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(506) 223-1327               San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 12, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 137         E-mail us   
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Naturopathics are seeking to form their own colegio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Practitioners of naturopathic medicine in Costa Rica want to form a colegio identical to the ones now operated by lawyers, dentists, physicians and surgeons, journalists and a host of other professionals.

In addition to raising the image of the naturopathic physician, the colegio would exercise supervision over practitioners and sanction those who violate professional standards.

The measure came up for discussion at the legislative Comisión de Derechos Humanos Wednesday.

A colegio is not an educational institution in Latin countries but more like a mandatory professional association or labor union, although one might provide some training and seminars.

The public organization, if approved, would incorporate those who practice herb therapy, juice therapy, vitamin and mineral therapy, aromatherapy. homopathic medicine, reflexology, acupuncture, massage therapy, reiki, Chinese and Indian medicine and some other non-mainstream practices.

But witch doctors, tribal medicine men, talented grandmothers and others need not apply. Under
terms of the proposed law, only those who hold a degree of licensura, the equivalent of a U.S. university's master's degree, may join the colegio.

Membership in the colegio would be obligatory for those professions included, and it would be illegal for a practitioner to operate without belonging.

A practitioner identified as Edgar Torres appeared before the commission Wednesday and got a lukewarm reception, mostly on technical grounds.  He said many Costa Ricans are tricked today by persons pretending to be able to cure them. He said the area was a valid one that can provide hope for those who have not been treated satisfactorily by the traditional medical profession.

Lawmakers agreed that Costa Ricans put a lot of faith in traditional medicine. Perhaps 50 percent make use of herbal remedies to maintain their health, according to some reports.

This takes some pressure off the government-run Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, they said.

Vendors of herbs and herbal products for medicinal use can be found at every major marketplace.

Professional colegios do not exist in the United States but California recently enacted licensing for naturopathic medicine at the same level as chiropractic and physical therapy.

Arias plans trip to central and south Pacific for Friday and Saturday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Óscar Arias Sánchez will spend Friday in the Quepos area and then visit Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula Saturday, Casa Presidencial said Wednesday.

In Quepos, the president will engage in ribbon cuttings and inspections as well as host a meeting of his cabinet, the consejo de gobierno, at 10 a.m. Friday in the gymnasium of the Colegio Técnico Profesional.

Ribbon cuttings are scheduled at the Quebrada
Suya bridge, the Centro Comunitario Inteligente in Parrita and the Los Reformadores housing project in Parrita.

He also will sign the paperwork for a trust between the Vivienda Palma project in Damas and Banco Promerica.

Arias also will participate in a groundbreaking at  Marina Pez Vela in Quepos at 4:30 p.m.

Saturday he will inspect road work on the Constanera Sur near the airport in Quepos and then fly south to announce some new projects.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 12, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 137

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Our readers' opinions
Popular decisions often
are the incorrect ones

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have an idea. Let’s take a vote on global warming. Then we will know what to do.

I am only joking. I want to commend A.M. Costa Rica for having the courage to publish the voice of decent. Popularity has often been known for making the wrong decisions. Witness the popular election of Adolf Hitler as the leader of Germany before World War II. Time Magazine even named him Man of the Year just before the war.

Cycles of global warming are a historically known fact. Witness the explosion of population of the Vikings during one of these warming periods that probably started because of their ability to produce more food. Most people don’t know that rulers of England are a descendent of those Vikings through William the Conqueror. They colonized Greenland, which is currently a frozen waste. And people are saying we are in a period of global warming?

Individuals have usually made great scientific discoveries. They have usually done so by observing more closely what was really happening and often had little support from their fellow scientists.

I cannot help but think that some universities are padding their payrolls with research grants to keep the rest of the scientists employed.
Mark Mobley
San Jose, Costa Rica

Global warming is a hoax
fostered by Godless liberals

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Is William Gray a lone voice, or does it just seem that way because of one-sided reporting? GOD!  Open your ears everybody. Iraq is a war. Dangerous man-made climate change is a hoax. 

Mr. Pillsbury Dough Gore is, and has always been, a buffoon. Striking a vein of stupidity equal to his own, Gore has stumbled upon a classic winning liberal issue for the masses, one that preys upon the weakness in people. Since weakness breeds insecurity, it makes people very susceptible to the cry, “The sky is falling!”  

Liberal leaders, generally Godless Intellectuals, understand that the Sun drives climate change, and variations within that change are caused by solar activity, but that’s too complicated and doesn’t sound threatening. So, since sheep must be herded in the direction of a Liberal Camelot, this hoax becomes creative misdirection for the greater good of mankind.  Boy, that puts a warm spot in your tummy just saying it.

Older climate experts, and I bet there are many more, have stated that life threatening climate change caused by man is a hoax.  It’s the younger, activist, scientists who subscribe to the creative misdirection.  Don’t tell me these “scientists” aren’t politically motivated.  Leftist university “professors” have led the way for years.
Ron Guell
New Orleans

Scientist Gray just lacks
credibility on climate change

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Every scientific discipline has a heretic or two rustling the bushes, and Mr. Gray seems to fit the mold of this species.  His exceptions to the causes of global climatic changes  comes with little or no documentation and no credibility.  All we have are his denials and an admission that he has been marginalized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That perhaps, IS telling?
“The IPCC and all these reports, I have been over 55 years working in the field and they never have come to me one time,” he said.  “I have just been isolated, and I know other colleagues of mine, who I respect for their knowledge. They never consulted them either. If they know how you think, they just leave you alone and go on.”
The foregoing quote by Mr. Gray, together with his poor syntax renders his thoughts barely understandable.  Perhaps, that is why  "the IPCC just leaves Mr. Gray alone?”   

However, we want to be fair and therefore will not dwell much on such trivialities.  Mr. Gray thinks it is time for a debate on the issue of “global warming”?!!?   Where has the good scientist been these past 10 or 15 years?  Apparently he is utterly unaware the "debate" has been over for quite some time, or that computer modeling and all manner of statistical documentation together with powerful circumstantial evidence has led to a worldwide scientific consensus?
Either Mr. Gray chooses to ignore the extensive studies and resulting data, or there are other issues which might be influencing his judgment? Again, in the interest of fairness, we shall not speculate on what they could be.  

Mr. Grays’ forthcoming book might make interesting reading, or even $$$$$, however, I for one will not buy it.

Finally, what troubles me most is his prioritized categorization of our planetary woes.  He lists almost everything except methane and carbon dioxide producing cows. Seriously, although cattle are a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions, there is only ONE problem from which every socio/economic, and political problem is born.   O-V-E-R-P-O-P-U-L-A-T-I-O-N.
Let me repeat, OVERPOPULATION.  Understanding this fact does not require expertise in differential calculus or astrophysics.   If a man has two or three children, an average sized passenger car will suffice.  If he continues to increase his family, he’ll be obliged to buy a van, a bus, or something else suitable for transport.  He’ll also require a larger home!  His growing family will now see a rippling effect in household expenses, food, clothing, housing, petrol, medical care, etc., etc. 

Simultaneously, this growing family will also increase their output of pollution.  EVERY SINGLE item we purchase comes from Mother Earth.  The more we consume, the more which needs to be produced.  This puts more and more demands upon Mother Natures’ ability to replace what we use and take away.  EVERYTHING has a finite limit, and the Earth is no exception.  The planet is now entering a crossroad of enormous significance.
We are reaching the limits of what we, as humans can take and consume from the earth  The abundance is gone, too many humans and their demands have created a crisis which may soon end life as we now know it. Each year hundreds of animal species become extinct.  No insect has ever been known to become extinct.  Ants, termites and bacterium comprise the bulk of living bio mass.  They, together with other species of insects may well be the only survivors if human numbers are not reduced to sustainable levels.
Hank Franz
Santa Ana. Costa Rica
and Las Vegas, Nevada

Gray betrays objectivity
when he sides with Bush

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Mr. William Gray of Colorado State University completely betrays his scientific objectivity when he parrots the Bush/Cheney/corporate sector buzz phrase that reducing carbon dioxide emissions “will harm the economies of the United States and other industrialized nations.” How does he know what kind of financial harm will come? Is he an economist? Where’s the irrefutable data to back up his assertion?
The purpose of propoganda-speak like this is to deflect attention from the real agenda, that being the financial impact that the reduction of the use of fossil fuels, the implementation of carbon dioxide scrubbers and other environmentally friendly upgrades would have on the billionaire owners of the polluting industries who don’t want to invest capital in their aging, dirty infrastructure. And of course being elitists and narcissists, they see their financial interests as being congruent with the best interests of everyone on the planet. 

This is just plain sick, and emblematic of a mind set left over from the “robber baron” mentality of the 1920s when the Rockefellers, DuPonts and Morgans could and would do anything they pleased to rake in the cash no matter who was harmed by their actions.

What economic effect would Mr. Gray postulate if he considered the cumulative impact of less breathable air, worldwide shortages of drinkable water and soil that’s too polluted to grow crops? Oh! I forgot! He only does hurricanes.

The fat cats of Corporate America have for generations escaped the financial and moral responsibility any patriotic Americans would and should accept for the damage that’s been done to the environment while they turn their millions into billions. But they’ll fight and kick and scratch to the bitter end to avoid doing so. And of course they’ll trot out their scientific “experts” to cast doubt on the growing mountain of evidence supporting the validity of the global warming hypothesis.

They’ll argue to the bitter end that the evidence for global warming is “inconclusive” or “contradictory” or “inaccurately extrapolated.” Welcome to Planet Earth. Mother Nature is like that. The scientific community lacks the sophistication to do long-term environmental projections with absolute certainty, which is what these corporate mouthpieces are demanding before they’ll admit that we may have turned an environmental corner that may lead to catastrophic results. And so the scientific community advises urgent, preventative action to avoid a global disaster.

SHAME on them! They MUST be politically motivated!
Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica   

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 12, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 137

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Slum dwellers will get a new condo project in Los Guidos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government housing bank will try to change a slum in one of the most distressed areas on the Central Valley into a condominium project for 208 families.

The project was announced Wednesday by the Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda for what is now known as las Mandarinas de Los Guidos de Desamparados.

Some 80 families live in the informal community that was invaded by squatters in 1994.

The bank will accommodate the 80 families in the condominium project and open the doors to 128 more, it said in a release.

The area now is best described as a shanty town, called a precario in Spanish, with homes constructed of found items including zinc sheeting. There is no treatment of sewage and health problems are many.
The project will be a gated and guarded community of 76 one-floor condo units with the remainder in two story structures. The price tag is 1.7 billion colons or about $3.3 million. The structures will be of concrete block.

Ennio Rodríguez, general manager of the bank, said that the residents will have ownership and their own governmental system typical of condominiums. Special training will be given to residents who are placed on the condo board of directors.

Los Guidos is something short of a community, being populated by persons who have moved to the Central Valley from elsewhere, including Nicaragua. The area that will receive the condo project used to be known as  Los Higuerones.

The families that originally invaded the land tried to purchase it but the deal collapsed in 2001, said the bank.
This project is consistent with the Arais administration plan to eliminate slums in the metro area.

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Three testify in favor
of physical punishment

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Legislators heard from three persons Wednesday who thought that a proposed law abolishing physical punishment of children by parents was too strict. They said that moderate physical punishment was important for raising children.

The proposed law being considered by the Comisión con Potestad Plena Primera would eliminate all forms of physical punishment although there are no criminal sanctions. Violators could lose their parental rights, however.

Pedro Beirute, an expert in family rights, was one of the witnesses. He told lawmakers that laws now exist that can penalize maltreatment of children.

He was joined by Jesús Rosales and Maritza Ulate of Focus on Family. Rosales said that the legislature should not remove from the hands of the parents a useful tool of discipline.

German university gives
radio system to coast guards

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A German university has donated a $5,000 radio system to the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas for scientific use.

The donation came from the Universidad Cristhian Albrechts de Kiel whose staff had collaborated in the past with local coast guard officers, according to Volker Fink, the German ambassador here.

Among other efforts, the coast guard has placed buoys for scientific research in the Pacific Ocean.

New police director in Heredia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Francisco Morales Castro will assume the job of subdirector of the Fuerza Pública in Heredia as of July 16, the security ministry said Wednesday. He replaces  Daniel Calderón. Both men have the rank of comisionado.

Morales, a lawyer, had directed regions in the northern and southern borders.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 12, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 137

Judge in Chile declines to extradite Alberto Fujimori to Peru
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Chilean judge has ruled that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori should not be extradited to Peru, where he faces corruption and human rights charges.

The judge Wednesday rejected the extradition request made by the Peruvian government. The ruling said that the prosecution did not prove that Fujimori had knowledge of the death squads involved in the killings that were central to the charges.
Fujimori has been under house arrest in Chile awaiting the court's ruling.

The former president allegedly sanctioned the killing of 25 people by paramilitary squads during his presidency, which ended in 2000.  After his government collapsed, he spent five years in exile in Japan before moving to Chile in 2005 when he was detained.

Fujimori, who has dual citizenship, recently announced that he intends to run in this month's Japanese Senate elections.

Russian newspaper says Venezuela will get nine submarines
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Russian newspaper says Russia is planning to sell up to nine submarines to Venezuela.

The Kommersant reports Thursday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is expected to sign the deal during a trip to Moscow.  The contract would include five older, 636-type diesel submarines and the future delivery of four state-of-the-art 677 Amur submarines. 
In recent years, Venezuela has become a major buyer of Russian arms, a development that has prompted expressions of concern by the United States. 

Previous Russian arms deals have supplied Venezuela with Kalashnikov rifles, jets, helicopters, and other weaponry.

Venezuela's president is a fierce critic of the Bush administration and says it supported the coup against him in April 2002.  U.S. officials have denied the charge.

Press group protests arrest of newswoman for terrorism at El Salvador forum
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A group advocating press freedom is condemning El Salvador's arrest of a journalist on terrorism charges.

In a news release Tuesday, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) called the arrest of María Haydee Chicas during a demonstration a "grave abuse of authority".

Police detained Ms. Chicas in El Salvador's northeastern
city of Suchito. She had been reporting on a forum of community groups and non-governmental organizations protesting government plans to privatize water distribution. Ms. Chicas faces a possible sentence of 40 to 60 years in prison under El Salvador's new anti-terrorism law.

In the statement, the press freedom group appealed to Salvadoran President Elías Antonio Saca to intervene in the case. The organization says it is ridiculous to claim that someone who was just doing their job as a journalist was engaged in an act of terrorism.

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