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(506) 2223-1327               Published Friday, Jan. 22, 2010,  in Vol. 10, No. 15       E-mail us
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emertgency worker
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos
y Atención de Emergencias photo
A Costa Rican rescue team member balances himself delicately atop concrete wreckage in the Haitian capital. While most of the team were rescue workers like this man, there also were physicians and other medical personnel.

Costa Rican Haitian rescue team on the way home
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

The country's emergency rescue team is returning like heroes from their efforts in the crumbled capital of Haiti.

The 54-person team is expected to be greeted by President Óscar Arias Sánchez at Juan Santamaría airport Saturday. Many of the team members are police and firefighters. They worked mostly with Puerto Rican experts in seeking trapped individuals in the ruins of Port-au-Prince.

The team arrived in the Dominican Republic a week ago and reached Haiti over the weekend. But the team was told to stay in its temporary quarters at the Haitian international airport Monday due to the unrest in the city's streets. By then the team had recovered 10 bodies from the wreckage.

The arrival of more troops allowed the team to again seek survivors Tuesday.

The U.S. military has reopened the severely damaged seaport in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince to help improve delivery of aid to victims. The military has also opened three more
airports to assist the flow of humanitarian relief.

There are about 13,000 U.S. military personnel in the country now with about 7,000 more to be added by Monday, said the U.S. Southern Command.

Damaged infrastructure around the seaport, wrecked roads and congestion at the main airport in Port-au-Prince have hampered the delivery of aid.

Haitian officials say they will soon begin moving hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in Port-au-Prince, which was largely destroyed by the Jan. 12 quake.  The homeless will be moved to tent villages outside the ravaged capital. Many people are desperate to leave behind the rubble-strewn streets and precarious structures that have been weakened by dozens of aftershocks.

About 200,000 persons died in the quake, and at least 3 million were affected, official estimate.

Costa Rica's medical workers spent Wednesday and early Thursday outside the capital providing care for victims there. The bulk of the team was packing equipment Thursday and plan to leave today for the Dominican Republic for eventual travel home.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 15

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

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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.


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Thomas A. Burke, LL.M, Glenda Burke, LL.M
Gloria Burke, manager
Burke law firm

We offer real estate law, due diligence and escrow services,residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.
More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the
General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
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e-mail: info@conjuridica.com 
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       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
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• Notary public services
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Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
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ask Angela Jiménez
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• building inspections
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Residency experts

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A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
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for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
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migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
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5563-3/21/10

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.
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• American hearing consultant from D.C. & Atlanta
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• Authorized provider  to the U.S. veterans
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We service the U.S. veterans/Foreign Medical Program. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5801-1/12/10

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
91,400 in 2009)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

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Over 15 years in Costa Rica
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E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
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Real estate agents and services

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506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

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55672-5/25/10


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with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
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Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
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samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
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2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v
mascarada
Mascarada stamp issue slightly smaller and original

Postal agency to play Cupid
with Valentine's Day note

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Correos de Costa Rica wants to play Cupid and has announced a program to send telegrams of love or friendship on Feb. 12, the Friday before St. Valentine's Day.

The postal agency said that the telegram will cost just 800 colons, about $1.44. The messages of love will contain sufficient space for senders to include a brief personal message, the agency said.

The love telegrams are on sale at all of the agency's 124 outlets around the country. They may be purchased now, but delivery will not take place until Feb. 12, the agency said.

But if the object of affection lives outside the country, the rate will be higher, the agency said.

The postal service is emphasizing stamp collecting, too. Workshops are scheduled for adults and children in the Museo Filatélico starting Tuesday. Youngsters still are on school vacation and many agencies have what are called summer programs. There are two levels of courses for children and a special class just for adults. The cost of materials is 3,500 colons, or about $6.25. More information is available at 2223-6918 or 2233-5182.

The courses will cover the history of stamp collecting and stamps as well as how to handle and evaluate stamps. The museum is on the second floor of the central post office building.

The latest issue of commemorative stamps was in December. The four-stamp set features children in custom, the traditional mascarada. The work is by artist Cristian Ramírez Vargas. The four-stamp set is 180 colons, about 32 U.S. cents.

Expat food expert has
a book on chicken soup

 
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expat Lenny Karpman has come out with a new book. The heart surgeon-turned-culinary expert addresses chicken soup in
his new nearly 400-page work, he said in a release.

The book is "First, You Boil a Chicken: Food-lover’s Guide to the World’s Chicken Soups." Karpman is one of those expats who brought his strong personal interest with him when he moved to Costa Rica. This is his fourth food book, all of them researched in close detail.

For a time, Karpman was the resident A.M. Costa Rica food
chicken book
expert and authored a weekly column.

The new book "delivers international chicken soup and stew recipes from more than 100 countries and insights into people, their culture, climate, economies and beliefs," said Karpman, who lives in the Central Valley, adding that the specifics range "From Aboriginal witjuti and bunya nut soup to Transylvanian wedding soup, from grandma’s Ashkenazi cure-all matzo-ball soup to Korean restorative ginseng – laden samgyetang,"

The book is available through Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and Booklocker.com, said Karpman.

Karpman noted that he practiced cardiology for more than 30 years, apprenticed in a French restaurant in San Francisco, California, catered for friends and non-profit fund-raisers, wrote restaurant reviews in California as well as Costa Rica and authored dozens of travel and ethnic food pieces in magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  His three previous books are "Chana’s Legacy," "Noni, Baloney, Puddin' and Pie: From Costa Rican Kitchen to the Corners of the World" and "Feasting & Foraging in Costa Rica: A Comprehensive Food Guide."

Art fair to begin in Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Jacó Art Festival starts next Thursday in the Parque Central of the Pacific beach community.  The event runs through Feb. 1.

It is a project of the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce and the culture committee of the Municipalidad de Garabito.

During this Art Festival, there will be activities for all members of the family including concerts, exhibitions of photography, painting, sculpture, crafts fair, theater, circus, parades, masquerades and educational workshops, said the chamber.

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A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages
Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each weekday.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching
The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

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A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

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Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 15

   
Check out the printed version of the Top Story news feed and see what  you  missed.
Enjoy Incredible Beach Sunsets and  Sunrises. With the Pacific Ocean and the awesome mountain behind.
Elegantly built to your specifications. Delivered and set up at your home in Costa Rica.

Arias to seek Mideast investments in meeting with emir
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The ruler of Qatar is now in Costa Rica and staying where Mideast princes stay when here: The Four Seasons on the Papagayo peninsula. The hotel's ownership is heavily Saudi Arabian.

The visitor is Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. President Óscar Arias will travel to Guanacaste Monday to meet with the emir.

This is the emir's first visit to Costa Rica although he met once with Arias in New York at the United Nations last September, according to Casa Presidencial.

Arias has made overtures to Muslim nations by moving the Costa Rican embassy from disputed Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. Costa Rica and Qatar established diplomatic relations in 
2004. The emir also visited Argentina and Brazil as well as Venezuela in his New World travels.

The emir, while crown prince, attended the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, according to the country's diplomatic service. He entered his country's military as a lieutenant colonel and quickly became a major general. He gained power by deposing his own father while the old emir was traveling in Europe in 1995.

Arias has made a strong case against Honduras for the coup that deposed José Manuel Zelaya, but Casa Presidencial said that the emir will be encouraged to make investments in Costa Rica. Several ministers will accompany Arias.

The emir and his delegation arrived Thursday night at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia where they traveled by bus to the swank hotel.


There are things to do while getting back those land legs
Actually, I would stay at sea for many more weeks if I had my choice.  After my seemingly obligatory two days of seasickness, I would be happy to be onboard indefinitely with nothing to do except what I want to. 

I spent seven days without TV.  The only news from the outside world was a one- or two-page digest of what was happening.  Now, I am back to reality, and the horrors of Haiti, the repetitive news stories, the upset election in the States, the prediction of the demise of the health care bill, and a picture of a fire-blowing volcano in Costa Rica not far from my haven on land.  No wonder I prefer the tranquility of a snug stateroom in a comfortable boat that can obviously handle hurricane winds and contrarian currents.  Especially when I am not at the helm.

But the good news is that while basking in the sun I missed, according to my friends, some really cold weather in the Central Mesa.  I mean, Canadians were shivering and putting on flannel shirts. 

When we got back, I decided to introduce my daughter to a group of friends so she would not think (if she ever did) that I am alone and lonely down here.  We gathered at my friend Doug’s apartment and enjoyed good food and conversation.   She was impressed. They were pleased to meet her, and I consider myself one lucky person.  Life on land is anything but dull.

The next day, she left, and it was not easy for me to say goodbye because it will be a while before I see her again.   Then I rushed off to lunch with members of the Book Club.  A new member is of American Indian descent, and it was fascinating to hear her surprising and interesting truths about her own life and living on a reservation.  

As for the tradition of oral history being passed from generation to generation by the storytellers, she said that with the advent of alcohol, thanks to the new white settlers, the stories often were embellished by hallucinations that resulted from the DTs.  More kindly, some storytellers may have just been tired of the same old handed-down tales, so they did some creative “writing” of their own. 

We asked about Indian culture and the idea of the noble
Living in Costa Rica

. . .Where the living is good

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com


Indian of few but wise words and other admirable attitudes
like a concern for Mother Earth and other animals.  She said that when the change in the perception of the Indian came about in the White culture, and Indians were seen and shown in literature and film in a more sympathetic way that included these traits, many Indians began to emulate this perception to fit the new description of themselves, which they certainly preferred.

I loved that part because on a tiny scale, I have written that in Costa Rica when people say “thank you,” they often add, “Es muy amable”  (You are very kind). After hearing that often enough, I want to fit that description and be kind.  Language is a powerful influence on behavior.

Finally, alone again, I tried to judiciously go through the 134 e-mails and messages waiting for me on my computer.  Among them was a restaurant review from the Los Angeles Times sent me from Bonnie Hano who used to live in Costa Rica. 

It talked about a new restaurant in Van Nuys, California — Las Delicias — that serves Costa Rican food, including "golden and shimmery" corn pancakes, “velvety" black beans, "a delicious mound" of picadillo de papas "caramelized to a burnished brown," plantains with "discrete herbal undernotes." Sounds wonderful!    It made me smile at what I considered the hyperbole.

But I took Lesley, my gourmet daughter to La Flor restaurant in downtown San José where you can get just typical Tico food. (She had been craving gallo pinto).  She ate every morsel of her casado with chicken, plantains, rice, beans and mashed potatoes and then helped me with some of mine.  She said it was the best food she had enjoyed since leaving home.  Go figure.



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A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 15

The Volcán Turrialba continues to put out gases and ash. Volcano watchers took this photo during a flyover of the smoking mountain Wednesday where they also took samples of the excaping gas.

volcano
E.
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica/E. Duarte photo




Mountain cooperates and gives observers a showy plume

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When volcano watchers took off to check on the Volcán Turrialba Wednesday, they were greeted with a pretty good plume of ash and gas.

The experts were from the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica, at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia.

They said that they would continue to study the makeup of the gas at the observatory's lab with the hope of getting an idea of what the mountain may do. Already they have learned that the gases have given an indication that magma  is being pushed up inside the mountain, which is typical in such circumstances.
Strong winds drove the plume nearly horizontal in the direction of the Río Toro Amarillo and the community of San Gerardo north of the nearby Volcán Irazú, the observatory said.

Nevertheless, residents in the area between La Picada and El Bajo de las Peña said that fine particulars were falling there in the morning. Volcano experts took samples to compare with the ash produced by the volcano when it first showed strong activity Jan. 5 and 6.

The observatory reported on its web site that there was no evidence that the volcano had been deformed by the activity.

Deformation is one sign of a coming eruption of magma.


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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 15

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Mrs. Clinton condemns
foreign Internet censorship


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a policy speech Thursday, said the United States supports an uncensored global Internet to which all people have an assured "freedom to connect."  She warned that Internet freedom is threatened by governments trying to build electronic barriers to the World Wide Web.

In San José, the U.S. Embassy invited selected local newspeople and human rights advocates to hear Mrs. Clinton's speech and then discuss it.

Mrs. Clinton used the speech at Washington's Newseum, which houses a portion of the former Berlin Wall, to warn of efforts by some governments around the world to erect "virtual walls" to bar access by their people to portions of the Internet.

"They've expunged words, names and phrases from search engine results," she said. "They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech."

"These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right 'to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.'  With the spread of these restrictive practices, a new Information Curtain is descending across much of the world," she added.

Clinton's remarks came amid a controversy over charges by the U.S.-based Internet search engine company Google that the Beijing government has censored its Chinese site and targeted Google e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

While saying Internet sites available in China must conform to local laws, China has denied launching cyber attacks on Google and other sites.

Mrs. Clinton listed China, along with Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, North Korea and Vietnam, among others, as countries where the flow of information on the Internet has been impeded.

She said the United States looks to China to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of the cyber intrusions that have led Google to threaten to cease operations there.

"The Internet has already been a source of tremendous progress in China," said Mrs. Clinton. "And it is fabulous that so many people there are now online.  But countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century.  The United States and China have different views on this issue.  And we intend to address those differences candidly and consistently."

Mrs. Clinton said that as dictatorships of the past tried to block dissident activity like underground publishing,  governments today are targeting independent thinkers using Internet tools. She said cell phone pictures of the murder of a young woman protesting Iran's disputed presidential election last June provided what she called a digital indictment of the Tehran government's brutality.

"We've seen reports that when Iranians living overseas posted online criticism of their nation's leaders, their family members in Iran were singled out for retribution," said the secretary of State.  "And despite an intense campaign of government intimidation, brave citizen journalists in Iran continue using technology to show the world and their fellow citizens what is happening inside their country."
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A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 15


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Naked and with drug stash
not enough to warrant jail


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A judge seems to have taken pity on a Romanian found running around nude in Belén even when his apartment contained 13 kilos of cocaine. So she let him go Wednesday with no restrictions.

A prosecutor had sought three months of preventative detention, which usually is the case in situations involving foreigners who can flee the country easily.
 
Prosecutors said they would appeal the decision. The judge's action brought a strained response from the minister of security, Janina del Vecchio, who said four of her Fuerza Públic officers were injured and a patrol car was destroyed in relation to the incident.

Officers found the man, identified by the last name of Ioan, walking naked down a street in San Joaquin de Flores early Wednesday. The man was not fully in control of his faculties, officers said at the time. He volunteered that there was a stash of cocaine in his apartment and allowed police to enter, officers said.

The case got more complex when the man told officers that he had been riding in a vehicle with even more drugs. At that point, a vehicle matching the description pulled up and then drove off. Police in a patrol car gave chase. These were the men who were injured when their vehicle overturned.

Meanwhile, the Romanian was brought into custody, questioned and then became the object of the request that he be jailed for three months. A judge has less restrictive options. For example, the man can be barred from leaving the country and forced to sign in with prosecutors every 15 days.

But the judge in this case inexplicably declined to levy any restrictions.


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