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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 231                               Email us
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oxen t work
Oxen still do farm work. This is a prize-winning archive photo taken by Art Smiley in 2002.
Christmas kickoff Sunday with parade of boyeros
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sunday ox cart drivers and their gentle giants will be on the streets for the 27th Entrada de Santos por San José. This is a traditional prelude to the Christmas season and a highly photogenic event that attracts tourists from all over.

The ox cart, the signature vehicle of Costa Rica, still is in use on some farms. The drivers frequently are physicians, lawyers and other professionals who keep the bueys as a hobby to maintain the tradition. They are called boyeros.

The parade will be from La Sabana east on Paseo Colón and Avenida Secunda starting at 10 a.m.

The sponsor is the Asociación Boyera Costarricense with support from the municipality.

The parade also will honor the state Fábrica Nacional de Licores that is marking 160 years of making alcoholic beverages for the country. Also being honored is Aída Sandí, de San Antonio de Escazú, who is described as a long-time ox cart enthusiast.

The parade always is held on the last weekend of November. Spectators will see life-size statues of Christian saints carried in the carts, led, of course, by a statue of St. Joseph, San José in Spanish.
The parade usually fields upwards of 100 teams of oxen, their cart and driver.  The oxen, despite their size, are gentle because they have been castrated.

Some are six foot at the shoulders but can be maneuvered by a child, using a traditional metal-tipped wand.

The ox cart has been recognized by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as intangible human heritage.

Officials will watch the parade from a reviewing stand set up in Parque Central. The column will end at the Plaza de la Democracia.

The oxcarts are known for their intricate painted designs. The wheels of many are highly decorated. What is not widely known is that the design originated with an Italian living in Escazú at the turn of the 20th century who wanted to make the carts look like those in his homeland.

For years the carts were the principal method whereby Costa Rican coffee got to the Pacific ports.  History reports ox carts in a tight, long line going up what is now the Pan American Highway to Puntarenas, sort of like tractor trailers of today. The pass Cerro de la Muerta is said to have received that name because oxcart drivers died from exposure overnighting there.



U.S. may freeze Social Security checks without form
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Embassy warned Wednesday that some 800 U.S. Social Security recipients in Costa Rica might have their payments interrupted.

The embassy in a release said that these are recipients who have not returned a form that had been mailed to them by the Social Security Administration.

They got the form because they live outside the United States.

This year, questionnaires were sent to beneficiaries receiving their own benefits whose Social Security number ended in 50-99 or to beneficiaries who have representative payees, that is persons receiving
 benefits on behalf of a minor or disabled person, said the embassy.  Selected beneficiaries receive the form with an envelope to the Social Security facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, it added.

The form seeking status information went out in July, and a followup notice went to those who did not respond in October, according to the embassy.

The Social Security Administration will suspend the benefits if it does not receive a completed and signed Foreign Enforcement Questionnaire, Form SSA-7162 or SSA-7161, by Dec. 30, said the embassy. 

If benefits are interrupted for failure to return the questionnaire, it could take 45-days or longer to resume your payments, it added


Is your home all decked out for the holidays?
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Do you have or will you have some cool holiday lighting of your Costa Rican home?

Some expats really knock themselves out to decorate their homes or business. None probably go so far as the Hospital del Niños where a live evergreen bears
12,000 bulbs. But some come close

A.M. Costa Rica will publish a picture of these holiday creation if homeowners send in a .jpeg photo to editor@amcostarica.com. The photo should be accompanied by a note giving the names of the homeowner or business owner, location and any interesting details.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 231

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Sprotsmen Thanksgiving

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


Dentistry

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Psychotherapy

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California Licensed Psychologist
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Architects

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Architecture-Real Estate-Development

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We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
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Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo

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A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
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Translators

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Accountants

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puppeteer
 Festival Guanacastearte photo  
Puppet in a box, Errabundo Pelele, will star at the festival.

Festival Guanacastearte
begins in Tilirán today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Festival Guanacastearte begins today. This is the sixth annual edition. The event at Tilirán runs through Sunday.

The festival is sponsored by the Fundación para el Desarrollo del Área de Conservación Arenal and the Asociación Cultural Quijotes y Molinos.

Costa Rican and international performers will be featured.

The program includes dancing, poems, theater, concerts and all sorts of additional diversions, including a Spanish puppeteer. There also are planned various workshops on literature, theater and several other art forms.

Previous festivals have been held in Liberia, Hojancha, Abangares, La Cruz and Bagaces.


Bankers warn the public
"tis the season for crooks


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The banking association issued warning Wednesday in conjunction with the Fuerza Pública and the judicial police.

The gist was that during the holidays residents should take extra precautions in handling money.

The Asociación Bancaria Costarricense specifically mentioned automatic tellers and the area outside banks as danger zones. They urged that persons with large sums of money use drive-up windows instead of arriving at the bank on foot.

They also said that there were a lot of fraudsters offering fake lottery tickets, bad checks and stolen credit cards. Other sources said there were many fake banknotes on the streets.

This is the time of year when Costa Ricans receive their annual Christmas bonus or aguinaldo, so there will be a lot of money in the streets. Public employees receive theirs as an electronic transfer Dec. 3. Others receive the bonus in cash.

Starting Monday, police will be stepping up patrols around banks, said the association.

The association also urged Costa Ricans who receive pensions to refrain from withdrawing money the first day it is available because crooks know this also.

The warning involved the entire country, not just the metro area, the association said.

The banking association also warned of cybercrime involving spam email messages and similar.


Employee is main suspect
in shooting at bus firm


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The owner of a bus line was shot in his Alajuelita office Wednesday, and the principal suspect is an employee who asked him for money, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The victim was identified by the last name of Funes. He was in Hospital San Juan de Dios with a gunshot wound and stab wounds.

Judicial agents said that the man was in his office at the terminal in San Felipe de Alajuelita, when the attempted robbery happened.


Man accused of beating
tot and causing his death


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial police say they have detained a 33-year-old man in the death of a 2 year old.

Nov. 6 the child died in his San Pedro de Montes de Oca home, and police at the time at first considered the death natural. Because the body showed some bruises, agents said they ordered an autopsy. The result was that the child had damage to internal organs, they said.

Agents attributed the injuries to the man who watched the child during the day while the mother was at work, they said. Agents allege that the man beat the child.


Holiday fair planned in Tilarán
Dec. 8 by ladies group there

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An organization of women,  The Ladies of the Lake, again are putting together a Christmas fair in  Tilarán.   The event will be Dec. 8 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

All proceeds from this annual event go towards families in need in the local area, local veterinarians for food and medical needs, and for assistance during emergencies, the organization said.

"We are women of varying backgrounds and nationalities in the Lake Arenal Community who meet regularly to support one another and who work together to have a positive impact in the extended community," said an organizer, Denice Key.

"We will have a wide assortment of artisans, many family and kid activities, live music, and a pretty impressive everyone wins raffle with prizes such as a full day fishing trip for two, two nights in a three-bedroom condo at Flamingo Beach, and much much more," she said.

Details are on the fair Facebook page.


Holiday lights will go on
in Jacó a week from tomorrow


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The holiday lights go on in Jacó Nov. 29, the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce reports.

The Municipalidad de Garabito plans a parade at 6 p.m. that day with at least the Banda Unión Pacífico Central and the Banda Municipal. There will be concerts, artistic presentations and fireworks, said an announcement.

Lights will stay up until Jan. 10.


Construction chamber issues
a code of ethics for members

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción has announced a code of ethics for its more than 50 members.

The code consolidates good practices that contributed to the responsible development of the industry, said Gonzalo Delgado, chamber president.

Among other promises, the chamber members agree not to involve themselves in corruption, to maintain professional credentials, work with excellence, integrity, diligence, promptness and efficiency as well as adhere to the industry standards.



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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 231
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Just like today, La Sabana is a place of recreation. This is a 1922 photo, said an archives spokesperson. The scene probably is a Sunday afternoon when city residents could take the trolley to the park and perhaps have a picnic. There still is a lake in the park.

La
                Sabana

New exhibit at Archivo Nacional is said to be like time travel
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Archivo Nacional opened its exhibition that honors San José on its 200th birthday.

The photos on display do not go back that far, although other documents in the archives do. The period displayed with photos from the archive's collection start in the the middle of the 19th century and run until the middle of the 20th. The archive said that seeing the photos is like time travel.

The exposition is called “San José en blanco y negro,” and it will run until March. The archives building is in Zapote.

Virginia Chacón Arias, director of the archives, said the goal
was to share with residents a small part of the documental heritage the institution has.

There was a roundtable Wednesday to mark the opening of the exhibit.

The exhibit comprises 35 photos and texts from six different authors who wrote about the city. There also is a computer system to display digital photos taken recently of the city.

The archive still is asking for the public to submit photos They can be sent in jpeg or tiff formal to difusion@dgan.go.cr.  The archive also asks for a description of what is depicted in the photo and other dates such as time and the name of the submitter.

street scene






This undated photo probably was taken in the 1920s. Dress was more formal then, except for youngsters. And there were no bars or steel coverings on the doors and windows.




Environmental group says Hotel Rui will be topic of hearing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An environmental group says that the Sala IV constitutional court will hold a hearing Nov. 28 on the zoning plan that the Municipalidad de Carrillo put in practice. The group says that the plan was made specifically to favor the construction of the Hotel Rui.

The organization, the Asociacion Confraternidad Guanacasteca, has raised environmental issues and also said that the hearing will define the type of tourism Costa Rica wants.

"The choice is between foreign megaprojects that destroy the mangroves, the forests and the waterways sustained by acts of corruption or ecological tourism, rural, cultural and respectful of the legality and where the community participates and  benefits," said an announcement. The Confraternidad said that the public can attend the 9 a.m. hearing.
The organization said it plans to present technical studies that address turtles in risk of extinction that nest in Playa Matapalo, something that was not considered in the zoning plan, which is called the plan regulador, and hidden from the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental to get approval of the environmental impact study.

The five-star hotel opened in October 2009.  It is on the Pacific on the north coast. Construction was not possible unless the municipality approved a zoning plan and specified land where hotels could be located.

Gadi Amit, a member of the Confraternidad and a resident of the area, has filed claims that the hotel went up over some runoff ditches.

The Confraternidad has battled most development in the Guanacaste area.

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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 231
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Mars probe will try to figure out why planet lost much of its atmosphere
By the Boston University news service

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, a small scientific satellite, to do some chemical meter-reading in the Martian atmosphere, is on the way. This is the launch in which Costa Rican Sandra Cauffman is the deputy project manager.

“MAVEN will provide key knowledge for understanding how all atmospheres, even our own, have changed since the formation of the solar system,” said Paul Withers, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of astronomy, who is one of a Boston University trio working on the project. Unlike studies of quicker, human-induced climate change, MAVEN will study “the longer, natural changes that occur as every planet’s atmosphere slowly boils away.”

Billions of years ago, scientists believe, water coursed over the Red Planet’s face. Today, its arid surface may be a textbook on how solar heat not only evaporated that liquid, but also thinned the atmosphere by bleeding off nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

MAVEN’s goal is to “detail the processes that lead to atoms and molecules escaping into space,” said John Clarke, a colleague, “so that we can extrapolate back in time to tell what the conditions were like when Mars was young.” Erosion channels on the planet suggest surface water earlier in its history, and the thicker atmosphere and warmer climate that would have gone with it, meaning, he says, “Mars may have begun its history looking much more like Earth,” and possibly hosting some form of life.

Withers’ past research has included study of the Martian ionosphere, the
 electrically charged atmospheric gas produced by the sun’s X-rays and ultraviolet light, which “blast atoms of neutral gas apart,” he said. This happens to all atmospheres within the sun’s reach, but “lucky for us, that dangerous sunlight gets absorbed high in the atmosphere, rather than blasting away at our skin and flesh,” he says. His job with MAVEN is to investigate how Mars’ ionosphere is influenced by the sunlight’s intensity and by conditions in the neutral, uncharged portion of the atmosphere.

Michael Mendillo, the third member of the trio, has helped develop a new model of the Martian ionosphere at Boston University and hopes it will be validated by MAVEN and aid in interpreting data from the satellite.

He also hopes that MAVEN will reveal useful information for future Mars exploration. On Earth, the ionosphere can cause GPS errors by affecting the system’s radio waves. A GPS-type system to pinpoint a rover or astronaut on Mars’ surface would have the same problem there, he says, so studying that planet’s ionosphere “has potentially important implications.”

Another Boston University study was the first to tie simultaneous ionospheric disruptions on Earth and Mars to a large solar flare, Mendillo says, showing that the sun’s effects on Mars could be instructive for the future of Earth’s atmosphere.

MAVEN is the first project of its kind, says NASA: rather than crawl on the surface, the satellite will hang out in orbit, using its sensitive instruments to pinpoint trace amounts of chemicals, according to the space agency. Clarke said the project is being led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

MAVEN will reach Mars in 10 months and then take readings for two years.

 
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A.M. Costa Rica
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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Beautiful studio home with garden patio
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Palmares


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Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 bobbyruf@ice.co.cr 
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apartment view
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prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
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Escazú
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Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part 
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Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542, celigar53@gmail.com.
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Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 231
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Cafetales



Pacific Estates

fish farm
Voice of America photo
Laura Genello explains the project net to a fish tank

Mixing vegetables and fish
is new, experimental approach

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The fish don’t like strangers. Ellen Perlman poured a scoop of fish food into one of four blue plastic tanks at Chesapeake Aquaponics, about half an hour from Baltimore. The tank is like a giant kiddie pool that's deep enough to stand in up to the belly.

“You would think we have piranhas here,” she said, expecting a torrent of tilapia to froth the water’s surface. But it remains stubbornly smooth. She chuckled. "Maybe not.”

She says the fish recognize her voice and her footsteps, but not those of a visiting reporter.

It’s an indelicate aspect of these delicate creatures that makes her garden grow. From these tanks, water rich in what you might call fish manure flows through a filter system and into the adjacent plant beds, where lettuce and other vegetable plants float in Styrofoam rafts.

“It’s a way of recycling the fish nutrients,” she said.

It’s called aquaponics. It combines aquaculture or fish farming  with hydroponics, growing plants without soil.

Aquaponics hits a sweet spot for environmentalists. It recycles fish waste into plant food. Hydroponics typically uses less water than conventional farming. And for those concerned about insecticides on their produce, the fact that the fish share the water with the plants means aquaponic farmers have to be very careful about what they spray.

“Any type of spray would harm the fish,” Ms. Perlman said. Even insecticidal soaps popular with organic growers are off limits.

Another part of aquaponics’ appeal is the fact that overfishing is depleting the world’s oceans.  Fish farming accounts for at least half the world’s production, but waste from all those confined fish is polluting some areas.

“There are fewer and fewer fish in the ocean and more and more fish will be raised on farms,” said Dave Love, a microbiologist with the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future. “The trick is, how do we do that responsibly, sustainably and in ways that make fish farmers money?”

Tackling those questions is what Cylburn Aquaponics Farm aims to do.

Located next to greenhouses at Baltimore’s Cylburn Arboretum, the farm has been up and running for a little over a year.

Farm manager Laura Genello says she’s delivering about 10 to 20 pounds (five to 10 kilograms) of produce per week to local farmers markets from about 300 square feet (28 square meters) of growing space.

“Which is relatively small,” she said, “but 10 pounds of greens is a fair amount of greens.”

The farm harvested its first 20 one-kilo fish earlier this fall, and they expect to produce about 275 fish per year.

But whether aquaponics is profitable is an open question. Energy costs are a big factor.

“Our tilapia like 70 degrees (21C). In the winter, it gets quite a bit cooler," Love said. "So, we need to heat the space.”

Cylburn Aquaponics Farm is grant-funded, but Chesapeake Aquaponics is a commercial venture. It has not turned a profit yet, but Ms. Perlman is optimistic that providing high-quality fresh greens in the middle of winter will win her a niche market.

The elegance of aquaponics’ symbiosis is alluring, and aquaponic businesses and nonprofit projects are popping up around the country and around the world.

But Ms. Genello is cautious.

“I think we have to be careful about not getting ahead of ourselves with the excitement about the system because there are a lot of things that are not quite perfect about it,” Ms. Genello said. “That’s why it’s really important for more people to actually do aquaponics, so we get more people experimenting and playing around with what works and what doesn’t.”

 
Sunday storm survivors
glad they still are alive


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After breaking her leg late last year, having a double mastectomy in the summer and seeing her house destroyed by a tornado that swept through Washington, Illinois, Sunday, Kim Wright said her luck was due to change.
 
“They say bad luck comes in threes and I've had my three,” Ms. Wright, 56, said Wednesday, standing in the pulverized wreckage of what just three days ago had been her home. “I'm due now for some good fortune.”
 
Five minutes later a group of people who were cleaning up the debris of a house 100 feet (30 meters) away pulled Wright's cat, Fred, out of the rubble, alive.
 
“Oh my God, he's everything to me,” she said through tears of joy, running to collect her cat.

​The fast-moving storm system that rolled destructively through the Midwestern United States killed eight people in two states and may have caused $1 billion in property damage. It damaged around 1,000 homes in Washington, a small city located about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Chicago.
 
As cleanup work proceeded Wednesday, many homeowners like Ms. Wright who were home when the storm hit said they felt lucky to be alive.
 
“If it weren't for the sirens, I would be dead,” said Ms. Wright, who made it to her basement in time. “You'd be sifting through the wreckage looking for pieces of me.”
 
Crews had worked overnight to clear the streets in the neighborhood that was devastated by the tornado, with heavy equipment in the area hauling out debris. Volunteers walked the streets offering water, gloves or heating pads to people sifting through debris for their belongings.
 
More than 130,000 homes and businesses in the U.S. Midwest remained without power Wednesday morning following severe thunderstorms Sunday night, according to local power companies. There had been over 800,000 outages on Monday morning.
 
Ed Henderson, 41, was replacing the power steering pump on his Ford F-350 pickup truck when he heard the sirens Sunday.
 
“We're used to weather in Illinois so like any good resident of Illinois I stuck around to see what was happening,” he said cheerfully, spitting tobacco juice on the ground.
 
About 10 minutes later he saw the tornado touch down a quarter of a mile (half a kilometer) from his house, hurling debris through the air. Hearing the freight train-type sound often referred to by tornado survivors, he threw himself down the basement stairs as all the windows in the house blew out.
 
Henderson's house is no more, his chimney is in the front yard, his truck about 600 feet (180 meters) behind the house and all he can find of his 30 foot (nine meters) camper is the spare wheel and air conditioning unit. His dogs were trapped under a door, which saved their lives.
 
“The way I'm looking at it, I got off pretty lightly,” Henderson said.
 
Many others here were lucky because they were at church when the tornado hit. When Dick Stinson, 65, and his family returned home their house was almost entirely gone and his pickup truck was lodged in his neighbor's living room.
 
Stinson plans to rebuild and hopes to be back in a new house on the same spot in six months.
 
“We were very blessed that none of us was hurt,” he said, surveying the smashed wood and other detritus that formerly constituted his place of residence. “As for the rest of it, all we lost was stuff. And that's all it is, just stuff.”


Marriage monopoly irks
many couples in Israel


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For most Israelis in the Jewish state, there is one legal way to get married.
 
Israeli law empowers only Orthodox rabbis to officiate at Jewish weddings, but popular opposition is growing to this restriction and to what some Israelis see as an Orthodox stranglehold on the most precious moments of their lives.
 
Some of Israel's most popular TV stars and models have come out this week in an advertisement supporting a new bill allowing civil marriage. A political storm is likely when it eventually comes up for a vote in parliament.
 
The Rabbinate, the Orthodox religious authority that issues marriage licenses in Israel, says it is charged with a task vital for the survival of the Jewish people, and a recent poll showed more Israelis oppose civil unions than support them.
 
Nevertheless, many Israelis want either a secular wedding or a religious marriage conducted by a non-Orthodox rabbi. Facebook pages have been popping up, with defiant couples calling on others to boycott the Rabbinate.
 
In September, Stav Sharon, a 30-year-old Pilates instructor, married her husband in an alternative ceremony performed in Israel by a non-Orthodox rabbi.
 
“We wanted a Jewish wedding despite being secular. We feel connected to our Judaism, even if we are not religious," she said. "It is our people, our tradition.”
 
Weddings such as Ms. Sharon's fall into a legal no man's land. They are not against the law, but neither are they recognized as valid by the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for registering marital status on the national identity card every Israeli is required to carry.
 
In a twist in the law, the ministry will register as married any Israeli couple that weds abroad, even in a non-religious ceremony, outside the purview of the Israeli rabbinate.
 
Some couples hop on the short flight to Cyprus to marry. The Czech Republic is another popular destination for Israelis wanting a civil wedding.
 
Sharon and her husband decided against that option. “Marrying abroad means giving in. We wanted to marry in our own country,” she said.
 
No formal records are kept on the officially invalid alternative ceremonies held in Israel. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, nearly 39,000 Jewish couples married via the Rabbinate in 2011. About 9,000 couples registered that year as having married overseas.
 
Muslims, Druze and Christians in Israel are also required to marry through their own state-recognized religious authorities, making interfaith weddings possible only overseas.
 

Frog names after Darwin
may have gone extinct


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A frog species named after Charles Darwin has gone extinct because of a deadly amphibian skin disease, scientists believe.
 
Darwin's frogs were named after the father of evolution, who discovered them in 1834 in Chile during his voyage around the world on the ship "HMS Beagle."
 
They are notable for having evolved to escape predators by looking like a dead leaf with a pointy nose, and the fact that the males carry young tadpoles around inside their vocal sacs.
 
Researchers think the northern Darwin's frog, one of two species, has been killed off completely by a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis that infects their skin. Numbers of the related southern species have plunged dramatically.
 
An analysis into the spread of the disease by a team from the Zoological Society of London and Chile's Universidad Andres Bello found that habitat loss contributed to the decline, but this alone could not explain the animal's demise.
 
“Only a few examples of the 'extinction by infection' phenomenon exist,” said Andrew Cunningham, from London's Institute of Zoology.
 
“Although not entirely conclusive, the possibility of chytridiomycosis being associated with the extinction of the northern Darwin's frog gains further support with this study.”
 

Consumer prices in U.S.
take a tiny October dip 

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Consumer prices are easing in the U.S., pushed down by a drop in gasoline prices that motorists pay at service stations.

The U.S. government reported Wednesday that gas prices fell nearly 3 percent in October, as world oil prices decline and U.S. oil production advances. Overall, the country's Consumer Price Index fell a tenth of a percentage point last month, its first drop since April.

Inflation is tame in the United States, with consumer prices up 1 percent over the last 12 months, the smallest year-over-year increase since 2009. That increase is half the 2 percent inflation target policy makers have set at the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve.

But with high unemployment in the U.S. and modest wage increases for most workers, consumer spending has been cautious and businesses have been reluctant to increase prices.

In a separate report, the government said increased car sales pushed consumer spending up four-tenths of a percent in October. But excluding the purchase of autos, sales only edged ahead by half that.

The Federal Reserve is weighing whether to trim its direct support of the U.S. economy, its massive purchase of securities designed to pump money into the economy, keep interest rates low and boost job growth.


U.N. report urges changes
in developmental approach


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new United Nations report says the world’s poorest countries should reconsider their economic policies, because they are not creating jobs for the masses.

The U. N. Conference on Trade and Development is warning that current economic policies will not significantly reduce poverty because no jobs are created for the masses.

The conference's "2013 Least Developed Countries" report released Wednesday predicts social unrest and international mass emigration will be the consequences if the employment situation in these countries is not improved.
 
Taffere Tesfachew of the conference said a new economic approach is needed. “We are not questioning growth and growth matters very much. It is absolutely critical. Nobody is changing their views on the need for growth. But I think the question is - perhaps there is a way to grow and create employment, and there is a way you grow you do not create employment. The policies followed by many least developed countries and those especially that did not create employment while there is a need to create employment.”

Development partners like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have mainly advocated macro-economic stability and liberalization policies for poor and undeveloped countries. But this approach has failed to generate many jobs, even during the economic boom from 2002 to 2008, when many least developed countries experienced an average annual growth of 8 percent or higher.
 
According to the United Nations there are 49 "least developed countries." Thirty-four are African, along with nine in Asia, five in the Pacific and one in the Caribbean.

Almost all of these countries face rising numbers of new entrants to the labor market, with the youth population looking for jobs expected to rise to 300 million by 2050.

Taffere said countries should invest in labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing to create jobs for the millions of unemployed. “We really believe that infrastructural transformation, countries that are moving, jumping from agriculture to services, bypassing manufacturing, I think they will have a problem.  The manufacturing sector, the industrial sector, particularly manufacturing, is I think critical for countries with large population, for countries with large demand.”

A country is considered least developed when the per capita income is below $992 on a three-year average, by the economic vulnerability of a nation, and by its score on the Human Assets Index that looks at factors such as health, nutrition, school enrollment and literacy rates.


Money from developed nations
is stumbling block in Warsaw

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Disputes over finances have hampered progress at U.N. climate talks in Poland as delegates debate how to best provide aid to help developing countries fight global warming.
 
Meanwhile, a small group of protesters outside the talks expressed displeasure over how financial issues have bogged down efforts to prevent climate change.
 
Developing countries are challenging wealthy nations to follow through on a pledge to allocate $100 billion a year to help them deal with climate change. The commitment is supposed to be in place by 2020, yet there is concern that industrialized nations are not living up to that promise, according to Simon Bradshaw, a climate change spokesman at Oxfam.
 
"The worry is that developed countries just have not delivered fast enough on the finance commitments that were made right back in 2009. We have seen very little new money on the table this year and we have not seen strong, credible plans from any country on how they are going to scale up their contributions," said Bradshaw.
 
The talks on climate change are taking place as the Philippines continues to reel after being devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
 
The World Bank estimated that global economic losses caused by extreme weather -- such as this storm -- have risen to nearly $200 billion annually and could continue to rise as climate change worsens.
 
However, the talks have come at a time when many industrialized nations are trying to spur growth in their stagnant economies.
 
"We cannot have a system where there will be automatic compensation whenever severe weather events are happening in one place or other around the planet.  You can understand why this is not feasible," said Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action.
 
Mary Sering, the Philippine representative at the talks, criticized the lack of an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.
 
"If we are to review our progress, would it be right for me to conclude that we failed miserably?  Looking at science and how it manifested itself, not only at Typhoon Haiyan but also other events, like Katrina in the United States, the heat wave in France, the wildfires in Australia, and other extreme events occurring after observed increased warming, should we not be all ashamed being here?" asked Ms. Sering.
 
The conference continues through Friday. The group hopes to lay the groundwork for a 2015 climate agreement.


North Korea has detained
visiting U.S. war veteran


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

North Korea is reported to have detained an 85-year-old U.S. citizen and Korean War veteran who had entered the country on a valid visitor's visa.
 
Media reports say North Korean authorities removed Merrill Newman of California from the plane on which he was about to leave the country Oct. 26.
 
His son, Jeff Newman, told CNN it was his father's life-long dream to see the North and its culture, after serving in the South as a U.S. infantry officer in the 1950s. He said his father arranged the trip through a North Korea-approved Chinese tour company and had all the proper visas.
 
Newman was traveling with a neighbor, Bob Hamrdla, who lives in the same retirement home. Hamrdla was allowed to return home. He later called the incident a terrible misunderstanding and expressed hope Pyongyang will release Newman for humanitarian reasons.
 
North Korea, which is also holding a U.S.-Korean Christian missionary on charges of subversion, has not commented on Newman's case. It is not known if he has been charged with a crime.
 
Officials at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing say they are aware of the reports, but did not comment further.
 
However, Tuesday, the State Department tightened the U.S. travel warning to North Korea. The updated warning now reads, "U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention.”
 
Newman's detention comes almost a year after the arrest of another U.S. citizen, Kenneth Bae. The Korean-American missionary, detained Nov. 3 last year, was convicted of state subversion and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. The 45-year-old was detained after entering North Korea as a tour operator. His family says he has diabetes and is in ill health.
 
It is not uncommon for North Korea to arrest foreigners on suspicion of spying or conducting illegal religious activities. The Communist country's leadership views both as a threat to its hold on power.
 
In a separate case, North Korea said earlier this month it had arrested a South Korean spy who was engaged in plot-breeding activities. Wednesday, reports in the French news agency and South Korea's Dong-A Ilbo identified the man as 50-year-old Kim Jeong-Wook.
 
His family and other Christian activists told the news outlets that Kim is a missionary who was helping North Korean refugees who had escaped from their homeland to China. They say Kim was arrested after traveling to Pyongyang to check on the well being of several refugees who had been repatriated by Beijing.
 
North Korea has been accused of using foreign detainees as bargaining chips in negotiations with Western countries over its controversial nuclear weapons program.
 
Pyongyang has detained at least six Americans since 2009. While some were given harsh prison sentences, all were eventually released. In most cases, their release followed visits by high-ranking former or current U.S. officials.
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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
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30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 792
300 square meters of land, 195 square meters of construction HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8142-2/11/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at: http://www.rebecker.com/journal102006a.htm.  Contact information: ginbecker@gmail.com,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

condors

HIGH SECURITY Condo
ULatina, UCR, & U Fidelitas San Pedro, San Jose. $185,000.
Quietly located behind The Foundation Costa Rica Canada, 500 meters north of Iglesia Lourdes, San Pedro. ULatina, UCR, U. Fidelitas, bus & new train station are within five minutes Four-bedroom, three and half-bath unit within a secure complex of 40 condos with high cement outside walls with secure entrance manned by an armed guard 24 hours per day. Security fencing with electric wire, and a CCTV recorded security camera system is monitored within the guard house.  For additional peace of mind, this residence equipped with an independently wired security system, iron bars on windows and patio doors, a telephone communication system to contact the guard house and secure parking at your front door.   Beautiful mountain view from roof covered 3rd floor terraza. A green park area inside the complex for your children to safely play and an outside parking area in from of guard house for visitors. Cable TV/Internet lines and 220-volt service for hot water heater, stove and dryer. Water storage tank with pump maintains high pressure to bathrooms on all three floors. American style washer and electric dryer, refrigerator, glass top stove, and kitchen cabinets included. Other furniture items may be available. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987   or  U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458  or   (305) 848-5577. C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email: sjogringo@yahoo.com
6141-2/11/14

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

San Mateo pool

BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY IN SAN MATEO, ALAJUELA 3,528 m2

Includes 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house built to American standards with a balcony overlooking full-sized swimming pool and rancho with a bathroom and a shower room, and landscaped tropical gardens.  There are two large storage buildings, a carport and electric-gate access to the enclosed property.  It is a short drive to the highways to San José and the beaches.  Owner financing available.  Please call: +506 2446-4901
8116-11/15/13

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!
8087-10/18/13

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

Nicoya
                                views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2
11

DIGITS RESOURCE GUIDE is for sale!
In the nine years of operation, DIGITS Resource Guide has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and Osa Peninsula areas.  DIGITS is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into an even greater level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. For a preview of the magazine, go to www.everydigit.com, or simply go to a local Distributor for a copy. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.
8115-11/18/13

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Nov. 21, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 231
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detained
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
The woman involved in the vehicle is under arrest.


Five held in documents case
involving impounded cars

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators have detained five persons in what is being described as an extortion attempt involving impounded vehicles.

One of the persons detained is a lawyer in Alajuela. Another, a woman, is a specialist in handling motor vehicle violations.

Three other persons, all men in their 20s, also were detained.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the crime centered around vehicles that had been impounded because of traffic infractions.

Judicial agents allege that the lawyer issued false documents nominating other persons to recover the vehicle. The documents were in the name of the real owner and the young men are accused of impersonating the owners to obtain the vehicle.

Once in possession of the vehicle from the government impound lot, the vehicle owner would be contacted and asked to pay a fee to get it back, said agents. The amount ranged from 80,000 to 100,000 colons, about $160 to $200, said agents.


 
Banda de  San José plans
free concert at museum

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banda de  San José presents a free concert Sunday in the Museo Nacional at 11 a.m.

Among other works, the band will perform "Hungarian Overture" and several Costa Rica pieces.

The band is preparing to leave to Colombia where it will participate in the  XVII Encuentro Internacional de Medellín next week.


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From Page 7:

Hotel will celebrate slow food with luncheon

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Steven Farrell, owner and general manager of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge in San Isidro de Peñas Blancas and a member of the Slow Food Convivium of San José, will celebrate and host the third Slow Food in the Rainforest for Terra Madre Day Dec 8. 

The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. in Casa Luna where the participants can enjoy coffee, tea, juice, or chocolate tea made from the shells of cacao before the tour of the extensive gardens.

Lunch will be served poolside at 12:30 p.m.  The menu will consist almost entirely of food items produced on the hotel farm such as pastured pork, a variety of fruits, roots, vegetables, and salad greens, with many of the featured dishes also incorporating  turmeric, ginger, and cacao, said Farrell. Food items not produced on the farm will be procured from other providers in the zona norte, he said. 

There is a charge for the lunch and reservations may be made at the hotel's Web page. The location is between San Ramón and La Fortuna.

Terra Madre Day is a worldwide celebration of local food held every year on or around December 10.  The basic premise of slow food is good, clean and fair, and this philosophy applies to agriculture, food production, and gastronomy.  Slow food is defined by three interconnected principles, said Farrell:

GOOD a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture; CLEAN food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare, or our health; and FAIR accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.

This worldwide food movement has grown to more than 100,000 members with a Slow Food group in almost every country on the globe, he added.