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Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                     Published Tuesday, March 5, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 45                Email us
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Costa
                Rica real estate


Emergency commission steps up plans for volcanoes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourists are fascinated by Costa Rica's volcanoes. Visitors can see the lake in the Poás crater from an overlook.

Hotels are built on the shirts of the Arenal volcano in La Fortuna where rumblings can be heard during the night.

Turrialba continues to issue vapor.

But what tourists and many younger Costa Ricans do not realize, these mountains can awaken with force.

Arenal, for example, destroyed the towns of Tabacón, Pueblo Nuevo and San Luís and killed 79 persons is an explosion July 29, 1968. The ash and volcanic bombs devastated an area of 232.6 square kilometers, according to reports at the time. That's 57,477 acres. Thousands of cattle died, and crops were lost.

The mountain threw volcanic bombs 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter some 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles). The whole area, including the town of La Fortuna, was evacuated.

The Volcán Irazú also has been in the headlines. The mountain near Cartago became active March 12, 1963, and threw so much ash into San José that a national disaster was declared.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Irazú eruptions, the national emergency committee Monday said it has created contingency plans to go into effect when one of the nation's volcanoes erupts. The popular volcanoes are in national parks and are visited frequently by tourists. The contingency plans establish evacuation routes and places to meet after an evacuation. There also are efforts to improve communications.

The agency, officially the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias, has established a first-level alert for three
signs at
                        volcano
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos
y Atención de Emergencias photo
  Tourists observe one of the informational signs at
  the Poás volcano.

volcanoes: Poás, Turrialba and Rincón de la Vieja. All three are active.

The commission has been conducting training at these volcanoes, and in some cases access is restricted. There also is 24-hour surveillance, usually by park rangers.

Tourists usually do not have problems if they stick to established paths, but one group happened to be looking over the Poás lagoon Christmas Day 2009 when the volcano burped and sent a geyser of water several hundred feet high. They left rapidly.

The contingency plans involve the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, the Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía and residents nearby. The plans are based on technical studies of risks.

The agency also is posting information at some of the locations to warn visitors.

Coincidentally Monday the Red Sismológica Nacional at the Universidad de Costa Rica released its two-month assessment of the active volcanoes. The report was detailed and does not contain any alarming information. That report is HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 45
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Murder suspects remanded
to prison for two months


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two men who are suspects in the murder of a 17-year-old girl just over the border in Panamá will spend the next two months in preventative detention, a judge ruled Monday.

They are the men with the last names of  Saravia Astorga and Astorga Saravia, according to the Poder Judicial. They were captured early Saturday after a gang of five men held up a small store a short distance from Costa Rica in Panamá.

Costa Rican law says that when a crime has taken place outside the country but there are effects inside Costa Rica, the case will be heard in the capital. That is why the men were ordered held by a judge in Goicoechea.

The gang engaged a member of the family that owns the store in a firefight, and the girl suffered a mortal wound. Her family took her to the clinic in Hone Creek, Costa Rica, where she died. She was identified as Ayad Said Alsur.

Police in both countries still seek persons connected with the crime. They are believed to be Costa Rican.


Presidential candidate declines
to back free trade treaty


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature has approved for the second and final time a free trade treaty with Singapore.

Only five of 44 lawmakers declined to support the treaty. But one was Juan Carlos Mendoza García of Acción Ciudadana . He aspired to be president.  He told his colleagues that trade treaties have not had the expected results and that they amplify the gap between the rich and the poor. His party traditionally has opposed trade treaties.

Costa Rica will eliminate about 90 percent of its tariffs on goods from Singapore, and that country will eliminate all its tariffs. Within 10 years, all of the Costa Rican import duties will be eliminated.


Opponents of modified seeds
plan a week of activities


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Opponents of genetically modified corn seeds say they have 30 activities planned this week to promote their views.

Among the events will be a debate on Radio María Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and a demonstration at the same time before Casa Presidencial in Zapote.

The demonstrations and other activities are designed to protect what is being called Costa Rican heritage corn seed from genetic pollution by corn produced by Monsanto that has been modified to resist weed killer. A government decision to permit a Monsanto subsidiary grow a small path of modified corn is being challenged in the Sala IV constitutional court.


Our readers' opinions
Fires that escape control
are the danger this season


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In partial response to the letter from the Johnsons in today's A.M. Costa Rica but separate from it, is the concern that all of us in Guanacaste have about fires during the dry season.  To be sure, the smoke and ash from burning sugar cane fields is a nuisance, but the bigger question is their posing a fire danger in nearby fields and hills which in turn endanger lives, livestock and property.
 
One thing is certain.  Fireworks at this time of year do both because of embers floating to earth and to misguided explosives.  There is a time and a place in local culture for pyrotechnics.  This time of year is not one of them, and any hotel, resort or individual using them is seriously jeopardizing others not to mention abundant wildlife.
 
The bottom and connective line is that any fire that can be avoided in Guanacaste's dry season must be avoided.
 
Kent Carthey
Playa del Coco

Without her sense of smell
she is considered handicapped


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I feel so sorry for those poor unfortunate people, and the bad smells they have to on occasion put up with. Why? Because for even for one day I would love to be able to smell anything. I have  anosmia  -- total lack of smell, nothing at all. A skunk could spray an entire room and I would not notice a thing. At work I am considered handicapped, sensors for gas and smoke have to be in my work area. This was due to a skating accident, skull fracture, and concussion, no helmet.

So when you smell something good bad or otherwise, be happy that you still have your sense of smell. Not only does it keep you safe, it sparks memories, and is a large part of your ability to taste.
Patti Fraser
Tamarindo

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary
















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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 45
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There are some unexpected twists to having a garage sale here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There comes a time when every expat has to downsize.

The reason might be a return to the home country or perhaps the desire for a smaller footprint in an attractive condo.

Elsewhere one could just hang out a sign and perhaps put a small classified in the local newspaper. Garage sales are popular in the Great White North. In Costa Rica there are additional dangers.

Many light-fingered individuals would be attracted to such a sale here. The worst case would be armed bandits pretending to be customers.

Only the largest sale or the Sunday flea market in Sabana Este is really open to the public. The sale has to be big enough to pay for professional security.

This understanding and even fear has caused many an expat to simply dump their household goods at a few cents on the dollar to a single, professional buyer.

Such fear is unnecessary. Even expats who are moving households to another country with a professional mover might take advantage of a painless sale as a way to reduce unwanted goods.

Some have had good luck with classified ads as long as the items for sale were large, like a stove or refrigerator. These are pretty hard to shoplift.

Costa Rica has generated professional sales advisers. These individuals will conduct the sale for a percentage of the income, usually between 10 and 20 percent. The advantage is that such advisers know the going price for that 5-year-old Atlas stove and also have a following.

Such sales are by invitation with the adviser calling previous customers and screening classified callers. They also are full of tips, such as to hide anything that is not for sale. Buyers have a way of wandering through a home and making random offers.

Another tip is to hold the sale either right after the first or the 15th of the month, the usual paydays for Costa Rican workers.

There has not been a lot of serious criminality with household sales the way there has been with autos. There
moose

have been many cases of fake vehicle buyers either just driving off or pulling a firearm on the owner.

There also are dangers for the buyers who might be going to a strange location to deal with unknown persons.

The Sunday flea market, the mercado de pulgas, might be an answer. The sale in San José is Sunday on property just east of the municipal building that is shared with the Saturday vegetable feria.

Many of the items purchased at household sales end up at the flea market the next week. The area is open and well policed. In addition, many of the items are of top quality having just been stolen form a local home by burglars.

Another option for buyers is the annual sale conducted by many charitable groups.

A little planning and help take the stress out of a household sale.



Tarrazú coffee growers plan a festival to show their products
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who love coffee or who just want to learn about one of the country's major cash crops can visit the first Tarrazú coffee festival March 22 to March 24.

The event will bring together growers from three cantons:  Dota, Tarrazú and León Cortes, said the organizer, the  Asociación de Microbeneficios de los Santos. The event will be in the central park of San Pablo de León Cortes.

The association said that there has been a change in the way small growers market their crops. Instead of selling the coffee to a middleman, growers are marketing their own production themselves.
The festival will feature what is being described as the country's largest coffee pot.

Growers will be at their own stands ready to describe their work and the aspects of their own coffee.

Of course, organizers are hoping that visitors will go home with packages of coffee.

Sunday there is a contest for the best barista or coffee server. The contest is a preliminary to an international one.

The festival comes at a time when coffee is under attack from a fungus in Costa Rica, and there are predictions that perhaps half the crop will be lost.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 45
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food truck
Voice of America photo
Customers line up outside Something Stuffed food truck.

Food truck phenomenon
means business for builder

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In recent years food trucks have proliferated in big U.S. cities.  As the popularity of the mobile kitchen continues to grow, a small business in the Washington D.C. suburbs is also profiting.  East Coast Custom Coaches is a builder of food trucks.

“You’ve got to come in, go around in this truck, and back out that window in three to four minutes, period,” says Lee Campbell, owner of East Coast Coaches who believes that is how long it should take for a chef to prepare food for customers.

“That is how we design our trucks to the chef. They are made for the chef," Campbell said.  "Are you right-handed or left-handed, are you real tall. . . . ”

East Coast Custom Coaches is based in Manassas, Virginia, outside Washington. Over the past several years, his team of 15 employees has built about 200 food trucks.

Gauri Sarin sells Asian fusion food in downtown Washington. Her mobile kitchen, Something Stuffed, was built by Campbell's team.

“I love the inside of my truck," she says. "I am very happy with all the equipment and where everything is located." 

Campbell says each truck has a different design depending on the cuisine.  One of his biggest challenges is finding the best use of the small space. 

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven pieces of equipment right here," he said. "We maximize every square inch of it.  That is why I have a top-notch engineer on my staff.”

That engineer is Tom Mayhew.  He met Campbell many years ago when they were working as volunteer firefighters.

“I have 26 years in a fire department. So I have a keen eye for safeties," Mayhew said. "When I look at a design or a drawing, I take safety in consideration first.  Is it safe?  If it is, then we can design the way they feel like they want to make it.”

Jeff Kelly, of the D.C. Food Truck Association, says the trucks must also comply with local government regulations. 

"So working with somebody like Lee and East Coast Custom is important in that way because regulations are really hard to understand for someone just opening a truck for the first time," he said. "They know the rules. They know the regulations.  They build quality vehicles."

Campbell says most food trucks in the Washington area are used vehicles from FedEx or the post office. The re-outfitting process takes two to three months and costs, on average, around $45,000, a fraction of the cost of opening a regular restaurant.

"We have about 31 trucks to build," Campbell said. "We try to get four to five trucks out a month.”

Campbell said he expects to stay busy for many years to come, as the curbside restaurant industry keeps growing.


Hyper-masculinity in ads
called detrimental to society


By the Springer Science+Business Media news staff

Does advertising influence society, or is it merely a reflection of society’s pre-existing norms? Where male attitudes are concerned, a new study implicates magazine advertisements specifically aimed at men as helping to reinforce a certain set of views on masculinity termed “hyper-masculinity.” The article by Megan Vokey, a doctoral candidate from the University of Manitoba, and colleagues is published in Springer’s journal Sex Roles.

Hyper-masculinity is an extreme form of masculine gender ideology comprised of four main components: toughness, violence, dangerousness and calloused attitudes toward women and sex. The authors found that hyper-masculine depictions of men, centered on this cluster of beliefs, appear to be common place in U.S. magazine advertisements.

Using a range of eight, high-circulation magazines marketed to men of different ages, levels of education and income (Golf Digest to Game Informer), Ms. Vokey and her colleagues analyzed the ads in each magazine where a photograph, picture or symbol of a man was shown. The researchers then categorized these advertisements using the four components that constitute hyper-masculinity. They found that at least one of these hyper-masculine attitudes was depicted in 56 percent of the total sample of 527 advertisements. In some magazines, this percentage was as high as 90 percent.

Ms. Vokey’s results are consistent with considerable prior research showing a positive association between hyper-masculine beliefs and a host of social and health problems, such as dangerous driving, drug use and violence towards women. Further analysis of the data showed that magazines with the highest proportion of hyper-masculine advertisements were those aimed at younger, less-affluent and less-educated men.

The authors argue that this is an area of real concern as young men are still learning appropriate gender behaviors, and their beliefs and attitudes can be subtly shaped by images that the mass media repeatedly represent. In addition, men with lower social and economic power are already more likely to use a facade of toughness and physical violence as methods of gaining power and respect, they said. These advertisements are thought to help reinforce the belief that this is desirable behavior.
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New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
7800-2/22/13

Palacio condo
Beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern condo for rent.
(Only 6 years old).
Great Secure Area, Next to 5-Star Hotel Palacio (La Uruca). Gated community, 24-hour security, 5 minutes to San José. Swimming Pool, washer/dryer, covered parking, high-speed Internet, cable TV, home phone! $900 per month, fully furnished, 6-Month minimum! Please Call: 001-954-782-0200 or email jas21358@comcast.net
7780-2/21/13

Volcano View!
Santo Domingo de Heredia, gated community
Fully furnished, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, cable, internet, hot water tank. 300 meters from Mas x Menos supermarket. 700 meters from farmers' market. Bus stop at gate. $600 all utilities paid. Available Jan. 1. cinclus@ice.co.cr
7680-12/28/12

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING – MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200
Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

7857-5/4/13





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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 45
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Arctic route
University of California at Los Angeles graphic
Blue lines show expected sea route, and the red line crosses the North Pole.

More Arctic sea routes expected
to open for commercial shipping

By the University of California at Los Angeles news staff

Shipping lanes through the Arctic Ocean won't put the Suez and Panama canals out of business anytime soon, but global warming will make these frigid routes much more accessible than ever imagined by melting an unprecedented amount of sea ice during the late summer, new research shows.
 
"The development is both exciting from an economic development point of view and worrisome in terms of safety, both for the Arctic environment and for the ships themselves," said lead researcher Laurence C. Smith, a professor of geography at the University of California at Los Angeles.
 
The findings, which explore accessibility during the Arctic's most navigable month of the year, September, appear in the latest issue of the scholarly journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Plus. The first thorough assessment of trans-Arctic shipping potential as global temperatures continue to rise, the study is based on independent climate forecasts for the years 2040 to 2059.
 
By mid-century, even ordinary shipping vessels will be able to navigate previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic Ocean, and they will not need icebreakers to blaze their path as they do today, the researchers found.
 
"We're talking about a future in which open-water vessels will, at least during some years, be able to navigate unescorted through the Arctic, which at the moment is inconceivable," said co-author Scott R. Stephenson, a doctoral candidate in the university's Department of Geography.
 
Just as surprisingly, the Arctic ice sheet is expected to thin to the point that polar icebreakers will be able to navigate between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans by making a straight shot over the North Pole, Smith and Stephenson predict.
 
"Nobody's ever talked about shipping over the top of the North Pole," Smith said. "This is an entirely unexpected possibility."
 
The route directly over the North Pole is 20 percent shorter than today's most-trafficked Arctic shipping lane, the Northern Sea Route, which hugs the coast of Russia. For vessels traveling between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Yokohama, Japan, the Northern Sea Route is already approximately 40 percent shorter than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.
 
Even the fabled and notoriously treacherous Northwest Passage, which traces Canada's coastline and offers the most direct route from Asia to eastern Canada and the northeasternmost part of the U.S., is expected to become more viable for Polar Class 6 vessels — a common type of ship that has been strengthened against ice — and possibly even ships with unreinforced hulls, which make up the lion's share of the world's commercial fleet.
 
Today, the Northwest Passage is theoretically navigable only one out of seven years, on average, making it too unreliable to be a viable option for commercial shippers, the researchers said. But by mid-century, sea ice will melt in September to the point that it is accessible every other year, on average. Choosing whether to ship through the passage "will become a coin toss," Smith said.
 
The predictions, however, do not foresee access beyond late summer. "This will never be a year-round operation," Smith stressed.
 
Smith is an authority on the ways in which climate change is affecting the Arctic, where average temperatures have risen faster than the global average since the mid-1980s. He has quantified the disappearance of more than 1,000 Arctic lakes. He also is the author of "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future," a 2010 book that looks at new economic opportunities, as well as environmental degradation, taking shape in the northern quarter of the globe. With Stephenson, Smith has calculated the toll global warming will take on Arctic ice roads and the communities and businesses that depend on them.
 
For centuries, the Arctic Ocean has captured the imagination of explorers because of the possibility it offers for traveling between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans through the Bering Strait. Until recently, however, sea ice has blocked access to the potential shortcut between Asia and North America or Europe. But in the past two years, the ice has begun to melt in late summer to such an extent that even ordinary seagoing vessels, albeit with escorts, have been able to enter its frigid waters. In summer 2012, a total of 46 voyages successfully crossed the Northern Sea Route.
 
To arrive at their predictions, Smith and Stephenson studied these emerging shipping routes and the degree of ice melt that has made them possible. They then took the results from seven respected forecasts for the sea ice cover in the Arctic and averaged predictions for the extent of the Arctic ice sheet in September, historically the month when the ocean has the least amount of ice coverage, for every year between 2040 and 2059.
 
The researchers factored in two scenarios for climate change: one that assumed a 25 percent increase in global carbon emissions, which is generally expected to produce a medium-low increase in temperatures, and one that assumed an additional 10 percent increase in emissions, which is expected to produce a higher increase in temperatures. To their surprise, changes in accessibility were similarly dramatic under both scenarios.
 
"No matter which carbon emission scenario is considered, by mid-century we will have passed a crucial tipping point — sufficiently thin sea ice — enabling moderately capable icebreakers to go where they please," Smith said.
 
The mid-century projections may seem distant when measured against the lifespan of adults living today, the researchers concede. But the period falls well within the long lead times of commercial and governmental planning efforts. As such, the projections have implications for port construction, acquisition of natural resources and the establishment of jurisdiction of shipping lanes, Smith and Stephenson stress.
 
Canada, for instance, has long maintained that the Northwest Passage falls under Canadian sovereignty, while the U.S. maintains it is an international strait. As long as the passage was essentially unnavigable, the issue was moot, but increasing accessibility could bring the U.S. into dispute with its northern neighbor, the researchers warn.
 
The increasing viability of shipping routes through the Arctic is also likely to increase pressure on the U.S. to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Some newly accessible shipping lanes would pass through waters over which the U.S. could make internationally accepted sovereignty claims if it ratified the treaty, the researchers said. Countries that claim sovereignty are able to lay down rules for the vessels that pass through their waters. Russia, which controls the Northern Sea Route, currently requires shipping companies to pay steep fees for escort vessels to accompany their fleets.
 
The unprecedented new navigation routes that are expected to open up could allow shipping companies to sidestep these escort fees and other Russian regulations, but these new lanes could take Polar Class 6 vessels and even common ships into less-regulated international waters.
 
While attractive to business, the lack of regulations poses safety, environmental and legal issues that have yet to be resolved, the researchers stress. The prospect of open-water ships entering the Arctic Ocean in late summer heightens the urgency for comprehensive international regulations that provide adequate environmental protections, vessel safety standards and search-and-rescue capability, they said.
 
"The Arctic is a fragile and dangerous place," Smith said.


Slim and Gates again listed
as world's richest individuals


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim and American computer mogul Bill Gates are again the two richest men in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

Just like last year, Slim and Gates top the magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires.

Forbes says Slim is worth $73 billion and Gates is worth $67 billion. Spanish fashion executive Amanico Ortega is third with $57 billion, followed by American investment banker Warren Buffett and U.S. technology tycoon Larry Ellison.

Forbes says Asia's richest man is Hong Kong industrialist Li Ka-shing. He is in eighth place on the list with $31 billion.

The magazine says there now are 1,426 billionaires in the world, all worth a combined $5.4 trillion. Most of them live in the United States.


Volcano on  Kamchatka
erupting and producing lava

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A volcanic eruption in Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula has produced stunning images of lava flowing through a snowy wilderness.

The 3,085-meter Plosky Tolbachik volcano is located 343 kilometers (217 miles) from the region's capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It began erupting on Nov. 27 for the first time in about 36 years.

The Kamchatka branch of the Russian Geophysical Service reports the eruption is no threat to any settlements.
 
It is unknown how long the eruption will last. 

The U.N. Education, Science and Cultural Organization says Kamchatka is one of the most volcanically active areas in the world with 29 active volcanos.


Russian court will try
a dead man for corruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Moscow court plans to forge ahead with the trial of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail in 2009. 

Magnitsky’s family says the proceeding is politically motivated.

Magnitsky, a lawyer who worked for Russia’s largest Western investment firm, Hermitage Capital Management, claimed he'd uncovered millions of dollars in a tax fraud scheme involving Russian interior ministry officials.

Magnitsky, 37, was later arrested on corruption charges by the same officials he accused of tax fraud. He was held in jail without trial until he died of pancreatitis.

Magnitsky’s lawyers boycotted pre-trial hearings at the Tverskoi Court, but the state has appointed lawyers to defend the dead man.

Another lawyer, Alexander Molokhov, who says Magnitsky’s friends asked him to try to convince the court to appoint him as the Magnitsky lawyer, says the court refused to allow him to take part in the trial.

Molokhov says that he will appeal the refusal because it violates Magnitsky's constitutional right to defend himself.

Magnitsky’s family has filed 25 appeals asking for the case to be closed. 

The trial is set to start Monday. It's believed to be the first time Russia has tried someone posthumously.

A new law regarding posthumous trials was passed in 2011, after an appeal by the family of a woman who was killed in a car crash with a top oil company executive.  Russian authorities have held no one responsible for Magnitsky's death.

Last year, jail doctor Dmitry Kratov was found not guilty of negligence in the death. An investigation by Russia’s Human Right’s Council found Magnitsky was denied treatment and severely beaten before he died.

Magnitsky’s case prompted U.S. lawmakers to pass the so-called Magnitsky Act, which bars Russian entry into the United States if they have been accused of human rights violations. In retaliation, Russia passed legislation banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
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   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7856-5/4/13

Morazan building for sale
Building for sale by owner
near Parque Morazán San José center on the street running down
the west side of the Hotel Holiday Inn. Perfect for club, bar etc,
Larger than it appears from outside. Call. (506) 8847-1822
or email: diamondchels@yahoo.com
7826-3/4/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7830-5/8/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7829-5/8/13

Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details: http://www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
7789-2/14/13

Luxurious new beach home for sale
Top of the line construction!
This titled property is located on a dead end road only 300 meters from the beach at Esterillos Este. It's a ''one of a kind'' construction with natural diamond Brite pool!
Top of Line construction
1st master bedroom with full bath and loft area. 2nd master bedroom with full bath and outdoor shower. Sells completely furnished with front-loading washer-dryer, commercial refri/freezer and deluxe furniture. Storage area and carport. $289,000.00 USD Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037 or email marietta234@yahoo.es
www.beachfrontcentralpacific.com
7788-3/14/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
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USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891
7725-xxxx

Retirement/vacation/hobby farm lots for sale
Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa,
Colinas
20 minutes to Liberia airport. Project is Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A. 125-acre project with beautiful mountain and valley views. 70 clear-titled lots remaining for sale with water and electric to each lot. Lots are 5,000 sq. meters and larger. Fenced and gated project. Ready to build. Lots start at $30,000.    Guanacaste tree
See www.colinasdelsolcr.com. Prices listed have been reduced from those shown on the Web site.  For all general inquiries please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com or 001 517 484-3675.
7607-2/27/12

beachfront one
beachfronttwo
beachfront three
Price slashed for quick sale.
Beautiful, completely remodeled beachfront home for sale.

Great location in between Quepos and Parrita. Please visit this Web site for complete details: www.tomstewartinsurance.com/CostaRica. Price recently reduced for quick sale. Email  tomstewart0001@gmail.com or call 713-775-9283.
7600-3/7/13

Costa Azul view
costa azul ocean
Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
Grupo Costa Azul – A property waiting for you!
www.grupocostaazulcr.com
7484-9/11/12

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bad
              bills
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Segruidad Pública photo
From a distance the bills look pretty good.

Police say they intercepted
a batch of bad new bills


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The lottery tickets were legitimate but the bills given in change were a little funny.

So Fuerza Pública officers detained a lottery vendor near Hospital Calderón Guardia. They said they confiscated 155,000 colons in fake bills. That's about $300.

The bad bills ranged from five thousand to 20,000 colons.

Costa Rica just issued new bills that contain high-level security features that protect against counterfeiting. However, crooks can make a passable bill with just a simple copy machine.

Police acted on the complaint of individuals who had purchased lottery tickets and got suspicious bills in change.


Inflation figure for February
was highest since 2008


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Inflation is beginning to rear its head in Costa Rica.

The national statistical agency said Monday that inflation in February was 1.02 percent. That is much greater than the .28 percent of last year and higher than all the years since 2008 when the February inflation was 1.11 percent.

Inflation for January and February is 2.34 percent. However, firms that track inflation, like the INS Valores Puesto de Bolsa, S.A. said that its experts expect that the Banco Central will keep an eye on inflation and hold the annual rate to about 5 percent.

The official figures are produced by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos.

The inflation figure is based on consumer prices. There were increases in 59 percent of the items that make up the index during February. Just 33 percent of the items decreased.

Some of the increases have been in the prices of services, like electricity, which is fixed by the government.


Experts will discuss taxes
and potential Latin reforms


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Experts and authorities from several countries will discuss tax reforms aimed at increasing fiscal revenues and improving equality in the region's tax systems at the 25th regional seminar on fiscal policy that begins today in Santiago, Chile.

The high-level, two-day meeting, which is in its 25th year, is organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean with support from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Participants will include specialists from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. They will discuss the need to generate more public revenues for development and transparency of public spending.

The meeting is sponsored by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the German Agency for International Cooperation, and the International Tax Compact.

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Seventh Newspage


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 45
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air ship
Worldwide Aeros Corp. photo
The half-size prototype is in its hangar.

New type of airship would be workhorse

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A huge helium-filled airship with military and commercial uses has been unveiled near Los Angeles.  It is still experimental, but a full-sized working model should be finished in a few years.

The prototype unveiled in this immense World War II hangar near Los Angeles is just half the size of the final working model.  But the prototype is massive, at 75 meters long (246 feet).  It is wide, flattened on the top, and covered with silver-colored Mylar, a tough kind of polyester.

The craft was built with $35 million in funding from the Pentagon and the U.S. space agency, NASA.  The final version will double the length and provide eight times the cargo space, carrying up to 60 metric tons, all without ground support, says Shenny Yao of the company Worldwide Aeros Corp.

“No airports, no round crew," said Ms. Yao. "You do not need anything.”

The airship has a rigid structure made of carbon fiber and aluminum, rotating propellers for takeoff and landing, and a ballast system that compresses helium to control the lift.  Sometimes the craft is heavier than air, and sometimes lighter.

Aeros founder, an immigrant from Ukraine named Igor Pasternak, says it is not an airplane and not an ordinary airship.

“It is really its own category.  It is a new type of air vehicle," said Pasternak.

With advanced computer controls, the ship can reach out-of-the-way places, bringing turbines to wind farms and moving other kinds of cargo thousands of kilometers, said Ms.Yao.

“Oil and gas" said Ms. Yao. "We talk to fresh products like flowers.  We talk to the fashion industry.”

If it works as planned, the craft could reduce shipping costs, said Pasternak.

“It is the workhorse of the air," he said. "It is the truck of the air.”

The prototype ship has been tested inside the hangar, rising and descending under its own power.  Company spokesmen say an outdoor test is expected sometime this year.  If the craft works as planned, and potential customers show interest, a commercial version could be in production in two to three years.


Obama continues to seek reversal of cuts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says the federal government and other Americans will have to do their best to manage the effects of the $85 billion first stage of budget cuts forced on the country by partisan gridlock in Washington.  
 
In remarks before the first cabinet meeting of his second term, Obama said he continues to seek partners among opposition Republicans to reverse mandatory cuts, known as the sequester.
 
Last week, the president and congressional leaders failed to break the impasse over the sequester, because of strong differences on the best way to achieve long-term deficit reduction.
 
Obama formally signed an order Friday directing government agencies to comply with legislation called the Budget Control Act of 2011 that mandated the $85 billion automatic cuts, part of $1.2 trillion in potential cuts over the next decade. This year's amount is about 5 percent of the annual budget.
 
Monday, he said government agencies will try to manage cuts as best they can to minimize the impact on Americans.
 
"It's not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction.  It makes sense for us to take a balanced approach that takes a long view, and doesn't reduce our commitment to things like education and basic research that will help us grow over the long term," he said.
 
Obama said government agencies face very difficult decisions, adding that the budget cuts will hurt families and communities and mean slower U.S. economic growth and job creation.
 
He insists on what he calls balanced and fair deficit reduction, including a mix of new revenue, tax reform, and reforms in expensive government programs such as Medicare.
 
Democrats and Republicans blame each other for the sequester.  House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, last week ruled out discussion of further revenue, saying Obama had already achieved enough tax increases.
 
"This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.  It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington," he said.
 
Spokesman Jay Carney declined to provide any substantive details of conversations Obama has had with Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
 
Carney said Obama is trying to find some common ground with Republicans, adding that both sides could still achieve greater deficit reduction.
 
"The $4 trillion in deficit reduction set as a goal by Speaker Boehner, President Obama and many economists inside and outside of government can be achieved and then some if Republicans would embrace the president's compromise proposal that would do some tough things on entitlements as well as on spending, and tax reform," he said.
 
President Obama was seated next to his newest cabinet member on Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is grappling with sequester effects on Pentagon spending.
 
Earlier, Obama announced his choices to fill three other cabinet positions, at the Energy Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and Office of Management and Budget.


Homeland Security reports longer airport lines

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is warning travelers to get to U.S. airports early because government spending cuts are creating long security and customs lines.

Napolitano said Monday that several busy airports, including those in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, now have very long lines after the mandatory spending cuts took effect last Friday.

She said conditions will get worse if security and customs agents are furloughed. The U.S. official said she does not want to scare people, but just to inform them to expect longer-than-usual lines.

The cut in airport services is just one result of the $85 billion in government spending cuts that took effect Saturday after Congress and the White House failed to reach a budget agreement.


Egypt will get $450 and $60 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Sunday and pledged financial assistance to Egypt following assurances of economic and political reform in one of America's key regional allies.

On his first visit to an Arab capital as secretary of State, Kerry said the U.S. will provide $190 million immediately as part of a larger $450 million assistance package designed to help stabilize the bitterly divided country and spur badly needed economic reform.

He also said Washington will provide an additional $60 million for a new enterprise fund to support Egyptian entrepreneurs and young people.

Kerry said the aid was released because Morsi promised to finalize an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan package that has languished for months. Egypt's finance minister said Sunday he expects a deal will be reached with the IMF before parliamentary elections begin in April.

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