CHECKING IT OUT – Fia Turczynewycz, a visitor from Ohio, walks her dog,  Mani, past the Sitka National Historical Park Visitor Center this morning. Tlingit master carver Tommy Joseph’s newly completed yellow cedar Waas’go pole, pictured in the background, was moved out of the park’s carving shed Thursday to make room for Joseph’s latest project – carving a Tlingit canoe with the aid of an apprentice. Joseph’s Waas’go pole is the third version of the Haida pole in the past century – a reproduction of a reproduction made in the 1930s by George Benson, which is placed inside the visitor center. Rangers are working on approval for a location along the park’s trail system for the new pole. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Steven L. Carleson Dies; Sitka Resident Was 52

Steven Lee “Shine” Carleson


Steven Lee “Shine” Carleson made his last set on June 26, 2021, in Anchorage. He was 52.

He was born in Sitka Dec. 11, 1968, to Evelyn (Young) Arriola and Larry Carleson. He was a Tlingit, Eagle, Kaagwaantaan, of the Kook Hit or Box House, and his Tlingit name was Saa’xaa. He was the grandchild of Thomas Young Sr. and Charlotte (Littlefield) Young and great-grandchild of John and Annie (Peters) Littlefield. 

Steven was a proud graduate of Mt. Edgecumbe High School, class of 1987, and attended the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

He grew up on fishing boats in Sitka and Southeast Alaska and spent most of his life on the water. He began fishing on the Helen H and the Donna Joy with Grandpa, Thomas Young Sr.  He also fished with his uncle, Gary “Sham” Lang Sr., on the Estella and the Seafarer, and for many years did some crab and cod fishing in the Bering Sea on the Brittany and many other fine boats.

Steven was a wrestler in high school and an awesome basketball player.  While at Mt. Edgecumbe, he was the state wrestling champ, 1986-1987.  He loved reading – especially Stephen King books – and he truly had a kind heart and a thoughtful soul. “Anyhoo…”  He was a friend to everyone he met and had a great sense of humor.  He lit up the room when he walked in and he was always happy, had a big smile for everyone and an even bigger laugh.  

Steven was a member of St. Michael’s Cathedral of Sitka, Sealaska Corporation, Shee Atika Incorporated and Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

Steven is survived by his longtime girlfriend Diane Simpson, his brothers Robert and Eric Carleson, sister Kristin Carleson, brothers Michael “Mick” (Lisa) Lang, Richard Lang, Gary (Tonia) Puletau-Lang and Charlie (Beth) Lang and sisters Donna Lang and Charla Bernhardt.  He also leaves behind his Aunty-Mom Alfreda Lang, uncles Edward (Nancy Douglas) Young, Lawrence “George” (Marie) Young, William “Jimmy” Young and uncle Patrick (Shirley) Littlefield; aunty Jennifer Young and uncle Gary “Sham” Lang Sr.  

Steve grew up with and was close to his cousins Dayna (and Josh) Arnold and Anne Carlson Davis; Thomas “Skinny,” Jeffrey and Mitchell Young and cousins David Lang, Greg Littlefield and Andy Larsen. There also are many cousins, aunties and uncles, nephews and nieces and their familie, in Sitka, Metlakatla, Juneau and throughout Alaska, whose lives he had touched.

“We cannot go without saying that Shine was lifelong friends with John Ricaporte, Mike Jackson and Mike Williams, his family said.

He also is survived also by great-aunts Betty Allen, Grace Larsen and Christine Littlefield, as well as great-uncles Smitty (Charlene) Katzeek, Harry Jimmy, Herman Davis and Sergei (Alla) Kan. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Thomas S. and Charlotte Young; his mother Evelyn Arriola, father and stepmother Larry and Drena Carleson; his sister Sharon Arriola; brother Rodney Lang; and cousins Calvin “Jr,” Carlson and Lester Young; uncles Thomas “Sonny” Young Jr., Henry Young, and Calvin “Uncle Jr.” Carlson Sr.; and aunty Marilyn May (Young) Carlson.

The family of Steven Lee Carleson extended a very heartfelt “Gunalcheesh” to Fr. Paul Jannakos of St. Luke Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, Illinois, for his steadfast prayers – for Steven and for his family.  

A celebration of life will be announced later.

“Thank you to all the countless friends who loved Steve, and may his memory be eternal,” his family said. Gunalcheesh.  

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Alaska COVID-19 
At a Glance

(updated 9-17-21)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 10:47 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 875

Total statewide – 96,002

Total (cumulative) deaths – 454

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 2,207

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 14 new COVID cases in the past 7 days, a rate of 187.73 per 100,000 population. Alert status will be high until the rate per thousand is below 100. Case statistics are as of Thursday.

New cases in Sitka – 5

Cases in last 7 days – 16

Cumulative Sitka cases – 946

Positive cumulative test results in Sitka, as of 9/10/21 – 1,090

Deceased (cumulative) – 3

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.

• • •


Sitka Vax Stats 

The State of Alaska DHSS reported Friday the following statistics on vaccinations for Sitka.

Partially vaccinated – 6,132 (83.03%)

Fully vaccinated – 5,991 (81.12%)

Total population (12+) – 7,385

Sitka has vaccinated fully vaccinated 89.85 percent of its senior population (1,478 total), age 65 and older. 

Vaccination data for the City and Borough of Sitka can be found online at:





September 2001

Alaska Pacific Bank has opened an account for donations to be directed to the families of the World Trade Center attack of Sept. 11. The account has been opened with a $2,000 contribution from the bank and an anonymous donor.

September 1971

At the Sitka Historical Society’s meeting Sunday, Mrs. Esther Billman of Sheldon Jackson College presented a “surprise package” of recent donations to the Sheldon Jackson Museum by Mr. Hugh Brady, youngest son of former Territorial Gov. John Brady.