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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 161                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
 
Cascata del Bosco



motehrs


Mother of the day is a pistol-packing grandma
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The poster mom for today, Mother's Day in Costa Rica, is a grandmotherly woman who shot it out with would-be hijackers overnight in Desamparados.

She is Sara Ortíz Esquivel, and her heroism could not have come at a better time. The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública did not let this public relations moment pass. Staffers quickly obtains a brief biography of the 22-year police veteran and announced that she has six children and 15 grandkids.

Officials will be giving her a decoration for heroism today. She also was credited with protecting the life of a motorcyclist who was a tipster and bystander.

Officials said that 11 rounds were fired in the encounter that led to the arrest of two men.

The drama took place at Plaza Cucubres in Calle Fallas de Desamparado.

The Fuerza Pública said that the motorcyclist alerted the officer that a car was chasing a truck.  When she caught up with the vehicle, Ms. Ortiz said the men inside insulted her and began shooting. The bullets put pockmarks in nearby walls, and Ms. Ortiz managed to keep the tipster safe.

Eventually more officers arrived to support her. Two men, 22 and 24, were taken into custody. Police put bags on their hands so that tests could be made to see if they fired a weapon.
police officer
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
Sara Ortíz Esquivel

Ms. Ortiz is a coordinator of a crime prevention  program. The ministry quoted her saying that she was thanking God that she could celebrate the Día de la Madre today safe and sound.


Booze and drugs not enough to warrant dismissal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Being absent from work because of  alcohol and crack cocaine addictions is not enough to warrant dismissal from a government job in Costa Rica.

The case in point is a teacher at the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Pococí.

The individual, who was not identified in a brief summary of a Sala IV constitutional court decision, appealed a dismissal by the Ministerio de Educación Pública.
The individual argued that he or she had no chance to raise a defense during a civil service dismissal hearings because of the addictions and officials should have provided a chance at rehabilitation.
The individual argued that alcoholism is recognized by the World Health Organization as a mental disease with psychological, social and biological roots. In addition, the individual said, rehabilitation requires  a steady job.

The Sala IV bought that argument and told the education ministry that the individual must be put back in the job.


Ortega tweaks officials here over Guanacaste
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, must be having fun tweaking Costa Rica officials. He has had workers and soldiers invade a desolate area in the northeastern part of Costa Rica in an effort to punch through a new mouth to the Río San Juan.

He has responded to a World Court action with allegations that make much better headlines than legal arguments.

He is buying some well-armed patrol boats for his military from Russia. And he is making noises about the offshore maritime territory that is claimed jointly by his country, Costa Rica and in some cases Colombia.

Now he suggests that his country, Nicaragua, might like to take back Guanacaste that was lost 189 years ago when residents there voted to join Costa Rica.
Costa Rican officials behaved in a predictable manner. The mayor of Nicoya, Marco Antonio Jiménez, Muñoz, dashed off a letter to Ortega saying the Nicaraguan president was ignorant of the history behind the province of Guanacaste.

The foreign ministry delivered a diplomatic note the the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José, and lawmakers said they supported the move. The ministry pointed out that the national borders are defined in a treaty.

So in other words, Costa Rica officials acted as if Ortega were serious.

Nicaragua could invade and take over large parts of Costa Rica anytime officials and military leaders there want to do so. Nicaragua has an army, and Costa Rica does not.

But the international fallout of such a move would be gigantic.

Alto de
                        Antigua

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 161

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Sportsmen's Lodge bikini

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;
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Psychotherapy

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
25 years experience
Dr. KLycinda
                                                  Gray
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Architects

Organe headline
Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
Arenal (servicing Guanacaste/Nicoya Peninsula)

Contact Information:
 (506) 2694-4712
Website http://www.architectorange.com
Inquires  info@architectorange.com
Arenal office located at Agua Inn Spa

Orange slogan
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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.
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Grecia Real Estate
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Visit our Web site: www.greciarealestate.com
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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Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!
Special Offer this Week: Best Condo deal in Jacó
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Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
www.CRbeach.com    info@crbeach.com
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica
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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 —

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Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Insurance

Project completion specialists

Pacifica
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Pacifica living
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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:

  • Building completion services
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Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
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Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
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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
scales
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
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
  Phone:  7157-9092
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
7920-10/11/13

ONE STOP LAW OFFICES OF
MARIO VALVERDE BRENES
Attorney At Law – CPA

Mario Valverde
Everything you need to do and stay in business in Costa Rica. We'll incorporate you, take care of your immigration status, get your legal permits and licenses, keep your books and taxes and represent you in any legal process, either civil, commercial, criminal, tax, labor, family and torts.
 
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
7667-10/17/12

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's
                                            hat
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
95,100 in 2012}
• 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


Former Centro Cultural director
returns as U.S. chargé d'affaires


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A seasoned professional diplomat with extensive Latin American
Gallegos
Gonzalo Gallegos
experience is now in charge of the U.S. Embassy in Pavas. He is Gonzalo Gallegos, who takes over for Eric Nelson.

An embassy spokesperson noted that  Gallegos had served in Costa Rica previously and in his last position in Washington he had policy oversight of the embassy here.

Gallegos is the top person at the embassy because a new ambassador has not been named. Typically, the ambassador's job at the embassy is a political patronage post regardless of the political affiliations of the U.S. president who makes the selection.

The last ambassador, Ann Slaughter Andrew, is the wife of a former head
of the Democratic National Committee. She and her husband were early supporters of Barack Obama.

Absent an ambassador, Gallegos is called chargé d'affaires. The last time he was here he was director  of the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano. He most recently served as the director of the Office of Central American Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the embassy said.

His most recent overseas posting was as counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, it added.  He also has served in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, NIcaragua and Colombia.

He was graduated by Kansas State University with majors in political science and journalism, according to his biography. He received a master's degree in national security strategy from the National War College, it said.

The embassy said that Nelson now is director of the State Department’s Office of e-diplomacy in Washington. "Essentially, they focus on using cutting-edge technology to improve the way we work together and how we reach external audiences around the world," the spokesperson said.


Our readers' opinions
Criminal element is destroying
the U.S. Constitution, economy


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

First: Executive orders violating any section or portion thereof of the United States Constitution is ILLEGAL

Second: U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled [against indefinate detention] in a landmark decision from the bench along with an injunction without taking the usual 10-day period

Third: Rep. Justin Amash stated openly that the language of the text of the NSA (Prism) act was purposefully withheld from Congress.

Our readers are sadly mistaken about their allegations that the act is constitutional. We are living with a criminal element that has destroyed our Constitution, our economy, our currency, and purposefully has destroyed the middle class, and is now scurrying for cover like the bunch of rodents they are ( I apologize to the good name of rodents).

Elections are meaningless, parties are controlled and contrived. Already a foreign international court has found Bush and Cheney et al. “guilty of massive war crimes.”

And Obama is getting paranoid that he is next on the list having been a “Gunga Din” for the Globalists and their banking buddies who have laid their plans well and have had co-conspirators in our government execute their plans: i.e. Monsanto Freedom clause   [supporting genetically modified crops] in the spending bill is a piece of art.
Milt Farrow
Titusville, Florida


Lawmakers just don't listen
to what constituents say

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

My friend (my very good personal friend), Charles Akin is overly optimistic in his advice to contact U.S. lawmakers about pending or in force legislation. During the run-up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I tried in vain to offer a practical alternative to every actor on the scene and to some of their relatives. I wrote letters and emails to every participant in the debates. And I got not one reply.

It is a well known fact that anyone can address email to the White House or to members of Congress. It is less well known that those emails go directly into the electronic wastebasket. They are never read. And while paper mail may elicit a letter in response, you can be sure that no one with any influence in any congressional office ever sees it. If you want a machine generated, machine signed but content-free letter on congressional letterhead, waste a stamp on any member of Congress.

I'm sorry, friend Charles, but if you want to catch the ear of your congressperson or the president, you'll need to bring a stash of cash that will fill a wheelbarrow. Otherwise, there isn't a chance of being heard.

With regard to the Patriot Act, an important but commonly overlooked fact is that this law, which is over 700 typewritten pages long, appeared out of nowhere just days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Think about it . . . It had to have been drafted prior to the attacks. Someone (just who is anybody's guess), had this all prepared in advance and was just waiting for the right moment to bring it to light.
David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela


Homeland Security seems
like Germany's Brown Shirts


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Throughout history it appears that, when powerful people make decisions out of fear which affect society, in the aggregate time shows they tend to get it wrong. Unfortunately the Patriot Act seems to be one of those decisions that has mushroomed into an abysmal budget sucking, constitutional- and civil rights-eroding action.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established teams to patrol train stations, sporting events etc., etc. These teams have the rights to question and search citizens at these locations. This smacks of the days of the Brown Shirts in Germany (Show us your papers, Why are you here?  Where are you going?) Homeland security has become an attempt at increasing employment. There are existing procedures for boarding airplanes without the obtrusive physical measures used by DHS personnel.

As U.S. citizens, we desperately need for our elected officials to return to their sworn duties of protecting the Constitution, providing for federal infrastructure and defending the U.S. in times of war. We do not need for our elected officials to protect us from ourselves and our neighbors.

Perhaps the problem is we want to be taken care of. When we want our officials to take care of us, it changes the dynamics of the government. Suddenly our elected officials become a class unto themselves. They have special perks (retirement and medical programs) unavailable to their constituents. Suddenly the focus changes. There is a touch of arrogance. The focus becomes holding on to the job, being re-elected. The constituent becomes less important because they won’t pay  for the reelection campaign. Perhaps the special interest groups will pay these costs (financial institutions, ever changing names of other special interest groups pacs, lobbyist, etc., etc..) It appears the constituent becomes of secondary importance to the elected official because the official is beholding to the special interest that funds the campaign and enables the elected official to hold onto the job.

The other issue is how do these elected officials handle the electorate once they catch-on. The Republicans and Democratic parties, they can’t help, they are now the same people.

Gordon L Balter
Atenas

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Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

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Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


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Classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.


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Del
                Rey

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 161
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Three held in property fraud investigation in San Carlos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents said that a band of crooks has been tricking property owners and eventually gaining title and negotiating mortgages

Investigators made four raids Wednesday morning. They were at homes in Atenas, Alajuela and Ciudad Quesada. There was another raid at a lawyer's office in Alajuela Centro, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Three suspects were detained.

Preliminary information suggests that more than one property is involved in the investigation. Agents also said that the crooks used fake documents in some cases in order to establish their  ownership of the properties. Once the records in the
Registro Nacional showed the fake ownership, the next step was to take out mortgages on the properties.

This type of crime is one reason why the Registro has set up a system of alerts so that property owners are notified if there is any changes in the documentation on their holdings.

The current case appears to involved properties in the San Carlos area. Agents said  they are investigating cases that go back to 2009, presumably involving the same suspects.

Although fake documents are involved in the case, agents also said that sometimes property owners were tricked into signing a document that later was used to gain title to the property.

Detained were two Costa Ricans and a Colombian, the agency said.


At 12 years, A.M. Costa Rica still is going strong
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Today is the 12th birthday of A.M. Costa Rica, a publication that was originally designed to be a community calendar of sorts.

We are happy to report that after 12 years, despite vast economic and social changes, we still are profitable and going strong.

However, there is disappointment in that there have been little change in some situations that matter to expats. Property fraud still is with us. There were some arrests Wednesday, but like most cases, little probably will come of it.

Among the first articles we published was one about money laundering. In part, the weakness of the dollar here is because there is so much dollar denominated money flowing into the country.

Drugs are still with us, and except for international smuggling, police and government officials seem to be highly selective in the cases they prosecute.

Types of crime are changing, and walking the streets is safer in downtown San José. But the incidents in home invasions by armed thugs are troubling.

The real estate market, which wiped out a lot of expats, is strengthening. There is a gigantic pool of Americans and Canadians who will be seeking a retirement haven in the next few years. International Living just completed a big seminar promoting Costa Rica as a retirement spot.

Costa Rica no longer is a cheap place where the Yankee dollar rules. But the advantages of living here are substantial.

And it is A.M. Costa Rica's responsibility to provide the news, protect the expats (sometimes from themselves) and be a voice for foreigners in encounters with the government.

A lot of thanks is due to our advertisers because it is their 
money that provides free news five days a week. Of course, they would not spend their money if the ads did not bring in business, and that appears to be the secret of success for A.M. Costa Rica. We value our advertisers and want to see their commercial announcements yield profits as long as there is no intrusion in news-gathering.

Of course, we also need to thank the readers. There are 3,400 who receive a daily digest each weekday morning. We serve up about 35,000 pages a day all over the world. And all of our readers share on common trait: A major interest in what is going on in Costa Rica.

We will try to be here 12 more years.

U.S. tax

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 161
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clown
Pepe will be there Friday!
Clowns and other circus acts will be featured Friday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The culture ministry will be celebrating the Día del Artista Nacional two days early with events planned for Friday in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. The official day is Sunday.

Costa Rican artists, from clowns to musicians, will be there. The emphasis this year will be on circus-type performers, hence the clowns. The goal is to help revive the circus arts in the country, said the Minsiterio de  Cultura y Juventud. An announcement said that these types of acts originated in pre-Columbian times.

The ministry said that Friday there will be contortionists and plenty of clowns. The events begin at 10 a.m. and run until 6 p.m.

The Centro de la Cultura is the ministry facility in the Antigua Fabrica de Licores just east of Parque España on Avenida 7.

 The  Grupo Korporación y René Barboza will play while there are workshops with circus themes being presented on various artistic activities. There also will be artisans showing their wares as well as food, said the ministry.



 
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Palermo montage
Need to renew your tourist visa? 
Spend 72 hours at Villas de Palermo in a 2-bedroom villa overlooking the bay in San Juan del Sur. Our air-conditioned van will pick you up at the Rivas bus terminal or Peñas Blancas border and transport you to our luxury, ocean view resort. Packages start at $119 per person including 3 nights with breakfast and free local transportation. Call 1-800-734-3402 or email info@villasdepalermo.com to reserve.
8051-9/7/13

Anywhere
Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homes,
Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
7880-3/13/14

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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.
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.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. george@glundquist.com
7897-9/1/13

Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
7862-8/1/13

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7697-12/24/1

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7699-3/4/143

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and 
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.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
7962-6/9/13

Howard Spanish cover

NOW YOU CAN SPEAK SPANISH

LIKE A COSTA RICAN
ALL you need to handle most daily situation. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google www.costaricaspanish.net  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through www.costaricabooks.com
7963-6/9/13

Christopher Howard’s Costa Rica Starter Kit!
4 INDISPENSABLE eBOOKS FOR ONLY $39.95        
THE SAME 4  GUIDEBOOKS IN HARDBACK COST  $82.95
costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
    * The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
            (dumbells)”
Purchase through Pay Pal at: www.costaricabooks.com
7964-6/9/13

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7699-3/4/14

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


Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!


A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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
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.
8054-2/16/14

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.
8026-7/17/13

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542, celigar53@gmail.com.
8018-8/24/13

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.
8024-8/18/13

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

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
8025-8/18/13

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

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.
7968-7/17/13

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



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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 161
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Cafetales



Scientists rebuild a heart
by introducing new cells

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists using human stem cells have rebuilt a working mouse heart after stripping it of all of its original cells.

A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine first removed all of the cells from a mouse heart, a process they say takes 10 hours. The remaining scaffold of the heart was then repopulated with human-induced pluripotent stem cells. The cells were made into multipotential cardiovascular progenitor  cells. The cells were harvested from fibroblast cells from a small human skin biopsy.

“This process makes MCPs, which are precursor cells that can further differentiate into three kinds of cells the heart uses, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells,” said senior researcher Lei Yang, assistant professor of developmental biology at the Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “Nobody has tried using these MCPs for heart regeneration before. It turns out that the heart’s extracellular matrix – the material that is the substrate of heart scaffold – can send signals to guide the MCPs into becoming the specialized cells that are needed for proper heart function.”

The newly rebuilt heart began to beat at a rate of 40 to 50 beats per minute within a few weeks, the researchers said. While promising, they say more work must be done “to make the heart contract strongly enough to be able to pump blood effectively, and to rebuild the heart’s electrical conduction system correctly so that the heart rate speeds up and slows down appropriately.”

In the future, it might be possible to take a simple skin biopsy from a patient to derive personalized MCPs that can be used to seed a biologic scaffold and regenerate a replacement organ suitable for transplantation, Yang said.

“One of our next goals is to see if it’s feasible to make a patch of human heart muscle,” he added. “We could use patches to replace a region damaged by a heart attack. That might be easier to achieve because it won’t require as many cells as a whole human-sized organ would.”

In the United States, one person dies of heart disease every 34 seconds, and more than 5 million people suffer from heart failure, meaning a reduced ability to pump blood, said Yang.

“Scientists have been looking to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering approaches to find new solutions for this important problem,” Yang said. “The ability to replace a piece of tissue damaged by a heart attack, or perhaps an entire organ, could be very helpful for these patients.”

The findings were published in Nature Communications.


Manning gives an apology
in effort to reduce sentence


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier convicted of leaking 750,000 secret documents to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, has apologized for his actions in a bid to get a lighter sentence after being convicted of espionage.  The sentencing phase of Manning's case is under way at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Bradley Manning broke his silence Wednesday, taking the stand, pulling out a piece of paper, and reading a statement in which he apologized for the leaks, which he said hurt people and the United States.

Manning, now 25 years old, told the judge he understood but did not appreciate the broader effects of his actions, which he said he believed were going to help people.  Manning said he understands he must pay a price for what he did, but hopes to one day move on and go to college.  He asked the judge to give him an opportunity to prove himself a good person.

His statement followed testimony by a military psychiatrist who said Manning suffers from a series of emotional problems including a gender identity disorder and symptoms of autism.  The psychiatrist also said Manning suffered problems related to fetal alcohol syndrome resulting from his mother's heavy drinking while she was pregnant with him.

Manning was convicted last month of leaking U.S. diplomatic cables, military communications, and video material while serving as an army intelligence analyst in Iraq in what is described as the largest leak of secret U.S. government files in history.

He was acquitted of the more serious charge of aiding the enemy, which carried a possible life sentence.  He still faces 90 years in prison on the charges for which he was convicted.    

Throughout the court martial, which began in early June, the defense has tried to present Manning not as a traitor but as a whistleblower who sought to expose what he believed was wrongdoing by the U.S. government. 

Manning's lawyers hope his apology and other testimony during the sentencing phase will help convince the judge that he was naïve, immature, well meaning, and suffering from conditions beyond his control.  

The judge is expected to read Manning's sentence in the coming days.


Flying lab helps researchers
keep track of climate change


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers studying global climate change have taken to the skies in a flying laboratory that is at the forefront of scientific discovery.

The lab is a Gulfstream V corporate jet that has been modified. In place of the luxury seats for business executives are banks of computers and dozens of weather instruments.  
 
"Many of them are mounted in locations around the fuselage," said Al Cooper, chief scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who helped develop the flying laboratory.

Some of the atmospheric chemistry measurements inside the airplane allow scientists to gather data as they fly through the air. Others measure remotely through the airplane windows. 

The flying lab is called HIAPER, which stands for High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research. HIAPER climbs high, to 16,000 meters, and travels far, more than 11,000 kilometers without refueling. Scientists helped craft the design and then lobbied to get it funded. 
 
“The community was really asking for these kind of capabilities for several reasons: one was the altitude capabilities they wanted to reach the upper parts of the atmosphere," Cooper said. "The other was long-range capabilities, to be able to conduct studies that are global in scope, so that we can monitor questions like what is the carbon dioxide distribution around the world.” 

The $81.5 million project was funded by the National Science Foundation. It is managed and operated by the national center in Boulder, Colorado. 

“The main thing this gives us is the ability to measure in place," Cooper said. "There are some remote sensors that the plane carries as well to be able to extend those measurements above and below the plane as it flies along. So the instruments that it carries measure along the flight track and they measure with high resolution, much higher than you can get in any other way.”

Among the instruments taking measurements in real time are dropsondes packed in epoxy-hardened cotton tubes and jettisoned from the aircraft.  Center engineer Nick Potts says they record pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed.

During Tropical Storm Gaston, researchers used HIAPER to analyze disturbances that showed the potential to develop further.
“As the sondes falls, it is measuring these parameters," he said. "It is telemetering them or radioing them out much like your cell phone talks to a base station, where instead of just talking to the base station, we are talking to the plane.”

From a seat behind a computer, Potts sends a message to an automated dropsondes launcher, which looks a lot like a vending machine in the rear of the craft. The tubes are stacked in slots waiting for his command.

“The aircraft, we can actually fly to where we are interested in going," Potts said. "So often times these things are used in hurricanes. So we fly to the hurricane, fly around the hurricane and then pick spaces where we want to launch them. What their real observational purpose is for it to help with prediction models for hurricanes and where they land.” 

Potts says better predictions can ultimately save lives. Among HAIPER’s recent projects was a mission to study plumes of dust and pollutants blown from Asia, and flights to analyze severe weather across Colorado’s Front Range and the adjacent Great Plains.


Chile copper mine workers
embark on surprise strike


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Workers began a surprise strike at the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, Wednesday morning to demand improved working conditions and pay.
 
The work stoppage at Escondida, controlled by global miner BHP Billiton, was initially planned to last 24 hours, but the timeframe will be evaluated in the coming hours, union representative Marcelo Tapia said.
 
All operations have been halted, said Tapia, adding the union's 2,500 workers had dropped their tools. "It's due to a variety of issues that the company has not been responding to."
 
He added that workers at BHP's Spence and Cerro Colorado mines also joined the labor action, which kicked off at 8 am local time
 
BHP and Rio Tinto, which own 30 percent of Escondida, declined to comment.
 
Escondida produced 1.1 million tons of copper last year, about 20 percent of the output from No. 1 copper producer Chile.
 
The mine's union stunned the copper market in 2011 by staging a two-week work stoppage, sending the mine's output tumbling.
 
Workers clinched a new contract agreement in January, at the time easing fears of labor unrest at the mine.
 
Labor action has been galvanized in mining powerhouse Chile as unions seek to get their issues heard ahead of the November presidential election.


Vietnam coffee industry
in chaos over huge debts


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Desks are empty, the office silence broken only by a handful of staff chit-chatting or playing on cellphones. It's another slow day at the headquarters of Vinacafe, a state-owned firm once the vanguard of Vietnam's coffee export boom.
 
“There's no one here for you to talk to,” a receptionist said when asked who was in charge at the Vietnam National Coffee Corporation in Ho Chi Minh City, the hub of an industry that produces 17 percent of the world coffee output.
 
The bosses and managers of Vinacafe have either quit or were not at work that day, like most of the 80-plus staff the company says are employed there, according to the company Web site.
 
Vietnam is the world's biggest producer of the strong-flavored robusta beans, used for instant coffee, and has experienced a decade of solid growth which has seen coffee exports reach $3 billion a year.
 
But its coffee industry is now in crisis, plagued by tax evasion, mismanagement, insolvency, high interest rates and a credit squeeze. Many coffee operators are trapped with crippling debt and banks are reluctant to lend them more money.
 
Vietnam's credit crunch is blamed largely on state-owned enterprises that borrowed big during the economic boom of the past decade and squandered cash on failed investments, which has left banks crippled by one of Asia's highest bad-debt ratios.
 
Of the 127 local coffee export firms that operated in Vietnam a year ago, 56 have ceased trading or shifted to other businesses after taking out loans they can't repay, according to industry reports.
 
Few coffee exporters are willing to talk about their financial problems. In Communist Vietnam, people are often reluctant to speak publicly about sensitive issues like politics and business, especially to foreign media.
 
But Nguyen Xuan Binh is one major coffee exporter who admits he's in deep trouble.
 
His firm, Truong Ngan, is wilting from $28 million of debt owed to seven banks from which it borrowed at interest rates of 20 percent. With barely any cash flow, its only collateral is its stock of coffee beans, enough to fill 200 small trucks.
 
“Now the banks want to come and repossess all that we have, our 4,000 tons of coffee,” Binh said.
 
Vietnam's 2013/2014 coffee crop is forecast to be a bumper harvest, around 17 million to 29.5 million 60-kg bags, based on a poll, adding to a global oversupply and pressuring coffee prices which have lost about 10 percent since October.
 
But only a few firms, like Vietnam's top coffee exporter Intimex Group, which accounts for a quarter of exports and made $1.2 billion in revenue in 2012, will benefit from this year's crop. The rest will be lucky to survive, with a government assessment of the coffee industry painting a bleak picture.
 
The value of non-performing loans or debts in the sector likely to go unpaid stands at 8 trillion dong ($379 million), or 60 percent of all coffee industry loans, said a July circular signed by the Deputy Agriculture Minister Vu Van Tam.
 
“No one wants to admit they're going bankrupt,” said one coffee trader in Ho Chi Minh City, who like many of his competitors, asked that his name be withheld. “Once they go bankrupt, they can never borrow from banks again and their businesses are finished.”
 
Even in the coffee-rich central highlands of Daklak, export firms are fast going bankrupt. “Only half have survived this past year,” a local government trade official said.
 
Struggling coffee exporters blame local banks for their predicament, citing high interest rates issued to lure depositors due to high inflation in 2010-2011, which has in turn curbed the economy to its slowest pace in 14 years.
 
Many overseas coffee dealers say Vietnamese exporters dug themselves into a hole by overzealous borrowing for expansion and bungled attempts to play the global robusta futures market, which rallied to a three-year peak around $2,600 a ton in early 2011 but then plunged to the current level below $2,000.
 
Unscrupulous middlemen have also played a part in the crisis, cheating exporters by selling them weighted coffee bags and inferior beans which are difficult to sell or fetch lower prices.
 
“What I found out is the market there is quite dirty. Middlemen often sell poor beans to exporters. They even put metal bolts in the bags to outweigh them,” said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
 
In an attempt to support its biggest currency earner among agriculture exports, the government last month extended the loan repayment period for coffee firms from 12 to 36 months.
 
But traders said the move was more aimed at helping troubled banks, by preventing coffee exporter debts being classified as non performing loans.
 
Banks say they have no ban on further lending to coffee exporters, with rates still high at 10 to 16.5 percent, but admit they are reluctant to do so.
 
“We don't have any barrier with lending to coffee companies, but we have to be very careful with bad debt. The coffee business is now very unstable so it's not on our preference list,” said a deputy manager at a major commercial lender in Ho Chi Minh City, who asked not to be named.
 
The Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) has sought government approval to stockpile 300,000 tons, a fifth of the country's output, to try to boost prices, and offer exporters soft loans to finance purchases of beans from farmers.
 
But the last such stockpiling effort in 2010 flopped, with only 60,000 of the 200,000-ton target stored because of logistical glitches and slow disbursement of funds.
 
For cash-strapped exporters, selling beans to repay debts is more important than stockpiling for potential price gains.
 
But domestic prices are trading near a 16-month trough below 40,000 dong a kg ($1.90) after benchmark London futures sank to a 32-month low on concerns over rising global output. Prices below 40,000 dong usually deter farmers from selling.
 
“Even top exporters are now having problems,” said a dealer in Singapore who trades Vietnamese beans. “I don't think they are going to buy 300,000 tons. How do you expect companies which are suffering from heavy losses to find cash?”
 
While a prolonged crisis in Vietnam could curb exports, second-largest robusta producer Indonesia may seize the opportunity to sell more beans as the country's production is forecast to hit an all time high this crop year.
 
Without a dramatic increase in global consumption, top producer Brazil and some other producing countries could lift world inventory to a five-year high in the 2013/2014 crop year, keeping further downward pressure on prices.
 
“There may be a revamp of the entire coffee industry, and I think those who immediately benefit from the situation in Vietnam are Brazil and Indonesia,” said Liu.
 
Domestic traders believe the only solution to Vietnam's coffee crisis rests with the government and banks that are able to lend, but say the banks are shunning coffee exporters or offering them interest rates they can't handle.
 
“I'm sure those struggling companies can recover if they get support from banks. But it's unlikely they'll get it,” said the director of a leading firm, who asked not to be identified by name.


White House butler movie
is about more than race


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

"The Butler" carries the signature of acclaimed director Lee Daniels, whose film "Precious" won an Oscar. Now, he tells the story of the civil rights movement through the eyes of a White House butler as he served eight U.S. presidents.

In "The Butler," Cecil Gaines is the unassuming servant who epitomizes race relations in 1950s America. Forrest Whitaker offers a layered interpretation of Cecil.

"At that time, to have a position where you're working in the White House was a big deal economically speaking, socially speaking. But then there are also those who look at people in the service industry as uncle Toms, or people who are servants,
 Whitaker said. "You can serve without being servile, and I think there is a very big difference between the two things."

Cecil doesn’t fight for social change but he unwittingly affects it by serving eight presidents.

But Cecil is not as sure-footed at home as he is at the White House. His wife, Gloria, resents his long hours and turns to alcohol and other temptations. His eldest son, Louis, a civil rights activist, looks down at his father.

Oprah Winfrey offers an Oscar-worthy performance as Gloria.

"I think of all of the men and women who served either as butlers or chefs, cooks, maids, janitors, and I think that the 'aha'  is the grace and nobility that it took to do that, to hold your head up every day, to build a family, and build a life that supported you and your community," she said. "I just have a greater sense of pride for that man, those men and that time."

Martin Luther King, played by Nelson Ellis, tells Louis that a butler or a maid, although perceived as subservient, is in many ways subversive without knowing it.  Cecil Gaines was certainly that. His character is based on Eugene Allen, the real White House butler, who witnessed major events while serving as the White House butler for 34 years.

But the film is ultimately about America, says filmmaker Daniels.

"It's a civil rights story, but it is a father and son story," he said. "And the father and son story transcends race."

The film has a healing effect. And, while it serves as a reminder of racial struggle and injustice, it also celebrates Americans' ability to overcome.


Brian graphic
Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Zeynep Saygin
Yellow area provides the connection between brain areas.

Dyslexia is linked to area
moving information in brain

By the Massachusetts Institute of Technology news staff

About 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia, a condition that makes learning to read difficult. Dyslexia is usually diagnosed around second grade, but the results of a new study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology could help identify those children before they even begin reading, so they can be given extra help earlier.

The study, done with researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, found a correlation between poor pre-reading skills in kindergartners and the size of a brain structure that connects two language-processing areas.

Previous studies have shown that in adults with poor reading skills, this structure, known as the arcuate fasciculus, is smaller and less organized than in adults who read normally. However, it was unknown if these differences cause reading difficulties or result from lack of reading experience.

“We were very interested in looking at children prior to reading instruction and whether you would see these kinds of differences,” says John Gabrieli, professor of health sciences at the university's McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Gabrieli and Nadine Gaab, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, are the senior authors of a paper describing the results in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Lead authors of the paper are MIT postdocs Zeynep Saygin and Elizabeth Norton.

The new study is part of a larger effort involving approximately 1,000 children at schools throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. At the beginning of kindergarten, children whose parents give permission to participate are assessed for pre-reading skills, such as being able to put words together from sounds.

“From that, we’re able to provide — at the beginning of kindergarten — a snapshot of how that child’s pre-reading abilities look relative to others in their classroom or other peers, which is a real benefit to the child’s parents and teachers,” Ms. Norton said.
The researchers then invite a subset of the children to come to MIT for brain imaging. The Journal of Neuroscience study included 40 children who had their brains scanned using a technique known as diffusion-weighted imaging, which is based on magnetic resonance imaging.

This type of imaging reveals the size and organization of the brain’s white matter — bundles of nerves that carry information between brain regions. The researchers focused on three white-matter tracts associated with reading skill, all located on the left side of the brain.

When comparing the brain scans and the results of several different types of pre-reading tests, the researchers found a correlation between the size and organization of the arcuate fasciculus and performance on tests of phonological awareness — the ability to identify and manipulate the sounds of language.

Phonological awareness can be measured by testing how well children can segment sounds, identify them in isolation, and rearrange them to make new words. Strong phonological skills have previously been linked with ease of learning to read. “The first step in reading is to match the printed letters with the sounds of letters that you know exist in the world,” Ms. Norton said.

The researchers also tested the children on two other skills that have been shown to predict reading ability — rapid naming, which is the ability to name a series of familiar objects as quickly as you can, and the ability to name letters. They did not find any correlation between these skills and the size or organization of the white-matter structures scanned in this study.

Brian Wandell, director of Stanford University’s Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging, says the study is a valuable contribution to efforts to find biological markers that a child is likely to need extra help to learn to read.

“The work identifies a clear marker that predicts reading, and the marker is present at a very young age. Their results raise questions about the biological basis of the marker and provides scientists with excellent new targets for study,” says Wandell, who was not part of the research team.

The left arcuate fasciculus connects Broca’s area, which is involved in speech production, and Wernicke’s area, which is involved in understanding written and spoken language. A larger and more organized arcuate fasciculus could aid in communication between those two regions, the researchers say.

Gabrieli points out that the structural differences found in the study don’t necessarily reflect genetic differences; environmental influences could also be involved. “At the moment when the children arrive at kindergarten, which is approximately when we scan them, we don’t know what factors lead to these brain differences,” he says.

The researchers plan to follow three waves of children as they progress to second grade and evaluate whether the brain measures they have identified predict poor reading skills.

“We don’t know yet how it plays out over time, and that’s the big question: Can we, through a combination of behavioral and brain measures, get a lot more accurate at seeing who will become a dyslexic child, with the hope that that would motivate aggressive interventions that would help these children right from the start, instead of waiting for them to fail?” Gabrieli said.

For at least some dyslexic children, offering extra training in phonological skills can help them improve their reading skills later on, studies have shown.

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
8016-9/10/13

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)


humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Liberia farm
Must Sell - Immediately
Guanacaste - Liberia Farm

9 hectares (24 acres)
Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes
10 minutes from Liberia center
$59,500 plus all legal fees
marinakuperman@gmail.com
347-535-4516
8057-9/14/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8033-8/19/13

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Catillo
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8032-8/19/13

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at Vistaricarealty.com for more information!
8031-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Monte Mar
Hacienda Monte Mar
Gated Community near the beach
located halfway between Jaco and Quepos/Manuel Antonio
 BEST DEAL in Costa Rica!!! Lots starting at just $18,500 with financing available.
 Lot/ House packages from around $60,000
Great Retirement, Vacation, or investment option!
Lots of wildlife on the property. Gated front entrance, caretakers on site,
security and lawn maintenance, no time limit to build. Absentee Owner Friendly.
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

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

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, from Jaco to Quepos/Manuel Antonio
- 2 Bedroom House in Gated Community near the beach, $89,000!!
 - Beachfront Residential Lots from $58,000
- Coffee Shop/ Bakery, Coastal Town, Great Location, Real Estate Office Upstairs, Turnkey $85,000 Great ROI
- Lots in Gated Community near the beach from $18,500,
with Financing Available!!
- 3 Bedroom House in Gated Community, furnished, walk to the beach, $120k
 1.25 acre + lots in ECO Development $39,000
- 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

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

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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11


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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Brazil will be flooded
with World Cup aircraft


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Non-commercial aircraft are expected to carry as many as one in every nine international visitors to the World Cup in Brazil next year by some estimates, but industry leaders say the country is unprepared for the oncoming swarm.
 
Desperately needed new airstrips will not be ready in time for the tournament and air-traffic plans at crowded airports are still unresolved, said executives in Sao Paulo this week for LABACE, the world's second-largest business aviation conference.
 
“Brazilians are last-minute sprinters. It is part of our culture,” said Eduardo Marson, chairman of Brazil's general aviation association ABAG. “The investments are coming much slower than we'd like. It's too late for most of them.”
 
The crunch comes as Brazil races to expand commercial airports already operating beyond capacity, driving up demand for more efficient charter flights, but pushing the necessary infrastructure to the back burner.
 
That means Brazil, whose fleet of private aircraft is second only to that of the United States, may have to open its military airstrips and hangars in order to accommodate all the jets in town for the 2014 World Cup, Marson said.
 
Some 3,000 business aircraft will fill Brazil's skies during the tournament, according to the Dubai-based United Aviation Services, which books charter flights with over 500 private jet operators globally. Privately chartered airliners make up less than 5 percent of that estimate.
 
The Dubai firm is touting VIP packages for the event in the hopes that a healthier world economy will boost demand from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
 
Fewer than 8 percent of visitors to the tournament three years ago opted for private flights over commercial ones, according to United Aviation Services, which forecasts the share will rise to 11 percent in Brazil next year, including charter flights carrying soccer teams, heads of state and corporate delegations.
 
ABAG's Marson said the United Aviation Services estimate may be on the high end of possible scenarios, but he agreed air traffic outside of commercial airlines would outpace any prior event in Brazil.
 
Officials estimate that the World Cup will draw about 600,000 international visitors, spending nearly 7 billion reais ($3 billion).
 
Aviation has deeper roots in Brazil than in South Africa, due to its continental size, growing ranks of millionaires and a long history of flight, from airplane pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont to planemaker Embraer S.A.
 
But private and public airports, like nearly all of Brazil's transportation infrastructure, have suffered from decades of scarce investment, resulting in a lack of runways and hangars to keep up with the booming demand of the past decade.
 
“In big cities we're seeing major problems. In Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro there's almost a blockade of executive aviation services,” Civil Aviation Secretary Wellington Moreira Franco told journalists this week.
 
“Soon that story should be different,” promised Moreira  Franco, highlighting a handful of private initiatives to build new airports around Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil's two biggest cities.
 
Those projects were made possible by a recent change to federal rules allowing private investors to build, operate and charge fees at new airports. However, the only such airport expected to open by the start of the World Cup in June 2014 is the Aerovale airstrip outside Sao Jose dos Campos, about 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Sao Paulo.
 
A closer project in the southern reaches of Sao Paulo's city limits, has been slowed by trouble obtaining environmental licenses and is unlikely to open before the end of next year.




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From Page 7:

Europe squeaks out of recession

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The eurozone has finally emerged from 18 months of recession posting positive growth after unexpectedly strong consumer spending in the currency bloc’s core economies. Analysts are warning, however, that this is not the end of the euro crisis.

After six consecutive quarters of negative growth, the eurozone is finally recovering. The growth figure of 0.3 percent in the second quarter hardly signals a boom, but it is a milestone, said Daragh Maher, foreign exchange strategist at HSBC in London.

“The very fact that we can talk about growth, politicians can talk about growth, markets can talk about growth again, it’s a significant psychological development,” said Maher.

Portugal posted the strongest growth of the quarter expanding its economy by 1.1 percent. That's good news for a country that had been forced to take a $102 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

But it was the eurozone’s powerhouse economies of Germany and France that hauled the currency bloc out of recession.

Germany grew 0.7 percent and France by 0.5 percent, both driven by higher consumer spending and industrial output. The figures surpassed many economists’ forecasts, said Maher.

“That’s encouraging because, in a way, if the core is at least driving things forward and recovering, they’re in a better position politically and economically to provide the support that the peripherals perhaps still require,” said Maher.

The problem for the eurozone remains its indebted southern periphery.

Spain’s economy contracted by 0.1 percent. In Italy, also struggling with debt and unemployment, the economy contracted by two-tenths of a percent.

And in Greece, ground zero of Europe’s crisis over the past four years, the economy shrank by 4.6 percent. That’s a slight improvement on the previous three months, but indicative of the euro’s ongoing problems, said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, a London-based financial services firm.

"Germany is booming, France is doing okay, but you've got to look at southern Europe, and they are in real dire straits. So you've got this two-tier Europe, and Germany really controlling the austerity while it's booming. So I think it's not the eurozone problems being solved," said Rundle.