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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 178                                Email us
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Session this week to promote digital TV standards
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The telecom ministry plans a two-day seminar to brief experts here on the finer points of digital television.

Costa Rica has chosen a Japanese-Brazilian digital system, so experts from both countries will be at the Wednesday and Thursday sessions in the Hotel Wyndham Herradura

Costa Rica television transmissions are supposed to be all-digital by 2017. Canal 13 of the Sistema Nacional de Radio y Television in late March 2012 announced that the government transmitter was the first to use the Japanese-Brazilian digital format.
North American sets use the advanced television systems committee standards or ATSC. The Japanese-Brazilian system is called ISDB.Tb for integrated services digital broadcasting.

The only persons who will be affected are those who receive television transmissions over the air.

That number is becoming fewer and fewer as cable and Internet transmissions gain market share. Those stuck with an analog television set after the full changeover will have to purchase a translator box. These already are available in the country.

The changeover is now the domain of the  Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones

Country prepares to receive torch Friday morning
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Antorcha de la Independencia is supposed to arrive in the country at the Peñas Blancas border crossing at 11 a.m. Friday.

From there, teams of school children and volunteers have 350 kilometers (about 217 miles) to cover to insure that the torch arrives in Cartago Sunday night.

For most of the trip, the torch will travel the Interamericana until it reaches Alajuela. From there the runners will take the old road through Heredia.

The Policía de Tránsito said because the days are the weekend, there should be less traffic. There is an elaborate system of traffic control, including blocking off Avenida 2 in downtown San José for the 6 p.m. Sunday arrival of the torch and the subsequent closure of the traffic circle around the Fuente de Hispanidad in San Pedro until the torch bearers pass en route to Cartago, where there is another ceremony. The torch spawns other torches that spread to much of the country.
Police also will be blocking off streets around Parque Nacional starting at 7 a.m. Monday in anticipation of the 9 a.m. independence day speech by President Luis Guillermo Solís. Monday is a legal holiday.

Youngsters and adult volunteers from the Fuerza Pública, fire fighters and the Cruz Roja will be escorted the entire way by traffic police. The organizer is the Ministerio de Educación.

The torch will pass through Cañas, Bagaces, Liberia, Puntarenas, San Ramón de Alajuela, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Alajuela Centro and Heredia Centro before arriving in San José via Paseo Colón.

The route, of course, is that presumed to have been followed by a messenger from Guatemala who was delivering the news of independence 193 years ago. In fact, the messenger did not arrive until Oct. 13, but Costa Ricans mark the day when the municipal council in Guatemala City declared independence and started messengers to tell other residents of Central America.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 178

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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.

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Real estate agents and services

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Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
These men are smiling because the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas
plucked them from the Pacific at Palo Seco de Parita after their
small boat overturned Monday and dumped them into the sea.

New developments on tourist market

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When President Luis Guillermo Solís resurrected a long-dead legislative bill, he set off legal reverberations.

The president acted to guarantee a home for the Mercado Nacional de la Artesanía at Calle 13 bis by the Plaza de la Democracia.

The presidential action is being challenged by the Municipalidad de San José and lawmakers. Juan Marín Quirós, a Liberación lawmaker, said Monday he found out that the Sala IV constitutional court will hear three appeals he filed. There are others.

Also Monday the Ministerio de Salud said he had withdrawn the health permit for a location on Avenida 6 south of the Parque de las Garantías Sociales. This is where the municipality hopes to move the merchants from the Plaza de la Democracia site.

Meanwhile there is a pending health action against the
Plaza de la Democracia site that was issued July 2.

Arms treaty meeting plans structure

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials are meeting with representatives of 69 other countries to promote the U.N. Commerce in Arms Treaty and to prepare for a conference of the countries that have signed the treaty next year,

This is the treaty attributed to Óscar Arias Sánchez that would require countries to keep track of the weapons their manufacturers are putting into the global marketplace.

Proponents of the treaty are hoping for ratification by 50 countries because that would put the treaty into force. Some 45 countries have ratified the agreement, although many more have signed it.

The second day of the session is being held in México today. México is one of the countries that has ratified the treaty.  The meeting goal is to set up a structure for administering the treaty once it is ratified. The treaty was approved at the United Nations April 2, 2013.

The theory behind the treaty is that conventional weapons frequently are put into illegal commerce.

4x4 expo planned in Jacó Sunday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja in Jacó plans an exhibition of 4x4 vehicles Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The place is the la Purruja track, Quebrada Amarilla de Garabito, Jaco.

There is an admission which the Comité Auxiliar of the Cruz Roja in Jacó will apply to the purchase of rescue equipment.

Some of the vehicles are being called extreme 4x4s. Some have been used in rescues.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 178
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Lack of appointments is another topic making tourism leaders unhappy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism industry has yet another complaint. The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles and the Cámera Nacional Turismo are calling on government officials to convene the Comisión Reguladora de Turismo.

This is an entity that along with other duties makes agreements with investors who wish to create projects in the country.

The panel can agree to certain exonerations from customs and sales tax on imports for investors.
However, even though some members of the commission have been named, the decree formalizing the nominations has not been published, said the chambers.

This oversight can cost millions, said the chambers. They called on the  Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio to act swiftly.

This is just another topic for tourism leaders to bring up today when they have a scheduled meeting with central government officials. The chambers are trying to eliminate a new 13 percent sales tax on many tourism activities and a demand by the taxing agency that back payments be made for six years.

Helpless turtle rescued
when her captors flee

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Really big turtles have a really hard time righting themselves if they are put on their backs. When someone ties their appendages, the task is impossible.

That is how members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the Fuerza Pública found one female green turtle over the weekend. Someone was getting ready to butcher the critter.

The cooks scampered when they saw police arriving. The turtle was released on a Pacuare beach, officials said.

Turtle hunters not only can get meat that they usually sell in the black market, but they also can obtain turtle eggs from the carcass.

There is a steady market in such goods despite prohibitions against killing turtles. Although adult turtles usually are at sea, they come to shore to create nests and lay eggs. Police noted that this one green turtle might produce 600 eggs in five or six visits to the beach.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Law officers send turtle on her way.

Gunmen murder two pairs of couples in killing with no clear motives
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gunmen killed two couples overnight in similar encounters in Limón and in Desamparados, investigators reported.

The Desamparados murders took place about 7 p.m. in Las Tablas, San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados.

The primary victim was a 35-year-old man with the last name of Obando. The man was near the local sports plaza when the gunman fired and left.  A woman, 27, with the last name of Moreno, was
nearby and rushed to aid the dying man. That is when the gunman returned and shot her twice, fatally.

The murders in Barrio Corales 3, Limón, took place about 3 a.m. A couple had just gotten out of a taxi when a gunman appeared and killed them both. They were identified as a 32-year-old man with the last name of
Alfaro and a 19-year-old woman with the last name of Villalta.

In neither incident was there an apparent motive, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 178
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Absent municipal support, Laredo church members help illegals onward
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Driving a jumbo canary yellow pickup truck in which he once fit 15 migrant mothers and children, Mario Garcia pulls into the Laredo, Texas bus station on an August afternoon.

He’s been waiting all day for a woman named Maribel and her child. Federal agents were supposed to have released her from detention after they issued her a court date.

The one-room bus station is buzzing with travelers. There is another woman waiting. Her name is Ana, and she has three children. They arrived from Mexico a day earlier. Mario asks her a few questions, and then herds them into his truck.

"I introduce myself as a pastor," he says. "I give them my business card. I tell them who I am. I tell them I’m the executive director for the Laredo Baptist Association... the pastor of a church... and just tell them that I’m here to help."

He and the other members of the Laredo Humanitarian Relief Team have a routine now.

Just three months earlier, these members of local faith-based organizations didn't have a formal group or a plan. They heard that the bus station in this border city was filling up with Central American migrants, so they took food and hygiene products to them. They saw that no one else was helping.

Unlike in McAllen, 265 kilometers to the south, where public funds have been allocated to deal with the problems of undocumented immigrants, the mayor of Laredo told local media in June that his city wouldn't use taxpayer money to deal with the influx.

Viky Garcia is a city council candidate in Laredo who was using office space at a Methodist community center, the Holding Institute, when the city began receiving the migrants who no longer fit into Texas’ over-capacity detention centers.

"The problem was, o.k., you get a bunch of people dropped off - they don’t have any money, they don’t have any food, they haven’t showered in some time. They’re all hanging out at the bus station," Garcia says. "How do you help them get a bus ticket faster than they are now, because they were taking a week, a week-and-a-half, to be able to find a relative and figure out a way - of how the money-transfer system works in the U.S. - to get the bus ticket out."

Relief workers like her refer to these immigrants as documented, but not in the traditional sense of the word used by the media and politicians. They are documented because even though they entered the U.S. illegally, they were caught or turned themselves in. The government has given them a notice to appear in immigration court - potentially the first step to being deported.

Until that court date, they are released to relatives around the U.S. if there is no space for them in federal facilities. But the migrants often don't know how to receive the money their families have wired for a bus ticket, or haven't been able to contact them.

The Holding Institute, which before touted computer classes and job skills workshops, became Laredo's hub for help. The Baptists, Catholics and Buddhists all pitched in. Soon, the supplies for arriving families filled two rooms. They set up a call center so migrants could phone relatives.

Now, the team prides itself on lowering the average stay of migrants from a few days to a few hours.
Which is why on an August afternoon, relief team staff and volunteers are hurrying Ana and her boys through the assembly line at the Holding Institute, as hundreds of families -- more than 1,000 individuals -- have since June.

Shirts, pants, new shoes for everyone. Ana tries to guess which shorts will fit her small frame.

The family has two hours to get new clothes and food, shower, call relatives, and make the bus to Houston.

Ana's case is unusual, the volunteers note. She tells them she fled from Michoacan, Mexico, five days ago, after her partner threatened to take their two youngest boys.

The log book at the Holding Institute shows migrants' names and countries of origin. Without fail, the majority have been from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. They were part of the surge in young families that streamed across the southwest border at a breakneck rate since last October: 66,142 by the end of August, a more than 400 percent increase over the 12,908 families during the same period a year earlier.

Institute staffers have taken it upon themselves to fact-check each case. They ask Ana's boys where they are from, whom they are going to see, what life was like back home.

The 12-year-old describes their home state in Mexico convincingly.

There are other cases that raise bigger flags than Ana's case. A favorite story for the relief team is the reluctant Facebook Romeo, who professed to the woman he met on social media that they could be together if she just got to the U.S.  But when she called him from the Holding Institute, he didn’t want to buy her ticket.

Mario Garcia says he got on the phone and told the man this wasn’t the time to go back on promises. Ultimately, the Facebook fiance bought the bus ticket.

As Mario does with most migrants he helps, he keeps track of them through social media. He shows a picture of the couple posted online, the two of them smiling in a yard, arms around each other. They seem happy, Mario thinks.

If the man's briefly stranded fiancee had entered the women's bathroom at the Holding Institute, she would have seen a small poster in Spanish.

"Look beyond the superficial,"  it reads, giving a hotline number at the bottom. "Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery."

According to Viky Garcia, that's constantly a concern.

She says, "There’s always the suspicion that maybe the address they gave isn’t the - is not necessarily a relative’s address. How many of those people were actually going to meet strangers? I don’t know."

Because the rate of border apprehensions dropped in July and August, there are fewer migrant families passing through the Holding Institute. They don't know yet what the center will evolve into. They agree it will be more than a community center, but not a full-time migrant relief agency.

For now, though, the volunteers and staff still sit at the front desk, waiting for Mario's yellow truck to pull into the parking lot with new arrivals.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
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eredia home
Beautiful house for rent in Heredia
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HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
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We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
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Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 178
Real Estate
About us

Harvard received millions
for public health studies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the world's top schools, Harvard University in the United States, has received its biggest donation ever, $350 million for its public health school.

The gift came Monday from the family foundation of real estate developers Gerald and Ronnie Chan of the Hong Kong-based Hang Lung Group.

Harvard said funds generated from investing the money will support students and faculty working to stop such pandemics as ebola, malaria, cancer and other diseases and address global health threats from war, poverty and environmental hazards.

Gerald Chan earned two degrees from the Harvard public health school in the 1970s. He recently has bought more than $100 million in real estate near the school, located outside Boston, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the U.S.

As part of the gift, Harvard said it would rename the public health school in honor of the Chans' father, T.H. Chan, a Hong Kong real estate developer who died in 1986.

Harvard, founded in 1636, is the richest U.S. university, with an endowment of more than $32 billion.

Croatian wins U.S. Open,
beating opponent from Japan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Marin Cilic of Croatia won the U.S. Open men's tennis championship Monday.

Cilic won a grand slam title for the first time in his career, defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets in Flushing Meadows, New York, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

This was the first time either man had played in a grand slam final, and it was the first time the men's U.S. Open final featured two players seeded 10th or lower. Nishikori was the 10th seed and Cilic was seeded 14th.

To reach the final, Cilic upset five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer of Switzerland in straight sets. Nishikori, the first Asian-born male to reach a grand slam final, knocked off world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in Saturday's other semifinal.

Cilic takes home $3 million in prize money for his victory. Nishikori won nearly $1.5 million.

The women's U.S. Open championship was decided Sunday, with American Serena Williams winning for a third consecutive time, beating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-3 and 6-3.

Cilic was unable to play in the U.S. Open last year because of a four-month doping suspension. He ingested Coramine glucose tablets purchased by someone from his team that contained a banned substance. He was originally suspended for nine months, but that was cut by more than half after he appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It determined that "the degree of fault committed by the athlete was inferior" to the sanction imposed.

Monetary Fund director
faces legal woes at home

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who Forbes Magazine calls "the fifth most powerful woman in the world," is now under the cloud of a corruption probe.

The investigation by France’s Court of Justice of the Republic concerns actions taken in 2008 when she served as the nation’s finance minister. The state paid business tycoon Bernard Tapie nearly $526 million to settle a dispute he had with a former state-owned bank, Credit Lyonnais. The bank is now privatized and doing business as LCL.

Tapie’s career has been filled with controversy. He served as the minister for urban affairs under President Francois Mitterand, but his main focus has been owning sports teams and turning around failing businesses.

His Olympique de Marseille football club won a national championship. In 1997, Tapie served six months in prison for match fixing involving his team. Tapie also owned a cycling team that won the Tour De France twice.

The massive arbitration settlement has triggered accusations that it came about as a quid pro quo exchange in response to Tapie’s abandoning his long-term allegiance to the Socialist Party, switching his support to center-right Nicholas Sarkozy’s successful 2007 presidential bid. The corruption probe is examining whether Ms. Lagarde was negligent under the law in allowing the Tapie claim to be settled.

In France’s legal system, a person can be placed under formal investigation when there is evidence of possible wrongdoing, but that doesn’t automatically lead to a trial. If convicted on simple negligence, Ms. Lagarde would face a maximum of a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros ($19,716).

Ms. Legarde’s response to the investigation, which opened in August 2011, was blunt.

"After three years of investigations, dozens of hours of questioning," she said, "the commission realized that I was not complicit in any violation, and has therefore been reduced to allege that I may not have been sufficiently vigilant in the arbitration."

Ms. Lagarde has repeatedly denied any improprieties in the arbitration, insisting that the commission acted independently and in the best interests of French taxpayers.

The case under investigation involves the 1993 sale of sportswear giant Adidas, which Tapie bought in 1990.

Tapie claimed that he was defrauded in that transaction by Credit Lyonnais, which he asserts significantly undervalued Adidas as the bank took a 19 percent stake in the company. Tapie demanded compensation from the French government because it was Credit Lyonnais’ principal shareholder.

The businessman, who reportedly pocketed half – about $263 million – of the government’s payout after taxes and legal fees, insists that he is fully entitled to the money. He has described the probe as a politically motivated attack on Sarkozy by the opposition Socialists, who are once again holding the president’s post under Francois Hollande. His supporters say the push for the Lagarde probe comes from Socialist Party figure Jean-Marc Ayrault, who served as prime minister under Hollande.

The media in France has made this story very visible, as it did when the previous Monetary Fund managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resigned in 2011 after being accused of sexually assaulting a hotel worker in New York.

Some Republicans back
Romney for another run

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mitt Romney may have come up short in two tries for the presidency, but apparently there are plenty of Republicans out there who would support him should he decide to make another run in 2016.   A recent poll by USA Today and Suffolk University found Romney the first choice of Republicans in Iowa, the state that begins the presidential selection process every four years.  Romney got 35 percent followed by undecided at 10 percent, 9 percent for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tied at six percent.

Without Romney in the field, the poll found that undecided led the field with 17 percent, followed by Huckabee at 13 percent and Christie as 10 percent.

But in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Romney threw cold water on the idea of a third run for the White House.  “I’m not running and not planning on running.”  Romney added that there is no question in his mind he would make a better president than either Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton or the man who beat him in 2012, President Barack Obama.  And to those Republicans openly pushing him to make another run, Romney didn’t seem to leave much daylight.  “My time has come and gone,” he said.  “I had the opportunity.  I ran and didn’t win.”

Romney remains in demand as a potent fundraiser and campaigner for Republican candidates around the country.  He could play a role in galvanizing traditional Republican voters in states like Arkansas, North Carolina and Iowa where Democratic Senate incumbents are in tight re-election battles.

Despite the recent attention, Romney for months has steadily declined interest in another run for the White House.  Some supporters saw a sliver of hope in a recent interview with radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in which Romney acknowledged that "circumstances can change, but I’m just not going to let my head go there."

A CNN/ORC poll from July found that Romney would now win a replay of the 2012 election with President Obama by a margin of 53 to 44 percent.

But a number of conservative activists seem less than enthused.   Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen said the recent CNN poll was more an example of buyer’s remorse for voters who re-elected President Obama in 2012 than a yearning for another Romney campaign.  Thiessen added:  “There is no need to settle for the least worst candidate this time around.”

No doubt some of the nostalgia for Romney is driven by the lack of a clear frontrunner for the 2016 Republican Party presidential nomination.  At this point a case can be made for no fewer than a dozen plausible Republicans considering a run for president in two years, but none of them seems to come anywhere close in public opinion polls to former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the favorite for the Democratic nomination if she runs.

But there is a growing sense among Republican Party leaders that Mrs. Clinton may not be invincible if she becomes the Democratic nominee.  They believe that public dissatisfaction with President Obama will be a determining factor in the 2016 election, opening the way for a Republican who can appeal to moderate voters to have a realistic chance of winning the White House.

They like to cite recent U.S. political history and the fact that only once since World War II have American voters elected presidents from one party three consecutive times.  George H.W. Bush was able to succeed President Ronald Reagan in 1988, effectively winning a third Reagan term.  Democrat Al Gore came up short in his 2000 race against George W. Bush in his bid to succeed President Bill Clinton.

In his interview, Romney said he loved running for president but will not this time because he believes “someone new that is not defined yet, someone who perhaps is from the next generation, will be able to catch fire, potentially build a movement and be able to beat Hillary Clinton.”

The lack of a clear Republican frontrunner hasn’t stopped several potential candidates from testing the political waters.  Chris Christie is spending time in Mexico talking about U.S. energy needs but also vowing to do a lot of listening and learning as he seeks to bolster his limited foreign policy credentials.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spent time in Guatemala, as he has for years, performing eye care as a public service using his skills as an ophthalmologist.  Paul remains at the center of a developing foreign policy debate within the Republican Party where he advocates less of a military role for the U.S. in foreign conflicts.

Another likely 2016 contender, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, recently said the U.S. should bomb Islamic State militants back to the Stone Age during a speech to a conservative group in Texas.  Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also a likely contender, has also staked out more traditionally conservative positions in favor of using U.S. military power overseas where warranted. 

Winner of top Medical prize
says women need gene tests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of this year's five winners of the so-called American nobels in medicine says every woman over the age of 30 needs to be tested for cancer-causing genetic mutations.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation’s Award for Special Achievement will go to Mary-Claire King, who correlated mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes with breast and ovarian cancer.

Current guidelines discourage testing, but Dr. King says it would cost little and identify 250,000 to 400,000 American women with the cancer-causing genetic mutations.

The Lasker awards each include a $250,000 honorarium and are to be presented in New York Sept. 19.

The Journal of the American Medical Association summarized King’s proposal in an article published to coincide with the Lasker award announcements.

The Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research will be shared by Mahlon DeLong of Emory University in Atlanta and Alim Louis Benabid of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France. They developed a surgical treatment for Parkinson's disease.

In work that began in the late 1960s, DeLong traced Parkinson symptoms to over-activity in a specific part of the brain. Benabid, independently following up on that research, showed in 1995 that stimulating this area with a surgically implanted electrode could ease some Parkinson symptoms.

The Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research will be shared by Peter Walter of the University of California, San Francisco, and Kazutoshi Mori of Japan's Kyoto University.

They made key discoveries about how cells detect and manage their proteins that have not been folded correctly, which can make them harmful. The research has shed light on certain inherited diseases, including cystic fibrosis, the Foundation said.

Since 1942, when the Lasker awards began, 86 laureates also have won Nobel Prizes.

The Lasker Foundation was established in 1942. Albert Lasker was an advertising executive who died in 1952. His wife, Mary, was a longtime champion of medical research before her death in 1994.

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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max, 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.

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

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Esterilos montage
Two lovely homes on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

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

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

Beautiful home and separate apartment
The land is 289 square meters with  329 square meters of construction. Three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 2 floors, covered parking, with room for  a second parking space. A first floor patio and a second floor balcony with view. Attached apartment rented for $500 per month. Live free. House valued, @ $330,000. asking price with agents is $295,000. With no agent, asking $279,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead,, 8820-1501/8379-7947

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.


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

New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Four bedrooms and five baths. Superb mountain views and privacy. 3.3-acre property on top of mountain. 15 minutes from local shopping. One hour from all San José has to offer. Two hours from the beaches and attractions at Quepos. Balconies for each bedroom, two large decks with stunning mountain views, octagonal gazebo, extensive rock walls and landscaping. Surrounded by trees. New home never lived in. Very quiet mountain location in exclusive coffee farm area. Two-story open dining and living room with guest bath. Spiral staircase leads to common area for parties, etc. Has room with bar and another spiral staircase leads to the skydeck. This is a balcony high up above the house that has extensive mountain views. All ceilings are wood accented with large beams. Balconies are tile and the decks are stained teak. Decks have balustrades. The second floor balcony and common area have custom wrought iron. All services available from satellite Sky TV, to high-speed Internet. All block and steel construction. Many hiking trails and rainforest zone a few miles away. If nature, quiet life and privacy is your thing, this could be for you. Juan Santamaria SJO Airport 1 hour 15 minutes away. $470,000. Picture gallery emailed on request to serious inquiries. Contact Jim Alfaro,   Cell 8714-8274.

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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 178
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo 
Police encountered 300 kilos of cocaine in a vehicle they chased in El Roble, Puntarenas, Sunday. These are some of the 15 packages located after the driver abandoned the Toyota Prado.

Bomb in Chile blamed on terrorism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A bomb exploded in the Chilean capital of Santiago Monday, wounding at least eight people near a subway stop.

The blast hit a fast food restaurant at the Escuela Militar military school metro station around 2 p.m. local time in the affluent residential and shopping neighborhood of Las Condes.

Government spokesman Alvaro Elizalde said the bombing had the hallmarks of a terrorist act.  "There is no doubt. And it has been carried out with the intention of hurting innocent people," he added.

None of the injuries from the blast were fatal. Local health officials said a Venezuelan man in his 30s suffered trauma to his leg and a woman had at least one of her fingers amputated. Others suffered hearing losses.

"This is a cowardly act because it has as its objective to hurt people, create fear and even kill innocent people," President Michelle Bachelet said. "We're going to use all the weight of the law, including the anti-terrorist law, because those responsible for these acts have to pay," she said.

Anti-terrorism laws give prosecutors more powers and allow for harsher sentencing.

President Bachelet asked for residents to remain calm, saying, "This is horrible, tremendously reprehensible, but Chile is and remains a safe country."

No group has claimed responsibility, and the police said the attack was being investigated.

Chile, which returned to democracy in 1990 after a 17-year dictatorship, is normally one of Latin America's most stable countries and has not suffered an attack of this magnitude in at least 20 years.

However, there have been a number of low-level attacks by anarchist groups in recent years, including in July, and Monday's blast will put pressure on Ms. Bachelet to respond at a time when her popularity is slipping and she has her plate full with a reform drive and worsening economy.

Illegal loggers dismember foes in Perú

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Illegal loggers are suspected in the brutal deaths and dismemberment last week of four native Peruvians who opposed their activities.

Outspoken environmental activist Edwin Chota Valera and three other men from the Ashaninka community were killed near the border with Brazil in an area so remote that word of the slayings only reached authorities in the capital of Lima Sunday.

The men were attacked as they returned to their home on the Upper Tamaya River in the Amazonian rainforest region of Ucayali.

Chota had frequently received death threats from illegal loggers. He was working to remove them from Ashaninka lands as the community attempted to reclaim their ancestral territory.

The World Bank estimates that 80 percent of timber exported from Perú is illegally harvested.

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From Page 7

Blue Cross Blue Shield opening here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Blue Cross Blue Shield Costa Rica will announce Thursday that it has begun operations in Costa Rica. The firm, a subsidiary of a Puerto Rican operation called Triple-S Management Corp.

The firm licenses the name from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  There are 37 companies under the Blue Cross-Blue Shield umbrella and they service 100 million customers, the company said.

Triple-S purchased Atlantic Southern Insurance last year to obtain access to Costa Rica as well as countries in the Caribbean.

The firm will compete with other private insurers and also the Instituto Nacional de Seguros.

The trade names are familiar to many expats, but these same foreign residents of Costa Rica are required to purchase insurance from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Some pay more than $400 a month. Many expats have insurance through the U.S. government's Medicare program, although that requires a trip to the United States for medical treatment.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Costa Rica said it already has a network of private medical providers.