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Festival in Palmares readied for a 13-day run
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The party has not ended. The Fiestas Palmares kicks off Jan. 15 for another carnival for Costa Ricans.

The event does not end until Jan. 27 so there are two weekends to enjoy the annual event put on by the Asociación Civica Palmareña.

One of the principal attractions is what organizers of the fiestas call the biggest tope in the country. This gigantic horse parade will begin at noon on the second day of the fiestas, Jan 16.

The opening Jan. 15 will feature a parade of faroles, those colonial style street lanterns, mascaradas, clowns and the release of balloons.

All those bulls that battered the overly brave in Zapote are going, too. The first bull fight a la Tica is Sunday, Jan. 19.

Organizers note that the fiestas are 54 kilometers or about 34 miles from San José. That's about 75 minutes without traffic jams, an announcement said. The problem is that traffic is heavy for the event. Even worse, some drivers spend too much time at the beer tent and end up driving home impaired. Traffic police are on the prowl for these
Palmares

individuals with checkpoints on major highways.

Many Central Valley residents take buses which are dedicated for the special event.

Saturday Mexican singer Aida Cuervas headlines the Festival Ranchero at 7 p.m. There also is a singing contest that evening. The 50-year-old Ms. Cuevas is one of the best known ranchero singers. She has done 35 albums and in 2010 received her first Grammy Latino for her tango album.

The Ranchero event has an admission fee but there are a number of free events scheduled. Among these is a children's festival Jan. 21, starting at 9 a.m.

There also is a 32.8 kilometer mountain bike race Saturday, Jan. 18, and a half marathon Jan. 25. Both require advanced registrations.

The Carnaval Palmares, which is basically a big parade with floats and bands, is Jan. 24 starting at 4:30 p.m.


Kennedy and LBJ
LBJ Presidential Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto
Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson did not like each other.
In the trenches during Johnson's War on Poverty
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

When Lyndon Johnson advanced his War on Poverty 50 years ago, I was a reporter on an upstate New York newspaper.

Most of us thought it was a good idea, as did our publisher, a noted liberal thinker. Young reporters liked the liberal Johnson, and so did headline writers, who christened him LBJ

Johnson's war was great for reporters because it generated a lot of government activity.  One was the Model Cities Program that was supposed to rebuild the nation's urban areas. Covering what was called urban renewal became a full-time journalistic job as plans were advanced to tear down the central city to construct new buildings.

The principal beneficiaries, it seemed, were slumlords who were able to dump their rundown properties. Later we noticed that all those new buildings had no provisions for housing, and after 5:30 p.m. the downtown became empty.

Perhaps my most interesting news story was about a man who had an elaborate flea circus in the second floor of a slum warehouse. In the same way some hobbyists build model train setups, this man had the Ringling Brothers times 10 laid out in miniature. It was elaborate and impressive. Also impressive was the bill the urban renewal authority approved to move every little tent, every little ferris wheel and every tiny elephant.  But it was federal money after all.

Then there was Medicaid, which was designed to help the poor meet medical expenses.

There is a lot of learned criticism about the War on Poverty. Perhaps the most pointed was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said in 1967 that the promises of the Great Society have been shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam. But in January 1964 when Johnson gave his speech few even knew where Vietnam was located.

New York had passed enabling legislation that allowed it to get a head start on some of the federal programs. It was a pioneer in Medicaid. But a year later we were reporting that dentists at least had experienced a big jump in income because of the program. News stories documented individual dentists who had brought in $100,000 or more in this Upstate area by fixing the mouths of the poor. That was in 1965  dollars.
The fact was brought home solidly four years later when a day before going overseas, I needed to get some dental work. I went to the father of a friend, explained my plight, and for two hours tried not to struggle as the dentist filled six cavities in two hours.

When he was done, he said to me: "You know, that's the most cavities I ever filled in one sitting . . . Medicaid excepted, of course.

Later in 1964 Robert Kennedy left his job as attorney general and moved to New York to run for the U.S. Senate. The family name drew enough votes so that he deposed Kenneth Keating, a Republican and a true gentleman.

From the time he took office, Kennedy tried to be the champion of the poor. He was a political foe of the then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller. I was the main political reporter then, and each afternoon the telephone would ring. Sometimes, it was Rockefeller's Washington office announcing a new grant, contract or program to benefit the state.

A few minutes later, the call would be from Kennedy's office. The next day the order would be reversed. Both men argued their points of view in public forums.

Kennedy successfully brought an handful of upstate New York counties under the wing of the Appalachian Regional Commission, an antipoverty effort. Rockefeller argued that upstate New York had little in common with the more traditional Appalachian regions like East Tennessee. But that brought in federal money.

The feud, of course, would end dramatically in 1968 when Kennedy was cut down in a California hotel just as he seemed to be headed to the White House.

In retrospect, we reporters were too naive and too trusting of Big Government. Urban renewal gutted the cities. Medicaid became a monster that consumes nearly $500 billion in federal dollars each year.

Food stamps, another antipoverty effort, seems to have evolved into a subsidy for the groceries and suppliers. Studies question the effectiveness of the Head Start programs for pre-school children.

Yet, 1964 and 1965 were heady times when reporters and politicians thought they could change the world with a checkbook. And this was before the dark days of Vietnam, which Martin Luther King correctly noted shifted federal priorities.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 4

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
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Psychotherapy

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California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
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Architects

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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
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Fine art restoration and conservation


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Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo

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A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
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Happy New Year ~ Feliz año nuevo
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Translators

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Legal services

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Accountants

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7410-4/1/13

Panamá study seeks to prove
tropical forests sponge effect


By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute news staff

Tropical forests reduce peak runoff during storms and release stored water during droughts, according to researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá. Their results lend credence to a controversial phenomenon known as the sponge effect, which is at the center of a debate about how to minimize flood damage and maximize water availability in the tropics.

During nearly 450 tropical storms, a team of visiting scientists from the University of Wyoming measured the amount of runoff from pastureland, abandoned pastureland and forested land as part of a large-scale land-use experiment in the Panama Canal watershed initiated by the research institute.

Data collected by institute staff and analyzed by University of Wyoming students indicate that land-use history has complex, long-term effects. “We measured large differences in hydrologic response between watersheds with different land-use histories and land cover,” said Fred Ogden, a senior research associate at the institute and a civil engineering professor at the University of Wyoming. “Our ultimate objective is to better understand these effects and include this improved understanding in a high-resolution hydrological model that we are developing to predict land-use effects in tropical watersheds.”

“The result for storm peaks is spectacular,” said Robert Stallard, institute hydrologist and the U. S. Geological Survey who developed the statistics for data analysis. “Storm-water runoff from grazed land is much higher than from forested land. The results are clearest after big storms.” On the other hand, forests released more water than grasslands and mixed-use landscapes during the late dry season, pointing to the importance of forests in regulating water flow throughout the year in seasonal climates.

Evidence to support the sponge effect was lacking for tropical forests, leading some to question its validity. “One of the reasons why there isn’t more scientific evidence for the sponge effect is that you have to take what nature dishes out,” said Stallard, a staunch proponent of the sponge effect, who is often seen wearing Sponge Bob socks. “It requires a long-term institutional commitment to get good results. The USGS, STRI, University of Wyoming and the Panama Canal Authority have the resources to do that.”

Severe drought forced Panama Canal authorities to impose draft restrictions on transiting ships in 1997. In 2010, a major December storm system, examined in this study, halted shipping in the canal for 17 hours. Land use in the watershed not only affects world commerce but also water availability for Panama’s major urban areas. The study is particularly relevant to land use decisions throughout the tropics where more than 50 percent of forests are now secondary forests that have grown back after logging or on abandoned pastureland.

The 700-hectare Panamá watershed experiment, also known as Agua Salud, will run for 20 to 30 years, making it the largest ongoing study of land use in the tropics.


Bigger pay increases sought
for those on low end of scale


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Public employee advocates seek major increases in the salaries of the lowest paid civil servants. They listed guards at public schools, workers at state child care centers, park guards, office and service workers lower ranking police and immigration officers.

The request came from the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados.

Salary negotiations for the public sectors are expected to begin this week, and generally the union organization is seeking a 3 to 5 percent pay hike. However, it appears that more is being sought for the lowest paid workers.

The association's requests were in a letter to Olman Segura Bonilla, minister of Trabajo y Seguridad Social, and Edgar Ayales Esna, the minster of Hacienda.


Bulls sent 39 to hospital,
Cruz Roja reports on Zapote


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja said that 39 bull baiters had to be hospitalized during the run of the fiesta de Zapote.

The emergency agency maintains a clinic adjacent to the bull ring where they who have been mauled by an animal can seek help. The agency said its medics treated 215 persons. The bull baiting was a twice-a-day event from Dec. 25 until Sunday. Many more had to be treated at the fiesta. The Cruz Roja reported 437 persons sought aid. But only 30 of these had to be hospitalized.

Over all the holiday events, including the Festival de la Luz, the Desamparados carnival and the Tope Nacional horse parade, the emergency agency treated 921 persons and sent 107 to the hospital.

The bull baiting involves individuals entering the ring with one of those powerful creatures. Participants tempt death because some of the horned bulls weigh in at 1,300 pounds. There were no deaths reported this year.


Bulk of the political ads here
are from Google ad campaigns

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This newspaper believes in free speech, and encourages everyone to speak their mind about the Feb. 2 Costa Rican general elections. The newspaper management also sees paid advertising as a way of expressing an opinion.

However, A.M. Costa Rica does not actively seek campaign ads from local political parties because most expats here, our readers, cannot vote.

However, the newspaper welcomes the presentations that political parties may make through the various Google ad campaigns to which this newspaper subscribes.


Germany's chancellor breaks
pelvis in skiing accident


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fractured her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident and is walking with the help of crutches, forcing her to call off some foreign visits and official appointments, her spokesman said Monday.

Ms. Merkel fell while skiing over the Christmas vacation. What she first thought was heavy bruising turned out to be a partial fracture, meaning she must take it easy for three weeks and work from home where possible, said her spokesman Steffen Seibert.

The news comes a week after Germany was shocked by the far more serious skiing accident of former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, who is in critical condition in a French hospital.

"The chancellor is of course able to work and is in full communication," said Seibert. He added that Ms. Merkel's accident occurred at low speed but he declined to give further details.

The 59-year-old chancellor, a keen hiker who has said she prefers cross-country to downhill skiing, has postponed a visit to Warsaw scheduled for Wednesday and a meeting in Berlin with Luxembourg's new Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 4
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nicarguans
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
Hundreds of visa seekers crowd the exterior of the Costa Rican consulate in Managua
Nicaraguans flood Costa Rica consulates for visa to return here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nicaraguans are flooding both Costa Rican consulates in that country to get the documents they need to return from Christmas vacation.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said Monday that thousands had sought the needed visas in Managua and in Chinandega.

Photos provided by the ministry show large crowds waiting to enter the Managua consulate.

Some 3,100 Nicaraguans visited the Managua consulate Friday to get visas, and some 2,193 visas were issued before closing
Monday, said the ministry. Consulate workers in Chinandega were issuing more than 700 visa a day, nearly triple the average.

Since Dec. 11, both consulates issued a total of 23,080 visas, said the ministry.

There is a long tradition of Nicaraguans who live and work in Costa Rica returning to their homeland for the holidays. For years Costa Rica has required them to pay for a new visa to return.

The ministry noted that the consulate in Managua has new facilities because neighbors forced the closure of the previous location,  The new facility has 10 windows where individuals can see visas and other procedures.


Escazú home invaders get cash, valuable bracelet and a pistol
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four masked bandits broke into a home in San Rafael de Escazú Sunday night and made off with a bracelet, cash and a firearm.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the four intruders appeared to have entered through a door to a parking
area about 7:30 p.m.. Once inside, they forced a homeowner to open a safe and took 3,000 euros and 800 dollars as well as the 9-mm. firearm and a bracelet valued at $7,000, agents said.

The victims remained in the home for awhile until they thought the intruders had left before they called police. The bandits wore ski masks, the judicial agency said.


Regulating agency holds the line on tariffs for state water firm
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The water rates for customers of the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados will not change during the first half of the year. The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the   state water company has suffficient
income to support its operations and projected programs for the beginning of the year.

The regulating agency also asked the company to develop a plan of action to respond to the needs of users and to improve services.

Del

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 4
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French leads in intervention, and some in Britain worry about loss of nerve
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As French troops deploy alongside African counterparts to try to quell the religious violence in the Central African Republic, military analysts say a new strategic order is emerging in Europe.  France is taking the lead in intervening in foreign conflicts, particularly in Africa, and British military chiefs have expressed fears that Britain has lost its nerve.

A unit of French troops code-named the Sangaris patrols Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

France sent 1,600 troops to the country last month to quell religious violence between Muslims and Christians.

Earlier last year, Paris sent 4,000 soldiers to Mali, after Islamist forces took over much of the north of the country.

France’s willingness to intervene in African conflicts is in its self-interest, says David Cadier of the London School of Economics’ IDEAS policy institute.

“We do not want an Afghanistan in Africa.  This is why sometimes, in French strategic circles, the expression Sahelistan has been used.  If you have no government, you have no security guarantees that you will not let terrorist groups install bases, training camps in Africa, in central Africa, in northern Africa, in other words, at the gates of Europe and of France in particular," said Cadier.

France’s increasingly assertive role in global security contrasts with ally and neighbor Britain.

Last August, Britain shocked its allies after parliament voted against taking part in any military strikes on Syria, following claims that President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians.

In a speech last month, the British chief of defense staff,  Gen. Sir Nicholas
Houghton, said his country had become skeptical about projecting force around the world.

“I have recently observed with some admiration the relative ability of French forces to operate with the mindset of aggressive risk management. We must be careful as a society and as a professional military not to lose our courageous instinct since it is one of the things which keeps us in a class-apart," said Houghton.

Britain was the United States’ main ally in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a war that was deeply unpopular at home.

At the end of this year British troops will complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting and nearly 450 fatalities. Polls show the public remains skeptical of what has been achieved with British commanders warning the Taliban are poised to regain territory after NATO troops leave.

Those conflicts, together with military spending cuts, have left Britain fatigued by foreign intervention, says David Cadier.

“What is happening is a growing reluctance in terms of accepting risk and casualties.  And France is somehow frustrated by the lack of strategic support on the part of other Europeans," he said.

In a speech last September, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France would adapt to changing strategic challenges.

"France will remain a global player, and provided that it manages to regain its economic margin and competitiveness, it will remain a power of influence.  France is a powerful state. It has an undisputed international status, and the resources to meet the challenges of the new world," said Fabius.

But one month into France’s deployment in the Central African Republic, polls show support among the French public is falling fast, down from 51 percent in December to 41 percent this week.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Hidden Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to
Christ Howard with Max
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
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Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.
Lundquist
                        patio
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of our patios



Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com
8158-3/1/13

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



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Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80
stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8204-1/23/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 4
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Cafetales



Unusual cold spell continues
throughout the United States


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People in much of the United States are dealing with cold weather not seen in 20 years.

The National Weather Service is calling the polar air mass sweeping across the country dangerously cold, and has posted wind chill warnings that stretch from North Dakota to New York in the north and as far as Alabama in the deep south.

The mayor of Indianapolis in the central part of the country, Greg Ballard, said the extreme temperatures are life-threatening.

"This weather combination that we are seeing right now with all of the snow and the cold is unlike anything that we've seen in decades in this area, and I can't emphasize that enough. The cold really scares me and as such that we will have temperatures that are potentially deadly or certainly look like life-altering temperatures," Ballard said.

Veronica LaPage of Chicago said she saw few commuters heading to work Monday morning in Chicago.

"I made sure to wear at least four layers and wear a coat I only wear once every three years today. Chicago transit had lots of delays, but I was lucky to hop a train as soon as I was on the platform.  But there were maybe 10 percent of the usual morning commuters on board my trip.  I'm glad I wore all the layers, or this morning could have been brutal," she said.

Carl Erickson, a forecaster with AccuWeather, said that wind chills in major East Coast cities could reach 20 to 30 degrees C below zero, while in places like Montana and North Dakota those figures could hit minus 50 degrees.

“The good news is, although this is a very intense cold air mass system that we haven’t seen in decades, it will not be long-lived. Even as we go into Wednesday the winds will begin to lessen, the cold air eases, and although no big warm-ups, it will definitely feel a little bit better Wednesday compared to the next couple of days.  Going into Thursday and Friday, looks like temperatures actually rebounding to near average levels, in the big cities by Thursday and Friday,” Erickson said.

The cold and fresh snow measuring more than 30 centimeters in some places in the Midwest have created dangerous travel conditions, forcing schools to close and airlines to cancel thousands of flights.

Meg Skelly, of the Ottawa, Illinois Chamber of Commerce said her community is virtually shut down with banks government buildings and other offices closed out of safety for their employees.

Karen Brodbeck, the director of marketing and community relations at Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa says her hospital is only dealing with emergencies.

"As for my hospital, all non essential services seem to be on hold, volunteer programs and initiatives have been temporarily suspended."

Forecasters say the widespread chill is the result of a relatively infrequent alignment of weather conditions, allowing a so-called polar vortex to travel unusually far to the south from its normal place in northern Canada.

A polar vortex is a counterclockwise rotating pool of cold, dense air.  It is expected to knock temperatures in half the nation down to minus 17 degrees by Wednesday.


JetBlue suspends some flights
due to the extreme weather


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

JetBlue Airways said it planned to suspend flights at New York and Boston airports later on Monday, and gradually resume them today, as extreme cold hobbled airline operations in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast regions.
 
Temperatures below zero in the U.S. Midwest were making it difficult for airlines to fuel planes and posing exposure hazards for ramp employees.
 
The brunt of the impact was felt in areas such as Chicago, Minneapolis and Cleveland. More than 1,600 flights were canceled at Chicago O'Hare, an airport that typically has 2,400 daily flights.
 
“Even though there is not a lot of precipitation falling, extreme cold weather can severely impact operations,” Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for American Airlines Group, said in an email.
 
American and American Eagle canceled more than 500 flights Monday, roughly 14 percent of its typical daily flights of 3,500. At Chicago O'Hare, American had minimal operations and canceled nearly 380 flights, including American Eagle flights.
 
“The problem we - and other carriers - faced very early is the fueling pumper trucks wouldn't work,” said American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan. “Parts were frozen.  Fuel nozzles were also frozen and had to be taken to a hangar to thaw out. It's slow going.”
 
Southwest Airlines suspended flights at Chicago Midway airport Monday, also citing fueling problems. United Continental Holdings canceled 460 flights at O'Hare, including 380 on regional carriers.
 
JetBlue said halting its flights at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Boston Logan airports would allow time to melt ice from its planes, position flight crews and take other steps to recover from snow storms that recently struck the Midwest and parts of the Northeast.
 
“It's a combination of everything that has had a domino effect the last few days,” JetBlue spokesman Anders Lindstrom said. “As one of the largest carriers in the Northeast, weather in this area impacts our entire route network and operations.”
 
Winter and accompanying storms are a major issue for U.S. airlines in the first quarter. Airlines typically will proactively cancel flights during a major storm to minimize disruptions.
 

As expected Senate approve
Janet Yellen as chairwoman


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States will have its first-ever female central bank chief, after the Senate voted 56-26 to confirm Janet Yellen as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve.  Ms. Yellen succeeds Ben Bernanke, who helped America weather a severe financial crisis and the deepest economic recession since the 1930s.

Ms. Yellen’s ascension from vice chairwoman to chairwoman of the Federal Reserve is historic, but her Senate backers did not trumpet her gender ahead of Monday’s vote. Rather, they stressed her qualifications and the mindset she will bring to the job.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said Ms. Yellen will work to protect ordinary Americans from the excesses of a free-wheeling financial system.

“In today’s complex financial system, it is more important than ever to have strong regulators like Governor Yellen who can recognize emerging threats to economic stability, and who is not afraid to act when abuses are found that put American consumers and workers at risk,” he said.

​Ms. Yellen takes the helm as the central bank is beginning to pull back from a multi-year program of extraordinary stimulus to jump-start the U.S. economy following the recession of 2008. At her confirmation hearing last year, Ms. Yellen defended the program as necessary and beneficial. Senate critics say she's a proponent of easy money policies that will rekindle inflation and eat away at Americans’ purchasing power.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, had this to say before casting a no vote.

“We need a chairman focused on a strong dollar and low inflation. Historical evidence suggests that failing to rein in easy money policies risks fueling an economic bubble and even hyper-inflation,” he said.

James Glassman, chief economist at banking giant JPMorgan Chase, says Ms. Yellen will bring continuity to the Federal Reserve.

“I think the way Janet Yellen handles policy at the Fed will be very similar to what Ben Bernanke did," he said. "And it is all going to be guided by how well the economy performs, how quickly the labor market improves, and how successful the Fed is in getting inflation back up to that two-percent level that everyone embraces.”

Glassman predicts Ms. Yellen will continue Bernanke’s efforts to make the Federal Reserve more transparent and less mystifying to the American public.


U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker
heading to free trapped ships


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter "Polar Star" is steaming toward Antarctica to join the rescue effort for the icebound Russian vessel "M.V. Akademik Shokalskiy" and the Chinese icebreaker "Snow Dragon."

The "Polar Star," a non-nuclear icebreaker, cut short a planned stop in Sydney, Australia, on its first deployment since a $90 million overhaul. It is expected to reach the two vessels, about 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia, by Thursday.

The Russian ship left New Zealand Nov. 28, trying to recreate Australian explorer Douglas Mawson's century-old voyage to Antarctica but it got stuck in the ice. The "Snow Dragon" got stuck trying to help.

Fifty-two passengers who were stranded on board the "Shokalskiy" were airlifted by helicopter Thursday to the Australian icebreaker "Aurora Australis," which headed home Saturday after being told it was not needed to help the "Snow Dragon."

Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard received a call from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the organization coordinating the rescue of the trapped ships, to help break a path through the ice. With engines that can deliver 75,000 horsepower, the "Polar Star" has 5.5 times the horsepower of the Chinese rescue ship.


U.S. woman given 10 years
for Muslim plot participation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An American-born woman who calls herself Jihad Jane has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a U.S. court for her involvement in a plot to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims.

Colleen R. LaRose of Philadelphia, who converted to Islam online, had pled guilty to following orders in 2009 from alleged al-Qaida operatives.  She could have received a life sentence, but prosecutors say she has given authorities significant help in other terrorism cases since her arrest.

At Monday's sentencing hearing, Ms. LaRose apologized for blindly following the instructions of her handlers.

Ms. LaRose became involved in a Muslim online community and traveled to Ireland in 2009 to participate in a militant plot to shoot artist Lars Vilks.  But Ms. LaRose became impatient with the men who lured her to Europe and gave up after six weeks and returned to Philadelphia, where she was arrested.

Ms. LaRose's alleged al Qaida handler, Ali Damache, is jailed in Ireland fighting extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.

A Colorado woman who flew from that western U.S. state to marry Damache in Ireland, has pleaded guilty to related terrorism charges and is to be sentenced Wednesday.

A lawyer for co-conspirator Mohammad Hassan Khalid, who also pleaded guilty, has asked for his sentencing Tuesday to be delayed in order to complete psychological evaluations.  Khalid committed his crimes when he was 15 and 16 and is the youngest person charged with terrorism in the United States.

According to a November report in Britain's The Guardian newspaper, documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the British newspaper show the FBI became involved in the Jihad Jane case after the National Security Agency intercepted communications related to the plot.


U.S. Supreme Court freeze
gay marriages in Utah

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has put on hold gay marriages in the western state of Utah while a federal appeals court considers the issue further.

The decision Monday blocks any new same-sex marriages in the conservative state where nearly two-thirds of all residents belong to the Mormon church.

Utah changed its constitution in 2004 to ban gay marriage, but a U.S. District Judge ruled in December that the ban violates gay couples' rights.

December's ruling led hundreds of gay couples to get married. It also prompted the state's attorney general to appeal to the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the order while the office appeals to a higher court.

The Supreme Court's order Monday was only two sentences long, and did not reveal anything about the justices' views on the matter.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a 1996 federal law that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. In a 5-4 decision, the court said the government cannot bar same-sex couples from getting the same tax, health and pension benefits as heterosexual couples.

In another 5-4 decision last year, the Supreme Court ruled that backers of a California law banning gay marriage cannot appeal a lower court decision that struck down that measure.

The court did not specifically rule on whether it is constitutional for individual states to ban gay marriage.

More than 30 U.S. states ban gay marriage, while 17 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same sex marriage.


Bitcoin making a comeback
after game firm accepts it

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The value of the battered virtual currency, bitcoin, surged again in trading to over $1,000 as popular gaming company Zynga, Inc., announced it would test allowing users to pay for the games using it.

In a post on Reddit, the company said it would be working with BitPay to offer “payment options for players to make in-game purchases using bitcoin.”

Zynga is among the first widely known companies to accept bitcoin, which has yet to become a viable form of payment with major retailers such as Amazon.com.

In late December, multiple bitcoin exchanges in India shut down operations after the country’s central bank warned about the currency.

Earlier that month, the value of the currency plummeted to below $500 when China announced it would no longer allow the deposit of yuan for the cyber currency. Much of the value of the currency had been pumped in China due to the feeling that the virtual money could be a way for Chinese to move their money offshore.

The Bank of France has also warned about the risks of the unregulated virtual money.

Bitcoin is not backed by any central bank or government. The value depends on public confidence in the currency.


Giraffe was on the menu
at Roman city of Pompeii


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The middle and lower classes of the Roman city of Pompeii had a surprisingly rich and varied diet, including such exotic fare as giraffe, according to newly published research.

Archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati spent more than a decade looking at two city blocks within a non-elite area of the city, which was buried under lava and volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

The area covers 10 separate building plots and a total of 20 shop fronts, most of which served food and drink. The waste that was examined included collections from drains as well as 10 latrines and cesspits, which yielded mineralized and charred food waste coming from kitchens and excrement. Among the discoveries in the drains was an abundance of the remains of fully-processed foods, especially grains.

Findings revealed foods that would have been inexpensive and widely available, such as grains, fruits, nuts, olives, lentils, local fish and chicken eggs, as well as minimal cuts of more expensive meat and salted fish from Spain. Waste from neighboring drains also turned up a less diverse variety of foods, revealing socioeconomic differences between neighbors.

A drain from a central property revealed a richer variety of foods, as well as imports from outside Italy, such as shellfish, sea urchin and even delicacies like the butchered leg joint of a giraffe.

“That the bone represents the height of exotic food is underscored by the fact that this is thought to be the only giraffe bone ever recorded from an archaeological excavation in Roman Italy,” said Steven Ellis, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of classics. “How part of the animal, butchered, came to be a kitchen scrap in a seemingly standard Pompeian restaurant not only speaks to long-distance trade in exotic and wild animals, but also something of the richness, variety and range of a non-elite diet.”

Deposits also included exotic and imported spices, some from as far away as Indonesia.

“The ultimate aim of our research is to reveal the structural and social relationships over time between working-class Pompeian households, as well as to determine the role that sub-elites played in the shaping of the city, and to register their response to city-and Mediterranean-wide historical, political and economic developments. However, one of the larger datasets and themes of our research has been diet and the infrastructure of food consumption and food ways,” says Ellis.

He adds that as a result of the discoveries, “The traditional vision of some mass of hapless lemmings – scrounging for whatever they can pinch from the side of a street, or huddled around a bowl of gruel – needs to be replaced by a higher fare and standard of living, at least for the urbanites in Pompeii.”

The archaeologists presented their discoveries Saturday at the joint annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and American Philological Association in Chicago.

 
Soluble fiber given some credit
for protecting against asthma


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Certain types of dietary fiber may be protective against asthma, a lung disease that until recently was largely unknown in the developing world.  Experts note the incidence of asthma is increasing in less developed countries, as people there shift their eating habits away from high-fiber foods in favor of processed ones.

There are two types of dietary fiber in food: Insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber, from foods like whole grains, cucumbers and broccoli, includes so-called roughage, which helps cleanse the bowel.

A new study by researchers in Switzerland suggests that soluble fiber, which comes from fruits and vegetables, and is broken down by microbes in the intestines, may reduce inflammation in the lungs.

Benjamin Marsland, an immunologist at the University of Lausanne, says that until recently, asthma was virtually unknown in nations where people eat a lot of soluble fiber.

“In some countries, Burkina Faso, for example, dietary fiber intake is very high and there is no development of allergies whereas in westernized countries we have an intake of dietary fiber is low and the allergies have been increasing,” Marsland said.

Gut bacteria break down soluble fiber, which includes pectin from apples, berries and citrus, into short chain fatty acids. Marsland says the fatty acids interact with spongy tissue inside the bones, where protective immune cells are produced, and help quiet immune system overactivity. An overzealous immune reaction can lead to inflammation.

To see whether dietary fiber could influence disease development outside the digestive tract, such as asthma, Marsland and colleagues studied two groups of rodents.  One group of mice had been fed a diet high in soluble fiber for two weeks while the other group was fed a diet low in pectin.

Both groups were then exposed to dust mites, a leading cause of asthma, a condition marked by lung inflammation, narrowing of the airways and wheezing.

Marsland says the mice that ate less soluble fiber had strong allergic reactions to the dust, including the presence of inflammatory compounds in the lungs and constricted airways similar to what’s seen in people.

The mice that consumed food rich in pectin, according to Marsland, had lower levels of the immune cells that are usually elevated in allergic asthma.

“So the mechanism through which diet is helping the lung is the dietary fiber changes the bacteria in our intestinal tract which changes the metabolites in our circulation and this is influencing how our immune cells develop,” he said.

Researchers confirmed their findings by injecting the mice with another short chain fatty acid.  Again, there were fewer inflammatory markers among rodents given the compound.

An article describing a link between soluble fiber and asthma is published in the journal Nature Medicine.


Florida State takes game
and stays undefeated for year

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top-ranked Florida State Seminoles came from behind to win college football's national championship with a wild 34-31 victory over No. 2 Auburn in the title game Monday.
 
The Seminoles were outplayed by the Tigers early on and trailed 21-10 at halftime before capping a stunning comeback with a two-yard touchdown by wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with only 13 seconds remaining.
 
There were three changes of lead in the dizzying final four-and-a-half minutes, each one appearing to be the decisive score in an epic finale to the BCS National Championship.
 
Florida State, racking up a perfect 13-0 record in the regular season, appeared to have the game won after wide receiver Kermit Whitfield surged down the left sideline for a 100-yard kick return, his touchdown putting his team ahead 27-24.
 
However, Auburn regained control with just 79 seconds remaining when running back Tre Mason rushed for a 37-yard touchdown and the Tigers defense initially held firm under intense pressure from the Seminoles.
 
However, Florida State countered once more, as Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston found Benjamin in the end zone for his decisive touchdown after a seven-play drive covering 80 yards.
 
Winston, who made a nightmarish start, was sacked four times while completing 20 of 35 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns as the joyous Seminoles celebrated a BCS victory. The team won the title in the 1999-2000 season.
 
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
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Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.





Visit our Web Site:
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English: (Cristian Arce)
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English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
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  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
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Real estate for sale (paid category)


Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to:
scottlandtodd@live.com. Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.
8207-3/8/14

Esparza home
Esparza, Puntarenas
Stunning open concept contemporary home 1800 square feet, high end finishing set in tranquil rural 1.3 acres of fruit trees and tropical flowers. Separate guest suite, artist studio, workshop, carport, electric gate.  Close to two international airports, surfing, fishing, golfing and shopping. More photos here:  http://www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/photogallery.htm
Sale for $239.000 Contact:  sjwiens@gmail.com
8196-2/6/14

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  sjwiens@gmail.com  for more photos/information or go here:
www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/land/photogallery.htm
8197-2/6/14

complex
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14

forest
Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com.
8182-1/13/14


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8162-1/11/14

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
8157-2/22/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

condors

HIGH SECURITY Condo
ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
6141-2/11/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 4
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
High pressure system brings
strong winds to the country


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico is bringing stronger winds to Costa Rica, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said Monday.

The institute said in the late morning that winds of 65 kph have been measured in Guanacaste and that winds of 55 kph had been measured in the Central Valley.

The notice said that these conditions with winds of up to 90 kph (about 56 mph) would continue for the first few days of the week.

The forecast also said that the temperature might dip and that there was a chance of showers in the northern zone and along the Caribbean, as well as in the central mountains.


Brazil reported far behind
in World Cup preparations


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sepp Blatter cannot remember a World Cup host nation falling as far behind with their preparations as Brazil has, he said in an interview. He is president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the world soccer association.

“Brazil has just found out what it means and has started work much too late,” he told the Lausanne-based newspaper 24 Heures.

“No country has been so far behind in preparations since I have been at FIFA even though it is the only host nation which has had so much time, seven years, in which to prepare.”

Blatter has experience of nine World Cups, dating back to Argentina in 1978. He joined soccer's ruling body as a development officer in 1975 before becoming secretary general and then taking over as president in 1998.

Six of the 12 stadiums in Brazil missed the final deadline of Dec. 31 which the federation set for them to be completed and put at the disposal of organizers.

They are the venues in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Cuiaba, Natal and Manaus.

Many infrastructure and transport projects have been shelved or scaled back and organizers are still debating how to provide extra flights for the thousands of traveling supporters.

Brazil was elected unopposed as host in 2007 under the old rotation system which awarded the finals to South America.

The other nine South American countries had agreed to support Brazil as the only candidate in 2003, in effect giving them an additional four years to get ready.

Blatter also said he was resigned to further protests such as those that took place during last year's Confederations Cup.

“I am an optimist, not a pessimist. I am therefore not worried,” he explained. “But we do know there will be protests again.

“The last ones during the Confederations Cup in this same country had their roots in the social networks.

“There was no specific goal, or a genuine demand, but during the World Cup the protests will perhaps be more concrete, more organized,” said Blatter.

“But football will be protected, I don't believe that Brazilians will attack the football directly. For them it's a religion.”

The World Cup starts in June.

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From Page 7:

U.S. bankruptcies drop by 24 percent, report says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Business bankruptcy filings in the United States dropped 24 percent in 2013 to their lowest level since at least 2006, according to a report Monday.
 
Overall, bankruptcies by businesses and individuals combined fell 13 percent, said the report, released by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
 
Bankruptcy filings by businesses and individuals spiked as the United States entered recession in 2007. The numbers have fallen steadily in recent years as the U.S. Federal Reserve has kept borrowing costs low.
 
Monday's report, which was compiled  by bankruptcy claims processor Epiq Systems Inc, said 44,111 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2013, down from 57,964 in 2012. Epiq's data goes back to 2007.
 
Total filings by businesses and individuals fell to 1.03 million, the report said, from 1.19 million in 2012. The number of filings fell in every state but rose by 7 percent in Puerto Rico, which has been hit by a prolonged recession.