Clayton Park founded the community paper with the help of his then wife, Susan Brehme Park (now divorced) in 1997 shortly after getting married. It had always been Clayton's dream to own his own newspaper and both he and Susan had experience working in the field. Clayton was working full-time as a reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal and Susan was working full-time as a composer/printer for the Seattle Times. Susan quit her job at the Times in order to become publisher of their newly formed community newspaper.
The paper was originally called the Jet City Maven, but was renamed the Seattle Sun in the January 2002 issue after the wake of the 9-11 tragedy.
Susan published the Seattle Sun newspaper for seven-and-one-half years with the help of Clayton and several wonderful employees and volunteers. While under her watch, the paper grew to a printed circulation of 25,000 copies each monthly issue, with 5,000 copies direct mailed and the remainder distributed as a free pickup at coffee shops, libraries, and other locations. Susan always likened running the quickly growing publication to "trying to keep shoes on growing kid's feet." The paper had a life of it's own.
Susan provided much of the graphic design for ad design, illustration, newspaper layout, and photography. As the paper grew larger, staff helped perform some of this work. Some of the great helpers include (in a.b.c. order): Tara DeCoster, Alan Gladfelter, Debi Harris, Melanie Hendricks, Beth Osborne, Stina Plant, Kristy Smith, Denise Smith, and Rhys Walters.
In the paper's infancy, Clayton and several volunteers wrote most of the articles and did all the editing in his spare time while working for the Puget Sound Business Journal. In August, 1997, Clayton got a job working as the Business Editor at the Journal American in Bellevue (now the King County Journal) and would no longer have as much free time. Freelancers, interns, then staff reporters were added. Some of the great staff writers included (in a.b.c order): Matt Asher, James Bush, Robin Daly, Ron Dennis, Debi Harris, Corey Holmes, Jane Lotter, Carol Marsh, Matt Maury, Matt Patneaude, Shannon Priebe, Jesse Ross, Stan Stapp, Jason Trachtenburg, and Leah Weathersby.
While the Parks operated the newspaper, the Seattle Sun had a circulation of 25,000 copies printed each issue with 5,000 direct-mailed throughout North Seattle from the ship canal north to 145th St. N. The monthly community paper featured local news, opinion, business, education, sports and health, entertainment, home and garden, and local history. Some of the hallmark news items featured include: Breaking the "Stripper-gate" story about politicians taking illegal donations from Rick's nightclub before a land-zoning variance decision; Advocating for corporate naming in exchange for corporate giving; Helping community activists and corporations come to an agreement over the Daylighting of Thornton Creek in the south parking lot of Northgate Mall; And writing countless features on interesting local people in our community.
In March, 2004, Clayton Park was given a transfer notice that he would be moved south to Kent, Washington. Commuting through downtown Seattle everyday would be too time-consuming, so they would have to move south. Susan, like many business owners, was currently working 80-hour weeks and decided it was time to pass on stewardship of the newspaper to someone with more resources who could expand the paper further, make it weekly, and invest in quality news stands.
Susan called her friend, Wallis Bolz, publisher of Town Crier, to see if she would be interested in purchasing the paper. Wallis jumped at the chance and began operating the paper under a letter of intent to purchase it beginning August 1, 2004. In January, 2005, Wallis completed her purchase of the Seattle Sun newspaper. In May, she merged the North Seattle Sun and South Seattle Star into one citywide publication. Unfortunately, after three years of operating Town Crier, Wallis closed her doors after her last published issue of July 1, 2005.
COPYRIGHTS and USAGE
Articles published in the Seattle Sun newspaper from September 2004 through July 2005 are the copyrighted property of Town Crier. However, columns written by Clayton Park in these issues are also public domain.
SEATTLE SUN is a registered trademark. The Seattle Sun was registered as a trademark by Susan and Clayton Park in 2002. The usage of this was sold to Town Crier in 2005, but was only used briefly, was never transferred, and is still officially listed with the State of Washington as belonging to Susan and Clayton Park. This trademark applies to all media uses. The name Seattle Sun newspaper may not be used without written permission from Town Crier, or Susan and Clayton Park in their absence, by contacting us at the address and phone numbers listed on this website.
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Town Crier is responsibe for all debts accrued by them while publishing the newspaper from Sept. 2004 and on.
©2009 Susan Park and Clayton Park for The Seattle Sun and/or The Jet City Maven
Permission granted to use content as long as you credit us! Thanks!
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