William Aila Jr. Appointed Interim Director of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources

Star-Advertiser 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2011

Activist Aila takes new role as insider

By Gary T. Kubota

William Aila Jr. has been an environmentalist, a community activist and a native Hawaiian cultural practitioner.

But as interim director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aila says he is aware he is moving from being an outsider to an insider and will be bound by certain restrictions.

“In terms of how it’s going to impact me in my official capacity, we’re going to follow the law. … My job right here now as the appointed director is to implement the governor’s policies,” he said.

Pending state Senate confirmation, Aila is working as interim land director and Land Board chairman.

Aila, 52, who worked as the Waianae harbormaster for 24 years, said he will continue to comment on environmental issues that affect his community.

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