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(506) 2223-1327                         Published, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 69                         Email us
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President meets with Intel execs on their plans
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial said Monday that President Laura Chinchilla and other commerce officials would meet with the CEO of Intel Corp. and various other company officials.

However, the Costa Rican version of the meeting is not going to be revealed until a press conference today.

Ms. Chinchilla is meeting with Brian Krzanich, who has held the top spot in the company for a few weeks less than a year. Fortune Magazine calls him a highly practical man who has been with the company since 1982 when he was graduated from college.

Casa Presidencial said that the meeting has been scheduled for some days and the purpose is to learn the company's plans for its transformation of its operations in Costa Rica. The announcement does not say that Ms. Chinchilla will try to reverse the company's plan to move its manufacturing operation to Vietnam and fire 1,200 employees.

Instead, Casa Presidencial said that officials here hope that the firm will continue strengthening its operations in research development and services.  Some 1,500 employes are involved in this type of work here.

The president was also said to be seeking a gradual withdrawal of the manufacturing operation and consideration for the workers.

After learning about the company's plans over the weekend, some expats are blaming Costa Rica.

However, problems facing Krzanich are much bigger than the Costa Rica operation. He had taken over the reins of the company at a time of stagnant stock prices and a declining market for what the company makes best: chips for desktop computers.

Said contributor  Kevin Kelleher in a January article in Fortune:

"Much of Intel's subpar performance is tied to its longtime dependence on chips for the PC market, which has seen sales dwindle in the era of the tablet. It's not an issue of the technology of Intel's chips, it's the devices they're going into -- tablets and smartphones, in particular. Intel has been struggling to find a way into mobile chips, as well as devices in emerging areas like wearable computers and the Internet of Things."
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Next stop: Ho Chi Minh City

The company's stock closed Monday at $26.49, up 50 cents from Friday. The increase does not seem to have anything to do with the situation in Costa Rica. In fact, there did not seem to be any news about Costa Rica and Intel outside the country Monday. The Motley Fool Web site attributed the increase to a securities firm upgrading Intel stock from perform to outperform.

Monday also was the day that Qualcomm announced the details of a phone table processor that uses ARM Holding cores. The Intel competitor is getting good initial reviews.

A good part of Krzanich's job is to keep shareholders happy. At the very least, he is bold. Fortune noted that he sold off OnCue, a maker of an Internet television device to Verizon for a fifth of the asking price. That was considered a bold strategic move.

According to Casa Presidencial, Ms. Chinchilla is not going to address the situation today. The central government said that representatives of the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, perhaps minister Anabel González, and someone from the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo, the investment promotion agency known as CINDE, will give details of the meeting.

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.

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.


Radar setup planned to scan boats in the Pacific
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry will be watching the Pacific coast with radar, according to an announcement issued Monday.

The security minister, Mario Zamora, and President Laura Chinchilla are scheduled to announce plans Thursday.

The purpose of the radar is to track marine traffic, for both legal and illegal. The illegal includes drug
smugglers and illegal fishing, said the security ministry.

The system also will help with search and rescue in the gulf of Nicoya, it said.

The announcement will be made at the station of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas in Caldera.

Costa Rica has lacked a coordinated radar system.

Drug smugglers have been using helicopters to ferry their goods without the knowledge of officials.


Solís reported to seek genetically-modified labels
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An opponent of genetically modified plants says he has received good news from the Partido Acción Ciudadana.
 
He is Fabián Pacheco, who is associated with Bloque Verde and the Federación Ecologista.

Pacheco, an agricultural engineer, said that representatives of the political party told him that they propose to respect those cantons that have declared themselves free of genetically modified organisms.  Some 75 of the 81 cantons have done so.

Pacheco said that the message from Acción Ciudadana also said that president-elect Luis Guillermo Solís is behind the measure.

Pacheco said that for ecologists this is a clear statement of respect and dialogue in favor of the nation's biodiversity and food sovereignty.

The message from Acción Ciudadana also cited the need to apply labels to genetically modified
products so that consumers will know what they are, Pacheco said. presumably this would include imported products. Many of the products imported from the United States contain genetically modified products.

The bulk of the modified organisms are produced by Monsanto, which also makes a weed killer to which the modified plants are immune.

The topic of modified organisms has been a controversial one for several years in Costa Rica.

Even though most scientists agree that the organisms are nearly identical to the ones that do not have modified genes, there is resistance by the public.

European countries require labeling in some cases. Others do not want products from modified organisms imported.

Solís has promised to defend the environment. He also said Monday that the two vice presidents-elect, Helio Fallas and Ana Helena Chacón, would be working to help him select members of his cabinet. He is expected to begin making announcements in a week.

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Escazú pedestrian killed
by two men on motorcycle

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man believed to be between the ages of 25 and 30 was killed near the San Rafael de Escazú Catholic church in Escazú just before midnight Sunday. The man, who had yet to be identified, was walking along a public path before two persons on a motorcycle pulled up and attacked him, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

One of the assailants supposedly shot the victim numerous times on the left side of his back and his arm. Initial reports suggest that the two assailants fled once the man fell onto the public roadway.

Agents from the organization's homicide department are seeking to determine the man's identity, as well as tracking down possible killers and their motive.


Legal holiday approaching
and so is Semana Santa


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 Friday is the Día de Juan Santamaría, which marks the 1856 Battle of Rivas in which Costa Rican troops defeated Nicaraguan and U.S. filibusters. Juan Santamaría distinguished himself by carrying a torch and igniting an enemy strong point. The effort cost him his life.

The day is a legal holiday, and most government offices will be closed, as will embassies.

Many government offices are closing Friday and will not reopen until April 21, the Monday after Easter.  That includes the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior and the Registro Nacional.

Semana Santa, which begins Monday, is either a perfect vacation time or a period of religious reflection. April 17 and 18 also are legal holidays. Nearly every Christian church has some form of Easter observance. In the city, there will be processions most days with the big one being the burial of Jesus the afternoon of Friday, April 18. This is a major tourist attraction.


Dominical residents to meet
over plan to cut down trees


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dominical residents who oppose a plan to cut some of the trees in the community have been invited to a meeting today at 1 p.m. in the local school.

That was announced by resident Richard Hennessy. He said that the municipality plans to cut as many as 100 trees in the beach community in order to construct a concrete boardwalk. He said that so many trees were involved that municipal workers who were to mark the ones to be cut ran out of paint. He said:

"Is it not clear to all of us that cutting down so many precious, shade providing trees threatens to do far more damage to our town and to our tourism based economy than good?"

He said that Jacó, Puntarenas and Quepos are communities where trees have been cut.


raod constrcution
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo          
Traffic around Villa Briceño in Golfito will be facing construction delays through Friday due to replacement of deteriorated drainage, said the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad.


Police seek to reduce toll
from motorcycle crashes


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So far this year 31 persons died in motorcycle crashes. The Policía de Tránsito said this is 41 percent of all vehicle deaths.

So they have launched an effort to reduce the motorcycle toll. Monday police blanketed the downtown area and checked out motorcycle drivers for safety equipment and proper licensing. Police also want messengers to put baskets or some sort of device to hold packages instead of carrying them in their arms while driving.

Although the effort started in the downtown, police are aware that most of the motorcycle deaths happen in rural areas, so they will be continuing the inspections in those parts of the country.


Internet updating means
a late newspaper today


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The newspaper is being published about an hour late today because of problems with the Tigo Internet service. A worker said that the company is redoing servers and other equipment and has cut off selected sections of the service area. Consequently, the newspaper was published from an alternate location using services of Radiográfica Costarricense S.A.

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Energy firm seeks to tap the market for wood pellets here and abroad
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A relatively young alternative energy method has started hooking the attention of some Costa Rican businesses. Wood pellets, which can act as a bio fuel that burns cleaner than coal, make up an international energy industry that has boomed since 2008's economic collapse.

Representatives from green technology company Grupo Con Brio said that they are currently looking for an avenue from which to join the bustling market.

“We're trying to put together a nice looking Costa Rican pellet that can be exported,” said partner Nestor Zúñiga Arias. “Eventually we believe we can scale up, maybe go into bigger markets like Brazil.”

From within Costa Rica, possible advantages in the wood pellet industry are met with sizable handicaps. According to U.S. businessman Richard Sims, because of the nation's size, it could never compete as a major player in the exporting scene. However there is one tree species, the gmelina arborea, that grows fast enough under the Costa Rican rain for businesses to have a consistent supply of pellets at the ready for any potential buyers.

“Today the demand is much more than the supply,” said Sims, who is working as an adviser for Grupo Con Brio. “And the wood pellet technology is now much better than it was ten years ago.”

In addition to the abundance of gmelina trees, Costa Rica also has two well-established shipping ports in Limón and Caldera. As the company searches for buyers and lays down the foundation needed for infrastructure, Zúñiga estimated the potential markets for pellets should be around and thriving for the next 20 years.

Wood pellets are being used primarily for heating residences and for supplying commercial energy uses. The residential end of business is where Grupo Con Brio intends to concentrate its efforts, and this sector can pay up to 20 percent more than the industrial side, according to Sims.

Studies from Europe, where the pellet is becoming a major import, show a pellet-using factory can generate a carbon footprint five times smaller than a an equivalent coal-burning plant.

Sims said that any factory in Costa Rica would need at least 5,000 hectares of land to churn out an adequate energy supply. He proposed Limón as a perfect location because of its proximity to shipping and its space for production. The ideal result for the country would be a joint production that can also serve domestic markets with saw wood or leftover supply, he said.

"The best case scenario is a mixed plantation that would service the wood sector for additional saw wood for local needs and also provide new energy source in speed-stock for wood pellets," Sims said.

Grupo Con Brio is considering building a green industrial park in San José to begin production. Zúñiga said they have been in contract talks with a big buyer from Europe and some sellers from the United States.

There are some players locally, like the Bridgestone factory in Belén, that can allow for steady business. But both Sims and Zúñiga agreed that the wood pellet industry in Costa Rica would depend on exporting to flourish.

Pelletics in San Carlos is the only current wood pellet factory in the country, and its business stays in-country through Costa Rican cement production clients like Cemex and Holcim.
pellet trees
University of Minnesota/Paul Bolstad
This is an 8-year-old stand of gmelina arborea trees in a plantation

Zúñiga said it could be beneficial for any wood pellet producer to make a deal with the local municipalities, who don't have the necessary services or funding to keep up with most alternative energies. The son of former finance minister Guillermo Zúñiga said so much of the energy in Costa Rica is filtered through illegal means, so a more privatized approach could benefit the nation's energy stability.

"In Costa Rica it's hard to believe anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of water and energy costs are stolen," he said. "There's a big gap between what we're actually collecting and what we can actually give to the people. Municipalities would love to have these services."

The future of this alternative bio fuel presents a chance for any energy business, and Costa Rica comes equipped with the resources and infrastructure to help define that future. Though rocketing demand in European countries like Italy and England is too much for the country to fulfill alone, it still provides a big opportunity for a small country.

"Can Costa Rica cover all of that? Absolutely not. We're just too little. But we can make a difference," Zúñiga said.


Tourism officials and local firms seeking more business from China
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo joined seven domestic businesses to travel to the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market in Beijing which runs from Wednesday through Friday.

Officials are confident that their presence at the fair will attract a rather immediate flow of Chinese travelers to Costa Rica. Allan Flores, the minister of Turismo, said China's population numbers alone tell why its an obvious target for travel marketing.

“Exploring new market options to promote and position Costa Rica as an excellent tourism destination has been one of the challenges constantly in front of us,” Flores said. “We're working on the execution of effective strategies in key markets, and in this case China represents a business opportunity due to the level of supply and demand that Chinese citizens give.”

After waiving Russian visa requirements last week, Flores and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo are stressing initiatives that could draw in a different demographic to Costa Rica.

This year marks the second time the country has participated in the Chinese travel fair. According to Ireth Rodríguez, marketing director at the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, this event allows for valuable face-to-face communication between travel agencies and potential tourists.
 Agents are able to schedule appointments,  answer any questions, and provide direct information that they otherwise could not.

“The participation in this fair is a step towards the strengthening of Costa Rica as a tourist destination,” Ms. Rodríguez said. “It's consistent with the strategy of attracting new tourists while using these exploratory trips as a resource that serve to analyze needs and preferences, as is the case in China.”

More than 120 Chinese businessmen have been invited to a presentation hosted by the Instituto  Costarricense de Turismo and set for today. Tourism employees said they intend to discuss the country's worth as a consistent destination. The seven Costa Rican travel businesses are planning on setting up shop at the Costa Rican Embassy in China to clear any doubts or concerns about visa processes.

The World Trade Organization has data estimating China as the biggest source for tourists in the world. In the first nine months of 2013, their tourism spending amount increased by 28 percent, surpassing travelers from both Germany and the United States.

More than 4,000 interested Chinese professionals and citizens plan to attend the travel fair. The audience will be made up of government officials, hotel workers, tour operators, real estate agents, and more.

Last year Costa Rica recorded nearly 8,000 international arrivals from China.

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Migraine suffers can share their pain on Twitter and be counted
By the University of Michigan news service

Someone's drilling an icicle into your temple, you're throwing up, and light and sound are unbearable.

Yes, it's another migraine attack. But now in 140 characters on Twitter, you can share your agony with other sufferers. It indicates a trend toward the cathartic sharing of physical pain, as well as emotional pain on social media.

 "As technology and language evolve, so does the way we share our suffering," said principal investigator Alexandre DaSilva, assistant professor and director of the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort at University of Michigan School of Dentistry. "It's the first known study to show the instant and broad impact of migraine attacks on modern patients' lives by decoding manually each one of their individual attack-related tweets."

DaSilva's team worked with 50 students and residents to categorize 21,741 tweets. They eliminated advertising, metaphor and non-related migraine tweets, which has not been done in previous studies. Further, they analyzed the meaning of each individual migraine tweet.

"We sought to evaluate the instant expression of actual self-reported migraine attacks in social media," DaSilva said.

 Results generated unique information about who suffers from migraines and what, how, where and when they use social media to describe their pain. The findings overlapped significantly with other traditional epidemiologic migraine studies, DaSilva and colleagues said.
Among other things, they examined the most common descriptors for migraines, including profanities, tweet times and locations, and impact on productivity and mood. Only 65 percent of the migraine tweets were from actual sufferers of migraines posting in real-time. Other tweets were advertising, general discussion, retweets, etc., indicating that not everything in social media is meaningful to the patient, DaSilva said.

Among the findings:

• Females accounted for about 74 percent of migraine tweets. Males accounted for 17 percent.

• The higher global peak of migraine tweets occurred Mondays at 14:00 GMT, or 10 a.m Eastern Daylight Saving Time.

• The U.S. accounted for 58 percent of migraine tweets, followed by Europe at 20 percent.

• In the U.S., migraine tweets peaked at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays.  The morning tweets peaked later on weekends.

• Roughly 44 percent of tweets reported that migraine attacks immediately impacted mood.

• The most common migraine descriptors were "worst" at nearly 15 percent and "massive" at 8 percent.

Migraines pose a huge public health problem, harming mood, productivity and overall quality of life. An estimated 12 percent of the Western world population suffer migraine attacks, and of those, 75 percent see reduced functionality and 30 percent require bed rest.

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* Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa
             Rican Spanish”
* Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal
              System for Tontos (dumbbells)”
Purchase through Pay Pal at: www.costaricabooks.com
8318-5/4/14

Howard rollover
The most comprehensive way to
investigate Costa Rica for retirement

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
 
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
8317-5/7/14

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
8278-3/14/14


Hidden Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8199-4/6/14

Blues video
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8300-9/1/14

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom


Payless Car Rental
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at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.



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Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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.
apartment
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 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8328-5/26/14

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
 4-
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact noelsusana@yahoo.com
8299-5/1/14

Guanacaste
                                                        rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705, linda@coldwellbankercr.com
8290-4/13/14

Apartments
                                                        Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8313-5/1/14

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com
or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8267-8/17/14

house
                                                        photo
Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: jlayne1933@aol.com or yo@nehemiascr.com
8325-5/21/14

prime
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ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8327-4/26/14

100
                                                      houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email  1000houses@ice.co.cr   Tel. 8383-6388.
8241-3/7/14

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
9229-3/3/14

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. dogfood@carolina.rr.com 8841-1606
8222-2/21/14




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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 69
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Cafetales



More signals heard in ocean
considered encouraging sign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Australian and U.S. Navy officials said they have detected more acoustic signals that may belong to a black box from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. However, they are stressing that the airliner's location cannot be confirmed until wreckage from flight MH370 is spotted on the surface or under the Indian Ocean.
 
Authorities Monday said they are very encouraged, but nonetheless remain cautious, amid the clearest indications yet of where the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could be.
 
The best clues during the month-long search have been picked up by U.S. Navy black box detection equipment being towed by an Australian naval ship in deep waters more than 1,500 kilometers northwest of Perth, Australia.

Retired air chief Angus Houston, the leader of the Australian team coordinating the international search effort, said the first detection of acoustic signals on a frequency of 37.5 kilohertz was held for 2 hours 20 minutes. The second detection, on a return leg, was heard for 13 minutes.
 
"Significantly, this would be consistent with transmissions from both the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder. Clearly this is a most promising lead," said Houston.
 
A British naval vessel, the HMS Echo, is heading to an area where a Chinese patrol ship, the Haixun-01, using a hydrophone dangled over the side of the boat, detected acoustic pings Friday and Saturday about two kilometers apart.
 
Houston said the vessels are in a race against time to receive further underwater signals.
 
"The life of the batteries must be getting somewhere close to the end of life. It's what, 31 days, so we're already one day past the advertised shelf life. We hope that it keeps going for a little bit longer," said Houston.
 
Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy said searchers hope to use equipment to begin exploring the ocean floor if they detect more of the suspected black box signals.
 
"If they gain another acoustic event on that towed pinger locator that would be the trigger, at the moment, to launch the autonomous underwater vehicle with the underwater sonar and, potentially, camera for mapping and visually looking at the ocean floor," said Leavey.
 
In the area where the acoustic pulses have been detected, the ocean floor is about 4,500 meters below the surface. That is the limit of the operating depth for the autonomous underwater vehicle.
 
Officials caution it could be weeks, or possibly months, before anything is found at that depth over what is still a wide search area.
 
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The aircraft was carrying 239 people. Most of the passengers were Chinese.
 

Two westerners gunned down
by airport guard in Somalia


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two Europeans working for the United Nations were shot dead in Somalia's Puntland region.

Multiple sources identified the men as Simon Davies, a British citizen and former Scotland Yard officer, and Clement Gorrissen. France said Gorrissen was a French citizen, while other sources identified him as Canadian.

In an interview, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said a mentally ill security guard shot the two men Monday as they arrived at an airport in the city of Galkayo.

The president said the shooter was immediately arrested by police and an investigation is under way.

The U.N. mission in Somalia confirmed both shooting victims worked for the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.  

The men had come to Puntland to help with the construction of a prison, according to Ali.

Last week, a new 500-bed prison, built with the help of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, opened in Puntland's capital, Garowe.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the cold-blooded killings. He urged authorities to fully investigate the shootings and quickly bring the perpetrators to justice.

U.N. representative to Somalia Nicholas Kay said there can be no justification for such a callous attack. He said the United Nations remains committed to supporting the Somali people as they emerge from decades of conflict.


Rampage at Fort hook lasted
eight minutes with 35 shots


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Fort Hood soldier who killed three people and wounded 16 others last week began his eight-minute rampage on the sprawling U.S. Army post after an argument related to taking leave.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command told a news conference Monday that Specialist Ivan Lopez drove his car slowly through the central Texas base as he carried out the rampage.

The spokesman said Lopez began the shooting spree after being denied a request for leave, but he did not describe the circumstances behind the request.

A spokesman for Lopez's family said last week that Lopez was upset he was granted only a 24-hour leave to attend his mother's funeral in November. That leave was then extended to two days.

The shooting spree Wednesday ended when Lopez killed himself with his .45-caliber pistol after confronting a female military police officer. In all, investigators say Lopez fired more than 35 shots.

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are scheduled to attend a memorial service Wednesday at Fort Hood.


Dutch priest in Syria dies
from apparent targeted hit

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Vatican says a Dutch priest has been shot dead at his monastery in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

The 75-year-old Jesuit priest, Frans Van Der Lugt, had lived in Syria for decades and had refused to leave Homs despite more than a year of intense fighting there.

Witnesses say the priest appeared to have been directly targeted. They say an unknown gunman entered the monastery Monday, took Van Der Lugt to the garden and shot him in the head.

Van Der Lugt was a well-known figure in Homs, a rebel-held city that has been under a government siege for more than a year. The priest was respected by many for his efforts to get a blockade lifted so that aid could enter the city.

A Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said Van Der Lugt showed great courage in remaining loyal to the Syrian people despite an extremely risky situation.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki said the United States is saddened by the news of Van Der Lugt's death. She said the priest worked to mitigate the immense suffering in Homs. The spokeswoman also deplored continued threats against Christians in Syria.

Some Islamist militants among Syria's rebels have targeted Christians, forcing more than 450,000 of them to flee their homes.  Before the civil war, Syria had an estimated Christian population of 2.5 million.


New blood test may reveal
cancers within human body

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Detecting many forms of cancer may soon be as easy as a simple blood test, according to a new study.
 
The blood test, developed by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, could also be used to monitor the amount of cancer in a patient’s body, say the researchers, as well as measure their response to various treatments.
 
The test, called CAPP-Seq, for Cancer Personalized Profiling by deep Sequencing, is a refinement of past approaches to measuring the level of tumor DNA in the patient’s bloodstream, according to the study.
 
The new method was able to “accurately identify about 50 percent of people in the study with stage-1 lung cancer and all patients whose cancers were more advanced,” according to the researchers.
 
Researchers said that cancer cells are continuously dividing and dying, and as they do, they release DNA into the bloodstream. They called these traces of DNA “tiny messages in a bottle.”
 
Reading these messages, researchers said, can allow better diagnoses and better monitoring of treatment. This blood test would go far toward finding the one mutation in 1,000 or 10,000 that come from cancer cells.
 
“The vast majority of circulating DNA is from normal, non-cancerous cells, even in patients with advanced cancer,” said Scott Bratman, another author in a statement. “We needed a comprehensive strategy for isolating the circulating DNA from blood and detecting the rare, cancer-associated mutations.”
 
Those not involved in the study were hopeful.
 
“I think it’s an important advance in the field,” said Abhijit Patel from Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital, where he does similar research. “The goal is to detect very small, early stage tumors.”
 
Patel said one of the major breakthroughs of the test is the ability to monitor changes in DNA mutations in cancer patients who are already receiving treatment and may develop a resistance to a specific medicine.
 
He also said the test was very unlikely to produce false positives because cancer DNA mutations are unlikely to be found in healthy people.
 
The study examined patients suffering from non-small-cell lung cancer, but the researchers said the test could be applicable to many different solid tumors throughout the body.
 
In the future, the researchers said the test could be used to screen healthy or at-risk populations for signs of trouble.
 
“It may be possible to develop assays that could simultaneously screen for multiple cancers,” said Maximilian Diehn, an author of the study. “This would include diseases such as breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer, for example.”
 
Patel added that while the breakthrough was promising, it’s likely going to be five or 10 years before a screening test would be available to the general public.
 
“To monitor treatment responses or resistance to treatment, it would be closer,” he said.
 
The researchers describe their findings in a paper published online April 6 in Nature Medicine.


Senate approves extension
of unemployment insurance

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After months of delays, the U.S. Senate has approved an extension of benefits for the long-term unemployed by a vote of 59 to 38. The measure faces significant opposition in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Democratic lawmakers will trumpet the issue on the campaign trail if the effort is blocked.

Midterm elections are seven months away, but lawmakers are positioning themselves for the battle ahead. Republicans repeatedly blast President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and urge free market solutions to the nation’s challenges.

Democrats are honing a populist economic message, championing an increase in the minimum wage and an extension of benefits for workers left jobless for more than six months.

The Democratic-led Senate approved the latter item Monday. Majority Leader Harry Reid had a message for the House of Representatives:

“Hopefully Republicans in the House will have soft hearts and strong minds and allow this to pass over there. It is in their hands. We hope they will be considerate to the 2.8 million long-term unemployed across the country. Perhaps struggling Americans will finally get the relief they deserve," said Reid.

House Speaker John Boehner says the real solution is more jobs, not more government benefits for the unemployed.

“If we were going to consider extending emergency unemployment, we ought to do something about creating better jobs in America, higher wages in America. To help get the economy moving again, that is the real issue," said Boehner.

The issue is not entirely partisan. Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican  of Nevada, where unemployment remains high, helped craft the bill. Backers from both parties say their goal is to help Americans survive a weak job market.

Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat, says the jobless need help.

“The meager checks give a little bit of stability so they can do what is necessary to look for work. It helps them keep their car insurance, so they can ride to interviews. It helps them meet mortgage payments, so they can keep a roof over their heads, or rent payments," said Booker.

Republican opponents of the bill counter that Democrats’ real goal is to boost their electoral prospects.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of holding show votes that reveal them to be obsessed with Nov. 4. That is the date when one-third of the Senate and all House seats will be contested. Democrats accuse House Republicans of similar motives in holding dozens of votes to try to repeal Obamacare.

America’s unemployment rate is at 6.7 percent, down significantly from the depths of the economic recession in 2009, but still far higher than normal four years into a recovery.


Supreme Court will not hear
photog's gay wedding case


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a photographer who objected to taking pictures of a same-sex wedding.

The high court's denial Monday leaves in place a decision by the supreme court in the western state of New Mexico.  That court ruled Elane Photography violated the state's anti-discrimination law when it refused to take pictures of a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony.

The co-owner of the photo studio, Elaine Huguenin, said taking the photos would violate her religious beliefs that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The state court ruled the photo studio's action was discriminatory in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding of a racially mixed couple.

The United States is in the midst of an extended public debate over gay rights.  Seventeen of the country's 50 states and Washington D.C. have legalized same-sex marriages, with several judges overturning bans that had prohibited them.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits and allowed gay couples to marry in the country's most populous state, California.  But the court has yet to rule whether there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriages.


Venezuelan television figure
kidnapped near Caracas home


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Venezuelan TV journalist has been reported kidnapped by armed, masked men in the western section of the capital, Caracas.
 
According to her father, Globovision news channel chief correspondent Nairobi Pinto was taken captive Sunday at the entrance to her apartment building.  Her whereabouts remain unknown.

In a local radio broadcast, Pinto's father asked the kidnappers to see sense and release his daughter.
 
Police officials have not commented on the case.
 
Venezuela is among the most violent countries in Latin America.  During the past month and a half of ongoing protests, demonstrators have complained about high crime rates, along with soaring inflation and the scarcity of basic goods.

Kidnappings, especially for ransom, are not uncommon in Venezuela, and a number of diplomats, as well as businessmen and athletes, have been abducted during the past years.

While the majority of those kidnapped for ransom are released hours or days after they are taken, some kidnap victims have been killed or died from injuries sustained during their ordeal.

green tea
 University of Basel/ Kanko from Nagasaki, Japan         
Green tea reported to boost working memory.

Green tea can increase
memory, Swiss study says
       
By the University of Basel news service

Green tea is said to have many positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia. The academic journal Psychopharmacology has published the results.

In the past, the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research. Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage's positive impact on the human brain. Different studies were able to link green tea to beneficial effects on the cognitive performance. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this cognitive enhancing effect of green tea remained unknown.

In a new study, the researcher teams of  Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another. This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance: Subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

For the study healthy male volunteers received a soft drink containing several grams of green tea extract before they solved working memory tasks. The scientists then analyzed how this affected the brain activity of the men using magnetic resonance imaging. The imaging showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. These neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance of the participants.

The research results suggest promising clinical implications: Modeling effective connectivity among frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing might help to assess the efficacy of green tea for the treatment of cognitive impairments in neuropsychiatric disorders such as dementia.


Heavy Twitter use hurts
relationships, study reports


By the University of Missouri news service

Twitter and other social networking services have revolutionized the way people create and maintain relationships. However, new research shows that Twitter use could actually be damaging to users’ romantic relationships. Russell Clayton, a doctoral student in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that active Twitter users are far more likely to experience Twitter–related conflict with their romantic partners. Clayton’s results showed that Twitter-related conflict then leads to negative relationship outcomes, including emotional and physical cheating, breakup and divorce.

In his study, Clayton surveyed 581 Twitter users of all ages. Clayton asked participants questions about their Twitter use such as how often they log in to Twitter, tweet, scroll the Twitter newsfeed, send direct messages to others, and reply to followers. Clayton also asked how much, if any, conflict arose between participants’ current or former partners as a result of Twitter use. For example, Clayton asked: “How often do you have an argument with your current or former partner because of too much Twitter use?” Clayton found that the more often a respondent reported being active on Twitter, the more likely they were to experience Twitter-related conflict with their partner, which then significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup and divorce.

“The aim of this study was to examine whether the findings of Claytons’ recent study, which concluded that Facebook use predicted Facebook-related conflict, which then led to breakup and divorce were consistent with another social networking site platform: Twitter.”

In his previous research on Facebook, Clayton found that Facebook-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes were greater among couples in newer relationships of 36 months or less. In his new research regarding Twitter, Clayton found these outcomes occurred regardless of duration of relationship.

“I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced Twitter-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship,” Clayton said. “Couples who reported being in relatively new relationships experienced the same amount of conflict as those in longer relationships.”

If Twitter users are experiencing Twitter-related conflict with their partner, Clayton recommends couples of all ages limit their daily and weekly use of social networking sites to more healthy, reasonable levels.

“Although a number of variables can contribute to relationship infidelity and separation, social networking site usage, such as Twitter and Facebook use, can be damaging to relationships,” Clayton said. “Therefore, users should cut back to moderate, healthy levels of Twitter use if they are experiencing Twitter or Facebook – related conflict. Some couples share joint social networking site accounts to reduce relationship conflict, and there are some social networking site apps, such as the 2Life app, that facilitates interpersonal communication between partners.”


Researchers in Europe say
dengue epidemic is likely


By the Umeå University news service

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Umeå University in Sweden, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing climate and rising temperatures in Europe, the incidence of the Aedes aegypti mosquito has also increased. The mosquito is the main vector of dengue that can cause hemorrhagic fever. Although no outbreak of the disease has yet occurred in Europe, researchers at the Epidemiology and Global Health unit at Umeå University claim that there is now good living conditions for the mosquito in Europe and that it is therefore only a matter of time before we see an epidemic here. The Aedes albopictus mosquito has already established itself in large parts of Europe. Even though it is not as competent a vector as Aedes aegypti, several domestic cases of the disease have been observed in countries such as France and Croatia.

“The last outbreak of dengue in Portuguese Madeira when several thousand became ill, shows that it is no longer a theoretical possibility that the disease can take hold in Europe. It is a reality that can strike at any time,” says Raman Preet, researcher and scientific project manager of the Dengue Tools project at the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University.  “When the disease shows up in Europe it has probably accompanied travelers in areas in the world where the disease is established. Then it will be spread with the help of the Aedes mosquito”.

The risk for Swedish travelers to be infected by dengue is highest when going to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while most cases in Sweden stems from trips to Thailand. There is currently no vaccine that can protect against dengue, nor is there any treatment when the illness strikes. Symptoms are similar to those of severe cold with fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, or upset stomach. The disease can be life threatening when it affects children, the elderly and chronically ill. In severe cases it can develop into a hemorrhagic fever.

The previous models used to study the spread of dengue and especially the living conditions for the Aedes mosquito has taken up the average temperature in different areas. Jing Helmersson, a doctoral student at Umeå University, demonstrates in her studies that it is not enough. These calculations must also include the diurnal temperature distribution in different areas and temporal trends when assessing the potential for an epidemic caused by dengue. Therefore, Ms. Helmersson has developed a climate model with historical data from 1901 to the present day, whose projections extend to 2099. The results show a strong link between climate change and increased ability for mosquitos to spread the disease in Europe.

“In our analyses, we can see that climate change, including the extreme weather with large daily temperature fluctuations in different areas of Europe, causes a large relative increase in the potential for epidemic spread of dengue fever,” says Ms.  Helmersson. “It mainly concerns areas in southern and central Europe where the potential for proliferation previously has been small. At the same time we see that the spread potential will decrease in warm areas of the world, because the temperatures get too high.”

Following the results of the research project, Ms. Helmersson said she believes that it is important to continue with the mapping of future risks of dengue infection, especially in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Increased globalization and the influx of viruses carried by flight passengers further heightens the risks.

“Perhaps the most important of these studies is that they give us a better understanding of the risks of a future epidemic of dengue fever,” said Ms. Helmersson. “This type of modeling where we use weather and climate data makes it possible to forewarn the authorities in countries that are at risk of dengue epidemics, so that they in turn can prepare and start to act.”


Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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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
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
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Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 69
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News from the BBC up to the minute









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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
U.S. kids exposed to arsenic
score lower on IQ tests

By the Columbia University news service

A study by researchers at Columbia University reports that schoolchildren from three school districts in Maine exposed to arsenic in drinking water experienced declines in child intelligence. While earlier studies conducted by the researchers in South Asia, and Bangladesh in particular, showed that exposure to arsenic in drinking water is negatively associated with child intelligence, this is the first study to examine intelligence against individual water arsenic exposures in the U.S.  Findings are reported online in the journal, Environmental Health.

The research team, led by Joseph Graziano, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, assessed 272 children in grades 3 to 5, who were, on average, 10 years old, from three school districts in Maine where household wells are the predominant source for drinking water and cooking.  The Augusta area in particular was studied because of earlier research indicating higher than normal exposures.

Using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, the most often-used assessment tool for measuring intelligence in children ages 6 to 16, the researchers found that arsenic in household water was associated with decreased scores on most indexes.

After adjusting for maternal IQ and education, characteristics of the home environment, school district, and number of siblings, the children who were exposed to greater than five parts arsenic per billion of household well water showed reductions in four areas, including verbal comprehension.

Water samples were taken at the point of entry into the home via connection to the garden hose and at the consumption point, the kitchen sink. The researchers also considered drinking habits, length of residence in the home, well construction and use of filtering procedures.

On average, water arsenic levels were measured at the kitchen tap.

“The strength of associations found in this study is comparable to the modest increases that have been found in blood lead, an established risk factor for diminished IQ,” said Graziano.

Analogous to the earlier work in Bangladesh with similarly aged children, the researchers found negative associations between water arsenic and performance that persisted upon adjustment for similar socio-demographic data. However, in Bangladesh, IQ tests were slightly modified to increase cultural appropriateness, and not precisely the same test as administered in Maine. Also significant, in Bangladesh and other such countries, children’s nutritional and health status, as well as their regularity of school attendance, differs from that of U.S children. Most noteworthy, Graziano emphasizes that water arsenic concentrations in the previously studied settings ranged far higher than in these U.S. communities, but also included low levels.

“Our findings of adverse impact in a U.S. sample, particularly in performance-related functioning, gives confidence to the generalizability of findings from our work in Bangladesh, where we also observed a steep drop in intelligence scores in the very low range of water arsenic concentrations,” said Graziano. “Collectively, our work in Bangladesh and in Maine suggests that aspects of performance intelligence, particularly perceptual reasoning and working memory, are impacted by exposure to arsenic in drinking water.”

“Even though purchasing a standard filter at the hardware store is inadequate for treating well water, the good news is that there are steps one can take to ameliorate the situation,” noted Graziano. Although somewhat expensive, Graziano and other experts recommend installing a reverse osmosis system to alleviate the effects of water arsenic. A series of outreach programs are also underway to educate families in the region.

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From Page 7:

Small businesses take advantage of festival

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Products from small businesses are on display at the Festival de las Artes in Parque la Sabana.

The products are from firms involved with the Banca de Desarrollo of Banco Nacional. The products range from furniture produced by the Esparza firm Puff Own, ice cream from Los Helados de Sorbetera “Doña Chela," which is located in la Garita and Herencias de Antaño, which produces candy and jellies.

There even are products for pets. They come from Piyiyo, which produces clothing for dogs.

Of course there is a coffee producer. It is Café los Abuelos from the Zona de los Santos, which will have their coffee for sale.