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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 36                          Email us
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Harvesting of sugar cane still requires a lot of manual labor. This scene is in Grecia as the cane goes to a collection center.

sugar cane
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Physicians here zeroing in on chronic kidney disease
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Doctors researching the abnormal rate of chronic kidney disease in Guanacaste gave a preliminary analysis of findings Wednesday. Physician Ray Wong, who works at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social in Libería, said the findings are consistent with their hypothesis that mostly uneducated men who work in physical labor are affected.

When Wong talked about the abnormal rate of chronic kidney disease persisting in Guanacaste, he compared the epidemic to a fixed lottery. As the medical team has randomly selected infected participants for the study, researchers continue to find that none is from a professional, well-educated background.

“The lottery is balanced to the low education level,” Wong said.

He confirmed that 75 percent of those inflicted are men.

Although Wong said the preliminary data is not enough to make a conclusion about the effects of dehydration, he did comment that his team is studying how much water the ailing parties drink. They are also looking into alcohol consumption, namely the cheap bootleg alcohol popular in Guanacaste.

“This low-quality alcohol that they drink gives them a very low hydration rate,” Wong said. “It makes it almost the same as if they had drank zero liquids.”

Though the final results will not be fully known until later this year, researchers already have half of their overall data sample collected from 850 participants.

In six weeks research will be finalized in Liberia and other cantons, where Wong and five others have been working to pinpoint a central cause for the disease.
Studies have yet to start in Santa Cruz but should be concluded there by June. After each field review there is a two-month grace period for data analysis, said Wong.

Researchers have divided their field work into three sections that allow them to make correlations between an ailing person and his or her history leading up to kidney issues. The first step is to confirm whether a person suffers from the specific kidney condition. Initial hospital tests are done and data is collected from the patients. Then doctors wait three months before giving the patients another blood test to confirm if the person has chronic kidney disease.

Doctors conduct 30-minute interviews with patients grouped in each of the eight cantons. They classify them according to age, gender, profession, and other demographic details. Lastly, they compare the ill with healthy volunteers. The goal is rule out and emphasize competing factors. The main point of the study is to find what factors created or augmented the health problem.

The expensive field studies used to be harder because unaffected people weren't lining up to take part in the control group. Now, Wong said, the information made public by media outlets and administrative heads has made residents of Guanacaste aware that their neighbors are facing a serious issue.

“These healthy volunteers are worried about their community,” he said. “Today its easier because community leaders have also motivated the healthy people to participate in the studies”

Response rate is up to 85 percent for the control groups, which consist of 25 subjects from each canton. The Guanacaste cantons under review are La Cruz, Nicoya, Nandayure, Cañas, Libería, Carrillo, Bagaces, and Santa Cruz.

The study is one of a number taking place in Central America where there is an unusually high rate of kidney disease among residents who are mostly sugar cane workers.


An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
Stadium melee is logical result of fuzzy thinking

Costa Rican officials are treating the riot by soccer fans Sunday as a sports problem.

President Laura Chinchilla met Wednesday with presidents of the various professional soccer clubs, representatives of the Federación Costarricense de Fútbol, the national sports institute and security officials.

The rioting during a professional soccer game Sunday at the Estadio Nacional is a reflection of a criminal justice problem. These individuals are members of groups identified as sports fans or barras. In fact, they are criminal gangs that are responsible for many of the crimes in the metro area.

These gangs grew and developed because of the country's dysfunctional court system and its permissive attitude towards youngsters. Ms. Chinchilla should have been meeting with magistrates and lawmakers to tighten up the juvenile code.

Of course, many of the members of these barras are not juveniles now, although they benefited in their youth from a court system that seldom punishes crimes by those under 18. At least we don't think so. It's hard to tell because all that is done in secret.

Costa Rica is harvesting what it has sown. These barras include persons in their middle ages. And most members of the group are over 18.

So far the only action against those involved in
the Sunday melee is preventative detention against two young toughs who were caught in the act of committing a robbery inside the stadium. Although as many as 53 persons were detained, little real punishment is expected.

At the risk of provoking outrage one might suggest that what is needed here is a series of sound thrashings. Costa Rica, of course, considers corporal punishment to be child abuse. Officials are not too fond either of sending 12-year-olds out into the fields for harvest. Local representatives of the United Nations and a litany of non-profit child defense groups also would be outraged  by these character building procedures.

Costa Rica is operating with outdated social science principles when officials insist on keeping secret the names of youthful offenders. Do they expect something magic to happen when anti-social youth reaches 18?

Day after day judicial investigators or Fuerza Pública officers detain persons under 18 for major crimes. Then nothing more is heard of the case. Many are repeat, repeat, repeat offenders.

The country needs effective and tough criminal enforcement even for the juveniles. That way they will not grow up to be the individuals who are keeping the crime rate so high.

Ms. Chinchilla has issued a decree with penalties for misbehavior at sporting events. What about on the streets?


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36

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

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Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
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Architects

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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

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Fine art restoration and conservation


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Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
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Real estate agents and services

Colinas
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del Pacifico, S.A.

Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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Please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
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7410-4/1/13

Our readers' opinions
High prices for foreign tourists
gives them a flawed message


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

There is something in Costa Rica tourism that really gets under my skin, and that is charging tourists "non-nationals" two or three times as much as Ticos for entrance into a tourist destination!  The message, IMHO, is very clear:  Welcome to Costa Rica . . . now we are going to rip you off!"

The solution:  Charge a single price, a balance between the current ripoff and the Tico price, and on the literature and entry signage, in small print below, offer a specified discount to all holders of a Costa Rican cédula.  Seems pretty logical (I know, I know, I forgot where I am!).

Costa Rica is a major tourist destination.  To show tourists, in print, that they are being excessively charged, compared to a national, sends a very flawed message!
Michael Connolly
San Isidro de Heredia


There is a better way to find
the beginnings of breast cancer

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have been reading about the lack of usefulness and dangers of mammograms for at least five years.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, among others, has written several articles exposing the near zero positive results and the radiation danger, pain plus unnecessary biopsies with mammograms.

Since physical exams are just about as good, adding ultrasound which will find some more should be better than mammograms with no danger.

When my wife got the EBAIS to specify an ultrasound, the attending technician insisted she had to have a mammogram also even though it was not specified. Next time we will make sure that the order for exam does not permit the mammogram.

There is a much better technology available in the USA, but not in Costa Rica that I have heard of. It is called thermography and involves taking infrared photos which measure the extra heat of a forming cancer. It has been available in the U.S.A. since about 1970. Photos are digital and can be emailed to diagnosis experts for high level accuracy. The technology is well developed now. I would expect it to be a little less expensive as no silver containing paper is needed nor chemicals nor envelopes nor storage bins for results. Just a hard or flash drive. In Jpg format it is easy to compare previous photos. The best part is that it detects much smaller cancers 5 to 10 years earlier at a much higher accuracy.

Its biggest deterrent is that those with investments in mammogram equipment don’t like it due to the competition. Medicine is a competitive business. Sometimes when found early, cancer will respond to lifestyle changes and treatment can be avoided altogether.  The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social should like that.
Joseph Lassiter
Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste


Awareness is most important
in personal health maintenance


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Your article on the benefits of mammograms versus physical breast exams distorts the truth in a way that the media virtually always does. Neither method saves lives -- both methods only prolong lives, and that only on average.

Epidemiological studies of competing risks help to clarify claims about prolonging lifespan. For example, comparisons of death by coronary failure versus cancer show that if either were entirely cured, average lifespan would be increased less than half a year. Why? Because people die of the other. (The key is the word "average.")

In the case of breast cancer, both manual exams by trained health professionals and mammograms can be used. Self examination after training can discover more tumors, whether benign or malignant, than either, if enough people do it.

And men are not immune. A friend, a male physician working at a cancer registry in the States, died of breast cancer because he didn't respond to obvious symptoms. So awareness is the most important tool in health maintenance.
John French
Heredia

More unrest in Venezuela
predicted but not a coup


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly one year after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, violent protests have erupted against his hand-picked successor, President Nicolás Maduro. The unrest is fed by deteriorating economic conditions and rampant lawlessness that cast fresh doubts on the viability of the socialist experiment Chávez launched in Venezuela more than 15 years ago.

Growing numbers of Venezuelans are taking to the streets and confronting riot police.
 
One protester said, “We Venezuelans do not have food. There are no jobs, no education. There is insecurity. We don't want this anymore."

The unrest comes as no surprise to Latin America expert Michael Shifter. “Economic conditions have never been worse in Venezuela. Crime is off the charts, completely uncontrolled. Inflation is the highest in the world, there are shortages of basic goods. And there is widespread frustration and discontent with the government,” he said.

Maduro has mobilized his backers, including petroleum workers like Jose Hernandez. “The oil industry stands with President Maduro, with his economic measures, in order to counter everything the oligarchy is doing.”

The “oligarchy” is a reference to Venezuela’s political opposition, whose leader, Leopoldo López, has been arrested.

“We have to take up protests in the streets. It is a moral duty, a patriotic duty. If not now, then when?” asked Lopez.

Lopez stands accused of inciting violence. Maduro also accuses the United States of engineering unrest, and has expelled three American diplomats. White House spokesman Jay Carney rebuts the charge.

“We have seen many times that the Venezuelan government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the U.S. or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela," said Carney.

Meanwhile, Maduro is making thinly-veiled threats about any effort to remove him from office.

“If one day you receive news that the oligarchy succeeded in toppling a government, a scenario that will not happen, then perhaps this peaceful, democratic revolution will take on another character, an armed one, deeply revolutionary. The world should know this. We are willing to do everything necessary,” said Maduro.

In his quest to boost the fortunes of Venezuela’s poor, former President Chávez concentrated political power and depleted Venezuela’s substantial oil revenues for massive social welfare programs. He is proving a tough act to follow, according to analyst Shifter.

“Chávez really had the charisma. He had tremendous political skills, and he had money. He rode a boom in Venezuela. And his successor does not have charisma, does not have political skills, and is really strapped on the fiscal front,” said Shifter.

Shifter does not believe a coup is likely, but thinks conditions in Venezuela could deteriorate further, leading to far deeper, more widespread unrest and pressure for new elections on an accelerated timeline.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36
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U.S. Tax and Accounting

Question of cost for Limón widening job comes up again
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The question of cost has come up again as a legislative commission studies a proposal to hire Chinese firms to widen a section of Ruta 32 near Limón.

Manrique Oviedo Guzmán, a legislator of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, issued another statement Wednesday in which he said that the price the country was ready to pay for the highway job was $165 million too high. He based his comments on a Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo estimate provided by a private firm. The lawmaker has raised the issue in the past.

The highway job is now in the political realm because a candidate of the Partido Liberación Nacional and Acción Ciudadana are to meet in a presidential runoff April 6. Liberación Nacional backs the project.

The $465.6 million project would make Ruta 32 four lane from Limón to Rio Frio, some 107.2  kilometers, a little more than 66 miles. Legislative action is required to approve two loans the Chinese would make to pay for the project. The contractor is a Chinese state firm that has faced corruption allegations and has been blacklisted by the World Bank.

The Export–Import Bank of China would make two loans, one for $100 million and one for $296 million. Costa Rica is putting up $90 million, including an extra $20 million for expropriating property and relocating public services. The larger loan would be at 4 percent interest, and the smaller one at 2 percent.

Costa Rica would have a five-year grace period before any repayment is due, and the term of the loan would be 15 years after that.

The proposal is now in the Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios,  and those who favor the deal are trying to get the measure reported out for a floor vote by the full legislature.
Ruta 32
A.M. Costa Rica archives              
This is a sketch of the proposed widening.

Liberatión lawmakers responded to the renewed allegations Wednesday with a press conference in which Limón community leaders and representatives of the nation's highway agency gave support to the bill.

The Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo study was by a Mexican firm, Cal y Mayor, which said that the price should be lower. However, supporters have said that because plans have not been drawn up figuring an actual cost is just guesswork.

In addition to road work, there are a number of bridges and overpasses to be constructed.

There would be no bidding in this contract. The award would be direct to the China Harbour Engineering Co. Group and China Road and Bridge Corp. under terms of the Chinese loans.

Oviedo said that the extra money the country would pay would be enough for two hospitals for Limón or to build two and a half national stadiums.  The stadium was a gift from China.


Gospel group from U.S. plans three shows here starting Friday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Oscar Williams and the Band of Life will present their soul-warming gospel ballads to Costa Rican crowds. The group will give a 7 p.m. Saturday show in Limón at the Black Star Line.

The visit is part of the U.S. State Department's American Music Abroad program. Williams and the Band of Life will be giving presentations and classes that start Friday at the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano in Los Yoses.  The performance is at 7 p.m.

There are two more free presentations planned for Monday, at the public library in Limón at 9:30 a.m. and at the Instituto Tecnología de Costa Rica in Cartago at 4 p.m.. The educational program seeks to share the beauty and history of American music on a global scale an announcement said.

In 2005 the St. Louis, Missouri-based group's debut album reached Billboard's top 40 for best gospel albums.

The group has traveled extensively and toured through Europe, Asia, and South America.
gospel group
Band of Life photo            
Group is sponsored by U.S. State Department

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36
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Caja promises faster diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer patients
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As fighting lung cancer continues to be one of Costa Rica's top medical priorities, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social has announced the debut of a faster system to find and defeat the disease. The new network promises to take less than two months from time of detection until starting treatment.

The Caja's new instructions for managing patients with lung cancer follows a series of guidelines set for the local clinics, the Equipos Básicos de Atención Integral en Salud. The Caja has set priorities on conducting more rapid and high-tech exams. Then each patient's care will be carried out by a group of specialists to decide the best clinical approach in battling the cancer.

Wing Chan Cheng, clinical leader of the group that designed this faster route of discovery, commented on the potential impact of this reform. “This shortened response time can increase the opportunity to save a patient's life,” he said in a release.

In Costa Rica, lung cancer is the third leading cause of death in men and the fifth for women.

“This work in lung cancer is part of a larger process that is marching towards and searching for the defining methods in prevention, early detection, and treatment opportunity for all the prioritized cancers,” said Marjorie Obando, physician and coordinator of the Coordinación Técnica del Cáncer at the Caja.

Another member of the Técnica del Cáncer, Estaban Cantillo, said that those patients suspected of having lung cancer can be assured they will be receiving the quickest treatment possible. When there are warning signs, the patient
will be put on priority for further studies to determine the extent of the sickness and to begin treatment.

The new system is crucial for early detection because usually lung cancer patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has already reached an advanced stage. According to Chan, it will help doctors because lung cancer does not present visible symptoms in early stages. He added that the sick, principally smokers, don't often relate symptoms like a persistent cough to the severity and level of the disease. The most common symptoms are constant coughing and chest pains. Other less common symptoms are coughing up phlegm and blood, accelerated weight loss, or loss of breath.

There are no recognizable symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer and early detection is usually accidental while checking for other health problems, the Caja said.

As always doctors urged all smokers to try to quit smoking. The Caja network's guideline also makes an obligatory explanation to every smoker that comes to a local clinic to outline the dangers of smoking and the importance to drop the habit as soon as possible. These motivational sessions last three to five minutes and can be an aid in preventing tobacco addiction and further lung damage, the Caja said.

“In Costa Rica, of every 100 cases of cancer, 15 have some relation to smoking and, of every 100 deaths for cancer, 18 have relation to tobacco addiction,” said Alejandro Calderón, a physician for the Proyecto del Fortalecimiento de la Atención Integral del Cáncer. Lung cancer most commonly shows up for those between the ages of 50 and 75. It accounts for 3 percent of cancer-related deaths in the country.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to
Christ Howard with Max
Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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

* DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
8226-2/3/14

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8201-1/22/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
7880-3/13/14


Blues
                          video
Click photo for another video

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

8158-3/1/13

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom


Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.



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Real estate rentals
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped
coffee retreat
kitchen, phone line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with 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
8261-3/14/14

house
                                                photo
Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Cadera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: jlayne1933@aol.com or yo@nehemiascr.com
8258-3/18/14

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8239-2/24/14

chalet
                                                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
8242-3/10/14

100 houses


CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
8241-3/7/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80
stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8248-2/24/14

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at  night with
coffee retreat
 the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact jogya345@yahoo.com
8214-2/11/14

Belen
                                                home
Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details: rafa@rafacr.com.
8198-2/9/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8161-1/11/13

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36
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Cafetales



An analysis
Republicans take moderate path
in anticipation of November

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After a long and difficult winter in Washington, the winds of change are blowing through the Capital, and the end result could spell trouble for Democrats in November.  Republican Party leaders seem to be guiding the party in a new direction after they got most of the blame for last October’s unpopular shutdown of the federal government.
 
In recent weeks Republican congressional leaders have somewhat neutralized Tea Party factions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate who in the past have demanded a scorched earth approach on budget and spending issues that often led to confrontation and stalemate.  That in turn caused approval numbers for the Republican Party to plummet in national opinion polls.  To counter this, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell engineered clean passage of a debt ceiling extension in both the House and Senate that effectively bypassed conservative factions who in the past demanded spending cuts before they would agree to raising the debt ceiling.
 
​It’s the latest example of how Boehner and McConnell are being more aggressive in beating back Tea Party interference.  McConnell even cast what could turn out for him to be a troubling Senate vote to end debate on the debt ceiling when Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a likely Republican presidential contender two years from now, tried to block the measure.  McConnell faces a Tea Party-backed challenger in his primary this year in Kentucky and well-funded conservative groups around the country are looking for any excuse to pour money into that Kentucky race in hopes of replacing McConnell with a more conservative Republican.
 
This more pragmatic Republican approach means steering clear of polarizing battles over the debt ceiling and endless legislative attempts to repeal Obamacare.  It’s also seen as a rebuke to the well-funded outside conservative groups who pressure Republicans in Congress to be more confrontational.  These groups have made Boehner’s job trying to lead House Republicans extremely complicated.

“Frankly I think they are misleading their followers.  I think they are pushing our members in places where they don’t want to be.  And frankly I just think that they have lost all credibility,” Boehner told reporters recently.
 
The Republican reset away from confrontation will allow the party to refocus on jobs, energy and education and keep their political salvos aimed directly at President Obama, especially the president’s health care law, which remains very unpopular in Republican congressional districts and Republican-leaning states.
 
But this new Republican reset will go only so far to please moderates.  One victim appears to be immigration reform.  House conservatives pushed back hard against Speaker Boehner when he raised the prospect of moving ahead on reform this year, and for the moment it remains stuck in the House.  The Senate passed a comprehensive bill last year offering a path to eventual citizenship for millions of people who entered the country illegally.  But many conservatives oppose offering a path to citizenship because they fear being attacked in primaries as supporting amnesty for illegals, a non-starter in so-called Red Republican states and districts.

As Rep. Peter King of New York, a Republican, told "Face the Nation,"  “I think nationwide it is something the Republican Party should do.  But when you take it district by district, it’s hard to get a majority of Republicans to sign on to it.”
 
Democrats will try to exploit the Republican reluctance to move ahead on immigration reform, but they have bigger problems in trying to keep Senate seats in seven states that Mitt Romney won in 2012.  Republicans are favored to keep or expand their 17-seat majority in the House and need a gain of six seats to take control of the Senate.  And if President Obama’s poor approval ratings remain mired under 50 percent, Democrats will have a tall order trying to save incumbent Democratic senators in southern states like Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina where Republican candidates are eager to run on a platform of dismantling Obamacare.
 
Republicans may have some success this year in tamping down the Tea Party loyalists and implementing a mid-course correction that should make the party more palatable to independent voters this November.  But how long will this last?  Once the 2014 election returns are in, the race for the White House in 2016 basically begins, and any number of young and hungry Republicans will move aggressively to enter the race.  Tea Party supporters should have plenty of favorites to choose from in the 2016 primaries.  Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida are all considered likely contenders who will compete for Tea Party support.
 
But as we saw in the primaries in 2012, a large Republican field well populated by conservatives tends to pull the party to the right, something that hurt Romney in his general election matchup with President Obama.

As American University political historian Allan Lichtman sees it, “The war within the Republican Party still rages.  There are even some on the far right who have taken some joy in the difficulties of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because he was kind of the great hope of the moderates.”
 
So all the work the Republican Party does this year to position itself as more attractive to moderate and independent voters could easily come undone in the shrill debates and raucous primary battles that will take place two years from now.


Another shoe bomb warning
issued by Homeland Security


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government has warned airlines about a potential shoe bomb threat on international flights to the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it issued a warning based on very recent intelligence considered credible that assailants would try to attack passenger jets using explosives hidden in shoes.

It is the second time in three months that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner.

U.S. intelligence sources said Homeland Security released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration security policies.
 
It is not clear if the latest warning, first reported Wednesday by NBC News, is related to earlier threats to Russia-bound flights.

Earlier this month, Homeland Security warned airlines with flights to Russia to be on the lookout for explosive devices possibly hidden inside toothpaste tubes.


Despite not believing in God,
some still seek Sunday ritual


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Growing numbers of Americans have no religious affiliation. Some call themselves skeptics or atheists, and others say they are spiritual, not religious.  Now some are getting involved in a movement called the Sunday Assembly, a sort of church for non-believers.

There is inspirational music, a dramatic poetry reading and a collection to pay for the rented hall.

The Sunday Assembly movement, which started in Britain last year, has come to Los Angeles, one Sunday each month. 

Amy Boyle helped set up the Los Angeles Assembly, which she says is godless.

“The organizers do not believe in a personal god, and we realize that most of the people attending do not," she said. "We do not spend a lot of time belaboring that point. We feel like, if that is our starting point, then the next question is what do we do from here?”

Meeting other skeptics is part of the attraction of the once-a-month assembly, says Louise Monaco.

“Because a lot of people who are atheists and agnostics and skeptics and so forth feel very isolated in the mainstream world, and it is difficult to find a community in which you can speak honestly and openly without expecting some degree of religious condemnation,” she said.

Instead of a Sunday sermon, a visiting professor of secular studies highlights the blessings of disbelief. The Pew Research Center says one in five Americans has no religious affiliation, and one third of those are under the age of 30. Phil Zuckerman. a professor, says many have no need for Sunday meetings.

“But there is a percentage of people who have walked away from religion who still crave the things that religion provides, other than the supernatural beliefs, like community, things for kids, moral and ethical engagement with the wider community out there, causes for social justice, music,” he said.

Members have the chance to volunteer with charities. Some help children with their studies at an inner city housing project.

Organizer Ian Dodd says members of this movement see some value in religion.

“It has been said before, but we are trying to take the best bits of organized religion and just jettison the part that does not work for us.  In a way, we are trying to keep the bath water while we throw out the baby Jesus,” he said.

And create congregations for growing numbers of non-believers.

 
Marijuana is big business
in Colorado where it's legal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In Colorado, the marijuana business has been booming since January, when the state legalized the sale and recreational use of the drug, despite public health concerns raised by opponents. The legal cannabis industry is expected to generate $500 million in sales and $67 million in taxes each year in Colorado. It already is creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Marijuana's legalization in Colorado has made Mike Paulk, who had been involved for years in the illicit trade of the drug, a legitimate businessman.

“Yeah, it made me stoked because I went to prison for cultivating weed," he said. "It was in 2000. I got caught, busted and now I am free to do it without fear. And it feeds me and clothes me and takes care of me.”

While Paulk is not licensed to sell marijuana, he is permitted to grow it for personal use, and he skirts state regulations by giving it away to customers who purchase pipes. And the pipe business is thriving, he said.

Authorized marijuana dispensaries that before legalization could only cater to medical marijuana patients also have seen a major boost in sales.

Elan Nelson with Medicine Man Denver, the largest marijuana dispensary in Colorado, said the company has been growing more plants and hiring more workers to keep up with rising demand.

“Our best day when we were just a medical marijuana dispensary is now our normal day, now that we are medical and recreational,” he said.

Business also is booming for Elyse Gordon and Deloise Vaden, owners of a bakery that sells cookies, pies and candy infused with marijuana for customers who want to get high without smoking.

“We can produce approximately 1,000 pieces every seven to 10 days. And we pushed ourselves this last time and ended up with 2,000 pieces because of the demand,” Ms. Vaden said.

Critics say the danger of this intoxicating and addictive drug far outweighs any economic benefit legalization might bring.

Reed Spalding, a recovering drug addict and Denver resident, said, "For me the danger of marijuana was that it took away my motivation. I think it isolated me."

And Paula Riggs, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, warns marijuana can cause permanent damage to young people.

“In adolescents that regularly use marijuana, that has been associated with a decline of six to eight points in their adult I.Q. Doesn't look like you get that back. That's a very significant public health concern,” she said.

State officials say increased tax revenue from marijuana sales will allow them to properly regulate the industry as they do now with alcohol and tobacco, and also to fund public education and treatment programs.


Ugandan miniskirt edict
seen as control of women


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Ugandan government said the president has signed into law sweeping and controversial anti-pornography legislation that outlaws miniskirts and other types of revealing clothing.
 
The new law covers a range of issues related to pornography, including child pornography, pornographic publications and even suggestive music videos.
 
But what is grabbing headlines and stirring debate is the dress code.  The law makes it illegal to wear revealing clothing, including tops that show too much cleavage and miniskirts, defined as anything above the knee.
 
Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said Tuesday that it is now forbidden to wear any clothing that could be deemed sexually exciting.

“If you dress in such a way that you irritate the mind and excite the people, then you are badly dressed. If you draw the attention of the other person outside there with a malicious purpose of exciting and stimulating him or her into sex,” he said.
 
Ugandan women have been speaking out against the law, which, they said, primarily affects them.
 
Rita Achiro of the Uganda Women’s Network, a rights advocacy group, said such legislated control over women’s bodies sets a dangerous precedent for women’s rights.
 
“Such laws actually take a country like Uganda backwards in regards to women’s empowerment.  I do not want to look at it just as the miniskirt, but rather look at it from controlling women’s bodies, and eventually that will end up into actual total control of women,” she said.
 
Ms. Achiro also argued strongly against the law’s implication that the way a woman dresses incites a man to rape, pointing out that in many Ugandan cultures Western-style dress is a comparatively new phenomenon.  For centuries women in these cultures wore very little clothing at all, she said, and yet rape was neither common nor tolerated.
 
The penalties for wearing revealing clothing remain unclear.  But short skirts are a common sight in Uganda, particularly among young women in the capital.  Many Ugandan women say the dress code will be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.


Honeybees seen as the source
of wild bumblebee infections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study finds that honeybees managed by beekeepers could be infecting their wild bumblebee cousins with disease.

While honeybees and bumblebees come from the same bee family, the smaller honeybees live in managed hives, which beekeepers move from farm to farm to pollinate crops and produce honey. Bumblebees live in much smaller colonies in the wild. Both get pollen from the same flowers and crops, which is how they come into contact.   

Lab experiments show that bumblebees suffer from the same parasites, pathogens and disease as honeybees. Scientists wanted to determine how that would impact bumblebees.

“We infected bees and checked their infection status and their longevity, and we found a significant reduction in their longevity," said study co-author Matthias Furst of Royal Holloway University of London. "So these pathogens are really infective and really impact our bee population.”

Bumblebees' lifespans were shortened by one-quarter to one-third, reducing the amount of food they could provide to their colonies. Co-author Mark Brown, also with Royal Holloway University, says that loss is greater for bumblebees because their colonies, or family groups, are much smaller than honeybees' hives.

“While honeybees may have anywhere up to 50,000 workers in a hive, losing one worker is not a big problem," Brown said. "Bumblebees, depending upon the species, live in groups of anywhere between a few tens to a few hundreds of workers.  And so every worker you lose, or whose life is shortened, is going to have a much larger impact on the colony, its survival and its reproduction.”
 
Furst says his team then checked infections in both managed and wild bee populations across England.

"And what we find here is that the disease or the pathogens are widespread in the landscape,  that honeybees have much higher prevalence levels at pretty much all of those sites as compared to bumblebees, which is one of the reasons why we think the transmission is really going in this direction, honeybees to bumblebees, and not the other way around,” he said.

Viral infection is triggered by a common parasite, the Varroa mite, that spreads rapidly in beehives. Brown says methods exist to control the mites to some extent, but they remain a tricky problem.

“Because most of our controls are based on chemicals, and the mites can evolve resistance to those chemicals," he said. "And so we need coordinated control strategies, but also the development of new control strategies that are going to be effective in the long term.”

Brown hopes their study, published in Nature, focuses greater attention not only on managed pollinators, but also on the services provided by their wild counterparts.

"We need to think about how we manage managed honeybees - not just from perspective of looking after them, but potentially from the perspective of looking after our wild bees, too,” he said.

Brown adds that the sample infection numbers are conservative, so overall infection rates are most likely higher, underscoring the critical need for more work to protect the bees, which pollinate three-quarters of the world’s food crops, contributing some $200 billion to the global economy.


Internet control measures
go into force despite critics


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Turkey's President Abdullah Gül has signed controversial new Internet control measures into law despite national and international criticism and concerns about reduced freedoms for Turkish media.  An independent Internet news site has been at the forefront of the battle over Internet and press freedom.

The Web site Vagus.tv features a mixture of professional and citizen journalism. According to its founder, Serdar Akinan, such sites have become increasingly popular, especially in the last couple of months, due to extensive allegations of high-level government corruption. But Akinan said reporting on corruption put Vagus itself in the news.

"We started to publish some corruption allegations about the prime minister. But all of sudden, one night, like two weeks ago, they shut down, they closed the site. And 12 days we stayed closed, but after I became an issue in Turkey ... they were forced to open the site," said Akinan. The prime minister is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In a parliamentary address, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, demanded to know why Vagus Web site was blocked. That pressure appeared to work, and the authorities reopened the site, providing little in the way of explanation as to why it was closed and then reopened.

This is not the first time that Akinan has crossed swords with the government. He was once a well-known and established mainstream journalist, working as an editor at some of the top Turkish news TV channels.

But, he claimed, he has become a marked man for pursuing an editorial policy that is impartial, including its coverage of Prime Minister Erdoğan.

"Two years ago I was editor-in-chief of Sky Turk News Channel, so because of my broadcasting policy, let's say there was huge pressure. I know that the government, especially Prime Minister Erdoğan, pushed very hard for firing me, and one day they fired me. I was writing also [a column for Aksam daily, and also I was fired from there. So Vagus was born like that," said Akinan.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists, in its recent report about attacks on the press during the past year, highlighted what it contends is the widespread policy in Turkey of firing journalists critical of the government. Similar concerns were reflected by the European Union in its latest report on Turkey’s membership bid. Charges the government denies, insisting that media freedom has improved under its rule.

Akinan’s launch of the Vagus.tv site fortuitously coincided with last summer’s wave of anti-government demonstrations, known as the Gezi Park protests. With mainstream media widely suspected of being under government pressure to play down the unrest, news sites like Vagus filled the vacuum. But it proved to be a bittersweet success.

"Vagus, after the Gezi Park protests, reached 2 million unique visitors per month, which is quite a big number for Turkey. And I go check all the advertising companies, and they say this is quite a good number and normally you should get this amount of advertising, but we cannot give to you. Because your site, you are doing some news, and that the prime minister is not happy with you, and you are on the blacklist," said Akinan.

And it is likely that things will get worse for Akinan.

Earlier this month, thousands of people protested against the government's move to extend its control over the Internet. The sweeping legislation gives the ruling AK Party the power to close Web sites deemed to threaten individual privacy, without a court order. Akinan admitted the new law could force him out of business.

"Before that it was just judges ... deciding bad and good content. Now it’s the bureaucrats - bureaucrats appointed by the prime minister himself. There is no more justice for the journalists. My wife and me, we are planning to go outside Istanbul, we will open an organic farm, and we will live like that," he said.

Observers warn that Ankara is likely to face growing domestic and international pressure over Internet and journalist freedom.

Tuesday President Gül expressed concern about dwindling press freedom in Turkey, saying the media have the right to rise up against wrongful practices. He compared Turkey's global image to that of a light which had been shining brightly but is now fading.


Nuclear power plants still
are option for energy firms

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the midst of the current debate over whether to build the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada into the United States and the efforts to develop solar and wind power, nuclear energy is hardly being discussed. However, the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry lobbying group, reports the number of nuclear power plants in the United States is growing.
 
The big news is new facilities. Four are currently being constructed: two each in South Carolina and Georgia. The Nuclear Energy Institute said there are 12 additional applications to build nuclear power plants. 
 
Steve Byrne, of South Carolina Electric and Gas, said that for his company, nuclear was a good option.
 
“Coal was in disfavor. The price of natural gas relatively high, so nuclear made a lot of sense to us. So we were a company that already operated a nuclear facility, had a tremendous site for adding new nuclear capacity, so we made the decision to go nuclear,” said Byrne.
 
South Carolina currently has seven operating reactors. Georgia has six, plus the two new ones under construction.
 
Stephen Kuczynski, chairman and CEO of Georgia’s Southern Nuclear Operating Co., pointed out the long-term soundness of a nuclear plant.
 
“We see these as 60-year assets. Nuclear plants are high construction, but very low operating. But if you look at that over a 40-to-60-year period, it’s a very economical option," said Kuczynski.
 
Several plants have closed because they were not competitive with other power sources, mainly cheaper natural gas. NEI favors a diversity of power sources for the nation, but NEI head Marv Fertel warned that this is not happening.
 
"We are going all to gas because it’s cheap, and it’s a good thing. But we are going all reliant on that and because of policies, we are driving renewables. So we are driving coal out because of environmental requirements and demands, and we are driving nuclear out for reasons that make no sense. And that’s not good for this country. We’re going to pay a price in reliability, a price in affordability, when the whole thing crashes,” warned Ms. Fertel.
 
Opposition to nuclear power is strong, with some surveys showing more than half of Americans are against building more nuclear plants primarily because of safety concerns. 
 
Phillip Museguus, of the anti-nuclear group Riverkeeper, said that in terms of economics and costs, nuclear doesn’t really make sense.  
 
"There are better ways to generate power. There are safe and cleaner ways.  When you look at the price of natural gas in the U.S. economy, that is forcing many nuclear plants to close. Four nuclear facilities have closed in the past year and a half, so for the existing reactors, the economics are not good,” said Museguus.
 
Some 40 years ago, anti-nuclear groups like Riverkeeper began worldwide protests, but the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 gave them more ammunition.
 
The industry rebuts claims that nuclear power is unsafe or susceptible to terrorism.
 
“What we’ve done is we spent a fortune on security since 9-11. Nuclear plants, if you talk to the FBI or anybody else would tell you, are the most hardened targets in America. Our problem right now is that we think that adding more security in some areas makes no sense and what we need to do is look at the effectiveness of what we have," said Ms. Fertel.
 
As for the disposal of nuclear waste, that remains a contentious issue in the United States with Congress so far unable to agree on a solution.


Human bacteria alive and well
inside grape vines, study says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have discovered grapevines have been carrying the bacteria that cause acne pimples for 7,000 years.

Named for the musical iconoclast Frank Zappa, scientists say it is the first time a bacterium found in humans has been discovered taking up residence all the way across the tree of life in plants.

Molecular biologist Omar Rota-Stabelli at Italy’s Fondazione Edmund Mach and colleagues were studying microbes living inside grapevines.

“There’s plenty of bacteria living inside plants,” he said. “And we know some are good bacteria for the plants. Some others are bad. Our study's to understand what lives inside and if it's giving an advantage or not."

They were surprised to find that all the grapevines they studied harbored Propionibacterium acnes, a bacterium usually found on human skin and best known for causing acne.

The findings are published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

P. acnes doesn’t give grapevines acne. At this point, it’s not clear what the bacteria is doing to, or for, the plant.

It’s not that uncommon to find human-associated bacteria on plants. Take, for example, E. coli, which usually inhabits the guts of humans and animals, but can contaminate fruits and vegetables and cause disease.

But those bacteria rarely stay for long. This strain of P. acnes appears to be living, among other places, inside cells in the center of the grapevine, called pith.  And it appears to have lost a critical DNA repair protein, which makes it hard to survive on the outside.

“This bacteria seems perfectly used to staying in the grapevine. It can’t live without grape,” Rota-Stabelli said.

The scientists determined that the bacteria and the grapevine probably first got together about 7,000 years ago, which “perfectly matched when humans domesticated the grape. So, it really made sense,” he said.

Tending grapevines involves a lot of cutting, he said, opening up a route for the bacteria to move in.

And pith cells are rich in fatty acids.

“These bacteria probably feed on those fatty acids, as they used to do on our skin,” he said.

When they first discovered P. acnes in their grapevines, "my impression was, 'that’s contamination from the technician. No way,’” Rota-Stabelli said.

The technician was not especially acne-prone.

“No, he’s very hairy,” Rota-Stabelli joked.

When further tests confirmed it was, in fact, P. acnes, they named it type Zappae, after the virtuoso musician known for such songs as, "Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow" and "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama."

Rota-Stabelli says he and lead author Andrea Campisano are fans. But it’s more than that.

“I think we behaved in a Frank Zappa way,” he said. Instead of assuming the samples were contaminated, “we thought in a different way and found something very unexpected.”

The next step is to look inside other plants to see if P. Zappae turns up in more unexpected places.


 
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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

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


Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/14

Spectacular 79-acre view property in Guanacaste overlooking tens of miles of pristine coastline with sunset over the Pacific. Own water, electricity, hi-speed internet, property roads, huge building view sites, terraced landscape perfect for growing trees, fruits and vegetables or run horses or cattle, hidden access and high-level security. 169,000 USD. Contact:   axelspecial@gmail.com   or text messages to  8916-5550.
8255-3/17/14

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


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

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)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  gamous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

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
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 36
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Chinese bus company seeks
success in crowded L.A.


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the heart of southern California, home of packed freeways and major smog problems, help may be on the way from an unexpected source: China. The Chinese company BYD is trying to make an impact while overcoming new obstacles.

Outside the BYD U.S. headquarters in the heart of Los Angeles, Auto Marketing Manager Lifang Yan agilely moved a 12-meter-long BYD electric-powered bus.

“Zero emissions, zero pollution, lower fuel costs, and lower maintenance costs," she said.

BYD, which is short for “Build You Dreams,” is the first Chinese company to manufacture cars in the United States.

Its battery-powered buses should be a dream come true for a city with constant traffic jams and serious air pollution like Los Angeles.  And so far, the company has three small orders from southern California transit agencies.

But now, it needs to convince buyers to make larger orders.

The Los Angeles County Transit Authority uses 2,200 propane-powered buses to transport 1.4 million people every day.  Yet, it has also decided to invest in a small number of electric buses.


U.S. deep freeze icing over
Lake Superior and other lakes

By the Michigan Technological University news staff

Lake Superior is more than 90 percent iced over, and experts say there's a possibility it will be covered completely before winter's end for the first time in nearly 20 years. Someone has proposed a hike across Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron and Lake Erie are 95 percent frozen.

But even without 100 percent ice cover, the icy lakes are having a major effect on the environment around them.

"The biggest impact we'll see is shutting down the lake effect snow," said Guy Meadows, director of Michigan Technological University's Great Lakes Research Center in Houghton, on Michigan’s snowy Upper Peninsula. Lake effect snow occurs when weather systems from the north and west pick up evaporating lake water that's warmer than the air, then drop it as snow after reaching land, he explained. An ice cover prevents that evaporation.

Ice on the Great Lakes can also contribute to more frigid temperatures, Meadows noted, because the warmer lake water won't have the chance to moderate the temperatures of those same northerly weather systems the way it usually does.

If the weather is cold and calm, the ice can grow fairly quickly because the water temperature is near the freezing point. However, strong winds can break up ice that's already formed, pushing it into open water and piling it vertically both above and below the water line.

The Soo Locks are currently closed for the winter, and all shipping on Lake Superior has halted, but ice buildups can cause problems in the spring. Even icebreaker ships can't do much about ice buildup that can be as much as 25 or 30 feet deep.

The ice can also have positive effects though. Lake Superior's whitefish and some other fish, for example, need ice cover to protect their spawning beds from winter storms. Heavy ice, therefore, should lead to good fishing.

Meadows said invasive nuisance species have been thriving at the bottom of Lake Superior in recent years largely because of warmer temperatures, so "cooling things back down will be a good thing in that sense."

 





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From Page 7:

Corporate responsibility includes helping disabled

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Social responsibility is a major aspect of company management here.

For some firms this means sending employees to Pacific beaches to pick up plastic bottles and other trash.

For the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the state insurance agency, responsibility means providing a venue for disabled crafts people.

That is what is scheduled to happen today at the insurance company's central location on Avenida 7 north of Parque España. In conjunction with the Asociación Nacional de Artesanos con Discapacidad a two-day crafts fair begins at 8:30 a.m.

The insurance institute said it expects some 40 crafts persons with about 20 of them being senior citizens.

The association has similar fairs at other government agencies including the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the Poder Judicial, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, the Contraloría General de la República and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The crafts people also exhibit and sell their works at various fairs and parks.

The insurance institute said that the two-day fair is in compliance with Ley 7600 that guarantees equal opportunity for the disabled.