26 Square Miles - An Arlington Podcast presents interviews with local newsmakers in Arlington, Virginia.
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26 Square Miles - An Arlington Podcast




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Nov 21, 2018

Facebook has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, so we checked in with Justin Bensan, Social Communications Specialist at the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, to talk about what's going on in the world of social media. This episode was recorded prior to Amazon's HQ2 announcement, but we asked Justin about what it means for a place like Rosslyn nonetheless.

Nov 9, 2018

Local nightlife king Scott Parker is branching into fitness, launching BASH Boxing with fitness instructor and manager Alex Trakas. We asked Parker and Trakas about their new venture and also talked with Scott about the state of the local bar scene and about that time the Washington Capitals brought the Stanley Cup to Don Tito.

Oct 11, 2018

ARLnow's Scott Brodbeck moderated a Oct. 10 debate between the two contenders for County Board: independent incumbent John Vihstadt and Democratic challenger Matt de Ferranti. The event was hosted by Arlington's Committee of 100.

Sep 28, 2018

The D.C. Metrorail system has been "rebuilding" for years and now has a dedicated stream of funding. On top of that, its general manager just received a big vote of confidence from the Metro board: a new contract and a sizable raise.

So why does Metro still kind of suck?

On today's 26 Square Miles podcast we talked with the semi-anonymous creator of Unsuck DC Metro, a blog and Twitter account that is perhaps Metro's biggest and most vocal critic.

We talked about Paul Wiedefeld's new contract, his adversarial relationship with Metro's main union, the system's new railcars and more -- and tried to arrive at an explanation for why Metro is in its current state.

Sep 11, 2018

Justin Tirelli is currently an Arlington County Fire Department captain, but 17 years ago he was a rookie firefighter in the ACFD ranks. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Tirelli was responding to a fire call in Rosslyn when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the west side of the Pentagon. As his engine company was diverted to join the massive and heroic emergency response to the terror attack, Tirelli and his fellow firefighters focused on the task at hand -- not realizing that it would change them and the community they served forever. In this special episode of the 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Tirelli about what it was like to be a first responder at the Pentagon on that fateful day.

Aug 31, 2018

For more than two decades, Jim Pebley worked to make Arlington a better place. Pebley is now retired and last year moved to a more leisurely locale in North Carolina, but not before receiving plenty of plaudits from across the Arlington civic and political spectrum. We decided to check in with Jim, see how he's doing and get his take on the current state of the county. We covered everything from the safety of Reagan National Airport, the cost of school construction, the potential of Amazon's HQ2 in Arlington and why he decided to decamp for elsewhere.

Jul 20, 2018

Matt de Ferranti, the Democratic nominee challenging John Vihstadt for a spot on the County Board this fall, discusses his vision for Arlington's economy, his view on the potential fallout from Amazon's arrival, the politics behind the 2018 race and more.

Jul 6, 2018

Political strategist Ben Tribbett joined us on this week's podcast to talk about local, state and national politics -- and a bit of sports betting.

Jun 22, 2018

Arlington's economic outlook is "so bright you need to wear shades," says Terry Clower, an expert on the D.C. region over at George Mason University.

May 25, 2018

Anna Merod's time as a spring intern at ARLnow is almost up, but before she leaves, she stopped by for a podcast conversation with reporter Alex Koma. Topics included some of Anna's favorite stories, like an analysis of racial disparities in suspensions in Arlington Public Schools and in-depth look at why millenials struggle to buy homes in Arlington, and what she's learned in her time growing up in and covering the county.

May 11, 2018

Plenty of big changes are on the way for Ballston, and Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone has a front seat to all the latest developments. Join Leone and ARLnow's Alex Koma for a conversation about the future of the Ballston Quarter development, the shifting landscape of the neighborhood's transportation needs and much more.


Mar 30, 2018

Join ARLnow assistant managing editor Bridget Reed Morawski and Arlington's own Virginia teacher of the year, Michelle Cottrell-Williams, as the two talk about world language reductions, the one-to-one technology program, and guns in schools.



Mar 16, 2018

Frank O'Leary served as Treasurer of Arlington County for more than three decades and has seen it all. During his time in office, O'Leary brought the tax delinquency rate down from 9 percent to less than 1 percent, but somehow managed to win friends in the process. O'Leary, 74, is retired but still avidly follows and offers predictions about about Arlington elections. We talked to him about his time in office, whether names like Jefferson Davis Highway and Washington-Lee High School need to change, his predictions for the upcoming November elections, and why restaurants are among the hardest businesses from which to collect taxes, among other topics.

Feb 23, 2018

Bridget Reed Morawski joined ARLnow as our new assistant managing editor earlier this month. Morawski and ARLnow editor-in-chief Scott Brodbeck had a free-wheeling discussion about Arlington, the website and what's next for both.

Jan 26, 2018

On this week's 26 Square Miles podcast, Arlington Economic Development director Victor Hoskins discussed the county's amazon bid, the office vacancy rate and more.

Jan 11, 2018

Rosslyn BID CEO Mary-Claire Burick on the neighborhood's growth, development including Central Place and other construction projects, as well as the move of Nestle's corporate headquarters. Burick also discussed the future of Rosslyn and the work of the BID to make it a vibrant, fun place to be.

Dec 29, 2017

Local Dels. Rip Sullivan and Alfonso Lopez (D) were at the forefront of last November’s wave of Democratic victories, from the governor’s race to the Virginia House of Delegates, where the party is near parity with the Republicans. The pair reflected on a momentous 2017 for Virginia Democrats, and looked ahead to 2018 and the new legislative session.

Dec 21, 2017

We talked with outgoing County Board chair Jay Fisette about his 20 years in office, his achievements and regrets, and his advice to his remaining colleagues.

Dec 8, 2017

Arts organizations in Arlington need additional support from Arlington residents, says Janet Kopenhaver, founder and chair of Embracing Arlington Arts.

Nov 17, 2017

We spoke with County Board member John Vihstadt about last week's elections in Virginia, his reelection bid next year and various issues facing Arlington County, including budget pressures and development. We also asked about the possibility of Arlington landing Amazon's second corporate headquarters.

Nov 16, 2017

Joel McHale is coming to Arlington. The actor and comedian, best known for hosting The Soup on E! and for his starring role on Community, is performing four stand-up comedy shows at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) this coming Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, 2017. McHale, who also recently starred on CBS's The Great Indoors and Fox's The X-Files reboot, spoke with for our 26 Square Miles podcast on Wednesday. He talked about hosting the 2014 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, told us what we can expect at his upcoming stand-up shows, and gave a candid answer about why The Soup was cancelled and whether it is in line for a revival.

Nov 10, 2017

As part of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Secrets to Success live podcast series, we interviewed Alex Villanueva, the founder and CEO of Arlington-based free ride service Sprynt. We asked Alex about his startup and its business model, and how he got his start. This podcast was recorded live at 1776 in Crystal City.

Oct 13, 2017

At this debate, hosted by the Arlington Committee of 100, the six candidates for County Board and School Board in the 2017 general election clashed on a range of issues, from how to engage more millennials in county government to closing the achievement gap in Arlington Public Schools.

Sep 22, 2017

Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington. A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open the G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space. Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink. We sat down with Scott to discuss all of that and the Arlington bar and restaurant scene in general on this week's 26 Square Miles podcast.

Aug 31, 2017

Okay so the Arlington connection is tenuous, but this week on the podcast we shot the breeze with a fellow independent online publisher from D.C.: PoPville owner Dan Silverman. A local blogging legend, Dan has been tirelessly chronicling community news, happenings and minutia for more than a decade. We asked him about how he started the site, his approach to PoPville's coverage and about the parallels (and partnership) between PoP and ARLnow.

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