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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Monday, April 7, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 68                         Email us
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Solis gestures
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz


Luis Guillermo Solís promises an open government, free of corruption with the participation of citizens with economic development, respect for nature and social equality. The speech with a central theme of change was before his supporters at Plaza Roosevelt  San Pedro.


Victory by Solís was nothing less than a landslide
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An inevitable outcome gave way to an official celebration Sunday when Luis Guillermo Solís was elected as Costa Rica's next president.

Though the second round of voting was drained of any suspense following the opposition's campaign suspension last month, that didn't stop Partido Acción Ciudadana supporters from throwing a spirited party at Plaza Roosevelt. Solís spoke in front of the large gathering of his faithful after the new president elect's landslide lead in the voting became evident.

He thanked his advocates and voters, commenting that it takes a brave and progressive population to demand a change from a political dynasty like the one held by Partido Liberación Nacional.

"Thank you for trusting in me and not being afraid to regain excitement as we walk down these new hopeful paths," Solís said.

Preliminary results from Sunday night showed Acción Ciudadana had garnered 77.8 percent of the votes compared to 22.15 percent for Liberación Nacional.

Still, nearly half of the country's registered voters abstained from filling out ballots, according to the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones.

While the president elect again echoed the virtues of change he carried throughout his campaign, he said this was a historic moment of transition for Costa Rica.

"I proclaim this as the beginning of the era of
Acción Ciudadana," Solís said. "This nation has decided to change."

Solís' speech touched on maintaining peace with the nation's neighbors, nature and the environment, as well as more concentrated efforts in protecting animals. He said that under his watch the maltreatment of wildlife would not be tolerated.

He also promised that there would be no more political corruption during his four years in office. What makes this country stand out, he said, is the strong-minded and compassionate people that make up its strong fabric.

"The people decided to make the change, paradoxically, so that they wouldn't have to change their identity," he said.

In a press conference before Solís' speech, rival candidate Johnny Araya Monge said the people expressed the desired change in an overwhelming matter. A member of the party that has held Casa Presidencial for the past eight years, Araya noted that there is an unwritten rule in Costa Rican politics that prevents a party from winning the presidency three straight times. He said he left the results of the election in God's hands after he withdrew from active campaigning. March 5.

"I receive these results with serenity, tranquility, maturity," he said. "I recognize and respect the results that we now have. I have already congratulated president elect Luis Guillermo Solís via telephone."

Solís, a university professor, who will take office on May 8, is the first ever president elected from Acción Ciudadana.

celebration
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz 
Solís supporters celebrated his apparent victory in San Pedro before the polls closed.
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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 68

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Intel Corp. represented a fifth
of the country's 2013 exports


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In 2013 Costa Rica exported $2.4 billion in electronic components for microprocessors. That amount was 20.9 percent of the nation's total exports of $11.4 billion that year.

In second and third place were pineapples and bananas.

The major manufacturer is Intel Corp. in Belén with 2,700 workers.

Early Friday the Spanish-language online newspaper CR Hoy went public with a story that its reporters had been following for months. The newspaper reported that Intel would be leaving Costa Rica.

The newspaper had some information from government sources, but the story lacked official confirmation. That was not long in coming. Intel told the press that some 1,200 of its workers would soon be let go and that the manufacturing operations in Costa Rica would move to Vietnam.

The government had hoped to keep the news of this devastating economic blow secret, perhaps until President Laura Chinchilla left office May 8. CR Hoy said a reporter asked Ms. Chinchilla about Intel's plans but she declined comment.

Intel, which has been here 15 years, has declined recently to make more investments in the country. The firm has had operations in Vietnam since 1997, and in 2006 it announced a $1 billion investment there to build its seventh and largest assembly test facility to produce chipsets, the firm said on its Web site. In July 2010, Intel Vietnam began using the latest Intel chipset technologies to produce chipsets that will help support the growth of mobile computing, it added.

The Costa Rican facilities are mainly for desktop computers.

Intel now has a 500,000-square foot facility in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.

The company in the past has expressed concern about Costa Rica's economic position with a soaring annual budget deficit. A main concern was higher taxes and fees that might affect exports and operations here. The Chinchilla administration, as part of the failed tax package presented in 2011, proposed a 30 percent export tax for some firms.

The company also has been rebuffed in efforts to obtain a concession in the country's labor law to allow it to schedule four 10-hour working shifts a week instead of the usual five-day, eight-hour shifts provided in the law. Now the firm is obligated to pay two hours of overtime for hours for more than eight a day even though 10-hour shifts might be more efficient in some cases.

Political figures are concerned that the great reduction in the Intel work force might trigger similar moves by other foreign firms.

Costa Rica is certainly more expensive than some Asian locations in which to run a business. A.M. Costa Rica estimates that the firm is paying more than $1 million a month in social charges and perhaps $4 million in the obligatory Christmas bonus. These costs are in addition to its Costa Rican income tax.  Meanwhile the company is struggling to maintain its place in international markets.


New bill would sidestep
bars to legislative building

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Staffers at the legislature have created quickly a proposed law, No. 19.068, that would declare the construction of a new building to be in the public interest. The measure also would reduce the application of the nation's heritage laws on structures in the legislative complex and those adjacent, such as the Museo Nacional.

The measure is a way to sidestep the rejection of the plans for the $77 million legislative structure by the Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural. Last week Manuel Oregon, minister of Cultura y Juventud, basically upheld the original rejection saying that the law was clear on the protection that has to be afforded such buildings.

Involved are the Casa Rosada, the former Colegio de Sión and the  Castillo Azul, once the home of the U.S. Embassy. All are on the complex at Cuesta de Mora in San José.

The ruling on the building also noted that the modern tower would not be consistent with the other structures in the area, which is considered a tourism zone.

The legislative complex has been condemned by the Ministerio de Salud. Health officials have noted insect infestations, rodents, bad wiring and other problems. At one point the legislature was going to be evicted until an agreement was reached.

Any law that the legislature passed certainly would end up in court because some in the culture ministry are adamant that the heritage rules should be observed.


Our reader's opinion
Republicans blamed for killing
bills that would help veterans

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It's always troubling to read about the high unemployment rate among American vets, as A.M. Costa Rica reported Friday. But what's more troubling is that the Republican Party has shot down two bills in the last two years that would have created jobs for vets and improved their benefits.

In 2012, they killed The Veterans Job Corp Bill. The vote was 56 in favor of the bill to 41 opposed. (60 votes were needed to get the bill out of committee.) The corps, which would have been similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps created during the Great Depression, would have put veterans to work on "preserving and restoring federal, state and local lands in and around their communities."

Republicans objected to the projected price tag, (which would have been equal to what we've been spending on funding the war in Afghanistan for all of three and a half days), as well as the Obama administration’s plan to pay for it in part by imposing penalties on Medicare providers and suppliers who are delinquent on taxes, and by collecting back taxes from others.

And their latest decision to block S. 1982, the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014 was based largely on the refusal of Democrats to include Iran sanctions in the bill. (Everyone outside of the GOP agreed that to impose new sanctions on Iran during the negotiations over their nuclear program would be counter productive in the extreme). The vote? 56 in favor to 41 opposed.

The cost of S. 1982 was considerably larger than the job corps bill, but would have done more than create jobs. It was intended to increase many different kinds of benefits for vets including those covering health care, mental health upgrades and education. It would have cost about the same as two and a half months of the Afghan conflict. But Iran sanctions were the main stumbling block.

American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger said: "Today, the Senate had a chance to put aside partisan politics and do what was right for the men and women who have sacrificed so much while wearing our nation’s uniform. Instead, we saw the same political gamesmanship that led our federal government to a shutdown last fall. There was a right way to vote and a wrong way to vote today, and 41 senators chose the wrong way. That’s inexcusable." (All 41 who voted against the bill were Republicans.)
Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 68
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U.S.
                  Tax and
 
cows
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Sguridad Pública photo
Here are the two surviving animals.
This was a moooving violation
with overloaded station wagon


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police found three young cows, believed stolen in San Carlos, riding in a station wagon along with three suspects.

The Fuerza Pública said that officers noticed the vehicle near the cemetery at Santa Rosa de Pocosol in the canton of Los Chiles not far from the Nicaraguan border. The presumed destination was somewhere in the neighboring country, said police.

The case was a reminder of the cow later named Milargro for "miracle" who showed up in August 2008 being transported by a pirate taxi driver. Milagro even ended up having her own Facebook page.

The discovery Saturday was not as upbeat as Milagro staring from the window of a taxi. One of the small animals had died and was being used as a seat by a suspect, said police.

Two survived. Each was about 110 kilos or about 240 pounds, perhaps half grown. Police said they stopped the vehicle to investigate the illegal transport of livestock. Later by examining the eartags of the cows, they were able to trace the animals to a farm in La Tesalia de Ciudad Quesada in the  canton of San Carlos.

That discovery elevated the case to cattle theft. Police said they presumed that the cows, including the dead one, were destined for slaughter.

One of the suspects faces an allegation of aggravated robbery in Turrialba and another for home invasion in Limón, police said. The prosecutors were expected to seek preventative detention.



Much-delayed $7 land exit tax finally is confirmed to be in effect
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The $7 land exit tax is now in effect and is being collected at all Costa Rican border crossings. Agents at the Peñas Blancas border office said collecting the exit fee began April 1.

As representatives of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjera de Costa Rica, they said that the land tax will be collected at each office on routes into both Nicaragua and Panama.

The total fee is made up of a $5 charge that comes according to Ley No. 9154, plus a $2 baggage check fee stated in Ley No. 7664. The latter is included even for those travelers who may not have any luggage or carry-on materials.

If travelers are crossing into the Nicaraguan border via bus or car,
they can also expect to pay a $14 entrance fee to the northern neighbor, as well as a $4 exit fee on the way back.

Costa Rica does not charge a land entrance fee on returns.

After the Asamblea Legislativa passed the law last July, the land tax was supposed to go into effect before Christmas, but there were a series of delays because there were few ways travelers could pay the fee.

A reporter who traveled to the northern border last weekend said that he paid the exit tax at the Tica Bus office in San José.

Even though the tax was not being collected, workers at the Ministerio de Hacienda's central office in San José insisted that it was.  Even Edgar Ayala, the finance minister, could not give the state of the tax. He was hospitalized when the measure was supposed to go into effect.


Hearing today seeks to overturn 1915 decree on southern Nicoya
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de Nicoya is 100 percent behind an effort to overturn a 1915 presidential decree and create the 12th canton of Guanacaste, according to the mayor, Marco Antonio Jiménez.

A former legislator associated with the municipality, Mario Arrendo Calderón, has filed the claim, which contends that former president Alfredo González Flores did not have the legal power to place the southern part of the Nicoya peninsula under the control of the canton of Puntarenas.

González did so in a decree issued Oct.18, 1915, and Arrendo said that the reason was to temporarily do so because transportation was better via sea from Puntarenas to the peninsula. That reasoning is not
 correct now, he has argued because there are roads connecting the area of Paquera, Lepanto and Cóbano with Guanacaste to the north.

The idea is to unit the three southern districts with those of Guanacaste.

The preliminary hearing in the case is today in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo which adjudicates problems with governmental actions. The former lawmaker also wants to include the islands in the gulf of Nicoya into Guanacaste. They now are also in the province of Puntarenas.

The proposal is to create the 12th canton of Guanacaste to include the islands and Lepanto, Cóbano and Paquera. The resulting canton would be called La Peninsula, according to the proposal. The hearing will be in the court building in Goicoechea.

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Venezuelan protests appear to have racial and class dimensions
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For weeks, protesters have taken to the streets in Venezuela, opposing Nicholás Maduro, who succeeded the authoritarian Hugo Chávez as president.

Demonstrations that began in the western state of Tachira soon spread to the capital, Caracas. Protesters cite runaway inflation, shortages of food and basic goods and runaway crime, including the world's highest murder rate, as the reasons for going into the streets.

But some observers say the protests — at least those in the capital — are more about returning the social and political elite to power — and that at its roots the conflict in Venezuela is really about race and class.

To understand the issue of racial identity in Venezuela, it’s necessary to go back into history.

Venezuela was colonized by Spain in the early 16th Century. Tens of thousands of Africans were brought there as slaves until abolition in 1854.

Following World War II, former dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez encouraged the immigration of Europeans, Italians, Portuguese and Germans to help develop the country, a move that writer Winthrop R. Wright, author of "Café Con Leche," says was a deliberate move to whiten the country.

Today, most Venezuelans call themselves mestizo, or mixed, an amalgam of native, African and European peoples.

“There are no people sitting on the back of the bus, there are no rest rooms assigned for people of this color or that color in Venezuela,” Carolina Acosta-Alzuru, an associate professor of public relations at the University of Georgia and a native Venezuelan, told a reporter.

“And also there’s acknowledgement that nobody is of pure European descent, or indigenous descent.  That’s why many people think, ‘There’s no racism here.’”

But, she says, they’re wrong, citing Venezuela’s abundant beauty pageants and the telenovelas which embrace the light skin and straight hair – the Western European standards of beauty.

“And if you look at the upper socio-economic levels of the country,” Acosta-Alzuru said, “they tend to be whiter than on the lower socio-economic levels. That is something that is very apparent to everybody.”

Hugo Chávez was the first Venezuelan leader to embrace his Afro-indigenous heritage, telling an interviewer, “Hate against me has a lot to do with racism. Because of my big mouth, because of my curly hair. And I’m so proud to have this mouth and this hair, because it’s African.”

“And this is also where it’s very different from the United States: You had people upset and even saying they were disgusted at having to look at Chávez.

"He was often called el Negro by Venezuelan elites and also understood to be Afro- and indigenous — as opposed to mestizo,” said George Ciccariello-Maher, an assistant professor of political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, is the author of "We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution."

“Part of what angered elites so much when Chávez came to power was that he was a person who didn’t look like he was fit to govern,” said Ciccariello-Maher.

Opponents frequently referred to Chávez as ese mono, or, “that monkey,” and political cartoons played up his dark features—the most overtly racist portrayed him as an ape.

But Professor Acosta-Alzuru says it was Chávez who brought racism to the table.

“That’s premised on the idea that there wasn’t a problem," he said. "There was. It just wasn’t being dealt with.  It wasn’t being discussed.  It was being concealed.”
“But he didn’t put it on the table to raise consciousness. No, no.  He wanted to use it to his own advantage,” she said.

The Chávez government took a series of measures to combat racism against people of African descent.

The 1999 constitution criminalized discrimination, and for the first time ever, the 2011 census allowed citizens to classify themselves as Afro-Venezuelans.

Professor Acosta-Alzuru says Chavez’ message to Afro-Venezuelans was: “’The rich people are racist and they hate you,’ when really racism was prevalent throughout the whole culture."

Ciccariello-Maher strongly disagrees.

“And so bringing it to light — once again, it was not Chávez opportunistically playing the race card. It was a movement demanding that race be taken seriously, and finally, belatedly, Chávez embracing that,” he said.

The protests began in early February among students in the western states of Tachira and Merida, who complained about gas and food shortages and poor security after the sexual assault of a student.

Protests quickly turned violent after police responded harshly, arresting and allegedly abusing several students, and quickly spread to Caracas, where tensions had been high for weeks since former Miss Venezuela Mónica Spear and her ex-husband were murdered by roadside bandits.

The Caracas protests have centered in Los Palos Grandes, an upscale section of the city.

“Those in the streets are largely middle class students, and this has been clear by the fact of the location of the protests,” Ciccariello-Maher said.  “So it’s very difficult to disentangle race and class in these protests.”

He points to the leaders of the opposition movement, Leopoldo López, a former mayor, and Maria Corina Machado, who was a member of the national assembly.

“The main opposition leaders are as white and as elite as can be, and the challenge for the Venezuelan opposition is that they cannot succeed without reaching out to the masses, without reaching out to the poor and some of the poorer sectors," he said.

"They confront a visual difficulty, mainly the fact that people are not going to look at these leaders and say, ‘Well, that person represents me,’” he said.

Why aren’t more of the poorer segments of society out in the streets of Caracas?

“Because they identify with this government,” says Ciccariello-Maher, “they identify with the social justice orientation of this government over years which has led, for example, to Venezuelans eating and consuming much more than they did ten years ago.”

But Professor Acosta-Alzuru doesn’t see it that way.

“The kids that are throwing stones are not rich kids," she said "These are kids who come from other socio-economic backgrounds that say they cannot protest in the poor neighborhoods because those are controlled by the pro-government militias.  So they come here to do this.”

So the protesters aren’t all white middle class at all, but include members of the darker, lower classes, she argues.

“Everyone wants power,” Acosta-Alzuru said,“and nobody wants power more than the government, than Nicholás Maduro.

"They are holding onto power for dear life," she said. "I think their reaction from the beginning of this was completely out of proportion, and this only made people more and more radical, and this is why I think we have a very difficult situation right now.”

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Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 68
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Cafetales



Canadian nun one of three
kidnapped by Nigerian rebels


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There is frustration in northern Cameroon after two Italian priests and a nun of Canadian nationality were kidnapped and whisked off to Nigeria by suspected Boko Haram members. The government has deployed heavily armed troops to the area to investigate.
 
Christians in northern Cameroon held a special Mass after three of their fellow believers were attacked 60 kilometers from the Nigerian area that serves as a base for the Islamist group Boko Haram.
 
The bishop of the Cameroon diocese, Philip Stephens, said he did not understand why God's servants should be given such treatment.
 
"I do not understand how two priests and a sister who work for God, who work for the people, and who like the people can be kidnapped.  There is no reason, no reason and I am very sad, very sad," said the bishop.
 
Seminarian Ladde Pierre witnessed the kidnapping and alerted police.  He said a group of armed men arrived shortly before midnight last Friday, and ransacked church buildings before seizing the priests and nun.
 
He said he noticed the priests had been brutalized and their rooms ransacked.
 
Pierre added that the armed men did not leave only with the clergy.
 
The kidnappers, he said, wanted to take the vehicle of the nun and when it was difficult to start it, they left with a smaller vehicle.
 
The priests, who are about 50 years old, were identified as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegre, and the nun as Gilberte Bussier.
 
Father Marta had been in Cameroon for more than six years while Father Allegre had arrived around a year ago.  Seventy-year-old Sister Gilberte has been in Cameroon for nearly four decades and was soon to be evacuated to her native Canada for prolonged ill health.
 
The priests had been working on improving water supplies and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS.
 
Cameroon Minister of Defense Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo went to northern Cameroon and ordered investigators to determine who was responsible for the attack.  The local population already blames Boko Haram, which has carried out several kidnappings in the region during the past year.


Mickey Rooney reported
to have died at 93 years


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mickey Rooney, one of the last stars from Hollywood's golden age, has died at 93. Rooney died Sunday night. His family has not announced a cause of death.

Rooney's career began in the early 1920s as an infant with his vaudevillian father and spanned all media -- from silent movies to Broadway to television.

Rooney's trademark was his energetic song and dance performance. Shouting the much parodied line "Hey kids! Let's put on a show," Rooney and co-star Judy Garland danced through a series of high-spirited teenage musicals including "Girl Crazy" and "Babes in Arms."

Rooney played his best-remembered character -- small-town teenager Andy Hardy -- in a series of films in the 1930s that for a time made him the most popular movie star in the world.

Rooney proved to be as skilled at dramatic parts as comedy and dance. He played a jockey in "National Velvet," a World War II soldier in "The Bold and the Brave," and a disloyal boxing manager in "Requiem for a Heavyweight."

He was nominated for four Academy Awards for acting and won two special Oscars and was a regular on television dramas and comedy shows.

Rooney's off-screen life was as colorful as his career. He never grew taller than a bit more than 153 centimeters, a bit more than five feet. He was married eight times, declared bankruptcy in the 1960s after years of gambling and unpaid taxes, and had to rebuild his career more than once -- but he never retired or stopped performing.


Obama tells radio audience
his budget helps middle class


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says too many Americans are working harder than ever, feeling like they are not getting ahead.

The president said Saturday in his weekly address the budget he sent to Congress earlier this year is built on the idea of opportunity for all. He said his budget would grow the middle class and shrink the deficits that have already been cut in half since he took office.

Obama said the Republicans have proposed a very different budget that would shrink opportunity and make it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead.

He said the Republican budget begins with doling out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year.


General Motors' stonewalling
getting plenty of criticism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As U.S. lawmakers demand to know why it took U.S. automaker General Motors more than 10 years to replace a safety defect, an auto safety group says the delay exposes a major flaw in the recall system that puts anyone who drives an American car at risk.

A defective ignition switch, easily fixed with a 60-cent part, is blamed for the deaths of at least 13 people, including Randall Rademaker’s 15-year-old daughter Amy.

“Her and two other friends were in a Cobalt," he said of the Chevrolet model. "They are coming back from shopping and the ignition switch shut off, and they left the roadway and hit a tree. Two of the girls were killed."

Families of the victims who gathered in Washington during congressional hearings say it didn’t have to happen. 

“They have known this defect all along for a decade," said David Chansuthus, whose sister Sadie was killed in a similar accident in 2010. "So they deliberately concealed the truth simply for a business decision.”

Testifying before Congress, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said those were the actions of the old GM.

“That’s not the way we do business in today’s GM,” Ms. Barra said. “Today, if there is a safety issue, we take action. If we know there is a defect on our vehicles, we do not look at cost associated with it. We look at the speed at which we can fix the issue.”

But Clarence Ditlow at the Center for Auto Safety says the problem is a systemic one involving a cozy relationship between automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“They had meetings over this defect," Ditlow said. "They share complaints over this defect, yet there was no investigation by the government and no recall by General Motors until 10 years later. That’s a tragedy.”

Among the government’s failings, says Ditlow, are inadequate agency funding and not enough investigators.

But an expert on corporate culture says industry-wide problems prior to the government bailout may be partly to blame.

“When a company’s very existence is at risk, you probably develop a bit of a siege mentality," said Brian Fielkow, author of "Driving to Perfection." "Let’s just cut every dime, cut every corner in order to survive.”

In a global marketplace, Ditlow says that's bad business. 

Ditlow would like to see the entire recall system become more transparent. And if that fails, he suggests making the government agency accountable and allowing the public to sue when it fails to do its job.


Army confirms argument
sparked rampage by soldier

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. military officials say they have evidence that a verbal argument prompted 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez to open fire Wednesday on fellow soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas before taking his own life. The dead soldier's family says his mental illness, however, was to blame.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Chris Gray, told reporters that credible information indicates that Lopez "was involved in a verbal altercation with soldiers from his unit just prior to allegedly opening fire." Gray said he could not provide details about the argument since it is still under investigation, but he said that the gunman apparently had no specific targets after leaving the scene of the dispute.

"The subject then proceeded to travel to two other nearby buildings, entering those locations and opening fire. In transit to those locations, while in his personal vehicle, he indiscriminately fired at other soldiers while moving from one location to another," said Gray.

After being confronted by a female military police officer, Lopez then shot himself in the head. Gray said investigators may never know exactly why he did what he did.

Family members of Lopez released a statement saying that he had been under medical treatment. His father, Ivan Lopez, Sr., said what his son did Wednesday "was not like him." The elder Lopez said his son "must have been out of his mind."

The soldier was taking medication for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances and had asked for an evaluation for post traumatic stress disorder, a mental affliction usually associated with the extreme stress or danger soldiers encounter in combat. Military doctors had not diagnosed that condition, and Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said there is no evidence that Lopez was ever in such a situation while stationed for four months in Iraq in 2011.

"We are digging into his combat experience in Iraq and, so far, we have not discovered any specific traumatic event, wounds received in action, contact with the enemy, or anything else specific that he may have been exposed to while deployed," said Milley.

Milley also provided an update on the three soldiers killed, revealing their names -- Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez, Sgt. Timothy Owens and Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson, who held a door shut and allowed others to escape before bullets hit him. He had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.

Investigators say they have interviewed more than 900 people to gather details of the crime scene.

Wednesday's attack was the second at the base since 2009 when an Army psychiatrist opened fire on fellow soldiers, killing 13.

Milley said all but six of the soldiers treated at area hospitals after the shooting Wednesday now have been released, and he described them as resilient.

The continuing investigation of the shooting at Fort Hood involves about 150 law enforcement personnel from the military, the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and local area police. They have established a basic timeline of what happened, but the biggest mystery remains the motive that drove Lopez to fire on his fellow soldiers.


Regulators ready to OK
communication among cars

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. regulators are close to approving new standards for enabling vehicles to communicate with each other, hoping the new technology will reduce traffic accidents. Within as little as three years, automakers may be required to equip all new cars with the so-called vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices.

Vehicle-to-vehicle is a short-range communication technology that enables vehicles to exchange vital information 10 times per second, about location, speed, acceleration and braking. Cars will be able to calculate the hazard risk within about 300 meters and alert their drivers or even take automatic collision-avoidance action.

The drivers will be able to see, hear and even feel the hazard signals through vibration of the seat.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects the new system to reduce the number of car accidents by as much as 80 percent, especially those where alcohol is not a factor.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Greg Winfree said the new technology will change the whole attitude toward car crashes.

“The way to look at it is the first 50 years of transportation safety were focused on surviving crashes. We see the future as technology that avoids crashes overall,” said Winfree.

Critics admit that the technology is revolutionary, but warn about possible conflicts in the wireless bands in which it will operate.

Scott Belcher, the chief operating officer of the advocacy group Intelligent Transportation Society of America, said, "If somehow we are sharing this spectrum and there's interference and so a car that could have, we could have prevented the crash, we are not able to prevent the crash because someone else is using the spectrum.”

Belcher said the public may be concerned about privacy and the possibility of tracking individual drivers and their driving habits. Government agencies and the private sector already have invested almost $1 billion in research.

Officials say they plan for the new technology to become mandatory by early 2017, and they see it as a first step toward a futuristic 21st Century integrated transportation system.


Poison control contacts
increase over e-cigarettes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Electronic or e-cigarettes, marketed as a safer alternative to actual tobacco-filled smokes, have prompted a dramatic increase in the number of calls to U.S. poison control centers.  Most of the calls were from those worried about children who played with the mock cigarettes. 

Some 215 people called U.S. poison control hotlines about e-cigarettes in February, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was just one call to a center in September 2010, when the product was still new.

More than half of the emergency hotline calls were reports about children ages 5 and younger who were sickened by the battery-powered devices.  

Tim McAfee is director of the center’s Office on Smoking and Health. He says e-cigarettes, which are unregulated, contain liquid laced with nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes.  He says nicotine in liquid form is a well-known hazard.

“Nicotine historically has been used as a pesticide in the United States. And that’s where we have really had for many, many decades significant poisonings when people got exposed to nicotine that was in liquid solutions," said McAfee.

All e-cigarettes emit an aerosol that mimics cigarette smoke.  But McAfee says some e-cigarettes are just inhalable cartridges that the user refills with nicotine solution. Nicotine can be absorbed by the skin, and McAfee says poisoning commonly occurs if someone gets a small amount of the liquid on themselves, in their eyes or if the solution is swallowed. 

Symptoms of nicotine toxicity include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, unsteadiness, tremor, headache, muscle twitches and seizures.  Excessive amounts of nicotine can disrupt heart rhythms, in rare cases leading to death.

Not surprisingly, the number of reported poisonings has risen with the popularity of e-cigarettes over the past several years.  But McAfee says he doesn’t want concerns about e-cigarettes to deflect attention from the much more serious health hazard posed by cigarettes, which kill a half million Americans every year.

“So, cigarettes are the winner in that contest.  And we don’t really know what’s going to happen with e-cigarettes," he said.

Because they don’t contain the hundreds of harmful chemicals found in burning tobacco, the U.S. Surgeon General has suggested that e-cigarettes may be a useful tool for adults trying to kick the cigarette habit. 

But McAfee worries that teenagers, who may regard electronic cigarettes as harmless, could become hooked on the nicotine and eventually move on to real cigarettes.


scientists and clock
U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology photo
Physicists Steve Jefferts and Tom Heavner work on the new atomic clock.

New cesium clock keeps
really, really great time

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. researchers have launched a new atomic clock they say will neither gain nor lose a second in 300 million years.
 
The clock, called NIST-F2, will serve new U.S. civilian time and frequency standard,”researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Standards and Technology in Colorado said. The current standard has been set by NIST-F1 since 1999.
 
Both clocks use what researchers call a  fountain of cesium atoms to come up with a precise measurement of a second.
 
Since 1967, the second has been defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 oscillations of the microwave radiation absorbed or emitted when a cesium atom jumps between two particular energy states.
 
"If we've learned anything in the last 60 years of building atomic clocks, we've learned that every time we build a better clock, somebody comes up with a use for it that you couldn't have foreseen," says physicist Steven Jefferts, lead designer of NIST-F2 in a statement.
 
Last year, French researchers said they’d also developed a similarly accurate clock.
 
While losing a second every 300 million years might not seem important in daily life, many technologies such as telecommunications, satellite navigation and stock markets depend on incredibly accurate timekeeping.
 
Highly precise timekeeping has been integral to the development of the Global Positioning System because of the high degree of synchronization required for satellites to triangulate a receiver’s location.
 
According to the national institute, official time “is used to time-stamp hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. financial transactions each working day.” The institute also said that as of 2014, they had received 8 billion automated requests to synchronize clocks in computers via its Internet Time Service. The institute also broadcasts time updates to around 50 million watches and other clocks.
 
The new super-accurate clock could have implications for theoretical physics in that it could allow physicists to see if nature’s constants really do remain constant over time. Also, Earth-observation satellites could be improved because they would allow more accurate tracking of sea-level rise.
 
Last year, the institute said it had developed an ion clock that is believed accurate to within one second every 3.7 billion years, but it is not yet considered stable enough to use and requires more testing.


Researchers repair defect
from mouse mutation

By the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology news staff

Using a new gene-editing system based on bacterial proteins, researchers have cured mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation.

The findings, described in the March 30 issue of Nature Biotechnology, offer the first evidence that this gene-editing technique, known as CRISPR, can reverse disease symptoms in living animals. CRISPR, which offers an easy way to snip out mutated DNA and replace it with the correct sequence, holds potential for treating many genetic disorders, according to the research team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“What’s exciting about this approach is that we can actually correct a defective gene in a living adult animal,” says Daniel Anderson, an associate professor of chemical engineering and the senior author of the paper.

The recently developed CRISPR system relies on cellular machinery that bacteria use to defend themselves from viral infection. Researchers have copied this cellular system to create gene-editing complexes that include a DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9 bound to a short RNA guide strand that is programmed to bind to a specific genome sequence, telling Cas9 where to make its cut.

At the same time, the researchers also deliver a DNA template strand. When the cell repairs the damage produced by Cas9, it copies from the template, introducing new genetic material into the genome. Scientists envision that this kind of genome editing could one day help treat diseases such as hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, and others that are caused by single mutations.

Scientists have developed other gene-editing systems based on DNA-slicing enzymes, also known as nucleases, but those complexes can be expensive and difficult to assemble.

“The CRISPR system is very easy to configure and customize,” says Anderson, who is also a member of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He adds that other systems “can potentially be used in a similar way to the CRISPR system, but with those it is much harder to make a nuclease that’s specific to your target of interest.”

For this study, the researchers designed three guide RNA strands that target different DNA sequences near the mutation that causes type I tyrosinemia, in a gene that codes for an enzyme called FAH. Patients with this disease, which affects about 1 in 100,000 people, cannot break down the amino acid tyrosine, which accumulates and can lead to liver failure. Current treatments include a low-protein diet and a drug called NTCB, which disrupts tyrosine production.

In experiments with adult mice carrying the mutated form of the FAH enzyme, the researchers delivered RNA guide strands along with the gene for Cas9 and a 199-nucleotide DNA template that includes the correct sequence of the mutated FAH gene.

Using this approach, the correct gene was inserted in about one of every 250 hepatocytes — the cells that make up most of the liver. Over the next 30 days, those healthy cells began to proliferate and replace diseased liver cells, eventually accounting for about one-third of all hepatocytes. This was enough to cure the disease, allowing the mice to survive after being taken off the NCTB drug.

“We can do a one-time treatment and totally reverse the condition,” says Hao Yin, a postdoc at the Koch Institute and one of the lead authors of the Nature Biotechnology paper.

“This work shows that CRISPR can be used successfully in adults, and also identifies several of the challenges that will need to be addressed moving forward to the development of human therapies,” says Charles Gersbach, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University who was not part of the research team. “In particular, the authors note that the efficiency of gene editing will need to improve significantly to be relevant for most diseases and other delivery methods need to be explored to extend the approach to humans. Nevertheless, this work is an exciting first step to using modern gene-editing tools to correct the devastating genetic diseases for which there are currently no options for affected patients.”

To deliver the CRISPR components, the researchers employed a technique known as high-pressure injection, which uses a high-powered syringe to rapidly discharge the material into a vein. This approach delivers material successfully to liver cells, but Anderson envisions that better delivery approaches are possible. His lab is now working on methods that may be safer and more efficient, including targeted nanoparticles.



High carbon dioxide levels
said to harm food quality

By the University of California - Davis news staff

For the first time, a field test has demonstrated that elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.

Findings from this wheat field-test study, led by a University of California - Davis plant scientist, are being reported online in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Food quality is declining under the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that we are experiencing," said lead author Arnold Bloom, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences.

"Several explanations for this decline have been put forward, but this is the first study to demonstrate that elevated carbon dioxide inhibits the conversion of nitrate into protein in a field-grown crop," he said.

The assimilation, or processing, of nitrogen plays a key role in the plant's growth and productivity. In food crops, it is especially important because plants use nitrogen to produce the proteins that are vital for human nutrition. Wheat, in particular, provides nearly one-fourth of all protein in the global human diet.

Many previous laboratory studies had demonstrated that elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide inhibited nitrate assimilation in the leaves of grain and non-legume plants. However there had been no verification of this relationship in field-grown plants.

To observe the response of wheat to different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the researchers examined samples of wheat that had been grown in 1996 and 1997 in the Maricopa Agricultural Center near Phoenix, Arizona.

At that time, carbon dioxide-enriched air was released in the fields, creating an elevated level of atmospheric carbon at the test plots, similar to what is now expected to be present in the next few decades. Control plantings of wheat were also grown in the ambient, untreated level of carbon dioxide.

Leaf material harvested from the various wheat tests plots was immediately placed on ice, and then was oven dried and stored in vacuum-sealed containers to minimize changes over time in various nitrogen compounds.

A fast-forward through more than a decade found Bloom and the current research team able to conduct chemical analyses that were not available at the time the experimental wheat plants were harvested.

In the recent study, the researchers documented that three different measures of nitrate assimilation affirmed that the elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide had inhibited nitrate assimilation into protein in the field-grown wheat.

"These field results are consistent with findings from previous laboratory studies, which showed that there are several physiological mechanisms responsible for carbon dioxide's inhibition of nitrate assimilation in leaves," Bloom said.

Bloom noted that other studies also have shown that protein concentrations in the grain of wheat, rice and barley — as well as in potato tubers — decline, on average, by approximately 8 percent under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

"When this decline is factored into the respective portion of dietary protein that humans derive from these various crops, it becomes clear that the overall amount of protein available for human consumption may drop by about 3 percent as atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches the levels anticipated to occur during the next few decades," Bloom said.

While heavy nitrogen fertilization could partially compensate for this decline in food quality, it would also have negative consequences including higher costs, more nitrate leaching into groundwater and increased emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, he said.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
logo
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
 
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com



Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8294-6/12/14

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8206-5/18/14

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8321-10/17/14



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8245-5/12/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Pursical home
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$173,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
8310-7/1/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8309-6/29/14

Atenas mansion
ATENAS!!
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact  larry@atenasrealty.com
8306-4/26/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
 www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8305-6/26/14

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email rafa@rafacr.com.
9304-4/3/14

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Also looking for full-time housekeeper!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and back yards, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information!!
88288-xxxx

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8269-5/27/14

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email  combrokers@aol.com
8259-8/25/14

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email tierrasmorenaslou@yahoo.com
8257-8/17/

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
8253-5/12/14

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: losreyes191@gmail.com Click on the link below for photos and additional details:
https://plus.google.com/photos/105244969603261154850/
8240-8/6/14

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8230-3/13/14

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8223-2/21/14

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.      www.saintmichaelscostarica.com
8215-7/14/14

complex
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8200-4/3/14

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region
RichCoastRealty.com

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!

     www.RichCoastRealty.com
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
   Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
8191-4/30/13


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
8166-5/29/13

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx


Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  www.gingerbreadarenal.com  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088
8263-8/20/14

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact galanses@hotmail.com for an appointment. For a preview www.facebook.com/FantasiaTropicalCR
8232-2/24/14

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com.
8213-2/13/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 68
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
whales
University of Massachusetts at Amherst/Michelle Staudinger
Researchers display stomach contents collected from 22 pygmy and nine dwarf sperm whales.

Stomach content of whales
use to track their activities
           
By the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst news service

In the largest regional study of its type to date, marine ecologist Michelle Staudinger and colleagues offer better understanding of the feeding ecologies of two very rare sperm whale species in waters off the southeast U.S. coast, adding baseline data they say are important as climate change, fishing and pollution alters the animals' environment and food sources.

"Understanding what resources support populations of these incredibly rare animals is important to conservation," said Ms. Staudinger, adjunct assistant professor in environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She says of the pygmy and dwarf sperm whales she studied. "If there are changes in the environment or their prey, we can now hope to better anticipate the potential impacts. There had been quite a knowledge gap about these animals, but this work gives us an idea of their ecological niche and requirements in the current environment."

For the investigation, which used two complementary methods to characterize whale foraging ecology, Ms. Staudinger and colleagues at the University of North Carolina Wilmington analyzed stomach contents collected by the marine mammal stranding network from 22 pygmy and nine dwarf sperm whales found dead on the mid-Atlantic coast between 1998 and 2011. Study results appear in the April issue of Marine Mammal Science.

These whales in the genus Kogia feed almost entirely on beaked squid, cephalopods whose bodies are digested in whale stomachs except for the hard beaks made of chitin, a fingernail-like substance, Ms. Staudinger explained. "All deceased stranded marine mammals are necropsied, and scientists save and evaluate the stomach contents." she said. "So the stranding network had a stockpile of stomachs collected over 13 years from two of the most commonly stranded whales along the southeast and mid-Atlantic coast."

She adds, "Here I have to confess that I have a kind of unusual ability I learned in earlier research: I can identify cephalopod species by their beaks, a characteristic similar to birds. So when I heard about this study, I jumped at the chance to study these whales."

Some cephalopod species she couldn't recognize from her own reference samples, the marine ecologist noted, "so I went to the Smithsonian Institution's collection, where there are hundreds of species in collections of whalers and fishermen dating back to the 1800s."

Specifically, Ms. Staudinger and colleagues hoped to identify differences, if any, in ecological niches occupied by pygmy and dwarf sperm whales. These smaller cousins of the sperm whale were once thought to be a single species until modern analyses showed they are genetically distinct.

Beak analysis from cephalopod remains showed the diet of pygmy sperm whales to be more diverse than that of the dwarf species, the researchers report, and prey sizes were slightly larger for the pygmy than for the dwarf.

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From Page 7:

Three chambers quickly make requests of Solís

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís has not even finished his acceptance speech when commercial chambers issued statements seeking concessions from him.

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo repeated its request that the next minister of Turismo and the board of the Instituto  Costarricense de Turismo come from its members. The organization said it would seek a meeting with the president-elect to help chart a course that would bring more tourists.

The Cámara Puntarenense de Pescadore also issued a quick statement in which it asked Solís to resolve the problem confronting the shrimp fishermen. The Sala IV has declared their practices unconstitutional due to the damage they do to the coral and the unintended sea creatures that are caught in the trawling nets.

And then the Cámara Costarricense de la Industria Alimentaria issued a statement Sunday night that said Solís should develop concrete plans to increase the competitivity of the industry. Sought are decreases in electrical power charges, the elimination of excessive regulation and paperwork and the elimination of some import duties for products not available in the country.