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(506) 2223-1327                                   Pubished Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 225                      Email us
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Food marketers reject a 15 percent value-added tax
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's food marketing chamber has issued the first organized challenge to the central government's plan for a 15 percent value-added tax.

The chamber, the Cámara Costarricense de la Industria Alimentaria, said that such a tax would be regressive and direct a blow at the pockets of consumers at the time they acquire the goods and services that they need.

The government has been open in planning to replace the current 13 percent sales tax with a more inclusive value-added tax. But a visiting technician from the International Monetary Fund suggested a higher rate in a visit this week.

The government is desperately trying to raise more money to stem the flow of red ink.

Half the annual budget is borrowed money, and the current administration actually submitted a 2015 budget that was higher than the one for the previous year.
The food marketing chamber, under the name of its president, José Manuel Hernando, said the government should do other things. It suggested revising the pension system, studying the salary incentives and eliminated duplicate work by separate ministries. The chamber also said that the public lacks an accounting of the enormous expenses in health and education.

All of these areas have been topics of media revelations since President Luis Guillermo Solís took office.

The value-added tax applies the levy at every stage of production, and the end consumer pays it all. The tax generally raises more than a sales tax, in part because the accounting system discourages evasion. Plus, the government probably will tax many items that are not now subject to the sales tax.

Within the food industry a 15 percent tax will bankrupt companies, encourage the informal economy and drastically hit the pockets of consumers who will be the most affected, said the chamber.

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This is your brain on a second language. More and stronger internal connections.

Bilingual brains are more efficient, study confirms
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

People who speak more than one language fluently process information more easily than those who know only one language, a new study shows.

Researcher Viorica Marian, of Northwestern University's School of Communication, explains that is because the bilingual brain is constantly choosing which language to use and which to ignore.

Ms. Marian proposed this concept, which she calls co-activation, in 1999.  Her new study, published in the journal Brain and Language, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test its validity.  Volunteers performed word recognition
 exercises.  By watching blood flow as they did the tasks - a measure of how hard the brain was working - Ms. Marian found that monolinguals had to work harder to identify the correct words.

The brains of bilingual speakers are more efficient, she reports, because they are better at constantly filtering out irrelevant words.

"Using another language," she said, "provides the brain built-in exercise."

That may help explain why bilingualism seems to help forestall Alzheimer's and dementia, she says.  Other studies suggest that bilingual children are better at filtering out classroom noise.

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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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Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
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           *$179,900 Hermosa Beachfront Community with Ocean Views !
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jac¢ born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!

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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
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Contact Jim Day
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Rail service gets so-so rating from users

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On a scale of 10 the nation's passenger rail service rates just 56 with its customers, according to the Contraloría General de la República.

The watchdog agency reported on a study of the train service Wednesday. Then it recommended that the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles do more service to customers.

The complaints include overcrowding in the rail cars and inconsistent arrival and departure times. There also have been problems of access to the rail stations and getting information to users, said the Contraloría.

The report also noted that the rail institute is behind in providing a link to Alajuela from Heredia, even though there still is plenty of money in the budget.

In 2013 the rail service, which began again in 2005, saw 3.1 million customers.

The system now includes a Pavas to Curridabat service, an Heredia-San José line, a service from San Antonio de Belén to San José and a San José to Cartago line.  The Heredia to Alajuela link will be 11 kilometers.

The rail system is seen as a way to reduce the traffic congestion in the Central Valley.

Vehicle loophole targeted by new bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is a new bill being presented in the legislature that seeks to control  piques, drag races, but it has nothing to do with those late night informal contests on the Central Valley main strips.

The bill, presented by Carlos Hernández of Frente Amplio, seeks to close what he calls a loophole in the 2012 traffic law that allows municipalities to give permission to shut off local streets for events like festivals.

He cited a case in Turrubares in July where two children were injured as spectators of a road racing event. Other municipalities have supported similar events.

His solution is to require permission from the  Dirección General de Ingeniería de Tránsito for vehicle events. The bill is 19.404.

Millions of migratory raptors spotted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Center reports that an incredible 2 million migratory raptors were counted over Panama City Nov. 2.

The center said that this was more than twice the previous record counted by individuals taking the bird census. This figure is also a record-setter in the annual tallies kept by the Audubon Society of Panama since 2004, it said.

The birds are on a thousand kilometer journey from North to South America, said the institute. Some 3 million birds in total are expected to be traveling south.

“The official count from Sunday’s massive raptor migration is 2,105,060 birds, most of them Turkey vultures and Swainson’s hawks,” said George Angehr, a Smithsonian ornithologist and authority on Panama’s bird life. “A large percentage of the world population of Swainson’s hawks probably passed through on their way from the Great Plains to Argentina.” He was quoted by the institute.

This one-day total may also be the single largest recorded in the Americas, the institute said.

Bad weather in Central America may create a bottleneck, limiting migration when it is rainy or cloudy, said Angehr. “When you get good flying conditions after several days of rain, they take advantage,” he said. “There must have been at least 100 miles of raptors. There was a river of birds passing all day.”

Raptors conserve energy during migration by riding columns of warm air that only form over land. Because the Isthmus of Panama is so narrow, birds are forced together and are easily seen. While the majority of the raptors are vultures and Swainson’s hawks, expert birders may spot some 20 species, said the institute.

“These birds migrate by day and at night they need the forests that we have around the city — the humid forests and also the mangrove forests,” Rosabel Miró, the executive director of the Audubon in Panama, told news station TVN-2. She added this reinforces the need for legislation to protect the mangroves of the Bay of Panama. She also was quoted by the institute.

The count, sponsored by Fundación Natura, is carried out from Oct. 1 to Nov. 18 on Ancon Hill, the landmark at the Pacific gateway to the Panama Canal.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 225          
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President's minister gets a reprieve from the constitutional court
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court once again has decided that a section of the Costa Rican Constitution is unconstitutional. The decision, released after a vote Wednesday, allows Melvin Jiménez Marín to continue serving as minister of the Presidencia, a powerful position in the executive branch.

The appointment of Jiménez had been challenged because Article 142 (3) of the Constitution says that a government minister must be secular. Jiménez is an ordained Lutheran priest who holds the rank of bishop. The phrase in Spanish is ser del estado seglar.

In a summary released by the Poder Judicial, the Sala IV agreed with an argument that had been advanced informally.

The court decided that the prohibition of clerics only related to the Roman Catholic Church due to what is said were historical and constitutional reasons. However, the Costa Rican Constitutional clearly recognizes other religions in Article 75 that gives them the right to exercise their beliefs freely.

Juménez held a press conference after the ruling was released in which he said the role of a bishop in the Lutheran Church was different than that of a similarly placed Catholic because Lutherans do not accept authority from foreigners. Presumably he meant the pope in Rome.

The Poder Judicial in its belief summary also said that Sala IV magistrates said the constitutional limitation also violated the American Convention on Human Rights because it prohibits participation in public matters.

Two magistrates disagreed with the decision, and one said the case should not have been accepted.

Casa Presidencial photo
Melvin Jiménez is flanked by two legal advisers.

Magistrate Nancy Hernández López said that Jiménez clearly was not secular whether or not he still was a bishop. She said the prohibition was justified because a cleric could have a strong influence as a minister, an influence that would be diluted if the individual was simply a lawmakers and one of 57.

Magistrate Luis Fernando Salazar Alvarado said that whether or not Jiménez had stepped down as bishop or was suspended from his religious duties he could assume them easily if he left government.
Magistrate Paul Rueda Leal said that the appeal against Jiménez had been filed too early and before the minister actually took office.

The Constitution is full of such prohibitions. Even to be a magistrate a candidate has to be secular, it says There also are age and citizenship requirements. These would seem to be put in doubt by the Sala IV decision.

The court last made news in challenging the Constitution when it decided on the second attempt that former president Óscar Arias Sánchez could run again for that office even though the Constitution said he could not.

Planning and a good design defeat the blazing tropical sun in Osa
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is a good chance there will be screams each month when expats in places like Jacó get the electric bill.  Some say they are dropping $400 a month because of air conditioning. But a new eco lodge in Drake Bay has been built with the idea that passive cooling is better than expensive air conditioning.

The location is the Drake Bay Getaway Resort operated by Patrick Ludwig and Yens Jimenez Steller, formerly of  Seattle, Washington.

Passive cooling is what Great Grandma used to do before residential air conditioning  proliferated with some modern twists. The pair reported that all the cabins are kept cool with white roofs, ceiling fans, cross ventilation, and eco-friendly architectural design. And, of course, the hot shower is courtesy of the sun. There are five cabins with ocean and rainforest views, the pair noted.

The lodge was finished about three weeks ago, and the pair estimate that they will be saving 2,700 kilowatts of power per month, thanks to the passive cooling considerations. They figure that's about $850 per month.

The lodge began as Drake Bay Cafe. Now there is a butterfly garden, too, Drake Bay is on the west side of the Osa peninsula and the Parque Nacional Corcovado in southwestern Costa Rica.

ocean view
Drake Bay Getaway Resort photo
White roofs and bay breezes help cool the interior.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Researcher studies how women manage to cope amid warfare
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Whether it was centuries ago, or today, women have suffered greatly in war even though they are usually not combatants. Stories passed down through the generations indicate they used their wits to make the best of terrible circumstances.

Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, an anthropology instructor at the University of Oregon, studied those stories. They come from North American Indian tribes, the Eskimo of the Arctic, Australia’s aborigines, the San of South Africa and tribes in South America. She says both native people and anthropologists agree that hunter-gatherers passed down their knowledge by telling tales not by writing them down.

“My main interest is the role that story telling has played in human evolution and how far back it dates in human pre-history. And the basic argument that I make in my research is that it dates back thousands of years, tens of thousands of years to when all humans on the planet were making their living by hunting and gathering. So I just started asking myself, well, what kinds of information does it take to make a living as a hunter-gatherer? What are some of the problems that they face on a regular basis? And warfare is one of those problems.”

She said that there’s a lot of research in evolutionary psychology on warfare and when it emerged in human pre-history. But she said there’s little information on women and war through the ages.

“The research focuses on men because warfare is primarily waged by men, especially in forager societies. Women are victims of it. They defend themselves, but they don’t really participate in attacking other groups. The research is focused on why males would be motivated to engage in this behavior. What the possible benefits are,  on how male psychology has been shaped to enable males to engage in warfare,” she said.

Ms. Scalise Sugiyama said oral stories provide long-term patterns of behavior that archeology, for example, cannot provide. She says more men die in war than women, but adds that women are affected by war in many ways.

“Death in violent interactions is not the only potential cost of warfare, especially in the case of women. Women are often taken captive and children, too, whereas men are more likely to be killed. They don’t
tend to be taken captive. So that just started me thinking about the  different ways in which warfare affects women,” she said. She gave an example of how women in the midst of war could react.

“If a woman was taken captive and she wanted to escape, well, one really useful piece of information would be what the terrain is like between the enemy village that you’ve been taken to and her natal village – the village that she’s trying to get back to. You have to be able to find your way back. Another set of useful information would be, well, how do these different enemy groups -- living around me -- how do they treat their captives? Do they tend to adopt them into the tribe and treat them like group members? Do they torture them? Do they rape them?”

So, would it be better to fight her attacker or go along as a captive knowing she would not be killed? Another possible strategy, she said, is the use of sex by women to escape.
The anthropology instructor said the so-called Stockholm Syndrome may have ancestral roots. It’s when hostages bond with their captors during abusive conditions.

“When I started researching it I was surprised to discover that there are actually no validated criteria for diagnosing it. And it’s not recognized as a psychiatric disorder or condition by the medical community. And so that suggests that it might actually be a coping mechanism or a coping strategy. It may increase the captive’s chances of survival by motivating her to identify with her captor and adopt his views and the views of his society so she can fit in in this new society,” she said.

Ms. Scalise Sugiyama said she wonders what the psychological state might be of hundreds of girls kidnapped earlier this year by Nigeria’s Boko Haram militant group.

“When women are taken captive they’re put in this really difficult position, which is: you don’t know if you’re going to be rescued or not. So, you don’t know if you’re going to spend the rest of your life in this new society in which you’re basically an enemy, an outsider  or if you’re going to manage to get back to your natal group, you know, your own people.”

She added the research could lead to better social and psychological help for women affected by war. The findings appear in Springer’s journal Human Nature.

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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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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cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 225    
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Altos de Antigua

Americans have little faith
in privacy of communication

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study released Wednesday shows Americans are concerned about a growing loss of online privacy in an increasingly digital world and that trust in both government and private industry to protect sensitive information is dropping.

The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, explores the definition and importance of privacy to Americans while using the Internet or mobile phones. It also explores which technologies are the most and least trusted, and where users place the blame for eroding privacy and security.

“We’re seeing folks are thinking about their privacy as being bound up in the security of various platforms,” said Mary Madden, a Pew senior researcher and lead author of the report.

Madden said the project was spawned by in part by revelations of hidden U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs, as well as reports of massive credit information theft online.

“In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of government surveillance and high profile consumer data breaches, we wanted to get a sense of how these events might be affecting top of mind for the American public and what they’re thinking about privacy,” she said.

“We found eight in ten respondents think Americans should be more concerned about government surveillance,” Ms. Madden said. “And on the consumer side, nine in ten say they agree that consumers have lost control over how their personal information is collected and used by companies, which tracks with other research we’ve done.”

When it comes to defining what exactly privacy means in the digital world, respondents came up with a wide variety of answers and definitions, Ms. Madden said. But many of those definitions revolved around concepts of security and safety while online, meaning that for many privacy and security are two sides of the same coin.

“This study really points to the complexity of the issue and just how, over the past year and a half in particular, a lot of these issues around privacy and security are converging,” she said. “What’s interesting is that in the tech world and even the law, privacy and security tend to be separate conversations in their separate communities. But increasingly we’re seeing the public thinking about their privacy as being bound up in the security of various platforms.”

Confidence in those platforms, however, was almost universally low among respondents. Researchers asked participants about their confidence using six communication channels: landline phones, mobile phones, text messages, email, instant messaging, and social media. All scored poorly.

“There’s not a single channel we asked about that a majority of adults feel secure using,” Ms. Madden said. “So, even for landline phones, the highest trusted channel, only 16 percent of adults said they feel very secure. The least trusted mode was social media, with 81 percent feeling not very secure or not at all secure.”

Ms. Madden said she and other researchers were surprised to find very few age-related differences among respondents concerned about their online privacy.

The biggest difference appears to be that while older Americans are more likely to have heard about private data breaches or government surveillance programs, younger Americans are more likely to have tried to manage their own digital footprint online.

As to what specific types of information or data Americans are most concerned about keeping private, far and away the most sensitive were Social Security numbers, health care and the content of phone and email conversations. Curiously, many respondents were not at all concerned about information such as personal shopping habits, favored media, political views, and who they’re friends with.

As researcher Adam Tanner previously reported, those very data sets are increasingly being used to create hundreds of millions of what her calls surprisingly intimate portraits of individuals, which corporations then buy and sell to each other.

Pew’s Ms. Madden said the study did not examine how Americans might be changing their behavior to protect their privacy online. That, she said, will be the subject of the next study.

But she did say that it’s clear Americans are concerned about a growing loss of privacy in an increasingly digital world, and that trust across all entities and platforms is falling.

Special deals for big users
highlights Internet battle

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A political fight is brewing in Washington over proposed changes to the way the Internet is regulated in the United States. One side wants rules to forgo plans to charge extra for certain heavy users. The other side says new regulations will slow the economic growth sparked by the Internet. Both sides say their particular approach encourages continued innovation.

Earlier this year, regulators proposed big changes in the way the Internet operates in the United States.

The Federal Communications Commission voted to offer a plan that could allow internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast to make deals with companies like Google and Facebook to provide them with faster paths for their content to consumers.

The plan is opposed by consumer groups, some Web companies, a majority of people questioned in a University of Delaware study, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Ever since the Internet was created, it has been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom. There are no gatekeepers deciding which sites you get to access, there are no toll roads on the information superhighway. This set of principles, the idea of net neutrality, has unleashed the power of the Internet and given innovators the chance to thrive. Abandoning these principles would end the Internet as we know it," said the president.

The Federal Communications Commission is an independent regulator, so Obama cannot just order the commissioners to make changes. Monday he tried to persuade them to regulate consumer broadband services like a public utility.

Economist and former FCC commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, said this industry contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy, and calls new regulations unnecessary and unwise.

"American online companies are the leading online companies in the world in practically every field. I think that is in part a result of our lighter regulatory approach relative to a lot of other countries," said Furchtgott-Roth.

He said proposals to regulate the Internet as if it was a phone company would interfere in many decisions like pricing and relations with customers that are better left to the entrepreneurs who run the business.

The former regulator said even the threat of new rules discourages the investments needed to sustain the innovation that turned the Internet into an engine of economic growth. Many of his views on Internet regulation are shared by some Republican members of Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which speaks for many major businesses.

The issue seems likely to be one that regulators, the courts and Congress will fight over in the months ahead.

European Space Agency photo
The comet was not a smooth surface as scientists hoped

Historic landing on comet
was not without problems

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A European Space Agency probe has made a historic landing on a comet, but its status remains uncertain after harpoons failed to anchor it to the surface.

Agency officials said the lander, Philae, touched down on schedule Wednesday after a seven-hour descent from its orbiting mother ship, Rosetta. But during the free fall to the comet's surface, harpoons designed to anchor the probe failed to deploy.

Officials said the craft might have briefly lifted off after the initial landing on Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko before touching back down again.

The landing was the climax of a 10-year, 6 billion-kilometer journey from Earth. Rosetta had to slingshot three times around Earth and once around Mars before it could work up enough speed to reach the comet, which it did in August.

While the European Space Agency still needs to ascertain the state of the 100-kilogram lander, the fact that it is resting on the surface of the comet already was a huge success. The agency hopes to know more about the state of the probe by Thursday.

Scientists hope that samples drilled out from the comet will unlock details about how the planets evolved. Comets date to the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Scientists suspect impacting comets delivered water to the young Earth.

Rosetta and the Philae craft have cameras and nearly two dozen instruments to probe the comet's surface and to analyze the material below it.

The box-shaped, 100-kg (220-pound) Philae landed on the comet around 16 hours Universal Time (10 a.m. Costa Rican time) Wednesday, seven hours after separating from Rosetta.

The mission was considered risky because of the unknown surface of the comet and a problem with the thruster that was supposed to keep the probe from bouncing back into space.

Engineers designed the lander not knowing what type of terrain they would find on the comet's surface. Rosetta has been taking pictures of the comet and collecting samples from its atmosphere as it approaches the sun, showing it was not as smooth as initially hoped.

The team had to release the three-legged lander at exactly the right time and speed because there was no way of controlling it on its descent.

The touchdown is a first in space history.  It is a proud moment for European space research and, as agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain pointed out, for mankind.

"This is a big step for human civilization. ... This is certainly terrestrial intelligence," said Dordain.

After a period out of radio contact, mission control linked back up with both Rosetta and Philae as expected shortly after 1100 GMT, the ESA said.

Inhaled vaccine providing
monkeys ebola protection

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Researchers have developed a single-dose, needle-free ebola vaccine that protects monkeys against infection for more than four months. The vaccine is administered through the nose, protecting the primates via the respiratory tract.

One key advantage, according to researcher Maria Croyle of the University of Texas at Austin, is that the vaccine could potentially prevent transmission of the virus from unintentional needle sticks through the unsafe handling of medical waste.

News of the vaccine is reported in Molecular Pharmaceuticals, a journal of the American Chemical Society. 

The inhaled vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus, which causes the common cold, to deliver the vaccine.  In a study involving macaque monkeys, none of the three primates that received the vaccine became infected when exposed to the ebola virus at least 21 weeks later.  The researchers also gave the vaccine to the macaques through intravenous injection, which also protected the animals.

The investigators say more work is needed on the formula.  An under-the-tongue formulation of the vaccine is also in development.

At least two other candidate vaccines against ebola are in clinical trials in the United States and Africa.

Alabama dog fighting case
results in prison sentences

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal court in Alabama has sentenced eight suspects for running what authorities call the second largest dog fighting ring in U.S. history.

The defendants will spend from six months to eight years in prison. They also will be banned from owning dogs after they are freed and could face large fines to help pay for caring for the rescued dogs.

Prosecutors say the dogs suffered extraordinary cruelty and lived in deplorable conditions.

The animals were forced to fight and were killed if they lost. The fights also attracted drug dealers and illegal gambling.

Police with help from two animal rights groups broke up the dog fighting ring last year.

Dog fighting is outlawed in the United States. The farm bill President Barack Obama signed earlier this year also makes it illegal to attend a dog fight, and imposes even stronger punishment for bringing a child to such an event.

The country's most notorious dog fighting case involved NFL star Michael Vick, who spent nearly two years in prison for his part in running a dog fighting ring in 2007.

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

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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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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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:

Real estate services
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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

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 225
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
N.Y. Times rejects Chinese threat

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The New York Times is vowing to not alter its coverage of China, after President Xi Jinping appeared to confirm Beijing is punishing foreign news outlets for publishing critical stories.

President Xi's comments came Wednesday during a news conference alongside President Barack Obama in Beijing. When asked by a Times reporter why foreign journalists had difficulties obtaining visas, Xi suggested the reporters themselves were to blame, saying media outlets "need to obey China's laws and regulations."

"When a car breaks down on the road, perhaps we need to get off the car to see where the problem lies. And when a certain issue is raised as a problem, there must be a reason. In Chinese, we have a saying: ‘The party which has created a problem should be the one to help resolve it.’ So perhaps we should look into the problem to see where the cause lies," Xi said.

China has repeatedly failed to issue visas for Times reporters and blocked access to the paper's English and Chinese language sites after it published a series of stories exposing alleged wealth accumulated by the country's leaders.

In a statement Wednesday, the Times editorial board said Xi's message was clear: "He was warning foreign news organizations that their troubles are self-inflicted; they are being penalized for unfavorable or controversial news coverage."

The editorial board said it does not intend to alter its coverage to meet the demands of any government, including China, the United States, or any other nation, insisting no credible news organization would do so.

"Demanding that journalists tailor their coverage to suit the state only protects the powerful and those with something to hide. A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism," the editorial continued.

Many foreign reporters interpreted Xi's comments as confirmation that Beijing's official policy is to discriminate against those who write stories critical of China's leaders. Some took to Twitter to mock the president's statement.

Others pointed out that Xi did not specify which Chinese law reporters are breaking when they write such stories. When pressed on the issue in the past, China's foreign ministry has also failed to disclose which exact law was broken, instead citing minor bureaucratic technicalities.

The murkiness has left many foreign journalists in China wondering what they can and cannot write and in fear of whether they and their families will be allowed to stay in the country if they cross a certain line.

The Times says six of its journalists have failed to receive visas in recent years, including columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was denied a visa last week. Other news organizations also have experienced such visa restrictions and are subject to censorship.

China has defended its policies by saying it gives vastly more access to foreign reporters than it did in past decades, before it began its process of opening up to the outside world.

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:

Banco Nacional plans eco fair today and Friday

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional plans an eco fair today and Friday in the first floor of the downtown main office.

Various companies that sell ecologically friendly products will display them. In addition the bank has a special mortgaging program for eco-friendly dwellings, it said. The loan can be for up to 40 years, it said.

The bank also is promoting and presumably will finance solar water heaters and electrical generating systems that will allow the owner to sell power back to the local network.

The bank also is offering a green credit card that provides income to the Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal.