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Published Monday, March 13, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 51
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Murdered Canadian catalyzes huge police sweep
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry has swept into Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast and promises 100 days of aggressive police work.

The community is considered laid back with equally laid back police officers.  Marijuana and other drugs are available freely. But the early morning murder of a Canadian tourist a week ago threatens to destroy the valuable tourism market.

The sweep was coordinated with the local tourism chamber, the Cámara de Turismo y Comercios del Caribe Sur.

The first casualty was a U.S. tourist caught carrying a bag of marijuana, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

Juan José Andrade, the vice minister of  Seguridad Pública, said that 40 police officers were being added to the 40 already assigned to the area. They are expected to follow the usual procedures of indiscriminate searches of possible drug users, generally anyone who is a younger male.

Andrade held a community meeting where he outlined what would happen over the next 100 days.

He said officers would check motorcycles and their operators continually, engage in intelligence work, sometimes bring in special police units and work in the sea to stop possible ships carrying drugs.
Puerto Viejo
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
  Beach-goers could see an increased police
  presence in Puerto Viejo for a time.

The ministry also will bring in two trailers containing mobile police stations that will work 24 hours a day.

Police officers also are expected to visit local businesses and speak with tourists to give them information and advice on how to safeguard their property and to avoid being crime victims.

The dead Canadian, Bruce McCallum, 58, was the presumed victim of a robbery. He was out in the early morning to photograph a sunrise. The death of the Toronto teacher received significant publicity in Canada.

Andrade’s ministry includes the Fuerza Pública, the Policía Turística, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea. He said he guaranteed police presence from the air, from the sea and on land.

Expats urge land theft discussion during Solís visit
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rican president is off to the United States this week and plans, among other activities, to meet with Michael Pence, the U.S. vice president.

Some expats are hoping that the topic of land thefts are among those discussed.

The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, has not made any public statements ever about the way crooks take over land here. Some of the victims are expats, but the vast majority are Costa Ricans, many of them widows and the vulnerable.

Solís said on his Facebook page that he was seeking to strengthen the historic cooperation with the United States. Since last year, the U.S. has given Costa Rica ample aid in security to help fight organized crime and drug trafficking. However, the Costa Rican president may come hat in hand because he snubbed U.S. President Donald Trump by not attending the Jan. 20 inauguration in Washington.

Solís noted that the United States has donated or promised to donate patrol boats, aircraft, helicopters, specialized equipment and other items to Costa Rica. The president did not mention the three armored vehicles that are expected to be delivered. Other sources have estimated the donations at $30 million, nearly all to fight drugs.

Some expats said on Facebook postings that they already have sent letters to the White House seeking U.S. aid in their efforts to retain their properties against organized land thieves and snail-like courts.

Sheldon Haseltine, an expat who is involved in a 17-year-battle to retain land near Los Sueños on the central Pacific, says he has been contacted by 24 U.S. expats who are involved in land ownership situations.

Haseltine said that some have posted messages to a White House site seeking aid.

The U.S. Embassy has never reported any high-level contacts on this matter. A.M. Costa Rica has called for the creation of a special land court to review and decide these types of cases.

Sometimes the land cases begin with an invasion of squatters who eventually obtain a certain degree of possession rights due to slow action by police and the courts.

In one recent case, the central government moved to placate squatters who had been ejected after many years for a southern Costa Rican finca by providing them with free land.

In other cases, the land thefts are done with paperwork. A crooked notary attests that an absent owner has sold his land and the so-called buyer quickly resells the property to a confederate. Costa Rican law protects the interests of the confederate as an innocent third party.

Frequently, recent widows are confronted with individuals who claim that their late husband sold them a property just before his death. Sometimes the widows are not financially capable of fighting a prolonged court case. Sometimes they just do not know what to do.

Not just the naïve face these issues. A former Costa Rican ambassador to the United Nations suddenly found out one day that a large property he owned had been conveyed in the Registro Nacional to another person.  He was older, and the speculation is that the land crooks were awaiting his death to take possession.

A.M. Costa Rica has reported how one expat successfully fought an ownership claim by the former wife of San José Mayor Johnny Araya and the wife of a legislator. The women testified that they purchased the valuable land from a man who sells snow cones at the Quepos beach.

There also are problems with developed property.

Some expats see the situation affecting the nations protected land. They are complaining that developers are constructing projects in land where it is not legal to do so, such as protected beach land.

They want the United State to help, too.

From emails and internet postings, the impact of these disputes can be seen on property sales by expats here and even tourism.

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Weekend motorcycle incidents kill three

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This weekend proved fatal for three motorcyclists, all coincidentally 35-years old, killed following separate traffic incidents.

Agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization are still examining the circumstances related to the death of a 35-year old man who lost control of his motorcycle and collided against a wall. The incident happened around 2 a.m. Saturday morning in Esparza.

According to a report, the motorcyclist died at the site and his body transferred to the Morgue Judicial for further examination. There was no mention as to whether intoxication could have been a factor in the crash.

In another case, another 35-year old motorcyclist died after colliding head-on with another motorcycle sometime after 10:30 p.m. on Friday. According to a report, the man was driving in the direction of Los Chiles towards the center of Pavón. The accident occurred in the Los Chiles sector, officials said.

A report released by judicial agents indicated that the man died when another motorcyclist swerved into the other lane and collided with the deceased. A report does not mention that the rider was trying to pass another vehicle. The 35-year old was pronounced dead at the site by investigators while the other persons involved were transferred to the local medical center, officials said.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the riders of the other motorcycle would be tested to see if intoxication by alcohol or drugs was a factor in this accident. Meanwhile, the body of the deceased was transferred to the Morgue Judicial for an autopsy.

After 5 a.m. Saturday morning, there was another motorcycle accident in Pocora de Guácimo that took the life of another 35-year old rider. A preliminary report released by the Judicial Investigating Organization indicated that the motorcyclist was traveling toward Limón. A car going in the opposite direction moved into the wrong lane and collided head-on with the motorcyclist.

Agents said that the motorcyclist died at the site and his body also transferred to the Morgue Judicial for its autopsy. The driver of the vehicle was taken to a local medical center. Agents said that he was tested for blood-alcohol content, but the results came out negative.

Esparza receives a new recreation area
Banco Nacional Photo    
Esparza got a new recreational area, pictured in this photo, after an investment of around 260 million colons from the Banco Nacional, Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico, and the tourism institute. The Plaza Esparza was inaugurated Saturday in Puntarenas and offers an opportunity to expat, tourist and Tico alike to relax and enjoy the space. It is located on Avenida 5 between Calle 2 and Calle 4 in the center of Esparza.

Environmental groups slam cable car idea

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Right now the only way to get to the summit of Chirripó is to walk there. The peak is Costa Rica’s highest at 3,820 meters or 12,530 feet.

The Concejo Municipal of Pérez Zeledón wants to change that and install a teleférico, a cable car.

Bolivia has two, Caracas one, Madrid one, and there are dozens around the globe.

But environmentalists are protesting. The Federación Conservacionista issued a statement over the weekend slamming the idea.

The council in Pérez Zeledón has declared the project to be in the local interest and has urged the government to support the plan, estimated to be about $20 million in private money. The cables would run from San Gerardo de Rivas to the summit and pass through the Parque Nacional Chirripó.

The environmentalists call the project illegal, unnecessary and destructive. The statement also rejects the idea that the cablecar system would have a positive impact on tourism and said there have been no studies to support the concept.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Discoveries in Costa Rica help lead to new evidence of early history
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A strike by a meteor or a comet fragment may be why mammoths and saber-toothed tigers are not still roaming Costa Rica.

A new report provides tantalizing evidence that something wiped out all the big Pleistocene animals as well as the ancient human culture that hunted them.

A discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue, the university has reported.

The cosmic impact took place around 10,000 to 11,000 B.C., and no one yet knows exactly where, although Quebec is a possibility.

Whatever happened is suspected of causing the Younger-Dryas, a period of colder temperatures that reversed for 1,400 years the global warming that ended the last Ice Age.

Scientists speculate that this worldwide chill, named after an Arctic plant, led to the demise of the many iconic animals, including the American horse, as well as perhaps 35 other species.

Researchers have found at least 41 sites in Costa Rica that yielded fossils of these beasts. Remains of a mammoth were found in what now is Paseo Colón, one of the main streets in the capital.

A site in Alajuela province at San Miguel de San Ramón has been excavated since the 1930s, including by scientists from the Universidad de Costa Rica.  In addition, there are a handful of sites that show humans were living at the same time.

They are called the Clovis People because of the type of spearpoint they used. The first was found at Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1920s.

Later researches showed that this civilization spread through Central and North America. Clovis points, perfect for hunting large game, have been found in Turrialba, Arenal and Guanacaste.

The South Carolina researchers found an abundance of platinum in soil layers that coincided with the Younger-Dryas, that lasted about 1,400 years, the university said. The discovery adds weight to the theory that was advanced by University of Oregon researchers 10 years ago based on other evidence.

NASA graphic
A  Pleistocene megafauna bolts at a meteor impact.

“Platinum is very rare in the Earth's crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets,” says Christopher Moore, the study’s lead author and an archaeologist at Carolina. He was quoted by the university. He said the presence of platinum turned up in the soil layers at 11 archaeological sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina was an anomaly.

“The presence of elevated platinum in archaeological sites is a confirmation of data previously reported for the Younger-Dryas onset several years ago in a Greenland ice-core.

The authors for that study concluded that the most likely source of such platinum enrichment was from the impact of an extraterrestrial object," Moore said in a university release, adding:

“Our data show that this anomaly is present in sediments from U.S. archaeological sites that date to the start of the Younger-Dryas event. It is continental in scale, possibly global, and it’s consistent with the hypothesis that an extraterrestrial impact took place."

The discovery of an element linked to a meteor or comet is similar to what scientists found in a 65 million-year-old layer that some believe marks the demise of the dinosaurs. That impact was  Mexico’s Yucatan and left a layer of iridium, another element linked to impacts.

The research is more than academic. Scientists fear that a large meteor or a comet could hit again and wreck the current civilization. Meanwhile, tourists need not fear they will run into saber-tooth tigers in the Costa Rican rainforests.

Government touts human rights effort with prisoners' performance
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nine performers took the stage at the 2017 Expo Pérez Zeledón to play a concert loaded with teary-eyed ballads, rancheras, rock songs and their own original compositions.

There is nothing out of the ordinary with this image except the nine men performing also happen to be currently incarcerated for various crimes.

That is right. The music group that put on the show Thursday are prisoners at Pérez Zeledón’s prison.

The coordinated effort between the prison authorities, the municipality, and other government departments enabled the group to serenade the public at the Feria Ganadera, Industrial, Artesanal, Comercial, Turística y de Orquídeas.

However, no one in the audience could rush the stage or even come close to it as prison authorities set up a police barrier of a few feet between the stage where the prisoners were and the audience.

Events such as these are part of a wider program by the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz to schedule monthly activities that officials hope aid in the inmates’ reintegration into society.

This also represents a wider goal of promoting human rights in regards to treatment of prisoners as well, the ministry said.

While the creation of music by inmates is not uncommon, performances outside of the cell blocks and prison walls are.

The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner on
prison band
Ministerio de Justicia photo
All members of the music group Motivación are prisoners.

Human Rights establishes 11 basic principles on the treatment of prisoners.

In many countries these principles are promptly ignored, but one of them includes “the right to take part in cultural activities and education aimed at the full development of the human personality.”

Costa Rica appears to be applying at least this principle with an alternative way to rehabilitate its incarcerated persons.

A 2011 report on human rights practices given by the United States Department of State commented that: “Overcrowding, poor sanitation, difficulties obtaining medical care, and violence among prisoners remained serious problems in some prison facilities."

The report also noted that limited access to health services was a major complaint from prisoners and staffing was insufficient to care for an increasing prison population, it said.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 13, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 51
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New study discovers zika virus causes cardiovascular problems too
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with reports from the Mayo Clinic

Cardiovascular problems are now being reported in association with contraction of the mosquito-borne zika virus that has been plaguing Latin American countries including Costa Rica.

A study at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Caracas, Venezuela, found that of nine adult patients with zika and no previous history of cardiovascular disease, all but one developed a heart rhythm problem and two-thirds had evidence of heart failure.

Zika virus is spread by infected mosquito bites as well as through unprotected sex with a person already infected. Most people infected with zika do not realize they are sick.  Vaccinations against mosquito-borne viruses such as yellow fever and malaria and preventive protection from mosquitos are equally recommended. The Centers for Disease Control said that mosquitos carrying zika usually do not live in elevations above 6,500 feet, but unfortunately the majority of Costa Rica is below that elevation mark.

Zika can cause microcephaly, a severe birth defect in babies born to women infected with the virus, and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological condition that can lead to muscle weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis.

“We know that other mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya virus, can affect the heart, so we thought we might see the same with Zika. But we were surprised by the severity, even in this small number of patients,” said Karina González Carta, cardiologist and research fellow at Mayo Clinic as well as the study’s lead author.

The patients, six of whom were women and the average age was 47, were seen at the Department of Tropical Medicine in Venezuela within two weeks of displaying symptoms associated with the virus.

According to the study, they reported symptoms of heart problems, most commonly palpitations followed by shortness of breath and fatigue. This was strange considering only one patient had any prior cardiovascular problem and that was high blood pressure.

Tests confirmed that all of the patients had an active zika infection. The study then gave the patients an initial electrocardiogram, which monitors the electrical activity of the heart.

The results of that test found that, in eight of the patients, there was a heartbeat rate or rhythm concerns. These findings prompted a full cardiovascular workup using an echocardiogram, Holter monitor and a cardiac MRI study. Heart failure was present in six cases, according to the study.

Of these, five patients had heart failure with low ejection fraction, when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should, and one had heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, when the heart becomes stiff and cannot relax or fill properly.

The patients have been followed since July 2016, and none of their cardiac issues have resolved, but symptoms have improved following treatment for heart failure or atrial fibrillation, Dr. Carta says.

“Following this research, we want patients who are suffering from Zika symptoms also to be aware of the cardiac symptoms because they might not connect the two,” Dr. Carta says. “The same is true for physicians because they might be focused on the Zika symptoms but not thinking about cardiac concerns.”

The study will be published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology next Saturday.

The dry season in Costa Rica usually hails a downward trend in the spread of the virus, Costa Rican authorities said back in December 2016.

The government launched a campaign during that time for the cleaning and elimination of mosquito breeding grounds particularly in establishments catering to tourists.

The country has seen more than 1,000 zika cases that required medical care.

The U.S. Department of State has listed zika as a disease found in Costa Rica, but said that the medical care in the capital is adequate with space and availability decreasing the further one travels away from San José.

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Beautiful Home for Rent
San Isidro Del General, Perez Zeledon. The beautiful southern zone. By week or month.  Only 10 minutes to town. Fabulous, artistic, one Bedroom, elegantly furnished home, overlooking river,  and near to attractions at the beach or mountain. Comes completely furnished with custom queen bed, orthopaedic mattress, all linens, large kitchen, all pans, dishes, silverware, blender new refrigerator, stove with oven, washing machine, glove leather couches, breakfast nook, patio with hammock.  Has also large bodega, with extra full sized bed, can sleep 4. Comes with satellite TV & WIFI. Located next to small river, with access to river pools, and over 60 varieties of rare, tropical birds. Only 45 minutes to beach, Playa Dominical and 40 minutes to National Park Chirripo. Perfect weather. Not hot like the beach. No car needed, bus take 15 minutes to town, costs 30 cents. Gated private and secure, near bus, mini markets. This is a complete home, artistic, beautiful surroundings, with convenience and privacy, yet near to it all. Nice folks.  For more photos and information:  Costa Rica phone: (506) 2771-4339

Poas chalet
What a chalet!
We offer for rent a boutique quality 2-bedroom (BR)/1-bath mountain chalet, and a 2-BR/2-bath mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude within the limits of a small horse ranch.  Located just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance, our homes sit on the strategic high ground of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, and are contiguous with the park’s 47,000 hectares of primary cloud rainforest. The chalet and mountain home include a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace, and covered parking.  All utilities and wifi internet included. Please contact Allan or Cristina at for photos, pricing and contract details.

₡355.000 (colones) / 2-bedroom penthouse fully furnished
 including electricity (Central San José)

Full Furniture.  Laundry in bldg. apartment. Downtown Central San José 2-bedroom with king-sized bed in the master bedroom and large closets and desk. It is fully furnished. It has 2 bathrooms, large kitchen and separate large living room. The apartment is on the top floor of the building with a commanding view of San José. It is a fully furnished American-style apartment with elevator in a very secure building in Barrio Amón. Total eastern wall is windows for commanding view of area. The fully equipped kitchen has all the amenities included. All linen, towels, bedding are included. Three televisions, cable television, high-speed internet, WiFi. It includes plenty of hot water AND all your electricity is also included in the rent. Shared free laundries on four floors of the building. Convenient to Parque Morazán, 100 mts. north of downtown Holiday Inn, Del Rey and other downtown hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry. $650 per month which includes everything in this unit. 1/2 mo. security deposit. No lease required. For personal inspection and more information call Hilda or Frank at (506) -7279-0252, 7148-1518, 7256-8378   Not calling for deals not related.

Tropical Homes logo
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.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

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

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 13, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 51
Real Estate
About us
U.S. House calls Trump
to produce wiretap evidence

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee is calling on President Donald Trump to produce evidence by Monday on his so-far unfounded claim that his phones at Trump Tower in New York were wiretapped during last year's presidential campaign.

Last week, the president wrote on Twitter that former president Barack Obama, a Democrat, had the phones at Trump headquarters tapped, but the Republican Trump has offered no evidence.

Committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, and Adam Schiff, the committee's ranking Democrat, sent a letter to Trump requesting the evidence to support his wiretap claim.

An Obama spokesman has said Trump's charges are simply false. Trump has not commented on the wiretaps since the tweets.

On Sunday, Sen. John McCain of Arizona told CNN, "The president has one of two choices: Either retract or provide the information that the American people deserve. Because if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we’ve got a serious issue here, to say the least.”

Sen. McCain said he has no reason to believe the charges are true.

Under U.S. law, a president cannot order someone's phone to be wiretapped. He would need approval by a federal judge and would also have to show reasonable grounds to suspect why a citizen's telephone calls should be monitored, such as if he were suspected of criminal wrongdoing. The White House said last week that Trump is not under criminal investigation.

The wiretap charges are part of congressional investigations into the details behind the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the presidential election to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of State, and Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials before and after the November vote.

U.S. intelligence concluded Russia hacked into the computer of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, with the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks then releasing thousands of his emails in the weeks before the election that showed embarrassing behind-the-scenes efforts by Democratic operatives to help Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

Garbage dump landslide
kills at least 46 in Ethiopia

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A landslide of trash has killed at least 46 people and left a number of others missing at a massive garbage dump outside Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Officials Sunday said most of the victims were women and children who either live in shacks at the Koshe dump or dig through it every day, looking for anything to sell.

Witnesses say the mountain of rubbish collapsed so fast that it gave victims little time to get out of the way.

Police believe about 300 people lived at the dump, with hundreds of scavengers showing up every day.

The dump is the main depository of garbage for Addis Ababa, a city of about 4 million people with a burgeoning economy.

The Ethiopian government had eased up dumping trash at Koshe in recent years, but resumed it when farmers near the site of a new dump protested.

Tree rings could predict
volcanic eruption, study says

By the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research press staff

Scientists made a surprising discovery on their mission to find better indicators for impending volcanic eruptions: it looks like tree rings may be able to predict eruptions, report the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and the ETH Zurich

Nicolas Houlié, a geophysicist at ETH Zurich, first came to know about this potential early warning system in 2001. While looking at a satellite image, he noticed a three kilometer-long green line on the north-east flank of Mount Etna. The line reflects the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index: the higher the value, the more vegetation is thriving in the area. But what made the discovery really astonishing is the fact that the volcano erupted along that exact line just one year later.

Dendrochronologists agree that those values are connected to tree growth, and thus reflected in tree-ring width. With that in mind, geographer Ruedi Seiler, and dendrologist Paolo Cherubini, the head of Dendrochronology at the research institute, teamed up with Nicolas Houlié four years ago to embark upon a cross-disciplinary research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Their unusual idea: tree rings give information about volcanic processes prior to eruptions has now been published in the journal “Scientific Reports.”

The rings formed in tree trunks during trees’ growth periods are valuable repositories of environmental information: the ring width reflects the tree’s growth conditions, which are a combination of the temperature, precipitation and nutrient conditions during a given growing season.

Under Cherubini’s direction, the researchers conducted their initial fieldwork alongside the lava flows that ran down Mount Etna’s west flank in January 1974. This was the location where Italian researchers also spotted an anomaly on satellite images in 1973, prior to the eruption.

Seiler took over fifty tree samples in the aim of identifying any pre-eruptive signals in the tree rings. However, the researchers found that the tree rings for summer 1973 were neither exceptionally wide nor exceptionally narrow.

“If volcanic activity does influence tree rings, then the pre-eruptive phase of the 1974 eruption can only have begun when the trees had already ceased their seasonal growth,” concludes Seiler. That said, the calculated duration of the pre-eruptive phase, which would be just a few months in this case, is actually consistent with the results of earlier geochemical and geophysical studies. Restricted growth following an eruption.

Although there were no changes to the trees’ growth before the 1974 eruption, the researchers’ article in “Scientific Reports” points out that the trees grew less in the two summers following the eruption than in other years. This is significant because a volcano’s past behavior can provide information about its future activities and thus contribute to improving measures to protect the population.

Thanks to real-time monitoring with GPS, seismometers and gas monitoring devices, the eruptions of the last twenty years are well documented. By contrast, volcanic eruptions occurring in the 2,000 years before that cannot be dated reliably, while the dates of even older volcanic events can be determined relatively accurately using the C14 method.

Research says rogue waves
are a frequent phenomena

By the University of Miami press staff

University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science scientist Mark Donelan and his Norwegian Meteorological Institute colleague captured new information about extreme waves, as one of the steepest ever recorded passed by the North Sea Ekofisk platforms in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2007.

Within the first hour of the day, the Andrea wave passed by a four-point square array of ocean sensors designed by the researchers to measure the wavelength, direction, amplitude and frequency of waves at the ocean surface.

Using the information from the wave set, a total of 13,535 individual waves, collected by the system installed on a bridge between two offshore platforms, the researchers took the wave apart to examine how the components came together to produce such a steep wave.

The data from the 100-meter wide wall of water moving at 40 miles per hour showed that Andrea may have reached heights greater than the recorded height of 49 feet above mean sea level. They also found that rogue waves are not rare as previously thought and occur roughly twice daily at any given location in a storm. The findings showed that the steeper the waves are, the less frequent their occurrence, which is about every three weeks at any location for the steepest rogues.

The Andrea crest height was 1.63 times the significant height, which is the average height of the highest waves. Optimal focusing of the Andrea wave showed that the crest could have been even higher and limited by breaking at 1.7 times the significant height. This establishes the greatest height rogues can reach for any given or forecasted significant height.

“Rogue waves are known to have caused loss of life as well as damage to ships and offshore structures,” said Mark Donelan, professor emeritus of ocean sciences at the Rosenstiel School. “Our results, while representing the worst-case rogue wave forecast, are new knowledge important for the design and safe operations for ships and platforms at sea.”

The study, titled “The Making of the Andrea Wave and other Rogues,” was published in the March 8 issue of the journal “Scientific Reports.”

Asia trip poses challenges
for U.S. secretary of State

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, making his first trip to Japan, South Korea and China as the top United States diplomat this week, is expected to expand the effort to find new options for dealing with North Korea and the nuclear and military threat it poses to the region and to the world.

Pyongyang's provocative gestures, such as firing multiple missiles into the Sea of Japan this month, have been so strident that Washington said it is “moving farther away” from considering the option of a direct engagement with the North Koreans and their mercurial young leader, Kim Jong-Un.

Other factors complicating the secretary of state's discussions in Seoul and Beijing are the complex political situation in South Korea, which has just impeached its president, and China's resentment about the deployment in South Korea of a controversial U.S. defensive missile system.

Following President Park Guen-hye's departure from the Blue House in Seoul, Tillerson will meet for the first time with South Korea's acting president, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is obliged to call new elections within 60 days.

The United States has also become embroiled in a dispute with China over the deployment of a controversial American missile-defense system in South Korea.

The first elements of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system, known as THAAD, arrived in South Korea last week, one day after North Korea launched at least four ballistic missiles in rapid succession, sending the rockets over the Sea of Japan, within 350 kilometers of Japanese territory.

Washington said the proximity of those events demonstrated the U.S. action was defensive in nature, and intended exclusively to counter the threat from Pyongyang.

“We’ve been very clear in our conversations with China that this is not meant to be a threat. Not a threat to them or any other power in the region. It is a defensive system,” Mark Toner, the State Department's acting spokesperson, has told reporters.

Nevertheless, Beijing has strongly opposed deployment of the advanced U.S. weapons system near its borders, declaring the system is an unnecessary and provocative military escalation. The basis of China's opposition is its military leaders' belief the powerful radar the U.S. system uses to track missiles launched by North Korea can also look deep into China.

In China, where Tillerson will meet with President Xi Jinping, one of his primary tasks is preparing for a visit to the United States by the Chinese leader expected later this year.

Washington is intent on pursuing a constructive relationship with China, while remaining determined to ensuring that China abides by international rules, and that trade between the two countries is conducted on a so-called level playing field, under conditions that favor neither side unfairly.

White House intruder caught by Secret Service Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An intruder with a backpack who scaled the outer perimeter fence around the White House was arrested shortly before midnight Friday on the grounds of the president's official residence in Washington.

Uniformed U.S. Secret Service officers arrested the person without incident and identified him Saturday as Jonathan Tran, 26-years old, of Milpitas, California. President Donald Trump, who was not involved in the incident in any way, said the young man was a troubled person. He had no criminal record.

In a written statement, Secret Service spokesman Martin Mulholland said Saturday that Tran's backpack contained no hazardous materials, and that nothing of concern was found during a full search of the White House grounds.

"I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment," the young man was quoted as telling the guards who arrested him. "I jumped the fence."

President Trump was in the White House at the time but was never in any danger, White House officials said. Trump told reporters Saturday he had been informed of the incident promptly, and tweeted his thanks to his security team: "Secret Service did a fantastic job last night. I appreciate it."

The Secret Service tightened security around the White House after three intrusion incidents in September 2014, during former President Barack Obama's second term.

The most serious intrusion occurred when an Iraq War veteran said to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder jumped the fence on Sept. 19, ran through the North Portico entrance and into the East Room of the residence, where he was apprehended. He was carrying a small knife in his pocket. President Obama and his family were not at the White House at the time.

Less than 24 hours later, a 19-year-old man from New Jersey was arrested and charged with unlawful entry after he tried to enter a White House gate on foot, then returned later in a vehicle, which he refused to step out of at a security checkpoint.

On Sept. 11, 2014, a man who scaled the White House fence and ran across the north lawn of the residence was apprehended quickly.

Last year, a uniformed Secret Service officer shot and wounded a man who approached a White House entrance and refused orders to put down a pistol he was carrying.

Several members of Congress have previously called for a congressional investigation into White House security breaches.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour:
Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

                                      Farm rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

                                      ranch rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

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

Penthouse rollover
Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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:

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

                                        Tamarindo The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

ReMax Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Real estate-related services (paid category)

SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at 

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NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

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About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2017 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 13, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 51
Real estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.
Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Dry season challenges are different

“I know it is hot, and the sun is too sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” That was a paraphrase from The Cat in the Hat with apologies to Dr. Seuss.

The dry sunny season is indeed upon us and has been for a while. It seems
Victoria Torley
to me that there are some weeds that grow better now than they do in the rainy season, or maybe it’s just that all the plants we want are curling up and withering giving the weeds free rein to thrive.

This morning, I noticed that there was a huge bright green vine out there climbing over the other

plants. From end to end it was over ten meters long, or around 33 feet, and tangled in everything. When I traced it to the root, clipping as I went just to get it out of the way, I found it was growing from the top of a fence post! The root ball was so large that a saw was necessary to remove it from the post.

And why was I really out there? Well, my porter weed wasn’t looking all that well. Porter weed’s scientific name is Stachytarpheta  frantzii and locally it is called robo de gato, or cat’s tail in English. It is one of those “weeds” you want to have somewhere around because it attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, birds, and bees. I had noticed a vine on it, so I decided to check.

Well, porter weed evidently doesn’t do well in the dry season and there was a lot of dead wood on the plant. I sharpened the clippers and got to work removing the vine as I went along. The plant looks a lot better now and will probably be fine until it rains again.

Other things seem to be doing well in the dryness. Leaf-cutter ants, for example, are out in force making their usual mess. Caterpillars are emerging from eggs and eating their way across the garden. Potted plants are taking a special beating as those pots heat up and transfer the heat to the plant roots. Of course, I could countersink them into the ground, but then I would lose the fancy pot…It’s a dilemma.

Down in the veggie garden, the sweet corn is actually growing! This is short day sweet corn developed in Hawaii especially for places that only (only?) get 12 hours of sunlight daily. Regular US sweet corn needs about 14-16 hours of sun so it isn’t happy in the tropics. But you have to plant this Hawaiian corn at the right time, just at the end of the rainy season, to get the best results.

If anyone wants to try the Hawaiian corn seed, just let me know.

sweet corn
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

They say: “Pride goeth before a fall.” But I hope not, because I am proud of my first good stand of Hawaiian sweet corn. It’s been 5 years since we have had good sweet corn and we are ready! We just hope everything goes well.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!
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From Page 7:

U.S. marks eight years of a bull market

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Eight years ago, the Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at 676.53, the low point for the worst bear market in equities since the Great Depression. Since then, the path has been upwards.

“No one would have ever believed it possible at the time, but at 97 months old, this now ranks as the second-longest bull market since World War II,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. “On a percentage basis, though, both the 1950s and 1990s bull markets saw larger percentage gains.”

Detrick essentially says that age is just a number.

“We don’t believe bull markets die of old age. They die of excesses. This bull might be old, but we aren’t seeing the same type of overspending, over-borrowing or overconfidence we’ve seen at other major market peaks.

“This doesn’t mean there won’t be pullbacks along the way, because there will be, but it does suggest this old bull could still have a few tricks up his sleeve.”

U.S. stocks ended higher Friday on the back of a very solid employment report. U.S. job growth increased more than expected in February, and wages rose steadily. Non-farm payrolls rose by 235,000 jobs last month as the construction sector recorded its largest gain in nearly 10 years, thanks to unseasonably warm weather. And perhaps it reflects President Donald Trump’s infrastructure spending plans.

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent, even as more people entered the labor market.

U.S. crude oil prices fell below $50 a barrel to their lowest levels since mid-December early Thursday, after the Energy Information Administration reported an 8 million-barrel rise in U.S. stockpiles last week. That was about four times as much as analysts had expected, and marked the ninth week in a row of inventory gains.