Bagby steps down as editor | Editorial

Bagby steps down as editor | Editorial

by Cali Bagby

Journal general manager

After three years of serving as the editor of the San Juan Journal, I am stepping down. I will be staying on with the Journal as general manager.

I have been lucky to watch the Journal flourish under the watch of assistant editor Mandi Johnson. You can contact her at 360-378-5696 and

During my time as editor, I have been honored to report on a wide range of stories. My favorite topics have covered environmental calls to action, in-depth coverage on interesting local news and alerting the public to abuses of power. Here are some of the highlights of my time.

I delved into the question of “what happens when you die on an island?” The article helped inform the community about the complications of death in an isolated area.

I had the honor of covering Kathleen Zuidema’s dying wish to find a home for her three Australian Shepherds.

I wrote a series of pieces about former detective Stephen Parker, whose questionable conduct with a female crime victim was responsible for reduced charges or dismissal of three sex crime cases in San Juan County. Parker lost his credentials as a police officer but faced no other punishment. His abuse of power was clear in the pages of our newspapers.

We may be small, but there is might in writing the truth in a paper of record. When the Seattle Times attacked the victim of that case, I published a lengthy rebuttal calling for an end to victim blaming.

Through all the elections, housing problems and political debates, I have always appreciated that our community cares about the news. Democracy does not work unless voters are informed.

I also want to thank the steadfast team at the Journal. Heather Spaulding is a reliable, smiling face whose writing has grown beautifully over the years. Tate Thomson is an extremely talented graphic designer and photographer. Shane Watson creates ads and brings order to the chaos. Our publisher Colleen Smith keeps the ship on course with intelligence and a large dose of optimism.

I look forward to continuing to work with you all. If you are interested in promoting your business in the Journal, give me a call at 360-378-5696 or email