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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 219                                   Email us
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Expat who lost eye blames bungled robbery attempt
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A U.S. expat lost his left eye Friday afternoon when another motorist broke his windshield with a rock.

The expat is Richard King, 64 of Ojochal on the Southern Pacific coast. King said that he thought the rock was the climax of a bungled robbery attempt.

He said he is a former U.S. Army vet, disabled and with service in Vietnam.

He gave this account:

After picking up a friend at the Liberia airport, he stopped at a grocery. When he was leaving a man ran up and said King's car had hit his. He demanded that King come with him.

King denied bumping another car and said that his passenger would vouch for that.

After he drove away, the unidentified man chased him in his own vehicle and eventually

got ahead. He stopped and tried to heave a large rock at King. He was not strong enough.
Several miles later on the man found a smaller rock, and it was this that smashed through the windshield, said King. He also suffered broken bones in a finger.

King credits a passing nurse from the Cañas hospital for providing effective first aid. He got out of the Liberia hospital Wednesday and said that surgeons had removed his left eye. He already had reduced vision in the right eye, he said.

King has been here for 10 years and is married. He said that the encounter at the supermarket was some kind of robbery attempt, and that investigators also suspect that. Much of the initial incident was caught by surveillance cameras, he said, and he expected the Judicial Investigating Organization to be able to identify the man.

He said he went public with the crime because he wanted other expats to know about it and be on their guard.

Presidential staffer has an upbeat view of economy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf was the Iraqi information minister under Saddam Hussein. His amusing press conferences prompted laughs from foreign reporters in 2003 as he described the Iraqi military as invincible during the U.S. invasion.

He goes down in history as the most optimistic public relations spokesman ever.

Close behind comes Mario Bermúdez, a spokesman for President Luis Guillermo Solís, whose most recent literary work is "10 Signs that the Costa Rican Economy is Revitalizing Itself." That appeared in the government propaganda bulletin Gobierno CR along with an amazing graphic.

Among other claims is that employment in Costa Rica is the Latin leader increasing new jobs even though others have the perception that employment is in crisis.

He also cites what he calls a significant shift in employment data that A.M. Costa Rica
Casa Presidencial graphic
Government perception of the economy

earlier pointed out represent no statistical difference.

He also says that international organizations believe that Costa Rica will show a 3 percent growth during 2015, that inflation and the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar remains stable.

Bermúdez is doing exactly what public relations people are supposed to do.

He is repeating what his boss, the president, said last month. He is coordinator of content for the presidential Web site.

San José concert band to present history of tango
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country may not be Argentina, but there still is an active tango community here.

That will be demonstrated Friday when the  Banda de Conciertos de San José presents its version of tango history at the Teatro Nacional.

For many, what they know of tango was demonstrated by Al Pacino in the 1992 film "Scent of a Woman." when he danced with Gabrielle Anwar  to "Por una Cabeza."

The band is inviting a performance by the San

Pedro-based Fantasía del Tango to expand
the public's knowledge. The dance group has been performing for more than 20 years here and even has had a gig in Argentina, the motherland of tango.

The invited director for the evening is Pablo Dell’Oca Sala of Argentina. He is director of the Banda Sinfónica de La Pampa there.

Works of  Carlos Gardel, Ángel Villoldo and Astor Piazzolla will be presented, said the band.
The show begins at 8 p.m., and there is an admission.

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Legal services

Valdivieco header
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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
    A technician dissects a cookie that was laced with marijuana.  Fuerza
    Pública officers said they found the drug treats at an unidentified
    school in Cartago.

Yule parties prompt presidential ban

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The latest scandal in public funds is the Christmas party. So President Luis Guillermo Solís Wednesday ordered central government entities to refrain from using public money for this purpose.

The directive from the president may not have as much weight as he expects because a number of agreements with workers at government agencies provide for such activities. So the president said that in cases where an agreement exists mandating the government to pay for a party, the head of the agency is to take steps to annul the pact.

That may result in some legal actions.

The government has been caught flat-footed when television stations reported on expensive parties, including one about to be contracted for by the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo.

The president's directive does not cover the legislature, the judiciary or the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, although officials there might take steps to prevent parties.

The party at the petroleum monopoly was to cost $13,000, and La Nación, the Spanish-language newspaper reported Wednesday that a second party was planned for the company's workers in Limón.

Austerity is the current watchword because the legislature is considering the national budget for next year, and the document predicts another big deficit.

La Nación was highly critical of lawmakers in an editorial Wednesday that had nothing to do with Christmas parties. The newspaper said that the Solís administration was only interested in enough taxes to allow him to complete his presidential term and that lawmakers failed to act decisively in cutting the budget.

Taxis reported blocking emergency ramp

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most drivers yield to emergency vehicles, but at the Liberia hospital taxi drivers are blocking at time the entry to the emergency services, according to an official report.

That report was from the Defensoría de los Habitantes, which said that despite earlier complaints, the taxis again were reported blocking the access ramp Friday.

Traffic police already had put up more signs at the Hospital Dr. Enrique Baltodano Briceño to outline permitted spots for taxis, but they seem to be ignored, said the Defensoría.

The Defensoría de los Habitantes planned to schedule a meeting on the topic in Liberia.

Forbes names Putin as the most powerful

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been named world’s most powerful person by Forbes magazine.

"Putin continues to prove he’s one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants – and get away with it," the magazine said of the Russian leader, who has topped the list three years in a row.

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel took over the second spot from U.S. President Barack Obama, who dropped to third.

It marks the first time a U.S. president has not been in the top two in the seven-year history of the rankings, according to the 73-person list named by Forbes.

Pope Francis was named fourth most powerful, the same as last year, and Chinese President Xi Jinping came in at fifth, dropping two spots.

Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were both on the list, ranking 58th and 72nd.

Forbes said several factors were taken into account to select the most powerful people, including “the amount of money they control, the number of people they impact, their total spheres of influence, and how actively they wield their power.”

Bomb suspected in Russia airline crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. and British officials are telling the media it is highly possible a bomb brought down a Russian passenger jet over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula last week, killing all 224 people on board.

One U.S. official has told some media that intercepted communications point to the possibility that Islamic State was responsible. And British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said "there is a significant possibility that the crash was caused by an explosive devise on board the aircraft."

Experts are examining the wreckage for any signs of terrorism, while some reports say forensic examinations have revealed shrapnel in some of the victims. The experts also have retrieved both black box flight recorders.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the disaster, but has so far not presented any firm evidence to back it up.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has dismissed Islamic State's claim as propaganda and an effort to damage Egyptian security and stability. He is in London to meet today with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

With Britain and Egypt offering vastly different opinions on the cause of the plane crash, the incident is sure to be high on the two leaders' agenda. The meeting at 10 Downing Street was scheduled before the crash took place.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 219
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Quality of honey represents a puzzle and possible threat for shoppers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Many shoppers are unaware of the dangers that lurk in a bottle labeled honey.

Honey pretty much is a synonym for wholesome. After all, bees are little hard workers who have no genetic disposition for cheating.

But some honey producers do. In fact, some of the honey on store shelves is really cheaper corn syrup, other sweeteners or a mix. And there might be dangerous pesticides or antibiotics, too.

A shopper would have to be a graduate chemist to figure out what really is in the bottle or plastic bear. Food Safety News did an elaborate study in 2011 and reported that "more than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce."

The publication reported online that there is another problem. Some producers use elaborate filtering techniques to remove the pollen in the honey. Without pollen no one can determine the origin of the honey.

China and India have been producing tons of low-grade honey for years, and much of it ends up in the North American market. Despite prohibitions, distributors there have found ways to evade import controls. Some U.S. states are beginning to develop quality controls.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio here has done a study of  honey that is available in Costa Rica. The results will be presented today. The ministry promises to alert consumers to sneaky practices.

All honey is filtered to remove foreign matter, including wax and other unwanted matter. But usually this type of filtering does not remove pollen, the signature of where the bees

National Honey Board photo

collected the honey and from what plant.

In addition, pollen is a valuable constituent that is an antioxidant and anti-allergenic.

Food Safety News said in its report that honey sold at farmer's markets and small stores generally have not been adulterated. Honey at most chain stores not only was suspicious, but the companies would not discuss the origins

Agricultural chamber president says the sector is in chaos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government needs to take action to reactivate agriculture, said Juan Rafael Lizano, president of the Cámara Nacional de Agricultura y Agroindustria.

In an opinion piece supplied to A.M. Costa Rica he said that the agriculture sector was in chaos and noted that pineapple production was down 7.7 percent and banana production was down 12.4 percent.

He blamed a combination of climate, politics and competition that has caused a strong contraction in the agricultural industry which he said gives signs of accelerating.

A monthly index of agriculture had declined 7.75 percent over the last 17 months, he said

Farmers and ranchers here pay 21 percent higher prices for diesel fuel in comparison with the rest of Central America, and the salaries paid to workers are the second highest, he noted. With social charges, the basic agricultural salary is $634 a month, he added.

In addition, credit for agricultural purposes had declined from 10.6 percent in 1997 to the current 3.2 percent, he said citing Banco Central figures.

Agriculture is a major force against poverty, he said, noting that rural unemployment is growing.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Researchers suspect that quakes prime slopes for future landslides
By the Cardiff University news staff

The likelihood of an area experiencing a potentially devastating landslide could be influenced by its previous exposure to earthquakes many decades earlier.

This is according to new research led by researchers from Cardiff University showing that areas which have experienced strong earthquakes in the past were more likely to produce landslides when a second earthquake hit later on.

Researchers speculate that this is because damage can reside in the side of mountains after an initial earthquake, and that the consequences of this damage may only be felt when a second earthquake hits.

These new insights could have important implications for disaster management and prevention by helping researchers better predict areas that may be susceptible to future landslides.

The consequences of the landslides that occurred after two large earthquakes hit Nepal earlier this year, killing more than 9,000 people and inflicting wide-spread damage, serves to show how valuable a prediction tool would be.

Predictive models that are currently used to assess the likelihood of landslides do not consider historical occurrences of previous earthquakes, and, instead, focus on the strength of the earthquake and the characteristics of the particular area, including the make-up of rock and the steepness of slopes.

“This could potentially be a significant gap in our understanding of the factors that lead to landsliding,” said Robert Parker, lead author of the paper, from Cardiff University’ School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

After the Nepal earthquakes, a program called ShakeSlide, developed by Parker, was used to predict areas affected by landslides and assist in post-disaster efforts.

These new findings may lead to improved predictions, through models that consider the legacy of past earthquakes.

To reach their conclusions, the research team analyzed data from two individual earthquakes that occurred in

GNS Science/G. Hancox
This 1929 slide created New Zealand's Lake Stanley

close-proximity to each other, in 1929 and 1968, on the South Island of New Zealand.

Their results suggested that hillslopes in regions that experienced strong ground motions in the 1929 earthquake were more likely to fail during the 1968 earthquake than would be expected on the basis of the standard factors alone.

“Our results suggest that areas that experienced strong shaking in the first earthquake were more likely to produce landslides in the second earthquake than would be expected based on the strength of shaking and hillslope characteristics alone,” said Parker.

Parker and his team have speculated that the increased likelihood of occurrence may be down to the fact that damage persists in the landscape after an initial earthquake, making it sufficiently weaker and thus more prone to a landslide if another earthquake hits in the future.

Parker continued: “Strong shaking in a past earthquake may actually cause mountains to be more hazardous, in terms of landslides, in a future earthquake many years or decades later. You could think of it as mountains remembering past earthquakes, which affects how they respond to future earthquakes.”

Parker and his team are now investigating whether this memory effect is seen in other areas, and have begun investigating the earthquakes that occurred in Nepal. The new study has been published in the journal Earth Surface Dynamics.

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.


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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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Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
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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 -  - 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
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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.
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Real estate for rent

house for rent
Beautiful fully furnished house for rent
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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 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:

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:  Check out slide show HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 219
Real Estate
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Houston voters reject law
backing gays and lesbians

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Voters in Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the United States, soundly defeated an ordinance that sought to protect a wide range of people from discrimination, including gays, lesbians and transgender residents.

The closely watched referendum on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO, was viewed as a battle over gay and transgender rights that pitted social conservatives against the city's openly lesbian mayor.

Opposition to the ordinance was driven by fears that sexual predators dressed as women would enter women’s restrooms, as depicted in one television ad.

A disappointed Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly lesbian mayor in America, denounced the opposition tactics.

"This was a campaign of fear-mongering and deliberate lies," said Mayor Parker.

HERO supporters had three times the money of the opposition, but the focus by the anti-HERO forces on the bathroom issue paid off at the polls.

“Extremist, right-wing religionists, people out there on the fringe and they are a real minority captured the narrative on this election," said Terri Burke, executive director of the Texas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

But the Rev. David Welch, an opponent, said fear of predators in public restrooms is valid.

“We have incidents all over America where men who claim to be women, or claim to be transgender, or predators are going into women’s restrooms," said Welch.

Even though the ordinance was an anti-discrimination measure, many black voters opposed it.

“The black community on whole is not falling for the propaganda that this is a discrimination ordinance," said the Rev. Willie Davis of the MacGregor Palm Community Baptist Church.

Both those who supported the equal rights ordinance and their opponents agree that the fight over this issue is far from over.

"This ordinance, you have not seen the last of it. We are united. We will prevail," Mayor Parker said.

That sentiment was echoed by Stacey Long Simmons at the National LGBQT Task Force.

“There are disparities in housing, disparities in education settings, disparities in health care settings, and as many different ways as we can get new laws on the books to protect our transgender, nonconforming community, that’s absolutely what we need to do," Ms. Simmons said.

Most business organizations backed the ordinance, and Mayor Parker said its defeat could cost Houston economically by undermining its reputation as what she called a tolerant, welcoming, global city.

Sanders announced measure
to bar oil and gas extraction

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and fellow Sen. Jeff  Merkley unveiled a climate-change bill Wednesday aiming to aggressively tackle oil, gas and coal extraction on federal public lands.

The bill is expected to face fierce opposition in the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and therefore is unlikely to become law.
Sanders intends to halt new leases for fossil fuel extraction on public lands and for offshore drilling in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.  He also wants to prohibit drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.

Sanders pushed for the proposal at a U.S. Capitol rally Wednesday.  "You can not talk the talk . . . and at the same time say we are going to extract," Sanders said, adding that the U.S. must protect workers as it moves away from fossil fuels.

Sanders spoke alongside environmental activists, such as Bill McKibben, co-founder of the grassroots climate group; Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club, and tribal rights attorney Tara Houska.

Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, has been Hillary Clinton's main rival to win party's nomination for president in the November 2016 elections.

Trump and Carson are tied
in latest presidential poll

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The latest U.S. political survey shows two political novices, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, in a dead heat for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Quinnipiac University says its nationwide polling in recent days shows the flamboyant Trump with 24 percent support among Republican voters, a point ahead of the more reserved Carson.

The survey showed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 14 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 13 percent, with both coming off strong performances in the most recent Republican presidential debate.

The poll also showed only 4 percent support for a one-time party establishment favorite, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two former U.S. presidents who has struggled to recover from weak debate performances.

In the Democratic presidential nominating race, Quinnipiac said former secretary of State Hillary Clinton has opened a wide lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 53 percent to 35 percent.

The pollster said in a hypothetical presidential contest next November, Carson, the first surgeon to separate twins conjoined at the head, would defeat Mrs. Clinton, who was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. The survey showed Mrs. Clinton ahead of Trump in a head-to-head matchup, but behind both Rubio and Cruz.

The first voting to pick the two parties' presidential nominees starts in February with contests in the central state of Iowa and the northeastern state of New Hampshire. President Barack Obama is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Republicans in Congress
veto EPA clean water rules

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s freshwater supply has emerged as the latest ecological battleground between the Republican-led Congress and the Obama administration.

The Senate passed a bill 53-to-44 Wednesday disapproving the administration’s new rules aimed at protecting wetlands and waterways from pollution and environmental degradation.

At issue is whether those rules, crafted by the Environmental Protection Agency, constitute a reasonable attempt to safeguard America’s freshwater supply or a massive bureaucratic power grab that will subject farmers and other landowners to onerous federal oversight and regulations.

“It would force Americans who live near potholes and ditches and puddles to ask bureaucrats for permission to do just about anything on their own property,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

“That is nonsense,” countered Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat. “The fact is, the clean water rule is going to protect the drinking water of 117 million Americans.”

Fellow Democrat Ben Cardin noted the EPA’s rules stem from a 1970s-era law, the Clean Water Act, that sought to reverse decades of ecological damage to America’s streams, rivers and lakes.

“It was a response to rivers literally catching fire and dead zones being found in our lakes,” Cardin said. “Every Congress has tried to strengthen the Clean Water Act, not weaken it.”

The White House has promised to veto any bill undoing the EPA’s new rules, which set guidelines for bodies of water found in proximity to waterways.

Opponents contend the rules were crafted so broadly that almost any spot where water collects naturally on private property would invite intrusive federal regulation.

“This rule is so complex and so ambiguous that folks in my state are concerned that any low spot on a farmer’s field or a puddle after a rainstorm may now fall under the EPA’s watch,” Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, said.

“This rule and this debate isn’t about clean water,” Ernst added. “The heart of this debate is about how much authority the federal government and unelected bureaucrats should have to regulate what is done on private property.”

Democrats ridiculed that line of argument.

“The pretense is that some evil bureaucratic force at the EPA has leapt out to take over Americans’ farms and ranches. That’s not what happened,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island said. “The Supreme Court made decisions about what the Clean Water Act says, and EPA had to follow the Supreme Court’s guidance, which they did.”

In 2006, the Supreme Court set forth that a wetland or isolated stream must have a significant nexus to a navigable waterway to fall under the Clean Water Act’s protections. The EPA’s new rules are the Obama administration’s attempt to define what that standard means in terms that can be applied nationwide.

The issue could return to the Supreme Court before the debate is resolved legislatively. A federal appeals court has blocked the EPA’s rules nationwide, a decision that is likely to be appealed.

Aside from clean water rules, the EPA has been at loggerheads with Republican lawmakers for years over carbon emissions from power plants, ozone reduction, and regulating the coal industry.

Export-Import Bank faces
a key congressional vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An agency that supports U.S. exports faces key votes on its survival this week in Congress as supporters try to revive the Export-Import Bank.

The agency has been helping U.S. companies export their goods and services for decades, with expertise, financing for prospective foreign buyers, and a kind of insurance that U.S. companies buy in case a foreign customer cannot pay for goods it has ordered.

The Export-Import Bank was usually supported by members of both political parties, but came under attack recently by some of the most conservative Republicans. They were able to block efforts to renew the government agency’s charter several months ago.

Under the complex and arcane rules of the U.S. Congress, supporters hope to revive the bank by attaching its reauthorization to a large bill that would pay for highway projects across the nation for several years. The highway bill is completely unrelated to foreign trade, but it is a huge and popular measure that is likely to pass.

Export-Import opponents hope to tangle that process with a flood of amendments, including 15 ideas alone from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

Analyst Tim Carney, who writes about politics and economics for a conservative newspaper and researches these issues at the American Enterprise Institute, says there is about a 50-50 chance that the bank will survive.

In his view, the Export-Import Bank is bad because politicians, rather than market forces, allocate the help and resources it distributes. Like some other conservatives, he calls the bank an example of crony capitalism and says it corrupts Washington.

He also argues that the Export-Import Bank gives most of its help to huge multi-national companies like Boeing Aircraft, based on their effective lobbying rather than their demonstrated need. He also disputes the Export-Import Bank’s assertion that the fees it collects yield a significant profit. Carney says a more businesslike approach to accounting would show a loss.

Export-Import Bank supporters, including a business group Exporters for Ex-Im, say the bank uses the accounting system required of all federal government agencies, funds all of its own operations, and turns hundreds of billions of dollars a year over to the U.S. Treasury.

Peterson Institute for International Economics scholar Caroline Freund, who supports the Export-Import Bank, says it is very likely to survive and puts the odds at above 95 percent.

She says the Export-Import Bank provides financing when private lenders lack the skill and experience to evaluate the risk of working in distant developing nations.

While developing nations may not be familiar to some U.S. banks, economic data show emerging economies are generally growing more quickly than wealthier nations and offer more opportunities for companies seeking to expand.

Whisky dregs are converted
into promising new biofuel

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Whisky byproducts are being transformed into biofuel, which could reduce oil consumption and cut emissions. 

Scotland is the world’s largest whisky producer. Scottish professor Martin Tangney has discovered how to take the waste products from distilling whisky and turn them into biobutanol, an alcohol that can be used as fuel.

“In the production of whisky, less than 10 percent of what comes out in the distillery is actually the primary product," he said. “The bulk of the remainder are these two unwanted residues, pot ale and barley.”

Those residues are combined to create a new raw material. And by adapting a century-old fermentation process, it is converted into biobutanol. Tangney said the whisky-based biofuel provides more power than bioethanol, which is made from corn or sugar cane.

“It has almost the same amount of energy as petrol, whereas bioethanol has only got 70 percent of it. You can store it, and pipe it, and use the existing infrastructure to distribute this, and in fact, you do not need to modify an engine,” Tangney said.

Tangney, director of Edinburgh Napier University’s biofuel research center, founded Celtic Renewables, a private, Edinburgh-based company that is producing biobutanol at a plant in Belgium. He doesn’t expect biobutanol to replace gasoline altogether, but be blended with it. It’s possible the fuel may also be used in planes and ships, and in heaters.

He said consumers would also be helping the environment by “reducing the oil that we consume by putting this into their cars.”

His company has received a $17 million grant from the British government to build a plant in Scotland that’s expected to be operational within three years.

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
Web Page:

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

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: 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:

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

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:
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:    Contact Jack  Email:   Cell: (506) 8812-1789

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 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:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

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:   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:

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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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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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 219
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Census finds hundreds of U.S. languages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least 350 languages are spoken in homes in the United States, the federal Census Bureau found in survey data collected from 2009 to 2013. Earlier research showed only 39 languages.

Census data released this week found that while most of the U.S. population speaks only English or Spanish, Mandarin, French and Vietnamese at home, many other languages abound.

Information was drawn from the country's 15 largest metropolitan areas. In two of them, Los Angeles and Miami, just over half of all residents age 5 or older speak a language other than English at home.

Less common languages include Pennsylvania Dutch, Ukrainian, Turkish, Romanian and Amharic, according to the survey. Also spoken are 150 different Native American languages, used collectively by more than 350,000 people, including Yupik, Dakota, Apache, Keres and Cherokee.

The data reveal the wide-ranging language diversity in the United States, Erik Vickstrom, a Census Bureau statistician, said in a statement. "… Knowing the number of languages and how many speak these languages in a particular area provides valuable information to policy makers, planners and researchers."

The most diversity was found in the New York metro region, where at least 192 languages are spoken. Among residents age 5 and older, nearly two out of five speak a language other than English.

Next are Los Angeles with at least 185 languages), Washington, D.C. (168), Seattle (166) and Phoenix (163).

The findings, based on American Community Survey data, show smaller languages in specific areas. For instance, the New York metro area recorded 105,765 Bengali speakers. Los Angeles had 12,750 Indonesian speakers, and Chicago had 17,490 Serbian speakers. The Texas community of Houston had 4,690 Tamil speakers.

Other lesser-used languages cited in the study include Albanian, Telugo, Malayalam, Tamil, Swahili, Panjabi, Syriac and Pima.

This job is simply out of this world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

NASA has announced it is accepting applications for its astronaut program.

The agency says it is in anticipation of a return of “human spaceflight launches to American soil, and in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars.”

The space agency said selected astronauts can expect to fly on up to four vehicles, the International Space Station, two commercially developed craft and NASA’s own Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.

“This next group of American space explorers will inspire the Mars generation to reach for new heights, and help us realize the goal of putting boot prints on the Red Planet,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Those selected for this service will fly on U.S.-made spacecraft from American soil, advance critical science and research aboard the International Space Station, and help push the boundaries of technology in the proving ground of deep space.”

NASA says applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. They must also have at least three years of related professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command flight time in jets.

Applications will be accepted from Dec. 14 to mid-February, but selectees won’t be announced until mid-2017.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Possible December U.S. rate hike considered

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen says if  U.S. economic growth continues in the coming weeks, it may be enough to justify an interest rate hike in December.  Despite weakness in export growth due to a strengthening dollar, she says the U.S. economy is performing well.

“Domestic spending has been growing at a solid pace.  Our trade performance net exports is soft but the committee judged in October that some of the downsides had diminished relating to global economic and financial developments,” said Ms. Yellen, who heads the equivalent of a central bank.

Despite smaller job gains in previous months, Ms. Yellen says the slack in the labor market has diminished significantly in 2015.  She added that inflation is likely to meet the Fed’s 2 percent target in the medium term.

“If the incoming information supports that expectation, then our statement indicated that December will be a live possibility,” she said. 

Ms. Yellen insists the Fed has not made a decision on interest rates, but her statement is the clearest signal yet that a possible rate hike will be in play at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in mid-December.

The Fed’s benchmark rate has been at record lows since 2008 to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Given improving U.S. labor market conditions, some analysts had anticipated a small rate hike in September but recent stock price volatility caused by uncertainty over slowing growth in China prompted the Fed to delay a decision.

Ms. Yellen also defended tougher banking regulations since the financial crisis for strengthening the nation’s biggest banks.  Capital at the eight largest U.S. banks has more than doubled since 2008, an increase of almost $500 billion. 

The Fed chief said, “Our new regulatory and supervisory approaches are aimed at helping ensure these firms remain strong.”

Ms. Yellen made the comments Wednesday on Capitol Hill, during testimony before members of the House Financial Services Committee.