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(506) 2223-1327                                 San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211                                    Email us
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Union march today promotes a socialist state
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A march by unions today begins earlier than normal at 12 points in the Central Valley. The march and general strike also is being characterized as a continuing effort.

This is the march by the highly ideological Colectivo Sindical Latinoamericanista Patria Justa that opposed the container port concession in Limón, salary readjustments by the government and actions on utility rates by the national regulating agency, among other issues.

Unlike the Oct. 16 protest march by the Bloque Unitario Social Sindical Costarricense Patria Justa is in strong opposition to private enterprise, and it sees a conspiracy by the private sector and the media to stifle the working class.

Patria Justa is a version of the existing association of public unions that also is led by Albino Vargas Barrantes, who is secretary general of the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados.

Representatives met with central government officials Thursday without success.

Vargas said Friday he expects a meeting today with President Luis Gullermo Solís at the end of the march, which is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m.

Solís said Sunday that the government would not let critical services be interrupted, but Vargas has listed customs workers at the various seaports and border crossings as participants along with dock workers at Caldera and Limón and even workers at the Ministerio de Hacienda and police forces.

He said at a press conference that municipal workers also were joining the march.

He also promised peaceful marches with the use of passive resistance rather than aggression.

Patria Justa has a vision of Costa Rica where
Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados photo
Albino Vargas outlines strike plans.

most enterprises are owned and operated by the state for the benefit of the workers. The so-called conspiracy are news reports of the high salaries received by some public employees. The salaries are far higher than workers in private enterprise, and this has dominated the newspaper and television reports for weeks.

The high salaries are a result of government negotiators not having an incentive for years to hold the line. Solís has encouraged reviews of these salary and benefit agreements as part of his plan to reduce the budget deficit.

However, union leaders appear to see him as weak. He again offered dialogue Sunday night.

Solís said the strike seeks to justify the unjustifiable, an indefinite strike. As with other protests, marchers will attempt to cause as many problems with the public as possible. Tourists will have trouble today reaching Juan Santamaria airport in the morning as strikers crowd the highways. One unit of strikers is walking from Cartago, and highways there are expected to be affected.

Many schools most certainly will be on a caretaker schedule. Teachers will be in the march.

Today is deadline for Halloween story submissions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is the deadline for submissions to A.M. Costa Rica's Halloween story contest.

Readers are invited to submit a Halloween story related to Costa Rica. Stories should be 1,000 words or less.
And editors will publish
the Halloween stories this week. Stories will be judged by professional writers, and the winner will get $100 via Pay Pal.

By submitting the stories, the authors give A.M. Costa Rica the non-exclusive right to publish them. Send your story to

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211
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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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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DR. Cavallini
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Dr. Gray
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Insurance professionals

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Ms. Summers
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Legal services

Valdivieco header
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your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
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Real Estate Closing Services
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Water well
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is digging this well in conjunction with the Municipalidad de Bagaces and the Asociación Administradora del Acueducto y Alcantarillado Sanitario de Guayabo. The Guanacaste area has been hit hard by the drought, and this well is expected to service 4,500 persons.

Comedian wins Guatemalan presidency

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A former television comedian with no political experience was the victor in Sunday's election for Guatemala's next president.

Jimmy Morales easily won the country's top office after a corruption scandal toppled the country's last leader and fueled voter outrage with the political establishment.

The conservative Morales started the race with just 0.5 percent support back in April.

Playing up his outsider status and promising clean government, Morales surged in opinion polls after a probe into a multi-million dollar customs racket led to the resignation and arrest of President Otto Pérez, who is awaiting trial on corruption charges.

With 94 percent of the polling stations reporting, Morales won 69 percent of the votes against 31 percent for former first lady Sandra Torres who also vowed to tackle corruption, but was seen by many as part of the old political order.

Pérez is accused of masterminding a corrupt network of politicians and customs officials that allowed businesses to pay bribes to get illegal discounts on import duties.

Prosecutors and United Nations investigators say the network collected $3.8 million in bribes between May 2014 and April 2015, including $800,000 each to Pérez and jailed ex-vice president Roxana Baldetti.

The scandal, the worst in a string of recent corruption cases, has created an unprecedented climate of outrage in Guatemala, an impoverished Central American country torn by gang violence and still recovering from a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996.

Results in Haiti expected next month

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Haitians went to the polls Sunday to select a new president from the more than 50 candidates running for the country's top office.

Two candidates have emerged as serious contenders in the race, Jude Celestin, who was eliminated from the second round in the controversial 2010 vote following a recount and Maryse Narcisse, a physician who has the backing of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

A runoff presidential vote will be held in December.

In addition to choosing a new president, voters also cast ballots for lawmakers and local officials.

The voting was mostly orderly and not marred by violence like the parliamentary elections in August.  Thousands of Haitian police and a United Nations peacekeeping force were deployed around the country Sunday to insure a peaceful vote.

Results are expected in early November.

Runoff seems certain in Argentina

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The polls leading up to Argentina's presidential election Sunday got it all wrong.  Numerous surveys indicated ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's chosen successor, would win enough votes for an outright victory.

Instead, 56-year-old Mauricio Macri, the center-right mayor of Buenos Aires and former boss of the popular football club, Boca Juniors, won 35.2 percent of the vote to Scioli's 35.9 percent, with 86 percent of the polling stations reporting, virtually insuring the country's first-ever run-off election Nov. 22.

"What happened today changes the politics of this country," Macri told his supporters late Sunday. Macri wants to lift capital controls and trade restrictions to win investor confidence and bring hard currency into the dollar-starved economy.

Scioli has vowed to uphold the core elements of Kirchnerism, a populist creed built around trade protectionism, social welfare and defense of the working classes. The 58-year-old Buenos Aires provincial governor and power boating fanatic who lost his right arm in a 1989 racing accident, also promised a change in style to attract more investment and increase productivity, and has assembled an economic team of free-market advocates.  He talked of a more gradual approach to monetary reform, while maintaining a generous social welfare safety net.

Under Argentine electoral law, in order to win outright in the first round a candidate must claim more than 45 percent of the vote, or at least 40 percent with a margin of 10 points over the runner-up.

Canadian whale-watching tour boat sinks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Several people are dead after a whale-watching boat sank Sunday afternoon off Canada's west coast.

It is not yet clear what caused the boat to go down near Tofino, British Columbia, with 27 people on board.

The British Columbia Coroner's Service said multiple people were dead, but did not give an exact total.  Several people were rescued from the water. 

Anti-corruption plan followup set

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras of the Organization of American States will travel to the Central American country during the second week of November to continue to define the details of its work plan in a new round of exchanges with various social, economic, and political sectors.

The hemispheric organization proposed Sept. 28 to President Juan Orlando Hernández a plan to combat corruption and impunity.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes R­o Colorado S.A 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

Don't miss our restaurant specials HERE!
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211
Real Estate
About us
Big whoops
in Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Presumed smugglers overturned their 20-foot boat off Punta Burica in extreme southwest Costa Rica, and the  Ministerio de Seguridad Pública said that the crew of one of its planes spotted packages floating away from the craft.

Evenually the Policía de Fronteras and the Policía de Control de Drogas recovered 369 kilos of cocaine hidden in the boat when it was brought to shore. One man, a Colombian, was detained at the scene. Two others, shoeless and wet, came into police hands near Pavones. They, too, were Colombians.

One of the men has a record of drug trafficking in the United States, officials said.
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Rio Claro woman gunned down in her own home by ex-boyfriend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A former companion forced his way into a home in Río Claro early Sunday, chased his ex-girlfriend into the bathroom where he shot her twice in the head.

Then he tried to kill the new man in her life but missed.

The gunman, identified with the last name of Calvo drove to a nearby bridge and hung himself, said the Judicial

Investigating Organization. He was 53.

The dead woman was identified by the last name of  Kraemer. She was 43, agents said.

Investigators said that the couple had a 7-year-old child, but it was not immediately made clear if the child also was in the house where the shooting took place.

They had separated some months ago, investigators said.

Prosecutors seek yet another murder trial for Ann Patton Bender
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A family member says that the Costa Rican judiciary have filed an appeal against the acquittal of Ann Patton Bender in the death of her husband.

If the appeals court grants the motion the subsequent trial will be the fourth for the woman. The grounds for the appeal were not yet available, but prosecutors promised an appeal as they started the third trial in August in Pérez Zeledón.

Mrs. Patton left the country after her second acquittal.

Mrs. Bender, a U.S. citizen, went through three trials for the 2010 shooting death of her husband, multimillionaire John Bender, also a U.S. citizen. The husband and wife were alone in their five-story 8,000-square-foot glass-walled showplace mansion when Bender died.

The prosecution claims Mrs. Bender shot him. She has testified that she was struggling with him to prevent the suicide when the firearm went off.

The Benders usually carried weapons because their 5,000-acre  private wildlife refuge in La Florida de Barú was plagued by poachers and others.

A.M. Costa Rica proudly presents
three new members of our hotel directory:


Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211
Real Estate
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Rotary Club in Playa Jacó readies for last push against dreaded polio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

When the global polio eradication initiative launched in 1988, the wild polio virus existed in 125 countries. Now, it exists in two.

A lot of the success can be credited to the Rotary Club, which worldwide has raised an astounding $1.2 billion and donated countless volunteer hours.

Among those involved in the fight are members of the Rotary Club of Garabito-Playa Jacó, which plans a benefit Friday at the Green Room Restaurant in Jacó Beach at 6 p.m.

The Green Room will donate a portion of their profit to the polio fund, said Thomas Ghormley, club president.

Three years ago, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, was the reservoir of more than half of the polio cases in the world. Then the country's leaders, health workers and volunteers worked out a way to vaccinate even those children in areas where there was fighting. This year, the World Health Organization removed Nigeria from the list of polio endemic countries, the organization notes. 

Polio, the dreaded crippler and killer, is a painful memory for those older than 55 years. It was in 1955 when Jonas Salk announced his vaccine.

Three years earlier a U.S. polio epidemic killed 3,145 and left 21,269 persons crippled.

An epidemic in Costa Rica in 1953 was directly responsible for founding the Hospital Nacional de Niños.  Ghormley notes that the Rotary Club was there, too.

More than 2,000 Costa Rican children suffered serious crippling because of the disease in 1953. Carlos Saenz Herrera and Roberto Ortiz Brenes, both physicians, created the Asociación Pro-Hospital Nacional de Niños. The association generated enough funds to open the hospital in 1964, which celebrated its 51st anniversary in May.

World Polio Day, which was Friday, follows a succession of significant developments that have made 2015 one of the most important years in the history of the polio eradication initiative, said the organization.

What started out as a program at one organization has become a global movement. The World Health Organzation, the United Nations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others have joined Rotary as part of a global polio eradication initiative.

Polio poster
Promotional poster for the dinner Friday

The combined efforts have produced a 99 percent decrease in the number of polio cases.

Jay Wenger, director of the polio program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said, "We’re down to one epidemiological block, the Afghanistan-Pakistan cluster. That’s the only place in the world where the wild polio virus still lives, and if we could knock it out there, we’re finished with wild polio virus."

In Pakistan, attacks on polio workers have horrified the world, but Rotary's Carol Pandak said all polio workers now work on a local level so they are known in their communities.

"There’s truly a coordinated effort" among the polio partners, government workers and "thousands and thousands of health workers that are out there immunizing children," she said.

The main challenge is to vaccinate children who are chronically missed, according to Ms. Pandak. "There’s a real focus on finding those children in those remaining pockets that have been inaccessible or are missed for whatever reason," she said.

Another challenge is complacency. When the virus disappears from a region, parents become complacent about vaccinations. Despite having enough vaccine on hand, only 14 percent of children were vaccinated this year in Ukraine.

Ms. Pandak, who heads the Rotary program, said that in Ukraine, the issue is convincing Ukrainian parents to have their children immunized when the vaccine is made available.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com


Mar de
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email: info@mardeluz.com.  Web page: www.mardeluz.com.

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email: info@hotelplayabejuco.com   Web page www.hotelplayabejuco.com.

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Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

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  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
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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.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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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.

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, 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. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.

Unfurnished 400-sq. ft. apartment, with modern kitchen, located on beautiful Junquillal Beach is waiting for you. Sea Turtles are common to this beach. Great area for surfing one of C.R.'s premier surf spots or boogie boarding. Close to a market, restaurants and more touristy areas - Playa Negra and Tamarindo, if you want shopping, etc. This area is a great community. If you are looking for a nice relaxing area, this is it. $500 month + electric, visit our Web page - plumitapacifica.com  - for more info, photos and to view a video. Or call (506) 5004-3473.

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
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339     

Real estate for rent

house for rent
Beautiful fully furnished house for rent
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, fully furnished $800 + electric, includes cable TV, Wifi, Internet. Inside gated property close to town. Contact organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com.

Coco rental
For Rent: Terms negotiable (long term)
Available immediately. Rural, secure (24/7) gated community. 20 minutes from Playas del Coco and only 7 minutes. from Playa Matapalo (think RIU Hotel).  Two-story, 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home with pool, carport, wifi and access to the community pool and workout center. $1,100 USD plus utilities. (Agents: flat fee)  Contact: Wanda R Dunn at 8337-0032 or 1-610-732-3204 from U.S. wandardunn1562@yahoo.com
DunnRight Property Management, Lomas del Mar

Oganic farm rental
2 bedroom, 1 bath, $700 includes electric, water, cable, Internet & WiFi. Fully furnished. Inside gated property close to town, Santa Bárbara de Heredia. No dogs please.

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

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 foot 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 installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com  Check out slide show HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211
Real Estate
About us

Poland's opposition party
wins parliamentary control

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Poland's socially conservative euro-skeptic Law and Justice Party claimed victory Sunday in parliamentary polls, after months of campaigning on promises of more welfare spending, opposition to the euro currency and vows to oppose the resettlement of Muslim migrants in Polish territory.

Exit polls showed the victors, led by former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, winning just over 39 percent of the vote, with the ruling pro-European, pro-business Civic Platform Party running a distant second at 23 percent.  A short while after poll results were released, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz conceded defeat.    

If the exit poll data holds as vote counting continues, Law and Justice will seat an absolute majority of 242 lawmakers in the 460-member lower house of parliament, and 58-year-old Beata Szydlo will become the country's next prime minister.

During the months-long campaign, Law and Justice also promised to reverse an unpopular hike in the retirement age and implement tax breaks for struggling families.  Its candidates also promised to raise taxes on foreign-owned banks and cut taxes to smaller local businesses.

Opinion polls have for months shown the incumbent party of Prime Minister Kopacz in trouble, following the surprise election defeat last May of incumbent Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, a strong Kopacz ally. 

That win came as controversy continued to swirl over last year's release of secretly recorded conversations between Komorowski and Kopacz allies, in which the participants debated the merits of political deal making with lobbyists and business people.

Analysts say the election likely signals that Poland will close ranks with Hungary and Slovakia in opposing the relocation of migrants, most of them Syrians, who have flooded the European continent in recent months to escape war in their homeland.

Law and Justice campaigners argued the Muslim migrants could threaten Poland's Roman Catholic way of life, while Kaczynski earlier this month warned that they could bring disease and parasites with them.

The Law and Justice Party last held power from 2005 to 2007, when Kaczynski governed alongside his twin brother, former president Lech Kaczynski.   The president died in a plane crash in western Russia in 2010.

Blair apologized on TV
for Iraq invasion mistakes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized for what he calls mistakes made during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

In an interview with CNN, Blair also cited that military intervention as a trigger for current conflicts in the region, including the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

"Of course you can't say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015,'' he said.

While critical of the flawed information on weapons of mass destruction that led to the invasion, as well as "for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime" of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Blair did not fully apologize for the war.

"I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he's not there than that he is there," he said.

Britain committed the second-largest number of troops to the invasion – 45,000. They joined nearly 150,000 American soldiers and several thousand more from Australia, Spain and Poland.

Of the British forces, 179 were killed during the conflict.

Trump says he'd prefer
world with two dictators

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The world would be a better place if dictators such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi were still in power, top Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump said in comments aired Sunday.

Calling Iraq the Harvard of terrorism, Trump told CNN's "State of the Union" the country had turned into a training ground for terrorists.

"People are getting their heads chopped off. They are being drowned. Right now it is far worse than ever under Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi," Trump said, adding the countries would be less fractured had the two dictators stayed in power.

Trump said the Middle East blew up around U.S. President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his biggest Democratic rival in the White House race.

The Republican front-runner also criticized the decision to invade Iraq by former U.S. president George W. Bush in 2003, based on faulty intelligence reports the country had unconventional weapons.

Saddam, the former Iraqi president, was toppled in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and was executed in 2006.

Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for four decades, was ousted and slain in October 2011.

While Trump still leads in national polls, a new CBS News survey shows him tied with Republican candidate Ben Carson at 27 percent in the early selection state of Iowa.

Two other polls released last week showed Carson pulling ahead of Trump in Iowa.

Conservative bishops decline
to back pope's call on doctrine

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis said Saturday that a strongly divided gathering of bishops called to soften church doctrine on divorce, unmarried couples and homosexuals laid bare what he called "the closed hearts which frequently hide behind the church's teachings and good intentions."

The pontiff's forceful critique of ultraconservative bishops came at the Vatican at the close of a three-week synod that saw conservatives resist papal calls to make the 1.2 billion-member church more welcoming and inclusive to gays and to divorcees who have remarried outside the church.

Francis accused those bishops of judging, "sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families."

Conservatives opposed to the pope's overtures toward marginalized Catholics successfully resisted wholesale changes to doctrine that would allow remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Instead, the synod's final recommendations spoke of an internal forum in which a priest or a bishop may work with a Catholic who has divorced and remarried to decide jointly, privately and on a case-by-case basis whether he or she can be fully reintegrated into the church.

"In order for this happen, the necessary conditions of humility, discretion, love for the church and her teachings must be guaranteed in a sincere search for God's will," the document said.

Progressives have for years been advocating the internal forum, and some observers said the mere fact that the phrase was included in the document was a victory for those promoting merciful change.

But the three paragraphs addressing the Communion issue barely won the two-thirds majority needed for approval.

Francis has in the past voiced concern for divorced and remarried Catholics, who under church law cannot receive Communion or participate fully in church life until their previous marriages are annulled. The church teaches that marriage is indissoluble and that those remarrying without an annulment are committing the sin of adultery.

On the issue of homosexuality, the final synod document restated church teachings that gays should not suffer discrimination in society, but also repeated the stand that there was no foundation whatsoever for same-sex marriage, which could not even remotely be compared to heterosexual unions.

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said that many of the 270 bishops in attendance felt that any official change in church views on homosexuality was too delicate a theme to impose on the faithful in their respective countries. African bishops were particularly forceful in their opposition to welcoming language toward gays, who are often victims of violence and discrimination in their African homelands.

At a preliminary meeting a year ago, conservative clerics made sure an interim report deleted a passage they thought was too welcoming to gays.

The synod is an advisory body that does not have the authority to change church doctrine. But the pope can use synod findings as a basis for his own writings, known as apostolic exhortations.

Ryan likely to be elected
House speaker this week

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A month-long leadership crisis in the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to end this week with the election of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan as speaker.

Ryan would succeed John Boehner, who announced his resignation from Congress last month after years of often-futile attempts to unify warring factions within his Republican caucus.

"This is not a job I ever wanted or I ever sought,” said Ryan, slated to become the first reluctant House speaker in modern American history.

He is no stranger to the national stage, having served as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012. And, he is no stranger to the workings of Congress, having co-authored a 2013 fiscal deal with Democrats that limits federal spending to this day.

Young, telegenic and articulate, Ryan advocates bedrock Republican principles while conveying optimism, sincerity and no meanness of spirit.

“I still think we are an exceptional country with exceptional people and a republic clearly worth fighting for,” said Ryan last week. “It’s not too late to save the American idea, but we are running out of time.

"Make no mistake: I believe that the ideas and principles of results-driven, common-sense conservatism are the keys to a better tomorrow, a tomorrow in which all of God’s children will be better off than they are today,” he added.

“I think Paul Ryan would make a great speaker,” Boehner said days ago. “He works hard, very bright, and he has good relationships, I think, with all the wings of the party.”

Ryan said he would only serve as speaker if Republicans unified behind him.  That unity will be put to the test almost immediately with critical votes on matters such as raising the federal government’s borrowing limit by November 3 or risk a U.S. debt default.

“It’s as serious as it gets for our economy, for interest rates. This has a direct impact on the lives of the American people,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi who, like President Barack Obama, is demanding a conditions-free hike of the debt ceiling.

Ryan will have to contend with the same ultra-conservative Republican faction that bedeviled Boehner’s leadership with demands of a no-holds-barred opposition to Obama’s agenda and a focus on shrinking the size of government at all costs.

Ryan shares such policy goals but will be constrained as speaker by current political realities, according to his allies.

“Divided government is very difficult. It’s frustrating,” said Rep. Joe Pitts, another Republican. “But it’s what the American people have given us.”

Ryan is expected to be endorsed by the House Republican caucus Wednesday, and elected speaker by the full House Thursday.

Texas and México continue
feeling power of hurricane

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Heavy rains are expected to diminish in Southeast Texas after the remnants of Hurricane Patricia combined with a powerful storm system that has flooded roads in the state and caused a freight train to derail.

The focus Sunday was along the state’s Gulf Coast. Areas near Houston received up to 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain Saturday and forecasters warned of flooding with the potential for another 10 centimeters (4 inches) before dry weather moves in today.​

Mayor Annise Parker warned residents to stay away from wet roads after dark and be aware of flash floods. No one was reported hurt, but several motorists were stranded.

Forecasters said Houston and Galveston remained under a flash flood watch through this morning.

In Galveston, authorities urged voluntary evacuation of the elderly and residents with medical issues on the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston Bay.

The storms could hinder transportation to and from the peninsula. Power outages are also possible as a result of gale force winds, authorities said.

Meanwhile, the storm system that had been dumping rain on parts of Texas since Friday caused flooding that blocked several major roadways and caused the derailment of a train.

A Union Pacific freight train derailed before dawn Saturday near Corsicana, about 50 miles south of Dallas, because a creek overflowed and washed away the tracks, said Jeff DeGraff, a railroad spokesman. The two crew members swam to safety and nobody was hurt, he said.

One of the hardest-hit areas has been the town of Corsicana, about 90 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Dallas, where more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain has fallen since Thursday.

Also, there were no reports of injuries from Mexico’s Jalisco state where Hurricane Patricia came ashore as the strongest storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Patricia made landfall Friday along Mexico's Pacific Coast as a Category 5 storm.

The hurricane struck a sparsely populated stretch of the coast and quickly dissipated Saturday.

The popular beach city of Puerto Vallarta and the port city of Manzanillo were spared the brunt of the violent weather.

Authorities had relocated coastal residents, evacuated tourists and closed seaports and airports in preparation for the storm that at one point had maximum winds of up to 325 kilometers (202 miles) per hour.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Solar device

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200 liter EZINC Quality Pressurized Thermo-Siphon Solar Hot Water System Designed for the European Market. 

Install EZINC Today... Spend less tomorrow on Solar Electric!

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Pacific Sur montagee

These 2 lots are in the Pacific southern zone,
Tres Rio/Coronado de Osa. 

Will give a great deal on one of these lots, only $29,990.  Both of these lots have water, phone lines, Internet accessibility, electricity, easy 3 kms. access to the Costanera.  2-wheel drive accessible.  Close to new hospital, beautiful beaches and county services.  Financing available.   Lote 234, This corner lote is excellently located in lower Tres Rios.  Has 2 well-sculptured lots for 2 houses or one for multiunit cabins.  Lote 236,  1 1/2 hectare.  Big lote for building a grand house, with a smaller plantel for a cabin.  Small ocean view with great sunsets.  Watch the videos for more information, Planos,  and details.   Email: escapetyranny2cr@gmail.com. CR phone   2786-5555. USA call  760-536-4717 YouTube link for more real estate deals. 

property montage
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email: hfonseca24@gmail.com

Escazu villa
Escazú villa. spectacular 360 degree city and mountain views.
Enjoy the sunsets along with the sunrise

There are special properties, which are more than mere houses. Where you can appreciate moments where you build memories. Relaxing reading in the garden of 5000 sq. m. Places to enjoy moments with family or friends with large heated pool. Beautiful city views of San José with mountain view. Places, where you can enjoy the comforting warmth of the sun throughout the day with cool nights of living 1,300 meters up on your own Mountain Noel. You are away from all the noise of San José, yet you are only 15 minutes drive there. Costa Rica largest mall is also only 15-minutes drive away.
The main house four bedrooms with four bathrooms, large office with built-in wood cabinets, and beautiful hardwood ceilings throughout the whole house. The main house is 330 sq. m. For your guest, there is a self-contained apartment of 100 sq. m. consisting of two bedrooms and two baths. Nice layout with a living room and dining room and kitchen all have views. For being so near to the city and to have that much land is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The selling price is land value will throw in the house and the apartment. Price is $690,000. Contact jamescorreo@gmail.com.

Osa home
Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Beach House For Sale
Tropical 5-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, South Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact: osaroger@gmail.com
Watch this video for full details.


Hill Villa Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica
Property size: 3405.14 sq. mtrs or 37,000 sq. feet
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric-gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceilings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a doubled car electric garage door. There is also a beautiful large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furniture included. Photo gallery click here: www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX    Contact Jack  Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca   Cell: (506) 8812-1789

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!

Real estate services
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 211
Real Estate
About us

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
Insupportable angle means blocked gutter

We live on one of those unlivable roads here in Costa Rica. You know the kind I am talking about: mainly rocks and ruts with a few holes thrown in for good measure. The kind of road that's great for horses, cattle, and ox carts, but not so great for cars. Well, they decided to fix ours. That should have me jumping for joy, right? Not so much. I had a
Victoria torley
lot of plants along the road, about a half kilometers worth, and some of them have been ripped up. I can live with that, we have lots of plants. The problem is drainage ditches.

Drainage ditches, for those of you who are thinking about having some dug, should not have straight
up and down sides. If they do, it means that there will be a lot of dirt washing off the sides and into the ditch, filling it rapidly or at least impeding the flow of water. The sides might even fall directly into the ditch blocking it completely. The sides of a ditch, like the sides of the road, should be sloped at the angle of repose.

The angle of repose, the angle at which the dirt, properly seeded will not fall into the ditch or road, is different for each type of dirt, but lets take a nice angle of 30 degrees as an example, the angle of a steeply sloped lawn. Chances are that it will stick around instead of sliding downhill.

Now look at the roadside as you drive. See any nice 30-degree slopes? I haven't. I have seen a lot of 60 degree and 80 degree and even some close to 90 degree but not roadsides that match the angle of repose.

It's a small problem for me. My gardener and I are pulling rocks out of the piled up dirt and planting vetiver grass and maní to hold what is left (see prior columns for information on both these plants). It's time consuming, but we think it will be effective. No, the problem comes when the sides of a main road are set at insupportable angles. That's when we have events like landslides that block roads or the landslide that killed a father and son last year. That's when there is a problem.

Most of us can't, of course, re-contour the land we live on, but we can plant things with deep roots and we can do something about the edges of our property that border roads. We can change the slope near the road and plant it with shrubs and grasses that will hold the soil. If we do that, the future will hold a lot more gardening and a lot less digging out ditches.


Plant of the Week
This is the costus pictus (local name unknown) that I found in my understory garden. If you are lucky enough to find one, you should know that it is supposed to grow from cuttings. The plant is about 0.5 meters tall (19 inches), a single stem with a whorl of leaves at the top.  One or two flowers at a time emerge from a cone-like structure at the top. The pictus likes a moist shady area.  The plant is reported to have antidiabetic properties.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arenal-Gardeners/413220712106845

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From Page 7:

U.S. interest rate hike might be delayed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. central bank may have missed the opportunity to raise record low interest rates last month. And some economists say it’s beginning to look less likely this year.

The October issue of the Levy Forecast by economist David Levy warns “the global economy is in the process of entering a recession.”  It’s a frightening prospect that Levy says depends largely on slowing growth in emerging market economies, particularly China.

Levy says if a rate hike does occur this year, a rate cut will soon follow.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen expressed less incendiary concerns last month when she announced no change in record low interest rates, which have hovered near zero since December 2008.

At a press conference immediately after the September meeting, Ms. Yellen said it remained unclear what impact recent market turmoil caused by uncertainty over China’s economy might have on the world’s largest economy.

The Federal Open Market Committee will meet again this week to discuss a possible rate hike.

The Fed has not ruled out a modest increase this year, but in a keynote speech at the annual meeting of the National Association of Business Economics, Federal Reserve Board governor Lael Brainard warned that raising rates too soon might hurt the US recovery.

The Fed’s monetary policy support since the end of the recession in 2008 has led to an increase in liquidity and a sharp reduction to near zero in the federal funds rate, the interest the Fed charges banks on overnight loans. 

Low interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing, giving businesses an incentive to invest and expand their operations.  It also helps consumers by giving them the ability to purchase goods at lower cost.