Hey Area: You ask, we answer.

Hey Area is a collaborative reporting project of KALW News. Using a tool developed by Hearken, audience members submit questions about the Bay Area. If your question is selected, you will partner with a reporter to find the answer. Read more about the project here

What have you always wondered?

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

In 1925, Redwood City's real estate board offered a $10 prize for the best slogan for the growing city. The winning submission? "Climate Best by Government Test." In this Hey Area short-answer segment, reporter Jürgen Klemm digs into whether the claim is true. Click the player above to hear the answer.

Are there more crows in the Bay Area than there used to be?  The answer is yes. For this short-answer segment, reporter Jurgen Klemm teamed up with veteran birder Alan Hopkins to learn why. Click the player above to hear the story. 

Geraldine Ah-Sue

 

Lake Merritt is often referred to as the Jewel of Oakland. By day, you can see fitness enthusiasts running and birds splashing in the water. But as the sun begins to set, the crowd thins out, and a string of 3,400 pearly light bulbs begin to glow. 

Hey Area: Is Lake Merritt really a lake?

Apr 3, 2017

Is Lake Merritt actually a lake? The answer is no!

A more accurate name might be Lagoon Merritt or Slough Merritt, as it's connected to the salty ocean water of the Bay. In this short-answer segment, reporter Jürgen Klemm dives into the history of Oakland's heart-shaped body of water. 

Was the flagpole on top of Oakland's Tribune Tower designed as a mooring for airships? Listener Robert Weiner submitted this question to Hey Area, KALW's collaborative reporting project. Click the audio player above to hear the answer. 

Listener Holley Wysong wanted to know why new street signs in San Francisco use a typeface with upper and lowercase letters. She asked KALW's collaborative news project Hey Area to find the answer.

McLaren Park in southeastern San Francisco is home to an amphitheater, seven miles of walking trails, sweeping views of San Bruno Mountain and — according to listener Danny Yanow — some "giant birds nests." Yanow wrote into KALW's collaborative reporting project Hey Area asking what kind of birds built them. 

Hey Area: Where are the Mission's buried waterways?

Mar 13, 2017
Image source: http://bit.ly/2nxZBVA

Does a river run through it? 

That's the question that listener Milena Fiore posed to KALW's collaborative news project Hey Area. In this short-answer segment, she speaks with Ginny Stearns, an amateur historian and Mission Creek Creek Conservancy board member, to learn the answer.

COURTESY OF JOSE ARTIGA

 

President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order promising to halt federal funding for cities that limit cooperation with immigration agents. Some mayors from across the country vowed to remain so called “sanctuary cities” anyway. 

Angela Johnston

 

Austin Newsom is an Amtrak ticket agent at the Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco. On his lunch breaks, he takes walks along the Embarcadero.

“It’s really nice, and people usually, when they’re walking along the waterfront, for whatever reason they have big smiles on their faces. I think it makes people happy.”

 

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco History Room, San Francisco Public Library.

It’s easy to navigate the streets in San Francisco’s Bayview District once you realize that they’re alphabetical. Avenues, for example, go McKinnon, Newcomb, Oakdale, Palou, etc. Streets go Mendell, Newhall, Phelps. 

Design by Cal Tabuena-Frolli. Illustration by Olivia Henry.

When Heather Hernandez saw that KALW was seeking questions from listeners via Hey Area, she wrote in and asked, "Who has worked at KALW the longest?" We invited Heather to the station to interview some of our longest-standing employees. Steven Short — the original KALW newsroom volunteer — helped. 

Hey Area: Will BART damage my hearing?

Sep 22, 2016
Eli Wirtschafter

 

Every morning, Michael Mackin gets on BART with two bags. There’s a satchel where he keeps all his work stuff, and a backpack where he carries Cooper and Jetta, his two adorable papillions.

 

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.

 

Angela Johnston

 

In 2018, Bay Area commuters will be able to go a little bit farther on BART. The transit agency is building a 10-mile extension from the Pittsburgh station, to Antioch.

Holly McDede

All week long, we've been playing this sound and asking you to guess what exactly it is and where exactly in the Bay Area we recorded it.

by Ben Trefny

Navigation Centers are a new approach in San Francisco to move homeless people into housing. They’re temporary residences designed to connect people with long term housing and social services - without separating them from their partners, pets, or belongings.

Audrey Dilling

 

Marie-Jo Fremont pays a lot of attention to the sky these days.

Photo cropped and resized with permission from Dan Brekke

 

On Thursday April 7th, 2016, San Francisco police shot and killed Luis Gongora, a 45-year-old man living in a homeless encampment of tents on Shotwell Street in the Mission District.

KALW News is launching a new, crowdsourced reporting project called Hey Area. What is crowdsourced reporting? And how does fit in KALW’s mission? General manager Matt Martin sat down with reporter-producer Audrey Dilling and digital strategist Olivia Henry to learn more.