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(506) 2223-1327                                   Published Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 217                        Email us
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Notary dues frozen since 1998: Victims out in cold
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Managers of the nation's notary registry have ignored the law and not raised monthly dues since 1998. That means that a large pot of money that should be available to pay victims of notary fraud and other illegal activities just does not exist.

The Dirección Nacional de Notariado, the national notary directorate, is part of the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz. The national registry is part of the same organization. It has not increased the legal dues to its membership since 1998.  Dues were enacted by Law 7764 to be accumulated into a fund, in part, to protect innocent people from member wrongdoings, including, but not limited to, property fraud transactions.

Currently, the organization is giving out identification numbers in the range of 17,000 for new notaries but there are only around 10,000 practicing today. They must pay 7,016 colons per month or about $13 dollars at today’s exchange rate. As of today, 970 are past due on their dues. This amount sums up to an estimated $107,000.  On an average, past due notaries are behind eight months. A full list can be found at the Dirección Nacional De Notariado Web site.

Until recently, even past due notaries have been able to carry out their functions without too much difficulty.  The problem is that some professionals are crooked. They have been involved in scams where they have notarized forged signatures of living and dead people to transfer property illegally.

Becoming a notary is an additional step when studying law in Costa Rica. An attorney does not have to be a notary to practice law in this country, but a notary needs to be an attorney.  Notaries are persons legally empowered to witness and certify the validity of documents. They also prepare affidavits referred to as actas.

Almost every legal document in Costa Rica is prepared by a notary and put in his or her actas book, called a protocolo. This is because a Costa Rican notary has public faith given to them by the country. They earn this status by going to law school, passing tests for notaries and doing additional work for two years. In other words, because of their power, whatever they transcribe is the legal binding truth to the best of their knowledge. 

The notary for a historical record sends these actas to the national archive from time to time. They are not registered in the national registry, as many people believe. What is filed there is a testimony of the notary.

Allan Garro of Garro Law did an extensive study and found the Dirección Nacional de Notariado is not adhering to the law in his opinion. He said he feels this contributes to some notaries practicing the profession that would not be doing so if notary dues adhered to the original law.

He said in an interview that Law 7764 was enacted on Nov. 22, 1998.  Notary dues were tied to the base salary of a judicial  office worker, class one.
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The law stated that the dues would not be more than one-twelfth of the base salary per month. In 1998, the salary was 84,200 colons, thus the monthly dues for a notary would have been one-twelfth of that amount or 7,016 colons.  This has not changed in 16 years and stands at that amount today.

“The law is clear,” Garro said. “Notary dues should be indexed to the base salary just like many other types of payments and fines.” “Today, the base salary is 399,400 colons, and notaries should be paying 33,283 per month. They are not paying their fair share to help curb notary fraud,” he added.

Garro said he feels many property frauds could be curbed if the notary directorate charged what they should be charging as mandated by the law because it could keep the crooked ones from practicing. He may be correct. Many of the cases that have reached court involved a notary who was either suspended or in arrears with the dues.

In theory, the maximum payout out of the compensation fund is 200 basic salaries. Currently a basic salary is 399,400 colons as stated above or at the current exchange rate of 535 colons to the U.S. dollar: $745.  This means the payout could be as much as $149,000.

However, the directorate is using 84,200 colons for its base or $157. A notary working 16 years only has $2,512 paid in. The guarantee fund is managed by the Banco de Costa Rica, so with interest the total is around $6,000.  If dues had been indexed as they should have been, the fund would be much larger than it is today and could contribute to paying people who were wronged or lost a substantial amount of money due to a bad apple in the notarial membership.

Indexing is the way Costa Rica keeps many amounts like tax fines pegged to a metric to solve problems with inflation. The metric used here is a salario base or base salary. Most other organizations with amounts calculated based on this metric keep them current, but the Dirección Nacional De Notariado does not.

Garro’s argument may be a good one. If 10 percent of notaries are past due and suspended because of non-payment of their dues, how many would not be practicing if monthly dues were increased from 7,016 to 33,283 colons. This is a 400 percent increase.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at info@crexpertise.com.  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at http://crexpertise.info, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2014. Use without permission prohibited.

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Casa Presidencial will push animal bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Every dog has his day. And cats, too. And the day will be in December when Casa Presidencial has agreed to back a bill that penalized mistreatment of animals.

December is a time when the executive branch controls the legislative agenda.

Animal lovers were at Casa Presidencial Sunday morning to promote the idea to Luis Guillermo Solís. With them were some animals that have experienced ill treatment from humans

The bill has been in the legislative hopper since the last session.


Flurry of quakes reported in metro area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Earthquake detection equipment counted 25 events Saturday, but most were so small that they could not be detected by humans.

The 1:23 a.m. quake was the largest, and the remainder are considered aftershocks. The early morning quake was estimated between 4.3 and 4.2 magnitude.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico said the smallest quake its equipment noted was 0.6 magnitude.

All were in the vicinity of Hatillo, northern Desamparados and  Guácima. No damage was reported.


Contact finally made with missing hikers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those eight lost hikers made contact with search crews Thursday evening and were extracted from the  Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo Friday.

The Cruz Roja said that a search team spent three hours working its way through the jungle before reaching the lost group, mostly of judicial workers. The Cruz Roja said that detonations helped the searchers find the lost hikers. That is  presumed to mean that a judicial worker was firing a sidearm.

Searchers spent 50 hours on the job. They began the search Tuesday morning.

The seven men and a woman entered the park Monday, but did not appear when they were supposed to do so near the Río Sucio..

The Cruz Roja said that one member of the missing party managed to contact a family member to say that all were in good health but that  they could not find their way out of the park. The public employees were on their day off.


Chocolate festival receives a setback

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival suffered a setback Friday when health ministry officials closed down the opening event at the  Hot Rocks Bar & Restaurant in the Caribbean community.

An official concern appears to have been the sale of chocolate products that had not been registered for consumption.

Those involved in the festival said they were unaware that they also needed a permit because of the large gathering. They said that the Ministerio de Salud should not have waited until the last minute to act and should have worked with them to generate the needed permit. One wrote on a social media site that hard drugs are readily available in Puerto Viejo but chocolate appears to be prohibited.

Those in  cacao cultivation had come from distant areas of Costa Rica to attend. Some activities, including tours of local production facilities continued through Sunday.


Private ambulance yields surprise

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers discovered a new twist on smuggling illegals into Costa Rica Friday. They stopped a private ambulance that contained 11 illegal foreigners, including five minors.  The stop was in  Sucre,  Dulce Nombre de San Carlos.

The foreigners were headed to an unspecified location in San Carlos.  All of the illegal  individual were Nicaraguans, police said. The driver was a Costa Rican.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 217  
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Volcán Turrialba continues to concern emergency officials
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some 2,000 mostly dairy cows continue to chew their cud in the proximity of the Turrialba volcano.

Although most humans are prohibited from within six kilometers of the volcano crater, most of the animals have not been moved out. Farmers there have been through volcano scares in the past.

This one may be different than the others. Experts from the Observatorio de Sismológico y Vulcanología said an analysis of material being ejected from the volcano shows up to 10 percent what is being called new material. This suggests that magma is closer to the surface than it has been in the past.

Still the bulk of the emissions from the volcano have been gas and water vapor. There are an average of two eruptions a day in which material is ejected from the crater.

The gas is acidic and causing damage to the vegetables being produced near the volcano, which is east of San José.

Observatorio staffers conducted a flight over the volcano Saturday morning and documented the damage to the trees and other vegetation. Closer to the volcano vegetation is being damaged by the ash. Much of the material was deposited toward the northwest, but emergency commission officials are keeping an eye on the weather because a change in wind can change the direction of the ash dispersal.

Over the weekend the Observatorio asked residents to document the dispersal of ash by reporting via the academic organization's Web page.
volcano
Observatorio de Sismológico y Vulcanología/Dani Moore
This eruption was at 5:34 a.m. Saturday.


Enough residents have fled the volcano area that there are pets on the loose. Animal activists brought 60 kilos of pet food to the the area over the weekend.

Only scientists and dairy farmers are being allowed within a ring of three kilometers around the crater.


No dock strike progress, but new options emerge for the port
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The strike by dockworkers in Limón enters its 13th day today with little likelihood of a quick settlement.

Casa Presidencial revealed Friday that the striking union has rejected a proposal by the government that would have lavished public funds on the central canton of Limón as well as the Moín docks and nearby infrastructure.

Strikers are asking that the central government renegotiate a contract with APM terminals so that the Dutch firm did not have exclusivity over handling containers at the $1 billion port it proposes to build as a concession.

Strikers and their Sindicato de Trabajadores de JAPDEVA have exhausted their legal remedies, but the claim that the contract bestows an illegal monopoly on the Dutch company appears to be something new.

President Luis Guillermo Solís has said the government must adhere to the law and the existing contract. Casa Presidencial seeks a renewal of negotiations.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a proposal for much more work at the docks.
The Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales at the University de Costa Rica held a seminar on a dry canal Friday.

The dry canal, a rail line, would traverse the relatively flat northern part of Costa Rica from Moín to a new port in northwest Costa Rica. The project would compete with the soon-to-be-enlarged Panama Canal. The idea is not new, and government officials have toyed with the idea of a dry canal using the country's existing rail network.

Containers would be unloaded from a ship at one port and transferred by rail to the other port and a waiting ship. Representatives of the Empresa Tren Interoceánico Continental and Americas Gateway Development Corp. Ltda, appeared at the seminar Friday.

The advantage of the project is that the trains would not have to pass through the congested metro area where rail cars compete with autos and buses.

There are other projects. One of course, is the plan by a Chinese businessman to dig a real canal across Nicaragua. Chinese firms also are in discussion in Honduras for a similar project there that would include El Salvador.

The Limón port agency is the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económica de la Vertiente Atlántica, known as JAPADEVA.

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35 years after their ordeal, Iranian hostages still seek compensation
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

They were taken hostage by Iranian student revolutionaries at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held for 444 harrowing days laced with interrogations, beatings, solitary confinement and mock executions.

Now, 35 years later, dozens of Americans and their families still seek redress for their suffering. Many remain frustrated and impatient — not only with the Islamic Republic but with the U.S. government.

In a sense, it’s as if they’re still held hostage, several former captives suggest.

From Iran, they say they want — but don’t really expect — a formal apology acknowledging they and their country were wronged.

"There’s never been accountability from the Iranian side. They’ve just been in denial," said former State Department diplomat John Limbert, one of the 52 Americans held hostage and among four interviewed for this report.

From the United States, they want support for reparations — blocked for years by the government’s refusal to violate the treaty that freed them.

"That’s not exactly what I expected when I was sitting in a cell" in Tehran, said David M. Roeder, now a retired Air Force colonel.

While that official opposition has since given way to support for new routes to compensation, some former captives aren’t counting on it anytime soon. They’ve experienced ups and downs before.

Some were buoyed by last fall’s cordial phone call between the U.S. and Iranian presidents.

But months later, they bristled at Iran’s appointment of a United Nations envoy, Hamid Aboutalebi, who’d served as a translator during the hostage crisis and was suspected of aiding in their detention.

Sixteen of them voiced their objections in a teleconference arranged by government representatives — and were relieved when the White House denied a visa for Aboutalebi, effectively barring his participation at the U.N.’s New York headquarters.

Former hostage Kevin Hermening chafes at the ongoing talks between Iran and six world powers -  including the U.S. - over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

"Watching this farce of negotiations with Iran continues to open old wounds," said Hermening, who closely follows any Iran-related news. "Just when you think it’s been put behind you, they rub it raw again."

Now a certified financial planner, Hermening was a 20-year-old Marine guard at the embassy when student radicals — angered that the United States had taken in the overthrown Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi — seized control on Nov. 4, 1979.

They took 90 hostages, including 66 Americans. They soon released all but 52 embassy staffers, mostly civilian diplomats and military personnel.

For 14 months, the young Marine and many of the others endured interrogations, beatings and more brutality. Hermening recalled being pistol-whipped, and having his hands and feet bound. After a failed escape attempt, he spent 43 days in solitary confinement.

Roeder was eight days into his job as Air Force assistant attaché when the embassy fell. His captors repeatedly whipped him with rubber hoses, held guns to his head and once chained him, exposed to biting cold and snow, for more than two days, he said.

"The physical stuff got your attention," Roeder said.

But the psychological warfare struck at his core.

"They threatened to kill my handicapped son and send pieces to my wife because I wouldn’t answer questions during interrogation," Roeder said of his captors, who he believed had arranged surveillance of his family, then in northern Virginia.

"I can probably forgive the Iranians for what they did to me," he said. "... I can’t forgive them for that, which is why I’m such a big proponent, if there’s going to be any compensation, that the wives and children receive it. They’re the heroes."

The hostages finally were freed Jan. 20, 1981, through a set of agreements that, they learned, barred them from suing Iran over the ordeal.

Some of the former hostages eventually did sue under a 1996 law they believed gave them an opening. Roeder was the named plaintiff in a suit filed in 2000 seeking punitive and compensatory damages from Iran.

But when a trial court scheduled a hearing in 2001, the U.S.
government intervened. It called for the case’s dismissal, saying it would abrogate terms of the so-called Algiers Accords and compromise the government’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

The hostages’ legal team took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which rejected an appeal in May 2012.

So, the legal team shifted from judicial to legislative tracks.

A Senate bill introduced last year would grant the former hostages $4.4 million apiece through a surcharge on fines paid for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. While the Justice for Former American Hostages Act has bipartisan support, it has yet to reach a floor vote.

But the move for compensation now has the State Department’s backing.

"We are committed to working with members of Congress to explore options for providing the former hostages with additional compensation consistent with our nation’s foreign policy and national security interests," a State Department official wrote in an email response.

The official said the department believes the bill "aims to achieve those goals."

The e-mail noted the U.S. government already had provided some compensation. In the 1980s, each hostage received a cash payment of $22,000, or $50 for every day of captivity, similar to previous treatment of U.S. prisoners of war.

The e-mail also repeated the stance that, because of the Algiers Accords, the government would not support "any claims by the former hostages against Iran in U.S. courts. While the Department understands the former hostages’ frustration, the United States is bound by this commitment."

Alan M. Madison, spokesman for the hostages’ legal team at the Virginia law firm of Lankford & Reed, said it is in serious conversations with senior State Department and congressional officials.

"Everyone is supportive. They’re trying to figure out how to do this," Madison said, noting discussions over timetables, dollar amounts and funding sources. The hostages’ earlier lawsuit, for instance, had sought compensation from frozen Iranian assets.

A scholar of no-fault compensation systems, Arizona State University law professor Betsy J. Grey, called funding plans like this a terrific idea.

Victims of terrorism deserve compensation, she said. “A compensation fund allows for some psychological relief in that the government is there behind us.”

The ex-hostages have had their doubts about that backing.

"All of the administrations for the last 35 years have represented the interests of Iran over the interests of Americans," said Hermening, who twice was a Republican candidate for Congress in Wisconsin. "Iran has never paid a price in dollars or in blood for having violated every tenet of international law."

Don Cooke, who retired from the foreign service in 2012, said several months ago that the hostages’ "quest for compensation would end tomorrow if the State Department would change its mind." He called its adherence to that position an excuse, not a reason.

He’s still suspicious of Iran, as he wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece. But he recently described himself as optimistic about a resolution for the ex-hostages.

The passage of time increases the urgency for a deal, said Limbert, noting that only 39 of the 52 former hostages survive.

"A lot of people who were with us in Tehran have had a very bad time indeed," he said. "We’ve had suicides, attempted suicides, family problems, substance abuse.”

Limbert, who now teaches international affairs at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, said that in closing off access to reparations for years, “our own government has made common cause with the Islamic Republic. They wouldn’t admit to that, but it’s what has happened, in effect.”

He’s critical despite his long career at the State Department and his deep connection to Iran. "I was in the Peace Corps there in the '60s," he said. "My wife is Iranian, my children are half Iranian."

But, as a diplomat, he sees potential — for the ex-hostages’ cause and for some kind of relationship between the United States and Iran.

"Look, I’m always hopeful," Limbert said. "You have to believe eventually things will get better. You can’t deny we’re in a very different place than we were a year ago. For 34 years, we bashed each other, we insulted each other, we threatened each other. We have to do something different."

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   * 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 www.liveincostarica.com
8479-9/11/14

Anywhere
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.
8278-3/14/14


Hidden
Garden
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:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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.
8199-4/6/14

diligence
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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

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

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

8390-10/2/14

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo

HERE!

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
cottage



Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

Cottage in the mountain.  Surrounded by nature.  One bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms. Beautiful balcony and view. Bus line service, security.  $500 monthly.  Phone: 506-8739-0638  Email: lizrutbeth@gmail.com
8524-12/1/14

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        www.manuelantonioestates.com

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:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8504-11/2/15

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. $1,000 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 inquire and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.
8522-1/24/14


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. laurelfanderson@gmail.com
8484-10/16/14

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.
tropical
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.
8441-2/17/15

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8423-9/15/14

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.
Contact:  HPCattleCR@aol.com
8425-8/17/14




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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
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cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 217       
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

Candidates make last pitches
to win
in Tuesday's election

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Across the United States, candidates are making final pleas for votes ahead of midterm elections Tuesday. At stake: which party will control each house of the U.S. Congress for President Barack Obama’s final two years in office.

It is crunch time for candidates seeking to rally supporters and convince any remaining undecided voters.

“We are reminding everybody about the power to make a difference in this election by getting out and voting,” explained Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.

Both parties have deployed their biggest names to the campaign trails: former Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney and John McCain, and, on the Democratic side, former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Notably absent from most Democratic campaigns: President Obama, whose declining approval numbers have vulnerable Democratic lawmakers distancing themselves from the White House. Even so, Obama did make a campaign appearance in Michigan last week.

“I want to tell you why you need to vote. This country has made real progress since the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes,” the president told the audience. “Over the past four and a half years, we have seen American businesses create more than 10 million new jobs.  Over the past six months, our economy has grown at the fastest pace in more than 10 years.”

“Barack Obama finds himself in the same kind of position that Bush did six years ago,” explains political analyst Norm Ornstein, speaking of former president George W. Bush.

“For an awful lot of his own candidates, persona non-grata, except for raising money. They do not want to have the president side-by-side with them.”

Republicans, on the other hand, are eager to tie their Democratic opponents to the president.

“The Obama-Shaheen agenda ends right here, right now!” said Senate candidate Scott Brown while campaigning in New Hampshire.

Republicans are widely expected to retain control of the House of Representatives. In the Senate, they would need a net gain of six seats to seize control from Democrats.

“We have a fairly clear idea that the trends favor, as they normally would, the Republican Party,” Ornstein said. “The party out of the presidency does well in midterms. It is a tough road for Democrats. There is a route to keeping the majority. Republicans have multiple routes to taking a majority.”

Democrats tout a massive voter mobilization effort they say will prove the polls wrong. Republicans, meanwhile, are sounding increasingly confident of victory on Tuesday. But as always, those who show up to vote Tuesday will have the final say.


México releases Marine
jailed for seven months


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A former U.S. Marine freed after spending seven months in a Mexican prison on a gun charge is back in the United States.

The State Department said it was pleased that Mexican judicial authorities had ordered the release of Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, who then returned to his family's home in Florida. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Saturday that U.S. officials were grateful for the cooperation from Mexico, which allowed Tahmooressi prompt and continued consular access and visitations.

Doctors said Tahmooressi suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which he developed after serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.

Mexican border agents arrested Tahmooressi in March when they found three guns in his truck after he crossed the border from San Diego, California, into Tijuana.

Tahmooressi said he crossed into Mexico accidentally after getting stuck on a California freeway with no way to turn back from the border. Mexican police, however, said he entered the country deliberately.

Bringing guns into Mexico is a federal crime.


swamp
Voice of America photo
No human lives within the protected swamp

Okefenokee is recovering
from a year-long blaze

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

On a map, the Okefenokee Swamp seems too close to the Atlantic Ocean’s white sandy beaches and Florida’s golf courses and theme parks to be a wilderness area.

That proximity led to an ill-conceived plan at the beginning of the 20th century to drain the 180,000 hectare wilderness and reclaim it as farmland. Developers dug a 19-kilometer long canal right into the center of the swamp, called the Suwanee Canal. But the project failed: it had engineering problems, and it ran short of money. The Okefenokee was sold to a timber company, and for 30 years, until the 1930s, millions of cypress trees were cut down and hauled out of the swamp.

Today, all that remains of human development is the canal, perhaps the most beautiful drainage ditch in the world. Its banks are green with vines, shrubs, trees, and Spanish moss. The canal is now a superhighway for alligators.

There are thousands of alligators in the swamp. They sun themselves along the banks of the canal, or hide, just below the water surface so only the tops of their heads can be seen.

Their population is held in check, in part, by the hundreds of black bears that call the swamp home. When they find an alligator nest, they will dig it up and eat every egg in it.

Red shouldered hawks are the most common avian raptor in the Okefenokee. They prey on everything from wood ducks to snakes and frogs, rodents and squirrels to baby alligators and lizards.

The Okefenokee shelters more than 30 kinds of fish, 200 types of birds, dozens of different amphibians and reptiles, and 600 to 800 black bear. No humans live in the swamp. It is truly an American wilderness.

The Okeefenokee is a blackwater swamp, the largest in North America, and the water really looks black. In a glass, it looks like tea. But that’s not because of suspended mud or particles; the water is stained by the tannic acids leaching from the organic material in the swamp.

In the days of sailing ships, sailors took Okefenokee blackwater on ocean voyages. The acidity of the water suppresses bacteria, so the blackwater stayed fresh while clear water sources would tend to spoil.

The dominant habitat of the swamp is called prairie. It’s an open area where, as far as the eye can see, are water lilies, dotted with little mounds with trees and shrubs growing on them.

The prairies have sandy bottoms covered by peat, a natural composting of the swamp’s organic material, like leaves and grass. Sometimes the peat floats to the surface creating domes and little islands that are unstable, squishy to walk on. That’s probably how the Okefenokee got its name: from a Native American Indian term for land of trembling earth.

The Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson 50 years ago, protects the Okefenokee from humans but not from nature.

There are frequent fires in the swamp, started by lightning. When it is dry, fire spreads. When it is very dry, fire spreads underground, burning down along tree roots. 2011 was a very dry year. Fire swept through the swamp, and when it finally died out, a year later, it had burned 85 percent of the Okeefenokee. What were lush areas of vegetation became open prairies. In some areas, there were only charred trees where there once were forests.

But, now, after the devastation comes rejuvenation.

Yellow flowers, called biddens, are coming out, and shrubs and wild vines are starting to sprout. There are tangles of green briar that shelter migrating songbirds on their way to South America. Trees are sprouting new branches and leaves. There’s an abundance of insects and food sources, and that’s good for wildlife.

Fire has reshaped the swamp, but not destroyed it.


World War I departure
remembered in Australia


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tens of thousands of people have flooded into the coastal town of Albany in Western Australia to mark the departure of the first fleet of troops to the battlefields of World War I.  The soldiers became part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps legend that was born from the savage defeat at Gallipoli in what is now Turkey.

One hundred years ago the whaling town of Albany, south of Perth in Western Australia, would have been the last sight of home for many of the young men sailing off to war.  30,000 soldiers were to make the journey to a far-away conflict. 
 
Many would end up on the beaches of Gallipoli, where Australia and New Zealand, two former British colonies, fought for the first time as independent nations. 
 
There was carnage on the battlefield.  Troops from Britain, France and Turkey suffered terrible losses, while more than 8,000 Australians died at Gallipoli.  Almost 3,000 New Zealanders were also killed.
 
Australia’s Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, says leaving Albany a century ago, few would have contemplated the horrors that would lie in wait.
 
“There would have been excitement, trepidation," he said. "I think there was also a sense of exhilaration because the rumor at the time was that this war would be over quite quickly.  There was this naive perception that Germany would fall quickly and that everybody would be home for Christmas or so thereafter, and there was almost a sense that you had better rush if you are to join the excitement. And, of course, perhaps some of the older, wiser heads thought perhaps not.  But I imagine that going over the horizon many thought ‘oh, we would be back in a few months.’” 
 
The loss of so many lives during the disastrous allied Gallipoli campaign in 1915, along with the troops’ courage under fire, has become legendary in Australia and New Zealand.  Many regard this defeat as the moment their young countries came of age and helped to forge the national characters of both Pacific neighbors.
 
Thousands of people have gathered in Albany in Western Australia for a parade and a memorial service to remember the heroism of those who are called the Anzacs.
 
Their sacrifice is also honored on April 25 every year.  Anzac Day is arguably the most revered national occasion in both Australia and New Zealand.

 
Ice drillers are critical
to testing ancient air


By the University of Wisconsin news service

Wisconsin is famous for its ice fishers  —  the stalwarts who drill holes through lake ice in the hope of catching a winter dinner. Less well known are the state’s big-league ice drillers — specialists who design huge drills and use them to drill deep into ice in Greenland and Antarctica, places where even summer seems like winter.

The quarry at these drills includes some of the biggest catches in science.

A hot-water drill designed and built at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Space Science and Engineering Center and the Physical Sciences Laboratory was critical to the success of IceCube, a swarm of neutrino detectors at the South Pole that has opened a new frontier in astronomy.

Hollow coring drills designed and managed by the university's Ice Drilling Design and Operations program are used to extract ice cores that can analyze the past atmosphere, says Shaun Marcott, an assistant professor of geoscience. Marcott was the first author of a paper published in the journal Nature documenting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere between 23,000 and 9,000 years ago, based on data from an 11,000-foot hole in Antarctica.

“Without the ice cores being as pristine as they are . . . we would not be able to understand how this powerful greenhouse gas has affected our planet in the past.”

The ice drilling program traces its roots to Charles Bentley, a legendary glaciologist and polar expert.

“Building on Charlie’s achievements, IceCube enhanced our competency of drilling expertise,” says ice drilling  principal investigator Mark Mulligan. “A 2000 award from the National Science Foundation brought in more engineers and technicians who understand coring and drilling.”

Drilling program director Kristina Slawny spent six summers on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide project, which provided cores for Marcott’s climate study. “It’s an experience like no other,” she says. “We sleep in unheated single tents that get really warm in the day and quite cold at night.”

Crew compatibility is huge, says Ms. Slawny, “and in a remote environment we focus on it, so we’ve had really good continuity in our driller hiring. Once a group has worked together, we want them to stay. When everyone is cold and tired, they can get agitated easily, but for the most part, the crew was happy to be down there.”

Still, “everything goes wrong, even the stuff you don’t expect,” she said. “One year it’s mechanical, the next year it’s electrical. One of our staffers, Jay Johnson, is a brilliant engineer and machinist who can fix anything, but it can take long hours and sleepless nights to keep the drill running.”

Many projects under development require mobile drills, says Mulligan. “The science community has said we need a certain type of core in a certain location, but you may only be able to get there with a helicopter or small plane. That forces us to design smaller, or make something that can be set up relatively quickly. Agile and mobile are very big words.”

“We need to know how the Earth system works, but without these ice cores, and the great effort from the drilling team, we would not be in a position to know.”

Marcott says deep, old ice offers a ground-truthing function. “How do you know that today’s carbon dioxide variations are even meaningful?” he asks. “We have only 50 years of instrument data.”

Climate studies require a much longer horizon, Marcott adds. “When I measure CO2 from 20,000 years ago, I actually have air from 20,000 years ago, and so I can measure the concentration of CO2 directly. There is no other way to do that.”

Much of the credit, Marcott says, is due to ice drillers. “Without the ice cores being as pristine as they are, without the drillers being able to take out every single core unbroken to provide us with a 70,000-year record of CO2, we would not be able to understand how this powerful greenhouse gas has affected our planet in the past.”

Today, carbon dioxide is growing at 2 parts per million per year — 20 times faster than the preindustrial situation recorded in the ice cores. But even at the slower rate, climate reacted very quickly to changing levels of the key greenhouse gas, Marcott says. “It’s not just a gradual change from an ice age to an interglacial. We need to know how the Earth system works, but without these ice cores, and the great effort from the drilling team, we would not be in a position to know.”


U.N. worker with ebola
airlifted to Paris location


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A United Nations employee suffering from ebola has been flown to France from Sierra Leone for treatment.

A spokesman at France's U.N. mission in New York said Sunday the worker had been transported aboard a specially equipped jet and placed in high security isolation at a military hospital outside Paris.  The worker's name and nationality have not been disclosed.

The United Nations Children's Fund worker is the second aid worker to receive ebola treatment in France since the epidemic erupted in Guinea late last year and then spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

A French nurse treated in September has since made a full recovery from the virus, which has killed almost 5,000 people in West Africa.

President Barack Obama spoke by telephone Saturday with U.S. military forces providing engineering support and construction services in the region.

A White House statement said Obama voiced his gratitude and stressed that the ongoing civilian-led, government-backed strategy to tackle ebola on the front lines is the most effective way to prevent further spread of the disease.  He also said the strategy best protects the American public from additional cases at home.

For its part, Canada said Friday it will suspend issuing visas to residents of countries experiencing what it calls widespread and persistent-intense transmission of ebola.  Australia recently announced a similar move.

Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person's bodily fluids.  The virus causes fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8451-12/13/14

Remax logo
Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
8366-12/2/14

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

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8502-4/20/15




Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com


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

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
 
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498.000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135.000. Click
HERE!
Grecia 883
Beautiful  House in Grecia, Costa Rica,  1.5  kilometers from the city.   220 m2 of land. Price $138.000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8446-11/14/14

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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. www.manuelantonioestates.com
8515-2/16/14

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, orbec12@gmail.com for further info or to arrange a viewing.
8509-xxx

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

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact Karen@remax-ocr.com  or call Nate @ 8635-9320.
From the US call 209-482-1788.
Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000
8500-1/3/15

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

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8482-2/11/15


Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.
8483-10/1/14

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

First, a 2-story, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport and laundry. 

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

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet.   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail azucarb@racsa.co.cr or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.
8521-11/10/14


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

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist www.costaricaretireonss.com  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!
8310-7/1/

Esterillos

Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: edumace64@yahoo.es  and pdvartanian@aol.com.
8458-3/2/15

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

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

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

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

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

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call center
Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.
8481-11/11/14

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 217 
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Feed them, and they will come

Whenever the weather is going to change for the worse, when the storm clouds build up and the  pressure falls, the hummingbirds flock
Victoria torley
to the feeder.  They stack up, like planes above the airport waiting for the go for landing, then swoop down for a few sips of nectar and zip away.  We have plenty of plants that supply natural nectar, but something seems to warn them that serious rains and cooler air are on the way and they need to stock up on nutrients.  Since a  bird can visit 1,000 flowers a day
in search of nectar, they must think that a feeder is heaven when the weather turns bad.   In the States, we had six species of humming birds, here there are dozens and each species is a jewel.

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden is fairly easy.  Plant the right flowers and shrubs, and they will find you.  The sanchezia is one, and it is a pleasure to look at as well as being good bird food.  The flowers are tubular and it takes a particular kind of bill to reach inside for nectar. 

Hibiscus, with its deep-throated flowers, is another hummer favorite. Since they don’t have a set blooming season, the flowers are always available for snacks.  Abutilon, another of our tropical shrubs and a member of the mallow family, also attracts the birds.  Plant clerodendrums, like the java glory bower, and you are sure to find hummingbirds in your yard.  Justicia, a genus of over 400 species, are also great attractors of these birds.
 
But what about a smaller garden with more flowers than shrubs?  Cardinal flower, lobelia cardinalis, grows here as a roadside weed and is easily transplanted to the garden.  They reseed so they are an easy plant to grow and provide continual color in the garden and continuous nectar.  Fuchsia is another hummer favorite as is anisacanthus (desert honeysuckle or flame anisacanthus) which is native to the American tropics.  You are also likely to see hummers at your amaryllis and bird of paradise flowers. 

Something you may notice about all these plants is that they produce brightly colored flowers in red, orange, and pink shades preferred by hummingbirds.  They are also often tubular an unusually shaped flower with a nectar reservoir.  So fill your yard with vibrant colors and certain shapes when you are planting and you are sure to attract hummingbirds. 



Two Plants of the Day (flower and shrub)


Cardinal flowers are tall sun-loving plants topped with spikes of flowers.  Plant in full sun or partial shade.  They are not fussy and seem to adapt to many different kinds of soil.  No ant or pest problems as yet
.
crdinal
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

The Java Glory Bower is a lovely open shrub that can grow to 2.5
java glory
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torly
 meters (8 feet) high in sun or partial shade.  They can be grown as a container plant but will not reach full height if potted.  They have glossy green leaves and are topped with upright cones of flowers (these have drooped a bit in the rain).

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


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From Page 7:

Smaller firms can duck corporation tax

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Corporation managers have just six weeks to designate their operation as a small or medium enterprise and avoid paying the persona juridica tax for 2015.  The tax this year was 199,700 colons, nearly $370, and the amount is expected to be higher in 2015.

Under the law, those corporations that are registered as a mipyme with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio do not pay this tax. Mipyme means micro, pequeña o mediana empresa, that is a small- or medium-sized business. There is no charge for registering, but the process has to be repeated each year.

The ministry said that any applications that are received by Dec. 12 will be processed in time so that the company is exonerated from the 2015 corporate tax.

But tax relief is only one of the advantages. Companies and individuals with the designation have an advantage in seeking government contracts and access to various forms of government-supported training. Other government agencies and some private banks and other firms have special programs for mipymes.

Registration can be done online at www.siec.go.cr, but there will be additional documents that need to be submitted.