On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Remy to talk about his career, the making of the Arlington Rap, Donald Trump (of course), making money on YouTube and about his latest music video. (And yes, that is his wife, in her first co-starring role.)
Remy said Santa Claus was a hard act to follow on the podcast, but we gave it a try. We also forgave him for his recent move from Clarendon to Falls Church.
Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah to all of our listeners!
We close out 2016 with a special holiday podcast, featuring Rev. Sarah Harrison-McQueen of Central United Methodist Church in Ballston, Dr. Leonard L. Hamlin Sr. of Macedonia Baptist Church in Nauck, Rabbi Lia Bass of Congregation Etz Hayim along Route 50, and an exclusive interview with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.
This is a family-friendly episode that you can feel free to let your kids listen to.
Chris Farley is a native Arlingtonian who had a knack for running and turned it into a thriving local business.
Farley, the owner and co-founder of Pacers Running, talked with us about how he and his parents bought a local running store and worked hard to grow it to a small chain that also organizes local races.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast we also ask Farley about his podcast, Pace the Nation, and about some of his well-known clients. Be sure to stay tuned to the end for a discussion about the challenging retail climate in Arlington County and how e-commerce is impacting local businesses.
The Chamber is very much opposed to a proposed addition to the county’s towing ordinance that would require business owners to individually authorize each tow from their parking lots. The Arlington County Board is set to take up the issue this coming Tuesday, with the County Manager recommending against the so-called “second signature” requirement.
On Airbnb and other short term rentals, the Chamber has actively engaged its members on the county’s new proposed regulations, which are going before the Board on Saturday. With hotels in support of additional regulations, and apartment owners against (they would like the option of generating revenue through Airbnb while they lease up new buildings), the Chamber has declined to take a stance beyond encouraging its members to make their own voices heard.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Kate about those issues, about the current business climate in Arlington — including why so many restaurants and retailers have been closing lately — and about her ascension to the role of President and CEO of the Chamber at a relatively young age.
Bryna Helfer is trying to improve and modernize the way Arlington County communicates with its residents and businesses.
Helfer joined county government as Assistant County Manager for Communications and Public Engagement in September and has been seeking input on the county’s public outreach since.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Helfer about her position at the county, about technology and its role in updating the “Arlington Way” system of public outreach, and about why residents occasionally feel “blindsided” by the county’s decision-making process.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Nick about the current state of Arlington’s restaurant business, why so many restaurants are closing, and why he’s decided to start investing in and advising new restaurants. Nick also discusses the ups and downs and strategy behind running a bar and restaurant.
In Part 1, we interview a number of local officials and politicos on a range of topics. Among the interviewees in Part 1 of the broadcast: Arlington Co. Democratic Committee Chair Kip Malinosky, ARLnow columnist Peter Rousselot, School Board member-elect Tannia Talento and School Board member Nancy Van Doren.
In the second half of our broadcast, we heard election night speeches from local Democratic officials and later (around 14:00) interviewed County Board Chair Libby Garvey, County Board member Jay Fisette and state Senator Adam Ebbin. Among other things, we asked Garvey about her relationship with the Democratic party, we asked Fisette whether he’ll run for reelection next year and we asked Ebbin about the possibility of marijuana decriminalization in Virginia.
(Updated at 6:55 p.m.) After fending off a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Erik Gutshall, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey (D) is now running for reelection against independent candidate Audrey Clement.
In this week’s podcast, we asked Garvey about a number of local issues, from development to transit along Columbia Pike to preparations for snow removal this winter.
We also asked Garvey (around 36:30) about her support of Republican-turned-independent John Vihstadt, her colleague on the County Board. It was Garvey’s endorsement of Vihstadt over Democrat Alan Howze that precipitated her temporary expulsion from the local party’s good graces.
“He’s an independent, he’s clearly an independent,” Garvey said of Vihstadt. “It’s basically where a lot of Democrats are moving towards, and in fact where I think the center of this country is: socially liberal and fiscally responsible.”
“That’s where a lot of us are and I think it’s where Arlington is,” she concluded, “which is why I think John won and why I won.”
Garvey said the Board is functioning better as a body with more diverse viewpoints, as opposed to the previous all-Democrat regime that was “accused, somewhat justly I believe, of being in lockstep.”
Check out interviews of other local candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot from our previous podcast episodes: County Board candidate Audrey Clement (I) and congressional candidates Rep. Don Beyer (D) and Charles Hernick (R).
It’s true, Clement may be a perennial candidate, but she has dedicated supporters and, more importantly, she goes to the trouble of running for local office when other serious challengers to the Democratic candidate are often nowhere to be found. It’s hard to view that as anything other than a positive in our democratic system.
Clement’s ideas may seem a bit incongruous — she bikes everywhere but doesn’t like bike races, she is in favor of affordable housing but generally against new development — but she is consistent in her views.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we asked Clement about her opposition to those bike races; her opposition to development, particularly recent development in Westover; her support of renewable energy; and her desire to lessen the tax burden on Arlington residents.
Beyer is a freshman member of Congress who’s running in his first reelection campaign. Since succeeding long-time congressman Jim Moran, Beyer has been focused on a number of issues of importance to voters in the Eighth District of Virginia, which includes Arlington.
We asked Beyer about some of those issues, like the rehabilitation of the Memorial Bridge and aircraft noise from Reagan National Airport, as well as this year’s election and, of course, the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.
At a time when Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican Party’s ticket, GOP congressional hopeful Charles Hernick is, well, not anything like Donald Trump.
He’s a policy wonk who isn’t one for heated rhetoric. He’s an economic conservative who’s largely a libertarian on social issues. He believes more needs to be done about climate change.
Hernick truly believes he can do a better job in office than Rep. Don Beyer (D), but — unlike the current presidential race dynamic — doesn’t think Beyer should be jailed. In fact, Hernick acknowledges that Beyer is basically free of skeletons in his closet, which makes running against him even more of an uphill battle than he would otherwise face in the deep blue Eighth District of Virginia.
We talked with Hernick about the issues, about Trump and about Hernick’s own one-time intra-party foe, the ever-interesting Mike Webb.
If you’re a local news nerd who loves hearing about how things work behind the scenes, this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast is for you.
This week we have a wide-ranging chat with Ethan Rothstein, the former editor of ARLnow.com. Ethan, who’s now the East Coast Editor for Bisnow, talks about what it was like to report for ARLnow, plus:
- The future of Arlington’s economy;
- How everyone seems to hate a certain local towing company;
- The story behind the million dollar bus stop;
- The Arlington streetcar saga and how the county flubbed an opportunity to make a better case for it;
- The current state of the news business;
- … and much more.
This is a long episode but is a must-listen for anyone who closely follows news in Arlington.
If you were to pull up a mental image of a developer, you might think of the old NIMBY cliche of a “greedy developer” who swoops in to a community, builds a bunch of really tall buildings, leaves with bags of money, and goes home for a dip in a gold coin swimming pool.
This week’s 26 Square Miles podcast guest, former Arlington Chamber of Commerce Chair Kevin Shooshan, does not fit that image. The family-owned development firm for which he works, Shooshan Company, is based in Arlington and has projects in the works in Ballston and Clarendon.
When they’re not working to build new housing, hotels or offices, Shooshan and his family members are active in the community. They have been involved in the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Doorways for Women and Families, the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network and a number of other local nonprofits.
During our interview, Kevin talks about the ups and downs of being a developer, the projects he’s currently working on, the next generation of young leaders in Arlington, the county’s slow permitting process, and whether the local office market will ever fully recover amid high vacancy rates (hint: it probably won’t).
You know comedian David Koechner as “Champ” from Anchorman, but you might not know that in addition to his film and TV work he still travels the world performing standup comedy.
David is in Arlington this weekend, performing a total of five shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse on Columbia Pike. Tickets are $25 and are still available online.
We talked with David about his roles in Anchorman, Waiting, Thank You for Smoking and The Office, and also discussed whether he plans to see any the sights around Arlington during his visit. Taking advantage of being in the D.C. area, David weighed in on some of the issues he’s passionate about as well.
This week’s sponsor is Crystal City. Take advantage of the nice September weather and check out Crystal City’s last two Wine in the Waterpark events of the season this coming Friday and next Friday.
Photo courtesy Collin O’Brien
Robbie Peck has the kind of founding story for his company that reinforces the artisanal cred that is fueling its growth.
Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters, which owns Java Shack in Courthouse and is opening a new flagship cafe in Pentagon City, started as a mom-and-son operation in Culpeper, Va., a coffee shop where Peck was the barista and his mother was the chief coffee roaster.
From those beginnings Peck founded Commonwealth Joe with one coffee roasting machine and three friends from college. A few years later, and now he’s just a week or two away the culmination of a lot of hard work and investment: the opening of the first Commonwealth Joe-branded coffee shop.
Located next to a new Whole Foods on 12th Street S., just two blocks from the Pentagon City Metro, the cafe will feature the company’s most popular product: nitro cold brew coffee, which is smooth, dark and served out of a keg — the Guinness beer of coffees.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we learned that Commonwealth Joe’s nitro cold brew was the result of keeping a close eye on coffee culture in New York and other trend-setting coffee cities, in addition to a lot of experimentation.
We also learned:
- It takes quite a bit of effort to pedal a tricycle outfitted with a coffee keg up a hill
- Though Peck is competing with Starbucks, he credits the company for paving the way for smaller coffee companies like his
- Contrary to the experience of other small businesses, Peck says he hasn’t encountered much trouble from Arlington County on regulatory and permitting issues so far
Our podcast sponsor is Crystal City, which is hosting its annual Pups and Pilsners beer tasting event this Sunday from 2-6 p.m.