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Published Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 180
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Casa Canada

dusk masks
Kelly Mason photo
Nicoya youngsters show off their dusk masks provided by Pave the Road.
Dust at Nicoya schools generates a grim report
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An environmental report of dust problems in the lower Nicoya peninsula cites tangible dangers, particularly to the 1,446 youngsters who live there and are the most vulnerable.

The bulk of the dust problem comes from unpaved roads, particularly those near schools where youngsters spend about 25 hours a week, said the report.

The detailed and heavily footnoted study is by Marcela Quirós Lépiz, who has an advanced degree in environmental research from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica.

Although the report covers the area around six schools on the Nicoya peninsula, the findings of dust dangers would seem to be applicable to wherever roads are unpaved.

The Pave the Road Initiative commissioned the study. This is the non-profit founded by a Canadian woman who was appalled by the dust when she moved to the Nicoya five years ago.

The Canadian woman, Kelly Mason, said the immediate goal is to pave the streets for some 200 meters in front of schools that are vulnerable to traffic generating dust.

Although some of the schools in the environmental study have pavement in adjacent roads, most of the material is broken up. In other places, the roadway is simply compacted dirt.

As Ms. Quirós noted, the Nicoya with its dry conditions and warm temperatures is perfect for generating dust. She also pointed out that road dust can carry biological material and salt that aggravates allergies and lung problems.

Photo by Marcela Quirós Lépiz 
 Truck rolls by the Las Delicias school leaving
  a wake of dust.

Mrs. Mason, who splits her time between Vancouver, Canada, and the Nicoya, estimated that traffic in the peninsula has tripled in the last five years.

Ms. Quirós studied schools in Las Delicias, Hermosa Valley, Mal País-Cóbano, Cabuya, Santa Teresa and San Isidro. But she also pointed out that dust is a big complaint of tourists who visit the area.

Ms. Quirós suggested more studies in the area to quantify the way the population was exposed to dust. She also supported a plan by Pave the Road to use recycled plastic with asphalt to pave the roadways.

Pave the Road said Friday that it had just received non-profit status in Costa Rica. It already is a U.S. non-profit. The organization is known in the area for giving out dust masks to youngsters and anyone else who requests one. Ms. Mason said that 2,500 masks have been handed out. She said she began her quest after she arrived when she was contacted by an expat mom whose child was having serious breathing problems.

She said she has had many meetings with public officials, including President Luis Guillermo Solís to push her program. She has a personal interest, two pre-teen youngsters.

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Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Operator of a suspected prostitution location is led to a vehicle.

Escazú man held on pimping allegation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators have detained a 59-year-old man on allegations that his unlicensed hotel and bar harbored prostitutes.

Specifically, he was charged with pimping because investigators allege that he took a percentage of the money earned by the women.

Investigators said that they found a 16 year old among the seven women at the location in Guachipelín de Escazú. They said two of the women were waitresses. They said the others engaged in sex for money with customers.

The raid was at 2 a.m. Saturday. Investigators said that the location did not have a license to be a hotel or a bar.

U.S. aircraft lands without problems in Liberia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A U.S. C-130 aircraft pilot reported possible engine problems Sunday night, but the craft landed safely at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.

The giant cargo plane has four engines. Firefighters from surrounding areas joined with the airport crew to await the landing.

Time to register to vote

The U.S. Federal government’s overseas voting agency has issued a reminder that Nov. 8 is the presidential election.

“It is time for Americans living, working or traveling abroad to take steps to vote,” said the agency,” the Federal Overseas Voting Program.

Helping overseas Americans is difficult because each state has its own rule, and expats are supposed to vote in the U.S. state where they last were a resident.

Many overseas voters will receive absentee ballots from their registered county of residency. Others may elect to file a federal absentee ballot just for federal offices.

In addition to the federal program, the Overseas Voting Foundation can assist voters. The Web site gives deadlines for each state, plus other information.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 180
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Data shows police are making hardly a dent in cocaine smuggling
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Everyone knows that Costa Rica confiscates tons of cocaine each year. Usually the drugs come from boats captured in the Pacific or from hidden places in international trucks.

The big question has been just how much of the drug shipments are being snared by Costa Rica law officers.

The answer appears to be not a whole lot. The Policía de Control de Drogas reported at the end of August that law officers confiscated 15 tons of cocaine this year. There has been perhaps one ton more confiscated since that report.

But Gustavo Mata, the security minister, said Friday that an estimated 2,000 tons of cocaine pass through Costa Rica each year. That means the extensive interdiction efforts by the Costa Rican law enforcement and U.S. forces off both coasts have managed to grab about .0075 percent of cocaine being shipped north.

Mata made his comments at a meeting of about 80 law enforcement professionals from Latin America at the Hotel Marriott in Belén de Heredia, according to a summary by his ministry. Mata was pushing for a stronger organization of countries to the south to stop the smuggling.

Mata said that in years past, the cocaine estimate was about 1,300 to 1,400 tons every year. But now, he said that the cultivation and production of cocaine is increasing in Colombia. Police officials came from Honduras, Canada, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, the Dominican Republic, the United States and Belize, said the ministry. The officials met for three days.

Costa Rica also serves as a pit stop for drug boats headed north.  The latest cocaine arrest Friday involved two Costa Rican men in a small boat with just 20 kilos of cocaine but
also with a large quantity of motor fuel. In such situations, the small amounts of cocaine are payoffs for fuel by smugglers, and the cocaine enters the local market.

Officials also are expressing concern about the smuggling of marijuana from Jamaica.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
These are the packages of marijuana confiscated Friday

Friday the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas confiscated 718 kilos on a boat off Westfalia de Limón. The crew escaped to shore, said the ministry.

That brings to five tons the total of marijuana confiscated this year mostly in the Caribbean.

The Jamaican marijuana is reported to be favored over local crops.

There was another confiscation over the weekend, but the full report is not yet available.

About 20,000 students are getting ready to carry the torch to Cartago
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

About 20,000 students are getting ready for the annual run with the Antorcha de la Libertad Centroamericana.

This is the torch that comes from Guatemala and signifies the message of Central American independence from Spain.

Jorsua López Morales, of the Liceo Experimental Bilingüe La Cruz, Guanacaste, has been identified as the first Costa Rican

student to receive the handoff from a Nicaragua runner Tuesday morning.

The route from the Peñas Blancas border post to Cartago is 386 kilometers, and the torch is scheduled to arrive at Parque Central in San José at 6 p.m. sharp Wednesday.

The torch will then be carried by other teams of runners to Cartago where President Luis Guillermo Solís and his cabinet will be waiting. Thursday is a legal holiday

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 180
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 A polarized nation pauses to render honors to the Sept. 11 victims
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with wire service reports.

Those who were touched directly by the Islamic attacks in the United States 15 years ago felt renewed pain Sunday as they marked the day.

Sunday also was the National Day of Service and Remembrance dedicated to the nearly  3,000 persons who died in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania farm field in the suicide attacks.

In San Pedro, U.S. Ambassador Fitzgerald Haney and other embassy staffers cleaned up and planted flowers at the small Parque John F. Kennedy on Avenida Central just west of the Catholic church. The park has a statue dedicated to the former U.S. president.

In lower Manhattan’s Ground Zero, to the marching footsteps of American policemen and women, the United States paid solemn tribute to all who had fallen. One by one, relatives and loved ones of 9/11 victims recited the names of the nearly 3,000 who died that day.

President Barack Obama, after a private moment of silence at the White House, laid a wreath at the Pentagon and delivered a message of unity.

“It is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation of people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background, bound by a creed as old as our founders,” Obama said. “E pluribus unum. Out of many we are one.”

The United States, Obama assured, will never give in to tactics of fear.

“In the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be, that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.”

To this day, 9/11 survivors must relive the horrors they faced constantly, along with the health repercussions that followed.

Faith Fishkin, who lost her father, a New York Police Department detective, to post 9/11-related pancreatic cancer in May, said this year’s ceremony opened fresh wounds.

“We don’t wish this pain on anybody,” she said alongside her mother, with moist eyes and a voice shaken, struggling to find her words.

“NYPD, family, friends, he was always the one to run to help. So I remember my dad as someone who was always there to help everybody,” Ms. Fishkin added.

William Rodriguez, a former janitor at the World Trade Center, said the memories from that day will last with him for the rest of his life. On Sept. 11, 2001, he used his master key to open as many doors as he could before exiting himself and becoming buried alive under the rubble.

“I figured I am going to die here squished to death,” he recalled, but the truck he crawled under held up.

The day of remembrance featured reminders that the fight against adherents of radical Islam continues.

"What we face in the context of the global terrorist movement is a long-term problem associated with social, economic and

Ambassador and familiy
U.S. Embassy photo
The Haney family plants flowers in Parque Kennedy

political issues across that region and the world, which has created such a widespread radicalization that one group after another has sprung up over the years," said retired Marine Gen. John Allen on ABC's “This Week” program.

U.S. officials know the threat has evolved.

“We are safer when it comes to protecting against another 9/11-style terrorist-directed attack from overseas,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told ABC. “We are in a new environment, however, where we have to be prepared against and try to prevent lone wolf-style attacks, the self-radicalized actor.”

The administration’s critics want a more muscular U.S. posture on the world stage.

“We’re sitting back waiting for the next attack. We should be on offense,” said former New York City mayor Rudi Giuliani.

“We will remember those three very famous words: peace through strength,” said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a recent campaign rally. “Nobody’s going to mess with us.”

But a modicum of restraint is also required, according to the administration’s defenders.

“You’ve heard Donald Trump say he would order our troops to torture. You’ve heard him say he would order troops to kill family members of terrorists,” said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton late last week. “You would know that he is advocating illegal actions against our own laws as well as the laws of war.”

While a ferocious presidential contest exposes rifts in a bitterly polarized nation, the 9/11 anniversary recalls a time when Americans rallied as one.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 180
Real Estate
About us

Axiom new ad

Mrs. Clinton cancels trip
after pneumonia diagnosis

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will not be campaigning in the western state of California Monday or Tuesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

A spokesman announced late Sunday she would not be making the previously planned trip, which was due to include fundraisers and a speech about the economy.

The Clinton campaign said a doctor had examined her Friday because of a prolonged cough and was at that time told she had pneumonia. Doctors gave her antibiotics and advised her to rest and modify her schedule.

But the diagnosis was not made public until Sunday after she appeared unsteady at a Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony in New York. She left the event abruptly and a video showed her being helped by several people before she stumbled off a curb and got into a van.

Mrs. Clinton's doctor said later she had become overheated and dehydrated but was recovering nicely.

The 68-year-old candidate later emerged from her daughter Chelsea's apartment where she waved to supporters.

"I'm feeling great. It's a beautiful day in New York," Mrs. Clinton said as she left in her car.

With the U.S. presidential election about two months away, the issue of Mrs. Clinton's health is likely to linger. A big part of that will be her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, who has cast Clinton as lacking the stamina necessary to handle the job.

The 70-year-old Trump released a letter from a physician late last year claiming he would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. But the doctor has since acknowledged he dashed off the note in five minutes while a Trump campaign limousine waited nearby.

Two North Carolina men
held in hacking officials

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two North Carolina men were arrested Thursday and charged in connection with a computer hacker network that allegedly targeted CIA Director John Brennan and other senior government officials.

Federal prosecutors in Alexandria said Andrew Otto Boggs, 22, known online as “INCURSIO,” of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and Justin Gray Liverman, 24, also known as “D3F4ULT,” of Morehead City, North Carolina, were charged and will make initial appearances this week.

Prosecutors say Boggs and Liverman were members of a hacking group called “Crackas With Attitude.” Beginning in October, the hackers gained access to personal online accounts of senior U.S. government officials. The officials are not identified in a 37-page affidavit.

Earlier this year, British authorities arrested a 16-year-old boy who they said used the name “Cracka” to target Brennan and others. The affidavit cites email exchanges in which Boggs tells another individual about Cracka, “I want to carry on legacy if or when he is arrested. I know he'll receive a harsh sentence because our government doesn't like being embarrassed.”

According to the affidavit, Boggs and Liverman each lived in their parents' homes. They used the hacked accounts to send harassing messages to their victims.

While Brennan is not named in the affidavit, he appears to be “Victim 1.” The affidavit states that Victim 1's emails were released by WikiLeaks on Oct. 21, 2015, which corresponds with a WikiLeaks disclosure pertaining to Brennan.

In one exchange, Boggs tells Cracka that he wants to hack Victim 1's agency because “I've been looking for evidence of aliens,” according to the affidavit.

Authorities also accuse the hackers of calling in a false bomb threat to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office in Florida earlier this year.

Police stop yet another
terror attack in France

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in France have thwarted a possible terror attack in Paris this weekend by arresting a 15-year-old boy suspected of preparing an imminent violent action.

The arrest of the teenager Saturday came two days after police moved in on what the Paris prosecutor says was a group of female commandos' arrested after an aborted attack at Notre Dame Cathedral and another possible attack.

Intelligence agents suspected the boy planned to carry out a knife attack in a public place, but officials refused to name a spot where the attack might occur.

News of the arrest came shortly after Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Sunday that "every day attacks are foiled  . . .  as we speak.''

Valls said nearly 15,000 people in France are being tracked because they are suspected of being in the process of radicalization, while 1,350 are under investigation, 293 of them for alleged links to a terrorism network.

France is in a state of emergency after three attacks this year, including the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that killed 86 people. That followed two waves of attacks last year, notably the November 13 attacks on restaurants, bars, a concert hall and stadium that left 130 people dead.

French authorities said the female terrorist cell was directed by the Islamic State group from Syria.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the terror cell was made up of three women, ages 39, 23 and 19. Police arrested them Thursday night in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, about 30 kilometers from Paris. Several other people were detained, some of whom were men.

One of the women arrested had been the driver of a car loaded with tanks of gas, which was discovered last weekend parked outside Notre Dame Cathedral.

Molins told reporters that investigators found traces of diesel fuel on a blanket and a cigarette in the trunk. Had even one of the gas tanks caught fire, he said, the car would have been consumed by an explosion.

A top French intelligence official earlier predicted future terrorist attacks would be carried out through car bombings and other explosives, in contrast to the attacks last November in the French capital, carried out by gunmen wearing suicide belts.

French officials have been quoted in media reports as saying the three women now under arrest planned to attack the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris and another suburban station.

The prosecutor two of the women attacked police before they were arrested, stabbing one in the shoulder with a kitchen knife.

Mexicans march against
same-sex marriage plan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people marched in Mexico Saturday against the president's proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.

The National Front for the Family, a coalition of various religious groups and other organizations, called on Mexicans to gather across the country to challenge President Enrique Peña Nieto's legislation to allow gay marriage.

In May, Peña Nieto proposed a change in the Mexican constitution to allow gay couples to marry nationally. He told news outlets that congress should debate and resolve the issue.

Demonstrators chanted "Wake up and defend the family" and "Children need a father and a mother," while also challenging government-mandated projects that fund sex-education programs.

An estimated 40,000 people assembled in the city of Queretaro alone, organizers said.

In Monterrey, others gathered to counter-protest by singing and reading poetry to show support to the Mexican gay community.

"It's a discriminatory position, and we hope it doesn't have success," Jesus Gonzalez, a human rights activist, said.

Same-sex marriage is allowed in a few Mexican states such as Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.

New arrest made in Honduras
in murder of environmentalist

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Another suspect involved in the killing of environmentalist and indigenous leader Berta Caceres was arrested Thursday, Honduran authorities said.

Elvin Heriberto Rapalo Orellana, also known as El Comanche, was the last person of interest wanted for allegedly carrying out the killing.

Ricardo Castro, head of the Central American country's criminal investigation unit, said Orellana could also be behind the shooting of Mexican activist Gustavo Castro who was with Ms. Caceres when the attack took place in March. Castro survived the attack.

Investigators are still working to find out who ordered the killing. Ms. Caceres, a Lenca Indian activist who won the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, was shot to death by three gunmen who broke in her home.

Ms. Caceres fought against construction of the Agua Zarca Dam on the Gualcarque River, a waterway the Lenca considered to be sacred. Dam opponents argued it would destroy the lives of hundreds of Lenca by cutting off the access to the river.

Among the other arrested suspects are an active duty army officer and a man who may have worked for Desarrollos Energeticos S.A., also known as DESA.

Hidroeletrica Agua Zarca Co. officials, the management company behind DESA,  denied any involvement, but confirmed one of the men involved in the case has worked for the company.

The Honduran government had assigned Ms. Caceres special protection because she expressed concerns about death threats by security people working for DESA.

The U.S. State Department condemned the shooting, calling on Honduras to carry out a transparent investigation. Washington offered to help bring the killers to justice.

Catalans march in Barcelona
for an independent country

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched in Barcelona and other Spanish cities Sunday to rally for independence for the country's northeastern region.

Catalan police say as many as 800,000 marchers turned out while the Spanish government in Madrid, which is opposed to independence, say the turnout was less than half that number.

Calatonia's pro-independence regional government has set the middle of next year as a target for independence from Spain, but has been unable to persuade the central government to approve a referendum on the issue.

Political feuds inside the Catalan coalition government and the struggling Spanish economy have also complicated the matter.

Many Catalans say they are getting impatient with the seemingly slow movement toward breaking away from Spain and say they would like to see the region declare independence unilaterally.

Catalonia has its own distinct language and culture and has been desiring independence from Madrid for hundreds of years.

Ginger reported to protect
against bad chili chemical

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It’s widely thought that ginger has health benefits, one of which may be to protect against an ingredient in chili peppers that has been linked to stomach cancer. Both ginger and chili peppers are commonly used in Asian cuisine.

Chili peppers get their kick from capsaicin, which some research suggests also has plenty of health benefits. But a diet rich in capsaicin has also been linked to stomach cancer.

Now, new research shows that one compound in ginger appears to offset the negative health effects of the chili pepper ingredient, and that used together, the two compounds might actually inhibit cancer growth.

Researchers at Pharmacy College of Henan University in China conducted a study with mice prone to lung cancer. Over the course of several weeks, they fed the mice either capsaicin or 6-gingerol or both.

All of the mice that only received capsaicin developed lung tumors, while half of the mice that received the ginger ingredient did. But only 20 percent of the rodents in the group given both ingredients developed lung cancer.

The Chinese researchers have found that the ginger compound, 6-gingergol, appears to counteract the negative effect of capsaicin by binding to the same cellular receptor that promotes tumor growth.

The study was published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Swiss tennis player wins
U.S. Open Tennis title

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland won his first U.S. Open Tennis championship late Sunday, beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in Flushing Meadows, New York 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3.

"This is honestly amazing," Wawrinka told the crowd and a worldwide television audience before being presented with his $3.5 million first prize check. "I came here without expecting, without having the goal to win the match. . . but every time I stepped on the court I tried to win every match. I am completely empty."

Wawrinka played at an exceptionally high level, even after Djokovic was given a controversial medical timeout in the fourth set while trailing 3-1. Although it appeared Djokovic was cramping, he had his trainer provide treatment for a toe.

The break lasted more than six minutes, and the U.S. television broadcasters pointed out that medical breaks are supposed to be taken during changeovers, or between sets, unless there is an acute condition that requires immediate treatment. The on-court microphones captured Djokovic telling Wawrinka, "Stan, sorry man, I couldn't stand it."

The incident seemed to put the crowd clearly behind Wawrinka, and especially after Djokovic, the defending champion, asked for further treatment trailing 5-2. That break lasted more than four minutes.

Again, Wawrinka did not let the stoppage rattle him and after Djokovic won the next game, Wawrinka held serve to take the match.

It was the third major of his career after winning the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open. Overall, he has won the last 11 times he has reached the finals of a tournament.

Djokovic said Wawrinka deserved this U.S. Open title. "He was better. He played the bigger points with a bit more courage. We played almost four hours, and we both felt it. It was a demanding match physically. I was unlucky in some moments."

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 180
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
The dividends from the rain are here now

“April showers bring May flowers” is true, but “August showers mean tropical flowers” is just as true. Trust me on that one.

I took my camera and went out for my morning stroll through the orchid and zigzag gardens, and the new blooms were everywhere. Even the crepe
Victoria Torley
myrtle (They said: “you’ll never get that to survive, it’s too rainy/windy/elevated/sunny [pick one] to bloom up there”) has blossoms. Take that, skeptics! Naturally it blooms in pink (Metric Man hates pink) but it blooms.

Then there are things blooming that smell good. A couple of my orchids
are in that category. One smells like lily of the valley (I miss those), and I can’t wait for it to grow a bit so I can separate it.

Down in the shade garden the Araceae, Maranthaceae, and Arum families are doing their best to brighten things up. Genera for those families include Caladium, Calathea, Anthurium, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, and many others of the deep shades plants. If you have shade, you probably have some growing right now because the dieffenbachia and philodendron are widespread in the wild. Others, especially those variegated with bright white or red foliage will probably have to be sought in a vivero.

As I wandered, I discovered that the jasmine is also in bloom and adding its scent to the air. The butterfly white ginger can’t seem to stop blooming, and the local iris are reblooming. Sometimes I wish I could grow the bearded iris I loved so much in the States, but having iris rebloom four or five times a year is some compensation. They are also less work. I remember having to cut the leaves of the bearded iris into a nice arc, but that isn’t necessary here.

So there are a lot of things blooming, but there are a lot of things struggling as well. I just purchased some chrysanthemums and they are struggling with the rain. Evidently they don’t like wet feet. Since I bought them for their repellent properties (natural pyrethrums) to use against the leaf cutter ants, this may be a problem. The solution, I think, will be to set them on a mound of soil and small rocks so they have superior drainage. 

For right now, I am keeping them under cover and propagating them with cuttings. For the other things that aren’t happy in the rain . . . .  Well, I ordered a 7x7x12 foot greenhouse and it should arrive by Correos any day now. Once that is up, watch out world! I am going to grow sugar snap peas. I drowned the first batch, but I bet these grow up strong and healthy.
Gardeners have to have hope.

may flower
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

This is one of the Calatheas newly planted in the shade garden. I love bringing color into the shade and the Calatheas and Caladium are easy to grow and also easy to propagate. When they mature and thicken, just separate the rhizomes and pick a new place for planting. They enjoy the rainy weather and appreciate a bit of fertilizer now and then.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!

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From Page 7:

Some in Britain are pushing for quicker break

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the run-up to Britain’s referendum on whether to remain in the European Union, opponents of Brexit warned that leaving the bloc would lead to economic peril, but the country’s economy appears to have performed strongly in the 78 days since the vote, undermining predictions of gloom and doom.

And now, leading Brexiters are calling more loudly for a quick, sharp break with the EU, or a hard Brexit. They point to the buoyant stock market and strong figures for jobs and retail sales as evidence the government should not delay invoking Article 50, the treaty clause that would start a two-year countdown for Britain’s formal exit.

Among them a former Conservative Party leader, Iain Duncan Smith, who now says Article 50 should be invoked before Christmas, despite Theresa May, Britain’s new prime minister, repeatedly saying otherwise. Last week, Smith blasted the current state of the EU, saying the bloc is in a complete mess. He labelled the idea that Brexit won’t happen a ridiculous pipe dream.

Sunday, leading Brexiters formed a new pressure group called Change Britain, which aims, according to the organizers, to help deliver the UK’s referendum result in the most effective way.

May has sought to keep at bay questions about how Britain will exit the troubled bloc, and what the country’s future relationship will be with the EU, by repeating the mantra “Brexit means Brexit.” But that slogan doesn’t even begin to answer fundamental questions thrown up by the June referendum.

Some Brexiters want a total break. Others along with many in the Remain camp hope Britain can negotiate a deal along the lines of Norway and remain a member of the Single Market, enjoying free trade with EU members.

And some Remainers are still holding out hope that when push comes to shove Britain won't in the end leave.

They are placing their hopes on High Court challenges to the referendum due to be heard next month, or they argue a change of government before the exit period is complete could lead to a reversal. But with the main opposition party, Labor, continuing to implode, the latter would seem unlikely and the judicial challenges are a long shot, say legal experts.

Brexiters like Duncan Smith worry that the longer May delays on starting the exit process the more chance a closer relationship with the bloc than he wants will be the result.

Privately, in conversation with VOA, several leading Brexiters in the government say they fear May and her closest allies will shape a deal with the EU that would see Britain remain in the Single Market, but having to accept freedom of movement, meaning Britain won’t be able to impose migration controls on Europeans living and working in Britain.

Securing access to the Single Market would also almost certainly entail Britain continuing to make large financial contributions to the EU budget.

May, who campaigned during the referendum for Britain to remain in the EU, is walking a political tightrope. She risks revolt by Brexiters inside her party who want to ensure the country breaks completely from the EU if it appears she is moving behind-the-scenes to shape a deal that would see Britain cleaving closely to the EU.

But at the same time she is coming under strong pressure from Britain’s non-EU trading partners to negotiate a deal that would see Britain retaining access to the Single Market.