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(506) 2223-1327                                     Published Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 221                        Email us
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Thanksgiving must be taken with a grain of salt
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though much of what is believed about the Plymouth pilgrims is myth, the impact of the transplanted English settlers has had a profound impact on North American civilization.

The Puritan ethic pervades the culture.

Most Americans know that the Puritans were not the first to arrive in North America as settlers. When the Mayflower arrived in 1620, the new settlers quickly met Squanto of the local Indian culture. He spoke English, which was a boon for the new arrivals.

Squanto had been kidnapped and taken to Europe where he learned the language while trying to make his way back home.

Turkey has become the dominate food for modern Thanksgiving. In the Plymouth Colony, venison was the food of choice. The deer were provided by the local Indians. There were some wild turkeys, but certainly not of the Butterball variety. There is some question whether the big dinner with the Pilgrims and the Indians ever took place.

But the supposed dinner is celebrated today as Thanksgiving.

Clearly the arriving religious refugees were not well prepared for their tasks, and it was November in New England.  There was disease and little food in some cases. This is an area that has become one of the fishing centers of the world. The stories say that the Indians taught the Pilgrims to plant corn. That food is an American development. But the corn at the time was best suited for grinding and baking. It was not the roasting ears of a good Labor Day picnic.

The Pilgrims never called themselves that. They called themselves saints. And they handed out punishment with a mixture of Old Testament. Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" is not too far off base. The Plymouth Colony had several convictions for adultery, and the penalty after a sound whipping was to wear the letters AD sewed on garments. Failing to display them was another crime.

Witchcraft also was a crime, but historians say
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
This is the result of a weak immigration policy.

that the only two cases in the early history of the colony resulted in acquittals.

The history of the colony supports the assessment of H.K. Mencken that Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

The New England Historical Society notes that had it not been for his May Day party with a giant Maypole, Thomas Morton might have established a New England colony more tolerant, easygoing and fun than his dour Puritan neighbors created at Plymouth Plantation. Said the society:

"Merrymount was a colonial utopia in which the settlers . . . lived in harmony with the Algonquin Indians. The Puritans were horrified that the liberal-minded Morton and his men consorted with native women. They considered Morton an impious, drunken libertine. They also weren’t happy his easygoing colony attracted escapees from the strictness and starvation of Plymouth."

The famous Myles Standish led a military invasion of the rival colony, detained Morton and eventually shipped him to England.

There were some ironies in the early colony history.  Some historians think that the disease that ravaged the colony in its first year was transmitted because the Pilgrims were raiding Indian graves for artifacts to ship back to England and food left as offerings.

The true history of the colony is probably unrecoverable because the principal source is William Bradford's  "History of Plimoth Plantation." He was the long-time governor.

Digging error closes down the downtown roadways
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A backhoe operator ran into underground cables Thursday and turned much of the downtown into a parking lot.

The location is where a crew has been at work for several weeks: Avenida 7 at Calle 5.

The job is for the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the water company.
Traffic police closed off Avenida 7, a principal eastbound route, and they did not specify alternatives. Vehicles were backed up to the east as far as Calle 23 and the Antigua Aduana. Bus service was frozen.

Thousands of vehicles were tied up for as much a 90 to 120 minutes.

Traffic police were seen watching the jam, but they did not take any action.

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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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CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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Four held in Heredia murder-for-hire plot

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four men including a business partner of the victim have been detained in the attempted assassination.

The case involves persons associated with Busetas Heredianas S. A.

Last Feb. 10 a man waled up to a car stuck in traffic in Heredia and pumped eight bullets in and near the driver. The victim was identified by the last name of  Garita.

One of the persons detained Thursday is in the reserves of the Feurza Pública, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. Another is a former member of the Unidad Especial de Intervención of the Ministerio de Presidencia.

The man identified as the intellectual author of the shooting was identified with the last name of Ramírez. The victim, Garrita, was a principal witness against him in 1996 when he was sentenced to six years in prison. The case involved handling of company money. Garrita also has a pending financial claim against Ramírez for $1 million, officials said.

The allegation is that Ramírez approached the two persons with police experience and asked them to find a hitman. The allegation is that they contracted with a man with the last name of  Reyes to make the hit in Mercedes Norte de Heredia.

All four of the suspects have been placed in preventative detention, said the Poder Judicial.

Fund set up for drought relief

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banca para el Desarrollo has designated 1 billion colons for a fund to help farmers and ranchers affected by the Guanacaste drought.

The project was developed in conjunction with Luis Felipe Arauz Cavallini, the minister of Agricultura y Ganadería.

The fund is designed to provide credit and easy repayment terms when the president has made a declaration of emergency. The amount is about $22 million.

Those in agriculture in Guanacaste have suffered this year because there was less rain than normal. But they are very concerned about the possibility of even less rain in 2015.

Press group deplores repression in México
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has condemned acts of censorship, discrimination and repression by members of the Querétaro state government in Mexico taken against local journalists, and called on the federal government for guarantees for the safety of reporters.

Some 75 journalists in Querétaro complained in a public statement of threats, discrimination and repression on the part of state officials in the administration of Gov. Antonio Calzada.

The journalists condemned the order by the state’s government secretary to censor and instigate an attack on Juan Manuel Auzua, host of the program “The Night Guardian” broadcast by 92.7 FM radio, in which he had raised the issue of lack of security in the state.

Press association President Gustavo Mohme of the Peruvian newspaper La República declared that “we also issued a call on the government of Mexico to strengthen the mechanisms established to investigate crimes against freedom of expression and protect the work of journalists.”

State insurance firm returns money

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros says it has refunded some 300 million colons to 44 companies that have reduced workplace accidents. The amount is about $550,000.

The money comes from premiums that the companies paid for their worker compensation insurance, the seguro de riesgos del trabajo.

Police say canned goods held cocaine

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug police said a tip caused them to stop a bus bound for Playas del Coco Wednesday and to discover 3.2 kilos of cocaine hidden in cans marked as containing palm hearts, pineapple and beans.

The bus originated in San José and police stopped it near Liberia, they said. The presumed owner of the cocaine was detained.

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The Municipalidad de Heredia opens this skate park today. The project cost 140 million colons, about $257,000.  The official event today in San Francisco de Heredia will be followed by demonstrations and professional skaters. More parks are planned for Heredia Centro, Los Lagos and San Jorge, said the municipality. In addition to skating, the park is designed for skateboards and bikes.
skate park
Municipalidad de Heredia photo

Tourism chamber seeks to reconstruct nation's marketing image
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber has called a session for next week where the future of the country's tourism will be discussed.

The chamber, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, said it wants experts to analyze the aspects of the tourism industry that need urgent decisions to guarantee the competitivity of the country.

The chamber said the session would take place during the XVIII Congreso Nacional de Turismo, which is Monday and Tuesday at the Hotel Wyndham San José Herradura. International experts have
been invited from Spain and Venezuela. Also invited are two representatives of 22Squared, the Atlanta, Georgia, advertising agency that created the talking sloth promotion and the movie advertising project for the country.

Basically the goal is to position Costa Rica so it attracts more tourists. The chamber noted that the tourism industry is valued at about $1.6 billion each year.

The program seems geared to consider promoting the use of social media for marketing Costa Rica. The invitation list does not include anyone with expertise in traditional media.

Government defends letting Limón strikers return without docking pay
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial says it was able to let striking Limón dockworkers off the hook because the declaration that their strike was illegal had not been validated by a higher court.

Negotiators agreed Wednesday night that the dockworkers would return to the job Thursday without any pay deductions for the days they had been off work.

Although the strike had been declared illegal last week, an appeal was pending Wednesday.
Not until Thursday did the Tribunal de Trabajo de Limón resolve the appeal and affirm that the strike was illegal, noted Casa Presidencial.  By then strikers were back at work.

The government also cited a Sala IV constitutional ruling that said strikers could not be dismissed or penalized as long as there was not a declaration of illegality. Strikers had been off work since Oct. 22 when police took over the docks.

The Casa Presidencial statement in conjunction with the Ministerio de Trabajo was seen as trying to deflect criticism as to why there would be no penalties for the strikers.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Del Rey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 221        
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California university pioneers holistic approach to treating Alzheimer's
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Alzheimer’s is a frightening disease not only for those who suffer from the progressive memory loss, but also their loved ones.

But researchers at the University of California Los Angeles said a new way of treating Alzheimer’s is showing promise for reversing some of that memory loss. The treatment combines western medicine with eastern philosophy.

Dale Bredesen, with the university's Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, said nine of 10 patients suffering from either Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments saw improvements in their memory. He said the new therapy treats the patients holistically, unlike traditional treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

“They have either taken a single drug, monotherapy, to try with Alzheimer’s and that has been a failure repeatedly, or they have tried without any sort of background simply saying, 'Okay, try exercise, try changing your diet,' these sorts of things, and there has not been any way to understand how these things contribute to the disease,” Bredesen said.

A 55-year-old attorney who does not want her identity revealed because she suffered from progressive memory loss associated with early Alzheimer’s and still works is one of 10 patients who received a new therapy to treat memory loss.

"I could not remember conversations that I'd had with my kids and my husband. I started having to refer to my calendar all the time,” she said.

“I now have much more confidence in my work and am not afraid
that I will forget something. I don't have to rely on my lists. I don't have to write everything down.”

Bredesen said there is a constant balance of the brain remembering and forgetting. He said many factors, including lifestyle, can create an imbalance in brain activity, leading to memory loss.

“We identified 36 different parts of this network that contribute to the imbalance. So when you are chronically on the wrong side of that balance, you are in fact pulling apart the connections instead of making them. Then, in the long run, that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.”

The different elements include a person's diet, exercise and sleep habits. Through brain imaging, blood work and lifestyle questions, Bredesen creates an individualized therapy for each patient.

Treatments include lifestyle changes and even medications or supplements.  He described this new therapy as combining western understanding of the human body with the eastern approach of looking at the whole patient.

“What we’re using is a combination that brings these two together to create a new kind of physician that is doing a different kind of medicine who understands the basis of molecular genetics, but also understands the need to bring things together in a network fashion,” Bredesen said.

He said for the nine patients experiencing improvement, it typically came within three to six months. He said the 10th patient was too far along in the disease to see results.   The center is now working with 30 additional patients as it moves to expand its research.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

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

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

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

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


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

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Real estate for rent (paid category)
Enjoy living in the middle of wonderful mountains.
Fresh air, gorgeous forest. Near downtown but away from noisy city.  Nature lifestyle.  Beautiful chalet in a large property located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. Rate $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  Email


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:

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

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,000 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.

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

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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Family home

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 221        
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Environmental group accuses
Chinese of airlifting ivory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report accuses members of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s entourage on a state trip to Tanzania last year of loading an official plane with illegal ivory.

The report released Thursday by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a London-based international nonprofit, said members of the Chinese delegation bought so much ivory on the March 2013 trip that prices for the illegal commodity doubled up to $700 per kilogram.

A spokesman in Beijing said Thursday the charge that illegal ivory was carried out of Africa by a Chinese government airliner is groundless.

The illegal ivory trade has devastated elephant populations in the East African nation.

Local traders, quoted in the report, said the contraband was allegedly bundled up and flown back to China on the presidential plane.

In a video released by the environmental agency, an alleged Tanzanian ivory dealer discusses the Chinese deals with an undercover investigator.

The unnamed trader said when Xi’s entourage visited, “Many kilos go out, many kilos. Half of his plane goes to that business.”

When an investigator asked how he knew, the trader responded: “I know. They buy from us.”

The report added that Chinese diplomatic and military staffs, along with Chinese businessmen, in the past have used such visits to purchase large amounts of ivory.

China has vowed to crack down on ivory trafficking.  In a ceremony in the city of Guangzhou in January, officials crushed more than 6 tons of confiscated raw and carved ivory to show the commitment.

The event was attended by representatives of African countries hit hard by poaching, including Tanzania.

The report said Tanzania is the biggest source of illegal ivory seized around the world.

International ivory trading was banned in the 1980s in an effort to protect elephants, tens of thousands of whom are killed by poachers each year for their tusks.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species last year named China among eight nations failing to do enough to fight the import of illegally smuggled ivory.

Tanzania is a close ally of China. On a visit to Beijing last month, President Jakaya Kikwete signed business deals reported to be worth $1.7 billion.

Trafficking follows established trade routes in Tanzania, beginning in the country's own wildlife reserves.

Elephants are slaughtered at the parks – Selous, a reserve in southern Tanzania, is one of the hardest hit. The ivory is collected in villages and brought to the port in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. It is loaded onto freighters and shipped to destinations in Asia, including Hong Kong, Manila and Haiphong, Vietnam, before ending up in China, where it is cut, carved and sold as decoration or used in medicine.

None of this would be possible without the cooperation of Tanzanian authorities, said Shruti Suresh, a wildlife campaigner.

"Seeing that there are several tons of ivory going through government posts, past government officials, it is clear that this corruption permeates through the highest levels of government," Suresh said.

The insatiable demand for ivory, mostly from Asia, has had devastating consequences for elephant populations.

The environmental agency said Tanzania had lost two-thirds of its elephants in less than a decade, mostly to poachers. The country had 142,000 elephants in 2005; the agency predicted that, at the current death rate, the number would fall to about 55,000 in 2015. The elephant population at the Selous reserve alone fell from 70,000 in 2006 to just 13,000 in 2013.

Suresh called the decline of Tanzania’s elephant population "dire in the extreme."

"It's quite shocking," Suresh said. "And if we don't stop this rate of decline, we really don't know if Tanzania will have elephants in the near future."

Retired SEAL says it was he
who killed Osama bin Laden

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A veteran U.S. Navy SEAL says he was the middle-of-the-night raider who shot and killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at his Pakistani hideout in 2011.

His name has been secret for more than three years, but Robert O'Neill is telling U.S. news organizations he fired three shots at bin Laden, hitting him twice in the forehead and a third time after he crumbled to floor in front of his bed at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

O'Neill says he was near the head of the column of commandos on the Navy SEAL Team 6 that burst into the bin Laden compound and confronted the architect of the 2001 al-Qaida terror attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people.

O'Neill said the first SEAL to reach bin Laden's room fired a shot that apparently missed, before he spotted bin Laden through his night-vision scope.

The 38-year-old O'Neill said that at least two other SEAL team members fired shots, including Mark Bissonnette, who previously wrote a book about the raid, "No Easy Day."

O'Neill, now retired from the military after 16 years and giving motivational speeches, said he decided to disclose his role in the raid after becoming convinced his identity was about to be revealed by others.  He was preparing to make his story public when a group of former SEAL members disclosed his name in protest of his plan to make the disclosure himself.

The U.S. military has also been angered by the disclosure as O'Neill's plan became evident.  A few days ago, a U.S. Naval Special Warfare commander warned individual SEALS they were obligated to "not advertise the nature of my work nor seek recognition for my action" in exchange for public notoriety or financial gain.

O'Neill, who was awarded numerous military decorations during more than 400 U.S. combat missions, also participated in the 2009 rescue of merchant marine Capt. Richard Phillips from pirates off the coast of Somalia.  That raid was depicted in the 2013 movie, "Captain Phillips."

Medal of Honor awarded
to long-dead Civil War hero

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Alonzo H. Cushing gave his life for his country more than 150 years ago, and Thursday he was recognized for bravery by the president of the United States.

Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor, the country's highest military decoration, to First Lieutenant Cushing, killed at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

More than 24 members of the Cushing family were at the White House Thursday to accept the medal.

Cushing was killed during an infantry assault by southern troops on the Union Army on the last day of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Although badly wounded, Cushing refused to back down as he led northern troops against more than 10,000 advancing Confederate soldiers.

Historians call this the turning point in favor of the Union in the U.S. Civil War.

Cushing is buried at the U.S. Army's military academy at West Point, New York. Historians and Cushing's family have kept his story alive.

President Obama said the medal reflects the obligations the country has to its servicemen and women, long after they've taken off their uniforms.

He said the medal is a reminder that no matter how long it takes, it is never too late to do the right thing.

Boehner adopts a hard line
in discussing immigration

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After a sweeping victory on Election Day, Republican House Speaker John Boehner took a hard line on the next Congress’ agenda and quelled any talk of compromise with Democratic President Barack Obama, using strong language to warn the president he would get burned if he took unilateral action on immigration reform.  It appears the new Congress, with both chambers controlled by Republicans starting in January, may be on a collision course with the president.

Boosted by the prospect of having the biggest Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 80 years, Speaker Boehner appeared tough at a news conference Thursday, vowing to hold another vote to repeal the president’s signature health care reform law when the new Congress is sworn in next year.  The Republican-led House has already voted to repeal, delay or dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” more than 50 times. 

Boehner also warned the president not to take executive action on immigration reform.

“When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself, and he is going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.  The American people made clear on Election Day they want to get things done, and they do not want the president to act on a unilateral basis," said Boehner.

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill more than one year ago, but the House has not brought an immigration bill to the floor for a vote.  Speaking to reporters Wednesday, President Obama warned his patience is wearing thin waiting for Congress to fix what many call the broken U.S. immigration system.

"So before the end of the year, we are going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system that will allow us to surge additional resources to the border," said President Obama.

Pro-immigration reform lawmakers and activists are putting pressure on President Obama to take bold executive action to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants, after the president delayed any action until after this week’s elections.  Labor leader Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO,  told reporters the House had had more than enough time to act on immigration.

“When given a chance to fix it, Republican extremists refused; now the president must act," said Trumka.

The president is meeting with 16 congressional leaders today at the White House to discuss the new political realities after the election, and to try to find some common ground to get things done.

Canada wants to enact
multiple marriage ban

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Canada's government has proposed changes to strengthen a current ban on polygamist immigration.

Amendments to the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act were introduced in Parliament Wednesday.

A Canadian government review of the current law suggests some permanent resident applicants begin polygamous marriages once in Canada to try to circumvent the law.

The proposed changes would give the government the power to deport those who begin polygamous marital relationships in Canada, without the need for a criminal conviction.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Canada will not tolerate cultural traditions in the country that deprive individuals of their human rights.

Alexander said there are hundreds of immigration cases that will be affected if the law is amended.

The proposed legislation also would ban forced marriages, set a minimum age for marriage at 16, and limit possible defenses in so-called honor killings and many spousal murders.

Workers in Brussels march
to protect austerity plans

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least 100,000 workers took to the streets of Brussels on Thursday to protest the Belgian government’s free-market reforms and austerity measures.

At least 14 people were injured when protesters clashed with the police.

Protesters pelted police with stones and fireworks, overturning cars or setting them on fire. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

The workers were protesting plans by the country's new center-right government to increase the pension age from 65 to 67, freeze wages and cut public services.

The government says it must implement austerity measures to keep the budget deficit in line with European Union requirements.  It also insists that businesses need more tax breaks to compete in the global market.
Trade unions have objected to the government plans, saying they undermine Belgium's welfare state. The unions have announced they will push their demands forward during a several-week long campaign that will culminate in a general strike on December 15.

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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
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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.

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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.

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
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

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
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:

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.

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

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

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

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

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

two 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 or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

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

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


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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

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

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 221
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Swiss seek world acclaim for yodeling

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Switzerland announced last month that it will ask the United Nations to add yodeling, a long tradition in the Alpine nation, to the U.N. global heritage list.

But despite the popular image of the yodeling alpine goatherd, Switzerland does not have a monopoly on the distinctive sound. Cultures all over the world have their own version of the yodel, and even Canadian country music artist Eli Barsi says it can be heard in everything from American cowboy songs to Eastern European, British, Dutch, Scandinavian, Bollywood, Asian, and West African pygmy music.

Yodeling is defined as singing a single note that begins with a low-pitch chest registers and then abruptly jumps to a falsetto head register. While much yodeling sounds spontaneous, Ms. Barsi says most artists write unique yodels for each song and sing them the same way every time.

Country music artists like Ms. Barsi have the American cultural stew to thank for the yodels they perform today. German immigrants brought their traditional yodel to the North American plains, while African slaves brought their own broken voice field calls to the Americas.

John Rumble, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum historian, says the two traditions merged in country music in the early 20th century, thanks to Jimmie Rodgers, who became known as America’s Blue Yodeler. A fan of traditional European yodeling, Rodgers had daily exposure to African American construction workers who repaired railroad tracks on the line he worked for as a young man. They imbued yodeling with a unique, bluesy twist.

“No one has every surpassed Jimmie Rodgers in terms of the emotion that he packed into his yodels," said Rumble. "And that could be light-hearted, it could be nostalgic, it could even be world-weary.”

Rodgers died in 1933. But in the years since, Rumble says, no yodeler has matched his commercial success.

But while it may no longer enthrall American audiences, Ms. Barsi, the Canadian musician, says artists are still yodeling. In fact, she recently conducted live yodeling demonstrations for participants in Nashville, where she saw an expanding range of interest.

“At the western festival and the cowboy festivals we go to, there are a lot of the younger artists that are interested," she said. "So, you know, all of us yodelers try to help them along the best we can, because they are the next generation of yodelers coming up.”

While Ms. Barsi notes that examples of yodeling can be heard in genres of music beyond country, she says she also hears broken voice singing — generally described as transitions between different vocal registers of the human voice akin to that of yodeling — in pop, jazz, reggae, and even classical music.

Satellites spot
unknown Amazon villages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists are using satellite images to get a better view of the location and size of isolated Amazon tribes living in dense forests along the border of Peru and Brazil.

The spacecraft are replacing surveys by invasive, low-flying aircraft, that may scare people not accustomed to modern technology.

Analyzing images taken over a number of years by satellite cameras with 50-centimeter resolution, authorities in Brazil discovered five previously unknown villages along the Envira River.

Indigenous people, who have a subsistence lifestyle, growing crops and hunting and gathering in the forest, have long avoided contact with the rest of the world. But their existence is severely threatened by illegal loggers and cocaine traffickers who, fleeing from authorities, keep moving their cocoa cultivation and processing plants deeper into the jungle.

Scientists say they have found obvious differences between the villages and contemporary camps of drug and timber traffickers. Some scientists have also expressed concerns that contact with the outside world may expose the tribes to germs against which they have no immunity.

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From Page 7:

Tech chamber expands opposition to monopoly

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The technology chamber is putting together a joint effort to oppose bills that would force everyone in the computer field to join a colegio.

The chamber, the Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación, already has voiced opposition to the bills, Nº 18.919 and Nº 18.928. It said it is seeking professionals in that industry to use the social networks to voice opposition.

The bills would require, it seems, anyone who works with a computer to join and pay dues to the Colegio de Profesionales en Informática y Computación. The colegio already exists and has about 5,000 members. The bill would reform the laws that created the professional organization.

The chamber meets Wednesday with students at the Universidad de Costa Rica who are in these fields to seek support.

The chamber also will approach lawmakers to outline what it said were negative consequences of the bills.

The chamber has said that many in the computer field are self taught and need not be required to have a university degree.