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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 179                 Email us
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Cascata del Bosco




Opponents want terminal environmental OK withheld
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Environmentalists are stepping up their attack against the proposed $1 billion container handling facility at Moín on the Caribbean coast.

Three individuals identified as environmentalists and academics have asked the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental to withhold a required permit. The terminal is the proposed man-made island on which APM Terminals will construct the new port.

The opponents are Allan Astorga, Mauricio Álvarez and Álvaro Sagot. They presented what they called 21 observations, mostly questions about technical details such as how petroleum fuel will be handled.

They also said that the ebb and flow of the tides over the years could produce significant damage to the ecosystem and the coastal mangroves. In addition, a road will be built that passes over part of the mangroves, they added.

The opponents also said that the proposal to extract millions of cubic meters for fill to create the proposed island is really mining and should be evaluated separately and independently under the country's mining code.

The three men said that the Caribbean ports should be improved but within a framework of environmental sustainability.

The central government strongly supports the container facility proposal and sees it as a key element to the economic development of the entire Limón province.

The Dutch firm APM Terminals has been designated the concession holder for the project. Casa Presidencial has said the project would bring 2,000 jobs to the poverty-ridden Caribbean coast.
terminal
APM Terminals graphic
Rendering of proposed dock facilities


APM Terminals operates an integrated global network of ports, terminals and inland services. This network has 53 ports in 32 countries, 121 inland facilities in 48 countries, with a total of 22,000 employees in 62 countries, the company said when it received the concession.

The terminal will undergo phased expansion in accordance with provisions of the concession agreement. Upon the completion of the final phase, the terminal will have an area of 80 hectares, with 1,500 meters of pier, five berths, a 2.2-kilometer (1.4-mile) breakwater and an access channel 18 meters (59 feet) deep.

The company added that the dredging will permit the entry of larger ships with greater container capacity, creating economies of scale and that construction of the breakwater will counteract weather conditions that prevent normal functioning at the port of Moín and enable the terminal to operate 365 days a year.

The firm will build a state-of-the-art terminal, will compete with the government- owned docks that are considered highly inefficient. A process that now takes up to five days to unload a ship could be done in a single day, Casa Presidencial said. The project already survived one court challenge by banana exporters. More court cases are likely.


Extortion attempts traced to prisoners in La Reforma
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The La Reforma prison once again is a criminal hub.  Judicial investigators summarized six cases of extortion originating from the Alajuela lockup.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that inmates with illicit cell telephones have been threatening persons with death unless they make a health money deposit.

Agents said that the crooks appear to be getting a lot of information from the Internet.

The crook would call an individual and identify himself as a hitman with the assignment to kill the person on the other end of the line. The caller would  have personal information such as vehicle 
color, names of family members and similar, agents said.

The amount demanded ranged upwards for 100,000 colons or about $200. The victim was instructed to deposit the money with a firm that makes money transfers. Most of the funds end up going to Nicaragua, said agents. And the deposits are hard to trace, they said.

Prisoners are a constant source of criminal activity, and officials have been unable to restrict the delivery of cell phones and other contraband.

The best judicial agents can offer is that individuals should keep personal information on the Internet to a minimum and to contact investigators if they are faced with such an extortion attempt, they said.


Despite mayor's request, air bridge is controversial
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

First there was a mysterious black helicopter in the high Talamancas.

Now the mayor of the Municipalidad de Talamanca,  Melvín Cordero Cordero, is trying to invite the U.S. military to establish an air bridge to provide needed services to isolated communities.

The mayor sent a letter to President Laura Chinchilla Aug. 22 suggesting this, and opponents of the idea released the text Monday.

Opposing the plan is the Asociación Comunidades Ecologistas la Ceiba – Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica, which said that the agricultural workers and native peoples in the area do not want the U.S. Southern Command in the territory.

Cordero pointed out that there were many isolated communities that are as much as a six-day hike by trail to medical and educational services. He suggested that the military could fly in health and other workers.

His plan is for a periodic flight to these
communities in Alto Telire. Helicopters would be the best type of vehicle because of the terrain.

Amigos de la Tierra quoted BriBri residents and others saying that the military presence was not necessary. Clearly the locals are suspicious of military visits, perhaps in part because marijuana growing is a major source of income in the remote areas. They also may be a little nervous about helicopters.

There still is no firm explanation why an unmarked black helicopter landed in the community of Alto Cuén, which is populated by BriBri also in the Cantón de Talamanca. That happened June 30. After first saying they were missionaries and distributing Bibles, the visitors dismissed the locals' requests that they pray and, instead, adopted military attitudes.

They were making topographical measurements with various sophisticated instruments, the story goes.

They left after five days, and the locals are afraid some corporation is seeking to extract raw materials from the region. Amigos de la Tierra also was the source for the information on the black helicopter.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 179

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Spprts,em's Lodge

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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Architects

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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)
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Arenal office located at Agua Inn Spa

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Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo

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A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Legal services

FULLY BILINGUAL ATTORNEY
& NOTARY PUBLIC

Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
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With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
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Visit the website at:  CRTitle.com
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 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
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Accountants

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San Pedro
                                                          road
Municipalidad de Montes de Oca photo    
This is the drainage ditch eating away at the road

Mayor goes public with woes
of a mishap in the making

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fernando Trejos B., the mayor of Montes de Oca, has gone public with a complaint that the nation's road agency has stalled for nearly two years in fixing up a roadway that is being eroded.

The roadway passes by part of the Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Latina and the municipality's central business district of San Pedro.

Trejos said that repairs were promised for the time around Semana Santa in 2012. Municipal engineers presented a study in May showing that the Los Negritos drainage ditch was undercutting the roadway.

If the roadway collapses, the national route will be restricted to a single lane the mayor said. The mayor said municipal workers would help if the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad moved to fix the problem.


Canadian firms represented
in trade mission here


By the A.M. Costa  Rica staff

Delegations representing 12 companies from the Atlantic side of Canada are visiting Costa Rica to explore opportunities, the Canadian Embassy said Monday.

Trade between the two countries amounted to $699 million in 2012 with the bulk of goods being imports from Canada, said the embassy.

The visitors attended a session Monday where the tax policy of Costa Rica was discussed.  They also will visit Panamá, the embassy said. Canada and Costa Rica have a long-standing free trade agreement.


Wine expo in October
to feature others foods, too


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Apetito magazine plans a wine expo Oct. 24 and 25 in the Hotel Real Intercontinental in Escazú.

Expovino Costa Rica 2013 will be the fourth annual edition organized by the same magazine.

The event will feature the products of importers and distributors as well as food items that might be appropriate to go with wine, like chocolate and cheeses, said the magazine in an announcement.


Design work will be started
on new pedestrian bridges


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo de Seguridad Vial has ordered the start of design for eight pedestrian bridges over high-traffic roadways.

One is planned over Ruta 246 at the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Pococí. Another will be in  Brasil de Mora over the Caldera highway and Ruta 22, said the Consejo.

Another bridge will be in San Jose's Barrio Tournón over Ruta 32 near the La República newspaper building. Another will be over the Autopista Florencio del Castillo in Lima de Cartago

Another bridge on the Autopista Florencio del Castillo will be at  La Galera. Another will be at the Centro Comercial  Paseo de Las Flores .

Three bridges still lack final approvals. One is planned for  Playa Herradura de Garabito and another is for Pérez Zeledón.


Inspections to be scheduled
for big boats on the Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

From Wednesday until Oct. 11, the boat agency of the transport ministry will be conducting annual inspections for navigation permits on the Pacific coast.

The permits are needed by boats that carry passengers that have a gross tonnage of 50 or more.

Captains who need such permits can fax to 2233-6510 for an appointment, said the Dirección de Navegación y Seguridad of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes


Cuts possible in electricity

By the A.M. Cost arica staff

The nation's price regulating agency said it has submitted for public discussion big cuts in electrical rates. The cuts would mean a reduction of 13 percent to the end user.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that the cuts were due to the lower amount of power by petroleum fired generators. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad may see a 24 percent cut in the rates for generating, said the agency.

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A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

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.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

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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Certain forms of liberty emerge as factors for happiness
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new happiness index shows that freedom is a major component of well being along with life expectancy.

The new World Happiness Report 2013 also says that a nation's economy, having someone to count on and generosity also are important.

In fact, six variables explain 75 percent of the differences among countries.

The happiness index uses data from the Gallup Organization World Poll from 150 countries. The report, released Monday, again calls on policy makers to make happiness a key measure and target of development.

Unlike the Happy Planet Index released in June 2012, Costa Rica is 12th on the new list instead of first. The Happy Planet Index was far more ideological and said it was "calling on governments to adopt new measures of human progress that establish the goal of delivering sustainable well-being for all at the heart of our societal and economic decision making process."

Vietnam ranked No. 2 on the Happy Planet Index. In Monday's report that county came in 63rd. Venezuela was in 20th place in the World Happiness Report, higher than countries like the United Kingdom at 22nd place, Brazil at 24th place, France at 24th place, Germany at 26th place and Chile at 28th.

Costa Rica has used the Happy Planet Index results in several marketing efforts, and private firms have done likewise.

Northern European countries fared well on the new index. First was Denmark, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Austria, Iceland and then Australia at 10th place.

The United States was ranked 17th below Panamá at 15th and México at 16th place. From Denmark to Venezuela the countries had a score somewhere in the range of 7 out of a possible 10.

The report is published by the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

“There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being,” said Jeffery Sachs, head of Columbia University's Earth Institute. “More and more world leaders are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations and the world. The World Happiness Report 2013 offers rich evidence that the systematic measurement and analysis of happiness can teach us a lot about ways to improve the world’s well-being and sustainable development.” He is one of three editors of the report and was quoted in a press release

Governments are increasingly measuring well-being with the goal of making well-being an objective of policy, said a summary of the report, which contained extensive manipulation of statistics.
happiness
                  index


The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development also checked in with what it said could be some universal standard question that could be used in every country. This is the organization that also maintains a black list of so-called tax haven countries. It said that well being could be summarized with this question: "Overall, how satisfied are you with life as a whole these days?" using a 0 to 10 point scale.

The report said that a broad range of evidence showing the people who are emotionally happier, who have more satisfying lives, and who live in happier communities, are more likely both now and later to be healthy, productive, and socially connected. These benefits in turn flow more broadly to their families, workplaces, and communities, to the advantage of all, it said.

The U.N. General Assembly passed resolution in 2011 asking that happiness be studied.

The six major variables were listed as a nation's gross domestic product per capita, years of healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on in times of trouble sometimes referred to as social support, freedom from corruption, prevalence of
generosity, and freedom to make life choices.

To develop the index, statisticians merged the Gallup Poll data for three years, from 2010 to 2012. Gallup usually surveys about 1,000 persons each year in each country.

The Gallup Poll uses something called the Cantril ladder, named after the originator, Hadley Cantril, who devised it in 1965. Cantril of Princeton University may be best known to non-psychologists for his study of the aftermath of the 1938
Orson Welles broadcast "War of the Worlds."

Survey respondents are told to "imagine a ladder with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you.

"On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?"

There also were other questions about being happy or sad.


Investigators say that vehicles are growing target in Heredia
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Heredia investigators say that vehicle thefts and robberies are on the increase in their areas. They blame residents who are too trusting for the problem.

Agents said that they cruise the areas at night and find that vehicles are being left outside the homes, thus making thefts easier.

The Judicial Investigating organization keeps statistics on such crimes They did say that Saturday night was the most important time for such crimes. In August, the agency reported the theft or robbery of 14 automobiles, 11 motorcycles, six fourxfours, two pickups, a truck and two other vehicle types.

In addition to automobiles, motorcycles are high on the
shopping list of crooks, they said. The thieves have been known to break into secured parking spots near homes but the majority of the crimes take place on the public streets, agents said.

There are organized gangs that are stealing the vehicles, said the agents. Some gangs are home-grown and live in Heredia.
Others come from San José and other communities specifically to steal cars.

Agents also cautioned motorists against driving alone at night when possible. Robbers stick guns into the faces of motorists and take the vehicles, agents noted. They urged motorists not to resist such crimes.

They also said that workers at car washes sometimes take keys and make copies for later use

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Treasure troves found by archaeologists near Temple Mount in Jerusalem
By the Hebrew University of Jerusalem news service

In summer excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount, Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Eilat Mazar made a stunning discovery: two bundles of treasure containing 36 gold coins, gold and silver jewelry, and a gold medallion with the menorah symbol etched into it. Also etched into the 10-centimeter medallion are a shofar or ram’s horn and a Torah scroll.

A third-generation archaeologist working at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, Mazar directs excavations on the City of David’s summit and at the Temple Mount’s southern wall. Calling the find “a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Mazar said: “We have been making significant finds from the First Temple Period in this area, a much earlier time in Jerusalem’s history, so discovering a golden seven-branched menorah from the seventh century CE at the foot of the Temple Mount was a complete surprise.”

The discovery was unearthed just five days into Mazar’s latest phase of the Ophel excavations, and can be dated to the late Byzantine period (early Seventh century CE).  The gold treasure was discovered in a ruined Byzantine public structure a mere 50 meters from the Temple Mount’s southern wall.

The menorah, a candelabrum with seven branches that was used in the temple, is the national symbol of the state of Israel and reflects the historical presence of Jews in the area. The position of the items as they were discovered indicates that one bundle was carefully hidden underground while the second bundle was apparently abandoned in haste and scattered across the floor.

Given the date of the items and the manner in which they were found, Mazar estimates they were abandoned in the context of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614. After the Persians conquered Jerusalem, many Jews returned to the city and formed the majority of its population, hoping for political and religious freedom. But as Persian power waned, instead of forming an alliance with the Jews, the Persians sought the support of Christians and ultimately allowed them to expel the Jews from Jerusalem.

Hanging from a gold chain, the menorah medallion is most likely an ornament for a Torah scroll. In that case it is the earliest Torah scroll ornament found in archaeological excavations to date. It was buried in a small depression in the floor, along with a smaller gold medallion, two pendants, a gold coil and a silver clasp, all of which are believed to be Torah scroll ornamentations.
medallion
Hebrew University of Jerusalem photo
This is the gold medallion that was found

“It would appear that the most likely explanation is that the Ophel cache was earmarked as a contribution toward the building of a new synagogue, at a location that is near the Temple Mount,” said Mazar. “What is certain is that their mission, whatever it was, was unsuccessful. The treasure was abandoned, and its owners could never return to collect it.”

The Ophel cache is only the third collection of gold coins to be found in archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, said Lior Sandberg, numismatics specialist at the Institute of Archaeology.  “The thirty-six gold coins can be dated to the reigns of different Byzantine emperors, ranging from the middle of the Fourth century CE to the early Seventh century CE,” said Sandberg.

Found with the coins were a pair of large gold earrings, a gold-plated silver hexagonal prism and a silver ingot. Remnants of fabric indicated that these items were once packaged in a cloth purse similar to the bundle that contained the menorah medallion.


 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 179
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us







Software that tracks tweets
said to track mood of nation


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers at Loughborough University in England have developed computer software they say can gauge the mood of a nation or even the entire globe, in real time.

The system, called EMOTIVE, is based on analyzing Twitter feeds, they say, adding that their software program can process and analyze up to 2,000 tweets a second.

Emotionally charged words or phrases are extracted and semantically filtered into eight categories of emotion: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, shame and confusion.

“Twitter is a very concise platform through which users express publicly how they feel about a particular event, be that a criminal act, a new government policy or even a change in the weather,” said Tom Jackson of the university’s Center for Information Management. “Through the computer program we have created, we can collate these expressions of feelings in real time, map them geographically and track how they develop.”

While the system can map reactions to events as they unfold, it can also analyze how the public mood changes over time.

The researchers say the system could have several applications. For example, law enforcement could use it to track potential criminal behavior or threats to public safety, and policy makers could use it to help decision making during major incidents.

Currently, the system handles British-based tweets, but the researchers say it could be scaled up easily to monitor tweets globally, of which there are 10,000 a second.

According to Amanda Overend, a spokeswoman for Loughborough University, there have already been "screenings on events outside the UK. They did one on the NSA scandal in the US."


New study ties human efforts
to extreme weather events

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

No evidence has linked extreme weather events to climate change, until now. New research suggests devastating floods, droughts and storms were exacerbated by human-induced climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories and homes.

The new report, released by British and American climate agencies, analyzes a dozen extreme weather events which occurred worldwide in 2012.

“What they find is about half of the events," said Thomas Karl, director of the U.S. National Climatic Data Center. "The analyses reveal compelling evidence that human-caused change was a factor contributing to the extreme event.” 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Britain’s Met Office Hadley Centre edited the report. Co-editor and scientist Thomas Peterson says natural weather patterns and human induced climate change are factors in the intensity and evolution of events.

While last year’s spring and summer heat waves in the United States are attributed to normal atmospheric dynamics, climate scientists found that is not the entire story.

“They estimated that human caused climate change contributed about one-third of the magnitude of that warmth," Peterson said. "Or in terms of risk, greenhouse warming had already made very large seasonal departures from normal, like the temperatures in the spring in the Eastern U.S. about 12 times more likely to occur.”

The report also blamed human-caused climate change for the warmer ocean and atmosphere that drove the loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

That was not the case with Hurricane Sandy, the devastating storm that hit New Jersey and New York last October. Karl says the rare event might have occurred anyway.

“What the analysis was saying with the added increase of sea level, that just makes that kind of event incrementally worse," Karl said. "And in some of these events that is the kind of result that we are seeing.  However, in a number of these other events we could not detect a human influence.”

High rainfall in Britain, the United States, China and Japan were mainly due to natural variability, while the report detected a warming-climate connection in precipitation in Australia and New Zealand. 

“We are making great strides in our ability to understand these events," Karl said. "We attribute this to increased computational resource, improved quality of data sets. With these tools we continue to gain more insights into the many factors that affect the frequency and intensity as well as the spatial and temporal patterns of the extreme events.” 

And, Karl adds, the more accurate information collected by climate scientists can help policy makers and the public better understand and manage the impact of climate change.



China clamping down
on rumors from Internet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Chinese Internet users now could face up to three years in prison for writing what the government calls irresponsible rumors.

New guidelines issued by China's top court and prosecutor say defamatory messages are considered serious if they are viewed more than 5,000 times or reposted more than 500 times on blogs or social media networks such as Weibo. The new rules contain prohibitions against blackmail, extortion and provoking online arguments.

Proponents of the new guidelines said in an interview that standardization will help enforce the law.

However, opponents such as human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang say the rules are useless.

"I would consider it lazy to simply believe that a certain rumor could lead to turmoil without looking into other reasons that have caused the turmoil," Pu said. "In addition, I don't believe these two judicial interpretations will have any real vigor in the future. They are not usable and will be cast away very soon."

The Chinese government has been engaged in a high-profile anti-rumor campaign for several months. 



Progress reported in battle
against exploitation of wildlife


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thai and American officials are reporting progress in a combined effort to curb the global trade in illicit wildlife. But they say the problem is growing because of increased demand worldwide for endangered animals and lucrative parts of their bodies.

Thai authorities are trying to make a dent in what has become a multibillion dollar illicit business, taking endangered animals from their natural habitats and selling them or parts of them on the black market.

For the past several years, Thailand has had an ally on the law enforcement front to combat the trade, the United States government.

A key official on the American side is William Brownfield, the State Department's assistant secretary responsible for the global fight against illegal drugs and organized crime, who investigates, arrests, prosecutes and incarcerates illicit traders.

“Illegal wildlife traffickers are definitely criminals," Brownfield said.
 
Thai authorities say they forecast a total seizure this year of 20,000 live animals, a  number that has been increasing in recent years in Thailand and other countries.

Increased demand, in part from wealthier customers in Asia, is creating a larger market, said Brownfield.

"The larger number of seized and confiscated wildlife shows, as well, that law enforcement is beginning to work," he said.

One of the biggest concerns for authorities here is that Thailand is being used as a shipping point, especially for ivory.  A single elephant can be worth up to $30,000.
 
Cooperation with the United States has become a key factor in reducing wildlife trafficking and sales of related illicit products, said Theerapat Prayurasiddhi, the deputy director general of Thailand's national parks.

"It's a worldwide problem due to poverty, greed and people who want to exploit natural resources for their own benefit," he said.  "This results in the increase in wildlife trafficking and we must pursue a global solution."

But even pursuing a regional solution in Southeast Asia is proving to be a big challenge. The kingpins of the trafficking have proven to be untouchable, so far. Honest officers say they are stymied by corrupt counterparts and a lack of sharing of intelligence, among different agencies, let alone across borders.

U.S. wildlife authorities say they will destroy six metric tons of illegal elephant ivory seized by customs agents.

Whole tusks, carvings and other ivory material held in storage in Colorado will be crushed next month.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewel says the rising demand for ivory is fueling the horrific slaughter of African elephants and threatens the remaining elephant population.

Jewell says the United States will work aggressively with global law enforcement agencies to prosecute criminals who traffic in ivory.

The ivory trade and elephant poaching continues despite a global ban on ivory in 1990.


Found Van Gogh landscape
will go on exhibit Sept. 24


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum has unveiled a newly discovered painting by the Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh.

The museum on Monday revealed "Sunset at Montmajour," a large oil landscape.

Museum officials say the painting had been in the attic of a Norwegian collector who thought the painting was a fraud after buying it in 1908.

They say the painting was authenticated by letters, style and the physical materials used.

Museum officials described the discovery as a "once in a lifetime experience."

The painting will go on public display at the museum on Sept. 24.


Religions seen as allies
in preserving biodiversity


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Throughout history, there have been many groups and cultures that have worshiped the Earth or nature. While the world’s major organized religions do not hold to those beliefs, some scientists say today’s religious leaders could play a key role in protecting the environment.

Ecologist Grzegorz Mikusinski believes a little faith may go a long way in helping to preserve biodiversity. He and his colleagues have studied how people of different religions are distributed around the world. Many live in areas where biodiversity may be at risk from climate change, development or other factors.

“Christians and especially Roman Catholics are most numerous in the countries where there is a lot of biodiversity. It’s obvious that South America is very, very important here: Brazil, Ecuador and so on. And all these countries are strongly Catholic. And then the United States, Mexico and then some countries in Africa – those countries that are in this belt of very high biodiversity along the equator,” said Mikusinski, an associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

He said there’s a certain amount of overlapping of religions and biodiversity, such as Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Hindu in the Indian subcontinent and Islam in Asia Minor and regions of North and Central Africa. He says the environment is not usually a topic of sermons or speeches to the faithful, but perhaps it should be.

“I’ve actually been a member of  Catholic Church many, many years and I have to tell you, frankly, that, I don’t know, maybe I’ve listened to 1,500 preaching priests and I’ve never heard a word – or very little, I think never – about being more modest in your way you are using the resources.”

Caring for the environment, he said, would be in religious communities’ best interests.

“Religious congregations own about, I think, if I recall well, seven percent of the land on the Earth and then additional eight percent are considered as being sacred lands. So, actually 15 percent – that is very high number – is directly linked to religions, so to speak.”

His colleague at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences -- Malgorzata Blicharka – is co-author of the study. She wrote that conservation strategies are needed which “can change people’s ethical attitudes towards nature and encourage modes of thinking and lifestyles that are good for the environment.” Mikusinski agrees.

“We have a moral obligation to secure a decent living for coming generations. This is common for almost all religions. We are using more and more resources per capita. And of course in the long run it’s not sustainable,” he said.

He admitted it’s a complicated issue. For example, it’s difficult to ask the poor to use even fewer resources than they do now.

Another co-author of the study, Hugh Possihngham of the University of Queensland in Australia, wrote, “Roman Catholics, per capita, have the greatest potential to preserve biological diversity where they live.”

Mikusinski pointed out that Francis of Assisi is the Roman Catholic patron saint of animals and ecology. And now, the current pope is named Francis. He said that he hopes Pope Francis will take an active role in protecting biodiversity.


Missing motorcyclist found
alive
after four months in Andes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A 58-year-old Uruguayan man who disappeared four months ago in the remote Andes Mountains has been found alive.

Argentine authorities say they found Raúl Fernando Gómez Circunegui Sunday in a shelter 2,840 meters above sea level when they traveled there to record snow levels.

Gómez set out in May to motorcycle across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. He said his motorcycle broke down and he tried to finish his trip on foot, but became disoriented by two heavy snowfalls. Local media reported he survived winter by eating rats he trapped, sugar, raisins, and food stored in mountain shelters.

He lost 20 kilograms during the ordeal and is dehydrated, but doctors say he is otherwise in good condition.

A search for Gómez had been called off in July due to heavy snowstorms.


Coffee grounds are ingredient
in biofuels research project


By the University of Cincinnati news service

What’s usually considered old garbage might be a promising asset for our energy supply, according to University of Cincinnati researchers.

University of Cincinnati researchers are discovering that an ingredient in our old coffee grounds might someday serve as a cheaper, cleaner fuel for cars, furnaces and other energy sources.

Yang Liu, a graduate student in environmental engineering in Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science presented a summary of early-but-promising discoveries on his team’s research at the American Chemical Society’s 246th National Meeting & Exposition in Indianapolis.

Liu and fellow researchers Qingshi Tu, a doctoral student in environmental engineering, and Mingming Lu, an associate professor of environmental engineering, used a three-pronged approach to converting waste coffee grounds into energy sources including biodiesel and activated carbon by extracting oil from the waste, drying the waste coffee grounds after oil removal to filter impurities in biodiesel production and turning what was left as an alternative energy source for electricity, similar to using biomass.

The researchers launched the project in 2010, gathering waste coffee grounds in a five-gallon bucket from a Starbucks store on the University of Cincinnati campus. After collection, they removed the oil from the waste coffee grounds and converted triglycerides into biodiesel and the byproduct, glycerin. The coffee grounds were then dried and used to purify the biodiesel they derived from the waste coffee grounds.

The preliminary results showed that the oil content in the waste coffee grounds was between 8.37 to 19.63 percent, and biodiesel made from coffee oil meets international standards. The efficiency of using the waste coffee grounds as a purification material to remove the impurities in crude biodiesel, such as methanol and residual glycerin, was slightly lower compared with commercial purification products. However, the researchers reported that results still indicate a promising alternative, considering the cost of purification products. Future research will continue to focus on improving the purification efficiency of waste coffee grounds-derived activated carbon.

Compared with petroleum diesel, the cleaner-burning biodiesel reduces the emission of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particular matters.

Waste coffee grounds that result from brewing one of the world’s most popular beverages is estimated to result in more than one million tons per year in the U.S. alone, with the majority of that waste getting dumped into landfills.

The researchers say the method they’re exploring to produce biodiesel would not only open landfill space, but it also holds promise in creating biodiesel from a natural product that’s not also in high demand as a food source, such as corn and soybean crops that are used to manufacture biodiesel.



 
 


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Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

sunset view
FREE FULL-DAY TOUR and property viewing – San Ramón! 
Come visit us in San Ramón and not only will we show you some great properties but we’ll also give you a FREE day-long tour of this terrific town with a relocation expert who has lived here for many years. Since 2006, CRC has been the area’s leading creator of socially-responsible communities for foreign retirees/investors and locals. “Easy access” to San Ramón does not mean living many miles outside of town, but less than 2 miles from everything you’ll need. Live near town but in an area that only feels a world away. None of our competitors have built a school, donated a water well and completed numerous projects for the community. A few stunning, direct ocean-view home sites of 1.25 acres to nearly 4 acres from only $55,000 remain in one of San Ramón’s most desirable residential communities. Please visit us at www.crcommunities.com or email us at CRCInformation@gmail.com to request a property showing AND your free full-day tour. Overnight accommodations can be arranged. Limited availability so please contact us today referencing “Free Tour” in your email: CRCInformation@gmail.com
8080-10/6/13

Nicoya
                                views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

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)
$ 0.66 cents per square meter
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

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

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

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

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

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

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Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.com
8081-10/9/13

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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 179
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Antisocial teen text messages
may predict deviant behavior


By Springer Science news staff

Should parents and teachers worry that teenagers’ texting or SMS messaging may lead to involvement in more antisocial activities? Yes, says a study led by Samuel Ehrenreich of the University of Texas at Dallas and published in Springer’s Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Text messaging between adolescents about antisocial topics and behavior does in fact predict more rule breaking and aggression.

The study provides a unique window into the social lives of adolescents, as it is the first to directly, naturally and unobtrusively observe text messaging between adolescents and their peers, and how it relates to later involvement in antisocial activities.

Some 172 ninth-grade students from 47 American schools sent and received nearly 6,000,000 text messages during the year-long study via Blackberry devices. The messages were archived, and four days of text messaging per participant were analyzed for discussions about the purchase or use of illegal substances, property crime, physical aggression and rule breaking. The youths, their parents and teachers rated their behavior before and after the ninth grade year.

Ehrenreich and his team found that participants did use text messages to coordinate antisocial activities, often occurring within the school. Texting with a peer about rule-breaking activities may not only provide easy access to information about illegal and antisocial behavior, but may also reinforce the notion that these activities are accepted within the peer group. Although the research team noted that text messaging also enhanced prosocial communication, they believe that the private nature of text messaging provided an ideal forum to plan and discuss antisocial activities beyond the realm of adult supervision.

The research team pointed out that youth who frequently engaged in antisocial message discussions may already be on a trajectory of increasing antisocial behavior. In line with the hypothesis suggesting that grouping deviant youth together increases their involvement in antisocial activities, communication about antisocial topics with deviant peers was found to be associated with increased rule-breaking and aggressive behavior.

Antisocial behavior typically includes activities that violate legal or societal rules, or which are harmful to the victims of these actions. It includes anything from hitting someone in anger to substance abuse, theft or secret retaliation against a peer. These actions are often covertly discussed and coordinated among friends, but are hidden from authority figures.

“Text messaging appeals to adolescents because they are able to discuss deviant topics in plain sight without adult supervision, and evade normal efforts to be monitored,” says Ehrenreich, who stresses the need for teachers and school administrators to limit students’ ability to text during the school day.

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From Page 7:

Minister seeking investments in China

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The commerce minister, Anabel González, is in China trying to drum up investments from the Asian giant, said the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior.

China staged an international investment fair in Xiamen, China. This is the 17th annual edition of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade. The event was on the minister's agenda.

The ministry said that Ms. González had a television interview on a CCTV 2 show specializing in finance.

She was scheduled to go to another city Monday to discuss the potential for a free trade zone in Costa Rica.

The two-day investment forum opens Sunday in Xiamen. While there the minister met with Mukhisa Kituyi, the secretary general of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. The Geneva-based organization co-sponsors the conference.

The investment fair said that 670 institutions and 12,000 overseas trade visitors from more than 100 countries attended. Ecuador also sent a representative, the fair said.