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Published Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 254
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Horse and riders take over the city streets today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A flood of horsemen will flow down Avenida Segunda and Paseo Colón today replacing the blaring of horns and screech of vehicular traffic with neighing and clopping of hooves.

The Tope Nacional begins at noon at Plaza Víquez before continuing down the main drags of San José to end at Parque La Sabana. All estimates point to around 4,000 horses participating with their riders, known in Spanish as jinetes, proudly displaying their best mounts to the public.

The tradition began, according to event organizers, at the beginning of the 20th century when horsemen, hired on as hands for the United Fruit Co., traveled to the ports to pick up imported stock. Cattle were being used on the company’s banana plantations and, along

the way, these jinetes would bump, or topar in Spanish, the cattle to keep them in line and together. After a time, it became a parade of horses dressed with their finest saddles.

According to the tope website, the most common breeds of horses in Costa Rica are the Iberoamerican, Spanish purebred, and the Costa Rican criollo. They are also highly expensive with prices ranging between $18,000 to $64,000, depending on the breed and the horse itself. The event continues as part of the wider celebrations of Costa Rican rural tradition and culture.

Happening Tuesday, after an absence of 11 years, the carnival parade will fill the streets of San José with colorful costumes and pageantry.

The carnival parade will begin at 1 p.m. and continue down the Paseo Colón.


Major upgrade projected for Limón cruise ship port
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism ministry and the agency that runs the Caribbean ports have plans to turn the Limón docks into a home port for passenger ships.

One step will be in 2018 when cargo handling will be moved to Moín, said the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica.

The transformation means money for the government because tourists from cruise ships pay a landing fee, and then they spend an average of $83 in food, day trips and other activities in the province of Limón, said the port agency.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo has come to an agreement to help finance remodeling part of the Limón docks for the benefit of tourists, said the port agency. Included are new bathrooms. The port agency
cruise ships
Casa Presidencial photo
The port authority wants more of these.

expects to see a big increase in cruise ships this year, from 60 in 2013-2014 to 133 this year and early next year. Officials said that the Spanish firm Pullmantur Cruises S.L. has expressed interest in using Limón as a home port.

Representatives from the port agency plan to visit Quintana Roo, Cozumel and the Isla Mujeres, all in México, to see how the cruiser ports work there.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 254
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Dentistry


Dental
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Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!
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Psychotherapy

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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts

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JAVIER ZAVALETA
RESIDENCY IN COSTA RICA
A full service immigration agency
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There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
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U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
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Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )

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 Accountants

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(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
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Eco
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Colinas del
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Happy                                      child
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública/Alonso Alvarez
Surprise mixed with astonishment seems to be the expression on this tot’s face after she received a Christmas gift. The air arm of the  Ministerio de Seguridad Pública brought gifts and school supplies to isolated areas where native populations live. The little girl lives in Punta Burica in extreme southwest Costa Rica.

 
Judiciary says time cut for handling rapes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With special rooms, use of smartphone apps, and less time wasted undergoing multiple layers of processing, the judiciary is seeking to change the way it handles and attends to victims of sexual assault and rape.  The situation in Alajuela is offered as an example.

These rapid response teams were organized by the Poder Judicial at the request of the Costa Rican supreme court and with the support of the Caja Costarricense de Seguros Social in 2013. The goal of the program is to avoid a re-victimization of the people who experienced these crimes. That means care for the victims ideally in the first 72 hours after the crime occurs and a lot of cutting through bureaucratic procedure, long lines and repetition, the Poder Judicial said.

This all represents what is fast becoming a nationwide effort of the Programa Nacional de Equipos de Respuesta Rápida a Víctimas de Violación y Delitos Sexuales.

The coordinated effort of communication between Alajuela’s response team along with the prosecutor’s office, judicial agents, and health officials at the local level, has achieved a drop in the amount of time victims spend in legal proceedings and declarations. Officials in the Alajuela branch claim that, originally, victims underwent an excruciating nine hours of processing. Now the time is only between 45 minutes and two hours maximum.

“They do not have to wait in lines. They do not have to repeat their stories over and over. They do not have to be held in common rooms. In short, the Costa Rican state is guaranteeing access to justice and health in a humane and effective way,” a report declared.

A lot of this coordination and communicating between different entities is conducted over the popular smartphone app Whatsapp, a medium of texting and calling and video chatting that only requires an Internet Wi-Fi connection in order to communicate with anyone worldwide.

Hospital and medical officials will send a message to agents and investigators in the judiciary so that they come to the victim in the hospital as quickly as they are able in order to shorten the time taken to create a formal report, said a summary by the judiciary.

If the victim goes directly to judiciary authorities however, they will be immediately transferred to medical facilities, officials said. If the victim arrives at the medical center, judicial authorities are sent directly to them. The following reports are then conducted in special rooms within Hospital San Rafael in Alajuela. These rooms were specifically created so the victim need not be transferred to judicial facilities, the judiciary said.

With this, the prosecutor’s office has trained the medical staff on how to properly handle and not to lose any kind of evidence of the crime in the event a victim seeks care. The victim is also placed under police protection in addition to the social workers who also provide help.

The response teams began conducting operations in Puntarenas, San José, Liberia, and Cartago. This year, the program expanded to include: Heredia, Goicoechea, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, San Carlos, Upala, Limón and Guápiles, as well as Alajuela. Officials said that new teams would be established in Pérez Zeledón, Corredores, and Turrialba next year.


Security ministry addresses fugitive rumors

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Stories have been circulating within México that the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte de Ochoa, has fled to Costa Rica.

Duarte is a controversial figure in Mexican politics. The ex-governor of Veracruz, a state that hugs the eastern coast of Mexico, resigned in the wake of corruption scandals and alleged association with certain organized crime and narco-trafficking affiliates. He had served as governor of that notoriously dangerous state from 2010 until his resignation Oct. 12.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública here declared that if Duarte were found in any part of Costa Rica, he would be immediately repatriated back to Mexico. According to immigration officials, Duarte does not have a recent migratory record and the last time he officially entered Costa Rica was six years ago in 2010.

He appears to have only stayed in Costa Rican territory for a day arriving at Juan Santamaría airport Oct. 7 and leaving the next day.

Raúl Cervantes, the attorney general in México, has offered a reward of 15 million Mexican pesos for information leading to the man’s arrest. That amount is about $735,000.


Ojochal vehicle bandit suspects caught 

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers caught a man and a minor accused of stealing a vehicle by force on the Pacific coast.

According to the police, the two supposedly used a method of thievery known as bajonazo in the community of Ojochal. Fuerza Pública units were deployed to block the vehicle’s escape and shut the road down in the adjacent cantons. The vehicle was stopped at the Pejibaye area.

The adult in question has an extensive criminal record for various offenses, according to officials. The police did not provide any information as to the accused minor.

A type of hold-up at gunpoint, a bajonazo usually occurs when a motorist is stopped at a traffic signal or parked and the bandit appears at the window or door with a firearm. In Costa Rica, this type of crime is suggestive of forcing all the passengers and driver to get down, or bajarse for the Spanish verb, out of the car.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 254
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Government makes an effort to capitalize on Hurricane Otto windfall
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hurricane Otto left millions of dollars of fallen timber in its wake Nov. 24.

The government has set up a program for using the downed timber, but this will not be easy. The procedures seem to mean that most of the downed timber will be left in the woods or moved illegally.

Any landowner cutting up more than 15 trees on his or her own property will need approval of the Administración Forestal del Estado, part of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, according to Casa Presidencial.

Any downed trees being used by birds or animals are off limits, according to the decree announced Friday.

Any landowner who wants to take lumber to a sawmill would also need transportation permits from the forestry administration, the decree said.

The Ministero de Ambiente y Energía will set up rules for extracting timber on public land, said the decree.

The decree is valid in Upala, Guatuso, Los Chiles, Aguas Zarcas, Cutris and Pocosol in San Carlos; Río Cuarto in  Grecia and Peñas Blancas de San Ramón, all in Alajuela; Sarapiquí in Heredia; Bagaces and La Cruz in Guanacaste;

trees
Casa Presidencial photo
There are thousands of downed trees like this one.

Osa, Golfito and Corredores in Puntarenas, and Pococí in Limón.

Getting the timber out of the forest has to be done with human or animal power or any other method that minimizes impact on the environment, said the decree.

There are a lot of additional rules in the decree, and those who want to cut timber need to see a full copy that was published in the La Gaceta official newspaper. The measure is Decreto Ejecutivo N° 40027-MP.



Agents grab shoes called fakes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Judicial investigators have raided seven outlets and the warehouse of the chain bestbrands because part of the inventory is suspected of being misbranded. The complaint came from the local representative of a shoe manufacturer who said that shoes on display were counterfeit.

Agents said they confiscated more than 7,000 pairs in Paseo Colón, San José Centro, Calle Blancos, Guadalupe, Tibas, Moravia, Alajuela and two stores in Heredia.

shoes
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Boxes of suspected misbranded shoes were confiscated.


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Modified crop foes seek ruling government's application form
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Frente Amplio political party and environmental activists are seeking to set back government approval of a new type of cotton.

The political party said Friday that its legislative members had filed a Sala IV action saying that the form they used as part of its approval process is unconstitutional. The form does not contain a section where applicants state the possible environmental risks, the appeal said.

This is another battle against genetically modified crops. If the Sala IV finds that the application form is inadequate, Bayer S.A. probably would have to reapply to plant the cotton. The form is No. Bio-05, one of a handful that companies must fill out. This one is also published in a newspaper of general circulation, and the Sala IV appeal says that the public has not been adequately informed.

The same political party and the activist, the Federación Ecologista Costarricense, have filed similar appeals in the past, including one against Dow AgroSciences de Costa Rica S. A., which also sought to plant genetically modified crops.

As the environmental federation has noted, since 1991 nearly 10,000 hectares of genetically modified crops have been planted. The cotton and soybeans are cultivated mainly to produce seeds for export.


Consequently, the opponents to the modified crops would be
hard-pressed to attack the plantings on their merits because there does not seem to have been any problems. Instead, the attacks are leveled at the government procedures.

More applications are coming, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last week that it had completed its evaluation of a variety of pineapple genetically engineered by Del Monte Fresh Produce to have pink flesh, concluding that there are no unresolved safety or regulatory questions about the pineapple. The company plans to plant these genetically modified pineapples in Costa Rica, the U.S. agency said.

The pineapple flesh is pink because researchers have engineered the plant to produce lower levels of an enzyme that converts the pink pigment to yellow, said the Food and Drug Administration.

Cotton is modified to resist herbicides and to resist insect pests.

Both Frente Amplio and the federation note that 74 of the country’s 81 cantons have declared themselves free of genetically modified crops. That does not apply to food products because nearly all the corn-based snack foods use modified corn grown in the United States. Those local declarations may not have an effect because the approval of modified crops comes from the Comisión Técnica Nacional de Bioseguridad of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería. The Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía and the Ministerio de Salud have representatives on the technical commission. The government maintains an informational website on the subject, the Sistema digital para el manejo de información de Organismos Vivos Modificados.

Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArt.com
Contact us by email: info@HiddenGardenArt.com  
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
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Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
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Georgre Lundquist header

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
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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.
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George Lundquist

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877
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Real estate for rent
Business
wanted
Real estate wanted

Real estate-related services (paid category)
COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
9118-6/26/17

Real estate rentals (paid category)

Tropical Homes

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 www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
9049-7/31/17

Real estate for rent (paid category)


new
                                                          apartment
                                                          photo
Fully Furnished American Style Apartment for Rent

San Jose Central 2-1/2-bedroom 2-bathroom apartment on the 2nd floor. Fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amón. Large balcony. Adult Building. Free cable television with two television both in the living room and in the main bedroom. High speed internet cable, WiFi, fully equipped large kitchen with microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, water cooler, total utensils. King-sized bed in the principal bedroom, all bedding, sheets, towels, etc. It has an over-sized soaking tub off of the second bathroom. Water included. Free laundry rooms on all floors. Convenient to Parque Morazán, 100 meters north of downtown Holiday Inn, other hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry. For a single individual it is $650 per month plus your electric usage just inside your apartment. $300 security deposit promptly refunded except your final electric bill. For personal inspection and more information contact: Hilda or Frank at 506-2221-7161.
9122-12/28/15





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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 254
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

Axiom new ad

U.S. economy’s third quarter
shows temporary growth spike


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the July to September quarter, the fastest pace in two years and more than the government had previously estimated. But the growth spurt isn't expected to last.

The gain in the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, came from added strength in consumer spending, business investment and the government sector, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The government had previously estimated last quarter's annual growth rate at 3.2 percent.

The economy's acceleration last quarter marked a sharp pickup from the tepid annual growth of 0.8 percent in the first quarter and 1.4 percent in the second. Still, growth is expected to slow to a roughly 1.5 percent annual rate in the October to December quarter, reflecting in part less consumer spending and less business stockpiling.

Growth for the entire year, economists say, is likely to be around 1.5 percent. That would be down from 2.6 percent in 2015 and would be the weakest performance since the economy shrank 2.8 percent in 2009 at the depths of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. The recovery began in mid-2009, but growth has averaged just over 2 percent, the weakest expansion in the post-World War II period.

President-elect Donald Trump had criticized the sluggish pace of growth during the campaign and said his economic policies would accelerate annual GDP growth to 4 percent or better. To do that, Trump said he would eliminate many government regulations, boost spending on the nation's aging infrastructure and slash taxes.

Most economists don't think 4 percent growth is realistic, given a chronic slowdown in worker productivity and a slower-growing U.S. workforce due in part to retiring baby boomers.

Most forecasters expect growth of around 2.5 percent next year, though they say those estimates could rise if Trump wins congressional support for much of his economic program. Stock markets have risen sharply since Trump's election, partly a reflection of optimism that his proposals would boost growth and corporate profits.

Thursday's report was the government's third and final estimate of GDP growth for the July-September quarter. The upward revision mainly reflected stronger consumer spending, which grew at a 3 percent annual rate, more than the 2.8 percent pace that was estimated a month ago. Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.

The Federal Reserve last week boosted a key interest rate by a quarter-point, just the second increase in the past decade. Fed officials say they think they can begin to gradually raise interest rates as they near their goals for full employment, and inflation increases by about 2 percent a year.


Trump's German bankers
settle $14 billion civil suit


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department has settled a multi-billion-dollar civil lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, which ethics experts have cited as a potential conflict of interest for president-elect Donald Trump.

Germany’s largest bank is a major lender to Trump’s real estate empire, providing at least $364 million for Trump hotel and golf course developments in the last four years.

The Justice Department took Deutsche Bank to court, alleging it had defrauded investors into buying risky mortgage securities before the U.S. housing market collapse in 2008.

Deutsche Bank and the department have been in settlement talks for months. The case is one of two involving the bank that ethics experts say pose a dilemma for the incoming administration. The other is an ongoing inquiry into the bank’s role in enabling Russian investors to move billions of dollars out of that country using stock transactions called mirror trades.

In a statement released Friday, Deutsche Bank said it agreed to pay $7.2 billion, including a $3.1 billion penalty, or half the $14 billion the department had demanded to settle the mortgage security allegations. The agency has settled similar cases with other banks and filed a new one Thursday against Britain's Barclays Bank.

Deutsche Bank has long served as a dependable lender to the Trump Organization, the umbrella company for president-elect Trump’s myriad commercial real estate and other businesses.

According to a 2016 financial disclosure Trump filed with government ethics authorities in connection with his presidential run, his organization owes Deutsche Bank at least $364 million, including a $170 million loan to redevelop Washington’s Old Post Office Building for his line of Trump-branded luxury hotels.

Trump has said he'll hand over control of his company to his two adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump, Jr., but has resisted growing calls to put his assets in a blind trust while he serves in the White House. A press conference that had been scheduled to address the conflicts was postponed until next month.


Trump hopes to fold charity,
but New York says he can’t

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday he intends to dissolve his charitable foundation, which is currently under investigation in New York, in an effort to avoid any conflicts of interest before he takes office in January.

Trump gave no timeline for closing the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Since he won the presidential election, Trump's vast portfolio of business interests and his foundation have come under increased scrutiny.

"The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children," Trump said in a statement Saturday, "However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways," it continued.

In October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had ordered Trump's charitable foundation to immediately stop soliciting contributions because it was not registered in the state to seek public donations.

The state order followed a series of reports in The Washington Post that suggested improprieties by the foundation, including using its funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump businesses, and how much money he has actually given away.

Trump said he has directed his counsel to take the necessary steps to implement the charity's dissolution.

Saturday, however, Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman's office, said the president-elect cannot shutter the foundation while the investigation is ongoing.

"The Trump Foundation is still under investigation by this office and cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," Ms. Spitalnick said,


Don’t cut umbilical cords
too quickly, doctors urged

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Doctors shouldn't be too hasty to cut the umbilical cords of babies who've just been delivered, a physicians group says.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in an opinion from its Committee on Obstetric Practice that was published on its website, said that instead of quickly clamping off the cord that connects the newborn to its placental sac, doctors should wait an additional 30 to 60 seconds. Those extra seconds for babies born at term are associated with an increase in hemoglobin levels in newborns, the statement said.

Hemoglobin is a red cell protein that carries oxygen throughout the body and improves iron stores for several months.

The statement said good hemoglobin levels prevent iron deficiency anemia during the first year of life. Iron deficiency has been linked to cognitive delays and impaired motor and behavioral development in the child.

Waiting several seconds more to clamp off the umbilical cord also has benefits for premature babies, the organization said. The practice improves circulation in the newborn just after birth and decreases the need for blood transfusion due to a decrease in red blood cell volume. In addition, delaying clamping lowers the risk of brain hemorrhage and intestinal disease.

While there are various recommendations for times to cut the cord, Maria Mascola, the lead author of the new guidance, said there is increasing evidence that waiting an additional 30 to 60 seconds to clamp the umbilical cord has clear health benefits.

Ms. Mascola said that the practice does not interfere with early care of the newborn, and that it does stimulate breathing and skin-to-skin bonding between mother and child immediately after birth.

The opinion issued by the group on delayed clamping noted that there is a slight risk of jaundice in the newborn. But the problem is manageable, and doctors and other health care professionals should have proper procedures in place to handle it.

Jaundice is a temporary yellowing of the newborn baby's skin and eyes because of excess bilirubin, a yellow pigment of red blood cells.

The group noted that delaying clamping does reduce the amount of blood from the newborn that is available for banking for future use, and families considering banking the blood should be counseled accordingly. Banked cord blood contains potentially lifesaving stem cells for use in the event that the infant becomes sick with leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia, to name a few conditions.


Navarro, the new trade chief,
raises trade concerns in China


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President-elect Donald Trump's selection of China critic Peter Navarro as the head of a new White House position focusing on trade is being seen by many in China as confirmation that the Republican leader is determined to implement his election promises to impose trade restrictions on Chinese goods.

Navarro is a business professor at the University of California-Irvine who has been a fierce critic of China's trade and economic policies through books such as "Death by China: Confronting the Dragon — A Global Call to Action," which was also made into a documentary film.

Trump has praised Navarro's books, which accuse China's trade and other policies of harming the American middle class. Trump said he thought Navarro could chart a way to bring back jobs and boost American incomes.

But in China, the pick is being seen as a further sign of what could be a dramatic shift in U.S. policy under a Trump administration.

"Trump's Navarro pick is regarded as a signal that he will take more aggressive actions to promote his American-interests-first agenda. It's likely that the U.S. will adopt reckless trade protectionist policies in the future, causing changes to the pattern of the benefits distribution between the U.S. and other countries," Global Times, the Chinese Communist Party's organ, said late Thursday.

The state-run China Daily said Friday there is a real cause for concern.

The Chinese government itself is being cautious and is reluctant to reveal its plans for possible retaliatory actions.

Chinese economist Zhang Yunling was more frank about what may lay ahead.

"If Trump imposes high tariffs on Chinese goods, China will surely retaliate," said Zhang, a member of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, one of the two houses of the Chinese parliament. "The international system will be in danger if that happens."

Trump named Navarro to head the newly created White House National Trade Council, which the Trump transition team said would advise the president on innovative strategies in trade negotiations, coordinate with other agencies to assess U.S. manufacturing capabilities and the defense industrial base, and help match unemployed American workers with new opportunities in the skilled manufacturing sector.

During the election campaign, Trump promised a tougher stance toward China, vowing he would declare the country a currency manipulator and promising to impose a 45 percent tax on Chinese goods.

Proposals like that threaten to disrupt the U.S.-China trade relationship, and even lead some analysts to question whether a trade war could break out between the world's two largest economies.

Navarro has voiced support for Trump's tough proposals, including the proposed 45 percent tariff, though he and others have also suggested such proposals be viewed as the opening bid in a negotiation.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced a new challenge over Beijing's trade barriers to importing American rice, wheat and corn. The action at the World Trade Organization alleged that Beijing had structured complex import barriers to harm U.S. farmers. Also, the U.S. trade representative this week put China-based Alibaba Group's online shopping site, Taobao, on the blacklist of notorious marketplaces for allowing the sale of counterfeit goods.

The U.S. trade deficit with China stood at $42.6 billion in October 2016. Chinese officials think the deficit would give the next president sufficient opportunity to curb Chinese imports.


GOP zeros in on Obamacare
in the new legislative agenda

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Washington is bracing for a burst of legislative activity at the start of 2017. Topping the agenda for the Republican party, which will control both houses of Congress and the White House, is a full assault on President Barack Obama’s health care law that has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured Americans but failed to keep the cost of health care premiums in check.

Nearly seven years after Obamacare became law, a record number Americans have health insurance. More than six million have signed up this year alone, even as the law’s future has been in doubt. But not everyone is happy.

“Unfortunately, it’s not affordable,” said Pennsylvania retail worker Kristy Burgina. “Everybody’s health insurance, their health premiums keep going up, keep going up.”

Large premium increases were common before Obamacare. But the law’s premise that younger, healthier Americans would buy health care plans and offset the cost of insuring the elderly has not panned out. Major health insurance providers have dropped out of the program, with those remaining boosting premiums by an average of 25 percent for next year.

“We will repeal the disaster known as Obamacare and create new health care, all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family,” president-elect Donald Trump told supporters at a post-election rally last week.

Democrats insist Obamacare should be saved rather than scrapped.

“We want to try to improve the bill. We know it could be improved,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada earlier this month.

For years, Republicans promised to end Obamacare. Once Trump is president, they believe they will have their chance.

“We will move right after the first of the year on an Obamacare replacement resolution,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “And then we will work expeditiously to come up with a better proposal than current law. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Democrats note that, so far, Republicans have not provided exact details of their replacement plan. When pressed by reporters, Sen. McConnell would say only that a Republican proposal would be produced at a later date.

"What do you want to replace it with?” asked Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who will replace Reid as minority leader next year. “They can’t come up with an answer. We’re certainly not going to be part of this idea of repeal and put nothing in its place.”

Democrats are betting any Republican plan to replace Obamacare will anger just as many Americans as Obamacare itself.

Health care spending accounts for more than 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, which is the highest level in any advanced industrialized nation.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Container
                                  graphic
Shipping Container Homes For Sale!
We sell new shipping containers and modified container homes. Call us at 8307-8666 
www.containerhomes.net
Stop by our workshop and walk through our model homes in San Ramón.
9088-11/13/16

SellATimeshare.com
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
9004-4/26/17

COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398
OUR EMAIL:
 andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:
www.crsolar.net 
9177-6/19/16

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Sotheby logo

Costa Rica Sotheby's International Realty is a boutique residential property brokerage firm in San Jose Costa Rica dedicated to creating long-term value for its customers and assist you to reach your property goals in Costa Rica. Whether purchasing or selling, our guarantee is an amazing experience for you and your family. You can rely on bespoke advertising and discretion, independent guidance interchangeable with the brand of the Sotheby since 1744. To those who value the exceptional, Sotheby's International Realty® is identifying properties throughout Costa Rica and local Real Estate service providers that offer unrivaled access to qualified individuals. We encourage you to meet with our representatives and preview our on-line portfolio of outstanding properties in Costa Rica.
Click the link to find the finest Costa Rica Real Estate (www.sircostarica.com)

Sotheby's International Realty
info@sircostarica.com
Phone: 506 2253.5333
Phone: 506.8343.2662
9105-12/8/16

Remax
                                  Tamarindo

www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices.
8927-1/28/17

Re-Max
If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

8935-2/7/17

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i
nformation 

Click
HERE!
Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

AXIOM DEVELOPMENT GROUP SRL
Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
USA Office: +1.786233-1579
sales@axiomcostarica.com
www.axiomcostarica.com
8906-2/21/16


Rich Coast
Rich Coast Realty
REDUCED by $30k! Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k.
Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000!!
Panoramic Ocean View three-bedroom house on 4.7 acres, $398k, Ultimate in privacy!
Three-bedroom house and pool near the beach in Herradura, $199k.
Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Residency, etc. 12 years’ experience in Costa Rica real estate.
Have a property for sale in the Central or South Pacific, or in Guanacaste? We want to hear from you. We get results.

USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
9058-3/1/17

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Samara
                                  acreage
Sámara titled land for sale by owner
5.7 acres. Only 150 meters to beach: $275,000
Less than $12 a meter

Fully titled, held by corporation. 150 meters to beach! Paved road frontage. Electric, phone and broadband internet at the road. Year-round water on property for well. 3 -minute drive to Sámara center and a 3-minute walk to Playa Sámara. 23,561 square meters / 5.7 acres. Property was purchased on 2005 with plans to develop 21 villas on the property. Project was halted due to real estate market collapse in 2007.  We are no longer interested in developing due to age, health and motivation!  Priced well below market value for quick sale.  More info click HERE! Email: darrandall@yahoo.com    Phone: 506-4033-6695.
xxxxxx-1/5/17

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean
ocean view
and mountains. Locatedonly 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000.
Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R03ImsxN0wc    or click here www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com9
9127-1/2/17

San Rmon
                                  rollover
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
9129-3/6/17

New graphic
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 506- 8307-0164
Bruce Cohen

Penthouse
                                  rollover
Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
9132-6/1/17

horse ranch
                                  rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
A.M.
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
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Calendar
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details




 
A.M.
Costa
Rica
sixth
news page


San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 254
Calendar
Opinion
Classifieds
Real Estate
Lifestyle
Food
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute














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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
The jade vine becomes a reluctant parent

It’s amazing what a rainy season will do for your plants. We have a jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) that obscures part of the deck, then creeps across the interior roof and goes down to sprawl across the rosebushes. The inflorescence of the jade vine can be almost a meter long

Victoria Torley
and covered with blue green flowers that look a bit like Aladdin’s shoes with their turned up toes. It is an amazing flower. But in all the time that it has flowered for us I have never once seen a seed.

Now the jade vine is extremely difficult to propagate. I have tried
to propagate it with cuttings and with air layering but neither has worked. A friend of ours did take some cuttings and she says that three of them began to grow but I haven’t seen them (seeing is believing).

Before we got the vine, I was told that not every inflorescence produces a seed. This seemed very odd to me. Then about four weeks ago, I was exploring my jade vine trying to find a bird nest when I bumped into something that looked like a small hockey puck. From one side of the mini-puck there was a small sprout and the mini-puck was attached to the tree! Could this be a seed? I very carefully clipped it from the vine and put it in its own pot of dirt. Not a plastic bag, a real pot. Then we waited.

It took about a week, but the sprout began to grow. With all the beautiful rain and intermittent sunshine that we had had recently that mini-puck has grown about an inch (2.5 cm) a day every day. It is crawling up an old broom handle right now, but we have plans for a huge trellis.

Why huge? Well, remember that the inflorescence is almost a meter long. If you want a trellis you can walk through without banging into the inflorescence it has to be at least 10 feet tall. Metric Man is not happy.

The jade vine has turned into a project, and Metric Man does not like projects. He suggested that instead we simply build an open latticework somewhere and let the vine spread on its own. But if you look closely on the web, you will see jade vines on wide trellises, inflorescences dangling from an overhead series of latticework. They are magnificent and I have no intention of doing anything less. The trellis has been planned, 6 feet wide 12 feet long and 10 feet high. My jade vine will be very happy there.

I’m not too sure if happy will describe Metric Man.

pointsettas
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

It may surprise you, but the poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is originally from Mexico and is found wild as far south as Guatemala. It became associated with Christmas in the 16th century in Mexico but wasn’t introduced into the U.S. until 1900. Wikipedia has a history of the plant’s association with the holiday and the family that made it a must have for Christmas. Me? I just love it that we can enjoy poinsettias all year ‘round.

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From Page 7:

Casa presidencial
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo
Public employees gather to view the completed pool system.


Casa Presidencial wiring gets a major upgrade

By the A.M Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial, the executive branch office building in Zapote, has had an electrical makeover.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said it did the job after inspectors in 2012 and 2014 said the system was dangerously flawed.

The job included upgrades to telecommunications, said the state electric distributor.

No figures were mentioned when the state power distributor announced completion of the work. The current administration encourages work among government agencies because these are not subject to lengthy solicitations for bids.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad also said that a pool and fountain on the first floor of the structure was redone so that the water would be recycled.

Many expats do not realize that the pool takes up a big percentage of the first floor of the leased structure.