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Born identity


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POSTED: Saturday, June 06, 2009

Question: What is the state's policy for issuing a “;Certification of Live Birth”; versus a “;Certificate of Live Birth”;? My first, second and fourth children received certificates, but my third and fifth children received certifications. Why the difference? The certificate contains more information, such as the name of hospital, certifier's name and title; attendant's name and title, etc. The certification has only the child's name, date and time of birth, sex, city/island/county of birth, mother's maiden name, mother's race, father's name and father's race. Why doesn't the state just issue certificates? When did it stop issuing certificates? Is it possible to obtain certificates for my third and fifth children?

Answer: No, you can't obtain a “;certificate of live birth”; anymore.

The state Department of Health no longer issues copies of paper birth certificates as was done in the past, said spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

The department only issues “;certifications”; of live births, and that is the “;official birth certificate”; issued by the state of Hawaii, she said.

And, it's only available in electronic form.

Okubo explained that the Health Department went paperless in 2001.

“;At that time, all information for births from 1908 (on) was put into electronic files for consistent reporting,”; she said.

Information about births is transferred electronically from hospitals to the department.

“;The electronic record of the birth is what (the Health Department) now keeps on file in order to provide same-day certified copies at our help window for most requests,”; Okubo said.

Asked for more information about the short-form versus long-form birth documents, Okubo said the Health Department “;does not have a short-form or long-form certificate.”;

“;The birth certificate form has been modified over the years and decades to conform to national standards and models,”; she said.

Okubo also emphasized the certification form “;contains all the information needed by all federal government agencies for transactions requiring a birth certificate.”;

She added that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the state's current certification of live birth “;as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements.”;

The issue of what constitutes an official Hawaii birth certificate received national attention during last year's presidential campaign. Those who doubted Barack Obama's American citizenship called the copy of the Hawaii birth document posted on his campaign Web site a fake.

Asked about that document, Okubo said, “;This is the same certified copy everyone receives when they request a birth certificate.”;

We found a discussion of “;the truth about Obama's birth certificate”; on the Web site FactCheck.org—http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html.

The organization describes itself as “;a nonpartisan, nonprofit 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.”;

It says a “;certification of live birth”; is, in fact, a short-form official birth certificate. Information included in the document might differ from state to state.

Question: Who severely cut back a lot of trees at Kokee Beach Park in the Portlock area, leaving a huge pile of rubbish? I surf off the park and note over the years that it has always been kept clean. The trees seem to be christmasberry and sea grape trees. They added greatly to the ambience of an otherwise barren park. They were cut back severely and left in trash heaps. That's unusual as the contractor has kept the park neat for years and never left huge piles of trash. Was this legal cutting?

Answer: No. It turns out the trees were cut without authorization.

The cuttings were removed after we inquired about it a few weeks ago.

Officials have their “;suspicions”; as to who chopped the trees and why, said Lester Chang, director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. However, he declined to voice those suspicions without proof.

The main thing, he said, was that the trees were not butchered or damaged. “;It wasn't a vandalism type”; of cut, Chang said. Whoever did it “;did it with care.”;

He said the trees are regularly trimmed either in-house or by a contractor and done so “;from the standpoint of health and safety.”; They weren't scheduled for trimming when the unauthorized cuts were made.