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(506) 2223-1327                                   San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 181                                  Email us
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torch
Ministerio de Educación Pública photo
Students at Peñas Blancas are off and running on the first Costa Rican leg with the Antorcha de la Libertad Centroamericana. There was a ceremony Sunday  morning as the torch arrived from Nicaragua at the border crossing. 

Our story is HERE!


More oversight sought for student study tours
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the start of the fall academic semester at most U.S. colleges, students are beginning to think about spending the spring semester overseas.

Some will consider Costa Rica for its biodiversity, spectacular beaches and relatively low crime rate. And they probably will pick a program that meshes with their academic studies and provides college credit.

Yet statistics are hard to find so that students and their parents can make a rational choice. They should want to know the experiences of students in specific countries and experiences with selected programs.

There may be as many as 10,000 firms that send U.S. students overseas, and the business is approaching $2 billion a year.

To help the students and parents make an informed decision, a U.S. lawmaker is promoting a bill to require these country and program statistics.

New York congressman Sean Patrick Maloney proposed the Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act. The bill would require institutions of higher education to report crimes that occur while a student is studying abroad, as well as show that they have adopted and implemented a program to protect students participating in an approved study abroad program from crime and harm.

The bill carries the name of  Newburgh, New York, student Ravi Thackurdeen, who died in a water accident in Costa Rica. The Swarthmore University student was here under the auspices of the Organization of Tropical Studies. He was caught in a rip tide while swimming in 2012.

The House of Representatives said in a summary that the bill would require higher educational institutions to provide each student who is interested in participating in an approved study abroad program with a pre-trip orientation session and information regarding the countries in which the programs are located and the incidents and crime statistics there.

The educational institutions also would be required to provide each student who returns from such a study abroad program a post-trip orientation session, including an exit interview.

The lawmaker promoted the bill in a talk at Vassar College earlier this month. The college is in his congressional district.

Like many pieces of legislation, the Democratic lawmaker's bill might not go anywhere. He is responding to several parents who have been seeking a bill like this for years.

Perhaps the principal proponent of more data for students going oversea is Sheryl Hill, whose son Tyler died while on a student trip to Japan in 2007.  She operates the  ClearCause Foundation that has been promoting better reporting on overseas incidents for years.

Her son died of a medical condition, but she said he did not receive rapid help.

headlines
A.M. Costa Rica graphics
Headlines about student deaths here.


Of the handful of students featured atop the ClearCause Web site, four died in Costa Rica. Only two of the four were victims of water accidents. One, Justin Johnson, was shot by a hotel guard in 2011, and the fourth, Zoe Damon, died in 2011 in a motor vehicle accident.

They represented a tiny fraction of the estimated 315 U.S. citizens who died from violent deaths in Costa Rica from January 2003 to December 2014, based on U.S. State Department data.

Erik L. Downes of Cape Coral, Florida, died in 2011 off a beach south of Dominical. The fourth student featured is young Thackurdeen.

The information on the ClearCause is far from complete. In part, that is because there is no central office where crimes against U.S. students overseas are catalogued. Creating such a system is the goal of the bill.


News files show there have been additional student deaths.

The U.S. State Department receives much of this information, but the government employees there decline to share it. News stories about the deaths of U.S. citizens or crimes involving them come from the police agencies as frequently flawed versions.

The State Department also does not give names of the estimated 315 U.S. citizens who died violent deaths here in the last 12 years. The department Web site claims incorrectly that the names are being withheld based on privacy laws. Death extinguishes privacy concerns. The ClearCause Foundation has filed an appeal to its Freedom of Information Act request for the names of dead students worldwide.

The State Department in the persona of staffers at the U.S. Embassy here do not even announce when U.S. citizens go missing. They also do not report crimes in which U.S. citizens have been victims. So maintaining an accurate list is difficult.

ClearCause, for example, reports that University of Massachusetts at Amherst sanctioned Living Routes for withholding information on a sexual assault in Costa Rica. The female student was studying in Monteverde but went to the beach over a holiday weekend where she was raped.

That case raises another problem with statistics. The student, like many U.S. victims here, declined to file a police report. That data would be picked up in the statistics required by Maloney's bill.

The foundation would like the U.S. Embassies overseas to take a stronger role in protecting U.S. students.

The foundation also urges parents of any student going overseas to purchase medical insurance that would be valid in the host
country.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 181
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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.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
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Optometry

Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry
In San Isidro de El General
Dr. Vargas
Dr. Allan Mora Vargas
Our experience in primary eye care, now makes yourexperience unmatched.
 
She bought progressive lenses with transitions and anti-reflective coating, this was her great experience:
 
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Centro Comercial Pedro Pérez, south side of the park, San Isidro de El General, Pérez Zeledón, San José,
 Costa Rica.
 Contact: Dr. Allan Mora Vargas
 Email: info@opticasdelvalle.com
 Web: www.opticasdelvalle.com
 Phone Number: (506) 2772-0349
8751-10/17/15

Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
Psychologist
International Practice

• Anxiety
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CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
www.LucindaGray.com
New World Meditation
8610-8/23/15

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
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      government.
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Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
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We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
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Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta javier@residencyincostarica.com
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
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 Accountants

 
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
U.S. Income Tax Services
 
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Tax Accountant
 
File your FBAR for current or past due years
 
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U.S. Tax International
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U.S. Tax
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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
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FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
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James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
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pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
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Fine art restoration and conservation
Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
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For more information please contact Weronika Nossowicz at 8388-5328  or email HERE!
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
commercial, and family law.  
Phone: ( 506 ) 8839-5010 
Email: legalservival@gmail.com
Web: www.legalservival.com
Address:  150 meters southwest from
the Goicoechea court, San José.
8791-12/9/15

Real Estate Closing Services
Lic Matta

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA

Legal – Financial Adviser

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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000
Email: jpmata2000@gmail.com
8587-3/8/15


Land surveying services

René Sánchez Quirós
30+ years of experience in:

Mr. Sanchez
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Contours
Boundary markers
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Call me:
CR phone number:   +506-2290-4573
CR Cell phone number: +506-8383-0083
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8764-10/28/15


Real estate agents and services

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Eco logo
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8660-10/14/15

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del Pacifico, S.A.

colinadelsol022515c.gif
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* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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8596-8/27/15

Grim future predicted with sea-level rise

By the Carnegie Institution news staff

New work from an international team demonstrates that the planet’s remaining fossil fuel resources would be sufficient to melt nearly all of Antarctica if burned, leading to a 50- or 60-meter (160- to 200-foot) rise in sea level. Because so many major cities are at or near sea level, this would put many highly populated areas where more than a billion people live under water, including New York City and Washington, D.C. It is published in Science Advances.

“Our findings show that if we do not want to melt Antarctica, we can’t keep taking fossil fuel carbon out of the ground and just dumping it into the atmosphere as CO2 like we’ve been doing,” said Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira.  “Most previous studies of Antarctic have focused on loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Our study demonstrates that burning coal, oil, and gas also risks loss of the much larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”

Caldeira initiated this project with lead author Ricarda Winkelmann while she was a visiting investigator at the Carnegie Institution for Science.  Ms. Winkelmann and co-author Anders Levermann are at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Although Antarctica has already begun to lose ice, a complex array of factors will determine the ice sheet’s future, including greenhouse gas-caused atmospheric warming, additional oceanic warming perpetuated by the atmospheric warming, and the possible counteracting effects of additional snowfall.

“It is much easier to predict that an ice cube in a warming room is going to melt eventually than it is to say precisely how quickly it will vanish,” Ms. Winkelmann said, explaining all the contributing factors for which the team’s models had to account.

The team used modeling to study the ice sheet’s evolution over the next 10,000 years, because carbon persists in the atmosphere millennia after it is released. They found that the West Antarctic ice sheet becomes unstable if carbon emissions continue at current levels for 60 to 80 years, representing only 6 to 8 percent of the 10,000 billion tons of carbon that could be released by all accessible fossil fuels.

“The West Antarctic ice sheet may already have tipped into a state of unstoppable ice loss, whether as a result of human activity or not. But if we want to pass on cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Calcutta, Hamburg and New York as our future heritage, we need to avoid a tipping in East Antarctica,” Levermann said.

The team found that if global warming did not exceed the 2 degree Celsius target often cited by climate policymakers, Antarctic melting would cause sea levels to rise only a few meters and remain manageable. But greater warming could reshape the East and West ice sheets irreparably, with every additional tenth of a degree increasing the risk of total and irreversible Antarctic ice loss.

This is the first study to model the effects of unrestrained fossil-fuel burning on the entirety of the Antarctic ice sheet. The study does not predict greatly increased rates of ice loss for this century, but found that average rates of sea level rise over the next 1,000 years could be about 3 centimeters per year (more than 1 inch per year) leading to about 30 meters (100 feet) of sea level rise by the end of this millennium. Over several thousand years, total sea level rise from all sources could reach up to 60 meters (200 feet).

"If we don't stop dumping our waste CO2 into the sky, land that is now home to more than a billion people will one day be underwater," Caldeira said.

Some investors unhappy at Milanes trial

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Luis Milanes trial continues in San José, but many investors who were burned by the failure of his Savings Unlimited seem to have lost interest.

Prosecutors are seeking testimony from those who have filed charges against the former casino owner. But some are declining because they have lost faith in the judicial process here, according to trial observers and emails from investors.

Others are not in the country and find that travel to Costa Rican consulates to present a remote testimony is not convenient. Canadians, for example, would have to go to Toronto or Vancouver.

Those who have testified say that prosecutors are encouraging them to say they thought Savings Unlimited was a safe investment. The high-interest operation occupied an upscale suit in Edificio Colón until Milanes, a Cuba-American, closed it down in November 2002.

Many investors thought Milanes was investing their money in expanding his casino holdings. Some investors have recounted being given a tour of casinos. However, the casinos were under another ownership. They continued to operate even while Milanes was in flight for years. Recently some have been sold.

Savings Unlimited was similar to the Luis Enrique Villalobos high interest operation in Mall San Pedro. But Villalobos would not say what he was doing with investors' money. The Milanes operation was more professional with an etched glass door and a cashier's window. Villalobos made payments in fat envelopes.

Ministry cannot act on Nazi goods

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz says it does not have the authority to crack down on vendors of Nazi materials.

The ministry said that it has been contacted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was told that a shop in San Pedro was selling all types of Nazi paraphernalia and should be closed.

Since the ministry could not take action, it said that the complaint was sent to other agencies. The outlet selling Nazi goods was not named.

Selling such material is illegal in some countries, including Germany. But to do so is not illegal in Costa Rica. The Wiesenthal Center is known for its many years hunting World War II Nazis.


No toasts for independence in some areas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A handful of municipalities, including Palmares and Cartago will enforce dry laws Tuesday. The Municipalidad de Palmares made that announcement at the same time it said that a parade there would start at 2 p.m.

Municipalities now have the option of applying a dry law. In the past, the decision was by the central government.


Our reader's opinion
Equal treatment asked for expats here

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The disturbing arrest of Dave Strecker is by no means the only flagrant abuse of the country's legal system by the government, the courts or the judges.

What is most galling is the mirror image treatment of crime against North Americans here. There have been over 20 burglaries in the northwest Guanacaste area in recent weeks that have been reported to local police.  As the snowbirds return from Canada and the U.S. and discover their possessions gone and their homes ransacked, the number will climb. Two of the perpetrators were caught, jailed for a short time and let go because "the drugs made them do it," and so they walk! They both have dozens of similar crimes on their records, including robbery at knifepoint, home invasion and use of illegal firearms.

Cuba Dave's arrest is a symptom of discrimination against foreigners much like the high-profile murder case that was prosecuted three times against Anne Bender. We should be outraged and demand equal treatment under the law, but the foreigners in the U.S. receive no better treatment at the hands of our justice system. To do so would only perpetuate the image of arrogant, "do as I say, not as I do" ex-pats in Costa Rica.

Cuba Dave is Costa Rica's drunk uncle, exposing an embarrassing side of their culture for the world to see. How long they imprison him for as a scapegoat remains to be seen.
H. Nadine Wayne
Playa Hermosa

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Torch welcomed with elaborate ceremony at Peñas Blancas crossing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Antorcha de la Libertad Centroamericana has begun its travels from the northern border. Arrival is expected in Cartago at 8 p.m.

This is the annual relay by Costa Rican students and others throughout Central America to bring the message of liberty to what were the Spanish colonies 194 years ago.

There was song and dance as the torch reached Peñas Blancas Sunday morning.

Then the torch began its 386 kilometer trip.

Each student carries the torch about 200 meters, said the education ministry. Some 2,000 will have participated by tonight.

There were ceremonies and celebrations along the route Sunday. The project only began in 1964, but those students who have carried the torch say it was an experience they will always remember.

Tonight the torch will be in Cartago for a ceremony with President Luis Guillermo Solís and his ministers. The torch is spawning clones all along the route, and the flame is being carried to many of the country's communities.

The municipal council of Guatemala declared independence from Spain Sept. 15, 1821. And that is the day being celebrated here today. However, the news did not reach isolated Costa Rica until October that year.

Nearly every school in the country will have a parade of faroles tonight. These are the representations of the 19th century street lanterns. Many a parent was up late Sunday night with construction paper and glue helping students build their individual farol.  Some are elaborate.

The idea is that under these lanterns citizens read the letter of independence in the streets.

Costa Ricans will stop at 6 p.m. to sing the national anthem. This is a long tradition, and even waiters and clerks in stores stop their work to sing exactly at 6 p.m.

penas Blancas show
Ministerio de Educación Pública photos
Dancing and theatrics at Peñas Blancas


The torch was to begin its travels today at 5:30 a.m. in the Parque Central in Esparza. At 6:45 a.m. it is scheduled to be at the Escuela Carlos María Jiménez. San Ramón receives the torch at 8:10 a.m. and Palmares an hour and 10 minutes later.

At 10:45 a.m. the torch is expected to arrive in Naranjo and then in Sarchí at the Plaza de Deportes at 11:35 a.m. The arrival in Grecia is scheduled for 12:55 p.m. The arrival in Alajuela is planned for 2:15 p.m. and two hours later in Heredia at the Parque Central.

At 5:30 p.m. the torch bearers make a short stop at the Hospital de Niños. Then at 5:59 p.m. the torch is to arrive at San Jose's Parque Central in time for the singing of the national anthem at 6 p.m. Then the torch is on to the Parque Central in Tres Ríos at 7:10 p.m. and then to the destination at Las Ruinas at the Municipalidad de Cartago at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, which is a legal holiday, will see parades of school children all over the country. The one in San José begins at 8:30 a.m, and so does the Día de la Independencia ceremonies at Parque Nacional with Solís and many dignitaries attending. Students from 12 schools are expected to participate in the San José parade.



President's budget pitchman goes on televison to promote the plan
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The acting finance minister, José Francisco Pacheco, carried the message to the public Sunday night defending the proposed central government budget for 2016 and promoting the need for new taxes.

Pacheco said that only 4 percent of the budget could be managed by the administration. The rest is established by law or the constitution.  He also noted that payment on debt made up about a third of the budget.

His presentation was an effort to obtain public support for the budget, which is being considered by lawmakers now. He listed popular programs that should not be cut.

His presentation is correct in that many laws are passed establishing expenditures based on a percentage of gross national product rather than specific amounts.

As Pacheco noted, to make changes with these programs would required changing laws or the Costa Rican Constitution.

We cannot postpone the obligations and mortgage the future of the country and yours and your children," he said, stressing that the new budget was just a half point higher than the previous year.

Pacheco has become the point man for the Luis Guillermo Solís budget since the Helio Fallas, minister of Hacienda, underwent an operation on a foot injury.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Researchers link Gulf War illness and fatigue to damage to cells
By the American Physiological Society news staff

One in four Gulf War veterans suffers from Gulf War illness. The condition is characterized by unexplainable chronic fatigue, muscle pain and cognitive dysfunction and may be associated with exposure to chemicals, many identified as genotoxins, during deployment.

Previous studies suggest that the symptoms of Gulf War illness are due to dysfunction of the mitochondria, the site in cells where molecules that power the body’s processes are produced. Not producing enough energy slows down the body and leaves the individual feeling tired. New preliminary research shows for the first time direct evidence of greater mitochondrial damage in Gulf War veterans.

The mitochondrion has its own DNA, separate from the cell’s, that encodes the proteins needed to produce the molecules that power the body’s processes. Damage to the mitochondrial
DNA directly affects the mitochondria’s ability to function and produce energy.

Increases in the amount of mitochondrial DNA have been associated with disease. In this study, researchers measured the mitochondrial DNA amount and degree of mitochondrial DNA damage in blood cells from blood samples from veterans with Gulf War illness.

Compared with healthy non-deployed controls, Gulf War veterans had more mitochondrial DNA content and greater mitochondrial DNA damage. According to the researchers, these findings further support that mitochondrial dysfunction may be involved in the illness.

“Future studies are necessary to confirm these findings and determine their association with mitochondrial function. Work in this area may guide new diagnostic testing and treatments for veterans suffering from GWI,” the researchers wrote.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


Recreo Verde
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info@recreoverde.com
www.recreoverde.com
8797-11/9/15

diligence
Click photo for another video

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

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

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

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

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

8729-12/30/15

Osas montage
Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
Osa field institute and much more.
Contact us Now for reservations at: hollee@villasdeoros.com or vikkigold0@gmail.com  Or phone 506-2786-5170
Visit our Web page for more info: http://villasdeoros.com
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8669-7/29/15

Mar de
                        Luz
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email: info@mardeluz.com.  Web page: www.mardeluz.com.

Hotel
                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email: info@hotelplayabejuco.com   Web page www.hotelplayabejuco.com.
8665-10/24/15

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8479-9/11/14

Hidden
                        Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8623-6/16/15

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Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
8784-2/19/16

beach
                                              view
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
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Real estate for rent

Escazu condo

Beautiful fully furnished apartment for rent
Perfect place for a retired family. Furnished condo for rent.  Two bedrooms, 2 complete bathrooms, living room & dinning room, laundry room. Great location: Escazú center, 5 minutes to San José, 10 minutes to Multiplaza, Hospital CIMA, PriceSmart. Very secure: gated, guard at gate 24/7  Pool & fitness center.  Monthly rate $1,100  Call Darling. Cell phone  8356-5486   or send me an email   fredschindeler@racsa.co.cr  or  deli.schindeler@yahoo.com.mx
8793-10/4/15

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see plumitapacifica.com to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the video.
65-9/4/15

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705. Linda@coldwellbankercr.com
8755-8/20/15

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
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    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
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Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801
Email: lizrutbeth@gmail.com, analisishumano@gmail.com
8749-8/20/15



Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia


 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or
email: lizrutbeth@gmail.com,
analisishumano@gmail.com

8722-7/17/15
Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS. laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8747-8/13/15

San
                                                Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com  Check out slide show HERE!
8670-6/30/15




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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 181
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
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About us

Apology to Vanessa Williams
climaxes beauty pageant


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was crowned the new Miss America Sunday night in Atlantic City, beating out contestants from all 50 states, plus the District of Colombia and Puerto Rico.

Judges made their decision in part based on Miss Cantrell's superb opera performance.

But, the pageant's apology to a former winner who was dethroned was one of the most anticipated moments of the evening.

Pageant executive chairman Sam Haskell stood on stage with actress/singer Vanessa Williams and said "You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned . . . . I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”

Haskell also apologized to Helen Williams, Vanessa's mother, who was in the audience, in the televised event.  The elder Williams was near tears amid the standing ovation after the apology.

Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win the Miss America crown, but she stepped down amid a nude photo scandal.

Ms. Williams went on to have a successful entertainment career as a singer and an actress.  She was also one of the judges in Sunday's competition.

Haskell said no one with the current Miss America staff was involved in the events that led to Williams' resignation.


Djokovic takes tennis title
in grueling match amid rain

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Serbia's Novak Djokovic won the U.S. Open Sunday night after waiting out a three-hour rain delay and needing more than three more hours to beat one of the best men's tennis players in history.

The win over Switzerland's Roger Federer was the 10th grand slam tournament win for Djokovic and his third this year, after taking both the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"It's quite an incredible evening for me," Djokovic said after the match.  "I have tremendous respect for Roger and what his game is presenting to me and to any other player."

He called Federer perhaps the best player in history, and said facing him adds a little pressure.

Djokovic and Federer have dominated men's tennis during the past decade along with Spain's Rafael Nadal.  After Sunday's final, the last major of the year, the trio has now won 40 of the past 48 grand slams.

Federer has not won a major since 2012 and not at the U.S. Open since 2008 when he beat Djokovic in the semifinals.  But he rolled through the early rounds this year, defeating all of his opponents in straight sets to reach the final.

Djokovic grabbed the early lead, winning the first set 6-4, but Federer responded by taking the second set 7-5.  Djokovic looked to be in control from there, winning the third set 6-4 and leaping out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth set.

But Federer rallied, prompting an extra boost of energy from the crowd in New York as he battled back to 5-4.  Djokovic prevailed though, watching Federer's final volley drift just past the baseline for the 6-4 set.

"Today I was serving at 5-2 in the fourth set and Roger showed why he's a champion," Djokovic said.

There was no guttural scream or dropping to the knees in celebration, just a smile and a jog to the net to shake hands with Federer.  Djokovic walked away and looked into the crowd and shook his head in disbelief before hopping up into the stands to hug his family and friends.

Federer, who celebrated on that court five straight years from 2004-2008, could only sit in his courtside chair and watch.  The 34-year-old described the past two weeks as wonderful and drew cheers when he announced he will return next year.

"I'm very pleased with where my game's at," Federer said.  "I thought it was a great match."

He added his congratulations for Djokovic and said he felt great about where his game is right now.  "I love the sport, I've got a lot of passion," he said.

Djokovic said closing out the match was a huge relief and that he would enjoy it as long as he could.

"I love this sport, as Roger said.  He has a lot of passion for this sport, I do too.  If we didn't have the love and passion, we wouldn't be here," said Djokovic.


Lawmakers want to study
Obama plan to admit Syrians


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers are scrutinizing the Obama administration's plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States, where the possibility of terrorist infiltrators is a top concern.

"If I could be assured these people could be vetted properly, I would be supportive," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul on ABC's This Week program. "We don't know who they are."

The plight of Syrian refugees has gripped the world's attention, including on Capitol Hill.

"These are refugees from torture, from murder, from killing, from genocide," said Sen. John McCain, a Republican, in a fiery floor speech last week.

With millions of Syrians displaced, the United States plans to admit 10,000 refugees. But even that tiny proportion is raising concerns.

"From a national security standpoint, I take ISIS at its word when they said, in their own words, 'We will use and exploit the refugee crisis to infiltrate the West.' That concerns me," said Republican McCaul of the Islamic State. "We have to deal with this crisis. But this could be a very reckless and dangerous policy."

The Obama administration says Syrian refugees will be thoroughly screened.

"We would not take any shortcuts when it comes to our security," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "So there will be an effort to try to accelerate that process or move more people through that process, but it will not come at the expense of the robust security precautions that will remain in place."

Even so, President Barack Obama's special envoy in the fight against the Islamic State acknowledges the potential danger is real.

"I think we should watch it," said retired Gen. John Allen on This Week. "We should be conscious of the potential that Daesh may attempt to embed agents within the population."

Refugee proponents, meanwhile, say admitting 10,000 Syrians is a step in the right direction, but a number that barely begins to address the unfolding refugee crisis.

 
Germany tightens its borders
in response to refugee crisis


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Germany has temporarily suspended participation in the much-vaunted European Union system of passport-free movement between member countries and has imposed border controls, saying it was forced to do so to limit the influx of refugees from war-torn countries, mainly Syria and Iraq.

The announcement Sunday by the country’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, came on another fast-moving day in Europe’s migration crisis, with Germany halting all trains for 12 hours with its neighbor Austria, the main conduit through which 450,000 refugees have arrived in Germany this year.

Analysts predicted the halting of trains would prompt more desperate scenes on the Austrian-German border, as tens of thousands of refugees try to enter Germany by any means possible.

“Germany is temporarily introducing border controls again along internal borders. The focus will be on the border with Austria at first," de Maiziere said Sunday. “The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country.”

The suspension of German participation in passport-free movement between member countries came as Germany's federal states warned they are struggling to handle the refugee influx, and pushed back on German Chancellor’s Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees.

The Christian Social Union, the mainly Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in the governing coalition, also upped its criticism of the German leader’s move to relax the rules for Syrian asylum-seekers wanting to settle in Germany. In rare direct criticism of the government, leading members of the party turned on Ms. Merkel, saying she is making an “unparalleled historical mistake.”

Horst Seehofer, party leader, told Spiegel magazine: “It was a mistake that will occupy us for a long time yet. I see no possibility of putting the stopper back into the bottle.”

The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, announced the city’s capacity to cope with arriving refugees is exhausted.

Germany’s decision to suspend its participation in the passport-free program is likely to anger other EU members, especially Belgium and France, who have threatened several times since 2011 to do the same in response to Italy handing out humanitarian passports to refugees and economic migrants.


Charges against Chinese prof
will be dropped, Feds report


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. federal prosecutors are planning to drop fraud charges against the Chinese-born former chairman of Temple University's physics department, who was accused of scheming to provide sensitive technology to China.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia filed a motion in federal court Friday to dismiss four counts of wire fraud against Xi Xiaoxing, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China. In its filing, the government said only that it had received additional information' since charges against the 57-year-old professor were filed in May.

Xi had maintained his innocence, saying he did nothing more than "common academic collaborations practiced by so many colleagues every day." After his arrest in May, he voluntarily stepped down as chairman of the university's physics department, but remained a faculty member there.

Prosecutors accused him of seeking prestigious appointments in China in exchange for providing data on electronics technology invented by a U.S. company. Xi was working for the U.S. firm while on sabbatical in 2002. The company developed a thin-film superconducting device containing magnesium diboride.

In 2004, Xi was awarded a grant from the U.S. Defense Department to purchase the device for research, but prosecutors allege that he "exploited it for the benefit of third parties in China, including government entities."

The dismissal motion comes after Xi and his lawyer, Peter Zeidenberg, gave a presentation to investigators Aug. 21. That presentation included affidavits from world renowned physicists and experts who looked at emails between Xi and contacts in China, and explained that he was involved in a scientific pursuit that had a very narrow commercial application and did not involve restricted technology, Zeidenberg said.

Xi had faced up to 80 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted. The dismissal motion still must be approved by a U.S. district judge.


Lopez wife
Voluntad Popular photo
Lilian Tintori, wife of Leopoldo López, speaks to her husband's supporters and press.

U.S. and others deplore
López prison sentence


By the A.M. Costa Rica news services

The United States is expressing outrage at the jailing of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.

López was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison in connection with opposition-led protests last year that turned deadly when state forces clashed with demonstrators.

Samantha Power, the United States' U.N. ambassador, said that Lopez's trial was unfair and "it goes without saying that these charges on the basis of what López did are absurd."

Power said Lopez's conviction was not going to advance peace and prosperity and stability in Venezuela at a time when the country is going through an economic crisis.

The U.S.-trained economist was convicted of inciting violence against the government in an attempt to force President Nicolas Maduro from office.  López, 44, is the founder of opposition party Voluntad Popular.

Earlier, the White House said Maduro's government was using the justice system to attempt to silence critics.

"The decision to prosecute and sentence López, and the conduct of his trial, have highlighted significant failures in the rule of law and judicial system in Venezuela,'' National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said.

Amnesty International said in a statement that Lopez's sentence showed an utter lack of judicial independence and impartiality in Venezuela.

"His only crime was being leader of an opposition party in Venezuela," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, the Americas director of Amnesty International.  "With this decision, Venezuela is choosing to ignore basic human rights principles and giving the green light to more abuses."

The court rejected all but two defense witnesses, both of whom ultimately declined to testify, while letting the prosecution call more than 100 during the closed-door sessions, according to Lopez's attorneys.
 
López insists he called only for peaceful protests, and his backers blame armed government supporters for much of the bloodshed last year that resulted in more than 40 deaths. Government officials said López implicitly encouraged the violence.

More opposition protests have been scheduled for next week in response to the verdict.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Photo montage of penthouse
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Real estate for sale (paid category)


property montage
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email: hfonseca24@gmail.com
8794-10/4/15

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8792-10/31/15

montage
Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms.  The main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. With an additional 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Excellent construction and great details. Great Price $388,000 For more information, please contact us:
Email stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.
8789-11/27/15

Cohen
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8788-10/17/15

Escazu condo
Builders, Investors Opportunity
Escazú, San José


Unique opportunity, 6 units 80% finished luxury condo project. Best location in Escazú. Condos have amazing views and privacy.  There is option to build 5 more units in the same complex. Project located only 5 minutes away from Multiplaza, CIMA Hospital  and Escazú's best amenities. All permits in place.

Open to partial trades and small financing. Let's negotiate!

SUPER REDUCED PRICE $1,095,000 USD

John Ordonez Broker / Owner
Cell: (506) 8811-5329 / Office: (506) 25660138
Toll free USA & CANADA 1-877-210-3639
john@luxuryhomescr.com / info@luxuryhomescr.com
SKYPE: jhongoc
More Luxury Listings: www.luxuryhomescr.com
8775-9/12/15

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
9771-9/22/15

Ringle resort
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 azucarb@racsa.co.cr or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.
8769-9/18/15

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8736-10/1/15

Lantz
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com
8779-10/24/15

Pavones
Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!
8718-7/16/15

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email gsmboss@hotmail.com. See this Web site:
http://costaricarealestate.jimdo.com/
8651-5/7/15

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

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.
8406-8/2/14

Real estate services
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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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 181
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News from the BBC up to the minute













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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
The seed-collector's dilemma: Memory

Well, I just dumped out my pocketbook (looking for car keys) and several dozen small round black seeds fell onto the desk. Hmmm. I wonder where those came from. Was it that small shrub down in Liberia
or that orange
Victoria torley
flowered one at the restaurant?  I never remember.

Seed collecting is a sort of second hobby for every gardener. We wrap them in a piece of Kleenex or a napkin from the restaurant where we had lunch. Never seem to have a pen to scribble down what they are. Actually, we have no idea what
the plant is. It's more like a, “Look at that (flower/plant/shrub/tree) – what a great color. And look, seeds!” kind of thing. We tuck the little package of seeds in a pocket or purse and they completely disappear.

We have good intentions, really. We intend to put the seeds in some good soil when we get home but things get rushed. The next time we see the seeds, they have been through the washer and dryer. Nothing sprouts after that kind of treatment.

But suppose, just suppose, that you remember to take the wrapped seeds out of pocket (or wherever) and put them in the ground or even a pot. What then? If you are like me, you forget to put a note on the pot of what they are or where they came from. Or you do, but the sun bleaches out the note, or you mix up a couple different pots. The only thing to do is wait until the seeds sprout and give you something to work with. It is now “name that leaf” time. Have you looked around at all the different trees and shrubs that have a mimosa-like leaf? Confusing isn't it? Some turn into 10 meter trees and some stay as shrubs. Put one in the wrong place, and you have a problem.

Sometimes I think I should take a hint from all those crime shows on TV, the ones where everybody carries a bunch of evidence bags to the scene of the crime. Little sandwich baggies would be good and a nice marking pen, but will I remember to do that? That kind of organization is usually beyond me, but, if I hurry out now, while I am thinking about it, I could put baggies in the car, maybe even a pen. Will I remember where I put them when the time comes? Probably not . . . .

But it's a good plan.

two plants
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley    

Plant of the Week

Not one plant, but two that illustrate my I-don't-know-what-it-will-be dilemma. The plants are not the same age, so take that into account. One will be a tree, one a shrub. If you can figure it out, let me know which is which.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845

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From Page 7:


Trump calls big salaries of CEOs disgraceful

By the  A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, the leading 2016 U.S. Republican presidential contender, Sunday attacked the big salaries of corporate chief executives as disgraceful.

Trump told CBS's Face the Nation, "You see these guys making these enormous amounts of money, and it's a total and complete joke."

In U.S. political campaigns, Democratic candidates often criticize the wide disparity between the pay of CEOs of big companies and their employees, which can be as much as 350 times greater. But Republicans, often thought to be the party of big business in the United States, rarely attacks the salaries of corporate and Wall Street chieftains.

The 69-year-old Trump often brags about his wealth and business success building New York skyscrapers. But he laid the blame for high CEO pay on the executives themselves, who he said put their friends on corporate boards of directors, who in turn approve the big salaries for company leaders.

"It does bug me," Trump said. It's very hard if you have a free enterprise system to do anything about that, he added. The boards of companies are supposed to control spending and high pay executive pay, "but I know companies very well and the CEO puts in all of his friends."

Trump has taken a populist, anti-Washington message to the top of the 16-candidate Republican field. He said in the coming weeks he would unveil proposals to cut individual and corporate taxes, "but for the hedge fund guys, they are going to be paying up."

The Republican contenders are getting set for Wednesday's next round of debates, with several of the candidates vowing to attack Trump for his shifting views on U.S. health care, abortion and other issues over the years and make the argument that he is not in line with the views of the party's dominant conservative voters.

Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN's State of the Union Sunday that "there will probably be more elbows thrown in that debate" than in the first one last month.

Another Republican political novice, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, has risen to second behind Trump in surveys of Republicans across the U.S.

In an appearance on ABC's This Week, Carson dismissed Trump's recent remark that he did not have enough energy to be president.

"You don't have to be loud to be energetic," Carson said.