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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 31                          Email us
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The capital has plenty of flower shops, including this series of four sales outlets on Avenida Segunda at Calle 11. They will be doing a record business in the next two days as expats and Costa Ricans alike try to find just the right floral presentation. By Friday after working hours, the customers will be three deep, and the selection will be limited.

flowers galore
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz

Roses still are the preferred St. Valentine's Day gift
By Michael Krumholtz
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Flower shops across San José are gearing up for their version of the Super Bowl: Valentine's Day. Florists across the capital get their roses from fincas in Cartago.

Ligia Corrales of Floristeria San Pedro said the shop has prepared for the holiday by buying more roses, which they also get from Cartago. It costs 17,100 colons for a bundle of a dozen roses, and Ms. Corrales said she expects the shop will sell 50 on Friday.

But expats must be careful not to get a color that gives a loved one or friend the wrong ideas. According to the Floristeria and ProFlowers, each color rose carries its own meaning.

Red roses, of course, are given to tell someone of your love. Pink roses send a more mild form of admiration to the recipient, but also connotate expressions of joy and glee. White roses show purity and should be given to someone encountering a new beginning. Yellow ones are purely platonic and are intended for an appreciated friendship. Orange roses express more fervent and romantic ideas like passion and desire.

Those without too much spare cash can still make an impression. The concert bands of Heredia and Cartago plan performances to celebrate St. Valentine's Day with bolero, pasos dobles and the romantic classics.
The culture ministry said that the first performance is tonight in Heredia's Parque Central at 7 o'clock. Featured will be the Grupo Gaviota.

The Cartago band plays Friday at 7 p.m. in the food court of the Paseo Metrópoli. The program includes romantic themes from "Titanic" and those made famous by the group ABBA, the ministry said.

There is another performance Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Parque Central de Heredia by the local band. And the Cartago band will play at 11 a.m., also Sunday in the Anfiteatro Municipal de Cartago.

Although not as well known as the national groups, such as the Orqestra Nacional, the municipal banks have been pleasing crowds for more than 150 years.

Tonight is the kickoff dinner with friends in Villarreal for the 14th annual Have a Heart Golf Tourney in the Tamarindo area. The tournament itself, this time on a miniature course, is Saturday at the Bolas Locas course next to the Dragonfly restaurant. The starting time is noon.

The charity event benefits the Amigos de la Educación, a non-profit educational and scholarship foundation.

Restaurants and gift shops are gearing up for the day, too. Casino Colonial has invited readers to a romantic dinner Friday.

Other eating spots have been furiously spamming Costa Rican inboxes with email invitations.


Rights group wants a reform of criminal records law
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A human rights organization wants lawmakers to wipe clean police records after sentence is served.

The organization is the Fundación para la Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos.  Mario Herrán García of the organization presented a petition signed by 3,000 persons Wednesday.

The recipient was Oscar Alfaro Zamora, president of the legislature's Comisión de Derecho Humanos.
The petition contends that making public an arrest or conviction is a human rights violation.

Costa Rican employers almost always ask job applicants to provide what is known as an hoja de  delincuencia, basically a criminal record issued by the judiciary. The sheets are easy to get and even can be ordered online. They contain any conviction over the last 10 years.

The foundation noted that someone may have been convicted of a crime at a younger age and turned life around to gain an education. But the police record will show what the foundation termed an error. The reporting of this youthful error would violate what the foundation called the human right to a job.
The act reported on the record sheet would not be a juvenile encounter with law enforcement because those records continue to be sealed. But what the foundation said it wanted via the petition is a change in the law that says the case is erased after that sentence is served or whatever sanction ordered by a judge is fulfilled.

Under Costa Rican law first-time offenders usually are set free if they are convicted and sentenced to a term of three years or under. Presumably this conditional discharge would stay on the record until the three years have past, according to the proposal.

Sometimes individual are sentenced to abstain from seeking a public job for five years.

The foundation proposal would have to be coupled with some kind of language prohibiting private companies from releasing information about an arrest for the idea to be effective. Many employers have credit checks run on job finalists, and such reports would show convictions of whatever age.

Private credit reporting firms accumulate all this information. Even news files contain reports of arrests and convictions, and they usually are open to an Internet search.

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Montana sister has no idea
why brother was murdered


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

As the investigation into the brutal murder of American Kurt Heigis continues, his family back home is left to wonder what lead to his execution Sunday near La Fortuna.

Heigis' sister Veronica Carter lives in Absarokee, Montana, and was reached via telephone. She said that Heigis owned a landscaping company in his hometown of Columbus, Montana, before he sold it and went into retirement. He would routinely skip the frigid Big Sky winters by going to his home near La Fortuna each winter. Heigis left for Costa Rica early last December, his sister said.

Ms. Carter is not only mourning the sudden death of her brother, but she said her husband passed away only days before she received news of the latest tragedy. Ms. Carter is currently busy working on funeral arrangements for her late spouse. She said that Heigis' daughters would be in charge of funeral planning for the 64-year-old.

The Montana man was ambushed by his killers between 7:30 and 8 p.m. They placed a vehicle that blocked the road under a bridge. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that when the man got out of his own car perhaps to offer aid, he was set upon by his killers. They took him a short distance and then cut his throat.

His sister said she was surprised to learn that Heigis was with a woman at the time of the murder, adding that Heigis never mentioned he was in a relationship. Investigators continue to look into possible motives for Sunday's roadside killing in San Isidro de Peñas Blancas de San Ramón.

In addition to his sister, Heigis also is survived by his mother, Genevieve, and three daughters: Joanna Mong, Barbara Sparks, and Tonia M. Heigis.


rocks
University of Pennsylvania graphic      
Models show the stages in making and reducing a round rock.

Geophysicist and mathematicians
describe how rivers round rocks

By the University of Pennsylvania news service

For centuries, geologists have recognized that the rocks that line riverbeds tend to be smaller and rounder further downstream. But these experts have not agreed on the reason these patterns exist. Abrasion causes rocks to grind down and become rounder as they are transported down the river. Does this grinding reduce the size of rocks significantly, or is it that smaller rocks are simply more easily transported downstream?

A new study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Douglas Jerolmack, working with mathematicians at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, has arrived at a resolution to this puzzle. Contrary to what many geologists have believed, the team’s model suggests that abrasion plays a key role in upholding these patterns, but it does so in a distinctive, two-phase process. First, abrasion makes a rock round. Then, only when the rock is smooth, does abrasion act to make it smaller in diameter.

The study has relevance to Costa Rica where the stone spheres at the mouth of the Río Térraba are still enigmas. Scientists do not know exactly how they were created or for what they were used.

“It was a rather remarkable and simple result that helps to solve an outstanding problem in geology,” Jerolmack said.

Not only does the model help explain the process of erosion and sediment travel in rivers, but it could also help geologists answer questions about a river’s history, such as how long it has flowed. Such information is particularly interesting in light of the rounded pebbles recently discovered on Mars — seemingly evidence of a lengthy history of flowing rivers on its surface.

Jerolmack, an associate professor in the university's Department of Earth and Environmental Science, lent a geologist’s perspective to the Hungarian research team, comprised of Gábor Domokos, András Sipos and Ákos Török.

Their work was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Prior to this study, most geologists did not believe that abrasion could be the dominant force responsible for the gradient of rock size in rivers because experimental evidence pointed to it being too slow a process to explain observed patterns. Instead, they pointed to size-selective transport as the explanation for the pattern: small rocks being more easily transported downstream.

The Budapest University researchers, however, approached the question of how rocks become round purely as a geometrical problem, not a geological one. The mathematical model they conceived formalizes the notion, which may seem intuitive, that sharp corners and protruding parts of a rock will wear down faster than parts that protrude less.

The equation they conceived relates the erosion rate of any surface of a pebble with the curvature of the pebble. According to their model, areas of high curvature erode quickly, and areas of zero or negative curvature do not erode at all.

The math that undergirds their explanation for how pebbles become smooth is similar to the equation that explains how heat flows in a given space. Both are problems of diffusion.

From this geometric model comes the novel prediction that abrasion of rocks should occur in two phases. In the first phase, protruding areas are worn down without any change in the diameter of the pebble. In the second phase, the pebble begins to shrink.

“If you start out with a rock shaped like a cube, for example,” Jerolmack said, “and start banging it into a wall, the model predicts that under almost any scenario that the rock will erode to a sphere with a diameter exactly as long as one of the cube’s sides. Only once it becomes a perfect sphere will it then begin to reduce in diameter.”

The research team also completed an experiment to confirm their model, taking a cube of sandstone and placing it in a tumbler and monitoring its shape as it eroded.

“The shape evolved exactly as the model predicted,” Jerolmack said.

The finding has a number of implications for geologic questions.

One is that rocks can lose a significant amount of their mass before their diameter starts to shrink. Yet geologists typically measure river rock size by diameter, not weight.

As a result, Jerolmack noted that geologists may also have been underestimating how much sand and silt arises because of abrasion, the material ground off of the rocks that travel downstream.

With this new understanding of how the process of abrasion proceeds, researchers can address other questions about river flow — both here on Earth and elsewhere, such as on Mars, where the rover Curiosity recently discovered rounded pebbles indicative of ancient river flow.

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Cultural events and activities get into gear for the new season
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cultural events are taking place again now that the holidays are over and public school classes have resumed.

The culture ministry already began its Art City Tour Tuesday. This is the free monthly tour of museums, galleries and other cultural venues for which even transportation is provided.

Today is the seasonal debut of Música al Atardecer, the afternoon cultural events at the Teatro Nacional that are geared to capture audiences of downtown workers.

Today the performer is Saxurbano, a group that will present popular and classical music with a Latin American flavor.  The group is made up of graduates from the Universidad de Costa Rica and the Instituto Nacional de Música.

The 5 p.m. performances will take place every Thursday with different types of performances.

Saturday is the first Enamorate de tu Ciudad of the year. The event is in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura on Avenida Siete as well as in España, Morazán, Jardín de Paz and La Merced parks. Banco Popular is supporting the cultural displays along with the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

This week the Orquesta de Lubín Barahona and the Caballeros y Damas del Ritmo will perform.
In addition to the music program there are artistic happenings, table games of chess, Ping Pong, dance classes of hip hop and break dancing and booths with articles for sale. The Saturday events run through November.

Last year more than 340,000 persons attended, said the ministry.

The time is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Although not an organized cultural event, there is another gathering Friday.

If the mere suggestion of Valentine's Day isn't enough to get someone in the loving spirit, there's a flash mob that will. A global activist group is calling for people to gather in cities around the world to dance and sing in the name of stopping violence directed towards women.

One Billion Rising's campaign invites the public to make their voices heard. Founded 16 years ago by Eve Ensler, writer of "The Vagina Monologues," the movement asks people of all walks of life to band together outside of places that women should be promised safety but often do not receive it, such as court houses, police stations and schools).

The One Billion Rising for Justice flash mob will begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Plaza de la Cultura, which is located downtown.


Lawmakers take a step to create mental health oversight office
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers voted Wednesday to create what amounts to a mental health czar. The official title is the Secretaría Técnica de Salud Mental, and it is part of the Ministerio de Salud.

Lawmakers did not allocate any resources but said they expect other government agencies, including the health ministry, to provide support.
The job is gigantic, according to a legislative summary. The new agency, if approved on second reading perhaps Monday, will articulate actions to define and evaluate aspects of legal and illegal drug addiction, suicides, school bullying and job harassment.

Lawmakers said they expected the Ministerio de Salud to redistribute its staff to provide workers for the new agency.  Approval was unanimous.


University students trying to build program to get seniors jobs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Students at Tecnológico de Costa Rica, one of the country's public universities, are trying to create paid and unpaid jobs for seniors.

An announcement noted that seniors have acquired all types of knowledge and experience during years of work. The idea is to have a type of employment exchange.

The work may be for compensation or voluntary, said the announcement.

The Cartago-based school already has an educational program
for seniors, the Proyecto Educativo del TEC para Personas Adultas Mayores.

Costa Rica does not have an age discrimination law, and persons over the age of 35 frequently have trouble getting a job.

The situation is worse for older adults, and many are essentially unemployable.

The program might provide an opening for expats who wish to share their knowledge in Costa Rica. Many have set up their own efforts, but those with background in the more technical areas sometimes have trouble making connections.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 31
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DNA of Clovis child shows culture was ancestor of most native Americans
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Native Americans have long considered their oral tradition central to their cultural identity. They count among their ancestors the Clovis people, named for the stone tools discovered near Clovis, New Mexico, in the early 1930s and found in some 1,500 other sites across North America.  The first mapping of the Clovis genome provides evidence that ties these ancient people to contemporary American Indians.
 
Sarah Anzick grew up on a farm along Flathead Creek in the western state of Montana. In 1968, the only Clovis burial site ever found was discovered on her family's property. The prehistoric skeleton of a young boy was found buried under some 125 artifacts - largely stone spear points distinctive to Clovis and antler tools. 

Ms. Anzick, now a geneticist, is co-author of a study in the scientific journal Nature that describes the Clovis genome.  

“So as a steward of the remains and with training in human genetics and genomics, my experience positioned me uniquely to contribute to the history of the early inhabitants of the North American continent by analyzing the ancient DNA from this Clovis individual," said Ms. Anzick.

The remains of the child date to the end of the Clovis era or some 12,600 years ago, says co-author Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of First Americans at Texas A&M University.

“This is the oldest burial in North America and the only Clovis burial. The genetic findings match well with the archeological data for the first Americans.  The two methods together tell the story of the earliest settlers of the Americans and their descendants," said Waters.

The Clovis lived at a time when mammoth, mastodons and giant bison roamed the Earth.  On closer look, the genome finds the Clovis boy is related to all present-day Native Americans in North and South America. Waters adds that the ancestors of this boy originated from Asia and not from Europe as previously hypothesized.

“These genetic findings are consistent with the archeological evidence which shows that the North American continent was first explored and settled 15,000 years ago, with Clovis emerging 2,000 years later at 13,000 years ago," he said.

Native people today inherited those genes. The work to sequence the genome engaged the native community, says historian Shane Doyle, a Crow Indian and professor at Montana State University. Doyle, another study co-author, says native people want more cooperation like this in research.


native Americans
Photo by Sarah Anzick
Stone spearpoints and bone tool were recovered from the only known Clovis burial site discovered in Montana in 1968.

“We are looking to change that whole story, and we want to bring American Indians to the table with this research so they can help guide the most respectful and appropriate ways to do this kind of research, actually inform the scientists along the way, so that we are able to move forward together," said Doyle.

Doyle says it is young people like his students who will move that dialogue into the 21st century.

He says the Clovis genome sequence did not come as a surprise to Native Americans.

“I feel like this discovery confirms what tribes have never really doubted, that we’ve been here since time immemorial and all of the artifacts and objects in the ground are remnants of our direct ancestors," he said.

While DNA was extracted from the Clovis skeleton for scientific purposes, the bones will be reburied sometime this year in cooperation with Native American tribes in Montana to honor the sacred Indian tradition.

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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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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

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

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

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                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
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100 houses


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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
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apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80
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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
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 the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact jogya345@yahoo.com
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Belen
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Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details: rafa@rafacr.com.
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ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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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 
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of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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Cafetales



Sea Shepherd and associates
will mine ocean for fabrics


By the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society news staff

At a press conference under the spectacular suspended blue whale replica at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA joined with partners Bionic Yarn and Parley for the Oceans for the global launch of The Vortex Project, a campaign to clean the oceans of plastic debris and transform it into fashion. Among those there was Capt. Paul Watson, the society founder and fugitive fomr Costa Rican crimnal alelgations.

Attendees were gathered for the launch of its first collaboration, RAW for the Oceans, a long-term partnership between denim brand G-Star RAW and Bionic Yarn to turn ocean plastic into denim. The New York Fashion Week event was part of Parley for the Oceans, an initiative comprised of artists, activists, tastemakers, entrepreneurs and innovators to address and solve the plastic pollution problem impacting ocean ecosystems.

Sea Shepherd is a partner of Parley for the Oceans and Bionic Yarn, co-founder of The Vortex Project.

The Vortex Project takes waste from the oceans and shorelines, and recycles, enhances, and reuses it for yarn, fabric, and other elements in consumer products. Parley Partners will use the reclaimed plastic waste from the oceans to create exclusive products with a unique product story. They will also seek to close the loop by again recycling these products at the end of their product life and manufacturing new products in such a way as to not further pollute.

At the launch, highly acclaimed photographer and environmentalist David LaChapelle, advisory board member to The Vortex Project, introduced iconic conservationist and Sea Shepherd founder Watson, who gave an extensive State of the Oceans address to the crowd of 300 fashion industry professionals.

Sea Shepherd will lead The Vortex Project in the areas of collecting, scientific innovation and awareness-building, and will work with Sea Shepherd entities worldwide to mobilize teams to help clean up the oceans and beaches.


Another major winter storm
moving up East Coast of U.S.


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A deadly winter storm that has coated much of the southeastern United States with ice is moving up the East Coast, taking aim at the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Some cities can expect more than 30 centimeters, nearly a foot, of snow by the end of the day today. Major school systems have already closed and residents are packing supermarkets to stock up on essentials.

The storm killed at least nine people as it pushed across the usually mild Southeast Wednesday, coating highways from Texas through the Carolinas with ice.

Many drivers in North Carolina, figuring it is safer to walk than drive, ignored authorities and abandoned their cars on the slick highways, causing a huge traffic jam.

Heavy ice has brought down trees and power lines, knocking out electricity to hundreds of thousands. Airlines canceled thousands of flights.

The National Weather Service called the storm an event of historical proportions. Authorities say the wintry mix has caused two deaths in Mississippi and at least three in northern Texas.

More than 2,700 U.S. flights were canceled and hundreds more delayed early on Wednesday, according to flight-tracking Web site FlightAware.com.

Businesses, schools and even the federal government are expected to close as weather conditions worsen. The White House announced Wednesday it has postponed a public event scheduled there today due to weather conditions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has dispatched crews across the southeast and has activated crews in the Washington region.

Government officials were quick to make plans to deal with the impact of the storm, following another two weeks ago that paralyzed Atlanta-area roads and forced more than 11,000 students in Alabama to spend the night at their schools.
 
Hundreds of schools and government offices across the South were closed Wednesday, and power outages started to climb as the weather conditions that forecasters had warned about for days took shape.
 
About 59,000 Georgia Power customers were without power early on Wednesday. South Carolina emergency officials said about 4,000 residents in Aiken near the Georgia border were without power.


Pioneer TV comic Sid Caesar
was the big start in the 1950s


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pioneering U.S. television comedian Sid Caesar, who set the standard for TV comedy in the early 1950s, has died at 91.

The New York born-Caesar began his career as a big band saxophonist before moving into nightclubs and the Broadway stage.

He started his television career in 1949 when he partnered with the late comedienne Imogene Coca.

Their legendary series "Your Show of Shows" was must-see Saturday night viewing and attracted huge audiences. Caesar rejected typical TV slapstick and in favor of sketches that showcased the best and sometimes worst of human behavior -- ill-tempered bosses, angry husbands, life in suburbia, and pretentious professors.

"Your Show of Shows" also parodied foreign films to highlight Caesar's ability to speak in realistic-sounding Russian, Japanese, and French dialect which was actually gibberish and nonsense.

The writing staff of "Your Show of Shows" and Caesar's subsequent series reads like a who's who of American comedy. They include Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart.

After television, Caesar returned to Broadway and films and wrote candidly about his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse in an 1982 autobiography.


Microsoft rejects claim
it censored Chinese searches


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. technology giant Microsoft has rejected allegations that its Bing search engine censors Chinese language results for users in the United States.

Bing on Wednesday denied the censorship accusations. In a statement, Bing said it does not apply China's legal requirements to searches conducted outside of China.

It did acknowledge, however, that an error in its system triggered "incorrect results removal notification for some searches." But it insisted the results themselves were uncensored outside of China.

Earlier, an Internet freedom advocacy group, GreatFire.org, said censored results are appearing for search terms such as the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who is regarded by Beijing as a "splittist."

Percy Alpha, with GreatFire.org, said that Bing appeared to be filtering out links and stories that Chinese authorities would view as damaging.

"If I search Dalai Lama, almost all results on the first page, even on international Bing, are from Chinese media...and the Bing results mostly portray Dalai Lama in a negative way," said Alpha.

In testing by a reporter, using search terms commonly blocked or censored in China, such as  “Dalai Lama (达赖喇嘛)” and “Bo Xilai (薄熙来),” results in Mandarin gave high ranking mostly to official Chinese sites or domestic Chinese sites that can be controlled by Beijing.  The English searches had a much different result, displaying mostly western outlets.  The searches were done using Bing.com in Washington.

Reporters also did an identical test using Bing's rival, Google, and came up with very different results in Mandarin, but similar results in English.

Western companies have long been accused of complying with censorship demands in order to do business in China, which has nearly 600 million Internet users.

But Alpha said what made this case different was that Microsoft appeared to be filtering certain results not only for users in mainland China, but also in the United States.

Responding to the Bing statement, Alpha said that nothing has changed, and that the results were still clearly altered.

Alpha said it believed business interests may be at play.

"Microsoft has traditionally a really good relationship with China compared to other IT companies. So I think Chinese authorities may have asked them for a favor, and they just did it. And there's a huge market share in China. Even though the server itself is not in China, Microsoft has huge business interests in China. Therefore, they might just comply with Chinese authorities to keep a good relationship with them," said Alpha.

Microsoft has been slammed in the past by rights groups for censoring the Chinese version of Skype. It also drew condemnation in 2005 when it shut down the Chinese-language blog of journalist and activist Michael Anti.


Salvadorean castaway back
at his homeland with tears

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A fisherman from El Salvador who said he spent 13 months adrift in the Pacific has arrived home.

Jose Salvador Alvarenga tried to address reporters waiting at the San Salvador airport, but could only put his hands to his face, appearing to cry.

Alvarenga says he tossed more than 10,000 kilometers across the Pacific in a small boat from Mexico before he washed ashore two weeks ago in the Marshall Islands.

The 37-year-old castaway said he survived by eating raw fish, turtles and bird blood. He said his fishing partner Ezequiel Cordoba died about a month into their ordeal.

Some have doubted Alveranga's story, but Mexican officials say a small fishing boat carrying two men was reported to have disappeared during bad weather on November 17, 2012, and no trace of them or the craft was found during an intense two-week search.

Alvarenga left the airport in a wheelchair and was taken to the national hospital San Rafael. As he was unloaded from an ambulance, he tried again to answer questions, and answered, "Happy to have arrived."

The castaway had started his ordeal a much larger man, and doctors found that he was swollen and in pain from the ordeal, suffering from dehydration.

The journey back home after a week of rest and medical treatment in the Marshall Islands capital of Majuro was marked by long layovers in Honolulu and Los Angeles, where doctors checked his health and ability to continue the trip.

Yeerles Ramírez, a physician, said according to medical tests so far, Alvarenga's prognosis is very good.


Special twin circumstances
generate how-to for parents


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Joan Friedman understands why being a twin can often be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

The psychotherapist, who specializes in twin issues, is a twin herself and the mother of fraternal twins.

While it’s wonderful to have such a close friend in life, she says, most adult twins struggle to learn how to face life as singletons.

When Ms. Friedman and her identical twin sister, Jane, were growing up half a century ago, there were few twins around.

“We were such stars and got a lot of attention," Ms. Friedman said. "People always knew we were the Friedman twins. But then we got older and you wanted to have your own identity. People really didn’t know who we were. It was, in a sense, like being noticed but not being known.”

Like many twins back then and even today, Joan and Jane dressed alike and were always together.

“The first time Jane and I were separated was when we went to college," Ms. Friedman said. "It was an incredibly difficult adjustment. All of a sudden you find yourself sort of as a very unprepared singleton.”

Due to advancements in infertility treatments, Friedman says, the number of twins has grown.

“Today, I think the latest statistics show that one out of every 33 births is a twin birth," she said. "I think in like the 1980s, it was one out of 90 births.”

And, she says, twins are often still treated as two halves of a whole, rather than as separate individuals.

Nazy Farkhondeh, 22, and her twin sister, Ranah, have always been inseparable best friends.

They went to the same school, had the same friends. Though they applied to different colleges, they ended up rooming together at the University of Michigan and graduated with the same major. Now, they both live in Los Angeles, California.

“The most fun part is probably just having a companion you can count on," Nazy said. "The most challenging part is the feeling that everything is a shared experience, when you want to have your own experience.”

Ms. Farkhondeh also says people perceive twins as the same person, while in fact they are very different.

“Our styles are completely different. She’s more of a girly-girl. She likes to do her make-up. She likes to do her hair, when she goes out," Nazy said. "I’m more casual. I don’t wear any makeup and I never do my hair. I’m more into literature, and she’s more into music. Even growing up, I’ve been always a little bit more outgoing, she was the shyer one.”

Like most siblings, twins often disagree with one another.

“It's really funny as I actually see a huge irony in disagreeing with your twin," Nazy said. "Because on one hand, you appreciate it because it’s a way you differentiate yourself from them. But on the other hand, it’s kind of irritating because it’s like someone who is really, really, really close to you disagreeing with you. So in that sense, it kind of burns more.”

Twin boys process their differences differently than twin girls, says psychotherapist Friedman.

“Identical twin girls have the closest relationships just because girls tend to need and find more intimacy with one another," she said. "Identical twin girls really do try to keep the competition under wraps, whereas boys will be able to express their feelings or their hostility in a more open way.”

In her new book, "The Same But Different: How Twins Can Live, Love and Learn to Be Individuals," Ms. Friedman offers this advice for raising independent twins.

“I have certain things that I always tell parents, which is, of course, not to dress them alike, not to give them alliterative names like Tom and Tony, Natalie and Nancy," she said. "Give them different names. Make sure you take separate pictures of each twin. If they grow up and never see a picture of themselves by themselves, it’s very difficult for them to think of themselves as separate. And alone time is really what I feel is the most important; if you take one to the grocery store, take the other one to the park, which gives you a sense of connection with both babies.”

Reinforcing different personalities and nurturing different temperaments, Ms. Friedman says, is key to raising happy, close twins who have their own, individual goals and paths in life.


New movie features team
that recovered Nazi art loot


 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Is art worth risking life and limb for? This question lies at the heart of George Clooney’s World War II drama “The Monuments Men.” The film, directed and co-written by the actor, is based on the real story of a handful of men sent by the Allied forces to Europe to recover art stolen by the Nazis and return it to their rightful owners.

As the war was coming to a close, President Roosevelt authorized a team of art experts to go to German-occupied Europe and salvage masterpieces looted by the Nazis.
 
George Clooney interprets the real life team leader, George Leslie Stout. From 1944-1945, Stout supervised the recovery and removal of several thousand works of art, hidden in salt mines, churches, and other locations in Europe.

The film and its cast bring to life, with some poetic license, the group called “The Monuments ‘Men.”

“So we have to get as close to the front as we can.  Preston, you and Campbell head to Belgium, specifically Ghent," said Clooney/Stout in the film.
 
This very same map is on display now at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum in Washington.

Curator Kate Haw says the film agrees with the documents and pictures on display here.

“Many of 'The Monuments’ Men' came back from the war and became great figures in the museum field and academic field of art history," said Ms. Haw.

Stout founded the first American art conservation laboratory. Capt. James Rorimer went on to become the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Matt Damon interprets Rorimer. In the film, he's called James Granger. 

“Claire Simone? asked Matt Damon as James Granger.

Claire Simone was, in real life, curator Rose Valland. She played a central part in the masterpieces' recovery. Cate Blanchett plays Ms. Valland's character.  

“She was a curator who works at the Jeu de Paume, the museum of contemporary art," said Ms. Blanchett.

“She was watching all of these Nazi leaders choose the art and send it off to different places," said Damon.

“Rose Valland spoke German but she didn’t let the Nazis know that. And so, she listens carefully to what they were saying. She took copious notes of what was coming into the Jeu de Paume and where it went," said Kate Haw.

Without Valland’s inventory and pictures she gave Rorimer, many of these masterpieces could have been lost forever.


whales
British Antarctic Survey montage  
Whale satellite images compared with aerial photograph
at the same scale (top right)


High resolution satellite pixs
used to count whales in bay

By the British Antarctic Survey Press Office.

Scientists have demonstrated how new satellite technology can be used to count whales, and ultimately estimate their population size. Using Very High Resolution satellite imagery, alongside image processing software, they were able to automatically detect and count whales breeding in part of the Golfo Nuevo, Peninsula Valdes in Argentina.

The new method, published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, could revolutionize how whale population size is estimated. Marine mammals are extremely difficult to count on a large scale and traditional methods, such as counting from platforms or land, can be costly and inefficient.

Lead author Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey explains;

“This is a proof of concept study that proves whales can be identified and counted by satellite. Whale populations have always been difficult to assess. Traditional means of counting them are localized, expensive and lack accuracy. The ability to count whales automatically, over large areas in a cost-effective way will be of great benefit to conservation efforts for this and potentially other whale species.”

Previously, satellites have provided limited success in counting whales but their accuracy has improved in recent years.

The team used a single WorldView2 satellite image of a bay where southern right whales gather to calve and mate. Driven to near extinction, these whales have made a limited recovery following the end of whaling. In recent years, however, many deaths have been seen on their nursery grounds at Peninsula Valdes. Their population size is now unknown but with this sharp increase in calf mortality, estimates are needed.

The enclosed bays in this region contain calm, shallow waters which increase the chance of spotting the whales from space. Three main criteria were used to identify whales: objects visible in the image should be the right size and shape; they should be in the right place (where whales would be expected to be) and there should be no (or few) other types of objects that could be mistaken as whales.

Whales in the image were manually identified and counted, finding 55 probable whales, 23 possible whales and 13 sub-surface features. Several automated methods were then tested against these numbers.

Future satellite platforms will provide even high quality imagery and Worldview3 is planned to be launched this year. This will allow for greater confidence in identifying whales and differentiating mother and calf pairs. Such technological advancements may also allow scientists to apply this method to other whale species.

scents
Michigan Technological University photo 
These are the devises that emit scents.

Emails with smell are tested
for possible release in 2015

By the Michigan Technological University news staff

Say you forgot about Valentine’s Day, and it’s too late to send that certain someone some roses. Someday, you’ll at least be able to send their scent.

A Paris laboratory under the direction of David Edwards, Michigan Technological University alumnus, has created the oPhone, which will allow odors — oNotes — to be sent, via Bluetooth and smartphone attachments, to oPhones across the state, country or ocean, where the recipient can enjoy American Beauties or any other variety of rose.

It can be sent via email, tweet, or text.

Edwards says the idea started with student designers in his class at Harvard, where he is a professor.

“We invite young students to bring their design dreams,” he says. “We have a different theme each year, and that year it was virtual worlds.”

The all-female team came up with virtual aromas, and he brought two of the students to Paris to work on the project. Normally, he says, there’s a clear end in sight, but with their project no one had a clue  who was going to pay for the research or if there was even a market.

With the early major buzz produced — Wired Magazine, National Public Radio, and the British press — Edwards is sure the market will come.

So, how does the scent technology work?

“We create unique aromatic profiles,” says Blake Armstrong, director of business communications at Vapor Communications, an organization operating out of Le Laboratorie in Paris. “We put that into the oChip that faithfully renders that smell.”

Edwards said that the initial four chips that will come with the first oPhones can be combined into thousands of different odors — produced for 20 to 30 seconds — creating what he calls an evolution of odor.

The secret is in accurate scent reproduction, locked in those chips plugged into the devices. Odors are first captured in wax after they are perfected using “The Nose”-- an aroma expert at the lab, Marlène Staiger — who deconstructs the scents.

For example, with coffee, “the most universally recognized aroma,” she replaces words like “citrus” or “berry” with actual scents that will be created by ordering molecules and combining them in different percentages.

In fact, the lab is working with Café Coutume, the premier coffee shop in Paris, housing baristas in their building and using oPhones to create full sensory experiences.

“Imagine you are online and want to know what a particular brand of coffee would smell like,” Edwards says. “Or, you are in an actual long line waiting to order. You just tap on the oNote and get the experience.”

The result for Coutume, and all oPhone recipients, is a pure cloud of scent close to the device. Perhaps six inches in diameter, it is released and then disappears, retaining its personal and subtle aura.

And there are other sectors that could benefit, Edwards says.

“Fragrance houses, of course, culinary, travel, but also healthcare.”

He cites an example at an exhibition last fall in London when someone with brain damage came forward. He had lost memory, and with it his sense of taste and smell.  The oPhone can help bring that memory back, Edwards says.

“We think there could be help for Alzheimer’s patients, related to the decline and loss of memory and olfactory sensation,” he says.

Improvements are already planned for an end-of-year Beta release of the scent-transmitting phone to a limited audience. They’ll be seeking feedback before a broader release in 2015. The oPhone will eventually be smaller, more intimate, according to Armstrong.

Form and function are both important to the oPhone, Armstrong says. And there’s something more.

“At the end of the day, it helps open up your life to share,” Armstrong says. “You can share your world and how you experience it with someone special.”






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

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8246-8/17/14


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8179-3/11/14

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

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

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



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8245-5/12/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Excazu montage
Trejos  Montealegre, Escazú.
Two bedrooms and two baths.  220 m2 construction on  289 m2 of land. Beautiful contemporary house across from a small park, easy walk to Avenida Escazú.
Great views. Only 7 years old. Two patios and a balcony. In a quiet and secure neighborhood with guard shack across the street. Nice landscaped garden. Sale includes all furniture.  Price: $275,000.    Phone  Ron Eaton  at 8997-1799. Email: ronaldeaton95@yahoo.com
8251-3/14/14

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additonal bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony   and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8253-5/12/14

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
2852-5/17/14

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: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8230-3/13/14

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

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

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

Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to:
scottlandtodd@live.com. Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.
8207-3/8/14

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  sjwiens@gmail.com  for more photos/information or go here:
www.rainforestnaturals.ca/songbird/cr/land/photogallery.htm
8197-2/6/14

complex
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8186-3/13/14

forest
Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com.
8182-1/13/14


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13



Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances. 
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
8157-2/22/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx


Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 31
Sports
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News from the BBC up to the minute








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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
shroud
The controversial Shroud of Turin.

Earthquake emissions cited
as creating Shroud of Turin

By the Springer news staff

Is an earthquake behind the Shroud of Turin image?

Neutron radiation caused by a 33 A.D. earthquake could have led to wrong 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud, suggest researchers.

An earthquake in Old Jerusalem might be behind the famous image of the Shroud of Turin, says a group of researchers led by Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino in Italy in an article published in Springer’s journal Meccanica. They said they believe that neutron radiation caused by an earthquake could have induced the image of a crucified man – which many people believe to be that of Jesus – onto the length of linen cloth, and caused carbon-14 dating done on it in 1988 to be wrong.

The Shroud has attracted widespread interest ever since Secondo Pia took the first photograph of it in 1898. The questions are is it Jesus’ purported burial cloth, how old it might be, and how the image was created. According to radiocarbon dating done in 1988, the cloth was only 728 years old at the time. Other researchers have since suggested that the shroud is much older and that the dating process was incorrect because of neutron radiation – a process which is the result of nuclear fusion or nuclear fission during which free neutrons are released from atoms – and its interaction with the nuclei of other atoms to form new carbon isotopes.

However, no plausible physical reason has yet been proposed to explain the origin of this neutron radiation. Now Carpinteri’s team, through mechanical and chemical experimentation, hypothesizes that high-frequency pressure waves generated in the Earth’s crust during earthquakes are the source of such neutron emissions. This is based on their research into piezonuclear fission reactions, which are triggered when very brittle rock specimens are crushed under a press machine. In the process, neutrons are produced without gamma emissions. Analogously, the researchers theorize further that neutron flux increments, in correspondence to seismic activity, should be a result of the same reactions.

The researchers therefore believe that neutron emission from a historical earthquake in 33 A.D. in Old Jerusalem, which measured 8.2 on the Richter Scale, could have been strong enough to cause neutron imaging through its interaction with nitrogen nuclei. On the one hand, this could have created the distinctive image on the Shroud through radiation imagery, while on the other, it could have increased the level of carbon-14 isotopes found on the linen fibres that could have confused the 1988 radiocarbon dating tests.

“We believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the shroud’s linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating,” hypothesizes Carpinteri.


Quake rattles peninsula

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica said that a 4.4 earthquake took place at 2:38 p.m. Wednesday about 24 kilometers or about 15 miles southeast of Montezuma on the east shore of the Nicoya peninsula. The quake was felt strongest in Paquera to the north. The monitoring agency at the Universidad de Costa Rica said the quake also  was felt in Jacó across the gulf

The location is in a very active area at the mouth of the gulf.

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From Page 7:

Home construction expo begins Wednesday

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More than 230 firms are expected to be represented by their 600 stands at the Expo Construcción y Vivienda, which opens Wednesday for a five-day run.  The location is the Centro de Eventos Pedrega in Santa Ana. This is the 16th year.

Offered will be homes ranging from $50,000 to $1 million, said organizers. Lots also will be for sale.
Some 13 banks and other lending institutions also will be present to offer mortgages.

The expo this year has prepared a written guide on purchasing a home for the benefit of visitors.

Also there will be a group of student from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. They will be constructing a prototype solar home for seniors in 10 days as part of their training for participating in an international competition in Paris.

The expo is organized by the Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción, and some 40,000 persons are expected over the five days. Admission Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday is free. There is a charge Saturday and Sunday.