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.

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. 

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?

Chan Rodgers

KALW listener, Chan Rodgers was curious about one of San Francisco’s most distinctive buildings, and the provocative shadow it sometimes casts. So, he posed this question to our Hey Area project:

Cinque Mubarak

 

Nehanda Imara wrote to Hey Area, KALW’s community-journalism project, and asked:  "What is the oldest black business still existing on East 14th Street?"

Eli Wirtschafter

 

Oakland resident Shaniesa Williams wrote to Hey Area — KALW’s community-journalism project — to ask why there are so few traffic signals on International Boulevard.

Eli Wirtschafter / KALW News

 

A massive, multi-year transit project is transforming International Boulevard in Oakland — and financial aid for local businesses affected by the project is tangled up in red tape.

 

Jeremy Dalmas

This story originally aired in May of 2017.

San Francisco has the strongest economy of any city in the United States. And with business booming, a lot of eyes are on local corporations to see if they are giving back to the local community by paying their fair share in taxes.

Jenee Darden

If you’ve ever been to Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, chances are that you’ve seen Cesar Chavez’s name somewhere.

Cinque Mubarak

 

Ivan Garcia is only 15 years old, but he’s already working with Oakland city officials, and was appointed by Mayor Libby Schaaf to the city’s Youth Advisory Commission.

COURTESY OF JOSE ARTIGA

It's been over a year since President Donald Trump issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. After the order was made, mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

The Guardian

One of our listeners, Consuelo Faust, recently asked us a question through our Hey Area project: “Is it fact or urban legend that other cities or even States send their homeless people to San Francisco?”

DonMcCullough / Flickr / Creative Commons

 

It’s 7:45 AM and I’m in the car with Albany resident Steve Shea. We’re headed from the East Bay to his office in Novato.

 

“Yeah I’ve been commuting to this job ten years now,” he says, his hands on the wheel, eyes fixed on traffic ahead.

 

Wikimedia Commons

 

Listener Mark Eastman from East Palo Alto contacted KALW’s collaborative reporting project, Hey Area. He wants to know, “What happens to cars that get donated to charitable organizations?”

Why are BART announcements so hard to understand?

Nov 8, 2017
Andy Bosselman / KALW

When you ride BART, there’s usually a moment where you look up from your phone and wonder: "Where am I?" That’s when announcements are supposed to help.

SFPL History Center Photo Collection / cropped and resized

In 1976, there was a classified ad in the San Francisco Chronicle. It read, “SIGN Mr. PEANUT for sale. 20ft. tall as see [sic] from Bayshore Fwy. Eves. 364-5005.” That’s the last record of the huge Mr. Peanut sign that once marked the spot of the Planters Peanut factory.

How was the San Francisco Bay formed?

Nov 5, 2017
State of California Department of Conservation / cropped and resized

KALW listener Claudia Zeiler wanted to know how and when the San Francisco Bay was formed. 

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