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Here's a trick to defeat hackers and movie restrictions
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

What does watching a movie in Costa Rica restricted to viewing in the United States and accessing the Internet securely at a WiFi hotspot like McDonald's have in common?  Give up? 

The answer is a VPN. A virtual private network, commonly known as a VPN for short, is easy to set up to watch movies geo-restricted to the United States on Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, iTunes and the list goes on. It is also the best way to connect to the Web when in a public place to get a secure Internet connection.   It's secure enough to check bank balances and even make online transfers.

Why is this important?  Public hot spots are not safe.  They are open networks that do not encrypt data.  Passwords, email messages, and other information can be visible to hackers using snooping tools.  Anyone can snoop or sniff on a WiFi connection using snoop-sticks.  These USB dongles simply plug into a computer and monitor wireless traffic.  Unencrypted traffic includes passwords and sensitive personal data. 

Yes, this is scary.  When using the Internet in a public place, anyone around can be watching and gathering information.  An expat traveling abroad recently accessed his Charles Schwab account from a hotel lobby.  The next day, Schwab was calling him asking why he was transferring $200,000 out of his account.  It was not him doing the transferring, but a hacker with online and password information obtained by reading his online activity in the lobby.

VPN technology is interesting and very technical.  It employs sophisticated encryption to insure security.  There is more information at Wikipedia for the curious.  The important thing for expats is that is very easy to obtain, cheap, and easy to install on most devices, including computers, phones, tablets, and the like.

One service used by many expats is StrongVPN.  There are many other services available, but StrongVPN excels with its automated setups and 24/7 live support. 

An expat leaving for Holland last Thursday purchased and installed StrongVPN on this Macbook Air and iPhone.  However, he had some minor problems.  He connected to the online support line and workers there assisted him in getting his service up and running for his trip.  Yes, the VPN can be used and, more importantly, accessed almost anywhere in the world, including China. 

VPN connections are special because they encrypt data on the device of origin and tunnel it to another device where it is put back into normal Internet traffic.  This is transparent to the user, and it is safe and secure.

Now it is time for the fun part!  Since VPNs transfer by burrowing a connection over the Internet, the exit point can be in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, or almost anywhere.  For expats, it's great to have the VPN’s home in the United States because by doing so, they can watch geo-restricted movies. 

Geo-restricted means content sites restrict data to different markets because they want to control pricing.  In other words, what one get on Costa Rica Netflix is not the same as what one gets on United States Netflix.  Some channels like HBO GO will not work at all in this country.  VPNs fix most of the inconveniences. 
hacked


Is it illegal to use a VPN to watch geo-restricted movies or other content in Costa Rica or other parts of the world?  Just because media companies use Internet connection protocols to filter content, this does not make it illegal to use a VPN.  There must be a law making it a criminal offense to use these services and there is no such law here.  There probably is no law anywhere regarding this use. 

One can access these services using the computer, phone, tablet, or other device directly.  However, if an expat wants to use the service throughout their home or business, a wireless router must be converted to use an open VPN.  To do so requires more knowledge and usually the assistance of a professional.

There it is.  An easy way for expats to watch the programs they love from Costa Rica – or from anywhere for that matter - without much hassle.  Moreover, the same system, at no extra cost, can secure their connection when they are away from their home or work network. 

Now, here is one more recommendation.  It is never a good idea to keep login information and passwords in text files on a computer or written on little pieces of paper.  There is an Internet solution to the problem used by some technological conscious expats.  Lastpass is a secure Internet service that manages login information anywhere and on almost any device.  The basic service is 100 percent free.

There are many passwords managers. Some have been around a very long time.  Lastpass is unique.  Many people do not believe it is secure, especially, older security conscious expats.  Learning more about it can calm ones doubts.  Security Now reviewed Lastpass with its highest recommendation.

It is now time for that cappuccino at the cybercafé where one can get some Internet work done without worrying about the snooping.  With a strong VPN and a password manager, there are no worries.  On the other hand, it may be time to watch the new movie on Netflix or iTunes that is restricted to the United States. No problem.

Garland M. Baker is a 42-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica who provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a complimentary reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2013. Use without permission prohibited.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 1, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 128
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Sportsmen's Lodge

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.


Dentistry

Dr. Vargas

Dental implants in Costa Rica

Call us: Within C.R.  2225-1189
From USA    1-866-7060-248
Please visit:
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Or email;
 implantesdentales@ice.co.cr

7989-8/13/13
Dr. Vargas
Dr. Vargas
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
7969-5/9/14

Psychological Services

√ Individual, group and couple therapy.
Quiros logo
√ Adults, teenagers and children.
√ Consulting services in education.
√ Consulting services in
        organizational psychology.
√ Consulting services in sports
        psychology.
√ Diagnostic tests, weapon
        carrying permit and others.
Dr. Pablo Quirós, License #8486
We are located in Escazú Corporate Center, 6th floor. Phone number: (506) 2201-4718
Web: www.psicologia.ws
Email: info@psicologia.ws
7919-7/15/13


Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
25 years experience
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
   •  Transformational  
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Phone : 2203-4954

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Real estate agents and services

Clinas del
                                                      Sol
COLINAS DEL SOL
Jim Day, retirement specialist Representing Colinas del Sol del Pacifico, S. A
A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
You can see more on our Web site: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
 Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa
and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
Please contact Jim Day at JimDay50@aol.com   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
7858-8/26/13

Grecia logo
Grecia Real Estate
Here in Costa Rica, Central America , the most beautiful houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
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Contact Christian Arce in English:
Cell phone (506) 8538-6186
Contact Luis Arce in English: 
Cell phone (506) 7100 8489
Contact Luis G. Jiménez in Spanish:
Cell phone (506) 8707-4016
Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
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CR Beach

CR Beach Investment Real Estate
reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
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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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Insurance

Project completion specialists

Pacifica
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A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
& NOTARY PUBLIC

Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
Family law, criminal & constitutional law, civil & commercial law

Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
Email: lawyer@crtitle.com
Cell: 8710-9827
Skype:  hernandez.mussio
Serving the Great Metropolitan Area, Central and South Pacific
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Member of the Colegio de Abogados de Costa Rica
Lawyer ID number: 12.358
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KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
 
*Investments  *Corporations
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*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
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*Locate People   *Private Investigations
  Phone:  7157-7092
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
7920-10/11/13

RE&B Attorneys S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
Tels: 2201-8012/2637-7640
USA phone number: (305) 748-4340
Email: info@rebattorneys.com
Web: www.rebattorneys.com
REB Abogadso logo
Our law firm offers services
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San José, Plaza Roble.
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ONE STOP LAW OFFICES OF
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Attorney At Law – CPA

Mario Valverde
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We've been helping people like you since 1986.
 
Contact us at: (506) 2215-0001; (506) 8312-3087
Email: mario.valverde@ice.co.cr
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Accountants

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
8000-9/5/13

U.S. Income Tax
David G. Housman Attorney & C.P.A
.
in Costa Rica 32 years.
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
Goliath
I.R.S.  filling requirements foreign income tax exclusion (to $95,100 per year) for all back years. Taxpayers filling past-due tax returns before I.R.S. notice do not face criminal sanctions
• Associate of James Brohl
Phone: (506) 2239-2005 Fax 2239-2437

E mail: papahound@comcast.net
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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's
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• 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
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
7410-4/1/13


Weather system moving away,
experts here are predicting


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Weather experts say that the influence of the weather system that brought heavy rain to Guanacaste, the northern zone and the Caribbean will become less today.

The system of low pressure is between El Salvador and Nicaragua.

There was rain in the Central Valley Sunday night. The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that the rios Yorkin, Telire, Sixaola, Pacuare and Sarapiquí were rising. 

The agency issued a special bulletin at 7:30  p.m. Sunday. It said that continued downpours in Guanacaste and the northern zone would diminish by early morning.


New parking location
planned for July 4 picnic


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The American Colony Committee that puts on the July 4 Independence Day bash said that the location for parking has been changed. The parking lot will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. July 4 and a free shuttle service will be available throughout the day to transport guests between the parking and picnic sites, the committee said.

The committee has been active in finding off-street parking again this year because the crowd of vehicles around the picnic site at the Cervercería Costa Rica site west of town has attracted traffic police attention. Those who park on the roadways run the risk of having their vehicle towed, said the committee.

The map to the new parking location is HERE!

The committee also said that a Twitter feed had been established to provide updated information about the picnic.


Nicoya gets ready for July 25
and its own special holiday


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The community of Nicoya plans eight days of festivities to mark the public holiday July 25. The holiday commemorates the vote by people of the region to affiliate with Costa Rica instead of Nicaragua in 1824.

The celebrations begin with a 10K race organized by the Liceo Nocturno de Nicoya Sunday, July 21.

The 25th, of course, is the day that President Laura Chinchilla, government ministers and others hold a cabinet meeting in the Parque Central de Nicoya. This is an annual tradition. This year there also will be Costa Rican bull fights that day and other events.

The day is a national holiday. The week ends with a battle of the street bands or cimarronas Saturday, July 27 at 2 p.m. and, among other events, marimbas, Sunday, July 28


Six detained at soccer match,
and mounted policeman hurt


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública said that its officers detained six persons outside the Estadio Nacional Sunday. They were involved in a fight that resulted in the injury to a mounted policeman who was hit in the hands by a rock.

Officers said they found knives on two of the persons who were detained. The stadium was the scene of a soccer game between Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Deportivo Saprissa, which la Liga won.



Sherman
U.S. Coast Guard photo   
The cutter 'Sherman' at sea.

Delays stop another arrival
of anti-drug ship to Golfito

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those moans you hear are coming from merchants in Golfito. Once again the Asamblea Legislative has stalled on approving the entry of a U.S. drug patrol ship into the country's waters.

This time it is the U.S. Coast Guard cutter  "Sherman" that was denied the right to dock. That means its 157 crew members will be eating and drinking at a non-Costa Rican location. The:"Sherman" has the distinction of confiscating the largest drug haul ever, some 20 tons of cocaine in 2007.

The boat was due to dock in Golfito Tuesday for resupply. But that usually means some shore leave for the crew.

The U.S. Embassy noted that the "Sherman" is on Pacific patrol along with the U.S. Navy ship "Rentz." Lawmakers usually balk at giving permission to warships but they have had less trouble approving the arrival of Coast Guard vessels.

Legislative approval is required by the Costa Rican Constitution. Lawmakers have had the request from the security ministry for three weeks, the embassy noted. Officials said that U.S. captains prefer Costa Rican ports.

Opposition politicians who routinely oppose the docking of warships deny this is because they are soft on drugs.


Fire fighting crew of 19
killed by Arizona blaze

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. officials say a team of 19 firefighters died Sunday while battling an Arizona wildfire.

The United States Wildland Firefighters Association confirmed the deaths on its Facebook page.  A state forestry official, Art Morrison, said the firefighters were an elite hot shot crew.  He said it appeared the fire overtook them and by the time other firefighters reached them they had been killed. 

U.S. President Barack Obama, who is in Africa, issued a statement early Monday calling the firefighters heroes.  He said he and Michelle join all Americans "in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy."

The fast-moving fire near the small town of Yarnell, about 130 kilometers northwest of Phoenix, has burned as many as 800 hectares since Friday and destroyed several buildings.  More than 200 firefighters are battling the fire.

Authorities had ordered the evacuation of Yarnell and another nearby town.  They say the blaze is threatening hundreds of homes.

Arizona, and the neighboring western states of California and Nevada are in the middle of an extreme heat wave.  Temperatures have reached record highs, and excessive heat warnings are in effect across the region.

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
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Weekend gun and knife play wounds 13 and kills 4 persons
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Grudges, arguments, robberies and drug dealing appear to be the principal causes of shootings, based on what happened in the Central Valley from Thursday night until midday Sunday.

Three persons died from gunshot wounds, and 11 persons suffered injuries in various incidents during that period.

Two persons suffered injuries from knives, too, and one man died of multiple stab wounds, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

A November murder on Ruta 27 generated the investigation that led to eight raids Friday morning that brought into custody suspects in an international drug ring, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The killings took place Nov. 8 when three cars stopped a vehicle containing the victims on the main highway in San Rafael de Alajuela. Ambushed was a Guatemalan man, identified by the last name of Fernández, and a Costa Rican woman identified by the last name of  Céspedes. He was 52, and she was 24.

Raids took place in Poás de Alajuela, La Uruca, Ciudad Cariari de Heredia, El Coco de Alajuela, Desamparados de Alajuela, Moravia and Guácimo de Limón. Six persons were detained, and 80 kilos of cocaine were confiscated. Agents said that the group was linked to Mexican drug smugglers and that an additional confiscation of 77 kilos at the Nicaraguan border a week ago involved this organization.

Investigators said that the dead man was a member of this organization and his death was attributed to a falling out among criminals.

In other crimes:

A man with the last name of Ortega suffered bullet wounds to both legs about 9 p.m. Thursday in Cristo Rey. Agents still do not know why he ended up in Hospital San Juan de Dios.

Agents think that a 46-year-old man with the last name of Picado was dumped in an alley in Coris de Tres Ríos. Neighbors found the man who lives in Los Guidos de Desamparados. He went to Hospital Max Peralta in Cartago Friday morning. He had been shot in the face.

A 30-year-old man with the last name of Céspedes suffered a fatal bullet wound after a discussion in Calle Blancos about 8:30 p.m. Friday, said judicial agents. A 19-year-old suffered a bullet wound in the leg and went to Hospital Calderón Guardia. A man considered to be the suspect of the shootings fled on a motorcycle, said agents.

Five persons suffered bullet wounds in Guarari de Heredia Saturday. About 12:35 a.m., said judicial agents, a 56-year-old woman and two teens, one aged 18, and  the other aged 17, suffered wounds in the La Milpa section when fired on by a man or men on a motorcycle. All three went to Hospital San Vicente de Paúl.

Later, about 4 a.m., a 15-year-old and a 26-year-old man suffered wounds when a man or men on a motorcycle rode past their home in Villa Paola in Guarari de Heredia. They went to the Hospital de Heredia..

In Desamparados, agents and police officers detained two men as suspects in the shooting of a third individual, a 21-year-old. About 1:30 a.m. Saturday the victim, identified by the last name of Delgado, was at a bus stop in San Antonio in Desamparados. Delgado got in a dispute with the
raid
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Agents are poised to break into a home during one of the Friday raids of a suspected drug gang.

two men and ended up in Hospital San Juan de Dios with a bullet in his side, said agents.

The two assailants fled in a vehicle, but the Fuerza Pública managed to stop a car with two suspects a short distance away, said judicial investigators.

A 17-year-old died in Hospital Calderón Guardia Saturday evening  after he showed up for help about 1 p.m. He was shot in  el Matadero in Los Cuadros de Purral de Guadalupe, said agents, although they did not know the specifics. The youth suffered a bullet wound to the chest.

In Ipis de Guadalupe a 36-year-old man, identified by the last name of Cordero, was shot twice by a man who fled. He went to  Hospital Calderón Guardia. That was about 8 p.m. Saturday.

In Guácimo Saturday night a man and a women on a motorcycle in Barrio Encanto encountered a man who was waiting for them, said agents. As the victim stopped the motorcycle, a second man appeared and both shot the motorcyclist, identified by the last name of Marchena, multiple times. He died later at Hospital de Guápiles. The killers stole a firearm being carried by Marchena, agents said. The woman was not injured.

A 33-year-old man, identified by the last name of Fonseca, was in Hospital San Juan de Dios. after he was shot late Sunday morning outside a bar in Alajuelita.

There are the cases where knives were used:

A 15-year-old got into a dispute with someone as he arrived at his home in Alajuelita about 4 a.m. Saturday.  He suffered a knife wound in the chest and ended up in Hospital San Juan de Dios, agents said.

A 31-year-old woman, identified by the last name of Sánchez, suffered a knife wound late Saturday as she walked to her home in Alajuelita. She resisted a robber who wanted her cell telephone, said agents.

A youngster passing by found the body of a man, identified by the last name of Vailés, in Estrada en Matina on the Caribbean coast Sunday morning. The man died form multiple knife wounds, said judicial agents.


For most, the seasonal electrical rate change will be minor
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The rainy season is here, and more electricity will be generated by hydro plants, but the reduction in rates will be negligible,

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said Friday that the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad will have a 9.27 per cent reduction in the price it gets for generating electricity.

However, the reduction in rates for consumers will be just 1.34 percent for customers of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz and just 2.15 percent for customers of the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia S.A.

Customers of the Junta Administradora de Servicios Eléctricos de Cartago will see a 1.29 percent increase in electrical rates.

The new rates cover the period of July through September.

A better deal will be for electrical customers of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad who will see a 4.47 percent reduction in rates.

Coopelesca R.L., a cooperative in San Carlos and the northern zone, will have a 10.44 percent reduction, the biggest of any electrical distributor. The rate setting considers factors other than the raw costs of power.

The generation of electricity by the thermal method means the burning of petroleum fuel. The distribution of such fuel is basically a monopoly in Costa Rica under the control of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A., which imports all that is used here.

The Laura Chinchilla administration has been adamantly opposed to exploratory petroleum drilling in the norther zone where a Denver, Colorado, firm thinks there are deposits.

Del Rey HOtel

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 1, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 128
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Recent El Niño activity reported to be unusually high, tree study shows
By the University of Hawaii at Manoa news service

Spawning droughts, floods, and other weather disturbances worldwide, El Niño, the Southern Oscillation, impacts the daily life of millions of people. During El Niño, Atlantic hurricane activity wanes and Pacific winter storms shift southward, elevating the risk of floods in California.

The ability to forecast how the Southern Oscillation will respond to global warming thus matters greatly to society. Providing accurate predictions, though, is challenging because the system varies naturally over decades and centuries. Instrumental records are too short to determine whether any changes seen recently are simply natural or attributable to man-made greenhouse gases. Reconstructions of the Southern Oscillation's behavior are usually missing adequate records for the tropics where it develops.

Help is now underway in the form of a tree-ring record reflecting the activity over the past seven centuries. Tree-rings have been shown to be very good proxies for temperature and rainfall measurements. An international team of scientists spearheaded by Jinbao Li and Shang-Ping Xie, while working at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, has compiled 2,222 tree-ring chronologies of the past seven centuries from both the tropics and mid-latitudes in both hemispheres. Their work is published in the June 30 online issue of Nature Climate Change.

The inclusion of tropical tree-ring records enabled the team to generate an archive of the Southern Oscillation activity of unprecedented accuracy, as attested by the close correspondence with records from equatorial Pacific corals and with an independent Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction that captures well-known teleconnection climate patterns.

These proxy records all indicate that the Southern Oscillation was unusually active in the late 20th century compared to the past seven centuries, implying that this climate phenomenon is responding to ongoing global warming.

"In the year after a large tropical volcanic eruption, our record shows that the east-central tropical Pacific is unusually cool, followed by unusual warming one year later. Like greenhouse gases, volcanic aerosols perturb the Earth's radiation balance. This supports the idea that the unusually high Southern Oscillation activity in the late 20th century is a footprint of global warming" explains lead author Jinbao Li.

"Many climate models do not reflect the strong ENSO response to global warming that we found," says co-author Shang-Ping Xie, meteorology professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa the University of California
ancient trees
University of Hawaii at Manoa/Duncan Christie 
Ancient trees, such as Polylepis tarapacana growing in rocky soils in the South American altiplano, are sensitive to climate anomalies associated with large-scale climate patterns stemming from the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.

at San Diego. "This suggests that many models underestimate the sensitivity
to radiative perturbations in greenhouse gases. Our results now provide a guide to improve the accuracy of climate models and their projections of future ENSO activity. If this trend of increasing ENSO activity continues, we expect to see more weather extremes such as floods and droughts."

 
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 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
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Geroge's view
An evening View
from George’s Puriscal home
Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
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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.
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Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

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Panama Vacations
Custom, all-inclusive vacations to Panama by 100% locally based experts in Panama.  See "the new Costa Rica" before the secret gets out!  We offer customized trips to the best all inclusive Panama hotels and Panama resorts. Call 1-866-393-4192 if from the U.S. or 00 (507)-264-1279 from Costa Rica.
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Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom


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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)

1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!
8006-7/14/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
7990-7/17/13

prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
7988-7/17/13

cahuita beach house
Unique beach house for rent in Cahuita
$400 per month furnished. House is 150 yards from a beautiful beach in a jungle area. Next to our wildlife rescue center. Very safe, good water and electricity. One large bedroom, walk-in closet. Newly built and furnished. Must see. A tropical paradise. Contact: Todd at 2755-0014.
7985-7/4/13

Attn: Bikers-Swimmers..House to Rent or to Share
Conveniently located  two-bedroom, two-bathroom house, new construction, wheelchair accessible to rent for $750/month or to share with owner (female).  Located on outskirts of San José metro area, 5 minute drive to Sta. Barbara de Heredia, 20-30 minutes from SJO International Airport, an easy drive to Alajuela
Heredia home
or Heredia.  Natural setting with a panoramic view of Central Valley on a 1/3 acre lot (1,200m2).  A beautiful, well-maintained public pool is a 10-minute walk and road in front of house is a popular bike route.  The house is 900 ft2 (90m2) plus there is a spacious terrace, two-car carport, covered back porch and ample
additional parking.  Vaulted natural wood ceilings in all rooms except in the two bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room.  There is also a small office which can serve as a guest bedroom. The house is unfurnished and appliances not included except for built-in cooktop/oven (gas). Tankless instant hot water heater for bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.  Rental fee does not include utilities.  Alarm system,  cable TV and DSL internet connections are in place. The owner will rent to 2-3 people, pets are allowed with the approval of the owner, and security deposit of one month's rent is required.  Alternatively owner can share house with suitable roommate, prefer female (non-smoker) but will consider a male roommate.  E-mail me for more photos or with questions:  linda.barton@yahoo.com
7984-7/3/13

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
7956-6/16/13

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
http://youtu.be/7N5BThdct8s
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at berosyyourlife@hotmail.com for more details. Thank you.
7954-6/8/13

Available now $650 a month
This small but new and clean American-built house is settled on an organic farm a 10-minute walk from the center of town in Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Taxis are $1 to town and buses run to
Organic farm
Heredia and Alajuela, about 30 minutes each. There is parking for one car. NO DOGS please. Rent includes: Cable television, house phone, ICE ADSL internet, water, electricity, laundry facilities. We have a family living on the farm aside from myself,  the owner, and another renter, so there is always someone around. This 2-bedroom house is brand new, 
completely furnished. Large windows overlook the valley and the gardens, There are large trees. Surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens, it has a beautiful view of the valley. The kitchen comes fully equipped, with large refrigerator, gas stove and oven, all accessories. The bathroom has a large shower; both kitchen and bath have hot water. A brand new extra firm queen-size bed is included. A breakfast bar separates the living area and kitchen and a porch overlooks the farm and valley. This house is for one or two people only. $300 deposit required to be returned when renters leave house. Email for photos and questions. laurelfanderson@gmail.com
7945-5/30/13

Heredia rental
Beautiful mountain chalet  for rent
Beautiful mountain chalet surrounded by nature, built with tropical hardwoods and  located on a  5,000 m2  (54,000 sq feet) lot  with two other cottages.  House has basic furniture and  kitchen  appliances.  Ground floor:  Very large living/ dinning room, kitchen, office (or guest bedroom), and 1 bathroom . Upstairs:  2 bedrooms (one with a balcony), and 1 bathroom. 140 m2 approximately  Great BBQ rancho outside. Plenty space for visitor parking. Pets are welcome.  Quiet place, rural, restaurants close by. Near El Castillo Country Club, Tirol and La Condesa mountain hotels.  Only 45 minutes by car from San José.  All public services available  More information call Liseth.  Phone: (506) 7158-1548. Or send me a email:  licortes@hotmail.com
7939-5/24/13


COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
7975-6/16/13

Perez  Zeledon:   Large studio home overlooking river with deck.  Elegant, ceramic floors, nice cabinets, walk-in closet.  Beautiful gardens and grounds.  Secure. Private. Only  10 minutes
River view home
to San Isidro de El General. Mountain town with everything!  Then, 40 minutes to Playa Dominical, 40 minutes to Chirripó National Park, and also near many other attractions, yet very private and secluded.  Listen to river sounds and sleep like a baby.   
Rare birds in abundance. Includes,  One  double bed and refrigerator, stove, juicer, sofa, tables,  dishes, pans, etc.  Plus, electric, (hot) water   Phone, TV connected, Internet cable connected, garbage and gardener. All included for $425. /month.  Looking for one good person, reliable, long-term.    Non-smoker. jjpepman@hotmail.com
7902-4/25/13

Mountain cabin for rent
Sacramento, Barva de Heredia
We offer for rent three furnished, 2-bedroom mountain homes located on the slopes of Barva Volcano, Sacramento, Heredia. The cabin-style homes are adjacent to the Braulio Carillo National Park and walking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and garage. Take in breathtaking views of the Irazú Volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of bird species, to include the occasional Resplendent Quetzal, and a pristine cloud forest. We can also offer you an occasional ride on one of our beautiful mares. Contact Allan or Cristina at HPCattleCR@aol.com, or or for more information HERE! $850 USD/month. We can also offer a weekend or short-stay package.
7875-4/11/13

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.
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Looking 4 Costa Rica Villas?
Rent our all-inclusive, 7 bedroom rental home in Guanacaste.  Just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport, this deluxe ocean view mansion sleeps 6-22 guests.  Ideal for company events & Costa Rica weddings. With 3 meals served daily and a full-time staff to pamper guests, it's more than a Costa Rica vacation rental ...It's your own Private Resort!  Call toll free: 1-800-606-1860.
7695-1/19/14

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, July 1, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 128
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bookstore promoe



European Union leaders
upset with U.S. bugging

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Senior European Union officials have angrily demanded answers from the United States after a German magazine alleged the U.S. National Security Agency bugged EU offices and gained access to its internal computer networks as part of its spying activities.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said Sunday that if the reports are true it would have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations. He called for full clarification from U.S. authorities.

Germany's justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, accused Washington of using Cold War methods against its allies, saying it is "beyond comprehension that our friends in the U.S. see Europeans as enemies."

Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement.

Saturday, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the NSA placed listening devices in European Union offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations in New York, and infiltrated EU computers to monitor telephone conversations, e-mails and other documents.

It quoted secret U.S. documents obtained from fugitive whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden fled the U.S. to Hong Kong in May and then disclosed key documents about the surveillance programs being conducted by the National Security Agency to thwart terrorism.

Earlier this month, he flew to Moscow and is believed to be staying in a transit zone at the airport while seeking asylum in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Sunday that Snowden's fate is in the hands of Russian authorities because he cannot leave the airport without a valid U.S. passport. He said his government cannot begin considering asylum for Snowden until he reaches Ecuador or an Ecuadorian Embassy.

Russia has repeatedly stated that Snowden is not on Russian territory in the airport's transit area and he is free to depart whenever he wants. Russian authorities repeated that position Sunday in response to Correa's comments.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden asked Correa in a telephone call Friday to reject Snowden's asylum request.

According to an NSA document dated September 2010, only a few countries labeled as close friends by the U.S. are explicitly exempted from monitoring. They are Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Der Spiegel reported that on an average day, the NSA monitored about 20 million German phone connections and 10 million Internet data sets, with the rate rising to 60 million phone connections on busy days.

The magazine said that in France the U.S. taps about two million data connections per day.


Priest with ties to Vatican
held in laundering probe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Italian officials say a Vatican cleric has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the scandal-plagued Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, who was arrested Friday, had worked in the Vatican's financial administration.

Authorities say a member of Italy's secret service and a financier were also arrested Friday as part of the probe into the men's involvement in the plot to illegally bring $26 million into Italy from Switzerland.

Scarano, who was recently suspended from his Vatican post, is under investigation in another case by the southern city of Salerno for alleged money laundering.


European Union to tackle
unemployment among youth


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Union has agreed to a multi-billion dollar fund to tackle its youth unemployment crisis, which has led to warnings of a lost generation. Even as the bloc struggles through the economic crisis, its expansion plans continue with Serbia set to begin formal accession talks in the coming months.

In Spain and in Greece, unemployment among under-25s is running at over 50 percent.

In Portugal, there are lines every day outside the Angolan and Brazilian consulates, as job-seekers look for better fortunes in the country's former colonies.

It is a vicious downward spiral, says John Springford of the Center For European Reform policy group.

"When people have been out of work for a long time they tend to lose the skills that they have, they lose initiative, and also the social problems like drug and alcohol abuse can make them quite difficult to employ again," said Springford.

Meeting in Brussels Friday, EU leaders agreed to spend $7.8 billion over the next two years to tackle youth unemployment. Herman Van Rompuy is president of the European Council.

"We know that reforms take time and results won't be immediate.  So we're also concentrating on launching actions with direct impact," he said.  Fighting youth unemployment and helping small and medium enterprises access credit, are some of the actions, said Van Rompuy.

There are about 5.6 million unemployed young people in Europe and the money simply won't be enough, says economist John Springford.

"We're looking at about a thousand euros per person.  And the thing that we know about youth unemployment is that when unemployment is high generally, then youth unemployment will be even higher.  And so this kind of problem is best sorted out by macroeconomic policy rather than microeconomic tinkering," he said.


Hot summer weather hits
western United States


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Dozens of people were treated for heat-related ailments, and cities and towns across the western United States took emergency measures to help residents cool off, as the region sweltered Saturday in dangerous triple-digit temperatures.

At least one heat-related death was reported by authorities in Las Vegas, where a man in his 80s was found dead inside a house that had no air-conditioning.

The victim suffered from other medical issues, but paramedics suspect heat was a contributing factor in his death, said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski.

"It's not unusual for people with medical conditions, their problems worsen when it gets really hot," he said.

Extreme heat enveloped most of California and Nevada and parts of southern Arizona, with a large high-pressure system trapping hot air across the area, National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Lericos said.

"It involves pretty much the entire West Coast at this point," Lericos said, adding that the stifling conditions, which began in some areas on Thursday afternoon, would likely continue through the weekend and linger into next week.

Triple-digit temperatures extended as far east as Texas, with Corpus Christi shattering its all-time high with a reading of 107 F (42 C). In Utah, Salt Lake City hit 105F (41C) at the airport, a record high for the date.

In Los Angeles County, many people have been hospitalized or treated for dehydration, exhaustion and heat stroke, county Fire Department spokesman Keith Mora said.

At an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Friday, 34 people were taken to the hospital after succumbing to the heat, and another 170 suffered nausea and fatigue.

An elderly man who had been driving through Las Vegas with no air-conditioning was found suffering from heat stroke and was hospitalized in serious condition after he pulled off a highway and called for help, Szymanski said.

Precautions were taken for athletes and animals alike.

The annual Running with the Devil Marathon scheduled for Saturday in the Mojave Desert outside of Las Vegas, a competition in which runners are deliberately challenged to contend with high heat, was canceled.

Tigers at the Phoenix Zoo were fed frozen trout, the monkeys were getting frozen yogurt to eat, and lions and other animals were lounging on artificial rocks and slabs of concrete cooled by piped water, said Linda Hardwick, a zoo spokeswoman.

In California, Nevada and Arizona, air-conditioned cooling centers were set up in community centers, homeless shelters and libraries, and officials warned residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the searing temperatures.

Prompted by concerns that migrants trying to cross into the United States from Mexico would die in the desert, additional border agents were posted on the U.S. side, said Brent Cagen, a spokesman for the Tucson sector of the U.S. Border Patrol.

At least three people, maybe more, who attempted to illegally cross the border into Arizona were found dead earlier this week, likely succumbing to the heat, Cagen said.

The scorching temperatures can cause potentially fatal heat stroke, and officials said people with no air-conditioning or who must work outdoors were particularly at risk.

Las Vegas on Saturday flirted with its all-time record of 117F (47C), as the mercury rose to 114F (46C) at the airport, said D.J. Hoffman, a meteorologist for private forecaster AccuWeather.com.

Record highs for the day fell in dozens of cities across the West, from Palm Springs to Oakland in California and on up the West Coast to Medford, Oregon.

The weather was forecast to remain hot on Sunday, with highs expected to reach 116F (47C) in Phoenix and 110F (43C) in Tucson, Arizona, Hoffman said.

"If people are used to the heat out West, this is a bit abnormal for them and even if they are used to it, it's still very dangerous," he said.

In Phoenix, emergency shelters are temporarily adding 150 beds in an effort to safeguard hundreds of homeless.

"Phoenix is a major city with a lot of concrete that tends to hold a lot of that heat in, so it's just like you're in a dry sauna," said Irene Agustin of the Central Arizona Shelter Services non-profit in Phoenix.

Officials in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, said they have installed 13 air-conditioned areas in community centers and homeless shelters, though the majority of them would be closed on Sunday. In 2005, roughly 17 people died during a similar heat wave over a 10-day period in the Las Vegas area.

Firefighters worry about dry conditions, which have ignited several major brush fires across the region recently, and about more blazes ignited by wayward fireworks launched from backyards to commemorate the Fourth of July holiday on Thursday.

Dan Kail, 67, was on vacation in sweltering Las Vegas when he heard about even higher temperatures in California's Death Valley.

He hopped in a rental car and made the 2-1/2 hour drive, yearning to feel air that he later described as a "blast furnace."

"I've never experienced that kind of heat," said Kail, who owns parking lots in Pittsburgh. "It almost burns you as it blows by you. It's amazing."

Death Valley posted a high on Saturday of 124 F (51C), the National Weather Service reported. That's below the all-time world record of 134 F (57 C) set there on July 10, 1913, according to the National Park Service.


U.S. immigration trend
favors Latin America

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate has passed a landmark immigration reform bill, which is now likely to face fierce opposition in the House of Representatives.  Experts say if some form of substantial reform is enacted into law, the immigration population is likely to remain diverse, with a continuing trend of more arrivals from Latin America, Asia and Africa, and fewer than in the past from Europe.

At the Smithsonian's annual Folklife Festival, there were signs of cultural diversity everywhere.  There was African drumming along with Hungarian food, crafts and an exhibit dedicated to saving endangered languages.

Festival-goer Thomas Kurihara from California says his family is from Japan, and he was interned after the Second World War in a U.S. relocation camp for Japanese Americans.  Kurihara says he believes it is time for Congress to pass immigration reform.

"I believe that as a nation of immigrants, there needs to be a means by which immigrants legal or illegal who enter the U.S. should have a pathway to citizenship and not have to wait half a lifetime, half a generation," he said.

Another festival-goer from Virginia, who declined to be named or be interviewed on tape, said she believes it is not fair that some illegal immigrants are allowed to stay, while others, for example from Africa she said, would be deported if they made it to the United States.

Demetrios Papademetriou is president of the Migration Policy Institute.  He says if Congress passes substantial reform legislation, which still includes many of the provisions in the Senate bill, current trends in immigration are likely to continue and accelerate.

"So ultimately what you are likely to see, is a deepening and broadening of migration from Latin America, by that I mean Central America and the rest of the hemisphere.  You are likely to see once more a deepening and broadening of the migration to be from Asia.  You will see a much larger percentage of the migration from Asia to be Filipino," he said.

According to data from the Migration Policy Institute, in 1960, almost 75 percent of the foreign-born population in the United States came from Europe.  In 2011, only 12 percent of foreign-born people living in the United States were from Europe, and almost 53 percent came from Latin America.  The 1965 Immigration Act ended the national-origin quotas that were favorable to Europe.  Immigration from Africa increased from 0.4 percent in 1960 to 4 percent in 2011.

The newly-passed Senate bill would provide visas for high-skilled workers, which Papademetriou says will likely attract many talented people from around the world, including Europeans. "I suspect that many more Europeans will take advantage of this opportunity than they have had in the past," he said.

Papademetriou says he believes that passing immigration reform will be a long and difficult process, but he is optimistic it will happen. "I think that we are a long way from passage, but I think so many people have really invested so much political capital in making it happen this time," he said.

Experts say that regardless of whether immigration reform passes, the United States will continue to become a more ethnically diverse country, and that there is also a trend of more people from different ethnic groups intermarrying and intermingling.


Lemur study put doubt
on value of big brains


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As animals go, humans are very smart. After all, humans discovered calculus, general relativity, and fire. Out of all the brains in nature, there is clearly something special about that of humans. But how did it get this way? As Dr. Evan MacLean, a senior researcher at Duke University, says, “What were the problems that nature posed for us that we needed these brains to solve?”

Scientists like MacLean think that being very social, living in large groups and communicating, like humans do, might have led to the development of a bigger, more powerful brain. “When we’re in a social environment there are all kinds of dynamic things that we have to keep track of, like who’s friends with who, who’s enemies with who, and who knows what,” he said. “This kind of information processing is really hard for the brain to do.”

MacLean’s research team at Duke tested this theory in lemurs. These small primates, native to the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar, are our close evolutionary cousins. There are many different species of lemurs. Some are more social than others; for example, the colorful ring-tail lemur lives in groups of sixteen or more, whereas the mongoose lemur seldom congregate in groups of more than three. Also, some lemur species have larger brains than others.

In their lab, the researchers tested six species on their ability to steal food from people. In some cases, the person was watching the bait, and would reach out and defend it from grasping lemur paws. In other cases, however, the person’s back was turned. In order to take the food, the thieving lemurs had to know whether the person was watching or not, and choose the right moment to pounce. They had to use what scientists call social intelligence.

“What we found,” said MacLean, “is that species that are characterized by living in large social groups in nature were very adept when it came to figuring out which piece of food they should steal.”

However, when the lemurs were tested on their ability to obtain food in an indirect way, a problem that required planning, rather than interpreting social cues, the relatively antisocial lemurs performed just as well as the species that live in large groups.

In other words, the solitary lemurs were less effective at using social information, but when it came to using general information, they were just fine. And, to the researchers' surprise, the size of their brains barely mattered at all.

“It looks like species that have bigger brains were doing worse on this task, and I never would have really predicted that,” said MacLean.

This says that different kinds of intelligence, like the ability to make decisions, or find food, or communicate and be social, can develop independently of each other. It’s true that humans are really smart, but different animals evolve to be smart in different ways, depending on what they need to be good at in order to survive.

The study also adds to a growing body of evidence that when it comes to brains, bigger is not better. For centuries, scientists measured brain size to compare intelligence between species, but they now know that such measurements may not say much at all about how smart an animal is. Intelligence is complicated, and researchers are continually searching for better ways to measure and understand it.


Bangladesh slapped by Obama
for garment industry ills

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama on Thursday cut off longtime U.S. trade benefits for Bangladesh in a mostly symbolic response to dangerous conditions in that country's garment industry that have cost more than 1,200 lives in the past year.
 
“I have determined that it is appropriate to suspend Bangladesh . . .  because it is not taking steps to afford internationally recognized worker rights to workers in the country,” Obama said in a statement.
 
The U.S. sanction does not directly affect Bangladesh's multi-billion-dollar clothing exports to the United States, which came under scrutiny after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory building in April that killed 1,129 people and the Tazreen factory fire in November that killed 112.
 
But it could influence the European Union to take similar action, which would have a much bigger impact on Bangladesh and its garment sector.
 
“This was not a decision taken lightly,” new U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told reporters on a phone call. “Our goal, of course, is not only to see Bangladesh restore its eligibility for benefits, but to see Bangladeshi workers in safe, appropriate work situations.”
 
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, said the decision sent an important message to countries that receive duty-free access to the U.S. market under the Generalized System of Preferences program.
 
“Countries that tolerate dangerous and even deadly working conditions and deny basic workers' rights, especially the right to freedom of association, will risk losing preferential access to the U.S. market,” Trumka said.
 
It also puts American companies on notice they must take meaningful steps to improve conditions for Bangladesh's factory workers, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement.
 
“No one will want to wear clothing that is made in Bangladesh if it is made on the blood of workers. It's time for American industry to show leadership and work with their European counterparts on a global standard for safety.”

Suspending Bangladesh from the preference program will increase U.S. duties on an array of products the country exports to the United States, such as tobacco, sporting equipment, porcelain china, plastic products and a small amount of textile products.
 
But it will not directly affect Bangladesh's main export, clothing, since garments are not eligible for duty cuts under the program, which was created in 1976 to help economic development in the world's poorest countries and to reduce import costs for U.S. companies.
 
In 2012, Bangladesh was spared about $2 million in U.S. duties on about $35 million worth of goods under the preference program, but it paid about $732 million in U.S. duties on $4.9 billion of clothing exports not covered by the program, said Ed Gresser, a trade analyst with the GlobalWorks Foundation.
 
A European Union decision to suspend trade benefits would have far more impact since Bangladesh's clothing and textiles exports receive duty-free treatment there in contrast to average U.S. duties of around 15 percent.
 
EU officials raised the possibility of suspension in early May in the hope of prodding Bangladesh into action.
 
 
'White House Down' called
an old time action movie


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Filmmaker Roland Emmerich, known for his 1996 blockbuster, "Independence Day," is now tackling the destruction of the White House and an impending nuclear attack by terrorists.  The film,  "White House Down," is wildly entertaining with action sequences, brisk dialogue and a heart-rending father-daughter relationship at its core. It is reminiscent of 1980s and 90s action hits without today's darkness.

This is not the first time Roland Emmerich is destroying the White House.  In 1996, he blew it to smithereens in "Independence Day." Back then, the enemy was aliens. Now, it's an inside job.

A terrorist group is planning to take the president hostage and access America's weapons of mass destruction. But all is not lost. John Cale, a soldier fresh out of Afghanistan, is visiting the White House for a job interview.

His estranged daughter, Emily, is visiting with him. What happens next is predictable. In the chaos, John and Emily are separated. Cale races to save his daughter and, of course, the president.

Channing Tatum, as John Cale, is in super shape as he goes through leaps and bounds to protect the commander in chief.

“There is a 25-foot drop I didn't do. But I did most of them. Yeah!" he admitted, referring to the stunts he performed. 

Tatum, who was named the “sexiest man alive” by People Magazine, approaches stardom with humor and humility.
 
“I don't know. I don't sit there pondering that question, really, I just sort...keep working,"  he said.

In "White House Down," Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx plays James Sawyer, the president of the United States. He said it's not a take on President Barack Obama.

“We didn't want to do an impersonation of him because we don't want people to think that's how Obama would react in this situation because we don't know,” Foxx explains.

Filmmaker Emmerich said despite the grand sets and special effects, his film is, at its core, about a father trying to reconnect with his daughter, a throwback to 80s and 90s action flicks.   

"It's not as fun anymore like it was, like with movies such as Indiana Jones," Emmerich said, regretfully.  "'Raiders of the Lost Ark' was one of the most fun movies I have ever seen in my life. These kind of movies are missing.”
Real estate-related services (paid category)


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
7938-6/8/13

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
7949-11/15/13

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
7922-10/15/13

The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email: info@costaricarealestate.com
7721-4/29/13



Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
SEE OUR OFFERS HERE
Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8538-6186
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
7685-2/7/12
Bargain

Real estate for sale (paid category)



Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Heredia land
San Rafael, Heredia, great opportunity, 17,000m2 land for development,
US$600,000 or best offer.  email: celigar53@gmail.com or call 8385-2542.
8008-7/24/13

auction
6 LOTS – AUCTION
Minimum bid starts @ $10,000.
 ½ acre to 4 acres.
Walk to San Juanillo Beaches.
1 day only -10 a.m. June 15
Email: Karen@racsa.co.cr
Webs:  www.viviun.com/AD-129905/
www.haciendasdelmar.com
Phone: 506-2682-0185
8007-6/29/13

music studio
Musicians dream!!!
Two-story house, 2,400 sq. ft. (223 sq. mt.) total with covered porches, 2-car covered parking, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, open kitchen/living room, bodega, laundry room, upstairs sala. Separate 320-sq. ft. (29 sq. mt.) music studio that could be used as an art studio, workshop, or additional bedroom. Studio has a patio on top, partially covered with ozonated hot tub. Mature citrus trees, avocado, mango, pineapples, bananas, and many colorful flowers. Completely fenced, security system, Internet, cable TV, automatic gates, one-car additional secured gravel parking. Double lot, 7,320 sq ft (680 sq mt). Backs up to a large cafetal and looks up to Natural Reserve Madre Verde. Located in La Granja, Residencia Palma Real, Palmares, Alajuela. Walking distance to town, 5 minutes to pista, 35 minutes to airport, and close to bus service. Comes with kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, bed set in master bedroom, shoe cabinet just inside front door. Other furnishings negotiable. More pictures available upon request. House and property are in a corporation. $215,000. terrycr2007@gmail.com
7998-74/13

Grecaiproperty
Private Gated Paradise in Grecia 3/2 home with guest apartment, 5000m2 land. $139k-/best cash offer! River access, costaricariver@yahoo.com, Phone: (506)2495-0487.
7953-7/10/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Casa de Eden
For sale by owner Playa Conchal home. Reduced $329,000

Casa de Eden is an ocean view three-bedroom, 2.5-bath, with outdoor shower, private pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure community surrounded by nature but still only 20 minutes to the resort towns of Flamingo & Tamarindo and less than an hour from the Liberia airport. There is 2,600 square feet under the roof, which includes a large outdoor terrace and has phone, Internet & satellite TV. The home boasts luxury finishings: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, ceramic tile.  Contact desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. 1-800-939-2617 or CR (506) 8349-2025.
www.puntaplayavistas.com
7982-6/30/13

San Pedro condo
Condo for Sale in Flor del Este
Lourdes, Montes de Oca San Jose

Located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada 500 meters north of Inglesia Lourdes. U Latina, UCR, and U Fieditas are located within 5 minutes.  Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. Condo is a 3-story. Three/four-bedroom, three and half bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with only one entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. In addition, to security fencing, and electric wire, a recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house. Residence has a telephone communication system to contact the guard house. In addition there is a green park area inside the complex for children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Equipped with an independent wired security system in addition to iron bars on windows and patio doors. Equipped with circuit breaker box and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Also has water storage tank under parking area and water pump to maintain high pressure on all three floors. American-style washer and electric dryer, Refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. $185,000. Other furniture items may be available for purchase.
Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987
U.S. Phone:  6630-886-4458  or   (305) 848- 5577
Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799 4041
Email:  sjogringo@yahoo.com
7973-8/23/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

Rich Coast Montage
RichCoastRealty.com
Central Pacific Coast Real Estate
- 2 Bedroom House in Gated Community near the beach, $89,000!!
- Beachfront Residential Lots from $35,000! Financing Available
- 2 Coffee Shops and Bakeries Turnkey $40,000/ $120,000 Great ROI
- Lots in Gated Community near the beach from $17,500!!
- 3 Bedroom House in Gated Community, furnished, walk to the beach, $120k
- 3 Bedroom Oceanview House on 5 acres subdividable
into 4 oceanview properties $250k
- 58 acre Oceanview Property subdividable, $169k
and much more....
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833 4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718 9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
7972-8/9/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

La Cruz finca
La Cruz Finca 223 ha. (558.2 acre)
This beautiful 223-hectare (558-acre) farm is 70 kms. north of Liberia on the Pan-American Highway and has over a kilometer of frontage on the highway. The property is almost 3 kms deep and has good interior roads. The River Sapoa runs year round at the back side of the farm which is almost 1 mile wide with and incredible views over the Nicaraguan border to Lake Nicaragua and Isla Ometepe. Great property for an eco retreat, teak farm or cattle ranch.  At $900 per acre, this is one of the best farm deals around. See details HERE! The seller will entertain any reasonable offer. Price: $495,000 contact: Bruce Hummel. Email: Bruce@bh-cr.com. Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987 7166,  www.bh-cr.com
7966-6/16/13

Playa Octal home
Playa Ocotal Beach Home
This home is located in a residential resort complex made up of 40 luxurious, fully furnished beachfront villas, plus a clubhouse complete with poolside bar and restaurant. Bahía Pez Vela is located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, one kilometer from Playa Ocotal on the North Pacific coast and just 30 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport and three miles to downtown Playas Del Coco. From this home you can hear and see the waves crashing on the rocks of this pristine beach. See it HERE! This is the best priced beach home in Costa Rica! Price $225,000   Contact: Bruce Hummel Bruce@bh-cr.com, www.bh-cr.com - Cell Phone: 011 (506) 8819-2119, From US/Canada: (816) 987-7166.
7965-6/16/13

hree peanel montage
This dream Costa Rica beach house overlooking Carara National Park and the Pacific has been rented continuously for two years. D.C. owners are on site at the house in May and prepping for June 1 Move in and/or vacation rentals and have an unbelievable offer. Already listed way under value, $150,000 Cash or $199,500 with owner financing through May 30th. Note: This was the owner's (14 year residents of Costa Rica) dream home before their relocation to Washington, D.C., Your own salt water Infinity pool, expansive sala and balcony, views from every room. Each room is individually air-conditioned, ceramic tiles, cathedral ceiling; three bedrooms in an international community. Scarlet macaws fly by your veranda each evening.
zen/natural contemporary design ideal for your location overlooking Costa Rica's biological corridor. 50 minutes from San José, minutes from beaches/20 minutes from Jacó Beach. Tour this property online first at www.dreamincostarica.com and if interested contact Barry in Costa Rica through May 30th for a tour. In Costa Rica: 8701-5639 or call Rosemary in the U.S. 239-910-3354. Note: On June 1 the price of this property will increase to over $200,000 after equipping, painting and acceptance of rental income. Don't wait!
7958-6/2/13

La Garita
                                  home
This home was built by a California contractor with all the amenities expected in a 3,000-square foot home.  There is a little less than one acre of land.  There is an 800-square foot shop easily converted to a rental unit or studio.  Located in La Garita de Atenas, 15 minutes to the international airport and 30 minutes to San José.  $225,000. 2487-4500.
xxxx-xxxxx

Arenal Colonial
Property for sale, great potential income
Turnkey business $350K. Rental $1,250/month This luxury home (4,000 square feet and two story private home) is a botanical paradise overlooking beautiful Lake Arenal. Only one block from the lake park and boat ramp. Close to Tabacón hot springs and Monteverde cloud forest. Caño Negro national park and many beautiful beaches along the Pacific are only a short drive away. Costa Rica bird watching, wind surfing, fishing, water sports, ecotourism adventures, hiking, tennis and mountain biking are out your front door. Also has a wonderful view of the Arenal Volcano, a safe 25 miles away. Electric gated entrance. Safe private home and entire property. To see more pictures and info, click here: http://www.intertica.com/homes/roy.htm
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=wKaNmrNyyZtXGg
7933-7/22/13

Jacó compound
Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 bath 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment. one bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom,  gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500 square-meter garden with aviary for Guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4 meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2 meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture, included even a car. Owner financing available. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. More photos on request. http://www.intertica.com/ocean/wolfgang.htm
7929-7/18/13

Monte Mar
Hacienda Monte Mar
Gated Community near the beach
SALE on our last 4 lots! Starting at just $17,500 with financing available.
Reserve today with just $5,000 down
Great Retirement Home, Vacation Home, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers on site,
security and lawn maintenance.
Water and power on site.
http://www.haciendamontemar.com/
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
7928-8/9/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

just reduced
Just Reduced to $169,000!!!
58-acre oceanview and mountainview property

Segregated into 9 lots, Excellent Development Potential!
20 minutes from the beach Central Pacific Coast, between Jacó and Quepos.
http://www.richcoastrealty.com/1060.html
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005  CR Cell 8718-9891
7766-6/17/13

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Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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Salt water
              device
University of Texas at Austin photo
This is the prototype"water chip developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with a startup company.

Unique, low voltage device
can get salt out of seawater

By the University of Texas at Austin news staff

By creating a small electrical field that removes salts from seawater, chemists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Marburg in Germany have introduced a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional techniques. The new method requires so little energy that it can run on a store-bought battery.

The process evades the problems confronting current desalination methods by eliminating the need for a membrane and by separating salt from water at a microscale.

The technique, called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, was described last week in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The research team was led by Richard Crooks of The University of Texas at Austin and Ulrich Tallarek of the University of Marburg. It’s patent-pending and is in commercial development by startup company Okeanos Technologies.

“The availability of water for drinking and crop irrigation is one of the most basic requirements for maintaining and improving human health,” said Crooks, chemistry chairman in the College of Natural Sciences. “Seawater desalination is one way to address this need, but most current methods for desalinating water rely on expensive and easily contaminated membranes. The membrane-free method we’ve developed still needs to be refined and scaled up, but if we can succeed at that, then one day it might be possible to provide fresh water on a massive scale using a simple, even portable, system.”

This new method holds particular promise for the water-stressed areas in which about a third of the planet’s inhabitants live. Many of these regions have access to abundant seawater but not to the energy infrastructure or money necessary to desalt water using conventional technology. As a result, millions of deaths per year in these regions are attributed to water-related causes.

“People are dying because of a lack of freshwater,” said Tony Frudakis, founder and CEO of Okeanos Technologies. “And they’ll continue to do so until there is some kind of breakthrough, and that is what we are hoping our technology will represent.”
To achieve desalination, the researchers apply a small voltage (3.0 volts) to a plastic chip filled with seawater. The chip contains a microchannel with two branches. At the junction of the channel an embedded electrode neutralizes some of the chloride ions in seawater to create an “ion depletion zone” that increases the local electric field compared with the rest of the channel. This change in the electric field is sufficient to redirect salts into one branch, allowing desalinated water to pass through the other branch.

“The neutralization reaction occurring at the electrode is key to removing the salts in seawater,” said Kyle Knust, a graduate student in Crooks’ lab and first author on the paper.

Thus far Crooks and his colleagues have achieved 25 percent desalination. Although drinking water requires 99 percent desalination, they are confident that goal can be achieved.

The other major challenge is to scale up the process. Right now the microchannels, about the size of a human hair, produce about 40 nanoliters of desalted water per minute. To make this technique practical for individual or communal use, a device would have to produce liters of water per day. The authors are confident that this can be achieved as well.


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From Page 7

Chamber finally lists vacation deal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo is promoting vacation tourism in a belated announcement that came out Thursday.

The chamber said that members were offering attractive vacation options. This week is the first of two mid-year vacation weeks.

The offers include discounts, extra nights in hotels and other lures to keep the hospitality industry at 62 percent occupancy. That is the vacation estimated that the chamber determined in a survey of its members.

Unfortunately, the announcement of special vacation packages came about the time travelers were packing their vehicles.

The vacation packages are mainly directed at what is called the national tourism market, in other words Costa Ricans.

The chamber is promoting about 20 vacation packages on its Web page. They include river rafting, bird watching and even a coffee tour, as well as hotel stays.