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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 70                Email us
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Virgin
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad
Pública/Paul Gamboa Quesada

Visit by Virgin
marks 50 years


By law the Virgen de Ujarras is the captain general and patroness of the Fuerza Pública and other police associated with the security ministry.

Each year there is a celebration, but this year is special. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of  the law. Police carried the statue which usually is at a church in Cartago to a Mass and veneration at the security ministry in Barrio Córdoba in south San José. The statue may be as old as 500 years.

"A police officer full of God is a better police officer," said the Rev. Gilberth Ceciliano, who officiated.



U.S. security agents study long lists to protect Obama
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Whenever U.S. officials make a trip, the various U.S. security agencies send teams to clear the way weeks before.

Along with local police agencies, they seek out troublemakers, and anyone who may represent a danger to the official.

When a president makes a foreign trip, the effort is monumental.  With President Barack Obama coming to Costa Rica May 3 and 4, expats here may be sure that their names will come to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service or the Diplomatic Security Agency. And they can be sure that access to the president will be very limited.

Officials in Washington already have suspicions about Americans who live overseas. And with the computer and data handling power that now exists, the search is on for anyone who might be a threat. 

A parallel effort is being done by local law enforcement intelligence experts.

There is a lot of work to do. After all, Costa Rica is full of retired U.S. military veterans, the same people who Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in 2009 called a security threat because of their training and weapon handling knowledge.

Expats here also enjoy a high degree of freedom of speech, mostly because local Costa Rican officials do not really care if U.S. political figures are insulted or worse. 

One can even see on the Internet U.S. expats calling for the violent overthrow of the current U.S. government. The Internet has a way of loosening lips. Certainly all those rash comments are now being processed by U.S. government computers.
The Nacional Security Agency is empowered to read all overseas emails and monitor all overseas telephone conversations. Sometimes a person considered a high risk by the Secret Service ends up getting a little vacation on a trumped up local allegation to get them off the streets. The reason could be a blunt statement or even a joke that triggers suspicion.

Agents also will be scanning the data for U.S. expats or Costa Ricans who have demonstrated signs of mental illness or who have obtained a weapon permit here.  Incoming tourists who might be here during Obama's stay also will get scrutiny. So will expats here unknowingly already on the U.S. secret no-fly list. Or maybe those with tax trouble.

On the Costa Rica side, the list is large. Leftist groups, including the Nuevo Partido Socialista, have promised to ignore a request by President Laura Chinchilla. She asked that there be no anti-American demonstrations while Obama is here. The anti-imperialists are meeting next week to plan such an event.

There are the U.S. expats who advocate for peace or support Palestine in its confrontation with Israel. Some even appear in protest marches in the garb of Palestine women. Israel and Palestine are hot button issues that will draw scrutiny. So is support for Cuba and all those expats who make trips there.

All those demonstrations who marched repeatedly against the U.S. Free Trade Treaty also are on the watch list, as well as perhaps everyone associated with the Universidad de Costa Rica and the University for Peace in Ciudad Colón.

According to a statement Tuesday night by the leftists, Obama is responsible for all the ills Costa Rican society faces now. They had unkind words for Ms. Chinchilla, too.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 70
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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labarynth
                                                          of water
Ministerio de Cultura photo 
 The meditation area, called the labyrinth of water, features
 a fountain in the center.


Place for meditation ready
for inauguration Monday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fátima de Desamparados will have a new space for residents to reflect and meditate thanks to a water garden the culture ministry will inaugurate Monday.

The new garden is called “Labyrinth of Water”and will be in the Parque La Libertad.  It was constructed using a design of concentric geometry that extends 150 linear meters.  There is a meditation area and a water fountain is the central focus, a release said.

The water from the fountain is pure spring water from the eastern hill of Parque La Libertad that will be used for irrigation.

"It is a space of peace and tranquility, surrounded by gardens,” said Dora María Sequeira, park director.  “It is a very beautiful place to sit a while and think and enjoy the nature that surrounds us, with the exciting sound of water."

According to Ms. Sequeira, the idea for a meditation garden came from the culture minister, Manuel Obregón.  Architect Ronald Esquivel, who has designed many of the mazes in Costa Rica, drew out plans for this project and chose the water theme.

 "This type of space provides a concentrated energy which favors the feeling of personal space that is safe and free of externalities," said the park release.

The inaugural ceremony Monday will feature music from singer Marianela Ortiz as well as an aerial dance by Danzaire.  It begins at 11 a.m. in Parque La Libertad.  Entrance is free.


Free concert in Santa Ana
features symphonic orchestra


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional will present a free concert tonight on the Santa Ana football field as part of the X Festival Nacional de las Artes.  For the occasion, organizers will transform the field with a large stage that will house the musicians.

The national orchestra will entertain the crowd with a varied musical repertoire that includes “Obertura Festiva” by Costa Rican composer Vinicio Meza, “Suite Estancia” by Argentinean Alberto Ginastera and “New World Symphony,” the third and fourth movement, by Czech Antonín Dvorak.

Eddie Mora of Costa Rica will serve as the guest director for the orchestra.

"In this presentation for the national art festival we will play varied universal works,” said Mora. “It is a combination that the audience can enjoy, because it is a very energetic and active program. This is part of a larger project, that consists and will culminate with a record with Costa Rican music under my leadership."

This is the first time the orchestra will play “Festive Overture.”  Meza, the piece's composer, premiered the work in 2012.  He also plays clarinet for the group.

“This piece has a truly festive feel,” he said.  “It is like a semblance of marching bands, at least in principle, which is also called as a fanfare. I am very proud this music will be performed by the national symphony orchestra to be shared with the public."

The concert will take place on a stage located in the southern sector of the Santa Ana football field, opposite the church at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.


Stargazing session planned
at university in Cartago


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The technical university in Cartago is sponsoring a stargazing program Saturday to mark the International Day of Astronomy.

The event includes discussions, observations with a solar telescope during the day and night viewing.

The evening starts at the university's Centro de Investigación en Computación at 10 a.m. with discussions, including one on the solar system.

There is a lunch break and food is for sale. The afternoon includes the use of the solar telescope from 1 to 2 p.m. and additional discussions and lectures until 5 p.m.

By that time the sky will be darkening, and the center of activity moves to the football field where the night sky will be viewed, said the university.

There is no charge and registration is not required.

Ad rates to be increased

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A.M. Costa Rica will be instituting a small display advertising rate increase April 15. Classified advertising rates will remain unchanged.

The increases are made necessary by increases in costs that the newspaper must pay. This includes higher utility costs, mandatory increases in employee salaries, higher rents and higher costs for editorial and professional services.

Existing advertising agreements will not be affected, and the advertising staff will continue to accept business at the old rate until April 15.

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
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Health officials to use cell phones to help smokers trying to quit
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health officials are turning to cell telephones to encourage smokers to kick the habit.

Costa Rica is the first of some eight countries that are adopting a program supported by the International Telecommunications Union. The idea is to use text messaging to support those who are trying to quit.

Smoking is the first ill that will be considered, but health officials also are talking about sedentary lifestyles, alcohol and bad diet. They call these non-transmissible diseases.

Government officials say that a new law that cracked down on smokers provided the incentive to expand into the cell telephone market. There are more cell phones in the world than humans, noted one official.

The Ministerio de Salud plans to open an Oficina Nacional de Control de Tabaco at the end of the month that will monitor tobacco use. That, the Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y
Farmacodependencia and the Panamerican Health Organization will create messages to fortify the will of those who are trying to stop smoking, said the ministry.

The text messages will be planned to coincide with the stage of withdrawal of each smoker. The Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones also is involved in the project.

Various officials signed an agreement Tuesday that will put the plan into operation.

The World Health Organization is involved, too.

The anti-tobacco law went into force a year ago, and it is this law that prohibits most smoking in many private and public areas. The email program, known as m-Salud, will target smokers from 18 to 35, said the agencies.

Health  officials have to put together the employees and the technical systems to execute the project, so they anticipate that the first test messages will be going to smokers who volunteer in August.




Emergency officials are doing this work on the Río Grande de Paquera on the Nicoya peninsula.

River work
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias photo

Road and bridge projects in race against upcoming rainy season
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Road and emergency officials are in another race against time to finish projects before the rainy season hits hard.

On the Nicoya peninsula, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias is clearing the channel of the Río Grande de Paquera in anticipation of heavy downpours.

Among other storms, Tomas in 2010 caused flooding that endangered about 600 nearby residents. The floods also left sediment that the commission hopes to eliminate. The work covers 3.4 kilometers of the riverbed and cost 116 million colons or about $232,000.

The job also protects new bridges that have been placed near the mouth of the river.
Ruta 32 that runs north from San José to the Caribbean coast is close to being finished. The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad replaced concrete with asphalt and put security lines on the major highway in a four-step project that caused woes for motorists.

In another project, the so-called Puente Blanco on Ruta 415 in the center of Turrialba at the central park is being repaired. That community is no stranger to devastating flooding.  New concrete will go down and the bridge approaches will be repaired. This is a 15 million-colon job, about $30,000.

In Barva de Heredia a one-lane bridge on Ruta 126 over the  Quebrada Seca is being removed and will be replaced by a four-lane structure. The project is scheduled for 120 days, and some motorists will have to use alternate routes, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 70
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Beer festival organizers seek to transform the drinking culture here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica Craft Brewing, the Cartago firm that produces several types of beer favored by expats, plans its second annual beer brewing festival in conjunction with the Club de Cerveceros Caseros y Artesanales de Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a land dominated by one major brewer, and Costa Rica craft brewing has made inroads into the market with its distinctive products.

Peter Gilman, the brewery's general manager said in a release that the beer festival, which will be at Avenida Escazú April 20, is trying to reshape the beer culture in the way that an influx of imported wines did for that market in the last 10 years.

The company also has announced plans to move to Santa Ana this year.

The announcement promises that there will be many types of beer available at the festival, including beer made from wheat, toasted malts and even some made from mango and other organic products. There even is a brew that has been aged in oak casks for a year, said the release.

The event will include some discussion and lecture sessions.

There is a 15,000-colon fee for attending.

The release also mentioned two other microbrewers that have gone into operation. They were identified as Treintaycinco and Costa Rica Meadery,
beer festival

which makes a drink from honey. Two brewpubs will show their products. They were identified as Volcano Brewing from Arenal and Bribri Springs from the Caribbean coast. Other microbrews are in the process of opening, said the release.

Gilman noted beer's rich history and said that his firm seeks to replace the culture that emphasized drinking to excess with a respect for beer that emphasizes appreciation of the product.

The beer festival has its own Web site.


 
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Geroge's view
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Howard Spanish cover

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7917-5/15/13

We have furnished one-bedroom apartments in Sabanilla, Montes de Oca, for rent short or long term. Sabanilla is 10 minutes by bus from the University of Costa Rica with direct service downtown. The apartments have bedroom and bath upstairs and kitchen and living-dining areas downstairs. Grounds enclosed by a security wall have many trees and flower beds. Parking, laundry area with machines. Cable TV, Internet and maid service available. Monthly rents are from $425 to $500.
Call 2273-3173, 2273-3837 or 8663-0354.
7915-5/9/13

Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker. jjpepman@hotmail.com
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Manuel Antonio long term apartment for rent
This modern two-bedroom apartment with a breathtaking view of the Quepos town and the Pacific Ocean is situated near Manuel Antonio National Park and beaches. The location offers a unique experience in the edge of the jungle, where you can observe wildlife. The apartment has two separate bedrooms and sleeps three guests maximum. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and a toilette. The living room is furnished with very comfortable furniture. The kitchen is fully equipped. Public transports like taxis, bus station, port as well as shops, groceries, restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife are within a very short distance. Fully furnished, all bills included (water, electricity, cable tv, wireless internet), $575 per month, 6-month minimum. Contact us now!!! 8853-8245. or see our
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Anywhere Costa Rica educates visitors about the numerous 

Anywhere
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We believe the best way to enjoy
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Call 1-888-456-3212 or local 2479-8811 to get started.

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at HPCattleCR@aol.com, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.
7875-4/11/13

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 
tropical
                                    homes
of Costa Rica. 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.
7833-8/15/13

Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.
7695-1/19/14

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
7907-4/12/13

Palmares
                                    rental properties
Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

Visit our Web page for more information.
www.palmarescostarica.us
7819-4/29/13

Palacio condo
Beautiful 2-bedroom, 2-bath modern condo for rent.
(Only 6 years old).
Great Secure Area, Next to 5-Star Hotel Palacio (La Uruca). Gated community, 24-hour security, 5 minutes to San José. Swimming Pool, washer/dryer, covered parking, high-speed Internet, cable TV, home phone! $900 per month, fully furnished, 6-Month minimum! Please Call: 001-954-782-0200 or email jas21358@comcast.net
7780-2/21/13

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.

7857-5/4/13





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Pakistan may have OK'd
use of unmanned drones


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The use of unmanned drones to strike terrorists is coming under increasing scrutiny. Those in favor say the U.S. drone strikes have been highly effective, but critics suggest they could violate international law. The New York Times claimed Sunday it had uncovered a secret deal between the U.S. and Pakistan over the use of drones in Pakistani airspace.

Unmanned drones are being used with increasing frequency in fighting terrorist groups like al-Qaida.

A recent analysis by the New America Foundation estimated drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen since 2004 have killed up to 3,238 militants and as many as 368 civilians.

Christopher Coker of the London School of Economics is author of "Warrior Geeks: How 21st Century Technology Is Changing The Way We Fight And Think About War."

“There are six American bases, four in the United States, one in Germany and one in South Korea, and that’s where most of the drone strikes are launched from. And they have chaplains and psychologists now in the room monitoring. They have machines monitoring stress levels, also monitoring concentration levels," said Coker. "And there is, of course, a chain of command. So you spend about eight hours looking at the screen day after day and occasionally you get the command to actually fire.”

The New York Times newspaper alleged Sunday that Pakistan is allowing U.S. drones in its airspace in return for targeted killings of Pakistan’s enemies by the drones. The Pakistani government strongly denied the allegations. The U.S. government did not comment.

The drone strikes have prompted street protests in Pakistan. Arif Niazi is a lawyer in Islamabad.

"These ongoing attacks are blatant aggression, an intrusion into my country and a violation of its sovereignty," said Niazi.

Marco Roscini, an expert on international law at the University of Westminster, says the legality of current drone strikes is murky.

“There is a huge need for clarification and there’s a huge need for transparency," said Roscini. "You know that most of the strikes are now allegedly carried out by the CIA and their covert operations. So we don’t know why, who or when an individual is put on the targeted list.”

The decision on whom to target is a key distinction between CIA drone strikes and the military, says Coker of the London School of Economics.

“The military can only actually take out someone if they know 100 percent that it’s a bad guy," he said. "The CIA will take you out on the basis that your behavior leads them to suspect that you may be a bad guy.”

Supporters of drone strikes point to the killing of numerous high-profile targets, such as last year's strike in Pakistan that killed the then number two in al-Qaida, Abu Yahya al-Libi.

At his nomination hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February, CIA Director John Brennan was questioned about the use of drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of joining terror groups.

“I think any Americans who did that, should know well, that they are in fact part of an enemy against us, and the United States will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save American lives," said Brennan.

With most NATO ground forces withdrawing from Afghanistan at the end of 2014, analysts says drones could play a bigger role in the West’s fight against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.


Newtown families pressure
U.S. lawmakers on firearms


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers faced intense pressure Tuesday from the White House and families of Newtown, Connecticut, shooting victims, to clear the way for votes on new gun control legislation.

Family members whose loved ones were gunned down at a Newtown elementary school last year spent the day on Capitol Hill making personal appeals to lawmakers.

About a dozen Newtown residents flew to Washington on Air Force One after President Obama delivered a speech Monday challenging Senate Republicans to drop threats to block gun legislation.

Obama seeks debate and votes on all the key objectives he laid out last January, including renewal of an expired assault weapons ban and universal background checks for all gun buyers.

After meeting with police and other law enforcement officials Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said Congress lags far behind the American people, who polls show support stronger gun laws.

He had scathing criticism for Republicans threatening to block forward movement, saying the situation embarrasses the United States in the eyes of the world.

"The tragedy that traumatized the nation and caught the attention of the entire world and after all the thinking and the debate and the discussion with overwhelming majorities of the American people thinking that the proposal the president put forward made absolute sense, the climax of this tragedy could be we're not even going to get a vote?  Imagine how that looks," Biden said.

Biden said the National Rifle Association, which is lobbying heavily against stronger gun laws, is trying to scare Americans into believing the federal government aims to take away their guns.

Attorney General Eric Holder rejected a key NRA assertion that President Obama seeks to remove the right of citizens to gun ownership protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"Contrary to what a few have said, this plan which President Obama announced in January, is consistent with the Second Amendment, and will not infringe in any way on the rights of gun owners," Holder said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney challenged Republicans opposing an expansion of background checks for gun purchasers to be willing to make their position clear in an open vote.

"If they are opposed to background checks they should stand up and say so and vote no.  The American people demand at least that," Carney said.

The White House push on gun control continues on Wednesday.  First Lady Michelle Obama speaks in Chicago about the impact of gun violence on children and communities.


Washington prepares for rally
by illegal immigrants, backers

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jaime Contreras hasn’t eaten much lately. He’s been too busy preparing for Wednesday’s “All in for Citizenship” rally expected to draw tens of thousands of immigration activists to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Contreras, vice president of SEIU 32BJ, the local chapter of the powerful Service Employees International Union, says the rally is a call to action for Congress to stop treating the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. like second class citizens.

“We’re going to have tens of thousands of people in front of the nation’s capital, sending a message, reminding our elected leaders that last November, our community spoke loud and clear that we voted and we voted for immigration reform,” he said.

The Hispanic community was a massive force in the 2012 elections, an increasingly powerful electorate whose demands for immigration reform have become difficult for lawmakers to ignore.

It’s not the first time activists have rallied for an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. Similar marches took place in 2006, only to have a reform bill collapse in the Senate in 2007.

This time is different, according to Contreras.

“Republicans have come to a realization that the immigrant community is growing, that it’s vibrant, a hard working community that contributes to the country just like everybody else,” he said. “And for the first time, we have Republicans and Democrats trying to figure out who’s taking the credit.”

Chief among the movement’s demands is a path to legalization for illegal aliens and an end to the deportations that have divided hundreds of thousands of families in recent years. They’re issues that stir strong emotions on both sides, and counter-protests are planned for Wednesday.

Jim McDonald, a resident of Arlington, Virginia, will be part of the opposition. He identifies himself as an interested American.

“I’m an interested American because it’s outrageous that we’ve got people demanding citizenship that aren’t even supposed to be in the country illegally and they’re going to be on Capitol Hill doing it. It's a personal affront to me,” he said.

McDonald plans to carry photos he took at the border between the U.S. state of Arizona and Mexico, a frontier he describes as porous.

Border security is a key point of the Congressional debate over immigration reform. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who is part of the bi-partisan team drafting a reform bill, is pushing for assurances that the border be secured before undocumented immigrants can begin gaining citizenship. The Obama administration says the southwestern border is tighter than it’s ever been.

Among the thousands who will be rallying on Capitol Hill are immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. Their plight has transformed the conversation from strictly a policy issue to a personal dilemma.

Contreras, who gained citizenship in 1996 while serving in the U.S. Navy, understands the dilemma. His parents brought him to the U.S. in 1988, when a war was raging in their home country, El Salvador.

“They brought me here because they didn’t want me to get killed,” he said. “I think any parent who does that for their kids should not be a criminal. And any kid who comes here at no fault of their own should not be a criminal.”

Still, McDonald and others like him aren’t swayed.

“I don’t think it’s my problem to straighten out what their parents did. The parents should be responsible for what to do with their kids. It’s their problem. It’s not our problem as a nation to resolve that kind of an issue,” he said.

The senators tasked with resolving the issue are expected to present their draft legislation to Congress next week.

 
Restructuring science courses
urged by curriculum panel

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Next Generation Science Standards call for introducing lessons on climate science to young teens in middle school, and ensuring that all students learn about evolution.

A distinguished team of scientists and educators says the United States must significantly change the way American students learn science or the country will soon be unable to compete or lead in the global economy.

The group spelled out what those changes should be in a new set of national guidelines, officially released Tuesday.

Those so-called Next Generation Science Standards call for introducing lessons on climate science to young teens in middle school, and ensuring that all students learn about evolution, among hundreds of recommendations. They emphasize hands-on learning and critical thinking, rather than memorizing facts.

Each state will decide whether to adopt the guidelines for its schools. More than half of the states had educators involved in their development, and have committed to giving serious consideration to incorporating them into their curricula.

The guidelines drew a hostile response from groups critical of mainstream scientific thinking on topics such as climate change and evolution, but the scientific community has welcomed them.

Sarah Shanley Hope, with a group called the Alliance for Climate Education, said "This is a big step forward for giving students access to the science most relevant to them today and for our shared future.”


Preliminary study says blacks
more at risk for Alzheimers


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The largest study to date looking for genetic causes of Alzheimer's in African Americans may offer new clues about why blacks in the United States are twice as likely as whites to develop the deadly, brain-wasting disease.
      
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday, show that mutations in two genes that play a role in whites also contribute to Alzheimer's risk in blacks. One of those, known as ABCA7, may double the risk in blacks who have the mutation versus those who don't.
      
Although many genes have been found to raise the risk of Alzheimer's, most studies have been conducted in largely white populations, and few studies have looked specifically at genes that drive Alzheimer's in blacks. Part of that is because very few African Americans take part in gene studies looking at Alzheimer's risk.
      
The latest findings will need to be confirmed by other research teams, and critics say the study is incomplete until that work is done.
      
To get enough participants for the newly published study, researchers combined genetic information from 18 different Alzheimer's disease centers funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. They gathered information on 6,000 African Americans, 2,000 of whom had late-onset Alzheimer's disease, the most common form that occurs in older people.
      
The team then looked for genes that were most strongly associated with Alzheimer's. The strongest link was with a variant of a gene called apolipoprotein E or APOE, a gene that contains instructions for making a protein that carries cholesterol and is well-known risk factor for Alzheimer's.
      
The team found that a variant of this gene called APOE-e4 doubled the risk of Alzheimer's in blacks, in much the same way it does in whites.
      
But the study also turned up another gene that has only been weakly associated with Alzheimer's in whites. This gene, called ABCA7, which also plays a role in the production of cholesterol and fats, appears to have a much stronger effect in blacks.
      
"In whites, it increases risk by 10 to 20 percent, but in African Americans, it increases risk by about 70 to 80 percent.  It has a way larger effect size in African Americans,'' said Christiane Reitz of Columbia University Medical Center, who conducted the genetic analyses on the study.
      
ABCA7 is also involved in cholesterol metabolism, as are several of the genes which have been found in the past five years or so to be linked with Alzheimer's in whites.
      
"That seems to be a pathway that is involved in Alzheimer's disease,'' Ms. Reitz said.
      
Ms. Reitz said a variant form of APOE called APOE-e4 has the biggest effect, increasing the risk of Alzheimer's by about 200 percent. ABCA7 raised the risk by about 80 percent, and most other genes discovered so far increase risk by 10 to 20 percent.
      
Like other risk genes for the age-related form of Alzheimer's, the gene explains only part of the risk and likely will not lead to any new treatments soon. The physician said it is clear that hundreds of genes are at work in Alzheimer's disease.
      
"ABCA7 and APOE are not the only genes involved in Alzheimer's disease in African Americans,'' Ms. Reitz said, adding that it would take tens of thousands of participants to detect some of the other risk genes. "What the study did show us is at least one gene which seems to have a major effect, and that's important to know.''
      
The next step is to study how the ABCA7 gene works in the brain, and the team still needs to validate the results of this study in another independent population of blacks, something that may be challenging.
      
According to Neil Buckholtz, director of the division of neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, the study represented all of the well-characterized genetic samples of blacks in the United States.

Allan Levey, director of Emory University's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, said the study was significant for being the first large-scale genetic study done in African Americans. But he said a major limitation is that the study was not replicated in another population of blacks to confirm the findings, which is considered necessary to ensure its validity.
      
"Had this same study been done in whites, it would never have been published here,'' said Levey, referring to JAMA, a highly-regarded medical journal.
      
Troy Duster, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley and author of "Backdoor to Eugenics'' and contributor to "Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society,'' says the findings are too preliminary and the effect sizes too small to draw any definitive conclusions about differences in the risk of Alzheimer's between blacks and whites.
      
Without a replicating study in other groups who identify as African-American and as white, "it is impossible to interpret whether this small difference has significant meaning, or points to different etiologies (or the need for different treatments) in different groups,'' he said.
      
Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer's Association, which funded two of the study authors, said the findings should spur new research into the potential reasons for this link between ABCA7 and Alzheimer's in African Americans.
      
"Really, that all requires more funding for Alzheimer's disease research,'' Ms. Snyder said.
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Central America
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western Central Valley.
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This is a property with real character offered at $1.2 million. Click HERE!
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Incredible view of the Central Valley from San Luis $282,000 Click HERE!
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Visit our Web Site:
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 English: (Cristian Arce)
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 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7905-4/27/13

Pirate beach
For sale by owner: Ocean view condominium. Reduced $175,000

Gorgeous two- bedroom, two-bath with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built-in energy efficiently. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white sandy Pirates Beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double panel windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, porcelain tile. Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
7904-4/27/13

Condo
FIRE SALE ON THIS SPACIOUS CONDO
WITH GREAT OCEAN VIEWS $205,000 USD
This is a well distributed condo, very spacious and meticulously maintained. It sells furnished with quality furnishings and appliances. 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and lots of storage place. It's a 2,200-sq. foot condo with double garage. Ideally located 20 minutes south of Jacó. It comes with a free beach club membership at Monterey Hotel in Esterillos. Call 2778-8408 or 8707-1037. Email marietta234@yahoo.es or www.beachfrontcentralpacific.com
7900-4/22/13
Las Escadas
Welcome to our Paradise
Las Escadas – Condomimium & Club
San Juan del Sur – Nicaragua

1 and 2 bedroom condos from $ 39,900.
Las Escadas Condominiums & Club is the best Investment opportunity for those who want to live surrounded on all sides with nature and very closes to many beautiful beaches, amazing places with rich history and culture.
Security entrance – Administrative office – Swimming pool – Children's playground – Reserved parking available – Basketball court – pathways – Underground utilities.
Only $ 99 to reserve your Unit. Limited time offer
Contact: info@lasescadas.com    www.lasescadas.com
Cell English +505 8588-9827 – Cell Spanish/English 8551-4391
7895-4/20/13
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Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

View from Orosi home

Majestically situated overlooking the Orosi Valley and the tropical rain forest, this 2-bedroom, 2½-bath home with a separate office is offered at $550,000.  From the extensive use of glass windows visitors are easily captivated by the unbelievably 7 acres of pure, natural Costa Rican landscape.   The property is located 15 minutes from the Cartago metropolitan area, an hour from San José, 1¼ hours to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, 2 hours to the beaches of the Pacific West Coast, or 3 ½  hours to the beaches of the southern Caribbean coast.
http://ackermanrealtyinternational.com
USA 678-799-8803
CR Cell 011-506-8-910-2904
Margo@ackermanrealtyinternational.com


FOR SALE BY OWNER
You can purchase property in Costa Rica legally without paying Land Transfer Tax; this plus the usual real estate commission of 5% will reduce your purchase price by approximately 11%. Save over $50,000.00 on the purchase of this $465,000.00 property. Large 5000+ sq.ft. House. Ideal for business executive, B & B or large family. E-mail for photos and more information to landofpalms@hotmail.com.
7869-4/6/13

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:
7856-5/4/13

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.
7845-8/18/13

Montemar montage
Gated community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $20k with financing available.
Deep discounts for cash sales!
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great retirement, vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers house.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7830-5/8/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2-bedroom house in gated community, $92,500.
- Lots in gated community from $20k w/financing available.
- 3-bedroom house in gated community, furnished, walk to the beach, $125k
- 3-bedroom oceanview house on 5 acres subdividable, $270k
- 58-acre oceanview property subdividable, $169k
Oceanfront residential Lot $58k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7829-5/8/13

Ocean view home
Georgeous House For Sale In Costa Rica
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE OCEAN VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must see. Ocean view Only $345 000.00 US More details: http://www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX
Jack 506-2778-8172    Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
7789-2/14/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

montage ofr photos
ALAZAN Eco-Friendly Community

- Ocean, mountain, and river views, built in harmony with nature
- 70% sold out, 1.25 acre + lots available from $75,000
- All lots held in separate corporations
- Functioning HOA with 24-hour security and gated front entrance
- 100% custom homes, turnkey construction
- Community homes have been featured in Su Casa Architectural Magazine
- Abundant wildlife on the property, access to 45-acre nature preserve
- Organic Permaculture farm coming soon
- Build your custom dream home and join our community of friends in paradise!
Brokers Welcome
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1011.html
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 (506) 8718-9891
7725-xxxx

Costa Azul view
costa azul ocean
Properties in Osa near the ocean.
50% discount from the valuation price, starting at $30.000.
Financing available. Contact us at +506 2233-7778 or +506 8815-6476.
Grupo Costa Azul – A property waiting for you!
www.grupocostaazulcr.com
7484-9/11/12

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11

Papitos
Would you like to start a chain of pizzerias  in Costa Rica?
If you have the money,   I have the ideas and the basis to start. Buy the place,
and I'll work for you! Only serious inquiries. Money or property in C.R.
Call  Mike  (506) 8375 4287 or after 1 p.m. Call to  (506) 2241 1068.
7868-4/6/13

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.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 70
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Traffic cop faces claim
that he kicked a vehicle


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A traffic policeman appears to have lost his temper when a motorist failed to stop. After chasing the fleeing car, the officer located it stopped and then began to kick the vehicle, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The policeman, 36, is being held on an allegation of abuse of authority and damage.

Agents said that the motorist was accompanied by a woman and a 2-year-old who began to cry at the activities of the traffic policemen. The officer sought to stop the vehicle because the driver did not have a marchamo or road tax sticker and the date was Jan. 1.

Agents detained the officer Tuesday at 6 a.m. when he reported for work in Santa Ana.


Exxon loses court case
over gasoline additive


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A jury in New Hampshire has ordered the oil giant Exxon-Mobil to pay $236 million to clean up groundwater polluted with a gasoline additive.

It took the jurors less than two hours Tuesday to find Exxon liable for damages.

New Hampshire sued Exxon and more than 20 other defendants for contaminating groundwater with MTBE, a gasoline additive that cuts emissions from cars. Lawyers for the state say the companies knew MTBE was likely to pollute and is hard to clean up.

Exxon says it will appeal. Suits against the other companies were settled out of court or dropped.


Navy said it now has
a laser weapon that works

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Navy says it has developed a laser weapon designed to ward off attack from both air and sea threats. 

The Navy released a demonstration video Monday, showing the new weapon shooting down an unmanned drone. The weapon eventually will be capable of disabling small enemy vessels and surveillance drones. 

Officials say the cost of the laser will be less than $1 per shot since it runs on electricity, far less than the thousands of dollars it costs to fire one missile. 

The laser will be mounted on an amphibious transport docking ship that will be deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2014.

Costa Rican News
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Sports
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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details