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Published Monday, March 20, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 56
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Convention center draws low interest, study says
By Rommel Téllez
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials depended on a 2010 feasibility study to begin construction of the $35 million convention center west of San José. The study also said at that time that the center would soon require $650,000 a year in public funds to stay solvent.

The study is by the Orlando, Florida,-based The Innovation Group, a firm best known for its work in developing casino projects for U.S. Native American nations.

The firm based its financial projections on extensive use of the new facility by local groups for shows, banquets, dances and similar activities that will put the state in direct competition with a number of commercial venues.

Reporters obtained the study with difficulty from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, which is building the center with a $25 million investment.

The center will be a building of 15,600 square meters, about 167,917 square feet, on 10 hectares, about 25 acres, with room for 1,000 cars in Heredia along the General Cañas autopista. Construction began in late January.

Much of the data for the feasibility report and its projections came from 2009 and 2008. In addition to the United States, the report addresses the Latin American convention business and notes that Brazil hosted 293 international conventions and conferences in 2009 associated with the International Congress and Convention Association.

The convention association was one of four such groups that researchers tapped for information. Brazil, Argentina and México have well developed convention markets, said the report, adding that other centers are being built elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The firm said that the Costa Rican convention center was well located outside San José and close to Juan Santamaría airport. Downsides were the lack of adjacent hotels sufficient to house a convention crowd and the lack of air service.

There have been improvements in the capacity of the airport and airlines servicing it since the report was made. The report also noted a lack of nearby evening entertainment.

In 2009 the report said Costa Rica hosted 15 conventions associated with the international convention association out of 909 in Latin America.

Much of the report and conclusions are based on a survey conducted by a subcontractor who surveyed responses from 100 to 150 respondents, mainly those who organize conventions and conferences.

Some 89 percent of those who responded said
Interest in Costa Rica*
If Costa Rica were to open a convention center of 100,000 to 150,000 square feet, what would be your level of interest.

per cent
Strong or moderate 4
Limited or low
No interest 47
*Source: The Innovation Group 2010

Proposed Convention Center
Innovation Group graphic   
Rendering of convention center.

 that price was the factor most important in choosing a country in which to have an event.

Air service and proximity of hotels were in second and third place. Security was cited as the fourth most important factor by 55 percent.

Only 4 of 105 respondents said they would be strongly interested in having an event in Costa Rica if a convention center were built.

Based on its analysis, the research group said that Costa Rica would host 123 events a year but that just 16 of them would be international. The rest would involve mainly persons from Costa Rica.

“Historically,” the report said, “the direct earnings of an independent convention center tend to be negative, especially without the support of an adjacent hotel.”

The center would have to hire between 190 to 250 full-and part-time workers, it said.

The report said that a convention center would increase the number of visitors to Costa Rica and create indirect jobs in tourism and in other sectors as well.

It estimated that construction of the center would create 775 to 1,100 direct jobs and from 1,600 to 2,200 indirect ones.

The contractor is Edica Ltda., the same company that built Lincoln Plaza and part of Juan Santamaría airport.

The study also said that the center would be an incentive for developing nearby hotel space, and that would create more jobs.

Even by the third year of operation, the convention center would need a public subsidy of $650,000 despite $4.5 million in income, the report concluded.

U.S. Marine "invasion" is an example of fake news
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Remember those 7,000 U.S. Marines who were about to invade Costa Rica? That is another example of fake news affecting the country even before the phenomenon got that name.

Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America are prone to that problem because of the language barrier and real propaganda from all sorts of sources.

Humans are surrounded by propaganda every day, ranging from advertising to public relations efforts to wooing a girlfriend.

In fact, propaganda is the word for advertising in Spanish, and it does not carry the sneaky connotations as it does in English.

But when propaganda is sensational, blatant or very obvious, it becomes noticeable, like the 7,000 Marines.

A quick internet search shows dozens of respectable news outlets sucked up the Marine scare of 2010. Some were even uncritical local English-language news outlets. As propaganda experts say, the best efforts are dosed with true facts.

The Marine hoax appears to have its roots in a Cuban news agency report that U.S. Marines and 44 warships were heading to Costa Rica.

In fact, the measure approved by the legislature here simply listed all the ships in the U.S. Fourth Fleet that might want to make use of Costa Rica for shore leave.

The Costa Rican Constitution prohibits the docking of warships without legislative approval.

A similar story resurfaced in March 2011, thanks to the TeleSur network that reported on a later legislative approval allowing the entry of drug patrol ships.

The network disclosed an imaginary U.S. Navy base in Guanacaste. Casa Presidencial
                            anti-German poster
Wikipedia photo   
Propaganda is perpetuated in all cultures.

said that the station TeleSur was trying to destabilize the country.

The invasion grew larger in the TeleSur report. The claim was that 48 U.S. warships, 13,000 Marines, 200 helicopters, six combat aircraft and an aircraft carrier were all at some Pacific base in Guanacaste.  There are some bar owners there who wished this were true.

The Marine tale is well-worn. In 2009 Pakistani outlets said that 7,000 Marines were headed to Islamabad.

There are many current examples of truth laced with fiction on the Internet now, and some comes from supposedly reliable sources. Some are medical, but most are political. One claims the United States is building a base in the Talamanca mountains.

That stemmed from a distortion of a medical missionary effort among the residents there by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and U.S. soldiers.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 56
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Dental Services
Dental Services Costa Rica

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Surprise find in barrel frees 13 iguanas!
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo         
What was that noise? Officers of the Guardacostas were returning to their station close to the mouth of the Río Pacuare in Limón province when they heard some noises coming from a closed barrel. The coast guardsmen opened the lid and, to their surprise, found about 15 iguanas loaded inside.  13 of the iguanas were still alive and the officers immediately released them from the trap. As to who put the reptiles in the barrel, no arrests were reported as of Sunday evening.

Two wounded, two dead in shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 42-year old man murdered a 60-year old man and shot a woman and her child before turning the gun on himself Sunday morning, according to agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Based on a preliminary report, the events transpired at San Sebastián’s Jardines de Cascajal. The woman and her 14-year old son were out walking when the man apparently shot them. Agents said they believe that the man was a former lover of the woman.

Officials then said that the man went to the sector of Los Guidos, where he owns a business, and shot the 60-year old man in the back and in the head. Agents said that the 60 year old was apparently the owner of that property. He then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

The woman and child are both reported to be in stable condition, according to judicial agents. She sustained two gunshot wounds in the neck, while the child was shot once in the head. Both were taken to Hospital Calderón Guardia. 

Altercation between couple turns deadly

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An altercation between a teenage girl and a  42-year old man ended in the death of both.

Preliminary reports from the Judicial Investigating Agency said that, around 9 Sunday morning, the couple got in a fight at their home in Guápiles. Officials said that the man attacked the girl with a knife and stabbed her six times in the chest killing her instantly. Agents did not describe how the man died.

Asociación Latinoamericana de Surfistas Profesionales photo         
Carlos Muñoz catches a wave to win the final round.

Costa Rican surfers finish in top spots

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two Costa Rican surfers shared the top two spots for the final round of the competition held at Playa Venao in Panamá this past weekend.

Ramón Taliani and Carlos Muñoz came head to head in the final round after beating out the competition from the elimination part of the series. According to the Asociación Latinoamericana de Surfistas Profesionales, Taliani came in to the final round ahead in terms of points.

Muñoz needed at least nine points to beat his fellow Tico. A few minutes and a good wave led the underdog to reach a perfect score of 10 to beat out Taliani. With the numbers compiled up, Muñoz scored 18.37 to Taliani’s 17.5 points.

Meanwhile, the champion for the Open Women category was a former world champion: Sofía Mulanovich from Perú. With 13.27 points, she beat her competitor Emily Gussoni who finished second with 12.7.

The Surf Playa Venao Golden Pro is the sixth date in the Tour Latinoamericano de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Surfistas Profesionales. The surfers’ associations said that the next stop will be at Esmeraldas in Ecuador.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Costa Rica

Third News Page
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 56
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Political scientists weigh possible Trump phenomena in Costa Rica
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Next February, presidential elections will take place and Costa Ricans are already being bombarded with all manner of advertising to choose their candidates at the primaries of every single party.

Given the choices, there is no clear trend on what's going to happen. Given the circumstances, the fear that a demagogue may arise and that a political landscape that elects a Trump-style candidate may happen.

Gina Sibaja, a political science analyst at Universidad de Costa Rica says she wants to believe that it would not happen here but she is not so sure. A demagogue could arise anywhere, she evenly noted.

Ms. Sibaja has a strong personal stand on the matter. She believes Costa Ricans are so fed up with politicians that they would vote for anyone who dares to challenge the status quo. No matter what his or her ideology is, they would do it just to bother the political class.

“Ticos do not feel truly represented, so we do vote because we are used to it, and it gives us a sense of power, the power of choosing. But once the elections are over, the population just believes that's as far as it goes, and they will be hurt anyways.” she explained.

“So, it is likely that they will use their votes as a way to send a message, to claim vengeance. These politicians are away from their needs anyway. Why would I take the time to look for the best option? That's where a Tico Trump may arise,” she explained.

Felipe Alpizar, director at Centro de Investigación y Estudios Políticos at Universidad de Costa Rica, says it is hard to reach a yes or no answer.

He does acknowledge that, at an international level, there is a huge discomfort with traditional politics, and sometimes this could lead to a perfect environment for a leader to embrace change as his motto, and that would be appealing to younger generations.

Alpízar illustrates this with the raise of political movements as the Indignados in Spain and La Nuit Debout in France.

The expert considers that all of them have a common anger based on the economic consequences of globalization, and the people's realizations that it hurts them.

However, it is unlikely for something like that to happen in Costa Rica, according to him.

“Historically, Costa Rica’s electorate plays safe. It is our culture. We are bred to be moderate and not to choose extreme options. Our behavior is that of avoiding conflict and be average.” Alpízar says.

The director points to the rapid ascendancy of Luis Guillermo Solís during the last election. He believes this is due to the fact that he posed no radical threats.

                            Desanti Frank Camacho
Facebook page photos
From top left to bottom right: Otto Guevara, Carlos Alvarado, Antonio Álvarez Desanti and Francisco Camacho. 

"Nobody expected it. In a way he represented a change, but a controlled one,” he said.

“What I am really afraid of  is the fact that lately people have started saying that a Trump-like leader may arise, and by the power of thought we may attract such a person."

Looking at the candidates, there are many right now, and expats may be a little overwhelmed with the names and the parties running for this election. From ads on TV to videos posted on Facebook, it is hard to avoid the Costa Rican elections. On the right side of the court, well-known players from Partido Liberación Nacional are gearing up for their own primary battle. These include: Antonio Álvarez Desanti, Sigifredo Aiza, Rolando Gonzáles and José María Figueres. Some might say they are of the old guard in national politics, well experienced politicians seeking the presidency.

In the case of Jose María Figueres, he is fighting for a second term. He was president from 1994 to 1998.

Otto Guevara, founder of the Movimiento Libertario has been his party's candidate for 20 years. This will be his fifth attempt to become president.

Coming from the left, Frente Amplio's Francisco Camacho and Edgardo Araya are also preparing to seek the presidency trophy. Both of them are current legislators at Asamblea Legislativa and are well known social activists.

At the center, the Partido Acción Ciudadana, the party of current President Luis Guillermo Solís, seeks to inherit the office again. Carlos Alvarado, former labor minister, and Welmer Bolaños, former economy minister, are the two favorites.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 56
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Malaria mosquito has set of sensors targeting humans, study says
By the Vanderbilt University press staff

Biologists who study the malaria mosquito’s nose have found that it contains a secondary set of odor sensors that seem to be specially tuned to detect humans. The discovery could aid efforts to figure out how the insects target humans and develop a preference for them.

If one could peer into the mind of a female mosquito, one would find that her world is dominated by smell rather than sight or sound.

She follows whiffs of carbon dioxide exhaled by animals to locate potential prey. As she closes in on a target, she uses the animal’s body odors to decide whether it is a desirable host. After getting the blood meal she needs to reproduce, she follows the scent of stagnant water to find a place to lay her eggs.

Her delicate antennae, proboscis and a pair of mouth appendages called palps are what make this possible. They are covered by tiny hollow sensory hairs called sensilla that are filled with an impressive array of odor sensors that can discriminate among thousands of different aromatic compounds.

For the last 15 years, a team of biologists at Vanderbilt University have been studying a family of 79 odorant receptors in the malaria mosquito, also known as Anopheles gambiae, in hopes of finding better repellents and lures that can be used to prevent the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

As the researchers meticulously determined the specific compounds that triggered these receptors, however, they were surprised to discover that the Anopheles receptors’ did not respond to many of the smelly human odors that they know mosquitoes can detect.

The scientists think they now have a handle on at least one of the reasons for this disparity. In a paper published in the journal “Nature: Scientific Reports,” they report that the malaria mosquito has a second complete system of odor sensors discovered five years ago in the fruit fly that are specially tuned to at least two human-derived chemical signals, which the insect’s receptor system cannot detect. Adult females use this second system of odor sensors to seek human prey.

Close-up on
                    mosquito head
Vanderbilt University photo
Electron microscope image of the head of a female mosquito shows its olfactory system.

“This appears to be a more primitive olfactory system and one which Anopheles uses to detect humans,” said Laurence Zwiebel, a biology professor at Vanderbilt who directed the study. “It fills important gaps in the mosquito’s chemosensory perception that are not provided by the OR system.”

In a series of extensive and painstaking experiments, the scientists succeeded in functionally characterizing three of these different sensors, called ionotropic receptors, in Anopheles.

The researchers determined that unique combinations of these types of receptors respond to two classes of compounds found in human sweat: carboxylic acids that impart a vinegary tang and ammonia derivatives called amines.

There is still a great deal about that receptor system that the scientists don’t understand. For example, they think the mosquitoes may also use this ancient family of proteins to detect infrared radiation and humidity levels.

One measure of the importance of an olfactory system is the number of connections it has to the brain. By this measure the odorant receptor system is the most important because it has more neurons that link it to the mosquito’s brain, but the other system runs a close second.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 56
Real Estate
About us
Blood test available now
to prevent heart attack

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists can tell by your blood whether you have cancer cells, how well your organs are functioning, and if they've been affected by cancer. Now there’s a new blood test that could help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Jeff Meeusen developed the test at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Meeusen said that the test will determine who’s at risk for a heart attack or stroke, "and it seems to have a chance to determine who’s at risk, even accounting for current gold standard tests like low-density lipoprotein cholesterol."

This kind of cholesterol is considered the bad cholesterol because it becomes part of plaque, the waxy stuff that can clog arteries.

The test measures the amount of ceramides in the blood. Ceramides are waxy molecules strongly linked to cardiovascular disease. They are similar to cholesterol, but unlike cholesterol, they are biologically active.

Meeusen explained that when we start to have cardiovascular risk factors, the ceramide levels build up and then they can promote things like low-density lipoprotein cholesterol crossing into the vascular wall. Once it’s there, he said, ceramides develop atheroscopic plaque, which causes hardening of the arteries.

Meeusen is a clinical chemist and co-director of Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

The test could be used to help patients who have progressing coronary artery disease as well as to find out who is at risk for developing coronary artery disease.

Meeusen said the test provides an incentive to patients to take better care of their health. What's more, the test is available to doctors and their patients outside the Mayo Clinic hospital network.

Two U.S. officials to testify
on wiretapping allegations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two key U.S. officials are set to testify publicly about whether there is any truth behind the explosive, but unsubstantiated, claim by U.S. President Donald Trump that former president Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower headquarters in the weeks before last year's presidential election.

Both Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, and National Security Agency chief Adm. Michael Rogers likely would have known about the eavesdropping if it occurred. They are to appear Monday before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

For two weeks, Trump has refused to back down on his allegation, even as a string of officials, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, have said there is no evidence to support Trump's March 4 wiretapping claims he made in a series of Twitter comments.

On Sunday, Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House panel, told Fox News that new information lawmakers received Friday from the Justice Department about the possibility of a wiretap has not changed his conclusion.

Neither Rogers nor Comey has spoken publicly about the president's allegation. But Comey, as the FBI chief, sought to get the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, to disavow Trump's claim shortly after the president made it, but the agency has not released any statement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who oversees the Justice Department and was a staunch Trump supporter during the presidential campaign, said last week he never gave the president any reason to believe he was wiretapped in the weeks before the November election.

Trump's White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, last week suggested that the wiretapping was carried out by British agents, citing a statement on Fox News by a legal analyst, Andrew Napolitano.

The British electronic intelligence agency, the GCHQ, said the report was utterly ridiculous and should be ignored, but when asked about it Friday at a White House news conference, Trump deflected any blame for linking the British to his wiretapping allegation.

"All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television,'' Trump said of the claim that Obama had enlisted the British to eavesdrop on him.

A short time later, a Fox News anchor said, "Fox News cannot confirm Judge Napolitano's commentary. Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind, that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way."

Last week, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner, said in a joint statement, "Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government, either before or after Election Day 2016.”

G20 meeting opens talk
about trade protectionism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the meeting of finance ministers of the G20 countries was a success Saturday despite the ministers not reaching agreement on trade protectionism.

"I will leave here confident that my colleagues and I are able to work in partnership to foster and promote global growth and financial stability," he said.

Citing President Donald Trump's commitment to American companies and workers, Mnuchin pushed back on and effectively omitted a ban on protectionism from the joint statement released at the end of the summit.

Mnuchin did, however, say that the United States still believed in free trade.

“We believe in free trade, we’re one of the largest markets in the world, we’re one of the largest trading partners in the world," Mnuchin said. "Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements," he continued, speaking specifically about the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Other world powers present played down any disagreement between the countries.

"It's not true we are not agreed. It's completely clear we are not for protectionism," Wolfgang Schaeuble, finance minister of host country Germany, told reporters, though he did, without mentioning a country by name, say that "maybe one or the other important member state needs to get a sense of how international cooperation works.''

The G20 is a informal forum on economic cooperation between 19 countries plus the European Union. Representatives from the 19 countries and the EU will meet for a formal summit in July.

Musicians pay tribute, thank rock legend Chuck Berry

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Musicians have been paying tribute to American rock n' roll icon Chuck Berry, who died Saturday at the age of 90.

In a series of tweets, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger thanked Berry for all the inspirational music he gave to us.

Legendary American singer Bruce Springstein said Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived.

British rock singer Rod Stewart said Berry inspired us all while American singer Huey Lewis said his music and influence will last forever.

The legendary African-American musician, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, gave his first performance in high school. Since then, he forged a life that included three years in reform school, 20 months in prison, and decades in the spotlight, pioneering a musical form that has become synonymous with American music.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, who went by the nickname Chuck, was famous for such 1950s hits as “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Johnny B. Goode.” The singles, revolutionary combinations of pop, country music and blues, were dance hits in high school gymnasiums and music clubs across the United States. His musical style helped give birth to the age of the American teenager, all hormones and energy and optimism.

Berry’s hit “Maybellene” was a rock ’n’ roll treatment of a country song known as “Ida Red.” Berry wrote in a memoir that his music label Chess couldn’t believe that a hillbilly song could be written and sung by a black guy.

His music influenced most of the popular musicians that came after him, including such well-known music legends as the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and the Grateful Dead. Referring to Berry in the mid-1980s, Rolling Stone’s Keith Richards famously quipped, “I’ve stolen every lick he ever played.”

Berry was born into a middle-class family in Missouri and gave his first performance at Sumner High School, historic in its own right as the first African-American high school west of the Mississippi River, a dividing line that separates the eastern third of the country from the West.

Berry is credited with originating many quirks exclusively associated with the rock ’n’ roll genre, including a rollicking, danceable beat, his famous duck walk and a heavy, rhythmic guitar style that he may well have been described in the song Johnny B. Goode: “just like he’s ringin’ a bell.” Legend has it that he developed his duck walk as a means of hiding the wrinkles in the one good suit he had brought on tour.

As for Johnny B. Goode, originally meant to be about a black boy but changed to country boy for wider appeal, countless bands covered it, among them the Beatles, country star Buck Owens and heavy metal band Judas Priest.

Berry’s brushes with the law came early and late. In high school, he was arrested for armed robbery and spent three years in a reformatory, between 1944 and 1947. He emerged to go to work in an automobile factory, but he was playing music publicly with the Johnnie Johnson Trio by 1953. A meeting in Chicago with famed blues musician Muddy Waters led to the release of “Maybellene,” national fame and a string of hits.

In 1961, Berry got in trouble for transporting a 14-year-old girl across state lines and served 20 months in prison, a period in his life that friends said changed him forever. In 1979, he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion.

Berry’s music evolved at a time when racism was running high; blacks and whites were segregated into different schools, businesses, churches and public facilities. But his music attracted fans of all ethnicities.

Despite his troubles with the law and the conditions of the times, Berry rose to the top of his profession.

He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, became one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and was given a Kennedy Center Honors Award in Washington in 2000 for his lifetime of contributions to American cultural life.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced March 16 that Berry’s work will be featured in a new exhibit alongside that of Elvis Presley and other rock ’n’ roll greats, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the music magazine Rolling Stone.

Berry said the musical genres that inspired him were swing and big band, the music of the 1940s. In an appearance on “The Tonight Show in 1987,” Berry said he originally wanted to play the more traditional musical styles.

But Berry knew a good thing when he saw it. Married to his wife, Themetta Suggs, since 1948 and with four children to support, Berry embraced the musical style that made his career. In the 1957 hit “Rock and Roll Music,” Berry sang, “It’s gotta be rock ’n’ roll music, if you wanna dance with me.”

Berry’s final original album, titled “Chuck,” is expected to be released by Dualtone Music Group later this year.

State Department denies visas to African delegates

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Each year, the University of Southern California brings delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas.

Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees at the African Global Economic and Development Summit, unable to attain visas.

"Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Ms. Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened."

Ms. Flowers estimated that she lost about 100 attendees, including speakers and government officials. The countries affected included Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa.

A request for comment from the State Department was not immediately returned.

Ms. Flowers said those who were denied visas were called for embassy interviews just days before they were supposed to travel, despite having applied weeks or even months ahead of time.

One of those denied a visa was Prince Kojo Hilton, a Ghanaian artist whose work includes special effects and graphic art. He paid his $500 fee to attend the event and was asked to lead a session on filmmaking. But he held off buying his plane ticket until his appointment at the embassy on March 13, four days before he was supposed to travel.

It remains unclear why all of the Africans heading to the event were denied visas this year.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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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 

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
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 56
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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

The gardener reaches major milestone

Metric Man and I just passed a milestone in Costa Rica residency. We have been here for five years, which means that this is home, not just a stop along the way. We have met the challenges of moving to the tropics and
prevailed. There were a lot of challenges.

Food was an issue at first. I like to grow mine, but the hot tropical sun scorched leaves and the tropical rains washed seeds and even seedlings right out of the ground.

Nicaraguan grackles managed to

swoop down on any survivors and carry them away. The battle was joined. Raised beds, netting, shade cloth, they all played a part in keeping plants alive.

Timing is important here more so than it was in Georgia, and putting seeds in the ground at the right time was a matter of trial and error. Things grow like mad here (especially weeds) and they have to be watched more carefully. What do your neighbors grow and when do they plant it? We kept our eyes on them and listened to our gardener.

Then there was the lust for what we had lost. Metric Man bemoaned the lack of  “a decent baking potato” (Idaho potatoes to be exact) and hot buttery sweet corn, although I hope to solve the later with a special corn developed for our climate. Me? I found mangos a good substitute for peaches and a green mango pie the equal of peach. Blueberries? Black raspberries work for me, and hubby appreciates that they make a good pie. Apples are another matter, so we occasionally treat ourselves to a crispy Granny Smith.

For the most part, substitution is key I think. We live in a place with amazing fruits and vegetables and they can substitute for a lot of things. I found a type of water apple (manzana de agua) that tasted a bit like pears. Then the tree died, a type of underground pest, some kind of beetle larvae. Just another tropical challenge.

When you get the five-year mark, you have either conquered or substituted successfully. You know where to find things you need, you have become acquainted to every single vivero (plant nursery) within a 50 kilometer radius, and you have bought plants from almost every vivero owner. You have tried local fruits and veggies in your own dishes and been satisfied.

You have special garden friends and you have agreed to share knowledge, seeds, and cuttings with them all. Your garden is filling up, you have the right fertilizers for everything, and you even found someone who sells hormone rooting powder.

Congratulations! You are a Costa Rican gardener!

Plant for the Week

Need to brighten up a dark corner? The Peace lily (genus Spathiphyllum) is available in white, pinks, purples, and even a black flower. Planted in good soil and partial shade, this lily will both grow and spread. It can bring a spot of light into any shaded garden area.
Peace Lilly
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

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. puts out call for proposals on border wall

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government has put out a call for proposals to build a wall along the border with México that President Donald Trump ordered as one of his first official acts after the inauguration.

The request for proposals issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency are a first step toward the multibillion-dollar wall project.

The agency is seeking bids from designers and builders who are prepared to erect prototypes of their wall plans of a reduced size and total area of about 10 square meters each, which would be used to make a final decision later this year about how the wall would be built and by whom.

Specifications for the finished product, as described in the official documents, make clear that the wall will be a massive construction project. The government is asking for a 9-meter-high concrete barrier, extending two meters underground, built to be physically imposing and capable of resisting almost any attack, by sledgehammer, car jack, pickaxe, chisel, battery-operated impact tools, battery-operated cutting tools or torch.

Trump, who as a candidate made the Mexican border wall one of his main campaign themes, said he wanted a big, beautiful wall, and the government's request for bids reflected that wish, declaring the completed project should be aesthetically pleasing at least on the north or U.S.-facing side of the wall.

Two detailed requests for proposals were issued Friday, each more than 130 pages long. One was for a solid concrete barrier, the other called for a similar structure containing see-through openings, apparently for border guards' use. The specifications noted that under certain circumstances, likely affected by local topography, some portions of the finished wall could be shorter than 9 meters.

Both walls would have to incorporate features to prevent anyone from scaling the barrier or attaching grappling hooks to its summit, and both also were required to incorporate electronically controlled gates for vehicles and pedestrians.

Customs and Border Protection said it intends to award multiple contracts based on responses to its request statement, but noted the aggregate awards would not surpass $300 million. The agency previously called for would-be bidders to submit concept designs by March 10, but it was not clear whether any were submitted.

The prototypes, or scaled-down sample walls, are to be built in Southern California, close to the Mexican border in the U.S. city of San Diego.

The entire U.S.-Mexico border covers 3,200 kilometers, over a variety of terrain, from California, through Arizona and New Mexico and ending in southern Texas. More than 1,100 kilometers of that stretch already is fenced, but nowhere is the barrier as massive as the wall described in the new documents.

A preliminary version of the president's budget for government for fiscal 2018, beginning in October, was sent to Congress this week, and it included $2.6 billion for the beginning of wall construction.