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Laboring

  • KRYSTLE MARCELLUS / KMARCELLUS@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Saleh Azizi, 29, is an artisan cheese maker at Naked Cow Dairy in Waianae. He is one of two people in his profession on Oahu and has been working at it for just less than a year. "For us as the new generation, I think it's important that we learn the activities that go into making food," he said. "It's part of a decentralization process where we take the power over our communities." Azizi is working toward a Ph.D. in urban planning, focusing on small-farm viability in Hawaii. He was been working with Hawaii farms since 2006. As an ethnic Iranian who grew up in Sweden as a refugee from the first Gulf War, he has a global perspective on food production, community planning and Hawaii's place in the world.
  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Gary Shimabukuro works with student Mona Ebesu on her technique at Sen Music Studio in Kapalama. "The power of music is apparent everywhere, whether it's playing for a large audience or producing a talented artist," said Shimabukuro. "There's an excitement. An artistic high! Teaching, however, provides a different emotion. It's an experience that is both soulful and undeniably gratifying!" Shimabukuro counts among his musical influences Quincy Jones, James Horner, Dave Grusin, Babyface and David Foster. His passion for the job is shared by his son, Corey, who is also a music teacher.
  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Window washer Barry Iona, right, of World Wide Window Cleaning, rappels down the makai tower at One Waterfront Tower in Honolulu. The company, established in 1998, keeps windows gleaming at some of the island's tallest buildings -- many soaring more than 400 feet high. "It's exhilarating every time," said Iona, who has been a window washer for 20 years. "The views never get old. Every day I see something new, and being 400 feet up at Waterfront Tower a couple of years ago looking out towards the ocean is actually what persuaded me to come home after living on the mainland."
  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Animal caregiver Melanie Rita takes a terrier puppy out of its enclosure on the lanai of the Hawaiian Humane Society before cleaning the cage, but not before pausing to cuddle. Rita's day often includes lanai duty, during which she cleans enclosures and the Cat House, and puts out fresh food and water for animals ready for adoption. Rita has worked at the humane society for two years and adopted a 7-year-old Chihuahua and a 4-month-old Chihuahua mix. When she leaves work for the day, her affection for the animals still lingers. "I just love my job," she said.
  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Keo Oulayrack, 39, and her husband, Jimmy, of C & J's Products start their workdays at 2 a.m. to prepare for vending their produce at farmers markets around Oahu throughout the week. A typical day starts by heading to their Kalihi warehouse to sort and stock produce, driving to the market to set up by 5 a.m., selling produce in the early afternoon, packing up and returning to the warehouse to drop off their truck and then tending to their farm till 7 p.m. Then they make dinner and spend time with their children, Christian, 8, James, 3, and Jamee, 2. "I want to show them that through hard work anything is possible," Oulayrack said.
  • GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM
    The difference between a bartender and a mixologist is not unlike that between a draftsman and a designer. One can follow a plan or one can design the plan. One designer of cocktails is 40-year-old mixologist Christian Self from Liverpool, England, who has called Hawaii his home for half his life. Joining the Waikiki beverage industry in 1997, he worked his worked his way through the tourist mecca, TGI Fridays and Chinatown, and has now made his work home in Kakaako at Bevy. With every drink he mixes Self has a simple purpose, he said. "My goal is to make an end product that tastes good."
  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Ted Mays, 54, owns Gecko Books and Comics on 12th Avenue in Kaimuki. He first began buying comics when he was in elementary school. Mays said he would skip classes to look for bottles in dumpsters, then sell the bottles to recyclers and spend his earnings on comic books. He set out one day to buy some "Dark Knight" Batman comics, but the guy behind the counter at the book store was no help. That's when Mays decided he could do better, so he and his wife opened Gecko Books and Comics. He said at first they had no inventory, so he went dumpster-diving again; this time behind book and comic stores.
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