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(506) 2223-1327      Published Thursday, May 14, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 94     E-mail us
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Neither rain . . .

Yes, there still is construction in San José. At the far end of a whimsical sculpture erected by the municipality a backhoe fills a truck with dirt taken from the proposed cellar of a new building.

Work continued Wednesday despite frequent downpours. The scene is just west of Calle 9 in front of the La Soledad church.

whimsical work
A.M. Costa Rica photo


Quake-damaged Cariblanco hydo plant is back
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One turbine of the Planta Hidroeléctrica Cariblanco went into service Wednesday night six months sooner than originally planned.

The plant on the Río Sarapiquí near the community of the same name got knocked out of production by the Jan. 8 earthquake.  A retaining wall that protects the machinery was jarred by water, rock and mud.

A second turbine is expected to be in service by the end of the year. Manufacturers are producing parts for it.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, which operates the generating plant, said that the company
expects to save 1,250 million colons ($2.2 million) a month by not having to purchase petroleum fuel for its thermal plants. Cariblanco is designed to send 90 megawatts into the nation's power grid.

Pedro Pablo Quirós, an engineer who is president of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, praised the workers for getting the plant back on line much sooner than expected.

The plant damage caused concern in January and February that Costa Rica would again face rolling blackouts because of power shortages. That never happened, and the rainy season is back filling reservoirs to provide the flow for the nation's many hydro plants.  The thermal plants are used as a backup.


Fishing institute says it will act to restore U. S. shrimp trade
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's fishing regulator said Wednesday it would take steps to meet requirements placed by the United States over shrimp trawlers.

The United States declined to certify Costa Rican-caught shrimp May 1, and that means the country cannot export the product there.

At the same time the U.S. Department of State
blamed Costa Rica for dragging its heels.

The Instituto Nacional de Pesca y Acuicultura promised Wednesday that during this year Costa Rica will demonstrate that it has taken actions to comply with the requirements.

The issue is the use of turtle excluding devices so that marine turtles do not die in shrimp nets. Turtles are air breathers. The system to penalize shrimp fishermen who do not use such excluders is weak.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 14, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 94

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

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts


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
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Psychiatrists
Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho Torres
  bilingual psychiatrist (UCR)
Dr. Sancho
• consulting • depression  • schizophrenia 
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• evaluations for gun permits 
 
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Available 24-hour a day

office: 2246-3458 or 2246-3459
soon: www.psiquiatriacostarica.com
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Physicians and surgeons

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.
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Dental Clinics
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Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
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over 10,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction,
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5067-5/17/09

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant 
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.

We are affiliated with Widex hearing instruments because of their quality, natural sound and intelligibility over background noise. That means  no more echoing, feedback or interference.
We service the U.S. veterans/ Foreign Medical Program.
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Allan Weinberg
  Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5127-5/13/09

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
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http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

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
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• 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
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U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
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FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
4954-5/12/09

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
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ask Angela Jiménez
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7Legal services

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Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
4827-5/31/09

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com - ForeverCostaRica.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
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• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
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• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
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Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007
Ancient Guayabo to get
a modern validation


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The architects will not be around to receive the designation, but the American Society of Civil Engineers soon will bestow on the ancient ruins of Guayabo the title of international heritage of civil engineering.

This is only the second pre-Columbian site in the Americas to receive such a designation. The first is Machu Picchu.

Guayabo, located on the southern slope of Volcán Turrialba, was a population center of about 10,000 persons, archaeologists have estimated. It was abandoned around 1400, but no one knows why.

Even in Costa Rica it is not as well known as some of the Mayan and Central Mexican sites. But it is a national monument.

The civil engineers are impressed by the way in which the ancient residents handled water with reservoirs, filters and transmission lines. The site may have been occupied as early as 1,000 years before Christ.

The designation was announced by the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos and distributed by Mario Quirós, the legislative deputy. He joked that it would be a good idea if the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados was as adept as the ancient residents in handling water. Many of the Guayabo works still function to carry off rain water.

Guayabo covers about 600 acres, but very little has been excavated scientifically.


Road caved in near pipe
but there was no spill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The storm damage could have been worse. Road workers were at the scene of a collapsed drain on Ruta 32 Wednesday. The danger was that the section is adjacent to the Refinadora Costarricense pipeline that carries fuel to the Central Valley.

Road workers were doing the job in conjunction with the refinery workers, according to the national emergency commission. The pipeline was not compromised.

Ruta 32 is the main north-south road on the Caribbean  coast, and the collapsed drain cut off passage.

Elsewhere much was returning to normal after three days that saw more than 16 inches of rain dumped on the area.  The Instituto Meteorlógico Nacional said that the low pressure area that was causing the atmospheric instability had itself become weaker.

However, the weather institute warned that both coasts were now being affected by low pressure and that cloudy skies and rain were likely on the Pacific coast, too, with the exception of northern Guanacaste.

San José got about a quarter inch of rain Wednesday between 3 and 5 p.m.

Along the Caribbean, the national emergency commission was maintaining an alert. But the rivers that cause so much damage were reported confined to their banks and at a normal stage. A few families were being sheltered. They lived in an area in Limón centro where a drainage ditch backed up and flooded their homes.


mountain bike racing
 The fourth Desafia Powerade is Sunday in Ciudad Colón
 with a route of some 60 kms. around the countryside. For
 the first time recreational bikers are being invited to join
 with a start time of 8:15 a.m., a quarter hour after the
 pros leave. The pros will have money prizes and weekend
 bikers will win merchandise after a 30-km. race.



Golf leaders go to Congress
to defend their industry


By the A.M. Cost Rica wire services

In recognition of the second annual National Golf Day Wednesday, leaders of golf's major organizations met with members of Congress in Washington to defend their sport.  PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem was among them as the PGA is the most visible part of the industry and often draws the most criticism.

Finchem told reporters he reminded members of Congress that golf is a $75-billion industry.

"You put it in these terms:  it's the equivalent of the motion picture industry and publishing industry combined, and that goes for revenue, jobs and overall economic impact," said Finchem.

And the economy has been affecting a number of professional golf tournaments.  At least three companies — Chrysler, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo — have removed their names from PGA Tour events.  Another, Northern Trust, was criticized by Rep. Barney Frank after the bank took government assistance and then spent money for entertainment at the Northern Trust golf tournament in California in February.

According to Sports Illustrated magazine, players are saying companies are letting elitist perceptions override the tour's history of charitable giving.

Finchem put that part of his sport in perspective.

"The professional side of the game has a $3.6-billion impact and last year raised $124 million for charity," he said. "And so we are integrated into communities to raise money for charity.  Most of the reaction I get from members of Congress is they recognize the value of corporate sponsorships in sports marketing generally, and particularly with the PGA Tour which is 100 percent organized for charitable purposes."

The bottom line is that the golf industry employs two million people in the United States and generates about $61 billion in wage income annually.  Golf's leaders want to be sure that those who influence legislation are aware of the impact the golf industry has in the United States and be aware of how certain laws can affect it.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 14, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 94

Republic of Panama
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Father of ill choir singer suspects Costa Rica origin for flu
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The father of one of the Canta Mundi singers who visited Costa Rica also happens to be an infectious disease specialist at Boston University School of Public Health, the Lexington. Massachusetts, Minuteman newspaper reported Wednesday.

And the father, Donald Thea, thinks chorus members became infected with flu in Costa Rica, the newspaper said.

Three of the members of the chorus that traveled to Costa Rica in the last weeks of April have a mild form of swine flu, according to the newspaper.

Costa Rica officials were quick to blame the chorus for infecting a 13-year-old girl at a Moravia private school. They also were trying to run down anyone who has had contact with the choir. A driver who transported the group also became ill here.

But Thea told the U.S. newspaper that “the first person became ill six days into our trip to Costa Rica. The incubation period for influenza is anywhere from a half-day to seven days.

“It’s possible the kids could have got the disease while on the plane to Costa Rica, but it’s pretty unlikely,” Thea said. “A more likely scenario is that it was picked up early on the trip and spread very easily in a group traveling together.”

Thea told a Lexington reporter that he still is awaiting confirmation on the nature of the flu that he has.

Meanwhile, the Moravia private school, Father's Home School, said it was closing for a week as a preventative measure.

The health ministry said Wednesday that there are eight
confirmed cases of swine flu in the country, including one man who died, and there are four probable cases. Several of the latter are linked to those who had contact with the choir.

The swine influenza virus still is spreading around the world.

Belgium Wednesday confirmed its first case, becoming the 34th country to report an infection of swine flu. The World Health Organization says worldwide, the number of confirmed cases stands at more than 5,700.

Almost all the deaths from the virus have been in Mexico. Mexican authorities on Wednesday raised the death toll there to 60, though authorities say the outbreak in Mexico is declining.

Swine flu has also killed one person in Canada and three people in the United States. Wednesday, the U.S. said it had confirmed more than 3,300 cases of the virus. U.S. officials say they expect more.

Tuesday, Finland and Thailand each confirmed two cases, the first for both countries. Authorities say each of those four patients had recently traveled to Mexico.

China also confirmed its second case on the mainland, while Hong Kong confirmed two as well.

Other swine flu cases have been confirmed in Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panamá, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Austria, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The World Health Organization has released a report warning that although a flu virus may be considered mild, it can change over time as it spreads around the globe.


Canadians planning their birthday party for June 27
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Canadians and friends will be celebrating Canada’s 142th birthday at a party organized by the Canadian Club of Costa Rica at the end of June.

The event will be at Club Campestre Español in La Rib, Heredia, Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The fun includes swimming, soccer, face-painting, bouncy castles, mini-golf, tennis, pool tables, cribbage games, a grand tug-o-war, and much more, organizers said.

There are two heated pools and a hot tub. 

The menu features classic cookout food followed by the traditional red & white Maple Leaf Canadian birthday cake.  Entertainment, games, dancing, door prizes, and a
drawing complete the day’s activities. 

Advance ticket purchase is required: ¢7.500 adults, ¢6.000 children (includes hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, salads, ice cream, a non-alcoholic beverage, and birthday cake.)

For ticket purchase and more information on the Canada Day celebration, contact the Out of Bounds Hotel/Tourist Center, Escazú, at 2288-6762 mermatt@amnet.co.cr or the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR)in San José at 2233-8068.

The Canadian Club was established in Costa Rica in 1997 as both a social club for the expat community, and a conduit for charitable outreach activities.  Main areas of assistance throughout the country are:  schools, daycare centers, senior housing, abandoned elderly, and indigenous programs. More information can be found HERE. 


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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 14, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 94


Treasury secretary says he'll seek tougher regulations
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he will propose tougher regulations in the coming weeks of non-bank institutions that contributed to the global financial crisis. He says one proposal calls for such companies to pay into a fund that would cover the cost of saving them from collapse. Geithner said the plan aims to constrain the riskier activities of large insurance and investment companies by requiring them to hold more capital and less debt.

He says the administration also wants a new law to force the institutions to pay into a government fund that would cover their losses if they fail in the future. "Our judgment is it needs to be a separate solution where the burdens of funding are borne by those larger institutions at a level proportionate to their size and the risk they present," he said.

Geithner told a gathering of the Independent Community Bankers of America that small banks and American taxpayers should not have to bail out big companies that take irresponsible risks.
He also asked Congress to support regulation of the market for derivatives, complex instruments that contributed to the downfall of insurance giant AIG. He called for creating an electronic system that would track the buying and selling of such investments.

The treasury secretary said another goal of the administration is to simplify the U.S. regulatory system, which has hundreds of agencies.

Geithner also told the bankers that the U.S. financial system as a whole needs more restructuring. But, he said a substantial part of that adjustment is now complete as a result of government efforts to stabilize the housing market and keep large banks afloat. "The financial system is starting to heal. Concern about systemic risk is substantially reduced, and overall lending conditions have begun to improve," he said.

Geithner said the Obama administration also will increase assistance to small U.S. banks by offering them bailout funds that are repaid by the large banks.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 14, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 94



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 week day.

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.


Free press group warns
Chávez targeting media


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has warned that  establishment of a new policy for the inspection of radio and television stations by Venezuela’s communications regulation agency CONATEL appears to be a move by President Hugo Chávez to set the stage to allow him to justify shutting down independent news media.

CONATEL (the national telecommunications commission) Tuesday published its decision in the Official Gazette, just two days after Chávez attacked privately-owned GlobovisiónTV, warning that he could take it off the air for “conspiring” against his government. In the same speech he called on official agencies to take action against anyone who fails to comply with a law on social responsibility in radio and television.

Globovisión already faces three administrative proceedings by CONATEL and could be shut down temporarily. 

Enrique Santos Calderón, Inter American Press president and editor of the Bogotá, Colombia, newspaper El Tiempo, declared, “We are deeply concerned that this authorization to inspect the media will become the legal justification that President Hugo Chávez is looking for to prove that he is right whenever he decides to shut down an information outlet.”

Santos Calderón recalled that the same process of criticism and administrative legal attack was pursued by Chávez beginning in December 2006 against Radio Caracas Televisión, an independent broadcaster that he went on to shut down and whose equipment he ordered seized in May 2007. “There is no doubt that we are seeing a similar strategy at play here to attract supporters and backers to his cause,” the association president added.

Robert Rivard, chairman of the Inter American Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, in a direct reference to Globovisión, stated, “It is extremely important for this and other independent media to exist in this country —  media that will be branded as opponents and enemies of the state because they hold critical and independent views.”

Rivard, editor of the San Antonio Express-News, Texas, said that the current Venezuelan government is moving further and further away from the principles of freedom of the press.

At its recent meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, the Inter American Press Association protested in its report on the state of press freedom in the Americas that in Venezuela, Chavez' verbal threats continued and an increase in official acts against owners of independent news media and individual journalists was registered. The association has long been pointing out that the Venezuelan government is amending and expanding current laws to gain greater control over the country’s news media.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 14, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 94


Latin American news digest
Minister Vargas surrenders
one of his official hats


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Marco Vargas Diaz hung up one of his two hats Wednesday. He had been serving as both the minister of  Economía, Industria y Comercio and as minister of  Coordinación Interinstitucional. He said he would concentrate on the latter job.

As coordination minister, he is involved with the reconstruction of the infrastructure after the Cinchona earthquake Jan. 8, the $80 million project to revitalize the area around Limón centro and the Arias administration plan to modernize the docks at Limón.

The economic ministry also is in charge of consumer protection and frequently reports on studies of prices. For example when school starts, it conducts surveys of school clothing and prices throughout the Central Valley.

Leave guns at home
if you are taking trip


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Note to expats: Don't pack your gun in your carry-on luggage.

A Texas man made that mistake Wednesday and ended up having some rough moments with airport police.

The man, identified by the last name of Mekdeci, who was reported en route to Houston, had a .40 caliber pistol and two full clips in his luggage, police reported. They said they confiscated the weapon after the man explained that the weapon was for his own use. Police did not say if the man had a Costa Rican weapons permit.

The man with the gun is believed to have made his flight, but the passenger with what appears to be a kilo of heroin strapped to his legs still is here.

Airport police identified him by the last names of Santos Alfonseca and said he was a Dominican.  He was searched after he set off an alarm, police said.



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