free webpage hit counter
Sonesta condos

Hermosa Highlands
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

universal update

(506) 2223-1327        Published Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188       E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Costa Rica is affordable even for low-budget folks
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As the belts are tightened in the United States and elsewhere, more eyes turn to Costa Rica as a cheap place to live.

The first question usually is what is the cost of living there. And there is no easy answer.

Retirees range from the person squeaking by on $700 a month in U.S. Social Security to someone who can write a check for a $450,000 oceanside condo.

But those short on funds usually want to know how low can you go.

Because Costa Rica is a socialist country, great attention is paid to the costs of public services. In simple terms, they are a steal. And they will continue to be.

Want a cell phone? The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad will charge you a base rate of 3,375 colons or about $6.15 a month. A land line will cost 3,220 colons or $5.88 a month.

Basic Internet hookup can be had for 8,350 colons a month or $28.25. But then there also is the charge for using the telephone to connect to a server.  The alternative, a cable hookup, can cost about $18 for basic service which usually is sufficient for one household. And there is an obligatory purchase of cable television. The price also depends on which company has the service contract for the specific geographical area.

Columnist Jo Stuart frequently mentions prices in her Friday column. She also is an astute shopper at the various weekend ferias where vegetables and other agricultural products are sold far below supermarket prices.

Even in the supermarket, some products are price controlled. Milk is 1,430 colons a gallon or $2.61.

Those who simply have to have imported U.S. goods will pay handsomely. They shop at Pricesmart.

Jo Stuart also notes that the best seats in the Teatro Nacional for a major orchestra performance can be just 8,000 colons or about $14.60. But she usually goes a little higher in the building for a whole lot less. The cheap seats are 3,000 colons ($5.50) and all tickets are subject to a 10 percent discount for senior citizens.

The ciudadano de oro card is accepted universally and can mean deep discounts. To get one, an expat has to have a pensionado, rentista, inversionist or residencia cédula. 

The government has decided to dispense with the bus coupons for the elderly. They were subject to resale and caused a lot of woe. So shortly seniors will simply have to show an identification specifying their age, including the ciudadano de oro card, to get a discount.

The bus fares are a steal to begin with. The fare from San José to Tamarindo on the far Pacific coast is 3,055 colons or $6.23. That's nearly an all-day ride. And in the city few routes are more than 250 colons (about 45 cents).

Taxis also are a deal, although recent increases have Costa Ricans unhappy.  The first kilometer of a taxi ride is 420 colons or about 77 cents. Additional kilometers in the city are still 380 colons (69 cents). Those are definitely not New York City prices.

There are the apartments. Even after paying the informal tax levied on those who do not speak Spanish well, a decent two-bedroom, secure unit can be had for $450 a month. An A.M. Costa Rica reporter just vacated a one-bedroom with loft where the rent was $275 a month. And this was no slum.
piggy bank

Electrical and water bills are designed for the low-end user. The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz rates favor low use. The current rate is 43 colons (8 cents) for each kilowatt for the first 200 kilowatts of use. Each of the next 100 kilowatts is 66 colons (12 cents). Larger consumers pay more per unit.

The government water company just got a 25 percent overall raise but the actual rates have not been set yet. Company officials promise to favor low users.

Then there is free. Like nearly all the country's beaches from high water to 50 meters inland. And the parks. And frequent entertainment.

Again, prices and use of utilities depend a lot on where the expat lives. Air conditioning can add a lot of an electric bill. So can alcohol or cigarettes. Remember, socialist countries like to control your bad habits.

Beer is about 800 colons a can, about $1.45. Local beer is cheaper by the two-liter bottle, but still it is no bargain.

On the other hand, a glass of decent Chilean or Italian wine in a four-star hotel restaurant will cost between 3,100  and 3,500 colons (from $5.66 to $6.39). Better to buy by the bottle (4,000 to 6,000 colons or $7.30 to $10.95) except for infrequent sprees.

Bars that cater to expats will reflect that in their beer prices where 1,200 colon beer means nearly $2.20 a bottle.

The big ticket items here are automobiles because the government levies a gigantic tax. So an expat can figure paying twice for what a vehicle costs in the States. But the insurance is very reasonable, again based on coverage and type of vehicle. But $100 a year is possible.

A lot has been said about the Costa Rican health system. And one must accept the fact that most U.S. medical benefits do not extend outside the States. An exception is the health plan for retired military and some federal employees.

Patients in the government system probably do not have their own assigned physician. And the waits are legendary.

However, older patients of the ciudadano de oro category usually get to go to the head of the line. Expats find they can obtain very reasonable health insurance from the only provider, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros.  Some group plans reduce the cost even more.

Costa Rican employees are covered because the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social takes 10 percent of their gross pay as a salary deduction. Employees add to the total.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats


reserved space

jumping through hoops

Realty Executives ad

Purto Limon update
tennis pro ad

GLC rollover
Howard ad
karen banner

Rixson ad

updated hot springs

Costa Rica
Second newspage

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

help help help
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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.

Residency experts

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

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas

Dental Clinics

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

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

Acupuncture physician

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

Immediate results for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, whiplash, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald
 painful conditions. Excellent results for migraine, stress, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions from constipation, hemorroids, to hemiplegia, raynauds, bells palsy, etc. Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 17 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661


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

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $85,700 in 2007)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

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

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)

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

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

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

7Legal services

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 2643-3058                Cell 8365-3088
Toll-free  from the U.S.: 
 Web site:

Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).

Member of the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce


Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007

Bufete Narváez y Asociados
Legal counsel and Investments
We welcome new clients
Licenciada Narvaea
Licda. Jamileth Narváez
• Corporate strategies
• Immigration experts
• Real estate investment

506 2239-4606, 506 2239-4604
506 8378-3919, 506 8871-1551
506 8350-6469

cameras in cartago
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo

Fuerza Pública officer monitors the new camera system that watches over downtown Cartago. The system just went into service.

Police watching Cartago
with electronic eyes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Law enforcement officials in Cartago are calling the installation of surveillance cameras in the downtown a big step in technology. The cameras are being monitored from a spot inside the Municipalidad de Cartago building but by Fuerza Pública officers.

The cameras are not part of the countrywide project planned by the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública but are the result of a local initiative among the ministry, the Sony company and municipal officials, the ministry said. Cartago now joins other provincial capitals that also have surveillance systems in place.

Embassy reminds Canadians
that ballots can be mailed in

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Canada’s ambassador in Costa Rica, Neil Reeder, wants to remind all Canadians living in Costa Rica and the region that, under certain conditions, they may be eligible to vote by mail-in ballot in the federal elections Oct. 14.

Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, called the elections Sept. 7.

Reeder encouraged resident Canadians to determine their eligibility to vote and to make every effort to vote if they are eligible to do so.  The embassy said it is making arrangements to facilitate voting arrangements for resident Canadians where possible.

Canadian citizens living or traveling temporarily outside Canada can vote by mail.  However, they have to meet certain conditions, said the embassy, specifying that

A Canadian can vote by special mail-in ballot if he or she

• is 18 or older on election day; AND

• has a permanent residence in Canada, but is away from the electoral district during the election period; OR

• has lived outside Canada for less than five consecutive years (or longer if the voter meets certain employment-based criteria)

For more information on eligibility criteria, Canadians are asked to visit Elections Canada’s Web site:  or call Elections Canada in Ottawa, Canada at 613-993-2975 (from anywhere in the world – collect calls accepted), said the embassy.

The embassy said that in order to vote, voters must first register with Elections Canada.  The embassy will even FAX the forms that voters use to register.

The embassy said that voters should register no later than Friday and request a special ballot. The ballot must be at Elections Canada before the deadline of 6:00 PM, Ottawa time, on Election Day. The embassy said that workers there will send back voted ballots if they are received by the end of the business day Oct. 7.

Information about candidates is posted on the Election Canada Web site. And more information about voting is linked to the embassy home page.

Police sweep in Jacó
nets eight U.S. citizens

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eight U.S. citizens were among the 71 detained in a police sweep of night spots in Jacó Saturday. Officials also said they were surprised to find a 15-year-old girl trying to enter one of the locations that is known as a meeting place of women with foreigners. The sweep was designed to counter sexual exploitation in Jacó, officials said.

Police turned out in force. Involved were the Dirección de Investigaciones Especializadas, the Archivo Policial, the Fuerza Pública, the Unidad Canina, the Policía Turística and the Policía Especial de Migración.

In all, officials said the identity information on more than 120 persons was run through official data bases. In addition to the U.S. citizens, police said they detained 14 Dominicans, 17 Nicaraguans, 27 Colombians, two Spaniards, a Venezuelan, a Cuban and an individual from Norway.

The sweep was the more recent of a series designed to reduce prostitution in Jacó. At least six persons appear to be in the country illegally, and 15 were told by immigration officials that they had to renew their paperwork. Police managed to find 15 grams of marijuana on one women, they said.

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Puriscal properties
protection ad
Gap ad

newspaper nameplate

Axel's Wonderland

Costa Rica
third newspage

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188

Marchers covered at least three blocks of Paseo Colón during the morning event.
marchers on Paseo Colón
A.M. Costa Rica photo

Marchers seek to make statement against ALL violence
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At least 2,000 people who oppose violence took to Paseo Colón Sunday morning to walk with visiting Mexican actresses and television personalities.

The event was a promotion for the Fundación Rostro Humano, which is developing programs to counter violence against women. A majority of the marchers were women, and nearly all wore white, as organizers had  requested.

However, the kind of violence opposed Sunday covered a wide range. Johnny Araya, mayor of San José, in a talk defined peace as not just the absence of war from the absence of violence. He mentioned a full range, including violence on the highways and that is caused by organized crime.

The march was the most public event of a three-day series, which includes a visit today to the Asamblea Legislativa.

Among the actresses were Lilia Aragón, who is well known to viewers of Mexican telenovelas. Also there was Yolanda Ventura, Claudia Lizaldi and Pilar Pellicer. The Costa Rican television personality Vica Andrade who works in México also participated. All gave brief comments from a platform erected in the middle of Paseo Colón at the end of the short march.  Despite what Araya said, the women focused on inter-familial violence and violence against children.
marching dancers
A.M. Costa Rica photo
Typical dancers also participated

Some of the visitors also starred in a benefit performance of the  "Secretos de la Vagina" Sunday night. This is a Spanish version of the play "Vagina Monologues."

Arias travels north in search of a free trade pact extention
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

President Óscar Arias Sánchez said Sunday he would be meeting with President George Bush in Washington later today about an extension for Costa Rica's approval of the free trade treaty.

Arias already had a meeting scheduled with Bush for Wednesday at 11 a.m. in New York. Heads of state are gathering there this week for the traditional individual speeches that kick off the United Nation's year.

The General Assembly formally opened last week when diplomats met to settle administrative issues and set this year's agenda. This is the 63rd session of the General Assembly

But this week is expected to attract far more attention, as the heads of U.N. member states take turns addressing the assembly. Those addresses begin Tuesday and include speeches by Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Arias speaks at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to Casa Presidencial.

The General Assembly president, Miguel d'Escoto Brockman, a former Nicaraguan priest and diplomat, says he will work to pass major reforms of the United Nations.

He took a swipe at the United States in a speech last week when he spoke of countries addicted to war.

D'Escoto says it is "undeniable" that some members of the Security Council have "an addiction to war," and he says they are threatening international peace and security. In a scarcely veiled reference to the Bush administration, d'Escoto also said no nation has the right "to decide on its
own which states are sponsors of terrorism, and which are not."

"By now, over 1.2 million people have died as a direct consequence of that aggression and occupation," d'Escoto said about the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The 75-year-old diplomat, who is a Roman Catholic priest, told reporters later he intends to try to reform the U.N. to give the 192-member General Assembly a stronger role, compared to the Security Council, whose permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain — have veto power over U.N. decisions.  Costa Rica holds a non-permanent chair representing Latin America this year.

Demonstrators opposed to Mr. Ahmedinajad's policies in Iran are planning a major rally for Monday morning.

Diplomats and politicians typically use their time in New York to hold meetings on the sidelines of the assembly. So Bush will be meeting with most, if not all, of the heads of countries involved in the free trade treaty.  All have ratified the document except Costa Rica, which still must pass a change to tighten its intellectual property laws in order to be in compliance with the treaty.

This is the change that was deemed unconstitutional by the Sala IV of the Corte Suprema de Justicia less than two weeks ago. Costa Rica has been working under an Oct. 1 deadline to come into compliance with the treaty. That deadline also was the result of an extension agreed to by all the countries that signed the pact.

Arias also said in his weekend television talk that Costa Rica would soon begin negotiations with the People's Republic of China for a trade agreement.

U.N. seeks to enhance
cooperation on trafficking

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said it has strengthened its efforts to tackle human trafficking in Central America by bolstering national prosecutors’ capacities and improving regional cooperation.

The drug office in concert with the U.N. Latin America Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, is assessing strengths and weaknesses of public prosecutors and police to create training courses to be held over the next two years.

This scheme seeks to boost law enforcement agencies’ investigative and prosecutorial capacities and aims to increase collaboration in Central America on investigations, witness protection programs and investigative techniques.

“We need to make this a long-term, sustainable program capable of supporting not only public prosecution and police services in the fight against trafficking, but also other justice operators, such as the judiciary and border control authorities,” said Felipe De La Torre, a U.N. crime prevention expert based in Mexico City.
democratic ad

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188

Venezuela kicks out two Human Rights Foundation critics
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
and special reports

A Human Rights Foundation representative says his expulsion from Venezuela following a negative report shows that President Hugo Chavez will not tolerate any criticism.

José Miguel Vivanco, the organization's director for the Americas, spoke to reporters Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vivanco and his deputy were kicked out of the country Thursday after their group released a report saying Venezuela's human rights policies have suffered under President Chávez.

Venezuela's Foreign Ministry accused Human Rights Foundation of attacking the country's democratic institutions and illegally interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs.

The Human Rights Foundation report accused the Chávez government of discriminating against political opponents, undermining freedoms of expression and association and disregarding the need for an independent judiciary. It also said the government was trying to restrict the work of Venezuelan rights advocates.

In New York, Human Rights Foundation said the expulsions indicate the Chávez administration’s growing intolerant of the increased public exposure and scrutiny of human rights violations occurring within that country.

“The U.N. Declaration on Human Rights Defenders compels the Venezuelan government to condemn, investigate, and punish promptly and thoroughly any attacks, threats, or intimidation of human rights defenders,” said Alek Boyd, vice-president of program of the foundation.

“Venezuela has become a land of chaos, where it is the government that threatens, intimidates, detains, and forcibly removes two human rights defenders for denouncing human rights violations," he said.

Boyd said that Vivanco and Wilkinson held a press conference in Caracas to publicize the 230-page report.
The report contains damning instances of violations of freedom of expression, political discrimination, attacks on organized labor, the elimination of judicial independence, and the overall degradation of human rights, said Boyd.

Vivanco and Wilkinson were detained by the Venezuelan intelligence service, taken to the airport, and expelled from Venezuela, Boyd said. Vivanco is a citizen of Chile, and Wilkinson is a citizen of the United States.

Venezuelan Secretary of State Nicolas Maduro characterized the Human Rights Foundation's behavior as “abusive and rude” and stated that Vivanco had violated Venezuelan sovereignty and law for criticizing human rights violations as a foreign national. Maduro also stated that Vivanco’s report was an aggression emanating from “agencies of the United States government” and that his expulsion should lead to “celebration in the streets for this act of sovereign will.”

Saul Ortega, a leading member of the Venezuelan Congress, stated that Vivanco is “a paid hit man who stands in front of the cameras, acting the part of a clown in service of the empire.”

The Human Rights Foundation said it categorically rejects the behavior of the Chávez administration and calls on José Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, to immediately condemn the actions of the Venezuelan government and activate the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Earlier this year, Monica Fernández, a Venezuelan jurist and human rights advocate, was the target of an assassination attempt the day after Venezuelan government television declared her an enemy of the state, the Human Rights Foundation said. Judge Fernandez suffered a gunshot wound while her fiancée was shot five times.

The government declared the failed hit job a car robbery and ceased investigating, the organization said. Judge Fernandez is the organization's director of research in Venezuela.

Hotel Alfi
News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rica
fifth news page

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188

rss feed promo
save our forests

Our readers comment on the candidates for the presidency
Election in November
is a watershed moment

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I am a U.S. citizen old enough to remember former president  Eisenhower´s outgoing speech warning of the danger to the future of the "military industrial complex,¨ and the subsequent brief period of "Camelot"  where a window opened to appear that the U.S. would fulfill its mandate as a beacon of freedom, and democracy, and hope for the entire planet.

It was a time where respect for and service in the government had reached a peak that has fallen precipitously ever since, to the point where we now see the sorry state of affairs that a failure to heed President Eisenhower's warning and the path of militarism, mass armament, wars, killing, and vast destruction on so many levels has led to.

In a world where the U.S. has for better or worse taken a leadership role for the last century, its government, over the last 40 years has increasingly stood for the protection of entrenched power and financial interests — at all costs — counter to long-term prospects of peace and prosperity.

It has become an ever more corrupt system of perverted capitalism making the wealthy few even wealthier, and expanding an ever more desperate, disenfranchised majority, fostering what we now see as ¨terrorism.¨

In a world where technology has shrunk its size, and spanned borders, the U.S. military industrial complex, has continued unabated to foster ¨war¨ as the means to addressing it´s  problems. Witness the so -called ¨war on drugs¨ that has succeeded in little more than turning once safe and peaceful agrarian cultures throughout Latin America into hotbeds of organized crime, threatening to topple entire governments in the region in the spreading carnage of  kidnappings, and murder.

Corporate controlled government has gotten so far off track  to the point that they are mimicking the very nadir of evil that they fought so valiantly to defeat in the Second World War: fascism!

The entrenched multi-nationals have turned the U.S. into the policemen for a global order that is on the verge of an unprecedented economic implosion from its own corrupt excess and greed.

And so as in 1960, we have another watershed moment in U.S. politics. The choice is very simple.

Do we vote for a man who personifies out-dated, old world, entrenched oil, corrupt big business controlled corporate government, anti science, and militarism in Mr. McCain?

Or do we embrace the future in a bright young energetic progressive voice for a return to a more democratic way of life in Senator Obama?

Hari Khalsa

Ms. Palin's Pegler quote
was repugnant action

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Thank you, Lenny Karpman. Your letter of Sept. 19 was right on the money.
Virtually every credible military and intelligence analyst believes putting the Sunni former allies of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia on the U.S. payroll did as much, if not more, to tamp down violence and improve security in Iraq than John McCain's "surge" of U.S. troops did.
It's all so surreal this election cycle. What is fact is perceived as fiction, and vice versa.
Given the stakes, it's all pretty disconcerting.
I just cast my ballot early at my local town hall because I'll be back in Costa Rica next week for several months.
In the 32 years since I've been able to vote, I don't think I've seen the U.S. as divided as it is today.
Whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, that reality should be very disconcerting to us all.
One of the big issues in the race, especially in the blogosphere, is still Obama's former pastor who, we all can agree, made some over the top statements about 9-11 being the result of America's arrogant foreign policy, among others.
But what's interesting, as McCain has groveled before the leaders of the fundamentalist Christian right, men he once called "agents of intolerance" who exercised a ". . . poisonous influence on the Republican Party," no one is pointing out that those leaders, specifically Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, said America only had itself to blame for 9-11 because God was punishing us for allowing women to have the right to make their own reproductive health decisions.
But, somehow, that's all been swept under the rug. But not the Reverend Wright. He's continually brought up in the blogosphere. One I post on has a contributor who accuses

A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

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

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

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

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.


A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.


Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.


A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

both Wright and Barack Obama of being "black supremacists, who want to subjugate the white man and force Spanish upon the country as the second 'official' language.
What's really troubling is how many people buy into such paranoid malarkey. It's truly astounding.
So, when John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate, I knew the malarkey was only going to intensify, and it has.
John McCain, from all accounts, really wanted either Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman to be his VP.
But his handlers knew their pro-choice stance on abortion would completely alienate the already none too excited far right, fundamentalist Christian base of the GOP that McCain's handlers, even if McCain did not, fully understood was essential to McCain having any chance of beating Barack Obama.
That's how and why Sarah Palin, a politician McCain met only once, now is, potentially, a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president of the United States. It has nothing to do with her gender or experience. It has everything to do with the fact she is a religious extremist, albeit of the Christian variety, who views government as the means through which to impose her political and theological agendas on others.
Lest anyone doubt that assertion, consider this.
In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin quoted Westbrook Pegler at some length when she spoke of the "small town" values and virtues he praised, and she possesses as a result of having grown up in "small town" (dare I add, white) America.
Westbrook Pegler, a man whose work I am currently reading, was a neo-fascist, white supremacist who, in 1965, said he hoped, "...some white patriot of the Southern tier will splatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."
To whom was Pegler referring? Robert Francis Kennedy.
Yet Sarah Palin, a woman who could become president, saw fit to quote Pegler in her speech in ways that sure indicated she thinks very highly of him.
Now, whether Palin is ignorant of Pegler's repugnant views on many issues, or she actually subscribes to them, I don't know, but, either way, her quoting such a vile character in her acceptance speech was, in my eyes, just one more piece of evidence as to why the country and the world cannot afford a McCain/Palin administration.
Michael Cook
North Truro and
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Puerto Viejo de Limón

Why not send more troops?
Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read Mr. Lenny Karpman's letter regarding the U.S. troop "surge" into the Iraq war which John McCain so favors and pose one simple question:

If this escalation has proven so successful, why are we not sending still more troops? Surely, there are areas of Iraq which still need pacifying. If more troops constitute the magic bullet (sorry!), let's send still more.

Why has John McCain not embraced this obvious strategy?

David C. Murray

McCain is battle tested
and he walks the walk

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

John S. McCain is the best qualified candidate to lead our country in these troubled times and I’ll list my reasons:

McCain is best prepared to assume the role of commander-in-chief. Not since Dwight Eisenhower, has a better prepared candidate entered the race. He has served in both peace and in war over a long and distinguished career. He’s battle tested.  This is critical in these challenging times. America is involved in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are trouble spots from North Korea to Iran and a newly resurgent Russia to contend with as well. So, this is no time for an amateur to run for president.   

On domestic policy, McCain outshines the competition.  Neither party can begin to solve the problems we face without a bipartisan approach. McCain has reached across party lines on many occasions to put the business of the American People first — often bucking his own party in the attempt. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama has no such record of compromise or bipartisanship in his short Senate career.

One major issue is American energy independence from our dangerous reliance on foreign oil.  McCain has put forward detailed proposals to increase domestic oil, gas, coal, shale and nuclear energy production. He prefers an all-of-the-above approach that includes alternative energies like wind and solar. He’s not insensitive to the environment — he’s a true conservationist.

Obama panders to the environmentalists. His plan relies on unproven alternative sources of energy that could not possibly be brought online without many years of research and development paid for by massive government subsidies. But we need serious energy production in a matter of years — not decades. And there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. We have vast reserves of energy that could easily be produced for Americans by Americans.

Hey, this isn’t rocket science: just drill, baby, drill and we can cut our oil imports substantially and do it cleanly and safely while pursuing cleaner alternatives for the long haul. Obama's plan guarantees we'll import more oil than necessary at great cost to our economy and jobs.

The difference is that McCain would go much further to streamline the red tape that allows environmental groups and their allies in Congress to endlessly obstruct access to our own energy supplies. Thanks to Ted Kennedy, and his cohorts, we can't even put a wind farm off of our coasts, let alone drill offshore.  Sadly, Obama just nibbles at the margins of the problem while the obstructionists continue to delay energy production regardless of the source.

Energy isn’t only an environmental concern. It’s a national security issue with me. Obama would be better off working with a McCain administration to get his energy proposals through the Senate. He’d find McCain more than willing to work with him.

Finally, I seriously doubt Obama has what it takes to rein in government spending, runaway entitlements, and end earmarks and the culture of corruption that has gripped both parties over the years. Obama has no plan to challenge, much less root out, the kind of waste, fraud, and abuse that typifies much of Washington politics. He never even mentions the deficit and his own record on earmarks is not very inspiring. While McCain is a reformer who knows what's broken in Washington, and he'll hold both parties feet to the fire to fix it.

Obama always talks about being an agent of change. But has he walked the walk?  No. McCain is the only man talking about reforms who has a real record of accomplishment to run on. He kept his pledge to run a publicly financed campaign whereas Obama broke his pledge to gain unfair advantage from fat cat contributors. As usual, John McCain walks just like he talks: straight up. I like that.

It may cost him the election but I do respect the man for adhering to his principles. That's real change as I see it and not just a bumper sticker slogan. 

Gary Leonewicz

A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 188

Cathedral of baseball, Yankee Stadium, sees its last game
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the most storied buildings in Major League Baseball — Yankee Stadium — hosted its final baseball game Sunday night. The "House that Ruth Built" will be torn down and replaced with a new state-of-the-art facility.

The balls will be put away, and the bronze images of New York Yankee heroes like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris will be packed with an almost religious reverence to be moved to their new home.

And Yankee Stadium will be no more.

Built in the early 1920s, Yankee Stadium was America's first three-deck sports facility. The land in New York's South Bronx was purchased from William Waldorf Astor for $675,000. The stadium cost $2.5 million to build.

The Yankees originally played at New York's Polo Grounds, which the American League club rented from their National League rivals, the New York Giants. But the Yankees started drawing bigger crowds and they wanted their own facility. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in the new park in New York's 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on April 18, 1923. A New York reporter then dubbed the stadium "the House that Ruth Built" and the name stuck.

During its lifetime, Yankee Stadium has witnessed some of the most storied moments in baseball, including 26 World Series titles won by the so-called "Bronx Bombers."  One of those moments was a perfect game pitched by Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series. Larsen says he did not know he achieved perfection until the final frame of the contest.

"I didn't know it was a perfect game until someone told me in the clubhouse after. I knew I had the no hitter going," he said. "You expect the guys to get a base hit, that doesn't bother you. You don't go out and try to do stuff like that. You just try to go out and do a decent job and hope you come in on the winning end."

Other pitchers to throw a perfect game at Yankee Stadium included David Wells in 1998 and David Cone a year later. Roger Maris hit his record-setting 61st home run there in 1961. Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in Game Six to help the Yankees win the 1977 World Series.

The stadium was also where former first baseman Henry "Lou" Gehrig gave his speech in which he called himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth." The man known as "The Iron Horse" lay in state at the stadium when he died from the disease that now bears his name.

The list of Hall of Famers to play for the Yankees reads like a who's who of baseball, including Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio, Gehrig and Reggie Jackson. Current Yankees' manager Joe Girardi says no other venue can compare with Yankee Stadium.

Girardi said that "This place has been the house of numerous, numerous championships. This place has meant a lot to the history of baseball, the history of this country because of all the things that have happened here. And I think everyone appreciates it and everyone wants a piece of it."

Longtime Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard says that Yankee Stadium has always felt like something sacred, something that represented all of America. Shepard went on to say "I think of it as a kind of baseball cathedral. Almost like St. Patrick's Cathedral except devoted not to the Lord, but to baseball."

Baseball is not the only event the stadium has hosted. In 1928, legendary Notre Dame college football coach Knute Rockne urged his team to beat Army for ailing teammate George Gipp — forever known as "win one for the Gipper." In 1938, as Adolf Hitler drove the world to the brink of war, American Joe Louis defeated German Max Schmelling at Yankee Stadium to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

The New York football Giants played there and lost the 1958 NFL Championship to the Baltimore Colts in overtime.

The stadium has also hosted three Popes, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. All said Mass there. Former 
Babe Ruth puts one in the bleachers
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Babe Ruth puts one in the Yankee Stadium bleachers.

Air view of Yankee Stadium
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Air view of Yankee Stadium from the 1930s.

Pride of the Yankees
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
Gary Cooper played Henry Louis Gehrig in the 1942 movie "Pride of the Yankees." Ruth, second from left, played himself.

South African president Nelson Mandela led a rally there, and there have been numerous music concerts there including ones by U2, Billy Joel and Pink Floyd.

The stadium was renovated in the 1970s, but now a new ballpark is being built nearby across 161st Street. The new $1.3 billion New Yankee Stadium is 63 percent larger than the old venue. It features a martini bar, steak house, art gallery and luxury boxes for high-paying customers. More comfortable seating has been installed with the best seats going for $2,500 a game.

Some of the old landmarks will remain. Fans will still have to take the Four Line subway to reach the field. The original limestone exterior will be replicated, as will the eagle medallions outside the stadium entrance.

The cathedral windows and the frieze in the outfield will make the trip. And the memories — and ghosts — of Yankee Stadium will also make the trip when the Yankees play their first game at New Yankee Stadium next April.

The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details