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(506) 2223-1327                                   Published Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 9                                      Email us
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Work crews are in the clouds pouring plenty of concrete so that the Interamerican Sur does not collapse again at Cerro de la Muerte.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Rebuilding Interamericana Sur is a $3.6 million job
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A year ago two lanes of the Interamericana Sur dropped into the jungle below, causing major traffic delays and detours.

Now a year later, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad has restored the shelf road by constructing 10 terraces along the 100-meter 
site and a wall that may be among the longest in the country.
The location is at Kilometer 34 on Cerro de la Muerte. The price is 1.9 billion colons or about $3.6 million. The job is supposed to be done in March.

The highway agency says that attention was paid to drainage, something that doomed the earlier version of the highway.

The highway is the major north-south route in the country.

Palmares is the temporary center of entertainment
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The party is in Palmares until Jan. 25.

Those going there today will be treated to another horse parade where participants can show off their animals.

There also are Costa Rican bull fights, too, Friday and the Cruz Roja is standing by to collect battered informal toreadors

The Fiestas Palmares is an annual event put on by the Asociación Cívica Palmareña, and Central Valley residents will be seeing plenty of chartered buses headed for the fiesta. That's the best way to go if revelers plan to enjoy the various beer tents.

People can bring their horses to the tope today but they should leave their cigarettes at
 home. The fairgrounds have been declared a no-smoking area, and fines can be leveled.

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal will be checking out the animals before the tope just as their workers did Dec. 26 in San José. 

They will be looking for injured and ill horses. The agency also has warned riders that only one person will be allowed on a horse and that spurs and whips are not allowed.

They also are urging riders to take their mounts home as soon as the horse parade is over to reduce the possibility of the spread of horse illnesses.

The Cruz Roja said that from 30 to 80 of  its workers will be at the fairgrounds depending on the types of events being offered. Each Sunday there are concerts.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 9
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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DR. Cavallini
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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Phone: ( 506 ) 8839-5010 
Address:  150 meters southwest from
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Government moves to prevent hike in gas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government acted Wednesday to overrule the price regulating agency and set the cost of liquid petroleum gas at world market level.

The president, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, and the minister of Ambiente y Energía, Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta, signed a decree to that effect.

The regulating agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos was in the process of establishing a price that was 72 percent higher, based on a mathematical formula.

The prospect of a price increase outraged the industrial sector. Paulina Ramírez Portuguez, a legislator, said earlier Wednesday that Vidriera Centroamericana S.A, a Cartago plant that makes millions of bottles each year, probably would leave the country if the price went up that much. The firm exports about 87 percent of its products and employes more than 600 workers.

The lawmaker noted that the new calculations cut the price of gasoline by 2 percent but raises the price of petroleum gas by 72.16 percent, the price of bunker 35.32 percent and asphalt by 15.64 percent. She noted that there is a hearing on the price hikes today at 5:30 p.m.

More than 500,000 families also use the gas for cooking and hot water.

The presidential decree contained a long list of legal reasons why the executive branch could do this. The government also owns the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A, the monopoly that imports hydrocarbon products. So there will be no protest from that quarter.

The decree also said that the use of gas was critical so that the country could reach the greenhouse gas levels agreed to at a recent international meeting in Paris.

The country has agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions some 170,500 tons a year until 2030, the decree said.

Bunker and other forms of petroleum fuel do not burn as clean as petroleum gas.

Asphalt also is critical to highway projects, and an increase in cost would raise those prices. A study by the environmental ministry contained a long list of industries that use bunker. Most are manufacturers. Bunker also is used for making concrete.

Costa Rica and Guatemala share the top spot of Central American nations for the price of liquid petroleum gas. The price is 55 U.S. cents a liter. The least expensive is Panamá with a price of 20 cents a liter, where it is subsidized, according to the study.

John Koger
John Koger displayed this Costa Rican flag when he toured Europe

Our reader's submission
A tribute to expat John Koger

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

John Koger, the owner of A Safe Passage, passed away on Nov. 9 at the age of 61. The cause of death was a heart attack.  Koger had made Costa Rica his home for the past 20 years.  He often joked that Ticos became the happiest people in the world after he arrived, and he left a trail of smiles wherever he went. 

A Safe Passage epitomized Koger’s passion for making it easier and safer for travelers to enjoy the country he loved.  Providing travel information and onward tickets was his way of making a difference for expats and for tourists throughout the world.  His focus on service was unparalleled, and he received hundreds of emails from grateful clients.

Against great odds, Koger also succeeded in constructing a bus shelter to keep Ticos and travelers out of the rain, he persuaded Costa Rica’s travel bureau (the ICT) to publish clear entry requirements, and he worked tirelessly to inform airlines that bus tickets are legitimate proof of onward travel. 

Koger is survived by three children, twin daughters Amber and Nicole and a son, Bryant, two grandchildren, and fellow travelers around the world who became his friends.
Karon Garen
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Editor's Note:  Koger also was a great help to A.M. Cost Rica readers in providing the facts on the land exit tax when it went into effect.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Servicios  Periodisticos photo
These boats are at anchor at Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, one of the jewels of the country's tourism locations.

Pilot plan to transport Cubans called a success but no more scheduled
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although officials are expressing satisfaction that some 180 migrants reached México around midday Wednesday, the rest of the Cubans trapped in Costa Rica will have to wait awhile.

The foreign ministry said Wednesday that the pilot plan to transport the migrants by air and bus was a success and that the 180 who left Tuesday night had reached México and were to travel by their own means to the U.S. border.

There they will receive the benefits of a 1966 Cold War era law that grants them entrance.

Kathya Rodríguez, director general of Migración y

Extranjería said that a date for a new meeting of the region's governments will be set to evaluate the success of the pilot project.

Involved will be the governments of Panamá, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, México and Belize as well as Costa Rica, she said.

There still are a lot of questions. Among them is what will Costa Rica do with the migrants who cannot afford the $550 travel package to reach México by air.

Many have been stuck in public shelters for nearly two months. Estimates of the number range from 7,000 to 8,000. There are other migrants stuck in Panamá.

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Palermo Hotel


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 9
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Canadian study says that happiness does not decline with growing older
By the University of Alberta news staff

Happy people live longer, they are healthier and are more likely to engage positively in their communities, and they also cost less to the health-care system and to society in general. Happy people may be cheap, but does happiness decline as young people move into early adulthood and midlife, and then increase again, as various proponents of the U-curve of happiness have argued?

The answer is no, according to a new paper based on data drawn from a 25-year longitudinal study by University of Alberta researchers. Contrary to widely disseminated and oft-quoted studies, happiness does not stall in midlife. Instead, there is an overall upward trajectory of happiness beginning in the teens and early 20s, the researchers concluded.

The age curve in happiness from early adulthood to midlife in two longitudinal studies rebuts the claim that happiness is the domain of youth, that it’s all downhill once the stresses of adulthood kick in. “I think it’s important to question conclusions that have already been drawn about mid-life happiness,” said Nancy Galambos, commenting on the cross-sectional research comparing different age groups at a set point in time that incorrectly produces so much of the academic and popular opinion about happiness.

“Cross-sectional research is easier to do,” said Harvey Krahn. “But if you want to know with more certainty how individuals change, you can’t compare people of different ages.” Comparing an 18-year-old to a 43-year-old often fails to take into account differing life experiences, such as ethnicity and generational differences. “I’m not trashing cross-sectional research. We all do it for other research questions. But if you want to see how people change as they get older, you have to

measure the same individuals over time,” he says. “You’ve got to look at longitudinal data.”

In other words, longitudinal research tells a better story or at least, a more valid one.

In the Edmonton-based study, which followed one group from ages 18 to 43 and another from ages 23 to 37, the story reads more like a novel, generating data not just on happiness, but also many other aspects of overall well-being. In this particular study, the researchers simply asked participants, How happy are you with your life right now? Response options ranged from not very happy to very happy. The researchers note that they did not define happiness for the participants, nor did they ask for specific examples of happiness.

Although the happiness trajectory over this age period generally pointed up, not everyone in the study followed this trend. “If I’m divorced and unemployed, and I have poor health at age 43, I’m not going to be happier than I was at age 18,” Professor Galambos says. “It’s important to recognize the diversity of experiences as people move across life.”

Governments around the world are listening, and in Canada, gathering information about happiness is part of Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey questionnaire. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranks Canada ninth in general life satisfaction, ahead of Sweden and the United States.

“It’s seems trite, just be happy, but behind that are the policies shaping society,” said Krahn. “The policy implications of the study are about changing the conditions that cause grief, like being unemployed, like losing your home, inequality, being a refugee, crime, addictions, these things will make you less happy, age notwithstanding.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
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:   
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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (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.

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!

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.


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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate rental services (paid category)

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
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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
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Real Estate
About us
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 9
Real Estate
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Germany to tighten its laws
for immigration after attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Germany has outlined plans to tighten deportation laws for foreigners in the wake of the series of attacks on hundreds of women in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve. Police say the attacks appear to have been carried out by groups of young migrant men. Nineteen suspects have so far been identified, all of them migrants. There have been several revenge attacks against foreigners in Cologne.

Far right supporters and football hooligans smashed shop windows and damaged cars in the eastern city of Leipzig in the early hours of Tuesday.

The rampage began around the same time that 2,000 supporters of the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement demonstrated nearby, carrying signs with slogans like Freedom for Germany. Olaf Spermer was among the protesters.

Spermer said what has really annoyed them in recent months is the whole situation regarding foreigners and how things have been handled. He said he's not alone in how he feels and that many people think things will end in a very bad way.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas Tuesday outlined tougher deportation laws for anyone convicted of certain crimes, including sexual assault.

Police have recorded more than 500 criminal complaints from New Year's Eve, almost half of which involved sexual assault. Andrea Mammone, an expert of the European far right at Royal Holloway, University of London, said anti-immigrant groups are exploiting the attacks for political gain by “ . . . trying to spread this message that we told you.

’We told you that it was unacceptable to have these people,” Ms. Mammone said. “We told you that it was a danger to have these people. We told you they were coming from different traditions, different cultures, and they couldn’t understand our values.”

In a series of revenge attacks on foreigners in Cologne, six Pakistanis, two Syrians and three men from Guinea were injured.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her policy of accepting over a million refugees Tuesday.

She said Germans know that since the terrible events of that night in Cologne, for integration to work, society needs to be open. But, she said, the refugees also need to be willing to follow the country's rules and values.

Cologne police have set up a 100-strong team to investigate the New Year’s Eve attacks and are looking at exchanges on social media in the run-up to the night.

French Jews are wondering
if skullcaps make them targets

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Standing outside a small synagogue in northeastern Paris, Israel Nessim raised his bowler hat to reveal his skullcap underneath.

“We have obligations in terms of our religion, we have to wear the kippah,” he said.  “Even if we don't wear one, we'll always be attacked.  We’ll always be recognized as Jews.”

Nessim’s thoughts are adding to a growing debate among France’s half-a-million strong Jewish community after an apparently jihadist-motivated attack Monday against a kippah-wearing school teacher in Marseille.

Following the attack by a Kurdish teenager claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group, the head of Marseille’s Israelite Consistory Zvi Ammar has suggested Jewish men and boys should stop wearing the skullcap until better days.

“As soon as we are identified as Jewish, we can be assaulted and even risk death,” he added.

Coming just after the year anniversary of January’s terrorist attacks in Paris, including an assault on a Kosher market, the latest aggression has intensified fears among Jews of more violence to come.  Jews have been leaving the country in record numbers, with a large number heading to Israel.  Rights groups also report a spike in anti-Semitic acts in recent years.

But top Jewish leaders are urging male faithful to remain true to their religious identity and to keep their skullcaps on.

“We should not give an inch,” said France’s Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia.

Roger Cukierman, head of the national Jewish umbrella association CRIF agreed, saying that removing the kippah in public amounted to a “defeatist attitude.”

Sociologist Martine Cohen of the Paris-based CNRS research institute believes many French Jews today battle conflicting sentiments: wanting to overtly assume their faith and fearing reprisals by doing so.

“Many French Jews feel completely integrated in France,” she said, “even as they are more vigilant than ever against anti-Semitism.”
That sentiment was echoed in interviews with Jews around Paris, including Kosher butcher Philippe Zribi, who doesn't wear a skullcap.

“I’m a traditionalist, but I’m not religious,” Zribi said, “but I believe people should be able to wear what they want.  We need to terrorize the terrorists, not be terrorized by the terrorists."

Another resident, Nicole Guedg, drew parallels to the Nazi era.

“We shouldn’t give into fear,” she said.  “If we start to be afraid, we’ll never get out.”

France is not the only country where the skullcap has become a lightening rod.  In neighboring Germany last year, the Central Council of Jews head Joseph Schuster similarly advised Jewish men to forgo wearing the kippah in areas with high Muslim populations.

In France, a study released last week by U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights First found a sharp spike in anti-Semitic attacks in 2014.  It also found the numbers of French Jews emigrating to Israel has doubled to more than 7,200 from the previous year.  But France’s Interior Minister cited a slight drop in anti-Semitic attacks during the first nine months of 2015.

Tuesday a French Jewish politician was found dead in his home outside Paris, in what reports suggest appears to be a homicide.

U.S. High Court considering
$2 billion claim against Iran

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the sensitive question of whether Iran has to pay nearly $2 billion in compensation to the families of victims of what the U.S. sees as Iranian-backed terrorist attacks.

Among the families are the relatives of the 241 U.S. soldiers, sailors and Marines killed in an October 1983 suicide attack on the military barracks in Beirut. The U.S. determined that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah was responsible.

Lawyers from both sides presented their arguments before the court Wednesday.

The Iranian central bank, which would have to pay out the funds, petitioned the high court to take up the case. The U.S. Congress passed a law in 2014 specifying that frozen Iranian assets in the U.S., including funds handled by second parties that do business in the U.S., be turned over to the terror victims suing Iran.

Central bank lawyers argue that Congress violated the constitutional separation of the three branches of the U.S. government by directly intervening in a legal case.

Lawyers for the victims' families say Congress was within its constitutional limits.

Lower courts have upheld the families' right to compensation.

It is unclear when the high court will decide the case. It comes at an extremely touchy time in U.S.-Iranian relations with the nuclear agreement about to come into force.

Philadelphia attack on cop
categorized as terrorism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The FBI is investigating the shooting of a Philadelphia police officer as a terrorist attack.

FBI Director James Comey told reporters Wednesday that last week's ambush would be treated as a terrorism investigation.

Police said Edward Archer approached Officer Jesse Hartnett's patrol car on Jan. 7 and fired several bullets at close range. Despite being seriously wounded, Hartnett got out of his car, chased the suspect and returned fire, wounding his attacker. Other officers arrested Archer a short while later.

Police said Archer confessed to the shooting, saying he was following Allah and had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State militant group. Archer allegedly told investigators he believed the police department defends laws that are contrary to Islam.

Archer was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer and several firearms crimes.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Rhino horn sale gets man
a year-long Texas sentence

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A federal judge in Waco, Texas, sentenced an Irish national to a year in prison Wednesday for trafficking in banned black rhinoceros horns.

British agents, action on a U.S. warrant, arrested Patrick Sheridan at the Welsh seaport of Holyhead last year and extradited him to the United States.

Sheridan and two other suspects illegally bought rhino horns in Texas through a straw buyer, someone who makes a purchase for a client, and resold the horns in New York. Sheridan also used false documents to try to hide the illegal purchase.

One of the other suspects was sentenced to more than a year in prison in 2014.

The suspects were arrested as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal rhino horn sales called Operation Crash.

Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said the demand for rhino horns is one factor bringing the animal to the edge of extinction.

"We will hold wildlife traffickers fully accountable for their crimes which are, transaction by transaction, robbing from our children and grandchildren the great diversity of life on our planet," Cruden said.

Many people in China and Vietnam believe rhinoceros horns have valuable medicinal effect, even though experts say that as a medicine and aphrodisiac, rhino horns are worthless.

Trump faces Obama criticism
and also from GOP governor

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was not in the House of Representatives chamber Tuesday night for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.  But he was clearly on the president's mind.

Obama seemed determined to provide a counternarrative to the generally negative tone of the presidential campaign being put forward by various Republican White House contenders.

The president said those who maintain the U.S. economy is in decline are peddling fiction. Republican claims that the U.S. has become weaker during Obama’s two terms are, in the president’s view, political hot air.

The president seemed intent on rebutting some of the more controversial aspects of the Trump candidacy.

“Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people?” he asked.

Obama also urged Americans to “reject any politics that target people because of race or religion,” an apparent reference to Trump’s call for a temporary ban on non-American Muslims entering the U.S. Obama added, “When politicians insult Muslims … that doesn’t make us safer."

Predictably critical, Trump tweeted that the president's address was “lethargic and hard to watch." He also said Wednesday on "Fox and Friends" that he thought the president was “living in a fantasy land.”

Trump continues to lead the Republican field in the latest national polls, and he is locked in a tight duel in Iowa, the state that kicks off the campaign for real with its party caucus votes on Feb. 1.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave the official Republican response to the president’s address, and her criticism of Obama was no surprise.  Haley said Americans were feeling “the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels.”

On national security, which has emerged as a key issue in the campaign, Gov. Haley said Obama “appears either unwilling or unable to deal” with what she called “the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since September 11th.”

But it was the South Carolina governor’s unexpected shot at Trump that drew the most notice. Gov. Haley noted she is the daughter of Indian immigrants, and that while the U.S. must take steps to fix a broken immigration system, she also warned that “during anxious times it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

Gov. Haley added that no one who “is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.” She later acknowledged on NBC she had Trump in mind.

Gov. Haley’s shot at Trump did not go unnoticed by him. Republican strategists have touted Mrs. Haley as a possible vice presidential candidate, but Trump was quick to throw some cold water on that idea during his Fox interview: “Considering I’m leading in the polls by a lot, I wouldn’t say she is off to a good start, based on what she just said.”

The official Republican response to the State of the Union represents the views of the party establishment and Republican congressional leaders. Gov. Haley’s criticism of Trump indicates that mainstream Republicans have not reconciled themselves to the idea of Trump becoming the Republican nominee.

Obama’s speech was seen by some as a preview of his farewell address, which presidents give just before they leave office. His focus on optimistic themes and his call to heal the nation’s political divide were in line with what he hopes will be his presidential legacy. But Obama also made clear in the speech that his biggest regret was that he was not able to bridge the nation's political divide.

Republicans point to the passage of his signature health care law with only Democratic votes as proof that Obama is primarily responsible for the hyperpartisanship.

Republican strategist Matt Gammon said, “One of the things that I really would have wished to hear more of is his reaching out to Republicans.”

But Republican Haley acknowledged in her speech that “while Democrats in Washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing America today, they do not bear it alone. There is more than enough blame to go around.”

Some said Obama seemed determined not to become an afterthought as the country focuses on the 2016 race to succeed him.

“I think it is going to serve to further divide the country and to get Democrats excited about things and to get Republicans excited against them,” said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. “But I don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference.”

Series of canyons discovered
under thick Antarctic ice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers say they believe they have found the world’s largest canyon. It is located under the Antarctic ice.

Writing in the journal Geology, a team of researchers led by Durham University in England says satellite data reveal a possible canyon over 1,000 kilometers long and, in places, one kilometer deep, roughly the same depth as the Grand Canyon in the United States, but much longer.

The discovery still needs to be confirmed by direct measurements, according to the researchers.

“This is a region of the Earth that is bigger than the UK and yet we still know little about what lies beneath the ice,” said Stewart Jamieson, from the Department of Geography at Durham University. “In fact, the bed of Antarctica is less well known than the surface of Mars. If we can gain better knowledge of the buried landscape, we will be better equipped to understand how the ice sheet responds to changes in climate.”

The canyons, which are located in the remote Princess Elizabeth Land region in East Antarctica, are actually chasms buried under kilometers of ice.

Researchers believe the canyons were carved by water, either flowing under the ice or perhaps by water that ran over the area before the ice formed.

While no part of the canyons can be seen, the surface ice does reflect the possible canyons below when using satellite imagery. The group also has identified small parts of the canyons using radio-echo sounding data, meaning radio waves are passed through the ice to map the rocks beneath.

Researchers say the canyons may be connected to a massive subglacial lake that could cover up to 1,250 square kilometers.

Currently, the team is conducting an airborne survey of the area using radio-echo sounding measurements in order to confirm the canyons’ presence. Those results could be made public later this year.
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Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
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Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret  two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email: Watch this video for full details.

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:


Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or   More photos HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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:

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 9
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Kerry says U.S. will expand assistance
to refugees from
Central America

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. has announced plans to expand its refugee admissions program, with a goal of providing more assistance to Central Americans.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced the expansion Wednesday as he outlined U.S. foreign policy goals for the year.
In a speech at National Defense University, Kerry said the new provisions would offer legal and safe alternatives to people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Many people from these countries, said Kerry, had been tempted to begin dangerous journeys that made them easy prey for human smugglers and traffickers.

"The refugee crisis is not just a Syrian problem nor a Middle Eastern problem nor a European or African problem," said Kerry. It is a "global challenge of historic proportions and dimensions," he said.
The State Department said under the expansion plan, the U.S. would collaborate with the United Nations and non-government organizations to identify those in need of refugee protection, such as people who may have been targeted by criminal gangs.
In a statement, the State Department said more than 620,000 refugees had been resettled in the U.S. over the past 10 years, including nearly 70,000 during fiscal 2015.
Kerry also took a swipe at critics of U.S. refugee resettlement efforts.
He said lately, U.S. efforts to help refugees had taken place “against a backdrop of some pretty nasty politics” that he said was designed to scare Americans. 
Some of that criticism has come from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. During recent campaign stumps, Trump has said that Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. “could be ISIS.”

Later Wednesday, Kerry met with refugees at a Washington-area center. He also said President Barack Obama would host a summit on providing assistance to refugees on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this fall.

U.S. educator here to help with English

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The education ministry is trying to reform the English instruction program in the country, and a U.S. professor will provide some technical support.

He is James E. Purpura, an associate professor at Colombia University in New York.  He is an expert on evaluating the use of a second language or a foreign language.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública already is getting assistance from U.S. Peace Corps members, all native speakers of English.  Purpura will talk to them, too.

The ministry said that the visit is being made in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy.

Purpura has published a number of books and academic articles on the topic.

Evaluating the progress of a foreign language student is critical to improvement, and Purpura has written on evaluating most of the aspects of language, including grammar.

Costa Rican public education is well known to be weak on actually getting students to speak fluently, in part because many of the teachers are not fluent in English.

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From Page 7:

Legal residents also eligible for housing grants

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Legal expats can cash in on some of the government programs including a subsidy to purchase a home.

Officials mentioned this in passing Wednesday when they said that some citizens were being offered housing bonds in exchange for a promise to vote a certain way Feb. 7 in the municipal elections.

Rosendo Pujol, the housing minister, said that political pull is not needed to obtain a housing bond. She listed a series of requirements and specifically said that in addition to Costa Ricans, legal residents also are eligible.

Although the bonds are supposed to be for low-income individuals, the financial requirement is liberal and to some extent directed to the middle class. An applicant can make up to 1.5 million colons a month, which is about $2,855.

The money comes through the Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda, which issued more than 10,000 bonds in 2015. Although the money is called a bond, it really is a gift that does not have to be repaid.

The Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda also designates certain projects where the money can be used.

The minister of  Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos also said that her agency is ready to cooperate with any municipal administration