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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 26                              Email us
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Tourism firms begin to feel impact of zika fears
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism operators are confirming reports that reservations have been canceled due to fears about the zika virus.

The confirmations involve tourism operations along the central and southern Pacific coast, although there may have been some at places on the Caribbean.

The country has made the list of those treated in news stories in The New York Times and on NBC, as well as other U.S. national media. And the U.S. State Department has added Costa Rica to the list of countries where there is active zika virus transmission.

That probably related to one case of a tourist who may have contracted zika while visiting Nosara in December.

A page in Trip Advisor is full of concerns by pregnant women and some who expect to

become pregnant who have trips planned to Costa Rica. The general advice from medical experts is for pregnant and potentially pregnant women to refrain from travel in zika territory or to take major precautions.

The Web site also contains a comment from a man who worries about losing a non-refundable lodging deposit. Some airlines already have agreed to make refunds.

Zika has been linked to microcephaly, small heads and damaged brains, in newborns, but there is no scientific confirmation.  Some alternative publications in the United States are suggesting that a microcephaly epidemic in Brazil might, instead, be caused by dangerous agrochemicals and pesticides.

Meanwhile, the Ministerio de Salud has embarked on a major spraying campaign, and just Friday graduated 36 technicians trained in fumigation and practical entomology.

Johnny Araya engineers a return as San José mayor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Johnny Araya Monge came back from the political dead Sunday to regain the mayor's job in San Jose's central canton.

Araya and his new political party Alianza Por San José captured 40.3 percent of the vote, based on 310 of 347 polling places. The second-place candidate had but 16 percent of the 53,564 valid vote cases. The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones said 73.6 percent of the eligible voters did not go to the polls.

Araya had been mayor for 20 years until he embarked on a run for president under the Liberación Nacional banner. He surprised his fellow party members when he dropped out of runoff with the man who became the current president, Luis Guillermo Solís.

He stitched together a coalition of friends, associates and business leaders to create the Alianza party. He was heavily favored although his campaign feared voter confusion between Araya and his former Liberación party.

Liberación continued to dominate municipal politics. The party captured or held onto 47 of 81 mayoral positions Sunday.

That was 12 fewer than what the party held going into the election.

A full list of results by canton is HERE!

In the Alajuela central canton, Roberto Thompson of Liberación, garners 59.6 percent of the vote based on 290 of 312 polling places.

Arnoldo Barahona of the Yunta Progresista Escazuceña won 61.9 percent of the votes in

Ministerio de Seguridad Públic photo
Polling places are like a fiesta in Costa Rica with political parties setting up booths for a last-minute bid for support.

57 of 66 voting places that were reported.

In Atenas, five years after being removed from office on the recommendation of the comptroller general, Wilberth Aguilar Gatjens of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana will return as mayor.

Gatjens bested his closest opponent Victor Alpizar Castro of the Partido Acción Ciudadana in a closer race than expected, 30 percent to 27 percent. 

Aguilar was Atenas mayor from 2007 to 2011 before the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones took away his credentials for allegedly authorizing payments to build sidewalks and a park irrigation system that were never built.

Aguilar has always maintained his innocence and appealed his censure.

Aguilar replaces outgoing mayor Querima Bérmudez Villegas, who replaced Aguilar after he was removed from office. 

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 26
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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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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública
This bird will not be fighting.

Drug raid uncovers bird-fighting ring

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Chicken fights are not just a rural blood sport. Fuerza Pública officers said they found 26 birds at a ring for bird fights when they entered a property in León XIII, Tibás,

The bird-fighting operation was associated with drug dealers, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

Fighting birds is illegal in Costa Rica, but it is part of a long Latin American tradition. The ministry also said that its officers found implements for fighting. These would include spurs to make the roosters deadly.

Once again, when police entered the operation no one was there and there were no arrests. The birds were turned over to the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal.

Lottery planned for St. Valentine's Day

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national lottery organization is suggesting that lovebirds participate in the St. Valentine's Day lottery.

There are two top prizes of 250 million colons, about $470,000.

There is no special deal for those burning with love. There will be 200,000 tickets printed, so Don Juans better not pin their future happiness on winning.

But the lottery agency, the Junta de Protección Social, notes that the profits will go to aid 400 different organizations and agencies.

Tourism agreement to promote training

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Embassy of France and the Asociación de Profesionales en Turismo have agreed to promote tourism in each other's countries.

The agreement will bring French experts to Costa Rica and also provide for workshops and training, said the association.

The association is a private organization best known for sponsoring ExpoTur each May.
There is joy in Denver after victory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, to win the U.S. National Football League's Super Bowl championship game Sunday in Santa Clara, California, near San Francisco.

The Broncos vaunted defense stifled the Panthers' top-rated offense the entire game, sacking star quarterback Cam Newton, the league's most valuable player for the 2015 season, six times, tying a Super Bowl record.  Newton was also forced into two fumbles. One of them converted into a Denver touchdown. And he threw an interception.  Denver's star defensive player Von Miller, who was named Super Bowl 50's most valuable player, forced two of Carolina's four turnovers.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning threw for only 141 yards in what is expected to be the final game of his Hall-of-Fame career, after a season marred by injuries that forced him to miss several games. 

Sunday's Super Bowl win is the third in Denver's history.

Nairobi drivers unhappy with Uber, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Taxi drivers in Nairobi have become frustrated with Uber, the American app-based taxi service that came to the Kenyan capital in January. They say Uber is undercutting fares and causing them to lose business.

Taxi operators asked Kenya’s government to stop Uber, a service that has risen in popularity here due to its cheaper fares.

Many drivers argue that they just want a fair playing field and Uber’s cheaper pricing model serves to undercut them.  They claim Uber is not paying the fees it should.  Fees include a police inspection sticker costing $88 per year, a public service vehicle drivers’ license, at about $30 per year, and insurance, which is calculated at 5.5 percent of his vehicle’s value. 

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 26
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School starting with many transport vehicles without approval
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday is the first day of the public school year, and a ceremony is planned for the Liceo Napoleón Quesada Salazar in Guadalupe at 7 a.m. The Ministerio de Educación Pública and central government officials have a ceremony each year when schools starts.

Traffic police also have ceremonies in which they round up all the vans that are transporting students without the appropriate permissions.  At last count Friday only about 80 percent of the transportation operators had obtained the annual permissions.

The Consejo de Transportes Público said that this meant some 1,000 vehicles still lacked permits, and that appointments have been scheduled through the first week of March. Those caught transporting students without the correct permits can face a fine of up to 100,000 colons or about $190. Legal transportation vehicles have a window sticker.

Vehicles taking students to private schools also need permission.
window sticker
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
This is the precious window sticker drivers need.

State power firm agrees to borrow $500 million for generation projects
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state power company said Friday that it had signed an agreement for a $500 million loan from the Interamerican Development Bank.

The loan is in two parts. One is for $200 million and the second is for $300 million.

The money will finance renewable energy projects, transmission lines and distribution networks, said the Instituto Costarricense

de Electricidad. The loan is guaranteed by the Costa Rican government.

The variable interest rate is now 1.52 percent.

The money will provide the resources to complete the Pailas II and Borinquen I and II geothermal generation projects, said the power company. In addition, the money will go to modernizing the Arenal hydro project, it said.

The loans require legislation to become effective.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 26
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New show in Liberia features Costa Rican artist Milo González
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Artist Milo González opens his newest exhibit, "Quest on Canvas," Saturday, at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery.

The artist recollects sketching in notebooks, creating caricatures of classmates and teachers and not paying attention to lessons in school, which admittedly sometimes got him into trouble.

"I could not control myself and would not even realize I was drawing," González recalled. "I will never forget my first drawing class. At the beginning of each lesson the teacher, very elegant and refined, covered the entire chalkboard with the vibrant colors of Costa Rican folkloric-style landscapes, in the style of Fausto Pacheco. It was the only class I never strayed from."

"But what I'll always remember is at the end of each class when she picked up an eraser and totally cleaned the board! It was heartbreaking. I wanted to scream and kick every time."

González said he stumbled across a stunning art exhibit from Taiwan covering its history, including modern paintings in oil. He was mesmerized. It was the catalyst, the "ah-ha" moment, which turned his focus to the world of art.

He has had formal studies and tutelages in many artistic disciplines.

Although González may favor the grand masters, like Picasso, Guayasamín, Tamayo, Felguerez and Gauguin, and continuously learns from their methods, he depicts his own style and composition, sometimes featuring some of the most distinctive characteristics of Cubism, such as breaking

artist at work
Hidden Garden Art Gallery photo
Milo González at work in his studio.

down a subject to its geometrical components and often using neutral color palettes.

The artist will be at the gallery Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located five kilometers west of  the Daniel Oduber airport. For more information, contact 8386-6872, 8386-6968 or

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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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.

Click photo for another video

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.

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!

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Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 26
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Axiom 890 pixels

Haitian president leaves job
with no one legally in charge

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Embattled Haitian President Michel Martelly left office Sunday as required by Haiti's constitution, ending his 5-year term with no one elected to replace him.

Ahead of Martelly's departure, the former pop music star told lawmakers in Port-Au-Prince that he is leaving office to contribute to constitutional normalcy.

He then handed the reins of power to the leader of the heavily guarded national assembly, after an 11th hour deal under which lawmakers are expected to choose an interim president to take Martelly's place. It remained unclear late Sunday who will govern the impoverished nation in the coming months, until new elections take place.

The president's exit is the latest turn in a months-long political crisis triggered by a first round of elections in October that featured 54 candidates seeking to succeed Martelly.

Critics described those polls as rife with corruption and rigged in favor of the little-known ruling party candidate Jovenel Moise.  Election tallies triggered protests across the capital and prompted opposition leaders to announce a boycott of any runoff polls.

A second round of voting has since been postponed twice over security concerns in and around the capital, leaving Haiti still struggling to establish a stable and enduring democracy 30 years after the overthrow of the Jean-Claude Duvalier dictatorship.

Analysts say the ongoing political turmoil has discouraged badly needed foreign investment in the country of 10 million people, already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 

The lack of foreign funds has, in turn, undercut efforts to recover from a 2010 earthquake that left parts of Port-Au-Prince in ruins.

Colombia's Santos questions
 zika birth defects link

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that more than 3,100 pregnant women in his country were infected with the mosquito-borne zika virus. 

But Santos, speaking on national television, said there was no evidence yet definitively linking the virus to the devastating fetal developmental disorder known as microcephaly, which leaves newborns with deformed skulls and underdeveloped brains. 

There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, and scientists have not yet established a direct link between zika and a spike in birth deformities reported in neighboring Brazil.

In his address, Santos also said U.S. medical investigators would soon arrive in his country to help probe the virus, which he said had most likely infected more than 25,600 Colombians. Friday, Colombian officials linked zika to the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome, which authorities said had killed at least three people in the country.

Santos' address came as health officials in Brazil continued to voice strong suspicions that zika has triggered a dramatic increase in microcephaly cases.

Brazil's Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported 4,180 cases of zika-related microcephaly since October, while just 147 such cases were recorded there in all of 2014. 

The spike has triggered worldwide alarm and warnings for pregnant women to avoid traveling to Latin American and Caribbean countries where zika cases have been reported.

Friday, Brazilian health officials said they had found live samples of the zika virus in saliva and urine samples, a discovery that prompted official warnings that casual kissing increases the risk of infection.

However, researcher Paulo Gadelha stopped short of calling for an anti-kissing policy, and said colleagues were still trying to determine whether body fluids could spread zika to new patients.
Brazil entered the alcohol-fueled carnival season Friday, a time when people commonly kiss strangers they meet at huge street parties.

In other recent developments, the World Health Organization has advised health personnel across the globe not to accept blood donations from people who recently returned from countries affected by the zika virus.

For its part, the United Nations has urged the Latin American countries affected by zika to provide women, men and adolescents access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception and safe abortion services.

Zika has spread to 24 countries in Latin American and the Caribbean. There have been a small number of cases reported in the United States, and experts say they expect to see small outbreaks of zika in several states bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

However, authorities do not expect widespread U.S. outbreaks, in part because human exposure to mosquitoes is limited in the United States by the widespread use of air conditioning and window screens.

Rubio seems to have surge
of New Hampshire backing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As the countdown continues to primary election day in New Hampshire Tuesday, some Republican voters here seem to be flocking to the contender they believe now has momentum, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Rubio has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump. But there is a crowded field right behind Rubio, including the winner of the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Rubio's appeal was on display at a rally in Derry Friday night. The rally had to be moved from a middle school cafeteria to the gymnasium because of a larger than expected crowd eager to give Rubio a listen. Rubio said he was the Republican candidate best able to not only unify the conservative movement and the Republican Party, but the country as well.

“When I am president I will be the president of the United States of America. I will be a president for all Americans, and even if you don't like me, even if you don't like me, even if you didn't vote for me, even if you say nasty things about me on Facebook, I am going to cut your taxes, too,” Rubio said to cheers from the crowd.

In the final days of the primary race, Rubio is trying to seize the moment by building on the momentum he generated coming out of Iowa where he finished a strong third just behind second-place finisher Trump. Rubio believes a good finish here in New Hampshire could move him into the final group of three or four top contenders who would go on to compete in upcoming elections in states like Nevada and South Carolina.

Rubio has embraced the New Hampshire style of interacting with voters and his one-on-one political skills were on full display after the rally as he took time to briefly shake hands with voters, answer a few questions and pose for numerous selfies.

After hearing Rubio speak, retirees John and Christine Perez of Londonderry said they intend to cast their votes for him in Tuesday's primary.

“I was won over tonight. I was right there, but I got pushed over the edge,” said Christine Perez. Her husband, John, said he believes he and Rubio share the same values.

Another voter, Evan Marks, said he liked what he heard but remains undecided. “He speaks from the heart, you know, and I think that is what a lot of us are looking for, somebody who can say something that is very honest and you believe him. He's very believable and I think that's what we need. That is a good place to start.” Marks is one of a number of New Hampshire voters encountered who said they attend several different candidate events before making a choice.

Rubio appears to have an opening in New Hampshire, said analyst Chris Galdieri of St. Anselm College near Manchester. “He's young. He is Cuban-American. He is from a major swing state. So if you are a Republican who doesn't like the rap against your party that it is a party of old white men, then at least you've got a young Hispanic man who is potentially going to lead your party and I think that is appealing for a lot of people.”

Rubio is vying to become the top choice of so-called establishment voters in New Hampshire, a crowded lane that includes Kasich, Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie is well back in the latest polls and risks falling out of the field with a poor showing in New Hampshire. Christie has called Rubio bubble boy for giving the same speech everywhere he goes without answering any questions. Christie has held numerous town meetings in New Hampshire that feature voters asking questions that sometimes go on for two hours.

Jeb Bush has also criticized Rubio, calling him a great guy but adding he's not a leader. Bush is also in danger of slipping from the race unless he can demonstrate a good showing in New Hampshire and he's enlisted the help of his mom, former first lady Barbara Bush, to win some voters over to his campaign.

Christie made a quick stop by a pizzeria in Sandown and made yet another appeal for support. “There is a lot of hard work to do between now and Tuesday. We hope you will all be part of it by talking to your friends and your family and your colleagues and get them out to vote for us on Tuesday.”

It was a small crowd and several said they remain undecided. But one unidentified voter did speak up on Christie's behalf. “I just don't want to see Trump or Hillary get it and Christie seems like a very good next president.”

Trump and Sanders continue
to lead pack for Tuesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new poll suggests that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and real estate mogul Donald Trump are maintaining their large leads in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire, which holds a crucial presidential primary vote Tuesday.

The poll, released by Monmouth University Sunday, showed Trump with support from 30 percent of likely Republican Party voters in the Granite State. That is hardly changed from a month ago.

Trump is 16 points ahead of his closest rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is in a tight race for second place along with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and ex-Florida governor Jeb Bush.

In the Democratic race, the poll showed Sanders with a 10-point lead over former secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That's down from the 14-point lead that Sanders had over Clinton last month.

Sanders has an advantage in New Hampshire, which is next to his home state of Vermont. But Clinton has vowed not to give up, hoping to narrow the gap after both candidates tied in Iowa’s inaugural nominating contest last week.

The New Hampshire election also is seen as crucial for several GOP candidates, especially those in the second tier who did not do well in Iowa.

Rubio, who finished with a better than expected third place result in Iowa, spent Sunday trying to recover from what was widely regarded as a poor debate performance the night before.

During that debate, the Florida senator came under attack from several of his rivals, most notably New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

After Christie accused Rubio of being inexperienced and memorizing talking points, Rubio appeared rattled and unconfident, awkwardly repeating himself several times.

Sunday, Rubio defended his debate showing, insisting he was able to stay on message by criticizing President Barack Obama.

“It’s what I believe,” Rubio told ABC’s “This Week.” “And it’s what I’m going to continue to say, because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I’m running."

Several of Rubio’s rivals jumped at the opportunity to mock the freshman senator’s debate performance, including Bush, who on Sunday said Rubio appeared robotic.

Trump, who was seen by many analysts as being one of the winners of the debate, on Sunday defended his call to revive waterboarding.

The interrogation technique, which is essentially simulated drowning, is effective, according to Trump, who appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“They’re chopping the heads of Christians and many other people in the Middle East,” Trump said. “They laugh at us when they hear we’re not going to approve waterboarding.

During Saturday’s debate, Trump said he would bring back waterboarding “and a hell of a lot worse” than that if he were elected president.

Sanders continued to make an appeal to the youth vote, making several brief appearances in comedy skits on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

In one sketch, Sanders was able to stay on message, railing against preferential treatment for rich people trying to survive a sinking ship of European immigrants coming to America.

“Enough is enough,” shouted Sanders, waving his hands and using some of the lines from his oft-repeated campaign stump speech.

Sunday, it was back to serious discussion for Sanders. He appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he acknowledged his rival Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy experience.

“She was our secretary of state for four years, that gives her a lot of experience,” Sanders said. “But it is not just experience that matters. It is judgment.”

Sanders has repeatedly criticized Mrs. Clinton for her vote in favor of the U.S. invasion of Iraq during her time as a U.S. senator. Sanders voted against the war.

Mrs. Clinton on Sunday headed to Flint, Michigan, which has suffered a drinking water contamination crisis after lead from old pipes was found in the water supply.

Visiting a local church in Flint, Mrs. Clinton said the crisis is immoral, and she demanded the government do more to help residents there.

Before leaving New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton told “Meet the Press” she was not sure whether she would be able to come back to win in the Granite State.

“I know I’m behind,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Tuesday’s primary vote could be affected by weather. Forecasters expect scattered snow showers across the state during the polls, possibly creating slick roads.

Nonetheless, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has predicted a record 550,000 voters will turn up for the election.

Prof  who wore headscarf
sacked at Christian college

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. college professor who wore a headscarf in solidarity with Muslims is leaving the Christian college where she taught after a dispute over comments she made linking Islam and Christianity.

Wheaton College and Associate Professor Larycia Hawkins issued a joint statement Saturday saying they are parting ways after reaching a confidential agreement.

The statement said both had a commitment to respectful dialogue with people of other faiths or no faith and those who are marginalized because of their religious beliefs.

In a Dec. 10 Facebook posting, Professor Hawkins, who is a Christian, said she stands in solidarity with Muslims because they "are people of the book" and "worship the same God."

The college said both faiths were monotheistic, but that it believed there were fundamental differences between them.

Small asteroid to pass by
Earth at close trajectory

By the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory
news staff

A small asteroid that two years ago flew past Earth at a comfortable distance of about 1.3 million miles (2 million kilometers) will safely fly by the planet again in a few weeks, though this time it may be much closer.

During the upcoming March 5 flyby, asteroid 2013 TX68 could fly past Earth as far out as 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) or as close as 11,000 miles (17,000 kilometers). The variation in possible closest approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery.

Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Center for New Earth Objects Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have determined there is no possibility that this object could hit Earth during the flyby next month. But they have identified an extremely remote chance that this small asteroid could hit on Sep. 28, 2017, with odds of no more than 1-in-250-million. Flybys in 2046 and 2097 have an even lower probability of impact.

"The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern," said Paul Chodas, manager of the center. "I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more."

Asteroid 2013 TX68 is estimated to be about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter. By comparison, the asteroid that broke up in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, three years ago was approximately 65 feet (20 meters) wide. If an asteroid the size of 2013 TX68 were to enter Earth's atmosphere, it would likely produce an air burst with about twice the energy of the Chelyabinsk event.

The asteroid was discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey Oct. 6, 2013, as it approached Earth on the nighttime side. After three days of tracking, the asteroid passed into the daytime sky and could no longer be observed. Because it was not tracked for very long, scientists cannot predict its precise orbit around the sun, but they do know that it cannot impact Earth during its flyby next month.

"This asteroid's orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it," said Chodas. "There is a chance that the asteroid will be picked up by our asteroid search telescopes when it safely flies past us next month, providing us with data to more precisely define its orbit around the sun."

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

Lee Lot
Panoramic Home Site.
Panoramic, rural mountain lot in Rosario, outside of Grecia in Central Valley. 25 minutes from San José and international airport. One hour from coast. Includes paved roads, electrical and water. In a development of 28 hectares, most planted in coffee. Lot is 7,300 square meters. Located adjacent to High Dreams Club, Hotel & Spa (Adults/couples Excellent climate. Lot size large enough for home, garage & guesthouse/casita. Home site cleared & includes 10 maturing palm trees, with coffee trees at the base of the lot. Views to San José and include canyons. $24,900 USD. Contact: 506 8311-5336 or U.S. 719-821-2210.

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email: Watch this video for full details.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff:  8725-8176.  Email:

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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:

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 26
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Things that go Wow! in the night

Way past Gringo midnight and the silly dog had to go out. Sigh. Things
Victoria Torley
need to be more convenient.

Dressed in pajamas, I removed the door block and opened the slider, admonishing her to come right back.  She didn’t. Nor would she come when called. Bravo, our Shiloh shepherd, would have been more than happy to come in, but he is our night watchman, 
with a voice and set of teeth to scare off any prowler.

So here I am typing instead of sleeping. But it was an amazing day. I splashed in the little un-named seasonal stream that wanders near the house (okay, I named it the Arroyo Victoria because who is going to care but me, plus Metric Man thinks it’s a hoot) and found a partly built dam!

Ideas flooded my brain, but I was brought back to earth by a friend who told me about all the permits needed to dam a stream, even a small one. Another friend suggested beavers. Nah. Have you ever tried to organize a crew of beavers?

But what I really wanted to tell you was how good the night smelled as I stepped onto the patio to call my Bravo. Cool and fresh and filled with the scents of things that get pollinated at night. Bats and bugs (not true bugs, just other things with six legs), moths with tongues that unroll to 10 inches or more (25 centimeters) and even ants attracted to scents of things that perfume the night air to attract those pollinators. It was heavenly.

Then I sneezed. Evidently one of those night-scented blossoms doesn’t get along with my sinuses. Still, it was a charming night. Down across the valley to the lake were small spots of light, fireflies rising and dancing for mates, then the lake and the lights beyond and all the while the scent of flowers.

I know I have night blooming jasmine and reina de la noche, the angel trumpet, but off somewhere in the forest are more things blooming, perhaps soldier plants and some of the family Mimosoideae with white tufts that moths love. And I want to be out there in the night and watch the dances and track down the scents, but even my boots aren’t thick enough for the snakes that prowl in this evening weather with the earth warm enough for them to be hunting.

So I just stayed on the deck and breathed until Princessa came in and we headed for sleep, pausing just long enough to get this into the computer.

grden plant
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley                                    

Plant of the Week

Ah, the genus Mimosoideae so many varieties and so little information. A weedy shrub, a small  tree, always wider than tall, with delicate leaflets and puff-ball flowers, that is the Mimosoideae. Some have spiny stems, and some are smooth and, according to “A Field Guide to Plants of Costa Rica” there are either 24 species (page 177) or 15 species (page 292) of Mimosa in Costa Rica. And with that, I will leave you with a picture of my local Mimosa. Heaven only knows what the species is.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit

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From Page 7:

Another fuel tank planned for Liberia airport

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state petroleum monopoly said that it will build a third tank at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia to hold jet fuel.

The firm, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroléo S.A., said that the demand for jet fuel has doubled in the last five years.

The new tank will bring to three the number at the airport. The proposed tank will hold the same amount as the existing ones, 5,000 barrels.

The company also said that a series of tanks at Barranca, Puntarenas, will go into service this year. The two largest tanks each hold 25,000 barrels, and a much smaller tank handles the transmission of jet fuel from La Garita via pipeline. The fuel eventually goes to Liberia.