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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Thursday, March 13, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 51                          Email us
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Rock Constructors


Central bank moves to anticipate higher inflation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banco Central acted Wednesday to make money a bit more expensive.

The board of directors of the Banco Central increased the rate at which commercial banks can borrow money to 4.75 percent. That is a 1 percent increase.

In a statement the central bank said that looser money policies would increase inflation higher than had been anticipated through 2015. Bank experts estimated the inflation to be up to 5 per cent.

The recent spike in the value of the U.S. dollar has sent these economic experts back to the drawing board as the country braces for higher prices in nearly everything.

The bank rate, called the tasa de política monetaria, is similar to the fed funds rate in the United States. It is the interest rate at which the central banks loan money overnight to balance out the books of the commercial banks. In Costa Rica, that rate has been as high as 15 percent.

More recently the Banco Central cut the rate to 3.75 from 4 percent. That was seen as a move to stimulate the economy. The slightly higher bank rate is expected to filter through the economy and make borrowing a bit more expensive.

The central bank intervened in the Monex money market again Wednesday. It said that the pressure lessened and that the value of the dollar dropped 3.58 colons compared to the value Tuesday.

Still the central bank set the exchange rates
Inflation
A.M. Costa Rica archives
Inflation always awaits the slightest opportunity.


at record highs. A dollar could purchase 557.62
colons and 572.44 colons were needed to purchase a dollar. The value of the U.S. dollar has increased about 13.2 percent since the first of the year.

Initially this is great news for expats, who still are paying existing prices for gasoline, electricity and imported items. But these are bound to increase and force the central bank to refigure the inflation rate. 

Even locally grown products like potatoes are vulnerable to the higher dollar because farmers must purchase motor fuel and even imported chemicals.

Tourists are benefiting to some extent because prices have not yet caught up with the exchange rate. However, many tourism sales, such as hotels and tours as well as plane fares, are denominated in dollars.

Those who are suffering the most are Costa Ricans who earn colons and have dollar mortgages or must make other payments in dollars. They have taken a major hit.


Code reform would guarantee election of women
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

According to a proposal reported out of a legislative committee Tuesday, a women would have to head the election ballots for every political party in at least three of the country's provinces. The initiative, known as horizontal parity, would apply to legislative deputies, mayors, council members and others seeking elective offices.

The initial proposal was made by Pilar Porras, a lawmaker and head of the Comisión de Mujeres.

It comes as a response to an investigation made last year that found the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones was not enforcing gender parity guidelines through the election code, lawmakers said.
“The only way to correct this is through a bill to amend the code so that it could not prevent, impede, or deny access of women to public office,” Ms. Porras said, according to a release. “The bill stipulates that political parties should design policies that allow equality in the political participation of men and women.”

The law is No. 19.010. It will be placed on the agenda of the full legislature for possible action.

Costa Rica already has a law that specifies that a certain percentage of women must be on each party's roster for election. For major parties being in the first position in the province is nearly a guarantee of election.

The legislative seats are assigned proportionally to the percentage of the public vote received.


This is a week to go real slow on the margaritas
By the A.M.  Costa Rica staff

This is World Salt Awareness Week, and health officials say that billions could be saved if individuals would cut their intake of sodium.

About 40 percent of table salt is sodium, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said that much of the salt that is consumed already is in the food products when they are purchased.

In Costa Rica, the Programa para la Reducción del Consumo de Sal plans a Webinar today at 10 a.m. in conjunction with the Panamerican Health Organization. Signups can be made HERE!
www.paho.org/virtual/BrankaLegetic.

Sodium is being blamed for high blood pressure and other ills, although salt is necessary for life. Discussions about limiting the use of salt are being carried on in the public schools. The Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud recommends limiting sodium to 150 to 500 milligrams a day.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, and said that persons 51 years and older should try to consume 1,500 milligrams or less of sodium each day.

Those with high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes should consume even less.

"Many people are surprised to learn that foods that seem healthy, such as low-fat deli turkey or
margarita
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Reduce salt. Drink guaro!


light salad dressings, can be high in sodium," the Centers said in a summary of sodium intake. "In fact, the top sources of sodium in the American diet are bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, and pizza."

The Centers estimated that high blood pressure in the United States would be reduced by 11 million cases and health care costs by $18 billion. The principal protection is reading food labels, the Centers said.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 51

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

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March Saturday will challenge
nation's link with Catholicism


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some Costa Ricans would like to eliminate the clause in the Constitution that establishes the Roman Catholic Church as the state religion.

This opinion has been expressed more lately during discussions over artificial fertilization, homosexuality and abortion.

A group that seeks a lay state said Wednesday that it would march Saturday starting at 1 p.m. from Parque Central to Casa Amarilla, the foreign ministry.

The citizens also said that they have been unable to obtain the full outline of a proposed agreement that Costa Rica is making with the Vatican. Despite meeting with Enrique Castillo, the foreign minister, the citizens say they have not been privy to the document.

Castillo took office faced with requests by the Catholic Church for more influence in schools and in the nation. President Laura Chinchilla is believed to have discussed the issue when she was in Rome.

The group, which calls itself the Movimiento Invisibles, said that the agreement with the church infringes on human rights.


Traffic police crack down
on speeding in school zones


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some expats might be surprised to learn that there are speed restrictions in the vicinity of Costa Rican schools.

They could be forgiven not knowing this because there are few, if any signs saying this.

Still traffic police in what they call a pilot project, have issued 107 traffic tickets to motorists exceeding the 25 kph limit in front of schools.

This is the first time in recent memory that traffic police have been enforcing this rule. And they only have been doing so at eight schools. Two are in San José and the rest are around the country.

For the rest of the month, traffic officers will be concentrating on some 86 schools that are considered to be at risk for speeding vehicles.  Speeding fines at schools can range up to 198,000 colons, some $370.


Minister meets with group
fighting bribery, corruption


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ana Isabel Garita, Costa Rica’s minister of  Justicia y Paz has participated in a meeting of the anti-corruption working group of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The anti-corruption group began in 1994 as part of the organization's  convention that treats, among other aspects, corrupt trade practices.

Ms. Garita said that Costa Rica shares these same philosophies against corruption that are highlighted by the convention.

“Costa Rica has made significant strides in the battle against corruption and is ready to implement even higher standards,” Ms. Garita said. “The adoption of the anti-corruption convention is another step along this path to becoming the type of country that we want to be.”

Costa Rica is seeking to obtain membership in the organization.

“By participating in the working group on bribery, Costa Rica would undergo major revisions to its anti-corruption laws,” Ms. Garita said. “The Ministerio de Justicia is more than willing to continue working alongside this organization to strengthen international tools to ensure international business transactions follow the principles outlined in the convention.”

Members of the organization will review Costa Rica's application to become a working member. In 2013 the two sides began talks for Costa Rica to be included as a member in 2015.


kid's book
Archive Nacional photo         
The first page of the 'Libro de los Niños.'

Elementary reader taught
good habits years ago

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Spanish and Latin American version of the McGuffey Reader is being displayed by the Archivo Nacional to celebrate the national day of the librarian.

The McGuffey Readers were the most popular scholastic books in the 19th century in the United States. For Costa Rican youngsters at the same time there was the "Libro de los Niños" by Francisco Martínez de la Rosa. The Archivo Nacional has an 1869 copy of the book, and this one is the 43rd edition.

Like much of the reading material in those days, the books were published in Madrid, Spain. And children in the early grades had to read about spring, summer, fall and winter, whatever they are.

The book is part of a collection of 253 volumes from the 18th to the middle of the 20th century, according to a summary.

Like most school books of the time, the author tried to instill good habits and has on one page a prayer for going to bed and on another a song for the dinner hour.

The national archives, which is in Zapote considers this book one of its jewels.


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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 51
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
Water activists plan a march today against private hydro projects
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Protestors are calling for a national movement to ensure that water resources are focused on the communities they flow through and not for private firms

Representatives of more than 23 community-based committees across Costa Rica are coordinating a march today at 11 a.m. The group of students, environmental organizations and other social activists will rally at the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental in Barrio Escalante before they march to the Asamblea Legislativa. On the boulevard outside the Asamblea they will meet with legislatures
while participating in informative cultural activities, they said.

The complaints stem from a possible expansion of hydroelectric projects according to a bill on the legislative docket. If the Ley de Contingencia Eléctrica is passed by legislatures, private electric companies would be able sell and export electricity to other countries.

With 60 private hydroelectric projects now in place, there is some pressure on the monopoly of state-owned Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. The community protestors are demanding that reforms be made to assure water to the public domain and keep it from the hands of private enterprises.

Chiquita expected to save U.S. tax money with its merger
Chiquita
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and Fyffes plc have announced a merger. Both firms are involved in agriculture for exporting from Costa Rica.

The combined value of the two companies is more than $1 billion, Chiquita said in a news release. It also predicted significant savings. The new company name will be ChiquitaFyffes plc although Chiquita will have a majority interest.

Analysts note that Fyffes is located in Ireland, and they said they expect Chiquita to transfer more of its activities there to stay out of the reach of U.S. tax collectors. The announcement said that the new firm would be domiciled in Ireland. The new firm will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chiquita used to be the United Fruit Co., and U.S.
businessman Minor Keith was involved in the
amalgamation that created the firm. That was at the end of the 19th century. In 1870 the firm's predecessor was the first to export bananas to the United States.

The fruits came from Costa Rica.

Chiquita has a global presence with operations in 70 countries, a sizable presence in the U.S. market and widely recognized brands including Chiquita Bananas and Fresh Express, the announcement said. Fyffes is a leading international marketer and distributor of top quality tropical produce, marketed under a variety of well-known brands including Fyffes and Sol, it added. It is known for its pineapples.

The two firms have a total of  24,000 hectares in Central America. That is nearly 60,000 acres.

Chiquita shareholders will own 50.7 percent of the new entity.


Commercial sector fears a work stoppage this week at the Moín port
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who import or export have expressed concerns that the union of workers for the government agency that runs the Caribbean docks will close the port this week.

The Cámara de Industrias expressed this view Wednesday and noted that the union discontent stems from the firing of a dock worker for a private firm. Most of the members of the union work with the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica de Costa Rica, a government agency.
But the discharged worker also is a union member adn that is why the uion is supporting  him, the chamber said.

The port union staged a three-hour stoppage three weeks ago at the docks in Moín, and the chamber said that the cost to those using the port was great.

The firm that employed the stevedore, CADESA, paid off the worker as required by law, the chamber said.

The union is trying to force the private company to rehire the man, said the chamber.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 51
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Scientist predicts warming to continue despite recent tiny increase
By the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
news service

A new NASA study shows Earth's climate likely will continue to warm during this century on track with previous estimates, despite the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming.

This research hinges on a new and more detailed calculation of the sensitivity of Earth's climate to the factors that cause it to change, such as greenhouse gas emissions. Drew Shindell, a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, found the Earth is likely to experience roughly 20 percent more warming than estimates that were largely based on surface temperature observations during the past 150 years.

Shindell's paper on this research was published March 9 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Global temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.22 F (0.12 C) per decade since 1951. But since 1998, the rate of warming has been only 0.09 F (0.05 C) per decade even as atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise at a rate similar to previous decades. Carbon dioxide is the most significant greenhouse gas generated by humans.

Some recent research, aimed at fine-tuning long-term warming projections by taking this slowdown into account, suggested the Earth may be less sensitive to greenhouse gas increases than previously thought. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was issued in 2013 and was the consensus report on the state of climate change science, also reduced the lower range of Earth's potential for global warming.

To put a number to climate change, researchers calculate what is called Earth's transient climate response. This calculation determines how much global temperatures will change as atmospheric carbon
dioxide continues to increase – at about 1 percent per year -- until the total amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide has doubled. The estimates for transient climate response range from near 2.52 F (1.4 C) offered by recent research, to the climate panel's estimate of 1.8 F (1.0 C). Shindell's study estimates a transient climate response of 3.06 F (1.7 C), and determined it is unlikely values will be below 2.34 F (1.3 C).  Shindell's paper further focuses on improving understanding of how airborne particles, called aerosols, drive climate change in the Northern Hemisphere. Aerosols are produced by both natural sources – such as volcanoes, wildfire and sea spray – and sources such as manufacturing activities, automobiles and energy production. Depending on their makeup, some aerosols cause warming, while others create a cooling effect. In order to understand the role played by carbon dioxide emissions in global warming, it is necessary to account for the effects of atmospheric aerosols.

While multiple studies have shown the Northern Hemisphere plays a stronger role than the Southern Hemisphere in transient climate change, this had not been included in calculations of the effect of atmospheric aerosols on climate sensitivity. Prior to Shindell's work, such calculations had assumed aerosol impacts were uniform around the globe.

This difference means previous studies have underestimated the cooling effect of aerosols. When corrected, the range of likely warming based on surface temperature observations is in line with earlier estimates, despite the recent slowdown.

One reason for the disproportionate influence of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly as it pertains to the impact of aerosols, is that most man-made aerosols are released from the more industrialized regions north of the equator. Also, the vast majority of Earth's land masses are in the Northern Hemisphere. This furthers the effect of the Northern Hemisphere because land, snow and ice adjust to atmospheric changes more quickly than the oceans of the world.

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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
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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


Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

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

 Click the logo to check availability.



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Real estate rentals
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

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
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 51
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Cafetales



Searchers fail to turn up
debris from missing plane


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Malaysia's civil aviation chief said there is no sign of debris in an area where Chinese satellite images showed potential objects floating in the water near the last known location of a missing Malaysian Airlines plane.

Datuk Azharuddin Adbul Rahman said planes flew over the area in the South China Sea Thursday, but did not find anything.

Vietnamese officials said earlier the area had already been thoroughly searched.

China released the images Wednesday, with state media saying they showed three fairly large objects floating between Malaysia and the southern tip of Vietnam.

The images were taken Sunday, one day after the Boeing 777 disappeared, and cover an area near its original flight path toward China.

Ships and aircraft from 12 countries are involved in a sprawling search that covers 93,000 square kilometers in the waters on both sides of Malaysia.

There were 239 people on board Flight 370 when it disappeared Saturday on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The last known position of the plane was over the Gulf of Thailand less than an hour after the plane took off.

Malaysian air traffic controllers did not receive any messages indicating the plane may have been in trouble, and said their communications with the pilots were routine.

Malaysia's military said Wednesday its radar had picked up signs of what could have been a jet flying to the west of the country over the Malacca Strait about an hour after the last contact with Flight 370. If the radar data is from the Malaysian Air flight, the plane would have taken a sharp westward turn, and leaves open greater possibilities for where it ended up.


LEGO has fans worldwide
after more than 50 years


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the most recognized toy names in the world, known by children and adults alike, is LEGO.  It has gone beyond bricks to video games and even a full-length film.  The LEGO building block may be more than 50 years old, but its fans continue to grow across all ages.

While many adults miss the sense of wonder they felt as children about what their imaginations could create, some grownups can still capture that feeling through tiny bricks.

“That sound to me is the sound of creativity," said Peter Abrahamson. He said it’s his favorite sound.  He has been playing with LEGO bricks for more than 40 years.  “The amazing thing I always found about LEGO was the ability of a toy to make other toys,” he said.

Abrahamson builds LEGO creations at home, with his daughter, and connects with other fans at the LEGO Users Group of Los Angeles.  There are adult fan clubs like this around the world, where creations are displayed and fans buy, sell and trade LEGO pieces.

Available in 53 different colors the LEGO bricks sold in one year would circle the globe five times.

Mariann Asanuma makes a living selling LEGO creations.  She said when she was a child, more boys played with LEGO bricks than girls. And that's still mostly true. “If you go to a convention or something that’s about five percent women to 95 percent men,” she said.

Adult men who are willing to spend money on LEGO sets for themselves says Paul Hollingsworth, whose zombie prison displayed at the fan meeting is worth around $600.

“If I look around at some of these models, I see hundreds of dollars spent.  I know my wife would much rather have a purse or handbag or a pair of shoes or a dress, whereas guys would rather have 50 zombies or a giant space ship,” he said.

But as LEGO toys continue to be popular, they are now being marketed to girls as well as boys. 

“Playing with LEGO is something I can do with my daughter who is seven years old,” said Hollingsworth. His daughter Hailee even has a YouTube show, telling her audience how to build LEGO creations.  

Nathan Sawaya also has a global audience.  But instead of the virtual world, he shows his LEGO creations in contemporary art galleries and exhibitions.  "We’ve been to Singapore, Taiwan, Shanghai, South Africa," he explained.

His art work attracts people of all ages.

”Art made out of LEGO bricks is very accessible," Sawaya said. "People have LEGO bricks at home so they can connect to the art in a different way.”

While some people connect with LEGO creations at an art exhibit, others experience the LEGO world through LEGOLAND amusement parks or at the theater, with "The LEGO Movie," released worldwide. 

“We love the movie we’ve seen it twice,” said LEGO fan Paul Lee. LEGO bricks are timeless for a reason. “The LEGO brick they sell today is still compatible with the brick they made 30 years ago,” he added.

Many of these fans say they will pass on their LEGO bricks to their children and hope their grandchildren will still be playing with them as the family LEGO collection continues to grow with each generation.


U.S. judge throws out case
against Indian diplomat


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal judge has dismissed an indictment against an Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip search late last year in New York frayed diplomatic ties between New Delhi and Washington.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Devyani Khobragade had diplomatic immunity when she was indicted in January on charges of fraudulently obtaining a work visa for her housekeeper and lying about the maid's pay.

Prosecutors accused the diplomat of forcing her maid to work for far less than the U.S. minimum wage and then lying about it on the housekeeper's visa application.

India responded by lifting some diplomatic immunity for U.S. officials in New Delhi, and ordered the U.S. embassy to restrict service at an embassy club for diplomats.

Ms. Khobragade was India's deputy counsel-general in New York at the time of her arrest in December.

Faced with criminal prosecution, she left the United States in January, after India rejected a U.S. request to waive her diplomatic immunity. She now is reported to be working for India's Foreign Affairs Ministry in New Delhi.


New York explosion kills
at least three, mayor says


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says at least three people are dead and nine still missing after a blast caused by a gas leak destroyed two buildings in Harlem. At least 63 people were hurt.

"This is a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people," said Blasio.

The mid-morning explosion occurred in Harlem shortly after one resident in a nearby building reported the smell of leaking natural gas. The utility serving the neighborhood, Consolidated Edison, said it dispatched two crews to the scene but that they arrived just after the explosion.

Thick smoke from the buildings could be seen throughout much of Manhattan. Debris littered sidewalks across the neighborhood and covered part of a commuter rail line, suspending train service.

More than 200 firefighters responded to the five-alarm fire that followed the blast, with many of them perched on ladder trucks aiming high-pressured hoses at the demolished buildings.

Both buildings collapsed to the first floor and debris from the explosion littered sidewalks for blocks.

The site of the explosion is adjacent to railroad tracks, and mainline train services out of the city's Grand Central terminal were suspended as a result.


Death row inmate exonerated
after 30 years in prison cell


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It's the kind of story movies are made of. A U.S. man who spent nearly three decades on death row is now walking free.

Glenn Ford, the longest-serving death row prisoner in the state of Louisiana, was released after new evidence showed he was innocent of the murder that put him behind bars.

A judge in the city of Shreveport ordered the 64-year-old Ford released after prosecutors petitioned the court to set aside his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence.

Ford, a black man, was convicted by an all-white jury in the 1983 murder of Isadore Rozeman, a jeweler in Shreveport.

Ford had done occasional yard work for Rozeman. But Ford's attorneys say the new evidence corroborates his claim that he was not present or involved in Rozeman's death.

Exiting the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola Tuesday, Ford said it feels good to be free. Asked if he harbors any resentment for his wrongful imprisonment, he said, "Yeah, because I was locked up almost 30 years. For something I didn't do." He said when he went to prison, his sons were babies. Now, they are grown men, with babies of their own.


Painting
Voice of America/J. Taboh
The painting 'Aspiration' by Augustus Vincent Tack is seen at The Phillips Collection.
   
Stunning collection of  art
back home for new show

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Following an acclaimed four-year world tour, more than 200 works by some of America’s finest artists are back on the walls of The Phillips Collection in Washington. The exhibit curator talks about these special masterworks, and reveals how the museum founder helped American art become a significant global force after World War II.

"Red Sun" by Arthur Dove. "Egg Beater No. 4" by Stuart Davis and John Graham's "Blue Still Life." These are just a few of the works of American art on display in a new exhibit called "Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection."

The works by more than 100 American artists spanning over a century, from 1850 to about 1970, were collected by the museum's founder, Duncan Phillips, from the end of World War l to his death in 1966.

Curator Susan Frank says one focus of the show is to highlight the fact that 80 percent of the works in the museum are by American artists, acquired by Phillips at a time when European artists were more in favor.

“He was determined,” said Ms. Frank, “that he would dedicate this museum to living American artists and lift up American art out of obscurity and give it the same presence that European works were given by his contemporary collectors and other museums.”
 
The exhibit is organized by theme, beginning in the late 19th century with work from artists like Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins and George Inness, who were considered heroes of American Modernism.

It ends with an extraordinary display of Post-war abstract expressionism by such artists as Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb and Bradley Walker Tomlin.
  
Ms. Frank said Phillips was often drawn to art that represented human emotion, as depicted in a series of cityscapes.

John Sloan’s "Clown Making Up" provides an intimate behind-the-scenes look that suggests a sense of isolation of modern life during the first decade of the 20th century. And Walt Kuhn’s "Plumes" depicts the sad expression of a showgirl, which evokes that same feeling of loneliness.

“Phillips was so predisposed to these universal ideas of finding humanity in these subjects and having a kind of personal engagement with the object and the subject and understanding that the artist brought something very personal to that painting,” said Ms. Frank.

“The same can be said for Edward Hopper’s "Sunday" that Phillips acquired in 1926,” added Ms. Frank; “This really extraordinary early work by Hopper of a single figure sitting on a lonely sidewalk, and Phillips understanding this tension between a beautiful composition and the loneliness of modern life that Hopper had captured.”

Duncan Phillips had an appreciation for these artists who were not being collected by other museums but who Phillips was eager to add to the museum’s collection, according to Ms. Frank.

Throughout his directorship, Phillips often developed a personal relationship with the artists whose work he collected.

That included a few pioneers of American impressionism such as Childe Hassam, Julian Alden Weir and Maurice Prendergast, among others.
 
Sometimes those relationships even extended to financial support.

“Most well-known of course is his engagement with the abstract American artist Arthur Dove,” Ms. Frank added, whose work Phillips discovered in the mid-1920s.
 
“At the end of Dove’s life,” she said,” just a few months before his death, he wrote a thank-you note to Duncan Phillips about that support, telling him that it had meant everything to him.”

Phillips also lent his support to many immigrant artists.
 
“Phillips always believed and championed American art as including all of the world because so many artists were immigrants who came here from being foreign-born, who brought their cultural aesthetics with them and synthesized them with their American experience and produced something that was unique," she said.

Japanese-born immigrant artist Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s "Maine Family," and "Political Exiles" by Peppino Mangravite, who is of Italian descent, are just a couple of examples in the exhibit that reflect the immigrant experience which Phillips was so drawn to.

“We are a country of immigrants,” Ms. Frank added, “and Phillips really embraced this idea very early on in the 1920s and ‘30s.

“He celebrated their approach to their American experience as being something that enriched us,” said Ms. Frank.
 
The museum is hoping that the exhibit will not only enrich, but excite people about the breadth and diversity of American art in the first half of the 20th century and publicize the important role Phillips played in elevating American modern art to the same level as European masterworks of the time.


Scientists say they found
a gene linked to obesity


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists say they have found what they believe is the gene strongly linked to obesity.

The study published in the scientific journal Nature shows that mice bred without the IRX-3 gene were 30 percent lighter than mice bred with the gene.

Both groups of mice ate the same diet and exercised the same. But the thin mice were found to be resistant to diabetes and burned energy more efficiently.

The researchers say there is a similar gene in humans, and that their findings could lead to a drug to treat obesity and diabetes -- a disease sometimes linked to being overweight.

Scientists from the University of Chicago led the study.

Obesity is a major global health problem, killing millions of people every year. Poor diet and little exercise are among the major causes of obesity, while the problem may be genetic in others.


Bitcoins resurrected in plan
by secure private network


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The digital currency known as bitcoin, a peer-to-peer form of encrypted payment that exists only virtually, has been clouded recently by incidents of theft and fraud. But two firms, the Ireland-domiciled Perseus Telecom and the New York company Atlas ATS, have announced plans to broaden the appeal of bitcoin and other digital currencies by offering institutional investors a global private network with top-level security.
 
Executives at Perseus Telecom, which provides secure ultra-high-speed telecommunications and business connectivity services, and Atlas ATS, a digital currency marketplace, said that if their new platform succeeds, online currency will quickly become a valuable new way for the world’s largest investors to trade and store assets.
 
Shawn Sloves, chief executive officer of Atlas ATS, contrasts the new platform with current trading methods, which he called “bitcoin 1.0.”
 
“The problem before was typically deployed on web-based infrastructure, it was very retail-focused and it didn’t have a lot of the regulatory compliance security that institutions are accustomed to trading on,” he said. "The new platform will attract investors with the advantages of digital currency minus those drawbacks. It allows you to move money instantaneously around the world without having to deal with borders,” he said, adding that he used it recently to move a large sum of his own money from Russia to the United States.
 
“On my own server, I was able to transfer the entire value of that on bitcoin within three minutes,” he said. “It’s global, it’s borderless. It’s also a public ledger, so it’s shared by everybody and ownership transfer is publicly stored, and shows the rights of the owner of that coin,” he said. “But we also see it from a trading perspective as a major revolution, because today, traditional asset classes like equities can take three days to settle. We can transfer security ownership instantaneously.”
 
There are 180 digital currencies already in existence, Sloves said, with about six major ones. Bitcoin is the largest, but he said the new platform will trade others as well. He called it a “disruptive” innovation, with the same potential to remake business as did the Internet in the 1990s, by offering real-time transfers of assets both for investors and e-commerce companies - who will pay much smaller fees than those charged by current online pay services like Pay Pal.
 
“We expect over the next five years at least a fivefold increase in commission dollars generated from just U.S.-dominated bitcoin,” Sloves said, further predicting that commissions would exceed $1 billion.
 
Andrew Kusminsky, the chief operating officer of Perseus Telecom, said his company’s wireless networks are already built within major trading venues in cities around the world.
 
“We’ve got network assets in places like Brazil, all over Europe, all over Canada, all over Asia, and some of the most sophisticated customers are already on these networks,” he said. “Adding bitcoin and Atlas into those existing locations, tied together with our wireless infrastructure, makes perfect sense for the most sophisticated prop shops that care about every nanosecond being utilized across the network."
 
And he asserted that it would be hack-proof.
 
“You have to have the right technology partners protecting this data as though it is actual currency behind a vault inside a bank,” he said. “It’s something that should be easily protectable.”
 
There are skeptics, however, who doubt that bitcoin is ready for prime time. Some note that anyone can set up a digital currency. What would happen to the value of bitcoins, currently valued at $650 a coin, if another currency gained a larger following?
 
The Financial Regulatory Industry Regulatory Authority, which regulates securities firms in the United States, recently issued a report addressed to individual investors that characterized bitcoin as risky and volatile, noting that it was susceptible to fraud, theft, and hacking, and was used by some engaged in crimes such as drug dealing and money laundering.
 
Sloves and Kusminksy view such issues as bitcoin 1.0 concerns, and said that large investors, like those they hope will use their platform, can only do business in compliance with federal rules. Sloves said they expect that federal financial regulators will soon step in with guidelines and rules for trading in bitcoin, too, whether it’s the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”
 
As for the plethora of digital currencies already existing, he said, different ones offer different advantages, and do not pose a threat to bitcoin. Even nations may establish their own digital currencies, Sloves noted.
 
“We know that Canada has already issued its own digital currency and is trying to find a way to get it more widely adopted. There is a company in Iceland giving out digital coins to people, since currency in Iceland has been devalued to nothing, and they need a general currency across the country. So, it would make sense that governments would use it, too,” he said.


Mineral from deep in Earth
offered as proof of water

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have discovered the first-ever earthly sample of a water-rich mineral they say provides new proof that there are vast oceans of water deep beneath the Earth’s surface.

The team, led by Graham Pearson from Canada’s University of Alberta, found a mineral called ringwoodite in a sample of rock taken from a Brazilian riverbed. Ringwoodite is a form of the gem-quality mineral peridot. Scientists believe there’s a sizable amount of peridot in part of Earth’s mantle called the transition zone, a high-pressure area located between the lower and upper mantle.

While ringwoodite has been found in meteorites, it hadn’t been previously detected in earthen samples. Its color can range from deep blue to red, violet, or it can even be colorless. Scientists have not been able to do the kind of research to locate ringwoodite because of the depths that would be involved in searching for and retrieving the mineral from its theorized location. The sample of ringwoodite found by the research team was designated a water-rich mineral after the scientists conducted an analysis that indicated that 1.5 percent of its total weight is water.

Researchers said the presence of this water confirms the theories that there are vast bodies of water being held somewhere between 410 and 660 kilometers below the surface of the Earth.

“This sample really provides extremely strong confirmation that there are local wet spots deep in the Earth in this area,” said Pearson. “That particular zone in the Earth, the transition zone, might have as much water as all the world’s oceans put together.”

Pearson said that their discovery almost didn’t happen since he and his team were originally looking for another mineral when they first obtained a little hunk of what they referred to as a “three-millimeter-wide, dirty-looking, commercially worthless brown diamond” in 2009. They didn’t spot the ringwoodite until they happened to dig beneath the diamond’s surface.

“It’s so small, this inclusion, it’s extremely difficult to find, never mind work on,” Pearson said, “so it was a bit of a piece of luck, this discovery, as are many scientific discoveries.”

The brown diamond sample Pearson’s team worked with was found in shallow river gravels by Brazilian miners in 2008. The scientists believe the diamond made it to Earth’s surface via a volcanic rock called kimberlite, which has been known to contain diamonds.  Formation of kimberlite takes place deep within the Earth’s mantle and is considered to be one of the deepest of all volcanic rocks.

The research team analyzed their sample of ringwoodite for several years. Among the techniques that were used to confirm the find were Raman and infrared spectroscopy as well as X-ray diffraction.  The team measured the water content of the mineral at Pearson’s Arctic Resources Geochemistry Laboratory at the University of Alberta.

Scientists have debated the structure of Earth’s transition zone; some say the region of the mantle is full of water, while others insist is dry.

Pearson and his team say being able to provide some proof that water does exists deep within the Earth will provide insight to those who study volcanism as well as plate tectonics.

“One of the reasons the Earth is such a dynamic planet is the presence of some water in its interior,” Pearson said. “Water changes everything about the way a planet works.”

The Pearson team’s research and findings are featured in Nature.


Elderly should eat protein,
Japanese study suggests


By the American Geriatrics Society news service

A diet high in protein, particularly animal protein, may help elderly individuals maintain a higher level of physical, psychological, and social function, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Due to increasing life expectancies in many countries, increasing numbers of elderly people are living with functional decline, such as declines in cognitive ability and activities of daily living. This can have profound effects on the health and well-being of older adults and their caregivers, as well as on health care resources.

Research suggests that as people age, their ability to absorb or process protein may decline. To compensate for this loss, protein requirements may increase with age. Megumi Tsubota-Utsugi of the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Japan, and her colleagues in Tohoku University and Teikyo University, Japan, wondered whether protein intake might affect the functional capabilities of older adults. They designed a study to investigate the relationship between protein intake and future decline in higher-level functional capacity in older community-dwelling adults in Japan.

Their analysis included 1,007 individuals with an average age of 67.4 years who completed food questionnaires at the start of the study and seven years later. Participants were divided into four groups, according to their intake levels of total, animal, and plant protein. Tests of higher-level functional capacity included social and intellectual aspects as well as measures related to activities of daily living.

Men in the highest group of animal protein intake had a 39 percent decreased chance of experiencing higher-level functional decline than those in the lowest group. These associations were not seen in women. No consistent association was observed between plant protein intake and future higher-level functional decline in either sex.

"Identifying nutritional factors that contribute to maintaining higher-level functional capacity is important for prevention of future deterioration of activities of daily living,” said Dr. Tsubota-Utsugi. “Along with other modifiable health behaviors, a diet rich in protein may help older adults maintain their functional capacity.”





Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
logo
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
 
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“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)


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
8294-6/12/14

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)


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

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


San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 51
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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
Bipolar condition is linked
to multiple genes in study


By the University of Bonn news service

First on top of the world and then in the depths of despair:  This is what the extreme mood changes for people with bipolar disorder are like. Under the direction of scientists from the University of Bonn Hospital, the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim and the University of Basel Hospital, an international collaboration of researchers discovered two new gene regions which are connected with the prevalent disease.

In addition, they were able to confirm three additional suspect genes. In this unparalleled worldwide study, the scientists are utilizing unprecedented numbers of patients. The results are now being published in the journal Nature Communications.

Throughout the course of their lives, about 1 percent of the population suffers from bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder. The patients undergo a roller coaster of emotions: During extreme shifts, they experience manic phases with delusions of grandeur, increased drive and a decreased need for sleep as well as depressive episodes with a severely depressed mood to the point of suicidal thoughts. The causes of the disease are not yet fully understood, however in addition to psychosocial triggers, genetic factors play a large role. "There is no one gene that has a significant effect on the development of bipolar disorder," says Markus M. Nöthen, Director of the Institute of Human Genetics of the University of Bonn Hospital. "Many different genes are evidently involved and these genes work together with environmental factors in a complex way."

In recent years, scientists at the Institute of Human Genetics were already involved in decoding several genes associated with bipolar disorder. The researchers, working with Marcella Rietschel from the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim, Markus M. Nöthen from the University of Bonn Hospital and Sven Cichon from the University of Basel Hospital, are now using unprecedented numbers of patients in an international research collaboration: New genetic data from 2,266 patients with manic-depressive disorder and 5,028 control persons were obtained, merged with existing data sets and analyzed together.

In total, data on the genetic material of 9,747 patients were compared with data from 14,278 healthy persons. "The investigation of the genetic foundations of bipolar disorder on this scale is unique worldwide to date," says Ms. Rietschel from the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim.

The search for genes involved in manic-depressive disorder is like looking for a needle in a haystack. "The contributions of individual genes are so minor that they normally cannot be identified in the background noise of genetic differences," explains Cichon. Only when the DNA from very large numbers of patients with bipolar disorder are compared to the genetic material from an equally large number of healthy persons can differences be confirmed statistically. Such suspect regions which indicate a disease are known by scientists as candidate genes.





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From Page 7:

Local firm gets rave reviews as place to work

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Akamai Technologies has been named one of the 10 best companies to work at in Central America and the Caribbean by the Great Places to Work Institute. The cloud platform company offers user-friendly navigation on a range of technological devices.

Great Places to Work also named it among the five best places to work in Costa Rica and as one of the 119 best in categories of camaraderie and collaboration.

Qualified as a small company with less than 1,000 employees, Akamai was measured through data from a confidence index questionnaire and a culture audit. The survey inquired into workplace environment and overall company opportunities, while the audit focused on factors like cultural practices and policies, the company said.

“We're proud to be on the list of Excellent Places to Work in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Robert Hughes, Akamai's president of international operations, in a release. “This recognition validates our efforts to create an inspiring and rewarding work environment and what we receive in return is invaluable as we continue to invest in this important region.”

Managers of the Costa Rican branch said they plan to add nearly 100 more jobs before the end of 2015.