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(506) 2223-1327                              Publihsed Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 205                      Email us
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'Tis the season to start smuggling those fireworks
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the holidays less than three months away, police are finding smuggled fireworks. Officials said Wednesday that police already have started their effort to keep explosive firework out of the country, in part to protect kids.

This is an effort that will not be completely successful. Come the stroke of midnight New Year's, the sky of the Central Valley will resemble shock and awe. There will be no shortage of skyrockets and other explosive devices.

Still, the Fuerza Pública reported that officers confiscated 1.5 million explosive fireworks last holiday season. They come from Nicaragua and from Panamá.

Panamá appears to be the origin of the first confiscation of the year. Fuerza Pública officers spotted a woman in the San Vito de Coto Brus station waiting to board a San José-bound bus.

She had 1,500 individual explosive fireworks, they said. Most likely Panamá was just an intermediary stop because China has many fireworks manufacturers.

Police expressed additional concern because the woman was planning to take the explosives on a public bus and endanger passengers.

Police officials are promising strict controls over fireworks and also are asking for help from the public to complain about illegal fireworks sales and possession. The penalties are stiffer than in the past. Bringing explosive fireworks into the country can warrant six years in prison.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
The first confiscation of the season.

Penalties can be more if minors are involved.  The basic rule is if the fireworks explodes, it is illegal. Those that burn or give off sparkling lights are permitted, according to the law.

Police break up pirate taxi protest that closed roads
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

About 125 pirate taxi drivers, upset with not having their grievances heard by transport officials, blocked major highways Wednesday morning for about five hours.

Unlike during previous episodes by pirate taxi drivers or formal taxistas, police moved in to break up the protest shortly before noon. Some 25 participants were arrested, including one for carrying an illegal firearm. The arrests took place on the Circunvalación in Hatillo where 25 vehicles were impounded, too.

Avenida 2 in the downtown also was blocked as were other key roads. There were confrontations between the protesters and motorists. Some drivers were caught in stalled traffic for hours.

Protesters in Hatillo appeared to be behaving badly. One threatened motorcycle drivers with a large rock. Another stole the keys from motorcycles. Some protesters resisted arrest.

The Circunvalación is the four-lane highway that bypasses the center of San José to the south.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
One protestor is led off to flagrancy court.

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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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Jeff Fisher invites you to see why this 20-year resident of Costa Rica believes the Central Pacific areas of Jacó Beach-Playa Hermosa-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and Esterillos-Bejuco Beaches are the best place to live and invest.
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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#3: Amazingly, it’s still a BUYERS’ MARKET and our “brutally honest” agents will help you find your perfect property-
See why Jeff and Colin Miller (12 years here), Frances Winborne (more than 23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred) chose the Central Pacific!

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Our reader's opinion
Ceviche done the correct way

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Sorry, I must take exception to the reporting on ceviche in today's A.M. Costa Rica edition.  Having pleased many a crowd, including professional chefs, with ceviche made from the freshest fish imaginable caught the same day or previous day from my own boat in Mexican or Southern California waters, I know authentic ceviche.

The correct spelling of the name of this dish is ceviche.  In Spanish, though, the V is pronounced as a B sounds in English.

This dish is popular throughout the Mediterranean area and resembles another marinated fish dish called escabèche, a French word indicating the origins of the dish is most likely European, not Peruvian, though it may have reached the New World through Perú via conquistadores. Limes and fish probably were happily married long before America was discovered.

Most importantly, though, one must prepare authentic ceviche (or escabèche) using the juice of limes, never lemons.  This fact is obfuscated by the semantic confusion that fails to separate lemons from limes in Spanish. The lime available here is the limón mesina, the same green-inside lime found in the U.S.  Perfect!

Lemons are typically far too acidic and will carry the chemical cooking of the fish much too far, producing a result that tastes too lemony and acidic, and possibly toughening the fish.

If you would not serve tequila with lemon, neither should false cebiche made with lemon ever reach your table.  Limes have much more flavor and far less acid than lemons.  This makes them entirely non-interchangeable in a culinary sense.

Another critical fine point -- the fruit juice does not baste the fish.  The fish is immersed (marinated) in the juice.  A simple basting (surface wetting) of the fish will fail to chemically cook it through.  Once the thinly sliced fish is submerged in lime juice, it must be placed under refrigeration until all the fish goes opaque through and through.  Otherwise, you'll be serving a very sour kind of sushi.

Use of sour oranges, often passed off as lemons or limes here in Costa Rica, would be disastrous, completely overpowering the subtle fresh fish flavor, which the best ceviche preserves and features.  Those sour oranges are good for little other than lemonade.

I can't resist suggesting a Mediterranean escabèche variation's

     FRESH fish, any species, thinly sliced (not diced.)
     Copious juice of green-inside limes.  Enough to submerge the cut fish
              and other ingredients.
     Thin sliced fresh purple opal basil leaves
     Fresh oregano
     Thin sliced purple onion
     Finely diced garlic
     Fresh, finely-ground black pepper
     Dash of sea salt
     Whole small black olives

Key point: Do not allow anything metallic to contact the lime juice. 

Combine ingredients in proportions you like in a glass or crockery bowl.  I like lots of basil and more garlic than many folks prefer.  Assure the fish is entirely submerged.  Store overnight in the fridge.

For the adventurous, one or two drops of juice from habanero pepper may be added.  Stop short of making the dish hot.  You only want the Scotch Bonnet's flavor, not the intense heat.

Drain and serve wet the nest day but not swimming.  Perfect appetizer with traditional martinis.  Or add fresh-baked bread and call it a meal. Enjoy!

Joseph Riden
Grecia, Alajuela

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 205
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Was he really saying that Casa Presidencial harbors gunmen for hire?
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Saying bad things about presidents is a long-running national sport in the United States, but elected officials here have thinner skin.

That is why President Luis Guillermo Solís dashed off a letter to legislator Ottón Solís demanding a public apology.

The legislator has referred to three close associates of the president as sicarios on a television interview show.

Sicario means hit man or hired gun in Spanish. So far no one has called Casa Presidencial seeking to do away with a wayward spouse, but Solís seems to prefer to take the word literally.

This is the latest episode in the Solís-Solís soap opera where the two men with identical names and from the same political party seem to be becoming political enemies.

Ottón Solís also heads the legislative finance committee, and he has been ripping holes in the executive branch's 2015 budget.

The head of the Partido Liberación Nacional delegation in the legislature, Antonio Alvarez Desanti, suggested in a statement that a president cannot govern with such a sensitive skin. He no doubt remembers how Laura Chinchilla, a member of his party, quickly became a laughing stock during her administration.

In fact, Ms. Chinchilla brought an unsuccessful slander case against a critic.

Ottón Solís was referring to  Melvin Jiménez, minister of the Presidencia; Mariano Figueres, the director of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional, and Víctor Morales, a lawmaker.

Late Wednesday President Solís issued a statement saying that he was not gong to talk about the situation in public any more. However, he did not rule out some other action.

If any legal action is contemplated, it would seem that the three presidential associates would have to initiate it. That were the ones called sicarios. However, as a sitting legislator, Solís has immunity from criminal action.

Agronomists seeking modern update of country's rules on agrochemicals
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The agronomy colegio asked the government Wednesday to loosen the knot that ties farmers to 15-year-old agrochemical rules.

The organization, the  Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos, asked the minister of agriculture to solve a problem that it said has paralyzed the registration of new chemicals. The organization, speaking via the president, Eugenio Porras Vargas, said that there is new technology that farmers here cannot use because the chemicals are not registered for use.

He said that March 6, 2013, with much hoopla a bill was introduced that would reform the agrochemical regulations. Now, a year and nine months later, nothing has happened, he said.
Costa Rican farmers, particularly the monoculture operations of banana and pineapples, have been criticized for excessive use of pesticides and fungicides. Porras said that obsolete chemicals not only reduce the competitivity of farmers but also put in jeopardy humans and sustainability in the fields. Some rural towns have unwelcome concentrations of pesticides in the drinking water.

An increase in the production of food is within reach of Costa Rican farmers if the agrochemical registry were made modern and efficient, he said.

He called upon the  Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería to work with the Ministerio de Salud and the Ministerio del Ambiente to create a guide that interprets the existing regulations. Presumably the interpretations would be looser.

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, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 205
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Ancient and modern crocodiles filled very similar niches, study shows
By the  University of Edinburgh news staff

Crocodiles which lived millions of years ago developed in similar ways to modern species, University of Edinburgh research has shown.

Fresh research into a group of prehistoric crocs known as Machimosaurus reveals key details of how and where they lived. Researchers have determined key aspects of the crocodiles’ evolution.

Each species adapted features that enabled them to live and hunt in a range of habitats, just like modern-day crocodiles.

They varied in body length, body skeleton, skull and lower jaw shape, and in their teeth.

The ancient croc group includes a nine-meter long saltwater species, which was adapted for living in open seas, and fed on marine turtles. By contrast, its closest relatives lived in coastal choppy environments.
The prehistoric crocs’ development mirrors those of today’s crocodiles. Modern saltwater varieties are far bigger and suited to larger territories compared with their smaller cousins, which live closer to shore or in fresh water.

A team of researchers, led by the University of Edinburgh, examined fossil specimens from museums around Europe.

From detailed analysis, they were able to determine key elements of the animals’ anatomy and lifestyle, and concluded that not all were of the same species.

Until now scientist were unsure whether more than one species of Machimosaurus existed. However, findings show that there were at least three distinct species, one of which has been fully identified for the first time.

The study is published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

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.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
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!

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.


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

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Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
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.

Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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 or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
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.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 205
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New ebola case prompts
Obama to call a meeting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama says the risk of a widespread ebola outbreak in the United States is very, very low, if all the proper protections are taken.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on ebola Wednesday, Obama called for an emergency federal medical team to be immediately deployed to any hospital where an ebola case is diagnosed to ensure that those preventative steps are taken.

"If we do these protocols properly . . . the likelihood of widespread ebola outbreaks in this country are very, very low," he said.

He stressed the need for a more robust global response to ebola and more aid to the three countries that are at the epicenter of the outbreak -- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Earlier, the U.N. Security Council issued a statement saying the world has failed to adequately respond to West Africa's ebola crisis.

The bodies 15 members called ebola a threat to world peace and security, and urged all U.N. members to dramatically expand providing resources to fight the disease.

Obama canceled his travel plans Wednesday for the emergency cabinet meeting after news that the second U.S. health worker infected with the ebola virus took a flight within the United States a day before developing symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the health care worker, a nurse, Amber Vinson, 29, took a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, airport Monday.

Officials said Ms. Vinson took the flight just one day before she reported developing symptoms of infection, U.S. and airline officials said.

Centers for Disease Control  Director Tom Frieden said Wednesday that a person being monitored for ebola will not be allowed to travel on a commercial flight. The nurse should not have been allowed to travel on a commercial airplane, he said.

"The CDC guidance outlines the need for what is called controlled movement.  That can include a charter plane and car, but does not include public transport.  We will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement," said Frieden.

Centers for Disease Control officials have said there is very low risk to any of the passengers who were on the flight, as Ebola spreads by direct contact with infected body fluids, like vomit or blood, and not through the air, like flu.

Despite the low risk, the agency and the airline say they are reaching out to all 132 passengers who were aboard. Crew members said the health care worker did not show any symptoms on the flight.

Ms. Vinson contracted the virus at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who became the first person in the United States to die of the virus last week.

Ms. Vinson's news comes just days after another nurse from the same hospital, 26-year-old Nina Pham, became the first person infected by Ebola in the United States while caring for Duncan during much of his 11 days in the hospital. Duncan died on Oct. 8.

The Centers for Disease Control also said Ms. Vinson is being moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday for treatment.

Emory is one of the country's hospitals that is equipped to handle ebola patients. Two American missionaries infected with ebola were successfully treated at Emory in August after being flown from Liberia in isolation bubbles.

“Health officials have interviewed the latest patient to quickly identify any contacts or potential exposures, and those people will be monitored,” the Texas Department of State Health Services said Wednesday.

Ms. Vinson's apartment, where she lived alone with no pets, is being decontaminated.

Meanwhile, the head of a national nurses union, RoseAnn DeMoro, said she had reports saying the hospital in Dallas lacked the proper protocols to deal with an ebola patient.

Ms. DeMoro said a group of nurses from the hospital contacted her with complaints that Duncan's case had not been handled safely.

The union said the nurses, who would not give their names for fear of retribution, complained that Duncan was not isolated for several hours once admitted to the hospital, that hazardous waste was allowed to accumulate inside the building, and that there was no mandated training for hospital workers on how to handle infected patients.

The nurses' union said these complaints were conveyed to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

There was no immediate comment from the Centers for Disease Control , but officials have said they are committed to the safety of health care workers.

Frieden said he has been hearing loud and clear from health care workers that they are worried about ebola and do not feel prepared to take care of a patient with the disease.

Frieden said the Centers for Disease Control team currently on the ground in Dallas is making sure those caring for Ms. Pham do so safely and effectively.

He said putting a more robust infection control team in place when the first patient was diagnosed in Dallas might have prevented her from getting infected.

At least 75 other health care workers who might have come into contact with Duncan are being monitored for fever or other symptoms.

Another 48 people exposed to Duncan before he was hospitalized have passed the period of greatest risk, and Frieden said they are now unlikely to develop Ebola.

Still, Frieden issues an ominous warning.

"We are planning for the possibility of additional cases in the next couple days."

At the same time, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell expressed confidence that the virus will be contained

"We know how to stop this.  We have seen this disease since it was first discovered in the 1970's, and we have seen it stopped.  We do know what protocols to use and how they work,” said the secretary.

U.S. hospitals unprepared,
nurses tell national union

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The largest union representing nurses across the United States, National Nurses United, says a survey of its members shows most U.S. hospitals are not adequately prepared to deal with ebola.  The diagnosis of a second nurse with ebola at a Dallas hospital has energized nurses nationwide to demand action.

In a conference call with 7,000 member nurses, National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro read a letter the organization sent to President Barack Obama, asking him to invoke his executive authority to make hospitals nationwide ready for ebola.

“Not one more nurse, not one more patient, not one more health care worker should be put at risk due to the lack of health care facility preparedness.  The United States should be setting the example on how to contain and eradicate the ebola virus,” said Ms. DeMoro.

According to a survey of members conducted by the union, 85 percent of American hospitals have not provided staff with adequate training on how to deal with ebola, and 40 percent lack simple safety devices like masks to protect the eyes of nurses working with ebola patients.

During the call-in session, Yadira Cabrera, a nurse in El Paso, Texas, said hospitals have engaged in more talk about preparedness than concrete action. “Hospitals may say they are ready, but my experience is that they are not.  What we have seen, for example, is that we received training of approximately 10 minutes regarding ebola and not given an interactive type of training, which is what we have demanded,” said Ms. Cabrera.

She said handing someone a pamphlet and referring them to a Web site is not good enough to prepare nurses to deal with the deadly virus.

Nurses from around the country told similar stories, saying that many hospitals are not ready to deal with contaminated bed sheets, clothing and other items that could spread the disease throughout the hospital and beyond. A caller from New York City said only one large hospital there is fully prepared to handle an ebola case, and that nurses in many smaller hospitals would be at risk if an ebola patient were to arrive.

The nurses objected to statements by officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control suggesting that the infected nurses in Dallas had breached protocol.  They say there was no protocol to breach, and they provided examples of actions taken by hospital officials that put both health care workers and patients at risk.

Among other things, they said the protective gowns and masks were inadequate, that rules on such things as the wearing of protective shields over shoes changed from one day to the next, that the ebola-infected patient was kept in an emergency room area with other patients and staff for hours before being put in isolation, and that bodily fluid samples from the patient were sent through the hospital’s pneumatic tube system, potentially contaminating it.

Voice of America photo
Atheists gather for the Sunday assembly

Atheist group resembles
typical community church

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, decided to create one.

Their Sunday Assembly movement,  something like church, they say, but without God, has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of congregations around the world.

The Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee, meets once a month. A recent gathering, on a warm Sunday morning in a downtown park, had the look and feel of church. There were songs, all Beatles tunes on this day, special readings, a message, even an offering at the end of the service.  Original Nashville Assembly member Landry Butler says that is intentional: church provides a great model for building a sense of community.

“That has a powerful way of bringing people together for the common good and focusing that energy. So we wanted to use that as a model. Because it’s something that people are familiar with.”

And church is especially familiar in this region. Religious participation rates in Tennessee are some of the highest in the nation. So Butler says he’s always surprised at how many believers show up for the atheist service. “They go back to their regular church the other Sundays of the month, and then they come and hang with us when they can.  And that’s been a good way of sort of bridging those two communities.”

That gap between believers and atheists has always been tense and sometimes hostile, but Butler says the Assembly isn’t interested in conflict.

“There are a lot of atheists out there who like to beat up on religious people, and we’re not about that. We want to be all inclusive.”

A good example of that inclusiveness plays out regularly at a local homeless shelter. Volunteers from the Sunday Assembly routinely help serve meals at Room-in-the-Inn, a Christian ministry that serves Nashville’s homeless. The group prepares the food, serves it, and interacts with the men and women who show up for a hot meal. Elvis Wilson says one of the Sunday Assembly’s core values is help often.

“As an atheist, I want people to know that I care and that we have moral values," he explained. "We live in the now. We want to make sure that people are treated with respect and well taken care of.”

The Sunday Assembly movement has experienced phenomenal growth. At the end of September, more than 30 new assemblies met on a single Sunday. Founders Jones and Evans are now in the process of crowd-funding a Web site that they hope will tie the global movement together. 

Venezuela likely to win
U.N. Security Council seat

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.N. General Assembly will elect five new members to the Security Council today, each for a two-year term.

The outcome is mostly pre-determined before the ballots are cast. Regional groups decide which country to put up as their candidate, eliminating competition.

This year, the African Group has chosen Angola, the Latin American and Caribbean States have picked Venezuela, and Asia and the Pacific Islanders have put forward Malaysia. As long as these three candidates earn two-thirds of the voting countries’ ballots, they will join the council on Jan. 1.

The only question mark over the outcome is in the group known as Western Europe and Other. WEOG, as it is known, is not a strictly regional group, as it includes far-flung members such as Britain, Canada, Australia and Israel. In that bloc, Turkey, Spain and New Zealand are contesting two available Council seats.

The winners will replace outgoing members Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.

Carne Ross, executive editor of Independent Diplomat and a past member of Britain’s U.N. delegation, said getting elected to the U.N.’s most powerful body is very much about a country’s individual relations with other states, and whether a candidate can get them to commit their vote.

“This election is often seen, rather simplistically, as a kind of beauty contest for the popularity of particular countries. But actually under the surface, a lot of how it is determined is a lot to do with vote swapping between countries - you vote for me on this and I’ll vote for your judge on the ICJ [International Court of Justice] or other international bodies -- there is a lot of that going on,” said Ross.

Ross observes that once on the Security Council, states usually keep their own national interests in mind when negotiating and casting votes.

“I hope it’s different. The council really works when diplomats think carefully about the needs of the situation on the ground, and don’t follow their ideological prejudices,” said Ross.

Of the 10 non-permanent Council members, Ross said, although he knows it sounds cynical, his experience has showed him it is difficult to make a real difference.

“Because the reality is there are five countries that matter in the Security Council, and not one of them is elected. It is the Permanent Five. They decide what goes in and out of the council, what decisions it makes about more or less everything,” said Ross.

Whichever five countries succeed in their quest for Security Council seats, there will be no shortage of problems awaiting their attention. The council oversees matters of international peace and security, and has been grappling with an unprecedented number of crises recently in Africa, the Middle East, Ukraine and the global response to the ebola virus.

New council members will join the permanent five members - China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States - and five other non-permanent members - Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.
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The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
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western Central Valley.
Great climate
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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:

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Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office  with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

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  or call Nate @ 8635-9320.
From the US call 209-482-1788.
Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
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: 2446-5587.

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   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!


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


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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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.

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:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 205
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
The body in Barranca was not yet cold

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Irish saying is "May you be in Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead."

The Costa Rica version is "Don't tell anyone you're dead."

That is one reason why the Costa Rican media usually do not publish obituaries, at least until after the funeral.

Empty homes while the family members are at the funeral prove to be easy pickings for burglars.

That was proven true in an unusual way Tuesday in  Barranca, Puntarenas. Fuerza Pública officers detained an 18 year old who is being accused of breaking into a home shortly after the occupant was gunned down in the street. Investigators do not believe the thief was the gunman.

The victim of the shooting was identified by the last name of Garcia. He died about 400 meters from his home in the Urbanización Juanito Mora in Barranca. He was additionally identified as an ex-convict.

The theft suspect, identified by the last name of Gómez, came into police hands in the patio of a neighboring house. A hole had been chopped into the security wall at the rear of the ex-convict's home.

Old aduana scam still works well

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

People still are falling for the old aduana scam.

Judicial agents in Heredia detained a man Wednesday morning. They

said he was involved in luring scam victims with the possibility of getting expensive items cheaply.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that at least four persons fell for the scam and there may be many more.

Judicial agents said the scam worked like this:

Fraudsters would place  advertising on the Internet offering items at a low cost. They included quadracycles, containers of lumber, jet skis and similar.

When a caller contacted the fraudster, he would tell them that he was an employee at the nation's customs agency and that the items for sale are those that had been

aduana case
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Scam suspect is on his way to court.
abandoned there or could not be claimed by the owners because of cost.

The fraudster or fraudsters used the name  Víctor Urrutia, judicial agents said.

Those who fell for the scheme were invited to meet someone at a designated place. When they arrived and then balked at paying money without seeing the merchandise, a fraudster would pull a gun and take their money.

Those who blindly paid the money and then showed up at the aduana warehouse found out they had been scammed. The paperwork was fake, as was the name  Víctor Urrutia

This is a scam that probably is as old as the customs agency.

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From Page 7:

solar home
Solar Decathlon graphic                             
This is the Tropika house built by the Costa Rican students

Building competition team to be honored

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those university students who constructed a house for the  Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, France, did not come home empty-handed. The project was designed by the public as the favorite house.

The students at  Tecnológico de Costa Rica had constructed the solar home here, dismantled it and built it again in Europe. They will be honored this morning at the Cartago campus.

The goal was to design and build a sustainable dwelling. In all, 35 students and 20 professors from a number of disciplines were involved in the job.

The European event hosted 20 projects from around the world.