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.
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.
Why do so many Bay Area highways have similar names? We've got Interstate 280, 580, 680 and 880 — what gives? That's the question that listener Jennifer Paulus submitted to Hey Area, KALW's collaborative reporting project. Click the player above for the answer.
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.
San Francisco has the strongest economy of any city in the U.S. 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.
The blocky Vaillancourt Fountain near San Francisco's Ferry Building has been controversial since its installation in the 1970s. One issue that's dogged the fountain for decades? It's often dry. Listener Ingrid Roseborough wrote to Hey Area wondering why. Click the player above the hear the answer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.