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(506) 2223-1327                          Published Friday, Dec. 13, 2013,  in Vol. 13, No. 247                              Email us
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World Court declines to accept Nicaraguan claims
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The International Court of Justice declined early today to impose any measures against Costa Rica relating to the Ruta 1856 that the government constructed along the south bank of the Río San Juan.

The government of Nicaragua sought such measures as part of the continuing international litigation over Managua's invasion of Costa Rican territory. The decision was read by Peter Tomka of Slovakia, president of the court, and translated into English for a Web transmission.

The roadway was built specifically because Nicaragua had invaded a section of Costa Rica in the extreme northeast. Not only was the road designed to carry official traffic but it allows residents to travel without submitting to Nicaragua controls that would be imposed if they took the river route, as has been traditional.  Nicaragua, under an 1858 treaty, owns the river.

Nicaragua claimed that road construction was contributing sediment to the river.  The court decision noted that even Nicaragua's own expert estimated that the additional sediment coming into the river ranged between 1 and 3 percent of the material already there.

Nicaragua also wanted Costa Rica to provide an environmental impact study on the road construction, but the court said to order this would prejudge the pending dispute.

The decision also noted that Costa Rica is doing remediation work on the road. The project was controversial because it was done quickly without
firm plans. The court noted that Costa Rica admitted that there were problems in the roadway that were being fixed and that the initial job was done badly.

This is the route that has resulted in criminal investigations in Costa Rica. However, Thursday President Laura Chinchilla noted that some 700 volunteers have planted 47,600 trees along the route to restore vegetation that might have been destroyed by construction.

Basically the court said it should act during this intermediary proceeding only if there was imminent danger of harm or that there were significant risks to Nicaragua's rights.

In fact, the court did that Nov. 22 when it ordered Nicaragua to refrain from any dredging and other activities in the disputed territory and refrain from work of any kind on the two new channels it dredged. The country also was ordered to fill the trench within two weeks. Costa Rican experts just inspected the work and they appeared to be unimpressed.

The decision said:

"The power of the Court to indicate provisional measures will be exercised only if there is urgency, in the sense that there is a real and imminent risk that irreparable prejudice will be caused to the rights in dispute before the Court has given its final decision."

Tomka said that Nicaragua had failed to provide evidence that supports a finding of imminent risk. The hearing was at 10 a.m. in The Hague, Netherlands. That was 3 a.m. Costa Rican time. The entire proceedings took just 24 minutes..

bridge work
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
Road officials will close the Autopista Florencio del Castillo in Tres Ríos for six hours starting at 10 p.m. so that beams can be mounted for a pedestrian overpass. Principal beneficiaries will be residents of the nearby Urbanización El
Cedro and the Urbanización Veracruz. The 300-million-colon bridge (about $6 million) will be 42.2 meters long (about 138 feet) and span all the lanes of the major highway, said officials. The highway connects San José with Cartago.

Police cameras will monitor Festival de la Luz crowd
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The crowd that watches the Festival de la Luz 2013 will be monitored by cameras along the route and from adjacent streets, said the municipality.

In addition, parade floats will be moving into position from their workshops starting at 9 a.m. tonight. This means that drivers may face some delays in the city. The lumbering floats are headed to the south side of Parque la Sabana where they will remain until parade time at 6 p.m Saturday.

The Policía Municipal de San José said that 12 cameras have been installed from the Gimnasio Nacional in Parque la Sabana to the Plaza de la Democracia, the end of the parade route.

Many agencies will be providing security at the parade where an estimated million persons attend each year. The Fuerza Pública, traffic police, the Cruz Roja, fire fighters and health inspectors have all announced plans to participate. Also there will be workers from the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the child welfare agency.
The police activity starts at 10 a.m. as officers seek to remove vehicles from the parade route, which is Paseo Colón and Avenida 2. The Policía de Tránsito said that parked cars will be towed to clear the streets.

The Cruz Roja said that 190 of its personnel and 20 ambulances will be standing by. Also available will be 12 strategically located first aid centers. Last year the Cruz Roja said it treated 106 persons of which 18 had to be hospitalized.

The extensive display of law enforcement usually means that there will be few crimes and rowdiness associated with the parade. Police officers will be especially on the lookout for alcohol or drugs. Each year a few arrests are made.

Officers and the Cruz Roja will be on duty until at least midnight as the crowd disperses. Naturally traffic will be affected and bus routes will be changed. So motorists will have a tough time trying to cross the capital starting about noon Saturday.

The weather is likely to be windy and chilly.

Weekend is great time to watch the Geminid meteors
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Geminid meteor shower began earlier today.

The shower, which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration calls the most intense of the year, will peak Saturday and Sunday nights and last through Monday.

The astronomical light show can be seen from nearly every point on Earth, NASA says, and the best time to see it is around 1 to 2 a.m. local time anywhere in the world.

NASA says the 2013 peak rate is between 100-120 meteors per hour.
Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of shooting stars.

The Geminid meteor shower is different. The parent is not a comet, but a weird rocky object named 3200 Phaethon that sheds very little dusty debris, not nearly enough to explain the Geminids.

"The Geminids are my favorite because they defy explanation," said Bill Cooke, lead for NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

"Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids are by far the most massive. When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of five to 500."

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Our readers' opinions
Las Crucitas would have
provided an economic boost

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Had the Las Crucitas project proceeded as originally planned, 2014 would have seen the commencement of actions necessary to implement a successful winding down of operations. Costa Rica would have by now received millions of dollars in the form of royalties and taxes, local people would be benefiting from employment and the local infrastructure would have received a much-needed cash infusion.

Infinito, together with the Costa Rican environment office would be in the planning stages for tree planting that would see the location being replanted with more trees than previously existed.
Instead, Las Crucitas is now headed towards international arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) where Infinito will seek US $ 1 billion in compensation for having its rights violated under the Canada-Costa Rica bilateral trade agreement.
Local demonstrations, online petitions, political party disagreements and environmental protests have no effect on ICSID decisions. The ICSID bases its rulings strictly on international trade agreements and have the power to disregard local government decisions and issue binding rulings that are fully supported by the World Bank.

For those who forget the history of this project or who choose simply to ignore it, Infinito obtained all the necessary permits to commence operations during the Pacheco administration. During that time, Infinito also received confirmation from the Sala 1V court that Las Crucitas was exempt from the Pacheco moratorium on open pit mining.
In 2010 after an extensive review process which included a site visit, the Sala 1V ruled that Infinito Gold could proceed with its open-pit gold mine, stating that all objections to the project were without merit.

“After reviewing the official studies, we did not find that this mining project will negatively affect the environment. So the project will go ahead,” Vanlly Cantillo, a court spokeswoman, said.

A statement from the Presidencia at that time said that a committee headed by Alfio Piva, second vice president, analyzed the decision by the Sala IV constitutional court. The decision basically found that the developer of the mine, Industrias Infinito S.A., has complied with the law.

During the permitting process for Las Crucitas, due to what can only be described as deliberate stalling, Infinito stated that it was prepared to proceed to international arbitration in order to protect its investment. The damages being sought at that time ranged between $200 to $400 million depending on which news source was read. Faced with that possibility, the permitting revue process quickly resumed its normal course and the ICSID application was dropped.

It was reasonable for Infinito to assume that, having received government approval, two Sala 1V decisions in favor of Las Crucitas and possessing all the necessary permits, to continue investing capital in the project. The fact that a lower court (an administrative tribunal) could effectively overrule Supreme Court decisions and annul the project gave Infinito no choice but to take its case to the ICSID. The power of Costa Rica's constitutional court seemingly has gone.

Allessandro Piva, an advisor to environment minister Rodriguez, stated early on in the project that Infinito would receive an indemnity if the project was cancelled and that the international community would rally with loans and donations to help pay the cost. Not now. Not when all the facts of the case are revealed at the ICSID. Not when the compensation figure is $1 billion. Costa Rica will unfortunately bare the full cost alone.

Stewart Hay
British Columbia, Canada
Congressional budget deal
does include a new tax

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The headline read:

U.S. lawmakers announce
bipartisan budget agreement

The text said: “This bill reduces the deficit by $23 billion. And it does not raise taxes. And it cuts spending in a smarter way,” said Ryan.

This is a blatant lie.

An increase of fees for the Transportation Security Administration is included in this budget.

The "fees" imposed on the traveling public in support of the TSA are "taxes." If the federal spending is cut for the TSA and the fees are increased for the TSA, the effect is nil.  The politicians get to pat themselves on the back for accomplishing nothing. The TSA should be abolished and the funds used to pay down the debt.

Ask any TSA agent and they will tell you that flying is voluntary, and if you don't like the system, stop flying. Giving up my rights to fly on an airplane is not something I did voluntarily. Those rights are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Let me get on an airplane without being searched like we did for decades. Those who are too afraid to fly can take other transportation because as it has been said, flying is voluntary.
Dan Jackson
Calhan, Colorado

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Dec. 13, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 247
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Large stash of cigarettes suggests to police an international ring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police discovered a warehouse in Cristo Rey Thursday, and it contained an estimated 40,000 packs of cigarettes.

The Fuerza Pública and the Departamento de Inteligencia Policial say that the cigarettes were imported from India, China, Paraguay and even Panamá. Police attributed the smuggling of cigarettes to an international ring.

By not paying taxes, cigarette smugglers can offer smokers a lower price than conventional outlets. Police said they became aware of the suspect because he appeared to have had a sales route through downtown San José.

The cigarettes are popular because police said they watched customers standing in line in order to make purchases from the man identified by the last names of Quesada Fernández. He worked the route in a vehicle, police said, and purchasers would be given the cigarettes in a black bag topped off with candies.

Police said they watched the man make sales in the street near the Catedral Metropolitana. Then they were able to follow him to locate the warehouse that was raided Thursday morning.

Juan José Andrade Morales, the director general of the Fuerza Pública, said that his agency would be increasing its efforts against smuggled goods that are damaging to the health.

The cigarettes have not been approved by the Ministerio de Salud, and police said they had no idea what they might contain.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Police officers check out confiscated cigarettes

Some expats facing a new tax to finance Obamacare
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expat advocacy group reports that the U.S. Affordable Care Act imposes an additional tax even on expats living abroad.

The tax is on net investment income, and it is 3.8 percent.

The advocacy group, American Citizens Abroad, Inc., is unhappy because U.S. citizens living overseas cannot apply foreign tax credits against the tax. The organization called this double taxation.
A press release attributed this problem to a simple drafting technicality and called upon Congress to remedy what it said was a harmful oversight. The Affordable Care Act also is known as Obamacare.

The 3.8 percent tax is intended to help finance Medicare under the Affordable Care Act, even though Medicare is not available to U.S. expats overseas, the organization noted.

Not every expat will pay the tax because not all have investment income and there also is a threshold amount.

A reader responds and highlights contrast between philosophies
 “…It is ironic to think that once energy, both kinds, were free and available to everyone,…”  from your column is wrong.
"Energy (and/or food) were never free.  It took enormous amounts of work by individuals and teams to obtain it (in pre-history) only becoming cheaper and easier to obtain with the advances of rule of law and property rights.  Initially it was hoarded and prized as a possession.  It was fought over always.  Many didn’t have enough or any and died in harsh weather.  Whole communities who didn’t manage this properly were eradicated through their own lack of knowledge or skills at obtaining it.
"Pollyanna didn’t exist at any time in history, but rule of law and property rights has promised her appearance as soon as the communalists, re-distributionists, religious zealots, and do-gooders get out of the way."

— Chuck  (Dumas)

The above excerpt is from Chuck, a reader who took exception to my column last Friday, especially what I had to say about gatherers and hunters.  Chuck is right, energy (ie. food and fire) were not “free.”  That is a market concept.  Both fire and food were available for the work you put into getting them.  However, anthropologists now call the gathering and hunting people the first leisure society since they worked about three hours a day to obtain their needs in order to live.  They spent their leisure time telling stories, playing games dancing and playing with their children. Or they were trekking to the next location. It is difficult to hoard fire and since reciprocity was a tenet of life, sharing with visitors was the custom as it still is, especially notable in the Middle East, where hospitality continues to be a salient value.

By coincidence, two of my dearest friends have been in Costa Rica this week. Both are anthropologists.  Peter Reynolds has his doctorate from Yale and his wife, Nicole, received hers from U.C.L.A.  Both have done field work; Peter with hunters and gatherers in Malaysia and Nicole in a farming society in Mexico.  I am really paraphrasing them in this column.

A signature trait of the gathering and hunting societies was that they lived lightly on the land, which is one reason it is difficult to find traces of their being here.  Food and energy were shared, and often their survival depended upon reciprocity.   It simply is not true that groups fought one another for food.  There were far fewer people per square acre or mile until colonization by outsiders pushed the people into smaller and smaller areas.  But, of course, they continue to survive in the parts of the world that civilizations have found difficult to develop.

I think part of the reason for the difference in Chuck’s and
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

my opinions is that I was talking about the time in prehistory when gatherers and hunters were the primary residents on this earth, which has been between 150,000 to 200,000 years.  He was referring to a much later period.  Civilizations did not appear until after the end of the last Ice Age 14,000 years ago. 

I am sure dates will change with new discoveries, but it seems that Chuck finds it very difficult to believe that humans ever lived lives that could be described as Pollyanish, that is, being cooperative and not in competition for every mouthful of food, or that the earth had plenty of energy and food to satisfy the needs of what were much smaller populations until humans learned how to control the means of production through farming and husbandry and to claim ownership of land with laws to protect them.

Chuck argues that today, thanks to laws and the market, more food is produced to feed the hungry than ever before, but he cannot deny that it does not get to everyone.  Nicole says that scarcity was created in order to control  people.  Today, it is true that the means of production can be privatized.  It was pretty difficult in prehistoric times to control what fell from trees or that grew or ran wild or to patent fire.  Besides, early societies focused on living in balance with the land, not trying to control it.

I think the difference is that those who think in terms of social Darwinism see a world of competition, of winners and losers.  Those who see the world in terms of evolution, see a world that has historically been more successful through cooperation.

According to Nicole, the worst thing you could say about someone in the early societies was that he or she was greedy. Such a person would be shunned, even ostracized from the community.  Greedy meant one who stole the fat.  Perhaps that is why today we have the phrase fat cats. It depends upon who you are whether you admire or scorn the person who wears the sobriquet.

My thanks go to Nicole Sault and Peter Reynolds for help with the research, as well as to the Kahn Academy and Wikipedia.  (Nicole pointed out to me that since gathering provided most of the sustenance for early societies it puts one’s thinking more in balance to call them gatherers and hunters.)


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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Dec. 13, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 247
Real Estate
About us

Festival of arts will attract more than 1,000 performers from 32 countries
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Organizers say that 1,125 national and international artists will participate in the Festival Internacional de las Artes 2014 that begins March 25.

This is an elaborate event for Costa Rica with venues through the capital.

Organizers outlined the festival Thursday. They predict 334 presentations by artists from 32 countries. The bulk of the activity will be from April 4 to 13.
The festival received 900 million colons, about $1.8 million from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and also support from the Fundación Pro Festival de las Arte, which is lining up sponsors.

This is the festival's 14th year.

The Antigua Aduana in the east and Parque la Sabana in the west will be the main locations for the presentations and events. The festival will promote the use of the valley train line to connect both sites.

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Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
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  Owner pays cable and internet.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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 and put in, #969365 for pics and full description Then write to us, Thanks. Email:

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:

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 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
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Dec. 13, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 247
Real Estate
About us


Corn farmers lament change
in ethanol fuel requirements

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In November, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed lowering the mandated amount of ethanol mixture in the nation’s gasoline supply.  Current law requires refiners to use 68 billion liters of ethanol by 2014.  The proposed changes would cut that requirement to about 56 billion liters.  Farmers in the midwestern United States who produce corn used to make ethanol say the proposed changes could hurt them financially.

It's a prosperous year in the cornfields of Polo, Illinois, for farmer Brian Duncan.

“This year we had record yields, and a huge crop," said Duncan.

It is a similar story across the country: farmers coming off one of the worst years on record because of last year’s drought now face some of the best yields in recent memory.

That, however, is where Duncan says the good news ends.

“As we look at the increased bushels, our inventories are gonna be worth $3 a bushel less than what they were valued at a year ago," he said.

As the sun sets each day on Duncan’s golden harvest, the price of corn continues to decline from an all time high of more than $7 a bushel set during the peak of the drought last year.

"Four-dollar corn in this environment is tough enough, let alone $2.50 or $2.75 corn, which is what we could be looking at with another big crop, which is why we needed higher blend rates of ethanol," he said.

Demand for ethanol, a liquid fuel created from corn, grew in 2007 when the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, was put in place.  The standard mandated that fuel makers blend ethanol into their gasoline, with the amount increasing over time.  That was good news for corn producers like Duncan, who saw a steady increase in demand for their product and its price.  Times, however, are changing, says contributing editor Craig Turner.

“We’ve hit the blend wall.  Since 2008, the United States consumes about 9 percent less gasoline than we used to.  We can only use 10 percent of ethanol in a gallon of gasoline, and we basically hit that wall.  So we can’t produce any more ethanol. We have to stay the same, and if fuel efficiency gets even better, then the ethanol mandate could come down even further," said Turner. High percentages of ethanol in motor fuel can harm some engines.

Turner says one ironic factor driving down demand for ethanol is the growing number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.

“Every year we take older cars off the road and replace them with more fuel-efficient cars, we’re going to be using less gasoline, so now that we’ve reached this peak in corn ethanol it’s actually hurting farmers," he said.

That's certainly not the scenario farmer Brian Duncan was banking on.

“We’re happy for the market, but we have ever increasing yields, and ever increasing production capabilities, for ethanol, and we were kind of planning on the EPA following through with their increase and inclusion of green fuels," he said.

The biggest uncertainty for farmers used to be the weather. But with changing ethanol standards, falling corn prices, and the lack of action in the U.S. Congress on a new farm bill, the weather seems to be the least uncertain obstacle Duncan and other U.S. farmers face in the new year.

House passes two-year deal
to prevent another shutdown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to fund the federal government for two years, avoiding the threat of another government shutdown like the one in October. The vote was 332 to 94. It was a busy day on Capitol Hill, as the House worked to finish its business and recess for the year.

After two years of bitter wrangling and a government shutdown, the House passed a bill that will fund federal operations at about $1 trillion annually for the next two years. It partially replaces unpopular across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester.

A number of leading lawmakers praised the bipartisan agreement as a breakthrough in finding common ground at a time of divided government.

“We have successes here today, hard-fought successes on behalf of the American people, not frivolous things," said Rep. Rob Woodall, a Republican.

Senate Democrat Dick Durbin called on his colleagues to quickly pass the bill.

“House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, vote for this," he said. "Let’s move, let’s govern, let’s not shut down this government again."

The Senate is likely to pass the bill easily next week, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

There was, however, opposition and some fiery rhetoric.  House Democrats pushed to get the House to vote to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.

Democrat James McGovern called on Republican leaders in the House to, as he said, “have a heart.”

“After they have opened up all their presents and wished everybody a Merry Christmas, and had a wonderful dinner, on December 28, 1.3 million of our fellow citizens will be cut off totally," he said.

Republicans say they want an unemployment insurance measure to be worked out with the president and the Senate.

Some fiscally conservative Tea Party groups and lawmakers criticized the deal, calling it a sell-out because it does not reduce the budget deficit as much as they would like.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner angrily responded to outside conservative groups for the second day in a row.

“Well, frankly, I think they are misleading their followers. I think they are pushing our members in places they don’t want to be, and frankly I just think that they have lost all credibility," said Boehner.

Boehner blamed those groups for pushing Republican lawmakers into causing the government shutdown in October to try to stop the president’s health care reform. That has caused a backlash among the public.

Progress but no final pact
reported from Singapore

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Top trade officials reported progress, but no final deal, after negotiations this week in Singapore on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership.  Advocates say the trade deal would streamline commerce, boost the economy, and create jobs by coordinating regulations and removing non-tariff barriers for 12 Pacific nations from America to Vietnam.  But U.S. critics say some of those barriers are hard-won protections for consumers, the environment, and workers.

The 12 nations haggling over the Trans Pacific Partnership include some of the world’s most robust economies, accounting for about one-third of global trade.

U. S. Rep. Charles Boustany says a lot of jobs already depend on trade among partnership nations, so more trade would mean more jobs.

“In 2011, trade exports and imports of goods and services with TPP countries supported an estimated 14.9 million American jobs," said Boustany.

The Pacific nations set to resume trade talks in January include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

Disputes include access to Japan's market for U.S. autos and agricultural products and haggling among other nations about protection for intellectual property. 

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman hopes further negotiations will bring progress.

"We will continue to work with flexibility to finalize these text issues as well as market access issues," he said.

Experts say previous trade deals focused on cutting tariffs, which made it cheaper to move goods from one nation to another.   Lower costs encouraged more trade.  Tariffs are taxes on goods moving across borders.

The partnership is an attempt to increase trade further by making regulations consistent from one nation to another and getting rid of bureaucratic obstacles that take time, cost money, and slow trade, according to Washington attorney and former trade U. S. trade negotiator Jay Eizenstat.  

"Non tariff barriers, behind the border barriers, and importantly, regulatory barriers, which as I have said impose at least as much and in many cases, more of a barrier to trade in goods and services, than the actual tariffs themselves," said Eizenstat.

But some of those regulations protect consumers, the financial system, the environment, patients, workers, and others from harm, according to Lori Wallach of the advocacy group Public Citizen. 

"They label the fundamental environmental, health, safety standards on which our families rely as 'non-tariff trade barrier,"' she said.

Ms. Wallach says the trade deal is more about politics than trade.

“A bunch of big corporations have used these trade agreements to try to get done through the back door of these secretive negotiations what they could not get through Congress," she said.

Opposition from some consumer and labor groups and many of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party allies means a deal faces an uncertain future in Washington.  The agreement has to be ratified by many national legislatures, including the U.S. Congress.

Trade deal supporters hope to work out a legislative agreement to prevent last minute changes by Congress to any agreement that has been worked out with the member nations.

 Voice of America photo
Here is part of the million-light scenery.

A million lights thrilling
visitors near Washington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For many families in the United States, taking a drive to see local light decorations during the Christmas holiday is an annual tradition. One of the most spectacular in the Washington area features more than one million lights. Dazzling displays are lighting up the night sky at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

There’s a surprise around every corner. More than 400 displays, including candy canes, elves and animals illuminate the four-kilometer drive.

Kimberly Stewart is seeing the lights for the first time.

I’m excited. I can hardly wait! I love Christmas; everything about it,” she said.

The displays are both small and large. Martha Henderson, who is 85 years old, did not want to miss any of them.

“I just want to have the spirit of Christmas, and this makes me feel real great," she said. "In case I don’t see another Christmas, at least I’ve been here this time.”

The Winter Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park began 27 years ago. The charge to see the lights is $5 per vehicle and the money is used to cover the cost of the displays. Visitors may also donate canned food for local food banks.

Festival organizer Kathy Garrity said the number of scenes have increased over the years, making this the largest drive-through illuminated Christmas display in the Washington area. It’s a gift to the community, but it’s also a way of giving back to the community. Families can be together in their nice, warm car. They don’t have to worry about the weather.”

Nicole Bartels and her family are especially looking forward to seeing the big Christmas tree covered with lights.

“It’s really starting to be a tradition of ours, and the kids love it. We always put on some Christmas music and drive through," said Ms. Bartels.

Jerell Alexander grew up near the park and recalls the joy of seeing the lights when he was a child. Now he lives in Virginia and is bringing his fiancé’s children.

“I’ve come out here for years and years. I have many family members who love this place,” he said.

Vickie Lopez has been working at the seasonal lights display for 25 years.

"I used to bring my kids through them when they were small. Now my kids bring their kids,” she said.

As he takes money and donations, Donald Sutherland said it warms his heart to see the same families year after year.

“I watched the kids come through as babies, and I watched them grow up. That gives me that spirit watching them enjoy coming to the lights every year,” he said.

Besides enjoying the displays, Jodie Johnson donates cans of food for the needy.

“It’s very important that we help our community in any way that we can," she said. "So it’s something that’s really well needed.”

David Bishop said, for him, donating food represents the real meaning of Christmas.

“It’s the right thing to do, to always give back and help other people,” he said.

But for the kids, it’s all about having fun. Three-year-old Michael had his favorite.

“The dinosaur,” he said.

Perhaps this boy summed up the experience best after his visit.

“It was awesome,” he said.

Texas Christmas is medley
of Mexican, cowboy cultures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In Texas, Christmas and New Year's celebrations are similar to those in the rest of the United States, but Mexican culture and the state's cowboy heritage both contribute a special flavor.

A lone star, the symbol of Texas, sits atop a tall tree in front of the Alamo, a Spanish mission where Texas rebels fought to the death against the Mexican army in 1836.

But the people who gather here on cold December evenings, leading up to Christmas, seek peace and harmony.

And regardless of their ethnic background, they favor Mexican food for the holiday.

"We make our own food like tamales and menudo," said one man.

"We traditionally have tamales on Christmas eve with other kind of hors d'ouerves kind of stuff. It is really not the turkey meal that you see in the movies or maybe that is what they do up north," a woman said.

Nearby, The Riverwalk is decorated with Christmas lights, but the cold temperatures discourage outdoor dining.

On sunny days, city folk can head to Texas Hill Country, to the small town of Bandera. It calls itself The Cowboy Capital of the World.

Cowboy singers and musicians meet frequently at Bandera's Frontier Times Museum.

Lew Pewterbaugh runs a ranch outside Bandera where he keeps several horses.

"Christmas time, I generally try to give them some apples or carrots or something." he said. "I know that they do not realize that it is a special day, but they appreciate the treat."

Poetry has long been popular among cowboys, and Lee Haile does a cowboy variation on the classic poem "The Night Before Christmas," which tells the story of Santa Claus and his reindeer sled.

"He said, 'gittyup, you old nag, and as his rig disappeared off into the stars, we heard a small voice that come from afar, 'Come on you old mules or I will tan your hide, have a Merry Christmas, y'all and y'all have a good night," sang cowboy-style singer Lee Haile.

Haile grew up on a ranch that served as the anchor for his extended family.

"Christmas was always a big gathering time with the family," he said. "We always ended up at the ranch out there, and so cousins and people who were no longer around all migrated back to the ranch and then we had Christmas there."

Today there are few family ranches in central Texas, but Haile said he and other performers keep the cowboy heritage alive for visitors from near and far.

"We get people from Germany, Switzerland, England all the time, and when they get here they are already decked out, and sometimes they know as much or more about the culture as we do," he said.

Haile said at this time of year, he feels the influence of both holiday and cowboy traditions.

Some Russian lawmakers
seek ban on foreign talk at work

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Nationalist lawmakers in Russia want to ban foreign languages at the workplace — a rule that would leave some foreigners speechless, from menial laborers from former Soviet states to Western business executives in suits and ties.
Two deputies from flamboyant ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky's party introduced a bill Thursday that would bar Russians and foreigners from speaking foreign languages on the job during working hours, the state-run RIA news agency reported.
It cited a summary of the proposal as saying that many foreigners do not know Russian and “speak amongst themselves in their own language at the workplace during work hours, which makes the native population indignant.”
That explanation suggested the bill is aimed mainly to control the speech of migrant workers from former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, whose growing presence in Russia has led to ethnic tension.
Some Russians accuse migrants of a lack of respect for Russian culture and say they should assimilate or leave.
Mindful of those opinions, President Vladimir Putin promised in a state-of-the-nation speech to tighten control over labor migration, but he also said Russia must not undermine ties with the ex-Soviet states.
The concern about damaging relations with Moscow's closest geopolitical allies suggests the proposal is unlikely to pass in its present form. It would be seen by some in the West as draconian, casting further chill on Russia's investment climate.
Parliament is dominated by the United Russia party, which is loyal to Putin. Zhirinovsky and his misleadingly named Liberal Democratic Party support most Kremlin initiatives.
They sometimes produce initiatives that reflect popular opinion in exaggerated form, but which can then be repackaged in more acceptable terms and made into law.

Protesters in Haiti seeking
higher minimum wages

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, to demand an increase in their wages.
Factory workers say the government's recommendation to raise the minimum wage from $4.54 to $5.11 for an eight-hour work day, an increase of 13 percent, is insufficient.
Workers, carrying tree branches as a symbol of grassroots solidarity, are demanding twice that amount.

The raise is due to take effect on Jan. 1, pending approval from the ministry of social affairs.

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.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

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.

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Gorgeous Survival Farm located between San Ramón and Arenal Volcano bordering the huge Arenal Monteverde Nature Reserve. 30 acres of virgin rain forest with no neighbors, river, spring waters, rich soil, giant trees, homesite, no electricity, year-round 4WD access. 59,000 USD

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 Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

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.

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

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:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.


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:

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   
For more information contact:

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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 for more information ¡y se habla español!

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:

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:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Guiones retreat
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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)
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: Asking price  $3.9 million. Email or call: 8899-9870.

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,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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, 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.

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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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday,  Dec. 13, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 247
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
New system for measuring
age advanced by researchers

By the International Institute
for Applied Systems Analysis news staff

Age is not just the number of years one has lived, argue Austrian population researchers. A new study from the group provides a set of tools for measuring age in all its dimensions.

A groundbreaking study published in the journal Population and Development Review by population researchers Warren Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov reorients the way demographers study population aging, providing a new toolbox of methodologies for demographers to better understand the impacts of an aging population on society.  The researchers are with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Previously, studies of aging used only one characteristic of people, their chronological age. The new study provides a framework for measuring aging based instead on characteristics of people that change with age, including life expectancy, health, cognitive function, and other measures. These measures can be used by demographers to better understanding aging societies.

“Your true age is not just the number of years you have lived,” said researcher Scherbov. “It also includes characteristics such as health, cognitive function, and disability rates.”

Demographers have not traditionally used such measures in studies of population and society, instead using age as a proxy for those characteristics. But as lifespans get longer, the same age no longer correlates with the same level of health and other such characteristics.

“We use to consider people old at age 65,” says Scherbov. “Today, someone who is 65 may be more like someone who was 55 forty to fifty years ago in terms of many important aspects of their lives.”

The authors show that policy recommendations with respect to aging differ depending on exactly which characteristics of people are measured. “For different purposes we need different measures. Aging is multidimensional,” says Scherbov. By reconceptualizing population aging to incorporate how people actually function, the study provides the foundation of a much richer and more realistic view of population aging.

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From Page 7:

Large power users lose their rate appeal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The electrical price regulator rejected an appeal by large users because the agency said the petitioners did not prove their case.

The users, represented by the Asociación de Grandes Consumidores de Energía sought a reduction of from 11 to 39 percent. But the Intendencia de Energía of the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said that this would mean an increase on other consumers. The agency said that the rejection benefits 1.5 million residential users.

The agency said that the association based its appeal on comparisons with electrical rates in other countries but it did not supply details of these rates or the source from where the information was obtained.

The request was brought into the political arena by those who thought that large companies should pay more. The appeal would have covered rate charges by all electrical utilities.