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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Image makeover needed: In the soon-to-be-released grand jury report, the jurors said the county’s Alcohol and Drug and Mental Health departments are suffering from a poor public image.
  • Help at the jail: The Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff’s request to hire four corrections officers, but not before reminding him the county is facing a $3 million budget problem.
  • Water disaster?: The state has already enacted emergency conservation measures. The county is thinking about declaring a local disaster as well.

Census countdown: mail back census forms by April 16

Feather Publishing
4/13/2010

Five days remain to avoid a census worker at your door With just five days left for households to mail back their 2010 Census forms, the U.S. Census Bureau wants to remind people that it's not too late to return their completed questionnaires and be counted.

Personal visits to non-responding households begin May 1. Households have until April 16 to mail back their form, as the Census Bureau must begin preparing to train temporary census workers to gather census responses in person from households that did not mail back their forms.
 
As of Friday, April 9, the national mail back participation rate was 65 percent. California was slightly behind the national average with 63 percent. The Northern California counties with the highest participation rates were San Mateo, Santa Clara and Shasta counties, which each were at 68 percent. Lagging behind were Mono County, with 25 percent, and Alpine County, with 20 percent. The Census Bureau’s Northern California region stretches from Santa Cruz County, to the south, and the Oregon border, to the north.
 

For the first time, the Census Bureau has mailed replacement forms to areas with historically lower mail-response rates. Research shows that the replacement forms will help increase mail response in those areas, which will save a significant amount of money.

The Census Bureau saves about $85 million in operational costs for every percentage point increase in the nation's mail-participation rate. It costs the government just the price of a postage stamp when a household mails back the form. However, it costs the Census Bureau $57 to follow up with a non-responsive household.

If you did not receive a Census form or have misplaced it, visit: http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/ to find a “Be Counted” or questionnaire assistance center site in your neighborhood, where forms are available. Both the questionnaire assistance centers and the “Be Counted” sites are operational until April 19 and can be found in public areas, such as libraries and community centers donated by businesses and organizations.

Or, call the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center hotlines for assistance seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time. The phone numbers are: English: 1-866-872-6868, Spanish: 1-866-928-2010, Chinese: 1-866-935-2010, Korean: 1-866-955-2010, Russian: 1-866-965-2010, Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010, TDD (hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010.

All census responses are confidential. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' individually identifiable answers with anyone, including tribal housing authorities, other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

The Census Bureau also has created tools to help communities track their census participation. The Take 10 Challenge Map shows the latest participation rates, giving users the option to download and embed a local rate tracker “widget” on their own Web site.

The participation rates are posted at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time each weekday. Anyone can visit the 2010 Census Web site at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/ to track their state, county or neighborhood's progress. 

 

ABOUT THE 2010 CENSUS

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data are used to apportion congressional seats to states, to distribute more than $400 billion in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments each year and to make decisions about what community services to provide. The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest in U.S. history, consisting of 10 questions, taking about 10 minutes to complete. Strict confidentiality laws protect the respondents and the information they provide.

 


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