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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 236                                  Email us
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Christmas tree fire prompts warnings from bomberos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country had its first fire of the Christmas season when an overheated extension cord ignited a tree at a home in Barrio la Colina in  Tirrases de Curridabat.

A man, 57, and a women, 58, suffered first- and second-degree burns and were hospitalized.

The Cuerpo de Bomberos reported some damage to the home and the ceiling above the tree.

And there was a greater area with smoke damage.

The fire brought an unusual Sunday night warning from the fire fighting agency. 

There have been one or two Christmas tree fires each year since 2010, the agency said, adding the the main causes were electrical.

In the case of the Sunday night fire, the extension cord was not certified by the Underwriters Laboratory or similar, the agency said.

The fire agency said that residents should

Cuerpo de Bomberos photo
Foam stained branches on the tree.

make sure that such cords and tree lights are certified. The danger also exists with the portales or nativity scenes that are erected within homes at this time of year. They have been sources of fires, too. the agency said.

Héctor Chaves, director general of the Cuerpo de Bomberos, also urged residents to extinguish Christmas lights before going to bed and to make sure not to overload electrical circuits.

Museo Nacional photos
These are the statues of  José Figueres Ferrer and La Niña, the little girl.
Museum gives beauty treatments to four statues
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four bronze sculptures are being refurbished at the Museo Nacional. One of them is a statue of former president José Figueres Ferrer.

The museum said that some 1.5 million colons are being invested to restore the statutes, which were done by artist Marisel Jiménez. The amount is about $2,850.

The Figueres statue is 2.7 meters high, nearly nine feet. There also are statues of a boy, a

girl and a mallet. The boy with a book represents education. The girl, who has a
 violin, represents the arts and the mallet represents work.

Figueres, of course, was the man who led the 1948 revolution that installed the current form of government. He was president three times and perhaps is best known for abolishing the army.

Although the statues are bronze there is a lot of cleaning that the museum has done to stabilize the patina. The statue of the girl needed to have a new violin cast. That work is almost done. The Figueres is the one that used to dominate the Plaza de la Democracia.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 236
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An AM. Costa Rica editorial
Climate confab seeks static world

By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

An estimated 150 world leaders and climate experts, non-profit organization representatives and others are starting today to meet in Paris to maintain a static world.

The problem is that the world is not static. It is constantly changing.

More on the climate gathering

The climate conference is of major importance to Costa Rica because concern about a warmer earth has permeated national policy. And Christiana Figueres Olsen, the Costa Rican diplomat, is one of the leaders of the U.N.-sponsored gathering.

The Paris confab might better be seen as an anti-capitalistic, money-grabbing session. There is no doubt that there is a lot of money on the table. Even little Costa Rica has a $61 million deal with the World Bank over carbon and trees.

No one can oppose making the air cleaner. That goal needs to be considered outside the hysteria of climate change.

As this newspaper has reported previously, the studies over climate change have been polluted by scientific prejudice and money.

The concerns about climate change are basically three. First, there is fear about a rising level of the ocean. Second, there is fear that a warmer earth will cause more weather catastrophes. Third is the concern that the climate will change productive land into desert or worse.

The oceans have been rising since the end of the last Ice Age, and no one really knows why or why ice ages take place or why they end. The best scientific information on the topic suggests that the tilt of the earth is a factor.

Here's how Discover Magazine put it: "Every 100,000 years or so there has been a predictable warming period during which polar glaciers melt and sea levels rise. Then another ice age arrives, and the process repeats."

The magazine cited the work of  Peter Huybers and Carl Wunsch who have studied the last seven world thawings.

Huybers is a MacArthur genius fellow who told Sky and Telescope that "I think ice ages are really the outstanding mystery in Earth sciences presently."

Huybers, a former tank platoon commander, does have concerns about additional carbon dioxide, which he links to volcano eruptions in the past.

His work certainly has not been at the forefront of the recent climate craze.

The oceans have been rising some 120 meters or about 400 feet in the last 12,000 years, and they will continue to do so.

A lot of concern has been expressed by the Antarctica ice shelf, yet NASA just reported that the ice actually is increasing there although not on the shelf itself.

Between New York and New Jersey is a giant canyon. That is not obvious now because it is filled with water. But the Hudson Canyon can be seen extending 400 miles under water across the continental shelf. Much of the canyon was exposed during the last Ice Age where glaciers miles thick reached as far at lower Manhattan.

Another fear is that a warmer world will cause more weather catastrophes. This is pure speculation because the weather always has been unstable. Costa Rica is tropical and received some pretty good rains. But proponents of restricting carbon dioxide have tried to link every hurricane, freezing weather or cyclone to higher temperatures, which have risen less than one degree centigrade since pre-industrial times.

The third major claim is that higher world temperatures will create more deserts.

Those who say this fail to note that a warmer world will make more land productive. Still, the world's history shows that changing climate can make great changes. Ask the mastodons. Ask the Anasazi who built the now empty Chaco Canyon pueblos in southwestern United States.

The U.S. Great Plains used to be dense cedar forests. The Sahara was fertile land at one time with many settlements until the area started to dry up about 7,000 years ago.

Southern California is suffering now because of lack of water. That area was a desert before the first Spanish settlements, so there should be no surprise now that it still is.

So with inevitable climate change there will be winners and losers.

The variability of the earth can be seen when one considers that 5 million years ago there was no Mediterranean Sea.

The major concern of this newspaper is that world leaders are acting on limited and sometimes incorrect information in Paris as they fail to heed to old dictum of King Canute that political power has no control over the waves of the sea.

Marchamo brings in $13.8 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite controversy and the threat of a constitutional court appeal, some 44,000 vehicle owners have paid their annual marchamo or road tax, said the Instituto Nacional de Seguros Friday.

The payments amounts to 7.2 billion colons or about $13.8 million, said the state insurance firm.

The deadline for paying without penalty is Dec. 31.

The controversy stems from what appears to be an overvaluation of vehicles for purposes of the government property tax, which is the major share of the marchamo.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 236
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Government denies it has plans to deport some Cuban migrants
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials are denying that they are planning to deport back to their island home some of the Cuban migrants who are stuck in the country.

The government acknowledged Friday that there are rumors saying that, but said that there is no policy to do that.

However, any Cuban migrant who violates a law or declined to renew their temporary visa risks being deported, said the government. Initially the Cubans were issued seven-day visas, but they have expired.

Foreign minister Manuel González said that the government still seeks alternatives to send the migrants on their way to
their United States destination. So far 3,853 temporary visas have been issued to Cuban migrants and 2,886 persons are housed in public shelters.

There are 10 shelters in the canton of La Cruz adjacent to the Nicaraguan border. There are two in Liberia, one in San Ramón, four in Upala and one in Guatuso, said the national emergency commission. The Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social said that in La Cruz alone its workers had treated 386 Cubans for aliments ranging from high blood pressure to respiratory ailments.

The Cubans have been trapped here since the middle of November when Nicaragua closed its border to them. Most had flown from Cuba to Ecuador and made their way to Costa Rica over land.

Tránsito traffic tickets for cell phone use in 10 months total 1,750
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Policía de Tránsito really is handing out tickets to drivers who are using cell telephones while on the road, said Mario Calderón, director of the agency.

In the first 10 months of the year, 1,750 motorists have gotten tickets for driving with a cell telephone or some other object like a bottle in their hand, the director's agency reported.

In addition  3,978 motorists were ticketed for failing to use a seat belt, and 1,130 more were ticketed because a passenger

did not use the seat belt, the agency added. The fine is 103,544.10 or about $200.

The agency also reported that 679 motorists were fined for transporting children without authorized security seats.

That fine is 207,088.20 colons or about $400.

Some expats have reported that traffic police are willing to make roadside arrangements so that the motorist can avoid a steep fine.  The violations with cell telephones, seat belts and children are epidemic and can be seen repeatedly in the Central Valley.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 236
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South African corruption fighter wants to set up international network
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people pour into the Pretoria city center. They blow whistles and vuvuzela trumpets in a demonstration against the government. 

In the middle of the mass is a slight, 23-year-old woman with long black hair. She wears white sneakers and a white T-shirt emblazoned with the words, "Unite against corruption."

She is Kavisha Pillay whose self-proclaimed naiveté about graft was shattered about a year ago when she began working for Corruption Watch. The non-profit organization probes what she considers to be the greatest blight on modern-day South Africa.

Ms. Pillay, with a degree in journalism and communications, investigates corruption and manages the organization’s digital communications platform.

“So, in a nutshell, I’m trying to chase the bad guys and start an online revolution!” she exclaimed, laughing.

Ms. Pillay said she's trying to build an international online community of thousands of corruption fighters.  It’s a space where people share evidence of graft, and where the corrupt are named and shamed.

Corruption Watch recently helped expose 10 South African school principals caught pocketing money meant for their schools or falsifying students' grades in order to get increased funding from the government.

Ms. Pillay said an upcoming report will show how individuals like this are polluting the nation’s education system and depriving children of their right to good quality learning.

“In most of these school corruption cases, it’s principals who are fingered. That makes sense because they are the ones responsible for school finances and governance. In some cases they blatantly steal money that should be used for textbooks and other educational equipment,” she said.

Ms. Pillay said in some cases, school principals are taking food from the mouths of hungry children.

The South African government allocates money for schools to feed hundreds of thousands of impoverished students across the nation. For many, the school meals provide their only regular nutrition.

But several principals "are using money that was meant for the feeding schemes for themselves and then providing food of a lesser quality or no food at all," Ms. Pillay said.

“It’s a very sad situation when you see these kids that are going to schools where they could have huge opportunities and those opportunities are lost . . . .”

South Africa’s Department of Education says it has taken note of Corruption Watch’s reports about corruption in the country’s schools.  In the near future, it said, it will train principals nationwide in financial management and ethics in a bid to root out corruption in schools.

So far, one provincial education department — that of Gauteng province – has already established a “directorate for schools financial management and governance.” It has partnered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants to provide principals with “good governance skills.”

Ms. Pillay claims graft is infecting all sectors in South Africa.

“We’re living in a very sick society. In some cases teachers are exchanging sexual favors for marks," she said.  "If you are exposed to corruption at such a young age, when you grow up and when you develop you’re going to think that it is normal and then this culture perpetuates."

Like many in South Africa, Ms. Pillay blames President Jacob Zuma for helping to create a culture of corruption.
“South Africa sometimes seems like a broken home with Zuma being that father who left,” she said.
Voice of America/ D. Taylor
Kavisha Pillay at the anti-corruption protest in Pretoria.

Zuma leads the ruling African National Congress Party. Scandals involving alleged corruption have plagued his presidency since he took power in 2009.

In the most publicized scandal, the government used almost $20 million of taxpayer money to renovate Zuma’s private estate in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Following a public outcry, South Africa’s public protector investigated the issue and ordered him to pay back a significant part of this amount.

Zuma refuses, insisting that several state-led investigations into his conduct have cleared him of corruption in this case, as well as others.

Ms. Pillay's activities don’t endear her to the African National Congress Party, especially those close to Zuma. For them, her Sanskrit first name, Kavisha, doesn’t mean "poetry."

“One of our board members is a very senior ANC member as well and he was told by another ANC high-up that Corruption Watch should really be mindful about the people they hire and it shouldn’t employ people like me,” she said.

Ms. Pillay isn’t shaken, saying she hopes her critics realize that she’s just trying to make her homeland a better place … And that maybe she retains some of the innocence that characterized her life before she became a corruption buster.

“Maybe because of my age I’m still naive and I feel like I can change the world but I don’t think I was put on this earth just to consume oxygen. I think I have a greater purpose… Why not do something that is not in your own self-interest but benefits the rest of society?”

“The ten-thousand people that have reported corruption to us . . .  ten-thousand heroes… People are actually now willing to do something . . . . We see it with our whistleblowers that come forward. They are such passionate people; they want to see a change.”

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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's  
Fifth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 236
Real Estate
About us

climate conference

Obama in Paris is optimistic
on climate conference goals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Paris late Sunday with the weight of a climate legacy and expectations that nations big and small, rich and poor, can come together around the common cause of protecting the planet.

“What makes this gathering different is that more than 180 nations have already submitted plans to reduce the harmful emissions that help cause climate change. And America's leadership is helping to drive this progress,” Obama said.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Obama noted he was “optimistic about what we can achieve” during the United Nations conference in the French capital.

Unlike Copenhagen, the U.S. leader will join other heads of state to launch the 195-nation summit, a move White House officials hope will generate momentum for a successful outcome during the remaining two weeks of negotiations.

The summit’s goal is to limit average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, perhaps less, compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by curbing fossil fuel emissions that are blamed for climate change.

Just this year, the U.N.'s weather agency said the average global temperature is set to rise by 1 degree Celsius, halfway to the limit the U.N. is seeking to impose.

But adoption of mandatory controls throughout the world is far from certain at the Paris summit. An attempt in Copenhagen in 2009 to craft a global deal floundered at an ill-tempered summit, with divisions between rich and poor countries.

Obama’s visit to Paris follows Islamic State terrorist attacks there that killed at least 130 people Nov. 13.

France says that about 2,800 police and soldiers are securing the Le Bourget conference site, and 6,300 others will deploy in Paris. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said nearly 1,000 people believed to pose security risks have been denied entry into France.

200 Paris protesters held
by police after near riot

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of protesters joined worldwide demonstrations Sunday calling for adoption of global environmental controls as world leaders headed to Paris for the opening today of the United Nations climate summit.

Activists linked hands in the heart of the French capital amid tight security in the wake of the deadly Islamic State terrorist attacks earlier this month that killed 130 people. But peaceful protests turned violent, with police firing tear gas at some demonstrators. More than 200 protesters were detained.

With French officials banning marches, demonstrators, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, left about 20,000 pairs of shoes on the ground at the Place de la Republique. Demonstration organizers said the shoes weighed four tons and included a pair the Vatican sent on behalf of Pope Francis.

More than 2,000 demonstrations occurred or were set for Sunday elsewhere. 

French President Francois Hollande has warned of obstacles for the 195-nation summit in reaching a compulsory deal in Paris, including the legality of any accord, financing for poorer countries and monitoring of countries' pledges to limit greenhouse gas emission. So far this year, 183 nations have issued long-term plans to cope with climate change, but difficult negotiations are expected at the summit that runs through Dec. 11.

Here's what negotiations
are all about in Paris

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Here's a primer on what the climate negotiations are all about.


Concerts, rallies and a People’s Climate March were expected to draw large crowds. These events were canceled for security reasons after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 130 people. Security will be paramount. The French police and army will be on the streets, and the venue will be patrolled by uniformed U.N. guards.

Bonn draft agreement

Negotiators agreed to a 51-page draft treaty in Bonn in October. Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the draft includes options that reflect the concerns of all countries. She called the text "balanced and complete. The challenge for governments is to bring it down to a much more concise and coherent form for adoption in Paris.”


The Paris meeting is the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The framework was adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to address the climate impacts of rising temperatures, although no action was taken then to control them.

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty. It was signed in 1997, but because of a complicated ratification process, it did not go into effect until 2005. The agreement legally binds developed countries to emission-reduction targets.

There are 195 countries party to U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and 192 nations to the Kyoto Protocol. While the United States is party to the convention, it did not sign the Kyoto Protocol, nor did Afghanistan or Sudan.

The United States said the protocol would harm the U.S. economy and that emerging economies like China and India were not required to cut emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012. The Paris agreement is the latest effort to forge a new accord.

Key issues

Among the most contentious issues at the Paris summit will be the divide between rich and poor nations. In 2009 in Copenhagen at COP15, or the 15th conference, wealthy countries agreed to contribute $100 billion annually by 2020 to help the poorer, most vulnerable nations adapt to climate change. Developing countries want the monies to flow beyond 2020.

Wealthy nations say the private sector, the World Bank and other international financial institutions must step up to provide assistance. Ms. Figueres says the switch to a low-carbon economy represents an unprecedented investment opportunity in the trillions of dollars.

In Paris, negotiators will focus on setting up a system to get countries back to the table to discuss deeper cuts, set long-term goals for climate action, determine ways to address loss and damage in developing countries, and designate finance for adaptation.

Major emitters

Among the major world polluters, China is responsible for 28 percent of all carbon-dioxide emissions, which is more than the 22 percent coming from the rest of the world outside the top 10 emitters. The United States is second, emitting 16.5 percent of global carbon dioxide. India surpassed Japan in 2006 and Russia in 2009 to become the fourth-largest emitter behind the European Union countries, considered as a group. South Korea, Iran, Canada and Saudi Arabia follow on the list of the top 10 emitters.

Climate science

Every five or six years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes an extensive review of climate science, based on published literature from peer-reviewed journals. The most recent assessment concludes with 95 percent certainty that “the human influence on the climate system is clear and is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming and understanding of the climate system.”

Limit on warming

At COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010, world leaders agreed to limit the rise in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times. Scientists say that target is necessary to prevent the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise and more severe storms, floods, drought and wildfires.

Country plans

Prior to the Paris meeting, 129 governments have submitted climate action plans. These plans are called intended nationally determined contributions. The plans include all developed countries and almost 70 percent of the U.N. Framework Convention developing member states.

Emerging economies like China, Brazil and India have submitted robust plans to curtail emissions, which they did not do under the Kyoto Protocol.

The plans consider a wide array of mitigation strategies by lowering emissions from the transportation, energy, agriculture, forestry and housing sectors. New analysis finds that the total renewable energy supply in eight major economies will double by 2030.

Emissions gap

While the pledges countries have made will slow global warming, they do not add up to the reductions needed to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, the international goal. They will produce only half of the emission reductions needed by 2030.

Positive signs

In August 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the Clean Power Plan, an initiative to cut carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants to 28 to 29 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The EPA is facing legal challenges to its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union countries plan to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. China has put limits on coal use, agreed to a national emissions reduction plan and will peak emissions by 2030.

Beyond Paris

The Paris agreement won't be an end. It will be a fresh start on emissions reductions that establishes a country-by-country baseline and evolving process for future action. The resulting treaty is expected to support a regular review of country action plans that encourages greater emissions cuts. Greater grass-roots participation from cities, local governments and business is expected under the new accord.

Republicans see conference
as danger to U.S. economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As world leaders gather for a major climate conference in Paris, the U.S. delegation headed by President Barack Obama is pushing for strong, collaborative action based on the overwhelming judgment of science, but the next administration led by his successor could have very different views on the issue.

Businessman Donald Trump leads the race for the Republican Party's nomination in the 2016 election and has said he does not believe in climate change or that it is a major problem for the United States.

"I consider it to be not a big problem at all," he said in September. "I think it's weather changes. It could be some man-made something, but you know, if you look at China, they're doing nothing about it. Other countries, they're doing nothing about it." He went further in a Twitter post this month, saying global warming was created to hurt the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and benefit China.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has been rising in recent polls, has the field's strongest opposition to scientific claims that the planet has been getting warmer at a historical pace, as well as plans to change U.S. energy policy to try to help curb the impact. He said satellite data has recorded no warming for the past 17 years and that scientists were  adjusting the numbers. He asserted data was being used to control the economy and energy industry.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there is "overwhelming scientific evidence that Earth is warming and a preponderance of scientific evidence that human activities are the main cause." The agency says the planet is getting warmer at a faster rate than at any time in the past million years, with the global average surface temperature progressively rising in each of the past three decades.

Scientists have warned that letting global temperatures rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will bring extreme weather and rising seas that would affect populations all over the world. Temperatures are already up almost one degree, mostly since 1976, according to NOAA.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky all said the science was not settled when it came to climate change, with both Bush and Paul saying it was not clear how much is attributable to humans.

Bush said it would be really arrogant to say the science was decided, and that he would not want to destroy the American economy as a solution.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, running third in recent polls, agreed with the idea that confronting climate change should not come at the price of harming the economy. He cited China as the top carbon producer and said he would not make it harder for U.S. companies to create jobs for the sake of policies that would do nothing to change the climate, in reference to Obama administration plans.

In August, Obama announced a new plan to reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and to boost the amount of power generated by renewable sources to 28 percent of overall power production.

Power companies already have been converting some of their operations in recent years, increasing their reliance on natural gas, solar and wind. As a result, government data has shown a drop in carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants. Reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere is a major focus of global efforts to contain the rise in temperatures.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley, the three Democratic presidential candidates, all support Obama's plan.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said global warming is real, but that he did not believe the issue required major government intervention. He has touted his state's use of alternative, cleaner energy sources that he said have grown because of his administration's efforts to make them economically feasible.

Paul agreed on the need to involve solar, wind and hydropower, but that coal and natural gas should still be major parts of what he called an all of the above policy. He said historically there have been times when the temperature went higher or lower and that at times the carbon in the atmosphere has been higher.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is second in the Republican polls, said there was "always going to be cooling or warming going on," something that he considered  irrelevant. He said the obligation was to protect the environment.

For Sanders, climate change is a moral issue.

"Nothing is going to happen unless we are prepared to deal with campaign finance reform, because the fossil fuel industry is funding the Republican Party, which denies the reality of climate change," he said in an October debate. He added that the U.S. needed to be aggressively working with China, India and Russia.

Mrs. Clinton, too, cited the need to bring China and India together with the rest of the world. She said the Paris climate talks needed to bring a "verifiable commitment to fight climate change from every country gathered there."

Body of Russian jet pilot
returned by Turkish officials

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Turkey said Sunday it is returning the body of a pilot who died after parachuting out of a Russian jet that was shot down by Turkish forces last week.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the body was taken to Turkey late Saturday and was being treated according to Orthodox tradition.

Russian and Syrian forces rescued the plane's second pilot, while another Russian soldier was killed during the rescue effort.

The plane crashed into a rebel-held area in northern Syria Tuesday. Turkey and Russia disagree on its flight path, with Turkey saying it violated the country's airspace and Russia insisting it never left Syria.

Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering economic sanctions against Turkey. The measure restricts Russian imports of some Turkish products, prohibits extensions of contracts for Turks working in Russia and impacts the operations of Turkish companies in Russia.

It also calls for ending charter flights from Russia to Turkey and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.

Earlier Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced regret about Turkey's downing of the Russian plane, saying his country was truly saddened by the incident and wished it had not occurred.

Addressing his supporters in the province of Balikesir, Erdogan said he hopes tensions between Turkey and Russia over the incident do not escalate further and lead to dire consequences. He also said he hopes something like this does not happen again.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
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Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:


Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or   More photos HERE!

New Arenal

There are many good reasons for moving to or investing in Costa Rica

Are you worried about the safety of the money in your 401k?  Do you think your government has painted a bullseye on all of your assets?  Do you believe it might be time to consider moving some money overseas just in case?  This property, at a distress sales price of only $140,000, should gross a 7-10% return this year and the bookings for this season aren’t all in yet.  The best part from a buyer’s standpoint is that it is utilizing only a fraction of its potential.  What’s wrong here?  Divorce, and a lack of funds needed to make the necessary value-added improvements.  Rental manager says rents could double with moderate invesement, but the current owners are unable to resolve those problems, so selling is their only way out.  This extra-large lot with its modern 2-bedroom home was intended to service a dozen or more apartments to be built on the rear, a really great plan, but that was before the wheels came off of the marriage.  It is a really good investment property in a very desirable location, earning a much better safe return than stocks and bonds, but it is also perfect for buyers who only want to follow the original plan and live in the existing home while building out the rest for a comfortable retirement.  Perfect, too, for the person who intends to move to Costa Rica in the future and wants to buy at today’s prices, but needs a property which will carry itself until that time comes.  To find out more about this opportunity contact: or phone 506-8377-8402.

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Fonseca two
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email:

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Pacific Sur montagee

These 2 lots are in the Pacific southern zone,
Tres Rio/Coronado de Osa. 

Will give a great deal on one of these lots, only $29,990.  Both of these lots have water, phone lines, Internet accessibility, electricity, easy 3 kms. access to the Costanera.  2-wheel drive accessible.  Close to new hospital, beautiful beaches and county services.  Financing available.   Lote 234, This corner lote is excellently located in lower Tres Rios.  Has 2 well-sculptured lots for 2 houses or one for multiunit cabins.  Lote 236,  1 1/2 hectare.  Big lote for building a grand house, with a smaller plantel for a cabin.  Small ocean view with great sunsets.  Watch the videos for more information, Planos,  and details.   Email: CR phone   2786-5555. USA call  760-536-4717 YouTube link for more real estate deals. 

Osa home
Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Beach House For Sale
Tropical 5-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, South Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact:
Watch this video for full details.

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 236
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Off with their heads for more blooms

Deadheading flowers is not my favorite garden chore. In fact, it is close to the bottom (although it is higher up than weeding). Even after three years in the tropics, deadheading still provokes in me a sense of melancholy, a sense of endings. There I am, snipping fading blooms
Victoria torley
 from plants to keep them from going to seed, which is their job, and forcing them to continue to bloom. Somehow, it just isn't right.

That, of course, is a holdover from a place where deadheading often meant the end of the season when I didn't want it to end. Like braiding  the stems of the 
daffodils, deadheading meant an end. Even when I was deadheading pansies to keep them in bloom, I knew that they would stop blooming in the heat of summer. And the poor little plants that I am deadheading, all they really want to do is complete a life-cycle by setting seeds and fading.

DUH! What pathetic nonsense in the tropics! I was out early this morning deadheading the hydrangeas and could clearly see that they were forming new buds and will be blooming again very soon. What a waste of melancholy! 

Deadheading in the tropics actually makes sense to me. After all, the silly little plants that would die in the cold of a New York winter or the heat of a Georgia summer keep right on going in the year-round temperatures offered by Costa Rica. If you can get it to bloom at all here, you can keep it blooming long after it would have died anywhere else.

Take my zinnias and cosmos for example. Summer is their season, and we have a lot of summer. Use them as cut flowers and they just keep coming back. And the coleus. . . don't get me started there. Pinch off the flowers, and they start to take over. I planted a few and they now have (I am not exaggerating much) trunks! They have taken over the terraced beds and crept into the roses by way of rooting their stems. I keep giving them away, and they just keep on going.

The best thing? You don't have to call it deadheading, you can call it gathering cut flowers for the house.  Just make sure you have a vase for every room – bathroom included – because you are going to be gathering a lot  of flowers.


Plant for the Week

Every now and then, more often than I like to admit, I find a plant that no one seems to be able to identify; this is one of them. I posted the picture and description on the Web with the caption,”name this plant” and a friend with a sense of humor posted back that its name is “Hector” (somehow, I doubt it).  This woody stemmed plant (not a vine) was found growing on a tree, and it appears to be shade loving. Flowers are about 6 to 8 centimeters (2+ inches) and the leaves are red veined. If you know Hector's real name, please email me.

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

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From Page 7:

First of two Costa Rican tax forms due today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is the deadline for the hated D-151 tax form that is due at the Ministerio de Hacienda.

The form is a list of income and expenses for the last fiscal year. The form must be filed by anyone who is listed as a taxpayer with the ministry's Dirección General de Tributación.

The form is a runner up to the D-101 that reports total income and expenses. That is due Dec. 15.

The D-151 is supposed to list any income from a single source that totals more than 2.5 million colons or about $4,750. Salaries that are reported to the Caja Costarricense de Segurio Social are not included.

Taxpayers are supposed to report expenditures that total 2.5 million colons to a single Costa Rican source during the fiscal year, October to last Sept. 30. The amount runs up quickly, so an expat building a house almost certainly will have reportable expenses.

Many expats do not have income from a Costa Rican source, but they may have a corporation that is doing business here.

Also reportable are expenditures that total more then 50,000 colons to professionals, like physicians or dentists. That's basically one doctor's visit.

If the expenses are not reported, they cannot be used as deductions on the expat's or the expat's corporation's tax return.

This is the way the tax agency keeps track of income. And failing to file the D-151 can bring a 4 million-colon fine.

But there is a trick for those who are caught short today. An accountant can file a rough report by today's deadline and then update it later with correct amounts to avoid sanctions.

These forms have to be filed online, and usually it makes sense to let a professional do it.