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Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                         Published Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 25                          Email us
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Jo Stuart
Anti aging

Tiny wasp may be a big help in fighting citrus disease
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country's citrus growers now have a safe ally in their battle against the dreaded dragón amarillo, the insect-born bacterial disease that ruins crops and kills trees.

Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, have declared a tiny wasp, Tamarixia radiata, to be safe for the environment and poses no undue risk to other insects, humans or pets.

The bacterial disease is carried by the Asian citrus psyllid to which the wasp is a natural enemy.  The tiny parasitic wasp lays eggs in insect nymphs, eventually killing them.

The university said that the designation came after 18 months of testing in Riverside, Calfornia. Safety testing in biological control is important as the release of natural enemies may pose some type of environmental risk, the university noted. In this instance, Tamarixia radiata were imported from the Punjab region of Pakistan, and tested for safety in quarantine for 18 months.

“Our work demonstrates that Tamarixia radiata is very specific to the target it is being released to kill — the nymphs of the Asian citrus psyllid in this case,” said Mark Hoddle, the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, whose lab performed the tests. He was quoted by the university.

Growers found the disease in northern Costa Rica in 2011. However, the infestation is much more severe in México, Florida and other locations in the Caribbean.

The study is the first one published that was designed specifically to determine the preferred host of the wasp.  The results are important as the wasp already is being used for biological control in Florida, Texas, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Mexico, said the university.

To determine the safety of Tamarixia, different species of native California psyllids were exposed to the wasp in a series of tests. The tests were designed to
give the wasp a choice between the Asian citrus psyllid and a non-target psyllid species, or there was

A.M. Costa Rica file photo
The disease causes green and misshapen fruit
University of California, Riverside/ Jason Mottern
A female Tamarixia radiata, highly magnified.

 no choice, that is, the wasp was only given access to a non-target species, one it had not evolved with. When given a choice, Tamarixia overwhelmingly attacked the Asian citrus psyllid, the researchers found, according to the university.

“We have now released more than 200,000 Tamarixia radiata in Southern California at more than 350 different sites, mainly in urban areas and spanning six counties — Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego,” Hoddle said. “They have established and are spreading, tracking down ACP on citrus in people’s gardens and orchards.”

The Tamarixia larvae will eat the Asian citrus psyllid  nymphs, killing them, and emerge as adults about 12 days later. Adult female Tamarixia also eat other Asian citrus psyllid nymphs, killing many in the process.

Much of Costa Rica's orange crop is exported as juice, and it is a major agricultural industry. The bacteria is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which causes the citrus leaves to yellow and fall off. It also causes the fruit to be deformed and to have a sour taste. The disease turned up in Florida in 2005, causing great concern there. 

The Asian citrus psyllid is Diaphorina citri.

Costa Rican agricultural experts have been sampling for the insect after a handful of trees were found to be infested in the northern zone.

The Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería has declared an agricultural emergency over the problem, which also is called citrus greening. The emergency allowed growers to import special bags impregnated with insecticides. There have been no mentions of importing the wasps.

The bacteria is called Huanglongbing, a Chinese name reflecting the fact that the disease was found in that country in the early part of the 20th century.

 Costa Rica has spent more than $1 million in prevention, training and the creation of a lab. The cost of insecticides against the bacterial carrier is many hundreds of dollars a hectare, officials have said.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photos
Three suspects are on their way to see prosecutors after being arrested.
Three suspects nabbed quickly in newspeople robbery
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police quickly tracked down three suspects in the robbery of newspeople on election day. The two  Agence France-Presse staffers easily picked out the suspects from photos in a mug book maintained by judicial agents.

The Dirección de Inteligencia Policial of the security ministry said that the suspects all had records and their modus operandi was familiar.

The trio locked the male and female staffers in a bathroom while they took their equipment. The location 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, the three crooks committed the crime.

Police said they followed the men for 24 hours before picking them up at separate locations Tuesday morning. All three are Costa Ricans.

Police and judicial agents usually block out the faces of suspects, which is why A.M. Costa Rica does not often use the photos provided by the agencies. However, in the case of newspeople being robbed, an exception is being made.

There also is a good chance that the suspects will be on the streets again soon.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 25

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
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Real estate agents and services

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.

Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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Diario Extra case being set
to music with a video, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Local musicians are taking up the cause of El Diario Extra, which says it has been the victim of police wiretapping and espionage.

Paola Hernández, an executive at the Grupo Extra media company, said that the groups Tapón and El Soldado will be at Parque Central today at 10 a.m. to appear in a video about the case.

The newspaper filed a complaint with the Judicial Investigating Organization two weeks ago.

The musical effort is to call attention to the newspaper's cause to the public and the news media, said Ms. Hernåandez.

The case became more complex earlier in the week when the Defensoria de los Habitantes, the country's ombudsman, sought to have the director of the Judicial Investigating Organization suspended while the case is being investigated. The allegation is that it was the judicial police who did the telephone intervention.  The Corte Suprema de Justicia declined to do that.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo     
The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad has installed this slide protection barrier on Ruta 209 between Aserrí and Tarbaca. The agency spent 35 million colons or about $70,000 on the job in anticipation of the rainy season.

Plate exchange is continuing
for motorists with correct digit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

If it is February, it is time for owners of vehicles with plates ending in 3 to purchase new ones.

This is the long-running project by the Registro Nacional that will last until the end of the year.  Already owners of vehicles with plates ending in 1 and 2 have been allowed to purchase new plates. Those who did not are facing possible fines.

New plates are supposed to have security measures to prevent such illegal techniques as cloning and using a duplicate plate on a second vehicle. The new plate also comes with a window sticker.

The Registro is collecting 15,000 colons or about $30 for the new plates. Motorcycle plates are 6,000 colons or about $16. The plates are available through banks and at the Correo de Costa Rica, although there is a wait of several days.

One change favoring motorists is that they need not present the old plate at a bank or the post office until the new ones are about to be delivered. The Registro can make the switch the same day.

The new plates arrive with the same number. although some motorists may choose to obtain a plate with letters and numbers.

Pet adoption  Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Asociación Animales de Asís will offer dogs and cats for adoption Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walmart in Alajuela. The animals are castrated. A 10,000-colon donation is requested.

 Our reader's opinion
Tariff on all imported foods
would stimulate agriculture

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

You're right on target there with your prediction of more taxes.  I would just prefer they put those taxes on something that will really help the country. 

Costa Rica has the potential to produce most, if not all, of its food.  A tariff on all imported food to the extent that it would foster a great expansion and diversification in Costa Rica's agriculture and food production industries is what is needed.  The business expansion at all sizes would be huge on a national and a local level, allowing the government to begin to reduce the social expenditures to a manageable level without more taxes. 

The trade deals would need to be changed, but they generally only benefit a very few in the agriculture and food industry, not the people as whole.

Albert Lusk
San Isidro

Budget office says Obamacare
will reduce full-time positions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A report by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office predicts the new health care reform law will shrink the work force by more than 2 million full-time positions.

The report, released Tuesday, may fuel the debate over whether the health care reform law known as Obamacare is good for the economy. The budget office report said if people's health care plans are not tied to their employment status, fewer will choose to work and some who keep working may choose to work fewer hours. The predicted reduction in hours adds up to about 2.5 million fewer full-time positions by 2024.

Critics of Obamacare, including many Republicans, say the findings show that the plan will ultimately have an adverse effect on the economy. The White House is defending Obamacare, and said the report has not presented evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the health care act being implemented late last year.

The report also said that the long-term effects of the health care reforms are still unclear. It said that over time, more people are expected to take advantage of the new coverage options, so enrollment is expected to increase sharply in 2015 and 2016.

Four suspects held in New York
after actor's apparent heroin death

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York City police have arrested four suspects found with more than 350 bags of suspected heroin in an apartment, as they investigate the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Police said they arrested three men and one woman Tuesday in a raid on a Manhattan apartment not far from the Greenwich Village apartment where Hoffman's body was found Sunday.

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 25
Real Estate
About us

recount underway
Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones photo
The recount is under way at the election offices, and there are more than 6,500 poll results to check
Election workers begin the mandatory recounting of votes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is no doing things the easy way when it comes to elections.

The rules say that if the top finishers are closer in vote totals than 2 percent, a recount is required.

Regardless, Johnny Araya Monge of Liberación Nacional and Luís Guillermo Solís of Acción Ciudadana will be in the runoff April 6. Both are well above the third-place finisher.

Still, election workers are counting the ballots from 6,516 polling places during two four-hour shifts a day. The work has
 to be done within 30 days for the presidential vote and within 60 days for legislators.

Some of the five magistrates of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones have to be present at all times, and representatives of the political parties also can be there.

There is no wiggle room for recounting the presidential vote.  But in the case of legislative elections, a recount requires a complaint or some inconsistency in the election materials of individual polling places.

If Araya and Solís finish close together in the runoff, which is possible, there will have to be another recount.

Expat in land case returns to court over his YouTube video
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The long-running legal battle between expat Sheldon Haseltine and a team of local businessmen continued Tuesday in a nearly empty courtroom in San José. Haseltine is being accused of defamation by business magnate Armando González Fonseca because of the now-famous YouTube video that detailed a dispute involving land he purchased in Puntarenas in 1977.

Although Haseltine removed the YouTube video recently, the effects are disputed in these court proceedings. The British-American expat has spent the last 16 years in various legal disputes over the land, most recently with González and his associates. The accusations of slander stem from the video that went viral and had more than 30,000 views.

Land developers Ricardo Jiménez and Fuad Farach Abdalah have been with this case before, as the two were also featured in the video. Both were called in as witnesses Tuesday on behalf of the prosecution. During their respective testimonies, they were shown replays of the video in which Haseltine talks about them and González. Jiménez and Farach Abdalah defended the integrity of González and said that some of Haseltine's claims were lies.
The expat spent much of the time in his video repeating what was in news stories from the Spanish-language La Nación.

González took to the stand himself, commenting that he decided to take up slander charges against Haseltine after the video became popular and media reports began putting his name under a shady light. He was also made to watch the seven-minute video again and shook his head.

Before González went through his direct and cross-examinations, a television journalist and his cameraman came to the courtroom. Though they said they had a special approval, Judge María de Los Angeles Arana would not allow them to tape the proceedings.

Haseltine's tale has long been seen as a cautionary one for foreign land investments into Costa Rica. After hundreds of thousands of dollars and mounting hours spent in courtrooms, Haseltine has said he is fighting for more than the land – he proceeds through this tiring saga in hopes of helping out future real estate investors from abroad. “We're not going to back down," he said. "It's far too late for that.”

The trial will reconvene today at 8:30 a.m.

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Real Estate
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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 25
Real Estate
About us

Salvadorean fisherman recounts his incredible tale of survival in the Pacific
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 37-year-old fisherman from El Salvador has washed ashore in the Marshall Islands and told authorities he survived a 13-month journey across the Pacific Ocean by drinking his own urine and eating raw turtles, fish and birds.

José Salvador Alvarenga says he set sail from southern Mexico in December 2012 for what was supposed to be a one-day shark-fishing expedition. When his seven-meter fiberglass boat lost power, he claims he began drifting and kept drifting until he landed nearly 11,000 kilometers away. He says he was forced to throw his teenage companion overboard after the young man died because he could not handle the diet they were forced to eat.

Authorities have not confirmed the story, and some have raised doubts about its plausibility.

But marine survival trainer and former U.S. Navy diver Terry Crownover said Alvarenga's ordeal is entirely believable. "In the world today, anything is possible. You'll have people that will give up within the first hour, and you've got some people that are just not going to give up. And it's just staying focused. And his big advantage was being out of the water and having some means of protection from the sun and loss of fluids, but I believe it is possible because you look back at case studies of people who have gone almost that duration in open life rafts."

And Crownover, Director of Training at the Marine Survival Training Institute at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is not alone.

Longtime Marshall Islands resident and filmmaker Jack Niedenthal interviewed Alvarenga Monday for CNN. He said Tuesday that Alvarenga's initial reluctance to talk to the media and his state of exhaustion following his rescue lead him to believe the story is not a hoax.

Alvarenga was found last week on the beach almost naked and hungry, but in relatively good shape, by two women on the tiny atoll of Ebon in the southern Marshall Islands.

"When he arrived, he appeared very bloated, he's got a very big beard and haggy hair... he looks exactly like Tom Hanks in 'Castaway,'" said Niedenthal. Niedenthal said Alvarenga said he drank turtle blood and his own urine in order to stay alive.

"He said the biggest thing was the water. When there wasn't water, he just drank his urine a little bit at a time, just to keep himself somewhat hydrated. And then he said it would pour rain and the boat would fill up with rain water, and that's what he would drink," he said.

Marine survival trainer Crownover said Alvarenga was in an area of the ocean that does appear to have a food supply chain that would enable him to capture rain water, as well as water from fish he might have caught.

Crownover said Alvarenga also was on what he called a good platform for survival, in that he was on a vessel rather than a raft. Crownover said that would allow him to stay dry and minimize the risk of hypothermia and threats from creatures in the water.

And there is a precedent for such a journey. In 2006, three Mexican fisherman were rescued after spending about nine months adrift.                     

Members of Alvarenga's family, in Silver Spring, Maryland, expressed relief at his rescue. While some had given him up for dead, his mother, María, who remains in El Salvador, insisted he was alive.

Alvarenga said he now wants to return to Mexico. Diplomats from there, the United States and El Salvador are discussing his relocation.

Alvarenga said while on his journey he considered committing suicide several times, but survived by praying to God, thinking about his family, and dreaming of eating his favorite food, tortillas.

And it's that mental will to live that Crownover said is the key to survival. "You stay focused, you  accomplish anything. The human race has gotten this far on that kind of thought."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

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 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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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.
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Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.

Here's reasonable medical care
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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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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.
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 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:

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

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:

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We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

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 
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 25
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Climate change threatens
to cause trillions in damage

By the Southampton, University news service

New research predicts that coastal regions may face massive increases in damages from storm surge flooding over the course of the 21st century.

According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, global average storm surge damages could increase from about $10 to $40 billion per year today to up to $100 trillion per year by the end of century, if no adaptation action is taken.

The study, led by the Berlin-based think-tank Global Climate Forum and involving the University of Southampton, presents, for the first time, comprehensive global simulation results on future flood damages to buildings and infrastructure in coastal flood plains. Drastic increases in these damages are expected due to both rising sea levels and population and economic growth in the coastal zone. Asia and Africa may be particularly hard hit because of their rapidly growing coastal mega-cities, such as Shanghai, Manila and Lagos.

“If we ignore this problem, the consequences will be dramatic,” explains Jochen Hinkel from Global Climate Forum and the study's lead author. In 2100, up to 600 million people, around 5 per cent of the global population, could be affected by coastal flooding if no adaptation measures are put in place.

“Countries need to take action and invest in coastal protection measures, such as building or raising dikes, amongst other options,” urges Hinkel. With such protection measures, the projected damages could be reduced to below $80 billion per year during the 21st century. The researchers found that an investment level of $10 to $70 billion per year could achieve such a reduction. Prompt action is needed most in Asia and Africa where, today, large parts of the coastal population are already affected by storm surge flooding.

However, investment must also occur in Europe as shown by the recent coastal floods in South West England. Professor Robert Nicholls from the University of Southampton, who is a co-author of the paper, says: “If we ignore sea-level rise, flood damages will progressively rise and presently good defenses will be degraded and ultimately overwhelmed. Hence we must start to adapt now, be that planning higher defenses, flood proofing buildings and strategically planning coastal land use.”

Meeting the challenge of adapting to rising sea levels will not be easy, explains Hinkel: “Poor countries and heavily impacted small-island states are not able to make the necessary investments alone, they need international support.” Adding to the challenge, international finance mechanisms have thus far proved sluggish in mobilizing funds for adapting to climate change, as the debate on adaptation funding at the recent climate conference in Warsaw once again confirmed.

“If we do not reduce greenhouse gases swiftly and substantially, some regions will have to seriously consider relocating significant numbers of people in the longer run,” adds Hinkel. Yet regardless of how much sea-level rise climate change brings, the researchers say careful long-term strategic planning can ensure that development in high-risk flood zones is appropriately designed or avoided. 

Nicholls says: “This long-term perspective is however a challenge to bring about, as coastal development tends to be dominated by short-term interests of, for example, real-estate and tourism companies, which prefer to build directly at the waterfront with little thought about the future.”

Warmer weather expected
to increase elderly death rates

By the British Medical Journal news staff

The number of annual excess deaths caused by hot weather in England and Wales is projected to surge by 257 percent by the middle of the century, as a result of climate change and population growth, concludes research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The elderly, those 75 years and older, will be most at risk, particularly in the South and the Midlands, the findings suggest.

The research team, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Public Health England, used time-series regression analysis to chart historic (1993-2006) fluctuations in weather patterns and death rates to characterize the associations between temperature and mortality, by region and by age group.

They then applied these to projected population increases and local climate to estimate the future number of deaths likely to be caused by temperature, hot and cold, for the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s.

They based their calculations on the projected daily average temperatures for 2000-09, 2020-29, 2050-59 and 2080-89, derived from the British Atmospheric Data Centre and population growth estimates from the Office of National Statistics.

The calculations indicated a significantly increased risk of deaths associated with temperature across all regions of the UK, with the elderly most at risk.

The number of hot weather days is projected to rise steeply, tripling in frequency by the mid 2080s, while the number of cold days is expected to fall, but at a less dramatic pace.

At the national level, the death rate increases by just over 2 percent for every 1-degree C rise in temperature above the heat threshold, with a corresponding 2 percent increase in the death rate for every 1-degree C fall in temperature below the cold threshold.

In the absence of any adaptive measures, excess deaths related to heat would be expected to rise by 257 percent by the 2050s, from an annual baseline of 2000, while those related to the cold would be expected to fall by 2 percent as a result of milder winters, from a current toll of around 41,000, but will still remain significant.

Those aged 85 and over will be most at risk, partly as a result of population growth, projected to reach 89 million by the mid 2080s, and the increasing proportion of elderly in the population, say the authors.

Regional variations are likely to persist: London and the Midlands are the regions most vulnerable to the impact of heat, while Wales, the North West, Eastern England and the South are most vulnerable to the impact of cold.

Rising fuel costs may make it harder to adapt to extremes of temperature, while increased reliance on active cooling systems could simply end up driving up energy consumption and worsening the impact of climate change, say the authors.

Better and more sustainable options might instead include shading, thermal insulation, choice of construction materials implemented at the design stage of urban developments, suggest the authors.

U.S. farm bill passes Senate
and heads to Obama's desk

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Legislation ending automatic payments to U.S. farmers and making international food aid more efficient is on its way to President Barack Obama's desk.

The legislation, however, has drawn criticism for its generous new subsidies and potential to violate international trade laws.

The Senate Tuesday passed the five-year, $1 trillion farm bill governing farm policy, domestic and international food aid, and more.  The House passed the measure last week.

According to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates, the bill reduces spending by $16.6 billion.

The largest part of the cuts is from ending a $5 billion-per-year "direct payment" subsidy that farmers received in good times and bad.

"We all agreed that direct payment subsidies could no longer be justified and needed to be eliminated," said Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"We also knew that it was important to have a safety net for our farmers," she added.

Congress expanded subsidies for crop insurance and other programs that shield farmers from crop losses or market declines.

Supporters note that farmers have to spend their own money to buy crop insurance.

"You get a bill, not a check," Ms. Stabenow said.  "And you don’t get any kind of help unless you have a loss."

The federal government pays more than half of the bill, which critics say is excessive.

Alternatively, farmers can choose a counter-cyclical program that pays a benefit when crop prices fall below a set point, but proposed limits on the amount of subsidy farmers could receive were removed.

"The result of that is going to be a counter-cyclical program that will be much more market-distorting than the current ones for a few crops," said Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

The World Trade Organization has ruled against the United States on an earlier version of the counter-cyclical subsidies, because they kept world market prices artificially low.  The new subsidies may reopen that trade dispute.

Advocates for international food aid reform cheered a small change in the farm bill that they say will make help available to hundreds of thousands more people.

While most U.S. food aid comes from American farmers and is transported on U.S.-flagged vessels, Congress will allow more funding to be spent on purchasing food closer to where it is needed.

Aid groups also can offer cash vouchers for beneficiaries to purchase food themselves.

Proponents say these tools are much more efficient, allowing U.S. aid to reach more people with the same resources.

Programs for the needy in the United States were a major stumbling block for negotiators.

The bill ultimately cut $8.5 billion from domestic food assistance programs by tightening eligibility requirements.

President Obama has said he will sign the bill.

Cost of hosting the Olympics
spotlighted by Sochi projects

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the Winter Olympics beginning this week, the world’s attention is turning to Sochi. But when the athletes and tourists leave, Russia will have spent more than $50 billion to stage the games. As the costs soar, it is worth noting the benefits and pitfalls of hosting an Olympics.

When the Olympic flame arrives in the seaside town, all eyes will be on seven brand new facilities along the coast, and a new, world-class ski resort in the nearby mountains.

For 17 days, the world’s best winter athletes will dazzle and inspire.

But when the last medal has been handed out and the closing ceremony is over, Russia will be left with a monumental problem: paying off the most expensive Olympic Games in history.

The issue of exorbitant Olympic expenses is nothing new. The 2004 Summer Games in Athens cost an estimated $11 billion, partially contributing to the country’s on-going debt crisis.

The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, believed to have cost about $40 billion, included construction of the mammoth Beijing National Stadium - nicknamed the Bird’s Nest - which now sits mostly unused.

Six years later, the cost to stage the Sochi Games is estimated to top $50 billion

Given the skyrocketing costs of the Olympics, the question is: why host?

Bob Sweeney, who leads DC2024, a group aiming to bring the 2024 Summer games to Washington, D.C., said, “Great cities gotta do great things, and this is the greatest of great things in the sports world.”

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sport management at George Washington University, explained that hosting is about more than money.

“For each host city and each host country, they have their own objectives - what are they looking to get out of it? So for Sochi, they wanted to build a first-class ski resort, and to let people know Sochi is part of Russia, and that it is a summer and winter destination," she said. "For London, they wanted to redevelop the East End. When New York was bidding, it was primarily to get a new stadium for the  Jets and Giants. They knew this would be the catalyst to get it built, and there would be some funding coming in. Every country and host city has a reason for doing it, and they aren’t all the same.”

Ms. Neirotti added that determining the actual cost of hosting an Olympics is difficult to quantify. She estimated the actual cost to put on the games is "only" about $3 billion, and includes expenses such as transportation and security. 

“That, unto itself, is paid mostly by Olympic sponsorship and broadcast dollars. The other additional amounts that are being thrown around, that’s all civic development," she said. "Think about the four-lane highway that went up to the mountains, or the high-speed train, and the seven new venues that are in an area of Adler that never existed before. If you didn’t have to build all of that infrastructure, your Olympic budget would be very reasonable.”

Furthermore, Ms. Neirotti said the Olympics do not necessarily have to be a huge financial burden as long as host countries plan ahead appropriately. 

“Often times you receive money that may have been slated for 10 years in advance, and you move that government money up," she said. "I think if you do it right, you don’t have to outlay that cash. You can secure it from sponsors, the broadcast rights, and money that is earmarked for the community at a future date.”

She added that the onus is on the International Olympics Committee to select the candidate city with the most responsible plan.

“The International Olympic Committee needs to take a closer look on analyzing the corruption factors, the quality of life factors, and really understand that even though a country may say, 'It’s great. We can do it. We want it,' is it really good for the International Olympic Committee to burden this country with this responsibility," asked Ms. Neirotti.

Sochi, she said, is not an example of hosting the right way.

“Sochi is an outlier. It’s very rare that the International Olympic Committee gives a Winter Olympics to an area that doesn’t  have a ski resort,” she said.

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are projected to come in at $14 billion, far less than the summer games in Beijing and what Russia has spent for Sochi. Traditionally, however, these early projections increase right up until the opening ceremony.

Graphene's unlimited potential
still remains in the future

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In 2004, two scientists at the University of Manchester in England isolated a carbon-based material called graphene with some unusual properties. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov hailed it as the wonder material of the 21st century, and they were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics. Scientists now say that someday, graphene may change the way humans live.

Graphene is the first man-made two-dimensional material. It is actually only a one-atom-thick layer of pure carbon. It is closely related to nanotubes, and microscopic graphite balls called fullerenes.

Graphene is basically graphite, like the core of pencils, but its neatly-arranged and tightly-woven atoms make it 200 times stronger than a steel sheet of the same thickness.

The leader of the graphene research team at Manchester University, Aravind Vijayaraghavan, said incredible strength is not its only quality.

"It's bendable, stretchable, transparent, super light. The best conductor of heat, the best conductor of electricity. It's not just one thing that makes it amazing, it's in fact all these things rolled into one," said Vijayaraghavan.

The potential of graphene is practically unlimited. It can be used in cancer therapy, in flexible touchscreens, or for batteries that will charge in seconds. Top tennis players Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray use graphene-based racquets.

But being so thin, graphene also is extremely hard to handle, like the transparent cellulose used for wrapping food.

"It gets everywhere, it crinkles up, it sticks to everything," said Vijayaraghavan.

Ioannou said someday, graphene may be very useful for smartphone displays, supercapacitors and nanoantennas for nanomachines that could talk to each other.

Britain and the European Union are building a $140-million National Graphene Institute in Manchester, while there are already close to 10,000 patents worldwide related to the new material.

Developing countries face
woes from U.S. Fed cuts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The slowdown in emerging economies and the U.S. central bank’s decision to scale back monetary stimulus have many investors worried about the state of the world’s economy. Some blame the U.S. Federal Reserve for trimming its easy money policies too quickly, while others insist some emerging economies were unprepared for it. Economists say the reasons for market turmoil are as varied as the countries involved.

When the U.S. central bank started pumping billions of dollars into the economy to stimulate growth, investors took advantage investing money in fast growing economies and countries where interest rates were higher.  But amid signs of a strengthening U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve began scaling back monetary stimulus.

As a result, in the World Bank's global economic report, economist Andrew Burns said investments are flowing back into advanced economies as interest rates begin to rise.

“The analysis that we do in the report suggests that capital flows to developing countries, in a smooth transition to higher interest rates in the United States, are likely to decline as a percentage of developing countries GDP,” said Burns.

The exodus of capital comes at a bad time. Growth in developing countries from Brazil to India has slowed.  

When its currency declined sharply last month, Turkey’s central bank tried to discourage capital flight and doubled interest rates to attract investors.

That briefly raised the value of the Turkish lira, though economist Ozlem Demirci says the cost is too high.

“Of course we will see some negative impact of this rate hike decision over growth, especially GDP growth, because the credit rate will probably increase, borrowing costs will increase,” said Demirci.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s central bank chose not to intervene resulting in the Argentine peso’s biggest depreciation in more than a decade. The contagion spread quickly to other emerging markets, leading some economists to call it the biggest sell off in emerging market currencies since 2009.

William Cline at the Peterson Institute said the Fed's taper does not get all the blame.

"In Argentina, they had domestic inflation that was running very high and was disguised by the official figures, in Turkey, the political scandals and the very large trade deficit," he said.

Given country-specific issues, Cline said the recent market turmoil may be a necessary correction. One example he cites is Brazil.

"After all, it was fairly recently that the Brazilians were complaining about a currency war, and they were saying that this wall of money coming at them because our interest rates were so low were making them uncompetitive. Now I think that their currency is more appropriately valued," said Cline.

On the other hand, China, the world's fastest growing major economy has been largely unscathed, perhaps owing to its large dollar reserves.

Given the interconnected nature of commerce, though, economists say the turmoil in emerging markets isn't over yet.

Snowden's leaks have caused
costly changes, officials say

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Top U.S. intelligence officials say leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have put members of all branches of the U.S. military and other U.S. personnel abroad at risk, and that the Pentagon has had to make costly changes. The officials testified to a congressional panel about worldwide threats to U.S. national security.

Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Michael Flynn told the House Intelligence Committee that revelations by Snowden, who is now living in Russia, have put the lives of U.S. service members in danger, and that the Pentagon is making adjustments.

"Everything that he touched, we assume that he took, stole," he said. "So we assume the worst case in how we are reviewing all of the Defense Department's actions, events, exercises around the world."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper again called on Snowden and anyone who is helping him to return all stolen documents that have not yet been published.

Clapper and the National Security Agency are under fire for monitoring the communications of U.S. friends and allies, as well as those of U.S. enemies, with a sweeping eavesdropping program, the scope of which was disclosed to the media by Snowden.
The NSA has been criticized for collecting vast amounts of metadata from the telephone calls of American citizens, information that could be mined to trace potential security threats.

giant mirrior
University of Arizona/ Ray Bertram  
  Observer with the Giant Magellan Telescope’s third
  primary mirror.

Giant eye on space takes shape
one massive mirror at a time

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new telescope is being readied to probe the mysteries of the cosmos. Once completed, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the most powerful on the planet.  

The instrument is under construction at the University of Arizona and, when it's completed by 2020, will allow astronomers to probe the origin of the universe.

“We want to know what is the overall size and structure of the universe. What is it comprised of? What is our place in the universe?" said Patrick McCarthy, director of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, who came to the American Astronomical Society Annual Meeting in Washington. "Are there other planets in the universe that might hold life? And what is the overall fate and evolution of the universe? So we just want to know, where are we? And who else is with us?”  

The 25-meter diameter telescope is comprised of seven mirrors that work together to make a single optical telescope. Each of the mirrors is 8.4 meters in diameter. Even though Magellan is based on Earth, and gathering light that is filtered through the atmosphere, it will offer the highest resolution images ever seen to explore deep space.

Magellan’s enormous light collecting capacity will allow it to follow the path of the evolving universe, from gas and elementary particles to the rich world of galaxies, stars and planets.

“Once you see them, then you can start to actually look at their atmospheres to see if there are signs of life or at least biomarkers like water, oxygen, chlorophyll perhaps," McCarthy said. "And then on the very largest scales, we can measure the expansion history of the universe and try to understand this mysterious acceleration and ask what the fate of the universe is 100 billion years from now.”

Each mirror is the product of cutting-edge technology and processing.  First, a mold is built that can accommodate and cast some 20 tons of crushed glass. 

“You put the glass in there.  You enclose it in a furnace filled with heating filaments," McCarthy said. "You heat it up to about 2,000 degrees. As the glass starts to melt, we spin the furnace. We rotate it so as it melts, the glass takes a natural parabolic shape.”

After two days spinning the mirror is allowed to cool, one degree a day for four months, to avoid stresses that could lead to cracks.

“Then after those four months, we open the top, and see what we have got," McCarthy said. "And we just did that on mirror number three and it is beautiful.”

But there’s much more work to do, to polish the glass smooth to just the right prescription, with finer and finer tools. The $1-billion project is the largest privately led telescope initiative in history, a global partnership among academic and science institutions.

“It is 10 years of problem-solving challenges, careful thinking, doing something that you have never done before," McCarthy said. "That is why it takes a big team, very talented people, a lot of thought, a lot of planning.”

The Giant Magellan is slated to begin operation on a Chilean mountain top in 2020, with four of its seven primary mirrors. When the final stages are complete, it will have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.  McCarthy acknowledges that he probably will not be around to reap its benefits.

“These kinds of projects are kind of career-length projects or pretty close to it," he said. "So people like myself, we do this knowing that the next generation will be the users. They will be the ones to make the discoveries. Discoveries that we cannot yet even imagine.”

Navy faces a cheating scandal
involving nuclear personnel

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Navy's top admiral says the department is investigating an allegation that senior officers at a nuclear training facility cheated on a written qualification exam.

Speaking at the Pentagon Tuesday, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said that to say he is disappointed would be an understatement. Calling integrity the foundation of the Navy's conduct, he said the department will hold the appropriate people accountable if the claim is proven true.

The director of the program in question, Admiral John Richardson, said he could not say how many officers allegedly were involved in the incident, although he estimated it would be far fewer than 160 sailors, 1 percent of the 16,000 sailors in the program, and likely less than 20.

Those said to have cheated were instructors being re-tested on their theoretical knowledge of operating the nuclear reactors that provide propulsion for Navy submarines and aircraft carriers. Richardson told reporters the incident took place in the Navy's nuclear power school in Charleston, South Carolina, and is not related to nuclear weapons.

The news follows reports of cheating in the U.S. Air Force among officers who operate land-based nuclear missiles.

Richardson said the Navy exam program is different from the testing system the Air Force uses for its officers. He said the cheating allegation came to light Monday when a sailor reported to the command that he had received an offer to participate.

Richardson confirmed the test in question involved classified information. But he stressed that the Nuclear Propulsion Program responds aggressively and forcefully when confronted with problems of integrity.

He said all personnel implicated in the cheating so far have been removed from the site, and that the training reactors, which were shut down for routine maintenance when the cheating was reported, will not begin operating again until he is personally satisfied that appropriate corrective actions have been taken.
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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We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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.

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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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

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Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
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Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

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Grecia 794
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Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
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  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

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 for more information!

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.

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: Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.

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:
Sale for $239.000 Contact:

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:  for more photos/information or go here:

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:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

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:

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

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 Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

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.

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

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:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.


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:

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   
For more information contact:

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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 for more information ¡y se habla español!

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:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

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 for an appointment. For a preview

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

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: Asking price  $3.9 million. Email or call: 8899-9870.

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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:

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, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 25
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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
U.N. agency to issue report
on pedophile Catholic priests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child will issue recommendations today following an investigation into the Vatican’s response to the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy. Although the recommendations are non-binding, it marks the first time the Holy See had to answer questions at an international hearing dedicated to the issue.

Priests have been convicted, and dioceses bankrupted by lawsuits.  But last month’s hearing in Geneva was the first time the Vatican had to answer an international panel’s questions about pedophile priests.

The Vatican's U.N. representative Archbishop Silvano Tomasi testified.

"The Holy See has carefully delineated policies and procedures designed to help eliminate such abuse,” he said.

But the Vatican has refused to hand over detailed information on the more than 4,000 cases that have been brought to its attention.

“Right as the abuse scandals started to emerge out of Boston, I got the chance to tell my story,” said Mark Serrano, who says he had to sue to get the church to acknowledge that his priest sodomized him in the 1970s and 80s.  He says his perpetrator was reassigned to another parish and forced sex on dozens more children.

Serrano became a spokesman for American victims.

“We want all sex offenders, past, present and future, removed,” he said.

And he doesn’t believe what the prelates said in Geneva.

“They obfuscate. They deny. They gloss over," Serrano said. "They offer words of reassurance. Just like words that were offered to me as a young man of reassurance from my bishop. It’s the same routine, the same act, that I witnessed 30 years ago.”

“Something very, very wrong happened in our church,” said John Carr, who now teaches at the Jesuit-run Georgetown University in Washington.  He used to work for the U.S. Bishops Conference, and he downplays the U.N. investigation.

“The U.N. thing, that’s just fine. I think we ought to be held to account. But far more fundamental is the changes that are coming about every day in the attitudes behaviors and practices of our church,” he said.

The Vatican disclosed, a day after the Geneva hearing, that Pope Benedict had defrocked hundreds of abusive priests.

But Serrano says that bishops should also be accountable.

“Nothing will truly change, unless Pope Francis decides to excommunicate bishops for hiding child sex offenders,” he said.

Pope Francis has created a commission on protecting children. But critics say it’s a disappointing response, from a pontiff who has done much to burnish the image of the church.

U.S. ambassador to Russia
says he will leave his post

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says that he will soon step down.

He announced in a blog post Tuesday that he will leave his post after the Sochi Winter Olympics.

“After more than five years working for the Obama administration, it is time to go home,” McFaul, 50, said in a lengthy entry on his blog. “I will leave Russia reluctantly. I love this job.”

McFaul cited family reasons, saying his wife and sons had moved back to California last summer and that he would be based at Stanford University, where he taught before Obama brought him to Washington in 2009.
McFaul, who was named ambassador to Russia in December 2011, is regarded as chief architect of the reset policy, the warming of Washington's relations with Moscow that followed Vladimir Putin's departure from the Kremlin in 2008.

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From Page 7:

Tourism firms exhibit this weekend in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and local firms are exhibiting at the Boston Globe Travel show 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show 2014, the institute said. Both events are this weekend.

The eight businesses participating in the Los Angeles show in Long Beach are La Cusinga Lodge, Alamo Rent a Car, Barceló San José Palacio, Hotel Royal Corin, Toyota Rent a car/2 Go Rent a Car, Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, Go Tours and Best Western Jacó Beach, said the tourism institute.

The seven firms exhibiting in Boston are Expediciones Tropicales, Hotel Indigo San José Fórum Costa Rica, Europcar Rent a Car, Doubletree Resort by Hilton Central Pacific, Viaggio Travel, Travel Excellence and also Toyota Rent a car/2 Go Rent a Car, said the institute.

The institute noted that nearly a million visitors from the United States came to Costa Rica last year, including those on cruise ships.

The institute said it expected 28,000 visitors at the Los Angeles show.