My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

New Census policy may encourage the spread of Swine Flu

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Immediately after MyTwoCensus broke the story that Census Bureau “listers” have finished their jobs way ahead of schedule (and were then released from their temporary duties, making them ineligible for unemployment), a tip from a mid-Atlantic state came into our inbox…

It appears that there has been a sudden change of policy within the Bureau: Whereas two days ago, the Census Bureau was proud that it had completed so many tasks early (and lied to its employees about how long they would be working), it seems that now the Census Bureau has gone to the other extreme, by adding tons of unecessary work for its low-level employees, work that could enable the spread of Swine Flu.

We assure you that the credibility of our source has been established. As we hope to protect that person’s identity, we will not reveal anymore information. Here’s the scoop:

“So the only people on the streets now are listers and Quality Control listers, people making the list of addresses and double-checking parts of the list of addresses.

It is exceedingly simple work, making sure “100 Main St.” in the computer matches up with “100 Main St.” on the ground. Ninety-nine percent of homes have their numbers posted, so there is no need to actually interact with anyone. The work moves pretty fast.

Until yesterday.

That’s when the regional census office decreed that we need to knock on every door and make a “courtesy contact.”

Here is the e-mail from the regional office:

“The purpose of this message is to ensure all Listers clearly and fully understand that they are “required” to knock on “every” door to verify addresses during the address canvassing operation.”

Again, almost none of this work actually requires talking with residents. (This is unlike the phase of the operation in 2010, when we’ll be knocking on the doors of people who don’t turn in their forms.) Making us knock on every door is going to slow our work to a crawl. And it will be completely pointless. During a “courtesy contact,” we don’t ask any questions, and merely say hi.

But in this time of swine flu anxiety it seems strange to require government employees to be making all kinds of unnecessary contact with dozens of strangers a day in their homes”

When a pandemic could be upon us, why has the Census Bureau decided to start making unnecessary “courtesy contacts” with citizens? Why is meaningless work being created for Census Bureau employees? Is it to prevent what happened in Philly from happening elsewhere by going to the opposite extreme and adding non-essential work to the mix?

The Census Bureau uses the following statistic as a talking point: For each additional 1% of Americans who turn in their Census questionnaire on time, the Bureau saves $80-90 million. However, knocking on doors to say “hi” has little to no correlation with ensuring that people fill out their questionnaires in the fall. And these “courtesy” visits could very well be facilitating the inadvertent spread of Swine Flu germs, endangering both Census Bureau listers and the unsuspecting citizens they visit.

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15 Responses to “New Census policy may encourage the spread of Swine Flu”

  1. Census CL Chicago Says:

    I was a Production Crew Leader in the Chicago area, and was “released” this week for “lack of work”. The requirement to make courtesy contacts was a requirement from day one. It was mainly done to find additional living spaces not immediately apparent. The instructions were to tell the respondent that we were updating census addresses, ask them if there was an additional residence(s) on the property (i.e. above a garage, basement apartment, anything with a separate entrance that wasn’t clear from the front of the home) and to give them a half sheet of paper with the census privacy laws and laws requiring citizens to answer census questions. When observing my crew in the field some of the Listers were more timid than others in actually getting someone’s attention. Since we were looking for actual households I told them they would have to be more forceful about it when the house or neighborhood would indicate this might be a possibility. Because there was pressure to get the job done as fast as possible and actually talking to residents often led to time wasting conversations, most of my crew tried to avoid talking to anyone.

  2. Anonymous CL Says:

    Yes, to expand on the Chicagoan’s post, courtesy contacts were always part of the procedure; there are scripts included in the training manuals. Some areas’ people were emphasizing this more or less than others when instructing enumerators, though. The regional office that sent out that message was just reiterating an existing requirement that they might have previously minimized the importance of more than other areas had. It just probably wasn’t the greatest timing to make a big deal about it, but enumerators have supposed to have been doing this all along.

    The courtesy contacts just mean that if you are walking up to everybody’s front door anyway (to place the GPS coordinates), you might as well knock on the door since you’re already standing right there. If someone is home and answers the door (or was out mowing the front lawn or something), then you explain the purpose of your visit and give them the special sheet of paper (which has the privacy notification in English on one side, Spanish on the other side; several hundred of these were provided to each enumerator, in pads of 50, to ensure they had enough for all the ‘courtesy contacts’ they’re supposed to be doing). If someone doesn’t answer the door by the time you finish updating that house’s data on the handheld computer, then you just move on to the next house, you’re not supposed to wait around or anything.

    There’s two purposes of the courtesy contacts:

    1. It helps alleviate concern/mistrust about what the enumerators are doing and how protected the census data is, both now and when they return next year (picture the classic ‘nosy neighbor’ peering through the blinds thinking these people are doing something suspicious) — in case someone is home, this way they are informed up-front.

    2. It also includes asking if there are any non-obvious additional housing units on the property (such as a garage apartment rented out to another family; also, some rural properties have more than one house on the land, sharing the same address, used by other relatives’ families) — as you can’t always be sure from observation at the front of the property, might as well ask just in case, if there is someone home to ask.

  3. Lisa Says:

    As previous commenter notes, the “courtesy contact” was primarily to let people know what we were doing, so they wouldn’t worry that someone was casing their house or similarly up to no good. (A longer conversation, or “interview,” was recommended when there were questions about the residence.)

    The confusion over this is typical, though. During my training as a crew leader, we were told, very emphatically but off the record, NOT to conduct courtesy contacts at each house, because it would slow us down. Later, we got a memo from the regional office that we HAD to make courtesy contacts at each house, because it let the public know what we were doing. In other words, we were given conflicting “unofficial” and “official” instructions, as we often were during the canvassing operation. The latter were on the record, but the former were what was expected in order to finish our assignments as quickly as possible.

  4. Former CL Says:

    The manual DOES require knocking on every door. But in our training, like Lisa, we were told not to. Even in a confusing situation, like a building with one door and two doorbells, we were told to make a guess and move on. After all, we had to produce like mad to make our superiors look good. And slow people wouldn’t get re-hired …

  5. RichmondCL Says:

    Funny to see the apologists come out of the woodwork. “The manual requires it! The manual requires it!” These are the same people who probably ding their employees for not reading the manual-provided scripts.

    My people have been mostly working suburban neighborhoods full of uniform single-family homes built at the same time and conforming to strict zoning rules. These are not neighborhoods where people rent out apartments above their garage and shit like that. These are also often neighborhoods with HOA rules prohibiting apartments.

    To have our listers inquire at homes in such circumstances is the height of lunacy. It’s a waste of time and it perpetuates the idea that census employees are imbeciles.

    Yes, the manual requires knocking on every door. No, it’s not necessary most of the time. Of course, mixed-use neighborhoods and older high-density neighborhoods require more diligence. But in plain suburban wastelands, there is zero to be gained by knocking.

  6. Belmont Says:

    Having just finished up my “AA assignments” it’s interesting to read the story
    and the subsequent comments. My feeling is that occupants of 99.999999% of the addresses being canvassed are not interested in having their door knocked on
    or doorbells rung just to hear “what we are doing here”. Those occupants who really wanted to know ask with no hesitation. If we (i.e. the listers) have
    an actual question about the residence, sure – go ahead and try to get more
    information. But otherwise leave the occupants alone. Most people aren’t home
    during the day and those are who may be sleeping. Do you really want to wake someone up just to say “Hi, I’m from the Census. Blah blah blah”. Also, in my experience at least 1/2 the time the GPS signal doesn’t even approximate where on the map the structure is on the street so instead of going to the “front door” to ideally get the map spot I was better off doing it from the edge of the street.
    It is true that the “training manual” indicates the lister is supposed to “knock on each door”. But we were told from the beginning NOT to do that -
    unless we needed more information. It’s ironic that the opposite message from the upper echelons of the administration comes at the time when we’re all done
    with our area. It appears to be a case of making rules from people who are
    not actually out in the field doing the actual work. Oh, well. Maybe the 2020 Census will get that part right – but I won’t count on it :=).

  7. ANNE ONYMOUS Says:

    We were told, and also read that a “courtesy contact” is required and to use the opportunity if the respondent was at home to have them specify if the lq was a single family home, or not. I have found some places that looked like single families, that turned out to have apartments, in one case there was distinct ground access, resulting in there being two “single family” listings, where there had been just one. So it does make sense.
    Also those who were just going onto properties without identifying themselves or their purpose, when folks were around, resulted in numerous calls and complaints to police departments. Which we did hear about.

    In my area, more often than not, nobody was home, or if they are, they opted not to open the door, so the courtesy knock wasn’t that big of a bother in practice. I had a couple people who were miffed about being disturbed, but not mamy. Sometimes the person seemed to even enjoy my coming around, lol. I worked in a rural area, and some of the older residents shared information about the roads with no signs, that was really invaluable, like advising me NOT to go down some roads where there were NO HOUSES and the road hadn’t been graded in decades, lol.

  8. Matthew Wayne Selznick Says:

    You have more chance of catching swine flu standing in a crowded supermarket or Wal-Mart than you do talking to individuals at their front doors — and even then, the chance is very, very small. Nice job of sensationalism and panic-mongering, there.

    To be fair, this post was more likely an attempt to hone in on hot search terms and get more traffic in the wake of the Mexican census worker swine flu story. There, I gave you more good keywords in that last sentence. Maybe now this post will hit the first page of a Google search.

    Regarding the policy of knocking on every door and attempting to make contact with people: it doesn’t matter what kind of neighborhood you’re in or how it’s zoned; people will still convert their garages, attics, basements, etc. to provide other living quarters for mother-in-laws, renters, and so on.

    That’s why we had to ask, and why we took pains to explain the confidentiality of the question. I had a few people lead me to back houses that were not up to code even as they asked, “You’re not with code enforcement, are you?” Once folks knew I wasn’t going to turn them in, they were happy to help.

    As for the issue of knocking on every door slowing you down — in our area we were required to do an average of 19 houses per hour per week. Even taking into account travel time and twice weekly meetings with our supervisor, I was still able to average over 25 houses an hour because most people are not home during the days. It took me thirty seconds to do each house when folks weren’t home.

    I’m not a census apologist, by any means — the chain of communication leaves much to be desired, the handheld device is slow and clunky, and there are other issues — but I do believe in the necessity of the census, I was grateful for the six week break in my unemployment, and I’m looking forward to being selected to work on the next phase.

    Before this site writes sensationalist, traffic-grabbing posts like this one, I hope they’ll consider doing a little more research and cross-checking.

  9. Anonymous CL Says:

    Well-said, Mr Selznick.

  10. Hank Says:

    The US Census department is sharing the GPS information with the United Nations:

    From the UN Website:

    http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/meetings/egm/CensusEGM04/docs/AC98_14.pdf

    UNITED NATIONS SECRETARIAT ESA/STAT/AC.98/14
    Department of Economic and Social Affairs 03 September 2004
    Statistics Division
    English only
    United Nations Expert Group Meeting to
    Review Critical Issues Relevant to the Planning of
    the 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses
    15-17 September 2004
    New York
    Integration of GPS, Digital Imagery and GIS with Census Mapping*
    By
    United Nations Statistics Division
    DESA
    * This document is being reproduced without formal editing.
    2
    INRODUCTION
    1. The recent technological developments, including new high-resolution sensors, global
    positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), Internet and World
    Wide Web services, are revolutionizing cartography, surveying and mapping in
    fundamental ways: geographic data is easily collected and combined with a variety of other
    data in order to create relevant information for spatial analysis and decision making.
    Geographic information, in its digital form, is indeed exchanged more rapidly, duplicated
    without alteration, and easily disseminated to end-users.
    2. For the past decade, the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) has been
    promoting the development of geographical information systems for population and
    demographic statistics in developing countries through technical cooperation projects
    supported by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), training
    workshops, and technical publications. However, the statistical community in developing
    countries has been slow to adopt the use of GIS, partially due to the monetary constraint
    posed by commercial software and the availability of computers, base maps, satellite
    imagery, work load, etc.
    3. This paper outlines some developments in satellite imagery, GPS and GIS with
    reference to census mapping activities, and provides some insight on the similarities
    between a geographic information process and a census mapping process, therefore, it urges
    for the integration of these geospatial technologies within the census mapping process. It
    suggests some future actions to undertake in order to help kick-start the development of this
    field in developing countries.
    I. GIS, GPS AND AERIAL AND SATELLITE IMAGERY RECENT
    TECHNICAL CAPABILITIES
    4. The census symposium, held in New York in 2001, provided a comprehensive review
    of the significant capabilities of GPS, Satellite imagery, GIS and handheld computers, and
    their relevance to census mapping operations (Dekker, 2001 and Tripathi, 2001s). Hence,
    our presentation will focus on the recent developments regarding these geospatial
    technologies, and specifically with regard to their better integration.
    5. GPS, remote sensing (including aerial photography) and GIS are technologies that are
    being increasingly used in the field of data collection, including census mapping operations.
    Until recently, aerial photography did play a major role in geographic data acquisition in
    urban areas, and the use of satellite imagery, due to its low resolution, was limited to the
    study of some phenomena like floods and urban pollution. However, recent satellite
    imagery is extending its use to urban areas with the increase of its resolution to one-meter
    (i.e. IKONOS satellite), its high positional accuracy, the revisit frequency of only three
    days, and its GIS-readiness, despite their relative expensive cost (Montoya, 2002).
    6. GPS receivers have become popular and widespread, offering a greater accuracy at a
    reduced cost (a variety of units less than $500). Indeed, some cost-effective GPS can handle
    real-time differential correction capable of sharpening accuracy to five meters or better.
    Furthermore, GPS coordinates (waypoints) can be displayed real-time in a GIS software
    3
    (i.e. ArcPad). GIS are becoming more powerful and friendly to use, and GPS more accurate
    and cost-effective. Both are more integrated, streamlining the acquisition and processing of
    coordinate data. The future of satellite positioning system looks promising, particularly
    with the new system under construction, Galileo, the European system dedicated to civil
    activities.
    7. Beside GIS desktop and Internet GIS, Mobile GIS is becoming a reality. GIS software
    has been tailored to the needs of the field operations, allowing GIS to move from the office
    to the field. Indeed, improvements in handheld computers and other portable devices, as
    well as greater accuracy and the reduced cost of GPS units, have made significant
    contributions to the development of mobile GIS (ArcUser, January-March 2004). With
    mobile GIS, it is now possible to capture, manipulate, analyze and visualize data in the field
    in real time, and ground truthing has become possible1 (see a summary on an interesting
    example, illustrating how advanced mobile mapping techniques were used to delineate
    census enumeration areas in Dili metropolis, Timor-Leste).
    s
    8. Furthermore, the combination of digital video (DV), satellite imagery and GPS for the
    data capture and the input of this data into a GIS for manipulation, analysis and display, is
    empowering data collection and integration (for ground observations of buildings, GPS can
    be used in combination with digital video). Indeed, the most significant development in
    these recent years lies in the better integration of GPS, image processing and GIS systems.
    Hence, collecting data in the field, and storing it in a geographic database, can obviously
    improve the efficiency of the census mapping process.
    II. GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION PROCESS
    9. The geographic information process consists of three stages: data acquisition, data
    processing and data dissemination. As illustrated in fig. 1, geospatial technologies are
    spanning through these three stages: GPS and satellite imagery, among others, are useful
    tools for geographic data collection; GIS have demonstrated their powerful capacities to
    enable data integration, analysis, display and dissemination. Hence, remote sensing
    techniques, GPS and GIS have become ubiquitous in developing policies for integrated
    management (Laaribi, 2000).
    10. Geographic information is about the management of data that are geographically
    referenced, in order to provide sound information for better decisions. Geographic
    information is emerging as a fundamental part of the national infrastructure as important as
    1 “As the newest nation of the 21st Century, (East-Timor) faces the challenges of conducting her first
    population census after independence. This paper reviews the current mapping situation in East-Timor and
    presents how advanced mobile mapping techniques were used to delineate census enumeration areas in Dili
    metropolis. The peculiar nature of Dili, where the issue of building ownership and property boundaries
    remained contentious, coupled with the non-availability of up-to-date cadastral maps; led to a combination of
    remote sensing and geographic information system techniques being used to map census enumeration areas.
    QUICKBIRD high-resolution satellite imagery, GPS and an Internet enabled palm-top computer running on
    windows mobile operating system together with ArcPad 6.0.2 software were used to delineate census
    enumeration area maps. The methodological steps undertaken for the mobile mapping technique are narrated
    in this paper and the outcomes of the pilot study are compared with the traditional census enumeration area
    delineation methods. (Taiwo, 2004)”
    4
    physical infrastructure assets such as roads, telecommunications, and other public utilities.
    Indeed, there is a growing awareness worldwide of the economic importance of geographic
    information with applications in many sectors (regional planning, land management,
    environment/natural resources, health care, transportation, urban systems, marketing
    studies).
    Fig. 1: Geographic information process
    III. CENSUS MAPPING PROCESS
    11. Census mapping operations are an essential component of a Population and Housing
    Census. As illustrated in fig. 2, census processes entails three stages: pre-census, census
    and post-census. In the pre-census stage(pre-enumeration), maps ensure consistency and
    facilitate census operations; in the census stage, maps support data collection and help
    monitor census activities (during enumeration); in post-census stage, maps make it easier to
    present, analyze and disseminate census results (post-enumeration) (Handbook on
    geographic information systems and digital mapping, 2000).
    12. The traditional role of maps in census and survey operations consists of supporting
    enumeration and presenting results in cartographic form. However, additional capabilities
    of GIS, GPS and satellite imagery, such as integrated field data collection, advanced
    analysis and dissemination of census data, support census activities at all three stages,
    GPS
    Remote Sensing
    Aerial Photo.
    Maps
    Censuses &
    Surveys
    GDB
    Surveying
    GIS
    Data
    Management
    Dissemination
    (Information)
    Data
    Acquisition
    5
    proving that census mapping would gain by being a continuous process. Since the census is
    a process, cost-benefit of census mapping should be therefore considered in this context.
    13. Statistical data, including development data, such as economic or health data, concern
    human activities that are geographically referenced. The geo-coding system, which is a
    fundamental component in the census enumeration operations, reflects the inherent
    geographic nature of census data. In other words, it constitutes the reference that gives
    census units its geographic link. To sustain this link, the coding scheme (meaning that the
    code is unique, and links between GIS boundaries and tabular census data), should be
    flexible enough and well structured to incorporate new and future administrative divisions.
    Fig. 2: Census Process
    IV. STAGES OF INTEGRATION OF GIS WITH THE CENSUS MAPPING
    PROCESS
    14. Our observation is that a census mapping process is akin to a typical geographical
    information process. There is, therefore, justification for the integration of GIS with census
    mapping operations at all the stages of the process. In doing so, we go beyond the
    technological approach to reflect the inherent nature of census mapping activities, which is
    mainly geographic. Obviously, the integration can be undertaken gradually.
    15. Therefore, we advocate a paradigm shift from a traditional mapping approach, which
    is repeated for every census, to a digital census mapping approach, which is an up-to-date
    and a continuous approach. We believe that an up-to-date approach will allow census
    planners to rethink, inter-alia, the periodicity of census taking, the frequency of inter-censal
    surveys, and eventually the way to conduct census itself (some countries are already
    reconsidering the way to conduct a whole census countrywide every 10 years).
    Census
    (Enumeration)
    Post-Cenus
    (Post-enumeration)
    Pre-Census
    (Pre-enumeration)
    6
    Fig. 3: GIS with census mapping: stages of integration
    V. SOME CURRENT AND FUTURE ACTIONS TO PROMOTE THE USE OF
    GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES WITH CENSUS MAPPING
    16. The United Nations Statistics Division succeeded to ensure that the National Statistical
    Offices (NSOs) of forty developing countries were provided with no-cost versions of
    commercial GIS software ArcView 3.3, donated and distributed by ESRI company, under
    the Global Map/GSDI Grant Program. Having a commercial software will allow NSOs to
    explore satellite imagery and GPS use for statistical enumeration activities and further data
    sharing and collaboration within their government ministries/departments and the private
    sector.
    17. The United Nations Statistics Division published in 2000 a “Handbook on
    Geographic Information System and Digital Mapping”, as part of a series of handbooks
    that have been developed to assist countries in their preparation for the 2000 and future
    rounds of censuses. This reference document (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/79) is a valuable tool
    for statisticians eager to understand the fundamentals of GIS and their integration within
    the census mapping process. It provides its readers with many details on the matter,
    including census mapping processes, digital mapping, GIS technologies and applications,
    geographic data collection techniques and critical factors for a successful census planning
    process.
    18. While appraising the rich and useful materials provided by the handbook, some
    managers and planners in National Statistical Offices would like to have specific
    guidelines, allowing them to better understand how to adapt GIS technologies to census
    mapping operations and how to cope with organizational and institutional issues in setting
    up a digital mapping program, including the establishment of a cartographic unit. A
    recommendation on the establishment of a Permanent “Cartography & Geographic
    Information” Unit within the NSO should be considered.
    EAs Units
    GPS
    Photo/Video GIS
    Digital Mapping
    Satellite Imagery
    Pre-census Census Post-Census
    (Pre-enumeration) (Enumeration) (Post-enumeration)
    GIS
    Digital Mapping
    GIS
    Internet
    (i.e. Map-Server)
    Administrative and
    Reporting Units
    7
    19. The use of GIS with census mapping is not widely used in developing countries,
    despite the growing awareness worldwide of the economic importance of geographic
    information. In order to encourage the use of geospatial technologies in statistical activities,
    and help NSOs incorporate their statistical data as a fundamental component of the national
    spatial data infrastructure, the United Nations Statistics Division should consider
    organizing an International Conference, fully dedicated to the topic: “Integration of
    Geospatial technologies with census mapping for better decisions”. Resolutions from the
    Conference, advocating the use of GIS in census mapping and other statistical activities,
    would help developing countries in their endeavors.
    20. In order to achieve the above stated actions, workshops and technical advisory services
    would be required during the 2010 round of censuses. However, these actions should be
    part of a broad vision for the next decade. That’s why the UNSD is considering the
    establishment of a Group of Experts to reflect on these important issues of census
    mapping with GIS and formulate a plan, with the aim to lead the effort to transform censustaking
    for the 2010 round of censuses, and usher in larger programs.
    8
    REFERENCES
    Dekker, Arij: Adapting new technologies to census operations. Symposium on Global
    Review of 2000 Round of Population and Housing Censuses: Mid-decade Assessment and
    Future prospects, United Nations Statistics Division, New York, 7-9 August
    (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/meetings/egm/Symposium2001/docs/symposium_
    06.htm)
    Handbook on geographic information systems and digital mapping. United Nations
    Publication, ST/ESA/STAT/SER.f/79. Printed in United Nations, New York, 2000
    Laaribi, Amor: SIG et Analyse Multicritère. A book published in French by Hermes-
    Science, Paris, 2000.
    Montaya, Lorena: GIS and Remote sensing in Urban Disaster Management. 5th AGILE
    Conference on Geographic Information Science, Palma (Balearic Islands, Spain), 22-25
    April 2002.
    Taiwo, Bolaji: Using Mobile Mapping Technique To Delineate Census Enumeration Areas
    in Dili Metropolis (East-Timor), Remote Sensing and GIS Group Charles Darwin
    University, Faculty of Science, 0909, Australia.
    Tripathi, Raj: Mapping for the 2000 round of censuses: Issues and possible solutions.
    Symposium on Global Review of 2000 Round of Population and Housing Censuses: Middecade
    Assessment and Future prospects, United Nations Statistics Division, New York, 7-
    9 August, 2001 (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/meetings/egm/Symposium2001/
    docs/symposium_08.htm)
    Taking GIS on the Road. Special Section, ArcUser, the Magazine for ESRI Software Users,
    January-March 2004.

  11. QC Anywhere USA Says:

    So much for census data being confidential for 72 years.

  12. Anonymous CL Atlanta Says:

    I originally ignored this post because of the sensational angle. Now that others are sharing experiences, I figure I may as well join in.

    Our directives were to (1) work quickly and (2) go by the book. Accordingly, I instructed my listers to get as far as they could in verifying/adding an address before approaching the door to map spot, then to knock, collect the map spot, tap Finish, and continue to the next address. In a brief interview situation, accuracy took precedence over speed, but if no one was home, the lister had to take the best info on the ground and keep going. Since most of the neighborhoods we canvassed were suburban developments with all house numbers posted and no one home during the day, this meant very few courtesy contacts, and it wasn’t unusual for listers in these neighborhoods to break 30 cases/hour.

    However, the fact that a neighborhood is like the ones described by RichmondCL does not relieve the listers of the responsibility to check for additional LQs; heaven knows we found enough of them. It’s doable (and, in my CLD, most frequently done) by observation, but it’s far easier if you can make contact. I worked a neighborhood where most garages had a door onto the front walk with a peephole. As far as I could tell—and I peeped into windows to do so—they were all garages. But at the houses where I made contact, I knew that they were.

  13. Midwest Anon Says:

    We were told to knock and make contact. Also to knock soft, mapspot and hurry away before someone came to the door. Many many times by the time I got out to the sidewalk or my car in rural areas, some little old lady had hobbled to her door and called out asking what I wanted so I had to walk back and explain. When they used a walker besides I felt so bad for bothering them although they were very nice about it.

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