Custody unclear for Filipino child
I would like you to visit a Missing Kid Web site, missingyouangel.wordpress.com
, about a girl taken from the Philippines by her mother. This girl is now reportedly in Hawaii. Can you help?
Answer: The state Department of the Attorney General's Missing Child Center of Hawaii also had received an e-mail asking for help in the case.
It's been confirmed that the 8-year-old girl is in Hawaii, but the problem is "we're not sure who has custody," said Charlene Takeno, the center's administrator.
Therefore, it may not be considered a kidnapping or abduction case, she said.
Typically, court documentation is used to verify a situation like this. But because this involves a family in the Philippines, that documentation apparently isn't readily available.
"It is a complicated case," Takeno said. As of last week, "No one has given us answers on the custody issue."
The family searching for the girl was advised to contact the National Center for Missing Children, although Takeno said they may have to go through the State Department first because they are in the Philippines.
The Missing Children Center of Hawaii is set up to coordinate public and private efforts -- federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as other public and private agencies -- to locate missing children and to prevent child abductions.
If a child is missing, the first thing to do is to contact law enforcement officials.
However, parents or guardians also can contact the Missing Children Center, which will then provide any kind of leads to law enforcement, Takeno said.
Her office will the post information on its Web site -- hawaii.gov/ag/mcch/. It also has an arrangement with Oceanic Cable in which information about missing children is posted on its "News On Demand" channel.
"Those are the kinds of things we can do," Takeno said. "We don't look for the children."
There currently are 29 cases posted on the center's Web site. That's just a small fraction of children reported missing in Hawaii, Takeno said, saying that the number of runaways reported in Hawaii alone is about 300 a month.
The cases posted reflect "a mix," including custodial cases and runaways, as well as long-unresolved cases of missing children, such as Ji Zhao Li, missing since 1988, and Peter Kema Jr., missing since 1997. Li would be 32 today, while "Peter Boy" would be 16.
For more information, check the center's Web site or call 586-1449 on Oahu (the after-hours hotline is 753-9797). On the neighbor islands, call 974-400 (Big Island); 274-3141 (Kauai); 984-2400 (Maui); or (800) 468-4644 (Molokai/Lanai). On each of the neighbor islands, the extension number is 6-1449.
The Internal Revenue Service says "the vast majority" of people who qualify for "economic stimulus payments" authorized by President Bush last week don't have to do anything beyond filing their 2007 individual income tax returns.
The IRS will use information on the tax returns to determine eligibility and amount of payment. It will begin sending out payments in May, continuing on through the summer.
Eligible taxpayers can receive a maximum $600 per person, $1,200 per couple, plus $300 for each qualifying child.
Taxpayers are advised to check www.irs.gov. For information click on "Rebate Questions?"
In the meantime, beware of e-mail and telephone identity-theft scams tied to the "rebates." The IRS says the scams, using the IRS name, try to trick people into revealing personal and financial information.
It emphasized it does not collect tax-account information by telephone, nor does it send unsolicited account-related e-mails to taxpayers.
Report questionable e-mail or telephone calls to email@example.com.
Do Your Part
Regarding the complaint about glass littering Kahala Beach (Kokua Line, Feb. 14): I also frequent that stretch of beach with my kids during the day, and we always see glass pieces. Green, brown, blue and the most dangerous because of its invisibility, clear pieces. I've never seen anyone discarding glass bottles there, so I suspect the glass is either discarded at night, or discarded at sea or nearby and wash up with the tides. I suggest that when people see something like this, they: 1. Pick up the glass themselves and help clean the aina. I make it a game with my kids to see who can pick up the most pieces (carefully). Help solve the problem. 2. Say something if they see someone discarding a glass container into the sand or water. Don't just ignore it. Law enforcement and government can't do everything. Each citizen who uses the beach should have the mindset that "it's my beach and I want to make it better at the end of the day than when I first arrived." People often complain about government not doing everything when the problem staring them in the face can be solved with a bit of elbow grease and initiative. -- Kamaaina Beachcomber
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers