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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 19                          Email us
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President Chinchilla
Casa Presidencial photo
President Chinchilla is escorted past an honor guard at José Marti airport.
 Cuban dissidents rounded up as heads of state arrive
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A smiling President Laura Chinchilla arrived in Havana, Cuba, Monday night as the Castro regime continued picking up dissidents so there would be no protests. She was met with a guard of honor.

President Chinchilla will attend a two-day summit of Latin American and Caribbean heads of state, starting today. Cuban sources say that human rights activists were being detained starting Thursday. Amnesty International said the Cuban government is involved in an outrageous attack on freedom.

Amnesty said that the Cuban effort appears to be designed to keep activists from attending meetings with the visitors.

Ms. Chinchilla becomes the first Costa Rican head of state to visit the Communist island since Costa Rica broke diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro in 1961. The country renewed diplomatic relations in 2009.

The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation and the Unión Patriótica de Cuba, both activist organizations, have been complaining about arbitrary arrests and home detentions that they said they believe are designed to intimidate those seeking a more democratic government.

"It is a vain attempt to silence those who would denounce the systematic violation of rights of opinion, meeting and demonstrations in Cuba, " said Amnesty. "The government is able to prevent the dissidents from approaching the conference but their voices will enter it."

Because of the arrests and intimidations, some
private gatherings with the foreign leaders have been canceled, said Amnesty.

José Daniel Ferrer García, president of the Unión Patriótica de Cuba, said he was detained and ordered into a police car Friday and driven around in various vehicles until he was released Sunday, Amnesty said. Ferrer said he had police watching his house so he could not travel to the center of the capital, according to amnesty.

President Chinchilla arrived about 7 p.m. Havana time after witnessing the inauguration of  Juan Orlando Hernández as the new president of Honduras earlier in the day.

The summit is of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which prides itself as being the region's first to not discriminate against governments or parties, allowing all major political voices to be heard.

The summit meeting also marks Costa Rica's ascension to the temporary presidency of the organization for a calendar year.

“CELAC has allowed the conflict between our countries to go substantially down by consenting to harmonize political dialogue without giving into the models that each nation defends and applies to their respective countries,” Ms. Chinchilla said of the 4-year-old organization using its Spanish acronym.

Heads of state will discuss topics like combating hunger and poverty throughout the region. Also on the docket for discussion will be local agriculture, education, technological innovation, industrial development, regional integration, and the global drug problem, among others.


Public employee reps stalk out of salary negotiations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Negotiators for public employees, faced with a new salary formula from the government asked for a recess and then walked out, the minister of Trabajo said Monday.

The union negotiators want a 3.65 percent increase, about what the private sector's minimum salaries were increased Jan. 1.

The minister, Olman Segura Bonilla, said that the government has to consider the budget deficit and the difficult financial situation of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
Segura also was critical of the attitude of the employee negotiators when they left the room. He said they were shouting and immediately called reporters to say they were ending the negotiation.

The public employee unions are prone to marches and strikes. They also are the first place the government looks to save money. The annual budget deficit is between 42 and 51 percent of the expenses anticipated by the central government, and public officials are under heavy pressure to save money.

Segura said that one goal of negotiations was to increase the salaries of those who are earning the least.


Expat advocate calls for residency-based taxation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

American Citizens Abroad, an expat advocate group, said it has submitted a detailed proposal concerning taxation of Americans abroad to the Senate Finance Committee on International Tax Reform.

The major proposal is for residency-based taxation. That is, U.S. citizens abroad would not be taxed at all on their foreign income.
The organization also called for a streamlined, comprehensive and non-punitive compliance program for those Americans already residents overseas who have not been reporting compliance under present citizenship-based tax rules.

Residency-based taxation is the reason the U.S. government is seeking information about its citizens from foreign financial institutions. This has caused problems for U.S. expats.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 19

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Intensa

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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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over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
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Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
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Architects

Organe
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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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Quickbooks consulting

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                                                    Rothschild
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QuickBooks Consultant
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Fine art restoration and conservation


Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
Carmichael
For more information please contact Claudia Villegas at 8996-5581 or email HERE!
 
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Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo

COLINAS DEL SOL

Jim Day, retirement specialist Representing Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A
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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8073-2/26/14

CR Beach

Happy New Year ~ Feliz año nuevo
Check out our  2 new videos:
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOxzPSSttGM
 

2. Best beachfront deal in Costa Rica?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IrgdutFPvs
 
CR Beach Investment Real Estate reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
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Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica
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Translators

Jorge Desanti
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Instant Interpreter/Translator
for Expats.

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Translations and legal Services
Ms. Monge
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Simultaneous translator
Interpreter in court.

Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
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8193-1/16/14


Legal services

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
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*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
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Phone:  7112-1527 or
7157-9092
  Office phone: (506) 2232-1014
7920-10/11/13


Accountants

U.S. Tax International
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Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
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  U.S 786-206-9473
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8000-9/5/13

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• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13

sculptor
Hidden Garden Gallery photo       
Michael Baker, welding mask in hand, displays one of his
works.


U.S. sculptor has inaugural show
Saturday at gallery in Liberia

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A successful sculptor from the United States, Michael Baker is now living and working in Costa Rica. He is celebrating the New Year with sculptures being placed on site at Four Seasons Costa Rica and with an inaugural solo exhibit opening at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery Saturday.

The show is titled "Spacial Constructions."

Baker's sculptures add vibrant colors to his designs that revolve around his interest in architecture and the use of geometric shapes and forms in these new works, said the gallery.

"The three-dimensional aspect that is created in sculpture is what fascinates me," said Baker in a summary prepared by the gallery. " I have always strived to maintain a minimal view of sculpture, yet at the same time produce work which encompasses balance, scale, proportion and the importance of both positive and negative spaces."

Over the past 20 years, Baker's sculptures have been placed in numerous private, corporate and public collections throughout the United States. He is an Ohio native.

"Multi-dimensional sculpture has so many different mediums and compositions.  It evokes numerous sensations, based on its size, color, composition, weight, angles and curves, material, subject matter, and use of space," says gallery owner Greg Golojuch.  "Baker's works offer a new area of contemporary sculpture for our visitors and clients. While the predominant number of the 60 artists within our gallery are Costa Rican, we also show works by several expat artists who have permanently moved to Costa Rica, and Baker is a great addition to this group."

The Saturday opening is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the gallery, which is 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber Airport. More information is available at 2667-0592, 8386-6872, or by email to hiddengarden@thevanstonegroup.com


Isabel Allende's masterpiece
coming to Teatro Espressivo


By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Teatro Espressivo is bringing one of the most famous Latin American novels to life. La Casa de los Espíritus or “The House of the Spirits,” is making it's way to the Curridabat theater following decorated stints in New York, Denver, and Santiago, Chile.

Often called the feminist version of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” this fiction written by Isabel Allende in 1982 employs the technique of magical realism to generate important historical allusions. And just as Gabriel García Marquez's story addresses Colombia's identity through powerful symbols, Ms. Allende's masterpiece hints at the political instability of Chile.

Her initial manuscript for the eventual National Book Award-winner came from a letter she sent to her dying grandfather. Following the Trueba family through a tumultuous 50-year period, “The House of the spirits” focuses primarily on the protagonists Esteban and Alba, the grandfather and granddaughter pair.

The adaption was written by Caridad Svich and put into the hands of Puerto Rican director José Zayas, who had the difficult duty of making such a long and complicated novel within the limited space of a stage.

“It is an enormous novel of 500 pages with such characters and ages that it was impossible to replicate what Isabel Allende had done in the pages,” he said in a release. “What interested us was to describe the love that Isabel and I had towards the novel, its ideas, and most importantly is the game of time.”

While it toured the United States, “The House of the Spirits” received great praise from critics and won the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Francesca Primus Prize, among numerous others. Stemming from the expert handling of Svich and Zayas, the story has fluidly translated in remaining true to the original and intended themes.

“The play begins with the beating of Alba at the hands of her grandfather, who represents the country of Chile,” Zayas said. “It's an incredible metaphor that, for me, reflects on all of Latin America.”

Starting with its Feb 6 debut, the play will be shown 40 times over a two month span on Thursdays and Sundays each week. The theater is in the Centro Comercial Momentum Pinares.

Steve Aronson, founder of Cafe Britt and Teatro Espressivo, is responsible for bringing the play to Costa Rica. He is dedicating the play to his late friend Dionisio Echeverría, the actor and director who helped contribute to the theater's work, according to an announcement. Tickets for the play range from 8,000 to 15,000 colons (between $16 to $30) and are available at the play's Web site www.lacasadelosespiritus.cr


High court hears version
from top law officers


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's chief prosecutor and the head of the Judicial Investigating Organization were before the full Corte Suprema de Justicia Monday afternoon to explain the role of their agencies in the Diario Extra case.

Executives of the daily newspaper said that one of their reporters had his telephone tapped because investigators were trying to find out who leaked information to the press.  The newspaper also said that a photographer and a reporter were beaten by agents on another occasion.
    
Both Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the fiscal general or chief prosecutor, and Francisco Segura Montero, director general of the judicial investigators, maintained that the wire tapping was part of another investigation and not directed at the reporter.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 19
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The stone balls are everywhere, although archaeologists hope to repatriate most to the southern zone and Finca 6. These are on the lawn of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. Experts say they think that these stones were made locally from rock brought down by the Río Térraba and that the craftsmen or women who made the spheres are the ancestors of the men and women living in the area today.

spheres
A.M. Costa Rica file photo

Nation's wealth includes being rich in the number of museums
By Michael Krumholtz
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Though they often get overlooked in favor of beach-side comfort and rainforest exploration, San José's museums offer engaging and comprehensive insights into the country's deep well of culture and history.

The Museo de Jade's new home is under construction in what will become a row of four major musuems.

All four will be in walking distance of each other. The Museo Nacional, the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, and the Museos de Banco Central can all be viewed on the same, culture-drenched afternoon. Another worth visiting – especially because of its free entry – is the Museo de Arte Costarricense in front of the expansive La Sabana park.

Museo Nacional

Behind the first door of the Museo Nacional visitors are led into a large garden where hundreds of butterflies soar overhead. As they travel up a new two-story ramp and into the courtyard – which boasts some of Costa Rica's iconic stone  spheres – they are given a choice of exhibits, ranging from pre-Columbian history to old barracks and holding cells. In addition, the museum offers a revolving temporary exhibit, which is currently occupied by the “Let's live democracy” theme until June 1.

The museum is in the old military barracks, and the turrets are pockmarked by bullets from the 1948 revolution. When José María Figueres Ferrer abolished the military, he turned the citadel into cultural uses.

Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo

Only a block away, the museum of art and contemporary design attracts visitors to its home in the old national liquor factory. Featuring numerous short films and audiovisual sights, this modern museum shows off the talents of rising artists from Latin America and the Caribbean. There are five different rooms, as well as the outdoor Molasses Hall, that show off a different style of art through beautiful sculptures and unique presentations.

Museos de Banco Central

The Museos de Banco Central in the city's center offers people a lesson on the history of Costa Rican currency, including gold from pre-Colombian ages. Presenting the evolution of money from the 1500s to today, it provides an interesting yet simplistic context to today's global market. Also featured are rows of ceramic African tripods and a look into the lives of the country's primitive ancestors with the “Costa Rica: Past and Present” exhibit.

The name of the facility is plural because it really is four separate museums in a multi-level structure under the city's Plaza de la Cultura.

Museo de Arte Costarricense

From wooden sculptures of the female body made in the 1930s to socially challenging depictions during the economic crisis in the 1980s, the museum of Costa Rican art provides a key to the country's vast artistic history. Upstairs, past the winding staircase and open-aired hallway, is the Golden Room which contains on its walls an intricate mural made from bronze stucco that depicts the development of Costa Rica in clockwise chronology. The building that used to be the former La Sabana international airport terminal is a must-see, as visitors can also go nearby to tour La Sabana park and the new Estadio Nacional.

Museo Calderón Guardia

The Museo Calderón Guardia is currently closed until February due to remodeling. It is the former home of Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, the influential Costa Rican president who began important initiatives to help the poor in the World War II era.

Museo Finca 6

The stone spheres are everywhere in the Central Valley. They are on the lawns of upscale homes and even on the lawn of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. The Museo Nacional has a respectable exhibit of them, and there is one encased in a protective struture at the entry.

But the real mother lode of spheres is at a new museum spun off by the Museo Nacional.  This is the famous Finca 6 near Palmar Sur where Costa Rica still awaits the expected designation of the spheres as part of the world's cultural heritage by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Development officials hope that the new museum will give a boost to the economy of the south Pacific coast.

The museum is worth the trip. The outdoor part of the museum features the only two alignments of spheres in their original
new museum
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
This is the museum structure at Finca 6, but much of the history is outside.
golden statue
Museo Ncional photo
The famous gold man of the Museo Nacional models some of the ornaments that have been found in Costa Rica and presumably were worn by the important pre-Columbian personages.

Jade museum
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Curators already are designing the interior of the new Museo de Jade.

location. There are two rows of three partly buried.

Who actually did that is not known for sure. And archeologist are not really sure what the spheres symbolized. Of course they also have been the subject of some bizarre guesswork by popular authors.

Ecomuseo de la Cerámica Chorotega

For those who seek more sense of pre-Columbian culture, there are the pottery operations in Guanacaste that date back before the Mayan empires. These are the communities of Guaitil de Santa Cruz, San Vicente and las Pozas de Nicoya where about 800 families depend directly or indirectly on the production of pre-Columbian-style pottery.

The Museo Nacional says that the residents of the San Vicente area have been making ceramics for the last 4,000 years. That may be conservative. The history of the region can be found in the Ecomuseo de la Cerámica Chorotega de San Vicente de Nicoya. This is one of the more than 20 regional and specialized museums in Costa Rica.

Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría

Also outside San José is the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría which is north of the Parque Central de Alajuela. As the name implies, the museum is heavy with the exploits of the national hero and the Campaña Nacional of 1856 and 1857 when Costa Rica defeated the U.S.filibusters and William Walker who sought to be king of Central America.

A display that is on exhibit until Feb. 27 are some 18 works from a collection that depicts historic heroes, democracy and nature.

Museo de Jade

Most of the public museums in Costa Rica are dependencies of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. Not so the Museo de Jade that ended up under the wing of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the state insurance agency. The holdings have been moved around from a floor within the institute skyscraper to a niche on the first floor. The new museum that faces the Museo Nacional is an effort to put all the holdings on display, and there are many. It will be finished this year. In the meantime, the older facility is closed.

Museo de los Niños

For the children there is a special place in north San José, which is called informally the castle of dreams. The entire museum is geared to children with a lot of hands on experiences. The locale is the old prison, so there are turrets and plenty of stone walls to be a real castle.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 19
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Review of common cold fixes suggests washing hands and zinc as prevention
By the Canadian Medical Association Journal news staff

How do you prevent and treat the common cold? Hand washing and zinc may be best for prevention whereas acetaminophen, ibuprofen and perhaps antihistamine–decongestant combinations are the recommended treatments, according to a review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The common cold is well, common, affecting adults approximately two to three times a year and children under age 2 approximately six times a year. Symptoms such as sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, cough and malaise are usually worse in days one to three and can last seven to 10 days, sometimes as long as three weeks.

"Although self-limiting, the common cold is highly prevalent and may be debilitating. It causes declines in function and productivity at work and may affect other activities such as driving," writes Michael Allan of the Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, and Bruce Arroll of the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Colds are also costly. It is estimated that direct medical costs in the United States, including physician visits, secondary infections and medications for colds, were estimated at $17 billion a year in 1997. Indirect costs from missed work for illness or to look after a sick child were an estimated $25 billion per year.

Most colds are caused by viruses, with only about 5 percent of clinically diagnosed colds having a bacterial infection, yet antibiotics are sometimes used inappropriately for viral infections.

The review, aimed at physicians and patients, looked at available evidence for both traditional and nontraditional approaches for preventing and alleviating colds.

What works?

    * Clean hands: a review of 67 randomized controlled trials indicated that hand washing, a traditional public health approach, as well as alcohol disinfectants and gloves, is likely effective.

    * Zinc may work for children and possibly adults.  At least two randomized trials indicated that children who took 10 or 15 mg of zinc sulfate daily had lower rates of colds and fewer absences from school due to colds. The authors suggest that zinc may also work for adults.

    * Probiotics: there is some evidence that probiotics, micro-organisms that are consumed, may help prevent colds, although the types and combinations of organisms varied in the studies as did the formulations making comparison difficult.

The recommended treatment:

    * Antihistamines combined with decongestants and/or pain medications appear to be somewhat or moderately effective in treating colds in older children — but not in children under age 5 — and adults.

    * Pain relievers: ibuprofen and acetaminophen help with pain and fever. Ibuprofen appears better for fever in children.

* Nasal sprays: ipratropium, a drug used to treat allergies and chronic
sneeze
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Ahhhchoooo

obstructive pulmonary disorder, may alleviate runny nose when used in a nasal spray but has no effect on congestion.

Other approaches and treatments:

According to the evidence, the benefits of frequently used remedies such as ginseng, (found in ColdFX), gargling, vapour rubs and homeopathy are unclear. Cough medicines show no benefit in children but may offer slight benefit in adults. Honey has a slight effect in relieving cough symptoms in children over age 1. Vitamin C and antibiotics show no benefit, and misused antibiotics can have associated harms.

The authors note that the evidence for preventing and treating colds is often of poor quality and has inconsistent results.

"Much more evidence now exists in this area, but many uncertainties remain regarding interventions to prevent and treat the common cold," write the authors. "


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!
8226-2/3/14

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Experience You Can Trust
TravelerFriendlyInsurance.com is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today:
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Our policies are accepted at Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA.   Visit our web page for more info: http://travelerfriendlyinsurance.com/
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Anywhere
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
Exotic gardens next to one
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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Real estate rentals
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

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ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14

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.
8220-4/10/14

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at  night with
coffee retreat
 the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact jogya345@yahoo.com
8214-2/11/14

Belen
                                                home
Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details: rafa@rafacr.com.
8198-2/9/14

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8203-1/23/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8161-1/11/13

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. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 19
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Cafetales



Obama will speak tonight,
but no laundry list expected

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union Address tonight will be closely watched in the U.S. and around the world.  He is expected to renew his call for a year of action on the U.S. economy and to help the middle class.  But ongoing political polarization in Washington will pose ongoing challenges to his agenda.

Last year, Obama urged U.S. lawmakers to put nation before party.

"The idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, who you love  -- it's our unfinished task," Obama said.

The U.S. Constitution requires that "the President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union..."

At a White House event with students earlier this month, the president previewed the theme of this year's address.

"I will mobilize the country around the national mission of making sure our economy offers every American who works hard a fair shot at success," Obama promised.

A majority of Americans share concerns about inequality.  But Obama remains a politically polarizing figure, with approval ratings the lowest of his presidency.

Congressional Republicans who forced a government shutdown last year to protest his health care law still pose substantial resistance.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan budget deal averted another shutdown. 

But analyst Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution agrees Obama's second term may be one of limited expectations.

"For the most part I think the president understands that he is not going to get much out of the Congress unless a miracle happened in the midterm election and Democrats regain control of the House and increase the size of their majority in the Senate. That is highly unlikely," Mann said.

In 2014, immigration reform stands the best chance of making progress.  Obama's effort to strengthen gun control laws and raise the minimum wage remain blocked.

Mann says the president should not deliver a long list of goals but instead focus on rebutting Republican criticisms on health care and the economy.

"This is not the time for the laundry list.  This is time to think strategically about the limits of State of the Union speeches and about what opportunities he might have," Mann said.

Obama is expected to highlight the end of the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan.  Also, diplomatic efforts to end bloodshed in Syria, and the removal of chemical weapons without U.S. military action.

James Goldgeier, dean of The American University School of International Service, says the president is certain to highlight another achievement, the interim nuclear deal with Iran.

"He is going to want to talk about the fact that he got it done," noted Goldgeier. "And I think it is also important for him to put on the defense those people who are questioning the diplomacy, those people who think that since sanctions got us to this point, more sanctions would help us do even better."

The White House has mounted a major Internet and social media campaign for the speech, which President Obama suggests will be a bit shorter this year.


New York City and state
put millions in high tech

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York City and the State of New York are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to become a major player in the development of high tech industries. They have developed a concept called incubators - providing fully-equipped, subsidized workspaces for qualified start-up companies.  There are approximately 40 incubator projects across New York State. 

Harlem Biospace is the first city-backed incubator facility for biomedical engineering.  It gives young entrepreneurs a relatively low-cost way to develop their ideas and businesses.  A low monthly fee provides them with desk space and laboratory facilities. They pay for their own raw materials.

“This is great.  The reason is because it is so cheap and it has the wet lab that we need. So, I order chemicals that I need, and I’m given the facilities here to do my experiments," said Tyler Poore.

Poore and his partner are developing a product that will kill bacteria forever.  It can be applied to household items, like a sponge, or to anything that needs to be bacteria-free.   His goal and that of the 17 others at Biospace is to find solutions to biomedical problems.
 
Edwin Vazquez is looking to unlock the mystery of diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.  He says feedback from others in the building makes the work environment at Biospace a real plus.

“There’s nothing better than sitting down in a room like this when there is a lot more people around and got something that is exciting and go to the lunchroom and you start talking to your other colleagues.  All of a sudden, somebody knows a researcher that is doing something similar to you who can complement your research, you get in contact and things happen," said Vasquez.

Leading hospitals and science centers are supporting innovators like Kate Rochlin, founder of a company called Immunovent.  She has developed a new allergy diagnostic which uses a brush applied to the nose or mouth instead of a needle.

“It’s actually as accurate, or even more accurate, than skin or blood testing, and from one single sample from the nose or mouth we can test for a whole panel of 72 allergens," said Ms. Rochlin.

She said she found that the blood test only identified peanut allergies 50 percent of the time, and her technique could find it 99 percent of the time. " So, we are far more accurate with peanut diagnosis. That’s really important because that one in particular is really life-threatening," she said.

Six hundred thousand dollars from the city of New York got this project underway.  According to Biospace Executive Director Matthew Owens, there have been real signs of success since last November’s start.  

“We do have companies that are already shipping, getting revenue and getting products out to customers.   So, I think it’s a testament that it’s absolutely a success," said Owens.

The primary goal of an incubator is to develop a business that can operate independently and become financially viable. The Harlem Biospace incubator with its cutting edge research is offering that opportunity.     


Controversial firearms study
looks at wounded children


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Every day in the United States, about 20 children are injured by firearms and require hospitalization, according to new research.

The research said that in 2009, there were 7,391 hospitalizations of victims under the age of 20 and that six percent of those admitted die as a result of their injuries.

“This study is a stark reminder of the devastating effects of gun violence,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and author of the book "Gunfight."

“Too often, we focus only on the number of people who die from gun violence. But so many who escape death also suffer lifelong injuries,” he said.

The study says assaults accounted for the majority of hospitalizations, while the fewest were suicide attempts. Suicide attempts were the most likely to result in death.

The most common types of firearm injuries were open wounds (52 percent); fractures (50 percent); and internal injuries of the thorax, abdomen or pelvis (34 percent), according to the study.

Those injured by guns often require further treatment once they’re out of the hospital, the study said. This could include rehabilitation, home health care, hospital readmission from delayed effects of the injury, and mental health or social services.

"These data highlight the toll of gun-related injuries that extends beyond high-profile cases, and those children and adolescents who die before being hospitalized," said John Leventhal of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, in a statement. Leventhal co-authored the study.

Gun rights advocates had some questions about the study.

“Their definition of children is quite expansive, said John Pierce, founder of Opencarry.org, a gun advocacy group promoting the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns.

Pierce noted he had not read the entire study, but said that study’s use of victims under 20 is misleading.

“I suspect that the reason the study includes adults up to age 20 is because they are able to sweep in the large number of gang-on-gang and drug-trade related assaults that occur in the 14 to 20 age bracket,” he said. “By sweeping these gang and drug related assaults into the number it makes the gravity of firearms injuries to children seem to be a far bigger problem than it really is.”

Pierce said gun rights groups continue to “spread the message of safety every gun owner should embrace.”

“Anti-gun activists will do anything to twist statistics in their attempts to demonize the mere possession of guns by law-abiding citizens,” he said.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “the safest home for a child is a home without guns, and if there is a gun in the home, it must be stored unloaded and locked, with the ammunition locked separately.”

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.


Chinese scientists struggling
with balky rover on the moon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China's first lunar robotic vehicle showed signs of a mechanical control abnormality over the weekend, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, and scientists are now trying to organize repairs.

The rover, Jade Rabbit, reached the moon last month, the first soft landing on the lunar surface since 1976.

According to the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, the malfunction was due to the complicated lunar surface environment. The administration gave no other details.

Jade Rabbit and its lander draw power from onboard solar cells that charge their batteries. During the frigid lunar night, which lasts about 14 Earth days, there is no sunlight to provide power, so both parts of the probe go into sleep mode.

The abnormality occurred before the rover's second scheduled dormancy Saturday. The lander also went dormant on Friday.

The rover and the lander have carried out several observations and tests. The mission is planned to last three months.


Israeli computers compromised
by tricky email messages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hackers broke into an Israeli defense ministry computer via an email attachment tainted with malicious software that looked like it had been sent by the country's Shin Bet secret security service, an Israeli cyber security firm said on Sunday.
     
Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Seculert, said the hackers earlier this month temporarily took over 15 computers, one of which belonged to Israel's Civil Administration, the body that monitors Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territory.
 
Raff said that Palestinians were suspected to be behind the cyber attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
 
While the latest attack was conducted from a server in the United States, experts noticed writing and composition similarities with the earlier attack, he said.
 
Israeli officials declined to comment on Raff's findings. “We are not commenting on it, we don't respond to such reports,” said one of the officials, Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Civil Administration.
 
There was no immediate Palestinian comment on the report.
 
Securlet had not determined what the hackers did after the initial infection with Xtreme RAT software, Raff said. “All we know is at least one computer at the Civil Administration was in control of the attackers; what they did we don't know,” he said.
 
The Civil Administration is a unit of Israel's defense ministry that oversees the passage of goods between Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 war and which Palestinians want as part of a separate state.
 
The administration also issues entry permits to Palestinians who work in Israel.
 
Raff declined to identify the other 14 computers targeted by the hackers. An Israeli source who spoke on condition of anonymity said these included companies involved in supplying Israeli defense infrastructure.
 
Based on Raff's analysis, the 15 computers were in the hackers' grip for at least several days after the Jan. 15 dispatch of the email, which included an attachment about ex-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who had just died.
 
Hacking activity has surged in the Middle East over the past three years as both governments and activist groups have targeted the military, other state agencies, critical infrastructure, businesses as well as dissidents and criminal groups in order to gain information about their operations and also disrupt them.
 
The email that burrowed into the Israeli defense ministry computer looked like it had been sent from the Shin Bet security service, Raff said.
 
Raff's firm was able to sinkhole the operation, tricking the Xtreme RAT software into communicating with servers that Seculert controlled in order to figure out which computers were infected and to deactivate the attack.
 
Xtreme RAT is a remote access trojan, which gives hackers complete control of an infected machine. They can steal information, load additional malicious software onto the network or use the compromised computer as a beachhead from which to conduct reconnaissance and attempt to gain deeper access into the network, Raff said.
 
Word of the cyber attack came a day before a three-day Israeli cybertech conference being held in Jerusalem, and almost immediately after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plugged Israeli technological advances at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
     
Raff denied there was any irony in the timing of his warning so soon after Netanyahu's remarks. “Unfortunately there is no such thing as 100 percent safety either when it comes to physical risks or information security,” he said.


Bitcoin figures are charged
in alleged laundering claim

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two men who operate bitcoin exchange businesses have been charged with money laundering for helping drug merchants exchange $1 million in cash for bitcoins, the digital currency, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.
 
Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges against Charlie Shrem and Robert Faiella, both operators of bitcoin exchange businesses, for attempting to sell $1 million in the digital currency to users of the underground black market Web site Silk Road, which was shut down by authorities in September.
 
According to the charging document, Shrem, 24, chief executive officer of the exchange BitInstant.com, changed cash into bitcoins for Faiella, 52, who ran an underground bitcoin exchange through the username BTCKing on Silk Road's Web site. The criminal complaint says that Shrem, in addition to knowing that Faiella's business was funneling money into Silk Road, also used Silk Road himself to buy drugs.
 
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan said in a statement that authorities arrested Shrem Sunday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Faiella was arrested Monday at his home in Cape Coral, Florida.
 
The tech investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss invested $1.5 million in BitInstant last year. A spokeswoman for their firm, Winklevoss Capital, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
The case against Shrem is likely to deal a blow to the burgeoning community of bitcoin businesses because Shrem is a high-profile advocate for the technology. In addition to running BitInstant, he is vice president of the main bitcoin-focused trade group, the Bitcoin Foundation, according to the foundation's Web site and Shrem's LinkedIn profile.
 
A spokeswoman for the foundation declined to immediately comment on Shrem's arrest.
 
Shrem and Faiella were charged with conspiring to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. A spokeswoman for Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney  for Manhattan, said there was no information about legal representation available for either of the two men, who are expected to appear in court in New York and Florida. respectively.
 
Shrem has a home address in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
 
According to the charges, Faiella, going by BTCKing online, sold bitcoins to Silk Road users and passed on purchase orders he received from the site to Shrem, who filled them, transferring funds to Faiella's account at another bitcoin exchange service based in Japan.
 
The Japan-based exchange business is not named. One of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world, MtGox, is based in Japan.
 
The charging document says that Shrem, who also ran BitInstant's compliance program for a little under two years, failed to report suspicious activity to regulators with respect to numerous Bitcoin purchases Faiella made from BitInstant.
 
Shrem's lawyer, Keith Miller at Perkins Coie in New York, was not immediately available for comment.
 
Bitcoin is a digital currency whose value fluctuates according to demand by users. It is currently trading on MtGox at a level of $985 per unit. Users can transfer bitcoins to each other over the internet and store the currency in digital “wallets.”


Record California drought
to hurt food prices worldwide

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Southern California, where many fruits and vegetables for the country are grown, is experiencing a record-breaking drought, which could impact world food prices in 2014.

Andy Domenigoni is a fourth generation grower in Riverside, California. He says there are good years and bad years, and this year things are not looking good. 

“I have some fields that we planted almost a month ago that are still not out of the ground,” Domenigoni said.

He says normally it takes five to seven days for the wheat to sprout, but not this year. He points to a brown field behind him.

“This field was planted two weeks ago and it is just bone dry. The seed is not in any moisture," he said. "It can’t sprout. We got to wait for the rain.”

Domenigoni is not the only one waiting for rain. The western United States has been in a drought that has been building for more than a decade, according to climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“Ranchers in the West are selling off their livestock," Patzert said. "Farmers all over the Southwest, from Texas to Oregon, are fallowing in their fields because of a lack of water. For farmers and ranchers, this is a painful drought.”

It may be painful for those who depend on rain, but Patzert says drought is actually the norm in the history of the American West, with some dry periods that have lasted up to 50 years. In Southern California, this drought is turning into one of the worst in recorded history.

“Historically, in 135 years of record-keeping, this has been the driest," Patzert said. "Since July 1, we’ve had less than an inch of rain. In January, which is historically our wettest month, we’ve had zero rainfall. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A drought such as the one in California has a greater impact now than it did 50 years ago because of the growth in population and economic development. The state is the biggest food producer in the United States in terms of dollars of produce sold.

“The short-term impact is going to be higher food prices," said Milt McGiffen, a field crop expert at the University of California. "The longer-term impact is going to be you’re just not going to have as much production in the country. It’s part of an overall trend in the next 50 years.”

He says as the population increases, the amount for water per person is decreasing.

“Either you’ll find a technological way around it or enough people will die, and the population will crash and it’ll take care of it," McGiffen said. "So, in cold hard terms, that’s exactly what you’re looking at.”

And what happens in California does not just affect the United States.

”Here in California, we’re the breadbasket of the United States, but also we export tremendous volumes of fruits, vegetables and even cattle overseas," Patzert said. "And so when these terrible droughts hit and production drops, this echoes around the globe.”

According to the United Nations, global food prices for 2013 were among the highest on record. Food experts in California won't know how much the drought in the western U.S. will affect the price of food in 2014 until later this year. As for farmers, experts agree there is no quick fix for their need for water.

 
Survey of business firms finds
executives more optimistic


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American companies are feeling more optimistic.  A new survey by the National Association For Business Economics says a majority of companies surveyed expect stronger sales and higher profit margins as U.S. economic growth accelerates in 2014.  But, some challenges could put the brakes on the U.S. recovery.

After a slow start, a late pick-up in sales in the final months of 2013 appears to have bolstered business confidence. The National Association for Business Economics says of 64 members who took part in its January survey about 70 percent predict the U.S. economy will grow between 2.5 to 3 percent this year. 

The association's Ken Simonson says the low point came during the 16-day government shutdown last October. 
 
“That certainly depressed investments in 2013.  Now, however, companies look as if they’re going to invest more heavily in equipment in 2014, at least according to this survey," said Simonson.

More than a third reported higher profit margins and nearly half expect to raise prices.  Still, only 37 percent say they plan to hire more workers in the next six months.  And those who are hiring say a lack of skilled workers could hamper job growth.

“Well, consistently, about a quarter of the firms have been saying finding skilled labor has been a difficult problem," said Simonson.

It’s an especially acute problem for petrochemical firms which recently announced more than 130 investment projects this year valued at nearly $100 billion.

“You can’t get 135 projects done in a short time frame with the labor pool that we have in this country.  We’re going to need to import some workers to do that and if we can’t, costs are going to escalate, there will be delays, there will be cancellations," said Simonson.

Despite recent market volatility, most of the firms surveyed say they expect little or no impact from the Federal Reserve’s decision to scale back monetary policy. 

And only 20 percent anticipated a negative impact from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, better known as "Obamacare."


Secret court gives tech firms
right to disclose some info


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. technology companies may give the public and their customers more detail about the court orders they receive related to surveillance under an agreement they reached Monday with the Obama administration.
 
Companies such as Google, Inc., and Microsoft Corp. have been prohibited from disclosing even an approximate number of orders they received from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They could give only an aggregate number of U.S. demands that combined surveillance court orders, letters from the FBI, subpoenas in run-of-the-mill criminal cases and other requests.
 
The deal frees the companies to say, for example, approximately how many orders they received in a six-month period from the surveillance court.
 
Apple, Inc., quickly seized on the agreement to disclose that it had received fewer than 250 demands related to national security during the first six months of 2013, a number the company previously was barred from giving and that it said was infinitesimal relative to the hundreds of millions of accounts registered with Apple.
 
Tech companies have sought to clarify their relationships with U.S. law enforcement and spying agencies since June, when leaks to the news media by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began to show the depth of U.S. spying capabilities.
 
President Barack Obama's administration, however, was wary of disclosing data it believed might help suspected militants in other countries avoid surveillance.
 
The dispute wound up in front of the surveillance court, a secret court in Washington, D.C., that oversees national security investigations. Five companies asked the court to grant them the authority to disclose data about the court orders they receive.
 
The agreement, which was filed Monday with the surveillance court, brings an end to the litigation.
 
The five companies said in a joint statement: “We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive. We're pleased the Department of Justice has agreed that we and other providers can disclose this information.”
 
The companies were Facebook Inc., Google, LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc. Apple filed a brief supporting the five companies.
 
The agreement applies to all companies and gives them options on how to present information.
 





Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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
8179-3/11/14

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8206-5/18/14

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8142-2/11/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
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:
8230-3/13/14

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8223-2/21/14

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!
8218-2/17/14

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high \[speed internet.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

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!  Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
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



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. 
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. $175,000.
QQuietly 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. 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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact galanses@hotmail.com for an appointment. For a preview www.facebook.com/FantasiaTropicalCR
8232-2/24/14

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com.
8213-2/13/14

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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Dominican Republic

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 19
Sports
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News from the BBC up to the minute
















BBC news feeds are diabled on archived pages.




















Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
New Honduran president
critical of U.S. drug policy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Honduras' new president, Juan Hernández, took office on Monday, calling U.S. drug policy a double standard and urging U.S. President Barack Obama to recognize the joint effort required to end the region's drug scourge.

Hernández, of the ruling Partido Nacional, won against the wife of ousted former leftist leader Manuel Zelaya in November's disputed presidential election on a pledge to use the military to clean up the blood-soaked country.

Decades of gang warfare, weak institutions and endemic corruption have provided fertile ground for cartels to expand their operations in Honduras, using the country as a pit-stop for United States-bound cocaine.

But in his comments, delivered after being sworn in as president, Hernández said the United States had not kept up its side of the bargain in the war on drugs, noting that Central America was suffering as a result of U.S. drug consumption.

"It strikes us as a double standard that while our people die and bleed, and we're forced to fight the gangs with our own scarce resources, in North America drugs are just a public health issue," Hernández said. "For Honduras and the rest of our Central American brothers it's a case of life and death."

"We ask the government of Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to recognize this shared responsibility ... and that we truly work together to solve this problem, which is also their problem," Hernández added.

His candid comments were striking given Honduras' strong ties with the United States, and appeared to tap into a growing vein of discontent across the region at the U.S.-led 40-year war on drugs.

Frustrated by ceaseless bloodshed and a perception that the United States has not done enough to curb its own drug consumption, many leaders in the region, such as Guatemalan President Otto Pérez, are now speaking openly about the possibility of legalizing drugs.

According to the United Nations, in 2012 Honduras, the United States' top ally in Central America, had a murder rate of 85.5 per 100,000 people, the world's highest. The sight of dismembered bodies and corpses hanging from bridges is increasingly common across the country.

Hernández, a graduate of Honduras' army academy, has vowed a no-nonsense response to the drug scourge - a worry for those who fear rights abuses. He advocates using a newly formed militarized police force alongside the army to combat the gangs and plans to extradite criminals to the United States.

A law passed earlier this month gives Honduras the power to shoot down planes believed to be carrying drugs. Nearly 90 percent of the cocaine from South America heading for the United States moves through the country.

"If we can stop the planes carrying drugs passing through our territories, then we will make a big advance in the fight against drug traffickers, who cause so much violence and death in our country," said former security minister Oscar Alvarez, who is part of Hernández' transition team.

But putting a stop to the increasingly violent spiral of drug crime is just one of the challenges facing Hernández, who must also tackle Honduras' shaky economy.  Despite being the region's top coffee producer, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Americas, afflicted by rampant unemployment, a feeble tax take and a yawning fiscal deficit that, at 7.8 percent of gross domestic product, ended 2013 at its highest level in nearly 20 years.

The deficit has already lead to strikes across the country from unpaid public sector workers, while hospitals often go without drugs for routine operations. A lack of money for police investigations exacerbates widespread impunity.

In a recent legislative blitz, lawmakers signed off on a 2014 budget that seeks to nearly halve the deficit to 4.7 percent of gross domestic product by the end of this year, a tax reform that aims to generate up to $800 million a year and a breakup of the loss-making state electricity company. 

During the campaign, Hernández vowed not to devalue the lempira currency, which trades at around 20 to the dollar, despite the fact a devaluation is widely seen as a pre-condition for a new, much-needed International Monetary Fund credit deal.







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From Page 7:

Medical technology firms announce merger

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three medical device manufacturers have merged and changed their name to AdvancedCath. One of the firms is the former AdvancedCath Technologies, which is constructing a  20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Central Valley.

The combination started when TechDevice Holdings acquired Medical Profiles and Engineering in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, in 2011. Then last year it purchased AdvancedCath Technologies located in San Jose, California, which also had operations here.

"They will now come together under a universal brand identity that conveys the core values of this international business across all four of its locations, the firm said in a release.

“The rebranding of our company gives us a stronger and clearer presence in our target markets,” said Randall Sword, AdvancedCath CEO. “It will let customers know exactly what we do, that we are serious about innovation and we have the capabilities to quickly commercialize advanced catheters and guidewires. We work collaboratively with our customers providing design expertise and flexible manufacturing services."

The official debut of the AdvancedCath brand will be at the MD&M West MedTech Trade Show in California Feb, 10, the company said.