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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 187                         Email us
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Solis says he will seek new tax on global income
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís said Sunday that his administration would seek a global tax in addition to a value-added tax.

The president said that the bill Casa Presidencial presents to lawmakers after the first of the year will contain a 13 percent value added tax, a percentage equal to the current sales tax. He said that the bill would exempt education and medical, although he was not specific. That such a tax proposal was coming has been reported previously.

The global tax also was not explained in detail. The last two administrations sought similar taxes, but the measures never got through the legislature.

By adopting a global tax, Costa Rica would be in the same category with the United States and become one of only a few nations that tax its residents for earnings outside the national borders.

There is a movement in the United States to dump the global tax in favor of a territorial system that Costa Rica has now.

Although there still are no specifics now, previous proposals gave credit for income tax paid elsewhere. So expats would not face double taxation on foreign pensions or earnings, if that method is adopted.

The president gave his message in a recorded
television segment. He was responding, in part, to
criticism that the annual budget is too high.

He said the Ministerio de Hacienda, headed by Vice President Helio Fallas, made a big effort to cut spending and managed to obtain a reduction of 420 billion colons. That's nearly $770 million.

However, Solís said the budget is dictated by payment on debts accumulated by the last four administrations and constitutional payments mandating certain amounts to education. He also said the administration was investing in health, agriculture and higher pensions for the poor. He said he would not cut essential programs.

The value-added tax will generate 300 billion colons more in taxes, he said. That is about $550 million.

Officials are counting on a value-added tax to reduce tax evasion. Under this system, taxes are paid at each step of the manufacturing process on the value added at that stage, and the end consumer pays an amount to cover all these taxes.

Because the taxes paid is a deductible amount, individuals and firms are likely to declare it. So the government will know all about their purchases and how much their vendors took in. Vendors recoup the taxes paid by adding it to the price for the next step of production.

Basic criticisms of a value-added tax are that the system requires much more paperwork and that the extra costs early in the supply chain reduce production.

Photos of Panamá metro project will be displayed
Panama metro
Photo by Rodolfo Cárdenas Silva
The Panamá metro
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tecnológico de Costa Rica opens a photo expo of the new metro in Panamá tonight at 7 p.m.  The photos are by Rodolfo Cárdenas Silva, an engineer who is a member of the Comisión del Metro de San José set up by the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos.

Cárdenas, who also is a professor at a local university, has extensive photos of the project in Panamá that have been well received. The opening will be in the Sala Pedro Arrieta of the Centro de las Artes auditorium at the Cartago university.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 187

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

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Solís visits Bound Brook Ticos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís visited the Costa Rican community in Bound Brook, New Jersey Sunday in the first official function during his week-long U.S. visit.

There is an unusual percentage of Costa Ricans living in the New Jersey community.

Solis is there to seek investment and participate in United Nation's activities including making a speech at a climate change summit.

Solís also will be honored by the Duquesne University law school in Pittsburgh Saturday when he will receive an honorary degree.  The Universidad de Costa Rica and Duquesne maintain a program exchanging professors and students.

Today Solís will meet with multinational investors in an effort to attract  capital to Costa Rica.  He will be accompanied by Alexander Mora Delgado, the minister of Comercio Exterior.

Extortion with sex tape alleged

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents said that a woman taped an intimate romantic encounter with a man, 70, and the woman's son managed to get a hold of it.

The son, 23, was detained over the weekend because agents allege that he tried to extort money from the man. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the man threatened to show the sex tape to the elderly victim's family and then make it public.

Agents said they detained the 23 year old after he received payment from the man on the tape in San Pedro de Montes de Oca.

Robber murders homeowner victim

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators have a suspect in the case of a man who was tied up and suffocated in his home in San Rafael de Turrialba.

Family members found the body about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The agency identified him as a retired teacher with the last name of  Saborio.

The victim was tied hands and feet. Agents said he suffocated because he was gagged.

Agents said that witnesses identified a man seen in the vicinity of the home. The motive is believed to have been robbery.

Fleeing car sustains multiple collisions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers chased a suspicious vehicle Saturday afternoon, and by the time the driver was detained his vehicle had collided with three patrol cars and a private passenger vehicle.

Police said they spotted the vehicle leaving La Rita de Pococí and followed it because it did not have license plates. They suspected it might be a drug transport, they said.

The driver was not stopped until the vehicle arrived at Toro Amarillo after the collisions. Police said they found no drugs but subjected the motorist to an alcohol test.

Cable system suffers failure

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cable Tica went dark early today, and its television signal shut down about 1 a.m. Also out was the Internet signal carried by the company, suggesting a major problem.

The outage delayed the publication of A.M. Costa Rica, which was posted to its Web site late.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 187
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Landslides and highway closings are a fact of life in the rainy season
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Now that the rainy season is here in full force, expats who wish to go or return from the Caribbean coast have two alternatives: The slow and tortuous route through Turrialba or the more dangerous Ruta 32 from Guápiles to San José.

Ruta 32 through the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo in the vicinity of the Zurquí tunnel is almost back to normal today after work crews removed tons of dirt, rock and trees that collapsed onto the roadway Thursday evening. The Cruz Roja said that 1,200 persons were trapped in vehicles and even a bus by three giant landslides and 11 smaller ones.

By 2 p.m. Saturday the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said the highway was open again. That is until the next heavy rain.

The government plans to rebuild that road and shave back the cliff of dirt, rock and trees that is the south side of the highway. The north side is a cliff, so a slide has the potential of pushing a vehicle into a long fall.

The highway agency offered another alternative for persons headed to the northern zone.  That is Ruta 126 through Cariblanco. But that, too, is shelf road. About 7 p.m. Friday two men in a delivery truck went off Ruta 126. The victims were brothers with the last names Segura who lived in Heredia, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Landslides onto highways are nearly always the faults of bad planning or an effort to construct a road cheaply.  To fix Ruta 32 will require moving thousands of tons of rock and dirt.

A project starting today at Monteverde will shave back part of the cliff there, in part to provide room for installing a sewer line.
road work
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
This work is on Ruta 606 near Monteverde.

This is on Ruta 606 between Guacimal and Santa Elena. The road will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 31., said the consejo.

Mars survey craft from project involving Tica arrives in orbit
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. spacecraft has arrived at Mars to study the planet's upper atmosphere and help scientists answer questions about how its climate has changed over time.

The craft named the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, completed a 10-month, 711 million-kilometer journey late Sunday. This is the project of which  Costa Rica-born Sandra Cauffman is the deputy project manager.

The craft will measure the rates at which gases escape the Martian atmosphere into space.  NASA says that will allow scientists to calculate how much of the gas the planet has lost throughout its 
history and understand how a planet that possibly once was home to microbial life has turned into a cold and barren desert world.

Billions of years ago, scientists believe, water coursed over the Red Planet’s face. Today, its arid surface may be a textbook on how solar heat not only evaporated that liquid, but also thinned the atmosphere by bleeding off nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

MAVEN will take six weeks to settle into its orbit around Mars and test its instruments before beginning the one-year mission, which carries a price tag of $671 million.

There are three other spacecraft currently orbiting Mars, two American and one European. Another from India is due to arrive Wednesday.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 187
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Researchers close in on mystery eruption by using historic Latin notes
By the University of Bristol news staff

This eruption occurred six years before the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption which is famous for its impact on climate worldwide, with 1816 given memorable names such as Eighteen-Hundred-and-Froze-to-Death, the Year of the Beggar and the Year Without a Summer because of unseasonal frosts, crop failure and famine across Europe and North America. The extraordinary conditions are considered to have inspired literary works such as Byron's "Darkness" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."

However, the global deterioration of the 1810s into the coldest decade in the last 500 years started six years earlier, with another large eruption. In contrast to Tambora in what is now Indonesia, this so-called unknown eruption seemingly occurred unnoticed, with both its location and date a mystery. In fact the unknown eruption was only recognised in the 1990s, from tell-tale markers in Greenland and Antarctic ice that record the rare events when volcanic aerosols are so violently erupted that they reach the Earth's stratosphere.

Working in collaboration with colleagues from the School of Earth Sciences and doctoral student Alvaro Guevara-Murua, Caroline Williams, from the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, began searching historical archives for references to the event.

Professor Williams said: "I spent months combing through the vast Spanish colonial archive, but it was a fruitless search – clearly the volcano wasn't in Latin America. I then turned to the writings of Colombian scientist Francisco José de Caldas, who served as director of the astronomical observatory of Bogotá between 1805 and 1810. Finding his precise description of the effects of an eruption was a eureka moment."

In February 1809 Caldas wrote about a mystery that included a constant, stratospheric "transparent cloud that obstructs the sun's brilliance" over Bogotá, starting on Dec. 11, 1808 and seen across Colombia. He gave detailed observations, for example he said of the sun that the "natural fiery colour has changed to that of silver, so much so that many have mistaken it for the moon" and that the weather was unusually cold, the fields covered with ice and the crops damaged by frost.
Unearthing a short account written by physician José Hipólito Unanue in Lima, Peru, describing sunset after-glows, a common atmospheric effect caused by volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere, at the same time as Caldas' "vapours above the horizon," enabled the researchers to verify that the atmospheric effects of the eruption were seen at the same time on both sides of the equator.

These two 19th century Latin American scientists provide the first direct observations that can be linked to the unknown eruption.

More importantly, the accounts date the eruption to within a fortnight of Dec. 4, 1808.

Erica Hendy, a colleague, said: "There have to be more observations hidden away, for example in ship logs. Having a date for the eruption will now make it much easier to track these down, and maybe even pinpoint the volcano. Climate modelling of this fascinating decade will also now be more accurate because the season of the eruption determines how the aerosols disperse around the globe and where climatic effects are felt."

Guevara-Murua added: "This study has meant delving into many fields of research – obviously paleoclimatology and volcanology, but also 19th century meteorology and Spanish colonial history – and has also needed rigorous precision to correctly translate the words of two scientists writing 200 years ago. Giving them a voice in modern science has been a big responsibility."

One further question remains: why are there so few historical accounts of what was clearly a significant event with wide-reaching consequences? Perhaps, Professor Williams suggests, the political environment on both sides of the Atlantic at the beginning of the nineteenth century played a part.

"The eruption coincided with the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, the Peninsular War in Spain, and with political developments in Latin America that would soon lead to the independence of almost all of Spain's American colonies. It's possible that, in Europe and Latin America at least, the attention of individuals who might otherwise have provided us with a record of unusual meteorological or atmospheric effects simply turned to military and political matters instead," she said.

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Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 187
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Effort to build coalition
continues at United Nations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week, the Obama administration will continue efforts to build a broad international coalition against Islamic State militants that have seized territory in Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama will address the U.N. General Assembly and lead a special session of the Security Council to rally support for the campaign against the Sunni radicals.

Fighting intensified between Kurdish forces and Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, as U.S. and French warplanes delivered air strikes.  Meanwhile, bombs killed dozens in Baghdad, where Shi’ites demonstrated against any redeployment of U.S. forces in Iraq.

President Obama has repeatedly ruled out U.S. ground troops in combat roles, saying Iraqis and Syrians backed by the international community will lead the charge.

“Over 40 countries have offered to help the broad campaign against ISIL so far, from training and equipment to humanitarian relief to flying combat missions.  And this week at the United Nations, I will continue to rally the world against this threat,” said Obama.

America’s U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, previewed the president’s appearance.

“President Obama will come on Wednesday and will convene a very unusual head-of-state summit on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, to try to stop the financing to terrorists in places like Iraq and Syria, to counter violent extremism, to involve civil society in delegitimizing the messages that ISIL is putting forward,” said Ms. Power, speaking on ABC’s This Week program.

No nation has pledged to join the United States in an air campaign over Syria.  But Ms. Power remains confident.

“I will make a prediction that we will not do the air strikes alone if the president decides to do the air strikes,” said Ms. Power of Syria.

Last week, both houses of Congress approved the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebels.  Although the measure had ample bipartisan support in both chambers, there were dissenters.

Lawmakers voted before adjourning for what is expected to be an extended recess until midterm elections in November.

Fence jumper carried
knife, White House says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Secret Service is reviewing its security measures after two incidents in two days at the White House.

Late Friday, a man identified as Omar Gonzalez, 42, was arrested after jumping the White House fence and dashing 70 yards to the front door. He was found to be carrying a 3½-inch-long folding knife.

The man made it through the front door on the North Portico, which is frequently used and just one flight of stairs away from the Obama’s living quarters. The door was unlocked at the time of the breach.

After Gonzalez made it past the door, an officer stopped him and subdued him.

The Secret Service had initially said Gonzalez of Copperas Cove, Texas, was unarmed. Agents found a Spyderco VG-10 black folding knife with a 3½-inch serrated blade in his pants pocket, according to an affidavit, the French news agency AFP reported.

The U.S. Army said Sunday Gonzalez had served from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2012, when he retired with an undisclosed disability. 

During an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Washington Saturday, Gonzalez was charged with unlawful entry while in possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon. according to AFP.  He faces up to 10 years behind bars.

Just minutes before the breach, the president and his daughters had boarded a helicopter on the South Lawn for a weekend getaway to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

Saturday, a second man was arrested for trespassing at the White House. He approached the gates on foot first, but returned with his vehicle to another gate after being sent away by security.

When he refused to leave he was arrested for unlawful entry.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said that Kevin Carr of Shamong, New Jersey, had been charged with trespassing.

Officials downplayed Carr's breach compared to the fence-jumper the day before.

"This is an everyday occurrence," said Ed Donovan, another Secret Service spokesman, adding that at no point did Carr attempt to enter the White House grounds.

NFL vows to crack down
on domestic, sexual violence

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. National Football League says it plans to improve its personal conduct policies following the release of a video showing one of its biggest stars beating his then-girlfriend unconscious.

The league's commissioner vowed to respond better to domestic violence in the future. He spoke as the Obama administration took steps to change the culture of violence against women by encouraging victims to speak up and witnesses, especially men, to intervene.

Last week, video footage showing football player Ray Rice beating his fiance Janay Palmer in an elevator caused public outcry and swift condemnation by the White House.  Anger was directed at football officials for not punishing Rice enough when a video clip first emerged in February showing Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.  The Baltimore Ravens player was initially suspended for two games and forced to undertake counseling.

“I made the biggest mistake in my life. She can do no wrong. She’s an angel,” he said.

But after seeing the new violent footage, the team cancelled his $35 million contract and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely.

Friday, Goodell publicly acknowledged he had mishandled the situation.

"I'm not satisfied with what I did. I let everybody else down and for that I'm sorry as I mentioned earlier: that's what we're going to correct and that's what we're going to fix,'' he said.

In some initial steps, the league announced an upcoming partnership with a domestic violence hotline and a sexual violence resource center.  Goodell also instructed all NFL and team personnel to attend educational sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault.

"Domestic violence including child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, the illegal use of alcohol or drugs, these activities must be condemned and stopped,'' he said.

Goodell spoke just hours after President Barack Obama launched a campaign to encourage young men to intervene when they witness a situation that could lead to a sexual assault. 

"It's the responsibility of the soccer coach and the captain of the basketball team and the football players, and it's on fraternities and sororities and the editor of the school paper and the drum major and the band, and it's on the English department and the Engineering department, and it's on the high schools and the elementary schools, and it's on teachers and counselors and mentors, and it's on ministers," he said.

"It's on celebrities and sports leagues and the media to set a better example. It's on parents and grandparents and older brothers and sisters to sit down young people to talk about this issue. And it's not just on the parents of young women to caution them. It's on the parents of young men to teach them respect for women.''

Obama said one in five women are sexually assaulted while in university.  But school officials are often reluctant to seriously pursue reports of abuse.  Students at New York's Columbia University demonstrated last week demanding reforms to improve the school's response to sexual assault.

Last year, the U.S. Defense Department announced measures to curb sexual abuse in the military.

Alibaba makes big splash
as it goes public as BABA

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The share price for China's huge e-commerce company, Alibaba, soared 38 percent in its first day of trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. 

The first trades were made at $92.70 a share, and climbed to nearly $100 a share, but eased downward to a bit under $94 at the close. The initial offering price was $68 a share, making it one of the biggest IPOs in history.

Some of Alibaba's customers rang the bell at the beginning of trading on the NYSE, but the shares did not actually begin trading until a couple of hours later, as buyers and sellers maneuvered to get their best price.

Alibaba is China's leading e-commerce company and operates the world's largest online marketplaces for both international and domestic trade. The initial public offering involves some 368 million shares -- using the ticker symbol "BABA."

Market analysts say China's e-commerce, which is dominated by Alibaba, is expected to continue expanding rapidly. Critics say Alibaba's corporate structure gives shareholders less say in the company's operation than is usual for a publicly held company.

Alibaba boasts higher sales figures than both, Inc., and eBay, Inc., combined.

"This is the biggest IPO the world has ever seen, so there's a celebratory mood on the floor, whether you like it or not,'' said Benedict Willis, director of floor operations at Sunrise Securities Corp.

The Alibaba executive chairman, Jack Ma, already worth an estimated $13 billion, started the trading day. Ma is poised for a big pay day by selling more than 12 million shares and possibly netting hundreds of millions of dollars.

Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba in 1999 in his apartment. His personal fortune is more than $14 billion on paper, vaulting him into the ranks of such tech billionaires as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. The deal is also expected to make millionaires out of a substantial chunk of the company's managers, software engineers and other staff.

Nearly unknown to most Americans until this week, Alibaba is China's leading e-commerce company and operates the world’s largest online marketplaces for both international and domestic trade.  In China, it is responsible for 80 percent of online sales. The company earned $3.7 billion in the 12 months that ended March 31, 2014, up about $2 billion from the prior 12-month period.

“In the U.S. the same market was split by two dominant companies, but in China, Alibaba, you know, one combined the strength of the two," explained John Wu, Alibaba Group's former chief technology officer. "I  think it should be able to maintain this kind of dominance for the next several years at least.  In the long run, nobody knows; but in the short run, I still see the company as one of the best managed, best run, and one of the healthiest companies.”

Peter Cardillo, chief marketing economist at Rockwell Global Capital, calls Friday’s initial public offering another boost for the financial markets.

U.S. Internet technology company Yahoo! holds nearly 24 percent of Alibaba and was to sell 140 million shares at the IPO. The earnings will help it acquire other tech companies.

However, the Alibaba IPO presents some concerns, particularly because China's Communist government plays a heavy role in markets and major businesses.
Gary Reischel, managing director at Qiming Weichuang Venture Capital Management, says investors must be careful, in part because of Alibaba's size and the early demand for shares.

“I think you have to differentiate between Alibaba the company, which is doing real well, and this as an investment for an individual investor," he advised. "Because then I would look at the perspective that the company has a vast market share today.  It almost can’t do anything but go down."

Reducing deaths of adults
considered for world goal

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With a sustained international effort, the number of premature adult deaths could be slashed by 40 percent within the next 20 years. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which concludes most of the deaths of those aged 50 to 69 are preventable.

Thanks to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, child deaths fell by one-third worldwide between 2000 and 2010. University of Oxford epidemiologist Richard Peto said that was largely as a result of vaccination campaigns targeting diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and polio. 

A paper by Peto and 16 international co-authors found that other development goals, reducing maternal mortality and fighting AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases, cut premature death among adults by one-sixth during the same time frame.

Now, he said, if the world begins an intense effort to further eliminate preventable causes of death, including injuries, we could see a steeper decline.

Death before old age is mostly avoidable. So death before 70 on the whole doesn’t have to happen from avoidable causes, and we can just work together internationally to reduce those avoidable causes, said Peto.

Writing in the journal The Lancet, Peto and his co-authors suggest that rates of smoking can be reduced by increasing the price of cigarettes. In many countries, including China and across Africa, tobacco is a leading cause of preventable death, as is stroke.

Peto said many deaths can be prevented with the widespread use of inexpensive generic drugs.

“You’ve got to keep on really really getting drugs out, trying to treat HIV and trying to prevent the spread. You can actually treat TB," said Peto. "But these things — you really can beat them if you put the effort in.”

The United Nations General Assembly begins high level meetings today to discuss a new set of sustainable development goals, to replace the one that expires at the end of next year. The overall goal is to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of individuals, regardless of age. Peto and his co-authors call on the delegates to include a specific target for each country to reduce premature deaths among adults by 40 percent by 2030. 

Social media for the rich
debuts with $6,000 tab

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Facebook and other social media site are for everyone, no matter how rich or poor, but that may bother some people with deep pockets. The problem? There’s no exclusivity.

But now, for a mere $6,000 initiation fee and a $3,000 annual membership, the world’s rich can mingle, detached from the rest of the online crowd.

Composer and former Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra’s conductor James Touchi-Peters launched this exclusive Internet-based club, called Netropolitan, this week. He calls it an on-line country club.

Its members must be older than 21, they have to use their real names and addresses, and they have to disclose their background. While socializing online, they will not be bothered with advertisements and promotions, although some businesses would be allowed to advertise to each other.

The site is inaccessible by public search engines and is constantly monitored to discourage bad behavior.

No word yet of how many people have joined, and in its frequently anticipated questions, the Netropolitan site says "We will never publicly state the exact number of members in the club. And especially, we will NEVER release or verify the identity of any of our members - ever."
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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances negotiable. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farm montage

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


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

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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
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These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian 
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Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact or email 
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For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

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

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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 187
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Now it is time to eat those berries

OK, I know this isn’t a cooking column, this is a gardening column.  But what do you do with all this produce when it gets picked in such abundance? 

We grow black raspberries (aka blackcaps) which the locals call 
Victoria torley

Unfortunately, the locals also call mulberries and blackberries mora so, unless you can actually see the bush or tree, you don’t really know what they are talking about.

Mulberries grow on a tree, and the tree has no thorns which is

very convenient.  My problem is that I don’t really care for mulberries,
so I have to deal with thorns.  So, how do you tell your mora (blackberry) from your mora (black raspberry)?  The difference is that blackberries have a torus, a central attachment point that extends up into the fruiting body. With blackberries, the torus goes with the berry when it is picked.  With black raspberries, the torus is left behind when the berry is picked.   Since the torus has no berry flavor, I prefer the black raspberries. My other problem?  I only have two bushes that produce well (the others are newly transplanted), so my maximum yield has been about one cup a day.  Fortunately, there is a long harvesting season (May and June were great) so I could freeze my handful of berries daily until I had enough to make a pie.

Why a pie?  We miss blueberry pie and black raspberry pie is a fine replacement.  So, make pastry for a two-crust, 9-inch pie. Mix:

   5 cups black raspberries (if you use frozen berries, do not defrost before mixing)
   1 ¼ cups sugar
   ½ cup flour
   ½ teaspoon cinnamon
   2 tablespoons butter cut into chunks
   Bake at 425 for 38-40 minutes

Now they always tell you not to cut a slice right away, but who cares what they say, it’s your pie!  Cut it hot and let the juices bubble as they may.

And now, a substitute for apple pie (mainly because I have already messed up the garden column with one recipe, why not two?).

Green mango pie, properly prepared, tastes somewhere between apple and peach.  And, oh my, is it good!  The mangoes must not be ripe!  Ripe mangoes in a pie will be soft yet stringy.  Look for mangoes with some color. Green” refers to the interior, not the skin. But make sure they are not soft.  Then, make pastry for a two-crust, 9-inch pie.

Peel mangoes and slice as for peach or apple pie Mix:

   6 cups sliced mango
   1 cup sugar (or a bit more depending on taste) 
   ½ cup flour
   ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
   1 ½ tablespoons lemon (or lime) juice
   2 tablespoons butter cut into chunks

   Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes

Plant of the Day

The black raspberry grows extremely well in the Arenal area, but it likes afternoon shade and will produce less fruit in full sun.  Leaf-cutter ant resistant but, late in the season, the fruit does suffer from a tiny wasp that lays its eggs in the berries.  Here you see ripe and unripe fruit and some areas where berries were already harvested – for pie.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And,
for more garden tips, visit The Arenal Gardeners Facebook page.

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From Page 7:

Accountants urge taxpayers to follow standards

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The end of the fiscal year in Sept. 30, and the Colegio de Contadores Públicos is urging business operators and individuals with their own income source to prepare for new standards.

The colegio pointed out that accounting here should conform to the International Financial Reporting Standard. Among other requirements, these standards specify accrual accounting instead of cash accounting.

These standards are worldwide and are the product of the IFRS Foundation and the International Accounting Standards Board.

One purpose is so that investors can understand fully the financial reporting of publicly listed companies. Costa Rica has adopted them for all taxpaying entities.

The colegio warned that Costa Rican tax authorities might not recognize accounting books if the standards are not followed.

The colegio has put on one all-day seminar in accounting methods for business operators, and more are likely. However, the rules and policies should be well known to any accredited accountant.