Why's That?

Second Friday of the month at 6:44 am, 8:44 am and 5:44 pm

Why's That? explores the things in Southwest Michigan – people, places, names  – that spark your curiosity. We want to know what makes you wonder when you're out and about. 

Maybe it's a question you've had for years, or maybe it's just come up. Perhaps it rests on a subtle observation, like this one about ABC streets in Kalamazoo. Or maybe you just saw something, found it strange, and wanted to know more about it. That's what happened in "A Tiny Park with a Tragic Story."

From train signals to watersheds, from unusual houses to water hardness, we hope you'll let us know what in Southwest Michigan makes you ask "Why's That?" It could be the start of a great radio story.

John Todd / John Todd Collection, Portage District Library

Rosamond Robbert lived in Dublin and London, then moved to the US in the 1970s. When she got to Southwest Michigan, she wondered: why are Kalamazoo and Portage separate cities?

“Both with own taxes as far as I knew, both with their own rules, both with a board of governors and everything. And why’s that? They’re so teeny-weeny,” she says.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

This "Why's That?" story originally aired in August 2016. 

Years ago when Julie Allen’s son was in a stroller, she’d take him for walks on South Westnedge Avenue. That’s when a building set well back from the road caught her attention.

“I probably walked by it four or five times before I actually noticed the house,” she says.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

If you’ve heard of Western Michigan University’s particle accelerator, you might have also heard that it’s a secret machine involved in double-secret research. The directors of the lab say that's completely untrue, though it is true that you should not stand next to the machine during some experiments. At a moment that posed no risk, "Why's That?" and mechanical engineering student Peter Grohs saw the facilities up close.


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Picture a nineteenth-century school, and what do you see? Simple design, tall windows, somewhere to put a bell? That’s a fair description of a building on Stadium Drive near 9th Street that caught Sue Grossman’s eye.

“I’ve been driving by it all my life because I grew up in this town,” Sue says as we study the front of the building while traffic zips by on Stadium. 


WMUK radio is working on a series of stories to help our listeners better understand Islam and the culture of people who are Muslim.

What do you want to know? Click the link and ask your question.

Pages