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(506) 2223-1327                              Published  Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 41                             Email us
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Online ordering has its advantages and its pitfalls
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Be it electronics, home appliances, clothing, books or a childish gadget for the apartment, importing from abroad to Costa Rica can be both a rewarding and challenging experience.

The variety of companies offering cargo services to buy online has increased in the last 15 years. Originally, the pioneering enterprises were Jetbox and Aerocasillas. Today, aside from those, customers may choose from Liberty Express, Skybox, Unibox, Starbox the state-run Box Correos and others who serve small local markets.

Most of them require that a customer open an account, choose a plan based on how often their services will be used and provide an address in Costa Rica where goods will be delivered.

Once the registration is over, the fun part begins. Here's where buyers select items online, provide a personal postal box previously given by the company and then pay with a credit card.

When the merchandise arrives in the U.S. (usually Miami, Florida, sometimes Houston, Texas) it is shipped to Costa Rica. Then the customer must pay an extra shipping fee that will vary depending on weight and the packaging size of the items.

So far the reward part seems good enough to give this a try. However, there will likely be unexpected glitches in the process.

Probably the most common disappointment is the final cost of the purchase like when those fancy boots are declared a luxury because they were placed inside a huge box, or the price of that tiny electronic component skyrocketed because of special taxes.

That's why most of the service carriers also provide calculators on their Web sites. These tools offer an estimate on the final cost of the products once taxes and shipping fees have been included.

Said Gabriela Apuy, marketing manager of Jetbox Costa Rica:

"Flat television sets pay up to 49 percent in taxes. Home appliances about 40 percent. Cell phones 13 percent and books 1 percent. There is no average, it all depends on the nature of the product."

Another common setback happens when customers try to import food, drugs and beauty supplies. All of them are restricted items that need a special permit before being collected.

"When an item is retained by customs, the customer may either pay the company for the extra paperwork, or else go to the nearest customs office and follow the procedures,” Ms. Apuy said.

The country’s post office system (Correos de Costa Rica) has been diversifying in recent years and now claims it is easy to get packages from the U.S., and Correos will deliver them right to the door.  

However, a local shipper said that Correo does not consolidate but rather charges a series of handling fees for each package going
to the same customer. He calls them
fundamentally a courier service and expensive.
aduana scene
U.S. Agency for International Development
The U.S. Government used this photo on a cover of a comprehensive manual on importing to Costa Rica.


It is essential to take into consideration delivery times from the U.S. to Costa Rica, especially if  buying for a special occasion. Normally products will take from two to four business days after being shipped.

However, high demand and stricter controls may cause delays of up to three weeks.

Benito Coghi, the director general of the Servicio Nacional de Aduana, says purchases reach their peak during November and December. He also points out that many companies have been declaring merchandise incorrectly.

That has caused tougher controls and slower processes.

"Not all companies working out there have been properly registered with us,” Coghi said.
He said some companies go so far as to file irregular paperwork, something courts are mulling over as possible fraud.

Coghi's advice is plain: "Make sure your company is properly registered.”

Another industry source warns consumers to stay away from shadow operations from individuals importing container loads of packages from the U.S. and offering lower prices because no taxes have been paid. He said:

“I know of several individuals who have lost thousands dollars of merchandise trying to save a buck with these shady operations. You really don't save much if your package never arrives.”

But sometimes, delays are caused by simple misunderstandings. Such was the case with expat Carol Meeds of southern Limón province. She wrote A.M. Costa Rica complaining about how two packages from Amazon.com were confiscated by Costa Rican customs because officials weren’t familiar with peat cubes, which are used for planting. She said Aduana at first thought the cubes were some kind of medicine, then they thought there were seeds already inside the cubes.

She ended up paying extra fees and spent many frustrating weeks trying to convince Aduana that the peat cubes were just peat cubes. She said over the weekend that her shipment still had not arrived.

Despite the hassles, buying over the Internet is an exciting experience if an expat can afford it and stomach the potential downside, according to those in the business.

"These purchases are so popular because it's like the entire world is your own store, and you can find anything, absolutely anything you want," Ms. Apuy said.



For those unfindable items, Amazon is worth a try
By Thomas Ropp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has a lot to offer.

Plastic covers for pet food cans is not one of them.

I discovered this after spending more than a month looking for them in all the likely places such as Walmart, PriceSmart, pet food sections of every grocery store and even veterinarian offices. In the United States this would have been a cinch to find. Here, employees first looked at me like I was nuts. Then after thinking about it, they would smile and tell me no they don’t have any but they sound like a good idea.

I thought I was destined for all eternity to cover the partially eaten cans of dog and cat food with aluminum foil.

Then I remembered something I had long forgotten:

Amazon.com.

My first surprise was that they delivered to Costa Rica. My second, not only did they have plastic pet food can covers, they had dozens of different types to choose from in every color, size and design imaginable.

This launched an avalanche of ordering of items I could not find in Costa Rica including bat repellent, self-stick felt pads for inside kitchen cabinets, faucet filter kit, sleep mask, a rechargeable battery pack for a Sony digital camera and an extension pole for changing light bulbs in high unreachable places. My next order will include a silicone sink strainer.

But how is their service and costs? Compared to the private shipping firms I have used in the past (the kind where you need to set up a

Amazon logo

U.S. post office box), I have been happier
with Amazon. They will deliver to your residence, generally quicker than their original estimates. The average time is about two weeks.

Yes, you can expect to pay double what it would cost to deliver the same items within the United States, but then just about everything in Costa Rica costs double anyway.

To be honest, I can’t say my relationship with Amazon has been perfect. I have had my share of issues, like the time I had to order a hard drive for my Apple laptop because I couldn’t find one anywhere in Costa Rica for this model. As always, I included other difficult to find items in the order. All the items arrived as expected except the one I really wanted: the hard drive. The local post office in Atenas told me I would have to retrieve it from the main customs office in Zapote and pay a few dollars more to cover additional import taxes not included by Amazon.

I found the Aduana central office without much trouble and picked up the hard drive. Unfortunately, the new hard drive didn’t work when the computer guy installed it. I’ll never know for sure, but best guess is the delicate hard drive was ruined from the additional handling by customs.

Also, Amazon doesn’t ship everything to Costa Rica. And sometimes an item they say will ship to Costa Rica, doesn’t. I have tried to find out what the problem is here, but my emails have been lobotomized by a hierarchy of customer service reps who reply in corporate speak while avoiding the question.

Still, if you’re looking for a mostly reliable way to find the unfindable, Amazon.com can fulfill that niche. I recommend giving it a try.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 41
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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.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
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Psychotherapy

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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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U.S. Income Tax Services
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Fine art restoration and conservation

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Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
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Legal services

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Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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Email: legalservival@gmail.com
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Real estate agents and services

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Century
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Eco logo
                                                      two
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del Pacifico, S.A.

colinadelsol022515c.gif
* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
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Email:  JimDay50@aol.com 
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Police and                                  cigrettes
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Police officer surveys some of the 860 packs of cigarettes confiscated in Turrialba. The case was promoted to a drug-smuggling crime because the persons in the vehicle that was stopped also had 20 marijuana cigarettes.


Big cut announced in motor fuel prices

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's regulatory agency said that it has approved a cut in the price of motor fuels to bring them to the lowest levels for gasoline since January 2009.

For diesel, the price is the lowest since May 2006, said the agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos.

The prices still are no bargain. A U.S. gallon of regular will be $3.03. Super will be $3.18 a gallon, and diesel will be $2.46 a gallon. The prices that were approved were 424 colons per liter of regular, 445 colons for a liter of super and 345 for a liter of diesel.

The price reductions are 116 colons for a liter of regular (about 22 U.S. cents), 115 colons for super and 106 colons for diesel, about 20 U.S. cents.

The primary reason for the price reductions is the value of petroleum on the world market, said the agency. Costa Rica imports all its petroleum products.



Prostitution alleged in Puntarenas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators said they detained a 55-year-old woman at a bar-restaurant in Puntarenas Thursday night on suspicion that she was running a prostitution operation. Agents said there were young women working at the business.


Collision with oxen proves fatal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 62-year-old motorcycle operator died Thursday on a highway that links Tamarindo with Santa Cruz when his vehicle collided with a team of oxen, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. He was identified as Orlando Gómez Gutiérrez.


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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 41
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Armed motorist turns the tables on would-be stickup artist
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health warning for crooks: Sticking up a car mired in traffic can be hazardous to your health.

An example is an 18 year old judicial investigators identified by the last name of Bermúdez.  The man is the principal suspect in an attempted stickup of a motorist and his family in San Sebastián Friday night about 9 p.m.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the man, later identified as Bermúdez approached the passenger window of the vehicle and displayed a firearm. The man demanded items carried by the vehicle occupants.

One of those items was a pistol carried by the driver, who was not identified. The driver appears to have been skilled in using it. Agents said later that the robbery suspect sustained seven

bullet wounds. He died at the scene.

The motorist, 35, drove to a nearby police station and surrendered. That might have been a wise move because the Fuerza Pública quickly detained a second individual, 21 years of age, who picked up the firearm of the dead suspect and was fleeing. Investigators have not concluded if the two men were working as a team.

The robbery attempt of a motorist is not unique. Frequently individuals with guns take the vehicle after threatening the driver, the so-called bajanazo.

Police said that the vehicle driver was fully permitted to carry a concealed weapon.

Prosecutors will study the case, and, if policy is followed, the firearm of the motorist will be confiscated for testing.



Health and tourism officials ask for redoubled effort against zika
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Salud and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo are calling on tourism operators to redouble their efforts to control and reduce as far as possible cases of the zika virus.

The ministry and the institute are seeking the elimination of potential breeding spots for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The announcement Friday also is a recognition of the public relations damage the zika virus can do to tourism, both national and international.

The Comisión Nacional de Emergencia said it is using the most recent emergency declaration to transfer funds that are not marked for other purposes to fight the virus.

A number of the governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations are going public and stressing the work they are doing to eliminate the breeding spots.

The only effective direct efforts against the mosquito are fumigating and the elimination of breeding spots. Such efforts also are effective against the dengue virus and chikungunya, both carried by the same species of mosquito.

Zika causes the most concern because of the potential impact on unborn children.

cleanup
Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo photo
Scenes like this are being repeated all over the country. Here workers for the state petroleum monopoly conduct a cleanup in Puntarenas.

The national petroleum monopoly, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, for example, announced that its workers had collected more than a ton of trash last Thursday in Barrio El Carmen, Puntarenas.


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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
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Diversity is rewarded and protested at the Oscar Awards
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hollywood's biggest stars walked the world's most famous red carpet Sunday to attend the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, the film industry's highest honors.

This year's show, hosted by comedian Chris Rock, has been marked by controversy regarding the lack of diversity of its nominees. For the second year in a row, only white actors and actresses were chosen for the top four categories, best actor/actress and best supporting actor/actress.

The resulting backlash led to several African-American actors and actresses, such as Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith, boycotting the event.

Rock opened the show with jokes about the controversy.

"I'm here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the white People's Choice awards. You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn't even get this job. You'd be watching Neal Patrick Harris right now."

Harris, who is white, hosted the event last year. The last black host was Rock himself in 2005.

The 51-year-old Rock also got serious during his opening monologue.

"We want opportunities," he said. "We want black actors to get the same opportunities, that's it," he said to rousing applause.

"Spotlight" a film about the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic priests won the oscar for best picture.

Heavy favorite Leonardo DiCaprio won the oscar for best actor in a leading role for his performance in "The Revenant."  He thanked co-star Tom Hardy and director Innarityu in his acceptance speech.

"Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take this night for granted," he said in his acceptance speech referring to the dangers of climate change.

Brie Larson took the oscar for best actress in a leading role for her performance in "Room."

Alejandro G. Inarritu won the oscar for best director for "The Revenant," this year's most nominated film, featuring DiCaprio as a fur trapper who almost dies after being mauled by a bear.

"I am very lucky to be here tonight but unfortunately many others haven't had the same luck," he said during his acceptance speech, referring to the diversity controversy.


Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith won the oscar for best original song for "Writing's on The Wall" from the movie “Spectre".

"I stand here today as a proud gay man," Smith told the audience, dedicating his award to the LGBT community.

Smith and Napes beat out Lady Gaga who along with Diane Warren wrote the song "Til It Happens to You," from the film "The Hunting Ground," an expose on rape crimes on U.S. college campuses.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at Sunday night's show where he asked people to pledge to intervene in sexual encounters when consent has not been given.  He then introduced Lady Gaga who sang "Til It Happens to You".

The film "Son of Saul" from Hungary won the oscar for best foreign language film.

First-time nominee Mark Rylance won the oscar for best actor in a supporting role for his performance in "Bridge of Spies" in which he played a Russian operative.  During his acceptance

oscars
Voice of America photo
Mark Rylance, winner of the award for best actor in a supporting role for 'Bridge of Spies,' Brie Larson, winner of the award for best actress in a leading role for 'Room,' Leonardo DiCaprio, winner of the award for best actor in a leading role, and Alicia Vikander, best actress in a supporting role for 'The Danish Girl.'

speech, which was cut short, he praised co-star Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg.

The award for best actress in a supporting role went to 27-year-old Sweden-born actress Alicia Vikander for her performance in "The Danish Girl."

The film "Mad Max: Fury Road" has won the most awards so far, a total of six, for best costume design, best production design, best makeup and hair styling, best film editing, best sound editing and best sound mixing.

The South American country of Chile won its first oscar in the best animated short film category for "Bear Story," which Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala accepted.

In what was undoubtedly a first at this year's show, host Rock asked the audience to reach into their millionaire pockets and buy some Girl Scout cookies to help his daughters sell a record amount this year.

Girl Scouts armed with cookies circulated throughout the audience who were holding up money to buy the cookies.

Protesters urging a boycott of the Academy Awards congregated near the Dolby theatre where the awards were being presented Sunday.

Dozens of protesters converged on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue, holding signs and calling for more diversity in feature films.

Some of the signs included the slogans, "Hollywood Must do Better'' and "Shame on You.''

List of Winners in major categories:

* "Mad Max: Fury Road"  won 6 awards: for best costume design, best production design, best makeup and hair styling, best film editing, best sound editing and best sound mixing.

Best picture - "Spotlight"
Best director - Alejandro G. Iñárritu for "The Revenant"
Best cinematography - "The Revenant"
Best original screenplay - "Spotlight"
Best actor in a leading role - Leonardo DiCaprio for "The
     Revenant"
Best actress in a leading role - Brie Larson for "Room"
Best actor in a supporting role - Mark Rylance for "Bridge of
      Spies"
Best actress in a supporting role - Alicia Vikander for "The
      Danish Girl"
Best foreign language film - "Son of Saul" from Hungary
Best Original Song - "Writing's on the Wall" from “Spectre”
       by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith.



Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden
                        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:
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.
8840-2/2/16

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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 (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!
HERE!

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

8729-12/30/15

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

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Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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8479-9/11/14

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

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Real estate-related services (paid category)
COSTA RICA SOLAR
Solr
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SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
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BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB:
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

cafetal home
Beautiful house for rent
Will be Available March 15, 2-bedroom, 2-bath fully-furnished house inside gated property, Internet, Wifi, cable TV. $700 + utilities. Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. More information to my email: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com.
8940-3/12/16

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

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 homes
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
8784-2/19/16

Escazú
                                              rental
Escazú.
Fully furnished and equipped three-bedroom townhouse. Small, quiet, owner-administered complex. Terrace, balconies, and green area. Adults only. 6-month to one-year lease. $1,300 monthly. condorents44@gmail.com. 011 506 2228-0915.
8948-3/16/16

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Central
                                              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.
8921-3/25/16

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8909-4/17/15




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A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 41
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Axiom 890 pixels

Mrs. Clinton
Voice of America photo
Mrs. Clinton takes her own photo Saturday.

Tuesday called biggest day
in U.S. presidential primaries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tuesday is the biggest day so far in the 2016 U.S. presidential nominating campaign, with challengers looking to curb the momentum for the front-running candidates, real estate billionaire Donald Trump in the Republican race and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest.

Eleven states vote on what is called Super Tuesday, awarding nearly a quarter of the delegates the presidential contenders need at the Republican and Democratic national party conventions in July to win their party nominations before the victors square off in November's national election.

"It's the most important day in the campaign," a conservative firebrand, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, told CNN Sunday.

Cruz said he expects to beat Trump in the Republican primary in his home state, the large southwestern state where more convention delegates are at stake in both parties' primaries than in any of the other 10 states voting Tuesday.

With the exception of Texas, political surveys show Trump leading throughout the states that vote Tuesday, but Cruz said he is running neck and neck with Donald in a number of states

He disparaged Trump, a one-time television reality show host, as likely to lose to Mrs. Clinton in the November election and said Trump doesn't even know what he'd do as president should he win the race to the White House.

But Cruz acknowledged in an interview with CBS' “Face the Nation” that "there is no doubt that if Donald steamrolls through Super Tuesday, wins everywhere with big margins, that he may well be unstoppable" to win the Republican nomination.

Trump has already won three of the first four states to hold Republican nominating contests.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who is calling Trump a con artist, is not predicting he will win any of the Super Tuesday contests, but told CBS that Trump, with a penchant for insulting his opponents, would not eventually be the Republican nominee.

"It's not going to happen," Rubio said. He added that if Trump were to become the Republican presidential nominee, "it will split us and splinter us in a way that we may never be able to recover, and the Democrats will be joyful about it."

Rubio is making campaign stops in several states before the Tuesday elections, hoping to win convention delegates that are being awarded proportionally based on the vote count in each state.

He is also looking ahead to March 15, when his home state of Florida votes in a winner-take-all primary, although surveys taken before Rubio unleashed a verbal assault on Trump at last week's debate show Trump ahead in the southeastern U.S. state as well.

The Republican front-runner drew questions on Sunday news shows about support for his campaign voiced by white supremacist David Duke and Trump's passing along a quote from Benito Mussolini, the World War Two-era Italian dictator, on Twitter.

Trump, who has never held public office, declined a chance to disavow Duke's embrace, saying he did not know him and knows nothing about white supremacists.

Trump said he retweeted the quote from the fascist Mussolini, "It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep, because he thought it was a very interesting remark

Mrs. Clinton scored a resounding victory in Saturday's Democratic primary in the Atlantic coastal state of South Carolina, beating her lone rival Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-declared democratic socialist, by  3-to-1.

She is favored in most of the 11 states voting in Tuesday's Democratic contests, but Sanders's campaign said it has a good shot at winning five of the states, especially ones outside of the southern tier of states where black voters favoring Clinton comprise a large part of the Democratic electorate.

Sanders is expected to win in Vermont, his small home state in the Northeastern U.S. where few delegates are at stake, and also contend in the neighboring state of Massachusetts, the Western state of Colorado and the northern state of Minnesota.

Mrs. Clinton, in celebrating her South Carolina victory, seemed to be looking ahead to a general election match-up with Trump, who also is predicting a face-off with her.

Mrs. Clinton, the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, mocked Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again" and his call to build an impenetrable wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico to halt the stream of illegal immigrants into the United States.

"Despite what you hear, we don't need to make America great again.  America has never stopped being great," she said. "But we do need to make American whole again.  Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers."

Trump
Voice of America photo
Donald Trump at GOP debate.



Protest over Ku Klux Klan
leaves 3 hurt and 13 arrested

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three people were stabbed and 13 people arrested when members of a white separatist group clashed with a larger group of counter-demonstrators outside of Los Angeles Saturday, police said.

The violence occurred in the city of Anaheim, near the famed Disneyland theme park.

A police spokesman said several protesters had arrived ahead of time to protest a planned anti-immigration rally by a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

When the Klansmen arrived to begin their rally, they were surrounded by the counter-demonstrators and attacked.

All three stabbing victims were counter-demonstrators. One of them was stabbed by a Klansman with the sharp end of a flagpole. Two Klansmen were stomped on by several of the protesters.

The police spokesman said six Klan members and seven protesters were arrested, and all face charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

The Ku Klux Klan was founded in the southern U.S. state of Tennessee in 1866, one year after the anti-slavery Union army defeated the army of the slave-holding Confederate states to bring an end to the Civil War.

Initially aimed at terrorizing newly freed African-American slaves, the KKK's ranks grew through the later part of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century as it fought against racial integration across the United States.

Klansmen were once the dominant political force in Anaheim, holding four of five City Council seats before a recall effort led to their ouster in 1924.


A-10 Thunderbolt to stay
in the U.S. military arsenal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. has put off the retirement of a 1970s era fighter plane, citing its effectiveness in the fight against the Islamic State military group among the reasons for keeping the jets flying.

The A-10 Thunderbolt, nicknamed the Warthog, is a close-support aircraft designed in the early 1970s to counter Soviet armored forces. The twin-engine jet is not fast, but is able to engage a wide variety of ground targets with its main gun, a 30mm cannon, as well as missiles, rockets and other munitions launched or dropped from wing pylons. The plane is also extremely durable and can withstand considerable damage from ground fire and keep flying.

The A-10 was first used in combat during the 1991 Gulf War and destroyed thousands of Iraqi tanks, armored vehicles and artillery pieces. It has played a role in most major U.S. military action since then, including the Balkans conflict in the late 1990s, the Iraq War and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Air Force has called for retiring the A-10, citing budget savings and saying the aircraft's role can be filled by newer, more versatile planes. But the 2017 Defense Department budget says the Warthog will keep flying at least through 2022.

This week, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told Congress the A-10's usefulness combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is one reason the Pentagon wants to keep the plane.

"I saw some of the A-10s that are flying bombing missions against ISIL when I was at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey last December, and we need the additional payload capacity they can bring to the fight," Carter told a House Appropriations subcommittee Thursday. "We're pushing off the A-10's final retirement until 2022 so we can keep more aircraft that can drop smart bombs on ISIL."

ISIL is another acronym for Islamic State.

Sen. John McCain, a long-time supporter of the A-10, said earlier this month he was pleased the Warthog would remain in the U.S. arsenal.

“I look forward to seeing our A-10 pilots continue to make important advances in the fight against ISIL in the Middle East, boosting NATO’s efforts to deter Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and supporting vital missions for U.S. national security wherever they are needed,” McCain said in a statement.


Survey shows young people
are optimistic, anti-corporate


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While the Republican candidates for president have loudly lamented the steep decline of America, new research by a GOP pollster suggests young people are far more optimistic about the country’s future.

“They’re refreshingly, resoundingly sunny about America’s future,” Frank Luntz writes. “This generation simply rejects the gloom and doom, even as their parents and grandparents fret that America is in decline.”

The right-wing political consultant recently completed a national survey of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 26. He found that 88 percent of respondents are at least somewhat optimistic about their future, while 54 percent reported being extremely optimistic or very optimistic about their tomorrows.

While leading presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump frequently talks about making America great again, 61 percent of the young people in the survey believe the nation’s best days are still ahead. Just 39 percent felt the best days were behind.

However, this youthful optimism does not extend to politicians and corporate America. Sixty-six percent of young people believe corporations embody everything that is wrong about America. Elected officials fare only slightly better. The survey found 60 percent of young people felt Washington embodies everything that is wrong about America.

In fact, when presented with 16 pressing issues facing the country, the younger Americans said they were most worried about the widening gap between the rich and the poor. The high cost of a college education was the second most pressing issue.

All of this is a cause for alarm, according to Luntz, who writes, “The hostility of young Americans to the underpinnings of the American economy and the American government ought to frighten every business and political leader.”

What might also frighten conservatives is who young people admire most when asked about political figures. Democrats Bernie Sanders (31 percent), President Barack Obama (18 percent) and Hillary Clinton (11 percent) top the list. Republicans lag behind with Donald Trump (9 percent), Ted Cruz (5 percent) and Marco Rubio (3 percent). President Obama is the person that first- and second-time voters would most like to have dinner with.

Forty-four percent of the 18-to-26 year olds interviewed considered themselves Democrats, compared to 15 percent who identified as Republicans. The remaining 42 percent of young voters consider themselves to be independents.


Flint residents are battling
to handle their water crisis


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In a tree-lined neighborhood in Flint, Michigan, the arrival of the American Red Cross disaster truck is a welcome sign of relief outside of Terence Johnson's brown brick home.

Now Johnson, who works a construction job, might finally be able to take a bath, thanks to the supplies on the truck.

"Right now it's not safe to shower," he said. "It's not safe to bathe unless you use bottled water."

Johnson believes it isn't safe because, among other concerns, Flint's water has high levels of lead.

Johnson says he won't be the first one to wash with the bottled water he gets from the Red Cross truck. But he says he makes sure the elderly citizens who live near him get water before he uses what's left to clean himself up.

Calling it a proper "bath," however, is a stretch.

"You're taking bottled water, and you're heating it in the microwave, or on the stove, and then pouring it in the face bowl and bathing with it," Johnson said.

Johnson says the last time he had a real shower was sometime late last year.

April 2014 is when city officials switched from using Detroit's water supply to the local Flint River.

It was supposed to answer the water needs of this city of about 100,000 people. But the corrosive properties of the river water flowing through old pipes throughout Flint leached harmful levels of lead into the water supply.

Last year, doctors discovered high levels of lead in the blood of local children, which finally put the problem in the spotlight. Now, residents like Johnson are at the center of a water crisis, which has no clear end in sight.

"I'm angry that people didn't know about it," he says. "I'm angry that people wasn't informed about it in 2014 when it first started."

As government officials scramble for solutions, the ongoing concern about safe drinking water in the city of Flint is taking a toll on people like Johnson who have decided to stay.

"I think people in office didn't care," Johnson said. "You know, people who were responsible for this didn't care."

 
Virginia police officer
dies on first day on job

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A police officer in the eastern U.S. state of Virginia was shot and killed Saturday afternoon during her first full day in uniform.

Officer Ashley Guindon and two other officers with the Prince William County police force were responding to a domestic disturbance call in a community located nearly 50 kilometers southwest of Washington when they were shot.

The trio were taken to a hospital where Guindon later died of her injuries. Prosecutor Paul Ebert reported the other two officers were in OK condition.

Guindon, who had spent several years serving in the U.S. Marines, was just sworn in as a police officer Friday.

The department posted a picture of Guindon and another newly sworn-in officer with a message that ended with "Be safe!"

Prince William police said the suspect, identified as Ronald Hamilton, a 32-year-old Army staff sergeant assigned to the Pentagon, killed his wife and then ambushed the police officers with rifle shots as they approached his residence.

Ebert said he would pursue a capital murder conviction against Hamilton.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Solr array
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
Solar logo
CALL US TODAY!

Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB: www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Re-Max
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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8935-2/7/17

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
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Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i
nformation 

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HERE!
Axiom two
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.
For more information
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Axiom three
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!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579
sales@axiomcostarica.com
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Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
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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.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
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8790-2/28/15

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you tired of wasting time searching for your home…..with no results?
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* 3 bedrooms.
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8609-2/20/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


updated
                                  photo
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 goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

La Uruca condo
FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA,
OUTSKIRTS of SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA,
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
Email:  BORISKOPIT@YAHOO.COM
8914-2/13/16

Cohen
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.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8916-7/22/16

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
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8902-3/4/16

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:  osaroger@gmail.com. Watch this video for full details.
8898-xxxx

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: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8897-3/2/15

Lantz
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:  angelsdad@me.com
8883-2/26/16

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:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

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
       door.
- 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
     planted.

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 indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16

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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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 41
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Mrs. Torley
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
Yup, that’s me after doing some hydraulic gardening. Think it’s time for another shower?

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

For the real gardener there is nothing like a four-shower day. We are out in the early morning, pulling a few weeds, transplanting the tomatoes,
Victoria Torley
moving the pots of peppers out into the sun, then inside for a quick shower before breakfast.

We need that pre-breakfast shower too. We need to wash off the dirt that accumulated on our knees right through our gardening pants. They are, after all, a little holey. Besides, you have to be nice and clean to
kiss the spouse good morning and sit down to breakfast, whatever it is. And the coffee. There has to be coffee.  Two cups at least while we discuss the day (don’t forget to pick up another bag of fertilizer and more coffee).

Yesterday you noticed that the winds were playing havoc with some of the taller plantings, and you really need to do something about that. Off you go to cut some nice long poles (2 meters at least), grab the posthole digger, and check out the shade cloth. Quick call to spouse. “Need more shade cloth.” And off to plant the poles. The shade cloth will protect everything until you can get things transplanted as a windbreak; maybe some nice crotons.

Now we need a shower before lunch. Cannot make a sandwich with those hands (or eat it with them). Muscles feeling a bit overworked? Just crank up the heat and relax a bit, then enjoy a beer with lunch.

Back in the yard, it’s time to do some hydraulic mining. After all, it’s getting awfully hot and a solid spray from the hose is just the thing to keep you cool. What is hydraulic mining in the gardening sense? It’s using the high-powered spray to clear the dirt and mud from the roots of a long-downed-in-the-shade garden. That’s where the orchids want to be and they must be catered to. Turning the hose on all that junk is the fastest way to move it and leaves the roots ready for orchids. Then back in the shower because there is no way to get dirtier than using a hose on clay soil, and you can’t take your afternoon swim without a shower.

Only a little after 3 in the afternoon and there is still time to spread some of that well-rotted manure you have been saving for the fruit trees. The leaf-cutters have been at them again and they need a nice boost. Naturally, you have to get down on your hands and knees to work the manure into the soil, and then it’s back to the shower or you get no dinner tonight.

So there you have it, the four-shower day. It may not have been your day, but it was definitely mine. I may be too old to do this every day, but it’s nice to know I can still go for it occasionally.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/
Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845.


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From Page: 7

Finance ministers urge avoiding devaluations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Finance officials of the world’s 20 biggest economies meeting in Shanghai promised Saturday to use all policy tools available to promote global growth and avoid competitive devaluations of their currencies to boost exports.

At the end of a two-day conference in the Chinese business hub, finance ministers and heads of central banks in the Group of 20 issued a statement acknowledging that vulnerabilities have risen in the global economy, including volatile capital flows, the European refugee crisis and the possibility of a British exit from the European Union.

The statement said that growth should continue at a moderate pace in advanced economies and remain strong in developing countries.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew welcomed the agreement to avoid the devaluation of currencies and urged governments to push ahead with reforms.

"We need to redouble our efforts to boost global demand, rather than rely on the United States as the consumer of first and last resort," he said. "It's also important that all G20 honor their commitments to refrain from competition devaluation and to not target exchange rates for competitive purposes."

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde urged the group to take collective and deliberate actions to avoid a derailment of the economic recovery.