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Published Monday, April 25, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 80
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feeding time
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It's feeding time in Tamarindo, but what is on the menu?
Tamarindo crocs seem to be ticking time bombs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crocodiles have been apex predators for at least 55 million years. Their bite is the strongest ever measured in an animal, and they are experts at ambushes. Scientist consider them to be very smart, and they can sprint faster than most humans. They also are pack hunters.

These facts seem to be lost on Tamarindo residents and visitors who seem to have treated the lizards in the local estuary as puppies. The lizards are being fed almost by hand as they lie in the shallow water at the banks of the water.

They also are considered part of the landscape by some who walk near them at the beaches.

The lack of concern shown by some residents and visitors has caused major concern by those who live in the Pacific beach community.

Jeff Ruzicka of Marlin Del Rey said he has heard reports that the crocs have dined on some local pet dogs and said he considers it just a matter of time before a human ends up on the menu.

Late last week one croc was seen crossing a local highway.

“Unknowing tourists walk right by these animals, swim in the estuary close to where they are seen in the photos, cross the estuary to get to Playa Grande or simply get close for a photo op.” he said, noting that a surfer was an attack victim a year ago. Residents have posted photos of the dangerous activity on a Facebook page.

Although a crocodile can be seen resting quietly near the beach, a lizard buddy might be eyeing humans out of sight beneath the water. That is basically how crocs hunt, by lunging from under the water to snag their prey, which is then dragged into the water to be drowned and then devoured. The bite is at least 10 times as strong as that of a Rottweiler.

Some of the Tamarindo crocs are estimated to be seven feet long. Salt water crocs can be at least double that size.

Tamarindo is not the only place where crocs mix with humans. Some of the creatures have been seen on the highways in Jacó. Crocs basking under the Costanera bridge north of Jacó are tourist attractions. Universidad de Costa Rica DNA studies show that male crocs travel in the sea from one river mouth to another in search of mates.

At least one case of IRS identity fraud reported here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Federal officials are investigating at least one case of  attempted tax fraud involving a Costa Rican expat family. There are likely more victims here.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said that someone filed a fraudulent 2015 tax return in the name of an American family living in Costa Rica and then sought a $7,000 tax refund.

This is not an uncommon crime, although overseas Americans are highly vulnerable because many do not file tax returns by the normal April 15 date.

The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to open up electronic accounts and to make their tax filings online using a name and a Social Security number.

The agency is investigating a number of such crimes. Last week federal authorities arrested five out of 10 defendants who have been charged in identity theft cases related to an international money laundering scheme that laundered millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds.

According to the affidavits supporting the complaints, the Internal Revenue Service has identified approximately 7,000 fraudulent tax returns related to this scheme that sought about $38 million in refunds. The IRS issued about $14 million in refunds, and the money was deposited into and laundered through bank accounts used in this scheme. The fraudulent tax returns were filed and the bank accounts were opened with personal identifying information that had been stolen from thousands of victims, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, based in Los Angeles.

The 10 defendants, each of whom was named in a separate criminal complaint, used fraudulent foreign passports to commit identity theft by opening numerous bank accounts and mailbox addresses with the stolen identities, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to the criminal complaints, they used fraudulent passports from the Republic of Armenia, Georgia and the Czech Republic that had the names of identity theft victims but the defendants’ photographs.

Agents arrested five defendants last week, and five still are being sought.

The IRS is double checking tax returns with unusual requests for refunds by making contact with taxpayers. The taxpayers are asked by letter to contact a special IRS telephone number.

Some expats will not become aware that they have been identity fraud victims until they try to file their 2015 tax returns electronically. The computer system blocks the accounts of persons whose tax returns already have been filed. Those who have been victims have to file the tax returns by mail along with a form outlining the crime.

In the case of the confirmed fraud here the crooks used an easily available Social Security number but also used the address of a mail courier service in Miami.

Persons who believe they have been victims can contact IRS Criminal Investigation at (213) 200-3083 or Homeland Security Investigations at (866) DHS-2-ICE.

The Internal Revenue Service has instructions online for those who have been victims. The instructions include contacting the three major U.S. credit reporting services.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 80
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Page One is HERE!   Go to Page 3 HERE!   Go to Page 4 HERE!    
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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U.S. Income Tax Services
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Licensed by the I.R.S.
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Legal Notice
The State of Utah To:  Richard Lydenberg you are summoned and required to file an answer in writing to the Petition of Divorce filed in the case number: 164900117 within 30 days after the last day of publication, which is May 26, 2016, you must file your answer with the clerk of the court at: Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County, State of Utah, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114 and serve a copy of your answer to the Petitioner, if you fail to file and serve your answer on time, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the Petition. The Petition is on file with the clerk of the court. You can obtain a copy of the Petition by requesting one from the clerk of the court.
Feria Agropecuaria de Coronado 2016 poster graphic
Pets can go in costume to the Feria Agropecuaria de Coronado Saturday when a dog fashion show is planned. This is part of an effort to help pet owners from Thursday through Sunday. Veterinarians will be there to help check out animals and provide vaccinations, said organizers of the feria.

Blaze lights up sky in San José

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A spectacular blaze consumed two wooden homes in San José Sunday night. The location was some six blocks north of Paseo Colón.

The fire broke through the roofs of the two wooden buildings and lighted up the entire neighborhood.  Police said that there were no injuries.

Bicyclist dies on highway in Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 36-year-old man riding a bicycle died Sunday just before 10 a.m. when he was struck by the rear wheels of a tractor trailer.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the man appeared to have lost control of the bike and somehow got into the traffic lane. He was identified by the last name of Vargas. He was believed to be in training for a bike race.

VI Festival AlgoImagen Costa Rica photo
The dance performance is called ‘Dream.’

International festival features multimedia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country will host its first international multimedia festival from May 12 to 15 in the Teatro de la Danza, Parque España and Parque La Libertad. This is the VI Festival AlgoImagen Costa Rica 2016, that is featuring artists from  Colombia, México, Argentina, Spain and France.

The artists will put on a number of performances but also conduct workshops in dance, theater, the visual arts and circus skills, said the Ministerio de Cultura and Juventud, a sponsor.

The dance theater is in the Antigua Aduana on Calle 23, and Parque España is downtown, Parque La Libertad is in Desamparados.

Heredia train service suspended today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Commuters from Heredia or those going to Heredia will have to find transportation other than the state train service. Repairs on a bridge have been slower than expected, and the train service has been suspended at least for today. The bridge took a hit from a truck a week ago, and work crews are replacing the span.

The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles has been plagued by difficulties, including the head-on collision of two passenger trains in Pavas two weeks ago. There also have been derailments.
News from the Spanish-language press
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 80
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Tourism minister says country well positioned to compete with Cuba
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Mauricio Ventura, Costa Rica's tourism minister said he feels confident to compete against Cuba in the battle to attract visitors from the United States, now that travel restrictions to the island have been eased by the Obama administration.

On March 15, the U.S. government announced new rules that allow American citizens to visit Cuba on their own for educational and people interaction purposes without a special permission.

Visitors are required to keep a journal of the trip for 5 years, according to the Department of State.

According to Ventura, any change in the Caribbean touristic offer will be carefully monitored.  However, Costa Rica tourism authorities not only keep an eye on the island but also around the world, he said.

“Cuba has specific well-known destinations, like Varadero Beach. In contrast, Costa Rica is well known in the world as a whole country. Our brand is Costa Rica itself. Visitors usually go to different parts all around the country. This phenomenon democratizes the income” he said. 

Last year, Costa Rica attracted 2.66 million tourists who generated a total revenue of  $2.8 billion, said Ventura.

On the other hand, Cuba received 3.5 million visitors, according to the state-run daily

“Costa Rica also offers nature and relaxation as products, while Cuba usually sells historic and political experiences.” Ventura added.

“We are number one in the world in touristic competitiveness and number 2 in adventure experiences. It's like we are champions in the tourism olympics, so we remain calm.” he affirmed.

Gas prices will increase due to hikes in the world price of petroleum
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is no surprise that gasoline prices will be going up because international petroleum prices have bounced back from historic lows.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said Friday that regular gasoline would increase 38 colons per liter and super would go up 40 colons per liter. Diesel will decline 9 colons per liter.

The changes are identical to the changes in the world price on shipments from the United States, the agency said. The Autoridad Regulador recalibrates the price every month.

The state monopoly, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, imports all its fuel and for years has not actually done any refining.

The price regulating agency also noted that taxes represent from 48 to 40 percent of the pump price.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 80
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Zika virus worries do not seem to be affecting flow of visitors yet
By the Medical Vacation in Costa Rica staff

The latest outbreak of the mosquito-born zika virus is not a big worry in Costa Rica, unlike in neighboring countries. Consequently, tourists and those seeking reasonable medical care are not being advised to take any precautions except those usual to guard against mosquitoes.

The health ministry has discarded 161 cases of possible zika infections since the beginning of the year, according to data provided by the Ministerio de Salud.

According to Daniel Salas, director of the health monitoring unit, the only eight confirmed cases of zika have been discovered in Sámara and Nosara in the province of Guanacaste on the far Pacific coast.

There, six women and two men got the disease. In a couple of cases, the individuals appear to have gotten the disease from Nicaragua. A pregnant woman who was found to be zika positive already delivered a healthy child, the ministry said.

There may be another case that showed up after Salas gave his statistics.

Doctors have said that pregnant women could be at risk of delivering children with smaller heads if infected.

Salas said that the success in killing the mosquito and its larvae has been due to alertness from the communities who had been fighting dengue for years. Dengue is carried by the same mosquito species, and every year there are extensive programs to eliminate the mosquito vectors, particularly in the coastal communities much prized by expats.

Tourism authorities have remain calm and trust the Costa Rica

health system to deal with the virus accordingly, so that it does not affect the flow of tourists.

“This is a high sensitive industry and any threat may have a negative impact on it. However, we are the Central American country that has better dealt with the disease, so we don´t see any impact on our business on the short term.” said Mauricio Ventura, minister of the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

Health workers have also heavily fumigated non-traditional waste, such as old tires, furniture, TV sets and other home appliances where zika larvae grow, he said. 

There are extensive government fumigation efforts in many municipalities of the country, and responsible tourism operators also have private fumigation schedules at their hospitality sites. Some spray every day.

Private companies have also collaborated by providing volunteers who perform regular street cleanups.

The use of two larvicides have proven to be very effective: Abate and spinosad. The chemicals destroy zika eggs that have been laid on rugged surfaces hard to reach with traditional fumigation.

Zika has raised bigger concerns among population for its neurological effects and that makes people more engaged in avoiding the disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that mosquitoes that spread zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) because of environmental conditions. Travelers whose itineraries are limited to areas above this elevation are at minimal risk of getting zika from a mosquito.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
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:   
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.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (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!

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.


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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate rentals (paid category)

Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email:

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
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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
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Puriscal rental
A peaceful place near Puriscal.
Property is a small house on a 16-acre farm in Desamparaditos, a small village located 5K NW of Santiago de Puriscal. 15 minutes to Puriscal, 1 hour to San José and the airport, all paved roads. House has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, large  open kitchen/dining/living area and is fully furnished. Nice veranda with great views. Many fruit trees. Private but not isolated with all utilities. Rent $550/month long term, short term negotiable. Tenant pays for electricity and phone. Landlord pays water. No pets, please. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 7187-8577, in the USA call Pete Todd at 970-221-1457 or 720-951-7928.
Peter and Debbie Todd

                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact:  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Real Estate
About us
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 80
Real Estate
About us

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Investigators come up empty
in Mexican student search

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A year-long independent investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico has failed to determine what happened to the young men in the face of what researchers call obstructions by government authorities.

A five-member panel appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous arm of the Organization of American States, issued its final report Sunday in a case that has rocked the country and drawn international attention.

The team arrived in March 2015 to Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. It was the last place the students, who attended the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College, were seen in public on Sept. 26, 2014. They have not been heard from since.

According to the government, local police detained the students after they hijacked buses to attend a protest. They then turned the men over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang that burned their bodies in a nearby garbage dump.

But the public, especially the families of the missing, have questioned the official story and protested what they call a lack of transparency in the case.

Last September, the rights commission experts also rejected the government's theory, saying there is no scientific proof that an immense fire took place at the landfill in the neighboring town of Cocula.

The 605-page report released Sunday falls short of claiming that federal police and soldiers were directly involved in the mass disappearance, but it notes that they were present at different locations that night.

The panel said Mexican authorities showed little interest in moving forward with new lines of investigation, blocked them from re-interviewing suspects, and attempted to discredit the investigation. It also noted that a study of 17 of the approximately 110 suspects detained in the case revealed signs of beatings.

Cubans and Cuban-Americans
soon able to take cruises

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cubans and Cuban-Americans can now travel to and from the Caribbean island by cruise ships, according to a statement Friday by Cuban state-run media.

The Cuban government authorized, starting Tuesday, Cuban residents to enter and leave as passengers of cruise ships. But the statement stressed that Cubans living in the country must have a valid visa of the country or countries they plan to visit.

Carnival Cruise Line is the first to sign contracts with Cuban businesses to sail from the U.S. to Cuba. The inaugural trip since the 1959 revolution will be May 1.

“This is a positive outcome and we are extremely pleased. We want to extend our sincere appreciation to Cuba and to our team who worked so hard to help make this happen,” Carnival Chief Executive Arnold Donald said in a statement.

The statement on Friday also said officials are reviewing a ban on citizens from boarding recreational vessels such as fishing boats and yachts.

Until now, Carnival had not allowed Cuban-born Americans to book the trips because a Cuban law that dated to the Cold War said they could not visit the island by sea.

Carnival received approval from the United States government last year to sail to Cuba, followed by a go-ahead from Havana a day after President Barack Obama’s historic visit to the country in March.

Carnival cruise lines previously said it would allow Cuban-born passengers to book travel to Cuba, but vowed to delay trips if the island's government did not change its policy allowing nationals to return by sea.

Last week, Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, stressed that Carnival should not sail to Cuba until the ban on Cuban-born passengers was lifted.

“I would not forbid Carnival to sail through public action, but I would heavily discourage it and try to persuade Carnival not to sail to Cuba until the policy is changed,” Grayson told the Miami Herald newspaper in a phone interview.

Around 300,000 Cuban-born Americans enter their homeland each year.

Carnival's 700-passenger Adonia is set to sail every other week and dock in the Cuban ports of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Chile. The cost of the week-long cruise starts at $1,800.

Death toll in Ecuador now
654 dead and 58 missing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Ecuador has risen to 654, officials said.

The quake, the worst in nearly seven decades, injured at least 12,500 people and left 58 more people missing along the country's Pacific coast.

“These have been sad days for the homeland,” said a visibly moved President Rafael Correa during his regular Saturday TV broadcast. “The country is in crisis.”

Thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed throughout Ecuador to provide emergency relief, including temporary shelters and food. In addition, scores of aid workers from dozens of nations, including Spain, Peru, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela have arrived to assist in the relief efforts.

Officials said 113 people had been rescued alive from buildings damaged by the quake, which struck eight days ago.

The United Nations Friday appealed for $72.7 million to provide aid to 350,000 people over the next three months, about half the number it estimates are in need of help.

The U.N. Children’s Fund reported that the quake has affected at least 150,000 children, having damaged 119 schools.

Humanitarian organizations warn the country still faces huge risks, as the homeless are now prey to disease-bearing mosquitoes and dirty drinking water.

Electricity and water supplies are only being slowly restored.

Cruz and Kasich make deal
to keep Trump from victory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The effort to prevent billionaire Donald Trump from becoming the Republican Party's nominee for U.S. president took a new step late Sunday as his two chief rivals openly detailed their plan to work against the front-runner in three states.

Since winning the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, Trump has led the Republican race as candidates try to take over the White House when President Barack Obama's term ends early next year. But Trump's ascendant campaign, written off early as something that would quickly fade, has made many in the party uncomfortable both because of his controversial statements on immigration and foreign policy and questions about how wedded he is to the party and its positions.

With less than three months before the Republican convention in Cleveland, Trump sits as the only candidate with a mathematical chance of reaching the majority 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

That has not stopped Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Ohio Gov. John Kasich from continuing their campaigns. They have repeatedly cast Trump as dangerous for the party and said that if he is chosen, then the Democratic candidate, likely former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would easily win the November general election.

Sunday they announced their plan to keep Trump from hitting the 1,237 mark.

Within a span of 15 minutes, the Kasich and Cruz campaigns released statements saying Kasich will step aside and leave the May 3 primary in the Midwestern state of Indiana to Cruz.

Indiana has increasingly appeared as the key in knowing whether the bid to stop Trump will succeed. It has 57 delegates, 30 of which will go to the overall winner in the state. The rest will be divided up based on the winner in each congressional district.

A collection of polls from last week put Trump ahead in Indiana with about 39 percent support, compared to 33 percent for Cruz and 19 percent for Kasich. If the Cruz-Kasich plan goes as planned, Cruz could cruise to a win and deny Trump an important batch of delegates.

The Cruz campaign said the agreement with Kasich is about ensuring the Republican nominee is someone who can unite the party.

"Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation."

Trump has criticized both Cruz and Kasich for remaining in the race with no path to victory, saying last week they should drop out to unite the party.

In return for not competing hard in Indiana, Kasich is getting a pledge that Cruz will similarly step aside and not campaign in the western states of Oregon and New Mexico. Oregon has 28 delegates at stake May 17, while New Mexico and its 24 delegates are up for grabs on June 7.

"Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee," the Kasich campaign said. "We believe that will be John Kasich, who is the only candidate who can defeat Secretary Clinton and preserve our GOP majority in the Congress."

Both the Cruz and Kasich campaigns said they will compete hard in every other remaining state.

If Trump fails to reach a majority in the first round of voting at the convention, then delegates are free to cast their vote differently on subsequent ballots, meaning even Kasich, who trails far behind in delegates, could have a chance at the nomination.

Polling on potential general election matchups suggests that if the November vote were to happen today, Republicans would be better off with either Cruz or Kasich. Major polls have Mrs. Clinton beating Trump by about 10 points and Cruz by about two points, but losing to Kasich by eight points.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has his own tough battle in trying to erase Clinton's big delegate lead, beats all three Republicans in the polls, with the margin closest against Kasich.

Solar craft lands in California
after dangerous Pacific leg

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A solar-powered plane has safely landed in the U.S. Pacific Coast state of California after completing the riskiest leg of its journey around the world, a 56-hour flight over the Pacific Ocean.

The flight was dangerous because there were no emergency landing sites.

The Solar Impulse 2 landed shortly before midnight Saturday at Moffett Airfield in California's Silicon Valley.

Earlier in the day, the plane flew over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to the delight of many spectators, but remained aloft until night time when winds decreased.

Pilot Bertrand Piccard said landing in Silicon Valley will help link the plane's journey around the world to the pioneering spirit of the area.

"Can you imagine crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on a solar-powered plane, just like ships did in past centuries? But the plane doesn't make noise and doesn't pollute," said Piccard in a live video feed from the plane.

The plane also moves very slowly at 45 kilometers per hour, double that when the sun's rays are strongest.

Solar Impulse 2 will fly across the continental U.S. to New York before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or North Africa before arriving back in Abu Dhabi, where the flight originated in March 2015.

The carbon fiber single-seat Solar Impulse 2  has a 72-meter wingspan, which is longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747, and weighs about as much as an automobile.  The 17,000 solar cells built into the wings harness the sun's energy and charge onboard batteries.

The project is the brainchild of Swiss aviator Piccard and fellow pilot Andre Borschberg, who are alternating each leg of the historic flight. The duo say they are aiming to demonstrate that alternative energy sources and new technologies can achieve what some consider impossible.

U.S. suicide rates are higher
by 24 percent, statistics show

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that suicide rates have jumped 24 percent over the years between 1999 and 2014.

The study published late Thursday showed that rates increased sharply after 2006, as the economic boom of the late 1990s faded and the onset of what became the 2008 recession began.

Suicide rates for all men under age 75, the rate shot up 43 percent between 1999 and 2014.

Among women under 75, the rate of increase was greatest among women between the ages of 45 and 64. The suicide rate among those women was 80 percent higher in 2014 than in 1999.

The results show the traditional gender gap in suicide rates narrowing: while men usually are more likely to commit suicide than women, the rate of women who took their own lives grew much faster than among men.

Methods of suicide have also changed, although men are still more likely than women to use a firearm, the study says, with some 55 percent choosing that method in 2014. Among women, 31 percent used a firearm, slightly less than the number of women who chose poisoning.

Suffocation is more common now than in 1999, increasing from one in every five suicides in 1999 to one in four in 2014.

In one piece of good news, the suicide rate for non-Hispanic black men was actually lower in 2014 than in 1999, the only ethnic group of either gender to see rates fall.

While the overall numbers may seem grim, experts say most people who try suicide will not succeed, meaning efforts to dissuade a suicidal person are important. Research suggests that removing the means to take one's own life, such as a firearm or poison, can be an effective remedy for the immediate problem, making long-term treatment a possibility.

The Centers said that suicide is increasing at a time of generally declining mortality, and is one of the 10 leading causes of death in each age group from 10 to 64 years old. 

From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24 percent, with the pace of increase greater after 2006.

Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10–74.

The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10-14, and for males, those aged 45-64.

The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4 percent), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1 percent).

Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.

First night sleep problem
traced to alert hemisphere

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ever wonder why people do not sleep well the first night in a new place? New research may explain the phenomenon.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, researchers from Brown University suggest that one-half of the brain remains more awake than the other, apparently to be prepared for potential trouble.

The so-called first-night effect is commonly experienced by frequent travelers who often notice less restorative sleep during the first night in a hotel or other location. The phenomenon is also a problem for sleep scientists because test subjects are likely not to sleep well the first night in a sleep lab.

"In Japan they say, 'If you change your pillow, you can't sleep,'" said corresponding author Yuka Sasaki, research associate professor of cognitive linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown. "You don't sleep very well in a new place. We all know about it."

To reach their conclusions, the researchers conducted three experiments to monitor brain activity over two nights of sleep, a week apart. Among the 35 participants, the researchers found that during the first night, the left hemispheres of the subjects' brains stayed more active than the right.

Subjects, they found, were more easily awakened when researchers stimulated the left brain by playing irregular beeping sounds into the subjects’ right ear. They found that “a particular network in the left hemisphere remained more active than in the right hemisphere, specifically during a deep sleep phase known as slow-wave sleep.”

During other phases of sleep, there didn’t appear to be any difference in activity between the two hemispheres.

On the second night of sleep, however, there was no significant difference between left and right hemispheres even in the default-mode network of the left hemisphere, which does make a difference on the first night, they said.

"To our best knowledge, regional asymmetric slow-wave activity associated with the first-night effect has never been reported in humans," the authors wrote.

While the researchers believe their findings explain the first-night effect, they are still not sure what happens during other phases of sleep apart from the slow-wave phase. For example, they do not know if the left hemisphere keeps watch all night, or works in shifts with the right later in the night.

The default-mode network is also responsible for daydreaming during waking hours, according to some researchers and appears to remain active even when the rest of the brain may be less active.

Researchers don’t know if other parts of the brain can enter an alert state in other phases of sleep.

"The present study has demonstrated that when we are in a novel environment, inter-hemispheric asymmetry occurs in regional slow-wave activity, vigilance and responsiveness, as a night watch to protect ourselves," the study concludes.

Shakespeare’s birthday bash
celebrated in his hometown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people from all walks of life and from around the world descended Saturday on the streets of Stratford-Upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his death.

Visitors, performers, literature buffs and notable people, including Prince Charles, gathered in the central English market town to pay tribute to one of the world’s most prominent playwrights. Shakespeare is regarded by many as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.

A parade took place in Stratford to mark the anniversary. A band from the U.S. city of New Orleans performed a jazz rendition of "Happy Birthday" in honor of the British icon, as confetti flowed through the streets.

Actors Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ian McKellen were among stars scheduled to celebrate the anniversary with performances from Shakespeare's best-known works at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

The occasion was being marked across Britain with parades, church services and stage performances.

Thirty-seven short films, one of each of Shakespeare's plays, were shown on giant screens installed along the River Thames in London.

U.S. President Barack Obama attended a performance of scenes from Shakespeare's works, including the famous "To be or not to be?" from Hamlet, at the Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of a 16th-century part-open-air theater.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford in April 1564. It is believed that he died there on April 23, 1616, but no record of his death exists.

Right-wing Austrian party
leads voting into a runoff

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Exit polls show the candidate of Austria's anti-immigration far-right Freedom Party winning the first round of presidential elections, gathering more than 35 percent of the vote and leaving five rivals far behind, including nominees of the ruling governing coalition.

With more than 50 percent of the vote tallied Sunday, both candidates from the ruling coalition, center-left Social Democrat Rudolph Hundstorfer and centrist People's Party nominee Andreas Khol, were shown with about 11 percent of the vote.

If the projections hold, a second round runoff will be held May 23.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Solr array
SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i

Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579

Rich Coast
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Dorn Home
Beverly Hills Style House for Sale on Pacific Coast, Guanacaste

Lot of 2,866.33 square meters with three terraces, inside luxury house  property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000.   We have another extra large lot (next to the main property)  priced at $75,000.  For more information, please contact us: Emails:   or    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. $50,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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:

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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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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 25, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 80
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds ae disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Beauty tips for the lady who gardens

Manicure: a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands performed at home or in a salon. Right. Does it include heavy duty

Victoria Torley
sandblasting for dirt under the nails.

Hairstyle: a style of cutting, arranging, or combing the hair; hairdo; coiffure. Sure. Does that include wet-out-of-the-shower-blown-by-the-wind and maybe full of pieces of leaves?

Cosmetics: a powder, lotion,
lipstick, rouge, or other preparation for beautifying the face, skin, hair, nails, etc. HAHAHA! The plants don’t seem to care if we come out all bare-faced so why should we?

There are gardeners and there are gardeners. The first kind dons protective gloves, picks up the clippers, puts on a hat, and goes out to trim the rosebushes and pull a weed here and there. The second kind, the industrial gardener, dons two pairs of protective gloves, boots, and a hat, gathers eye protection, bug spray, a shovel, a saw, branch loppers (newly sharpened), pruning shears, plops them all in a wheelbarrow along with the fertilizer bags, and heads out for the morning.

We are out there for almost four hours, digging, lopping, digging, moving logs, digging . . . .  The latex gloves have holes in them after the first round of digging, but our hands are so sweaty we don’t notice. The next three hours, dirt is making its way through the outer gloves and clogging up under our nails. Wonderful. Our “hairstyle” is the plastered-down look that only perspiration and a funky hat can achieve. (The hat is no foo-foo affair with flowers. We prefer a brimmed cap with a nice long neck flap. After all, we are out there a long time.) As for cosmetics, well, makeup might start on the face but it would end up somewhere around the collar bone. It would be a smear of powder and mascara where it doesn’t belong.

When we drag in from our labors, exhausted and drenched with sweat, all we care about is something cold to drink (think something tall, chilled, and alcoholic) and a long shower that puts the soil back in the garden where it belongs. A light lunch, a dip in the pool, and a session in the hammock and we are ready for anything.

If we promise to clean our nails, arrange our hair, and wear some cosmetics, will you take us out to dinner? Please?

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the week

Tall and delicate the gloriosa lily (Gloriosa superba) has a fragile beauty and an eye-catching color. It is also a very particular plant with special needs. The gloriosa is a climbing lily with leaves that hold the supports instead of tendrils. Plant the seeds or tubers in deeply worked, well-mulched soil (neutral to alkaline) at the base of a tall trellis (7 to 8 feet or about 2 meters) or provide a rough surface for it to climb. In tropical climates, it is best to provide shade for the tubers while the plant and flowers bask in morning sun and relax in the afternoon shade.   This lily is from the collection at the Villa Encantada Vivero in Nuevo Arenal.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845.
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From Page 7:

Obama promotes trade pact in Germany

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States and the European Union must move forward on a landmark free-trade agreement, despite strong opposition to the accord.

It is indisputable that the United States has benefited from free trade, as have other countries that engage in it, Obama said during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hannover, Germany.

The United States and Germany are among each other’s largest trade partners and hope to build support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Germany's government has pushed the partnership deal, saying it would boost the global economy and give small and mid-sized companies a better chance at competing on the world market, while reducing bureaucracy.

Opponents have been critical of what they perceive as opaque negotiations carried out away from public scrutiny, and they fear the pact will hand too much power to big multinationals at the expense of consumers and workers.

Officials have estimated the U.S.-Europe deal would add $100 billion annually to the economies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Obama argued some oppose the deal because they are unsettled by globalization, but most people recognize on balance that it is a good idea. He predicted a deal would be reached before he leaves office in January, although it will take longer to ratify.
The United States will make every effort” to reach an agreement this year,” he said later at the spectacular opening of the Hannover Messe, a massive trade fair for industrial technology.