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Published Weekend Edition
September 22, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 189
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Oscar Vargas clinic



Bill would allow Conavi to fix infrastructure issues
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad is apparently not allowed to repair or replace minor problems on Costa Rican roads as immediately or efficiently as it would like.

The Ley 7798 that created Conavi in the first place is undergoing some reforms within the Costa Rican legislature. One of the those reforms would be to allow the institution to invest in construction or repair projects of a smaller scale such as crack and seal or pothole filling.

According to a statement from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, the reforms have been approved in its first debate by the deputies.

Under the current legal system, the development of these kind of rapid interventions is complicated as it is not technically considered to fall under Conavi’s boundaries of “road conservation,” said Mario Durán, the deputy minister of Reformas y Proyectos.

In addition to this, if resources are invested on credit or other alternative source of funding, it requires a long process to justify such an investment.

Durán emphasized that the rapid interventions often don’t pass the test despite the punctual and positive impact they have.

“Among these minor works that can be executed, from the legal reform, are the construction of bus bays, the improvement of crossings, the widening of roads to include a turn lane, and the repair of any signs or infrastructure damaged during a traffic accident among others,” Conavi said in a statement.

The bill seeks to reform the Conavi law to modify the definition of road conservation to specifically include these types of projects.

In the interest of saving money as well as the bill, however, it also works to limit the percentage of funds that can be used for these types of renovations.


Sixaola bridge
                            collapsed
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo    
Engineers are worried that many bridges may collapse like the Sixaola bridge, pictured here, if left alone.
Engineers calling bridges a national emergency
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Colegio Federado de Arquitectos e Ingenieros has proposed to declare the poor condition of the bridges of Costa Rica as a national emergency, a measure that would allow access to a national emergency fund and thus, make immediate repairs.

"Most of them have already completed their cycle," said Olman Vargas, tthe Colegio's executive director.

"These are bridges that need to be rehabilitated or repaired, since that is where the socioeconomic development of the country goes."

Although the country does not have an accurate record of its number of bridges, experts say that around 1,200 existing structures lack maintenance works or reconstruction.
According to the Colegio, 85 percent of the structures are in poor or very poor condition.

Vargas said they have already requested the declaration of emergency, but the government commission in charge explained that these funds can only be used once the emergency has already happened.

In the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, authorities have recognized that intervention in these structures represents a great debt from the government.

This is likely a debt that cannot be paid given the government’s current crisis of trying to figure out how to fund itself let along any future development works.

They said in the coming weeks  that they will  make urgent inspections of six bridges will take place.


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Weekend Edition, September 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 189
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Hospital San Juan de Dios pharmacy opening on Saturdays now
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This coming Saturday, Hospital San Juan de Dios’ pharmacy will open Saturdays for medication pickups for patients that bring a prescription on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

According to a statement from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the decision was made so that users can have more options and avoid flooding the pharmacy with multiple orders and pickups during the week.

Dr. Ana Arias Herrera, director of the San Juan de Dios pharmacy service, said that they were experiencing peak hours during the week where the demand increases considerably and causes attendance to slow. She said that the busiest hours were between 9 to 11 in the morning despite the pharmacy’s schedule for medication pickup to be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule will be from 7:30 a.m. To 2:30 p.m. And users must enter via the entrance along Avenida Sexta. On average, the pharmacy at the hospital processes more than 4,200 prescriptions each day.

According to Dr. Ileana Balmaceda Arias, the director-general for the hospital, officials are working on a series of improvements to streamline the service and ask those insured to take advantage of Saturdays to take out prescriptions.

Meanwhile, the pharmacy’s director said that the Caja ruled that patients suffering from chronic illness and have monthly treatments prescribed can withdraw their medications at the clinics. The first prescription is presented at the hospital pharmacy but then monthly prescriptions following that can be processed at the clinic, the Caja said.


Conavi to receive final designs on major renovation of Ruta 32
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad is moving forward in reaching a few of its goals based on its latest statements that came out this week.

Conavi, as it is more commonly referred, said it will receive the final designs for the extension and repair of over 107 kilometers constituting Ruta 32 between the crossing at Río Frío and Limón. This will come by the end of this month, the council said.

According to Germán Valverde, the minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, once received, the administration has 45 calendar days to review the plans and approve them, which is a process where additional adjustments could be requested if necessary.

“The Administration’s goal is to start work on Ruta 32 before the end of the year,” he said.

“While Chec is moving forward with the designs, the administrations has been working hard on all previous requirements such as: coordinating with other institutions for the placing of public funds and services, contracting the two archaeological studies, cadastral survey of expropriations among others.”

The public works ministry said that the work would begin with reinforcing and repairing the 36 existing bridges along the way while the reallocation of funds is completed.

Valverde said that 1,400 properties have been identified and need to be expropriated in whole or in part but did say that this number could be reduced upon a second verification that is currently taking place.

This essentially means that those properties are about to be seized under the Costa Rican comparative of issuing eminent domain.

“During the process, 1,800 invasions of the right of way have also been identified, which is an aspect that also undergoes a second revision,” the ministry said. Meanwhile, Chec is in the process of beginning its archaeological study requested by the Comisión Arqueológica Nacional along the stretch of the road within four months.

Ruta 32
                              lane closed
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo     
Ruta 32 reduced to one lane. The route is frequently experiencing road projects.

Ruta 32
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo     
Keeping the roads fresh and clear is a challenge for crews during rainy season.

The ministry and Conavi are also down south to aid in cleaning up parts of the Interamericana South between Palmar Norte and Paso Real, the institute said. This 35-kilometer stretch was hit with multiple landslides on Tuesday resulting from heavy rains.

The construction company, MECO, has been carrying out the cleaning work. Alternative routes away from the Interamericana are through Costanera Sur and San Vito. Both routes are operating without incident, Conavi said.


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

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A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page
Residency

Published || Weekend Edition, September 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 189
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Chicago Marathon
United Sates Embassy Facebook photo      
Over 500 Ticos will join this large group of runners for one of the most well-known marathons in the world.
500 Costa Ricans will join in on the Chicago marathon in October
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Over five hundred Costa Ricans will be running in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 8.

According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy, the Ticos will be one of the six largest representations worldwide and third in Latin America following México and Brazil. The embassy said that the number surpasses participants from Germany, France, Spain and India.

Leading the charge will be José Jiménez of the Coopenae Atletismo team and will also be the only Latin American representative in the wheelchair category. The group will participate for the fifth consecutive year.

“The Chicago Marathon will celebrate its 40th edition and is one of the World Marathon Majors,” a statement from the embassy said. “About two million people will support in the streets along with thousands of volunteers who will shout ‘Pura vida Costa Rica!”


San José Centro announces the construction of municipal theater
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de San José plans to build a Municipal Theater in the district of Hatillo. The architectural plans are ready and the municipal council has accepted them as a donation to start to take further steps.

This was confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica by Luis Diego Miranda, a member of the municipal council who also said the project has a lot of support from the other members.

According to Miranda, the Municipalidad de San José has already set aside about $900,000 to kickstart the development of the theater during the second half of 2018.

He also explained the project includes only the construction of the building and not a staff theater company, as was true in the past with the creation of the Compañía Nacional de Teatro during the 70s. “I believe the amount budgeted will suffice to get the idea going,” said Miranda. “Normally those constructions take a lot more money than that.”

The property on which the theater would stand belonged to the Instituto Nacional de Vivienda y Urbanismo, but it was transferred to the Municipalidad de San José after an agreement over some debts was reached.

Zürcher Arquitectos is the firm who donated the plans, as confirmed by Fabián Rivera, its director. However he declined to provide details as of the style, capacity and purpose of the new theater. These same questions were sent to Marta Araúz, the general manager, but she did not respond.

Despite some apparent secrecy from the communications department at the Municipalidad and also from other workers related to the project, A.M. Costa Rica learned that this past Monday, an audience to discussed the best way to manage a theater and a possible feasibility study took place in the third floor of the building at 9 a.m.

The audience is a tool provided by the law when a public organization needs to buy a good or service but does not know much about the subject. The information provided by the participants may then be used to create an official public bidding of the project.

Most of the theaters located in San José belong are administered by the government through the Ministerio de Cultura and the Teatro Popular Melico Salazar. Smaller ones belong to private enterprises.



Recommended
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Los Suenos

Crocs

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Formula Kart
 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Weekend Edition, September 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 189
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Municipalities need not drain their local funds due to emergencies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the wake of natural disasters, from the hurricanes in the Caribbean Sea to the most recent earthquake in Mexico City, Costa Rica is announcing measures on its own emergency preparations.

According to two laws, numbered 9329 and 8114, the municipalities of the country could be able to grab the funds from these laws to deal with damages within the cantonal road network in the event of an emergency.

The Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal said the law is clear that, in those instances, the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias need to be notified so that the money mandated from these laws can be allocated toward the roads. This would be done without draining local resources to budget toward the emergency, IFAM said.

“At IFAM, we make available to the municipalities our team of engineers, lawyers and other trained professionals to provide technical assistance in cases of emergency or, when necessary, to give any consultation that may facilitate its work,” said Yanina Soto, the executive president of the institution.

The law also empowers municipalities or district councils to operate in case of emergency or in case of imminent emergency, the gathering of non-metallic materials in quarries or public domain channels. In order to mine, however, the local governments would need to request permission from the geology and mines department of the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía.

To do so that requires a complete inventory of the work, the amount of time spent extracting, a name of the project leader, location and a letter from the head of the emergency commission saying that the work is necessary.

Presumably, this kind of mining activity would be expedited to safeguard or prevent any major flooding resulting from heavy rains or to construct sea walls and barriers to prevent the effects of strong waves hitting the coastline of a municipality. It is not clear, however, how long the process of approval would take nor if a municipality would have time to ask permission depending on the severity and foreknowledge of the emergency.

Emergency evacuation
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo      
Medical workers conduct an emergency evacuation.

Desamparados
                  flood
Cruz Roja Costarricense photo     
Earlier aerial shot of flooding in Desamparados.

“It is important to emphasize that, based on article 1 of Law 8668, the request for permission to temporarily operate quarries and public domain channels can be done by both the municipalities and the municipal district councils, and may be done individually or collectively, including groups of municipalities or the Concejos Municipales de Distrito or groups made up of both entities,” IFAM said.

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U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)

Tax time
U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
T
ax Accountant
Let’s discuss your tax situation.

Marlene
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The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so. 

However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.

Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

You can file current or past due FBARs without payment to meet IRS  requirements.

If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

Over 20 years in Costa Rica
and Silicon Valley.
Competitive rates.

Phone (506) 2289-6590 ; Cell (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com
9186-6/30/17

James Brohl
James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
n
Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
n
• IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $102,100 for 2017).
• Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
• Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
• Up-to-date FATCA news.
• All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
• Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.
Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com

A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes
                                                logo
Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17


Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
9049-7/31/17


Real estate-related services (paid category)

COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
CODE 9230-12/19/17


Shipping services (paid category)

Shipping
Moving to Costa Rica or Back to the U.S.?
  10 Years of Happy Clients
Canadian English or Spanish Spoken
Excellent Service, Competitive Prices
Call  (772) 361-1050
Email:   shippingcostarica@gmail.com
Our Web:  http://shippingcostarica.com
Free Ebook: How To Import to Costa Rica HERE!
Shipping Costa Rica


Psychotherapy


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

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 • Trauma EMDR click here
 • NWM Training
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
doclucinda@gmail.com
www.LucindaGray.com
Learn more about 
New World Meditation: (Second Edition) Discover True Happiness Thru
Experiential Healing 
Click Here
9057-2/25/17


Psychiatric Services
SERVICE CONNECTED DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS (FMP)
Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho
DR LUIS CARLOS SANCHO TORRES
PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Prescription Management

Send us your:
-VA LETTER WITH LIST OF DISABILITIES
-VETERAN IDENTIFICATION

Call me:  (506) 2246-3458
Email: veteranscr@gmail.com
4th floor at Hospital La Catolica, Guadalupe, San José
9234-12/1/17


Legal Services

Adrian Fernandez
Attorney & Notary

A Fernandez
Notary services and registrations. Collections and foreclosures. Real estate and litigation. Corporate Law. Immigration. Estate planning wills and testaments, probate.

I provide the highest professional standards. Official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.

 Call me for advice
    Phone:  2280-9692 / 2253-3705
    Email: ajfernandez@racsa.co.cr
    Law Office is conveniently located near  Mall San Pedro, 350 meters south  from the Hyundai dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
9181-7/3/17

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
      government.
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
       America.
-Superb communications.
-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
-Helps you settle your claims.
Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José. Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520  or ( 506) 2233-2455
E-mail : info@garrettbrokers.com
More information HERE!
9165-5/22/17




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A.M.
Costa
Rica
Fifth
news page


Published || Weekend Edition, September 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 189
Calendar
Opinion
Classifieds
Real estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

Books headline

Brodell Book
Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot

By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica
 (editor)A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise. Each seeks to tell something new or original about the vacation and retirement mecca.  
Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trouble with Cash

The Trouble with Cash
By John H Paterson

Greg and Liz must sell their property in Costa Rica to finance their retirement. They receive an offer for their full asking price of $1 million, but it comes with one condition...the payment is to be in cash. They go for it. Things go wrong. The money is stolen.The local police are no help so Greg devises his own plan to get their money back.  Review or buy the book on Amazon ON SALE FOR $0.99
 Click Here  Email:  j.paterson@riomagnolia.com 
Phone: (506) 8868-5561
 Watch book trailer here:

Money, Flowers and More

MAKE GIFTS FROM DOLLARS OR COLONES
Running out of gift ideas? Author Dusty Pilot has just released easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for turning bills (dollars or colones) of any denomination into unique gifts such as flowers: roses, daffodils, daisies and poinsettias; shirts and blouses, and birds with flapping wings. The book is being discounted to $0.99 through October 31. It is available at all major online book stores. Preview or purchase at Amazon or visit  DustyPilot click here. Buy this book at Smashwords For more information Contact Dusty Pilot: Email dusty@dustypilot.com. Phone  001 440 796-4105

Brodell book 2
The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise

By James J. Brodell. Retired baseball player Jack Patterson becomes suspicious after his younger sister dies in a Pacific Ocean rip tide while on vacation in Costa Rica. Jack has to go there to find answers to troubling questions. But soon he is hijacked by a gang of avengers led by an icy Costa Rican-American woman who carries twin pistols strapped to her chest. Jack soon helps uncover a web of corruption and greed . Read a sample and purchase the book HERE!

Trapped in Damas Cave
Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica

A true story by author Dusty Pilot, who lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. Dusty tells his horrifying story of being trapped in the Damas Cave, near Quepos, for 26 hours. The book is available from Amazon in both digital and print format. Digital format will be on sale for $0.99 until Aug. 30. Visit Amazon.com to preview or purchase, or DustyPilot.com/cave.html More information Contact Dusty Pilot Email: dusty@dustypilot.com US phone: 001 440 796-4105¯

New
                        World Meditation
New World Meditation: Focusing-Mindfulness-Healing-Awakening
By Lucinda Gray PhD

You will be Free to Live, Love, Work and Play in the Full Creative Expression of Your Authentic Self. New World Meditation is easy to learn, easy to practice, and profoundly transformational.  More information HERE!
Life
                        is a Tropical Garden

    Life is a Tropical Garden By Victoria Torley 
    A quirky look at gardening in the tropics. What happens when a "Northern" gardener moves to Costa Rica? You have no idea….  Email: victoriatorley1@gmail.com.  Order this book here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1522005986/ref=rdr_ext_tmb


HowardBook

Guide to Costa Rican Spanish
(English and Spanish Edition)

This one-of-a-kind best-selling Costa Rica Spanish phrasebook will help anyone including older retirees master the basics of using Costa Rican Spanish in real-life situations. Retirees, expats and tourists will get the most of of Costa Rica, be able to communicate effectively with Costa Ricans and understand the local culture. A practical pronunciation will help you sound a like a native Spanish speaker.  The book is now available for sale on Amazon click here

CODE:8550-10/21/17
Leishmaniasis
                    sore
Wikipedia photo     
Example of a sore on a Central American man
with leishmaniasis.


Map of
                    Leishmaniasis
World Health Organization map     
WHO Map showcasing cases of leishmaniasis in Latin America.

Dermatologists visiting Caribbean

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the objective of diagnosing and treating various skin diseases in the Caribbean population, 30 doctors specializing in dermatology, will examine the skin of around 1,500 people for the Día de la Piel Sana, to be held today in Talamanca.


According to Mauricio Solano, director of the Área de Salud de Talamanca, anyone with a dermatological problem will be evaluated, even if they do not have health insurance. People from Cariari, Matina, Guácimo, Valle La Estella, Limón, Guápiles, Siquirres and Talamanca were informed of the activity through media and small businesses, according to a statement from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

Skin diseases are common in the Caribbean as a result of the use of chemicals on plantations and the lack of protective measures from workers. For example wearing hat and long sleeves. In the canton of Talamanca, there are also frequent cases of Leishmaniasis, caused by a parasite transmitted by a mosquito bite.

Doctors will evaluate moles, wounds, ulcers, allergies, fungi, nail diseases, hair and skin. In addition, patients with suspected skin cancer will be referred for immediate surgery.

The place of the event is the Ebáis of Bribrí. Patients in need of surgery will be operated on the Mobile Medical Unit parked inside the Colegio Tecnológico Profesional de Talamanca. Organizers expect about 180 low complexity surgeries.


Accelerometers
Universidad de Costa Rica photo
Main difference between the seismograph and the accelerator is that the former can have the actual movement exceeded the maximum scale of the instrument.

University installs earthquake trackers in hospitals and schools

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

During a large earthquake, the shaking ground is measured in real time with an instrument known as an accelerometer. In an effort to protect the public and to monitor earthquake movements, the Universidad de Costa Rica’s lab of seismic engineering installed 57 of these devices in hospitals and schools in the country.

The university said in a statement that the sites were chosen due to the high number of visitors and foot traffic that they receive on a daily basis. According to Victor Schmidt Díaz, a researcher at the lab, every time an earthquake occurs, the accelerometers manage to record the movement of the ground as a function of time. In each site, a single accelerometer is obtained and the intensity of movement at each specific site read and recorded.

Schmidt said that each structure reacts differently to each earthquake. “Like people, there are more sensitive than others to the earthquake that is being felt,” the university said. “With the structure, it is similar according to the dynamics of each movement.”

Some of the places were these devices were installed was at the hospitals of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. For Dr. Milton Salazar Acuña, inter-regional facilitator of the Centro de Atención a Emergencias y Desastres of the Caja, these instruments are very useful for hospitals due to the country’s seismic vulnerability and any structural alteration of the building should be addressed immediately.

Salazar explained that once an earthquake has occurred, one can view it on the lab’s website to identify areas where damages may have been greatest and the nearest hospital is also shown to assess their condition.

Accelerometers also create a history of movements that make it possible to study the behavior of the soil in the face of shivers or quakes at specific sites. Schmidt said that the main difference between the seismograph and the accelerator is that the latter was created to measure the movement in the ground. Seismographs were saturated and the actual movement exceeded the maximum scale of the instrument so there was no way to obtain the necessary parameters for a suitable earthquake-resistant design.

An accelerometer provides one a map of maximum intensity with the spectrum obtained using mathematical equation.


Overworked teachers hurting quality of public education in Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The overload of teachers’ work negatively effects the quality of public education in the country.

That is the main conclusion of Wendy Páez, a researcher at the Universidad de Costa Rica's institute of research on education, after conducting a study based on high school teachers.

These results were discussed back in August during a special activity organized by the Asociación de Profesores de Segunda Enseñanza.

The study is based on a population where 61.4 percent are women, with an average of seven years of seniority. The results made clear the existence of a very young population within the education system.

Among the main conclusions, it was shown the teachers work with an average of 30 students per classroom and with strong differences between night and day schools, where a mixture of young populations with young adults exists. Classroom teachers work on average 24.7 hours reviewing work, exams and preparing materials in their homes. That is time on the job that in many cases is not paid.

Some of Ms. Paez's recommendations are to review administrative overhead, contextualize new class programs, create small groups of students, and provide specialized and non-general training.

The researcher also said that the administrative and academic roles that directors have in the education system should be looked upon.



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From page 7:

Project seeks to cut red tape on businesses

By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

10 days is all it will take to register a company in several cantons from the the South Pacific region of the country thanks to an initiative that seeks to eliminate excessive paperwork.

The project has been developed in the municipalities of: Puntarenas, Orotina, San Mateo, Esparza, Parrita, Quepos, Montes de Oro, Monteverde and Paquera under the name Alcanzando Escala.

The program is carried out by several organizations such as the CRUSA Foundation, the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, the municipalities themselves and others.

According to a statement sent by ICC consultores, the press agency of the project, the average time to establish a company in those cantons has decreased from 33 days to 10. Another achievement is the creation of a ventanilla única. That means one centralized office where investors can receive and deliver all the required information and paper work.

What some called unnecessary or excessive requirements decreased from 19 to just 10 and guides and manuals to start businesses have been published with the aim of providing sustainability to the project.

“We have been working on this for about three years,” said Asdrúbal Calvo, the vice mayor of the Esparza canton. “Many of us were trained by studying what other municipalities were doing and having workshops on the matter.”

“I learned there were some municipalities with quite different procedures in regards to authorizing business permits,” he added. “Some of them were still requiring photocopies of ID's and physical plans of the place where the business was to be developed, as if we did not have the chance to check information online.”

“I believe the simplification of errands will keep people motivated and not discouraged by the bureaucracy, as it happens many times,” said Calvo

In the case of Esparza, the deputy mayor believes some of the most benefited will be the producers of honey, which will now have an easier way to register as formal companies and profit from other benefits.

The cost of the project was not provided by deadline but it is the CRUSA foundation as the one that bears most of the financial burden, according to a source from the Fundación. The official announcement will take place today at 10 a.m. in the Hotel Puerto Azul, located in the province of Puntarenas.