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Published Monday, June 20, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 120
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Government continues to push for shrimp trawling
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite a constitutional court prohibition and environmental opposition, the central government is trying to put together a consensus to reinstitute shrimp fishing by trawler nets in the Pacific coast.

Shrimp trawling is the most destructive technique that exists at the moment, according to Jorge Arturo Jiménez, director general of
Fundación MarViva. He expressed his views at a legislative committee meeting.

The Comisión de Ambiente is considering No. 19.838, which is supposed to regulate sustainable shrimp fishing.

Trawling does major damage to coral and snags many unwanted sea creatures, including sea turtles at times.

The government has said it wants to reinstitute shrimp trawling to benefit families who have
depended on the method. The Sala IV constitutional court struck down the method in 2013 and told the central government to let existing shrimping licenses expire. Some of the families have been receiving government aid.

A week ago the central government released a proposal that specified certain areas of the Pacific where various fishing methods would be allowed.

The map was the center of a discussion by a meeting of a handful of government agencies. The concept was represented by Helena Molina, of the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología of the Universidad de Costa Rica.

In some areas, trawling is allowed. In other areas it is not. And in some areas no commercial fishing is allowed.

The government said that the idea of zones would be expanded to the Caribbean.

Police usually line up the drugs they have confiscated, along with money and firearms.  This haul was in Cartago.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Weekend crack haul outlines extent of cheap drugs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A series of weekend arrests have illuminated the crack cocaine problem.

The Fuerza Pública reported that it confiscated nearly 1,500 crack rocks. The bulk of the confiscations were in Cartago where in two separate cases, police found 885 and 144 crack rocks.

They picked up 460 rocks more in an arrest on the coastal highway in the province of Limón.

Crack rocks are in the realm of the low-budget
drug user. Each sells for about 1,000 colons now, and crack cocaine is a good way to market the large quantities of cocaine that come into the country in exchange for logistical support for smugglers. Fuel for drug boats frequently is paid in kilos of cocaine.

Confiscation of crack cocaine is not unusual. Youngsters as young as 8 can be encountered smoking crack cocaine in some areas of the capital.

But the number of crack rocks confiscated this weekend point out the enormity of the drug problem and the size of the local market.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 120
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
U.S. officials are not very good with lists

Amid the rhetoric surrounding the Orlando, Florida, killing, the fact has been lost that the massacre could have been much worse except for a man with a gun.

That man was a still-unidentified off-duty police officer who was doing security and checking out a possible underage drinker outside the club when Omar Mateen began shooting inside.

Still the 49 murders and many injures have prompted hand-wringing and guilt shoveling responses from public officials.

There have been some amazing revelations. The U.S. terror suspect database contains at least 800,000 names. Don’t bother to ask who because, like the no-fly list, this is secret. But some officials have suggested that honorably discharged military veterans are potential terrorists.

Could it really be that there are 800,000 terror suspects in the United States or is this just another example of federal government overreach.

Some officials, primarily Democrats, want to prevent these 800,000 persons from purchasing a firearm. First they should explain how people end up on that list. Some say the list includes nearly 2 million names.

Some expats can still remember Kevin Iraniha, who found out when he tried to fly home after his 2012 graduation at the University for Peace that he was on the no-fly list. The California native is a Muslim who had visited Egypt and Iran.

There still is no way to challenge inclusion on the list.

The U.S. Senate is about to consider legislation that will prevent anyone put on the terror watchlist from purchasing a firearm. There is a companion measure that would give those prohibited from purchasing a firearm certain rights to find out why.

Without considering the effectiveness of such a measure, one can easily say that the U.S. federal government cannot handle lists well. The case of the University for Peace grad is just one example.

Consider also the way in which U.S. Embassy workers summarily reject Costa Ricans who apply for American visitor visas. There is no reason given. A.M. Costa Rica has called this procedure in the past un-American.

We can see the same results from the terror watch list. We have seen U.S. senators and even a 3 year old being banned from flying based on the U.S. no-fly list.

Without transparency with this list, they will only grow and grow and become more and more worthless. A news story about the Senate vote is HERE!

Dr. Biden
Casa Presdiencial photo
Jill Biden discusses a project with student.

U.S. veep’s wife on promotional tour

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jill Biden, the wife of the U.S. vice president, spoke to some 80 students and promoted her idea of strengthening educational programs for youngsters Sunday.

In addition to a stop at the Universidad Técnica Nacional, Mrs. Biden visited Hogar Siembra, a shelter for teens.

She cited her work as a community college professor and said that one enjoyable aspect of her trips is to meet with students whose future is bright with education.

She was here for a stop on a four-country Latin American tour to promote the TeachHer program of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Mrs. Biden, who hold a doctorate degree, may be unique among the wives of U.S. Vice presidents in holding a job outside the home. She also has taught high school classes in the home state of Delaware.

The Bidens are not complete strangers to Costa Rica. Frank Biden, the vice president's brother, is involved in an off-again, on-again casino project in Guanacaste.

Michigan sex offender loose again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

John Wesley Saatio, a convicted sex offender with a history of escapes, fled the immigration lockup in Hatillo Sunday night.

Saatio escaped custody while being transported in Houghton County, Michigan, a year ago and was detained June 2 in Jacó. Judicial agents inexplicably turned him over to the Direccion General de Migración even after he tried to break his way out of a cell in Jacó. The immigration lockup is low security.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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From A.M. Costa Rica
(Text version is HERE!)

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From our retirement guide

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 120
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Man given early release now sentenced to 45 years in prison
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man sentenced to 12 years for attempted murder in April 2011 was out of prison four years later and participated in a violent home invasion in Nicoya. That was May 5 last year.

The Poder Judicial said Friday that the man has now been sentenced to 45 years in prison for the latest crime, which involved breaking into a two-home compound in Río Grande, Nicoya.

There the man, identified as Alexis Cordero Vallejos and other men systematically entered, terrorized and took the property of occupants of the homes.

The 29 year old received a sentence for two counts of

aggravated robbery and seven of depriving individuals of their liberty, said the Poder Judicial. 

The armed men put individuals they found in the first house into a bathroom and took items such as a chain saw, a microwave, an air gun and cell telephones.

Then they entered the second house as an occupant was closing the exterior gate. They tied up the man and two companions and then proceeded to loot the home. Among other items they took a motor vehicle.

Cordero has not identified his companions in crime.

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz has been under fire for giving prison inmates the benefit of early release.

Another unexpected twist in the Savings Unlimited case
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Savings Unlimited case has made yet another unexpected turn. 

The high-interest operator Luis Milanes has been freed from prison after an appeal court overturned his conviction for fraud, but the specifics have not been provided yet by the Poder Judicial.

What is known is that the case might be appealed again to the criminal section of the Corte Suprema de Justicia and that civil money awards to 400 investors might stand. But collecting might not be possible.

Also facing a loss of a payday are lawyers who represented

those who put money in the Milanes high-interest operation. A
few lawyers obtained earlier financial agreements for their clients, and these appear to continue in force.

Milanes got 15 years from a criminal trial panel. Informal reports say that the conviction was overturned because Milanes already admitted guilt and was sentenced on a related charge.

This is similar to the sharp lawyer who brings his client facing a motor vehicle homicide charge to court in the U.S. and engineers a guilty plea for bald tires. The law is the same here that someone cannot be tried on the some facts twice.

The appeals court decision is said to be many pages. Milanes shut down his Edificio Colón financial operation in November 2002 and vanished until June 2009.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 120
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More than munching garlic is needed to keep those mosquitoes at bay
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats know that the best protection against mosquitoes is a commercial preparation containing DEET. They may not know that there are associated health concerns, and U.S. health agencies urge that users of these commercial mosquito repellents wash it off if they are not going to be exposed to the insects.

There have been a few bad reactions to the chemicals, particularly when it is at 100 percent strength, even though that provides the longest protection.

Some expats may not like DEET because they are opposed to such products philosophically. And the chemicals have been known to damage some fabrics.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that repellents containing picaridin that is found in products like Cutter, a product with the trade name of  IR3535 reflecting its chemical makeup, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide protection, too.

Still, hardly any chemical provides protection more than 12 hours. And mosquitoes have a way of finding the skin that has not been protected. In addition, some mosquitoes learn to hold their little proboscis and drill DEET-covered skin anyway, according to some studies.

A survey of the literature available on the Web shows that there can be some limited protection by using certain foods like garlic or by continual doses of vinegar. But a lot of the folk knowledge does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

The issue is important in Costa Rica because of the current outbreak of the mosquito-borne zika virus in some areas. In the

north, there is concern about other diseases, like West Nile virus. The best protection appears to be a combination.

The Centers for Disease Control suggests wearing plenty of clothing for protection. But that is not the best remedy for beachgoers. The Centers also encourage mosquito-proofing homes and other sleeping areas.

There are hotels in Costa Rica that do not have screens and other protective devices on the windows and doors of the guest's rooms. In the past that was acceptable because mosquitoes are constricted by climate and also altitude. But tourists might consider the security that screens bring.

There also is value on the little creatures that scurry up the walls, chirp to each other and have a diet heavy in mosquitoes and other bugs.

The Ministerio de Salud also is directing a number of campaigns to clean up trash where mosquitoes may breed. Zika outbreaks generally have been in blue-collar areas where there are a lot of mosquito breeding spots, like spare tires and even junk cars.

Potted plants, household drains, gutters, bird baths and even water pockets in vegetation can host mosquito larvae.

The health ministry and the Federación de Municipalidades de Guanacaste said Friday that they are working together to eliminate breeding spots in trash. Municipal representatives met to discuss actions against the Aedes aegypti, which carries dengue, chikungunya and zika and trash management in general.

The arrival of the rainy season signals the likely increase in mosquitoes.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden graphic
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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 120
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Editor's note: The following stories profile presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and examine what their presidency might look like. The stories were compiled by Voice of America.

Mrs. Clinton
Hillary Clinton campaign photo  
Mrs. Clinton during the 2008 campaign

Mrs. Clinton seen serving
an Obama-like presidency

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hillary Clinton has been a part of the U.S. political world for decades.

If she is the person chosen to step into the Oval Office next January, she will be able to draw on her often difficult years as first lady during her husband’s presidency in the 1990s, the political skill that made her a popular and respected lawmaker among her Republican colleagues in the Senate and the lessons learned running the U.S. State Department for President Obama.

The ways she chooses to learn from those experiences, say analysts and journalists who covered her during those years, will shape the direction of her presidency.

“If, as president, Clinton is more like she was as first lady, it’s going to be problematic for her. If she’s more like she was as senator, she’ll find much more success,” said John Hudak, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

In an election marked by the unexpected success of populist candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s position in the race as a known quantity is often seen as a detraction. She comes into the race with a long history of dealing with the media and public scandal, but she has also learned from her varied roles and faced down countless challenges.

“There’s always been that side of Hillary Clinton who has looked with suspicion towards the news media and has been quite combative and that sometimes contrasts with the public image that Clinton likes to present,” said Michael Isikoff, a journalist who first uncovered the news of President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Isikoff said Hillary Clinton was a fierce defender of her husband during the battles of his presidency, a position that puts her on her guard with the press even now.

“While she gives TV interviews,” Isikoff said, “she doesn’t give press conferences where reporters can ask anything they want and are likely to badger her with questions she doesn’t want to spend a lot of time answering.”

That reluctance to speak with media combined with self-acknowledged weaknesses as a politician can make her look like a weak candidate.

But when it comes to Hillary Clinton, the important thing to remember is that campaigning is not the same as governing, said Indira Lakshmanan, a contributor to Politico, who covered Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential run and her time as secretary of State.

“She’s much better when she’s actually in office, and you see it even in just her body language and her behavior,” Ms. Lakshmanan said. “She was much more relaxed around her own staff, around the press, just more relaxed and comfortable when she actually was in office."

If she is elected as the first female president of the United States, Mrs. Clinton will do much to continue the work of her predecessor, the first African-American president.

“We know that she has more hawkish tendencies. She is more of a traditional Cold War, realist Democrat. I think in some ways it would be a continuation of the Obama administration, sort of a third term,” said Mrs. Lakshmanan.

“But I think she would double-down on health care and she would perhaps try to do more interventionist, for humanitarian reasons, foreign policy than the Obama administration has been willing to do."

A key difference between Mrs. Clinton and Obama could come in their approaches to Congress.

Obama was not known for his ability to build bridges with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but Mrs. Clinton’s experience on that front could be incredibly valuable as she builds a policy agenda for her first 100 days.

“If it’s controlled by Republicans, she’s going to have to veto an Obamacare repeal. She’s going to have to deal with all of the things President Obama has had to deal with coming from Congress,” Hudak said.

Mrs. Clinton could draw on her pragmatic side to deal with that challenge and “think about the types of things she can really work with Congress on and extend an olive branch and say ‘listen, I’m not going to try to pass dramatic tax reform or an extension of Obamacare or something I know you’re going to hate. I want to get things done and I want you to help me,” he said.

The continuation of Obama administration policies and Mrs. Clinton’s own embattled public image will alienate Republican lawmakers in an already bitterly partisan political atmosphere on Capitol Hill.

Ms. Lakshmanan said she would do well to recall her time as a U.S. senator when “she was expected to come in and say ‘I’m the star’ and try to dominate things but she was actually working hard in a wonkish fashion behind the scenes and working on bi-partisan legislation.”

To run an effective administration, Mrs. Clinton would need to apply the lessons learned from her first presidential run and time as secretary of State.

“We saw in 2008 and at the State Department, an inability to run a big operation in a 21st-century way,” National Journal’s Ron Fournier said. “The best argument she has on the email fiasco is, 'Well we didn’t know what the rules are.' That’s not a very good thing.”

Fournier also cites the much-discussed Benghazi embassy attack, saying the controversy considered even under the most favorable light for Mrs. Clinton still raises questions about her management style and credibility.

Fournier, who has known and covered Clinton since her time in Arkansas in the 1980s, said he has always found her very warm and engaging on a personal level and admired her approach to problems.

“She thinks like a lawyer, ‘Here’s what we got to get done. Boom boom get it done. Think it through; work it through,’” he said. But he said her problems with transparency should give many voters, including Democrats, pause at a time when faith in government is low.

“She’s not someone who is good at winning people’s trust, as the head of government that’s a scary thing,” Fournier said.

But by many accounts Mrs. Clinton's response this week to the Orlando attack, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, showed a presidential-level dignity, drawing on all those years of experience.

“It shows the combination Secretary Clinton brings to the table in moments of serious challenge,” said Hudak. “Both resolve and empathy.”

Trump campaign photo 
Donald Trump

Trump seems to use his gut
to make important decisions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tragedies have a way of testing presidents. They also can reveal a great deal about presidential candidates.

In the hours after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Donald Trump’s public response revealed how his administration might deal with the threat of terrorism and work with Congress, as well as the tone he would strike to bring the American people together in a crisis.

Trump took to Twitter in the initial hours after the attack; labeling the incident terrorism and criticizing his opponent, Hillary Clinton, on an unrelated matter, even as reports were still coming in. Eventually, he tweeted about the many people congratulating him for labeling the incident terrorism, drawing attention away from the shooting and to himself.

“That’s not the response of a statesman or a leader, that’s the response,  frankly, of an egomaniac,” said Norm Ornstein, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

In a speech focusing on terror and national security a day after the shooting, Trump spent a significant portion of time on political attacks against Mrs. Clinton, and he called for an even more wide-ranging ban on Muslim immigration that would be difficult to implement.

Ornstein said Trump’s self-congratulatory, hostile diatribe should concern people, including Republicans in policy and party positions who believe his unpredictability and lack of policy knowledge will allow them to control his agenda.

“This particular speech after he’s won the nomination, after a devastating tragedy for the country has to give them substantial pause,” he said.

Ultimately, a clear picture of a Trump administration policy agenda is difficult to build, a group of journalists and policy analysts said at a New America Foundation event and underscored last week. Trump’s response to the Orlando shooting played out along some of the same lines they were able to predict.

“How much are we talking about Trump?” Matthew Continetti, editor in chief at the online newspaper The Washington Free Beacon said. “It doesn’t really matter what aspect of Trump we’re talking about or discussing as long as what we’re discussing refers back to him. So that’s going to lead to a dysfunctional government even more than we have now.”

Trump leads with his gut. It’s part of what has made him a popular candidate with many voters, who are tired of focus group tested candidates who immediately apologize if they get into trouble for saying something politically incorrect. But a candidate’s successes don’t always translate well in the Oval Office.

“Trump’s just flying by the seat of his pants, going by his gut, so he sort of throws out contradictory ideas as they occur to him that feel right,” said Indira Lakshmanan, a contributor to Politico, who has reported in more than 80 countries. She says trusting gut feelings could be particularly problematic for a president managing relations worldwide.

“There’s a lot involved in foreign policy. There are a lot more briefing books you have to read, crises that you have to manage,” Ms. Lakshmanan said. “There’s a lot more complexity than just saying 'we’re going to do this better than anyone before.'”

On the campaign trail, Trump has provided conflicting evidence of his domestic policy ideas. When asked what he believes the federal government should do other than to direct security policy, Trump answered health care and education.

That’s a strange answer for a candidate running as a Republican, a party that traditionally believes the government should not interfere in those areas, noted Lara Brown, program director at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management’s Political Management.

Even if he does settle on an idea, Trump could go into meetings with White House advisers who would have to tell him he doesn’t have the presidential power to implement those ideas, Brown said.

“He’s going to want to fire people and that doesn’t work very well in our system,” said Brown. “I cannot see who would serve in an administration where essentially every minute of the day you would basically be overruled, because I don’t envision him taking advice from anyone on anything.”

That may be just what the Republican leadership in Congress, however, is hoping would happen in a Trump administration.

“They believe that Trump is so without essence and so inverted himself that they’re going to be able to run a lot of conservative policy by him and no one will notice,” said Continetti.

House Speaker Paul Ryan may be betting that he can get his ambitious policy agenda past a distracted Trump in the White House.

“He’ll be so busy picking fights with Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters, he’ll say, ‘yeah sure, I’ll sign this, whatever’ and do the thumbs-up,” said Continetti.

Ornstein agreed, saying Republicans could view a Trump administration as a last in a generation opportunity to push through their wish list, including ending the filibuster in Congress, the “biggest tax cut that you could ever possibly imagine,” along with voter-suppression laws, and packing Federal courts with judges who will influence the law for decades.

There may be an even grimmer prospect, though, for a Trump presidency. Already an enemy of the Democrats, Trump may make a new set of enemies among Republicans, and inspire so much fear that a new bipartisan spirit emerges in American politics.

Said Lara Brown, “I wouldn’t be surprised at all if both parties conspire to make him the least effective president in his first 100 days.”

Senate expected to vote
on terror list-gun bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One week after the deadly mass-shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a series of proposals to block gun sales to terror suspects and expand screening of people buying firearms in the United States.

Despite universal condemnations of the attack and vows to find ways to prevent a repeat, it is not clear that any gun control measure can pass Congress, where majority Republicans say Islamic State-inspired domestic terrorism is to blame for the shooting rampage that killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others.

Democrats are undeterred, having commandeered the Senate floor for 15 hours late last week.

"We've done nothing.  Nothing at all," said Democrat Chris Murphy, whose Connecticut constituents bear scars from the 2012 mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children dead.  "I've had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocents, and I've had enough of inaction in this body."

"Enough.  Enough.  Enough.  We cannot go on with business as usual," said Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of more than three dozen Democrats who joined Murphy's floor action.

Republicans insisted a focus on gun control is misguided.

"We need a strategy to defeat ISIS, which is the inspiration for these homegrown attacks here at home," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas.

But Republicans agreed to allow votes later Monday.  Murphy declared his efforts a success.

"We got a commitment from Republicans to bring two measures to the floor of the Senate for a vote: one that expands the number of background checks that are conducted, and the second that keeps terrorists off of the list of people who can buy guns," the Connecticut Democrat said.

Votes are also expected on Republican alternatives that spell out the rights of gun owners whose names might be added to the terror watchlist by mistake.

"We don't want terrorists to be able to walk into a gun store and buy a gun.  And we don't want an innocent, law-abiding citizen to be denied his Second Amendment rights because he is wrongly on a list with a bunch of terrorists," said Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican of Pennsylvania.  "This is not rocket science."

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The precise meaning of those words, and their application in modern America, have long divided the nation.

Political observers say Senate action on gun control is unlikely and House action even more so.

"Is going after the Second Amendment how you stop terrorism?  No, that's not how you stop terrorism," said House Speaker Paul Ryan late last week.

Ryan's argument echoes that of America's biggest gun rights lobbing group, the National Rifle Association.

"This notion that more gun control is going to prevent some jihadist who thinks that he is going to obtain martyrdom by murdering innocent people really gets away from the serious nature of the problem we're facing," said the NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, on ABC's “This Week” program.

New method might give
a way to recycle plastics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Here's a riddle for science-savvy readers: What is one thing you will almost always see, no matter where you look? It's in your home, at work, by the side of the road, at the beach, even in the sky.

Give up? Polyethylene, the most common form of plastic, is everywhere in the modern world: the containers, the water bottles, the plastic bags that are chosen over paper. It's all polyethylene.

It's convenient, cheap, light and strong, but it's also stubborn stuff, and can stick around from 500 to 1,000 years, and that's why it is everywhere.

And that's the problem, David Constable from the American Chemical Society, said.

"Most is not recycled and its ultimate fate depends on where you are in the world," Constable says. For instance, "there is an enormous swirl of plastic refuse in the Pacific Ocean. There are plastic microbeads distributed throughout the marine environment."

A stunning 8 trillion microbeads a day, according to research from Oregon State University. And while the beads themselves aren't dangerous, they soak up toxic waste and contaminants that end up in marine wildlife and fish, and from there they move right up the food chain to us.

The other problem is that it's hard to recycle plastic, much harder than it is to recycle paper or glass or metals such as aluminum.

Here's why: Before any plastic can be recycled, it has to go through a complicated and in some cases costly sorting process.

That's because there are different kinds of plastics.

Take a look at the little triangle and number imprinted somewhere on a plastic bottle, bag or container. That number says what kind of plastic it is, and there are seven different numbers.

Before any recycling can begin, plastics must be separated by number. Constable calls it a robust sorting process requiring relatively pure plastic.

What is pure plastic? According to Constable, it's plastic that is "not contaminated with food wastes, not blends of plastic, etc."

In modern food packaging, for example, he explains there are somewhere around 20 layers between the air and the food. "These complex plastic laminates are very difficult to recycle or break down into their component parts."

And in many cases, even recycled plastic ends up in landfills because of chemical contamination.

But now the good news: researchers may have found a way to get rid of all this waste cheaply and easily, and break it down into liquid fuel and wax.

The new research was reported Friday in Science Advances and is part of a four-year research project by scientists from the University of Shanghai and the University of California, Irvine.

One of the project leaders, Zheng Huang, says they took a known process, called catalytic cross alkane metathesis, that uses carbon and hydrogen-based molecules called alkanes to scramble the hydrocarbons that make up polyethylene and ultimately break it down.

"After many cycles of CAM with light alkanes," Zheng says, "PE will be eventually converted to short hydrocarbons suitable for transportation oils."

He said the fuel can be used in diesel engines, and the light alkanes that are used to break down the polyethylene are very cheap and widely available.

And the best part, Zheng says, is "our catalysts can tolerate various additives . . . . That is amazing to us." The additives he mentioned are all that dye, resin and various other added stuff in the plastic.

But, he also says the process isn't ready for prime time quite yet.

For one thing, Zheng says, after all those catalytic cycles, there isn't much fuel or wax left to extract.

The output "is not high enough for large-quantity plastic-waste recycling," he says. But, "we believe with a more efficient and lower cost catalyst system, this technology will find application in degradation of PE plastic wastes in large scale."

That's what he and his team are working on now. They're also working to see if this process can break down other kinds of plastics.

It's a technology the planet needs, because the demand for plastic in robotics, 3-D printing and everyday use  is rising, and according to a report from Grand View Research, will continue to grow at least until 2020.
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Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
20 ft. (model year 2015) Containers:  $3,500
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We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
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And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
Both with kitchen, bathroom, fully finished electricity. Turnkey.
Our Web site is
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 

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

Axiom one

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

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

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

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

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

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $895K U.S.  Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email: or

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 20, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 120
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Who wrote these instructions, anyway?

The nice thing about writing is that you can do it just about anywhere with just about anything. Pen, pencil, computer, words on a page or words

Victoria Torley
electronic, it’s all the same, flowing from mind into action.

Right now, I am sitting under a beach almond, wet from the pool and enjoying a view of the Pacific. Hotel El Velero is right on the beach and wonderful. So are the beach almonds, I am told, although 
I haven’t found a way to crack this one open . . . yet. My beach almonds, planted from seed and far from the beach, haven’t begun to produce nuts yet, but I have hope. A gardener has to have hope.

Hope is a gardener’s friend.  Every time we put in a seed order, we hope. When the order arrives, we read the instructions and hope. “Soak seed overnight in warm water.” What does that mean? How warm is warm? Is it okay to let the water cool down or do we have to put a heat lamp next to the bowl to keep the water warm overnight? Bah! “Plant when the soil temperature reaches 70 F” Right. My soil is over 80 F all year long. Is that too hot for the seeds?

“Cover with ½ (or ¼, or 1) inch of loose soil.” Like I am going to measure. Better they should tell me to poke a hole to the top of my fingernail or my first knuckle because that’s what I am going to do. I am going to poke a hole in the soil and figure on a knuckle-and-a-half or so for some seeds and a fingernail for others. If someone out there takes a ruler with them into the garden, I would like to hear about it. As for me, I have hope that the knuckle trick works.

Then there are the watering requirements from water lightly to soak soil well when planting and again you just hope you are doing it correctly. In the Nuevo Arenal area, you have to hope that three meters of rain (over 10 feet) won’t be too much.

What is it the man wrote…Hope springs eternal? Certainly true for gardeners.

Beach almong
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

We go back to the beach almond or Terminalia catappa for this week’s plant. Why “beach” almond? Well, this lovely shade tree is salt tolerant making it the perfect tree for those hot beachfront properties. Foliage is dense and has a layered growth although many trees are pruned to be more dense. The trees grow quickly and have been known to reach 35 meters (115 feet) although those I have seen are much smaller. As a bonus, the leaves of this deciduous tree turn bright red before they fall. The seed, under its fibrous husk, is marked with light striations on a darker background.  Gather seeds on your next beach visit, soak them in warm water overnight (!!) and plant in loose soil. I hope that yours do as well as mine.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit
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Zarcero cooperative begins internet service

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A rural electrification cooperative has announced an internet service for an estimated 6,000 persons in the Zarcero area.

The company is Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de Alfaro Ruiz, which said it hopes to expand the service with other cooperatives.

The firm said that its rates would be 30 percent less than available elsewhere and that it has direct connections with international internet cables.

The company has been working to get up the service since 2013 and has invested $100,000.  The service became available last year and now covers Zarcero, Naranjo and San Ramón.