removing extensive sediment deposits and vegetation from the Four Mile Run flood channel. This maintenance work will help ensure flood protection for residents and businesses along lower Four Mile Run.

The Four Mile Run flood channel was built in the 1970's by the Army Corps of Engineers, following several devastating floods in the Arlandria area.

The flood channel was designed to be a certain width and depth to carry the flow of Four Mile Run during major rain events. Over time, sand and gravel builds up in the channel, and plants begin to grow on the sandbars, lowering the capacity of the channel. The sandbars and plants reduce the amount of space in the channel for floodwaters, and could cause flooding in the event of a large rain event.

Periodically, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria must remove the sandbars and vegetation from the channel. The flood channel extends from I-395 to the mouth of Four Mile Run, where it joins the Potomac River.

During February and March, residents will see crews and construction equipment working in or near Four Mile Run, removing sand and gravel deposits, trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that is growing in the channel. Removal of sand and gravel will be more extensive near the W. Glebe Rd. and Mt. Vernon Ave bridges.

The sediment and plant material may be temporarily stockpiled in locations adjacent to the stream before it is loaded onto trucks for recycling or disposal. Vegetation material will be recycled by being ground into wood or leaf mulch at the Arlington County Earth Products Yard.

Yorktown Students Win Award

Yorktown High School Theatre Department won the District Championship in the Virginia High School League One Act Play Competition on Wednesday, January 25, 2006.

This is the eighth time in ten years that Yorktown's theatre department has placed at the District level. The cast and crew will compete again at the Regional level on February 11, 2006.

Individual Yorktown High School theatre students were recognized for their excellence. Natalie Koski-Karrel won the Best Actress Award at the competition. Also honored at the District level were Natalie Shutler, Ari Dinsmore, and Matt Bourne, who won spots in the competition's All Star Cast.

The winning show is an adaptation of Mary Zimmerman's Tony-award-winning play, “Metamorphoses." The production's ensemble cast tells a series of stories drawn from the classical mythology of Ovid.

The production, directed by Carol Cadby, Yorktown High School theatre teacher, combines the familiar, traditional myths of the ancient Greeks with contemporary staging.

National Youth Congress Spring Session

The National Youth Congress is accepting application for its spring session. This is a paid internship program. The program encourages youth ages 13-18 to voice their opinions through participation in group summits, establish mentoring intergenerational relationships, and promote service opportunities in the fields of park, recreation and conservation. The program will prepare youth for careers in the public and nonprofit sectors, and increase workforce diversity in park, recreation, and conservation management. Teens will intern for 8-10 weeks for 4-6 hours per week after school, evenings, and on weekend hours. Program runs March 3-May 26. Applications are available by contacting Desi Jerry at 703-228-7781 or The deadline for sign-up is Feb. 27. Visit


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