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(506) 2223-1327                         Published  Friday, March 14, 2014,  in Vol. 14, No. 52                          Email us
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Rock Constructors


Consumer advice and school work are going mobil
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Society is getting even more mobil. The economics ministry is launching a new application that will connect consumers and their mobil telephones to the government agency.

The launch will be today, which is the International Day of the consumer, according to the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio. The ministry supports a consumer protection office where individuals with the mobil application can get immediate answers to questions and obtain other information.

The presentation of this device, sponsored by the  Gobierno Digital, will be at 10 a.m. today in the Plaza de las Garantías Sociales  south of the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social in San José.

The public school ministry unveiled its mobile application Thursday. This also is a program sponsored by Gobierno Digital and also the U.N. Children's Fund. The application is for the IOS and Android systems, said the Ministerio de Educación Pública. With the application on a hand-held device parents will be able to make appointments, and youngsters will be able to access existing programs to help them with homework. There also is a school calendar for which a link is displayed via the application.

An example of the types of programs that can be accessed is “Secretos de la Madre Tierra,” which
applicaton
Ministerio de Educación Pública
Screen shows the public school application.

contains material in science, math, civics, social studies and Spanish. An interesting twist is that the program is narrated in the Cabécar native language with Spanish subtitles.

All of these resources are available now, but students more likely will be carrying a smartphone rather than having immediate access to a desktop computer.

At the consumer program today, visitors will be able to file complaints up until 3 p.m. These could be about pricing, warrantees and treatment in retail outlets. The complaints go to the Dirección de Apoyo al Consumidor.


Brazilian firm gets $28.4 million to go away
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government has paid off the Brazilian construction firm OAS with some $28.4 million.

This is the amount that was reached in conciliation after President Laura Chinchilla canceled the firm's concession for the San José-San Ramón highway.

Transport officials expressed pleasure Thursday because the nation was able to pay $12 million less than the firm originally requested.

The company had a concession to build the highway and then collect tolls to make a profit. However, those who were the potential users of the highway objected and said that the tolls might be as high as $4 a trip.

They engineered protests and embarrassed President Chinchilla at one public event in Alajuela.

Costa Rica ends up with all the plans and technical studies relating to the highway. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said that the Ministerio de Hacienda will submit a special budget request to the Asamblea Legislativa to obtain the money to compensate it for the $28.4 million it  paid to the construction firm.

The government used a concession to build the
money flies
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Gone with the wind.

 road in the first place because it did not have the money.

The termination of the contract leaves the road project up in the air, even though government officials say they are working with the residents of the area to finance a new project.

Government officials were worried that if they did not settle with the Brazilian firm, the company would bring a much larger claim against it in an international arbitration venue.


Four arrests made in Guanacaste burglary wave
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents raided seven homes Thursday morning  and arrested four persons who are accused of robbing homes and electronic stores in Guanacaste.

They are suspects in more than 30 cases of robbery since March 2013 in the regions of Cañas, Tilarán, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, and Osa, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

When agents entered the seven homes they said they discovered a large amount of computers, cameras, tablets, and TV screens.
They also found 2,000,000 colons in cash and a .38-caliber revolver. The raids occurred simultaneously at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Officials said that all of the homes burglarized are believed to be owned by foreigners, although they were not able to specify nationalities. Most of the stores targeted were cell phone shops, and agents said that the robbers would enter through the roofs.

Another two suspects were in preventative detention and will also be presented to prosecutors along with the four arrested to determine any subsequent legal action.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 52

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Dollar takes a 24.73-point hit
on the Monex exchange

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The market for dollars was volatile Thursday, the Banco Central reported. The money market, the Monex, closed with the dollar being 24.73 colons lower than it was the previous day.

The Banco Central said that it did not have to intervene in the marketplace to protect the colons.  It did, however, purchase $12 million in dollars to satisfy various government needs. This is a daily event.  There were $38.6 million in private transactions.

The Monex figures reported by the Banco Central are lower than the rate of exchange posted by banks today. Banco Nacional will sell a dollar for 557 colons, according to the Web site. That figure had been 570 the day before.

The lowest Monex figure reported by the Banco Central was 540.79 colons for a dollar. However, the central bank had posted earlier today an official exchange rate of 558.73 colons.

The Monex activity seems to have reduced the price of a dollar about 13 colons.

Some businessmen said they expect the dollar to continue its increase that started in early February, particularly as the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to reduce the amount of bonds it will purchase each month to bolster the U.S. economy.

Thursday's activity may have been due to large firms selling dollars so they could meet their twice monthly payrolls today.

At Banco Nacional today the rate to purchase colons is 542.


Central Pacific hosting
movie festival on the beach


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Manuel Antonio and Quepos are in the midst of the third Festival Cine Nacional.

The free festival is on the beach in the open air and at a local park through Sunday.

Sponsors are the Centro Costarricense de Producción  Cinematográfica of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the  Municipalidad de Aguirre.

The productions include short videos, animation and other Costa Rica works.

Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos at 7 p.m. the full-length movie "Chirripó." directed by Gerardo Selva will be shown.

The festival has this Web site:


Press rights monitor in México
reports a telephoned threat

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association Thursday condemned threats made against Balbina Flores Martínez, correspondent in Mexico of the organization Reporters Without Borders and called on the authorities to urgently act to ensure her physical safety.

Ms. Flores Martínez, who has been working with Reporters Without Borders for 13 years, reported the threats were made to her Wednesday. A release issued by the press freedom organization said that during a phone call to her Mexico City office a person identifying himself as “Captain Omar Treviño” said, “I am nearby in the State of Mexico, I am coming from Michoacán, and I have been hired to hurt you. I know who you are, where you work, I have been investigating you for the past 15 days.”

The journalist, who shares offices with the staff of the magazine Zócalo and of the National Press Workers Union, reported the threat to several police and human rights agencies.

Ms. Flores Martínez has spent years reporting in Mexico on the situation of violence and levels of impunity suffered by journalists in that country, the association said.

Our reader's opinion
Salt in Costa Rica contains
quantities of fluoride

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Re: Margaritas and World Salt Week

Another reason to avoid salt is that here in Costa Rica, the salt is fluoridated and not the water. There is now plenty of evidence that fluoride is a nasty poison. In fact, it is normally the major ingredient of rat poison. It is recently been shown to reduce kids’ IQs by about seven points by the time they are 12.

Supposedly it is added to the salt or water to prevent tooth decay, not as a systemic medication, but rather, as a topical application. Somehow the experts have figured out how the act of eating food with salt on it can adequately coat all the teeth with this poison, but not affect anything else, like for example the brain.

As for the dosage when added to salt, this article has indicated people are eating an excessive amount of salt.  One might extrapolate from that, then, that people are also consuming an excessive amount of fluoride. All the processed foods, all the restaurant foods, all the toothpastes . . .  we are being bombarded here with fluoride. And as one dentist pointed out, the people putting the fluoride in the salt are not all that meticulous when it comes to measuring. 

Even some of the sea salt here has fluoride added. Another brand of sea salt doesn’t have fluoride, but it doesn’t have iodine either. There is at least one brand of sea salt, however, that not only doesn’t contain fluoride but does contain a rich amount of iodine.
James Marshall
San Marcos de Tarrazuú

EDITOR'S NOTE; The Harvard study of fluoride and IQ in China referenced by the letter writer is HERE!


Canadian oil sands came
from far-away locations


By the University of Calgary news service

They're called the Alberta oil sands but most of the sand actually came from the Appalachian region on the eastern side of the North American continent, a new University of Calgary-led study shows. The oil sands also include sand from the Canadian Shield in northern and east-central Canada and from the Canadian Rockies in western Canada, the study says.

This study is the first to determine the age of individual sediment grains in the oil sands and assess their origin.

To determine the origin of the sand, the researchers used a mass spectrometer to date the age of tiny and extremely durable crystallized minerals called zircons that are present in the oilsands. Most of the oil sands' sediment contains zircons that range from 300 million to 1.2 billion years old – the same zircon signature found in Appalachian sources in eastern North America.

No one knows for sure, but lead study author Christine Benyon and her co-authors propose three theories, all involving sediment transported by a continental-sized river system.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 52
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
water protest
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Protesters gather for what amounts to a group photo with the Monumento Nacional in the background
23 groups gather to express their views on the rights to water
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Water rights activists marched in front of the Asamblea Legislativa Thursday. The crowd, made up mainly of fishermen and environmentalists, vocalized its demand that Costa Rican waters and coasts be a public priority.

Behind the slogan, “Water is our right, not a business,” the demonstrators rallied to protest the expansion of privately funded hydroelectric plants and the increase of farm fishing in the Gulf of Nicoya. There were 23 committee groups of workers, students, and environmental organizations that occupied the street east of the legislature and Parque Nacional.
 Part of the protesters included those who oppose a proposal to legalize one more time the use of trawling nets to catch shrimp.

The practice has been ruled unconstitutional because of the damage the nets do to coral and because turtles frequently are killed.

Some legislators came out to stand with the demonstrators, including Frente Amplio's José María Villalta. A representative opened the gates of the legislative complex and allowed five of the protestors to enter to discuss their grievances behind closed doors. 


Traffic police begin to hand out tickets for motorists in yellow boxes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic police are cracking down hard on motorists who block the flow at intersections.

Transport workers have been marking yellow lines at nine key intersections, and the Policía de Tránsito are calling these zones cajas amarillas or "yellow boxes."
So far 45 motorists have been ticketed for being inside the yellow boxes and blocking traffic from their right or left.

The fines are 49,000 colons, about $90.

Vehicles blocking the lane when a traffic signal changes are a main reason for jams in the metro area. A big violator are buses, which can block an entire street due to their size.


The strawberry surprise engenders concerns about the future of food
My friend Steve is back in town.  He had to choose between spending March in Minnesota or Costa Rica; and he brought a friend, John.  John is an architect, and he saw more buildings in downtown San José in a weekend than I saw in my first month here.  He agreed with me that San José is under enjoyed by tourists who are still being advised to “avoid downtown San José.”  The city is filled with museums, art galleries, some stunning buildings, charming and restful parks and a maze of a market where you can buy a variety of things at a reasonable price. There also is often something musical happening in the parks. And finally, there are the people.  Pedestrians are everywhere. The walking boulevards are streaming with people, and I have always found the atmosphere positive and welcoming.

We celebrated Steve’s return with the three of us going to the feria in Pavas this past Saturday.  It has been a while for me, because neither the weather nor I was in the mood.  Saturday was a perfect feria day.  It was nice to be back to get Ana’s very fresh eggs.  I am tired of eggs from the supermarket that stand upright in the water, which means they may be paying attention but they are not that fresh.  Ana’s eggs lie on their side, the way they started out in the world.  I was also able to get a bottle of honey at my honey stand.  I have learned to avoid buying it from the people who walk around with unlabeled bottles of honey and won’t let you smell what's inside.  Whatever it is, it is not honey.

Driving to the feria I saw a young man selling beautiful red strawberries and rejoiced that they are in season, so I bought a large carton of big red strawberries at the feria.  I could hardly wait to get them home to try.  When I finally did wash the first one and take a bite. I was transported into a brave and frightening new world.  It was sour!  I have never eaten a perfect, big, red, and ripe looking strawberry that was sour!  Strawberries are going the way of tomatoes:  beautiful to look at, sturdy, and great for shipping. Eating them is another matter.  The pleasure is gone. So we add sugar to fruits and salt to vegetables, hoping to discover the taste. 

One way to control people is to control what we eat. The United States has accepted genetically modified foods (and this includes fruits and vegetables), but other countries have not.  One can only hope that Costa Rica will reconsider what is permissible to add to 
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart

their once delicious, although maybe not perfect looking crops of fruits and vegetables.
 
Still, the feria is a great way to start one’s day.  You don’t have to buy anything. You can try to resist. You will get a lift of psychic nutrients just walking the rows of food stands and maybe stopping to have breakfast at one of the mini sodas. 

I am becoming preoccupied with food — the kind that grows, not the packaged kind.  Everything seems to be getting larger.  Unless you pay premium prices for the mini vegetables, you will find things like carrots and zucchini that, if they keep growing, will be the size of Jack’s beanstalk.  Yet, bigger is not necessarily better.  In her “Classic Italian Cookbook,” Marcella Hazan says that one should not buy zucchini longer than six inches, nor more than an inch and a half in diameter. She would be horrified to see what they have in some stalls.

I recently read some disturbing news about the use of antibiotics mainly to make animals (and who knows, maybe vegetables) larger as well to kill bacteria.

I am beginning to feel as if the ghost of Buckminster Fuller has taken up occupancy in me.  Like him, I say over and over, “Small is beautiful.” And may I add, “And probably better for us.”

However, I am something of a hypocrite.  Steve, John and I retired to a Te con Te Bistro afterwards for breakfast.  John ate a healthy Tico breakfast with rice and beans, an egg, and I don’t know what else because I was too busy enjoying my very large croissant and strawberry naturale drink.  I wonder where they buy their strawberries.

DelRey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 52
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Overfishing has more impact than climate variations, study says
By the Investigación y Desarrollo news staff

Fisheries that rely on short life species, such as shrimp or sardine, have been more affected by climate variations because this phenomenon affects chlorophyll production, which is vital for phytoplankton, the main food for both species.

That assessment comes from the research “Socioeconomic Impact of the global change over the fishing resources of the Mexican Pacific” headed by Ernesto A. Chávez Ortiz, from Mexico's National Polytechnic Institute.

Work performed at the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences at the institute indicates that in the last five years there have been no spectacular changes attributable to climate variations. What has affected the fishing resources more is the high market demand.

“Globally, a great part of the fishing resources is being exploited to its maximum capacity. Several have passed over its regeneration capacities and are overexploited” Chávez Ortiz points out.

The specialist at the marine science center said that the research consisted in correlating weather and fisheries analysis. This confirmed what has been intuitively said for awhile: A lot of the variability in the fishing is due to climate change.

“In the research we found a clear and objective way to show it: We took historical data from FAO regarding fisheries, available since 1950, compared it to the data of weather variability and found high correlations." FAO is the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.

Patterns of change were identified, he said. For example, while in the 70s the sardine production increases, in the 80s it decreases below average levels. Meanwhile shrimp fishing increased above average but decreased in the 90s.
shrimp
Investigación y Desarrollo photo
A handful of choice shrimp


This way, climate changes were identified in the mid 70s and late 80s that affected the fishing of sardine and shrimp in the Mexican Pacific Ocean, possibly attributable to El Niño.

In the particular case of the shrimp, the effects are related to an input of water from the continent.  When there’s a good rainy season, there will be an increase in the crustacean production, which is reduced when it doesn’t rain, he noted.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen, and t
       he author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living
       in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
 
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
8285-4/5/14

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


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

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

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Experience You Can Trust
TravelerFriendlyInsurance.com is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today:
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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.



Need a book about Costa Rica?


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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

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.
8296-3/25/14

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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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 52
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Cafetales



searchers
U.S. Navy photo/Operations Specialist 1st Class Claudia Franco.
Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Terengganu and a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter conduct a coordinated air and sea search for a missing Malaysian Airlines jet in the Gulf of Thailand.

Search for missing aircraft
expanded into Indian Ocean

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. official involved in the search for the missing Malaysian plane says the jet may have been flying four hours after it disappeared from radar screens.

The official said the jet was sending out a pinging signal — a sign it was trying to communicate with a satellite. He said the plane may have flown another 4,000 kilometers (2,480 miles) after controllers reported it missing.

The United States is expanding its search for the plane into the Indian Ocean, far west of its intended flight path.

Aircraft and ships from 12 countries are looking for the Boeing 777, but so far have found nothing to clear up the mystery. Authorities have ruled nothing out, including a massive technical failure, terrorism or the possibility that the pilot wanted to commit suicide. The aircraft carried 239 people.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday there was new information -- though not necessarily conclusive -- that the Boeing 777 may have veered far off course from its intended flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and headed toward the Indian Ocean.

Carney said the U.S. was consulting with other nations involved in the massive effort to find the jetliner to see what ships and aircraft could be deployed to the Indian Ocean to expand the search operations.

Searchers looking for the missing Malaysian passenger jet over vast expanses of water in Asia have been stymied for six days.

Theories abound on what might have happened to the jet Saturday, from a terrorist takeover of the plane, to a catastrophic malfunction of the aircraft, to pilot suicide.

Malaysian Transportation Minister Hishamuddin Hussein rejected reports that Flight 370 continued flying for several hours after its last known contact and said that Chinese satellite images purporting to show debris from the aircraft in the waters south of Vietnam proved to be another fruitless lead.

"We deployed our assets but found nothing," he said.

Hishamuddin said Malaysia Airlines asked plane maker Boeing and engine manufacturer Rolls Royce about purported data showing the plane could have flown an extra 4,000 kilometers over four hours.

"Since today's media report, MAS has asked Rolls Royce and Boeing specifically about the data. As far as Rolls Royce and Boeing are concerned, those reports are inaccurate."

The report by the Wall Street Journal Thursday cited the belief of U.S. officials based on data that is automatically sent by the plane's engines to the ground.

The Chinese satellite images emerged Wednesday, with state media saying they showed three fairly large objects near the plane's original flight path toward Beijing. But Hishamuddin said Malaysia later contacted the Chinese Embassy, which said the images were released by mistake and did not show any debris from the plane.

He said the Boeing 777 plane was fit to fly, with its last inspection in February and its next one not due until June.

He also praised the ongoing search effort, which involves more than 80 ships and aircraft from 12 countries looking in an area that covers 93,000 square kilometers on either side of Malaysia.

"The overwhelming support and unprecedented effort on a multinational level, that is something that we should be very proud about, though we need to find the aircraft," he said.


Experts say its not too hard
for modern aircraft to vanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With satellites crisscrossing the globe and GPS technology available at the touch of a button in everything from cars to cell phones, how did officials lose sight of an airplane with 239 passengers on board?
 
Aviation safety consultant John McGraw says it’s easier than you think.
 
“People are under the impression that every airplane, even when it’s flying across the ocean, is observed on some kind of radar scope, with a human being looking at that scope," McGraw said. "And it's just not the case. Radars don't reach that far.”
 
But McGraw says there is a lot of technology inside the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that helps pinpoint its location.
 
Systems in the jets automatically transmit altitude, weather conditions, position and speed of an aircraft to traffic control. There are also at least three ways the pilot can communicate with officials. If the plane is downed in the ocean, the flight data recorder, or “black box” sends out a sound that is detectable up to three kilometers away.
 
Former FAA accident investigator Michael Daniel says there are also global regulations.
 
“The airline has responsibility for what we call ‘flight following,’" said Daniel, managing director of aviation insight. "That’s an international standard, and they are required to know where the airline is at all times.”
 
But in the case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Daniel says the airline hasn’t provided a great deal of information.
 
“The standards may not have been followed,” he said.
 
Rescue crews continue a search to locate the jet and its black box to try to find out what went wrong.

After an Air France flight went missing in 2009, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board called for continuously downloading segments of an aircraft’s flight data recorder information in case of emergencies.
 
“In the past they haven’t been able to justify installing that kind of equipment, because it’s expensive, and because there hadn’t been that many accidents where it would have come into play," said McGraw, the aircraft consultant. "This will certainly provide some additional motivation and there may be calls to do that.”

Militaries and navies from some 12 nations are working collaboratively in the search for the missing plane.
 
The search, which one aviation expert described as similar to looking for a "needle in a haystack," is being conducted with the help of more than 40 international ships and at least as many aircraft.

Operations are currently stretching across some 90,000 square kilometers of water, with international forces working in a grid pattern as not to overlap efforts.

Sid McGuirk, a professor of air traffic management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said the search for the missing airliner is very difficult, calling it one of the most bizarre sets of circumstances that he’s ever seen in his career. He said the debris field, if the aircraft did impact on water, would be significant. 

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared early Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Air traffic controllers from both Malaysia and Vietnam, near where the plane was last seen on radar, say they did not receive any messages from the cockpit alerting them that the plane may have been in trouble.

Experts say it is too early to speculate as to the cause of the suspected crash without the cockpit recorder, but say possible scenarios could include catastrophic failure, sabotage or foul play, or some sort of rare occurrence such as pilot incapacitation.


Blood test is developed
to predict future Alzheimer's

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have developed a blood test that can predict, with great accuracy, whether someone will develop Alzheimer’s disease. The test could someday help researchers develop drugs for the degenerative brain disorder.

There are no effective drugs to treat Alzheimer's.  And the only way to positively diagnose someone with the disease is to use expensive, high tech brain imaging.  A blood test would make diagnosis much easier.

Researchers analyzed blood samples from 525 people, aged 70 and older.  Some of the participants had no signs of cognitive impairment.  Others had memory difficulties, but no official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Investigators measured the levels of more than 140 lipids or fats in the blood, identifying 10 that were altered in participants who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease five years later.

Neuropsychologist Mark Mapstone, of the University of Rochester in New York, participated in the research led by scientists at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Mapstone said the lipid levels, which were lower in people who developed the brain disorder, were highly predictive of Alzheimer's.

“The biomarkers were able to detect at 90 percent accuracy those who would go on to develop the disease.  But it is possible that some of these lipids are changed in other diseases.  And we have not done that work and it needs to be done.”

For example, diabetes is common among older people, and other research has linked the metabolic disorder to an increased risk of dementia.

Mapstone said it will be a while before an Alzheimer’s screening test is available to the public.  He said researchers want to look for a connection between the biomarkers and what happens in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

When the test does becomes available, Mapstone said people might want to take it to help them plan their financial future and investigate long-term care options . . . if its results point to Alzheimer's. 

“But without a treatment, the utility of this information is lower.  When we have a treatment, then this particular sort of test will become very important because then we can use it to identify the people who get the treatment right away and hopefully we can do something about the disease,” he stated.

Mapstone said researchers developed the test with an eye toward finding and testing new drugs for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


Conservative gathering gives
platform for GOP hopefuls

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The next U.S. presidential election is still more than two years away, but for the first time in decades there appears to be no clear frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016.  So what’s happened?  A free-for-all has developed among a younger generation of Republicans who see themselves as serious presidential contenders and who are now beating the bushes in hopes of building grassroots support.
 
This phenomenon was on full display during the recent Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington when one Republican hopeful after another took to the stage an in effort to raise their profile for a possible presidential bid two years from now.  For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky emerged as a favorite of the conservative group, winning 31 percent support in a presidential test vote in a field that included numerous potential contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination.  Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was a distant second at 11 percent.
 
Paul presents a bit of a different profile for a serious Republican presidential contender.  His strong libertarian bent makes him a fierce critic of President Barack Obama on the NSA spying scandal, and he brought the conference crowd to its feet by pledging to re-emphasize constitutional principles.  “We will challenge you in the courts.  We will battle you at the ballot box.  Mr. President, we will not let you shred our Constitution!”
 
Paul has also kicked off a debate within the Republican Party on the use of U.S. military force abroad.  After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul favors a much more limited military role abroad, reflecting a bipartisan consensus in numerous recent public opinion polls that Americans would prefer to pull back a bit from potential military confrontations overseas.
 
Some take issue with this approach including a likely presidential rival in 2016. Cruz argues that the U.S. still has a pivotal role to play in world events, though he prefers to strike a middle ground between Paul’s hesitancy to use military force and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of the Senate’s leading internationalists who favors a more muscular U.S. foreign policy.  Cruz was also a leading catalyst for last year’s government shutdown, which backfired for congressional Republicans.  But Cruz enjoys intense support from some Tea Party elements and likes to rouse supporters with references to former president Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of Republicans who believe it is possible to elect a true conservative to the White House. 

Cruz told the conference, “People are hurting, tragically, and we need to turn this country around.  We did it in 1980 with a grass roots movement that became the Reagan Revolution, and let me tell you, the same thing is happening all over today.”
 
The conference also showed that the split between establishment Republicans and Tea Party activists is alive and well.  The former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin has, become a staple at the conservative gatherings, and she took the opportunity to lash out at what she called Beltway Republicans who seem on a mission to trim the influence of the Tea Party within the Republican Party.  Mrs. Palin noted the Republican success in the 2010 midterm elections was due in large part to Tea Party activists and she warned party leaders not to take them for granted during this year’s midterm campaign.  “You know that 2010 election victory that swept you into power?  You didn’t build that.  The Tea Party did!”
 
This split within the Republican Party will have an impact not only on this year’s elections, but on the 2016 nomination battle when the party goes about the lengthy process of choosing a presidential nominee through a series of state primary and caucus votes as well as numerous candidate debates.  Carroll Doherty is director for political research at the Pew Research Center for the People and Press.  He predicts a fair bit of Republican infighting for the next couple of years.  “The Republican Party is going through a lot of turmoil and a bit of division.  They are struggling to find their way a bit as parties out of power are often in this position.  Democrats have been in this position in the past.”
 
Some Republicans try to downplay the discord within their own party.  Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was the party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012 and is considering a presidential run of his own in 2016.  He told conference attendees not to believe all the hype about a divided Republican Party.   “It’s Tea Party versus establishment, libertarians versus social conservatives.  There is infighting, conflict, backbiting, discord.  Look, I’m Irish.  That’s my idea of a family reunion.”
 
But analyst Carroll Doherty says the internal rift within the Republican Party sets the stage for what he says will be the most fascinating battle in decades for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016.   “I really think it is going to be interesting.  There is no heir to the throne, as it were, as there often is in Republican races, and it is a wide open race.”
 
The presidential primary field could be quite large in 2016.  In addition to Paul, Cruz and Ryan, Republicans thought to be considering a run include Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and possibly former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
 
Part of the reason the field is likely to be large is because there is no clear frontrunner for the party nomination, as has been the case in years past.  The old saying is, “Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love.”  The Republican nomination tends to go to the person who finished second in the previous election cycle.  Ronald Reagan lost out on a tough bid against President Gerald Ford in the 1976 campaign but won the nomination and the presidency in 1980.  George W. Bush was the consensus pick of the Republican establishment leading up to the 2000 race.  The Republican who finished second that year, McCain, became the favorite in the 2008 nomination fight, and he won.  Mitt Romney was considered the favorite in 2012 and he eventually won the nomination.  For 2012, though, there is no clear favorite and that has whetted the appetite of an ambitious younger generation of Republicans eager for the reins of power.
 
By the way, the part about how Democrats “fall in love” is a reference to the fact that often little-known candidates emerge from relative obscurity to win the party nomination.  Jimmy Carter was a relatively unknown former Georgia governor before he began his quest for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1976.  Bill Clinton had a relatively low national profile when he embarked on his presidential quest in 1992.  And then there is the case of Barack Obama, who was an obscure state senator from Illinois before John Kerry chose him to deliver the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
 
2016 looks like a different year for Democrats as they consider their presidential options.  At the moment there is former secretary of State Hillary Clinton way at the top of the list, and everyone else well behind.  Polls show Mrs. Clinton is a strong favorite for the nomination among Democrats, and supporters are impatiently waiting for a go signal from the former senator and first lady, which they expect either late this year or early next, assuming she decides to run.


CrossFit fitness concept
gains popularity worldwide

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

What started in a California garage in the 1970s is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing fitness concepts worldwide. It's called CrossFit and is a method of whole-body functional fitness. It's used by the U.S. Marines, professional sports teams, fire departments, and police forces. The number of affiliated gyms has doubled every two years, and there are now CrossFit gyms from South America to Europe to Asia.

CrossFit is known as one of the most grueling workouts in the fitness world. Each week, CrossFit members flock to more than 8,500 affiliated gyms worldwide.  

CrossFit incorporates interval training, weight lifting, gymnastics and other disciplines. Trainer Kate Garufi at District CrossFit in Washington said the goal is to perform functional, everyday movements at high intensity to achieve better muscular strength, cardio endurance, and flexibility.

“So you can have powerlifting movements, you can have Olympic lifting movements, you can have body weight stuff," said Garufi. "You can have what we call single modal, running, rowing, swimming, anything that can be thrown into a workout with CrossFit,” she said.

Workouts of the day, or WODS, are usually posted on a board and exercises performed in a group setting. Results are measured in time taken to complete rounds and number of repetitions.

CrossFit enthusiast Hank Mason, a former soccer player, said, "If you were to complete a workout, say, two months ago and you got five minutes, and then you're re-tested again today, tomorrow or whenever, and you got four minutes, that is a pretty concrete indication that you are fitter.”

Not all CrossFitters are elite athletes. Samantha Rapoza has been doing CrossFit for about six weeks with the goal to slim down and get stronger. “I think there are so many things that I didn’t know I could do, and I am already making progress that I didn’t expect to make as quickly as I made it. So I think I am going to have to revise my goals a little bit,” she said.

There has also been criticism of CrossFit on some Internet fitness forums. The most common is the susceptibility to injury. 

Former figure model Andrea Ferry is an experienced CrossFit Athlete. She said injuries are avoided through good coaching. “It is up to the coach to make sure that it is scaled for that 67-year-old person like my dad, or someone like myself, to make sure they are moving properly with good technique, good form, that they can handle the weight and they are pacing themselves throughout the workout.”

Some 30 percent of CrossFit gyms are now outside the United States, throughout North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.


U.N. seeks OK from nations
to end using child soldiers


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United Nations is launching a campaign to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers by 2016.  It says eight governments on a Security Council list of child recruiters have agreed to sign an action plan to end these violations and to prevent them from occurring in the future.
 
The United Nations has a list of 55 parties that recruit child soldiers.  Among them are 46 non-state actors and eight governments, including those of Afghanistan, Burma, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen.
 
The U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, is spearheading this campaign jointly with the U.N. Children’s Fund.  She says the outlook is promising because nations are unanimous that using children to fight in war is unacceptable and must end.
 
“No government in the world is telling us, 'I have the right to recruit children to send them to fight.  It is not your business.'  No one is telling us this," said Ms. Zerrougui. "Out of the eight listed, six already signed the action plan with the United Nations and the two remaining are in the process of finalizing their action plan.”
 
Yemen and Sudan have yet to sign the agreement, but say they are committed to stop the use of child soldiers.  They presently are in negotiations with the United Nations to make this happen. 
 
The U.N. Action Plan obliges governments to ban their military from drafting and using child soldiers.  It promises to release children from service and to reintegrate them into civilian life.

It also calls upon states to criminalize this practice and ensure that no child under 18 is drafted.
 
In the presentation of her annual report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Ms. Zerrougui spoke about the disproportionate and intolerable impact that conflicts around the world have on children.  She noted armed conflict has intensified in several countries, most notably in Syria, South Sudan, and Central African Republic.  She added that in other countries, thousands of children also are recruited, killed, maimed, raped and kidnapped. 
 
The special representative spent four years serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  She says she was deeply affected by the terrible stories boys and girls told her about how they had been abducted, recruited, indoctrinated, and used as sex slaves.   
 
"Not only girls - girls and boys.  That is what happened to them in the bush," Ms. Zerrougui said. "They serve as cooks, they serve as porters, they serve as sex slaves and they are also human shields.  That is the reality…You even cannot reintegrate them in their community when they return… because you cut the link with the community and the family.  It is terrible what happens to these children.  That is why we have to be united and to work and to make sure that these children will not - and never ever be recruited and those who are doing this have to pay a price."
 
Globally, the number of children recruited as soldiers is estimated between 250,000 and 300,000. 

 
Drought in California seen
causing higher food prices


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

California is a major farming state, and a serious drought is hurting its farmers and raising the likelihood of higher food prices throughout the United States. In the state's Central Valley water-starved farms are cutting production.

Last year was the driest on record in California, and this year may be just as dry. 

Some reservoirs are empty and the Sierra mountain snow pack, which melts and fills rivers in the springtime, is at dangerously low levels, just one quarter of normal. 

Farmers warn of another Dust Bowl, referring to the drought and dust storms that ravaged American farmlands in the 1930s. 

California produces nearly half of the United States' fruits and vegetables, and much of it comes from the state's sprawling Central Valley. 

Dan Errotabere is a third generation farmer who grows tomatoes, walnuts, garlic and other crops in Fresno County. The federal agency that controls the water released from dams and the river system has cut his water supplies to zero.

“The last couple of years, dry years, coupled with severe environmental restrictions, has now presented us with a zero allocation year," said Errotabere.

More than 200,000 hectares of prime farmland may go unplanted in the Central Valley. Errotabere will let more than 20 percent of his farm lie fallow and lay off 10 of 25 workers.

“Right now, we're completely depending on wells to finish these crops off, but I'm going to be fallowing 1,200 acres of our operation. There won't be anything growing on there,” he said.

Even years with good rainfall have seen reduced water allocations, as federal and state officials supply water to the Sacramento River Delta, home of delta smelt and other endangered species. 

Errotabere and other farmers say the water system is mismanaged and that his high-efficiency drip irrigation system offers little help without supplies of water.

Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau said the shortage is forcing hard decisions. “The severity of this drought will be seen for possibly a decade to come because of the effects it's going to have on permanent crops and the likelihood that many of these permanent crops may have to come out of the ground.”

Those permanent crops include citrus, walnuts and grapes.

The effects have not hit the nation's consumers yet, but inevitably they will, as shortages lead to higher prices. 

Jon Murga of Fresco Community Markets in Los Angeles said politicians need to come up with an answer to the water crisis.

“Because that, at this moment, seems to me to be the most important thing that we need to be addressing. Long term, short term, intermediate term, however you choose to look at it,” said Murga.


fly
University of Iowa/ Marty Condon
Female fly on a tropical plant

Researchers find diversity
to be far more complex

By the University of Iowa  news service

The tropics are lush regions teeming with a wide variety of exotic plants and animals. But for researchers Andrew Forbes and Marty Condon, there’s even more diversity than meets the eye.

In a paper published today in an issue of the journal Science, Forbes and Ms. Condon report the discovery of extraordinary diversity and specialization in the tropics.

The paper builds upon previous research conducted by Ms. Condon, who discovered surprising diversity while researching plant species in South America. Later, she, Forbes and their collaborators studied enemies of flies living on male and female flowers of the two closely related plants in a rainforest in Peru.

“We looked at species of flies and wasps on two rainforest plants and found more species than theory predicts we should have found,” says Ms. Condon, lead researcher and corresponding author on the paper and professor of biology at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa.

“The reason so many species co-exist appears to be that each fly has a very specialized ability to escape all but one parasitic wasp species, and each wasp has a very specialized ability to kill one specific fly species. Specialized interactions between species allow more species to live in the same place,” says Forbes, co-author and assistant professor of biology at the University of Iowa.

In particular, the researchers used genetic testing to discover a total of 14 fly species inhabiting the two plants, and 18 species of wasps that killed those flies.

“Most insects are specialists,” Forbes says. “We have an idea that being a specialist should reduce the amount of overlap that you have with other species. So if you specialize in eating some plants, there shouldn’t be lots of other similar insects eating the same plants. But we're finding lots and lots of fly species and lots and lots of parasitic wasp species in the same place.

“It’s these interactions between plants, flies, and wasps that lead to far more diversity than we expect in this system,” Forbes says. “Each fly can only be killed by one wasp, so when a fly moves into a new type of flower home it escapes that wasp. Eventually, the wasp might find it again, or a new wasp may evolve the ability to kill the fly.

"It's like a big game of hide and seek," he adds.

The wasps have trouble telling the flies apart and can lay eggs in the wrong species, which kill the wasp offspring before they hatch, improving the flies’ ability to survive and reproduce.

“We wondered if the wasps laid their eggs in only one species. Is that the whole story?” Ms. Condon says. “No, it’s not the whole story. It’s a man bites dog story, because the wasp will attack flies that somehow are lethal to the wasp’s offspring, which helped explain this pattern we were seeing.”

“Insects are more diverse than we thought. They’re ridiculously, extraordinarily diverse,” Forbes says. “This study emphasizes how interactions between different species can help explain this diversity.”
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
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
black sea
              bass
North Carolina State University/Jeff Buckel
Black sea bass with stomach protruding from mouth.

Fish show strong resistance
to trauma of being caught

By the North Carolina State University news staff

In a new study, fisheries researchers from North Carolina State University found that black sea bass (Centropristis striata) can usually survive the physical trauma that results from being hauled up from deep water then released at the surface. The finding is part of a larger study of the fish’s mortality rate designed to help ensure that the black sea bass fishery is sustainable.

Black sea bass are bottom-dwelling fish, and are often caught at depths of greater than 60 feet. When the fish are brought to the surface, the rapid change in pressure causes the fish’s swim bladder to expand. This forces other organs out of the way and can result in visible barotrauma, such as the fish’s stomach being forced partially out of its mouth.

Conventional wisdom long held that this sort of visible barotrauma meant that a fish would die when thrown back into the water. But that’s not true, according to the study.

The research team was attempting to develop accurate estimates of mortality rates for black sea bass, meaning that they wanted to know what percentage of the fish would die if they were caught and thrown back. Discard mortality rates are used to make assessments for fish species, because it helps fisheries officials understand how many fish that are caught and released can be expected to survive. Black sea bass are a valuable species for commercial fishing and are also popular with recreational anglers. Millions of black sea bass are caught and released by recreational anglers off the south Atlantic coast of the U.S. each year.

The researchers came up with a novel method for determining the discard mortality rate for black sea bass. First, the researchers worked with a team of scuba divers to tag black sea bass in their natural habitat on the ocean floor. Then the researchers caught, tagged and released the same number of black sea bass in the same area on the same day. The fish tagged on the bottom served as a control group, since they were not subject to changes in atmospheric pressure or other injuries that could be incurred when caught and brought to the surface.

Over the next year, tagged black sea bass were caught by the researchers, or by recreational anglers or commercial fishing operations who returned the tags to the researchers. Researchers could then compare the number of tags returned from the experimental group (those tagged on the surface) to those returned from the control group (those tagged on the bottom). This allowed them to determine discard mortality rates.

The researchers had put the fish in the experimental group into one of four categories: those without visible injury; those with visible barotrauma; those with hook trauma (meaning the hook had caused significant internal injury); and floaters – those that couldn’t swim down into the water at all.

To their surprise, the researchers found that approximately 90 percent of the fish in the experimental group with visible barotrauma but that weren’t floaters survived. This was about the same survival rate as for fish that exhibited no visible injury at all. Fish with hook trauma had a survival rate of 36 percent, while floaters had a 16 percent survival rate.

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From Page 7:

French wines will be subject of tasting event

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A taste of France comes to Costa Rica through the medium of wine. sommelier Jeffry Zamora Gómez will host an intimate wine tasting for just 30 people.

Tasters will be lead through the diverse offerings of wine from French terroir. The five included wines will be sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, Côte du Rhône, Côte Du Ventoux, and a Sichel Sautern desert wine. They will be paired with five food plates.

Zamora, a graduate of an Argentinean sommelier school, will show attendants how to best pick out flavors from both white and red wines. He will also instruct them on how to best combine certain wines with certain dishes.

The tasting is on March 27 at 6:15 p.m. and will be held at the Alianza Francesa in Barrio Amón. The cost is 10,000 colons for students and elderly, and 15,000 colons for the general public.