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Published Thursday, March 24, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 59
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Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo
The Reventazón dam and the artificial lake it has created.
$1.4 billion power project ready to go into service
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The $1.4 billion Reventazón hydro project is expected to go on line next week and begin providing power to the national grid.

The project eight kilometers southeast of Siquirres de Limón has the largest dam in Central America with a height of 130 meters or 430 feet which creates an 8-kilometer long lake.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said Wednesday that the power project has completed final tests with the national grid and
that initially one of four turbines will provide 73 megawatts of power. The capacity is estimated at 305.5 megawatts. The power
company said that this is enough for 125,000 homes and 2 million persons. The project takes water for the Río Reventazón via a  4.2-kilometer tunnel. That’s about 2.6 miles.

Construction began in April 2010. The project is not without controversy.

Environmentalists say the use of river water might damage the passage of migratory fish, and the project also has been accused of severing a wildlife corridor.

Residents in the area also have complained about shifts in the ground due to the weight of the water accumulated in the reservoir. The company has agreed to make infrastructure investments in 15 communities.

Turtles reported avoiding nets with LED illumination
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Pacific sea turtles appear to be smart enough to avoid gillnets if the nets are marked with a series of cheap light-emitting diodes.

Researchers at the University of Exeter have reported that putting such lights on gillnets reduced the accidental capture of turtles by 64 percent without reducing the intended catch.

The researchers carried out their experiment in a bay in Perú, a country whose fishing fleet kills many green, olive ridley and hawksbill, loggerhead and leatherback turtles in 100,000 kilometers of nets each year, said the university.

Gillnets have holes big enough for fish to insert their head but not their body. As the fish try to withdraw their head, the nets snag the gills.

Turtles also are big enough to damage the nets, and those doing the fishing would prefer to avoid them.

Turtle lights
University of Exeter photo  
Coiled nets are decorated with lights

The researchers said that the cost of the lights, about $2 apiece, were cheap when compared to the life of a turtle. They said they would experiment with different colors and arrangements.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ProDelphinus in Perú and the United Kingdom government’s Darwin Initiative supported the measure.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 59
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Real estate agents and services


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Tour desk

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Field fire ignites Pavas warehouse complex

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A field fire is being blamed for causing a spectacular blaze that ravaged part of an industrial area in Pavas Wednesday. The Cuerpo de Bomberos said that 1,750 square meters (18,837 square feet) of a 6,675  square meter (71,849 square feet) complex were destroyed.

The blaze engulfed large storage facilities of Tips, the kitchen appliance and commercial furniture firm as well as adjacent facilities. A firm involved in the manufacture of clothing was burned out, and the refrigeration firm Clima Ideal S.A., lost a warehouse. The properties were in the Zona Industrial Pavas.

Firemen were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the blaze and the shortage of water. Six tankers were at the scene but the service in the street was less than adequate. The blaze burned furiously because the content of some large storage warehouses were mainly cartons and plastic.

About 50 persons were working the warehouse complex, and most were involved in removing boxes, furniture and computers to protect them from the encroaching flames.

There were no injuries from the fire, but a fireman suffered an injury to his shoulder when he was hit by a ladder. He was reported hospitalized in stable condition.

The alarm came in about 2:23 p.m. Winds fanned the field fire and allowed it to jump to the nearby structures.

No additional local zika cases reported

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica continues to hold the line on the zika virus. The Ministerio de Salud reported Wednesday that there still are just eight confirmed cases of the virus in residents who appear to have contracted the disease here. Seven are in Sámara and one is in Nosara, which is further north on the far Pacific coast. Two are men and the rest are women. One woman is pregnant.

The health ministry also said that four cases have been confirmed in persons who contracted the virus in another country. Two were infected in Nicaragua and one was infected in Colombia and another in Honduras, the ministry said.

The ministry and private firms are engaged in aggressive spraying and elimination of places where the mosquito vectors breed.

Religious processions for next four days

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Friday afternoon is when the colorful and highly photogenic funeral procession of the Crucified Christ takes place in downtown San José. Parishes all over the country will have similar commemorations for Good Friday and Easter.

Tonight the archdiocese of San José plans a 7:30 p.m. event entitled Procesión del silencio con Jesús atado a la columna. The procession commemorates the suffering of Jesus Christ after he had been in the hands of his captors and was flogged, according to New Testament accounts. The procession is from Parque Central to the El Carmen Church. Following that is a series of evening adorations in the churches.

At 10 a.m. Friday a procession features Christ carrying his cross to the site of crucifixion. In this case the crucifixion is in Parque Central amid a collection of religious figures and even the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

At 4 p.m. there is a religious service in the Catedral Metropolitana, and at 5:30 p.m., the statue of La Virgen de la Solidad leaves in procession the church of the same name to arrive at the cathedral.

Then at 6 p.m. begins at the cathedral the burial procession of Jesus. This is an elaborate production with the Banda de San José, fire fighters, actors dressed as Roman soldiers, apostles and the women such as Mary Magdalene who are mentioned in the Bible.

Saturday at 4 p.m. There is a procession from the La Soledad Church to the cathedral and back again. At 7 p.m. there is another service in the cathedral that the clergy say is the most important of the week.

Finally Sunday at 10 a.m. there is a procession from the La Merced Church to the cathedral commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. That is followed by a Mass in the cathedral officiate by Archibishop José Rafael Quirós.

A.M. Costa Rica will not be published Friday

The Barrio Otoya offices of A.M. Costa Rica are closed today and Friday, and the newspaper will not be published Friday, Good Friday in the Christian calendar.

News from the Spanish-language press
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 59
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Police are not impressed by the use of an ancient fishing method
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The method of fishing probably is older than modern humans. In fact, there probably would not be modern humans if ancestors had to outsmart the wily trout with a royal coachman dry fly plunked in the middle of a mayfly hatch.

The bipedal hominids somehow learned of the efficiency and method to poison fish. This is not unsportsmanlike. The early human was trying to feed the wife and kids back in the cave. The method is not unsportsmanlike today in remote areas, either, although government officials are not impressed.

That is why Fuerza Pública officers flew to the banks of the Río Telire near Bajo Bley, Talamanca, to dismantle a dam presumably erected by natives there.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said that some in the area are accustomed to make a plant-based poison that affects fish but not humans. They pour this potion upstream and let the disoriented fish accumulate at makeshift dams. Similar techniques are employed by Amazonian natives. Environmentally sensitive locals said that such dams are a frequent occurrences. The case has been reported to the environmental ministry, said officers.

Poison pen
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Police and a resident begin to dismantle a makeshift dam on the Río Telire in the high Talamancas.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 59
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Genome mapping of ticks promises better defenses for many diseases 
By the A.M. Cost Rica wire services

There are more than 900 species of ticks in the world, many of which carry serious diseases. In fact, ticks transmit a wider variety of pathogens than any other arthropod, causing thousands of human and animal deaths annually. But no one had thought to study them until about 10 years ago.

Now researchers, led by Purdue University entomologist Catherine Hill, have mapped the genome of Ixodes scapularis, the deer tick that is infamous for carrying Lyme Disease. With backing from the National Institutes of Health, Ms. Hill put together a tick research team of 93 scientists from 46 institutions around the world. Their findings are published in Nature Communications.

"A good way to think about a genome-sequencing project is to relate it to a jigsaw puzzle," Ms. Hill explained. "So you break everything up like little pieces of DNA and then you have to put them back together again."

Among other things, the researchers identified a long list of genes that control smell and taste receptors, and discovered that ticks smell with their feet. The creatures climb blades of grass and hold their feet out until they sense a host to hop onto. With that information, scientists can design sprays and repellents to disrupt the tick’s abilities to find a host or perhaps even to mate and propagate.

The researchers also determined that about 20 percent of the creature's genes are unique to ticks, which Hill says could lead to highly focused pesticides.

"If we target these particular molecules we can make designer chemistries that are very specific or unique to the tick. We would be controlling only the tick and not affecting other organisms in the environment," she said. "And that means that we would be aiming to design more environmentally acceptable products for tick control."

Ms. Hill’s colleague, virologist Richard Kuhn, heads Purdue's Institute for Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. He sees the tick genome map as a gateway for the development of new drugs, noting that although ticks and humans use the same biological approach to disable viruses, ticks have developed immunity to many of the pathogens they carry.

Kuhn suggests scientists could apply the same principles to human medicine. Knowledge of the Ixodes scapularis genome will not only help scientists develop vaccines for Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and a form of encephalitis, it could also prevent future tick-related epidemics.

Diseases spread by ticks are on the rise around the world, spurred by a combination of factors, including shifting climates and population sprawl into rural areas. Studies have shown that the northward spreading of the castor bean tick in Sweden and Russia appear to be associated with climate change, especially milder winters and extended growing seasons.

Purdue University photo
Ixodes scapularis, commonly known as the deer tick, transmits Lyme disease, the most common U.S. tick-borne illness.

A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council predicts lyme disease could expand throughout the United States and northward into Canada, as temperatures warm, allowing ticks to move into new regions.

"Warmer temperatures, increases in rainfall, and milder winters can favor tick survival," noted Bobbi Pritt, director of clinical parasitology at the Mayo Clinic, in an email to Scientific American magazine.

Kuhn said that as their range expands, the danger from ticks is growing.

"It’s better to be prepared now to begin to understand how we might be able to control them now, than when we have the outbreak of a new disease and everybody says 'Let's do something,' and we will not be prepared. We're preparing ahead of time," he said.

Reflecting on the last 10 years of research, Ms. Hill says that though her team has come to the end of genome mapping, they’re really just at the beginning of advancing work into understanding the biology of ticks.

"I don’t think we’ve appreciated the diversity of bacteria and viruses that ticks can transmit and we’re just at the very beginning of getting a better appreciation of that and understanding that ability to transmit pathogens," she said.

As sequencing software technology catches up, they hope to sequence many more tick species genomes at a much quicker pace.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
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:   
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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (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!

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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Real estate-related services (paid category)
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
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or 506-8314-8090


Real estate rentals (paid category)

Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email:

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 
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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
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Puriscal rental
A peaceful place near Puriscal.
Property is a small house on a 16-acre farm in Desamparaditos, a small village located 5K NW of Santiago de Puriscal. 15 minutes to Puriscal, 1 hour to San José and the airport, all paved roads. House has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, large  open kitchen/dining/living area and is fully furnished. Nice veranda with great views. Many fruit trees. Private but not isolated with all utilities. Rent $550/month long term, short term negotiable. Tenant pays for electricity and phone. Landlord pays water. Absolutely no pets. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 7187-8577, in the USA call Pete Todd at 970-221-1457 or 720-951-7928.

Two bedrooms plus additional on loft, furnished condo with garage, half block walking distance to Costa Rica international Academy. Gated compound on Country Club grounds across Fairway Five. USD $850 plus utilities. Info: US 925 755-4645 or  Note:

 CR house telephone number 2654- 4145  We will be in our house in Flamingo,  March 11 thru April 30.

                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
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Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact:  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 59
Real Estate
About us

Axiom 890 pixels

Voice of America graphic  
Location where bombs exploded at Zaventem airport in Brussels.

Airport check-in attacks
called new jihadist tactic

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tuesday’s terrorist bombings in Brussels featured a new tactic for Islamic State militants, attacking passengers in a departure hall where airport security is at its weakest.

Transport terminals across Europe ramped up their security measures following the Brussels attacks with many mounting highly visible armed patrols near check-in desks to reassure passengers. But officials in several European countries are saying that there will now have to be a major overhaul of airport security in the light of Tuesday’s blasts.

It is not the first time Middle Eastern terrorists have targeted a departure hall, but it has not been done since 2007 when radical Islamists smashed a Jeep Cherokee loaded with propane canisters through the doors of the Glasgow International Airport terminal. The only fatality was one of the assailants.

In even bloodier attacks in 1985, the Palestinian militant group of Abu Nidal shot at travelers checking in for El Al flights in the main departure halls at the Rome and Vienna airports, killing 19, including a child, and injuring 140 people.

Abu Nidal’s operations were notorious for their random cruelty and Islamic State militants are now emulating them as they seek out the easiest locations and most vulnerable people to target, say analysts, who predict the Brussels attack will lead to far-reaching consequences for aviation security at Western airports.

According to Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a British think tank, Islamic State chose to hit a departure lounge for the same reasons Abu Nidal chose to do so, to maximize disruption and maximize the international profile of the attack.

He says the Brussels airport attack will likely prompt a major review of airport security in Europe and the United States. He predicts a debate about whether people should have to go through routine checks before being allowed to enter passenger terminals, as is the case with most Mideast and Asia airports, where long lines build up.

“We are likely to see a review of airport security as there is political expectation in these circumstances that something must be done and defenses increased, and if you are caught out twice there will be political hell to pay,” Joshi says.

But he cautions against placing too much faith in security procedures observed at airports in the Middle East and Asia, arguing they amount to rather pointless security theater. He adds: “If a major attack went off just outside a security check, which is entirely possible, you would have all the disruption you had inside the terminal.”

He argues the focus at airports has to be on ensuring the security and safety of the aircraft.

Authorities at Heathrow in Britain say in light of the Brussels attack they are ramping up security in the departure and arrivals halls and working with police to provide a high-visibility presence.

London’s other major airport, Gatwick, is doing the same. “As a result of the terrible incidents in Brussels, there will be increased police and security patrols in and around Gatwick Airport,” airport bosses said.

But the Brussels attacks underscore the huge challenge facing European security services, how to prevent attacks on the softest of targets as jihadists become even more random in what and who they attack far from battlefield action.

From massacring vacationers relaxing and strolling on North Africa’s Mediterranean beaches to gunning down shoppers, diners, and concert-goers in Paris, the Islamic State is making everyone a target.

But a federation representing European airports, Airports Council International Europe, warned in a statement: “The possible adoption of additional security measures such as checks on persons and goods entering airport land-side spaces could be disruptive and actually create new security vulnerabilities. By displacing the gathering of passengers and airport visitors to spaces not designed for that purpose, such measures would essentially be moving the target rather than securing it.”
What is alarming intelligence officials on both sides of the Atlantic is how Islamic State networks in Europe in recent months have been able to pull together big plots involving several attackers without security services discovering the plots.

Intelligence officials on both sides of the Atlantic say this chapter of low-grade 24/7 terrorism with any Westerner a target, wherever he or she might be, needs to be answered with more intrusive intelligence and surveillance and a dramatic increase in resources.

But governments are facing a headwind when it comes to upping electronic surveillance. Public resistance to more intrusive methods and data collection has increased in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the scale of the U.S. National Security Agency’s metadata surveillance.

Presidential hopefuls trade
barbs over Brussels attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The leading U.S. presidential candidates are trading new ideas and sharp barbs over how best to cope with the threat of terrorism in the immediate aftermath of the deadly Brussels terrorist attacks.

The Republican front-runner, real estate billionaire Donald Trump, suggested that Tuesday's attack in the Belgian capital that killed at least 31 people and injured another 271 could have been prevented if authorities had resorted to harsh interrogation techniques, including torture, against Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam, who was captured in Belgium last week.

Abdeslam has reportedly been talking to investigators, but Trump told CNN, "Well, you know he may be talking, but he'll talk a lot faster with the torture."

Trump's chief rival for the Republican nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a conservative firebrand in the halls of Congress, called for a freeze on admission to the U.S. of any new refugees from countries with significant contingents of al-Qaida and Islamic State jihadists. He said U.S. law enforcement authorities need to be given the authority to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.

Cruz branded Trump as hopelessly naive for suggesting this week that the United States reduce its support for the North America Treaty Alliance, the West's military alliance since the end of World War II.

Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., said he thought Cruz's idea to patrol Muslim neighborhoods was a good idea.

The leading Democratic presidential contender, former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, denounced Trump, saying, "This is about not only selecting a president, but also selecting a commander-in-chief. The last thing we need is leaders who incite more fear."

Mrs. Clinton, the wife of former president Bill Clinton, added, "We don't build walls or turn our back on our allies. We can't throw out everything we know about what works and what doesn't and start torturing people."

Trump in turn rebuked her, telling one interviewer, "Incompetent Hillary doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't have a clue."

The charged atmosphere about possible terrorist threats in the United States came as voters cast ballots Tuesday in three more presidential nominating contests, in the western states of Arizona, Utah and Idaho.

Trump routed Cruz in Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexican border, winning all 58 of the state's delegates to the Republican national nominating convention in July.

Cruz easily won in heavily Mormon Utah, collecting all 40 of the state's national convention delegates. The day's results left Trump far ahead in the race to win enough pledged convention delegates ahead of the quadrennial gathering, but still 40 percent away from the majority of delegates he needs to claim the nomination.

Cruz on Wednesday picked up the endorsement of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race last month. In a statement released by the Cruz campaign, Bush called Cruz the only hope for Republicans to win back the White House and criticized Trump.

"For the sake of our party and country, we must move to overcome the divisiveness and vulgarity Donald Trump has brought into the political arena," Bush said.

The next Republican voting is set for April 5, with a party primary in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin. A third contender in the Republican contest, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was not a factor in either Arizona or Utah.

Kasich cannot mathematically win the nomination before the national convention and is banking his hopes on winning it then if neither Trump nor Cruz has claimed it ahead of time.

A new Quinnipiac University poll Wednesday showed that Kasich is the only Republican, and not Trump or Cruz, who would defeat Clinton in a hypothetical match in the November national election. The winner of the U.S. election will replace President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January 2017.

Mrs. Clinton easily won Tuesday's Democratic primary in Arizona against her sole rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, but he captured two party caucuses against her, in Utah and Idaho.

Sanders, who has centered his campaign on the growing income equality in the United States and the power of Wall Street financial titans, won a handful more convention delegates than Clinton in the three contests, but remains far behind her in the overall race to win the Democratic nomination.

Paul Ryan tells Republicans
to be more dignified in race

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Amid a Republican presidential contest that tears at party unity, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged Americans to embrace a more dignified and uplifting political discourse based on persuasion, not vitriol.

“Our political discourse, both the kind that we see on TV and the kind that we experience among each other. It did not used to be this bad,” Ryan said in a speech delivered in a House committee room before dozens of Capitol Hill interns. “And it does not have to be this way.”

“Politics can be a battle of ideas, not a battle of insults,” he added. “Instead of playing to your anxieties, we can appeal to your aspirations.”

Ryan, the highest ranking elected Republican in Washington, mentioned no one by name and made no direct reference to the presidential race or any of the partisan battles raging in Washington, but, observers said there was no doubt as to his intended target.

“His comments were clearly directed toward Donald Trump,” said political analyst John Hudak of the Brookings Institution. “Clearly, he is disgusted with what Trump is doing rhetorically, politically and to the party.”

“It was also directed toward rank-and-file Republicans and Republicans across the country,” Hudak added.

A businessman and the current Republican presidential front-runner, Trump’s words and actions have caused Republican elders to fret openly about damage to the party’s image.

Since entering the race, Trump has labeled undocumented Mexican immigrants as rapists, endorsed torture to fight terrorism, proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, spoken in thinly-veiled terms about the size of his genitalia and made derogatory comments about a female debate moderator.

He regularly refers to his opponents and critics as “losers” — or worse.

In recent weeks, Trump’s rallies have attracted protesters, some of whom have been punched and assaulted by supporters in the crowd.

Ryan is not the first high-profile Republican to speak out. Earlier this month, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a speech pointedly rebuking Trump’s persona, his record as a businessman and his ideas.

Wednesday, Ryan spoke only in general terms. “Looking around at what’s taking place in politics today, it is easy to get disheartened,” Speaker Ryan said. "People with different ideas, they’re not traitors. They’re not our enemies. They’re our neighbors, our coworkers, our fellow citizens."

“Paul Ryan is recognizing the importance and the need for a party leader among Republicans,” Hudak said. “He’s rapidly recognizing that either he will be the party leader or Donald Trump will be the party leader, and that reality likely scares him.”

Some political observers have hypothesized that Republicans could turn to Ryan as the party’s presidential nominee in the event of a deadlocked, contested Republican national convention later this year. When asked, Ryan has downplayed that possibility.  He made no mention of his ambitions Wednesday.

Voice of America/C. Presutti 
Convicted murderer Wade Tate drives a forklift for DSI Warehouse in greater Memphis, Tennessee. His boss says customers ask to meet Tate in person to offer thanks for his computer assistance with their orders.

Editing job applications
urged to help ex-convicts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The miniature yellow truck whirls around on the concrete, polished shiny by its wide wheels. Wade Tate grabs the steering wheel with both hands, glances behind him and maneuvers the truck backward, then abruptly forward, as its oversized fork scoops up a heavy box.

He programs it to lift: up, up, up, to the second level of shelving, where he gently places the box between two other boxes of differing size.

For more than half of his life, Wade Tate couldn't even drive a car. That's because he was behind bars, serving a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty for two murders.

"Everything I learned in prison, the trades I took, helped me to hold down a job like I'm doing today," says Tate.

For three weeks after he was released, Tate applied for numerous jobs but never got called back. "My goal was to get a job,” but with a criminal record, he said, “it is hard to get one."

Many U.S. job seekers face application forms that ask whether they have ever been convicted of a crime and require them to check a yes or no box. Checking yes immediately excludes applicants from some jobs. 

But an international movement by civil rights and prison reform organizations is urging employers to ban the box.

Activists are pressuring municipal and state governments to reform the system. Just over 20 states now have some rules deleting the question from private or public applications. An applicant who passes that first round of winnowing still faces additional screening. Employers can ask the question in an interview and also conduct background checks.

A main proponent of ban the box legislation is Maurice Emsellem, program director of the National Employment Law Project.

"I think there is overwhelming support for rolling back all the damage that was done over the last couple of decades related to mass incarceration," says Emsellem. "The box has opened up a broader conversation about hiring commitments and policy reforms regarding former felons."

The Obama administration gave the effort a boost last November when it asked Congress to ban the box on federal hiring applications as part of a larger initiative on rehabilitation and reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.

White House figures show 600,000 people are released annually from federal and state prisons. Getting their lives on track includes adjusting to family and neighborhood structures and supporting themselves financially.

But the ban the box movement has its critics.

The National Federation of Independent Business opposes a ban for several reasons.

Communications director Jack Mozloom says his organization is against banning the box for several reasons. One is practicality. Because they operate small businesses, "our members don't have a human resources department. They are the HR department. The owners advertise the jobs, pull the applications, schedule the interviews and conduct them.  The ability to ask criminal records on an application saves time and money, which they don't have."

His members have nothing against giving prospective employees a second chance, Mozloom says.  But, "ban the box prevents the conversation from happening in the first place."

The initial hiring application form for Kelly Generator & Equipment of Owings, Maryland, is in line with what ban the box advocates seek. It doesn’t include a question about a criminal background.  But owner John Kelly doesn't want to see the rules encroach any further.

Kelly says it’s bad business practice to keep information from a potential employer. He says a high level of trust among him, his employees and their co-workers has contributed to his company's success.

"You know, I would hate to hire a comptroller or somebody for the comptroller position who had gone to jail for embezzlement,” he says. “For me to not know that before I hire him and then have him in a position with a fiduciary duty, I mean, that's just ludicrous for us not to be allowed to know that.”

Kelly says that individuals cannot erase their past and that the truth must come out before a hiring decision is made.  And, to make a proper decision, managers need as much information as possible. He doesn’t want the government to limit the ability to hire the best people for each position.

Forklift operator Tate finished 14 weeks of classes through HopeWorks, a faith-based nonprofit that matches ex-felons with employers who will not view their criminal record as a deterrent. HopeWorks found Tate his job with DSI Warehouse of metropolitan Memphis, Tennessee.

Ronnie Martin started the company and has hired several ex-convicts.

"I think felons have to prove to themselves that they can handle the job.  If they prove it to themselves, then they will prove it to me," says Martin as he helps load a box onto a truck. "I'd hate for someone to check my past too closely."

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
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Phone: (506) 2494-0016
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Phone: (506) 2494-0016
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San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
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Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. $50,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two 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, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  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:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
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Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email: Watch this video for full details.

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

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, March 24, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 59
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cheap living
InterNations graphic
The countries ranked by cost of living. A bigger graphic is HERE!

Ecuador tops in survey for cheap living

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Expats who gripe about the cost of living in Costa Rica might want to try Ecuador or maybe Vietnam.

InterNation reported this week that a survey of expats have identified the most affordable places around the world.  Leading the list is Ecuador followed by Poland and then the Czech Republic.

First-placed Ecuador is not only the cheapest but also the most popular destination for expats around the world, said the social expat network. The Central European countries, including Poland and Czech Republic, are especially popular among expatriates from the United Kingdom and the United States, the organization said.

Costa Rica comes in at 43rd place just after France and Italy and before New Zealand and Kuwait

In order to find the cheapest destinations for expats, InterNations said it asked more than 14,000 expats from almost 200 countries to rate the cost of living in their new home. They rated their daily spending on a scale from one to seven, which is from very bad to very good.

Ecuador was also ranked first for personal finances for the second year in a row, said InterNation, adding:

Not only are the costs of living considered the lowest in the world, but more than a quarter of expats in Ecuador (26 per cent) are completely satisfied with their financial situation, compared to 15 percent globally. The reason why expatriates in Ecuador are especially happy with their financial gains is not on account of their income though. More than half of the survey respondents there who disclosed their income status have a gross yearly household income of less than $25,000 USD.

Second-placed Poland on the other hand, scores with affordable housing and great job and career opportunities, ranking fourth and sixth in the respective category, out of 64 countries overall, the organization added. The Czech Republic, however, is not a destination for career-oriented expats, it said, adding that instead, Poland is perfect for those who are looking for a better quality of living.

InterNation said the survey showed that countries with the lowest costs of living are mainly located in South America, Central Europe and Asia. The only surprising exception is Saudi Arabia, which ranked ninth after Romania and before Indonesia, said the survey summary.

On the other end of the spectrum, expats encountered the highest living costs in Mozambique, Nigeria and Brazil, the report said, adding that Mozambique and Nigeria also rank in the top five for the most expensive housing around the world due to the need to find a secure neighborhood.

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From Page 7:

Guns and vehicles take Semana Santa toll

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gunfire and vehicle accidents shared the leads as the cause of death in Semana Santa.

The Cruz Roja said Wednesday that the holiday fatality list shows seven deaths by firearms. That’s about 39 percent of the 18 reported dead, said the rescue agency. There also are seven deaths of persons hit by vehicles or being injured in accidents.

There also were two water deaths by Wednesday afternoon, said the agency. One was of a young man in the Río Celeste.

In all, the rescue agency provided help one way or another to 108 persons already this week, it reported. The agency has 139 aid stations and 300 workers on the job during Semana Santa, it said.