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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 197                         Email us
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Rock Construction

cancer run
A.M. Costa Rica/Gabriela Vega Barrantes
The Fuerza Pública estimated that more than 100,000 persons took the streets for the the 11th edition of the  Caminata contra cancer Sunday
morning. The event was put on by the Fundación Anna Ross. Our story is

This could be a defining week for the administration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This could be a defining week for the Luis Gullermo Solís administration.

Helio Falls, the finance minster, is under fire from lawmakers after his appearance Thursday at a committee hearing. His testimony irked opposition lawmakers so much that they are demanding he quit. In addition to being finance minister, Fallas is the first vice president.

This also could be the week that the Sala IV constitutional court makes a decision on the status of the minster of the Presidencia, Melvin Jiménez.  The minster also happens to be a Lutheran bishop, and the Costa Rican Constitution is crystal clear in saying that the clergy cannot hold a minister's job.

Even the Procuraduría General de la República has ruled the Constitution prohibits Jiménez holding the job. But Solís has defended his choice of the man who was his campaign manager.

Unlike Óscar Arias Sánchez, who managed to get the high court to approve his second run for the presidency, Solís has fewer friends there. However, the constitutional court is known to rule that items in the Constitution are unconstitutional.

Solís is unlikely to fire Fallas, who has been steadfast in his promotion of the proposed budget that is 19 percent higher than the previous year's.

Karla Prendas Matarrita, a lawmaker from the Partido Liberación Nacional, accused Fallas of giving a slanted presentation on the budget to
create a scenario he wanted to sell.

Another Liberación lawmakers, Rolando González, asked that Fallas quit after his legislative presentation.  Jiménez accused the minister of being inconsistent.

Lawmakers seemed to be upset because Fallas was critical of the budgetary skills of previous presidents. The last two were members of the Liberación political party. They may also have been upset because Fallas was critical of the excessive rental agreements in the previous administration. Some Liberación party members are known to have such deals.

Losing either his minister of the Presidencia or Fallas would be a crippling blow to the Solís administration.

During his talk, Fallas said the Solís administration supported policies that were progressive so that those taxpayers would pay proportional to their wealth. This has been a continual refrain of ruling parties.

Even expats with little personal interest in national finances have been fascinated about how lawmakers are pushing Solís to cut the budget.

Most of the action has been within the  Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios. headed by Ottón Solís, who happens to be of the same political party as the president.

Through his determination, Ottón Solís have converted himself into somewhat of a national hero.

 
 

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 197

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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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8316-9/13/14


Our reader's opinion
The time has come for Solís to act

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read your article about 'some modest proposals for cutting the budget'' in your Oct. 1 edition and felt invited to come up with ideas how to solve the national problem.
 
Ás a retired economist from the Netherlands,  I followed the political and economic issues in this country with above average interest for approximately 20 years now.
 
I fully agree with your statement that ''the political establishment (and in its slipstream the entire pubic sector) has enriched themselves for so long at the expense of the private sector  that you can hardly expect them to reform.''

The country has reached or may already be over the acceptable limits in charging the private sector for financing the overprivileged public sector.

With the uncontrolled growth in budget deficits and pubic spendings, this country has many things in common with Greece some year before the collapse. Greece was saved by the European currency member states, but Costa Rica is certainly not ''too important to fall'' and has to find the solution in itself.

Crucial is that Costa Rica pretends to allow itself European social benefits for their workers (pensions, the Caja, labor laws) but apparently using U.S. tax rates to finance.

European countries can only finance their social security system with tax rates higher than 50 percent for the middle and higher income groups, and pensioners have to pay a full contribution to the medicare, as everybody does.
 
The highest income tax rate in Costa Rica is, as far as I know, 25 percent, and all pensioners are exempted to pay for their medicare.
In Europe the retirement age is going up towards the age of 70 in order to keep the system financial stable. In Costa Rica  however it is a national sport to retire between 50 and 60 years old (keeping the full salary as their pension), specially for the higher (public) income group.

It is obvious that this country can only survive by breaking down the many privileges especially those of the public sector and also by higher taxes for higher incomes (mainly in the public sector). Because of its leveling effect, it will keep the private sector motivated to contribute as well.

It is very disappointing to hear that the new president comes up with old ideas to charge other and new taxpayers for the public spendings. It won't help if you don't level out the privileges and eliminate the corruption.

Voters might easily become misled by politicians, but taxpayers won't. Voters might go into the streets and stamp with their feet, but taxpayers don't. They just reduce their contributions if they feel insulted by politicians.

And this is precisely the situation where Costa Rica stands today.

If no drastic steps are taken, the system will collapse. And that will mean that many public institutions and workers will be closed and laid off, pensions will be cut, and inflation might rise when government might seize the instrument of monetary funding. In a certain way, this will also lead to an elimination of privileges as well, but the process will be fully out of control with many unexpected and unwanted side effects.

Earlier this year Costa Rican voters choose for a drastic change, and it is now up to the president to perform.  Let's hope that he proves to be as wise as he pretends to be.

Chris Vijselaar
Curridabat


Brazilian president fails to win outright

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has placed first in Sunday's presidential election but failed to win the absolute majority needed to avoid a runoff later this month.

With nearly all of the ballots counted, Ms. Rousseff garnered a little more than 40 percent of the vote, while pro-business Social Democrat Aecio Neves took around 34 percent. A runoff is scheduled for Oct. 26.

President Rousseff had the support of Brazil's working class, thanks to generous social welfare programs initiated during the two terms of her hugely popular predecessor and political godfather, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva.

Former environment minister Marina Silva, who in late August held a commanding lead in polls, failed to translate that into actual votes.

Voting is compulsory in Brazil, with everyone between the ages of 18 and 70 required to cast a ballot.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
AIM
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 197
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attendees
A.M. Costa Rica/Gabriela Vega Barrantes
Star Trek fans, a man doing 10K in a walker, and Meliza with her pink poodle Mily
Walk and run against cancer draws more than 100,000 participants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A crowd estimated by police to be more than 100,000 turned out early Sunday to support the Fundación Anna Ross and its fight against cancer.

Many participants were cancer survivors or were members of a family who had lost a close relative to the disease.

Anna Ross was a well-known physician and political figure who died in 2003 after a long fight with cancer. Her family created the foundation as her legacy to provide psychosocial support to cancer patients and their families.  The foundation also provides nutritional support, training, wheelchairs, wigs and turbans

Most who have been supporting by the foundation are patients of  breast cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Such diseases combined are the second leading cause of death in Costa Rica.

Sunday was the 11th event that was a two kilometer walk, a 5K run or a more challenging 10K run. The routes ended at Parque la Sabana. Participants were accompanied by bands, including musicians from the Colegio Tecnico de Puriscal.
remembering mother
A.M. Costa Rica/Gabriela Vega Barrantes
The family of Angela Corea participated with T-shirts bearing the image of the cancer victim granfmother.


Police grab one suspect
after Cahuita bus stickup


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three men stuck up a public bus near Cahuita on the southern Caribbean coast Sunday, and police caught a suspect who was leaving the area on a motorcycle.

No one was reported injured in the stick-up, but passengers were stripped of their possessions. The Fuerza Pública said that the suspect carried a bag that appeared to contain items taken from the bus passengers.

He was identified by the last name of Obando, and officers said that he had a police record.

Police were seeking to find the other two robbers, they said.

The Fuerza Pública attributed the quick arrest to the way they maintain police and vehicles at strategic points of the main highway.

cahuita
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
A suspect is in handcuffs and awaiting transport near Cahuita.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 197
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Top U.S. diplomat for the Americas will visit Casa Presidencial today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís will met another U.S. Marine today, the second in less than a month.

Last Sept. 10, the visitor was  Marine Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command. Today's visitor is John D. Feeley, who is the principal deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Bureau of Western Hemisphere affairs. Feeley is a former U.S. Marine helicopter pilot, according to his biography with the State Department.

Felley moved into his current job in May 2012 and assumed responsibility for the daily management of regional policy implementation and the supervision of 50 diplomatic posts in the Americas, said the State Department. Earlier, while based in México,
he managed a 37-agency country team that implemented the $1.6 billion Merida Initiative, the department said..

Among other issues, U.S. officials think that Solís may begin to demonstrate softness on drug trafficking, in part because fighting drugs is so expensive. Traffickers, who have been using aircraft, now seem to have an advantage.

There also is the continuing problem of U.S. investors being blindsided by unexpected government reversals.

Although few Costa Ricans are part of the unprecedented youthful immigration from Central America to the United States, that issue is sure to come up. Illegal immigration from Costa Rica to the United States is mainly by adults seeking work.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

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Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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

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

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

8390-10/2/14

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

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Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
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La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,200 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). Very private, very quiet, green areas, fully furnished. Must like animals (we have three gentle dogs), look at high resolution pics HERE! U.S. citizens or Europeans preferred. No children. Call to inquiry and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.
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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.
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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
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HP Cattle rentals
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We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
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Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.
Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8431-10/4/14

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.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
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8431-7/30/14




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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page


cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 197
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Pope convenes bishops
to study family teachings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis has launched a major review of Catholic teaching on the family.

The so-called extraordinary synod of bishops opened Sunday at the Vatican. 

The two-week meeting could lead to change in the Roman Catholic Church's attitude to marriage, cohabitation, divorce, contraception and other family and social issues. 

Nearly 200 bishops and lay people from around the world will examine the gulf between what the church currently says on these issues and what many believers actually do.

Before Pope Francis opened the meeting, he Tweeted "let us ask the Lord to show us the way forward."

Last month at St. Peter's Basilica, Francis presided over a Mass wedding of 20 couples whose relationships would traditionally be considered sinful. 

The wedding included unmarried couples who had been living together and those who already had children.


Kasparo characterized Putin
as most dangerous threat


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former world chess champion and pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov grabbed headlines earlier this week when he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most dangerous man in the world.

He made the remark during an interview with Yahoo News, adding that Putin is "a greater threat to the United States than the Islamic State."

Later, Kasparov explained his characterizations during an interview.

"It's a permanent threat," Kasparov said

'Cannot be defeated militarily'

Unlike the current outbreak of ebola, Syria or even al-Qaida, Kasparov said, those crises can in the end be defeated, no matter how costly.

"When you look at Putin, he cannot be defeated militarily. Russia is second nuclear power in the world," he said. "So that's why the moment that you recognize that Putin is a threat, you have to deal with a very different kind of dilemma because now you have to look for a very comprehensive solution that will engage Russia, potentially China, and  that puts the problem to a very, very different level."

To Kasparov, Putin is a dictator who is defiling the fundamental values of the free world.

"The same way we call Saddam Hussein or General Pinochet or North Korean dictators, he is a dictator who has no way out," he said. "He must stay in power."

The chess pro also had some tough words for the Obama administration's response to Putin's annexation of Crimea and the backing of separatists who are roiling eastern Ukraine.

Both the United States and the European Union have steadily ratcheted up sanctions on Russia.

"The policies imposed by the Western countries today, it's better than nothing," he said. "But it's still far from enough to prevent Putin from further aggression."

To stop Putin or any other problematic leader, Kasparov said he believes the U.S. president must strike a delicate balance: pose a credible threat without using force.

And he said the failure of both the Bush and Obama administrations to do that has created a dangerous vacuum by destroying the credibility of the Oval Office.

"One wanted to use force all the time, the other one doesn't want to use force," Kasparov said. "Obama has been drawing red lines, one after another, and reneging on them. History shows that weakness eventually leads to a much bigger disaster."

So how would he deal with Putin?

Exploit what Putin believes is the Russian public's growing distaste for the war Ukraine, Kasparov said.

And if the price of Crimea becomes too steep and begins to bite ordinary Russians, Kasparov believes Putin might face a very serious and new domestic challenge.

"This challenge, as in the 1980's, cannot be cannot be successful without mounting pressure from the outside," he said.

"If sanctions in this format can be sustained until March, that will be the most serious challenge to Vladimir Putin's power and maybe still will offer  a glimpse of hope that the change in Russia will not be as bloody as before," Kasparov said.


Mass grave in México
may be of missing students


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in southern Mexico have found a mass grave in an area where more than 40 students are missing following a rash of violence last week.

Authorities say they have so far discovered the charred bodies of about 20 people on the edge of Iguala, in the restive state of Guerrero, 200 kilometers south of Mexico City.

Tomas Zeron, Mexican federal chief of investigations, said, "A group of investigators and federal public prosecutor specialized agents are on their way to the site. The Mexican state cannot permit such an indignant incident to go unpunished. We want to emphasize that we will put all the forces of the state to shed light on this unfortunate event. Thank you."

Twenty-two police officers were arrested in Guerrero last week after a police confrontation in Iguala with student protesters.

Mexico is under fierce international scrutiny for years of alleged human rights violations by security forces.

Officials say the National Human Rights Commission has sent experts to the area to aid state authorities in identifying the remains.


Duvalier ducks punishment
by dying of a heart attack

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier has died of a heart attack at the age of 63.

Duvalier's lawyer says the former leader died at a private residence Saturday in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

In 1971, Duvalier became one of the world's youngest leaders at the age of 19 following the death of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Francois Duvalier, a physician-turned-politician, had ruled Haiti since 1957.

Like his father, the younger Duvalier ruled with an iron fist, enforcing power with the aid of the feared Tonton Macoutes militia, a secret police force blamed for hundreds of deaths and disappearances.

Jean-Claude Duvalier, who called himself president for life was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986. He went into exile in France, where he lived until he made a surprise return to Haiti in early 2011. Shortly after returning to his homeland, he was charged with corruption, embezzlement and other abuses of power from his brutal, 15-year rule.

Several Haitians filed lawsuits accusing him of human rights violations. Critics accused Duvalier and his family of living a lavish lifestyle while doing little to ease Haiti's poverty and illiteracy. He was also alleged to have stolen millions of dollars in public funds.

After returning to Haiti, Duvalier said he felt profound sadness for Haitians who said they were victims of his 15-year rule. He also said he returned to show his solidarity at a difficult period for the country as it struggled to recover from a devastating earthquake in 2010. Haiti is the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

In January 2012, a special adviser for Amnesty International said crimes against humanity committed while Duvalier was in power remained shrouded in total impunity. The adviser, Javier Zuniga, also said Haitian authorities had not made a serious effort to look into past events that afflicted a generation of Haitians with torture, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and other serious human rights violations.


FBI check says China
is top cyber war enemy


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. FBI chief James Comey says China is at the top of the list of countries waging cyber warfare against American industry, with damages measured in the billions of dollars per year.

Comey told CBS television's "60 Minutes" Sunday that China’s efforts are extremely aggressive and widespread in stealing secrets benefitting its own business and industry.

He said the annual losses to U.S. companies are impossible to count, but would be in the billions of dollars.

Online theft of patents and trade secrets from U.S. companies often results in large job and revenue losses to industry.

Comey said the number of daily attacks from hackers and cyber-terrorists are too many to count, and that Americans underestimate the danger of cybercrime.

The U.S. indicted five Chinese military experts for cybertheft in May, outraging China, which denies computer hacking and accuses the United States of industrial spying.


Disease control director
is optimistic on ebola


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s top disease prevention official says he remains confident the United States will not experience a significant outbreak of ebola, but that containment in Africa is critical to reducing risks elsewhere in the world.

At present, a Liberian man in Dallas, Texas, is the only confirmed active ebola case known in the United States.  But swift responses to recent false alarms show a national medical community on high alert, including the mobilization of a disease control unit to meet an incoming international flight on which an African man had become ill,  as it turns out, with something other than ebola.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, says there is no cause for panic.

“Here in the U.S., I remain quite confident we will not have a widespread outbreak.  We will stop it in its tracks.  We have got infection control in hospitals and public health that tracks and isolates people if they get symptoms,” said Frieden, speaking on ABC’s "This Week" program.

He emphasized that, ultimately, ebola must be controlled at its source.

“I am quite concerned, the longer this goes on in these three West African countries, the greater the possibility that other countries in Africa are going to have to fight this on their territory, as well.  We have to recognize that, try as we might, until the outbreak is controlled in Africa, we cannot get the risk here to zero,” said Frieden.

The United States has dispatched military and civilian personnel to West Africa to help combat the virus, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives in recent months.  Meanwhile, some African immigrants in the United States say they fear being shunned if the public’s apprehensions about ebola escalate to widespread panic.

“Just being a black person or just being a citizen from Africa does not mean you have ebola,” said Steve Oriabure, a Nigerian immigrant in Dallas.

Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or corpse.  Symptoms appear two to 21 days after infection.


New map of earth's sea flood
produces many surprises

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More is known about the surface of Mars than the sea floor of this planet, 80 percent of which is unmapped. That’s changing, though, with the release of a new map based on untapped streams of satellite data.

The new map created by a team at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, is twice as accurate as the version produced by the U.S. Navy 20 years ago. 

“The way we’re doing that is to use satellite altimeter, a radar, to map the topography of the ocean surface, said a Scripps geophysics professor, David Sandwell. in an interview.

“But now that seems sort of strange that you would map the topography on the ocean surface where you really want to get at the sea floor.  But the ocean surface topography has these bumps and dips due to gravitational effects that mimic what’s on the sea floor.”   

The scientists pulled data from two satellites, launched for other purposes. The European Space Agency’s Cryo-2 was in the sky to monitor sea ice, and NASA’s Jason-1 studied ocean surface. This data set produced the big picture, which was combined with the much finer resolution images captured from ships equipped with multi-beam sonar. “That enables us to look at smaller scale features and also features that are buried by the sediments in the ocean basins,” said Sandwell.   

The new map shows the fabric of the sea floor as never seen before with thousands of underwater mountains, ridges where continents had pulled apart, and extinct earthquake activity buried deep under layers of sediment.

At one site where three ridges meet, the Earth’s huge thick tectonic plates appear in exquisite detail. Sandwell said it is called the Indian Ocean Triple Junction, and is one of his favorite spots in the ocean.

“It really displays the theoretical aspects of plate tectonics perfectly. You have three plates, the African plate, and the Indo-Australian plate and the Antarctic plate all connected at this one point in the Center of the Indian Ocean.”

The map exposed continental connections across South America and Africa and showed evidence for sea floor spreading ridges at the Gulf of Mexico, active 150 million years ago now under layers of sediment. 

Sandwell said the map is a powerful tool for fisheries conservation and for petroleum exploration. “The petroleum industry is interested in how to reconnect the continents, bringing them back together tectonically so you can map the basins on one continental margin in Africa, and use that to establish where a similar basin would be on the other continental margin in South America.”

The data also greatly improves estimates of ocean depths critical for safe navigation, military operations and science missions worldwide, Sandwell adds, “This new gravity map really provides a reconnaissance tool for planning ship board surveys.  You don’t have to go out with your ship and start looking for something new. We can target that with the gravity and then go out with the ship and do the high resolution survey to really understand these features.”

Sandwell expects many more discoveries to emerge as scientists delve into the data set. The work is described in the current issue of the journal Science.


Honeymoon murder trial
begins today in South Africa

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The murder trial of a British millionaire accused of ordering the killing of his wife while they were on honeymoon in South Africa is set to begin today.

The millionaire, Shrien Dewani, 34, is accused of hiring hit men to murder his wife. He denies any involvement.

Dewani was extradited to South Africa in April after a three-year legal battle.

Anni Dewani was shot dead in Cape Town in November 2010, just days after the couple's wedding in India.

Prosecutors allege Dewani paid Cape Town residents Zola Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Xolile Mngeni to kill his wife. The three men are serving jail terms in South Africa in connection with the murder.

Dewani claims he and his wife were kidnapped at gunpoint, and that he was released unharmed, while his bride was killed with a gunshot to the neck.


Memorial to disabled vets
inaugurated in Washington


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama paid tribute to disabled U.S. veterans Sunday as he inaugurated a memorial in their honor.

The president said the new memorial, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, in Washington commemorates two centuries of Americans who were physically or mentally injured while fighting for the United States.

"From this day forward, Americans will come to this place and ponder the immense sacrifice on their behalf, the heavy burden born by few so that we might live in freedom and peace," said the president.

The Obama administration came under heavy criticism earlier this year when the head of Veterans Affairs resigned amid reports that veterans were receiving inadequate healthcare and waiting months for treatment.

The president said from the podium Sunday that the memorial should be a reminder of the obligations this country is under.

"If they come home having left a part of themselves on the battlefield on our behalf, this memorial tells us what we must do. When our wounded veterans set out on that long road of recovery, we need to move Heaven and Earth to make sure they get every single benefit, every bit of care, that they have earned, that they deserve," said Obama.

More than 50,000 U.S. troops were wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since the early 2000s.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
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. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8451-12/13/14

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

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.
8366-12/2/14

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 www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8448-2/21/15




Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com


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: info@greciarealestate.com
8446-11/14/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact Karen@remax-ocr.com or call 8702-0778.  From the US call 209-473-3574.
Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000
8500-1/3/15

Newly available in Roca Verde
Atenas
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: http://www.atenasrealty.com/fotos%20H326.html 2446-5587. ldrock@gmail.com
8499-q11/3/14

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 included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8482-2/11/15


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.
8483-10/1/14

Ringle
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 azucarb@racsa.co.cr or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.
8480-10/9/14


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 www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/

rollover
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, burgbord@aol.com, 8820-1501/8379-7947
8462-9/25/14

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.
 Contact: marinakuperman@gmail.com
8459-9/20/14

Esterillos

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: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8458-3/2/15

NOW REDUCED TO $595,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES
TURNKEY

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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
8422-9/15/14

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

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.
8406-8/2/14

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
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  info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025    www.puntaplayavistas.com
8372-8/23/14

ad two grpahic
For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
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 www.puntaplayavistas.com or email info@puntaplayavistas.com 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025
8271-8/23/14

Ad one grpahics
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 desmondproperties@gmail.com  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.
8370-8/3/14

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call center
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.
8481-11/11/14

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 197
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
The continual war with leaf-cutter ants

Remember leaf-cutter ants?  Tiny, voracious, and too numerous to count.  First, a word or two about the ants themselves.  Leaf-cutters

Victoria torley
don’t eat the leaves. Instead, they garden with them, placing them in special chambers where they use them to raise the fungus they feed on.  Those garden chambers can be 9 meters (30 feet) underground, and the nest can be 9 meters wide ,which makes it difficult to destroy.  The ants often build a secondary nest further from the main colony, 
so this is also an issue.   As for me, I once followed a trail of leaf-cutters across the back of the house, down a ravine, across a stream (they were using a downed branch as a bridge), up a hill, and across a field before losing the trail in tall weeds.  Score one for the ants.

Our arsenal for controlling these pests includes chemical and non-chemical weapons.  Myrex and Omitox, placed on their trails, will divert them from cutting leaves.  Instead of leaves, they take the pellets back to the nest where it kills the fungus they feed on so that the nest dies.   An alternative to leaf cutter control is MaxForce with hydramethynon which is applied directly to the ant mound several times and will kill the colony.  When using any chemical method, remember to wear latex gloves and try not to leave any human scent on the product.

If you prefer a non-chemical attack, mix baby powder and cayenne pepper with some boric acid powder and pour it into the nest.  The drawback is that you will need a lot of the mix and a number of applications before you solve the problem. 

Then there are the more creative approaches that take into account the nature of an ant colony.  The foraging ants lay down a chemical trail as they go to and from a food source.  If the trail never gets put down, the tree is safe.  So, to keep the ant from finding your tree, try this.  Cut the top and bottom from a 2 liter soda bottle then cut a slit in the side so you can fit it around the trunk of a young tree.  Tape it closed from the inside and then put a thick sticky substance on the plastic.  The ants should get stuck, the trail never gets laid down, and the plant is safe.  There are several variations on this method, including placing a circle of screening around the trunk or using a moat to prevent access to the plant.  All of these methods take time and patience as they  

Oh, and did I mention that sometimes these things work and sometimes they don’t?  That, friends, is the nature of the leaf-cutter ant.


Plant of the Day


This flower is smaller than it looks – about 1 cm (less than ½ inch) but produces something we all love.  This is the flower of the cacao tree, and this tiny flower will give us the pod that holds the cocoa bean.   Although the tree can grow 4-8 meters tall (13-25 feet), it is usually pruned to keep the pods accessible.  This is an understory tree, so plant in the shade and keep it well mulched and manured.  In a few years, you can try your hand at making your own chocolate!
chocolate
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

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 Web page.




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From Page 7:

Colonial holds another birthday bash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When it comes to birthday parties, the man who is hard to beat is Shelby McAdams. He is the owner of the Club Colonial, which just marked its 32nd birthday.

The business, which is much more than just a casino, is on Avenida Primera in San José downtown. The building also hosts one of the city's better restaurants, the  Magnolia. The Sleep Inn hotel is adjacent.

Since 1982, McAdams has prospered despite an uncertain world and national economies and whatever surprises the central government can send his way.

Typically those who gamble there also can take advantage of  a buffet each evening. But for the Sept. 20 birthday, the casino also served free drinks and brought in a combo to perform on stage and throughout the establishment with video feeds.

The buffet was not the usual. The menu included Greek and Mediterranean salad, gorgonzola steak, trout stuffed with sea bass mousse and stuffed chicken in passion fruit sauce.

Carlos Alegria, club manager, said that from 450 to 500 persons were served. Special guesses included off-duty casino employees, business people, athletes, and Costa Rica artists.