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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published Monday, Feb. 3, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 23                          Email us
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Anti aging



Solís surprises Araya to win spot in April runoff
By Michael Krumholtz
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Luís Guillermo Solís staged an unexpected comeback Sunday to join Johnny Araya in the April presidential runoff.

Solís of Acción Ciudadana has been low in the polls for months, while Araya of Liberación Nacional was considered an untouchable front runner. In fact, his campaign expressed confidence that he would win the presidency outright in the first round. He needed 40 percent of the popular vote. He got less than 30 percent.

Solís, who won better than 30 percent, never stopped campaigning, Saturday he even was in a light plane to visit distant native villages.

The first totals released by the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones Sunday night about 8:20 showed Araya with a slight lead. But it was clear even then that no candidate would achieve 40 percent. Frente Amplio's José María Villalta, who had been in second place in many of the public opinion polls, finished third. He was a continual target because of his leftist views.

Solís is considered to be center left. He opposed the free trade treaty with Central America and the United States. He served in the foreign ministry during the first term of Óscar Arias Sánchez. Later he was an ambassador under José María Figueres Olsen and then secretary General of the Partido Liberación Nacional.

Like many in Acción Ciudadana, he broke with Liberación Nacional shortly after the party was formed.
 
At the Crowne Plaza San José Corobici Sunday night Araya's political team pushed him through a dancing horde of cameramen and supporters before he finally took to the stage to address his devoted green-and-white-clad crowd.

Next to him, a giant screen broadcasted updating results that showed Araya's total vote had slipped below that of Sólis.

Another election day, April 6, awaits. On center stage at the ballroom in the Corobicí, the Liberación Nacional leader got an early start on the campaigning.

"This country is not for experiments," he said. "This country is not for improvisation. We are going to be bearers of a constructive, positive, and optimistic message that Costa Rica will recognize."

The mayor of San José and longtime favorite to become Costa Rica's next president proclaimed that the nation needs experience going forward. He harped on the value of actions over words and of concrete ideas over ambiguous ones.

"We're going to demonstrate these features with absolute sincerity in these next two months," Araya said. "We are going to show Costa Rica that we all want to change."

Although he won the electoral vote in Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón, based on preliminary figures, the mayor did not win his own province of San José.

 "I have been the butt of a lot of criticism," he said after thanking the confidence his voters put in him.
cote total
Vote totals for the six top presidential candidates

Araya speaks
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Johnny Araya gestures as he talks to followers.

By law, a recount must be done by hand since the top two candidates are within 2 percentage totals of each other. Still, barring a highly unlikely reversal in the recount, the battle between Araya and Sólis continues.

Solís, when he spoke to his followers, sounded like a man who already had won. He likened the voting results to a tsunami that is sweeping away traditional politics.

His followers chanted in Spanish "no more bribes" and "Yes, we can" as Solís promised a government that would be open and transparent and working for the people instead of the other way around. He said the old Costa Rica ceased to exist at 6 p.m. That was when the polls closed.

He said that the night was one of celebration, but that today the road begins to May 8, which is the day a new president will take office.

Solís was holding a microphone in his left hand but he gestured repeatedly and strongly with his right. He was accompanied on the stage by his wife and key members of the campaign. Solís, an academic, reminded the crowd that the party is only 13 years old.

At 1 a.m., the election tribunal said that Solís had 30.9 percent of the vote to Araya's 29.6. That was with 1.7 million votes counted. Frente Amplio had 17.18 percent and Movimiento Libertario had 11.18 percent. Abstentions were nearly 32 percent despite official efforts to encourage citizens to vote.

The results of the legislative elections appear to give Liberación Nacional 18 seats and Acción Ciudadana 13. Frente Amplio got nine, and Partido Unidad Social Cristiana got eight. The seats are awarded proportional to the votes the party received in each province.

Solis
Partido Acción Ciudadana photo
Lius Guillermo Solís at his mother's grave in Montes de Oca.
Email messages used in effort to discredit candidate
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There was some skulduggery Sunday carried by emails and Facebook. The goal seemed to be to diminish the vote for Luis Guillermo Solís, the Partido Acción Ciudadana candidate.

An email said that he would support Villalta in the second round of voting. The parties of the left in Costa Rica ought to be together, he was quoted as saying.

Then the same source, voto2014.org, sent out a report of an exit poll showing that the battle is between Araya and Villalta, The supposed news article was said to have come from The Associate Press.

A Facebook page carrying the name of the same organization took a shot at Solís amid reports that appear to be real news. They were a mixture of snippets from La Nación and press releases from the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones. The one entry that was not said that Solís went to a Montes de Oca cemetery to put flowers on his mother's grave but that he could not find it.

That suggested Solis only tried to do that for political reasons.

In fact, the Solís campaign had released a photo of the candidate placing the flowers, and the Facebook claim was false.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones is expected to investigate. The domain from which the supposed story came is protected by a confidentiality firm, so the owner of the site was not known immediately.


Voting from overseas

Costa Ricans in 42 other countries were able to vote
Sunday for the first time. The Tribunal de Elecciones estimates that there are 12,645 Costa Ricans overseas. Polling spots were set up at Costa Rican consulates in these countries. The Minsterio de Relaciones Exteriores, which operates the consulates, sent photos of voting in many countries, including
France where a Costa Rica woman was able to vote for the first time in 35 years.


Electronic simulation

Some 4,400 voters were able to participate in a simulation of electronic voting as certain polling places Sunday. As they were voting with paper ballots, the visitors to these sites were offered the chance to vote again electronically. The electronic votes did not count in the current elections, but officials hope to install electronic voting for the 2016 municipal elections.


Newspeople robbed

The Fuerza Pública reported just one incident at polling places. That was at the Escuela José María Figueres Ferrer in Sabanilla where reporters gathered to watch Frente Amplio candidate José María Villalta cast his ballot about 7 a.m.. While the crowd was watching Villalta, three men locked two Agence France-Presse staffers in a bathroom and stole their equipment.


Lots of air time

Two major television stations produced day-long voting programs, and staffers had to fill the air with videos of candidates voting, comments from analysts and even summaries of cartoons on YouTube that related to the election.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 23

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Intensa



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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dancers two
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz       
 Dancers at the Sportsmen's Lodge were one of the attractions
 for the annual Super bowl party.


The defense again prevails
on Seahawk Super bowl win

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In a showdown between the NFL's top defense and its top offense, the old saying again rang true. But defense didn't just win Super Bowl XLVIII, it dominated it from the first minute onwards as the Seattle Seahawks won the franchise's first championship.

The game was watched widely in Costa Rica, mainly by expats

Seattle, led by that superb defense, suffocated the Broncos, 43-8. to win the Super Bowl Sunday. A safety on the opening play of the game foreshadowed Denver's nightmare night as Seattle jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead. Percy Harvin's kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half put the game away.

In the first quarter, Seattle prevented Peyton Manning and the record-setting Broncos attack from getting a first down. The ultra athletic defensive line disrupted Manning's timing, which led to three early turnovers that included a pair of interceptions thrown by the league MVP. And in the highly anticipated position matchup, it was Seattle's self-labeled Legion of Doom secondary that proved too physical and too fast for Denver.

Though Denver set a record in scoring offense this season, it failed to reach double digits in the season's most important contest. The nightmare in New Jersey for the Broncos could be summed up in any number of disastrous sequences.

Though they only sacked Manning once, the Seattle front seven abused his offensive line and ruined the rhythm between him and his receivers. It is the fifth time that the Super Bowl has been played when the league's best defense is matched up with the No. 1-ranked offense. The team with the top defense is now 4-1.


El Salvador counting ballots,
but a runoff there likely, too


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

No candidate obtained 50 percent of the presidential vote in El Salvador Sunday, so a runoff is likely.

Former left-wing guerrilla commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén took a strong early lead Sunday and managed to obtain 48.92 percent of the total vote, according to the nation's election tribunal. That total was with 99.15 per cent of the country's 10,455 polling places counted. He is running on the ticket of the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional.

Right-leaning former San Salvador mayor Norman Quijano had 38.95 percent. If there is no clear winner after a recount, the two leading candidates will go to a run-off on March 9. The former mayor is with the Partido Alianza Republicana Nacionalista Quijano is considered a conservative rival who wants to send the army in to fight powerful street gangs,

Sánchez Cerén is the country's current vice president under President Mauricio Funes.



Our reader's opinion
Reader counters letter claim
that DDT is not harmful


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Mr. Cocker in his letter made this statement:  "All the scientific studies have proved how safe DDT 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."

This is according to the "junk science" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

FISH
DDT causes many problems in fish (So many, in fact, that it has been difficult to study DDT in fish. We can't seem to find where the DDT is doing the most damage.) We think that the problem involves DDT's presence in the fish's plasma membrane, an area where important biological processes are occurring.

BIRDS
DDT is most famous for its effect on birds. Some research has shown that for certain species, DDT causes the thinning of eggshells.  The species affected by DDT: osprey, eagles, pelicans, falcons, hawks.

BATS
Bats are especially sensitive to DDT. Very low doses of DDT can affect them severely. As they use this fat, the DDT stored there is released into their bodies in relatively large concentration. These concentrations are often high enough to have toxic effects. Thus, DDT affects migrating, adult bats the most.

Here is some of the "junk science" from a study by Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.  Support was not from biased environmentalists, as Mr, Cocker would have you believe.

The mechanisms of eggshell thinning are not fully understood. It is thought that this occurs from the major metabolite, DDE, and that predator species of birds are the most sensitive to these effects.  DDT is very highly toxic to many aquatic invertebrate species.   DDT is very highly toxic to fish species as well.
Henry Kantrowitz
Punta Leona

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 23
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Child dies when flames destroy a home illuminated by candles
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Neighbors saved a 6-year-old boy, but his younger sister died when flames ravaged a home in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí Saturday night.

Both the Cuerpo de Bomberos and the Judicial Investigating Organization said that candles were used in the home for illumination.

The mother of the children had left the home briefly to do an
errand at a nearby home of a member of the family, said judicial agents.

The bomberos identified the dead girl as Britani López Arrieta. They said she was 3. Agents said her age was 4.

The boy suffered some burns, agents said.

There are only about two dozen fatal fires in Costa Rica in any year. Typically they come from faulty wiring or as in this case, some form of open flame.











Fuerza Pública officers supervise the off-loading of corn grain from the hijacked truck that was forced partly into a ditch after a chase from Río Frío de Sarapiquí

truck heist
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Truck hijackings are epidemic, judicial police report
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bandits are sticking up more and more truck drivers to take the merchandise rather than money. In some cases they actually are inviting the drivers to show up to be robbed, said agents.

Delivery trucks with loose cash are fewer and fewer because many business operators have installed onboard safes to hold cash. And more and more trucks are going out with an armed guard.

So crooks have come up with a new idea, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. They are contacting construction companies, tire dealers, auto repair shops and just about any business that sells goods that can be taken and sold.

The crooks make a delivery appointment, and when the truck shows up at the appointed place, the robbers are waiting.

This happened about once a day in the metro area, said agents. There were 21 such cases in December, and in January there  have been one to two cases a day, agents said. It also appears
that the calls making the appointments originate from the country's prisons.

Of course, some crooks still do the hijackings the old fashioned way. One case happened Thursday night when four men in vehicles cut off two trucks from the same firm on Ruta 32 at Río Frío. The armed bandits took personal items from the two pairs of drivers and then put them in the back of one truck.

The robbery triggered a police chase because someone saw the crime and called officers.

Police caught up with the truck in La Uruca on the Autopista General Cañas, and a firefight ensued.  At one point, one of the victims suffered a gunshot wound. Fuerza Pública officers said they captured one hijacking suspect, but three more fled and continued to fire at police as they did.

The trucks were loaded with corn grain, which can easily be marketed. Last week, bandits made off with 3,000 boxes of crackers that were in trucks parked at a warehouse.



DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 23
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Drug trafficking and money laundering said to encourage deforestation
By the Ohio State University news service

Add yet another threat to the list of problems facing the rapidly disappearing rainforests of Central America: drug trafficking.

In an article in the journal Science, seven researchers who have done work in Central America point to growing evidence that drug trafficking threatens forests in remote areas of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and nearby countries.

Traffickers are slashing down forests, often within protected areas, to make way for clandestine landing strips and roads to move drugs, and converting forests into agribusinesses to launder their drug profits, the researchers say.

Much of this appears to be a response to U.S.-led anti-trafficking efforts, especially in Mexico, said Kendra McSweeney, lead author of the Science article and an associate professor of geography at The Ohio State University.

“In response to the crackdown in Mexico, drug traffickers began moving south into Central America around 2007 to find new routes through remote areas to move their drugs from South America and get them to the United States,” Ms. McSweeney said.

“When drug traffickers moved in, they brought ecological devastation with them.”

For example, the researchers found that the amount of new deforestation per year more than quadrupled in Honduras between 2007 and 2011, the same period when cocaine movements in the country also spiked.

Ms. McSweeney is a geographer who has done research in Honduras for more than 20 years, studying how indigenous people interact with their environment. The drug trade is not something she would normally investigate, but it has been impossible to ignore in recent years, she said.

“Starting about 2007, we started seeing rates of deforestation there that we had never seen before. When we asked the local people the reason, they would tell us: los narcos, the drug traffickers.
There were other indications of drug trafficking taking place in the area.

“I would get approached by people who wanted to change $20 bills in places where cash is very scarce and dollars are not the normal currency. When that starts happening, you know narcos are there,” she said.

When Ms. McSweeney talked to other researchers in Central America, they had similar stories.

“The emerging impacts of narco-trafficking were being mentioned among people who worked in Central America, but usually just as a side conversation. We heard the same kinds of things from agricultural specialists, geographers, conservationists. Several of us decided we needed to bring more attention to this issue.”

In the Science article, Ms. McSweeney and her co-authors say deforestation starts with the clandestine roads and landing strips that traffickers create in the remote forests. The infusion of drug cash into these areas helps embolden resident ranchers, land speculators and timber traffickers to expand their activities, primarily at the expense of the indigenous people who are often key forest defenders.

In addition, the drug traffickers themselves convert forest to agriculture as a way to launder their money. While much of this land conversion occurs within protected areas and is therefore illegal, drug traffickers often use their profits to influence government leaders to look the other way.

Ms. McSweeney said more research is needed to examine the links between drug trafficking and conservation issues. But there is already enough evidence to show that U.S. drug policy has a much wider effect than is often realized.

“Drug policies are also conservation policies, whether we realize it or not,” McSweeney said.

“U.S.-led militarized interdiction, for example, has succeeded mainly in moving traffickers around, driving them to operate in ever-more remote, biodiverse ecosystems. Reforming drug policies could alleviate some of the pressures on Central America’s disappearing forests.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to
Christ Howard with Max
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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

* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
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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,
Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
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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 for rent (paid category)

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.
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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, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 23
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Cafetales



Phil sees his shadow again
predicting a longer winter


By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

It has been a brutally cold and snowy winter in much of the United States, and now a groundhog, a famed rotund rodent with an even more famous shadow, is predicting it is going to last another six weeks, much to the chagrin of those hoping for an early spring.

In an annual wintertime amusement Sunday, the famed groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil peaked his head out of his burrow at Gobblers Knob in the western Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney around 7:30 a.m. on Groundhog Day.

Weather forecasters mock his predictions, but legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog Day there will be another six weeks of winter. But if not, spring will come early.

Sunday, as 20,000 people watched and cheered his name in a tradition made popular by the 1993 film comedy “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. This year, Phil saw his shadow.

And that, or so the legend says, heralds more frigid temperatures and snow shoveling for Americans.

Groundhogs have been offering weather predictions in the tiny town of Punxsutawney since 1887. After the movie was released, record crowds numbering as many as 30,000 have been drawn to the event, according to groundhog.org
 
With a shadow powerful enough to lift spirits or dash them, Phil has met with Pennsylvania governors and appeared on national television talk shows and New York City's Times Square JumboTron. In 1986, he even traveled to Washington to meet with President Ronald Reagan, the Web site said.
 

Bad dreams and nightmares
can be managed, study says


By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

Waking up in the morning after having a bad dream at night might not be the best way to start the day, but, a terrifying nightmare can rock people awake from a sound sleep and leave them scared and confused.

A new study released by psychology researchers Geneviève Robert and Antonio Zadra at the University of Montreal has revealed that nightmares indeed pack a much bigger emotional punch than simply having a bad dream.

Yes there is a difference between nightmares and bad dreams.  Zadra sums up the difference between the two in terms of intensity.

Nightmares, according to Zadra are disturbing dreams that actually wake you up and the awakening is directly tied into what was going on in the nightmare.  Having a bad dream can also be disturbing, but you continue to sleep and wake up as you normally would.  You may also remember the content of the bad dream as soon as you wake up or perhaps later in the day but, “there’s no temporal relationship between the content of the  dream and us waking up from it,” said Zadra.

Zadra adds that nightmares end up giving rise to much more emotional distress than bad dreams do.  The researchers asked their volunteer test subjects to rate the intensity of the emotions they experience within their dreams.  After analyzing what the volunteers had written the researchers found that nightmares came out to be much more emotionally intense than bad dreams overall.

And, while most people tend to link fear to nightmares and bad dreams, believe it or not it isn’t always the driving factor.  While fear does drive a majority of nightmares and bad dreams, Zadra says that about 35 percent of the nightmares and 50 percent of the bad dreams of the 10,000 they studied contained other primary emotions such as sadness, confusion, guilt, anger, disgust, and others.  As a result, nightmares can intensify a wide range of negative emotions.

So did the researchers find a common theme with nightmares and bad dreams?  Zadra said that the most frequently reported themes involved physical aggression or interpersonal conflicts, such as one where the dreamer is having an intense argument or is being humiliated by either a co-worker or family member.  Other themes related to helplessness, failure or health related concerns such as being told that you’re about to die since you have cancer or learning of someone else’s death.

Zadra said that being chased, the theme commonly used for nightmares in a number of books and movies, is actually quite rare, occurring in only about 10 percent of the nightmares and 5 percent of the bad dreams that were studied.

There are theme differences in the nightmares of men and of women.  Ms. Robert and Zadra report that nightmares in men were more likely to contain themes of disasters and calamities such as floods, earthquakes, wars and the end of the world, while women were twice more likely than men to have nightmares that contained themes involving interpersonal conflicts with a spouse, co-workers or family member.

While most dreams are visual or a kind of a cinema of the mind, Zadra says other senses can manifest themselves in nightmares and bad dreams.  Dreams can be auditory in nature, Zadra said that for example dreamers can hear people scream or talking, hear sirens wailing or a dog barking. On rare occasions Zadra said that dreamers can also feel pain, feel the cold or warmth around them, and sometimes they can also taste or smell things.

While an old saying says that eating a heavy meal before bedtime will bring on a bad dream or nightmare, “I think we can probably put to rest the idea that having the pepperoni pizza before going to bed induces nightmares,” said Zadra.  While eating a heavy meal at before bedtime can cause indigestion or wake up sleepers during the night, by and large nightmares tend to occur in periods when people are under stress or self-doubt.

Having recurring nightmares may also be linked to a traumatic event. Soldiers returning from war sometimes, dream of the traumatizing events that occurred to them. The researchers also pointed out that the consumption or withdrawal of alcohol or psychotropic drugs could also explain the frequency or intensity of nightmares.

“Nightmares are not a disease in themselves but can be a problem for the individual who anticipates them or who is greatly distressed by their nightmares. People who have frequent nightmares may fear falling asleep  and being plunged into their worst dreams. Some nightmares are repeated every night. People who are awakened by their nightmares cannot get back to sleep, which creates artificial insomnia,” said Zadra.

While they are incredibly disturbing, having frequent nightmares can be treated, according to the researchers.  Zadra said that one way to treat recurring nightmares is by using visualization techniques, such when the dreamer learns to change the scenario of his dream and visualize it in his mind by using a mental imagery technique.

A study based on the research conducted by Robert and Zadra was recently published in the journal “Sleep”.

 
Bloomberg gets climate job
as United Nations special envoy

By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

The United Nations has named the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, as the special envoy for cities and climate change.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that Bloomberg will help him consult with mayors around the globe to raise the political will to fight climate change.

Bloomberg introduced a number of initiatives to combat climate change during his 12 years as mayor of New York City, including requiring hybrid taxi cabs and building bike lanes.

The billionaire businessman and philanthropist announced in December before leaving office that New York City's greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 19 percent since 2005.

Bloomberg has also been active in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an international group of mayors dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He is scheduled to co-host the group's next summit in Johannesburg in February.


Laser walker
Voice of America photo  
  Wayne Puckett can get around now because the walker 
  emits a laser line.


Laser mark on floor gives
Parkinson’s patients a guide

By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

Parkinson’s disease slowly destroys the brain’s ability to control the muscles, depriving the patients of their mobility. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, have developed a laser-based device that helps patients walk again.

Four years ago, Wayne Puckett could get around only in a wheelchair, because a form of Parkinson’s disease had damaged the connection between his brain and his leg muscles. “It is a hard thing to take and you feel like less of a person. You know, your kids, you are not able to do as much and they see it,” he said.

In 2010, neurologist Jay Van Gerpen of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville told Puckett about a device that would help him walk again. At first, Puckett did not believe him.

“He told me that he has a little red line that was going to be able to make me walk. I was like, ain't no way,” said Puckett.

Van Gerpen calls his device the mobilaser. A laser, attached to a walker, generates a beam of light, which provides a visual cue for patients with difficulty walking, because of a neurological disease or brain trauma.

“There is a part of the brain when you want to initiate walking in the prefrontal cortex in the basal ganglia, and if those areas get damaged then those signals don't get to the primary motor cortex,” said Van Gerpen.

By watching the laser’s red line, the patient concentrates on a different task. That makes his brain send signals along a different path to the motor cortex, avoiding the damaged areas where those signals get jammed.

“We are capitalizing on the parts of the brain that are working quite well to help compensate for those that are not,” he said.

Van Gerpen said most of his patients improved their mobility, and Wayne Puckett said the mobilaser helped him get back his life.


Turkish government moving
to more control of Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

The Turkish government is facing growing criticism over its proposals to control Internet use. The moves come with the government mired in corruption allegations.

The center of Istanbul became a battleground with police using water cannons and tear gas to disperse a mid-January demonstration against government proposals to control the Internet. Were the proposals to become law, Internet service providers would be compelled to block Web sites within four hours of being ordered to do so by the government, block keyword searches if so ordered, and keep customers' user information for two years.

Lawyer Selin Kaledelen of the Korsan Web site, which campaigns for freedom of information, said the government's Internet proposals are aimed at stifling allegations of high-level government corruption. "My reaction? I was not shocked because I was waiting for that … This law gives the opportunity of the authorities to block these Web sites within four hours," he explained. "So for me, it's dictatorship of the authorities in terms of law. It's a censorship law and we don't recognize it."

In December, a major judicial probe was launched into alleged high-level government corruption. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by reassigning thousands of police officers and prosecutors linked to the investigation, saying the probe was unfairly targeting government allies.

Political analyst Cengiz Aktar of the Istanbul Policy Forum says the new law is part of a worrying trend. "This is probably the last nail on the already ailing Internet freedom in this country. The law of 2007 was already very restrictive. Turkey was one of the worst countries in terms of Internet freedom even now. We will see how far it will go. It's always very difficult to cut all links from the world to make Turkey something which would look like North Korea. But these are desperate moves by the government," he said.

But the government insists the proposals are just about protecting people’s privacy and are in line with international standards.

Under existing legislation, Turkish courts have blocked more than 40,000 Web sites, one of the highest figures in the world. Popular sites such as YouTube have been banned for several years.

Yaman Akdeniz, a professor of law and expert on cyber freedoms at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, questions the effectiveness of such controls.

"Turkish people, since the of blocking access to YouTube, have become very much knowledgeable about the Internet and related matters," said Aktar. "If somebody wants to access information, you will not be able to stop them as long as they know the information is out there."

With Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling AK Party enjoying a large majority in parliament, it's expected that the Internet reforms will become law. But Selin Kaledelen of the Korsan Web site predicts the government will face an increasingly bitter battle over Internet freedom.

"I don't think they will succeed now. People like us will talk. It's not just about government corruption, it can be any case. So we will have additional routes and roads to communicate in the future. They can't stop us. But maybe they can build their own cyber army, because they are doing that. They are hiring some computer scientists, or coders and hackers. They are building their own crew," stated Kaledelen.

A recent Turkish opinion poll found 64 percent of people did not believe the country's mainstream media were freely covering government corruption allegations. Observers say the Internet is increasingly seen as an important alternative source of news. With Turkey entering into an 18-month period of elections, the outcome of the battle over Internet freedom is expected to have far reaching consequences for the country.


Antioxidants may be bad
and increase cancer vigor

By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

Millions of people take vitamins, minerals and herbal pills every day, hoping to stay healthy, and avoid disease. Much of that money is spent on antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, which is commonly believed to prevent or delay some types of cell damage, such as cancer. But new research suggests that taking high levels of the supplements may actually be increasing the risk by knocking out the body's natural defenses against cancer.

Antioxidants are chemicals naturally produced by the body, or provided by fruits and vegetables, that neutralize what are known as free radicals, harmful molecules that accumulate inside cells and damage DNA.  Without antioxidants, cells turn cancerous.

But despite dozens of studies, there’s never been any evidence that taking extra antioxidants, in the form of pills, prevents cancer, said Martin Bergo, a professor of molecular medicine at the University of Gothenburg.  In fact, in an interview via Skype, he said excessive doses of the supplements could be harmful.

“But this thing is deeply rooted in the belief of people because these free radicals that form inside the cells,” he said.

Bergo said dozens of studies have shown little or no benefit from taking antioxidants.  He said other trials had to be halted because researchers observed an increased cancer risk.

An article in the journal Science Translational Medicine described how two research teams, one led by Bergo and another overseen by cancer researcher Par Lindahl, discovered by accident that high doses of two antioxidants, vitamin E and N-acetyl-cysteine, fueled lung cancer in mice.

Lindahl, also of the University of Gothenburg, said researchers were looking at how a particular protein that binds to DNA might contribute to lung cancer.

In a Skype interview, Lindahl said all of the mice in the study had small lung tumors. To create a control group, the researchers gave some of the rodents antioxidants, expecting that to limit their tumor growth.

“And it turns out that mice that were treated with extra antioxidants, they developed larger tumors compared to untreated mice.  The tumors looked more aggressive, and the mice died twice as fast as the untreated mice," said Lindahl.

Researchers found high antioxidant levels reduced the activity of P-53, a protein that normally limits cell damage and prevents cancer. While more studies are needed before any recommendations for humans can be made, the researchers suggest that people with small, undiagnosed lung tumors could potentially fuel cancer by taking antioxidant supplements.

A spokesman for the American Cancer Society called the study’s results intriguing but agreed it is too early to draw any conclusions.


Academy Award winner
may have died of heroin

By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, was found dead Sunday in his New York apartment of a suspected drug overdose.

Police say they went to the actor's home in Manhattan's Greenwich Village after receiving a call from one of his friends. The Associated Press and The New York Times, citing law enforcement officials, said investigators found a syringe in Hoffman's arm and an envelope containing what was believed to be heroin. There was no official confirmation of the reports.

Hoffman spoke candidly over the years about past struggles with drug addiction. After 23 years of being sober, he acknowledged in interviews last year that he had relapsed and developed a heroin problem that led to a stint at a rehabilitation facility.

A native of New York state, Hoffman won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role in the 2005 biographical film "Capote," in which he played author Truman Capote. He also received three Academy Award nominations as best supporting actor. And he won Tony Award nominations for his acting on the Broadway stage.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,'' Hoffman's family said in a statement issued through his publicist.

"This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers,'' it added.

A representative said the family would not make any further statements for now.

Onlookers gathered on Sunday afternoon near Hoffman's apartment in a four-story red brick building in a fashionable neighborhood of the West Village, where many other actors keep homes. The entire block was cordoned off by police.

Hoffman is survived by his partner of 15 years, costume designer Mimi O'Donnell, and their three children.


Tropical atmosphere layer
may buffer global warming


By the Hebrew University of Jerusalem news staff

Can naturally occurring processes selectively buffer the full brunt of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities?

Yes, find researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

As the globe warms, ocean temperatures rise, leading to increased water vapor escaping into the atmosphere. Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, and its impact on climate is amplified in the stratosphere.

In a detailed study, the researchers from the three institutions examined the causes of changes in the temperatures and water vapor in the tropical tropopause layer. The layer is a critical region of the atmosphere with characteristics of both the troposphere below and the stratosphere above.

The tropical tropopause can have significant influences on both atmospheric chemistry and climate, as its temperature determines how much water vapor can enter the stratosphere. Therefore, understanding any changes in the temperature of the tropical tropopause and what might be causing them is an important scientific question of significant societal relevance, say the researchers.

The Israeli and U.S. scientists used measurements from satellite observations and output from chemistry-climate models to understand recent temperature trends in the tropical tropopause. Temperature measurements show where significant changes have taken place since 1979.

The satellite observations have shown that warming of the tropical Indian Ocean and tropical Western Pacific Ocean with resulting increased precipitation and water vapor there causes the opposite effect of cooling in the tropical tropopause region above the warming sea surface. Once the tropical tropopause cools, less water vapor is present in it and also above in the stratosphere,

Since water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas, this effect leads to a negative feedback on climate change. That is, the increase in water vapor due to enhanced evaporation from the warming oceans is confined to the near- surface area, while the stratosphere becomes drier. Hence, this effect may actually slightly weaken the more dire forecasted aspects of an increasing warming of our climate, the scientists say.


shark study
University of Miami/Christine Shepherd 
  The research team angles Tiger Shark up to the boat to
  begin samples.



Catch and release of sharks
might have serious impact

By the University of Miami news service

A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami investigated how several species of coastal sharks respond to stress from catch-and-release fishing. The results revealed that each of the shark species responded differently. Hammerhead sharks were by far the most vulnerable to fighting on a fishing line.

The scientists experimentally simulated catch-and-release fishing on five shark species, hammerhead, blacktip, bull, lemon and tiger sharks, in South Florida and Bahamian waters. Researchers took blood samples to examine stress, including pH, carbon dioxide and lactate levels, conducted reflex tests, as well as used satellite tags to look at their post-release survival.

Fighting on a fishing line significantly affected the blood lactate levels of sharks, similar to what happens to humans during intense or exhaustive physical exercise, which has been linked to mortality in many species of fish. The study revealed that even with minimal degrees of fighting on a fishing line, hammerhead exhibited the highest levels of lactic acid build up of all species studied, followed by blacktip, bull, lemon and tiger sharks.

Tagging results also suggested that, after release, hammerheads were also prone to delayed mortality.
               
"Our results show that while some species, like tiger sharks, can sustain and even recover from minimal catch and release fishing, other sharks, such as hammerheads are more sensitive" said lead author Austin Gallagher. "Our study also revealed that just because a shark swims away after it is released, doesn't mean that it will survive the encounter. This has serious conservation implications because those fragile species might need to be managed separately, especially if we are striving for sustainability in catch and release fishing and even in bycatch scenarios."

"Many shark populations globally are declining due to overfishing, said Neil Hammerschlag, a Research assistant professor and co-author. Shark anglers are some of the biggest advocates for shark conservation. Most have been making the switch from catch and kill to all catch and release. Our study helps concerned fisherman make informed decisions on which sharks make good candidates for catch and release fishing, and which do not, such as hammerheads."

The researchers are from the university's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science




Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
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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:

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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.
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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
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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.
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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. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
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Dominican Republic

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 23
Sports
Calendar
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News from the BBC up to the minute

















BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.


















Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Japan asks Dutch to act
against Sea Shepherd boat


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japan has appealed to the Netherlands to take action against a Dutch-registered vessel that collided with a Japanese whaling ship in the Southern Ocean Sunday.

The Bob Barker, belonging to the militant conservationist group Sea Shepherd, came into contact with a Japanese harpoon vessel while trying to disrupt the hunt. Both ships were damaged and each side has blamed the other for the collision.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshida Suga told reporters in Tokyo Monday that the environmental group's actions are extremely dangerous and completely unacceptable.

The Sea Shepherd vessels harass Japanese whaling ships every year in attempts to force them to end their whaling expeditions.

For its part Sea Shepherd said it has called for the Australian and New Zealand governments to assert their authority and policy by intervening to protect the whales now being hunted by the Japanese whaling fleet in both countries' sanctuaries.

"Yesterday's clashes between the Sea Shepherd Australia ships and Japanese harpoon ships showed high seas brigandry by the Japanese with no sign of the post-election commitment of a surveillance plane from the Australian government, let alone its pre-election promise of a surveillance customs vessel," the anti-whaling organization said.


Nanodiamonds not unique
to one soil stratum, study says


By the University of Oklahoma news service

In a University of Oklahoma-led study, researchers discovered an additional active process, not excluding an extraterrestrial event, that may have led to high concentrations of nanodiamonds in Younger Dryas-age sediments and in sediments less than 3,000 years old. Findings from quantifying sediments of different periods along the Bull Creek valley in the Oklahoma Panhandle suggest the distribution of nanodiamonds was not unique to the Younger Dryas sediments.

“Whatever process produced nanodiamond concentrations in the Younger Dryas sediments may have been active in recent millennia,” said Leland Bement of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey. Bement led the project with Andrew Madden of the university's School of Geology and Geophysics and other collaborators.

The presence of nanodiamonds in the sedimentological record has been cited as evidence supporting a hypothesis that an impact, probably a comet, triggered the Younger Dryas period of global cooling around 11,000 years ago and contributed to the extinction of many animals and altered human adaptations. The study found no correlation of nanodiamond concentration caused by alternative processes, including soil formation, erosion, prehistoric human activity or other climate reversals in Oklahoma panhandle sediments.






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From Page 7:

Obama makes new pitch against inequality

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama says economic inequality has deepened in America, even though the country has experienced four years of economic growth with 8 million new private sector jobs.

Obama said in his weekly address Saturday it is "time to restore opportunity for all people."

He said the opportunity agenda he presented in his recent state of the union address has four parts -- more new jobs, training to fill those jobs, a world-class education for every child, and a liveable wage for every man and woman.

President Obama said implementing the agenda would require cooperation from Congress, but the president, who leads the Democratic Party, said he would take steps on his own when he could to expand opportunity for more families.

In the Republican address, four members of the House of Representatives where their party is the majority, urged Obama to support bills on jobs, medical research, compensation and energy. Rep. Fred Upton said the Senate, controlled by Democrats, was standing in the way.