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(506) 2223-1327              Published Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 173              E-mail us
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September starts off as a big month for news
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Unlike the dull news days of August, the month of September opened with a lot of activity, both good and bad.

In Barrio Otoya, as A.M. Costa Rica predicted, a San José-Heredia commuter train smashed into a bus and seven persons were injured. HERE!  

Elsewhere, expats and their lawyers were trying to wade through the new immigration law. The document was published Tuesday in the La Gaceta official newspaper, and what has been approved is significantly restructured from what has been presented previously. The new law has 28,263 words. HERE! 

Meanwhile, immigration was trying to make the
public aware that a vendor of cédula-like ID cards has no official standing. Foreigners, mostly Latin
Americans and Nicaraguans were standing in line
to get the 5,000-colons cards. HERE!

A Canadian company announced that a local firm here was entering the Costa Rican market for wireless Internet using its microwaves equipment. HERE! 

Health officials said they were working for soccer teams to make sure that adequate soap and water was available at stadiums as a way to cut down on the transmission of swine flu.  There is a big game with México Saturday night in San José. HERE!

At the Caribbean bus station, a security guard went postal, pulled his gun and shot down two workers at a small Banco de Costa Rica branch before he, too, was shot. HERE!

Meanwhile east of the Leeward Islands, Tropical Storm Erika was moving slowly west, and Baja  California was about to be hit with Hurricane Jimena. HERE!



Wall blocks view of motorists at crash-prone site
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The driver of a bus that collided with a commuter train Tuesday probably could not see the approaching rail cars until he was on the track.

The corner 100 meters west of Hospital Calderón Guardia has a 10-foot concrete wall running to the track right-of-way. This blocks the view of motorists who seek to look in the direction of Heredia.

At least seven persons suffered injuries about 6:30 a.m. when the San José-bound train collided with the Guadalupe bus. The crash was at the same
corner where traffic has increased five-fold because
of construction downtown. A lot of motorists are unfamiliar with the route and use the streets only because of detours.

A train signal there is out of service, but traffic workers have painted white lines on the roadway warning of a rail crossing.

In the first week of operation the train slightly bumped a bus at the same corner. A few days later traffic was tied up and an Heredia-bound train had to come to a halt to avoid crushing a bus that was stuck in traffic on the tracks. The accident Tuesday put the train service out of commission for several hours.


Mob figure living here indicted again for wagers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Queens, New York, district Attorney's Office said that Carmen V. Cicalese, 77, a figure in a major bookmaking ring, is a fugitive again and still in Costa Rica.

He was one of 11 persons indicted in Queens County on allegations that they took in $13 million over a 19-month period by accepting wagers on various sporting events, including professional and
college football, basketball, hockey and baseball.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that the investigation leading to the new indictment began in July 2007 when the New York State Police and the Queens County District Attorney’s Rackets and
Organized Crime Bureau developed information about an illegal sports betting operation. The
investigation included physical surveillance, intelligence information and court-authorized electronic eavesdropping.

Cicalese was indicted by a federal grand jury last year in relation to the operation of a Costa Rica-based gambling Web site and telephone call center that served sports bookies in the United States. He was named as being the head of the  operation despite his age. Cicalese, a close
associate of the Genovese crime family, has lived in Costa Rica. He goes by the name Buddy and is believed to have directly supervised the operation here.

The Queens indictments are new although they seem to be related to the earlier allegations. They were announced last month.

According to the indictment, between Sept. 25, 2007 and April 10, 2009, the defendants conspired to make money illegally through the operation of an unlawful gambling enterprise that accepted bets, via an offshore wire room, on sporting events ranging from as little as $200 to as much as $4,000 on a single game.

Investigators who executed search warrants this morning recovered $210,100 from a safe at the North Carolina home of one of the defendants, William Jennings. The safe was found in a box of Christmas decorations. Investigators also executed a search warrant of a safe deposit box at the Bank of Smithtown in Huntington, L.I., and seized $160,000 cash. Another $11,000 in cash was recovered at the home of a defendant's father.

Cicalese was identified as the controller of this operation.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 173

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Thomas A. Burke, LL.M, Glenda Burke, LL.M
Gloria Burke, manager
Burke law firm

We offer real estate law, due diligence and escrow services,residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.
More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the
General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
5510-3/2/10

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
San Jose - Jaco - Heredia
Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).
5468-2/17/10

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
5290-12/2/09

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/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014

Appraiser

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction management

www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
5302-12/12/09

Insurance brokers

Financial Planning & International Health Insurance
Disney Financial Group
Along with specializing in complete financial / estate planning and transfer, Disney is now offering the Finest
Michael Disney
Michael Disney
in International Health and Travel Insurance to Expats living and traveling worldwide.  International health insurance may now be submitted over the Internet.

We also have annuities offering a 25% up front bonus and 5% guaranteed compounded interest.  We handle life insurance policy buy outs. ** All financial products must be finalized within the boundaries of the United States.
Michael Disney, Disney Financial Group. 001.602.464.3729, 001.602.821.5050
E-mail:  DisneyFinancial@Aol.Com
www.DisneyFinancialGroup.Com
www.JoinDisneyOnline.Com
Disney Financial Group is licensed in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.
5374-10/10/09

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5495-2/17/09

Business consultant

Vision: Empowering small and medium business to their highest potential by setting The standards.
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Services we offer:
Financial Management, Planning & Development,
Business English, Business Technology, Professional
Networking,
Costa Rica-North America Specialists
 Costa Rica (011-506) 8914-4116 
http://www.rushconsultoria.biz/
5279-12/1/09

Psychiatrist

Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho Torres
  bilingual psychiatrist (UCR)
Dr. Sancho
• consulting • depression  • schizophrenia 
• psychiatric disability VA Affairs

• evaluations for gun permits 
 
• bipolar disorders  • addictions 

• methadone

• Transmagnetic stimulation
for depression and stroke

Available 24-hour a day

office: 2246-3458 or 2246-3459
soon: www.psiquiatriacostarica.com
 lucasancho@yahoo.com
5128-7/14/09


Dentists and dental surgery

Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica
Our office offers a wide variety of cosmetic and restorative treatments at very affordable prices. Fillings,
Dental Cosmetics
crowns, bridges, veneers, tooth whitening, implants, smile makeover orthognatic surgery, scalling and polishing.
www.dentalcosmeticscr.com
5372-10/9/09


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
Dr. cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 10,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction,
Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. 
For more information,
visit us today at: www.aestheticdentistrycr.com
5346-8/26/09

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

Accountants

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

• 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 $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

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: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
5422-8/13/09

Real estate agents and services

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
Latitude 9
Real estate, development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

www.latitude9.com
5349-11/25/09


MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
5406-1/6/10

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service


Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
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1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

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www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v


Our reader's opinion
Baker's view of country
is distorted, lawyer says


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read Monday's main page commentary by Mr. Garland Baker, entitled "Underdevelopment and the origins of Pura Vida," and as a Costa Rican, I must say that his vision of my country is indeed very distorted.  His comments reveal a deep misunderstanding of our culture and history.

The culture-shock that one experiences when living in another country is usually overcome with the passing of time, but in the case of Mr. Baker, he seems to have never gotten over certain basic differences in our culture, with respect to the American culture, even after becoming a naturalized citizen. This usually happens when a foreigner fails to engage in meaningful relationships with locals, or hides behind four walls most of the day.

Some of Mr. Baker's interpretations of our family ties are simply insulting. Regarding our president, I would invite everyone not to miss the biography to be aired on Channel 26, The Biography Channel, on the 13th of September.  Our Nobel Prize winner has indeed made great achievements, not only for this country, but for the region.

Costa Rica is an example of a country where health, education, freedom, work and peace are values which constitute a priority, and in fact there are very few places in the world today where one can enjoy, not just great climate, natural wonders and beautiful women, but true freedom and peace. A country with no army is a constant reminder that reason must triumph over brute force, and some people simply cannot tolerate such a reminder.

Surely there are instances where the patience of a visitor from North America may put to the test, given our relaxed way of life, but this is a result of a different culture, and as we say here, "hay mas tiempo que vida," there is more time than life. There are, of course, exceptions, but most professionals here strive to achieve excellence, and that is one of the many reasons big companies are flocking to Costa Rica. I think if you truly want to discover the resilient Costa Rican worker, you will find him.
Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Bufete Hernandez Mussio y Asociados



Baker provides clear, concise
and truthful information


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As expected, Garland Baker's article Monday generated a myriad of responses. Those who disagreed with his assessments cited, among other things, an overuse of generalizations, a valid argument, I suppose, when taken at face value, but also an argument that is really beside the point.

Accuracy would have probably been better served with phrases such as "the majority of" or "more often than not" or "from personal experiences." However, Mr. Baker's point, the gist of the matter, was that a prevailing attitude exists in Costa Rica that is proving detrimental to Costa Rica and it's the Costa Ricans themselves who are fostering this destructive attitude.

A year ago, my wife and I retired to Heredia largely because of the excellent and affordable health care services available in Costa Rica. Our pleasant surprise was that these services and procedures were even better than advertised. In this particular area, we've experienced the highest quality of professionalism that we could have ever imagined. And we've gladly paid in cold, hard cash.

However, in other areas, what we refer to as "daily living," such is not the case. On numerous occasions, we've been subjected to "Gringo pricing." One such incident even occurring at our local Hipermas store. We've observed shoddy efforts from plumbing and electrical "specialists" and endured some of the rudest waiters and waitresses we've ever seen. There have been many examples of thoughtless behavior that we've graciously attributed to "local color" which, in reality, is precisely what Mr. Baker is addressing.

A criminal system that seems to allow for thievery, up to $500 that is, and regularly allows these individuals to walk free without penalty is beyond our comprehension. We've been warned over and over about disreputable attorneys, real estate salespersons and bank personnel in Costa Rica to the point that we're just not going there at all. We rent and luckily have an excellent landlord who takes care of everything relating to any and all bureaucracies.

We're here as "perpetual tourists" and have followed the letter of the law religiously with three trips to Panamá and one to Nicaragua in order to keep our visas legal. With the exception of monies spent on these 72-hour excursions, every nickel of our retirement is being spent in Costa Rica. And still, there are times when we know that we're being viewed as prey.

It was also pointed out by one writer that Mr. Baker's article wasn't well researched and was, in fact, too opinionated to be a front page news article.

Well, maybe. But those of us who read A.M. Costa Rica know instantly, certainly by the end of the first paragraph, that this is a "Garland" and to be accepted as such. His articles have proven to be accurate and extremely helpful to those of us trying to find our way in this, sometimes, strange land. The article Monday is yet another example of Mr. Baker's continuing attempts to provide clear, concise and, yes, truthful information. While his efforts may not always follow true journalistic form and technique, we applaud his determination to provide the essential data necessary upon which we, as readers, are able to make correct determinations on our own.

James R. Lynch
La Lilliana, San Francisco de Heredia     



None in  La Guaria de Moravia
fits description in article


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Garland Baker should really stick to what he knows best, real estate and law.  He is not a social scientist and therefore reflecting his own biases and narrow views of Costa Rica and its people.  Because he doesn’t have the qualifications to analyze the Costa Rican society, he resorts to gross generalizations and, in many cases, totally untrue statements.  While these may be his opinions based on his own or some others’ personal experience, they really are not accurate and shouldn't be generalized. 

We wonder how many Ticos he knows personally and associates with on a regular basis from various walks of life (professionals, laborers, business contacts)?  We also wonder how much he knows of the culture, whether he has read the recognized writers, is familiar with their statesmen and the country's history, and knows their artists and musicians.  His lengthy listing of generalizations sounds like what we so often hear from tourists or those foreigners who come here to benefit by what the country has to offer, but never really become part of the culture, by learning the language, making local friends, and really participating in the life here.  Because they never really learn the language and can’t express themselves, they are continually suspicious or wary of the local people, always thinking they are getting a raw deal.  You shouldn’t measure the advancement of a society by what they “have in their stores,” as Garland does.

In our neighborhood in Moravia or elsewhere, we don’t know anyone who fits the description Garland gives to all Ticos.  We joined the La Guaria Rotary Club to try to contribute and improve conditions for the less fortunate here (such as buying an ambulance for Moravia’s Red Cross).   The members of this organization are very much the opposite of those Garland describes as typical Ticos.

We aren’t saying that there are not some Ticos like the lazy, thieving, apathetic, etc. ones he describes.  What he should know, but apparently doesn’t, is that they are not TYPICAL.  There are undesirable people in all societies, including the U.S.  There are also different value systems in all societies. 

Those who have studied these know that, for example, theft is not considered as serious a crime in the Latin culture as in ours, much of which is based on the British system.  On the other hand, there are values here that are lacking in the U.S. and some other cultures, such as the importance of family.  If A.M. Costa Rica wants a real cross-cultural analysis, get a social scientist, not a lawyer who apparently has had many unfortunate experiences and is generalizing those to apply to all Ticos.
Rich and Jean Redmond
Citizens of Costa Rica and the U.S.
having lived and worked here for 18 years
in La Guaria, Moravia.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For the record, Garland Baker is not a lawyer. He is a legal consultant who has Costa Rican lawyers working for him.



Ministry told to insure
access for autopista neighbors


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At least some of the property owners who were cut off from access by the reconstruction of the Autopista Próspero Fernández will get some relief.

The Sala IV constitutional court ruled that the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte should assure access in the vicinity of Guachipelín where a new tunnel has been constructed. The decision, announced Tuesday, only affects a handful of individuals. A number of businesses and residents have been cut off by the construction of the controlled access highway.

The victorious homeowner was identified by the Poder Judicial by the last names of Jiménez Pérez.

Later in the day the ministry said that it was working with the concession holder of the new Autopista del Sol to provide access for the property owners.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 173

August was a great month
Your Costa Rica

Security guard shoots clerk at bank branch in bus station
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A security guard may have been set off by a telephone call Tuesday afternoon because shortly after the cell phone call he began firing on Banco de Costa Rica employees.

The shootings took place about 4:15 p.m. at a small bank branch located inside the Caribbean bus station in north San José.

A female bank clerk suffered a bullet wound in the stomach. She is in serious condition. A bank customer suffered an injury to his mouth when the guard hit him with the firearm.

Bystanders jumped the guard and knocked him to the
ground, said the Fuerza Pública. The guard also suffered injuries from this encounter.

The guard was identified as Gustavo Sojo Rojas, said the Fuerza Pública. Police said that the man had Tuesday off but showed up at the bank anyway. Another source said the man had been working there for a short time. He has worked for the same guard service for five years, said police.

The female clerk appears to have walked out of a bathroom into the range of the guard. She was identified as Katrina Arroyo Barrios.

Bystanders said that Sojo had received the cell phone call minutes before pulling his weapon.


New immigration laws will go into effect March 1
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's new immigration law will go into effect March 1, officials said Tuesday. The law was published in the La Gaceta official newspaper Tuesday, triggering the clause in the law that says it will go into effect six months after publication.

The law is structured substantially different than previous versions. One item of interest to expats is that persons who overstay their visa will be fined $100 for each month they have been illegal in the country and they will be barred from entering Costa Rica for a period equal to the time they stayed here illegally.

The law also allows North America tourists to extend their 90-day stay for 90 more days with the payment of $100. This is important for the so-called snowbirds who come to Costa Rica for the north's winter season and may want to stay four or five months. Under the current law they would have to leave the country to renew their visa.

The new law also requires those foreigners living in the country to join the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. The law says that those renewing their residencies must show that they have been enrolled in the Caja the entire time since residency was granted. The process for doing this was not specified in the law.

The Policía de Migración is beefed up in the new law, and the duties of the force are spelled out. One obligation is to
check on the legality of persons working in Costa Rica and to enter workplaces to do so.

The law specifically says that pensionados and rentistas have the right to work and earn money on their own behalf. These so-called  residentes temporales also have to enroll in the Caja, said the law. However, the law also says that an employer has the obligation to make sure an employee has the legal right to work and is assessed a fine for violation.

Under the new law, innkeepers and hotel operators will have to keep a registry of persons staying in their facilities for inspection by the immigration police.

The law, as reported previously, fixes the income requirement for a pensionado at $1,000 a month and $2,500 a month for rentistas. And that amount covers close dependents.

The final draft has ballooned by nearly 100 sections to 268 articles, The law has 28,263 words. What is not in the law is a topic that bothers many persons here living as so-called perpetual tourists. The amount of time a tourist must stay out of the country to legally renew a tourist visa is not addressed nor is the whole practice of multiple tourist visas.

The regulations that will be drafted to accompany the law may address this issue, but they have yet to be published.

The law is clear, however, that every foreigner here must pay taxes. Few perpetual tourists do.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 173

Private Internet company here using Canadian devices
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Canadian company said Tuesday that IBW Costa Rica is offering wireless Ethernet connections for business customers in San José using the firm's high-capacity packet microwave devices.

The company is DragonWave, Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. The company said that IBW was using its equipment. IBW already has received approval from the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones to operate a wireless service.

IBW already has holdings in Central America. The company's business customers include financial institutions and other enterprises with the need for traffic security and reliability, DragonWave said.
IBW has gradually expanded into more Central American markets since the company's founding in Nicaragua and today, IBW has presence in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, said a news release. IBW incorporated in Costa Rica in 2008 and is led by directors Jaime Goldenberg and Mario Montero, DragonWave said.

DragonWave microwave product, the Horizon Compact, operates in bands from 6 GHz to 38 GHz and is capable of delivering 10 Mbps to 800 Mbps, DragonWave said. Introduced in 2007, it is the first packet microwave platform to deliver carrier-grade Ethernet performance in an all-outdoor, fully integrated enclosure, it added.

IBW Costa Rica is also a licensed provider of television subscription services,


New Atlantic storm might have some effect on Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

Hurricane Jimena is bearing down on Baja California, but Costa Ricans should be keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Erika. Jimena is too far north to have any effect here, but Erika has yet to show where it will go.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that the center of Jimena should be directly over the southern Baja sometime today. Tropical storm and hurricane warnings are in effect for much of the west coast of northern México.

Jimena is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 10 inches over the southern half of the Baja Peninsula and portions of western México during the next couple of days, the hurricane center said.

A dangerous storm surge along with large and dangerous battering waves will produce significant coastal flooding along the Baja, it added.

The Hurricane Center in Miami said that Jimena's winds had dropped to 205 kph (127 mph).  Earlier, the storm's winds were blowing at 215 kilometers per hour.  As the hurricane barreled toward the peninsula, Mexican police,
Erika offshore
U.S. National Hurricane Center graphic
Erika is moving slowly east of the northern Leewards.

firefighters and military personnel drove through shantytowns, trying to persuade some 10,000 people to evacuate shacks made of plastic sheeting, wood, reeds and blankets. 

Erika has been meandering for a few hours Tuesday night, but it should begin to move toward the west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) today. On this track the center of Erika is expected to pass to the northeast of the Leeward Islands Thursday.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 173

Casa Alfi Hotel

U.S. environmental group
joins battle over Baulas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Washington, D.C.,-based Natural Resources Defense Council has joined the effort to prevent downgrading a national park where leatherback turtles nest.

The council said that changing the designationnn of the  Parque Nacional Marino las Baulas to a national refuge could be devastating for the turtles.

The organization is promoting an e-mail campaign to Maureen Ballestero Vargas, the legislator who chairs the environmental committee in the legislature.

"Encroaching development already threatens the park's turtle nesting beaches and this bill would increase the pressure on the leatherback turtle," said the e-mail.  "If passed, the bill would represent the first time that Costa Rica decided to downgrade a national park and would be a real blemish on your country's well-deserved reputation as an environmental leader."

The e-mail is on the organization's Web site.

The Parque Nacional Marino las Baulas has been trouble for the central government. There is private construction on part of the area designated for park expansion, and millions of dollars would be needed to buy out the landowners. Many do not want to go. The Sala IV constitutional court has ordered the government to do just that, but there is no money allocated.

The local Programa Restauranción de Tortuga marina also has been promoting a campaign to keep the park the way it is.

Vermont gay couples
now allowed to marry


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Same-sex couples in the northeastern U.S. state of Vermont are now allowed to wed.

Some couples across the state began exchanging vows at midnight when the law took effect.

Vermont authorized gay marriage earlier this year after state lawmakers overrode the governor's veto. It was the first state to approve gay marriage through legislation and not a court ruling.

The other U.S. states that have approved gay marriage laws are Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. New Hampshire's law will take effect Jan. 1.

The District of Columbia has approved a law recognizing gay marriage performed in states where it is legal.

The renowned Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry's has temporarily renamed their popular flavor "Chubby Hubby" to "Hubby Hubby" (nickname for husband) to show support for the state's new marriage law.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 173

Latin American news
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Foreigners still lining up
for private identity cards


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Foreigners continue to line up at the Casa de Matute Gómez in downtown San José where a private company is selling identity cards.

Government officials continue to be concerned that purchasers will think that the Global ID card gives them the right to work in Costa Rica or residency.

The company is scheduling appointments and reaching customers via newspaper advertising and a Web page. A line was formed outside the former mansion Tuesday. The Direccion General de Migración y Extranjería has disavowed the operation.

The company makes no claims in writing. The plastic cards look very much like a cédula de identidad and even carry the Costa Rican flag as well as a photo of the purchaser. Each cost 5,000 colons, about $8.50. An advertised special for the month says someone could obtain two cards for 8,000 colons, about $13.70. the second card presumably would be for a family member.

In the line waiting Tuesday were mostly Nicaraguans but there were Peruvians, too. They told a reporter that they wanted the card simply for identification purposes.


Hand washing at stadiums
becomes new campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Health officials are calling on the various first division soccer teams to have adequate soap and clean water available so that fans can wash their hands at stadiums. This is another effort to cut down on the transmission of swine flu.

The teams have promised to provide disposable towels and to distribute flyers telling fans how they should wash their hands, according to Casa Presidencial.

The health officials said that such techniques would reduce other infirmities too.

At the latest count released Tuesday the country has 1,115 confirmed cases of swine flu and 33 deaths attributed at least in part to the virus.

Some 63 percent of the cases are in individuals younger than 30, health officials said.









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