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(506) 2223-1327        Published Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008,  in Vol. 8, No. 250       E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

This was the scene Tuesday night as the sun set over the Pacific, as seen from Barrio Amón in San José.

Red sky at night . . . tourists' delight!

The outstanding sunsets signal the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the great high season.

atardecer dec. 16
A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas

Now is the time to make a trip to our Costa Rica
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

If there was ever a great time to visit Costa Rica, it is now. Tourism is a bit slow, and there are a lot of deals to be had.

Among our advertisers are many who have invested their life and fortune in providing you with a great experience here. They are good people who have been clients of ours for years in most cases.

The rains are clearing, and Caribbean tourism spots are being fixed after a rough couple of weeks. On the Pacific coasts there is an abundance of rentals. Sunshine is everywhere.

This also is a great time to consider a long-term real estate investment because the market — for the first time in years — is tipped to the buyer. This will not last.
In all cases, we recommend without reservation our advertisers on this page, our news pages two, three and four, and our four classified pages: Classifieds, tourism, real estate and real estate rentals.

Our advertisers are mostly small business people who could use your support. The big chains can take care of themselves.

We have heard that the weather was a little nippy up north. Well, it is great here as usual.

Instead of shoveling snow, our readers could be sitting on the beach sipping one of those little foamy rum drinks, chasing whales and dolphin or trekking through the rain forest in search of the elusive umbrella bird.

So please consider a vacation time during the next couple of months to Costa Rica. You will not be disappointed. And we welcome your support.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 250

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Girl, 12, fights off, shoots
attacker in Hone Creek

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 12-year-old girl fought off an attacker in her bedroom and then shot the man with a rifle as he wrestled with her father. The incident happened Monday morning in Hone Creek on the Caribbean coast.

The wounded man was found later on a public roadway and hospitalized. He claimed that the girl shot him for no good reason, but police put him under guard.

The Fuerza Pública said that the girl's father heard a struggle in her bedroom and her cry for help and entered to confront the intruder. While the men struggled, the girl, who had been trained in the use of weapons and was a hunter, got out a .22-caliber rifle and shot the man square in the chest. The wounded suspect was identified later by the last names of  Lumbi Suárez, said the Fuerza Pública.

It was the third time in a week that an armed citizen shot criminals. Friday morning a business owner and a messenger gunned down two suspected robbers at a traffic circle in La Uruca. Earlier in the week, a man with a gun was confronted by two robbers at night in San José. He killed one and wounded a second suspect.

Arias OKs drainage district
in ravaged Sixaola area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Oscar Arias Sánchez took a stroll over the bridge that spans the Río Sixaola Tuesday and told residents that the government is evaluating measures that may protect the town the next time the river floods.

At the end of November and early December heavy rains swelled the river and flooded the community, which has been flooded consistently every year. This year was the worse since May 2002 when the town was wiped out. The government at that time promised to relocate the community.

Later Arias signed a decree that creates drainage districts in the Cantón de Talamanca, where Sixaola is located, and in Matina, also in the Provincia de Limón.

Arias took a quick tour of the Caribbean because he had been out of the country when the 15 days of heavy rain and flooding took place.

As part of his tour, officials announced in a visit to Limón centro that some 1.5 billion colons in new police equipment is being distributed in the province. That is about $2.7 million, and it all comes from a seven-cent export tax on boxes of bananas.  Just three cents of the tax goes to the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

The ministry said it is purchasing 150 motorcycles, 46 pickups, two patrol boats, four specialized vehicles for the Sixaola region and 130 mobile radios.

In Matina, another place hard hit by flooding, representatives of the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social gave grants to some who had been forced from their homes. In a later meeting Arias said he would seek to have the legislature forgive the debt for the owners of some 3,000 agricultural parcels that suffered damage from the flooding.

House Hunters show returns
to feature Santa Ana area

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country and its real estate will again be on international display when a New Year episode of House Hunters International features an Argentine couple and a local agent choosing between three possible homes.

The agent is Angela Jiménez, an architect and appraiser who knows the market.

The show features the couple, who own a hotel in Nicoya. They want to move to the Santa Ana area to be near a school for their 5-year-old son. Ms. Jiménez will introduce them to two different condo complexes in Santa Ana and one in Heredia.

The show is aired on the Home and Garden Television, Channel 61 on Amnet cable and the tentative date is Jan. 1.

quake results
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico
Impact of the two quakes on the Heredia seismographic station can be seen as a giant green track and a tiny blue one.
Two quakes rattle Pacific

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Twin earthquakes on the central Pacific coast took place between 10:53 p.m. Monday and 16 minutes after midnight Tuesday. The first measured 5.0 in magnitude, according to the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica. The second was a lesser 3.0, the observatory said.

Both were said to have been caused by local faults. The earlier quake had its epicenter about 8 kms (5 miles) northeast of Porvenir de Parrita. The second was in the Pacific some 17 kms (about 10.5 miles) west of Jacó, said the observatory.

Ground waves of both quakes were highly variable. The impact was great in some areas and hardly felt in others, according to the observatory's array of seismographic stations.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 250

Sails signal start
of  high season

That's the Wind Star, so the high tourist season has begun on the Pacific coast. The sailing ship arrived in Playas del Coco Tuesday. The boat will cruise the Pacific until March 21, visiting Puerto Caldera, Quepos. Drake's Bay, Golfito and Tortuga Island, among others.

The 168-passenger craft has 12 cruises scheduled over the next few months. The craft boasts computer-controlled sails that are operated from the bridge.

Windstar visit
A.M. Costa Rica/Greg Golojuch

Santa Cruz raid furthers probe of mayor and two employees
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents swooped down on the Santa Cruz municipal building and the mayor's home Tuesday morning as part of an investigation of bribery. Three municipal employees, including the mayor, were identified as suspects, and the mayor was detained.

The municipal building was closed as a result of the investigatory raid and might remain closed for several days.
The Poder Judicial said that the raids stemmed from 14 complaints of mismanagement of municipal funds and other allegations.

The case is being handled by the Juzgado Penal de Hacienda del II Circuito Judicial de San José, which is in charge of financial crimes. The prosecutor did not seek preventative detention of the mayor, Jorge Chavarría, but asked a judge to impose lesser restrictions.

The restrictions include having the mayor sign in with the prosecutor's office every 15 days, suspension from public office, a prohibition against leaving the country, maintenance of a fixed home and a prohibition against going near the municipal building. A judge is expected to rule on this request even as it applied to the other two employees.

The Cantón de Santa Cruz includes the district of Tamarindo and other well-known tourist areas, such as 
Bahía Potrero and Cabo Velas. It is located on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Prosecutors from Santa Cruz, Nicoya and Liberia were involved in the investigation Tuesday, as were locally based judicial agents. They created a security zone in front of the municipal building Tuesday with yellow police tape.

The case is believed to relate to patentes or business licenses issued to vendors in Playa Conchal.

The Poder Judicial said that the following allegations were being investigated. The penalty specified by the nation's penal code also is listed:

concusión: Abusing the public office and accepting something of value for the public official or a third party. Two to eight years of prison
prevaricato: Giving a resolution contrary to the law or based on false facts. Three to 15 years in prison.

peculado: Taking goods or money that have been entrusted to a public official by reason of his office. Three to 12 years in prison.

malversación: Misdirecting money to a different use than to which they were directed. A fine based on 30 to 90 days base pay, about 220,000 to 660,000 colons, $400 to $1,200.

Carrillo leader disputes role of water defense committee
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The organization called Comité Pro Defensa del Agua de Sardinal does not represent the residents of the Cantón de Carrillo, said Carlos Alberto Chanto, president of the canton's Consejo Civil.

Chanto wrote an opinion piece that appeared Monday in which he said many in Sardinal accept the findings of a water study that showed a source in the town had sufficient flow to service tourist developments on the Pacific coast.

He characterized the Comité Pro Defensa as just one of many organizations in the area. And he said many of the members of this group do not even live in the canton.

The issue is the Sardinal-Ocotal-El Coco pipeline that developers paid $8 million to have installed by the national water company, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados. Protests in the community stopped work on the pipeline and resulted in the demand for a water study.
Some residents were afraid that the pipeline would take water at the expense of the community. On the coast some development projects are frozen by the lack of water.

The Comité Pro Defensa del Agua announced via the Internet last week that the community had broken off discussions with the government over the pipeline. Chanto said that the committee does not speak for the community and that many in the town favor tourism development and the jobs it brings.

Most of the community and organizations prefer dialog to confrontation and are looking out for the wellbeing of the community, not an ideology or personal ambitions, he wrote, adding:  "For us, agitation is not a business."

Some of those associated with the Comité Pro Defensa del Agua come from the metropolitan area and the various universities.

Many are the same who opposed the U.S. free trade treaty.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 250

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2008 goes into the record books at 10th warmest year
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Meteorological Organization said 2008 was the 10th warmest year on record. Its year-end report found 2008 was marked by the second-lowest level of Arctic ice cover. It said all of the 10 warmest years have occurred in the past 12 years. So, it noted, the trend is for warming.

The report said there was unusually warm weather in many parts of Europe, and Scandinavian countries enjoyed the warmest winter season on record. It said the Arctic Sea ice dropped to its second-lowest level during the melting season since satellite measurements began in 1979. 

It said nearly one-quarter of the massive ancient ice shelves on Ellesmere Island disappeared, underscoring the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic. It said the melting strongly reinforces the 30-year downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent.

Michel Jarraud, the organization's secretary-general, said climate extremes, including devastating floods, severe and persistent droughts, snowstorms, heat waves and cold waves, were recorded in many parts of the world.

"If I have to identify one extreme event in 2008, I think we should highlight the Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar, killing nearly 80,000 people ... causing also a big humanitarian challenge. The 2008 hurricane season was also quite unusual and it caused widespread damage in the
Caribbean and in Central America and U.S.A.," said Jarraud. 

For the first time on record, Jarraud said six consecutive tropical cyclones made landfall in U.S.A. Three major cyclones hit Cuba, and Haiti was hit by cyclone after cyclone, killing more than 500 people.

The report describes the monsoon season in South Asia as very strong, killing more than 2,000 people and rendering more than 10 million homeless. It said long-term drought persisted in southeastern Australia, with Victoria having its ninth driest year on record.

Omar Baddour, data management application division chief, said sub-Saharan Africa did not experience drought this year.

"What we are noticing here for the second year, sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing severe flooding. And, it was really unusual to not report large-scale drought in sub-Saharan Africa this year. So, this has two meanings. One is it is good information from agricultural perspective. But, it caused also humanitarian consequences," he said.

The report said sub-Saharan Africa, including West and East Africa, was affected by heavy rains, which caused the worst-ever recorded flooding in Zimbabwe and affected more than 300,000 people in West Africa during the monsoon season. 

Latin nations congratulate selves on freedom from U.S.
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Latin American leaders welcomed Cuba and touted their independence from the United States during a two-day summit in Brazil that began Tuesday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez remarked on Cuba's integration into the Rio Group Tuesday, saying the country's presence at the meeting is a strong signal that Latin America no longer answers to the United States.

Representatives from 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered at the Costa do Sauipe resort in Bahia state.

The summit, which excludes the United States and Canada, is aimed at deepening economic and political ties in the region. Leaders also are working to bolster integration and
development as they look at ways to survive the economic crisis.

During Tuesday's meeting, several leaders blamed developing nations for the global economic crisis.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, whose country recently defaulted on a foreign debt payment, called for a stronger regional development bank to deal with the credit crunch.

The heads of state of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay convened separately Monday for the Mercosur regional trade bloc meeting, which Cuban President Raúl Castro attended as a special guest.

Castro discussed his willingness to hold talks with incoming U.S. President-elect Barack Obama over the decades-old trade embargo against Cuba.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 250

A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.


A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.


Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.


A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

Bush praises Salvador ties
in meeting with its president

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President George Bush has had what will likely be his last official meeting with the president of El Salvador. The two leaders stressed their countries' close historical ties.

Bush said he and President Elias Antonio Saca discussed free trade and fighting drug trafficking. Bush described President Saca as a close ally who has worked hard and invested resources for the benefit of the Salvadoran people.

Bush commended Mr. Saca for his efforts to stem the flow of drugs out of El Salvador. Bush said there must be a comprehensive approach to fighting drug trafficking, addressing supply and demand.

Saca noted the importance of the United States to his country's economy, as more than half of El Salvador's exports go to the United States. Remittances are critical to the country, accounting for billions of dollars each year.  

El Salvador is one of five Central American nations to enter into a free-trade accord with the United States during Bush's second term.

Saca noted U.S.-Salvadoran ties were strengthened during the country's 12-year civil war. The United States provided military aide to successive Salvadoran governments that battled leftist rebels until 1992. Saca said ties with the United States have only grown stronger since then.

Bush particularly thanked Saca for his country's participation in the multinational coalition in Iraq, where El Salvador is Latin America's last remaining troop contributor.

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Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us
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