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Ribbon-cutting set for $64.5M Regional Operations Center

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday will celebrate the opening San Mateo County’s new $64.5 million, 37,000 square foot Regional Operations Center (ROC) at the County Governement Center Campus in Redwood City, across from the County parking garage.

The ceremony will occur at 4 p.m. and will be followed by guided tours of the ROC.

The new center will house the Office of Emergency Services and 911 dispatchers who are currently located in the basement of the Eisenhower-era Hall of Justice. It will also house a secure data center and will feature space for county departments and partner agencies when the Emergency Operations Center is activated.

The ROC will serve as the “go-to location for response and recovery from earthquakes, wildfires, tsunamis, terrorist incidents and other major emergencies,” according to the County.

Supported by Measure K tax dollars, the ROC features 345 columns sunk 40 feet into the ground for seismic support. It is designed to operate for up to seven days without PG&E-provided power or city-provided water.

The building will also be certified LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Redwood City considers charging residents fee to park on street

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Redwood City is considering charging residents of neighborhoods where parking is hardest to find an annual fee in order to park in their area.

The proposal to establish a residential parking permit fee in high-demand areas was discussed at last week’s City Council meeting. The city recommends keeping the existing allowance of three permits per household in designated areas, but charging $60 per permit for the first two permits in the first year, $130 for the third, with annual renewals costing half the amount of the initial price. The proposal establishes a cost for visitor permits at $25 for 14 days and $4 for one day.

Currently, the city does not charge a fee as part of its Residential Permit Parking Program. The program was established 30 years ago near Sequoia High and Sequoia Hospital to discourage longterm parking by non-residents. Three years ago, parking scarcity led to an expansion of the program to areas near the south end of Broadway in Friendly Acres and near downtown in Stambaugh/Heller.

A continued lack of parking availability has prompted calls to expand the city’s residential permit parking program, according to city staff.

The proposed fees would only cover the cost of program’s administration, not the cost of its enforcement, according to city staff, which noted that the Redwood City Police Department was in the process of hiring two new parking enforcement officers for the program.

On Monday, Sept. 9, City Council approved amendments to the parking program, but did not decide whether to impose a fee. City staff is set to conduct public outreach in the coming months on how to amend the permit program, including whether to impose permit fees, before bringing the proposals back to council before the end of the year.

The fee proposal received mixed reviews during public comment and the Council discussion.

While residents say the Residential Permit Parking Program works, some opposed the concept of being charged to park in front of their homes.

Councilmembers expressed discomfort over the fee proposal, particularly Mayor Ian Bain.

“I have a philosophical problem with charging people to park on public streets, which, arguably, we are also already paying for with our taxes,” Bain said.

Bain and other councilmembers expressed concern over imposing yet another charge on residents struggling to afford staying in Redwood City, where the high demand for housing has increased residential costs.

Councilmember Janet Borgens, who lives in a residential permit area, said she’s more in support of increasing parking citation costs than imposing a fee.

“I do have concern because just the cost of hanging on in this community, to be able to stay here and live her and pay PG&E, rent and DMV fees that have increased, it’s expensive,” she said.

Councilmembers floated the idea of providing the first two of three permits alotted to households for free, and charging for the third. Another idea was to charge for permits on a sliding scale based upon income.

The parking problem in Redwood City is not going away, however, and the city will need to balance an expanding program with the need to fund it, Councilmember Diane Howard said.

Su Hong in Palo Alto set to close Sept. 29

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After a successful 42-year run, a popular Peninsula chef is set to close shop this month.

Su Hong in Palo Alto is set to officially close on Sept. 29, marking the end of an era for 70-year-old owner David King, according to the Palo Alto Weekly’s Peninsula Foodist.

King has sold the 3,300 square foot property at 4256 El Camino Real, which a developer is proposing to turn into a five-story, 100-room hotel.

It will be Su Hong’s last location to close. The restaurant had locations in Menlo Park that were sold by King’s ex-wife in 2015, according to Peninsula Foodist.

For more information about the reasons behind Su Hong’s closure, read the full Peninsula Foodist report here.

Photo: Google images, June 2017

Mark Simon joins Daily Journal as columnist

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Veteran journalist and former Climate Magazine political columnist Mark Simon is now writing a weekly column for the San Mateo Daily Journal.

Simon made the announcement in his first column published today.

Simon was a veteran political reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle when he joined SamTrans in 2004 as a special assistant to the general manager and CEO. He worked his way up to Chief of Staff at SamTrans before retiring in 2017.

His journalism career was re-kindled in February 2018, when Climate Magazine invited him aboard as a political columnist. He became a leading voice in the community, crafting weekly pieces about local politics and issues and, on occasion, personal stories. He resigned his Climate column in July.

Climate Magazine Publisher Adam Alberti said the county is a better place when Simon is writing about it.

“Mark is an exceptional journalist. He’s about facts, fairness and getting to the truth,” Alberti said. “The Daily Journal and our community as a whole are very lucky to have his voice.”

In his first Daily Journal column, Simon referred to himself “a local news guy.”

“My roots as a journalist are grounded in local news,” he wrote. “Indeed, my interests always have been aligned with the Daily Journal’s. And those interests are local news, local politics, local life and local newspapers.”

In additional to his column, Simon also co-hosts The Game, a show on Peninsula TV about local politics and other topics, alongside Assemblymember Kevin Mullin.

Local teen recognized for heroism in Poplar Beach rescue

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It was a heroic action amid a tragedy.

San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos awarded Junipero Serra High graduate Andrew Abbey for his bravery and lifesaving efforts at Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay on Thursday, April 18.

That day, 18-year-old Naphtali Moimoi, a football star from Hayward, was boogie-boarding when he went underneath a wave and the board surfaced without him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two of the teen’s friends rushed into the water but were unable to reach Moimoi, and one of those friends was also pulled into the rip current undertow, according to the report.

Abbey saw the distressed teen struggling and jumped into the water.

“Andrew maneuvered behind the teen, placed him in a lifesaving position and rescued him as Andrew brought him to shore,” according to the sheriff’s office. “Due to his quick actions, without regard for his own safety, Andrew was able to save the young man’s life.”

Tragically, Moimoi died.

Abbey, a Belmont native, is currently a freshman on the Men’s Track & Field team at Menlo College in Atherton.

Photo courtesy of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

Comedian Dan St. Paul: Cleaning up in a funny business

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The successful candidate must be able to write the joke. Then say it, with an ear to jettisoning excess verbiage, then get on a stage in front of complete strangers, do the joke, see if it works and cut more words if necessary. Do the same, rinse and repeat, stringing together joke after chiseled joke, for seven or 15 or 40 effortless minutes of leave-them-in-the-aisles laughter.

Can the job be made harder?

Comedian Dan St. Paul manages.  Start the career “late.” Eschew vulgarity and work “clean.” And for good measure, leave the Los Angeles entertainment scene behind for … Foster City? Yet 38 years after the former schoolteacher got into the business, this late-blooming stand-up comedian is still standing.

“I know that I’m lucky,” St. Paul, 67, says, during an interview at the kitchen table of his home a stone’s throw from Highway 92. “I’m super lucky that I can do this for a living, not have to punch a clock, not have to get up and fight traffic every day. … But I will say that I’ve had to work hard to do it, not just creatively but businesswise. You always have to look forward to where your audience is going to be, and that’s why I’ve kept it clean.”

The San Francisco native was two years into a career as a special education teacher in the early 1980s when he attended a performance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that sent him on a detour, first into acting. “I was watching a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ out there in the Elizabethan theater and it was just magic.” After quitting his job with the Contra Costa County schools, he went back to school to become an actor, working as a waiter and a hospital admissions clerk to pay the rent.

While doing a show, he met an extremely funny woman named Sue Murphy. Their backstage banter left everyone else in stitches so St. Paul suggested that they see if they could bring off a Stiller-and-Meara-style comedy duo. He wrote some sketches and they debuted eight months later at the Holy City Zoo.

“And we killed,” he recalls. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to be big stars.’ You know, visions of Nichols and May.”

They were invited back a second week, with a new seven-minute bit. “And we died,” St. Paul says. “We died a horrible death for seven minutes.” Actors — not yet comedians — he explains, they were stuck in the bit and lacked the experience that would come with years of comic trial and error, learning to read the room and “if something’s not working, you move onto something else.”

Which has been his career writ large. As Murphy-St. Paul, they had a seven-year stint headlining at San Francisco comedy clubs but eventually went their separate ways. (A Woodside High School graduate, Murphy went on to a successful comedy career of her own.)

“I was 29 when I started and she was five years younger than me,” St. Paul says. “I said, ‘I’ve got to get down to LA before I age out.’” By then 34, the solo comic relocated there in 1986, where he appeared on several episodes of A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv,” VH-1, and MTV. He has opened for such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling and Natalie Cole, and appeared in the Robin Williams movie “Flubber.” He made a lot of contacts in LA and picked up work doing “looping,” improvising dialogue in movies for extras, who are “talking” but not recorded, with the conversation added later.

St. Paul is also star of a one-man play about his own life, “Outer Mission, Middle Class – the Diary of an Immigrant’s Son.” His Italian parents met in an ESL class in 1948 and raised five children; the one who goes by “Dan St. Paul” not only speaks fluent Italian, but recently became an Italian citizen. (He was eligible since his mother was born there; he now has a European Union passport.)

The reason for the professional name?  He decided when he joined the Screen Actors Guild that “Scopazzi” could easily get screwed up and opted for something simpler. “I wish it had never happened,” he says. “I wish I was Dan Scopazzi the whole time. But it’s too late to change now.”

Then out bursts a guffaw, which alternates in the funnyman’s infectious personal laugh track with a distinctive pneumatic rat-a-tat of laughter. To wit:

“My parents couldn’t afford Chinese water torture, so they had me play the accordion. (Rat-a-tat.) “I was in rock bands when I was in high school and junior college and I played keyboard and organ. But my left hand just sucked because there were no buttons.” (Guffaw.) “I didn’t know what to do with my left hand.”

The laugh, says St. Paul’s wife, Cara, is “a family thing. His sister has the same laugh.” Laughter, in fact, brought the couple together. Cara Takaha had gone to see a friend, an aspiring comedian trying out at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco, and happened to meet her future husband backstage. Worried that a well-known comedian might not accept, Cara and her friend took a chance anyway and invited him to a Halloween party. He didn’t know it wasn’t a costume party and, with a friend dressed as Joe Buck from “Midnight Cowboy,” St. Paul showed up as Ratso Rizzo.

“It really was that situation where I can’t believe she’s attracted to me because she’s so damn cute,” he says, taking a minor deviation from clean talk. The couple has been married 32 years. Both Cara and son Roy, 28, have jobs in Redwood City. And both are comedy fodder.

“It puts food on the table,” she says gamely, adding that for a comedian, “your art is from your experience. That’s what he knows, being married to me and having Roy. It’s part of comedy.”

St. Paul’s act had always been “relatively” clean but he notes that he came up in the business during a pre-cable period when comedians who wanted to get on TV “couldn’t be dirty.” Even so, he’s always found it “nobler to be able to work that way and not have to resort to be dirty to be funny.” Though he loved Richard Pryor and George Carlin, “I have no pretensions about being like them. That’s not who I am. And I think the best comedy comes from truth.”

A turning point came for the couple after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Though their townhome wasn’t damaged, their complex was. About the same time, St. Paul auditioned for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I had one of the best sets ever. And I still didn’t get the show.” So they took it as a sign and returned to the Peninsula.

In short order, another door opened. St. Paul ran into a friend who was an improviser and had a job doing funny banter at a trade show. That led to an introduction to a team of comedians who had formed a company that was writing scripts for trade shows. They offered St. Paul work that turned out to be steady and well-paying enough that he could sock away a down payment on his house. He did trade shows for the next six years, until the dot-com bubble burst around 2000.

After that, he got back into doing more stand-up, and put together a second one-man show. He also came up with an idea for an act featuring himself and three other comedian/dads who were at about the same stage in life. One of their first performances was at Club Fox in Redwood City, and after a while the Stand-up Dads were appearing at small theaters around the country. But when the 2008 financial crisis hit, community theaters dialed back their bookings.

Spin forward to 2019 and the (older) comic quartet is reviving the act for several Bay Area appearances, culminating in an Oct. 5 show at Angelicas.  “Revenge of the Dads” also features Milt Abel of San Jose, Kelly McDonald of Las Vegas and Tim Bedore of Minneapolis.

The first time around, Bedore says, the jokes were about young kids. “That’s 20 years ago, so now it’s literally talking about distributing your parents’ remains and how that goes, and losing body parts and aches and pains and stuff like that, you know, your age now.” The show was successful, Bedore believes, because audiences could sense that the foursome liked working together. “When you’re working with people you like, somehow the show is imbued with a better spirit.”

Being able to continue at the job St. Paul loves requires marketing, travel and resourcefulness. He also credits two agents (one lines up about 10 weeks of cruise ship jobs a year and the other find gigs for his one-man show.) He does a lot of work for companies, such as employee and customer appreciation events; serves as an emcee; and writes jokes for hire.

Comedy clubs attract a young demographic and St. Paul realized he needed to bring his show to audiences which can relate. “I’m talking about how I have 10 pair of reading glasses at home and I have no idea where they are,” he says. “I tell them how I have a pair of skinny jeans in the closet. They were loose-fit when I bought them 20 years ago. …Young people don’t relate to that kind of material.”

So in the wintertime, St. Paul travels to Arizona and Florida to entertain at retirement communities. “People over 60 don’t do a lot of clubbing. …If you’re retired and living in one of those communities, you want the entertainment to come to you.”

Though he has two education-related degrees and is working on another credential, St. Paul thinks the classroom isn’t the place to teach comedy. There are tips, he concedes — trimming fat to get to a punchline faster and linking related jokes one after another. But to have a career, a comedian needs a sense of humor, a hard shell — and above all stage time.

And the payoff?

“A comedian can think of something and in the next two minutes on the stage start saying it,” he says. “You get immediate gratification and that’s what we live for. It’s coming up with new bits and seeing them work … So that really keeps you going, that constant reinforcement that you’re doing something right – and getting paid for it.”

This story was originally published in the September print edition of Climate Magazine. 

Yumi Yogurt to close Redwood City store after 35 years

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Yumi Yogurt announced today to disappointed customers that it will be closing the doors of its Redwood City location after 35 years.

The store providing yogurt and ice cream at 947 El Camino Real will have its last day on Sunday, Sept. 15.

A reason for the closure was not provided. But owners expressed gratitude to Redwood City area customers and hope they will visit its San Mateo location, which remains open at 3955 S. El Camino Real.

“Our ultimate goal was to provide a service, experience and product that was unique, memorable and unlike anything else,” the business stated on Facebook. “It is through our great team here and loyal customers that we have had such a tremendous run.”

Dozens of locals expressed shock and dismay over the closure of the family owned business.

“I have been your customer and dedicated fan for all those years and I am devastated to hear this!,” said one commenter.

Some posted memes with famous people and characters shouting “No!” or crying.

Man arrested in San Carlos after passing out in hot car containing toddler

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Date/Time: 03/10/2019 0433 hours Suspect: Scott Thompson (In-custody) Location: 2380 El Camino Real On Sunday, March 10th, 2019, Redwood City Police Officers responded to the Capri Motel, room #220, on a report of subject who called “911” to report she was "hurt really bad." Officers responded to the scene, and located the victim, who was bleeding profusely from the head. The victim told officers she had been assaulted by Scott, and he fled the scene. Officers located the suspect walking northbound El Camino Real. The suspect was identified as Scott Thompson, 36 years old. Thompson was subsequently arrested for attempted murder and booked into the San Mateo County Jail. The victim was transported to Stanford Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Anyone that may have additional information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Redwood City Police Department at 650-780-7100 or the Redwood City Police Department’s Tip Line at 650-780-7107. This message approved by A/LT Casey Donovan

A 39-year-old man was arrested in San Carlos on Sunday after sheriff’s deputies allegedly found him drunk, stoned and passed out in the front passenger seat of a car while his 18-month-old baby appeared in distress in the back seat.

The incident unfolded at about 4:30 p.m., when deputies patrolling on foot in the 600 block of Laurel Street were flagged down by a concerned citizen who reported that a baby was crying in a vehicle, according to San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies went to investigate and found Jeremy Davis of Patterson asleep in the passenger seat of the car, which was parked and not running in a parking lot, the sheriff’s office said.

All four car windows were opened only slightly on the car day, and the child “was screaming and appeared to be in obvious distress,” the deputies said.

It took deputies several attempts to awaken Davis, who was found to be under the influence of alcohol and cannabis, the sheriff’s office said.

Comedian Dan St. Paul: Cleaning up in a funny business, bit by bit by bit

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The successful candidate must be able to write the joke. Then say it, with an ear to jettisoning excess verbiage, then get on a stage in front of complete strangers, do the joke, see if it works and cut more words if necessary. Do the same, rinse and repeat, stringing together joke after chiseled joke, for seven or 15 or 40 effortless minutes of leave-them-in-the-aisles laughter.

Can the job be made harder?

Comedian Dan St. Paul manages.  Start the career “late.” Eschew vulgarity and work “clean.” And for good measure, leave the Los Angeles entertainment scene behind for … Foster City? Yet 38 years after the former schoolteacher got into the business, this late-blooming stand-up comedian is still standing.

“I know that I’m lucky,” St. Paul, 67, says, during an interview at the kitchen table of his home a stone’s throw from Highway 92. “I’m super lucky that I can do this for a living, not have to punch a clock, not have to get up and fight traffic every day. … But I will say that I’ve had to work hard to do it, not just creatively but businesswise. You always have to look forward to where your audience is going to be, and that’s why I’ve kept it clean.”

The San Francisco native was two years into a career as a special education teacher in the early 1980s when he attended a performance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that sent him on a detour, first into acting. “I was watching a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ out there in the Elizabethan theater and it was just magic.” After quitting his job with the Contra Costa County schools, he went back to school to become an actor, working as a waiter and a hospital admissions clerk to pay the rent.

While doing a show, he met an extremely funny woman named Sue Murphy. Their backstage banter left everyone else in stitches so St. Paul suggested that they see if they could bring off a Stiller-and-Meara-style comedy duo. He wrote some sketches and they debuted eight months later at the Holy City Zoo.

“And we killed,” he recalls. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to be big stars.’ You know, visions of Nichols and May.”

They were invited back a second week, with a new seven-minute bit. “And we died,” St. Paul says. “We died a horrible death for seven minutes.” Actors — not yet comedians — he explains, they were stuck in the bit and lacked the experience that would come with years of comic trial and error, learning to read the room and “if something’s not working, you move onto something else.”

Which has been his career writ large. As Murphy-St. Paul, they had a seven-year stint headlining at San Francisco comedy clubs but eventually went their separate ways. (A Woodside High School graduate, Murphy went on to a successful comedy career of her own.)

“I was 29 when I started and she was five years younger than me,” St. Paul says. “I said, ‘I’ve got to get down to LA before I age out.’” By then 34, the solo comic relocated there in 1986, where he appeared on several episodes of A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv,” VH-1, and MTV. He has opened for such superstars as Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling and Natalie Cole, and appeared in the Robin Williams movie “Flubber.” He made a lot of contacts in LA and picked up work doing “looping,” improvising dialogue in movies for extras, who are “talking” but not recorded, with the conversation added later.

St. Paul is also star of a one-man play about his own life, “Outer Mission, Middle Class – the Diary of an Immigrant’s Son.” His Italian parents met in an ESL class in 1948 and raised five children; the one who goes by “Dan St. Paul” not only speaks fluent Italian, but recently became an Italian citizen. (He was eligible since his mother was born there; he now has a European Union passport.)

The reason for the professional name?  He decided when he joined the Screen Actors Guild that “Scopazzi” could easily get screwed up and opted for something simpler. “I wish it had never happened,” he says. “I wish I was Dan Scopazzi the whole time. But it’s too late to change now.”

Then out bursts a guffaw, which alternates in the funnyman’s infectious personal laugh track with a distinctive pneumatic rat-a-tat of laughter. To wit:

“My parents couldn’t afford Chinese water torture, so they had me play the accordion. (Rat-a-tat.) “I was in rock bands when I was in high school and junior college and I played keyboard and organ. But my left hand just sucked because there were no buttons.” (Guffaw.) “I didn’t know what to do with my left hand.”

The laugh, says St. Paul’s wife, Cara, is “a family thing. His sister has the same laugh.” Laughter, in fact, brought the couple together. Cara Takaha had gone to see a friend, an aspiring comedian trying out at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco, and happened to meet her future husband backstage. Worried that a well-known comedian might not accept, Cara and her friend took a chance anyway and invited him to a Halloween party. He didn’t know it wasn’t a costume party and, with a friend dressed as Joe Buck from “Midnight Cowboy,” St. Paul showed up as Ratso Rizzo.

“It really was that situation where I can’t believe she’s attracted to me because she’s so damn cute,” he says, taking a minor deviation from clean talk. The couple has been married 32 years. Both Cara and son Roy, 28, have jobs in Redwood City. And both are comedy fodder.

“It puts food on the table,” she says gamely, adding that for a comedian, “your art is from your experience. That’s what he knows, being married to me and having Roy. It’s part of comedy.”

St. Paul’s act had always been “relatively” clean but he notes that he came up in the business during a pre-cable period when comedians who wanted to get on TV “couldn’t be dirty.” Even so, he’s always found it “nobler to be able to work that way and not have to resort to be dirty to be funny.” Though he loved Richard Pryor and George Carlin, “I have no pretensions about being like them. That’s not who I am. And I think the best comedy comes from truth.”

A turning point came for the couple after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Though their townhome wasn’t damaged, their complex was. About the same time, St. Paul auditioned for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “I had one of the best sets ever. And I still didn’t get the show.” So they took it as a sign and returned to the Peninsula.

In short order, another door opened. St. Paul ran into a friend who was an improviser and had a job doing funny banter at a trade show. That led to an introduction to a team of comedians who had formed a company that was writing scripts for trade shows. They offered St. Paul work that turned out to be steady and well-paying enough that he could sock away a down payment on his house. He did trade shows for the next six years, until the dot-com bubble burst around 2000.

After that, he got back into doing more stand-up, and put together a second one-man show. He also came up with an idea for an act featuring himself and three other comedian/dads who were at about the same stage in life. One of their first performances was at Club Fox in Redwood City, and after a while the Stand-up Dads were appearing at small theaters around the country. But when the 2008 financial crisis hit, community theaters dialed back their bookings.

Spin forward to 2019 and the (older) comic quartet is reviving the act for several Bay Area appearances, culminating in an Oct. 5 show at Angelicas.  “Revenge of the Dads” also features Milt Abel of San Jose, Kelly McDonald of Las Vegas and Tim Bedore of Minneapolis.

The first time around, Bedore says, the jokes were about young kids. “That’s 20 years ago, so now it’s literally talking about distributing your parents’ remains and how that goes, and losing body parts and aches and pains and stuff like that, you know, your age now.” The show was successful, Bedore believes, because audiences could sense that the foursome liked working together. “When you’re working with people you like, somehow the show is imbued with a better spirit.”

Being able to continue at the job St. Paul loves requires marketing, travel and resourcefulness. He also credits two agents (one lines up about 10 weeks of cruise ship jobs a year and the other find gigs for his one-man show.) He does a lot of work for companies, such as employee and customer appreciation events; serves as an emcee; and writes jokes for hire.

Comedy clubs attract a young demographic and St. Paul realized he needed to bring his show to audiences which can relate. “I’m talking about how I have 10 pair of reading glasses at home and I have no idea where they are,” he says. “I tell them how I have a pair of skinny jeans in the closet. They were loose-fit when I bought them 20 years ago. …Young people don’t relate to that kind of material.”

So in the wintertime, St. Paul travels to Arizona and Florida to entertain at retirement communities. “People over 60 don’t do a lot of clubbing. …If you’re retired and living in one of those communities, you want the entertainment to come to you.”

Though he has two education-related degrees and is working on another credential, St. Paul thinks the classroom isn’t the place to teach comedy. There are tips, he concedes — trimming fat to get to a punchline faster and linking related jokes one after another. But to have a career, a comedian needs a sense of humor, a hard shell — and above all stage time.

And the payoff?

“A comedian can think of something and in the next two minutes on the stage start saying it,” he says. “You get immediate gratification and that’s what we live for. It’s coming up with new bits and seeing them work … So that really keeps you going, that constant reinforcement that you’re doing something right – and getting paid for it.”

This story was originally published in the September print edition of Climate Magazine. 

County’s fallen public safety members to be honored Sunday

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The community is invited to attend the 18th Annual San Mateo County Public Safety Memorial Service in Belmont, and event organized by Redwood City Battalion Chief Greg DaCunha.

The non-denominational service is set for 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, in the Cunningham Memorial Chapel at Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Avenue in Belmont. The service will be followed by an informal reception.

DaCunha started the event in memory of his friend and co-worker, Firefighter Matt Smith, who died in 2001.

The memorial provides an opportunity for all county public safety agencies to read the names of fallen members and retirees who have passed away, including those who served in local police and fire departments, the California Highway Patrol, American Medical Response, the County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.

Members of the San Mateo County Chaplaincy will conduct the ceremony, and ceremonial music will be offered by the Silicon Valley Pipe Band of Saratoga.

For more information, contact DaCunha at (408) 930-1532 or gdacunha@redwoodcity.org.

Photo credit: Redwood City Fire Department

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