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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 246                              Email us
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City Place boulevard
Kirebe S.A. rendering
This is the signature boulevard of the City Place development
New development will give Santa Ana a downtown
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Santa Ana will be getting a downtown.

The rapidly growing community west of San José was once a sleepy agricultural center. But in the last 10 years it has become a trendy place for the well off and for luxury homes.

A development company, Rocca S.A., is taking the trend one step further in creating what is being called City Place. The location is between the Cruz Roja building in Santa Ana and the Ruta 27 Caldera highway opposite the new Mas x Menos supermarket.

The company said it is developing a mixed-use project that will go up in three stages. The town center concept "includes several complementary applications that integrate with each other to stimulate commercial success. Among the various uses, City Place includes shops, restaurants, cinema, offices, services, nursery, gym, business center, hotel rooms and residences, all these integrated under an urban master plan through a modern and contemporary architecture."

The design is by Kirebe S.A.  Rocca developed  the
Fuerte Ventura Shopping Center and the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

The unique feature of this project is a boulevard that is in the first stage. This will be a tree-lined roadway 30 meters wide by 150 meters long that will terminate near the greenery along the Río Uruca. The sidewalks will be five meters wide, the firm said. A meters is a bit more than 39 inches.

The development firm says it expects businesses located along the boulevard will take advantage of the sidewalks to have open-air activities. Some weekends the street will be closed to traffic to provide a venue for dances, fairs and concerts, the firm said.

The first stage is two buildings, one four stories and the other six. These will contain commercial and office space, a gym, a movie theater and basement parking. Housing is planned for the third stage.

The entire project is 30,000 square meters (323,000 square feet) of office space, 12,500 square meters (134,500 square feet) of shops, bars and restaurants, a hotel, a total of five movie theaters, a bank, pharmacy and other retail enterprises, said the firm.


Hotel Mona Lisa says that the shutdown is temporary
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax officials closed down a luxury San José hotel Wednesday, but a spokesman for the management said that the business will reopen in five days.

The hotel is the Mona Lisa in Barrio Otoya. The property seems to get a close eye from the Dirección General de Tributación.

When it was called the Clarion, tax investigator shut is down for more than a year.

The  current owner, Tom Lustgraaf. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, acquired the property in the wake of the Clarion's tax problems. His crews spent a year fixing up the structure for a reopening under the Mona Lisa name last January.
Guy Grand, who occupies a management role at the hotel, said via email that the problem with taxes stems from 2009. He said he was in California and had contacted  Lustgraaf about the problem.

The property with 93 guest rooms is at the corner of  Avenida 11 and Calle 3 Bis. It is characterized as a gentlemen friendly operation and has become known for the poker operations there. There also is a casino and restaurant.

Spanish-language television made much of the tax agency's action. Some may consider such actions very close to tax deadline as coincidences. But Tributación periodically staged highly publicized sweeps. Annual tax returns are due Monday in Costa Rica for the period from October 2012 to September 2013.


Sala IV says family ties do not prevent deportation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has reaffirmed that foreigners must follow the laws of the nation and underlined the chamber's long-standing position that family ties in Costa Rica do not trump the regulations relating to immigration.

This is believed to be the case of Doug Smith, the private investigator who lived many years here until he was apprehended by immigration officers Nov. 15. Immigration sought to deport him, but his lawyer, Gregory Kearney, filed a habeas corpus appeal with the Sala IV.

Kearney could not be reached immediately.

Smith also said he was roughed up by immigration officers, and the court also addressed this allegation in its decision without naming the expat.

Although the decision does not prevent deportation, the court did order the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería to adopt measures that would prevent injuries to those taken into custody in the future.
Smith alleged in his appeal that immigration agents threw him against a wall and handcuffed him incorrectly so as to cause injury.

He tried to avoid deportation by noting that his common law wife, Chrisley Montero Sandoval, is four months pregnant. Smith also said that he complied with tourism regulations by making a recent trip to Panamá but that his passport documenting this was part of the loot taken by a home burglar. He has been in the Centro de Aprehensión in Hatillo since his arrest.

The decision does not mean that Smith will be deported rapidly. Lawyers frequently file multiple appeals in such cases.

Smith runs an investigation service called Will Spy.  His most recent success was a Web page he did for a client that described a Jacó man correctly as a convicted pedophile. Subsequently that man, Kirk Owen, was deported, in part because of the Web page.

A summary of the Sala IV decision was released by the Poder Judicial Wednesday afternoon.

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Budget watchdog planning
to review Chinese deal, too

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The budget watchdog agency says it, too, has to look over and approve the loan deal with China to widen Ruta 32 from Río Frio to Limón.

Twin loans to finance the project are in the legislature now for approval.

With many issues, the watchdog agency, the Contraloría General de la República, washed its hands of the project.  For example, it said that when and if it receives a contract for the deal to study, it has no way of judging the prices. Officials have said that the price is fixed even though there have been no designs on which costs usually are figured.

The executive branch is making a direct award of the contract to a Chinese public construction firm. That means there will be no competitive bidding.

The Contraloría also pointed out that the estimated $90 million that Costa Rica will have to invest in the project is not now in the 2014 budget of the executive branch or the road agency, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad. Under terms of the project, Costa Rica will have to take care of expropriating land, and that is estimated to cost about $20 million.

Casa Presidencial accepted the Contraloría's report with the statement that the agency has cleared the way for the deal. It also said that many of the technical issues raised by the watchdog agency have already been addressed.

The Contraloría also said that the terms of the deal were outside the competency of that agency and the executive branch and the legislature must be responsible for these.

The $465.6 million project would make Ruta 32 four lanes from Limón to Rio Frio, some 107.2  kilometers, a little more than 66 miles. There also would be extensive work on bridges and interchanges. In addition, there would have to be design plans created.

The Export–Import Bank of China would make two loans, one for $100 million at 2 percent interest and one for $296 million at 4 percent interest.

The measure is being studied in the legislative finance committee, the Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios

The People's Republic of China is pushing for fast loan approval.  The contractors for the job, China Harbour Engineering Co. Group and China Road and Bridge Corp., are highly experienced.
Caribe
                                                          sur
Two of the photo portraits from the exposition.

Photo exposition documents
diversity in southern Caribbean

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Central Valley residents can get a sneak preview of a major photo exposition that is exploring the ethnic diversity of the southern Caribbean.

The exposition, some 30 photo portraits taken by Lucas Iturriza, will be at the Espacio Carmen Naranjo, in the old Estación al Atlántico on Avenida 3 Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

The project has a number of sponsors, including the Cámara de Turismo y Comercio del Caribe Sur and the Instituto de Estudios Sociales en Población of the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Also supporting the work is the Colegio de Costa Rica, the promotional arm of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

The southern Caribbean probably has the most diverse ethnic mixture of any place in the country. The original inhabitants are the BriBri and the Cabécar,

There are those of Asian descent, blacks whose ancestors came in the 19th century, the more recent Gringo and European residents and any mixture of any and all of these groups.

The "Somos Caribe Sur" exposition is part of the larger “Somos Todos Costa Rica.”


Would-be robber, 24, dies
because victim has a pistol

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A woman lured a salesman into a trap by two male robbers Wednesday afternoon in Matina. The two bandits produced a sharp instrument and demanded the belongings the merchant carried.

Unfortunately for one of the robber's the man also carried a 9-mm. pistol under the seat of his vehicle. He shot one of the men and the second man fled, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The dead man was 24.  He was identified by the last name of Olivas. The shooting happened in the Lomas del Toro section of the community.

Agents did not say if the woman would be brought to court. She was instrumental in meeting with the salesman on the pretext of having a discussion, agents said.
 
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Costa Rican tamales come in pairs of two. A bottle of beer is an added treat.
tamal
A.M. Costa Rica file photo

Costa Rica does not have a monopoly on the Yuletide tamal
By Shahrazad Encinias
a vintage A.M. Costa Rica article*

As the end-of-the-year holidays approach, different countries begin to prepare their comida tipica, and for Central America the popular dish is the tamal.

It is usually served as the main course for Christmas. A tamal is made out of masa from maize, stuffed with a piece of meat and wrapped in a leaf. In the United States, the better known tamale is the Mexican one, made with very thick masa or dough and wrapped in corn husk. In Central America, there is a slight difference in tamales from the Mexican ones. Tamales here usually are cooked in a plantain or banana leaf wrapping.

There is no universal tamal among the seven countries in Central America. Each one has its own version of the traditional dish. The differences coincide with the size, the ingredients, the preparation and, of course, the taste.

According to Flor de Monroy, master Costa Rican and Guatemalan cook, the hardest tamales to make are from Guatemala. The Costa Rican native also said that Guatemalan tamales are much tastier than the ones from her country. There are not any known Guatemalan restaurants in Costa Rica, so a spokesperson for the Guatemalan Embassy recommended Ms. De Monroy. She broke down the recipes on how to make the perfect Costa Rican tamal and Guatemalan tamal colorado, so called because of the red sauce ingredient.

Costa Rica

She said the plantain leaf and the masa can be purchased already made at various groceries and markets which make it easy to make a Costa Rican tamal. She said to lay the plantain leaf on a flat surface, grab a handful of masa and flatten it onto the leaf, then add a pinch of cooked rice and a garbanzo bean. Some people add an egg and an olive to the middle of the tamal.

She said when the tamal is formed, the cook folds up the leaf with all the ingredients inside, ties it up tightly with string. Costa Ricans tie up the tamales in a piña, two-in-two, then boil them in a pot of hot water. Mrs. de Monroy said a cook has to make sure the tamales are tied up tightly, otherwise the masa will seep out into the water. The commercial pre-made ones purchased at a grocery have a decorative strand of carrot on top of the tamal.

Commercial production centers on the town of Aserrí where
completed tamales are steamed over a wood fire. Later they are
reheated by purchasers just before eating, Purists reject the use of microwaves and say that this can dry out the tamal. They use more boiling water.

The Costa Rican tamal usually is accompanied by Salsa Lizano or another of the commercial, bottled sauces.

Guatemala

Unlike the simplicity of the Costa Rican tamal, the one from the Mayan country includes a lot more vegetables and spices. And the tamal has its own sauce. Guatemalans include the ingredients of pan frances (a local mini French bread) and a recado, the special sauce, to their tamal. But first, once the masa is made or purchased, it has to be soaked with rice, then stirred together. Finally the broth from the meat is added. The broth is not obligatory, but for a stronger taste, the cooked meat juice comes from either chicken or pork.

The recado can't be bought, so it has to be made from scratch. The ingredients needed are cooked or grilled red tomatoes, miltomates (tiny green tomatoes), onion, chile dulce, chile pasa, chiles guaqueres, sesame seeds, pepitoria (a dark red spice), and a stick of cinnamon.  All of these are mixed together in a blender until a red liquid is produced. Then the cook boils it. Some like to let pan frances, a small piece of bread unlike the long North American French loaf, soak in the sauce until it is soggy and then blend it into the sauce for a thicker recado.

Once the masa and the recado are made, the time is ripe to create the tamal. The plantain leaf is placed on a flat surface, a handful of masa is flattened into a thick tortilla, a chunk of meat is placed in the middle of the masa, and the recado is drizzled onto the meat and the masa. Two slivers of red bell peppers are placed parallel along with an olive and a caper on the masa.

Finally, the leaf is folded and tied up with twine, similar to a Christmas present. The single tamal is then boiled in a hot pot of water.

These recipes are by Ms. De Monroy. She is married to a Guatemalan and learned how to cook Chapin or Guatemalan when she lived in the country for many years.

*Ms. Encinias wrote this piece for the Nov. 18, 2011, newspaper, and editors decided they could not do any better this year.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Dec. 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 246
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Beware of angry, aggressive chameleons with brightly colored heads
By the Arizona State University news staff

To protect themselves, some animals rapidly change color when their environments change, but chameleons change colors in unusual ways when they interact with other chameleons.

Arizona State University researchers have discovered that these color

llizard
Arizona State University photo
Veiled chameleons (Chameleon calyptratus)
changes convey different types of information during important social interactions.

For example, when male chameleons challenge each other for territory or a female, their coloring becomes brighter and much more intense. Males that display brighter stripes when they are aggressive are more likely to approach their opponent, and those that achieve brighter head colors are more likely to win fights. Also, how quickly their heads change color is an important predictor of which chameleon will win a skirmish, researchers said.

The results of the study are published online in the journal Biology Letters.

Russell Ligon, a doctoral candidate in ASU’s School of Life Sciences, and Kevin McGraw, an associate professor in the school, used photographic and mathematical modeling tools in new ways to study how the color change of veiled chameleons (Chameleon calyptratus) relates to aggressive behavior. They studied the distance, maximum brightness and speed of color change of 28 different patches across the chameleons' bodies.

“We found that the stripes, which are most apparent when chameleons display their bodies laterally to their opponents, predict the likelihood that a chameleon will follow up with an actual approach,” said Ligon. “In addition, head coloration — specifically brightness and speed of color change — predicted which lizard was going to win.”

Chameleons typically have resting colors that range from brown to green, with hints of yellow, but each chameleon has unique markings. During a contest, the lizards show bright yellows, oranges, greens and turquoises. Interestingly, when the chameleons showed off their stripes from a distance and followed that display with a “head-on” approach before combat, the important color signals on the striped parts of the body and head were accentuated.

“By using bright color signals and drastically changing their physical appearance, the chameleons’ bodies become almost like a billboard — the winner of a fight is often decided before they actually make physical contact,” Ligon said. “The winner is the one that causes its opponent to retreat. While sometimes they do engage in physical combat, these contests are very short — five to 15 seconds. More often than not, their color displays end the contest before they even get started.”

There are approximately 160 species of chameleons in the world. Veiled chameleons are native to the Arabian Peninsula – specifically Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They are omnivorous and live essentially solitary lives except when mating. Many chameleons are at great risk, as destruction of their habitats is occurring at alarming rates.


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Costa Rica tours and car rentals.   Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.
7880-3/13/14


The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

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



Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money.  Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk
Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder. george@glundquist.com
8158-3/1/13

Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
7862-8/1/13

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

San Pedro, Lourdes:  Furnished four-bedroom house for  rent near U. Latina.  3 bathrooms.  Two bedrooms have private bath.  TV with cable, wireless Internet, washer, microwave, all linens on beds, phone, garage with electric door opener.  Front yard and back patio.  Minimum 6-month contract.  $800 a month. Call Rick at 2280-3548 or write to rastern@racsa.co.cr.  Owner pays cable and internet.
8169-1/2/14 

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
8161-1/11/13

Beautiful studio home with garden patio
Completely furnished with best bed (Jiron™ Full), refri, stove, dishes, pans, etc. TV and high-speed internet connected. Free.
Located high above a river. You will sleep like a baby. Perfect weather, never too hot nor cold. Secure, private and secluded, and yet, only 10 minutes to San Isidro de El General (fairly large city in the mountains with everything) and from there, 40 minutes to beaches. Bus is close and costs 35 cents to San Isidro. Special price for single, long-term renter, nonsmoker: $425 + utilities. Go to www.homeaway.com and put in, #969365 for pics and full description Then write to us, Thanks. Email: james43michael@yahoo.com
8146-12/11/13

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80
stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8157-12/22/13

prime properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
88136-12.22.13

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 
tropical
of Costa Rica. We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442.
8054-2/16/14






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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Dec. 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 246
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Lifestyle
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Cafetales



Genetics trumps environment
as an educational predictor


By the King's College, London, news staff

The degree to which students' exam scores differ owes more to their genes than to their teachers, schools or family environments, according to new research from King's College London published Wednesday in PLOS ONE.

The study, which took place in the United Kingdom, looked at students' scores for their General Certificate of Secondary Education, a UK-wide examination at the end of compulsory education at 16 years old.

The authors explain that the findings do not imply that educational achievement is genetically pre-determined or that environmental interventions are not important, but rather that recognizing the importance of children's natural predispositions may help improve learning.

Researchers compared the exam scores of over 11,000 identical and non-identical 16-year-old twins. Identical twins share 100 percent of their genes, whereas fraternal or non-identical twins share on average only half of the genes that vary between people. Therefore, if identical twins' exam scores are more alike than those of non-identical twins, the difference in exam scores between the two sets of twins is due to genetics, rather than environment, researchers reasoned.

The researchers found that for compulsory core subjects, English, mathematics and science, genetic differences between students explain on average 58 percent of the differences between test scores. In contrast, 29 percent of the differences in core subject grades are due to shared environment, such as schools, neighborhoods or families which twins share. The remaining differences in test scores were explained by non-shared environment, unique to each individual.

Overall, science grades, such as biology, chemistry and physics, were found to be more heritable than humanities grades, such as media studies, art or music.

Nicholas Shakeshaft, a doctoral student at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London and lead author of the paper says: "Children differ in how easily they learn at school. Our research shows that differences in students' educational achievement owe more to nature than nurture. Since we are studying whole populations, this does not mean that genetics explains 60 percent of an individual's performance, but rather that genetics explains 60 percent of the differences between individuals, in the population as it exists at the moment. This means that heritability is not fixed. If environmental influences change, then the influence of genetics on educational achievement may change too."


Small business applauds
congressional budget deal


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An advocacy group representing small businesses in the United States has applauded the bipartisan budget agreement crafted by congressional leaders and announced late Tuesday. The deal does not address all the challenges facing small businesses, but, if approved, the two-year agreement could reduce the acrimony and political brinksmanship that have damaged business and consumer confidence.

It’s been hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough, an 11th hour deal that Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, said removes the threat of another fiscal crisis like the one that partially shut down the federal government for 16 days in October and cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars in lost wages and revenue.

“Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis,” said Ms. Murray.

It's far from a done deal. The Senate and the House of Representatives still have to approve the agreement, said Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican. “I see this agreement as a step in the right direction. In divided government, you don’t always get what you want,” he said.

What it does is raise domestic and defense spending, eliminating more than $60 billion in across the board spending cuts known as the sequester without raising taxes.

Reaction from the business community has been mostly positive.

John Arensmeyer, CEO of the Small Business Majority, said the deal could help reduce some of the uncertainty created by a dysfunctional Congress. “And quite frankly, the mood changed dramatically in the last 24 hours with the news that there is a budget deal that’s going to hold us for the next two years.”

Not everyone likes it. Some Democrats say the deal does not extend long-term unemployment benefits, set to expire at the end of December. And Republicans say it does not do enough to reduce the nation's growing deficit.

Arensmeyer said lawmakers need to do more. "I mean, it’s great that we have this budget deal. Now we want to see Congress step up and focus on tax reform, focus on immigration, focus on some other issues."

Back from his recent visit to South Africa, President Barack Obama admits the deal is far from perfect, but he called it a good first step.

The deal trims only about $23 billion from the annual deficit and does not address the separate issue of the debt ceiling. Unless Congress raises the nearly $17 trillion debt limit, the U.S. Treasury says the government could run out of money to pay its obligations by the middle of February.


Anti-malaria efforts get
credit for saving 3 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Global efforts to curb malaria have saved the lives of 3.3 million people since 2000, cutting global death rates from the mosquito-borne disease by 45 percent and by half in children under 5, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
 
The agency said in its World Malaria Report 2013 that expanded prevention and control measures helped produce declines in malaria deaths and illness. Of the 3.3 million lives saved, most were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden and among children under age 5, the group most afflicted by the disease.
 
“Investments in malaria control, mostly since 2007, have paid off tremendously,” said Ray Chambers, the United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for malaria.
 
According to the World Health report, child deaths fell to fewer than 500,000 in 2012.
 
Overall, there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, which caused some 627,000 deaths, according to the report, which includes information from 102 countries with malaria transmission. That compared with an estimated 219 million cases and 660,000 deaths in 2010, the most recent year for which numbers are available.
 
“This remarkable progress is no cause for complacency: absolute numbers of malaria cases and deaths are not going down as fast as they could,” Margaret Chan, World Health director general,  said in a statement accompanying release of the report. “The fact that so many people are infected and dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century.”
 
Malaria is endemic in more than 100 countries worldwide but can be prevented by the use of bed nets and indoor spraying to keep the mosquitoes that carry the disease at bay. The mosquito-borne parasitic disease kills hundreds of thousands of people a year, mainly babies in the poorest parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
 
An estimated 3.4 billion people continue to be at risk for malaria, mostly in southeast Asia and in Africa where around 80 percent of cases occur.
 
Chambers said progress against malaria has been threatened by funding cuts in 2011 and 2012, which translated into a flattening in the curve of the decline. The report noted significant drops in delivery of insecticide-treated bed nets in its 2013 report.
 
But that could begin to ease. Last month, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The U.N. Children's Fund, the U.K.'s Department for International Development and the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative agreed to provide over 200 million nets in the next 12 to 18 months, which will replace 120 million existing bed nets and provide 80 million new ones.
 
World Health also continues to track emerging parasite resistance to artemisinin, the core component of malaria drugs known as artemisinin-based combination therapies, or ACTs, and mosquito resistance to insecticides. Four countries in southeast Asia reported artemisinin resistance in 2013, and 64 countries found evidence of insecticide resistance, suggesting recent gains against malaria “are still fragile,” said Robert Newman, director of the global malaria program.


Slingshot spacecraft shoots
earth and moon from afar


By the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
news staff

When NASA's Juno spacecraft flew past Earth Oct. 9, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 3.9 kilometers per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. One of Juno's sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what the world would look like to a visitor from afar.

"If Captain Kirk of the 'USS Enterprise' said, 'Take us home, Scotty,' this is what the crew would see," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. "In the movie, you ride aboard Juno as it approaches Earth and then soars off into the blackness of space. No previous view of our world has ever captured the heavenly waltz of Earth and moon."

The Juno Earth flyby movie is available HERE!

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft's three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno's Magnetic Field Investigation and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system's four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away, about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning twice a minute. To assemble a movie that wouldn't make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.

"Everything we humans are and everything we do is represented in that view," said the star tracker's designer, John Jørgensen of the Danish Technical University, near Copenhagen.

Also during the flyby, Juno's Waves instrument, which will measure radio and plasma waves in Jupiter's magnetosphere, recorded amateur radio signals. This was part of a public outreach effort involving ham radio operators from around the world. They were invited to say "Hi" to Juno by coordinating radio transmissions that carried the same Morse-coded message. Operators from every continent, including Antarctica, participated.

The Juno spacecraft was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida Aug. 5, 2011. Juno's launch vehicle was capable of giving the spacecraft only enough energy to reach the asteroid belt, at which point the sun's gravity pulled it back toward the inner solar system. Mission planners designed the swing by Earth as a gravity assist to increase the spacecraft's speed relative to the sun, so that it could reach Jupiter.

After Juno arrives and enters into orbit around Jupiter in 2016, the spacecraft will circle the planet 33 times, from pole to pole, and use its collection of science instruments to probe beneath the gas giant's obscuring cloud cover. Scientists will learn about Jupiter's origins, internal structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Juno's name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief from his wife, but the goddess Juno used her special powers to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature.


Regulators ask U.S. farmers
to eliminate some antibiotics


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. regulators are asking drug companies to phase out the use of certain antibiotics intended to improve the growth of livestock.

Critics have long argued the practice is contributing to the worldwide antibiotic resistance crisis.

Large-scale livestock farms around the world often use small doses of antibiotics to help healthy animals grow faster with less feed.

Public health experts say that encourages bacteria to evolve defenses, making the drugs less effective to fight infections.

The new measure would end that practice over the next three years.

It would require a veterinarian to write a prescription for all other uses.

“With these changes, there will be fewer approved uses, and the remaining uses will be under tighter control to minimize the impact on resistance,” says Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The changes are voluntary, which has angered some of FDA’s critics.

Advocates have been pressing the agency for years to end the use of antibiotics as growth promoters.

But Taylor says this approach is faster than going through the lengthy and complicated regulatory process.

And FDA can still make the change mandatory if companies do not go along voluntarily, Taylor adds.

Physician Dimitri Drekonja with the medical association the Infectious Diseases Society of America says FDA’s action is a good first step.

“If this voluntary effort is taken up by the entire industry and everybody goes along with it, then it will actually be a needed first and potentially last step,” he added. “Now, will that happen? I have my doubts.”

Some major drug companies have already agreed to make the changes, however.

National Pork Producers Council chief veterinarian Liz Wagstrom says her industry is preparing to adjust.

“We may lose some efficiency,” Ms. Wagstrom says. “We may have some animals that may not grow quite as quickly or take more grain to reach their full weight.”

And they may see some more sick animals with the decline in antibiotic use, she says. But she declined to put a price tag on the changes.

How the new policy affects the drug resistance problem may actually be hard to measure.

“It would be great if there was sort-of like a dashboard and you could watch the needle drop in the amount of antibiotics used and then watch the next gauge, which is the national resistance and see what happening there,” Drekonja says. “We don’t have two simple gauges like that.”

There is a real lack of good data on the amounts of antibiotics used on farms, as well as by doctors, he notes.

And others point out that some bacteria have remained resistant for years after certain antibiotics have been banned from animal use.

But with officials warning about an approaching post-antibiotic era, doctors say they have been taking steps to limit their use of these important drugs, and they say the livestock industry should, too.


Fed official seeks probe
of health Web site contractors

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Wednesday asked the department's inspector general to investigate the performance of private contractors in the flawed launch of the Obamacare Web site.

The healthcare enrollment Website, a key part of President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare law, crashed on its Oct. 1 launch and was subjected to weeks of emergency fixes.

“I am asking the inspector general to review the acquisition process, overall program management, and contractor performance and payment issues related to the development and management of the HealthCare.gov website,” Ms. Sebelius said in a blog post.

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have at least enrolled in health coverage by the end of next March or pay a penalty.

The number of people seeking health insurance under the law more than doubled in November to around 250,000, according to a government report released on Wednesday, showing Obamacare is still far from its goal of extending coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

The Web site's disastrous debut created a political crisis for Obama and fellow Democrats.

Ms. Sebelius, who was scheduled to testify before a congressional panel later Wednesday, also said she had asked Marilyn Tavenner, the chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to create a new chief risk officer position.

The new official's first assignment would be to review information technology contracting and identify the “risk factors that impeded the successful launch of the HealthCare.gov Web site,” Ms. Sebelius said.

Late last month, the Obama administration announced that QSSI, a unit of health insurer UnitedHealth Group, would serve as a general contractor to oversee repairs to HealthCare.gov.


China bars big corn shipment
due to genetic modification


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China has blocked the entry of another U.S. corn cargo, and three more may be turned away after tests found a strain of unapproved genetically-modified corn.

Some believe the rejection may have been prompted by other trade disputes between the two countries.

The latest cargo of 59,100 tons was denied entry Tuesday after quarantine officials in the eastern province of Zhejiang detected MIR 162, a modified strain not yet approved for import by the agriculture ministry, according to a quarantine official.

Since the middle of November, quarantine authorities in China, the world's second largest corn consumer, already have turned away about 180,000 tons of the grain.

“It is really causing big trouble and it seems to be related to bilateral trade conflicts,” said a corn trader with a domestic trading house.

U.S. government data shows that China's appetite for corn remains strong. It was the top destination for U.S. supplies last week, which analysts say outweighs any concerns about the rejections of a few cargoes.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday it inspected 17.6 million bushels of corn earmarked for China last week, which made up 44 percent of the total amount of corn the government inspected.

“If they are still importing it, it makes us wonder if this is more of a political game that China is playing,” said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst at Futures International. “As long as China is taking U.S. corn on a weekly basis . . . we are not going to get bearish on this topic.”

About 2 million tons, or 78.736 million bushels, of U.S. corn is headed for China in ships, and China already has committed to buying another 3 million tons of the U.S. grain.

China last month fought back against accusations by the United States that it was blocking a World Trade Organization technology deal, with Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng calling the United States irresponsible.

This month, China also launched a trade dispute against the United States to challenge Washington's accusations of having dumped cheap exports on the U.S. market.

Traders said another three cargoes already had tested positive for MIR 162, a GMO strain developed for insect resistance, and were expected to be turned away from ports in Guangdong and Fujian. Some are not even being unloaded, making it easier to ship them to other markets, including Japan.

“Rejections will be frequent, following large arrivals in coming weeks,” said one industry source who asked not to be identified, due to the sensitivity of the issue. “Some cargoes simply berth offshore and buyers are not unloading the cargoes before testing results are complete.”

The U.S. corn market appeared unaffected by China's rejection. Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures were up 2 cents at $4.29-1/2 a bushel late Wednesday morning. Prices have increased 4.2 percent since China's first rejection in November.

The country's corn consumption fell 1.1 percent from the previous year, partly due to outbreaks of bird flu early in 2013, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.




 
   
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8179-3/11/14

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.
7949-11/15/13

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
 
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
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)


Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at www.suenos.org. Contact us at: osaproperty@gmail.com or +1-866-514-7435.
8172-1/6/13

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.
8166-5/29/13

long view

200 miles of panoramic views over the Gulf of Nicoya and from Nicaragua along the volcanoes of the Cordillera de Guanacaste down to Jacó and around the southern Nicoya Peninsula to the open Pacific. 55 acres located at an altitude of about 2,800 feet in a fresh eternal spring climate, forest and pasture plus an old avocado forest. Many home sites, hidden entrance, property roads, spring waters.  195,000 USD   axelspecial@gmail.com
8164-12/28/13

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:
8162-1/11/14

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
8157-2/22/13

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
71
Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at:  http://youtu.be/iDXurhJ4fCk Asking price  $3.9 million. Email costaricapropertysales@gmail.com or call: 8899-9870.
8153-112/22/13

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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Thursday,  Dec. 12, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 246
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Pacific Partnership OK
predicted for next year

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Trade ministers from 12 countries negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement were unable to reach a deal following a four-day meeting in Singapore this week.

But analysts expect quick progress in the coming months on the ambitious, United States-led trade pact, which will cover nearly 40 percent of global economic output when completed.

The Obama administration had aimed to finalize the agreement by the end of the year. But after the Singapore meetings, a statement Tuesday said only substantial progress was made.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman expressed optimism for the next round of talks to be held in January.

"Over the course of this meeting, we identified potential landing zones for the majority of key outstanding issues in the text. We will continue to work with flexibility to finalize these text issues as well as market access issues."

The main unresolved issues have to do with state-owned companies, agricultural tariffs and intellectual property rights.

Gary Hufbauer, an analyst with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, says he is optimistic, even though significant barriers remain.

"These are all pretty difficult issues, so I think objectively it was not possible to conclude at Singapore here in December. But I think we could get very close to a conclusion in January, if by then the U.S. has enacted this trade promotion authority bill," he said.

Hufbauer is referring to legislation that would give the White House so-called fast-track authority to negotiate trade agreements without submitting every detail to Congress for approval.

Tuesday, Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he expects lawmakers to pass such legislation by early 2014.

Deborah Elms, head of the Singapore-based Temasek Foundation Center for Trade and Negotiations, says if everything goes smoothly, there could be a trade deal before April, when President Barack Obama is set to tour Asia.

The countries negotiating the TPP are the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore, Peru, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Canada, Brunei, and Australia.


Nicaraguan legislators edge
closer to unlimited reelections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has moved closer to an indefinite term in office after his allies in the national assembly approved constitutional changes that opponents say are designed to keep the Sandinista leader in power for life.
 
The legislation eliminates presidential term limits, allowing Ortega to seek reelection in 2016. He is currently serving his third term, made possible by a supreme court decision that overrode a constitutional limit to two terms.
 
Ortega's supporters say the law allows Nicaraguans to choose their leaders more freely.
 
“What it's saying to Nicaraguans is, choose who they want without any type of pressure, without any type of threat, without any type of coercion. If you think the president is doing a good job re-elect him, if not then send him home. This is what it is saying and that there will be no more pressure on the Nicaraguan public to exercise their sovereign right to freely and democratically choose their authorities, which is why we think it's a very positive reform,” said Walmaro Gutierrez, a Sandinista member of the national assembly.
 
However, Ortega’s opponents slammed the reforms as illegitimate, and left the assembly before the vote.
 
"We totally reject in its entirety the constitutional reform because we consider it illegitimate, because it's based on electoral fraud and a violation of the constitution, and we consider it unnecessary for the Nicaraguan people,” said Eduardo Montealegre, a member of the Liberal opposition.
 
The changes must be voted on a second time next year to become law.

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From Page 7:

Courier firm says it will install 24-hour lockers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The courier firm Aerocasillas says it is setting up a system so that customers can recover their incoming packages at any hour.

The firm, a subsidiary of Aeropost, said it has partnered with Integer.pl Group of Poland. The plan is to install parcel lockers for the benefit of customers.

Aerocasillas has been delivering mail and packages from the United States for 27 years. Aeropost said it would begin the system in El Salvador and Guatemala as well as Costa Rica. The firm expects to have 100 of these locker-type machines in some 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Courier companies are promoting package delivery now with the increase in online sales via the Internet.