The city of roughly 600 residents is named for the Tlingit word Ḵéex̱, which is derived from ḵée “dawn, daylight” and x̱ʼé “mouth”, i.e. “mouth of dawn” or “opening of daylight.” (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

I visited Kake this winter to teach a three-day workshop in radio storytelling. The six students, 11th and 12th graders in the Kake City School District, were exceptional to work with: frank, funny, and insightful. With help from their media teacher, Jordana Grant, the students developed written commentaries for Raven Radio. We asked them, “What are you an expert in?” They wrote with an ear for radio. Topics ranged from moose hunting to video gaming, addiction and being a part of a big family.

If you missed any of the Kake student commentaries, give them a listen here. And if you are interested in recording a commentary for Raven Radio, we’d love to hear it. E-mail your idea or commentary to

Student Essay: The Turnaround

By the age of 10, I was walking into grocery stores and taking anything I desired for the price of nothing. My family was poor and sometimes we didn’t have food in the cupboards. So, I went out and got my own food to feed myself and family. But even when we became stable again, the stealing didn’t go away.

Tauno Hill: The Fan

I watched old fights like Hagler vs. Hearns and Ali vs. Foreman. I studied the technique and the the different styles. I learned how to train my body and eat right and get ready for a match.

Simon Friday: “The Friend”

Instead of reaching for that bottle, reach for the phone. And call someone. Tell them you need help. Don’t afraid to reach out to your friends or your family. You do not have to be controlled by your drinking.

Riley Davis: “The Role Model”

When my dad got remarried in 2006, I never thought that would later mean five more siblings. The littlest one likes to take all of the books out of the bookshelf and throw his food on the floor. I also probably step on a lego at least once a day.

Jonah Davis: “The Gamer”

I like games because I like the fact that you can be a character in a medieval, modern, or even futuristic world. It’s almost like a place where I can do stuff I can’t actually do in the real world.

Shalene Moler: “The Hunter”

I grew up on the water, harvesting fish like halibut and salmon. And the most important to me: I grew up in the woods and hunting, in search of making more memories.

Sitka has been experiencing a string of picturesque weather – blue skies, buttery sunshine, alpine glow. But in Kake, clear skies are not uncommon.

The city of roughly 600 residents is tucked along the Northwest coast of Kupreanof Island. The name And fittingly, it’s often sunny in Kake despite pouring rain elsewhere in Southeast. This made me wonder: Is it geography? Cloud coverage? The name itself comes from the Tlingit word Ḵéex̱, which is derived from ḵée “dawn, daylight” and x̱ʼé “mouth”, i.e. “mouth of dawn” or “opening of daylight.”

I posed the question to Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist in Anchorage. He said there is little climatological data for Kake, which joins Angoon as the driest places in Southeast Alaska. He guessed that the position of Kuiu Island to the west creates a rain shadow, as does Baranof Island for Angoon. The islands act like cushions, blocking the passage of rain-bearing weather patterns from reaching these communities. By comparison, “Petersburg is similarly situated (geographically) as Juneau and receive about the same amount of precipitation as Juneau,” Brettschneider said.

Slideshow: Ḵéex̱