A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily
English-language 

news source
Monday through Friday

Universal de Idiomas

(506) 223-1327         Published Wednesday, March 28, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 62          E-mail us    
Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
About us


Country lost $850,000 European Union loan
Plan to expand passenger rail links runs out of steam

By José Pablo Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Plans for an expansion of the Central Valley rail service seem to have stalled.

The country has lost the $850,000 loan pledged by the European Union because no company could be found to operate a section of the rail line as a concession.

The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles had plans to start a spur line of the Central Valley system sometime in the first four months of this year. But Miguel Carabaguíaz, president of the government rail agency, confirmed the loss of the loan in an interview Tuesday.

He said that the loan was linked to conditions, including one that said that a private firm had to be found to run the route. He said that no firm responded to a bid proposal offered by his agency. The rail agency is a subsidiary of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte.

Rail workers have spent considerable time clearing and securing the right-of-way from the Estación al Atlantico on Avenida 3 north into Tibás. They even had to install a bridge.

Now the route is clear through Cinch Aquinas de Tibás where the bridge was installed. In a few weeks the line will be cleared to Cuatro Reinas de Tibás, according to Carabaguíaz. He said clearing that section would cost 10 million colons, some $19,200. The proposal was for passenger service to begin between San José and Santo Domingo, which is on the east side of Heredia.

In addition, the rail agency has the problem of landowners who have encroached on the
right-of-way. Some structures have to be reduced in size or their roof overhangs eliminated.

The Costa Rican government did ask the European Union to simply provide the cash for the reactivation of the line, said Carabaguíaz, but the European officials declined.

Carabaguíaz also said there are no immediate plans to begin rail service to Cartago, something that had been suggested earlier. That line, too, was a likely candidate for a concession, but nothing concrete has been done.

There was better news about the Tren Metropolitana that runs 10 kilometers, about six miles, through the valley from Pavas on the west to the Universidad Latina in Montes de Oca on the east four times daily.

Carabaguíaz said that a study would be done to see if there would be sufficient users to increase the frequency of the runs. Now some 2,800 persons use the line each weekday, some 60,000 a month.

In Limón, the Atlantic end of the rail line is being used for cargo and to carry cruise ship passengers on tours from Limón Centro to Estrada Matina. The Atlantic line is in operation from the Valle de Estrellas some 42 kilometers (some 26 miles) south of Limón Centro and west to Guápiles. It is also used to haul steel to a Guápiles factory and pineapple and bananas to the Moín port. However, trains move at slow speeds because the right-of-way and bridges are damaged.

The right-of-way has deteriorated since 1995 when passenger service was discontinued. The line is in disrepair between San José and the Limón link although service is possible from San José to Caldera on the Pacific, some 91 kilometers or 57 miles.


Today's
colon
exchange rate
HERE!
Subscribe
to our
daily digest

Search
our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads
Classified
ads

Ads for
tourists

Display
ad info

Classified
ad info

Contact us
Our stats


CR home banner

orca boat works





coast spa dispaly ad
The secret to advertising is repetition.

Day in and day out.

Otherwise
The New York Times
would be a weekly!




Mountain farm on 20,000 sq. meters at the 5,300-foot level. 5 minutes north of Sarchí with freshly remodeled 2-story home. Magnificent views of Sarchí and Naranjo. Scurity system, gated entry, ceiling fans, custom cabinets Will sell all or part. All is $150,000. Brokers protected. See more at www.VistasDeSarchi.com. U.S.A. contact is 800-792-7700 or 803-261-6000.











A.M.
Costa Rica
Second newspage


Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 62

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575



Click HERE for great hotel discounts


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.

Physicians and surgeons

Dr. William Pérez Martínez
gastroenterologist and digestive tract expert
Centro de Diagnóstico Gastrointestinal
The most up-to-date diagnostic equipment
Conveniently located in Torre Omega, Clinica Biblica
(506) 248-0930  (506) 522-1000 Exts. 2413 and 2414
3106-xxxxxx

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $82,400 in 2006)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 305-3149 or 256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
3194-3/26/07

U.S. Tax and Accounting

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
3057-5/4/07

Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  220-3729 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 (phone/fax)
2948-6/26/07

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service


Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
TOLL FREE FROM THE US
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

www.c21jaco.com
643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com

First Costa Rican Title & Trust
Protecting your interests since 1994

  Purchase contracts
  Escrow services
  Title transfers
  Title guarantees
  Trust services
  Developer services
Call us for your real property legal and investment needs at 225-0501 or send us an e-mail at amcr@firstcr.com

Title Guarantees issued by First American Title Insurance Co., one of the oldest and largest title companies in the world. The First American difference in protection is that the policies cover unrecorded matters and unknown risks.

www.firstcr.com
2936-6/4/07

7Legal services

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic. Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers

 * Relocation services,  * Wedding Planning
 *Investments   *Corporations  *Tax Shelters
 *Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
 *Name & Product registration
 *Business procedures    *Immigration  
 *Family and Labor Law    *Locate People
 *Private Investigations
  Ph/Fax: 221-9462, 841-0007 attorneykearney@yahoo.com
costarica@attorneykearney.com
http://attorneykearney.com
3132-8/27/07

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore — 

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
  Pensionado, rentista and inversionista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: 323-255-6116
3102-8/19/07


(506) 257-8068 / 233-0293
Paseo Colon Av, 30th Street
1 block west from Pizza Hut, San Jose C.R.
www.immigrationexperts.co.cr
E-mail: info@immigrationexperts.co.cr

Lilliana Torres, attorney at law

We handle immigration services and residency procedures as required by the government for foreigners who wish to live in Costa Rica. For 16 years we've provided competitive, dependable, professional services with integrity, loyalty and honesty. Thousands of satisfied foreign clients have obtained their Costa Rican residency through us.

RESIDENCIES AND RENEWALS 
NATURALIZATIONS

3164-4/14/07

Focus groups will be used
to get perceptions of crime


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The idea is used to sell beer and cosmetics, why not security?

That is the concept of a proposal that will cause Universidad de Costa Rica academics to set up focus groups to tap the perceptions of the citizenry on matters of security.

The work will be done by the Centro de Investigación y Capacitación en Administración Pública at the university.

The university project, approved by the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, is designed to generate a national dialog "in the context of our civil tradition of the culture of peace, of the abolition of the army and of human rights," according to a university summary.

The focus groups will seek to determine what kind of police structure is needed in the country and to construct a system that will improve the indexes of security in the country, said the university.

Fernando Berrocal was shy about giving his views when he spoke at a session outlining the university plans. He said there were problems in the way justice is administered. As an example he correctly pointed out that a Fuerza Pública officer cannot become involved in an automobile accident. That is the domain of the transit police, he said.

Because the country has no army, Berrocal said the police should be the best of all. He repeated his concern that minor crimes are not punished. He said now was the time to discuss this issue and suggested the solution was more police, more agents for the Judicial Investigating Organization and more prosecutors.

He also said that the police along the borders will get 19 new Land Rovers with $120,000 being invested toward that goal this year.

Citizen security has been in the news since four men invaded the Rohrmoser home of Ricardo Toledo, a former presidential candidate. That happened March 21, and a maid and a neighbor died. Toledo's wife was roughed up and her arm broken in three places.

Home invasion in Jacó
hidden to remain a secret


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A North American woman was assaulted in her Jacó home by invaders last week, but little information is available because the woman put a lid on her case.

The crime took place on Calle Vieja a Punta Leona. The woman, who was described as older, did not file a complaint until several days later and told investigators that she wanted no publicity over her case.

Informal sources said that two or more criminals invaded the home, beat the woman brutally and left her for dead. The crime was attributed to a gang of robbers who are working the Jacó area.

The crime is in contrast to the highly publicized home invasion and double murder that took place at the home of Ricardo Toledo March 21 in Rohrmoser. That crime received widespread publicity and generated a public outcry. He is a former presidential candidate.

In a discussion with reporters Friday, Francisco Dall'Anese, the nation's chief prosecutor, said that similar crimes happen nearly every day.

Response by law enforcement agencies frequently is hampered by victims who fear for their lives or shun publicity. Many do not even make a police report.

Model forests are the topic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Indians from the Brokenhead Ojibways Nation in Manitoba, Canada, are in Costa Rica meeting with the Cabécar  community. Friday they will be visiting Nairí Awarí and the  Parque Nacional Barbilla.

The Brokenhead Ojibways manage the Manitoba model forest. The Cabécars have the Bosque Modelo Reventazón, and the discussions centered on generating cultural tourism, according to the Centro Agronómico de Investigación y Enseñanza, which hosted some of the sessions.

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.


You can have your ad here
for $9 a day plus tax.

What a deal!



You need to see Costa Rican properties for sale
on our real estate page HERE!




A.M.
Costa Rica
third newspage

Tex Mex restaurant
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 62




Center of nation's art world is Ciudad Quesada for now
By Donna Lynn Norton
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Huge, old central park trees.

Large metal oil cans stacked in three’s to look like evolved totem poles painted with a variety of artwork, and used to wire special lighting and decorations by the people of the city.

Makeshift tents for handicrafts, artwork and food.

Children’s fair rides, dance theater demonstrations.

Late night rock, jazz, or other concerts, every day, all day for six days,

And there you have the Ciudad Quesada de San Carlos Arts festival, and it doesn’t happen every year.

One individual, crystal-glass jewelry design artist Delta Javier, stands out for creativity in his hand-made work, including accessories for leather hats, belts and purses. 

His time is divided between making his creations and selling them, whether it’s going to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panamá each four or five times a year or attending the various Costa Rica arts festivals about six times a year. 

He is one of the army of crafts people who display their skills at such events.

Javier has seven years of experience experimenting with vivid color mixtures and jewelry creations with his high-tech oven, equipment and tools, some of which he makes himself.  He knows similar artists, but none of whom makes items exactly like his, and he has developed his own formulas and processes. 

To get the elegant bubble effects he must mix the crystal and glass with a special formula, plus he must obtain these high quality materials of crystal and glass from special sources.  It takes him approximately 10 hours to make each piece, and he usually makes a maximum of 20. But if an item is really popular, he may make a few more. 
jewelry maker in glass
A.M. Costa Rica/Donna Lynn Norton
Delta Javier, quality crystal-glass jewelry artist, at the San Carlos/Ciudad Quesada Arts Festival.

His most popular jewelry is rings and earrings, and the most popular jewelry colors are rose, followed by turquoise, orange, blue, red, and lastly black and white. 

His three main types of customers are people who like to stand out with a highly fashionable costume for horse parades, tourists, and men who purchase gifts for their wife, daughter or friends.  He says he wants to beautify the world by beautifying women.

His rings and earrings go for $7, bracelets $16, and he has necklaces and matching sets as well.  His hat accessories go for $6-$8, and if you want the hat included, $20-$40 total, depending if you want leather or ute, adult or child size.  He even provides nylon gift bags.

For $8-$10 someone can give Delta Javier an ordinary bottle, for example a beer bottle. He can heat it up, iron it flat and install a hook for hanging on the wall.  He sells many of these to restaurants as ornaments.  He can put the label on too.


New form of visa provides greater security, say officials
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

High-security visas have been introduced by the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. And the project is being lauded as another advance in the government's effort to go digital.

The new multiple entry visas are produced by computer on sticky-backed paper and are pasted into passports. They replace the stamp and ink pad. The visas are not for everyone. They will be used in Costa Rican consulates in foreign countries where visits by residents there are restricted. They also will be used for certain businessmen, sports figures and others, according to Mario Zamora, the immigration director.

The first such visa went to Natalia Decastro González, a Colombian biologist who has worked to protect turtles in Costa Rica. Her visa included a digital photo taken at the time the visa was produced. Zamora said there were at least six levels of security in the visas.

One goal is to reduce corruption. However, the special visas will not go into general use for some time. Kevin Casa, the nation's second vice president, said this was another step in making the government digital. He said that a digital government would cut down on the
expense of time and money for citizens, reduce corruption and increase transparency.

A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Mario Zamora shows off the new style of visa




Are you considering doing business with a burglar alarm company?

If so, you should contact me first
for my opinion

prometheusthegreek@gmail.com
2970-2/8/07
From a hotel owner:

'At this time we have a deposit and all looks good!!  Thank you for your help, and I must say your paper is impressive, and I had no idea you had such a circulation around the world.  Received many inquiries for our hotel for that reason.'

She used our classifieds!


You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!


A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page


Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 62


Around Costa Rica
Paso Ancho youngster learns English mostly on his own
By Saray Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Esteban Jiménez Palacios, 12, of Paso Ancho has had an uphill fight because he was born 10 weeks premature. Now he is showing a highly developed ability in English.

The diminutive boy speaks fluent English with a native accent. He says he picked the language up in school and by watching U.S. television.  He also shows a mature interest in social problems.

His abilities in English far outstrip the skills of many Costa Rican English teachers. In fact, he says he has lost some of his English since he changed schools.

No one else in his home speaks English.

Like many others of his age, he dreams to be a professional soccer or basketball player and wants to go to the United States to hone his language or to go to Brazil to get a start on a third language.

He has dedicated parents and a younger sister, who, too, are surprised and pleased at his language skills. A brief essay shown to a reporter contains a few spelling errors but is at least equal to work that might be produced by a U.S. eighth-grader or high school freshman.

A.M. Costa Rica is proud to present his essay, his first published work, spelling slips and all:

When God created me, he did it for a purpose that he knows but I don't know it. And he knew when to create me, why, where and at wich hour that I was going to be born when he said it. He created me for a purpose in the world maybe to be a diciple for him, a sports player, an artist and all the other things that a person can be. I also think that he made me special because I think he had 
esteban photo
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Esteban Jiménez Palacios

compassion on me and let me be born healthy and good. I thank him for giving me a mother and father that love me and to my sister and a good school to be in to study and prepare for a life for the, future to have a good wife and for my parents see their grand children when I get maried and have sons, and God in my heart.
— Esteban Jiménez Palacios


It's Oswaldo's trial, but the witnesses support his brother
By Dennis Rogers
A.M. Costa Rica special correspondent

Three people who testified at the Oswaldo Villalobos trial Tuesday turned out to be character witnesses for his brother Enrique, and only discussed Oswaldo in the context of his ownership of the Ofinter S.A. exchange house.

One, Elmer Weber is a Canadian miner who ultimately invested $192,000 with Enrique Villalobos.

Hotel owner Tomas Schytt said he had $580,000 invested.

Michale Nasso said he had about $30,000 with Enrique Villalobos at the time of the July 4, 2002, law enforcement raid that closed the lending operation.

Nasso mentioned that Canadian ambassador at the time, Louise Léger apologized to those present at a meeting of the Canadian Club and said the Canadian government did not realize that a request for information about money laundering would have such far-reaching implications for so many Canadian citizens.
The Costa Rican government used the request for information on a drug-smuggling group as a reason to raid the Oswaldo and Luis Enrique Villalobos operations. The first was the Ofinter firm that exchanged currencies. The adjacent office occupied by Enrique and his workers borrowed money from individuals with the promise of returns reaching 3 percent a month.

The prosecution in the Oswaldo Villalobos trial is trying to connect him to the high-interest operation to substantiate fraud, money laundering and illegal banking charges. Enrique Villalobos continues to be a fugitive. Both men closed up their operations the October following the raid, saying that they could not continue because the Costa Rican government had frozen their bank accounts.

Earlier testimony by agents for the Judicial Investigating Organization disclosed that members of the Canadian drug ring had visited the Ofinter offices in Mall San Pedro but the purpose of the visit was not known.

Enrique Villalobos aggressively sought more investments between the time of the raid and his departure.


News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.




A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires



Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
 Food
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 62




The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.



Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
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 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006  and 2007 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.
Check HERE for more details