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Cocal for Jan. 20
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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Friday, Jan. 31, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 22                          Email us
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Anti aging



Araya leads Solís in first report of Sunday voting
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Sunday at 8:45 p.m.

The first  preliminary release of vote totals by the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones shows, as expected,  Johnny Araya of Partido Liberación Nacional in first place with 36.24 percent of the vote. In second place is Luis Guillermo Solís of the center left Partido Acción Ciudadana. He has 21.08 percent.
José María Villalta of Frente Amplio received 17.37 percent of the votes. Otto Guevara Guth of Movmiento Liberación received 12.4 percent.

The voting will go to a second round between the top two finishers if no one received 40.0 percent. In this election abstentions were more than 30 percent, said the Tribunal. The total represent only only 9 percent of the vote.

Far away New Jersey has meaning here Sunday
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M.  Costa Rica staff

While football fans in the United States brace for what could be a frozen Super Bowl in New Jersey, the pigskin-loving population in Costa Rica looks forward to watching the Broncos and the Seahawks in tropical comfort at some bars. Game parties for Sunday are scheduled at most major sports bars in San José, but only a few are offering food and drink specials.

Bar Poás on Avenida 7 and between Calle 3 and 5 will feature free hot dogs, as well as domestic beer for 800 colons from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Owner Larry Wharton said he has already bought 200 hot dogs, and is likely to buy 100 more in anticipation of a big turnout.

At the nearby Sportsmen's Lodge between Avenidas 9 and 11 on Calle 13, an admission ticket of $55 buys patrons eight hours of endless food and select drinks. As they have in the past, the beautiful, bikini-clad Pilsen Girls will be in attendance along with a mariachi band. Beginning at 2:30 p.m. and ending an hour after the final
Super Bowl logo


whistle, there are deals for six different food menus and alcohol that includes Costa Rican beers and a variety of liquors.

At the Hotel del Rey bartenders will be dressed and painted in team colors to encourage a lively atmosphere. The party there starts tonight and continues all weekend. Other sports bars downtown, like Chubbs, Brewer's, and The Zone Sports Cafe will be televising the game and featuring normal menus and drink options.

But of course, Super Bowl XVLIII is not the only big show in town on Sunday. There are the presidential election and legislative elections. The voting results should be known at least by midnight, just a few hours after the clock hits zero at Metlife Stadium.


This is a country where they take poetry seriously
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Who has not toyed with putting words together because they sound so great?

The mark of a true poet is to put together thoughts that never have been adjacent previously to illuminate truth.

Humans and probably pre-humans have been creating poetry for a million years or more,  in part because a rhyming text is easier to remember.

For the Egyptians and the Greeks, the measured utterances of some oracles came directly from the gods.

Except maybe for Homer, who still has some best sellers, poetry is not highly remunerative. Even a giant like Carl Sandburg probably made more money from his other literary efforts.  Jorge Debravo, one of Costa Rica's famous poets, was a full-time employee of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Today is the Día Nacional de la Poesía, which was created in memory of Debravo, a Turrialba poet whose life was cut short by a drunk driver.

Editorial Costa Rica and the Municipalidad de San José will celebrate the day with at least 24 poets at  Parque Central. The publishing firm has produced the works of many of the country's poets.

Poems will be recited by their authors from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event also is dedicated to Julieta Dobles, the poet who just has been named the winner of the Premio Magón 2013, the nation's top cultural prize. She is scheduled to give a reading.

At 2:30 p.m. the Asociación Costarricense de Escritoras plans another event in the Archivo Nacional. Writers Luissiana Naranjo, Leda García, Clotilde Ortega and Mariamalia Sotela will discuss poetry.
Debravo



Jorge
Debravo

The Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría will host 15 poets at Alajuela's Parque Central from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The poets will create works there, and the event is called  Fábrica de poemas or "Poetry Factory."

In San Ramón the Centro Cultural e Histórico José Figueres Ferrer will host an event titled Con alma de mujer or "With the Soul of a Woman," at 5 p.m.

The sponsor is the Colectivo de Escritoras Ramonenses.

The public libraries in San Joaquín and Desamparados will have the books of Debravo on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and staffers will answer questions about the poet.

The national day for poets began in 1968, the year after Debravo's death. He grew up with little access to schools and was taught by his mother on the family farm in Santa Cruz de Turrialba. When he was just 21 he founded the Círculo de Poetas Turrialbeños and began producing a flood of poetry.

Some works appeared after his death, and many were published by Editorial Costa Rica. He also corresponded with the great Spanish language poets of the era.


Caja will kick off its anti-dengue campaign today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On average, dengue becomes an epidemic in Costa Rica every three years.

Today marks the beginning of another series of battles directed at the disease that has sickened thousands in Costa Rica and other nations in the region. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social will announce initiatives that include increased education to prevent the illness and the destruction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in public places. The mosquito carries the virus.

Compared to other Central American countries,
Costa Rica experienced the worst rate of impact in dengue fever last year. That is why the Ministerio de Salud announced earlier this month that it would invest $600,000 in fighting the disease.

In 2013, there were nearly 15,000 reported cases of dengue. Three people died as a result of the fever. The tropical disease generally affects poorer populations in areas where there is standing water for the mosquitoes to breed. Fifteen of Costa Rica's cantons housed 70 percent of dengue cases. These include Puntarenas and Nicoya which had the highest numbers of infected persons. These cantons are now on high alert as the Ministerio de Salud tries to prevent another epidemic outbreak.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 22

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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.


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Judicial agents say suspect
pretended to be medical doctor


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man facing at least one previous allegation of fraud is now facing a claim that he pretended to be a physician and took 2 million colons or about $4,000 from a woman sick with cancer,

Judicial police raided the mans supposed medical office early Thursday and took him into custody. They are seeking information from anyone else who may have been treated by the man, who was identified by the Poder Judicial by the last name of Campos Fallas.

The man's office contained a document claiming that he was a member of the Colegio de Médicos de Costa Rica, the professional organization for physicians. But judicial police said that the organization denied he was a member.

The search of his office also produced a jacket with the insignias of a traffic policeman, they said.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the woman patient suffers from cancer of the thyroid. The suspect has been treating her at her home and elsewhere. There was one meeting in the parking lot of a private clinic, agents said.

The man was in the judicial lockup overnight in anticipation of questioning by prosecutors today.

The woman eventually had a needed operation at a public hospital, said agents.  The suspect is facing an allegation that he took the money to do an operation but never did.

The Poder Judicial said that the suspect is facing a previous allegation of illegal practice of a profession.


Make tourism a priority,
chamber tells candidates

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Officials from the tourism sector are urging the presidential candidates to make a stronger, well-regulated investment into the industry. As a consistent job creator and in attracting loads of foreign currency, leaders of the Cámara Nacional de Turismo are looking for more involvement from the winner of Sunday's election.

Isabel Vargas, president of the Cámara, said the next president's policy plans should include a clear future for the nation's tourism economy. “The tourism industry should be a key piece of the agenda, being a priority for national development with clear guidelines that articulate public and private actions,” she said.

The chamber's plan for the next decade, called “Vision for tourism in 2023,” promises that tourism will continue to be a leader in revenue, a protector of communities, and a contributor to businesses throughout Costa Rica.

Regional leaders for the Cámara have also said that further development of government projects is most efficiently done when it collaborates with the industry's plans, as both sides would like to remain true to the 100 percent sustainability campaign on which the country has prided itself.

Cámara representatives also hinted at a desire to be appointed to the Ministerio de Turismo and the Junta Directiva del Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, claiming that these positions are meant for those who have long experience as professionals in the industry.


Fraudsters seeking payments
from community organization


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Dirección Nacional de Desarrollo de la Comunidad is warning community organizations about reports of fraud phone calls from people posing as Dirección Nacional representatives. They are calling development associations and requesting monetary deposits for fees like transportation.

As a caution to workers in these associations and nonprofit organizations who have become victim to these calls of criminal intention, the dirección said it never requests bank deposits in return for its services. Anyone who receives a suspicious call that requests money should alert the Judicial Investigating Organization, the agency said.


Caja plans new emergency wing
at Hospital Tony Facio in Limón


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's health provider said Thursday that it was investing 7 billion colons into the Hospital Tony Facio in Limón. That is about $14 million.

The project will be a new emergency service section for the public hospital, said the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

There also will be a major investment in changing all the elevators in the entire hospital, said the Caja.

Also on the drawing board are plans for the construction of a pain clinic and a remodeling of the laundry, the Caja said.

There also will be some improvements to the electrical system and also to the air conditioning system in the operating rooms.

The emergency service in Limón sees about 350 patients a day, the Caja said. The bulk are medical cases, but there also are victims of violence.


Our reader's opinion
DDT is maligned insecticide
that nearly eliminated malaria


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

You do a disservice to your readers reporting the results of a tiny study on DDT and Alzheimers' Disease.

DDT is the most maligned chemical insecticide which has ever been. There is not one recorded case of death due to overdose in its history. Meanwhile, it has saved millions of lives.

All the scientific studies have proved how safe it is, yet the efforts of biased environmentalists have created a perception of harm. The studies showing, for example, of thinning egg shells, and deformed birds were shown to be junk science.

Looking on the other side, malaria was almost extinct when DDT was banned. Since then it has rebounded, and now several million a year still die from malaria. It seems these don't count as they are mainly children, in Africa, and don't vote.

Everything we do has a risk/benefit ratio, and it is long time that DDT was back in use to stamp out malaria.

Dr. John Cocker
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 22
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boletos
Archivo Nacional photo
These pieces of metal are what coffee pickers received to represent their production.
National archives acquires a collection of historic coffee tokens
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Archivo Nacional reported Thursday that it had received a collection of  boletos de café from Jorge Rivera Murillo, who was president of the Asociación Numismática Costarricense.

The privately created coins were used as temporary payment to those picking coffee on various fincas, mostly in the 19th and last century.

Rivera assembled a loose-leaf book that contains a number of these boletos. Just like currency, various colors and shapes represented different values, ranging from one cajuala or basket upwards. Depending on the circumstances, the coffee pickers could exchange the tokens for money or just spend them at local businesses.

Manuel B. Chacón H., the curator of the money museum at the Museos de Banco Central notes on the bank's Web site that such tokens were not unique to Costa Rica. He notes that when
 coffee production took off in the 1840s, the central government was unable to keep up with the demand for coins, so coffee producers created their own.

Although most of the collectibles are made of metal, coffee producers created the boletos from all sorts of material, even cardboard, he noted. They also sometimes represented the value of currency.

Some expats collect these or give them as gifts. There is a wide selection on various online shopping sites, and the value seems to be related to the owner of the finca or cafetal and the design of the boleto.  They range from $10 to $25 on some sites.

However, some can be quite rare.

The Archivo Nacional in Zapote announced the acquisition of the collection of boletos along with a series of other historical items, including a collection of buttons worn by sports teams and the papers of well-known figures.


The year has not started off on a very intelligent note
Please, give me a break from the nonsense that the year 2014 portends. 

First, some advice to those who choose to get into politics:  Presidents can lie about their reasons for going to war, invading a country, torturing prisoners  or about why they are imposing more stringent laws on their people. But if they lie or are not forthcoming about something that involves sex, beware, the western Media will never forget or forgive.

I actually heard a news reporter on CNN call the personal life of President Francois Hollande of France and his relationships with the current women in his life “a salacious triangle.”  Does that reporter even know the definition of salacious?  If she wants to describe something as salacious, she would do better to become a music critic and watch the Grammys or any live show of the current pop singers. I won’t mention the names of comedians who are doing their little juvenile riffs on President Hollande’s affairs. I just wish they would all grow up. 

And now on to women in the news.  There have been women in politics and positions of power since, and probably before Cleopatra, but this month the news is highlighting the (too few) professional women who have made it to the top management of large corporations.

Actually, this makes me smile.  Prostitution has been called the oldest profession, and it probably is.  Women were prominently involved, no doubt because it was the only profession men would pay them for.  In spite of that, it was eventually labeled a crime.   

Today it is recognized that if women are given a chance to be educated and start a business or earn a living, the whole community benefits. This is not always so with a man. I find it baffling that in Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, considered macho and male oriented, there have been women elected to the presidency while we are still waiting in the Northern Hemisphere for such a break through.
 
Aside from the few women who have made it to the top, the rest of us have not fared so well.  In the late 1960s I was employed at an Orlando TV station.  The young man who was in charge of working with advertising agencies was leaving, and I said I was interested in his job, which I already knew, having filled in for him a number of times.  The station manager offered me $25 a week less than what he was hired for.  I pointed this out. 

The response was “He has a wife.” 

I responded, “I know; and she owns a beauty shop.  I am  divorced and have two children whom I help support.” 
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart


“But he is married,” the manager insisted. “He has a wife to support.”

Changing his attitude was hopeless, just as my trying to convince him the news show should have a woman anchor, who would do as well with the news as well as the former football star reported on sports. Fortunately, the matter was settled within days when the president of one of the advertising agencies offered me a job paying even more, and I gave my notice. 

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama pointed out that women are currently being paid 77 percent of what men are paid for doing the same work. 

Two percent gain in 55 years is not exactly fast track.

And finally, there is the matter of war and peace.  Western media is constantly reporting on the atrocity of current wars, and it is a sad comment on humankind when we talk of peace and diplomacy, and understanding between nations and then honor with the most thanks those who have returned forever damaged from going to war, which involves trying to kill the enemy (often totally unknown) before he kills you.

We are barraged with news of war crimes and war atrocities without acknowledging that war itself is a crime and atrocity.  The profit that a relatively few war related corporations make from war is offset many times by the cost of repairing the damage, the cost of which is borne most often by countries, not corporations.

And, finally, while leaders of the U.S. and other countries have finally reached an agreement with Iran that can lead to a peaceful conclusion over Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb, there are still people in power who want to impose more sanctions that were put in place to do just that. I think that is as ludicrous as two boxers who agree to stop fighting and beating up each other, but one says, “Okay, but I am going to continue to hit you until you actually take off your gloves.” 

Is this the future of 2014?  If so, I do need a break or at least a change in direction.  We all do.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 22
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Presence of marijuana in fatally injured U.S. drivers increasing, study reports
By the Columbia University news service

The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the U.S. has been steadily rising and tripled from 1999 to 2010 for drivers who tested positive for marijuana.

To assess these trends researchers at Columbia University examined toxicological testing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System and found that of 23,591 drivers who were killed within one hour of a crash, 39.7 percent tested positive for alcohol and 24.8 percent for drugs. While positive results for alcohol remained stable, the prevalence of drugs rose significantly from 16.6 percent in 1999 to 28.3 percent in 2010. For marijuana, rates rose from 4.2 percent to 12.2 percent. Findings are online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This study is based on data from six U.S. states that routinely performed toxicological testing on drivers involved in fatal car crashes. They are California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

The results showed that alcohol involvement was more prevalent in men (43.6 percent) than in women (26.1 percent), but trends were stable for both
 sexes. In contrast, the substantial increase in the prevalence of marijuana was reported for all age groups and both sexes.

"Although earlier research showed that drug use is associated with impaired driving performance and increased crash risk, trends in narcotic involvement in driver fatalities have been understudied," said Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention.

"Given the increasing availability of marijuana and the ongoing opioid overdose epidemic, understanding the role of controlled substances in motor vehicle crashes is of significant public health importance," he said.

Joanne Brady, the lead author of the study, notes that research from 2007 to 2013 shows an increase in drivers testing positive for marijuana in roadside surveys, as well as drivers involved in fatal crashes in California and increased use by patients treated in Colorado healthcare settings. "The marked increase in its prevalence as reported in the present study is likely germane to the growing decriminalization of marijuana," noted Ms. Brady. Over the last 17 years, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted legislation, and four more states have legislation pending, to decriminalize marijuana for medical use. "Although each of these states has laws that prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana, it is still conceivable that its decriminalization may result in increases in crashes involving marijuana."

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.

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

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



U.S. unhappy with Chinese
for expelling Times reporter


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. is criticizing China's treatment of foreign reporters after a New York Times journalist was forced to leave the country.
 
Veteran China correspondent Austin Ramzy had to leave after authorities failed to renew his visa, a move considered by some to be an act of retribution against the paper's coverage of government officials.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney issued a statement Thursday saying, "these restrictions and treatment are not consistent with freedom of the press and stand in stark contrast with U.S. treatment of Chinese and other foreign journalists."

He also said the two countries should be increasing opportunities for media exchanges to improve mutual understanding and trust.
 
"We remain concerned that Mr. Ramzy and several other U.S. journalists have waited months, and in some cases years, for a decision on their press credentials and visa applications," Carney said, adding that the U.S. would continue to raise concerns about the treatment of reporters, blocked access to media Web sites and other press restrictions in China.
 
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden last year raised the issue of China's crackdown on Western news media with top Chinese leaders during a visit to Beijing. Since then, China has made some progress on processing dozens of journalist visa applications for foreign reporters.
 
Ramzy posted several messages to Twitter before leaving on a flight from the Beijing airport Thursday, saying he was sad to be leaving and hopes to return soon.
 
He is the second Times correspondent in 13 months forced to leave mainland China because of failure to receive a visa.
 
The paper in 2012 published a report detailing the alleged massive wealth accumulated by the family of then-Premier Wen Jiabao.
 
Beijing responded immediately and angrily, blocking the Times Web site in China and slamming the paper for having ulterior motives.
 
The Times says authorities have also refused to issue new journalist visas to several other of its China reporters.
 
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang this week denied Ramzy was expelled, saying authorities were simply following Chinese law. Qin said Ramzy did not follow proper visa application procedures last year after leaving Time magazine, his previous employer in China.
 
The New York Times says it filed a visa application for Ramzy in June, but was not alerted to any problems until December, when his visa was about to expire. Although China offered him a one-month temporary visa, the process was not completed in time, and he was forced to leave.
 
Many of Ramzy's colleagues in the foreign press, who have also complained about restrictions by Chinese authorities, responded sympathetically.
 
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said in a statement Wednesday it strongly regrets Ramzy has been forced to leave. It noted it is "difficult to avoid the conclusion that the authorities are punishing the New York Times for articles it published concerning Wen Jiabao and his family," adding this behavior falls well short of international standards.
 
Edward Wong, a New York Times correspondent in Beijing, tweeted Thursday that "China is making futile attempts to influence news coverage by blocking journalist visas and global websites."
 
Although Ramzy was required to leave the country, the Times says his reporting on China will continue, at least temporarily, from Taiwan.

Treatment of American journalists in China has recently strained bilateral relations, which are already exacerbated by Beijing's establishment of air defense zone near internationally disputed islands in the East China Sea.
 

Google's smartphone operation
being sold to Chinese firm

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China's fast-growing Lenovo Group technology business is buying the troubled smartphone manufacturing division owned by Google, the giant U.S. Internet company.
 
Lenovo, already the world's biggest personal computer maker, is paying $2.9 billion for Google's Motorola Mobility handset-making operation. But the search engine is retaining rights to almost all of the 17,000 patents connected to the phones.
 
Google kept the patent rights so it could continue to control technology licensed to phone makers who use Google's Android software, which powers the majority of the world's smartphones.
 
The deal is tentative pending approval from U.S. regulators. In recent years, the U.S. government has approved the sale of some American corporations to Chinese businesses, while blocking others, largely on grounds that the sales threatened U.S. security in various ways. Lenovo says it does not expect problems getting the deal approved.
 
The sales price marks a failed effort by Google to enter the competitive smartphone business. Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola in mid-2012, although that deal came with $3 billion in cash and Google sold the company's television set-top box business for $2.3 billion.    
 
The world's smartphone market is dominated by South Korea's Samsung and U.S.-based Apple, with Lenovo third if the deal is completed.
 

Two trials in Europe showing
Muslim youth interest in Syria


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two trials opened in France and Belgium Thursday, underscoring a worrying trend: young Europeans heading to Syria to join the ranks of Islamist fighters.

One of the trials takes place in Paris, where three young men in their '20s are accused of trying to join jihadists fighting in Syria. They were detained at a French airport in 2012 as they tried to board a flight to Turkey. They allegedly planned to head on to Syria. Two of the three deny the charges.

A similar trial opened Thursday morning in Brussels, where 19 people are suspected of having links to radical Islamist groups in Syria and in Somalia.

While the trials reflect efforts to catch suspects before they head to Syria, experts say hundreds of others have made it. Once there, many join Islamist rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

This week, U.S. intelligence officials estimated that more than 7,000 foreign militants are fighting in Syria's civil war. European experts believe that up to 2,000 of them are from Europe.

Farhad Khosrokhavar, a Paris university professor and expert on radical Islam, says many of these Europeans are idealists, who feel Europe has nothing to offer them.

"What motivates them is not so much opposition to Europe. They are not jihadists against Europe - at least not at the beginning. They are pro-Muslims," he said. "I call it the new Umma ideology - that means they have to go help other Muslims in distress and risk being repressed by autocratic regimes."

He says those who end up joining radical Islamists in Syria and elsewhere are later ideologically brainwashed to become anti-Western. In France, authorities estimate up to 700 French have joined the Syrian conflict. About 76 have returned, sparking fears of attacks at home.

Some of those hoping to join the Syrian militants are extremely young. Some are women. Two French teenagers were caught en route to Syria this month. They were taken into custody Wednesday, in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

"The problem with these young guys is that they are immature. They are sometimes adolescents. They are between 15 and 17 or 18 years of age. The age of most of those people who go to Syria is between the age of 18 and 28," said Khosrokhavar.

European Union authorities have called on the 28-member bloc to adopt stronger prevention measures and so-called deradicalization programs to help stop the spread of extremism.


Bernanke leaves Fed today
with memories close calls


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U. S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down today after guiding the world’s largest economy through years of tumult.  Bernanke wins praise for crisis management and some criticism for unfinished reforms.

Bernanke says managing the economic crisis in 2008 was like driving a car that narrowly avoids a terrible crash.

“It is my nature, I think, to kind of focus on the problem," he said. "You know, and I was so absorbed in what was happening and trying to find response to it that I wasn't really in that kind of reflective mode.  I mean, later on, you know, I was kind of like, you know, if you're in a car wreck or something, you are mostly involved in trying to avoid going off the bridge, and then later on you say, 'Oh, my God,' you know.” 

Bernanke and colleagues took unprecedented actions to slash interest rates.  Lower rates were intended to pull the economy out of a dive by making it easier for businesses and families to borrow the money they needed to make major purchases.

The economy stopped shrinking and began growing.
 
Wall Street veteran and Adelphi University professor Michael Driscoll says Bernanke had to be courageous and creative to tackle new problems.

"The things Bernanke had to face ... were so large, so big, and really I do not think it is an understatement to say ... the future economic well being of the United States and the globe were hanging in the balance,” he said.

Critics say Bernanke failed to recognize that the U. S. housing market was growing in unsustainable ways.  Severe problems in the housing market played a key role in the financial crisis.

Others say the Fed should have rescued Lehman Brothers, the failing financial firm that collapsed and shook markets. 

And Boston University professor and former Federal Reserve official Cornelius Hurley says reforms intended to make the financial system less vulnerable to the collapse of any huge financial firm are inadequate and incomplete.  

“That reform agenda does not even come close to addressing the too-big-to-fail problem ... perpetuating the systemic risk that is in the six largest banks in our country," he said.   

Bernanke, a former Princeton University professor, says his intense study of the history of the Great Depression helped him navigate this crisis.  He says it will help critics and others understand his actions.

“We hope that as the economy improves and as we tell our story and as more information comes out about, you know, why we did what we did and so on, you know, that people will appreciate and understand that what we did was necessary, that it was in the interest of the broader public," he said. "It was a Main Street set of actions aimed at helping the average American. “

That understanding may be helped by Bernanke’s drive to make the Federal Reserve’s actions easier to understand. 

During his tenure he used clearer language to describe the Fed’s actions and goals, and started holding regular news conferences in the hope that better-informed investors could make better decisions with more information and less panic.

  
Obama and top CEOs to pledge
to hire more long unemployed


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama and the CEOs of major U.S. companies will formally announce today a pledge to do more to spur hiring of the long-term unemployed.

The initiative is part of Obama's pledge in his State of the Union Address to use executive powers to take actions that will help create jobs, even in the absence of specific legislative action by Congress. Obama spent Thursday in the U.S. Midwest and South where he talked about the initiative.

"I’ve been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at that new job and new chance to support their families. This week, many will come to the White House to make that commitment real," he said.

Obama has secured commitments from companies such as Apple, Ford and Walmart to observe best practices, and not discriminate in hiring against people out of work for a long time.
 
Friday's announcement comes after he spent two days traveling across the country talking about the need to provide more opportunity for Americans still struggling in the economy.

At a General Electric facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin, that produces engines for oil and gas fields, he spotlighted a program that trains students in manufacturing and construction skills.

He called the plant an example of how to train people for skilled manufacturing jobs and ultimately also help bring jobs back from overseas.

"You can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need," he said.

Obama was introduced by 26-year-old Reggie Troop, who was formerly unemployed facing difficulties supporting his family of four. Troop said he benefited from training and now works as a machine operator.

"I am fortunate to provide a great living for my family, I get to work for a great company with a union, like GE that has many opportunities to be successful, and I get to meet and greet with the president of the United States of America," he said.

Obama signed an executive order directing Vice President Joe Biden to oversee a review of federal job training programs.

From Wisconsin, Obama flew to Nashville, Tennessee, and McGavock High School, where companies are supporting a program to match student education with skills needed by employers.

Education, he said, is critical to a new economy.

"There is no child that we should let slip simply because of politics or because adults can't get their act together. We have got to make sure that we're reaching every single one of them as fast as we can, and right now we're not doing that," he said.

Opposition Republicans are challenging Obama on his State of the Union agenda.  They also are casting themselves in a more positive light as being open to cooperation.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke at the Republicans' annual retreat.

"The discussion at this retreat is going to be not just about opposing the policies that this president has been about over the last several years, and an America that is not working for people, but it is to craft an alternative for the people of this country, so we can see an America that works for everybody," said Cantor.

In a letter to the president, Republicans point to measures passed by the Republican-controlled House, including one on job training, that have not been acted upon by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

They identify natural gas production, workplace rules and federally funded research as areas that hold potential for cooperation, and also are rolling out proposals on immigration reform.


Counterfeit Super Bowl gear
leads to arrest of 50 persons

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. law enforcement authorities say they have seized more than 200,000 counterfeit Super Bowl souvenir items and arrested 50 people in an effort to combat copyright infringement.

The seizures and arrests were announced Thursday at a news conference in New York City near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl, the championship game of the U.S. National Football League.

Federal and NFL officials at the news conference displayed fake jerseys, hats, T-shirts and other goods made to look like NFL merchandise.

The counterfeit items, if legitimate, would have been worth more than $21 million.

As part of their initiative, called Operation Team Player, U.S. authorities say they also have taken custody of 163 Web sites identified to be selling counterfeit merchandise.

The eight-month operation has been targeting international shipments of counterfeit merchandise as it enters the U.S.


American convicted in Italy
says she is frightened and sad


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American exchange student Amanda Knox says she is frightened and saddened after being re-convicted in the stabbing death of her roommate when they were students in Italy in 2007.

An appeals court in Florence Thursday sentenced Knox to 28 years and six months in prison. It also convicted her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, sentencing him to 25 years and banning him from traveling.

Knox is at her home in Seattle where she returned after her earlier conviction was overturned in 2011.

Knox and Sollecito have maintained their innocence.

But in March, Italy's top criminal court overturned the acquittal, ordering a retrial.

Prosecutors have said Meredith Kercher, a British student who lived with Knox when the two were exchange students in Perugia, Italy, was killed in their house when a sex game turned violent.

A third suspect in the case, former drug dealer Rudy Guede, was given a 30-year prison sentence, which was later reduced to 16 years.


Sochi can have trouble making
snow for the Winter Olympics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As world athletes head to Sochi, Russia, for the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, their success may depend a lot on the weather. Nine of the 15 sports take place outdoors and require snow or ice.  There is already concern over forecasts that the weather leading up the Games is expected to turn milder, which could lead to deteriorating conditions on the slopes.

According to a new study, climate change will become more of a problem in the future, given the steady rise in global temperatures, which have risen more than one degree F and eight-tenths of a degree C since 1970.
 
Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada and Management Center Innsbruck in Austria analyzed weather conditions for all 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics since the Games began in 1924.

Lead author and climate expert Daniel Scott from the University of Waterloo says historic records and climate predictions indicate that by mid-century, only 10 of those cities could host the Games.

“By the end of the century, that number dropped to as low as six under the warmest scenario,” he said.

The Winter Games require weather cold enough to make snow and sustain a snowpack. Beginning in the 1980s, host cities began taking measures to ensure that. They made artificial snow and built refrigerated tracks for luge and bobsled. High resolution weather forecasts also helped in day-to-day operations.

But the planet has been warming since the 1950s, as more carbon emissions from cars, power plants and buildings spew into the atmosphere.  Vancouver was hit by a warm front a week before the 2010 Olympics, too warm to make snow.

“They had to bring in the straw bales," Scott said. "They put what limited snow they could over top of those. And that was just sufficient to do some of the moguls and some of the other types of events that were scheduled there.”

Some question whether Sochi, a seaside town, will fare any better. It is the warmest city ever to host the Winter Olympics, with an average temperature of 10 degrees C. Outdoor events are scheduled many kilometers away. 

Scott says the report recommends that the International Olympic Committee consider new venues like northern China, which has the elevation for downhill ski events, and new partnerships.

“Maybe Seattle and Salt Lake City could make a rebid," he suggested, "where you have a main Olympic venue, a bigger city that can accommodate the size that the Olympics has grown to, but there will be a secondary location with a smaller part of the Games that has all the skiing events, and it is located in a much more climate reliable location.” 

Scott says while the report highlights the challenges that lie ahead for Olympic athletes, it also underscores the decline in areas suitable for any winter sports enthusiast in a warmer world, unless dramatic steps are taken to reduce climate changing emissions.


Holder says death penalty
will be sought in bomb case


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the suspect in last year's deadly Boston Marathon bombing.

The top American legal official, Attorney General Eric Holder, announced Thursday that the government would ask for the execution of 20-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he is convicted. Tsarnaev is accused of detonating two home-made bombs at the annual race last April that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

​The federal government rarely seeks the death penalty and has only executed three killers since 1988, when a moratorium on executions ended. Holder said the nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm from the Boston bombings compelled him to seek Tsarnaev's execution.

Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev, then 19, and his brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, two ethnic Chechens who lived in the U.S. for a decade, built and planted two pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the race to retaliate against U.S. military action in Muslim countries.

No date has been set for Tsarnaev's trial, but he faces 30 charges, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police last year, soon after the bombings.

After a massive manhunt, police found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in a boat parked in the backyard of a suburban Boston home.

Authorities allege that he scrawled several messages on the inside of the boat, including one that said, "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all."


Blight tourism in Detroit
creates steady job for photog

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The city of Detroit is known more for its iconic blight than the vehicles that once rolled off the floors of the now-abandoned factories that gave it the nickname “Motor City.”  But Detroit’s decline has given rise to a new phenomenon that is growing in demand: Blight tourism.

The throngs of rock music fans are now a distant memory at Detroit’s Eastown Theater.

On this cold morning, the sidewalk in front serves as a bed for the homeless.

Step inside, and the once iconic stage that hosted rock singers Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper is filled with holes.  

It now more closely resembles the aftermath of a bombing, but it's not war torn. It's the byproduct of neglect, an example of economic decline.

Photographer Jesse Welter sees beyond the decay.  He sees art.

“I can see the beauty in it and the architecture," said Welter.

The former beauty of St. Agnes Catholic Church is pierced by crumbling columns, broken windows, and graffiti.  There hasn’t been a service here since 2006.

Inside the school next to the church are forgotten shoes, open books on abandoned desks, and hallways once filled with students now full of debris.

This is Jesse Welter’s canvas.  His camera is his paintbrush, and his artwork tells a story.

“I think they kind of tell you the history.  The past.  What it is, what it’s become," he said.

What it’s become for Welter is not just a hobby, but a part-time job as a guide through Detroit’s misery.

“I was kind of doing this on my own, and I thought why not take people with me," he said.

In 2011, Welter began inviting other photographers on his adventures through Detroit’s evaporating architectural history.   Now, he charges between $40 and $100 per person for tours of Detroit's blight.  He says much of the money goes for expenses transporting his customers.

“My van, I can take up to ten people, and it's usually full.  I’ve been to about 180 different buildings, and the tours, I’ve probably done over 300 tours," said Welter.

The popularity of Welter’s tours has increased as the number of abandoned structures has grown. Detroit’s emergency manager Kevyn Orr estimates there are 78,000 blighted structures, which are targets of vandalism and fire. 

“Right now our public safety is stressed," said Glenda Price.

Glenda Price is co-chairwoman of the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force. It's developing a roadmap to eliminate Detroit’s blight over the next three years.

“We’re looking at all structures in the city, and all vacant land," she said.

One of the largest is the former Packard Automobile plant, which covers about 16 hectares. It's one of the most popular, and surreal, destinations on Welter’s tour.

“Once you start to see a lot of this, it doesn’t have as much of an impact anymore," said Welter.

Welter's trek through this wasteland is bittersweet, as it might be one of the last tours he offers here.  The plant has a new owner who is interested in developing the facility. Instead of an abandoned ruin, it could become, among other things, someone’s home.

 
Berkeley lab to inaugurate
new supercomputer Wednesday


By the National Energy Research
Scientific Computing Center news staff

The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center recently accepted Edison, a new flagship supercomputer designed for scientific productivity.

Named in honor of American inventor Thomas Alva Edison, the Cray XC30 will be dedicated in a ceremony held at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Wednesday, and scientists are already reporting results.

About 5,000 researchers working on 700 projects and running 600 different codes compute at the center, which is operated by Berkeley Lab. They produce an average of 1,700 peer-reviewed publications every year, making the facility the most productive scientific computing center serving the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

“We support a very broad range of science, from basic energy research to climate science, from biosciences to discovering new materials, exploring high energy physics and even uncovering the very origins of the universe,” said Director Sudip Dosanjh.

Edison can execute nearly 2.4 quadrillion floating-point operations per second at peak theoretical speeds. While theoretical speeds are impressive, “NERSC’s longstanding approach is to evaluate proposed systems by how well they meet the needs of our diverse community of researchers, so we focus on sustained performance on real applications,” said Jeff Broughton, division deputy for operations who led the Edison procurement team.

“For us, what’s really important is the scientific productivity of our users,” Dosanjh said. That’s why Edison was configured to handle two kinds of computing equally well: data analysis and simulation and modeling.


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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 22
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Republicans mull immigration
during their Maryland retreat

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are outlining their principles on immigration reform to party members at a retreat in Eastern Maryland.  They are likely to hear strong views from some of their more conservative legislators who want border security to take priority. 

President Barack Obama, Democratic lawmakers and pro-reform activists are urging House Republicans to make 2014 the year for a major overhaul of U.S. immigration policy, but analysts say there is a tough road ahead.

Some U.S. states are enacting their own measures to deal with the reality of an estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.  Maryland, near the nation's capital, is allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses if they meet certain requirements.

At his annual State of the Union address, President Obama renewed his call for action.

“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement and fix our broken immigration system," said President Obama.

The president did not give Congress a list of demands for immigration reform.  Mark Kennedy of George Washington University says this was wise.

“Well, I think the president understands that the next step in the process is to get the U.S. House to act, and the more he’s pushing, the less likely they are to act," said Kennedy.

The president and other Democrats would like the bill to contain a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents.  Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat, said this:
 
"We have too many families who are being torn apart, parents from children, because they lack proper documents. I believe that those families who are playing by the rules, paying their taxes, ought to have a way to pay a fine, get in line and achieve American citizenship here," said Doggett.

But many Republicans oppose citizenship as an option, and say they will only vote for reform under certain conditions.  Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, said this:

“Maybe after we talk about securing the border, and maybe if we take pathways to citizenship off the table, other things might be open for negotiation.  But barring securing the border first and taking the pathway off the table, I’m afraid it’s a dead end in the House," said Harris.

One of the guests of first lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address was Cristian Avila, an immigrants' rights activist who recently fasted for 22 days to get Congress to act.  Avila said he wants to become a citizen and serve in the U.S. military.

“I think definitely citizenship is extremely important for us and for our families so we don’t create another second-class citizenship, right?" said Avila.
 
Avila says he and other immigrants will keep up the pressure on both Republicans and Democrats to pass immigration reform legislation.






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From Page 7:

U.S. economy grew at a steady pace at end of 2013

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy advanced at a steady pace in the last months of 2013, growth that was fueled by robust consumer spending.
 
The government's Commerce Department said Thursday the world's largest economy grew 3.2 percent in the October-to-December period, following a 4.1 percent advance in the third quarter.
 
With the favorable six-month growth, economists in the U.S. say the country's economy could grow by more than 3 percent in 2014, a figure not reached since 2005.
 
For all of 2013, however, the American economy grew a tepid 1.9 percent, weaker than the 2.8 percent increase in 2012. Higher taxes and government spending cuts held down growth early last year, while a 16-day partial government shutdown in October trimmed the fourth quarter advance.
 
The government said consumers spent 3.3 percent more in 2013's fourth quarter, the strongest growth in three years. Personal spending is an important barometer in the U.S., accounting for about 70 percent of the country's economy.
 
The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, a five-year low, but more than 10 million workers are looking for jobs.