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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 160                       Email us
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Scavengers patrol the open dump at Nicoya
Municipal garbage woes called major national issue
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 22 municipalities are facing action from the  Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo because they have mismanaged or illegal garbage dumps.

The Tribunal issued a list Wednesday that includes six municipalities in Guanacaste:  Santa Cruz, Cañas, Bagaces, Nicoya, Tilarán and La Cruz. In Alajuela province the municipalities are Alajuela, Naranjo, San Ramón, Los Chiles and Guatuso.
In Limón province actions have been launched against the Municipality of Limón for two dumps,  Sandoval and Santa Rosa, and Siquirres and
Pococí. In Puntarenas province actions are against  Puntarenas, San Vito de Coto Brus, Cóbano and Golfito.

The municipalities in San José province are Acosta and Pérez Zeledón.

José Lino Chaves, president of the Tribunal, called the problem urgent and said that the municipalities must contract with authorized landfills or otherwise bring their garbage dumps into conformity.

He noted that the garbage problem is a major one for most municipalities and is a national issue.

Opinions differ on modified organism moratorium
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative committee continues to consider a proposal for a national moratorium on genetically modified organisms. Committee members heard several opinions about the bill over the last two days.

This is the measure proposed by Frente Amplio in the last legislature, mainly in opposition to the agricultural work by Monsanto Co. here. In fact, the summary to the bill is filled with negative reports about the U.S. chemical giant.

The measure calls for a moratorium until there is a certainty and a consensus in the scientific community about any risks that the genetically modified organisms might represent.

A University of Costa Rica biology professor, Marta Valdez Melara, told the committee Wednesday that the scientific method does not allow for something to be 100 percent certain. Even in matters of paternity tests the DNA results usually say that there is a one in a million possibility that the man involved is not the father. She has been involved in genetic research.

The professor declined to support a national moratorium, according to a summary of her presentation provided by the legislature. And she said that basic research should be promoted and supported so that Costa Rica does not become a straggler in comparison to other countries.

Tuesday Marta Liliana Jiménez told the same committee, the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Agropecuarios, that a moratorium could provide time for a national discussion over genetically modified organisms. She is director of the  Comisión Nacional de Gestión sobre la Biodiversidad at the environmental ministry.

The summary to the bill cites the scientific uncertainty and proven risks of modified organisms, although there is scant proof given. Scientists generally say there is no difference between modified and unmodified crops.

Modified crops are those in which researchers have inserted a foreign gene in order to generate some favorable characteristic in the organism, usually a plant. Monsanto modifies the crops, such as corn, alfalfa, and soybeans to resist a weed killer produced by the company.
The bill's summary makes multiple citations of articles in organic farming sources or foes of Monsanto, such as The Center for Food Safety, which is run by a Washington, D.C., lawyer who frequently opposes Monsanto in court.

The bill also cites a 2013 study of pigs in Australia conducted by a researcher, Judy Carmen, and associates. The study purports to show that pigs fed genetically modified grains develop stomach inflammation.  

Critics immediately pointed out that the researchers were organic food activists, and other researchers quickly questioned the statistical method used and the fact the report was published without peer review in an organic journal.

The entire issue might soon become moot. Recent advances that allow the precise editing of genomes now raise the possibility that fruit and other crops might be genetically improved without the need to introduce foreign genes, according to researchers writing in Trends in Biotechnology, according to the publisher, Cell Press.

Said the publisher in a summary of the Wednesday article:

With awareness of what makes these biotechnologies new and different, genetically edited fruits might be met with greater acceptance by society at large than genetically modified organisms so far have been, especially in Europe, researchers say. This could mean that genetically edited versions of GMOs such as super bananas that produce more vitamin A and apples that don't brown when cut, among other novelties, could be making an appearance on grocery shelves.

"The simple avoidance of introducing foreign genes makes genetically edited crops more natural than transgenic crops obtained by inserting foreign genes," said Chidananda Nagamangala Kanchiswamy of Istituto Agrario San Michele in Italy.

For instance, changes to the characteristics of fruit might be made via small genetic tweaks designed to increase or decrease the amounts of natural ingredients that their plant cells already make. Genome editing of fruit has become possible today due to the advent of new tools . . . and also because of the extensive and growing knowledge of fruit genomes.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 160

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
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Legal services

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Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
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Remodelling and Construction


Are you looking to buy property in Costa Rica. I am a professional builder with over 30 years experience in the remodel and construction business in the U.S. and C.R. I can inspect any building new or old meticulously and fix, remodel, do additions, whatever it needs or you want to add. I am very knowledgeable of all phases of construction and my rates are competitive.  Fully bilingual. Rainy season discounts. Contact:  Rodolfo Jimenez, Phone (506) 7129-3622  or (506) 8802-2176  Email :  
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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

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We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
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Real estate agents and services

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Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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Compañía Nacional de Danza photo       
Ballets feature characters in a same-sex relationship

Two ballets address sexual orientation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pair of ballets from the national dance company of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud are designed to highlight the organization's respect for all sexual orientations and genders. The dances, “Viceversa” and “Los tiernos anónimos,” are scheduled to premier at the Teatro de la Danza Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza, Adrián Figueroa, said these performances stand as an invitation to the public to an artistic space free from discrimination. Both ballets feature characters in same-sex relationships, confronting the issue under the creative and free medium of dance.

“In the theater we combine the artist with the audience member, so that's why it's important for these cultural spaces to allow people to feel free, and also feel respected,” Figueroa said.

“Viceversa” features choreography from Wendy Chinchilla and will be performed by dancers from the national dance company. Its story is presented in a way to focus primarily on constructing a love story, just with two characters who happen to be of the same sex, a culture ministry report said.

“Los tiernos anónimos” by Christopher Núñez will be performed by the Danza Graffiti group. The performance focuses on anonymous love and the way in which gay couples have to hide themselves, according to Figueroa

Figueroa, who is also a dancer, said that the company's events can present an avenue on which human rights and issues of equality can proceed in Costa Rica.

“We live in a free country, in theory,” he said. “Costa Rican society has been gradually realizing that we are distinct from one another, regardless of sexual identity, religion, political leaning, etc. We are distinct, but at the same time we are equal, because we are human beings, and we have the same rights to feel, to live, to be protected and to protect each other.”

Vice Minister of Cultura y Juventud Elena Quesada will speak on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement in the country before the dances begin. Free tickets are slated to be available at the Teatro de la Danza an hour before the shows start.

Teacup poodles rescued from puppy mill

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Friday, 18 teacup French poodles were rescued from a puppy mill in the province of Cartago. Humane Society International/Latin America and the Costa Rican national animal health service participated in the rescue.

All the dogs found were being housed in deplorable living conditions, showing signs of malnutrition, said the Humane Society. Several had different health afflictions requiring specialized care. Because of the bad conditions and overcrowding, the dogs were confiscated and carried to the Asociación Humanitaria para la Protección Animal de Costa Rica, an animal shelter in the province of Heredia, the society said.

At the shelter, the dogs are being examined by a team of veterinarians and will receive any necessary medical treatment. The dogs at the Asociación Humanitaria will be in constant interaction with people, becoming more sociable and companionable, to prepare them for adoption, said the society. Two pregnant dogs and a one-month-old puppy were part of the rescue and are now being cared for by Club Poodle Costa Rica.

"No animal should ever be subjected or forced to live in such deplorable conditions, said Cynthia Dent, regional director for Humane Society International/Latin America.  "We're thankful to SENASA and AHPPA for taking action and letting us help rescue these dogs, and we’re relieved these animals will soon find loving homes. We will continue to support and collaborate with SENASA and other local animal welfare organizations to help achieve higher standards of animal welfare, she said referring to the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal"

The Humane Society encourages people to adopt dogs from animal shelters or responsible breeders rather than purchasing a puppy from a pet store or online seller, where most of the dogs come from puppy mills. Puppy mills are facilities that churn out puppies for the pet trade with an emphasis on profit over welfare, said the society. Dogs bred in puppy mills often live in small wire cages with little or no personal attention, exercise or veterinary care, the organization added.

Poder Judicial identifies lawyer who is fraud suspect
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial identified a lawyer detained Tuesday by the last name of  Sibaja. He lives in Curridabat.

He is accused of submitting fake paperwork to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social where he served as a contract bill collector.

Sibaja appeared in court Wednesday morning and was freed with conditions by a judge. The man must sign in with prosecutors periodically. He came to the attention of the Caja and then prosecutors because he began an action against the health agency in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo to collect back bills, said the Poder Judicial.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 160
Real Estate
About us
Tax agency outlines a new three-part campaign to stem evasion
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authorities say they want to combat Costa Rica's tax evasion problem by collecting from those who donate money or provide services to political parties.

The finance ministry and the Dirección General de Tributación issued the plan Wednesday. It included two additional parts to regulate taxes from business professionals who declare expenses above 60 percent of their income and a campaign against companies and citizens wrongly declaring zero taxes. The agency is cross referencing various data bases.

There were tax irregularities found in more than 75 percent of donors surveyed from election campaigns before 2014, according to a Ministerio de Hacienda report. The majority of those campaign backers are not registered with Tributación and remained hidden from their tax rules.

Others were found guilty of outright omissions or inaccurate tax reporting, the report said.

Vice Minister Fernando Rodríguez said the finance ministry, working with the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, will start to tightly monitor the influx of political party funds by reviewing donor reports.

He added that the agency does not yet have reports from the recent presidential election.

As far as securing its control over professionals, Tributación now requires that they declare all expenses and deductions that equal more than 60 percent of their income. Tributación investigators found that some professionals have been registering up to eight related companies with the same pattern of excessive spending just to buy expensive personal items that they could hide from tax collectors. For example, they found that people have been buying
cars worth more than $50,000 and including them in these company expense reports to dodge taxes.

“We will ask professionals to detail all these elements with their respective receipts for each piece of data marked,” said Carlos Vargas, director of Tributación. “Whatever can't be proved will be rejected and will lead to a trade modification and its corresponding tax. This is considered very serious and is an act punishable with 100 percent of Tributación's power,” he said.

The plan's third installation, which says that taxpayers cannot declare zero taxes, is already subject to a trial run in the Pacific regions of Puntarenas and Guanacaste. Vargas said that so far investigators have discovered that depreciation expenses exceed more than 50 percent of the worth of asset values, despite fixed percentages in the country's income tax law that basically only range between 5 and 15 percent.

“Here as in the rest of the country we have cases of taxpayers reporting expenses greater than their incomes, although their displays of wealth say the contrary,” he said.

Neither companies or individual taxpayers are allowed to declare zero taxes based on the argument that their income was equal to or greater than their expenses, the finance ministry report states. Authorities said they hope to have this aspect of the plan in effect by the year's end.

Rodríguez said the finance ministry is now taking a variety of steps to plug these leaks in the country's tax collection. He said the agency has improved computer processing and has developed a social media mechanism that calls upon the public to out tax evaders. This three-part plan presented Wednesday should allow for greater ability to prevent and detect evasion, he said.

“We are making efforts in all areas of income to improve compliance,” he said. “We have proposed to close legal spaces, and we'll send our first proposal of the law against fraud to congress.”

Drug-spotting dogs continue to earn their keep on the road or at airport
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug dogs are earning their chow. In Cieneguita, Limón, Wednesday a black lab known as Alka sensed the presences of marijuana near the gas tank cap. Officers of the Unidad Canina followed up to find five baggies stuffed around the tank cap.

Tuesday night at Juan Santamaría airport a dog named Inca became interested in a shipment of mascara tubes that were headed for Ireland. Officers found that the tubes had been laced with about 437 grams of cocaine.

Other beauty supplies yielded 593 grams. The same night police located 619 grams of cocaine hidden in auto repair parts headed for Canada.

Police said they probably would not have located the cocaine hidden in the beauty products without the help of the dog.

The confiscation in Limón was part of a security ministry effort to provide more police there. Officers have been transferred to Limón Centro and adjacent areas indefinitely. Police said that they were able to confiscate four 9-mm. pistols Wednesday, too.
 Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Alka knows what is behind the cap

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 160
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Panama Canal celebrates 100 years of linking East with the West
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Panama Canal turns 100 this week. Officially opened in 1914, the 77-kilometer channel joins the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean at the isthmus of Panama.  It made the world smaller, creating a shortcut for cargo ships that ply their trade from east and west.  But 100 years later the canal is straining from the demands of expanding global trade.  It may also be facing some serious competition as it navigates the next 100 years.

Taking over 30 years to build, tens of thousands of workers and more than 27 million kilograms of dynamite, it is considered one of the biggest engineering feats of the 20th century. 

"The Panama Canal is one of those phenomenal moments in history.  A terrific example of engineering and technological strength of the United States, and really the coming of age of the United States as a global power," said University of Maryland Professor Julie Greene, author of the book "Canal Builders."

But the work exacted a heavy toll.  By the time the first ship crossed the canal, nearly 26,000 workers had died, some from accidents, many from malaria.

But it also changed international commerce forever, especially in the U.S., says George Washington University Professor, Noel Maurer.

“Because it enabled for the first time oil from California and lumber from the Pacific Northwest, but it was really the Californian oil that was driving the boat, to be profitably exported from California to the rest of the United States, and that had huge economic benefits for the United States," Maurer said.

Today more than 4 percent of the world's commerce passes through the canal, some 14,000 ships per year. But the canal's locks are now too small for much of the world's container fleet and the largest oil tankers.

Transportation expert Rodney McFadden says bigger ships can be more efficient and profitable.
“They carry more cargo for about the same amount of money per mile.  They are much easier on the environment," he said. "And they increase trade."

A Hong Kong company is backing a $40 billion plan to dig an
canal work
Voice of America photo
These are some of the men who built the canal.

alternate route through Nicaragua.  If successful, it could pose a serious challenge to the canal. But critics say the project is redundant and impractical, especially when the Panama canal is in the midst of a $5 billion expansion.  Once complete, the new locks will accommodate ships the length of the Empire State building and as wide as three basketball courts.

Autodesk, the New Hampshire-based company that created the software for the project, is thrilled.  Not only has the expansion created over 250,000 jobs, once finished it will create thousands more around the world, says AutoDesk spokesman Paul Sullivan.

"The ripple effect here is interesting because once this canal is completed and these ships are able to transit the canal, you’re going to see a lot more cities around the world competing for improving their ports so they can support those larger ships," he said.

Of the approximately 160 ports in the U.S., only about 15 can accommodate the larger supertankers that will pass through the expanded canal. 

By early 2016, experts say this grand canal will be able to handle 97 percent of the world's container ships - doubling the canal's capacity and ensuring it remains a marvel of engineering a hundred years from now.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
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Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


Here's reasonable medical care
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.

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oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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 of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

eredia home
Beautiful house for rent in Heredia
On a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden and on bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms, plus extra room for office.  Security, electric gate,  Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $500 monthly.  Call Leda (506) 2267-6306   Email

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 160
Real Estate
About us

Another protest takes place
at troubled Missouri town

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tensions are rising between police and residents in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, where an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a police officer.

Police in riot gear fired tear gas and smoke bombs late Wednesday night at hundreds of residents who were protesting for a fourth consecutive night in the predominantly black community.

The community of 21,000 residents has been on edge since the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday. Ferguson police officials say Brown was killed after fighting with the policeman in his car, but witnesses say the teenager was shot multiple times as he and a friend were walking from a store and that his hands were raised to show he was surrendering.

The demonstrations have turned violent, with some protesters vandalizing and looting stores. Police officials have responded by deploying heavily-armed officers in military-style vehicles throughout the community, a sight that has worsened relations between residents and Ferguson's mostly white political leadership.

The unrest has prompted school officials in Ferguson to delay the opening of the official school year from Thursday until next Monday.

Hours before Wednesday's tear gassing, two reporters working in Ferguson, Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly, were arrested while sitting in a fast-food restaurant.  Both reporters say police dressed in riot gear and carrying assault weapons entered the restaurant and ordered the patrons to leave.  Lowery and Reilly took photos and videos of the incident on their cellphones and posted them on Twitter.

Both men were later released from custody without being charged.

The FBI has opened an investigation into the shooting to determine if Brown's civil rights were violated.  Witnesses say the officer who shot Brown was white, but authorities have not disclosed his race or identity. The officer is now on administrative leave.

President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday offering his condolences to Brown's family. He urged residents to comfort each other "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

Fewer refugees in Iraq
weight against evacuation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Defense Department says a mission to evacuate refugees from a mountain in northern Iraq is far less likely after an assessment found fewer refugees in the area than previously feared.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking to reporters late Wednesday, cited the effects of U.S. air strikes against the Islamic State group and airdrops of humanitarian aid in helping to improve the situation on Mount Sinjar.

"Not only were there fewer people up there, but they were in relatively good condition, and the people up there credited our efforts with the water and the food and also buying space and time with those air strikes against ISIS, so that's good news," said Hagel.

Iraqi Kurds and other minorities sought refuge on Mount Sinjar ahead of a deadly militant onslaught in the vast regions near the Syrian border.

The U.S. sent troops to the area this week to assess how to help the humanitarian situation. Hagel said Wednesday that despite the positive assessment, the U.S. effort in Iraq is not complete.

President Barack Obama has ruled out sending combat troops back into Iraq.

Meanwhile, embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continued to resist mounting international pressure to step aside. Maliki, who is intent on serving a third term, said Wednesday he will not give up power until a federal court rules on new President Fouad Massoum's decision to name a Maliki rival as prime minister.

Maliki, a Shi'ite, has lost the support of the international community. Critics accuse him of marginalizing Iraq's minority Sunnis and Kurds and of failing to unite the politically fractured landscape of Iraq during his tenure.

Ebola outbreak stimulates
efforts for a good treatment

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental drugs for people who have ebola, a virus that already has claimed more than 1,000 lives in western Africa.

The experimental ebola serum that was used on American and Spanish missionaries is produced in California at the Mapp Biopharmaceutical laboratory.  The manufacturer says it has run out of the serum but that it is trying to increase production as quickly as possible.

Other groups also are working on treatments and vaccines.  Researchers at Newlink Genetics in Iowa say they have a vaccine that was 100 percent effective when given to monkeys. The company got a federal grant to ramp up its work and to speed up human testing.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has approved a grant to the University of Texas Medical Branch to develop effective treatments for ebola.  Professor Thomas Geisbert is the lead researcher.

"That grant really is to focus on what we believe are three of the most promising post-exposure treatments against ebola," said Geisbert.

All have proven effective in testing on monkeys. Professor Geisbert says the next step is human trials. 

“One of the goals for this project is to actually try to combine these different treatments, for example with HIV there’s been a lot of success in combining different anti-viral drugs that operate by different mechanisms of action, and we believe that this is something that may work for ebola as well," said Geisbert.

Since 1976, there have been more than 15 ebola outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa, but no licensed treatments are available. 

U.S. aid worker is still
a Taliban captive in Pakistan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three years ago Warren Weinstein, an American aid worker, was kidnapped by unknown armed men in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

A resident of Rockville, Maryland, Weinstein was a business development expert working in Pakistan on a contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development.  He had been in Pakistan for close to seven years when the gunmen stormed his residence and took him away.

“I really don’t know why they are holding him.  He was in Pakistan doing development work.  He is just an old man, a sick man who was dedicated to doing his job in Pakistan and kept staying there for the benefit of the Pakistani people,” Elaine Weinstein, the wife of Warren Weinstein said.

No group has claimed the responsibility of the kidnapping, but some experts say Pakistani Taliban or its affiliated groups may be behind the kidnapping.  These groups oppose the U.S. policy of conducting drone strikes inside Pakistan, targeting militants that allegedly attack targets in the neighboring Afghanistan.

Mrs. Weinstein said that her husband was in no position to make the U.S. change its policy.

It's believed that Weinstein is being held in a mountainous region near the Afghan border where the Pakistani military is fighting extremists. His captors released four videos of him, most recently last Christmas.

“His captors have released some videos.  The last one they released was in December of 2013.  It is terrible to see him and not be able to talk to him.  Not be able to tell him how we feel and ask him how he is doing,” Mrs. Weinstein said, adding that her husband’s captors have not contacted the family with any demands.

Weinstein has a heart condition that requires medication, along with high blood pressure and asthma. His family is worried that his health could fail or that he could be mistakenly killed by Pakistani forces.

Mrs. Weinstein said both the U.S. and Pakistani governments assured her that they are doing their best to secure her husband’s release.

Mrs. Clinton must travel
delicate path for election

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the more complicated and fascinating relationships of the modern political age is that of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Once bitter rivals, Mrs. Clinton was Obama’s surprise pick as his first secretary of State.  By all accounts they worked well together.  Petty rivalries were mostly swept aside as Mrs. Clinton traveled the world as the face of a new administration, determined to show the U.S. had turned the page after eight years of the presidency of George W. Bush.

In recent days it appears that the relationship has taken yet another turn.  Mrs. Clinton stepped up criticisms of the president's handling of foreign policy, taken by some as yet another sign of an impending campaign for the White House in 2016.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Mrs. Clinton seemed to take a shot at what has come to be known as the Obama administration’s shorthand foreign policy mantra:  “Don’t do stupid stuff.”  Mrs. Clinton put it this way:  “Great nations need organizing principles and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

Some of the president’s advisers were not amused.  David Axelrod blasted away on Twitter:  “Just to clarify, ‘Don’t do stupid stuff means stuff like occupying Iraq in the first place, which was a tragically bad decision.”

All of a sudden, the memories of the Obama-Clinton 2008 battle for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination came back into focus, especially the Obama campaign’s efforts to remind Democrats at every turn that Mrs. Clinton voted for the Iraq war as a senator from New York.

In an effort to tamp things down, Mrs. Clinton called Obama to assure him that nothing she said was an attempt to “attack him, his policies or his leadership,” according to a statement from a Clinton spokesman.

Mrs. Clinton detailed in her recent book “Hard Choices” how she and the president differed over arming moderate rebels in Syria.  She was in favor. He was opposed.  All of that has come back into play as the Obama administration grapples with the growing threat of jihadists in northern Iraq.

No doubt if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, she will have to put some distance between herself and the president, especially if the president remains unpopular.  But how she does that, without annoying liberal Democrats who remain loyal to Obama and whose support she will need to win, will be a key test of her political skills.

For Obama, the criticism comes at a bad time politically.  He is stuck at some of the lowest poll ratings of his tenure, just a few months before midterm congressional elections will likely determine what kind of presidency he will have in his final two years in office.

In fact, it is Mrs. Clinton who is likely to be in demand as a Democratic speaker during the upcoming midterm campaign, more so than the president.  Mrs. Clinton is expected to carefully choose where and when to campaign and for whom.   The demand for her is likely to outstrip her ability to accommodate all those who would seek her help.

It will be a different scenario for the president.  Many vulnerable Democrats running in Republican-leaning states have already signaled they would prefer he not come on their behalf.  And the White House, fully aware of the prospect of losing Democratic control of the Senate, understands and is willing to oblige.

While the Democratic Party story line for 2016 is clear at the moment with Mrs. Clinton as the frontrunner, it is anything but on the Republican side.

A recent Marist poll shows undecided is the top choice for Republicans in Iowa with 20 percent and in New Hampshire at 22 percent.  After that Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are tied with 12 percent each in Iowa followed by 2012 vice presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan at 11 percent.  In New Hampshire, Rand Paul is at 14 percent support followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 13 percent.

Christie has made some early visits to Iowa, which some Republican strategists see as a sign that he believes he remains a viable 2016 option among GOP contenders.  That’s important because Christie has been dogged by a scandal that ensnared some of his aides related to lane closings on the George Washington Bridge that caused massive traffic jams last September.

International law is clouded
by modern war practices

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The argument, made by an American law professor and presented to the Israeli parliament as Israeli forces pummeled Gaza and Hamas rained rockets, was as provocative as it was straightforward:

Israel has the legal right to shut off electricity and water to Gaza as part of its Operation Protective Edge, said the professor.

The military effort, now in its fifth week, has resulted in more than 1,900 deaths and more than 10,000 injured.

Howls erupted in legal circles. Days later, dozens of legal experts around the world piled into a debate with origins dating back decades, if not, centuries: in times of armed conflict, what exactly is a war crime?

“How do you balance military targets with human lives? That’s exactly what all commanders must do,” said Gary Solis, a U.S. law professor and author of a definitive textbook on war crimes and humanitarian law. “And many think the Israelis have not done this well.”

War has evolved quickly over the years. Less so the laws of war. Also known as humanitarian law, the laws of armed conflict were born in the U.S. Civil War, matured in the devastation of World War I and refined after the second, built on the proposition that even if war is inevitable, it doesn’t have to be immoral.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions, adopted by every country in the world, spell out the rules for everything from how prisoners of war should be treated and who exactly is considered a soldier, to what objects or buildings are considered legitimate targets. Two additional protocols updated those rules in 1977 to include special protections for children, women and civilian medical personnel, and measures of protection for journalists.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, considered the interpreter of international humanitarian law, tries to be the neutral arbiter of conflicts like those now raging in Gaza, Ukraine and Syria.

As of last Friday, more than 1,900 people had been killed in Gaza, along with 10,000 wounded and at least 400,000 people displaced, according to the Red Cross. That included at least 10 people killed when Israeli artillery hit a United Nations-operated school that was sheltering women and children.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called that shelling a criminal act.

"International humanitarian law is meant to strike a balance between military necessity and humanitarian considerations,” Red Cross President Peter Mauer said in a statement Aug. 8. "Having seen the destruction on the ground, and met the victims of the hostilities, I can affirm first-hand that this balance has not been respected.”

Humanitarian law’s slow evolution was jolted by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, whose resulting wars highlighted the laws’ limitations. It’s one thing to have armies clashing on a battlefield — think U.S. and German tanks in the Ardennes in 1945. It’s another when the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms or targets civilians with suicide bombs. When an attacking force launches Qassam rockets near schools or hospitals, or a soldier fires a Hellfire drone missile with the push of a button from suburban Washington, D.C., the Geneva Conventions’ proscriptions seem almost quaint.

That was something the Bush administration struggled with, what to call men captured in Afghanistan who may or may not have had connections to al-Qaida. Under traditional laws, they would have been called prisoners of war and entitled to legal protections. For some Bush advisers, that was problematic: a terrorist is not the same as an enemy combatant.

“The verbal gymnastics that the U.S. and others have undertaken is a good illustration of the conceptual challenge that IHL has had in trying to keep up with this new form of conflict,” said John Ciorciari, an assistant professor of international law at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Last month, Abraham Bell, a professor at the University of San Diego, submitted a legal brief to the Israeli Knesset arguing that Israel is within its rights to cut off the water and electricity supplies it provides to Gaza.

“In times of armed conflict, warring parties have to allow humanitarian supplies to flow to civilians in enemy territory as long as they are certain the supplies will not be appropriated by the enemy combatants,” Bell said in an email interview. “But they obviously have no obligation to provide the supplies themselves, and they certainly have no duty to allow the passage of non-humanitarian goods.

On July 26, on the legal blog OpinioJuris and elsewhere, Bell was rebutted by others who called cutting off power and water a violation of humanitarian law: civilians in Gaza are not combatants and shouldn’t be targeted as part of military action.

That question, Cornell University law professor Jens David Ohlin said, turns on whether Gaza is considered occupied or not.

“If Gaza is occupied territory, then Israel has certain humanitarian obligations to the residents of Gaza based on Israel’s status as a belligerent occupier of the territory,” Ohlin wrote in an email. “Many questions of international law hinge on whether a territory is a state or not, and the status of Palestine continues to be controversial and unsettled.”

Days after Bell’s argument circulated on OpinioJuris, an open letter signed by more than 140 legal experts from around the world began circulating on the Internet, accusing Israel of war crimes. The letter, which doesn’t appear timed to Bell’s argument, argued that, among other things, Operation Protective Edge was in fact part of an armed conflict that’s been ongoing since 1967.

Many argue that Israel, which has smart weaponry, sophisticated surveillance and a clear command structure, has a greater duty to avoid civilian casualties. If you have satellite-guided missiles that can be targeted with pinpoint accuracy, then using an artillery barrage in an area crowded with civilians is indiscriminate — illegal.

Others point to the fact that Hamas is firing its missiles amid Gaza’s high-rise apartments where Palestinian civilians live— also a violation under the international humanitarian law. The Palestinian group Hamas also doesn’t fit the traditional definition of a combatant. Rather it is closer to something called a non-state actor, a legal concept that, according to Ohlin, is only gradually being incorporated in international legal thinking.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Best Kitchen
Best Kitchen Depot is the leading kitchen and bath company in the Central American market. We represent the most fast-growing American solid wood cabinet manufacturers. All our products boast the three major industry certifications: Carb2, KCMA environment stewardship and KCMA
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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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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 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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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.

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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
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Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Escazú condo
Spectacular furnished luxury 3-bedroom condo in Escazú
Turnkey unit has 2.5 baths, 2 balconies, 2 parking spaces, 1 bodega. A STEAL @ $250,000. Community Amenities include pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna, racquetball, 24/7 security, concierge. No car needed: walk to supermarkets, banks, restaurants, shopping. INVESTORS: Possible long-term tenant For photos and how to contact us, go to:

Jaco condo
JACÓ BEACH - House in gated beachfront community
Titled, fully furnished turnkey single home, security 24/7. REDUCED TO $325,000. Casa Mariposa is 2100 SF with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1-car garage Private back yard, central A/C, kid friendly, pet friendly community This is the ONLY gated beachfront development of houses on Jacó Beach. For photos & contact information, go to:

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.


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  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special price: $200,000 for a quick sale.. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and

Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact or email 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.     It is Isla Grande - Segura, diagonal to grazing
 Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

Lundquist photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 160
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Single gene appears to control jet lag

By the Salk Institute for Biological Studies news staff

Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a gene that regulates sleep and wake rhythms.

The discovery of the role of this gene, called Lhx1, provides scientists with a potential therapeutic target to help night-shift workers or jet lagged travelers adjust to time differences more quickly. The results, published in eLife, can point to treatment strategies for sleep problems caused by a variety of disorders.

“It’s possible that the severity of many dementias comes from sleep disturbances,” says Satchidananda Panda, a Salk associate professor who led the research team. “If we can restore normal sleep, we can address half of the problem.”

Every cell in the body has a clock, an abundance of proteins that dip or rise rhythmically over approximately 24 hours. The master clock responsible for establishing these cyclic circadian rhythms and keeping all the body’s cells in sync is the suprachiasmatic nucleus, a small, densely packed region of about 20,000 neurons housed in the brain’s hypothalamus.

More so than in other areas of the brain, the neurons of the nucleus are in close and constant communication with one another. This close interaction, combined with exposure to light and darkness through vision circuits, keeps this master clock in sync and allows people to stay on essentially the same schedule every day. The tight coupling of these cells also helps make them collectively resistant to change. Exposure to light resets less than half of the suprachiasmatic nucleus cells, resulting in long periods of jet lag.

In the new study, researchers disrupted the light-dark cycles in mice and compared changes in the expression of thousands of genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus with other mouse tissues. They identified 213 gene expression changes that were unique to the suprachiasmatic nucleus and narrowed in on 13 of these that coded for molecules that turn on and off other genes. Of those, only one was suppressed in response to light: Lhx1.

“No one had ever imagined that Lhx1 might be so intricately involved in SCN function,” says Shubhroz Gill, a postdoctoral researcher and co-first author of the paper. Lhx1 is known for its role in neural development: it’s so important, that mice without the gene do not survive. But this is the first time it has been identified as a master regulator of light-dark cycle genes.

By recording electrical activity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of animals with reduced amounts of the Lhx1 protein, the researchers saw that the SCN neurons weren’t in sync with one another, despite appearing rhythmic individually.

“It was all about communication–the neurons were not talking to each other without this molecule,” says Ludovic Mure, a postdoctoral researcher and an author on the paper. A next step in the work will be to understand exactly how Lhx1 affects the expression of genes that creates this synchronicity.

Early morning quake near Nicoya

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica said earlier today that a 4.2-magnitude quake took place at 4:04 a.m. The epicenter was estimated to be about 14.6 kilometers or about 9 miles due east of Nicoya Centro on the Nicoya peninsula. In fact, the epicenter was estimated by the Universidad de Costa Rica agency as being 40 kilometers directly under the highway that leads from the Puente de Amistad to Nicoya.

Earlier in the day at 2:32 p.m. there was a 3.9-magnitude quake in the hills of the northern Pacific coast some 9 kilometers  (5.5 miles) south southwest of San Mateo Centro.

Both quakes appear to have been felt just locally and not in the Central Valley.

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From Page 7:

Investigative firm expands reach into Asia

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Derish Associates, Inc., has formed a new strategic alliance with Ted Kavowras of Panoramic Consulting, a firm that specializes in intellectual property investigations, primarily in Hong Kong and China.

Seth Derish, the principal in the firm that bears his name, said he and Kavowras have worked together for years on investigations around the globe.  They recently firmed up this alliance when Derish attended the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition conference, which took place in Hong Kong.  Also attending the conference were international law firms, U.S. and Asian law enforcement agencies, manufacturers' representatives, as well as the U.S. consul general and his staff. 

“As many of our existing clients already know, Mr. Derish's recent focus is in Latin America, as he lives and works in Costa Rica and is the district director for Central America for the Council of International Investigators. The new partnership with Panoramic increases Derish Associates' global reach to include Asia,” said Mary Nikas, vice president and chief investigator for U.S. Operations.

While Panoramic specializes in detection and gathering of evidence against foreign counterfeiters, Derish Associates provides background intelligence on the individuals and corporations behind these crimes, offering victims the information they need to recover damages.   

The Council of International Investigators is meeting in San Francisco Sept. 3 to 6, and both Derish and Kavowras are offering free consultations then to discuss intellectual property needs.Those unabel to do that can visit the Derish Web site. 

Derish Associates is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in Chico, California, Salem, Oregon, and San Jose, Costa Rica.  The U.S. operations are personally handled and directed by Ms. Nikas, a San Francisco Bay Area native who joined the firm in 1994 after several years in the financial securities sector.

She specializes in financial and real estate fraud investigations and has exposed bankruptcy and mail fraud rings, money laundering schemes, and mortgage loan and escrow company fraud.

Kavowras is currently the operations manager of Panoramic Consulting Ltd.  He is a retired police officer and a seasoned investigator, with years of experience in the U.S. law enforcement arena, working for the New York Police Department and with various federal agencies.

Panoramic protects many major brands in China, and has developed a working relationship with Hong Kong customs officials and police and with the Chinese Public Security Bureau and Food & Drug Administration, to combat counterfeiting.

Kavowras has been featured as an anti-counterfeiting expert on many major networks and is frequently called upon to speak at worldwide conferences of lawyers, investigators and law enforcement.

Derish, a San Francisco native, opened his own investigation agency there in 1978 and has been continuously practicing since.  In the 1980s, he worked with legendary personal injury attorneys Melvin Belli and Bob Cartwright, became an outside consultant to Security Pacific National Bank and was an investigative adviser to The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle and CBS local affiliate, KPIX News. 
Derish assists local and national law firms in all types of cases, including labor, environmental, personal injury, and financial fraud.  He has worked on several murder cases for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office as an outside contractor. His most notable case involved eyewitness testimony that led to the exoneration of the client for murder, he said.