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An unlikely publisher bids farewell

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Angela with George Bakan — Courtesy photo
Angela with George Bakan — Courtesy photo

I must admit, September is by far my favorite month of the year. The weather starts to evolve, bestowing all sorts of conditions in one month as it vacillates from intense to subtle sunshine, from soft breezes to blustery wind, from misty rain to torrential downpours, with a light chill infused prominently in the mornings.

As it sparks all the senses, this prelude to fall represents a reset of life for school, work, and often the fiscal year.

And so it is for me. September 2023 marks the end of an extremely personal journey: my time at the helm of the SGN.

George and Angela in December 2019 — Courtesy photo  

I did not quite understand what I was walking into when my father, George Bakan — the SGN's publisher, owner, and editor-in-chief — passed away on June 6, 2020. My emotions were riddled with grief, his affairs were in utter disorder, a gargantuan hoard laughed at my face. Plus a pandemic was lurking indefinitely.

The mess, the circumstances, the everything made me want to sprint, hide, and curl up into a ball. It was terrifying.

However, something prompted me to give it a chance. It wasn't the allure of a lavish lifestyle, historically bestowed on the newspaper heiresses of the past (although one can always hope!). Certainly it wasn't the experience that I had had in the newspaper industry — which was absolutely zero.

It was the community surrounding my late father. As I listened to the heartfelt stories of those who were loved by George and touched by the paper (especially in pre-internet times), which brought a sense of belonging to a group that had been ostracized for so long, I realized my heart was becoming involved.

Heart journeys, or passion projects, are messy and crazy, and do not make sense at times. These odysseys are tainted by seeds of doubt, distrust, and fear. They require a multitude of flowery traits (which are too many to list).

But between myself and the SGN team and allies, we tapped into our strengths.

And we are all still breathing.

It has taken the belief, tenacity, patience, and self-sacrifice of all the past and present SGN team members — a level of dedication that cannot be bought, grown, or sold. The changes we've undergone have come with pain, but the reward eventually is joy.

Angela with her daughter Molly at Seattle Pride 2022 — Courtesy photo  

Thank you, SGN crew! I appreciate you taking a chance on me. I love each one of you and am so incredibly proud of your growth (like my alias: Mama Newspaper).

Thank you to the friends, the readers, the advertisers, the partners, and the supporters that have helped sustain this publication.

Not to mention, thanks to Mike Schultz, the new owner of the SGN, for putting his faith in what we have built.

And of course, heartfelt thanks to my beloved family for supporting me every step of the way.

May life treat you well, as you treat others.