Hey Area: You ask, we answer. | KALW

Hey Area: You ask, we answer.

Hey Area is a collaborative reporting project of KALW News. Audience members submit questions about the Bay Area and if your question is selected you may be contacted to participate in telling the story behind it. 

What have you always wondered? Ask your question here.

When is the Big One coming to the Bay?

Jul 16, 2019
Flickr User 1Flatworld / Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / resized

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Listener Rory Plewman wanted to know when the next big earthquake is going to hit the Bay Area.

Flickr user KitAy, used under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped

Studies have shown that proper nutrition can help improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs. However, starting healthy eating habits can be challenging for any new family, and for low-income families in the East Oakland flatlands, which has long been considered a food desert, that challenge is even harder to overcome. Through our crowd-sourced journalism project, Hey Area, one listener asked, "Where is the best place in East Oakland to buy fresh produce with WIC vouchers?"

Who is the ancient king looking down on Civic Center?

May 14, 2019

A regal statue keeps watch of San Francisco Main Library's Fulton Street entrance. Who is he and why is he there? 

Almost everyone who flies into San Francisco or San Jose airport has seen it -- a vibrant patchwork quilt of colorful water. There, on the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay, you can see bright pinks, pumpkin oranges, neon greens and deep magentas, contrasted against the dark blues of the natural bay water. The last time KALW listener Donna Staton peered out an airplane window, she saw it, too.

 

Will BART damage my hearing?

Mar 26, 2019
Eli Wirtschafter

This question came from listener Michael Mackin. Since this story first aired in September 2016, nearly all of BART’s legacy fleet have new, quieter wheels and 60 new cars have gone into service. 

Why is Oakland’s flag green and gold?

Feb 26, 2019
Marco Siler-Gonzales

The Oakland A’s may have popularized the color scheme of green and gold. But the origin of Oakland’s colors dates back before the A’s even arrived.

Where are all the Diego Rivera murals in San Francisco?

Feb 21, 2019
Joaquín Martínez, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped

Have you ever wondered where you can find the murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera in San Francisco? KALW listener Monzerrath Gonzalez has. So, KALW Reporter Sara Nora Koust went with her to San Francisco Art Institute to check one out.

Who is the most influential Latino in the Bay Area?

Feb 21, 2019
Porfirio Rangel / KALW

Hey Area is where you ask the questions and we find the answers. Today’s question comes from Monzerrath Gonzalez: “Who is the most influential Latino in the Bay Area?”

Is San Francisco really sinking?

Feb 21, 2019
Lisa Wang / KALW

 

Listener Alexjandra Rodriguez asked us, “Does San Francisco sink, or is it the whole Bay Area?”

Kevin McLean / KALW

Listener Ruta Aiono wanted to know: “Why are there so many eucalyptus trees in the Bay Area?”

JoAnn DeLuna

 

Listener Lecoya Lejeune wanted to know, “When and why did the drum circle start in Lake Merritt?”

Why are there so many sand dollars on Ocean Beach?

Feb 20, 2019

Listener Katie Taylor asked us why there are so many sand dollars on Ocean Beach, and if our sand dollar population is healthy. 

What is the steepest street in San Francisco?

Feb 20, 2019
Alyia Renee Yates / KALW

KALW listener Stephanie Stathanos wanted to know, what is the steepest street in San Francisco? KALW Audio Academy Fellow Alyia Renee Yates headed to Market Street in the early morning to find the answer.

Lance Gardner / KALW

Listener Katie Taylor asked us to find out how San Francisco’s Folsom Street became “the center of sexy times.” KALW Audio Academy Fellow Lance Gardner went to find out.

What is San Francisco's oldest running streetcar?

Feb 20, 2019
Magnolia McKay / KALW

San Francisco is home to a fleet of colorful historic streetcars. They run on Market Street and the Embarcadero, as the F and E lines. We got the question “What is the oldest running streetcar in San Francisco?” KALW Audio Academy Fellow Magnolia McKay found the answer.

What is the oldest restaurant in North Beach?

Feb 12, 2019

Bay Area newcomer, Brittany Bare, wanted to know the history of the oldest restaurant in North Beach.  She asked: “What is the oldest restaurant and the history of that restaurant in Little Italy?” After setting Brittany straight about the fact that this ain’t New York and, in San Francisco, it’s North Beach, reporter Mary Franklin Harvin, found the answer — with a slight caveat. 

How dirty is BART, actually?

Feb 12, 2019
Selene Ross / KALW

After disagreeing whether or not the seats on BART were clean enough to sit on, KALW listeners Chloe Hinkson and Nadine Sebai had to ask: “How dirty is BART, like, actually?”

Thomas Hawk, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / Cropped

San Francisco's Chinatown is the oldest in North America, myths and stories have always surround it. Among those is the story of an underground network of tunnels under Chinatown. But is there evidence the tunnels exist? Listener Tristan Brotherton wanted to know what might be underneath San Francisco.

How many yoga studios are there in San Francisco?

Feb 12, 2019
Nikolas Harter / KALW

Today’s question comes from Britt Coughlin in Berkeley. She asked, “How many yoga studios are in San Francisco?” Britt also wanted to know if the yoga economy is actually sustainable, or more like a bubble set to burst.

What are the seven hills of San Francisco?

Feb 12, 2019
Emma McAvoy / KALW

San Franciscan Andre Duque wanted to know more about the seven hills of San Francisco. He asked “What are the seven hills of San Francisco? And can you really see them all if you stand atop any one of them?” KALW reporter Emma McAvoy and Andre Duque visited Twin Peaks with San Francisco hill expert Dave SchweIsguth to see if they could find the seven hills of San Francisco.

Todd Lappin, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / Cropped

Brittany Bare moved to San Francisco just over a year ago. She wants to know: in the event of an earthquake, where in San Francisco is the single safest place to be?

Can you actually win the San Francisco Dream House?

Feb 12, 2019
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA)

Erin Drake-Prior has a dirty little secret; she has bought into the San Francisco Dream House Raffle without fully trusting that it’s real. So she asked: “Is it even possible to win the dream house in the San Francisco Dream House Raffle?” KALW’s Kristin McCandless went out to find an answer and ended up deep in the history of our country.

Why are there no sidewalks in Atherton/Menlo Park?

Feb 12, 2019
Public Domain

Listener Anna Kuwar wanted to know: Why are there no sidewalks in Atherton/Menlo Park?

Flickr user rulenumberone2, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped

Listener Chris Macintosh wanted to know: How will the SalesForce Tower affect birds and other animals? But as KALW’s Sara Harrison found out, the answer isn’t clear.

Where can we find water after the Big One?

Feb 12, 2019
Marissa Shieh / KALW

After the next big earthquke, many Bay Area residents will find themselves without water. What’s next, and where should they expect help?

Are there actually any walnuts in Walnut Creek?

Jul 25, 2018
Laura Wenus

One KALW listener was curious to know, does Walnut Creek actually have any walnuts there? As it turns out, walnuts were a very important crop to the area for years. 

Bo Walsh


If you’ve ever attended a professional sporting event, there’s a good chance at some point you have found yourself rising to your feet with hands raised in rhythm with thousands of other fans. It’s a phenomenon known simply as “the Wave. ”

Hey Area: What is the Emergency Alert System testing?

Jul 17, 2018
Christine Nguyen / KALW News

You ask, we answer.

One listener wanted to know, “What is this ‘test of the emergency system we hear now and then on the air?” Reporter Christine Nguyen has the answer.

Hey Area: Why doesn't BART go to Marin?

Jul 17, 2018
Wikimedia user Utilizer, used under CC BY-SA 4.0 / resized and cropped

KALW listener Lori from El Cerrito wrote in to ask why BART doesn’t go to Marin.

Tobias Kleinlercher / Wikipedia, used under CC BY-SA 3.0 / cropped

San Francisco’s Bush and Pine Streets efficiently get drivers from Point A to B. Or as some like to say, “From Bush to the Bay, Pine to the Pacific.” KALW listener Steve Greenberg wanted to know when these two streets became one-way. But more importantly, why?

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