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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Wednesday, March 12, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 50                          Email us
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Rock Constructors





Think these

will help?

Transport official are counting on basic rail crossing signals to reduce crashes.

rail crossing
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo

Finally the railway traffic signals are going up
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The transport ministry finally is putting in signals at railway grade crossings. The first two are in service, and transport officials are warning motorists of steep fines for failing to obey the flashing lights and bells.

Nearly nine years have passed since the valley train went back into service carrying passengers. That was in October 2005. Since then, the routes have been expanded. In 2009 the train to Heredia went into service.

All this time the grade crossings have been generally unprotected. A few rusty crossing signs remain from the time in 1996 when passenger service was terminated due to budget constrictions.

The crossing project has been in the works for some time, and was not initiated because there were three train-vehicle accidents in the last 10 days. In fact, since the beginning of passenger service every locomotive operated by the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles has had at least one crash. There have been deaths, including that of a policeman and a woman pedestrian. The most recent death was that of a pedestrian who died on the tracks north of Mall San Pedro where the line crosses six lanes of the Circunvalación.

No one knows why the man did not hear or heed the train horn. That is the same place a tractor trailer collided with a train early March 4.

Consorcio Titán-Semex, the firm that also does work on the nation's traffic lights, is in charge of the railway signs. None is a barrier that blocks 
the roadway as a train approaches. They are the red and white crosses with flashing lights and bells that usually are seen in rural areas in other countries.

The first two signs have been installed at Plaza González Víquez, adjacent to the offices of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

Signals are supposed to be installed in a total of 29 locations soon. The job is directed by the ministry's  Consejo de Seguridad Vial. The locations for the signals are between Pavas and San Pedro and between San Jose´and Heredia, spots where there have been accidents.

The investment is 485 million colons or about $879,000, said the ministry. This expenditure is part of a larger plan to make the rail crossings safer. The total price tag is 2.5 billion colons, about $4.5 million.

The signals are supposed to activate when the train is 75 meters away, some 246 feet.

Traffic officials are quick to reject blame for the nine years of crashes and deaths. They blame the imprudence of motorists and pedestrians. They also are quick to point out that ignoring a rail signal can generate a 198,000-colons fine. That's about $357. Some tickets already have been issued in the vicinity of the transport ministry offices.

Many of the accidents have been the result of motorists listening to music with the windows rolled up or listening to portable devices. Cell telephones also could have played a role in some crashes.


Eliseo Vargas finally picked up to serve prison term
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eliseo Vargas García was arrested by judicial agents from the Sección de Capturas.

The former executive president of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social faces four years in prison for a charge of embezzlement that was detrimental to a public institution.

The 60-year-old Vargas was outside of a hotel a little before noon Tuesday in La Sabana when agents made the arrest. He was immediately transferred to the Segundo Circuito Judicial of San José where he remained per orders from the criminal court judge. He was convicted of putting an associate on the payroll knowing that the man
would not actually be working, just getting paid.

Vargas was a legislature with the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana from 2000 to 2004 under the tenures of two presidents from the same party, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and Abel Pacheco.

He also was involved in the so-called Fischel case that involved a multi-million dollar loan from the government of Finland to purchase medical equipment made there. Caja workers said the equipment was not needed.

Vargas was not alone being arrested Tuesday. Agents from the Judicial Investigating Organization also detained a 78-year-old man Tuesday who has been sentenced to eight years for sexual abuse of a minor.

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shark finning
Programa Restauranción Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas photo      
Different type of shark finning.

Unique compliance with law
highlighted in shark fin case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A businesswoman is on trial in Puntarenas for what shark defenders say is a new form of trying to sidestep the law about finning.

Shark fins are valuable, but Costa Rica had a law that prohibited the importation of shark fins unless they were attached to the shark. This was an environmental rule designed to keep fishing boats from catching thousands of sharks, cutting off their fins and dumping the carcasses back in the water.

In the case of  Kathy Tseng Chang, the environmental organization  Programa Restauración Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas said that a boat crew responsible for her stripped the meat from the sharks and left the fins attached, perhaps in an artificial way, to the backbone. This allowed the crew to save space on the boat.

That was in 2011 when the boat was unloading 652 fins.


French supporters assembling
for roundtable discussion


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

March 20 is the International Day of Francophone. The Universidad de Costa Rica plans to take an applicable and celebratory look into French culture with an expert-laden roundtable discussion.

Titled “The Challenges of Francophone in the 21st Century,” the event aims to pinpoint the importances and positive impacts of teaching French to the nation’s youth. Partaking will be language-focused academic heads and Costa Rican ambassadors of French-affiliated nations like Switzerland, Canada, and France.

The talk is being put on by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, which explains its international mission as not only promoting the language and culture of France, but also endorsing peace and human rights. The group has numerous member countries worldwide and qualifying nations are those who are deemed to have a large presence of French culture in their borders, explaining why many of the former French colonies are members.

The March 20 presentation lasts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be held in the university’s Joaquín Gutiérrez auditorium.


Lawmakers note opposition
to trawling net proposal


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Opposition is developing to a legislative proposal to allow Costa Rican fishing crews to trawl for shrimp. The fishing method was declared unconstitutional by the Sala IV, but lawmakers from Puntarenas are trying to pass a law that would sidestep the constitutional court ruling.

Lawmakers from the Partido Acción Ciudadana made their opposition known Tuesday. They said that environmental organizations also opposed the measure.  The lawmakers are María Eugenia Venegas and Jorge Gamboa.

The measure already has been reported out of the Comisión de Asuntos Puntarenenses, and sent to the full legislature for debate. That has not yet come up.

The main reasons against this type of fishing is that trawling nets inflict damage on the coral and the rest of the sea floor and that turtles frequently are captured and killed by mistake.


Under-17 world soccer event
prompts festival in Liberia


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Women’s Under-17 World Cup begins Saturday in Liberia. Ghana faces off against North Korea and Germany will play Canada to get the action started for Group B. The soccer tournament coincides with the Festival Guanacaste 2014.

From Friday to March 31, the festival will put on concerts, art shows, fairs, movies, workshops, and more for Costa Ricans and soccer lovers from all over the world. As a sort of cultural reunion, the event will bring together 2,500 different artists from 50 different artistic groups.

Most of the activities will be centered around the Parque Mario Cañas Ruiz in Liberia as they begin Friday. Guanacaste authorities said this hectic period gives the province and the town of Liberia a great opportunity for international recognition.

“As a host city we must integrate ourselves in the objective of converting Liberia and Guanacaste into sporting venues enriched with culture and welcoming to the domestic and foreign visitors in celebration of the Women’s Under-17 World Cup,” said Vera Vargas from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud in Guanacaste.

The ministry is planning a giant concert with 220 Costa Rican musicians Saturday, March 22, at Parque Héctor Zúñiga.


Colombian woman, 25, dies
in Ruta 27 crash near Caldera


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A head-on collision with a semi-truck took the life of a 25-year-old Colombian woman on Ruta 27 near Caldera. Authorities from the Judicial Investigating Organization identified the female as Andrea Incapie Gaviria.

According to reports, her car swerved from its initial lane into the oncoming truck just before the violent crash that happened around 2 p.m. Monday. She was taken to Hospital San Juan de Dios where she died at 10 p.m. due to injuries sustained from the accident.

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 50
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Advertising characters are the focus of a new museum exhibition
By Michael Krumhotlz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Well-known characters from the ad pages of old are taking over the Museo de Arte y Diseños Contemporáneo. Graphics and caricature drawings of Costa Rican corporate branding characters will make up the Fundredimas-based exhibit in conjunction with the fourth annual Festival Internacional de Diseño

Fundredimas is a local foundation that keeps nostalgic icons alive and preserves newer brand characters through graphic design.

The design collection spans the years from 1945 to 2013, ranging in characters from the Fiesta Tours bear to Tito Gallito.

Fundredimas designer Carlos Redondo said the group wants to bring these corporate characters into an artistic space because they often get overlooked.

“As graphic designers and character designers, we saw that many characters live in the unconscious, in the emotions of people and brands themselves,” he said. “These characters’ revival is so people can understand that we have a history of graphic design and advertising that is worth knowing.”

The exhibit includes 80 images, more than 10 structures, an audiovisual area, and an homage to the Costa Rican graphic designers who first created these now-reborn characters. According to the other half of the Fundredimas project, Ariel Arburola, the project began nearly a year ago. Arburola and Redondo spent much of the time researching through Internet archives and at the Biblioteca Nacional. Arburola said that all the drawings are original versions and have not been changed.
trademark
                  charcaters
Museo de Arte y Diseños Contemporáneo graphic
These are some of the commercial characters that will be displayed

“The characters are often forgotten by the brands and people,” he said. “So this exhibition is trying to revive them to a place that they deserve to be in.”

The exhibit begins today and lasts until May 3 at the museum located in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. Florella Resenterra, director of the museum, said that these logos are part of Costa Rica’s modern history and should continue to be studied and analyzed.

“There is an emotion that can be had, a bit of melancholy, because we all remember these characters that are being brought to life again,” Resenterra said. “The principal objective is the revival, this is material that should not be forgotten and that should continue to be used.”

The Festival Internacional de Diseño is set to take place at the Antigua Aduana from Thursday to Saturday.


Annual project to restore an historic building will be outlined today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An agency within the culture ministry is ready to open the 2014 edition of an architectural contest that has given a push to many restoration projects in the country.

This is the  Salvemos Nuestro Patrimonio Histórico Arquitectónico or "Save out Historical Architectural Heritage." Each year the Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural picks a project that has been designed by a local architect.

There are many submissions, and the winning project receives government money. The winners have ranged from wooden structures in Limón and on the Pacific coast to public buildings, such as the Teatro Nacional, and also a downtown department store.

The centro will be outlining the rules for this year's contest today.

The submissions generally are projects that already have been designed by an architect. Some of the projects never would have been started without the promise of government money.

Last year the winner was a project to restore the historic Antigua Capitanía de Limón. The The L-shaped, two story wooden building in Afrocaribbean style was initiated by the United Fruit Co. in 1930. Eventually it held the office of the local political leader who also served as port captain. 
cartago school
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
The Escuela Juan Ramírez, now restored, in Tobosi de Cartago was the winner in 2011


The centro donated 100 million colons to the restoration. That was about $200,000 at the time. The Black Star Line in Limón was a winner in an earlier year.

A lot of the Limón wooden buildings survive because they were constructed with material that contained a lot of resin that kept away bugs. There most likely will be projects from there in the contest this year.


Sensors detected 113 earthquakes during the first seven days of March
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Earthquake experts have registered 113 quakes in the first seven days of the month.

The total does not count the quake estimated at 5.0 magnitude that took place in the middle of the gulf of Nicoya at noon Tuesday.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico at Universidad Nacional attributes the flurry of March quakes to the 6.2 event that took place off the northern coast of Nicaragua March 2.

Some 11 of the quakes took place off Playa Garza near Nosara on the far Pacific coast of the Nicoya peninsula. And there were five around Parrita, the Observatorio said. These were believed to be a reaction to the Feb. 16 quake of 4.6 magnitude that took place there.

Only six of these 113 quakes were reported to have been felt by humans.

The 5.0 magnitude quake Tuesday happened at a minute after noon. There is a fault that runs north and south in the gulf of Nicoya and inland to Nicaragua. This is a highly active area.
quakemap
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico graphic
Orange flag shows the estimated epicenter of the noon quake.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 50
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Internet, now 25, seen as a major advance for democracy and rights
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web. What started as a way for scientists to share research has changed life worldwide forever.
 
In March 1989, British scientist Tim Berners-Lee was working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in Switzerland.
 
Scientists would come to CERN from all over the world, but others could not view their research because their computers were not compatible. Berners-Lee thought it would be easier if all the computers could talk to one another and swap information directly.
 
So he proposed linking the machines. The response from his bosses to his proposal, titled "Information Management: A Proposal?"
 
“Vague, but exciting.”
 
Little did they know.
 
Berners-Lee’s proposal would later become known as the World Wide Web. It took two years before he and a colleague could successfully link a computer server and a web browser through the Internet.  It would be officially launched in August 1991.
 
By 1993 there were more than 500 web servers. Today, there are more than 1.7 billion people on the web worldwide.
 
James Hendler is the director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications in Troy, New York.  Speaking by Skype, he said one of the main challenges to web growth, the English coding and keyboard, has been solved, and Asia can look for an explosion of Web access.
 
“In China right now, I saw a recent graphic that says six out of the 10 largest social networking sites - sites like Facebook - are in China.  Most people don’t realize that the second largest search company is Baidu, which is the Chinese search company.  In the U.S. we are at somewhere in the area of 80-90 percent of people already having access and not much growth.  In China you see about 25 percent, and of course a country much bigger than ours. India, I don’t know the 
current number, but again a small number growing very quickly. So most of the growth we expect in the web will actually be in those parts of the world that don’t yet have it,” said Hendler.

Hendler has worked on the Web since its early days and has co-authored several papers with Berners-Lee.
 
Paul Levinson, a professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University, said via Skype that events such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement showed the power that the web has put in the hands of everyday people.
 
With billions of people able to access information, some countries have tried to limit or control Web access. However, Levinson said, governments need to realize that the Web is a tool that is unrivaled in its reach and influence.
 
“What we have now is a battle. On the one hand, the governments are more aware of these devices, and they are more aware of what used to be called and still could be called citizen journalism. But on the other hand, there are more smart phones out there than ever before, and I think so far - and this is good for democracy and for the expression of human ideas - so far the people are winning,” said Levinson.

Hendler pointed out that even 25 years after its invention, only a fraction of the Web’s potential has been realized.
 
“Here is this force that has really changed society in so many different ways. We understand sort of the mathematics of the computer network underneath and the engineering of that but we really don’t understand the social impact.  There’s more and more research that’s starting to study what are those different effects? How do they affect society? How do we build the web and keep the web open and free? How do we really understand the impacts of this thing we call the World Wide Web,” said Hendler.

Berners-Lee went on to found the World Wide Web Foundation, which has as part of its mission statement that it wants to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right.
 
Paul Levinson said that any attempts to abridge that right, either by governments or through commercial pressure from web providers, will ultimately fail.

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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
8285-4/5/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
8278-3/14/14


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

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

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8201-1/22/14

Blues
                          video
Click photo for another video

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

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

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

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

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

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

8158-3/1/13

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


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at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
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Need a book about Costa Rica?


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Real estate for rent (paid category)
Guanacaste rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705, linda@coldwellbankercr.com
8290-4/13/14

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Call 8375-6838. Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8271-3/31/14

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 of Costa Rica.
tropical
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.
8267-8/17/14

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully
coffee retreat
equipped kitchen, phone line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per 
month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact jogya345@yahoo.com
8261-3/14/14

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

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

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8292-3/25/14

chalet
                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  bonillaleda@yahoo.com
8242-3/10/14

100 houses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 50
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Cafetales



Malaysian aircraft flew
with ground contact broken


By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Malaysia's military officials said the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 229 people on-board flew another 500 kilometers with its transponder and other tracking systems turned off after losing contact with air traffic control.

Flight MH370 was about midway between Malaysia's east coast town of Kota Bharu and the southern tip of Vietnam when civilian authorities lost contact with it.

"It changed course after Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude. It made it into the Malacca Strait,'' a senior military officer, who has been briefed on investigations, said.

The search for the missing plane has expanded to include the Malacca Strait, which is located between Malaysia's western coast and Indonesia's Sumatra island, on the opposite side of Malaysia from the plane's last known position recorded by civilian authorities.

To reach the busy shipping lane, the plane would have had to cross over the country. The Boeing 777 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it vanished early Saturday, less than an hour after takeoff, without sending a distress signal.

Turning off the transponder would make the aircraft undetectable to civilian controllers, but it would remain visible to the type of radar used by militaries. The head of Interpol says the jet's disappearance does not appear to be related to terrorism. However, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said Tuesday that terrorism could not be ruled out.

"You cannot discount any theory,"' CIA Director John Brennan said in Washington.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble says new information about two Iranian men who used stolen passports to board the plane makes terrorism a less likely explanation for the jet's disappearance. The international police agency released photos showing the two boarding the plane at the same time.  They are identified as Pouri Nourmohammadi, 19, and Delavar Seyedmohammaderza, 29.

Malaysian Police Inspector General Khalid Tan Sri says Nourmohammadi was likely trying to migrate to Germany.

"We have been checking his background.  We have also checked him with other police organizations on his profile, and we believe that he is not likely to be a member of any terrorist group," the inspector told reporters. "And we believe that he is trying to migrate to Germany."

The other man's identity is still under investigation.  But the development reduces the likelihood they were working together as part of a terror plot. Meanwhile, an extensive review of all of those on board continues.

Khalid says authorities are looking into four possible scenarios in connection with the plane's disappearance: hijacking, sabotage, personal disputes and the psychological condition of those on board.
 
"There may be somebody on the flight who has bought huge sums of insurance. Who wants the family to gain from it. Or somebody who owes so much money and you know," he said, adding that they are looking at all possibilities.

Malaysia Airlines is also looking into an Australian television report that the co-pilot of the missing plane once invited two women into the cockpit during a flight. Jonti Roos said she and her friend stayed in the cockpit during the one-hour flight on Dec. 14, 2011, from Phuket, Thailand, to Kuala Lumpur. She also said the crew smoked during the flight.

"Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations. We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident,'' the airline said.


Swedish radio journalist
gunned down in Kabul


By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Swedish Radio workers are mourning the loss of its South Asia correspondent, Nils Horner, who was gunned down in the streets of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.  Swedish Radio’s Director-General Cilla Benkö called Tuesday one of the worst days in the corporation’s history.

According to a statement released by Afghan police, Horner was shot several times in the head while talking with his translator.  The shooting occurred in the fashionable Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, near the Lebanese restaurant where gunmen shot dead 21 people in January.

The Taliban say they had nothing to do with his murder.
“We checked with our mujahideen and they are not involved,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.  “We don’t take responsibility for this incident.”

In just over three weeks, Afghanis will go to the polls to elect a new president.  Reporters Without Borders notes that journalists are often attacked or harassed while covering elections.  Since Feb. 15, when campaigning for the upcoming election began, around 20 journalists have been attacked.

Réza Moïni, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran-Afghanistan desk, called Horner’s death a tragic reminder of the dangers faced by journalists in Afghanistan.

“Although the Afghan media have developed in the past few years, mounting violence and above all the complete impunity enjoyed by those responsible for attacks on journalists could jeopardize election coverage and, with it, the entire democratic process,” Moïni said.


Another death takes place
in Venezuelan disturbances


By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A student leader has been fatally shot in Venezuela in the latest wave of violent protests seeking to oust the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
 
Officials in the university city of San Cristobal said Daniel Tinoco was killed Monday night after a day of street clashes between anti-government demonstrators, pro-government armed militia and security personnel. Tinoco was an outspoken student leader who often manned the barricades that have been erected as part of the anti-Maduro protests.
 
At least 22 people have been killed in five weeks of demonstrations against soaring inflation, shortages of basic consumer goods and one of the world's highest murder rates.
 
Chile has asked Venezuelan officials to investigate the fatal shooting Saturday of one of its citizens, Giselle Rubilar, the first foreigner killed in the unrest. Maduro blamed extremist right groups for her death.
 
"At the time she was standing there conversing and motorcycles arrived — they have been identified — from these extremist right groups," said the president. "They fired their weapons and they shot her in the temple and the bullet came out of her left side, and they injured two neighbors as well as Giselle."
 
Maduro last week opened a peace conference, but the opposition has refused to participate until he releases jailed protesters.


Matching of faces fallible,
university study shows

By the Louisiana State University news service

New research finds face matching, as when customs agents check passports, to be incredibly fallible, with error rates between 10 and 20 percent under ideal, laboratory-induced conditions, and much worse in more realistic settings.

“Because society relies on face perception and ID verification for many tasks, people are often under the impression that we are experts in this domain,” said Megan Papesh. “Our research shows the precise opposite.” She is an assistant professor at Louisiana State University.

In a recent article published in Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, Ms. Papesh explores the difficulty of matching faces to photo IDs, and demonstrates how observers who rarely encounter fakes or stolen IDs are actually far more likely to miss them when they do occur. Issues such as lighting and angles used in photography as well as cosmetic changes, such as haircuts, growing a beard or weight gain/loss, complicate matters considerably.

“In most high-risk situations, people can assume a very low rate of fake or stolen IDs,” said Ms. Papesh. “Unfortunately, these conditions are also those most likely to give rise to poor detection rates. In our research, when observers infrequently encountered fake IDs, they failed to catch approximately 45 percent of them, even when given multiple opportunities to correct their errors.”

Along with her co-author, Stephen Goldinger of Arizona State University, Ms. Papesh found that error rates in face-to-face identifications might be alarmingly high due to the complexities involved in mental processes used to identify an unfamiliar face. In their study, volunteers viewed recent photographs of consenting adults paired with a matching or non-matching student ID photo taken up to 7 years earlier.

Each subject made match/non-match decisions to more than 200 pairs, with non-matching targets appearing frequently (50 percent of the time) or infrequently (10 percent of the time). When the targets appeared frequently, observers missed approximately 20 percent of them. When those targets appeared infrequently, however, error rates jumped to more than 40 percent. These high miss rates persisted despite several attempts to get observers to slow down and catch their errors, suggesting that face matching is poor under the best of conditions and even worse when conditions become more challenging. Consider that miss rates of up to 30 percent are harmless in laboratory settings but vital in real-life settings, such as airport security screenings.

 
Health midlife diet said
to prevent dementia onset


By the University of Eastern Finland news service

Healthy dietary choices in midlife may prevent dementia in later years, according to a doctoral thesis published at the University of Eastern Finland. The results showed that those who ate the healthiest diet at the average age of 50 had an almost 90 per cent lower risk of dementia in a 14-year follow-up study than those whose diet was the least healthy.

The study was the first in the world to investigate the relationship between a healthy diet as early as in midlife and the risk of developing dementia later on.

The researchers assessed the link between diet and dementia using a healthy diet index based on the consumption of a variety of foods. Vegetables, berries and fruits, fish and unsaturated fats from milk products and spreads were some of the healthy components, whereas sausages, eggs, sweets, sugary drinks, salty fish and saturated fats from milk products and spreads were indicated as unhealthy.

Previous studies on diet and dementia have mainly focused on the impact of single dietary components. "But nobody's diet is based on one single food, and there may be interactions between nutrients, so it makes more sense to look at the entire dietary pattern," says Marjo Eskelinen, who presented the results in her doctoral thesis in the field of neurology.

Higher intake of saturated fats linked to poorer cognitive functions and increased risk of dementia

The impact of dietary fats on cognitive performance and the risk of dementia was studied separately as well. A high intake of saturated fats was linked to poorer cognitive and memory functions and to an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment in a 21-year follow-up. It was also shown that a higher saturated fat intake was associated with an increased risk of dementia among those carrying a genetic risk factor of Alzheimer's disease, the epsilon 4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene. "Even those who are genetically susceptible can at least delay the onset of the disease by favoring vegetable oils, oil-based spreads and fatty fish in their diet," Ms. Eskelinen says.

In addition, those consuming three to five cups of coffee daily had a smaller risk of dementia than those consuming less or more.

The doctoral thesis was based on the population-based Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia study. Out of 2,000 participants, 1,449 took part in the follow-up. The participants were 39 to 64 years old at baseline and 65 to 75 years old at follow-up.


Skeleton
University of Mainz Alla V. Nikolova
Grave with an about 5,000-years-old skeleton from the Ukraine.

Europeans became fairer,
and selection is suspected

By the Mainz University news staff

There has been much research into the factors that have influenced the human genome since the end of the last Ice Age. Anthropologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and geneticists at University College London, working in collaboration with archaeologists from Berlin and Kiev, have analyzed ancient DNA from skeletons and found that selection has had a significant effect on the human genome even in the past 5,000 years, resulting in sustained changes to the appearance of people.

The results of this current research project have been published this week in an article entitled "Direct evidence for positive selection of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in Europeans during the last 5,000 years" in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For a number of years population geneticists have been able to detect echoes of natural selection in the genomes of living humans, but those techniques are typically not very accurate about when that natural selection took place. The researchers in Mainz and London now decided to take a new approach. This involved analyzing DNA from skeletons and then comparing the prehistoric data with that of contemporary Europeans using computer simulations. Where the genetic changes could not be explained by the randomness of inheritance, the researchers were able to infer that positive selection played a role, i.e., that frequency of a certain mutation increased significantly in a given population.

While investigating numerous genetic markers in archaeological and living individuals, Sandra Wilde of the Palaeogenetics Group at the German Institute of Anthropology noticed striking differences in genes associated with hair, skin, and eye pigmentation. "Prehistoric Europeans in the region we studied would have been consistently darker than their descendants today," says Ms. Wilde, first author of the article. "This is particularly interesting as the darker phenotype seems to have been preferred by evolution over hundreds of thousands of years. All our early ancestors were more darkly pigmented." However, things must have changed in the last 50,000 years as humans began to migrate to northern latitudes.

"In Europe we find a particularly wide range of genetic variation in terms of pigmentation," adds co-author Karola Kirsanow, who is also a member of the Palaeogenetics Group at Mainz University. "However, we did not expect to find that natural selection had been favoring lighter pigmentation over the past few thousand years." The signals of selection that the Mainz palaeogeneticists and their colleagues at University College London have identified are comparable to those for malaria resistance and lactase persistence, meaning that they are among the most pronounced that have been discovered to date in the human genome.

The authors see several possible explanations. "Perhaps the most obvious is that this is the result of adaptation to the reduced level of sunlight in northern latitudes," says Mark Thomas of the University College of London, corresponding author of the study. "Most people of the world make most of their vitamin D in their skin as a result of UV exposure. But at northern latitudes and with dark skin, this would have been less efficient. If people weren’t getting much vitamin D in their diet, then having lighter skin may have been the best option."

"But this vitamin D explanation seems less convincing when it comes to hair and eye color," Wilde continues. "Instead, it may be that lighter hair and eye color functioned as a signal indicating group affiliation, which in turn played a role in the selection of a partner." Sexual selection of this kind is common in animals and may also have been one of the driving forces behind human evolution over the past few millennia.

"We were expecting to find that changes in the human genome were the result of population dynamics, such as migration. In general we expect genetic changes due to natural selection to be the exception rather than the rule. At the same time, it cannot be denied that lactase persistence, i.e., the ability to digest the main sugar in milk as an adult, and pigmentation genes have been favored by natural selection to a surprising degree over the last 10,000 years or so," adds Joachim Burger, senior author of the study. "But it should be kept in mind that our findings do not necessarily mean that everything selected for in the past is still beneficial today. The characteristics handed down as a result of sexual selection can be more often explained as the result of preference on the part of individuals or groups rather than adaptation to the environment."


NSA director nominee sees
job as restoring public trust


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday reiterated their concerns about the nation’s intelligence gathering activities exposed by a fugitive former contractor at the National Intelligence Agency, Edward Snowden. At a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, senators sought answers from President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the NSA, who promised to rebuild trust through dialogue with the American people.

Recent months have brought unprecedented scrutiny and public shaming of the NSA, whose reach into the lives of Americans and foreigners alike has been revealed in successive waves of explosive revelations from Snowden.

And the man tapped to lead the agency out of the current morass, Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, sat through more than two hours of questioning during Tuesday's Senate confirmation hearing. Republican Ted Cruz blasted the NSA's focus on bulk data collection.

“The government collecting metadata or, even more so, the content between law-abiding citizens is an issue that I believe the  Constitution speaks very directly to," Cruz said. "It would be a far better allocation of resources in the NSA if much more resources were directed to targeting those who we have reason to know are dangerous, we have reason to know are or may be radical Islamic terrorists.”

That sentiment was echoed by Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat.

“The Constitution is not an impediment to our security." he said. "It is the source of our security.  We can end bulk collection and focus on terrorists and spies without infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”

Admiral Rogers said data collection is a necessary tool to keep America safe, but acknowledged that trust must be rebuilt between the nation’s intelligence apparatus and its people.

“One of my challenges as the director, if confirmed, is how do we engage the American people, and by extension their representatives, in a dialogue in which they have a level of comfort as to what we are doing and why," he said, adding, "It is no insignificant challenge.”

One senator, Democrat Tim Kaine, said Congress is not without blame, noting that lawmakers authorized an open-ended war on terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.  He said Congress is only now beginning to assert its authority and set limitations in the conduct of that war that should have been established from the start.

Earlier this week, Snowden expressed no regrets about his actions.  Speaking from Russia via videocast to a technology conference in Texas, Snowden said that the government and the public have benefited from the information he revealed.

If confirmed by the Senate, Admiral Rogers would succeed outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander, who assumed the post during former president George W. Bush’s second term.


GM's slow response to flaw
under several investigations


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. automaker General Motors is facing increasing pressure over its handling of a deadly defect in certain compact cars as news leaked that federal prosecutors and two congressional committees have opened an investigation into the matter.

The probe centers on whether GM broke any laws with its slow response to a problem with ignition switches in compact cars from model years 2003 to 2007.

Also investigating the recall are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

At issue is why GM waited until February to recall 1.6 million older model compact cars worldwide, even though it admitted knowing about the problem for a decade. The faulty ignition switches have been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths.

On February 13, GM announced the recall of more than 780,000 Cobalts and Pontiac G5s (model years 2005-2007). Two weeks later it added 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts (2003-2007), and Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007).

GM has said it will replace ignition switches that can shut off motors unexpectedly. When that happens, drivers lose power-assisted steering and brakes and can lose control of the vehicles. The ignition can slip from the run position to accessory or off, due partly to heavy key chains dangling from the steering column.

 
CIA director denies agency
hacked lawmakers' computers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

CIA Director John Brennan has denied that his agency has hacked into lawmakers' computers, as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has charged. The dispute, made public on Tuesday, has been going on for years.
 
In 2002, shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, the CIA began to detain and interrogate terror suspects.
 
Several years later, the Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating charges that the spy agency used torture in those interrogations.
 
In 2009, the CIA let congressional investigators use its computers to review top-secret documents.

But Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Tuesday the agency illegally monitored the staffers' work, and in 2010 withdrew their access to the documents.
 
"In short, this was the exact sort of CIA interference in our investigation that we sought to avoid at the outset," said Sen. Feinstein.
 
Sen. Feinstein raised concerns that the CIA's alleged actions jeopardized the Senate's independence and its ability to conduct oversight of government agencies.
 
"I have grave concerns that the CIA's search may well have violated the separation of powers, principles embodied in the United States Constitution," said Sen. Feinstein.
 
The CIA says Senate aides investigating the agency's secret interrogation and detention program illegally took classified documents.
 
CIA Director John Brennan said the agency was not trying to stop the committee's report and did not improperly search the lawmakers' computers.
 
"As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth.  We wouldn't do that.  I mean, that's just beyond the scope of reason, in terms of what we do," said Brennan.
 
At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney did not take sides, saying the matter is being reviewed.
 
"You saw the CIA director say today that if there was any inappropriate activity by the CIA or staff, he would, of course, want to get to the bottom of it, and certainly, the president would agree with that," said Carney.
 
The committee's 6,300-page report has not been released to the public.  Lawmakers say it details the CIA's use of waterboarding and other extreme techniques during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
 
The four-year, $40 million study also reportedly said the CIA misled the president, Congress and the public about the value of the intelligence yielded by the program.





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“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com



Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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


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

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

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

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

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



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8245-5/12/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!!
88288-xxxx

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

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

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

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

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

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

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

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

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

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


Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 50
Sports
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News from the BBC up to the minute













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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Virgen
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
Statue is at Costa Rica Embassy at the Vatican

Virgen de los Ángeles replica getting Vatican spot

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Foreign ministry officials report that a replica of the Virgen de los Ángeles is being placed in the Iglesia de Santa Ana, which is in the Vatican.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto said that the placing of the statue has the blessing of Pope Francis. The ministry said that President Laura Chinchilla discussed the statute with the pope in 2013.

The placing of the statute will coincide with the canonization to sainthood of John Paul II in April, the ministry said. A Costa Rican woman, Floribeth Mora, is the recipient of one of the miracles that are required to elevate a Catholic to sainthood. She is expected to attend. John XXIII also will be canonized during the ceremonies in late April.

The Virgen de los Ángeles is the patroness of Costa Rica. The statue is a small black stone, but the casing is elaborate. The duplicate is the work of Taller Orfebrería Soto del Valle in Cartago.

The Virgen is the local manifestation of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, who is the object of a massive pilgrimage in late July and the first two days of August each year. More than a million of the faithful trek to Cartago to seek her intercessions and to worship at the basilica there.

Tubs of grease yield kilos
of cocaine from Colombia


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sometimes you have to get messy if you are a drug smuggler.

Anti-drug agents found 76 kilos of cocaine Tuesday in tubs of grease in the machinery area of a cargo boat, they said.

The boat was on its way from Colombia to Europe, said agents. There were nine tubs, each about five-gallon size.

Agent did not say how they knew the drugs, wrapped in plastic, would be in the grease tubs.


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From Page 7:

Fake documents can hurt private firms, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Businesses are highly vulnerable to the kind of problem that the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones faced.

Modern technology makes faking documents a snap. The tribunal was in the spotlight because ballots for the April 6 election began showing up.  El Diaro Extra found some and wrote about it.

The ballots are supposed to be under heavy security until the election.

It turns out that the Tribunal says it has all the ballots and that none have been stolen. This suggests that for whatever reason someone has created fake ballots. The effort may have been to cast doubt on the outcome of the April 5 elections.

With computer and Photoshop technology, no advanced training is needed to fake any sort of document as long as they do not undergo serious scrutiny.

The ballots have watermarks that are not easy to duplicate.

But business people see a lot of documents that are much easier to fake. How about a note from the clinic that excuses an employee from work.  How about receipts for travel and meals for employees who can obtain reimbursement for the expenditures.

Crooks have known for a long time that they can forge purchase orders and make off with materials and goods.

That is one of the reasons some companies still use embossing seals for their important documents.