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Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 87
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Dengue hits Dominical, and controversial dike blamed
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A dengue outbreak has hit the population of Dominical a town on the Pacific coast. Residents report at least 20 cases in the last two weeks and blame a nearby dike for creating the mosquito breeding ground.

According to Nancy Buchan, a resident who caught the virus, health authorities have been ignoring the emergency and refuse to send technicians to treat the patients or spray the area to kill the mosquito larvae.

“My husband also caught dengue, and the nearest hospital is just too far away. Once there, the service was too slow, and we decided to go back. Other people are not even seeking medical attention.” she said.

Rodrigo Marín is the national coordinator for Centro Nacional de Control de Vectores at the health ministry. He said he was not aware of the outbreak and asked for some time to find out. After a second phone call, he confirmed there were two notified patients and a few more with similar symptoms.

He said the ministry would be sending health workers today to go door to door to ask about symptoms and spray and destroy any breeding locations. He said that physicians might be sent to evaluate cases or sufferers might be sent to hospital for proper attention.

He also encouraged people to seek medical attention even if  they have no insurance, for public hospitals will treat them.

Dominical neighbors blame the outbreak on the existence of a dike at the mouth of the Río Barú, which does not allow the water to flow and creates a perfect environment for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

“It's not even a dike. It's just a big bunch of sand taken from the river and placed carelessly there. We've never had a so-called dike and, consequently, we have never had this dengue crisis before.” said Steve Ferguson, another resident.

The dike is a project started in March 2015, after a Sala IV ruling forced the local
municipality to protect residents from floods,
dike
Steve Ferguson photo
 This is the dike that residents blamed for
  the virus outbreak.



explained Fergus. However, the way the project was developing didn't meet environmental criteria and was later opposed by Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental and the Sistema Nacional de Área de Conservación.

Finally, the local Asociación de Desarrollo filed a complaint before Sala IV and the works stopped in October.

On the other hand, Alberto Cole de León, re-elected mayor of Osa, denied that the dike could be causing the health alarm and said the water does flow into the ocean through the required filtration systems.

“We already invested about $40,000 on a consultancy to do things right, and we`ve also teamed up with the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias and Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes to build a proper dike that would cost around $2 million.” he said.

The mayor explained this project will be presented for financing before Junta de Desarrollo Regional de la Zona Sur this year. The construction would start in 2017 and it will include valves to allow rain water to flow into the ocean without increasing the river's level.


Tattoo gathering will include California celebrity
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tattoo fans, those who carry them and those who create them, will gather starting Friday for a convention at the Centro de Eventos Pedregal.

At least 30 individuals and firms, experts in the body art, will be there. Among them is a California mother of two who has turned tattoos into a career.

She is Bernadette Macias, a well-tattooed model who represented Sullen Clothing, a California firm that says it is heavily influenced by beach culture there and tattoo-inspired art.

Ms. Macias also is a judge on the Country Music Television’s “Tattoo Titans” where tattoo artists compete and is a host of Sullen TV on the Web.

The Paradise Tattoo Convention at the Belén events center is the fifth annual edition. Ms. Macias said she is here not only to promote the clothing but as a convention host  and in search of other models for the firm.

The tattoo culture is probably unknown for most expats, even though some have them. 
Ms. Macias was at a convention in Sweden in
early April and will be at one in Romania after the convention here. For many practitioners tattoos have transcended mere body markings to become a fine art. She said she has 251,000 Instagram followers where she is @ItsMsBernadette

For Ms. Macias, the first tattoo was more practical. She once told an interviewer:  “My very first tattoo was a spider on the side of my
right ankle. I got it when
Ms.
                                Macias
Manon Pictures photo
Ms. Macias
I was 17 while attending boarding school in Thailand. The purpose of that tattoo was to get me kicked out of boarding school as tattoos were forbidden. Unfortunately, they only made me wear higher socks with my school uniform.”

And she admits to some pain: “And, oh my goodness, yes! Ha! Ha! I fully cried though a few of them.” But she also is proud of the famous artists who have displayed their work on her skin.


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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 87
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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.


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Freeing convicts called bad for tourism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government’s plan to liberate 380 felony convicts to free up prison space is drawing fire.

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo and the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles have both jointly expressed their concern that the plan will have a negative impact on the image the country has built for foreign tourists.

The plan comes from a directive by the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz, which runs the prisons.

The two chambers said they recognize that the conditions inside the prisons are not consistent with human rights, but they said the politics of the decision put the rights of prisoners over those of citizens.

Gustavo Araya, president of the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles, said in the statement that the judicial order that caused the directive had also brought an advisory to travelers from the U.S. Department of State. He said perception is important and that the perception is an increase in insecurity.

At the legislature Tuesday, Otto Guevara of the Movimiento Libertario suggested that the central government reactivate the prison facility on the Isla de San Lucas in the Gulf of Nicoya. The prison was shut down in 1991.

The justice ministry quickly issued a statement citing reasons why this would not work.

Among them was that the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights has said that isolating and segregating prisoners is a violation of their rights and can generate serious health problems.

It also noted that shipping prisoners to the island also means sending guards, support staff and their families there.

It noted that the United States closed Alcatraz in part because of the maintenance costs.

Statistics show that a criminal suspect stands just a one in 20 chance of actually going to prison. Among other reasons is that country’s conciliation process whereby offenders can buy their way out of jail.

The justice ministry plans to use halfway houses as part of the plan to set the convicts free. Law enforcement also opposes the plan.


Another traffic tragedy in the downtown

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The jury still is out on the question which agency is the worst in messing up Central Valley traffic.

From many motorists Tuesday that answer was the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the water company.

Twice in the last six months, water company crews have simply blocked off a street and let motorists fend for themselves. One instance was on Avenida 7, which is the major west-east artery on the northern part of the capital.

Tuesday work crews began repairing a sanitary sewer on Avenida 9 at Calle 3. This is the area alongside the north side of Parque Morazán, which is a major bus route. The route was closed with no obvious plan to help motorists navigate the city.  The water company only made the announcement at midday Tuesday.

That work will continue and the major traffic tie up will continue through Friday. There were reports of traffic jams for blocks as motorists tried to find alternate routes.

Two months ago, Fuerza Pública officers conducted a raid on Avenida 7 in the areas known as Tierra Dominicana. Officers simply blocked the avenue uphill from the raid target. There were no traffic officers or any effort to establish an alternate route. That blockade was not the first at that location.

The municipality also provided motorists an obstacle when it redid Avenida Central north of the Museo de Jade. Motorists coming down Cuesta de Mora were confronted by a pile of rock and dirt in the middle of the street and no way to get by it.

The water company said that workers would be on the job at Avenida 3 24 hours a day.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English
















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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.

9002-5/26/16
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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 87
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Health workers who staged two days of strikes will not lose pay
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health workers who walked off the job and staged strikes for two days last week will not be docked pay. That was the result of an agreement reached between the government and the  Bloque Unitario Sindical y Social Costarricense after two days of negotiations.

The strikes were successful in that hundreds of medical
appointments and operations had to be postponed last Tuesday and Wednesday.
In return, the collection of unions promised no more strikes.

In addition both the government representatives and union leaders will meet again Thursday to discuss grievances.

The unions struck to emphasize their positions against changes in salary and cooperative education for students.

The strike affected mostly the public hospitals and clinics. Educators also struck at the same time but they were not represented in this negotiation.



An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
Rail institute bond proposal seems like another financial train wreck

Lawmakers are likely to approve hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for a valley electric train.

The calculations seem to be based on a false premise. The bill that is in the legislature now assumes that the rail institute is worth a lot of money. The bill would allow the agency to borrow 40 percent of its estimated worth.

An estimate from the Universidad de Costa Rica says the railroad is worth a bit more than $1 billion. So the bill would give the agency the right to float bonds up to $408 million.

Every person who has been in business knows that a company is worth only what it can net and not the total value of its assets. Most of the assets of the rail institute are not marketable. They include rights-of-way, 125 bridges and a tunnel.

The only reason investors might buy any bonds or notes emitted by the rail agency is because they are backed by the government of Costa Rica. That means the public will end up paying off the bonds.

The bill itself gives the rail institute a blank check that even has raised eyebrows within the legislature. The permissions may be so broad as to be unconstitutional.

Still, it is clear that in their haste to produce a rail system that does not emit the dreaded carbon dioxide lawmakers and officials are grasping at financial straws. No one seems to be asking how the rail agency will pay off this debt.

The bill does not contain any financial projections, which investors will need.

But there is a clause that says if rating agencies fail to evaluate the bonds as investment grade, the debt can be sold privately. That could mean that the $408 million in bonds will be sold back to the country or that some investor will purchase the paper at a deep discount.

Hardly any of the people involved in approving the debt will be around in official positions when the time comes to build the electric railroad or even float the bonds.


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Croc's Easter special

Guanacaste Lodge

Palermo Hotel

Vista Ballena

La
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Hacienda
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Recreo
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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 87
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First-class seating said to contribute to disruptions on airlines
By the University of Toronto news staff

Long flight delays, shrinking seats and a general decline in civility are blamed for air passenger rage. But the first empirical research study into the phenomenon pegs another culprit, class inequality, for the reason passengers lose it when taking to the so-called friendly skies.

Air rage incidents are more likely when the plane has a first class cabin, says the study by Katy DeCelles of the University of Toronto and Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School. The odds increase when economy passengers have to pass through first class to get to their seats, reinforcing the inequality.

Simply having a first-class compartment made an air rage incident nearly four times more likely, equivalent to the effect of a nine-hour flight delay, the study found. The bad behavior was higher not only for economy passengers, but those in first class too.

Other factors such as crowdedness, alcohol consumption and long flights can contribute to disruptive incidents, says Professor DeCelles, but her research found their impact was smaller than might be  expected.

"I expected there to be more support for a lack of leg room as a contributor to air rage, given the attention that leg room has had, but there wasn't," she said.

Although the study did not delve into the reasons behind its findings, past research has identified that people tend to have poorer health, well-being and behavioral outcomes when they experience comparative deprivation or feel treated unequally or unfairly. This study contributes to the research by showing that even temporary experiences of inequality can have negative effects.

Professor DeCelles used a database of  thousands of documented disruptive flight incidents over several years for a

first
              class seat
A.M. Costa Rica illustration

large international airline. The incidents were serious enough to be considered a threat to onboard safety, such as passengers refusing to sit down, yelling obscenities at a flight attendant or interfering with smoke sensors so they could sneak a cigarette. The majority of  incidents involved belligerent behavior or intoxication.

The results have implications for any physical environment where differences in class or status are apparent, such as a tiered stadium or a workplace where lower-level employees have to pass by executive offices to get to their cubicles. Meanwhile, airlines that want to consider how to reduce negative behavior may want to think about ways to de-emphasize differences between passenger groups, such as using a dual gating system, researchers said.

"The more you can use those dual gates to board airplanes, separating the first-class cabin from the economy cabin, you're going to have less air rage in both cabins," says Professor DeCelles.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.



Vacation, travel and hospitality


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or contact us by email:
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Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

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rollover
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: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8959-5/8/12686

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
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 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
8784-2/19/16

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

Central
                                              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.
8981-5/28/16

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: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8998-7/18/16




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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 87
Calendar
Opinion
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Lifestyle
Food
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Axiom new ad

Battered Cruz bows out
as Trump takes Indiana


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Sen. Rafael “Ted” Cruz of Texas dropped out of the Republican presidential contest after a big loss to billionaire Donald Trump Tuesday in the Indiana primary.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was the projected winner over former secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a close race.

Cruz told supporters in Indianapolis that his path toward victory has been foreclosed, but he thanked them nonetheless, calling them incredible patriots.

“When we launched this campaign 13 months ago, we saw a movement grow," he said. "The pundits all said it was hopeless, but we saw over 300,000 volunteers all across this nation.” He noted that his campaign had pulled in more than 1.5 million contributions, averaging about $60 each.

“Together," he said, "we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got. But the voters chose another path. And so with a heavy heart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

Earlier Tuesday night, U.S. television networks projected Trump would win Indiana in a landslide, with Cruz second and Ohio Gov. John Kasich far behind in third.

But a Kasich spokesman said the governor still was aiming for a contested convention in July, where his objective is to capture the Republican nomination on a second or third ballot.

Trump's victory gave the former reality TV personality 57 more delegates, not enough to reach the 1,237 needed to clinch the nomination, but enough for Trump and his supporters to start declaring him the presumptive nominee at July's Republican convention in Cleveland.

A tweet from the Republican National committee said he was the presumptive nominee.

"If we win Indiana, it's over," Trump had told voters in politically conservative Indiana, where vast reaches of farmland intersect with industrial centers.

Despite Sanders' victory on the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton leads the delegate count by a huge margin, making it just about mathematically impossible for Sanders to become the Democratic nominee.

Exit polls showed that the economy was foremost in the minds of Indiana voters. More than nine in 10 Republican primary voters and more than eight in 10 Democratic primary voters said they were very or somewhat worried about the economy, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

The often harsh-speaking Trump, who has never been elected to any political office, has shifted much of his rhetoric from Cruz to Mrs. Clinton as he becomes more and more confident they will face off  in the November presidential election.

He disparaged Mrs. Clinton's performance as secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, saying she was asleep during part of a 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.

Trump told supporters he could defeat Clinton in states Republicans do not normally win, even as early election surveys suggest otherwise.


Mrs. Clinton seeks changes
in handling opiate charges

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton issued a call Tuesday for more medical treatment and less incarceration for the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in the United States.

Mrs. Clinton spoke at a campaign panel discussion in West Virginia, a jurisdiction that recorded 630 deaths last year from prescription drug overdoses.

"We can't incarcerate our way out of the problem," she told the panel and audience. She also described how she and her husband, Bill Clinton, have been personally impacted by opioid abuse in young adults.

"Bill and I now have five family friends who have lost their adult children to opioid overdose . . . both in their early 20s and 30s," she said. She described one of the dead as an intern who had worked at the State Department during her tenure as secretary of State.

She used the forum to advocate for drug courts, where judicial attention is focused on recovery and treatment programs rather than jails.

Mrs. Clinton is on a two-day tour of the Appalachian region, ahead of Democratic primaries set for May 10 in West Virginia and May 17 in the neighboring state of Kentucky.

She has received a cool reception in West Virginia, a leading coal-mining state that has fallen on hard times in recent years with government restrictions on coal burning and the growth of natural gas consumption in American industry.

While campaigning Monday, she was confronted by a local who challenged her on recent comments in which she warned that a Hillary Clinton administration would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

Mrs. Clinton apologized for those comments Monday, telling the unemployed coal worker that what she said "was totally out of context for what I meant. What I want you to know is I'm going to do everything I can to help" those impacted by reduced coal demand.


Georgia governor rejects
bill to carry guns in school


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The governor of Georgia has vetoed a controversial bill backed by his Republican colleagues that would have allowed college students to carry concealed guns on campuses across the state.

Tuesday's veto came nearly a month after the governor, Nathan Deal, angered religious conservatives in his state by vetoing so-called religious liberty legislation that would have extended legal protections to opponents of same-sex marriages.

In his veto message Tuesday, Deal attached a note questioning the efficacy of the gun legislation.

"If the intent of House Bill 859 is to increase the safety of students on college campuses, it is highly questionable that such would be the result," Del said in a statement.

He also issued an executive order for higher education leaders in the state to report on campus security measures by August.

Conservatives had long-pushed for the gun measure, known as the Campus Carry Bill, describing it as a vital safety measure aimed at protecting students, faculty and administrators.

Critics have ridiculed the measure, warning that Campus Carry would threaten public safety and open the door to a potential spike in campus violence.

Deal came under intense pressure in March from major U.S. corporations to veto the religious liberty legislation, which had easily been approved by Georgia's Republican-dominated legislature.

An array of companies, including the Disney entertainment conglomerate and technology giants Apple and Intel, threatened to limit or withdraw from business in the state, if the bill were signed.

The companies said the religious liberty legislation would tacitly approve discrimination.


Obama again makes appeal
for Pacific trade deal OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama made a new appeal Tuesday to U.S. lawmakers to approve a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal, saying the United States, not China, should set the rules for economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

In an opinion piece in The Washington Post, Obama played down an effort by Beijing and 15 other countries to create a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in Asia to compete with the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the U.S. reached with 11 other countries with shorelines along the Pacific Ocean.

The U.S. leader said the prospective Chinese-led accord "won't prevent unfair competition among government-subsidized, state-subsidized enterprises," ensure a free internet, protect intellectual rights of artists and writers, or enforce high standards for workers or the environment.

He said, however, the agreement the U.S. helped broker would achieve such protections and lead to the elimination of more than 18,000 taxes that other countries have imposed on U.S. products.

Obama said that once the Pacific Partnership was in place, "American businesses will export more of what they make. And that means supporting more higher-paying jobs."

Obama has encountered resistance in winning support for the trade deal, with many in his own Democratic Party opposed to it, including the leading Democrat looking to replace him when he leaves office next January, former U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The front-running Republican presidential candidate, billionaire Donald Trump, also opposes it.

In the midst of the contentious presidential and congressional election campaigns, lawmakers have set no date for a vote on the trade pact, but possibly could consider it at the end of the year, after the November election to pick Obama's successor.

"I understand the skepticism people have about trade agreements, particularly in communities where the effects of automation and globalization have hit workers and families the hardest," Obama said in the opinion piece. "But building walls to isolate ourselves from the global economy would only isolate us from the incredible opportunities it provides. Instead, America should write the rules. America should call the shots. Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around."

Obama said, "The United States, not countries like China, should write" trade rules.

He said Congress should "seize this opportunity, pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and make sure America isn’t holding the bag, but holding the pen."


Some Vietnamese want U.S.
to probe fish kill in ocean


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nearly 140,000 Vietnamese nationals have signed a petition urging the Obama administration to launch an independent investigation into an environmental disaster that caused mass fish kills along Vietnam's central coast.

The move comes as the Southeast Asian country struggles to identify exactly who or what left millions of fish dead and many livelihoods impacted.

On the White House-run "We the People" Web site, an unidentified petitioner claiming to be from Ha Tinh, one of the hard-hit areas, called on the U.S. to "provide independent assessment of a steel plant" at the heart of the controversy.

Formosa Plastics is cited in the petition, although a probe called by Hanoi officials has yet to link the massive fish kill to a $10.6 billion steel plant run by the Taiwanese-based conglomerate in Ha Tinh.

Formosa representatives did not respond to requests seeking comments about criticism targeting their company.

A preliminary investigation of the mysterious marine-life catastrophe, announced by Vietnam's environmental watchdog, blamed red tide, a phenomenon known as an algal bloom, and poisonous chemicals in wastewater as the two main factors.

Well-known anti-China activist Le Anh Hung, who is based in Hanoi, said he signed the petition after losing trust in the morality and objectivity of Vietnamese agencies.

"That is why we need independent investigators from outside, especially from the U.S. government," he said. "I want to hear a positive response from the White House."

Tuesday's call for a White House probe comes just weeks before President Barack Obama makes his first visit to Vietnam, and it is unclear whether he will mention this petition in meetings with Vietnamese officials.

"We The People," the White House-run site, says petitions that gather 100,000 signatures in 30 days will be reviewed to ensure "it gets in front of the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."

At the end of 2014, the Obama administration responded to a petition signed by more than 130,000 Vietnamese about imposing sanctions on China for bringing a giant oil rig into waters claimed by Vietnam, an incident that plunged Hanoi-Beijing relations to its lowest point in years.


Young Afghan soccer fan
threatened by local Taliban


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

To 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, international soccer star Lionel Messi is a hero. Earlier this year, Ahmadi was photographed wearing an Argentinian jersey with Messi’s number in the back.

The soccer player eventually heard this heart-warming story of the Afghan-boy and sent him an official autographed jersey. The Afghan soccer federation even tried to set up a meeting between the boy and Messi who plays professionally in Spain.

But the young boy’s gift eventually became a nightmare.

“Life became misery for us,” Ahmadi’s father, Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, told the Associated Press over the telephone. The family was forced to leave Afghanistan after constant telephone threats and a menacing Taliban letter.

The family now lives in neighboring Pakistan and settled in the city of Quetta.

The boy’s father said he feared his son would be kidnapped after his picture went viral. He became an internet sensation both at home and around the world.

At first, the family was not sure who was behind the phone calls. The father even thought it could be criminal gangs thinking the family had money amid the boy’s international popularity.

But when a local cab driver called the family’s home to deliver a letter, they realized it was the Taliban.

“In the letter, the Taliban asked why my son was not learning the Quran in an Islamic school and why I was instead allowing him and encouraging him to play soccer," he said.

The main reason they left their homeland was because the threatening calls became more intense.

“I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son’s life as well as the lives of the rest of the family,” the father said.

Taliban had banned some sports during their brutal five-year reign between 1996 and 2001. Although they converted the main Kabul soccer stadium into a stage for public execution, men’s soccer was still allowed in the country.

After the fall of the Taliban, sports became popular again. Insurgents, however, perceive sporting events as corrupt Western influence.


Unborn children benefit
from mom’s flu vaccination


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Getting a flu shot while pregnant appears to significantly reduce the risk of the baby getting influenza in its first six months, according to a new study.

Writing in the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine found babies, whose mothers were vaccinated while pregnant, had a 70 percent reduction in laboratory-confirmed flu cases and an 80 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations.

The study's lead author, pediatrician Julie H. Shakib said, "Babies cannot be immunized during their first six months, so they must rely on others for protection from the flu during that time. When pregnant women get the flu vaccine there are clear benefits for their infants."

Researchers say their findings are important because pregnant women and young infants are among those at highest risk for dying from flu.

The researchers came to their conclusions based on data from more than 245,000 health records of pregnant women and more than 249,000 infant records covering flu seasons from December of 2005 to March 2014.

The data also showed that from among the 658 babies who got the flu, 97 percent came from mothers who had not been vaccinated during pregnancy. Of those babies 151 were sick enough to require hospitalization, and 148 of those babies were born to women who had not been vaccinated.

To make sure the results were not related to change the researchers also examined cases of another sickness, respiratory syncytial virus, which often occurs in colder weather. They found that flu vaccinations had no effect on the number of babies getting sick with that disease.

The researchers said only about 50 percent of pregnant women reported getting flu shots last flu season and that these findings reveal more expecting mothers should get vaccinated.

"We just really hope more pregnant women get the vaccine," Dr. Shakib said. "That's the take-home message of the study."

  
China becomes the focus
of robotic investment plans


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dozens of investors and knowledge collaborators recently visited China from the U.S. and Europe to join in what is being seen as a robotic revolution. Though China has emerged as the biggest market for industrial robots, what is attracting angel investors is the Chinese ability to fabricate and produce at low-cost for the international market.

"There is also a lot of innovation going on in China, but I think the bigger opportunity is to use China to make your idea become real," Benjamin Joffe, a partner with Hax, an investing company, said at the recent Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. Most of the investors and start-ups coming to China are focusing on markets in the U.S. and Europe, he said.

China has already established a vast network of production and supply chains and associated skills to become the biggest supplier of electronic goods. "For robotics, the advantage is to prototype faster, to be able to produce things at not just lower cost, but also high-tech at any scale, from small scale to very large scale," Joffe said.

The International Federation of Robotics recently predicted that China will have more industrial robots operating in its factories by 2017 than any other country. Other analysts have said Japan will lose its place as the biggest user of industrial robots next year.

The Chinese robot market, estimated at $9.5 billion, is one of the world's biggest. About one fourth of the 240,000 industrial robots sold worldwide is made in China, according to IFR estimates.

But China also has the biggest potential for further growth because of the low coverage of robots compared to its sprawling industrial zones. There are 30 robots per 10,000 workers in China's manufacturing units compared to a high level of 437 in South Korea, 323 in Japan, 282 in Germany and 152 in the United States, the international federation said.

As with most other goods, Chinese robot manufacturers are also trying to take on international giants on the strength of low pricing. For instance, E-Deodar, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Ningbo Techmation is producing robots for 20 to 30 percent less compared to three of the world's biggest players, ABB, Germany’s Kuka or Japan’s Kawasaki.

The main reason why Chinese businesses are opting for gigantic and highly efficient robotic arms is to recover some of the lost export markets. Experts cite three important reasons behind the sharp reduction in Chinese electronic and heavy machine exports in recent years. They are the economic slowdown in western markets, complaints about quality of some Chinese products and the rising cost of labor in China.

Both Chinese industry and government are trying to overcome the problem of high cost and inadequate supply of skilled labor by using giant and highly efficient robotic arms in the supply lines. The high level of precision of these electronic arms also helps raise quality standards and leaves behind very few production defects, if any at all.

"Labor costs have increased hugely. So, we expect the market to become very large in the coming years. There is also a great need for technological solutions to problems concerning production and quality, which our company provides," said Li Lijun, president of Ningbo Cixing Robotics Co.

Li said shoemaking factories across Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian are gradually adopting robotic systems to both replace workers and enhance both quality and production. Li says this is a change because he said many still believe that the use of robots is limited to industries engaged in producing high-end electronics and complex machines.

“In shoe making, assembly lines may have about 26 workers. A robotic system can run that line with just two workers. Two workers are still necessary because human beings can perform certain complex and intricate tasks better but requirement of such specialized workers is much less," Li explained.

But lowering costs continues to remain the biggest challenge, even for manufacturers in China with their long tradition of cutting corners. At a basic level, a robotic system that can replace 20 to 30 workers can cost upwards of $100,000. But robot makers say the costs can come down to about one-third as the market expands and they are able to scale up their production.

Robots are also of interest to a lot of Chinese beyond just factory production.

One restaurant, which introduced robot waiters to replace serving staff, found that the electronic imitators of humans did not serve the purpose.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

SellATimeshare.com
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
9004-4/26/17

COSTA RICA SOLAR
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
OUR EMAIL: Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com

VISIT OUR WEB: www.CR-Solar.com

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Re-Max
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!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

8935-2/7/17

Remax logo
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: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8927-1/28/17

Axiom one

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

Click
HERE!
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:

AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579
sales@axiomcostarica.com
www.axiomcostarica.com
8906-2/21/16


Rich Coast
                                  Rollover
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
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
8953-8/29/16

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: jsaba00@hotmail.com.
8997-6/22/16
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: grantchy@yahoo.com For more photos and info click HERE!
8996-7/20/16

anothiner


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:  stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com   or lyacmurillo27@yahoo.com    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.
8983-5/6/16

Grecia
                                  rollover
UNIQUE OFFER !!!!
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
FINANCING AVAILABLE !!!
 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
Email:

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

Lantz
                                      home
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: angelsdad@me.com

8972-6/15/16

San Rmon
                                  rollover
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: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8962-6/3/16

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
land
                                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. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: www.condojaco.com Contact: Frank condojaco1@gmail.com
8942-9/1/

updated
                                  photo
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 goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

La Uruca condo
FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA,
OUTSKIRTS of SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA,
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
Email:  BORISKOPIT@YAHOO.COM
8914-2/13/16

Cohen
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.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8916-7/22/16

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: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
8897-3/2/15

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:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

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
       door.
- 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
     planted.

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 indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16

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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 87
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
tree carving
Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreación photo
An artist used a chainsaw to create a giant bird from the trunk of a tree cut down in Parque la Sabana. Trees were cut to make way for native species, and artists created eight sculptures.


Work crews are racing against the clouds

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Like many governmental subdivisions, the Municipalidad de Desamparados is working hard to be ready for the rainy season.

Work crews have been cleaning rivers and ditches since the first of the year. They also have been maintaining retaining walls and draining channels, particularly in the district of  San Juan de Dios, officials said.

This is dirty work but crucial to prevent flooding. Owners of homes in other communities that have been inundated in the last two weeks blamed runoff channels stuffed with trash. The garbage accumulates during the dry season and blocks storm sewers and other draining systems when the heavy rains begin.

Weather experts say that the period of transition has arrived, and that the usual cycle of hot, humid mornings following by heavy afternoon rains is approaching.


Electric company will cut Otoya power

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Electric company workers will be turning off power for several hours this morning in Barrio Otoya. The Instituto Meteorological Nacional said that it would be closed this morning, as well as the offices of A.M. Costa Rica. The outage should be over by noon, said the Compañía National de Fuerza y Luz.

Hospital Calderón Guardia is in the same area, but it has its own internal power plant for emergencies.


Quake rattles the southern zone

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 1:04 a.m. an earthquake registered a magnitude of 4.6, said the Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica at the Universidad de Costa Rica. The epicenter was estimated to be about 41 kilometers south southwest of Laurel de Corredores in the Pacific off western Panamá. The quake was felt most strongly in Corredores and Ciudad Neily, said the laboratory.


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From Page 7:

Scotiabank will handle road and port funds

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Scotiabank will be the trustee of some $450 million that will be used for street and port projects. The agreement was made with the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

The Interamerican Development Bank is loaning the money, and the bank here will oversee the disbursement.

Now that the agreement has been reached, road agency officials said they would begin steps for bids on various projects.

The bank agreement is for five years.

This is not the first time that Scotiabank handled a large sum of money for a government project. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad entrusted the bank with international loans for the Proyecto Hidroeléctrico Reventazón. The amount was $903 million.