A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                              Published  Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 36                             Email us
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Health officials plan long-term biological controls
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry is promoting the use of natural predators to kill mosquito larvae. Officials call it biological control, but the proposals are less controversial than the use of genetically modified and sterile male mosquitoes.

Another zika story HERE!

The Ministerio de Salud said it is joining with the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía to combat the Aedes aegypti larvae. The plan involves using small fish that feed on the larvae as well as small crustaceans that like the larvae as well. The mosquitoes carry the zika virus as well as dengue and the malaria parasite.

Also being promoted is the use of a spinosad-based insecticide derived from the bacterium Saccharopolyspora spinosa. The insecticide comes in tablets that are suitable for placing in water tanks and other standing water.

Another bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis

israeliensis, also kills the larvae.

Health officials said they like the use of these long-term mosquito controls because they are effective and not expansive. The fish,  crustaceans and some of the bacteria reproduce.

In addition, the creatures are not harmful to water destined for human consumption.

However, the health ministry said that these controls do not substitute for protecting the body with repellents and for eliminating the places where mosquitoes breed.

The environmental ministry said that protecting streams and rivers from soaps and chemicals is important so that the beneficial creatures are not destroyed.

Health officials in some countries are releasing genetically modified
sterile mosquitoes to mate with the insect females, but some environmentalists have raised objections to the plans.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The María Cecellia is complete with its tender.
Historic locomotives on display are spruced up
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Workers have restored two historic steam locomotives that are on display at the Estación al Pacifico in San José. Both are U.S. machines that helped Costa Rica grow.

The restoration was by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud's Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural. The agency said it spent 18.9 million colons, about $35,700 to remove all the rust and take paint off of brass parts.

The two locomotives are the Gandoca and the María Cecilia, both owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles. In addition, deteriorating wooden parts were replaced.

Dickson Manufacturing Co. in Scranton, Pennsylvania, built the María Cecilia in 1904, according to authoritative online sources. The engine in Costa Rica is one of only two of this type in the world. The second is in Louisiana. The engine is 2-4-0, meaning it has two leading wheels, four drive wheels and no trailing wheels.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The Gandoca is the older locomotive.

A.M. Costa Rica archives say that Minor Keith brought the steam engine to the country for the Pacific line.

The Gandoca is older. The Centro said that the  Baldwin Locomotive Works produced the engine in 1885. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, firm was a leader in steam locomotive construction. This machine has no leading wheels, four drive wheels and two trailing wheels. The engine is  the only one of its type in Central America.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, 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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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little house
Casa Presidencial photo
This is one of the homes provided by the government.

Rights of squatters at the forefront

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Both the government and proponents are outlining their efforts to ensure the human rights of squatters who are being evicted from Finca Changuina and Cuadrante de Finca 3 in Palmar Sur.

A vice minister of the Presidencia, Ana Gabriel Zúñiga Aporte, went on television Sunday night to defend how Casa Presidencial has handled the situation. She noted that the executive branch is bound by a decision in a legal process to remove the squatters from land owned by Oscar Echeverría Heigold.

She also noted that since 2014 the executive branch and some of its agencies have been providing housing for those displaced by the judicial order.

Last week the Sala IV constitutional court froze the evictions pending the consideration of yet another appeal.

The organization, which has an affiliation with the Centro de Amigos para la Paz, said that some of those who were detained Tuesday at a blockade on a bridge at the Interamericana Sur will give their side of the story today.

The organization also claims that the squatters were promoting their right to land and work.

Murder trial to be in Nicaragua

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nicaragua also has a constitutional prohibition against extraditing citizens, so a suspect in multiple Mata Palo murders will be judged in that country.

The suspect Adrián Salmerón Silva fled to his home country last week. He faces a charge in the murder Feb. 13 or 14 of two adults and three children in that Santa Cruz community.

Nicaraguan officials are expected to receive documentation on the crime today from Costa Rican diplomats there. Paperwork documenting the case against Salmerón were delivered Saturday, said officials.

Our reader's opinion
An endorsement for Donald Trump

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

You cannot trust the Democrats. Hillary is the poster child for white privilege, above the law, and an evil politician. Bernie can't do simple math and is a puppet for Geroge Soros like Barack Obama thru Hillary just gets cash from Soros but Bernie "claims" to be operating on small donations, while relying on the Soros internet organizations. And Soros wants to collapse America. That's how he gets his jollies.

But you can't trust the Republicans either. They pander to special interests and betray their electorate. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush are all in the pocket of big banks. Ben Carson is great but not a leader. He is too quiet to lead.  That leaves Trump. Self-funded, he owes no special interest group. A world class businessman who tells you like it is, he would raise the standard of living for all Americans. He will get things done.  Facts and logic. If Trump gets elected he will be the best president of this century and the last century.  He will be good for Costa Rica, too, if he renegotiates the CAFTA trade treaty.  If Costa Rica wants to tax U.S.A. exports, then coffee and bananas should be taxed going into the U.S.A.
Robert Savage
San Pablo
Deadline set for expressing political views

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Readers are invited to express their preferences for party nominations and the elections for U.S. president, national level lawmakers and other officials.

This newspaper will publish these preferences as letters through Friday, Oct. 14. The U.S. general elections are held on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Each letter should be of reasonable length and free standings in that it should not dispute the comments of a previously published letter. The letter should make and support its own arguments. Letters will be published with the name of the writer and the community in which the writer lives.

Sometime in the third week of October, A.M. Costa Rica will publish its election endorsement and have the last word. There will be no further campaign letters published.

Those supporting a candidate are reminded that U.S. voters in Costa Rica need some lead time to cast their ballots and send them in to be counted.

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Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 36
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An A.M. Costa Rica analysis of the news
The opportunity in a commercial crisis frequently is overlooked

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Taxi drivers, rice and potato farmers and some top business executives all have one trait in common. They cannot handle crisis well.

A classic example now is the licensed taxi drivers who are blockading highways, throwing eggs and otherwise protesting the unlicensed Uber Internet firm. For years the licensed taxi drivers have been threatened with locally grown unlicensed competition. The competition is the so-called pirates or porteadores. 

The taxi dispute resulted in many more blockades and protests by both sides, but in no case was the plan established to improve customer service and to promote that improvement.

Uber obtains its customers via smartphones and an Internet Web page. Instead of competing with Uber head-on, the various associations of taxi drivers want to ban the Internet access.

The rice and potato farmers want to restrict lower-cost foreign imports. And many business executives who face some sort of public crisis with their company, take as their first action  declining to answer the telephone.

The various free trade agreements were based on the assumption that competition would promote efficiency. That may have been incorrect as far as Costa Rica is concerned. For many here fail to see the opportunity in competition and crisis.

Would capitalizing on their licensed status and the creation of an advertising campaign help local licensed taxi drivers?  Taxi drivers already have access to a smart telephone system similar to that of Uber, but the fact has not been promoted aggressively.

A successful taxista marketing campaign could address the safety in riding with a licensed driver who also has mandatory liability insurance. And the licensed taxi drivers could stress the lower cost of their services and the use of the taxi meter to determine the distance traveled. Everybody knows that the taxi meter, the so-called maría, can determine the fare to the nearest 10 colons.

Rice farmers are lucky because there is a government agency
waiting to purchase their crop at a price above the world market price. Most Costa Ricans do not know that they are paying extra to subsidize the farmers.

The quota on rice imports, established by the Central American free trade treaty, is growing each year and eventually the tariff will be eliminated. So rice farmers will face more competition.

When Costa Rican voters approved the free trade treaty in 2007, some of the liberalization deadlines were far in the future. Now eight years later, more and more tariffs are being liberalized. By 2027 all but a few tariffs will be gone.

That means most agricultural producers will have to improve their efficiency or lose market share.

The road is a rough one. The Ministerio de Agricultura y Gandería is being accused of using sanitary rules to prohibit foreign products.  The most publicized is the country's ban on hass avocados from México.

Eventually local producers will have to design publicity campaigns promoting local origins.

Crisis management is a skill that seems to be in short supply. Just this month, tourism was threatened by the possible presence of the mosquito bearing the zika virus. Yet, except for a press release from Casa Presidencial, there does not seem to be any organized, governmental or industry effort to show international tourists that visiting Costa Rica is safe.

The 1982 Tylenol murders presents a classic case of successful crisis management by the drug firm. The company, Johnson & Johnson, was proactive once investigators linked deaths to Tylenol laced with cyanide.

The firm recalled 31 million bottles of the pain reliever and eventually created the current tamper-proof packaging.

The company's response is required reading in university public relations courses, but the principal rule, always tell the truth, sometimes is lost on company executives facing lesser crisis here. Frequently a Spanish-language newspaper article reports that company executives either declined or were unable to be reached for comment.

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Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

Croc's Valentine

Vista Ballena




You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 36
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Bottoms up to protect the heart, Norwegian researchers report
By the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Drinking a little alcohol every day may be part of a healthy lifestyle, according to Imre Janszky, a professor of social medicine. He says alcohol does more good than harm for the heart when consumed in moderation.

And, Janszky says, it doesn’t matter much whether the liquid is wine, liquor or beer.

“It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things. But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure. So it’s best to drink moderate amounts relatively often,” he said.

Along with colleagues from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Janszky has published two studies regarding the relationship between alcohol and heart health. One, published in the Journal of Cardiology, is about heart failure. The second is on acute myocardial infarction and has been published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

In both cases, research shows that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol. Unikard, a Norwegian organization that focuses on cardiovascular research, is also discussing these findings.

The studies showed that those who drank three to five drinks per week were 33 per cent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently. In the case of heart attacks, the risk appears to be reduced by 28 percent with each additional one-drink increment.

This does not surprise the researchers at all.

A majority of researchers worldwide seem to think three to five drinks a week can be good for the heart.

“The relationship between alcohol and heart health has been

studied in many countries, including the U.S.A. and southern European nations. The conclusions have been the same, but the drinking patterns in these countries are very different than in Norway. In countries like France and Italy, very few people don’t drink,” says Janszky. “It raises the question as to whether earlier findings can be fully trusted, if other factors related to non-drinkers might have influenced research results. It may be that these are people who previously had alcohol problems, and who have stopped drinking completely,” he says.

For this reason, the researchers wanted to examine the theory with a Norwegian population where a significant population drinks rarely or not at all. In the myocardial infarction study, 41 per cent of participants reported that they did not drink at all or that they consumed less than half of one alcoholic beverage per week.

Both studies are based on the longitudinal HUNT 2 Nord-Trøndelag Health Study conducted between 1995 and 1997.

The study, which looked at the relationship between heart failure and alcohol, followed 60,665 participants until the end of 2008.

Of those, 1,588 of them developed heart failure during the period of the study. The risk was highest for those who rarely or never drank alcohol, and for those who had an alcohol problem.

The more often participants consumed alcohol within normal amounts, the lower their risk of heart failure turned out to be. Those who drank five or more times a month had a 21 per cent lower risk compared to non-drinkers and those who drank little, while those who drank between one and five times a month had a 2 per cent lower risk.

“I’m not encouraging people to drink alcohol all the time. We’ve only been studying the heart, and it’s important to emphasize that a little alcohol every day can be healthy for the heart. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to drink alcohol every day to have a healthy heart,” says Janszky.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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.


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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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Beautiful house for rent
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Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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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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                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 36
Real Estate
About us

Axiom 890 pixels

London's mayor joins call
for Britain to leave the EU

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

London Mayor Boris Johnson broke with British Prime Minister David Cameron Sunday and declared he is joining the campaign calling for Britain's exit from the European Union.

Johnson, one of Britain's most popular, but unconventional politicians, becomes the highest profile Conservative to split with fellow Conservative Cameron's view that Britain is best off staying in the 28-nation European Union.  Cameron has set a June 23 referendum on the issue.

Last week, Cameron won some concessions from other European leaders to keep Britain in the Union.

The agreement would give London greater protection from some requirements it does not like, such as providing equal benefits to all EU residents living in Britain and contributions to financial bailouts for members of the 19-nation euro currency bloc, even though Britain does not use the euro.

Johnson said it brought him a huge amount of heartache to split with Cameron, but said he thinks the European Union is in danger of getting out of proper democratic control.  He has for decades, in newspaper and magazine columns and then as a lawmaker and mayor, attacked the Brussels-based European Union, saying he wants Britain's ties with the bloc to be based on trade and cooperation and not a political project.

The British leader used a television appearance earlier Sunday to try to convince Johnson to join the campaign supporting continued EU membership.

Cameron said Britain's national security is best served by remaining in the European Union.  He said foreign policy challenges posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Islamic extremist groups in the Mideast are better dealt with as part of an alliance.

"In a world where you have got Putin to the east and ISIL-Daesh to the south, how do you stay strong?" Cameron asked, using acronyms for Islamic State.  "By sticking with your neighboring countries, your partners and your friends."

No country has ever left the European Union.  Six of Cameron's Cabinet ministers say they also support Britain leaving the bloc, but former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major are supporting the stay campaign, as are major companies, much of the Labor Party, major trade unions and Britain's international allies.

French victims seek answers
to Nov. 13 terrorist attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After terrorists stormed the Bataclan in Paris on Nov. 13, Georges Salines spent frantic hours searching for the whereabouts of his daughter Lola, 28, one of hundreds attending a concert that ended in a bloodbath.

With an information telephone line saturated, Salines ended up calling city hospitals, which were struggling to cope with the influx of casualties from the theater and from other near-simultaneous jihadist attacks across the French capital.

News about Lola finally arrived via Twitter: dead.

Salines described his odyssey to lawmakers as France’s lower house opened an inquiry into the government’s response to the terror threat since the first set of Paris attacks, in January 2015. Set up at the request of France’s conservative opposition Republicans, the commission is expected to deliver its findings by July.

​“We have a thousand questions and expect answers,” Salines told the commission, which began its probe Monday by hearing often scathing testimony from victims groups and their lawyers. 

Along with the much-awaited return to Paris of American rock band Eagles of Death Metal to finish their aborted concert, the parliamentary investigation is bringing back painful memories.

“What’s important is that everyone has a clear view of what happened,” Salines said. “We must find solutions together.”

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the assaults that left 130 dead and 350 wounded. The assailants have been identified as mostly French and Belgian nationals.

In their testimony, victims groups and their lawyers described frustrating efforts to reach police and late, sometimes callous delivery of information about loved ones.

Caroline Langlade, holed up in a side room of the Bataclan with other hostages as terrorists picked off concertgoers, told deputies about how she tried calling the police on her cellphone. She was told to speak louder and, as she tried to explain her situation, was hung up on.

“I had to call my mother in Nancy so she could communicate the information to the police there,” she said.

Salines and Ms. Langlade are part of two separate support networks that have been set up in recent weeks. One, November 13: Brotherhood and Truth, includes both survivors and victims’ families. Salines is president of the group, which is helping members wade through the bureaucracy of receiving state support and compensation. It also wants to become a civil party in a judicial probe into the assaults.

A second, Life for Paris, has a Web site and a Facebook page. Most of its members are survivors of the Bataclan attacks, who get together for drinks and exchange information and support.

For many, understanding every detail of the attacks, how they could happen, how they were carried out and the fate of the assailants, is an essential step in the healing process.

“I don’t think we’ll have the whole truth, but maybe we’ll have a little part of the truth,” said Emmanuel Domenach, 29, who survived the Bataclan assault and is a member of the November 13 group.

“People want to know what happened to their sons, their brothers, their dads. How they died. And how young French and Belgians can grow up to kill other young people,” he said.

Domenach was among many survivors to attend the return concert of Eagles of Death Metal on Wednesday. This time, the American rock band did not play at the Bataclan, which is set to reopen later this year, but rather at the trendy Olympia concert hall under tight security.

“I was a bit afraid the concert would be too sad, that it would be about Nov. 13, but the group gave us two and a half  hours of a really good show,” he said.

Domenach escaped from the Bataclan with the help of a security guard. It helped that he was in the front of the concert hall. The terrorists entered from the back. He lost his glasses in the mayhem and emerged with his T-shirt soaked in blood.

Today, he said he is fearful about taking the subway or going to movies. He has been fighting depression, his mind wandering back to the blood-soaked events. Recently, however, he said things are getting better.

“This time I enjoyed the moment,” he said of the Olympia concert. "Although I still had thoughts about the people at the Bataclan, especially a girl dancing near me who is now dead. I saw people like her in the audience.”

Vietnamese in California hope
their judge makes high court

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ever since the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, names of  his possible successor have been circulating in Washington and throughout the legal community, including that of Jacqueline Nguyen, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Vietnam.

More than 50 kilometers south of Los Angeles is Little Saigon, also known as the capital of the Vietnamese refugee community. There is excitement here as news circulates that a Vietnamese-American could be named to the Supreme Court.

“They want to have somebody over here achieve something, like represent them, so they can tell the people, 'Hey, we ran away from you but now we’re successful.' So that’s kind of the feeling that people have," said Dzung Do, Nguoi Viet managing editor.

As managing editor of the largest Vietnamese newspaper outside of Vietnam, Dzung Do has interviewed Judge Nguyen. He says many in the Vietnamese community can relate to her.

Judge Nguyen and her family fled their homeland when the Communists took over South Vietnam. As a refugee in the U.S., she first lived in a tent city before settling in Los Angeles. She spoke about her experience in a video produced by U.S. Courts.

“My parents were in shock because not only did they have to deal with the loss of their homeland but also with the prospect of starting all over again, trying to figure out how to provide food and shelter and raise six children in a foreign land. Whenever job opportunities came our way my mom would take it," Judge Nguyen said.

Long time friend Mia Yamamoto said Judge Nguyen’s background shaped her dedication to service throughout her legal career.

"She passed up a lot of more advantageous and, certainly, more lucrative options in order to pursue her passion for public service," said Ms. Yamamoto, a criminal defense attorney.

Kidge Nguyen is currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

”Now we have a pipeline, finally, of Asian Americans who can be truly and seriously considered for the Supreme Court, something we didn’t have a few years ago, and that’s really exciting," said Karin Wang of Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles.

Ms. Yamamoto added: “The fact that we’re talking about it right now is a triumph. For every refugee, for every immigrant, to look at her and say. 'I can do this, too. My children can be empowered and they can rise up in the same way' . . . and that really is the American ideal.”

Regardless of who is named as the Supreme Court nominee, many Asian Americans say Judge Nguyen’s story of overcoming the odds and becoming a federal judge is already a legacy and an inspiration for immigrants from around the world.

Trump receives most votes
in South Carolina primary

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Real estate billionaire Donald Trump has emerged as the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination in the U.S. presidential race, but two U.S. senators, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are both claiming they can overtake him when a large group of states votes over the next three weeks.

Trump, a political novice, convincingly won his second straight Republican primary election Saturday, collecting nearly a third of the vote in the Atlantic coastal state of South Carolina. Rubio, a Florida senator, edged Cruz, a Texas senator, for second place, with both getting about 22 percent of the vote.

Surveys show the flamboyant Trump, who has hurled insults at his opponents throughout the months-long campaign, with a sizable lead over both Rubio and Cruz in the next state to vote, the U.S. gambling hub of Nevada. Republicans are holding party caucuses there Tuesday.

Voting is set for 27 other states by March 15.

Trump told CNN Sunday that he expects to win the Republican nomination and face former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic contender, in November's national presidential election. He said that despite surveys showing him losing a hypothetical race against her, he would give Republicans a chance to win such key states as New York and Michigan that the party normally loses in presidential elections.

Mrs. Clinton scored a tight victory Saturday, winning the Nevada Democratic caucuses, by about a 53 to 47 percent margin over Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described democratic socialist.

The Nevada victory gave Mrs. Clinton, who was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, a much needed boost for her campaign after she narrowly edged Sanders in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month and he routed her in the New Hampshire primary.

Trump hailed his South Carolina victory as an incredible movement with incredible people.

Cruz, a conservative thorn in the side of the Washington establishment, told his supporters he is the only Trump opponent who has beaten him so far, in the Iowa caucuses three weeks ago.

But Rubio declared, “This has become a three-person race and we will win the nomination.”

The one-time 17-candidate Republican field has now dwindled to five, Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Michigan shooting suspect
captured in Kalamazoo

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Authorities say they have detained a suspect in a deadly shooting spree that left six people dead and two others wounded in the northern U.S. state of Michigan.

Police early Sunday arrested 45-year-old Jason Dalton, a driver for the ride company Uber. Officials say he has no known criminal history.

The shootings took place late Saturday around the city of Kalamazoo. 

Authorities say the violent spree began at an apartment complex where a woman was seriously wounded when shot multiple times. Hours later, the gunman killed a father and son looking at vehicles at a car dealership. 

Minutes after that, five people were gunned down in a parking lot at a restaurant. Four of them died. A 14-year-old girl, originally reported as dead, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

No motive has been given for the shootings. Local media reports that Dalton may have dropped off an Uber fare passenger in between his attacks.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says Dalton will face multiple counts of first degree murder and attempted murder when he appears before a judge in a Kalamazoo County courtroom on Monday.

Toyota driver is winner
in Daytona 500 contest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A thrilling finish at the Daytona 500 in Florida, the biggest stock car race in the United States, saw American Denny Hamlin give Japanese automaker Toyota its first-ever victory Sunday.

Just when it appeared his countryman Matt Kenseth might become only the sixth driver to win the race three times since its inaugural event in 1959, Hamlin sped to the front on the home straight in the last of the 200 laps on the 2.5-mile oval track. Kenseth led entering the final lap but faded to 14th after his Toyota got bumped and he narrowly avoided wrecking.

Hamlin edged Martin Truex Jr., also in a Toyota, by a 100th of a second, requiring a photo to determine the winner in the closest finish in Daytona 500 history. The average speed for the winner was just under 255 kilometers per hour. 

Kyle Busch finished third, giving Toyota an unprecedented sweep of the podium. Kevin Harvick in a Chevrolet was fourth and Carl Edwards in another Toyota was fifth.

Chase Elliott, who had become the youngest driver to start on the pole position at age 20, was unable to finish the race after a crash.

It was the first victory for Hamlin in 11 tries at the Daytona 500, also known as The Great American Race.

It also was the first in 23 years for the stable of drivers headed by former NFL coach Joe Gibbs, whose Joe Gibbs Racing team features Toyota engines. Toyota did not join the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, better known as NASCAR, until 2007.

The previous closest finish in the Daytona 500 was in 2007 when Harvick won by two 100ths of a second. In recent years, the Daytona 500 champion has won more than $1.5 million.

World Health seeks clarity
on zika's serious effects

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Evidence is piling up of a causal link between the zika virus and both microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome, according to the World Health Organization.

World Health reports show that more than 40 countries have recorded zika virus infections while only two places, Brazil and French Polynesia, have shown an increase in microcephaly cases.

The situation is particularly serious in Brazil, which has recorded more than 4,700 cases of babies born with abnormally small heads and brains.

In addition, World Health has confirmed eight countries where the zika virus is present and cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been reported.

In the case of microcephaly, valuable information is likely to emerge from some 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia who are infected with the zika virus, Bruce Aylward, World Health's executive director of outbreaks and health emergencies, told VOA.

The first cases occurred in October, he said, and infections are on the rise.

"Now, women who would have been exposed at that time would probably in the first trimester, and would probably deliver in June. So, that is obviously four or five months away,” Aylward said. “So, that is why … it could take six to nine months. … So, you are probably looking at midsummer at the longest."

Several autopsies performed on babies with microcephaly have shown the presence of the zika virus, he said. Autopsies on people who have died of Guillain-Barre syndrome have turned up similar results.

World Health is taking the approach of, as Aylward puts it, considering the virus guilty until proven innocent because of the devastating potential consequences resulting from zika.

In the meantime, World Health says the best way to prevent the virus from spreading is for communities to remove standing water where mosquitoes breed. The health agency urges people, especially pregnant women, to protect themselves by using insect repellent, wearing long clothes to prevent bites, sleeping under mosquito nets, and screening off doors and windows.

Welsh firm planning lease
for its fuel cell vehicles

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Green cars, powered by electricity from either rechargeable batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, are already on the market, but still too expensive for most consumers.

While big car manufacturers are doing what they can to make electric vehicles more attractive to buyers, small companies, such as Riversimple from Powys in Wales, are working not only to build affordable eco-friendly cars but also to change the way owners think about a car.

Riversimple plans to make its two-seater Rasa available to drivers by 2018, but it won't sell them. Instead, the Rasa will be available by subscription.

The car is powered by compressed hydrogen, which, in combination with oxygen from the air, produces electricity in the car's fuel cell. The only byproduct is water vapor.

Besides being eco-friendly, the fuel cell cars get excellent mileage.

"If you're looking at hydrogen, this allows us a very, very long range in comparison to batteries," said Christophe Mazur, a chemical engineer at Imperial College London. "So here, when we're using hydrogen cars, we can reach the ranges we have in normal petrol cars and fossil-fuel-driven cars, so, about 600, 700 kilometers."

With 1.5 kilograms of hydrogen, Rasa will be able to cover approximately 480 kilometers, with a top speed of just under 100 kilometers per hour.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

Goetl in Palo Seco

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

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

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

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 36
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Rainy day slushy helps hungry plants

What a perfect day for inside gardening. Cloudy, windy, raining like mad and determined to keep me in the house. No matter, I am prepared! Prepared how, you ask? I spent time last week gathering do-it-indoors

Victoria Torley
goodies: soil, moss, lichen and fungi. Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend your time? Okay, maybe you don’t think so, but here is my rainy, miserable day perfect for indoor gardening plan.

First, you should know that I have a microwave oven. Many people have
spurned them, but they are perfect for indoor gardening. The soil goes first in one of my good microwaveable Correll pots which holds about a kilo of damp soil.  It has to be damp or it won’t work. Microwave for five minutes and your soil is now sterile and nearly perfect for starting plants. Nearly because I have killed off the good bacteria along with the weed seeds and other things I didn’t want. I will use an Earth Right product to replace the good bacteria.

Next comes the moss which I removed from trees and rocks. (A perfectionist would clean it first to rid the moss of any dirt clinging to the roots, but I figure that there must be something good in the dirt.) This also gets dampened and goes in the microwave for 5 minutes and then into a new gallon zip-lock bag. I use the moss on top of my newly planted microwaved soil to prevent it from drying out.

Finally, the lichens and the mushrooms. Ewww. Well, they don’t go into the microwave, they go into the blender (no, it won’t be used for food). The lichens have to be cut in small pieces first as they are a bit woody and tough, but then they blend well.

Why lichens? Ah, because I did my research. Lichens are full of things that are good for plants! A lichen slushy contains nitrogen, carbon, organic acids, iron, proteins, vitamin A, bacteria, and vitamin B complex, to name just a few. Thoroughly smushed and liquefied, it can be fed to just about anything you grow to produce healthier plants.

Mushrooms should be easier to blend as they have a higher water content than lichens, but mine took just as much time. Mushrooms are high in nutrients including folate, phosphorus, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and trace elements. They also make a great mushroom slushy, and I am going to put them on the roses and citrus trees.

So, next time rain is forecast, and even if it isn’t because you never know, stock up on some of the things mentioned and spend your rainy day gardening.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week
The Amazon lily, genus Eucharis, is a sun-loving flower grown from a bulb. It has multiple flowers from a single stem and is lightly scented. This lily will need protection from winds as the stem is quite long. As a cut flower, it can last a week or more as new buds open to perfume the air.

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From Page 7:

Water provider racks up savings with solar

Special to A.M. Costa Rica*

The rural water administrator in San Rafael, Alajuela, has started the second solar-powered water well project after receiving better than expected results from the solar installation at water tank Victor Jiménez. The Jiménez well has had a reduction in the electric bill of almost $2,000 per month average.

The Asociación del Acueducto de Agua in San Rafael approved the first solar-powered municipal water well project in Central America in 2015. With an expectation of a $6 million reduction in payments for energy over the 25-year power production guarantee, the board of directors felt it was a worthwhile project financially and environmentally. San Rafael, home of  Ojo del Agua, prides itself on  environmental stewardship.

“Upon monitoring the installation of 140 solar PV panels at the tank, our projections proved to be conservative compared to the actual returns of this energy efficiency and solar electric installation.” said Jon Harrington, president of Solar Costa Rica, “We feel this is one more step at bringing Costa Rica to the lead in environmentally responsible energy.”

“The engineering staff at Solar Costa Rica first considered using grid-tied solar electricity to produce the power the well needs to operate. With energy consumption of  7,000 to 12,000 kilowatt hours per month and only so much area for solar panels, it became obvious a solar array would be too large for the area and too costly to produce the power the 40-horsepower well pump needed to operate.” Jose Sandoval Arce, a company engineer, was given the task of determining how motor control, demand management, pressure sensing controls and solar energy in combination could accomplish the goals of reducing energy consumption and producing enough energy to cover the remaining need.

A bonus with this type of integrated approach is that the well pump motor will also have a much longer service life. This system eases demand peaks and power factor problems on the electrical grid helping the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad  manage their grid with less infrastructure. The fact that solar photovoltaic systems produce clean sine wave electricity is another bonus. Electricity in the grid sometimes fluctuates causing issues with electronics and motors. Motors run smoother on clean energy, and with less vibration it also makes the motor last longer.

“Having operated during the green season so far, we expect even greater returns as the dry season and more sunshine returns. Even with the pump running full power, the solar panels are producing more than it needs in the middle of the day,” said Arce. “Pumping water uses a lot of electricity. And making that energy by the sun only makes sense. It means that we really are producing clean water.”

“With the new POASEN law nearing publication and enforcement, it should open the floodgates to more clean water,” said Harrington. “While traveling in the mountains last month I was dismayed to visit a 90-meter waterfall that is soon to be shut off. It is destined to be dried up by diversion to yet another hydro electric generator.  The majority of Costa Rica's renewable energy is hydro power. It is time we take responsibility for our energy addictions and invest in clean solutions that do not harm the environment.” POASEN is the law for planning, operation and access to the national electrical system.

“The reality is that it will be difficult to keep the energy mix as green in Costa Rica as we are now. With a 4.7 percent increase in demand each year, the energy has to come from somewhere. We were blessed with an abundance of rain last year in the hydro-power generating areas of Costa Rica. Last year we showed the world we could be almost completely renewable in the electricity sector. It is time for solar energy to step up as yet another renewable producer in our energy mix.” said Harrington.

With the new law coming close to reality, Costa Rica businesses and residents will have their opportunity to produce electricity in a clean, responsible manner. Add to that the plans for integrating hybrid and electric cars into the transportation sector, and Costa Rica has the opportunity to honestly become the model for a carbon neutral nation.

* This article came from Solar Costa Rica.