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Kokua Line

Smaller door-to-door surveys continue for Census Bureau

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Question: Are census takers still visiting homes? I had a person with a picture ID come to my door recently who identified himself as a census taker. He asked if I’d answer a few questions about the neighbors since they were not home. Being a trusting guy, I answered a few questions about how many people live next door, etc. Nothing really personal. But now I’m wondering, was I scammed by someone casing our neighborhood?

Answer: The person you describe appears to have been a legitimate census worker.

Door-to-door "nonresponse follow-up" visits by workers for Census 2010 have been completed, said Winnie Wilson, manager of the U.S. Census Bureau Office in Honolulu, which oversees the project conducted every 10 years.

However, the public should be aware that two more "smaller operations" are scheduled: a "Vacant Delete Check," to verify whether a household is vacant or has been demolished, and a second operation to double-check that a specific address either needs to be removed or added to records.

In either case a census worker might knock on your door to verify the information.

"We just want to turn every rock and look underneath to get every count that we possibly can," Wilson said.

In addition to the decennial surveys, several other census surveys are ongoing, including the more intensive American Community Survey, which involves several visits.

"There are surveys that different departments of the government will contract the Census Bureau to go out and actually do," such as economic surveys, Wilson explained.

She said the person who came to your house could have been involved with another survey, although from the questions asked, it appears he was a legitimate "enumerator" for Census 2010.

Workers for Census 2010 might ask about neighbors if they were not able to get hold of them despite repeated attempts.

"We call it ‘doing it by proxy,’" Wilson said. "I’m talking strictly about the decennial (census)" and only if repeated attempts to contact someone have failed.

"All we are truly interested in" is getting a count of the residents, she said. So questions asked would include how many people live there; how many males; how many females; are there any children, etc.

How were the local responses to the decennial survey this year?

It’s hard to say now, Wilson said, but so far, it’s looking "good."

About 73 percent of Honolulu households mailed back the surveys. By October or November the count from the 72,000 households that were visited for nonresponse follow-ups will be added, so the percentage will be higher, Wilson said.

Statewide the mail-back figure alone is 65 percent, which is "better than last time," when the total response was 63 percent. After the final tally is done, that 65 percent figure also will be higher, Wilson said.

AUWE

To an irresponsible driver driving a black sedan. We were returning from a Father’s Day picnic from the North Shore via Kunia Road when this guy overtook several cars, including mine as the first vehicle. He almost caused a four-car accident, including almost hitting the oncoming car. He flashed me the "bird" as he passed by. I can’t understand why he was so upset as I was going 50 mph. People like him with road rage shouldn’t be driving. — Still Shaking

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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