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(506) 2223-1327        Published Monday, April 28, 2008, in Vol. 8, No. 83         E-mail us
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A.M. Costa Rica/Elise Sonray
Always
on Sunday
For those who reminisce about the early morning yard sales from their hometowns, a Costa Rican version can be found every Sunday at the San José mercado de pulgas.

See our report:
BELOW!



Expat advice reports taking more sophisticated turn
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats in Costa Rica who want to do more than just live outside the culture are becoming more and more dependent on economic and legal advice dispensed alternate Mondays in this space.

Those who have followed the news stories have an advantage over their fellow transplants.

A look backwards shows that the writer, Garland M. Baker, has been on top of the twists, turns and complexities of the real estate and buisness scene.

Those who realize they are not in Kansas anymore, are anxious for information on such unique features as the annual cultural tax.

Baker and A.M. Costa Rica were urging caution in the sizzling real estate market as early as January 2005. "How high can skyrocketing land values go?" the news story asked. And "Events up north put chill on real estate here," was published June 19, 2006.

The articles were not met with universal praise from the real estate industry.
Now that some parts of the real estate market is not so sizzling, readers are being helped with a summary of the new judicial collection law  and the process of foreclosures for bum mortgages.

Costa Rica has been a nightmare for many expats. Baker started his series at the request of A.M. Costa Rica editors because theft of property from foreign property owners was becoming an epidemic. It took another year for the Spanish-language newspapers to catch on.

Meanwhile, readers learned one of the best techniques to safeguard their property.  "Mortgage certificates," shouts the lawyer when asked about the best defense. Baker addressed mortgage certificates Nov. 14, 2004, as a surefire way to protect property. Subsequent developments have proved him correct. The idea is for a property owner to create an artificial lien in case some crooked notary tried to steal the real estate.

As the series continues, the topics grow more sophisticated in line with the growing needs of the expat community. The legal ramifications of employee contracts was a recent report that should be required reading for anyone living here.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 28, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 83

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



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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.



Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
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www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
3442-2/20/07

Physicians and surgeons

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Acupuncture physician

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Immediate results for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, whiplash, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all
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 painful conditions. Excellent results for migraine, stress, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions from constipation, hemorroids, to hemiplegia, raynauds, bells palsy, etc. Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 17 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661 acutherapy0@hotmail.com
4122-9/10/08

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $85,700 in 2007)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
4193-4/27/09

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
3989-5/8/08

Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
3922-6/28/08

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service


Buying? Selling?
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www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
3296-6/7/08

7Legal services

Bufete Narváez y Asociados
Legal counsel and Investments
We welcome new clients

Licenciada Narvaea
Licda. Jamileth Narváez
• Corporate strategies
• Immigration experts
• Real estate investment

www.lawyerincostarica.com
E-mail: yakar@racsa.co.cr

Call:
506 2239-4606, 506 2239-4604
506 8378-3919, 506 8871-1551
506 8350-6469
4258-7/20/08

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
 
Tel. 2643-3058                Cell 8365-3088
Toll-free  from the U.S.: 
1-877-545-6462
 E-mail: lawyer@CRTitle.com
 Web site:  CRTitle.com

Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).

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4257-11/21/08

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

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007
4207-10/2/08
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Ex-boyfriend held in death
of Limón girl found Sunday


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents are holding an ex-boyfriend in the murder of a 16-year-old girl. She was one of three persons murdered in separate crimes over the weekend.

In all, police captured five murder suspects over the weekend, said a security spokesman.

Fuerza Pública officers found the 16-year-old girl who had been murdered near the medical center in Cieneguita, Limón, Sunday morning, said the security spokesman.

The killer shot the girl once in the chest and once in the back of the head, according to the security spokesman. Police arrested a man by the last names of Cordero Arrieta, said the spokesman. He was identified as an ex-boyfriend.

Fuerza Pública officers in Tibás arrested three men Saturday suspected of killing another man in the area. Killers stabbed the victim, Arias Méndez, 26, numerous times in stomach.

Officers found Méndez on the side of the highway in open view Saturday. Police arrested a man with the last name Rodríguez, a man with the last name Campos and a third suspect who could not be identified since he did not carry his documents.
 
Officers found the body of a man with the last names Rocha Luna, 23 in Alajuela. The killer shot Rocha in the back and left him in a place called “Lotes Llobeth.”

Police suspect that Rocha's brother killed him during an argument, said the security spokesman. Officers arrested the brother, a man with the last names Blandón Luna Sunday, said the spokesman. Officers said Blandón carried a 38-caliber firearm at the time of arrest.

Judge is robbery victim,
and two suspects caught


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Men robbed the house of a judge and then fled in a taxi Saturday in San Francisco de Dos Rios, said a security spokesman.

The judge, Alicia Monge of the Primer Circuito Judicial in San José, called the police and alerted them to the incident during the night, said Marco Sandoal, chief of Fuerza Pública in San Francisco de Dos Ríos.

Two officers chased what they believed to be the getaway taxi and detained the vehicle in front of the Catholic church in the center of San Francisco, said Sandoal.

The officers arrested two suspects with the last names of Mora and Chinchilla in front of the church, said the security spokesman.

Police officers found a .380 caliber pistol, which they believe was used to commit the robbery, said a security spokesman. 

The judge who lived in La Pacifica of San Francisco, said she believed the taxi driver was involved in the robbery, said the security spokesman. The case is now in the hands of the Judicial Investigation Organization, said Sandoal.

Detention time extended
for mother of caged kid


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A mother who neighbors say locked her 10-year-old son in a cage is getting more preventative prison time, said a spokesperson from the court Friday.

El Juzgado Penal de Alajuela added three months of preventative prison to Raquel Castillo Meza's sentence. Ms. Castillo was arrested Feb. 20 after neighbors reported that a boy was locked in her back yard. Judicial agents arrested another woman named Gloria Corrales, who they said lived with Ms. Castillo.  

Judicial agents observed the situation and reported the women were throwing food into the boy's cage in the same area he had defecated, said a spokeswoman from the Judicial Investigation Organization in February. The cage was in the back yard of a house located in Pacto del Jocote in Alajuela, said the judicial spokeswoman.

Officials did not say how long the boy had been locked in the cage. Reports at the time, said the boy was forced to do yard work and other chores. When agents raided the house, the women hid the boy inside of a closet, according to the judicial spokeswoman. The boy was put under the care of Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, said the spokeswoman in February. The court originally gave the woman two months of preventative detention, said the spokeswoman at the time.

New officers will bolster
police in downtown areas


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As expected Janina del Vecchio, the minister of Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, said Friday that police presence would be boosted in the central city area.

Before she spoke, Fuerza Pública officers, municipal police and immigration police swept the transient housing areas and detained nine persons who were the subject of arrest warrants. Two persons were illegal in the country, the ministry said.

Ms. del Vecchio said that the most recent statistics show that crime has dropped 16.5 percent in the four central districts of the city. She said that the additional police presence would be from new graduates of the police academy.

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For five frantic hours a week, San José flea market has nearly everything. Just don't ask where it originated!
flea market scene
A.M. Costa Rica photos/Elise Sonray

Every Sunday it is like one great, big garage or yard sale
By Elise Sonray
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For those who reminisce about the early morning yard sales from their hometowns, a Costa Rican version can be found every Sunday at the San José flea market.

Every good shopper knows priceless treasures can be found if you dig hard enough and visitors at De Las Pulgas, are no exception. Whether you believe the early bird gets the worm at the 7 a.m. opening, or prefer to sleep in until just before the market closes at noon, there are plenty of odds and ends to choose from for five hours straight.

Money from around the world, antique jewelry and china are just some of the trinkets one can pick up under the colorful tents of the capital's flea market. Women can be seen on their knees digging through piles of earrings for just 300 colons (60 U.S. cents), or sorting through clothing to buy for their children and grandchildren.

Everyday household items like televisions, blenders, coffee makers, tools and kitchen knifes are there. New bottles of shampoo, facial products, clothes, hats, and even underwear and canned food can be purchased at cut-rate prices by the thrifty shopper.

Strange and sometimes illegal items like prescription medicine and copied DVDs  are also in stock, but no one seems to mind. Its all about bargaining for your buck and finding a treasure you might have never known you needed.

In the same area is the outdoor fruit market where vendors sell everything from onions to the tiny green cas fruit. “We usually start working at around midnight,” said María Estera Pérez, a fruit vendor from San José.

Ms. Pérez said she started selling vegetables eight years ago. She buys most of her supplies from Cartago, she said, and some like the pineapple and watermelon, she grows herself. Busiest days are the weekends, Fridays and Mondays, she said.

The flea market is on the south side of Avenida 10 just a few hundred yards east of Parque La Sabana and adjacent to the municipal building between calles 28 and 34.
money seller
Paper money and coins from all over the world are available each Sunday morning.

medicines for sale
The adventurous can purchase their prescription medicines at the flea market!


U.S. Embassy says treatment given Dall'Anese is routine
By José Pablo Ramírez Vindas
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The U.S. Embassy here has characterized as routine the treatment at Miami International Airport that infuriated Francisco Dall'Anese, the Costa Rican chief prosecutor.

In addition, the embassy statement said that if Dall'Anese reported he was going to the United States embassy workers here would have made sure he was extended every courtesy.

Dall'Anese joins a list of governmental leaders who believe they have been mistreated by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Among them is Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, who said he received shabby treatment when he had to change planes in Miami Nov. 15.

The U.S. Embassy released a prepared statement after Dall'Anese called a press conference Friday to deplore the way he was treated the previous Wednesday.

Dall'Anese said that he identified himself as Costa Rica's top law enforcement officer but still was taken to a room where another person was handcuffed and obviously was in custody and asked a series of questions. His interrogators refused to say what was going on, he said.

Immigration officials are supposed to have a passenger list from each plane even before it lands.

Dall'Anese was in Miami to talk with Christian Sapsizian, a former Alcatel executive who has admitted a year ago to paying more than $2.5 million to Costa Rican politicians on behalf of his former telecommunications company.

Dall'Anese said in his press conference that he suspected U.S. officials were protecting Sapsizian, although he did not use the man's name. The chief prosecutor did say that relations between Costa Rican officials and the U.S. Department of Justice have been deteriorating over the last few months.

U.S. officials are believed to want Costa Rica to grant immunity to Sapsizian before he testifies in the Alcatel case, which also has former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez as a defendant. The case involved the allegation of a bribe so the telecommunications firm could get a contract to provide cell telephone lines to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

Dall'Anese also was planning to visit Washington on his trip.

The U.S. Embassy, in its statement, tried to attribute the situation in Miami to confusion with another individual.  Dall'Anese was not detained nor denied entry into the United States, the embassy said. He was delayed for a routine security check of the type that is done when similar names are encountered in the computer system, it added.
Dall'Anese at press conference
A.M. Costa Rica/José Pablo Ramírez Vindas
Francisco Dall'Anese gives his account Friday.

Earlier Dall'Anese himself said he was told by an immigration official that he might be confused with another Costa Rican who has the same name. The man claimed his last name was very common in Costa Rica, but Dall'Anese said only he and his son have the same name in the whole country and that his son never traveled to the United States.

The chief prosecutor also said that his interrogators said they were following orders but refused to say who had given the orders. One told him that he would be fired if he gave Dall'Anese that information, the chief prosecutor said.

In all, Dall'Anese estimates that he was detained an hour and 45 minutes. He was released after he made clear that he wanted to return to Costa Rica. An immigration agent escorted him to the American Airlines counter. Dall'Anese said he was fearful that U.S. officials would fabricate some kind of criminal charge to justify the detention.

Dall'Anese said at his press conference that he was ending cooperation by his agency, the Ministerio Público and the United States. He said he also wanted criminal charges leveled against those who held him and payment by the United States for the costs of the trip.

The embassy statement confirmed that Dall'Anese went to the United States at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Justice. The embassy statement said that Dall'Anese was not picked out at the airport because of his job and that the incident was not related to the Acaltel case.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 28, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 83


U.S. Navy reactivates Fourth Fleet to cover Latin waters
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and special reports

The U.S. Navy has reactivated the Fourth Fleet, a unit that has not been on the rolls since shortly after World War II.

The new fleet designation covers the waters around the Caribbean, and Central and South America and the surrounding waters. It joins five other geographical groups designated as fleets by the U.S. Navy.

Joseph D. Kernan, a rear admiral who now is in charge of the Navy's Special Warfare Command (SEALS), will head the new fleet, the Navy said.

At the same time the Navy said that it was beginning a six-month deployment as part of Partnership of the Americas that includes nearly two months of participation by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its strike group.

Part of the six-month partnership will be the annual multinational exercise focused on the defense of the Panama Canal, said the Navy.
The recreation of the new fleet, which will be based with the U.S. Southern command in Mayport, Florida, is being interpreted as a response to potential terrorism and also to anti-U.S. sentiment in some Latin countries.

The Navy said the Fourth Fleet demonstrates U.S. commitment to regional partners.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said "Reconstituting the Fourth Fleet recognizes the immense importance of maritime security in the southern part of the Western Hemisphere, and sends a strong signal to all the civil and military maritime services in Central and Latin America,"

U.S. Fourth Fleet was originally established in 1943 as one of the original numbered fleets, and was given a specific mission, said the Navy.

During World War II, the United States needed a command in charge of protecting against raiders, blockade runners and enemy submarines in the South Atlantic, said the Navy. The U.S. Fourth Fleet went out of service in 1950 when U.S. Second Fleet took over its responsibilities.


Bush said he expects tax rebate stimulus to help economy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. President George Bush says tax rebates for more than 130 million American households should help stimulate an economy hurt by falling home prices and higher food and energy costs.

More than 7 million Americans should see the tax rebates in their bank accounts in the coming week. Those who chose to receive their refunds through the mail should have their checks early next month, U.S. officials said..

Bush said the rebates of up to $600 a person and $300 per child will help stimulate the economy by the start of the third economic quarter in July.

"We want to make sure everyone who's eligible for a check gets one on a timely basis," he said.  "This money is going to help Americans offset the high prices we're seeing at the
gas pump and at the grocery store, and it will also give our
economy a boost to help us pull out of this economic slowdown," he said.

Expats living overseas also will get the rebates if they filed a return for the 2007 tax year. Those who file later, as is the right for overseas Americans, may not see the money until next year.

Bush and both political parties in Congress agreed on this temporary economic stimulus plan of tax rebates and business incentives as the U.S. economy has lost nearly 250,000 jobs so far this year.

Unemployment is above 5 percent for the highest level in two years. Rising food and fuel costs are depressing retail sales.  Home prices nationwide are down 10 percent.  Consumer confidence is at a 26-year low.  Public opinion polls say the economy has replaced the war in Iraq as the single biggest issue on the minds of voters ahead of November's presidential election.


Cuba plans to raise pension amounts and pay of some government employees
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cuba's government says it will raise pension payments to retirees and increase the salaries of some government workers.

Sunday's announcement says the pay hikes will target those workers who earn the least amount of money.

A statement from the government says the increases will apply to pensioners and some employees who work in the Cuban court system.
It says other workers will have to wait for pay increases because the country "doesn't have the necessary resources at the moment."

The move comes after much speculation that pay hikes were coming. New Cuban President Raúl Castro has spoken publicly about making changes to the government's salary structure.

Since taking office, Castro has instituted a series of reforms, among them authorizing Cubans to buy mobile phones and computers.


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A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Brazilian officials seek law
to regulate Amazon trips


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Brazilian government is seeking greater control over religious, environmental and other foreign groups traveling to the Amazon.

Government officials are drafting a law to be sent to Congress in the coming months asserting sovereignty over the massive, often lawless region, home to Indian groups and one of the world's most biodiverse regions. The draft law would regulate foreign travel in the rain forest.

Religious and human rights groups often work with Indian groups in the Amazon to help them secure and protect their rights. Environmentalists have long decried deforestation of the region to make way for cattle and other farming.

Brazilian officials have voiced suspicions the foreigners are a front for efforts to take control of the land from the government.

France makes new effort
to free Ingrid Betancourt


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The foreign ministry of France has announced a new initiative to free French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages held by Colombian terrorists.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is traveling to Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela to seek a way to free the hostages.

France has expressed concern that Betancourt may be gravely ill.  She was kidnapped by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia in 2002 while she was campaigning for Colombia's presidency.

The French foreign ministry said Kouchner is scheduled to meet the presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela during his trip.

Kouchner plans to talk with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe today in Bogotá.  Tuesday, he meets Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, and on Wednesday, he sees President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.

Earlier this month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a humanitarian mission to Colombia after reports that Betancourt was gravely ill. Terrorist leaders denied access to Betancourt, who is one of hundreds of hostages.




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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 28, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 83



U.S. military all-stars will visit Central America
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A team of U.S. military baseball all-stars will visit U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Florida Monday in preparation for travel to the Dominican Republic, Panama and Nicaragua as part of a friendship baseball tour to the Caribbean and Central America.

The team, managed by former Major League Baseball player Pedro Guerrero, will conduct baseball clinics for little league players and play exhibition matches against local professional teams.

The tour, dubbed "Friendship Baseball Tour – 2008," will give the team’s military ballplayers the opportunity to interact with fans of the sport in each of the countries they’ll visit, where they will conduct youth baseball clinics aimed at helping younger players hone their skills.

The U.S. Military All-Stars includes five baseball players
who hail from Florida cities, including Miami, Jacksonville, Pensacola and St. Petersburg.

The players will depart Miami for the Dominican Republic Tuesday, where they will compete against the Circulo Deportivo and Dominican Baseball Federation teams in Santo Domingo, as well as visit the New York Yankees Training Academy in Boca Chica.

In Panama, the team will play games against the Panama National Police Team and the winner of the Panamanian National Championships.

While in Nicaragua, the military team will play against the Granada Departmental Team, Matagalpa Departmental Team and Managua Catholic University team.

Friendship Baseball Tour – 2008, referred to in Spanish as “Gira Amistosa de Béisbol – 2008,” is scheduled to run through May 7.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, April 28, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 83


Interrogating your oponent with table talk
Table talk is a part of the game, and frankly, it’s the part of the game that I enjoy most.  How players react to questions that you ask can give definitive information as to the strength of their hand.  Even an opponent who says nothing at all might be sending a silent signal.  A mere shrug, an awkward smile, or even a frozen stare can be meaningful. 

To begin your interrogation, make sure that your line of questioning makes sense.  And be prepared to use different approaches because not all opponents will respond in the same manner.

One approach is to try to catch your opponent off guard, hoping to get him to relax and give a genuine reaction.  Try asking a question that is non-confrontational.  Here’s one that I like:  “From the way you’re playing this hand, you must be from Sweden.  Swedish players are nuts and so is this hand!  You didn’t take lessons from Gus Hansen, did you?”

You see, Gus Hansen is known for his wild and aggressive style of play, but more apropos to your question, he’s actually from Denmark, not Sweden.  If your opponent knows this, his reaction may give up some information as to the strength of his hand.  He may answer, “Gus is not Swedish, he’s Danish”, and follow that up with a chuckle.  He might say, “Swedish players are even crazier than Danish players!”

The ease in which he responds, and of course, what he actually says, will help you gauge his comfort level.  The more comfortable he appears, the more likely he’s got a strong hand.  The less comfortable he seems, the more likely he’s bluffing.  It’s really that simple.  The key point is that your questioning doesn’t need to have much to do with poker; it’s just about a guy named Gus who’s from Denmark, not from Sweden. 

You can also recite a short spiel designed to elicit a telling response from your opponent.

For example, after an opponent bets, say something like, “I’m such an idiot.  Why in the world did I bet the flop if I couldn’t call a raise?  Man, I do this so often (while laughing out loud) it’s not even funny.  I must really be a terrible player.”


This kind of table talk takes the focus off your opponent and places it squarely back on you.  Your goal is to get your opponent to lower his guard so you can gauge his reaction to your self-mocking tirade. 

By making it seem as though you aren’t the least bit interested in him, he might relax, loosen his shoulders, or laugh out loud.  But if he’s bluffing, he may not move a muscle.  Remember, every player reacts differently.  It’s your job to figure out the meaning behind his reaction or lack thereof.

You can also try asking a specific question looking for a specific response.  For example, there’s always the classic, “If I fold will you show me your hand?” 

Once you ask this question, concentrate on how your opponent answers.  Does his response indicate that he’s enticing you to fold?  Does he seem completely disinterested in what you do?  Believe me, if he is indeed bluffing, he’ll certainly be interested in what you do.  If he has a monster hand, however, he’ll probably show less interest in whatever decision you make.

These are just a couple of the tricks you’ve seen me use on television.  I’ve got a few more in my repertoire but I can’t give away all my secrets!  Go ahead and create some of your own trickery.

Visit www.cardsharkmedia.com/book.html for information about Daniel Negreanu’s new book, "Hold’em Wisdom for All Players."
© 2008 Card Shark Media.  All rights reserved.


Food...

Mini-mall comes to the rescue of the not-rich-but-hungry

food court

For those in the know, there is a clean, affordable, relatively quiet gastronomic surprise off the pedestrian mall in downtown San Jose.  Between Arenas clothing store and the Patio Restaurant, behind a perfume counter and a Pops Ice Cream sits a food court without a McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway or Church's Chicken in sight. 

Tropical Food is a counter selling relatively healthy food.  While their batidos aren't as delicious as the ones found at FrutiLand in Mall San Pedro, the water-or-milk-
blended-with-fruit drink is a refreshing treat to carry during your walk along Avenida Central.  A batido with the fruit of your choice mixed with water costs 650 colons, with milk, 750 colons.  That's from $1.30 to $1.50.

Adding honey or granola takes you up to a still-reasonable 900 colons ($1.80).  The store also peddles fruit salads, ranging from 700 to 1.600 colons ($1.40 to $3.20).

Marisqueria produces delicious looking and smelling seafood dishes.  A customer-friendly hanging chalkboard lists their menu and respective prices.  A small corvina ceviche will set you back 1,950 colons ($3.90).  Get a small rice with shrimp for 2.150 colons ($4.30), 2,800 ($5.60) for a larger serving.  Or try one of the fish filets prepared several different ways, the cheapest being with oil and garlic for 2,600 ($5.20) colons, the priciest fish filet dish is 3,600 colons ($7.20) for relleno with ham and cheese.

Click here to read more

Festive season proves troublesome even for established restaurant

vealBeing a chef in a busy kitchen must be a pretty stressful job, but around Christmas stress is something any successful restaurant should factor in as inevitable.

On a second visit to well-reputed French restaurant Le Chandelier, it soon became obvious that the staff were poorly equipped for the onslaught of Christmas party diners on a Tuesday night, leaving the usually decent food to deteriorate into a procession of almost inedible starters and bland entrees.

Set in an old San Pedro house with brick ceilings and wooden beams that was converted into a restaurant around 15 years ago by Swiss owner Claude Dubuis, Le Chandelier purports to offer French cuisine that has been developed over generations of experience.

Click here to read the full review

A great meal is not all in the presentation

musslesandfondue120407With a vaulted glass ceiling, palm trees lining the pathway and posh lighting, one would not expect Saga restaurant to be settled behind a dull parking lot in Escazú.

Although this restaurant may look out of place, it doesn't deviate much from the norm in Escazú, an area many would classify as suburban sprawl.


The majority of the cuisine at Saga seems to fit with the setting: classy presentation, yet lacking any profound flavors. Although the restaurant boasts itself as an “international food restaurant” on its Web site, much of the inspired cuisine is lacking the depth which would be found in authentic dishes.

Click here to read the full review


Books ...

Land use in Costa Rica documented by Fulbright scholar

Forty years of living in the jungle, moving between secluded forestry stations and research labs, has led Louisiana resident and NASA veteran
Armond Joyce
Armond Joyce
Armond Joyce to write a book about the changing uses of land in Costa Rica.

After winning a presitgious Fulbright scholarship in 1998, he came back to Costa Rica to revisit forest sites that he worked on over three decades earlier as a graduate student. 

Some of the earliest satellite technology available was used in 1966 to take arial photographs of Costa Rica's countryside, and the
book compares these black and white shots with up-to-date images.

Click here to read more

New book dwells on the social aspects of food

Food is not just a selfish pleasure or a way to stifle hunger, but is central to the evolution of art, according to a new book published by Museos del Banco Central.

Artworks by Costa Rican painters are the main content of the hardback book, “Imagenes para Comer,” which follows the representation of food in art since still life painting became popular in the Renaissance.

Full-color pictures of both traditional and modern works are far more common than recipes, as the author Marjorie Ross only provides seven recipes within the book.

All are traditional Costa Rican dishes showing influences from different sections of the community, such as corn fritters, white beans and chorizo and fruit salad.

The book focuses on the meanings that food has within society, and how these are portrayed by art.

Click here to read more


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