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(506) 2223-1327      Published Tuesday, April 7, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 68     E-mail us
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mall view
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Mayor Johnny's
big gamble

 
San José planners and former mayor Johnny Araya took a bold step to turn Avenida 4 into a pedestrian mall. Now the gamble seems to be paying off.

See story, HERE!




Challenging economy means more spam messages
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As the world economy became more challenging, spammers seem to have doubled their activity.

In 24 hours, A.M. Costa Rica has checked and discarded 1,803 spam e-mails. And that process came after some e-mail addresses had been vetted by the Barracuda program operated by Radiográfica Costarricense S.A.

Costa Rica got in trouble again two weeks ago when some massive doses of spam were traced back to servers here. Hotmail began rejecting messages from servers here. That situation seems to have been resolved, but many expats in Costa Rica almost certainly have spamware hidden inside their computers just waiting for a signal from afar.

Spam is increasing within Costa Rica, too, as companies try to sell spam advertising to legitimate merchants. Various hotels and restaurants have joined the spammers for seemingly cheap advertising. The tempo picks up around holidays like Semana Santa.
That is in addition to the hundreds of messages purporting to sell Viagra, fake watches and physical enhancement products. Many of these originate in China or Africa as the butchered English texts attest.

A new trend are spam messages that say they can provide restructuring of debt or help with mortgage problems. The U.S. Federal Trade commission is cracking down on some of these scammers.

Similar crackdowns have brought settlements against firms that sent explicit, x-rated spam messages and those selling bogus weight-loss and anti-aging products.

One downside of globalization is that many spammers now are out of the reach of western governments.

The spammers receive very little response to their messages, but an academic study showed that even with a very small rate or response, spammers could make millions a year. For example, people still fall for the Nigerian scams.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 68

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

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
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.


Residency experts

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A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Physicians and surgeons

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For more information,
visit us today at: www.aestheticdentistrycr.com
5067-5/17/09

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant 
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA. We are affiliated with Widex hearing instruments because of their quality, natural sound and intelligibility over background noise. That means  no more echoing, feedback or interference. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
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http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

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 $
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• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
4954-5/12/09

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)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
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ask Angela Jiménez
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www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
4865-6/11/09

7Legal services

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A.
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
4827-5/31/09

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com - ForeverCostaRica.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
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KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007
chiverre on sale
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
  Miel de chiverre is the future for this member of the
  squash family (cucurbita ficifolia). The sweet jam
  means Easter more than any other Costa Rican food
  product.



Semana Santa is a time
for special menus and treats

An A.M. Costa Rica encore*

The gastronomy of Semana Santa is pretty much like Christmas. The holiday meals are full of seafoods and a lot of sweet homemade delicacies, including encurtidos, vegetable conserve in mustard or vinegar, and spicy chileros.

Semana Santa is a time for feasting as people enjoy time off and go to the beach or participate in the Way of the Cross or any number of other religious processions associated with the passion and death of Jesus Christ.

When the praying is done, it is time to gain weight.

Ticos think automatically of miel de chiverre, coco ayote and arroz con leche. The season also is one of exchanging visits with relatives and friends to taste and compare the different kinds of chiverre dishes, ceviches and prawns with rice.

The basic recipe is about the same everywhere, but every homemaker has a special way to change the dishes slightly and also the taste.

The base of the miel de chiverre is the squash itself, Cucurbita ficifolia, found only in Central and South America, and brown sugar. Chunks of dried squash are cooked with butter and sugar to make a brown, sweet paste. Then that is rolled into empanadas and other delights.

There are coconut variations as well as with tamarindo, cinnamon and aromatic cloves which will determine the taste. Texture means a lot, too. People will recognize the maker according to the texture and the way the main ingredients are cut, chopped or ground.

These family recipes have been transmitted across time. To be faithful to Grandma’s recipe a certain tapa de azucar or a certain bean must be used or the taste will not be the same.

The freshness of the ingredients is really important and this is why a feria del agricultor is the place to find the basics to prepare the Easter feasts. The fairs themselves are full of wonderful colors, beautiful products and low prices.

The history of Costa Rican diet during Semana Santa is related to the Bible and centuries of Catholic rules. Meat has been forbidden, so the diet turned naturally to fish. Sardines still are a Semana Santa staple.

The apostles of Jesus were fishermen and the Middle East is a land of very sweet treats, sometimes using dates.

Today Ticos think little of the history, but simply consider Semana Santa foods as part of the cultural heritage, just like a tamal de cerdo is at Christmas.

After Lent, the 40 days of reflection and self-denial the end of Holy Week is a time to make the stomach full and work on a full stomach, a panza llena.
 
 * Originally published March 23, 2005

Semana Santa Glossary

The chiverre (Cucurbita ficifolia) is a large green and white squash that can grow to 20 kilos (44 pounds).

Cubaces (Phaseolus coccinius) is known in English as the scarlet running bean. Here the beans are big and white and used for stews.

Tapas de dulce are those circular blocks of brown sugar made from cane.

Encurtidos are pickled pieces of vegetable.

Chilero is chopped peppers, onion and other vegetables that can be served alone or used as a garnish on other foods.

Ceviche is chopped, marinated raw fish credited to the ancients Peruvians.

Tamal de cerdo is the traditional Christmas pork tamales.


Suspects caught with victim
tied up in trunk of their car


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three men who investigators say pretended to be police and used fake roadblocks to rob delivery trucks, were detained about 10:30 a.m. Monday at a bridge between Naranjo and Sarchí.

The Fuerza Pública found the latest victim tied up in the trunk of an accompanying vehicle.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the three men who were detained were in their late 20s. Two men were in a delivery truck and two men were in the accompanying vehicle. One man managed to flee successfully.

The truck, loaded with cigarettes, was stopped by robbers about 8 a.m. in El Molino de San Carlos.

Investigators had been following the suspects for at least a month, they said.

Agents said that the men were taking the truck to San José where they would dispose of the merchandise. They also linked the suspects to similar crimes involving delivery trucks.

Police said they recovered three .38-caliber handguns.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 68



street scenes
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
A youngster admires a metal band, one of the artistic aspects of the pedestrian mall. Nearby the open door of a Catholic bookshop gives a glimpse inside to a
sun-drenched patio. And the nearby cathedral provides a backdrop of sorts for period lighting which had been installed at Parque Central.

Gamble on pedestrian mall seems to be coming up a winner
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The traffic and buses are gone now, except for a few delivery vehicles. And the full width of Avenida 4 and adjacent streets are filled with pedestrians.

The 16-block section was converted to pedestrian use more

Frank statue
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Anne Frank, the young  Holocaust victim, looks skyward from her location on the pedestrian mall. The Dutch government donated the statute.
than a year ago, and new businesses and older structures being restored show that the hoped-for urban renewal is taking place.

It has been 16 months since the Municipalidad de San José started work transforming Avenida 4 and Calles 2 and 3 into pedestrian use. Part of the $2.1 million cost came from the European Union, and the mall now carries the name Bulevar Unión Europea.

At the time the project started, the municipality announced that officials expect the change to revitalize the area's commerce, boost investments from real estate agencies, and also to create a stronger capital center that is more functional, competitive, sustainable, and habitable.

That seems to be working. Commerce is increasing along the streets where sidewalk vegetable vendors used to set up shop and buses used to belch fumes. There are fewer empty lots, and, despite the lack of parking, there are retail outlets. Restorations are taking place.

Former mayor Johnny Araya Monge was an instigator of the plan, and he wanted to see families moving back into the central city from the outskirts. He called it San José Posible.

Araya is a candidate for the Partido Liberación Nacional nomination for president. If he gets the nod, he certainly will list the refurbishing of Avenida 4 as one of his accomplishments.

All is not perfect, however, There still are beggars in the Parque Central and a number of young men who seem to have nothing to do.

North Americans might be familiar with the Park Hotel, which was one of the city's first Gringo bars. It has a long and seamy reputation. But even the Park Hotel, where one can still get a room for 9,000 colons ($16) an hour, has been opened to the sunlight.


Park Hotel
A.M. Costa Rica photo
A refurbished Park Hotel, once the site of a seamy Gringo bar, has joined the cleanup campaign.
park scene
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Parque Central has a mall on two sides and provides a shady resting place for people below and parrots above.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 68


Robberies, domestic violence are converted to deaths
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man died in San José Monday after he tried to keep robbers from stealing his bicycle.

In Liberia a man died at the hands of his wife, who said she had been attacked.

At the La Reforma prison someone fatally stabbed a man serving a term for rape and robbery.

In Guápiles a man died at the hands of robbers who entered his home.

And in Limón agents are investigating the death of a man found near a road.

The murder in San José took place on a pedestrian bridge over the Circunvalación highway south of the central city. The victim, identified by the last name of Solano, was crossing the bridge with his bike when he was confronted by two persons, presumed to be minors. When he refused to surrender the bike, one of the robbers stabbed him in the stomach and chest, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The man died Monday afternoon.
The death in Liberia came as a result of a 1 a.m. Sunday incident at a home in the central part of the city.

A man with the last name of Castillo suffered a stab wound and died about 10 a.m. Sunday in the local hospital. The man was 24. His 22-year-old wife was taken into custody and told officers that she acted in self defense.

The death in La Reforma prison took place in a dining area Sunday about 3 p.m.. The man, identified by the last name of Quesada, was 35 years old. He and another prisoner became involved in a fight, and both suffered stab wounds.

The Guápiles home invasion took place in Puerta Real de Rozana. A 31-year-old man with the last name of Gutiérrez heard noises and went to his patio to see what was happening, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. When he reentered the home he was confronted by at least two men. One shot him in the stomach, and then both fled, said agents.

The body in Limón was that of a man. It was discovered about 5:30 p.m. Sunday about two kilometers from Barra de Matina. His left arm bore a tattoo of the letter M, said agents.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 68



A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Statistics

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.



Bob Marley photos become
book, exhibit and more


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bob Marley, one of the most widely-recognized musicians, was born in Jamaica in 1945. He started playing music at the age of 14 and didn't quit until 1981 — the year he succumbed to cancer at the age of 36.

Many people credit Marley for introducing Jamaican-born reggae to a U.S. and worldwide audience in the 1960s and 70s. His compilation album, "Legend," which was released posthumously in 1984, remains the best-selling reggae album of all time, with sales of more than 20 million copies.

American photographer David Burnett admits he had never heard of Marley when TIME Magazine sent him on assignment to Jamaica in 1976 to shoot a story on reggae music.

"I had no idea who Bob Marley or what reggae was, pretty much, when I went to Jamaica. By the time I left, I think I had a pretty good idea that we were on to something," he said.

Burnett ended up spending an entire afternoon with Marley, photographing him at his home in Kingston, Jamaica.
 
"Half an hour into our little discussion with him, I was really touched by what I understood to be a very intelligent guy sitting here talking with us."

Following his afternoon photo session with Marley in Kingston, Jamaica, Burnett was invited to join the artist and his band, Bob Marley and The Wailers, on tour in Europe in the spring of 1977.

Years after that afternoon with Marley in Jamaica and on the band's European concert tour a year later, Burnett published the photographs in a new book and photo exhibit, called "Soul Rebel: An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley."

"This series of portraits of Bob is among my favorite, and, quite frankly, if you get close and look at it with a good focus, it's about as close to Bob Marley as you could get these days," says Chris Murray, director of the Govinda Gallery.

"David walked in here one day with the photos, and when I saw them I was literally knocked back because I was looking at what I consider to be among the greatest photos ever taken of Bob Marley," he said.

It's been 32 years since Burnett took those intimate portraits of Bob Marley. So both Burnett and Murray were surprised to find just how much appeal the artist still holds - not just for their generation, but for the generation that has followed.

Burnett says that if Marley's music really does live forever, he hopes his pictures "will help that happen just a tiny bit."



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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 68


Latin American news digest
Tighter controls sought
for Antarctic tourism


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday called for tighter regulation of Antarctic tourism as delegates from 47 countries began a review conference of the now 50-year-old Antarctic Treaty. 

Antarctic tourism, principally on cruise ships, has increased nearly ten-fold in the past 15 years and there is broad concern about tourism-related oil spills and damage to the delicate habitat of Antarctic penguins and other wildlife.

Giving the keynote address to a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, which preserved that land and ice shelves of the southern polar region for peaceful purposes, Secretary Clinton said strengthened environmental regulation is especially important as Antarctic tourism grows.

"The United States is concerned about the safety of the tourists and the suitability of the ships that make the journey south. We have submitted a resolution that would place limits on landings from ships that carry large numbers of tourists," she said. "We have also proposed new requirements for life boats on tourist ships to make sure they can keep passengers alive until rescue comes. And we urge greater international cooperation to prevent discharges from these ships that will further degrade the environment around Antarctica," she noted.

Limiting tourist access to the continent has taken on urgency because of the surge in visitors and recent cruise ship accidents. Two ships ran aground in Antarctic waters in the just completed tourist season and a Canadian-owned cruise ship hit an iceberg and sank off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in 2007. The more than 150 passengers and crew were rescued.

The U.S. plan would, among other things, prohibit ships carrying more than 500 passengers from letting them disembark. From smaller vessels only 100 people could go ashore at a time, under strict supervision.

About 400 delegates from around the world are attending the conference, which also includes member countries of the Arctic Council, which regulates activity in the northern polar region. The conference moves to the city of Baltimore after Monday's opening State Department events.


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