(Through April 30, 2017. Text version)
|Fish inspections yield dismal labeling practices|
| With the upcoming Semana Santa holidays,
an inspection report sponsored by the commerce ministry
yielded startlingly high results in the number of times
fishmongers failed to comply with required pricing and
|5/4/17 2:50:42 PM|
|Pristine Pacific region is the next marine reserve|
| One of the country’s most pristine and
biodiverse sections of the near Pacific has been
designated as a marine reserve to protect it.
|5/4/17 2:50:13 PM|
|Nationwide crackdown on crime to begin May 1|
| After a crackdown on a club and another
raid yielding a substantial amount of drugs, the
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública is announcing a zero-hour
nationwide crackdown beginning the first of May.
|5/4/17 2:49:42 PM|
|Water bill for some yields staggering jump in cost|
| A sudden rise in the water bill is
hitting some of
|5/4/17 2:49:11 PM|
|Issues important to expats unlikely to be in judicial report|
| The Poder Judicial will be the focus of
an extensive report that will be released a week from
today. This is another product of the Programa Estado de
la Nación that is sponsored by the Consejo Nacional de
Rectores and the Defensoría de los Habitantes.
|5/4/17 2:48:36 PM|
|Inactive corporations may be taxed if law passes|
| Plenty of expats hold or formed inactive
corporations to their own dwellings, motor vehicles and
boats. This is an asset protection measure, and an
inactive corporation does not have to file tax returns,
among other benefits.
|5/4/17 2:48:04 PM|
|Discovery lends name to new eco-tourism project|
| Discovery Communications Inc., owners of
Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel, has licensed its
name to a major eco-tourism project in Guanacaste,
according to a tweet Sunday night.
|5/4/17 2:47:12 PM|
|Lack of permits and water crisis mar planned park|
| The lack of environmental and municipal
permits along with the water distribution crisis in
Guanacaste could be major roadblocks for the development
of the Discovery Costa Rica theme park, announced Sunday.
|5/4/17 2:46:42 PM|
|U.S. officials say cartel links with terrorism likely|
| U.S. officials see immigration from the
south not as individual Latin Americans seeking a better
life but as a network used by criminal cartels and
smugglers to move hundreds of tons of drugs into the U.S,
and, until recently, tens of thousands of illegal
|5/4/17 2:46:00 PM|
|Guardacostas rescues U.S. family|
| Four U.S. family members, two of them
young girls, were rescued Wednesday afternoon at
Guanacaste’s Playa Flamingo. Guardacostas said their
rented kayak flipped over and forced them to swim over 200
meters to nearby La Penca Island.
|5/4/17 2:45:26 PM|
|Extraterrestrials aren't cattle rustlers in Costa Rica|
| Costa Rica seems to have been spared the
hysteria over cattle mutilations, perhaps because there
are real predators and real rustlers here.
|5/4/17 2:45:00 PM|
|Restricting hate speech to be topic for UNESCO|
| Restricting hate speech on the Internet
seems like a no-brainer until the long-term complexities
|5/4/17 2:44:29 PM|
|$2.8 million given to Catholic Church by the State|
| In the last three years, the government
under Luis Guillermo Solís transferred about $2.8 million
in subsidies to the Catholic Church. The vast majority of
funds have been used to support Christian-oriented
education centers and the construction and restoration of
parishes and chapels.
|5/4/17 2:43:55 PM|
|Frente Amplio proposes a grandiose tax overhaul|
| The legislative faction of the Frente
Amplio political party submitted a bill that promises to
curtail, what the party sees as a failing taxation system
that allows many individuals and corporations to avoid
paying their fair share.
|5/4/17 2:43:23 PM|
|A third of private security groups behind on debts|
| The relationship between private security
and organizations within the government flits between an
understanding as to the necessity of wanting safety for
people and property but also an apparent conflict in terms
of debt payments.
|5/4/17 2:42:39 PM|
|Libertarian group offers alternative ideology|
| The May Day parades in Costa Rica often
espouses socialist, Communist and generally left-leaning
ideologies. Most of the unions and leftist political
parties participate in the pomp and pageantry of the
spectacle. Another political group, however, stands
against many of those economic policies.
|5/4/17 2:41:58 PM|
|Group proposing new regulatory law on realtors|
| The Cámara Costarricense de Bienes Raíces
is working to propose a new bill that would require
mandatory licensing for anyone working in the real estate
|3/1/17 3:53:57 AM|
|Montes de Oca unhappy with street ad displays|
| A conflict is brewing between the
Municipalidad de Montes de Oca and the central government.
The dispute illustrated the lack of power that local
governments have in some cases.
|2/28/17 4:28:03 PM|
|Hidden horrors of household rapes come to light|
| The hidden horror of household rapes came
to light again this week with an allegation that a 12-year
old had become pregnant after relations with her father.
|2/28/17 2:16:49 AM|
|Government says hot water and no oxygen killed fish|
| The government's animal health service is
blaming high water temperatures and a lack of oxygen for
the death of millions of sardines. But the report released
Friday does not disclose any root cause.
|2/20/17 1:03:18 AM|
|Security ministry accumulating plenty of firepower|
| Despite its reputation of not having an
military, Costa Rica is quickly increasing its law
enforcement personal and the equipment they use. The
security minister was at the legislature Thursday asking
|2/20/17 1:07:50 AM|
|Massive numbers of dead fish present a mystery|
| A major environmental disaster and a
mystery have appeared at the northern beaches of the Gulf
of Nicoya. Hundreds of thousands of fish have died and are
now floating in the gulf or covering the beaches.
|2/20/17 1:00:30 AM|
|Lottery sales run in the family|
| Doña Castillo has been selling lottery
tickets at the same spot at Mercado Central for almost 55
years. She took over from her mother who had also been
selling those lottery tickets at that very same spot since
|2/16/17 2:16:51 AM|
|Parque Manuel Antonio gets a three-month reprieve|
| Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio will
remain open for another three months, according to a
Tuesday night report by the health ministry.
|2/16/17 2:16:18 AM|
|Horse meat, it's what's for dinner sometimes|
| Most expats probably would never dream of
eating horse meat, but they probably have already. There
is a steady trade, both legal and illegal, in horse meat
in Costa Rica. And most of the horses end up in sausage
where their presence is not obvious.
|2/15/17 2:01:33 AM|
|A big purchase for the finance ministry|
| The finance ministry said Monday it has
entered into an no-bid agreement with the state telecom
company to rent a data center for $551,898 a month. This
is a three-year agreement that can be extended for one
|2/14/17 4:02:51 AM|
|New rules for Corcovado upsetting to some|
| New rules are causing headaches among
some residents on the Osa Peninsula who want greater and
more efficient access to Parque Nacional Corcovado.
|2/13/17 3:52:43 AM|
|Japanese are promoting baseball in schools|
| A meeting here to promote baseball in the
public schools begins Sunday with –- what else? -- a
|2/10/17 4:40:41 AM|
|Bill would give caja access to secrets shareholder lists|
| Lawmakers have received a proposal that
make shareholders in a company responsible for the firm’s
debts with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
|2/9/17 4:18:50 AM|
|Rice agency ready for another round|
| The Corporación Arrocera Nacional is a
government agency that buys the rice from producers and
maintains a market price. Imports have to be approved. And
there is a 32 percent import duty. Although this is good
for rice producers, consumers fail to benefit from the
|2/8/17 4:46:40 AM|
|Scientists think solar storms might cause whales to beach|
| U.S. scientists say they will try to find
out if solar storms cause whales, dolphins and porpoises
to lose their orientation and beach themselves around the
|2/8/17 4:46:00 AM|
|Finance minister gives a grim report|
| The finance minister told lawmakers
Monday that proposed increases in taxes would not solve
the country’s unsustainable financial problems but that
new levies would give some breathing space for more
|2/7/17 4:14:43 AM|
|Sala IV orders more court info to be hidden|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has
given the judiciary 30 days to hide the identification of
individuals who are barred from leaving the country.
|2/6/17 4:57:39 AM|
|Agents detain suspect in murder of five in Liberia|
| Judicial agents today raided a home in
Liberia and took into custody a man who is the principal
suspect in the murder of four university students and a
friend Jan. 19.
|2/3/17 2:39:23 AM|
|Rapid response many not all that rapid|
| Dial 911, and help should come, but
expats may question exactly how long help will take to
arrive in Costa Rica.
|2/2/17 3:05:18 AM|
to kick off convention center job today
| Central government officials will renew
their $35 million bets on a massive convention center when
they hold a cornerstone ceremony this morning at the site.
|2/1/17 2:26:35 AM|
|New traffic rule targets tourists who overstay visas|
| A new traffic law calls for the removal
of license plates on cars owned by foreigners who get
caught driving past the three-month limit allowed
tourists, according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y
|2/1/17 2:26:00 AM|
|An update on the Duolingo language learning site|
| Duolingo continues to be a winner in
language learning, a newspaper study has shown.
|1/31/17 2:50:52 AM|
|Iranian woman stuck in Alajuela for a time by U.S. policy|
| IHamaseh Tayari, a United Kingdom
resident who holds an Iranian passport, had been on
holiday in Costa Rica with her boyfriend for the last
week. When she tried to leave, she inadvertently ran afoul
of U.S. changes in immigration rules.
|1/30/17 3:16:18 AM|
|Convicts may get a chance to work in the community|
| Lawmakers have advanced a measure that
would put an estimated 2,000 convicts at work in the
community on what are being called useful projects.
|1/27/17 4:06:32 AM|
|Tattoo may or may not be a major clue in murders|
| Investigators trying to find the murder
of five young people in Liberia have a tattoo as a clue.
According to testimony from the young surviving female
victim, a 14 year old, the killer had an Asian letter
inscribed on the back of his right shoulder.
|1/26/17 3:23:16 AM|
|Demand for import duties frustrates donations|
| A shipping container bearing donated
medical supplies for underprivileged people is being held
for months over a demand for import duties at the Costa
Rican port of Caldera.
|1/25/17 3:12:12 AM|
|The daily business of writing poetry|
| Newspaper editors have a kinship with
poets because headline writers do much the same job:
Arrange words to create a new and impactful way of looking
at the world.
|1/24/17 3:35:07 AM|
|There were trump-inspired marches here, too|
| The shouts of solidarity and the marching
along the beaches or in the streets for women’s rights and
other issues of social justice took place in Costa Rica
Saturday as well as around the world.
|1/24/17 3:34:29 AM|
|Property fraud investigation turns up many fake IDs|
| Investigators say that a trio of
individuals accused of property fraud hag a great quantity
of driver's licenses, passports, identity cédulas, school
diplomas and other identification documents.
|1/23/17 3:46:51 AM|
|Expats are tight-lipped over political views|
| U.S. expats in Costa Rica are at least as
divided and hesitant as those back home. On the day before
Donald Trump is inaugurated president, few here wanted to
voice an opinion.
|1/23/17 3:46:20 AM|
|Tourist got more than they bargained for|
| Tourists on a six-hour Pacific
dophin-watching trip got much more than they bargained for
when the motor of their boat failed and they overnighted
on the ocean.
|1/20/17 4:07:54 AM|
|Multiple murders in Liberia|
| Three women and two young men died at the
hands of a killer in Liberia, and another young woman
barely survived, judicial agents said today. The scene was
in Barrio La Victoria, and most if not all of the dead
were believed to be university students.
|1/19/17 2:24:20 AM|
|Latest killing in murder epidemic brings protest|
| Chinese-Costa Ricans took to the streets
of the capital Tuesday after what some called the last
straw in lawlessness. The murder of a Chinese store clerk
in La Teresa de Guápiles de Pococí ignited the protest.
|1/18/17 3:58:20 AM|
|Feds decline to give expats a break|
| The U.S. Treasury Department has declined
to adopt the same country exemption that would free many
expats from burdensome reporting requirements.
|1/18/17 3:57:52 AM|
|Sidewalk salesman caters to the sweet tooth|
| Joaquín Jiménez, lifelong resident of San
José, has been selling his street treats for about 40
years. With a smile and a wink, he said it is because he
likes to talk to people, whether foreigner or Costa Rican.
|1/17/17 2:59:42 AM|
|Rivers are going lower and the skies are clear|
| The cold front that brought high winds
and rain has moved on, and rivers in the northern zone are
|1/16/17 2:39:50 AM|
|Obama closes the door on Cubans|
| U.S. President Barack Obama pulled the
plug on Cuban migrants who may be passing through Costa
Rica on their way to the United States. The president
announced a change in immigration policy that removed the
official welcome mat that had been put out for refugees
from the Communist island.
|1/13/17 3:26:05 AM|
|They will close the bridge lanes for six weeks!!|
| The public works ministry announced
Wednesday night that, in addition to the 24-hour closing
starting today, the Río Virilla bridge eastbound will be
out of commission for six weeks beginning Jan. 21.
|1/12/17 2:59:20 AM|
|Another traffic disaster has been planned|
| Another traffic disaster is in the works.
The public works ministry said Tuesday that the eastbound
lanes of the Río Virilla bridge on the General Cañas
autopista would be closed for 24 hours starting at 9 a.m.
|1/12/17 2:58:39 AM|
|We think the answer is not more police|
| AN EDITORIAL: Costa Rica can do much more
to reduce violence than just doing an ad campaign, as was
|1/11/17 3:45:17 AM|
|Well, they went ahead and did it|
| A proposed tax on corporations is being
referred to the Sala IV constitutional court after the
measure passed on first reading 40-10 Monday. The action
by lawmakers from the Partido Liberación Nacional is
likely to delay final passage of the measure.
|1/11/17 3:44:29 AM|
|Advocate for prostitutes seeks legalization|
| An organization that is an advocate for
sex workers is renewing its crusade for legal status for
|1/10/17 3:34:03 AM|
|Some troubling news for those living on the coasts|
| An researcher in a new study in
Antarctica warns that conditions may mark the beginning of
another swift and long-lasting period of sea-level rise
that would affect coastal areas and countries such as
Costa Rica severely.
|1/9/17 3:43:12 AM|
|Plan to reduce traffic congestion limps ahead|
| The government keeps grinding toward a
system where bus passengers will pay their fares
electronically. A report Thursday said the project had
completed the first phase, which was discussions of the
ideas among bus firm operators, local government officials
and others who are interested. That took three months.
|1/6/17 2:41:51 AM|
|Judiciary seems to have misplaced a few convicts|
| The judiciary says it would like a little
help in locating 38 criminals that it has misplaced. The
Poder Judicial noted Wednesday that it has a website that
contains the identification and photos of crooks who are
|1/6/17 2:41:15 AM|
|Some contradictions in the war against sex|
| The war on sex seems to be faltering
along with the drug war. In both cases, the United States
and its Costa Rican surrogate are involved in battles
punctuated by misinformation and strong ideologies.
|1/5/17 3:43:24 AM|
|Prolonged Turrialba ash emissions threaten health|
| Metro area residents might have burning
eyes, and those with a respiratory illness may have
suffered a reverse in the healing process.
|1/4/17 4:11:47 AM|
|Those scammers are back seeking to place fake ads|
| Those Nigerian scammers are starting the
new year with a replay of the iPhone fraud. Expats need to
be aware because English-language newspapers have
published advertising submitted by these crooks in the
|1/3/17 3:14:45 AM|
|A more personal form of hacking|
| As Costa Ricans return to work today
after a 10-day break, they will find a percentage of their
colleagues hacking with a chest cough. This is the current
wave of the flu virus that has been attributed to the
deaths of 29 from Nov. 2 to Christmas.
|1/2/17 3:53:53 AM|
|The economy is the major variable for 2017|
| As the seconds tick away to 2017,
thoughts turn to an exciting New Year’s Eve. But after the
hangover, there are some realities to consider that affect
expat life here.
|1/2/17 3:53:07 AM|
|New approach called for to fight sophisticated criminals|
| International crime is growing so
sophisticated that the one-time cartels and terrorist
groups are being called threat networks, basically
separate groups of criminals working together for mutual
|12/29/16 3:46:46 AM|
|This is the taxing time of the year|
| For many expats the end of the year means
the annual encounter with the government as they seek to
pay a variety of taxes.
|12/28/16 2:25:08 AM|
|Tope Nacional blends tradition with commercialism|
| Through smatterings of rain, the Tope
Nacional parade continued through Paseo Colón Monday with
enough booze to sink a ship and a lot of decorated horses
with their costumed riders.
|12/27/16 2:37:01 AM|
|There are big plans for the port at Limón|
| 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.
|12/22/16 2:59:47 AM|
|Government buys land for squatters|
| The government is coming up with $2.1
million to buy lands for squatters who were evicted or who
face eviction from the Finca Chánguena.
|12/21/16 3:54:50 AM|
|The initial opinion of a Christmas tamal|
| The tamal still reigns as one of the
archetypical dishes found in most of Latin America.
|12/20/16 3:44:39 AM|
|There's no break from the flu|
| Health officials say that in Costa Rica
flu season is all year long. The tropics host a list of
respiratory viruses that are active all year, according to
the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. In temperate
areas, the flu season is considered from mid-fall to the
end of winter when the population spends more time
|12/16/16 3:17:40 AM|
|'Tis the season for Las Posadas|
| 'The nine days before Christmas are when
the faithful take to the streets to imitate the biblical
trek by Mary and Joseph for a place to stay in Bethlehem.
|12/15/16 3:11:51 AM|
|Police said they arrested 52,425 on drug charges this year.|
| The Fuerza Pública said Tuesday that its
officers detained 52,425 persons already this year on drug
|12/14/16 3:17:52 AM|
|Tax fraud bill gives credit card users a discount|
| Consumers will pay 1 percent less sales
tax if they pay with a credit or debit card under a bill
that won final passage Monday.
|12/13/16 3:19:01 AM|
|Migrants open up a new source of corruption|
| Corruption problems within the police
forces are far greater than 115 officers whose dismissal
the Seguridad Pública minister announced Thursday.
|12/12/16 3:43:26 AM|
|Fake news is not something new|
| The flood of fake news has reached the
real news headlines. Hillary Clinton, a frequent target of
untruthful news-type stories, called such articles a
danger that must be addressed quickly because the
malicious fake news and false propaganda endanger
|12/9/16 4:31:30 AM|
|An expat human right wish list|
| The Defensoría, the nation's ombudsman,
has put out a call for various sectors of the population
to promote the importance of human rights and defend them.
Here are some gripes that expats have that border on
violations of their rights.
|12/8/16 3:49:21 AM|
|Expat seeks united stand on property fraud<|
| A long-time participant in a property
dispute is trying to rally others similarly affected to
bring such situations to the attention of the new U.S.
|12/7/16 3:07:34 AM|
|Here comes another election year!|
| Expats who may be sick of elections will
be unhappy to learn that the drums are starting to beat
for Costa Rica's presidential vote in February 2018. So
the year that starts in less than a month will be filled
with electioneering and campaigns.
|12/6/16 4:24:17 AM|
|Ruta 32 environmental study OK'd|
| The environmental agency has give a
go-ahead to the reconstruction of 107 kilometers of Ruta
32 from Matina to Río Frio.
|12/2/16 3:44:55 AM|
|Bill introduced to regulate medical and wellness tourism|
| The legislature received this week a bill
to formalize the control of the government over medical
and what is being called wellness tourism.
|12/1/16 4:05:39 AM|
|Hurricane victims now facing diseases|
| Cantons hit by Hurricane Otto now face a
spike in illnesses in the aftermath. The Ministerio de
Salud said Tuesday that it had stemmed an outbreak of
diarrhea in one of the public shelters.
|11/30/16 4:59:22 AM|
|Travel firm sues to get back its domain name from hacker|
| A travel Web site operator with the
unique name costarica.com says in U.S. court papers that
it lost rights to the domain to a hacker.
|11/29/16 4:27:02 AM|
|Costa Ricans open their hearts and their wallets|
| No one can fault Costa Ricans on their
fabled generosity. The country’s residents always come up
with unexpected donations after disaster strikes.
|11/28/16 4:21:15 AM|
|Officials are counting dead and assessing damage|
| Government and local officials are
assessing the damage today in the wake of Hurricane Otto
that killed at least eight persons in northern Costa Rica.
|11/25/16 4:40:09 AM|
|Landfall expected in southern Nicaragua today|
| A high probability exists that Hurricane
Otto will not make landfall in Costa Rica. The system
collapsed into a tropical storm Wednesday morning and
started movement to the north. That gave hope to Costa
Ricans that the system would miss the country completely.
That was not to be.
|11/22/16 2:28:13 AM|
|U.S.-funded foundation filed case against U.S. sex tourist<|
| The Poder Judicial has confirmed that the
Fundación Rahab was the organization that initiated a
criminal case against David Strecker, a U.S. citizen, on a
charge of writing about sex tourism in Costa Rica.
|11/21/16 4:59:39 AM|
|Heavy rains pound the south Pacific|
| Relentless rains have provoked
evacuations, wrecked roadways and caused slides in the
southern zone. One slide smashed into a building housing
the director of the Golfito campus of the Universidad de
Costa Rica and injured two persons.
|11/18/16 4:41:27 AM|
|Ants have their own elevated highways|
| Internet and phone connections are
essential for effective communicators and for success in
business. A new study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute in Panamá shows that connections between trees
may also be important for maintaining the rich species
diversity in tropical forests.
|11/16/16 4:02:25 AM|
|Dry canal idea would be $18 billion|
| A private firm has taken a step forward
on the obvious possibility of a dry canal across the
northern part of Costa Rica.
|11/15/16 4:36:19 AM|
|Here's evidence that the country is awash in drugs|
| Those not involved in the drug trade as
dealers or users might not understand the economics that
leads gangs to shoot competitors in the street.
|11/14/16 4:58:30 AM|
|New bill would create a bureaucracy to help business|
| A proposed law would require everyone
doing business to register and pay a fee to the economics
ministry and also would create an elaborate bureaucratic
structure to promote entrepreneurship.
|11/11/16 4:12:25 AM|
|Opinions remain divided on elections results|
| Expats and Costa Ricans continued to vent
Wednesday for and against the results of Tuesday’s
election. One misinformed reader emailed “to all you
losers who supported Clinton against Trump in this
election: Hope your paper burns to the ground soon.”
|11/10/16 4:43:28 AM|
|Latins shocked by trump victory|
| Donald Trump gave a conciliatory victory
speech early today, but most Latin Americas are deeply
|11/9/16 4:53:52 AM|
|Customs agency has accumulated thousands of shipments|
| The Ministerio de Hacienda admitted
Monday that its customs unit had impounded 5,000 packages
sent from abroad. This affects more than 1,500 would be
recipients, it said.
|11/9/16 4:53:22 AM|
|Children's museum event is Dec. 1|
| What better way to welcome December, the
month of Christmas, than with the illumination of the
Museo de los Niño. This is a very big deal directed to
families, so much so that major downtown roadways will be
closed to provide security for spectators.
|11/9/16 4:52:46 AM|
|How my mother tried to swing the 1948 election|
| My mother got home late than night in
1948 because she was tied up swinging the election for
|11/8/16 4:44:06 AM|
|Caribbean residents miffed at police failure to appear|
| Caribbean coast residents are upset today
in the wake of a theft last Thursday. They are less upset
with the petty thieves than with Fuerza Pública officers
who never showed up despite multiple 911 calls.
|11/7/16 4:29:35 AM|
|Customs cracking down on air travelers' luggage|
| Customs inspectors are taking a closer
look at arriving air travelers with big suitcases,
according to the Ministerio de Hacienda.
|11/4/16 4:34:56 AM|
|Bill to eliminate price-fixing wins support|
| A legislative committee is considering a
bill that would eliminate mandatory pricing by members of
colegios, those government created professional
organizations. There are many but not all have mandatory
|11/3/16 5:34:23 AM|
|Russia’s Latin moves worry U.S. military|
| On top of complex criminal networks that
may, among other dangers, move terrorists into the United
States, U.S. military planners are worried about increased
Russian activity in Latin America.
|11/2/16 5:33:40 AM|
|Lawmakers give first OK to maritime plan|
| Lawmakers Monday gave initial approval to
a bill that would impose a moratorium on evictions in the
country’s maritime zone.
|11/1/16 5:16:08 AM|
|Separating the facts from the myths|
| Politicians are well known for playing
fast and loose with the truth. Witness the presidential
elections in the United States.
|10/31/16 5:33:18 AM|
|Countdown begins for Festival de la Luz|
| The Comisión de Fiestas de San José began
the countdown Thursday for the big Christmas parade, the
Festival de la Luz. The event draws perhaps as many as a
million spectators and participants to the downtown of the
|10/28/16 5:25:47 AM|
|Bugs move closer to the western menu|
| They say that someday insects will take
over the earth. But first, they probably will take over
|10/28/16 5:26:27 AM|
|President praises his anti-poverty efforts|
| Costa Ricans have a soft spot for
overkill, at least in statistics. In an assessment of
poverty in Costa Rica, a lot of survey firms would
randomly select a bit more than 1,000 homes and conduct
|10/27/16 5:28:26 AM|
|More oversight sought for inactive corporations|
| Expats who own inactive corporations to
protect assets like vehicles and homes are being put in a
bad light by a new proposal.
|10/26/16 5:41:10 AM|
|Mayors meeting to set course for metro area|
| Mayors from the metro area are scheduled
to meet for two days, starting Wednesday, to set up a
|10/25/16 5:18:42 AM|
|Methane is country's overlooked greenhouse gas|
| While Costa Rica seeks to put a lid on
carbon dioxide emissions, tons of much more powerful
methane gas are being liberated each day from the nation’s
|10/24/16 4:53:55 AM|
|Tragedy brings out the best in people|
| The response Thursday to a bus disaster
showed the country at its best. Not only did the Cruz
Roja, fire fighters, hospital workers and police
demonstrate their training, but even farm workers and
hotel employees pitched in.
|10/20/16 5:36:00 AM|
|University researchers work to reduce salt consumption|
| Anyone who worries about health knows
that salt should be limited. But salt is a preservative as
well as a flavor enhancer in food.
|10/19/16 5:29:13 AM|
|Neither of the major candidates deserves your vote|
| A.M. Costa Rica cannot endorse either of
the leading candidates for the U.S. presidency. Both
appear to be inept, irresponsible and dangerous.
|10/18/16 4:51:18 AM|
|Liberty online confab is full of inconsistencies|
| The Sixth Annual Freedom Online
Conference opens today in Escazú full of contradictions.
One of the principal supporters is the United States, one
of 30 members of the sponsor, the Freedom Online
Coalition, yet that country is engaged on massive spying
on its own citizens and seeks to prosecute a major
advocate of online freedom, Julian Assange of Wikileaks.
|10/17/16 4:20:59 AM|
|U.N. rights committee monitors Costa Rica|
| For Costa Ricans, the Constitution is not
the highest law of the land. That document is outranked by
international agreements that have a continual impact on
the social system here.
|10/14/16 6:00:59 AM|
|Many expats will not exercise their political muscle|
| Some U.S. expats here say they are not
voting in the general election Nov. 8. The reasons range
from simple apathy to rejection of candidates of both
major political parties.
|10/13/16 5:51:24 AM|
|Officials remind consumers of meat origins|
| That thick steak on the plate might have
come from a critter that whinnied instead of mooed. Expats
who buy their dinner at non-standard outlets are
vulnerable to getting mystery meat.
|10/12/16 5:46:29 AM|
|Hidden dental tax is under attack|
| Costa Rican society is full of little
hidden taxes that benefit a minority. There is the stamp
for the Cruz Roja. The lawyer’s monopoly, the Colegio de
Abogados, has a stamp.
|10/11/16 5:30:20 AM|
|Hurricane likely to increase numbers of Haitian migrants|
| Extensive hurricane damage in Haiti is
likely to result in more illegal immigrants slipping into
Costa Rica on their way to the United States.
|10/10/16 5:27:40 AM|
|Lawmakers reject fast track for corporate tax bill|
| Lawmakers defeated a proposal to give
speedy consideration to a tax on corporations when 25 of
the 41 present voted against the idea.
|10/7/16 6:00:32 AM|
|Now the issue is a excess of refugees|
| Costa Rica is getting five times as many
refugee requests this year as it can handle
administratively, according to an expert on the topic.
|10/6/16 5:33:27 AM|
|Flow of migrants continues unabated|
| Migrants who have money continue to move
through Costa Rica and to the countries to the north even
though Nicaragua officially has closed its border.
|10/5/16 5:11:13 AM|
|Government seeks to tackle off-the-books labor|
| Government officials agreed Monday to
launch an effort to reduce the number of employees who are
working off the books in Costa Rica.
|10/4/16 5:12:15 AM|
|'Spotlight' brings tale of priest abuse to Costa Rican screen|
| The HBO channel on the various national
cable television networks is showing “Spotlight” as one of
the featured films for October.
|10/3/16 5:58:49 AM|
|Even chief prosecutor is critical of the justice system|
| Many have launched criticisms of the
country’s judicial system. Now the fiscal general, the
nation’s top policeman has said the problem is the
inconsistencies in the criminal policies that have been
put into place in the country and have saturated the
justice system so as to guarantee that the cases are
delayed a long time.
|9/30/16 5:25:41 AM|
|Being in the wrong place at the wrong time|
| Crime sometimes is like a bolt of
lightning, and the victims just happen to be in the wrong
place at the wrong time.
|9/29/16 5:47:23 AM|
|Migrants going to camp with U.S. tent|
| The government said that it will begin
moving illegal migrants to two new and temporary camps
near the country’s northern border.
|9/29/16 5:46:48 AM|
|Old murder case involving a current expat featured|
| An expat businessman now in Guanacaste
has been thrust into the limelight again because the
murder of his wife in Georgia reached its 10th
|9/28/16 5:55:55 AM|
|Tourism and rescue agencies seek lifeguard bill|
| A bill in the legislature, No. 20043,
seeks to create a national structure for lifeguard
training and certification. The bill also orders
municipalities that have beaches designated as dangerous
to use money received from beach concessions to hire and
|9/27/16 6:00:33 AM|
|Some are here seeking the U.S. tax break|
| The government has not prompted Costa
Rica as a telecommuting location for foreigners. But some
landlords are doing that now, and several travel and
relocation agencies also have promoted the concept to
|9/23/16 5:44:38 AM|
|How is your news IQ?|
| We present you with a simple news quiz.
|9/22/16 5:12:22 AM|
|The murder case that just will not die|
| Like everyone who had a front-row seat to
the murder of JonBenét Ramsey and the subsequent
investigation, I think I know who killed her, and it was
not her 9-year-old brother Burke.
|9/21/16 6:20:15 AM|
|Solís and other leaders reach accord on immigration|
| Costa Rica’s president was in accord with
other world leaders Monday when he called for countries of
origin and those of transit and destination to collaborate
to help migrants.
|9/21/16 6:19:44 AM|
|You won't believe what's going on at the California border|
| An independent San Diego, California,
television station has done what many networks promise.
They went there.
|9/20/16 5:21:28 AM|
|Talamanca airlift depends on bureaucrats|
| The nation’s public health agency wants
to deliver medicines to remote areas by drone, but the
biggest hurdle might be bureaucratic.
|9/19/16 5:32:20 AM|
|Tax proposed for plastic containers|
| Lawmakers are considering a bill that
would apply a small tax to plastic drink containers and
those small cardboard boxes known as tetrapaks.
|9/15/16 5:02:29 AM|
|Massive numbers on caja wait lists, unions say|
| Two unions of employees who work in the
nation’s public health agency said Tuesday that there are
600,000 patients on various types of waiting lists and
that workers face threats in order to keep the situation
|9/14/16 5:11:17 AM|
|Lawmaker would expose faces of criminal suspects|
| A lawmaker seeks to end the curious Costa
Rican practice of law officers covering the faces of
|9/13/16 5:32:16 AM|
|Report shows that road dust can be really bad|
| An environmental report of dust problems
in the lower Nicoya peninsula cites tangible dangers,
particularly to the 1,446 youngsters who live there and
are the most vulnerable.
|9/13/16 5:31:42 AM|
|Law enforcement efforts hardly make dent in drug trade|
| Everyone knows that Costa Rica
confiscates tons of cocaine each year. Usually the drugs
come from boats captured in the Pacific or from hidden
places in international trucks.
|9/12/16 5:02:28 AM|
|New bill mandates prison for discrimination|
| Lawmakers are considering a bill that, if
passed, will have an impact on society by outlawing
discrimination. For the first time, discrimination would
be a criminal offense drawing prison terms.
|9/9/16 5:37:26 AM|
|Major study launched on agricultural chemicals|
| The Defensoría de los Habitantes says it
is launching a major study on the use of agricultural
chemicals in Costa Rica.
|9/8/16 5:34:32 AM|
|Drug war chalks up one death|
| The U.S. Coast Guard appears to have
moved its policy of shooting at the boats of smugglers
further south. The latest reported incident, a fatal one,
happened in the Pacific west of Costa Rica’s Isla de Coco
|9/8/16 5:34:00 AM|
|Governent seeking opinions on corruption|
| The open government initiative, Gobierno
Abierto, is asking residents to give their opinions on
where they find corruption in their daily lives.
|9/7/16 5:19:12 AM|
|Workmen trying to make a Plaza de la Cultura deadline|
| The capital’s main meeting spot has been
off-limits since February because the concrete expanse
also is the roof of the Museos de Banco Central. And the
roof has long been a source of leaks.
|9/7/16 5:18:40 AM|
|Why expats should be interested in budget stories|
| Expats can be forgiven for ignoring news
stories about the Costa Rican budget and the national
deficit. In the long run though, national finances,
however boring, have a lot do to do with the quality of
|9/6/16 5:43:56 AM|
|Trump and Mrs. Clinton asked to address expat concerns|
| An expat advocacy organization wants the
leading U.S. presidential candidates to outline their
positions on a number of issues affecting overseas
|9/2/16 5:15:14 AM|
|Another national budget heavy on debt|
| The finance minister was almost
apologetic Wednesday when he outlined the national budget
for next year.
|9/2/16 5:14:41 AM|
|We think that illegals in U.S. should come forward|
| We think Trump was wrong when he said he
would deport all those who are in the country illegally.
|9/1/16 5:23:19 AM|
|Eliminating zika is more complex then just spraying|
| Killing adult mosquitoes is not enough to
eliminate the zika virus,Texas researchers have
|8/31/16 5:46:44 AM|
|Lawmakers try to regulate romantic relations|
| Lawmakers passed on first reading Monday
night a bill that discourages marriage by persons under
18. The measure also stipulates prison penalties for older
individuals involved in sexual relations with minors.
|8/30/16 5:24:27 AM|
|Guanacaste residents want answers on water woes|
| Residents of Playa Hermosa and Playa
Panamá in Guanacaste plan to present a petition to the
state water company today begging for better service
|8/30/16 5:23:49 AM|
|Country well publicized as sex tourism destination|
| Costa Rica has a 2012 law prohibiting
calling the country a sex tourism destination. Based on an
internet search, the law has not had much impact.
|8/29/16 4:32:25 AM|
|Expats seem to favor an end to the war on drugs|
| Expats reacted favorably Thursday to an
A.M. Costa Rica editorial urging the Costa Rican
government to just say no to the drug war.
|8/26/16 4:43:23 AM|
|Annual park stamp honors Las Baulas|
| Correos de Costa Rica came out with its
annual national park stamp.This year the Parque Nacional
Marino Las Baulas on the Pacific coast is featured as well
as the leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) that
frequent the park.
|8/26/16 4:42:36 AM|
|We urge Costa Rica to just say no to war on drugs|
| We are suggesting that Costa Rica just
say no to the war on drugs. And we renew our call to have
the country legalize both marijuana, cocaine and the
|8/25/16 6:06:19 AM|
|U.N. steps up campaign for Central American kids|
| The United Nation’s Children’s Fund is
urging that the United States do not detain illegal
youngsters who are successful in sneaking into the
|8/24/16 5:15:37 AM|
|Myths proliferate as the elections approach|
| Modern myths always have been with us,
and many, sad to say, were created by the news media. But
today the Internet seems to rank high on myths, which
become more shrilled as the November election approaches.
|8/24/16 5:14:57 AM|
|Washington meeting features two agendas|
| The meeting Costa Rican officials
attended in Washington,. D.C., Monday was unusual. The
schedule said they would meet with Vice President Joe
Biden. President Barack Obama showed up, too, even though
the meeting was not on his daily schedule.
|8/23/16 5:41:28 AM|
|Apparently really happy means more taxes|
| The New Economic Foundation ranked Costa
Rica again first on its annual Happy Planet Index. But
more and more news outlets are tumbling to the fact that
this means something other than what the words imply.
|8/22/16 5:36:39 AM|
|Battle over music fees becomes public|
| Music may seem free when it flows from a
radio, the television or an internet hookup, but like
everything else someone has to pay.
|8/19/16 5:20:04 AM|
|Lawmakers get Paris climate accord|
| The environmental ministry presented the
Paris climate accord to lawmakers Wednesday for approval.
This is the agreement Costa Rica and other nations
approved last December which now needs legislative
|8/18/16 5:13:34 AM|
|Moving money for legitimate purposes is more difficult|
| Moving money into and out of Costa Rica
is becoming more difficult even if the motive is clearly
|8/17/16 5:26:20 AM|
|Solís to discuss Salvadoran refugee plan details in D.C|
| The Obama administration plan to put 200
or more youngsters from El Salvador in temporary quarters
in Costa Rica is unusual and substantially less than what
had been announced earlier.
|8/17/16 5:25:43 AM|
|The botanist who became Costa Rica's birdman|
| Finca Los Cusingos, the home of the famed
naturalist Alexander Skutch for more than 60 years,
attracts wildlife lovers and those wanting to see a sample
of the simpler life of past times in Costa Rica.
|8/16/16 4:54:48 AM|
|Jacó was the real winner in the world surfing games|
| An estimated 60,000 persons showed up on
Jacó Sunday for the finals of the World Surfing Games.
Even though Costa Rica’s team finished out of the money,
the successful week-long event was a victory for the
Pacific coast community and the entire canton of Garabito.
|8/16/16 4:54:18 AM|
|First peer-reviewed article discounts chemtrail theory|
| A small percentage of readers are true
believers in the theory that governments are sowing the
atmosphere with evil chemicals.
|8/15/16 5:12:16 AM|
|Anti-harassment campaign targets street Romeos|
| The purpose of the $35,000 campaign is to
raise awareness of women to street harassment and to warn
off aggressive men.
|8/12/16 6:03:25 AM|
|Action plan for migrants expected in September|
| Casa Presidencial reported that one
illegal migrant, a Haitian, has been deported. But the
solution to Costa Rica’s growing migrant problem may be
along way off. A vice minister said Wednesday that a plan
to handle the migrants might not be ready until September.
|8/12/16 6:02:48 AM|
|Strawberry growers unite to create better berries|
| Better berries is the goal of an
organization that has been formed by strawberry producers.
|8/11/16 5:49:23 AM|
|Hearing Thursday on unusual tax rule|
| One of the more powerful weapons in the
arsenal of the Costa Rica’s tax collector is something
called Artículo 144.
|8/11/16 5:48:43 AM|
|Words can cause self-inflicted wounds|
| One problem is that a phrase or concept
can stick in the mind and falsely present itself as an
original thought days or weeks later.
|8/9/16 5:06:37 AM|
|Man here reported to have Mafia links|
| A man reported to live in Costa Rica,
Laurence Keith Allen, has been indicted in New York on a
charge of illegal gambling. Others in the indictment are
accused of extortion, arson, racketeers and other crimes.
|8/9/16 5:05:57 AM|
|Property fraud bill seen as just a first step|
| Expat reactions were mixed over a
proposed law that would freeze suspicious property
transfers to reduce fraud.
|8/8/16 5:05:27 AM|
|Bill proposed to reduce property theft|
| A lawmaker who is a presidential
candidate has proposed a law that would let the Registro
Nacional freeze transactions that are suspicious.
|8/5/16 5:34:20 AM|
|Government struggles to get a grip on the migrant situation|
| The central government is trying to come
to grips with the new flood of migrants who are entering
the country illegally at the rate of from 100 to 150 a
|8/4/16 5:39:24 AM|
|Bot fly gets country some unwanted publicity|
| Costa Rica got a bad rap last week when a
local mom went public with her 7 year old’s bot fly
|8/3/16 4:04:25 AM|
|Expats make Costa Rica No. 1 for weather|
| An international survey of expats puts
Costa Rica first in having the best weather.
|8/2/16 5:35:27 AM|
|Pilgrims of today follow an ancient path|
| The pilgrimage symbolizes the difficult
path of life upwards to a Christian heaven or, perhaps, a
Buddhist nirvana. Those Costa Ricans who were on the trail
Sunday or who will be on the trail today are involved in
an activity that may well be at least 22,000 years old.
|8/1/16 4:44:47 AM|
|Political scientists want to monopolize the job category|
| Another group is trying to corner its
labor market. A legislative committee just voted out a
proposal to create a colegio for political scientists.
|7/29/16 5:01:14 AM|
|Any shareholder list is a long way off|
| There is a pretty good chance that an
electronic list of the nation’s company shareholders will
not be online any time soon.
|7/28/16 5:06:10 AM|
|U.S. to use Costa Rica as a temporary refuge for vulnerables|
| Costa Rica will host for six months about
200 people from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as
part of an Obama administration plan to bring more Central
Americans into the United States.
|7/27/16 5:09:39 AM|
|President seeking free environmental inspectors|
| The central government is creating a plan
so that interested citizens can take to the fields,
forests and mangroves to enforce environmental laws.
|7/26/16 5:05:19 AM|
|Tamarindo crocodile mishap was highly predictable|
| The inevitable crocodile attack on a
surfing tourist came as no surprise to some Tamarindo
residents because they have been pointing out the danger
|7/22/16 5:40:37 AM|
|Scientists figure out why the sloth is so s l o w|
| Although most of the terrestrial world is
covered in trees, there are precious few vertebrates that
make the canopy their home and subsist solely on a diet of
|7/21/16 5:30:38 AM|
|Fast, fast, fast relief from chile pepper mouth|
| This week University of New Mexico
experts come out with a major finding. They determined
that milk was the best way to stop the burning from eating
|7/20/16 5:36:17 AM|
|That stretch into Heredia is a troubled roadway|
| There are many traffic trouble spots in
the metro area. But the route from La Uruca into Heredia
most certainly is cursed.
|7/19/16 5:50:12 AM|
|Head of state rail agency said to have resigned|
| Casa Presidencial announced the
resignation of Guillermo Santana as head of the state rail
lines in an unusual Sunday night news release. The release
said that Santana was leaving for personal reasons and
that more explanations will be given today.
|7/18/16 4:54:25 AM|
|Troubled world have people thinking of pura vida|
| The possibility of terrorism attacks and
the racial divide are causing some in the United States to
look to other lands.
|7/15/16 5:07:52 AM|
|They are worse than their Sicilian counterparts|
| The presence of the Italian Mafia here
extends much further than the silent ownership of a few
|7/14/16 5:11:13 AM|
|Government staggering work hours to east traffic|
| The government has authorized staggered
shifts for public employees and suggested the possibility
of a four-day work week to reduce traffic congestion in
the Central Valley.
|7/13/16 6:10:23 AM|
|Who knew those little monkeys were so smart?|
| There are some pretty smart creatures
living in coastal Costa Rica, and they are not humans.
|7/12/16 5:17:15 AM|
|A few early birds are off to Cartago|
| A few early birds can be seen making the
pilgrimage to Cartago. The few will become a crowd and
then a flood culminating in the Aug. 2 celebration there.
|7/14/16 5:46:22 PM|
|Sentencing sheds new light on Tamarindo murder|
| Based on the amount of blood found in her
Playa Langosta home, Barbara Struncova most likely was a
murder victim even though her body never was found,
judicial investigators have concluded.
|7/11/16 5:02:51 AM|
|Government formalizes Ms. Figueres' campaign|
| The country formally nominated Christiana
Figueres to join the crowded field seeking to head the
United Nations. The nomination took place at a
campaign-like event in the Teatro Nacional.
|7/8/16 6:06:58 AM|
|Coffee pickers getting a raw deal, magistrate says|
| A supreme court magistrate brought up one
of Costa Rica’s dirty little secrets when she visited
|7/7/16 6:11:23 AM|
|Bill targeting war toys is back in legislature|
| The proposal to ban war toys is back in
the legislature again, and the security minister gave his
support for the measure Tuesday.
|7/6/16 5:52:39 AM|
|Government wants to help the street people|
| The central government is mobilizing a
number of agencies to assist, protect and prevent
abandoned individuals and street people.
|7/5/16 5:41:04 AM|
|Seasonal virus outbreak put strain on hospital|
| The beginnings of the rainy season
brought a spike in the number of children with respiratory
disease. A few youngsters have died of complications from
respiratory syncytial virus.
|7/4/16 4:35:52 AM|
|Embassy produces another misleading trafficking report|
| The U.S. State Department came out with
its annual human trafficking report Thursday, and once
again the summary involving Costa Rica is internallly
|7/1/16 5:06:04 AM|
|Slaughter of majestic sailfish brings law enforcement action|
| As sports fishermen take to the Pacific
today there are about 2.8 tons of sailfish they will not
|6/30/16 5:26:00 AM|
|Two major developments with the zika virus|
| Researchers announced two major
developments Tuesday in the battle against the zika virus.
One group of researchers said that two vaccines being
tested now on mice have proven to be extremely effective.
|6/29/16 5:41:15 AM|
|Municipal zoning plans get four years of grace|
| Lawmakers soon will consider a proposal
to give municipal governments four more years to develop a
|6/28/16 5:26:26 AM|
|Another international organization to aid Costa Rica|
| British citizens have voted to leave the
European Union, but Costa Rica is working hard to
affiliate the country with yet another international
organization which seeks to change profoundly life here.
|6/28/16 5:25:50 AM|
|Zika-microcephaly link questioned|
| If zika causes brain deformations,
microcephaly, how come this epidemic is restricted to
Brazil, asks a New England medical think tank.
|6/27/16 4:44:14 AM|
|Quick impact of British vote is the exchange rate|
| Despite the British vote Thursday, the
European Union still is Costa Rica’s second largest
trading partner. The decision by British voters to leave
the European Union is not expected to have a short-term
|6/24/16 5:09:56 AM|
|Massive fraud reported for U.S. Tricare program|
| Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have
unveiled what amounts to a $161 million looting of the
Medicare and Tricare health insurance systems.
|6/23/16 5:30:30 AM|
|U.S. joins Costa Rica in broadening police searches|
| One case that should be a warning to
expats took place Tuesday morning in Esparza. Officers
stopped a car and found that the driver was carrying
$5,000 in U.S. 20-dollar bills along with about $1,800 in
|6/22/16 5:32:44 AM|
|U.S. drug expert says cocaine use is way down|
| Costa Rica’s importance to drug dealers
in the United States is declining as cocaine is losing
favor and being replaced by heroin made in from México.
That is the opinion of a man who should know.
|6/21/16 5:31:30 AM|
|Government continues to push for shrimp trawling|
| Despite a constitutional court
prohibition and environmental opposition, the central
government is trying to put together a consensus to
reinstitute shrimp fishing by trawler nets in the Pacific
|6/20/16 5:11:10 AM|
|Proposal would dedicate two new legislative seats to natives|
| Lawmakers will be asked to expand their
number to include two seats reserved for members of the
country’s native communities.
|6/17/16 5:31:19 AM|
|Raid unveils counterfeit booze racket|
| Sometimes that shot of Johnny Walker just
doesn’t taste right. Some expats probably will blame their
own mood or perhaps the lingering effects of a snack or
|6/16/16 5:03:22 AM|
|World health discounts zika threat at large gatherings|
| The World Surfing Games in Jacó got a
boost Tuesday when the World Health Organization said that
large gatherings do not mean a greater risk of zika virus
|6/15/16 5:07:22 AM|
|Release of prisoners suspended|
| The government has reversed itself and
has suspended plans to ease prison crowding with a
continued release of inmates.
|6/13/16 4:57:51 AM|
|Government quietly jacks up exit tax|
| The central government has slipped in
another tax by decree. The tax ups the national exit tax
at airports by $2 to $31.
|6/13/16 4:57:23 AM|
|El Niño considered dead and gone|
| The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration has declare El Niño dead. This is the giant
weather phenomenon that has left Guanacaste and much of
the Pacific coast parched. The situation has generated
emergency alerts in Costa Rica and efforts to provide
water to people and livestock.
|6/10/16 5:17:51 AM|
|Some congressmen want to go into the propaganda business|
| Some members of the U.S. Congress want to
counter all the tall tales being distributed by the
Russians and the Chinese, if any.
|6/9/16 5:37:17 AM|
|Trump would not be good for Costa Rica|
| A Donald Trump presidency in the United
States likely will be bad news for Costa Rica.
|6/9/16 5:36:42 AM|
|Rail institute gets the green light to borrow $440 million|
| The legislature Tuesday gave final
approval to a plan to let the nation’s rail institute
borrow up to 40 percent of its gross worth.
|6/8/16 5:23:12 AM|
|Raped woman unintentionally is at center of prison dispute|
| A 25-year-old mother in Guácimo has
become the unwilling central figure in a dispute over the
government’s decision to release criminals to reduce
|6/7/16 5:34:03 AM|
|Artisans in Sarchí plan to develop a collective trademark|
| Artisans in Sarchí are taking steps to
market their furniture products collectively.
|6/6/16 5:33:16 AM|
|Lawbreakers benefit from approved bill and court decision|
| The Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo
will not rule on a request by private investigators and
others to halt the release of criminals before they have
served they sentence.
|6/3/16 5:12:53 AM|
|Lawmakers wants to make university admissions more democratic|
| Public school grads do not measure up
academically as well as those who attend private schools,
so a lawmaker wants to level the university admissions.
|6/2/16 6:05:16 AM|
|Indeed, this is a land of mysteries|
| Costa Rica usually is not considered a
land of mysteries. There are no wee people running around
and goblins hardly ever visit.
|6/1/16 4:57:42 AM|
|Ministry survey zeroes in on the supermarket specials|
| Shoppers in Costa Rican supermarkets
known they are in uncertain territory. The large economy
size costs more per unit than the regular size. Two
bottles of Coke Light wrapped in plastic sometimes costs
more than two individual bottles.
|5/31/16 5:48:00 AM|
|There are mafias by the dozen in Costa Rica|
| Expats need a spreadsheet to tell one
mafia from the other. Costa Rica is an important country
for a number of criminal organizations that generally are
lumped under the term mafia.
|5/30/16 6:54:33 AM|
|Nine police officers held as home invaders|
| Judicial investigators detained nine
Fuerza Pública officers Thursday and said they were
members of an organized gang that invaded homes to steal
|5/30/16 6:53:54 AM|
|U.S. Embassy will raise the diversity flag|
| Staffers at the U.S. Embassy will raise
the rainbow flag of sexual diversity Wednesday to show
support to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and
intersexuals, the embassy said in an announcement
|5/27/16 4:59:50 AM|
|Police show little interest in migrating Africans|
| About 40 African migrants managed to
cross the Río Colorado by boat in extreme northeast Costa
Rica Wednesday morning. Then they walked unmolested by any
police agencies along the Caribbean coast into Nicaragua.
|5/27/16 4:59:19 AM|
|Jacó area experiences an increase in zika cases|
| Home-grown reported cases of the zika
virus now number 58, according to the Ministerio de Salud.
There are 44 cases in Garabito, the canton that includes
Jacó. But the latest report also said that one case turned
up further down the central Pacific coast in Parrita.
|5/26/16 5:05:05 AM|
|Defensoría seeking stronger gun controls|
| The Defensoría de los Habitantes wants to
tighten firearm regulations and estimated that there are
500,000 legal and illegal guns in the country.
|5/25/16 5:09:54 AM|
|Tax official says that avoidance is not legitimate|
| A ranking official of the finance
ministry said Monday that legitimate tax avoidance is a
fallacy. That was the title of a press statement she
released that maintained that taxpayers should not put
themselves above the state.
|5/24/16 3:59:28 AM|
|Remains found in Corcovado probably Alaskan outdoorsman|
| Judicial investigators have confirmed the
discovery of human remains in the Parque Nacional
Corcovado. The remains are presumed to be those of Cody
Roman Dial, an Alaskan outdoorsman who vanished there
nearly two years ago.
|5/20/16 4:41:36 AM|
|Expats pitch in to help save Jaco's word surfing games|
| A group of expats and others are seeking
to create a sustained effort to halt the growing number of
zika virus cases in the Jacó area. The outbreak threatens
the World Surfing Games and the $36 million it is expected
to bring to the local tourism economy, they said.
|5/19/16 4:04:18 AM|
|Extensive research says genetically modified products are safe|
| A detailed study by one of the top
scientific organizations in the United States concludes
that there is no substantiated evidence of risks to human
health from current commercially available genetically
engineered crops. The study also said it found no
conclusive cause-and-effect evidence of environmental
problems from the genetically engineered crops.
|5/18/16 3:42:21 AM|
|Some lawmakers want to send alcohol tax to municipalities|
| Part of the sales tax on alcoholic
beverages ends up at three government-related but private
|5/17/16 4:07:20 AM|
|Vacation rental firm may have left many in the lurch|
| The vacation rental business Mead Brown
in Jacó appears to have stopped servicing its customers.
|5/16/16 3:19:42 AM|
|Jacó officials act to clean up beach pollution|
| The community of Jacó, which is hosting
an international surfing championship in August, is facing
a double whammy. The problems are similar but not as grave
as that facing Brazil which is hosting the Olympic Games
this year: The zika virus and pollution.
|5/13/16 5:04:16 AM|
|Turrialba eruption spreads ash in many communities|
| Scientists said they thought Turrialba
was entering a quiet phase, but no one told the volcano.
|5/12/16 5:14:28 AM|
|Zika outbreak is a menace to Jacó and its surf event|
| The mayor in the canton that includes the
Pacific coast community of Jacó confirmed Tuesday an
outbreak of the zika virus there.
|5/12/16 5:13:48 AM|
|Customs official says the biggest problem is bribery|
| Bribery of customs officials is one of
the main challenges in the fight against smuggling and
fiscal fraud, according to Margarita Villalobos, who heads
the Dirección de Inspección Fiscal at the Ministerio de
|5/11/16 5:20:46 AM|
|Few Costa Rican entities in Panamá Papers data base|
| Only a few corporations set up by the
Panamá law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. involve Costa
Rican entities. The question remains how many Costa Rican
individuals will show up on corporate records elsewhere.
|5/10/16 4:53:34 AM|
|Another wave of Panamá Papers data due today|
| The journalism organization promoting the
Panamá Papers disclosures said it will release mountains
of searchable information today at 2 p.m.
|5/9/16 5:15:20 AM|
|Volcano has a bit of bad behavior|
| The Turrialba volcano increased its
activity Thursday and began emitting an average of two
|5/6/16 4:49:47 AM|
|Sunday date set for this year's Independence picnic|
| The U.S. Independence Day celebration
will be July 3 at the Cervecería picnic grounds west of
|5/5/16 4:44:14 AM|
|Dominical reports a dengue outbreak|
| A dengue outbreak has hit the population
of Dominical town on the Pacific coast. Residents report
at least 20 cases in the last two weeks and blame a nearby
dike for creating the mosquito breeding ground.
|5/5/16 4:43:37 AM|
|Rail institute loan looks like another financial train wreck|
| AN EDITORIAL: Lawmakers are likely to
approve hundreds of millions of dollars in loans for a
valley electric train. The calculations seem to be based
on a false premise.
|5/5/16 4:47:33 AM|
|Watch out for the lightning|
| With the advent of the rainy season, the
time that Costa Ricans call winter, do expats have to be
reminded to avoid golf during thunderstorms?
|5/5/16 4:47:41 AM|
|The start of my career 52 years ago|
| Today is World Press Freedom Day, and it
also is a few days from my 52nd anniversary of being a
newspaperman. That’s not exactly accurate. There was time
spent getting the paperwork to eventually become a tenured
professor and also time to earn money to support my
|5/3/16 4:56:34 AM|
|Reporter detained for photographing police|
| Fuerza Pública officers manhandled and
then detained a contract reporter for A.M. Costa Rica
because he was video recording police activity in an early
morning sweep in Barrio California Friday.
|5/2/16 4:56:07 AM|
|Government vows to rebuild Limón's Black Star Line|
| Costa Rican officials already are
promising to rebuild The Black Star Line, the iconic,
94-year-old community center in Limón Centro that fire
destroyed Friday. A Costa Rican official equated The Black
Star Line with the Teatro Nacional, the Basilica de
Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles and the Ruinas de Cartago.
|4/29/16 5:41:33 AM|
|Bill contains super deals for electric vehicle buyers|
| A plan to encourage ownership of electric
vehicles eliminates taxes, import fees and even the annual
|4/28/16 5:21:06 AM|
|Referendum possible to double minimum wage|
| Trade unions will be collecting
signatures to allow voters to approve a new minimum wage
of about $900 a month for unskilled workers. That is more
than double the current legal minimum wage.
|4/27/16 5:20:40 AM|
|Peace might bring more Colombians, vice president says|
| Costa Rican officials expect a flood of
Colombian ex-guerrillas and narcos once peace is reached
in that country.
|4/26/16 5:13:50 AM|
|Tamarindo crocs are tragedies in waiting|
| Crocodiles have been apex predators for
at least 55 million years. Their bite is the strongest
ever measured in an animal, and they are experts at
ambushes. Scientist consider them to be very smart, and
they can sprint faster than most humans. They also are
|4/26/16 5:13:19 AM|
|U.S. identity tax fraud hits Costa Rica|
| Federal officials are investigating at
least one case of attempted tax fraud involving a Costa
Rican expat family. There are likely more victims here.
|4/25/16 5:22:40 AM|
|Caja says kidney epidemic is stressing resources|
| The national health service says it is
concerned by the growing number of individuals afflicted
with kidney disfunction.
|4/25/16 5:22:00 AM|
|This article is not for vegetarians|
| Fans of choripanes, churrasco, vacio and
chorizo can find those famous succulent cuts of the Pampas
at a number of places in San José.
|4/22/16 5:37:11 AM|
|New ditch in Panamá is a big help to scientists|
| Excavations to widen the Panama Canal
have been a boon to researchers who have discovered much
about the isthmus and, by extension, Costa Rica.
|4/21/16 5:33:45 AM|
|Corporate tax bill goes to full legislature|
| A legislative committee reported out a
bill reinstituting an annual tax on corporations Tuesday,
7-2. Opposition votes came from the committee chairwoman,
Rosibel Ramos of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, and
Otto Guevara of Movimiento Libertario.
|4/21/16 5:33:06 AM|
|Mrs. Bender brings criminal charges to recover her jewels|
| Ann Patton Bender has filed a criminal
charge against a top executive in the Costa Rican customs
department alleging appropriation and illegal retention of
some $7 million in jewels that has been confiscated by
investigators, according to a family spokesman.
|4/20/16 4:51:40 AM|
|A day to honor native cultures|
| Today is called the Día del Aborigen
Costarricense, which will be marked mainly in public
|4/19/16 5:12:03 AM|
|Marijuana proponents seek to expand definition of medical|
| Activists for the legalization of
marijuana seek to modify a bill to allow civilians to grow
and process the plant under the concept of personal use,
according to Gerald Murray, general director of Movimiento
Cannábis Medicinal de Costa Rica.
|4/18/16 4:38:50 AM|
|Canadian voting case goes to the Supreme Court|
| The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to
hear the case for voting rights that currently are denied
to 1.4 million Canadians living abroad for more than five
|4/15/16 5:42:11 AM|
|U.S. report on human rights leaves out a few items|
| The U.S. State Department human rights
report, released Wednesday overlooks aspects important to
Americans. Among these are the unconstitutional detention
of a sex tourism blogger, land invasions, inconsistencies
in government development approvals and censored court
|4/14/16 4:44:08 AM|
|Emergency alert issued over forest and field fires|
| The drought has turned much of forest,
brush and grassland into tinder, and the national
emergency commission issued an alert Tuesday because there
are fires in many area of the country.
|4/14/16 4:43:35 AM|
|New exposition traces Spanish explorers in the Pacific|
| When explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa saw
the expanse of the Pacific in 1513 he must have been
filled with awe. The explorer was about to spark a wave of
exploration and trade that gave the Spanish control of key
Pacific lands for centuries.
|4/13/16 5:15:21 AM|
|Minimal impact seen from new rental law|
| The legislature’s latest effort at social
engineering puts a cap on annual rent increases consistent
|4/12/16 4:40:01 AM|
|Honors for country's first female soldier|
| This year is the 200th anniversary of the
birth of Costa Rica’s own Molly Pitcher. She is Natalicio
Francisca Carrasco Jiménez, who became a national symbol
when she left her culinary duties, picked up a rifle and
distinguished herself at the Batalla de Rivas.
|4/11/16 5:03:34 AM|
|Valley commuter trains collide|
| The Cruz Roja said that more than two
hundred persons suffered injuries this morning when two
trains in the valley line collided head-on in Pavas.
|4/8/16 4:45:11 AM|
|Owning an offshore corporation now is suspicious|
| May expats would be surprised to know
that they are suspicious characters because they own
|4/7/16 5:41:00 AM|
|Jacó lands the World Surfing Games|
| The World Surfing Games will be in Jacó
from Aug. 6 to 14. The International Surfing Association
announced its decision Tuesday.
|4/6/16 4:41:22 AM|
|Proposal would mean a leaner central government|
| A new proposed law would cap the number
of ministries in the executive branch at 12. Depending on
how they are counted, now there are at least 18 and
|4/5/16 4:38:41 AM|
|Costa Rica promises investigation of Panamá Papers revelations|
| So far no Costa Rica political figures or
business leaders have been named, but more information
based on leaked documents from a leading Panamá law
officer are promised.
|4/1/16 4:35:51 AM|
|Agriculture reported to be rebounding|
| The El Niño-provoked drought and the
economy has taken its toll on agriculture, but there are
signs of recovery.
|3/31/16 5:03:15 AM|
|There's no such thing as a clean campaign|
| Those who are seeking a clean,
issues-oriented presidential campaign are in the wrong
universe. Politics, whether local or national, always have
been gutter affairs.
|3/31/16 5:02:26 AM|
|Import duties can be substantial|
| Most expats know that the import duty on
books is negligible, just 1 percent of the stated value.
But are they aware of the biggies?
|3/30/16 5:19:38 AM|
|High-level smuggling blamed on criminal organization|
| There is a criminal network bringing a
high volume of personal-use goods, such as clothing and
perfumes, into the country, according to customs director
general Benito Coghi.
|3/29/16 5:30:09 AM|
|Las Olas case hinges on bribery allegations|
| Starting in December, if the case
advances, an arbitration panel will consider, among other
allegations, if the country is responsible if officials
rebuffed in bribery attempts take revenge against a
|3/28/16 4:44:00 AM|
|$1.4 billion hydro project ready to start generating|
| The $1.4 billion Reventazón hydro project
is expected to go on line next week and begin providing
power to the national grid.
|3/28/16 4:43:26 AM|
|Ancient fishing method a modern no-no|
| The method of fishing probably is older
than modern humans. In fact, there probably would not be
modern humans if ancestors had to outsmart the wily trout
with a royal coachman dry fly plunked in the middle of a
|3/24/16 3:30:38 AM|
|Executive branch to resubmit controversial shrimp bill|
| The executive branch said Tuesday that it
would resubmit the controversial shrimp trawling bill to
|3/23/16 4:51:54 AM|
|Campaign developing against passport revocation law|
| Americans overseas and their advocates in
Congress are reacting to a new law that allows the
government to void the passport of anyone owing $50,000 or
more of taxes.
|3/22/16 5:09:28 AM|
|Ann Bender, although back in States, still is legally entangled|
| Ann Bender may be back in the United
States, but her legal problems are hardly resolved. The
most pressing issue now is some $7 million in precious and
semi-precious stones that she and her husband, John,
collected as investments while they were living on the
|3/22/16 5:08:57 AM|
|Veggie diet makes parasite carrier stronger, researchers find|
| Eat your vegetables, the usual admonition
for children, also can be applied to the blood-sucking bug
that spreads the worrisome chagas disease.
|3/21/16 5:04:24 AM|
|Missing children total 259 over 26 months|
| In a little more than two years 259
minors have gone missing and have never appeared,
according to judicial investigator statistics.
|3/21/16 5:03:53 AM|
|Rainy season will be a little late, weather experts say|
| The rain in the capital Thursday settled
the dust but it was not the start of the rainy seasons. In
fact, the Instituto Meteorological Nacional says that the
advent of the annual rains will be a bit later than normal
|3/18/16 4:01:00 AM|
|Another dimension of the Irish legacy: big city politics|
| The Irish immigrant’s love of
conversation and camaraderie quickly led to immersion into
politics in the new country.
|3/17/16 5:45:47 AM|
|Government moves to help impoverished in Talamanca|
| The central government said Tuesday that
it would take steps to provide better health services to
the isolated Alto Telire territory in the Talamancas.
|3/17/16 5:45:13 AM|
|The challenges faced by a Cuban migrant|
| By the time this piece gets published,
20-year-old Magalys de Loyola should be arriving to join
her mother and sisters in Orlando, Florida.
|3/16/16 4:59:14 AM|
|Region vulnerable to cyber attacks, report says|
| The country is the beginning stages of
planning a national cybersecurity strategy, but unlike
many Latin American countries, there does exist criminal
|3/16/16 4:58:34 AM|
|Consumer rights day suggests some consumer wrongs|
| Despite the efforts of the consumer
agency that is part of the economics ministry, consumers
have an uphill fight for rights in Costa Rica.
|3/15/16 5:58:10 AM|
|There is a troubling trend of missing minor girls|
| An even dozen teen girls have been
reported missing since the beginning of February.
|3/14/16 5:07:22 AM|
|There's something fishy about Semana Santa|
| The consumption of fish is just short of
mandatory for Catholics during Semana Santa. That is why
there are large displays of sardines and other canned sea
food at the local supermarket. That also is why
supermarket officials have inched up the prices.
|3/11/16 4:10:30 AM|
|Booklets promote those unique spheres|
| The Museo Nacional has come out with
promotional videos and booklets for the stone spheres in
the canton of Osa on the south Pacific coast.
|3/13/16 7:29:41 PM|
|Democratic duo agree with Costa Rica on sea level rise|
| Both Democratic candidates for U.S.
president supported alternate energy sources as a solution
to halt sea level rise Wednesday.They did not suggest
government action such as sea walls or dikes.
|3/10/16 4:48:33 AM|
|Our editorial is critical of corporate tax bill|
| The tax would generate $50 to $80 million
annually for a security ministry slush fund. This is a
dedicated tax that would not be part of the national
|3/13/16 6:41:27 PM|
|Complex index of social progress instituted by government|
| They say that when a person has a hammer,
everything looks like a nail. For Costa Rica, the hammer
is the new index of social progress that is being promoted
by Casa Presidencial to evaluate the quality of life in
the nation’s 81 cantons.
|3/7/16 4:42:08 AM|
|Accord reached on bill protecting animals|
| A legislative commission has come to a
compromise text of a bill protecting animals, and the
draft gives private organizations the right to enforce the
law. The bill also requires animal owners to pick up fecal
matter produced by their charges.
|3/7/16 4:41:13 AM|
|Wind farm driving away neighbors and snakes|
| Wind generators appear to be gentle ways
of producing electricity without the greenhouse gases of
thermal projects and the river blockage of hydro systems.
But what is not widely known is the downside caused by the
vibrations generated by the devices.
|3/4/16 4:29:31 AM|
|Delays importing foodstuffs said to be costly to consumer|
| Residents and visitors are paying 20
percent extra for food products because foreign shipments
are taking an excessive amount of time to clear
agricultural inspections. That is the view of Randall
Benavides Rivera, president of the perishable food
|3/4/16 4:41:54 AM|
|Nosara gets an uncritical plug from The New York Times|
| Nosara got a big tourism boost Wednesday
when a New York Times reporter profiled the Pacific coast
community. The article will appear in the printed
newspaper Sunday, the newspaper said.
|3/2/16 3:43:48 AM|
|Government and U.S. citizen in land dispute|
| A strange property dispute is developing
in northeast Costa Rica. Government agencies claim that a
U.S. citizen is trying to sell lots on land that belongs
to the coastal development organization.
|3/1/16 4:04:39 AM|
|Online shopping: the good and the bad|
| Be it electronics, home appliances,
clothing, books or a childish gadget for the apartment,
importing from abroad to Costa Rica can be both a
rewarding and challenging experience.
|3/1/16 4:03:56 AM|
|Armed citizen 1; Roadway bandit 0|
| Warning for crooks: Sticking up a car
mired in traffic can be hazardous to your health.
|2/29/16 3:59:32 AM|
|Lawmaker questions tourism statistics|
| A top tourism official admitted to a
legislative committee Thursday that the tourism
statistics include plenty of Nicaraguans.
|2/15/16 2:27:57 AM|
|Arts festival loses international designation for this August|
| The Culture ministry says the Festival de las
Artes in August this year will be at a location yet to
be determined in the southern zone.
|2/2/16 4:18:49 AM|
|The day was very chili in Atenas|
| The only sure thing about chili is that
everyone has a different opinion on what makes it
|2/1/16 4:06:41 AM|
|St. Valentine's Day is a dangerous time|
| Romance is in the air, St. Valentine's Day is
coming, and men have but one thought: "How am I going to
stay out of trouble this Feb. 14."
|2/15/16 3:46:44 PM|
|Dan Fowlie is back, and immediately he is in the news|
| Dan Fowlie is back in Pavones, where he again
says unscrupulous persons have stripped him of the land
he owns there. And he seems a bit irked that La Nación
quoted the immigration director as saying he had entered
the country illegally.
|2/15/16 3:46:46 PM|
|Government decrees television tax break|
| The central government is under the impression
that the poor have non-digital television sets.
|2/15/16 3:46:49 PM|
|First case of zika virus came from Colombia|
| The zika virus has come to Costa Rica in the
person of a 25-year-old Desamparados resident who picked
up the disease while visiting Colombia, according to the
Ministerio de Salud
|2/15/16 3:46:36 PM|
|Government starting to put salaries online|
| The central government has put up a
demonstration site to show how officials plan to deliver
public information to citizens.
|2/15/16 3:46:53 PM|
|Expats report problems with internet service|
| Internet service for expats ranges from
annoying to terrible, according to responses by readers
to a news story last week.
|2/15/16 3:46:55 PM|
|Sala IV rejects appeal against coastal dwellers|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected
an appeal that could have jeopardized the property
rights of occupants along the coasts.
|2/15/16 3:46:57 PM|
|Lionfish intrusion into the Pacific seems inevitable|
| The arrival of the lionfish in eastern Pacific
waters seems inevitable, and the only question is how
will the creatures make the move.
|2/15/16 3:46:58 PM|
|Rare photos snapped of forest dogs|
| Biologists say they have captured photos of one
of the most elusive dogs in the world.
|2/15/16 3:47:00 PM|
|Internet speed appears to be facing problems|
| IInternet service appears to be in a state of
decline, but the reason still is unknown.
|2/15/16 3:47:02 PM|
|Legislature appears to need a good editor|
| Either the legislature needs a good editor or
someone else is making laws. The latest problem involves
the text of a law that was designed to cap
disproportionate pensions for lawmakers who served
|2/15/16 3:47:04 PM|
|Happiness might be in the genes|
| Costa Ricans take pride in having the country
rank high on world happiness scales, even though some of
the surveys might be questionable. But now comes a
possible answer. Researchers report that the DNA of
residents is more likely to contain a specific allele
involved in sensory pleasure and pain reduction,
|2/15/16 3:47:06 PM|
|Expat recounts his meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr.|
| Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had brought his
program to fight poverty and discrimination against
blacks to Chicago.
|2/15/16 3:47:07 PM|
|So you want to lose those holiday pounds?|
| For some expats, the appropriate Christmas
Carol might better be "The 12 Pounds of Christmas"
because that is what they put on with all the holiday
food and drink.
|2/15/16 3:47:09 PM|
|More than half of emails are spam, industry says|
| Anyone with an email account knows that there
are plenty of spam messages. Industry estimates are that
from 52 to 58 percent of emails are unwanted spam.
|2/15/16 3:47:11 PM|
|We encourage U.S. citizens to welcome Cubans|
| Unlike many immigrants from the south, they are
legal, the newspaper said.
|2/15/16 3:47:13 PM|
|Pilot plan seeks to reduce water deaths|
| The Costa Rican government and the Cruz Roja
are taking steps to improve the safety of tourists at
the nation's beaches.
|2/15/16 3:47:21 PM|
|How about citizenship for the kids and grandkids?|
| The circumstances that make a person a U.S.
citizen again are being questioned.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is questioning if his opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz, is a natural born citizen as the U.S. Constitution requires.
|2/15/16 3:47:23 PM|
|Another tax being authorized for legislative action|
| The executive branch will be presenting another
tax bill to lawmakers, according to the Cruz Roja, which
will benefit from the measure.
|2/15/16 3:47:25 PM|
|Another black eye for Costa Rica|
| Criminals gave Costa Rica another black eye
Tuesday when they violently robbed Dutch expats who run
a hospitality operation in Sarapiquí in the northern
part of the country.
|2/15/16 3:47:26 PM|
|Victims of flu seemed to have little in common|
| Those who have died of swine flu in December
range in age from a 3-year-old male patient at the
Hospital Nacional de Niños to a 77-year-old woman from
|2/15/16 3:47:28 PM|
|Finance minister seeking to make a deal with lawmakers|
| The country's financial minister said Monday
that he is trying to make a deal with lawmakers so that
the administration's tax plans are passed.
|2/15/16 3:47:30 PM|
|When firearms were considered just a useful tool|
| A fortunate fact was that my high school locker
was of the long variety. Had it been shorter, I might
not have been able to stow my shotgun there while I went
|2/15/16 3:47:31 PM|
|Mortality at 3.7 percent for those hospitalized with flu|
| Medical professionals did not expect the
arrival of a wave of influenza cases in November,
December and now January. Typically August and September
are the top months for flu season in Costa Rica.
|2/15/16 3:47:34 PM|
|Did you know that 2016 is a leap year?|
| 2016, is another leap year. That means the
calendar has a Feb. 29, a Monday this year
|2/15/16 3:47:36 PM|
|Ministerio de Trabajo will seek out illegal workers in 2016|
| An announcement Tuesday from the Ministerio de
Trabajo estimated that 45.7 percent of the employees in
Costa Rica work in what officials called informalidad.
|2/15/16 3:47:38 PM|
|Breakthrough announced for Cubans trapped here|
| Costa Rican officials announced a breakthrough
Monday in its effort to help Cuban migrants move north.
|2/15/16 3:47:40 PM|
|Draft for new corporate tax has some good and some bad|
| A proposed new draft of a tax on corporations
does not contain an exemption for registered small and
|2/15/16 3:47:41 PM|
|There are two bullish events this Christmas|
| Call it the battle of the fiestas. Both the
Fiestas de San José in Zapote and the upstart corridas
de toros in Belén are opening Christmas Day for a run
through Jan. 3.
|2/15/16 3:47:46 PM|
|A warning to tourists: The rip tides|
| Each year Costa Ricans and visitors become
victims. They include individuals who are far more
athletic and skilled in the water than you are.
|2/15/16 3:47:48 PM|
|New route established for Chirripo|
| Residents of San Jeronimo de Perez Zeledon are
expecting a boost in tourism now that an alternate and
shorter route has been established to reach the peak of
|2/15/16 3:47:50 PM|
|Marchamo dispute puts expats on the spot|
| Dec. 31 is the deadline for paying the annual
marchamo or road tax without penalty.
|2/15/16 3:47:51 PM|
|Atenas farmers market improves in new facility|
| On a typical Friday morning at the Atenas
farmers market you will hear a conglomerate of
languages, everything from Spanish to Mandarin as well
as English, French and German.
|2/15/16 3:47:53 PM|
|Mother nature to provide the Christmas lights|
| Rudolph can stay home and watch late-night
television Christmas Eve. Santa will not be needing his
nose so bright this year.
|2/15/16 3:47:55 PM|
|You don't want a rompope hangover|
| There may not be a white Christmas, but rompope
is the Costa Rican lubricant for wassailing.
|2/15/16 3:47:58 PM|
|International court decision was pretty obvious|
| AN ANALYSIS: Most Costa Ricans were thrilled
that the International Court of Justice reaffirmed the
country's sovereignty over the Isla Calero.
|2/15/16 3:48:00 PM|
|World Court affirms Costa Rica's claim|
| The International Court of Justice reaffirmed
Costa Rica's sovereignty to land south of the mouth of
the Río San Juan in a decision announced Wednesday.
|2/15/16 3:48:01 PM|
|International bankers visit to push for tax increases|
| Representatives of the World Bank and the
Interamerican Development Bank met with Costa Rican
officials and some legislators Monday to push for
approval of more taxes.
|2/15/16 3:48:03 PM|
|El Niño expected to begin to weaken in February|
| El Niño that has brought record drought to
western Costa Rica is expected to begin to diminish by
|2/15/16 3:48:05 PM|
|Solís promises to accept World Court verdict|
| The country's reliance on international
agencies will be put to the test Wednesday when the
International Court of Justice issues its decision on
the land dispute between this country and Nicaragua.
|2/15/16 3:48:07 PM|
|Safeguards for eating tamales|
| There is nothing that defines the Christmas
season in Costa Rica more than the tamal, the corn dough
treat carefully wrapped in banana leaves and baked and
|2/15/16 3:48:13 PM|
|Major advance in controlling viruses|
| A U.S. university says it has developed a
strain of pigs that resist an incurable virus disease.
|2/15/16 3:48:15 PM|
|Despite conviction, Milanes case is far from over|
| Savings Unlimited investors have won what one
called a Pyrrhic victory with the conviction of Luis
|2/15/16 3:48:17 PM|
|Odds are way against expats becoming millionaires|
| Expats do not need a super computer to tell
them they will not win the $2.6 million Gordo lottery
|2/15/16 3:48:19 PM|
|Scientists see link between Sámara quake and one in El Salvador|
| Scientists have been studying the Sept. 5,
2012, Sámara earthquake and have concluded that there
was a relationship between the event and a quake 450
kilometers to the northwest and nine days earlier.
|2/15/16 3:48:21 PM|
|Expats once again in the Santa mode|
| Again this year expats are making sure that
Costa Rican children have a Christmas.
|2/15/16 3:48:22 PM|
|Corporate tax bite is $85.5 million a year|
| The central government says that a tax on
corporations collects 45 billion colons a year. That's
about $85.5 million.
|2/15/16 3:48:24 PM|
|Government's shrimp trawler plan generates opposition|
| Ocean environmentalists and even those in the
fishing industry are unhappy that the central government
is pushing a bill to reinstate trawler nets for shrimp
|2/15/16 3:48:26 PM|
|Megafauna takes over the Museo Nacional|
| The Museo Nacional is exhibiting creatures that
lived in Costa Rica up until about 11,500 years ago.
These are the giant megafauna that are now extinct.
|2/15/16 3:48:28 PM|
|Swiss detain regional Americas soccer president|
| Swiss authorities detained early today Alfredo
Hawit Banegas of Honduras, president of the soccer
federation that covers the Caribbean, and North and
Central America. This is the federation to which Costa
|2/15/16 3:48:29 PM|
|President promotes passage of corporate tax|
| Some expats who own corporations are worried
about the status of the annual tax, the impuestos a las
|2/15/16 3:48:31 PM|
|That virus with the funny name can be really bad|
| Another troubling health dimension has been
added to that virus with the funny name. Researchers are
reporting that the mosquito-borne virus may lead to
severe brain infection.
|2/15/16 3:58:00 PM|
|First tree fire of the season|
| The country has its first fire of the Christmas
season when an overheated extension cord ignited a tree
at a home in Barrio la Colina in Tirrases de Curridabat.
|2/15/16 3:48:38 PM|
|Climate participants are seeking a static world|
| AN EDITORIAL: An estimated 150 world leaders
and climate experts, non-profit organization
representatives and others are starting today to meet in
Paris to maintain a static world.
|2/15/16 3:48:40 PM|
|Santa government handing out cash|
| The government that is very skilled in giving
way other people's money will give away some of its own
|2/15/16 3:48:42 PM|
|There's a lot to be thankful about|
| As expats bow their heads today, they can be
thankful that they are not in Denver where the
temperature is around 35 degrees F.
|2/15/16 3:48:44 PM|
|Neuromarketers are inside the heads of shoppers|
| Marketing researchers have a better idea of
what is going on inside the heads of shoppers than the
shoppers do themselves.
|2/15/16 3:48:47 PM|
|Tourism under review for carbon footprint|
| When those in the business talk of sustainable
tourism, they mainly mean operations on the ground here.
But tourism increasingly is being accused of causing
damaging effects worldwide.
|2/15/16 3:48:48 PM|
|No progress on Cuban migrants|
| Government officials expressed optimism Tuesday
night that a solution is coming for the problem of the
Cuban migrants. Still the government of Nicaragua has
been characterized as intransigent in its refusal to
allow the Cubans to pass through the country.
|2/15/16 3:48:55 PM|
|Campaign begun against smuggled alcohol|
| The finance ministry embarked on a campaign
Monday to combat smuggled alcohol, but by the ministry's
own figures some 60 percent of the contraband comes in
through legal channels.
|2/15/16 3:48:57 PM|
|City Mall opened too soon, reviewer says|
| After much anticipation, Alajuela’s City Mall
opened Nov. 11. Developers should have waited longer.
|2/15/16 3:48:58 PM|
|Escazú expat detained in case involving rape of minor|
| Judicial agents detained a U.S. resident from
Escazú Saturday just as he was leaving the country by
air. The charge is rape of a minor, said the Judicial
|2/15/16 3:49:00 PM|
|Search of lawyer's office related to missing U.S. expat|
| Judicial investigators searched a lawyer's
office in Ciudad Quesada Thursday, and this appears to
be related with an effort to find a missing U.S. expat..
|2/15/16 3:49:01 PM|
|Five traveling on falsified passports visited Costa Rica|
| U.S. and Honduran officials are trying to
determine the correct identity of five men who arrived
at Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa Tuesday night.
|2/15/16 3:49:03 PM|
|Three ways lionfish can spread to the Pacific|
| Concern is growing among some researchers and
environmentalists that the lionfish in the Caribbean
might make their way to the Pacific.
|2/15/16 3:49:05 PM|
|Cubans still stranded|
| One reason there are some 1,600 Cubans stranded
in Costa Rica is because the United States affords
special treatment to migrants from that country.
|2/15/16 3:49:06 PM|
|TV change to digital to be topic of campaign|
| The 36 percent of television viewers who are
not hooked up to cable will be the target of a campaign
to prepare them for the end of analog transmission Dec.
|2/15/16 3:49:08 PM|
|El Niño reported to be one of the strongest|
| El Niño is expected to continue to strengthen
and go down in the history books as one of the strongest
ever, according to the World Meteorological
|2/15/16 3:49:10 PM|
|Central America is the soft underbelly of the U.S.|
| Any expat who has had to walk in stocking feet
through a U.S. airport knows that officials have put a
lot of emphasis in securing the country from plane
|2/15/16 3:49:12 PM|
|Nicaragua rejects Cuban migrants|
| Some 1,100 Cuban migrants were denied entry
into Nicaragua when they tried to cross Costa Rica's
northern border Sunday.
|2/15/16 3:49:14 PM|
|Reform of immigration law gets support|
| The immigration director says that the law
covering her agency needs a reform.
|2/15/16 3:49:16 PM|
|Stamp outlines cultural difference|
| A decision by Correos de Costa Rica involving
the content of a commemorative stamp clearly shows a
divide between Costa Rican and U.S. cultures.
|2/15/16 3:49:18 PM|
|Exit tax would be jacked up $4|
| Those leaving the country would have to pay $4
extra in taxes, according to a measure that received
approval in a legislative committee Tuesday.
|2/15/16 3:49:19 PM|
|Steady stream of prisoners being released|
| The government's plan to give early release to
hundreds of convicts is generating predictable
discussion in the legislature.
|2/15/16 3:49:21 PM|
|Expats air their gripes|
| Each week a handful of expats here voice their
complaints via email to A.M. Costa Rica.
|2/15/16 3:49:23 PM|
|Tourists unaffected by rise in murder rate|
| High profile murders are tarnishing Costa
Rica's international reputation. This is bound to affect
high season tourism. But tourists should be more
concerned by luggage theft and street robberies than by
fears of being gunned down in a driveby.
|2/15/16 3:49:27 PM|
|Plastic bag prohibition advances|
| A bill to prohibit the use of plastic bags by
commercial establishments passed from a legislative
committee to the full assembly Thursday.
|2/15/16 3:49:29 PM|
|Expat lost eye in violent highway attack|
| A U.S. expat lost his left eye Friday afternoon
when another motorist broke his windshield with a rock.
|2/15/16 3:49:30 PM|
|Honey may not be as pure as shoppers think|
| Many shoppers are unaware of the dangers that
lurk in a bottle labeled honey.
|2/15/16 3:49:32 PM|
|Government wants to know about sex lives|
| The government is embarking on another survey
of sexual practices. Casa Presidencial said that 3,200
persons would be questions through the country in order
to, in the words of Vice President Ana Helena Chacón,
guarantee the right of an integrated sexuality.
|2/15/16 3:49:34 PM|
|Las Olas developer decries lack of action against squatters|
| The manager of the stalled Las Olas development
in Esterillos Oeste said that neither the local
government nor the police have taken action to eject
squatters from the property.
|2/15/16 3:49:36 PM|
|Tricks and tips on driving in Costa Rica|
| A newspaper staffer is at the point of
obtaining her long-awaited driver's license, so here is
a baker's dozen of rules for her that they don't teach
in traffic school:
|2/15/16 3:49:37 PM|
|Murders continue through the weekend|
| At least 10 persons died by knife or firearm
from Friday until Sunday, according to Judicial
Investigators. Among the total are three persons found
in a common grave in Rancho Redondo de Goicoechea.
|2/15/16 3:49:39 PM|
|Lawmakers pass bill to give tourism operators debt relief|
| Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Thursday on
first reading a plan to provide financially distressed
tourism operations up to $175,000 each in a low-interest
|2/15/16 3:49:41 PM|
|Sex tourism web page was designed to trap foreigners|
| A private-public coalition against underage
prostitution has been running a secret Web site to
entrap foreigners. That was the revelation Wednesday at
a press conference in Casa Presidencial.
|2/15/16 3:49:43 PM|
|Student study outlines airport train possibilities|
| A train stop at Juan Santamaría airport is a
logical improvement, and students at Tecnológico de
Costa Rica and a French university have outlined how
this can be accomplished.
|2/15/16 3:49:45 PM|
|Credit legislation gives country big index boost|
| Government officials are cheering the
improvement from 79 to 58 in the World Bank's annual
assessment of its business atmosphere and 188 in other
|2/15/16 3:49:46 PM|
|Festival de la Luz will be Dec. 12|
| The Christmas displays are starting to appear
in stores, and another sure sign that the holidays are
nearing is the announcement Thursday that the Festival
de la Luz will be Dec. 12.
|2/15/16 3:49:48 PM|
|Proposed law would prohibit war toys and certain clothing|
| Lawmakers are considering a bill that would
prohibit the use of warlike or violent video games, war
toys, military ranks in public agencies and even salutes
among members police forces.
|2/15/16 3:49:50 PM|
|Do you feel lucky, expat?|
| Some may call it a voluntary tax on stupidity,
but for other the Christmas lottery is a lot of fun for
an investment less than a dinner out.
|2/15/16 3:49:52 PM|
|There are a lot worse events than global warming|
| But global warming appears to be a minor
concern of humanity when compared to super volcanoes,
800-foot tsunami waves, plagues, droughts and giant
|2/15/16 3:49:54 PM|
|How about a Tico Thanksgiving?|
| Expats complain about high, extortive prices,
but then they head to the supermarket for the ritual
turkey for Thanksgiving.
|2/15/16 3:49:56 PM|
|Solís to jump start economy with debt|
| The president proposed a series of steps Sunday
night that are designed to improve the national economy.
Nearly half of the proposals are based on borrowed
|2/15/16 3:49:58 PM|
|Banco de Costa Rica ATM limits irk some expats|
| Banco de Costa Rica has upset some expats
because it has instituted low limits on dollar emissions
from automatic tellers.
|2/15/16 3:50:06 PM|
|Ticos creative in fabricating homemade guns|
| Costa Ricans can be creative in the manufacture
of weaponry. There is no secret that firearms can be
purchased easily on the street, despite government
|2/15/16 3:50:08 PM|
|New tax-filing program confounds many|
| The finance ministry's new Web-based reporting
system has caused confusion among many taxpayers, and
they have sought face-to-face help.
|2/15/16 3:50:09 PM|
|Pirate problem on the increase at Gulf of Nicoya|
| Modern day pirates are invading communities
along the coast of the Gulf of Nicoya and attacking
fishing boats there, too.
|2/15/16 3:50:11 PM|
|Legislation being prepared against street harassment|
| A coalition of women's groups plan to present a
proposed law to the legislature within three months to
make illegal such street activities as whistling,
flattering comments, obscene gestures, statements about
the human figure or even clothing.
|2/15/16 3:50:12 PM|
|Traffic will be hell on earth today|
| Motorists in the metro area will think today
that they have been transported to the hottest part of
|2/15/16 3:50:14 PM|
|Mystery kidney disease still confounds researchers|
| Medical researchers are still confounded by
chronic kidney disease, the ailment that seems to affect
disproportionally sugarcane workers in Central America.
|2/15/16 3:50:16 PM|
|Protector of woman suffers stab wounds|
| At the center of public concern is a critically
injured 22-year-old man who is in Hospital Calderón
|2/15/16 3:50:18 PM|
|The dry season is coming earlier this year|
| The dry season is coming earlier this year,
although that may not be cheerful news to farmers and
|2/15/16 3:50:20 PM|
|New weapon prepared against leaf-cutter ants|
| Leaf-cutter ants can much through ornamental
vegetation, trees and garden crops overnight leaving
|2/15/16 3:50:22 PM|
|Friendships once again prompt responses|
| Expats who responded to a news story Tuesday
disputed the idea that failing to make friends is a
reason foreigner leave Costa Rica. But they did to for
|2/15/16 3:50:23 PM|
|National strike set for Oct. 16|
| A coalition of unions has called for a national
strike Oct. 16, a Friday. This is the strike that has
been long promises by mostly public employees to protest
changes in the way salaries are computed, the cost of
living, taxes and other actions the group deems to be
|2/15/16 3:50:25 PM|
|Lack of friends reported as a reason expats leave|
| A San José retailer who does business with
expats who are leaving the country said Monday that the
cost of living is tops on the list. But in second place
is the difficulty in finding friends, particularly among
|2/15/16 3:50:27 PM|
|Famous ex-inmate to participate in criminology conference|
| Criminal justice professionals and
criminologist from all over the hemisphere begin a
three-day meeting today in San José. Wednesday they will
hear from a Costa Rican who probably has more first-hand
experience than most at the meeting.
|2/15/16 3:50:29 PM|
|Domestic violence statement overlooks a dead male|
| The judiciary issued a formal statement
expressing the governmental branch's sorrow at the
deaths of two women in which their male companions are
the principal suspects.
|2/15/16 3:50:31 PM|
|Not all the snakes are in the jungle|
| A lot of visitors worry about snakes in the
jungle. They might be surprised to know that many snakes
live in the city and go about their daily lives without
causing any trouble.
|2/15/16 3:50:32 PM|
|Turtle midwives on the central Pacific|
| Members of the coast guard are taking credit
for saving 7,800 turtle eggs that might otherwise have
been snatched by thieves.
|2/15/16 3:50:35 PM|
|Businesses hope for a better fiscal year|
| Today is the end of the fiscal year, and those
in business can only hope for better times in the next
|2/15/16 3:50:37 PM|
|Costa Rica drops one spot on competitiveness report<|
| The country earned 52nd place in the World
Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report.
|2/15/16 3:50:47 PM|
|U.S. Embassy not anxious to protect dead man's land|
| The U.S. Embassy here has advised a dead man to
take his case to the local courts. And it took staffers
nearly a week to do that.
|2/15/16 3:50:49 PM|
|New gun law proposal presented|
| A legislative commission presented Monday a new
rewrite of the country's firearms laws. Under the
proposal, all foreigners except those with permanent
residency are prohibited from possession a firearm, just
as the law says now. But the new twist is that even
those with permanent residency have to have held the
status for five years before getting a firearm,
according to the proposal.
|2/15/16 3:50:50 PM|
|More signals sought at rail lines|
| The transport ministry says it has awarded
contracts to place warning signals at 91 rail crossings.
|2/15/16 3:50:52 PM|
|Smallest barrio may be the most supernatural|
| If sudden, violent death generates the
phenomenon known as a ghost, the Barrio Otoya area in
northeast San José must be ankle deep is spectres.
|2/15/16 3:50:54 PM|
|Starfish that eats coral called an epidemic|
| The long-suffering Costa Rican coral have yet
another antagonist gaining ground. Coral reefs are
important as home to marine species, and they suffer
from a multitude of maladies, some natural and some
|2/15/16 3:50:55 PM|
|Missing aircraft will be subject of documentary|
| A 50-year-old Costa Rican mystery is about to
become a movie. Argentine documentary film makers are
arriving today in Costa Rica is search of more
information and perhaps even the Fuerza Aérea Argentina
aircraft that vanished in 1965.
|2/15/16 3:50:57 PM|
|Expats give Costa Rica decent marks for family living|
| The country ranked 20th in a survey of expat
family life. The survey comes from InterNations, the
|2/15/16 3:50:59 PM|
|Three bills directed against discrimination|
| Costa Rica has three bills in the legislative
hopper that would prohibit discrimination. These bills
come despite a long history of legislation and
international agreements that would seem to do the same
|2/15/16 3:51:01 PM|
|Legislature agrees to borrow $48 million for Sardinal|
| Lawmakers approved for the second and final
time a $48 million loan to build a wholesale produce
market in Sardinal, Guanacaste. The money would come
from the Banco Centroamericano de Integración
|2/15/16 3:51:03 PM|
|Dead man's land invaded|
| An 85-year-old Cuban-American turned up dead
and stuffed into a barrel on his finca in Coloradito de
Corredores last Sept. 6. Quickly squatters moved on to
the property and set up tents and rude housing.
|2/15/16 3:51:04 PM|
|Ann Patton leaves the country legally|
| Ann Patton Bender, the poster girl for judicial
excesses in Costa Rica, finally left the country
Saturday, but not before navigating another bump in the
road courtesy of the courts.
|2/15/16 3:51:07 PM|
|Tax fraud bill moves out of committee|
| A legislative committee approved Thursday night
a substitute text for the anti-tax fraud bill presented
by the central government more than a year ago.
|2/15/16 3:51:08 PM|
|Notaries have to belong to the Caja|
| Notaries have been put on notice that they have
to affiliate with the Caja Costarricense del Seguro
Social. If they do not, they will be unable to work as a
notary, said the Dirección Nacional de Notariado, the
|2/15/16 3:51:10 PM|
|Energy plan is a dream without price tag|
| OUR ANALYSIS: Like so many of the government's
proposals, the latest plan for energy seems more like
|2/15/16 3:51:12 PM|
|Amnesty's sex worker proposal not universally accepted|
| Amnesty International has recommended
decriminalizing the sex trade as a way to improve the
human rights of sex workers and lessen the risk of their
human rights being violated.
|2/15/16 3:51:13 PM|
|Government to pay firms to hire employees|
| The Solís administration announced a plan
Monday that would pay companies that hire new employees.
|2/15/16 3:51:15 PM|
|More statistics sought for study abroad programs|
| There may be as many as 10,000 firms that send
U.S. students overseas, and the business is approaching
$2 billion a year. To help the students and parents make
an informed decision, a U.S. lawmakers is promoting a
bill to require these country and program statistics.
|2/15/16 3:51:18 PM|
|Today is a grim anniversary|
| Just 14 years ago, Costa Rica was in crisis
because terrorists had taken over aircraft and used them
as missiles in New York and Washington.
|2/15/16 3:51:23 PM|
|Agents tracked Cuba Dave for 12 days here|
| A court hearing is expected today for the Key
West man who is facing a charge of promoting Costa Rica
as a sexual tourism destination.
|2/15/16 3:51:25 PM|
|Frauds are breaking out all over|
| Being a fraudster must be a good business,
because the complaints are proliferating.
|2/15/16 3:51:27 PM|
|An historic day even if it involves sewage|
| Wednesday will be an historic day for the metro
area. The day will see the inauguration of the Los Tajos
sewage treatment plant.
|2/15/16 3:51:29 PM|
|No break on gas prices for a month|
| The price of gasoline has dropped about $16 a
barrel, but motorists here will have to wait for a month
before the pump price reflects the decrease.
|2/15/16 3:51:31 PM|
|In defense of free expression|
| AN EDITORIAL: The government cannot make this
fact go away by making it a forbidden topic. The country
has chosen not to prosecute prostitution, and that is a
fact, too. Even the U.S. State Department says that
Costa Rica is a sex tourism destination.
|2/15/16 3:51:33 PM|
|Well-known sex tourist detained on arrival|
| Judicial agents pick up a well-known sex
tourists Friday, and the case raises a multitude of free
speech issues. The arrest also might be the beginning of
a crackdown on Web sites and businesses here that cater
to North Americans in search of prostitutes.
|2/15/16 3:51:35 PM|
|Video prompts action from Fuerza Pública boss|
| The Fuerza Pública administration is unhappy
with a new YouTube video that accuses officers of abuse
of authority. But this is free speech, and there is not
much that police officials can do.
|2/15/16 3:51:36 PM|
|Fingerprints are becoming the ID standard|
| A new system is online that will allow those in
business to check electronically the validity of a
|2/15/16 3:51:38 PM|
|Expat says mob attacked his car|
| A prominent Pacific coast expat said that he
and three companions were the victims of a mob of
protesters near the Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.
|2/15/16 3:51:39 PM|
|El Niño expected to peak at end of year|
| America always has been vulnerable to droughts.
A prolonged drought from 800 to 1000 A.D. destroyed the
classical Mayan civilization. Whole cities were
|2/15/16 3:51:41 PM|
|Beach sand can harbor nasty bugs|
| A cutting edge technical paper says that all
kinds of microorganisms, including those that can harm
human health are found in beach sand. A University of
Miami researcher and an international team of scientists
are recommending that sand be tested as well as ocean
water at popular beaches.
|2/15/16 3:51:43 PM|
|Resident associations should have formal structures|
| Plenty of expats are paying into an informal
committee to maintain the security of their gated
community or to keep up the subdivision roads and common
|2/15/16 3:51:45 PM|
|Security minister predicts a big jump in murder rate|
| The security minister told legislators Thursday
that 2015 may end with 537 murders due to organized
crime organizations operating here. That number would be
nearly 19 percent higher than last year when
investigators reported 453 murders.
|2/15/16 3:51:47 PM|
|Industrial chamber pushes for cuts in electrical rates|
| Expats grumble when they have to pay the
monthly electrical bill. But those in industry have
bills in the thousands of dollars each month.
|2/15/16 3:51:48 PM|
|Sea level rise is inevitable|
| As Costa Rica struggles to reach its goal of
carbon neutrality in the next decade, not much is being
said about sea level rise, which is inevitable.
|2/15/16 3:51:50 PM|
|Tourists in jeopardy in the gulf of Nicoya|
| Despite three recent tragedies in the Gulf of
Nicoya boat captains still are taking chances with the
lives of tourists, according to the Servicio Nacional de
|2/15/16 3:51:55 PM|
|Canadian expats being campaign to recover right to vote|
| Other expats might be surprised to learn that
Canadians living in Costa Rica can lose the right to
vote in their country's elections. Local organizers of a
crowd-sourcing campaign for a court appeal say the
situation affects thousands of Canadian expats here.
|2/15/16 3:51:57 PM|
|Farmers market will cost $52 million|
| The central government is about to shoulder $48
million in debt to build what amounts to an elaborate
farmer's market in Sardinal.
|2/15/16 3:51:59 PM|
|Downtown to be evacuated in simulation|
| The national emergency commission and the
Municipalidad de San José will stage a disaster
simulation Sept. 3 in which some 60,000 persons are
expected to leave their schools and jobs for a mock
|2/15/16 3:52:01 PM|
|Tax man in search of 26,000 sale tax deadbeats|
| There are 26,000 individuals or firms who have
not submitted at least one sales tax monthly report this
year, the Dirección General de Tributación, the tax
|2/15/16 3:52:03 PM|
|Property links studied in case of missing expat|
| Investigators have said nothing official about
missing U.S. citizen Brian Lynn Hogue since the initial
report of his disappearance in mid-June.
|2/15/16 3:52:06 PM|
|Government under fire from many sides over finances|
| The Solís administration is being characterized
as a ship adrift. Politicians and news outlets are
zeroing in on the administration, perhaps motivated by
distaste for the proposed new taxes.
|2/15/16 3:52:08 PM|
|A new agency for innovation|
| Four ministries will roll out a proposal today
for a new agency to promote innovation.
|2/15/16 3:52:10 PM|
|50 unions will march Thursday|
| Thursday will see another protest by unions
whose members are unhappy with the tiny raise proposed
for public employees by the government.
|2/15/16 3:52:12 PM|
|Art and design contest to honor the boyeros|
| Just 10 years ago the boyero, his bueyes and
his oxcart were designated as intangible human heritage.
To mark the anniversary, there will be a design contest
on this theme.
|2/15/16 3:52:13 PM|
|Some good news and bad news on taxes|
| A lot is happening on the tax front in Costa
Rica. The news is not so good for locals and expats
alike. All is not lost. There are a couple of facts
related to taxes that are actually good news.
|2/15/16 3:52:15 PM|
|That signature beef is ready for the market|
| An expat cattleman has taken a major step in
his effort to create a signature beef line for Costa
|2/15/16 3:52:17 PM|
|Tourism rescue plan advances to full legislature|
| Small and medium hotels and restaurants in the
tourism business will get a change to refinance their
debts stemming from the economic downturn from 2008 to
2011, according to a bill that advanced Thursday.
|2/15/16 3:52:18 PM|
|Little action likely on those private airport fees|
| Any passengers with concerns about being
slapped with extra fees when their commercial aircrafts
land at a private field in Costa Rica probably will not
get much help from the civil aviation authorities.
|2/15/16 3:52:20 PM|
|Expats react to tax package|
| The government's tax proposals, published
Tuesday, certainly got the attention of expats. Most who
wrote A.M. Costa Rica Tuesday wanted to know details
that still are unavailable.
|2/15/16 3:52:21 PM|
|Taxman wants $1.5 billion more|
| A tax package that the central government says
it will send to the legislature this week
disproportionally affects expats. The measure would
double the tax on transferring real estate, create a 15
percent capital gains tax and levy a 15 percent tax on
money entering the country from elsewhere.
|2/15/16 3:52:23 PM|
|Bill to protect minority investors advances|
| Lawmakers are moving to provide more protection
for minority investors in the nation's business
enterprises. The measure is being characterized as a way
to improve the investment climate in the country.
|2/15/16 3:52:24 PM|
|Anniversary prompts memories of the bomb|
| News of the atomic bomb had been released
several days earlier. The Aug. 7 newspapers, at least in
the New York area, did not appear to have photos. So the
historic nature of the event was lost for a few days on
a child not even 3.
|2/15/16 3:52:26 PM|
|Solís is between a rock and a hard place|
| The country's fiscal deficit could be brought
down drastically by cutting the public payroll, reducing
existing and future pensions and capping salaries. None
of this appears to be possible despite promises by
central government officials to take action.
|2/15/16 3:52:28 PM|
|Government still seeking an intelligence agency|
| Casa Presidencial ha included within its recent
agenda for lawmakers the proposal for a non-political
|2/15/16 3:52:35 PM|
|Watch out for Windows 10|
| The system is faster, more efficient and easier
to understand. It is also designed from bottom up to spy
on its users.
|2/15/16 3:52:37 PM|
|Government reports its booze bill is lower|
| The current administration is praising itself
for only spending 37.2 million colons ($70,500) on food
in the last year ending this June and just 7.4 million
($14,000) on alcohol. The amounts are lower than during
the same first year of two prior administrations,
according to an announcement.
|2/15/16 3:52:39 PM|
|Another hidden tourist tax|
| Operators of two local airports have been under
investigation since last year because they have
instituted their own landing fees for passengers,
according to the Dirección General de Aviation Civil.
|2/15/16 3:52:41 PM|
|Genetically modified rice cuts down greenhouse gas|
| Opponents of genetically modified crops will
soon face a conundrum. Rice cultivation is a major
producer of methane, which is a gas 20 times more
effective in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide in
|2/15/16 3:52:42 PM|
|Sala IV makes the expected decision|
| If there ever was a slam-dunk defamation case,
it would be the one that two Caribbean coast expats
could file against the Municipalidad de Talamanca, its
mayor, its council president and dozens of locals who
signed a statement against them.
|2/15/16 3:52:45 PM|
|Pilgrimages are an ancient search for grace|
| Most of the pilgrims on the way to Cartago
today and through Saturday probably do not realize that
what they are doing probably predates even modern
|2/15/16 3:52:47 PM|
|Another flawed report on human trafficking|
| Once again the U.S. State Department issued a
human trafficking report on Costa Rica that failed to
mention that adult prostitution is not penalized here.
This has been a repeated omission from the annual
report, which skews the understanding of the complexity
of the situation.
|2/15/16 3:52:49 PM|
|Emails contributing to the fall of a respected lawyer|
| The prosecution's case against well-known
lawyer Arcelio Hernandez Mussio was aided by emails he
had exchange with U.S. investors.
|2/15/16 3:52:51 PM|
|Government sets rules for those who work in the heat|
| The Consejo de Seguridad Ocupacional has
approved rules that cover employees who work outdoors in
hot conditions. The new rules are linked to an effort to
reduce the cases of kidney failure in Guanacaste, but
they cover the entire country.
|2/15/16 3:52:53 PM|
|Porous borders are flooded with smuggled goods|
| The country's porous borders are continual
scenes of smuggling, and there is no way to figure out
what quantity of merchandise gets through.
|2/15/16 3:52:54 PM|
|Puppy mill operator fined by court|
| An animal welfare organization engineered the
liberation of 64 dogs and followed up with a court
conviction of the owner of an illegal puppy mill.
|2/15/16 3:52:56 PM|
|Tragic story of a locked porton and death|
| When Marnelly Ortiz Bermúdez realized her home
was on fire Tuesday morning, the 35-year-old mother
chased after and grabbed her 2 year old son Jorge Arturo
and raced for the front door.
|2/15/16 3:52:58 PM|
|Road agency plans to spend $40 million for a new building|
| The transport ministry has set Aug. 4 as the
date to pick a contractor to erect a new $40 million
|2/15/16 3:53:00 PM|
|What to do when the corporate books are missing|
| Anyone with a company in Costa Rica is required
to have legal books. The problem is the books are easy
to lose or misplace. It is impossible to do business or
maintain a company without the books. If there are
assets in a company with no books and no person
designated to represent the company, what assets they
hold are locked up and out of reach even to legitimate
|2/15/16 3:53:02 PM|
|Expat financial experts give their opinions|
| None wishes to be named, They fear extortion,
kidnapping or worse. They have become critical observers
of the financial scene, and a few even talk to reporters
to share opinions.
|2/15/16 3:53:04 PM|
|Public employee salaries at center of controversy|
| The state telecom company said it filed a Sala
IV appeal Wednesday to defend the rights of its workers.
The case stems from publication of the salaries the
|2/15/16 3:53:06 PM|
|Youtube video suggests new tourism area|
| Costa Rican tourism operators might be missing
a bet by not embracing cryptozoology, that is the study
pursuit of unknown animals.
|2/15/16 3:53:07 PM|
|Judiciary says to call in your narco tips|
| The Poder Judicial unveiled another aspect of
its plan to attack the possible infiltration of drug
gangs into the judiciary. The plan is to maintain a free
hotline or email account.
|2/15/16 3:53:13 PM|
|Two House members seek IRS relief for expats|
| Democratic and Republican lawmakers are
promoting a change in the U.S. tax rules that would
create what is called the same country exemption.
|2/15/16 3:53:15 PM|
|Tourism and restaurants hard hit by blockades|
| Restaurants and tourism operators were big
losers Wednesday when informal taxi drivers blockaded
major highways. Both the Cámera Nacional de Turismo and
the Cámara Costarricense de Restaurantes deplored the
lack of action by the government.
|2/15/16 3:53:17 PM|
|Canal's impact on Costa Rica called devastating|
| The proposed Nicaraguan canal is completely
within that country, but Costa Ricans are beginning to
realize that the project has a direct impact on this
|2/15/16 3:53:19 PM|
|President tells traffic police to end blockades|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís blamed
blockading taxi drivers for forcing a helicopter
ambulance flight Wednesday. The president did not go far
enough. The security ministry said that two persons died
Wednesday afternoon when the driver tried to avoid a
taxi blockade and pulled in front of a tractor trailer.
|2/15/16 3:53:21 PM|
|There's a lot of wild chemicals in the jungle|
| Expats may not realize that they are living
amid a varieties of psychedelic options. The tropical
jungle is like a big drugstore.
|2/15/16 3:53:22 PM|
|U.N. rights official criticizes China on overseas lapses|
| The U.N. human rights commissioner has
expressed concern that Chinese companies and financing
institutions have little concern about human rights
violations surrounding projects promoted and financed by
them across different countries.
|2/15/16 3:53:24 PM|
|Proposal to double sin tax is revealing|
| The detention of former lawmaker Justo Orozco
focused public attention on the motel trade in Costa
Rica. Orozco is accused of trying to trap a woman in one
of the motel facilities and committing sexual abuse.
|2/15/16 3:53:26 PM|
|Opinions differ dramatically on U.S. fugitive in Cuba|
| One of nearly 100 U.S. fugitives living in Cuba
is Assata Shakur, who was better known to me as JoAnne
Chesimard. She has been called a major league terrorist
but also a revolutionary fighter against imperialism.
|2/15/16 3:53:28 PM|
|How well are you following the news?|
| A little quiz is based on news stories that
have appeared recently.
|2/15/16 3:53:30 PM|
|Domestic cost of medical tourism considered|
| First World governments and academics are
beginning to look at the domestic cost of medical
|2/15/16 3:53:31 PM|
|Notary agency agrees to beef up guarantee fund|
| Notaries will be paying more each month to
guarantee their activities because a Cartago legal
practitioner noticed that the amount had not been raised
|2/15/16 3:53:33 PM|
|Bill would set up a formal medical tourism framework|
| Lawmakers have received a bill that would
create another layer of bureaucracy in the Instituto
Costarricense de Turismo specifically for medical
|2/15/16 3:53:35 PM|
|Prosecutors reveal property theft ring|
| A fraud prosecutor revealed Thursday the
existence of an organized crime enterprise involved in
stealing real estate, mostly from foreigners.
|2/15/16 3:53:36 PM|
|Vast changes sought in broadcasting|
| A legislative proposal seeks to counter the
mostly for-profit model of Costa Rica's radio and
|2/15/16 3:53:38 PM|
|U.S. visa system recovering slowly|
| The U.S. visa system is recovering slowly
although State Department officials are unable to say
exactly what went wrong.
|2/15/16 3:53:40 PM|
|Pork producers ask for government action on prices|
| Costa Rican pork farmers are feeling the impact
of the free trade treaty now, and other agricultural
producers are likely to begin to feel the pinch. Many of
the tariff reductions are staged in over five, 20, 15 or
even 20 years for some chicken parts.
|2/15/16 3:53:45 PM|
|When a kid is missing, phone customers will get a message|
| When a minor is reported missing, law
enforcement and the state telephone company will send a
message and photo to 4 million residents, the security
ministry said Monday.
|2/15/16 3:53:48 PM|
|President faces two options, both bad|
| AN ANALYSIS: Costa Ricans like to think of
themselves as living in a peaceful country where respect
for institutions reigns. That self image is likely to be
put to the test as economic realities force unwanted
|2/15/16 3:53:52 PM|
|Drug sweep includes unregistered medicines|
| Expats who want to bring medicines from their
home country have a tough time when the pills are not
listed with the Ministerio de Salud.
|2/15/16 3:53:55 PM|
|Wal-Mart takes a pounding over tax avoidance|
| Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is being singled out as
a tax dodger because of its creative use of overseas tax
havens and 78 subsidiaries.
|2/15/16 3:53:56 PM|
|Tourism chamber enters the battle over import barriers|
| The national tourism chamber has given backing
to what it called the right of consumers.
|2/15/16 3:53:58 PM|
|U.S. high court supports secret visa denials|
| Costa Ricans who apply here for a visa to enter
the United States never get a detailed reason if they
are denied. This is one of the situations that creates
|2/15/16 3:54:01 PM|
|Here's the story on those unrefrigerated eggs|
| What U.S. expat has not been surprised by flats
and cartons of eggs sitting out on the supermarket
|2/15/16 3:54:03 PM|
|Glitch in ham radio licensing|
| For both a citizen band permit and one of three
classes of an amateur radio license, the decree
specifically calls for a copy of a cédula or DIMEX, the
Documento de Identidad Migratoria para Extranjeros,
issued by the immigration agency.
|2/15/16 3:54:05 PM|
|Tamarindo tries to turn tide on water fatalities|
| When tourists come to Costa Rica's beautiful
beaches they probably are not aware that danger lurks
beneath the waves.
|2/15/16 3:54:07 PM|
|Government tries to defend its drought aid|
| The central government says that its response
to the drought in Guanacaste began with a presidential
decree in September.
|2/15/16 3:54:09 PM|
|A.M. Costa Rica calls for legalizing marijuana and cocaine|
| Regretfully and reluctantly, A.M. Costa Rica
today calls for the legalization of marijuana and
|2/15/16 3:54:11 PM|
|The Caja is not the INS and vice versa|
| Costa Rican workers find the system complex
too. Others cannot cover themselves because it is overly
expensive for them to do so.
|2/15/16 3:54:13 PM|
|Campaign aims to reduce animal road deaths|
| A central Pacific animal welfare organization
has joined a campaign to save the lives of wild animals.
|2/15/16 3:54:14 PM|
|Key figure in case of missing women jailed|
| A man who could be a key witness in the 2010
disappearance of a female tourist in Tamarindo has been
jailed in Denver on a identity theft charge.
|2/15/16 3:54:16 PM|
|San Rafael church restored|
| The neo-Gothic San Rafael Arcángel church is
ready to face another century after an extensive
restoration paid for, in part, by the government.
|2/15/16 3:54:18 PM|
|Missing child bill would put PANI in charge|
| The legislature approved Thursday on first
reading a bill that would create a system of alert when
a minor disappears. Final approval is expected today or
|2/15/16 3:54:20 PM|
|U.S. agrees that hurricane season will be below average|
| The U.S. government's official forecast
anticipates a less active than normal Atlantic hurricane
|2/15/16 3:54:22 PM|
|Both coasts are experiencing extreme weather|
| A good reason exists why farmers and ranchers
along the Pacific coast are suffering. Rain there from
Jan. 1 through Wednesday was about 85 percent lower in
Guanacaste than normal.
|2/15/16 3:54:23 PM|
|Costa Rican soccer chief among those detained in Zurich|
| Swiss police have detained at least 10 soccer
federation officials and associates today on corruption
charges that originated in the United States. Among
those held is Costa Rica soccer federation president
Eduardo Li, according to The New York Times.
|2/15/16 3:54:29 PM|
|New Sixaola bridge to fundamentally change region|
| The new four-lane bridge at Sixaola is expected
to make major changes in the sleepy Caribbean coast and
in the adjacent northern Panamá.
|2/15/16 3:54:31 PM|
|Does the moon influence volcano eruptions?|
| Some Cartago area residents are betting that
the Turrialba volcano will produce a major eruption at
the next full moon, June 2.
|2/15/16 3:54:33 PM|
|What the expat needs to know about insuring workers|
| Having workers compensation for all employees
is the law in Costa Rica.
|2/15/16 3:54:34 PM|
|Proposed national zoning plan makes some land unbuildable|
| A proposed regulation by a government agency
unknown to most expats seeks to impose what appears to
be a national zoning plan. (This plan subsequently was
|2/15/16 3:54:36 PM|
|Cardiologist tells of waits and deaths|
| The drama of the dead heart patients reached
the legislature Thursday when Sofía Bogantes testified.
|2/15/16 3:54:38 PM|
|Tax agency seeks to assume more power|
| A proposed law to fight tax fraud seems to set
up a judicial system within the Dirección General de
|2/15/16 3:54:40 PM|
|U.S. citizens with property woes can't count on embassy|
| U.S. citizens caught in a property scam in
Costa Rica better not expect any help from U.S. Embassy
|2/15/16 3:54:42 PM|
|Are the quakes and volcanoes spawning ghosts|
| If you live near Cartago and you think you are
seeing ghosts, the apparition may not be Aunt Millie.
That also is true out on the Pacific earthquake belt.
|2/15/16 3:54:45 PM|
|Festival report shows serious problems of communication|
| A report on the failed Festival International
de las Artes described a confused bureaucracy, lapses in
communication and lack of institutional oversight.
|2/15/16 3:54:46 PM|
|New stamp features two educational institutions|
| The postal service has issued twin stamps
marking the country's educational achievements.
|2/15/16 3:54:48 PM|
|Starting a new payroll can be a pain|
| Putting a worker on a new legal payroll as
required by law is a pain. Not making an employee legal
is asking for trouble.
|2/15/16 3:54:50 PM|
|$3.3 million tourism campaign appears to be lagging|
| The tourism institute's $3.3 million year-long
promotional scheme is at the halfway mark, and an
evaluation of the key Web sites shows that the campaign
is not very popular in it target markets.
|2/15/16 3:54:53 PM|
|Couple honored for 40 years of success|
| People in business say that anyone who starts
and keeps a company running here for a year deserves a
medal. How about 40 years?
|2/15/16 3:54:54 PM|
|July 4 picnic will be on July 4|
| The American Colony Committee has quietly
posted an invitation to U.S. citizens for the annual
July 4 picnic. The day is a Saturday, but the committee
said it still will be able to use the Cervercería Costa
Rica grounds just off the General Cañas Autopista west
of San José.
|2/15/16 3:54:56 PM|
|Legislature asked to standardize tax-free rules|
| A proposed law now in the legislature would
make fundamental changes to the way Costa Rica provides
exoneration from taxes for certain activities and
|2/15/16 3:54:59 PM|
|Turrialba expected to continue burping|
| The prediction for the Turrialba volcano is not
what air travelers want to hear. A volcano expert said
Tuesday that the mountain will be having its ups and
downs over the next few months.
|2/15/16 3:55:00 PM|
|Dry law comes under fire from chambers|
| The tourism, hotels and restaurant chambers
have issued a blunt criticism of the 27 municipalities
that enforced a dry law over Semana Santa.
|2/15/16 3:55:02 PM|
|Readers tell their stories of being scammed|
| The two articles that follow by readers were in
response to news stories about the problem of property
theft in Costa Rica.
|2/15/16 3:55:14 PM|
|New legislative leadership opposes higher taxes|
| A change in the legislative leadership means
that the executive branch will have a harder time
getting new taxes approved.
|2/15/16 3:55:16 PM|
|Real estate fraud has its human costs, too|
| News stories about property thefts and similar
scams that steal from expats and would-be expats usually
feature the economic loss. Not as often do news stories
address the physical, psychological and emotional
|2/15/16 3:55:18 PM|
|Anglican church gets its own stamp|
| The nation's postal service has honored the
downtown Anglican church, El Buen Pastor, on its 150th
|2/15/16 3:55:20 PM|
|Vandal attacks bridge at container terminal site|
| Someone inflicted damage on the bridge erected
over the Rio Moín to provide access to the APM Terminals
construction site, said the Consejo Nacional de
|2/15/16 3:55:22 PM|
|Isla de Coco treasure is subject of spoof|
| Costa Rica's financial troubles are over,
according to a sometimes clever online publication. The
publication reported in March that park rangers in Isla
del Coco discovered the long lost Treasure of Lima,
which now is worth $200 million.
|2/15/16 3:55:24 PM|
|Real estate scams are bummers for expats|
| At least several times a month a reader send an
email to describe how they have been defrauded in a real
estate deal in Costa Rica.
|2/15/16 3:55:25 PM|
|Expats may get a second chance at dumping corporations|
| The legislature is cooking up a new tax law on
companies. Of course, they are. The country does not
want to lose any tax revenue.
|2/15/16 3:55:27 PM|
|Vehicle noise covered by new rules|
| The Dirección General de la Policía de Tránsito
will have new rules after Oct. 23 to crack down on loud
|2/15/16 3:55:29 PM|
|Volcano ash once again halts air traffic|
| Mother Nature delivered another blow to the
country Thursday when an eruption of the Turriabla
volcano let to the closing of Juan Santamaría airport in
Alajuela and the Tobias Bolaños runway in Pavas.
|2/15/16 3:55:31 PM|
|First World dominates happiness index|
| So what happens when your country is no longer
listed as the happiest in the world? At the very least,
that misleading claim cannot longer be used to lure
tourists. Costa Rica was once listed as the happiest
nation. This year the country is listed in 12th place
just three spots above the United States.
|2/15/16 3:55:33 PM|
|Classic Tico tale considered racist|
| The long-running battle to ban the book
"Cocorí" and artistic works related to it has flared
again. The minister of Cultura y Juventud, Elizabeth
Fonseca Corrales, has yanked the funding for a series of
orchestral performances based on the book that were to
be given to schoolchildren
|2/15/16 3:55:35 PM|
|Nature caught genetically modifying a food crop|
| The battle by Costa Rican opponents to
genetically modified crops took a surprising turn
Tuesday. Researchers from Ghent University and the
International Potato Institute said they discovered that
sweet potatoes naturally contain genes from a bacterium,
according to a summary from the university.
|2/15/16 3:55:36 PM|
|Judicial report mainly history with older data|
| The report on the state of Costa Rican justice
reads more like a history text and does not address
|2/15/16 3:55:38 PM|
|Plans outlined for the Limón international airport|
| Promoters of a $700 million international
airport in Limón said they had difficulty generating
interest under the Laura Chinchilla government, but now
the Solís administration appears to favor the proposal.
|2/15/16 3:55:40 PM|
|Law enforcement struggles to find solutions|
| Law enforcement officials are struggling to
find solutions for increasing murders, drug smuggling
and other crimes that suggest failure of the country's
|2/15/16 3:55:41 PM|
|Kid glove treatment in potential home invasion case|
| Of the four men found in a vehicle Saturday
night with firearms, two-way radios, gloves, ski masks
and plastic ties for presumed victims, only one has been
ordered into preventative detention.
|2/15/16 3:55:43 PM|
|Home invasion epidemic has predictable results|
| The murder of a Pacific coast B&B owner
during a home invasion is the logical consequence of an
upswing in this form of crime.
|2/15/16 3:55:44 PM|
|Figueres outlines a 10-year plan for government|
| José María Figueres, the man many see as the
country's next president, met Thursday with Luis
Guillermo Solís and later said that the uncertain fiscal
situation cannot be resolved just with more taxes.
|2/15/16 3:55:49 PM|
|Confidence in government continues to decline|
| As the central government plans to present
legislation to raise taxes, the private sector is
circling the wagons.
|2/15/16 3:55:51 PM|
|Expat acquitted in defamation case|
| A three-judge panel Wednesday acquitted expat
Sheldon Haseltine of defamation in the latest
development in his 17-year battle over property.
|2/15/16 3:55:53 PM|
|Popular expat on Pacific dies after home invader injury|
| A 74-year-old B&B operator from Playa
Langosta died Tuesday morning from a beating
administered April 1 by home invaders, said the Judicial
|2/15/16 3:55:55 PM|
|Government tightens rules on that 'fiscal value'|
| Costa Rican lawmakers have moved to crack down
on a long-running practice that has cost the country
untold millions in property transfer taxes.
|2/15/16 3:55:56 PM|
|New British law adds weight to identifying shareholders here|
| The United Kingdom has moved to curb abuse of
anonymous companies, which are widely used for tax
evasion and criminal purposes.
|2/15/16 3:55:58 PM|
|Credit card debt keeps increasing|
| An economics ministry report earlier this week
showed that Costa Ricans owe 933 billion colons or about
$1.77 billion on their 5 million-plus credit cards. A
check of a similar report June 10, 2013, shows that the
debt has increased some $293 million from 729 billion
|2/15/16 3:56:00 PM|
|Big and small, congregations profess faith|
| Catholics by the hundreds turned out Monday
night for a procession in downtown San José. The walk
from the Mercado Borbón to the Catedral Metropolitana
made the television nightly news.
|2/15/16 3:56:02 PM|
|Costa Ricans owe $1.77 billion in credit card debt|
| The economics ministry is emphasizing the
impact of high consumer interest rates.
|2/15/16 3:56:05 PM|
|Condo ownership may hold hidden pitfalls|
| Gated communities in Costa Rica are
double-edged swords. They usually give residents more
security but take away individual rights at the same
time. Ley 7933, Ley Reguladora de la Propiedad en
Condominio, or the law to regulate condominium property
is to blame.
|2/15/16 3:56:07 PM|
|An unspoiled forest close to San José|
| Less than an hour from San José one the most
accessible spots in the national park system allows a
short hike through untouched forest. The Quebrada
González station is just off the main Braulio Carrillo
highway in the park of the same name.
|2/15/16 3:56:09 PM|
|Administration embarks on a major anti-poverty push|
| The Solís administration announced a pan
Thursday to reduce extreme poverty. One innovation is to
assign social workers to supervise poor families and
their use of government services.
|2/15/16 3:56:10 PM|
|Festival promotes transformative power of culture)|
| The culture ministry is making a $1.5 million
bet that cantons outside San José Centro will appreciate
|2/15/16 3:56:12 PM|
|Believe it or not, eruptions tend to have cooling effect|
| Volcán Turrialba has been emitting as much as
5,000 tons of sulfur dioxide a day.
Volcanoes are some of those unpredictable factors that influence climate change calculations.
|2/15/16 3:56:14 PM|
|Expats in Golfito face growing wave of criminality|
| Expats in the Golfito area say they are under
siege from home invaders and other varieties of crooks.
|2/15/16 3:56:15 PM|
|Science requires much more than sincerity|
| OUR EDITORIAL: Most of those who will gather
Tuesday to hear Steven Druker and Jane Goodall condemn
genetically modified crops probably are sincere. They
share the same fears about science that Mary
Wollstonecraft Shelley exploited in her 1816 novel,
|2/15/16 3:56:18 PM|
|Modified food opponents likely to renew the controversy|
| Two crusaders against genetically modified
crops will present their case Friday at a press
conference. They are U.S. lawyer Steven Druker, who has
been campaigning against modified crops for more than 25
years, and chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall, who
lately has turned her attention to plants.
|2/15/16 3:56:19 PM|
|Iguana: It's what's for dinner|
| Police said they stopped three men carrying a
suspicious bag in Tortuguero Wednesday. Officers quickly
found that the bag contained three iguana.
|2/15/16 3:56:24 PM|
|Pre-Colombian Tico may have pioneered the modern papaya|
| Ancient plant breeders in Guanacaste may have
created the papaya fruit that is found in stores today.
|2/15/16 3:56:26 PM|
|Ireland survived centuries of colonialism|
| The poster child for colonial blunders has to
be Ireland, a tiny island divided by religion and
|2/15/16 3:56:28 PM|
|Milk cows near Turrialba have dangerous disease|
| Animal health workers have uncovered 44 cases
of brucellosis in cows grazing around the Volcán
Turrialba. The infected animals present a danger for
persons who drink their unpasteurized milk.
|2/15/16 3:56:30 PM|
|Corporate tax still is very much alive|
| Many Ticos and expats believe the law that
assesses a yearly tax on companies in Costa Rica is dead
because of a recent Sala IV ruling finding parts of it
unconstitutional. Some people are still years behind in
their payments and are not a bit worried. They should
|2/15/16 3:56:31 PM|
|Top U.S. general warns of Islamic State infiltration in Americas|
| The top U.S. general in South America is
warning lawmakers on Capitol Hill of areas of weakness
where Islamic State fighters could attempt to infiltrate
the Western Hemisphere.
|2/15/16 3:56:33 PM|
|Some lawmakers balk at plans for new taxes|
| Not only Costa Rican business operators and
investors are concerned about plans for new taxes. The
major opposition party in the legislature spoke out
against the plans Wednesday.
|2/15/16 3:56:35 PM|
|Readers and news sources may be in NSA's files|
| Readers may or may not be involved in the
National Security Agency’s mass interception of online
communications between individuals in the United States
|2/15/16 3:56:37 PM|
|Draft of new tax laws posted for comments|
| A proposed change in the nation's sales tax
laws would raise some 600 billion colons or about $1.34
billion a year in new income for the government.
|2/15/16 3:56:38 PM|
|Proposed decree taxes foreign money transfers|
| The Banca para el Desarrollo creates a way
small businesses can obtain financing. The project has
been approved by the legislature. A little known fact is
that the government is expecting to skim money from
foreign capital leaving the country to finance the
|2/15/16 3:56:40 PM|
|Piercy says his abduction was an extortion|
| Ryan Piercy said Monday that his abduction was
an attempt of extortion toward Casa Canada.
|2/15/16 3:56:42 PM|
|Need any cement? it might become cheaper|
| The economics ministry said Friday that it had
issued modifications in the regulations covering cement
that eliminate technical obstacles for selling the
|2/15/16 3:56:44 PM|
|Plans advance for a four-lane bridge at Sixaola|
| Costa Rican officials hope to begin design work
on a new Sixaola bridge later this year after the
project works its way through the mandatory approval
|2/15/16 3:56:46 PM|
|Tsunami: The infrequent danger on the Caribbean, too|
| The danger of a tsunami is not restricted to
the Costa Rican Pacific coast. The Caribbean has the
potential for a devastating series of tall waves,
according to the scientific literature.
|2/15/16 3:56:48 PM|
|St. Patrick's Day could be a bit expensive|
| Expats planning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day
will have to dig down deep because the local liquor
outlets are selling Jameson for 26,000 colons a bottle.
That's more than $50, and that's not even for the
top-shelf fluid that has languished in barrels for
|2/15/16 3:56:50 PM|
|Expats need to be aware of fake or illegal drugs|
| Expats frequently face the problem of
counterfeit products, be it razor blades or even kitchen
appliances. But even more dangerous to the health are
counterfeit drugs that may not even contain any of the
chemicals needed for an ailment.
|2/15/16 3:56:52 PM|
|Cloud accounting is a boon for expats and snowbirds|
| Times are changing. Cloud accounting is here
and here to stay. It is scalable, cost-effective and
easy to use. This is great news for expats, tourists and
|2/15/16 3:56:54 PM|
|Household solar generating might be in trouble|
| A decision on solar power by the nation's
regulatory agency has a local firm suggesting that
government interests are sabotaging the idea.
|3/2/15 3:43:52 AM|
|Bill to help tourism firms still tied up in legislature|
| A bill in the legislature is designed to
salvage tourism operations that are in financial
|2/26/15 3:12:00 AM|
|Climate change arguments seem to be one-sided|
| AN EDITORIAL: The much-promoted scientific
consensus on human-induced global warming is troubling.
At one point the scientific consensus was that the earth
is flat and that the sun revolves around it.
|2/25/15 3:43:10 AM|
|Environmentalists join chorus over Talamanca letter|
| One of the major ecological organization in the
country has denounced the Municipalidad de Talamanca for
what it called its dangerous intolerance of
|2/24/15 4:20:59 AM|
|Ryan Piercy returns home, but questions linger|
| Ryan Piercy has returned home, but many
questions remain about his disappearance.
|2/23/15 2:54:07 AM|
|Mayor officially brands expats as troublemakers|
| Expats who complain too much about Costa Rica
sometimes are told to go home if they do not like living
here. Two expats who live on the southern Caribbean
coast have the unusual distinction of being told that
officially by the mayor of their canton, Talamanca.
|2/20/15 4:42:01 AM|
|Proposed law would make culture a human right|
| Lawmakers are considering a proposed law that
would regulate culture. The proposal goes far beyond
simply reforming the government culture organizations
and imposes obligations on members of the public.
|2/19/15 2:51:14 AM|
|Hacienda outlines its extensive rentals|
| Much has been written about government
salaries, but less known are the expenses needed to keep
employees at work.
|2/19/15 2:50:49 AM|
|Osa peninsula route to be improved|
| Highway officials plan to make the route from
Puerto Jiménez to Carate in the Osa peninsula an
all-weather road. This is about 43 kilometers, and the
job will take five of those metal bailey bridges.
|2/18/15 3:20:53 AM|
|Mixed signals on future of economy|
| There are mixed signals from the economy. On
the one hand, the confidence of a panel of business
leaders has dropped 8 percent.
|2/18/15 3:20:27 AM|
|Solis administration becomes a publisher|
| These days almost anyone with a computer can
set up an online news Web site. And that includes
President Luis Guillermo Solís.
|2/17/15 3:41:13 AM|
|Zoning for Carrillo was a long time in coming|
| Once upon a time, long ago, there were zoning
plans up and down the coast of Guanacaste for the Zona
Maritimo Terrestre. This area is known to most as Costa
Rica’s ZMT or the maritime zone. Most plans originated
in the 80s. There have been some modifications to them
throughout the years, but not many.
|2/16/15 3:02:27 AM|
|Employment statistics are complex|
| A report that said unemployment has increased
in the last four months of 2014 brought quick government
responses. However, the employment situation with
220,000 persons reported out of work is only represented
partly by these numbers.
|2/13/15 2:39:57 AM|
|Some motor fuel could be better|
| Last year 57 of the nation's gasoline station
were found to be deficient in from one to four technical
rules involving their product.
|2/12/15 4:01:32 AM|
|Agents seek links to officials in gun plot|
| Organized crime prosecutors and judicial
investigators conducted 12 searches Tuesday including
three at offices of the Ministerio de Seguridad. They
were seeking evidence of a major conspiracy involving
illegal arms sales.
|2/11/15 3:56:38 AM|
|Heritage site comes complete with ghostly tales|
| The sanatorium that now bears the doctor's name
is considered a national heritage site and restoration
will begin this year. Cartago lawmakers hope the
refurbished complex becomes a tourism draw.
|2/10/15 3:39:07 AM|
|Tourism seen as an economic boost for Puriscal|
| The central government as been asked to help
increase tourism to the canton of Puriscal, which is
midway between the central canton of San José and the
|2/9/15 3:06:15 AM|
|Residents association says Ryan Piercy is a kidnap victim|
| The residents association broke its silence on
the whereabouts of Ryan Piercy Thursday and told members
that the organization's general manager had been
|2/6/15 2:12:36 AM|
|Wednesday was a bad day for the Caja|
| More problem surfaced Wednesday with the
nation's public heath provider. This is the system that
legal expats are required to join, although many prefer
to obtain medical services elsewhere.
|2/6/15 2:12:10 AM|
|Why Latin Americans might be suspicious of the U.S|
| Expats frequently meet unexpected anti-American
opinions when they drift into discussions of world
affairs with Latin Americans. There are plenty of valid
reasons for that, but most new expats who have relied on
the U.S. media for years never really have been exposed
to the Latin side of the story.
|2/5/15 2:40:46 AM|
|Government's bite being passed to consumers|
| Reporters are receiving reports of merchants
jacking up prices by 1.78 to 2 percent to compensate for
the bite the tax agency is taking from credit and debit
|2/4/15 3:44:11 AM|
|Police oversee evictions on Pacific coast|
| Judicial workers, including three judges, began
evicting residents on a tract in Herradura on the
|2/3/15 3:53:06 AM|
|Wise expats plan to make graceful exits|
| Asking a friend or loved one to take care of
one’s funeral arrangements is one way of planning. Why
put the burden on someone else?
|2/3/15 3:52:31 AM|
|Sala IV addicted to legislating|
| AN EDITORIAL: Some expats are surprised that
the constitutional court could find the corporate tax
law unconstitutional yet still encourage collection
through the end of this year.
|2/2/15 1:51:50 AM|
|Quepos will be called Quepos under proposed law|
| Lawmakers acted Thursday to rename the canton
of Aguirre and to have it called the canton of Quepos,
the name of the major community there.
|1/30/15 3:59:59 AM|
|You still have to pay the unconstitutional tax|
| The Sala IV constitutional court struck down as
unconstitutional Wednesday key parts of the 2011 tax on
corporations. But the magistrates ruled that operators
of corporations will have to pay the tax for 2015.
|1/29/15 3:36:33 AM|
|Employers say they lack confidence in government|
| The private employers chamber says that is
members are losing confidence in the government, and
this is one reason there are 228,000 persons jobless in
|1/29/15 3:35:54 AM|
|Sea Shepherd minces no words|
| The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says it
is dismayed by the acquittal of seven men in the murder
of environmental activist Jairo Mora Sandoval.
|1/28/15 3:18:21 AM|
|Emotional reactions to acquittal in murder of conservationist|
| There was widespread surprise and condemnation
Monday when a court in Limón acquitted seven men in the
murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval.
|1/28/15 3:15:04 AM|
|This would not be the first blizzard|
| As the extended family gathered around the tree
Christmas evening, as was the custom, we thought a lot
about Papa Tom and not much about the quiet snow
beginning to fall outside.
|1/27/15 3:54:42 AM|
|Restaurants are having a hard time|
| Times are hard for Costa Rican restaurants.
Even owners admit the field is saturated with new
restaurants opening frequently.
|1/26/15 3:15:41 AM|
|Ryan Piercy still is missing|
| The Judicial Investigating Organization said
Thursday that there had been no new developments in the
case of Ryan Piercy, the missing general manager of the
Association of Residents of Costa Rica.
|1/26/15 3:15:08 AM|
|Growth in 2014 tourism not as robust as elsewhere|
| Costa Rica with a 4.1 percent increase in
tourism in 2014 lagged behind all but Panamá and
Honduras in the percentage of growth.
|1/22/15 3:24:51 AM|
|Some tourism firms get a break on 2 percent bite|
| Tourism operators and travel agencies will not
be subject to the 2 percent retention on credit and
debit card transactions.
|1/22/15 3:24:18 AM|
|Rey Curre to stage Juegos de los Diablitos|
| The Boruca residents of Rey Curré present their
version of Juegos de los Diablitos from late Thursday,
Jan., 29 to Sunday, Feb. 1.
|1/21/15 3:51:04 AM|
|The goal is 4 percent growth in 2015|
| The president's economic panel said Monday that
it seeks a 4 percent growth for Costa Rica in 2015.
|1/21/15 3:50:37 AM|
|Ancient musical instrument and masters honored here|
| Two men from Guanacaste who are masters of the
instrument have been honored by the Costa Rican culture
|1/20/15 4:05:09 AM|
|How to safeguard that money transfer|
| Anyone living in Costa Rica who moves money in
an out of the country needs to know about wire transfers
and the terms that surround them. Those that do not will
end up waiting for their money because it will get lost
or returned. Usually this is because incorrect
information is on a wire transfer form.
|1/19/15 3:30:13 AM|
|(Cuba looms bigger as a tourism competitor|
| The impact of Cuban tourism on Costa Rica is
imminent. The U.S. Treasury says new rules relaxing
restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba will be
implemented beginning today.
|1/19/15 3:29:42 AM|
|Loggerhead turtles seem to have a magnetic map in the head|
| Adult sea turtles find their way back to the
beaches where they hatched by seeking out unique
magnetic signatures along the coast, according to new
evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current
|1/16/15 4:26:03 AM|
|Caja reverses itself on spousal coverage|
| The nation's public health provider now
promises that it will not discriminate against family
members of foreign residents.
|1/15/15 3:53:39 AM|
|President wants to expedite animal protection bill|
| Ever since 2002 when the Sala IV found an
animal protection law unconstitutional for technical
reasons, Costa Rica has not had strong regulations
|1/14/15 3:41:55 AM|
|Expat compensated for brutal and illegal arrest|
| A long-time U.S. expat suffered injuries in
what a court called an abusive and disproportionate
arrest based on a mystery warrant.
|1/13/15 3:41:41 AM|
|Details sought on strategic alliance with China|
| Business leaders and opposition politicians are
anxious to hear the details of what the Costa Rican
president describes as a strategic alliance with the
People's Republic of China.
|1/13/15 3:41:13 AM|
|Newspaper offices always have been prime targets|
| The tragic attack on a French magazine points
out the vulnerability of publication offices. Such
offices have been targets for centuries regardless of
the politics involved.
|1/12/15 3:07:55 AM|
|Investigation begun of tourist boat disaster|
| With 106 persons safely on land and plans being
made to handle the remains of three dead passengers, the
investigation has begun
|1/9/15 3:24:13 AM|
|Three die in tourists boat mishap in Gulf of Nicoya|
| A tourist boat carrying 120 passengers and 10
crew members capsized in the Gulf of Nicoya Thursday,
and at least three persons died.<
|1/8/15 3:01:22 AM|
|Watchdog critical of how land exit tax is handled|
| The nation's financial watchdog has issued a
critical report on the $5 land exit tax This is the tax
that individuals pay when they leave the country at any
of the four border crossing.
|1/8/15 3:00:54 AM|
|Costa Rican fly is a headhunter|
| While watching tiny flies in tropical forests
in Brazil, Giar-Ann Kung puzzledly remarked to Brian
Brown "they are cutting the ant heads off!" This
unexpected find led to the discovery of a grisly new
type of behavior reported this month in Biodiversity
|1/7/15 2:54:59 AM|
|Inflation slowed in the last six months|
| Accumulated inflation in 2014 was 5.13 percent,
but the good news is that the trend is down.
|1/7/15 2:54:33 AM|
|Country's credit card debt is ample|
| here are 1,872,149 credit cards in circulation
in Costa Rica,and the average debt represented by each
card is 458,852 colons, according to the economics
|1/6/15 2:31:21 AM|
|There may be ways to lessen impact of luxury tax|
| Law 8683 taxes are due Jan. 15. Many expats and
foreigners having a property with house on it in Costa
Rica are confused about this tax. Some pay it when they
should not be doing so. Most people refer to this
assessment as the luxury tax.
|1/6/15 2:30:53 AM|
|Plenty of injuries in the bull ring|
| The bulls have stopped running at three
locations in the Central Valley, and plenty of Costa
Ricans will be limping and holding their ribs for some
|1/5/15 2:22:20 AM|
|Wind spews garbage all over metro area|
| Wind up to 85 kph (53 mph) chilled the Central
Valley Sunday, a continuation of the effects of the high
pressure area that still is over the Caribbean.
|1/5/15 2:21:55 AM|
|Fireworks blamed for fires|
| Fire fighters had to handle five structural
fires in the waning hours of 2014 and early Thursday. A
hot-air globe got the blame for one blaze, and fireworks
were blamed for the others.
|1/2/15 3:35:09 AM|
|New minimum wages for 2015 listed|
| The labor ministry has posted the new minimum
wages by job category for the first half of 2015.
|1/2/15 3:34:41 AM|
|The animals are doing the inviting|
| Now that an Atlanta ad agency has activated the
country's promotional Web sites, it appears animals are
inviting North Americans to visit.
|12/31/14 3:58:33 AM|
|New stamp honors traditional Costa Rican foods|
| Four food favorites are featured this year on a
special postal emission that raises money for the Ciudad
de los Niños.
|12/30/14 2:39:20 AM|
|Investigators seeking out bus terminal crooks|
| Plenty of tourists have had their visit marred
by bus terminal crooks. Every San Jose´terminal and
similar locations in other communities are hunting
grounds for baggage thieves.
|12/29/14 3:01:12 AM|
|Bull baiting is in full flower|
| The bull baiting at Zapote began on schedule
Thursday afternoon with an introduction by the San José
mayor, Sandra García Pérez. Accompanying her was a Roman
Catholic priest who provided a blessing, an appropriate
action for what was to come.
|12/29/14 3:00:10 AM|
|It's the upward slope for January|
| Costa Ricans call it the cuesta de enero,
meaning the January slope. And the slope is upwards and
|12/24/14 2:26:40 AM|
|Pacific is not always placid|
| Visitors won't find the information in tourist
publications, but Costa Rica's Pacific beaches are
|12/23/14 3:06:35 AM|
|Corporate tax up slightly, but traffic fines go higher|
| The judicial salary on which many fines and
taxes are based increased just 4,000 colons for 2015.
|12/23/14 3:06:07 AM|
|U.S. Senate staffers suggest residency-based taxation|
| U.S. expats here who are victims of the many
tax rules and regulations issued by the Internal Revenue
Service may get a break.
|12/22/14 2:35:23 AM|
|Dollar weakens slightly again|
| The U.S. dollar is weakening slightly against
the Costa Rican colon. The value still is better that
this time last year, and there are significant
improvements expected ahead.
|12/18/14 3:35:14 AM|
|Another curve from the Caja|
| Some expats are unhappy because they feel the
state health provider has thrown them a financial curve.
Foreign residents must affiliate with the Caja
Costarricense de Seguro Social whether they want to use
the health services or not. But in the last month, the
Caja has declined to allow spouses to join as part of a
|12/17/14 3:54:23 AM|
|Tonight is the first night of Las Posadas|
| A good way to get acquainted better with the
neighbors is to participate in the traditional Las
Posadas. Today marks the beginning of the Christmas
tradition that stems from Spain long ago.
|12/17/14 3:53:57 AM|
|Museo National celebrates U.N. designation of spheres|
| The Museo Nacional will open an exhibition
Wednesday featuring the locations in southern Costa Rica
where the stone spheres are found.
|12/16/14 3:22:23 AM|
|Solis withdraws veto to law strengthening employee rights|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís praised his
rescue of a new labor code as something that is just and
|12/16/14 3:21:51 AM|
|Chilly and wet opening to Christmas season|
| Hundreds of thousands braved wet and chilly
weather Saturday to witness the Festival de la Luz, the
gigantic Christmas parade. Although the country may not
be facing a wave of head colds and respiratory
infections, only some 30 persons were treated by cold
-related conditions Saturday. At least two were true
|12/16/14 3:21:25 AM|
|Editorial: tourism promotion is too late and too little|
| Two questions arose when the tourism institute
announced its $3.3 million promotional campaign for the
U.S. and Canada Thursday. Why so late, and why so
|12/15/14 4:06:03 AM|
|Tourism institute chooses non-traditional promotion|
| The nation's tourism ministry outlined its
year-long, $3.3 million promotional scheme for the
United States and Canada Thursday. The campaign targets
bored office workers with a two-minute video with a
reworked African sound track and plans to have urban
window washers promote the country on their scaffolds.
|12/12/14 3:54:26 AM|
|Virus could take toll on tourism|
| The outbreak of the chikungunya virus is
expected to take its toll on tourism. Health officials
said Wednesday that those vacationing in the areas where
there is the viral outbreak should use mosquito
repellent in the early morning and in the evenings.
|12/12/14 3:54:02 AM|
|In Nicoya, it's the 470th annual fiesta|
| The community of Nicoya is celebrating this
week what probably is a tradition at least 470 years
old. It is the celebration in honor of the Virgen de
Guadalupe. The religious festival is being sponsored in
part by the Municipalidad de Nicoya.
|12/11/14 3:40:47 AM|
|Ticos hate taxes but love government, survey shows|
| Although the majority of citizens and residents
do not favor new taxes, they favor a strong role of
government in basic utilities and education.
|12/11/14 3:40:18 AM|
|Expats are certainly generous|
| If there is one word that describes expats in
Costa Rica it is generous. Across the land expats dig
down to help their neighbors, their employees and their
Tico friends. This is not required, but so very often a
little big of extra money goes a long way toward
improving a life.
|12/10/14 3:09:20 AM|
|Solís outlines a different type of education|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís came out Monday
in support of a broad-ranging education system that does
not only instruct but promotes a number of socially
|12/8/14 3:29:43 AM|
|Tourism institute plans a big campaign|
| The tourism institute plans to reveal a
two-year promotions plan targeting the United States and
|12/5/14 3:42:16 AM|
|70 percent do not follow through on violence claims|
| Last year some 70 percent of women who obtained
domestic violence restraints failed to follow through,
according to the judiciary, and a campaign had been
started to decrease the number of dropout.
|12/5/14 3:41:41 AM|
|Museum plans a Christmas festival|
| The Museo Nacional plans a Christmas festival
Dec. 11, and the event includes the blessing of the
museum's portal or nativity scene.
|12/4/14 2:56:24 AM|
|Costa Rica stagnant on transparency's index|
| Pubic perceptions of corruption here have not
changed much, according to the Transparency
International index released Tuesday.
|12/3/14 3:41:10 AM|
|President bets on creating entrepreneurs|
| The central government seems to be putting
heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship to boost the national
|12/2/14 3:24:07 AM|
|Final exit requires a little planning|
| Expats do not always get what they want in
Costa Rica. Even in death. Many want to be cremated. It
is the most practical solution because a normal body is
reduced to about six pounds of granular material that
can easily be shipped home or scattered.
|12/1/14 4:11:09 AM|
|On trail of kidney ills, study illuminates a brutal job|
| Sugar cane harvesters often reached recommended
heat limits as early as 8 a.m. and risk adverse health
effects throughout the rest of the daily shift,
according to a three-year study.
|11/28/14 3:46:10 AM|
|Domestic workers and kids getting more protection|
| Domestic workers and children will benefit from
unrelated developments outlined Wednesday.
|11/28/14 3:45:40 AM|
|Coastal zoning plans said to be chaotic|
| No coastal canton in Costa Rica has a zoning
plan that covers its entire area, said the Contraloría
de la República in a report summarized Wednesday.
|11/27/14 2:49:09 AM|
|Actions planned to help abused women|
| Tuesday was a day to oppose violence against
women. In the morning there was a parade. At the
legislature, lawmaker Rolando González Ulloa declared
that the patriarchal state should be combated at it
roots. Youngsters should be educated so as not to repeat
the errors of their fathers, he added.
|11/26/14 4:15:36 AM|
|Police actions expose drug wars to public view|
| The nation's hidden drug wars that have
resulted in so many murders burst into public view with
police actions Monday.
|11/25/14 3:27:44 AM|
|Turkey is not a loss leader here|
| Those frozen turkeys on display at local
supermarkets can give sticker shock. A 10-kilo bird
imported from the United States can run 30,000 colons or
more than $55.
|11/25/14 3:26:41 AM|
|Why you should wash those veggies and finger fruits|
| Expats accustomed to not having to think much
about parasites in Costa Rica, in contrast to other
places where amoebas lurk in every ice cube, shouldn’t
forget about Angiostrongylus costaricensis.
|11/24/14 2:59:36 AM|
|Here's how to save a bundle on your municipal tax|
| Expats homeowners can save significant amounts
of money on municipal taxes if they file an assessment
of value before Dec. 1. Although current values still
are in force, some municipalities are accepted the new
valuations early, according to the Ministerio de
|11/24/14 2:59:13 AM|
|Sounds good, but we need details|
| Barack Obama's timid effort to protect millions
of illegal immigrants in the United States appears to
make sense. The Devil is in the details, as they say, so
a full evaluation cannot be done until the full plan is
|11/21/14 2:56:21 AM|
|Wave of murders chills Desamparados|
| The canton of Desamparados, the most populous
in the country, has become the murder capital. The bulk
of the killings appear to be related to a territorial
|11/21/14 2:55:55 AM|
|Home invaders ruin life of Canadians in Costa Rica|
| Robert Gill fought back when bandits invaded
his Caribbean property. So the crooks pistol whipped the
75 year old and left him for dead. His wife, a few yards
away, saw the attack and then was confronted by a masked
man demanding "Dinero, Dinero" and wielding a knife. She
was dumped from a hammock and watched as the crook
scooped up money, a computer, a cell phone, a camera and
her husband's wallet.
|11/20/14 3:16:04 AM|
|Consumer survey says some supermarkets are not truthful|
| Supermarkets in Costa Rica may be faster and
looser than expats became accustomed in their home
countries. The consumer section of the economics
ministry in its most recent foray into retail found
short weights, trick pricing and special promotion where
the shopper would end up paying more.
|11/20/14 3:15:38 AM|
|Expat investors wonder what Milanes will do next|
| Expats and others who believe they have been
defrauded by Luis Milanes Tamayo have been trying to get
the Cuban-American to vacate the Europa Hotel in
downtown San José.
|11/19/14 3:51:11 AM|
|Judiciary appeals to itself over budget cuts|
| The Poder Judicial said Monday that it has
appealed to the Poder Judicial to declare that national
budget cuts are outside the guidelines of the
|11/19/14 3:50:43 AM|
|Government will back Mega Terminal of the Americas|
| The central government said Monday that it is
supporting plans for a second giant container terminal
in the Limón port of Moín.
|11/18/14 2:36:14 AM|
|Despite holidays, unemployment is a challenge|
| The holiday season will bring a bump in
employment as retailers put on extra salespeople. There
are some estimates of an increase of 10 percent in the
workforce, but they may be over optimistic. Manpower
Group, the employment agency, predicts a 4 percent
increase in fourth quarter jobs and calls this the
weakest increase since 2009.
|11/17/14 3:32:38 AM|
|Clear roadway of minor accidents, bill says|
| A unique aspect of the Costa Rican highway laws
is that in the event of an accident, even a minor one,
the motorists are supposed to keep the vehicles
stationary in the highway until police and accident
|11/14/14 3:24:39 AM|
|Food marketers come out against new taxes|
| The nation's food marketing chamber has issued
the first organized challenge to the central
government's plan for a 15 percent value-added tax.
|11/14/14 3:24:08 AM|
|Sala IV says Constitution is unconstitutional|
| The Sala IV constitutional court once again has
decided that a section of the Costa Rican Constitution
is unconstitutional. The decision, released after a vote
Wednesday, allows Melvin Jiménez Marín to continue
serving as minister of the Presidencia. a powerful
position in the executive branch.
|11/13/14 3:14:48 AM|
|Visitor from Ecuador goes into record book|
| A bird species has been recently added to the
official North American list kept by the American
Ornithologists’ Union based on new record from Costa
Rica. The waved albatross was documented for the first
time in Costa Rican waters by a fisherman with a cell
|11/13/14 3:14:24 AM|
|Sales tax forgiveness goes to lawmakers|
| The executive branch took a strategic step
Tuesday to defend its claim that tourists involved in
many activities will have to pay sales tax.
|11/11/14 3:17:05 AM|
|Lawmakers ducked chance to help property scam victims|
| Legislative archives show that lawmakers deep
sixed a bill that would have protected property owners
who were the victims of fraud at the Registro Nacional.
|11/11/14 3:16:35 AM|
|More protection afforded 21 species of shark|
| An unprecedented number of sharks, including
two species of hammerheads, the entire genus of thresher
sharks, and the silky shark species received additional
|11/10/14 2:32:34 AM|
|Take Thanksgiving myth with a grain of salt|
| Even though much of what is believed about the
Plymouth pilgrims is myth, the impact of the
transplanted English settlers has had a profound impact
on North American civilization.
|11/10/14 2:31:57 AM|
|New national image sought for tourism|
| The national tourism chamber has called a
session for next week where the future of the country's
tourism will be discussed.
|11/7/14 4:01:28 AM|
|Discredited study presented to lawmakers|
| A Universidad de Costa Rica professor presented
facts about a discredited French rat study to encourage
a legislative committee to support a nationwide ban on
genetically modified foods.
|11/6/14 3:40:32 AM|
|New Congress might take action against FATCA|
| With Republicans controlling of both houses of
the U.S. Congress, expats might see changes in the
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires
reporting of assets.
|11/5/14 3:53:12 AM|
|Tech chamber opposes industry monopoly|
| The technology chamber again has urged
rejection of a bill that would require anyone working in
the informática and computación fields to have a
university degree and be a member of a restructure
colegio or professional organization.
|11/4/14 3:59:59 AM|
|Notaries getting a deal at expense of public|
| Managers of the nation's notary registry have
ignored the law and not raised monthly dues since 1998.
That means that a large pot of money that should be
available to pay victims of notary fraud and other
illegal activities just does not exist.
|11/3/14 2:49:14 AM|
|Patronato under scrutiny|
| The nation's child protection agency is
starting to receive some scrutiny in the wake of the
death of a 3 month old Wednesday.
|10/31/14 3:30:24 AM|
|Turrialba spews ash over much of the metro area|
| The Turrialba volcano erupted for about 25
minutes late Wednesday and spewed ash as far away as
|10/31/14 3:29:48 AM|
|Beaten infant dies|
| Beaten infant dies
The 3-month =old girl who was beaten badly in her home has died. The Patronato Nacional de Infancia identified the girl as Videl Esquivel Cubillo. The Judicial Investigating Organization reported Sunday that the child suffered a fractured skull and broken bones in the legs and arms.
|10/30/14 4:00:05 AM|
|Judicial information system has leaks|
| When it was passed in July 2009, the Plataforma
de Investigación Policial was seen as a great
crime-fighting tool. All the police agencies would have
access to a single data base that would include
information about individuals culled from the public
record and the computers systems of other agencies.
|10/30/14 3:59:36 AM|
|Private sector pay raise is just 2.01 percent|
| Private employees who receive the legal minimum
wage will get a 2.01 percent increase Jan. 1.
|10/29/14 4:09:46 AM|
|Municipal taxes are a big surprise|
| Many expat homeowners are in for a jolt when
the municipal tax bill arrives. In some cases, expats
are seeing a 10-fold increase in municipal taxes. One
expat saw his annual taxes go from $220 to $2,200.
|10/27/14 2:33:04 AM|
|That container terminal is a long way off, if ever|
| Even though police have restored service at the
Limón docks, the resolution of the conflict over a $1
billion container handling facility is a long way off.
|10/27/14 2:32:31 AM|
|Who else is suffering from a persistent cough?|
| Several expats are complaining of a chronic
cough. The sufferers include a new arrival in Escazú and
a longtime expat at the central Pacific coast. The
Pacific coast expat said that he had been dosed with
enough antibiotics to kill a bacteria colony the size of
Escazú over the last four months and then given a
seven-day antibiotic drip.
|10/24/14 3:51:24 AM|
|Police take over the docks in Limón|
| The central government waited a bit more than
eight hours before heavily armed riot troops took over
the Caribbean ports of Limón and Moín Wednesday.
|10/22/14 3:17:46 AM|
|Casa Presidencial tries to avoid a dock strike|
| Casa Presidencial is working hard to prevent a
walkout at the Limón docks. Dock worker union leaders
were at Casa Presidencial Monday but they were told that
nothing is certain. The proposed $1 billion container
handling concession still has to pass muster with the
Secretaria Técnica Nacional Ambiental, which already had
a long list of what it considers deficiencies.
|10/21/14 3:54:09 AM|
|Solís take to television to defend budget|
| Public employees will be marching today to
protest and restore the 3.8 percent cuts that a
legislative budget committee chopped from the 7.9
trillion-colon 2015 national budget.
|10/20/14 3:12:16 AM|
|Tourism organizations cut a deal on sales tax|
| Tourism organizations have made a deal with the
executive branch to postpone a 13 percent sales tax on
recreational activities until Jan. 1, 2016.
|10/17/14 3:31:21 AM|
|Fireworks becoming a smuggler's priority|
| With the holidays less than three months away,
police are finding smuggled fireworks. Officials said
Wednesday that police already have started their effort
to keep explosive firework out of the country, in part
to protect kids.
|10/16/14 3:39:58 AM|
|Mind over matter guru to give pricey talk|
| The alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra
will be in Costa Rica Nov. 24, and he is sure to draw a
crowd of food conspiracy theorists, followers of
homeopathy, and many who believe that there is more to
life than just the material.
|10/16/14 3:39:26 AM|
|Another case alleged of a judicial info leak|
| Another judicial worker has been detained on
the allegation that he illegally used confidential
government records of at least one individual.
|10/15/14 3:35:15 AM|
|San José to get new tourist attraction|
| Tourism and cultural officials will be debuting
a new downtown bus service for tourists today. A new,
private firm, Costa Rica City Square Tour, S.R.L., now
operates what it calls a hop-on,hop-off service.
|10/15/14 3:34:51 AM|
|Crocs seem to believe in teamwork|
| Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor
at the University of Tennessee, has found that
crocodiles work as a team to hunt their prey. His
research tapped into the power of social media to
document such behavior.
|10/14/14 3:37:07 AM|
|Land banking can be a good investment plan|
| Land banking gets a bad rap. It is defined as
the practice of putting pieces of land together for
future sale or development. However, scammers give the
business a bad name because they make false promises to
unsophisticated buyers who ultimately get burned.
|10/14/14 3:36:38 AM|
|Contra war again in the news with movie about Gary Webb|
| The journalistic integrity of U.S. media, an
illicitly-financed, CIA-backed war against Nicaraguan
Sandinistas, the crack epidemic of 1980's urban America:
these are the main subjects of Michael Cuesta’s "Kill
|10/13/14 3:20:50 AM|
|Spam email are busting out all over|
| Spam levels at Costa Rican computer inboxes
seem to have skyrocketed following an international
trend. Some operators of Internet server complexes
report up to a 10 fold increase in the unwanted email
|10/13/14 3:20:17 AM|
|Museo National will exhibit historic photos from EFE|
| The agency, which goes by the name EFE, is not
well known to English speakers because of its
concentration on European and Latin American news in
Spanish. Those who read La Nación or other newspapers
here see the firm's efforts every day.
|10/10/14 3:44:25 AM|
|President moves to shake up three agencies|
| The central government has taken strong action
against three major institutions. Casa Presidencial said
Wednesday that the current board of directors for the
southern zone development agency has been sacked.
|10/9/14 4:03:41 AM|
|What changes would help the expats?|
| No legislator nor anyone in Casa Presidential
has addressed topics yet that negatively affect expats
and would-be expats.
|10/8/14 3:36:43 AM|
|Police sweep targets illegal vendors in Manuel Antonio|
| A multi-agency task force targeted vendors of
tourist items at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and
closed 15 stalls that now will be destroyed.
|10/7/14 3:48:55 AM|
|100,000-plus march against cancer|
| A crowd estimated by police to be more than
100,000 turned out early Sunday to support the Fundación
Anna Ross and its fight against cancer.
|10/6/14 3:37:51 AM|
|Country tightens up controls at airports over ebola|
| Health officials said that there is extra
surveillance at airports and travelers from Africa are
being registered as a first step in protecting the
country from the ebola virus.
|10/6/14 3:37:20 AM|
|Government creates commission to help smaller tourism firms|
| The central government has created a commission
to help small a medium tourism operations. Private
tourism organizations have a majority of the seats.
|10/3/14 4:00:51 AM|
|Traditional dishes sought in San Ramón|
| In San Ramón, the Día del Encuentro de Culturas
is celebrated with a cooking competition of traditional
|10/3/14 4:00:25 AM|
|Flagrancy statistic spotlights waves of crime|
| Fuerza Pública officers caught and remanded to
flagrancy courts 700 suspects in September alone. The
security ministry issued this statistic to show that
police were doing a good job, but the numbers also
illuminate crime in Costa Rica. The statistic means that
on average more than 23 times a day in September police
just happened to be on hand or nearby when a crime took
|10/2/14 3:54:06 AM|
|Some ideas to trim the budget|
| The political apparatus has enriched itself at
the expense of the people for so long that some say
reform is impossible.
|10/2/14 3:53:37 AM|
|Jimmy Carter going strong at 90|
| Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter celebrates
his 90th birthday today. While not the oldest living
president, Carter has set the record for the longest
post-presidency of any former occupant of the White
House, surpassing Herbert Hoover for the honor in 2012.
|10/1/14 4:11:29 AM|
|Video promotes small-is-better tourism<|
| Legislators and supporters of responsible
tourism will present a video that seems to support
minimal development on the Pacific coast. The video is
titled La gallina de los huevos de oro: Turismo en la
costa Pacifica de Costa Rica. A reasonable translation
would be "The Chicken That Lays the Golden Eggs: Tourism
on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
|10/1/14 4:11:03 AM|
|Merchants are already in Christmas mode|
| Can that be Christmas lights and trees in the
local department stores? You bet, because Costa Ricans
do not have Thanksgiving to bracket the December holiday
season. But they do have Black Friday, which seems to be
|9/30/14 3:43:49 AM|
|'Tis the season to be paying taxes|
| The end of September brings fiscal tax year
2014 to a close. Oct.1 begins 2015. There are tax
filings and payments just around the corner for almost
|9/30/14 3:43:25 AM|
|Priest who is pedophile suspect visited Costa Rica|
| A Pennsylvania Roman Catholic priest who is
facing child sex abuse charges in the United States was
involved with youngsters in Costa Rica, too.
|9/29/14 4:07:00 AM|
|Lawmaker wants to increase legal age for marriage|
| A legislator is proposing that the minimum age
to marry in Costa Rica be raised to 18.
|9/29/14 4:06:35 AM|
|U.S. viewers will see Bender case report this weekend|
| Television viewers in the United States will be
a glimpse of the Costa Rican justice system Saturday
when the CBS Network show "48 Hours" features the Ann
|9/26/14 3:59:05 AM|
|Prosecutors want to drop case against Savings Unlimited figure|
| Prosecutors are seeking to shelve the case
against the former lawyer of Savings Unlimited, a
high-interest investing scheme that may have cost 3,600
investors up to $200 million.
|9/25/14 4:04:29 AM|
|Want to count 3.5 million bugs, mushrooms and moss?|
| Experts at the Museo Nacional have given the
first go-ahead for the acquisition of the massive nature
collection now held by the Instituto Nacional de
Biodiversidad in Heredia.
|9/25/14 4:04:04 AM|
|Liberty Reserve figure admits guilt|
| Maxim Chukharev, a figure in the Liberty
Reserve case, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District
Court in Manhattan, said the U.S. Attorney's Office for
the Southern District of New York. The former Costa
Rican resident faces a possible five years in prison at
sentencing Jan. 30.
|9/24/14 3:46:31 AM|
|Lawmakers troubled by president's budget|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís is coming under
fire for failing to present a frugal national budget for
2015, and the criticism extends to his decision to seek
a value-added tax later this year. Lawmakers Monday
unanimously voted to ask for a briefing by Helio Fallas,
the first vice president and minister of Hacienda, the
|9/23/14 3:57:11 AM|
|Solís administration will propose a global income tax|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís said Sunday that
his administration would seek a global tax in addition
to a value-added tax.
|9/19/14 3:55:24 AM|
|Scientist wonder how strong can a quake be|
| Just how strong can an earthquake get? That is
a question that has puzzled researchers, and they were
surprised when an undersea quake March 11, 2011,
registered a magnitude of 9.0.
|9/18/14 3:54:24 AM|
|Moody's cuts country's credit rating|
| The finance ministry reacted optimistically
Tuesday to the news that a major financial services firm
had downgraded the country's credit rating.
|9/17/14 3:51:07 AM|
|Sea Shepherd will help patrol a Caribbean beach|
| The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said
Monday it has joined with a Caribbean organization
protecting sea turtles to prevent poaching.
|9/17/14 3:49:52 AM|
|Tourism budget might face a big cut|
| Organizations in the business are rallying
around the tourism institute because lawmakers appear to
be ready to cut the budget in half.
|9/16/14 2:18:56 AM|
|A refresher on how to protect assets|
| Why do foreigners get hoodwinked and bamboozled
out of their stuff in Costa Rica? Or, any place else in
the world for that matter. Usually, because people tend
to be too trusting. Or lack knowledge.
|9/15/14 3:41:17 AM|
|Foes of genetically modified seeds claim a small victory|
| Opponents of genetically modified organisms
have won a partial victory from the Sala IV
|9/12/14 4:06:34 AM|
|Tourism statistics show increases|
| The tourism institute is reporting a 5.4
percent increase in foreigners arriving on tourism visas
for the first six months of the year. The statistics
also show significant increases of North Americans and
|9/12/14 4:05:44 AM|
|Diquis culture inspired metal art in expo|
| The Museo Nacional inaugurates tonight a
seven-week exposition of metalwork inspired by the
Diquís culture of the southern Pacific.
|9/11/14 4:14:18 AM|
|Property poster boy gets a new trial|
| An expat who has become the poster boy for
complicated court cases over property has won a new
trial on his conviction for defamation.
|9/11/14 4:13:50 AM|
|New effort to keep guns from kids|
| A Liberación lawmaker proposed Tuesday a change
in the firearms law to prohibit minors from using
weapons or even being at a shooting range.
|9/9/14 3:25:31 AM|
|The asteroid missed us this time|
| A meteor impact in Nicaragua and a close flyby
of an asteroid demonstrate the fragility of
civilization. Many scientists say they believe that an
impact from space about 13,000 years ago wiped out large
animals and even the existing human population in North
America south to what today is Costa Rica.
|9/9/14 3:24:57 AM|
|Key figure in Jacó acquisition banned from corporate life|
| The president of a firm that was involved in
buying real estate in Jacó has resigned after being
ordered to do so by the British Columbia Securities
|9/8/14 3:44:43 AM|
|250 bank customers scammed by skimming|
| Investigators detained two men Thursday on
allegations that they used cameras and electronic
devices to steal data from debit cards at automatic
|9/8/14 3:44:19 AM|
|Costa Rica about average in cases of suicide|
| Despite its claim to be the happiest country,
Costa Rica is around average in the rate of suicides,
according to a comprehensive report issued this week by
the World Health Organization.
|9/5/14 3:48:31 AM|
|Here's an idea; Penalize smuggling|
| Two lawmakers have introduced a measure to
penalize smuggling. The proposal would establish a
prison term of five years for anyone smuggling in
merchandise worth more than $5,000.
|9/4/14 3:17:32 AM|
|Tourism leaders miffed because officials ducked meeting|
| Tourism leaders are steaming because the
central government canceled at the last minute a meeting
|9/4/14 3:17:07 AM|
|Child mothers now blamed on Costa Rica males|
| Time was when government officials and child
protection agency workers saw the arrival of single male
tourists as the major threat to underage Costa Rican
|9/3/14 2:44:23 AM|
|Lawmakers have a few words for president|
| Opposition lawmakers ripped into President Luis
Guillermo Solís Monday as they criticized strongly his
100 days speech Thursday.
|9/2/14 3:36:24 AM|
|Some expats are in big trouble but don't know it|
| Some foreigners from the boom days are having
to play a shell game today to prove ownership of
properties they purchased during those times. The reason
is that attorneys before Sept. 28, 2012, loved putting
real estate purchases in guaranteed trusts.
|9/1/14 3:55:59 AM|
|Solís really rips into Liberación|
| Reciting a long list of corruption and
negligence from past governments, President Luis
Guillermo Solís said Thursday that a recent history of
irresponsible governing has held back Costa Rica's
development. Solís delivered his 100-day report of his
presidency that not only included a peek into his plans
for reform but also gave a scathing critique of the
previous administrations' perceived illegalities and
|9/1/14 3:55:27 AM|
|Resolution to skim 2 percent from credit card sales published|
| The finance ministry has come up with a new way
to collect more taxes. Via what amounts to a hidden
resolution, the Dirección General de Tributación has
told banks and processors to skim 2 percent for nearly
every credit card transaction starting Oct. 1. The money
is supposed to be held for eventually payment of income
|9/1/14 3:55:05 AM|
|The prince among us: U.S. author tells the tale|
| A direct descendant of European royalty, Prince
Alfred of Prussia, arrived in Costa Rica in 1927 when he
was 3 years old and remained living in the country until
his death in 2013. The royal Costa Rican is now the
subject of a new book that details his life and his
lineage that traces back to Queen Victoria and numerous
other notable European royals.
|8/29/14 3:53:20 AM|
|Lawmakers act to make a slight constitutional change|
| Lawmakers took the unusual step Wednesday of
approving a rewrite of the first article of the Costa
|8/29/14 3:52:48 AM|
|Moratorium opponent says passage would eliminate 1,000 jobs|
| A spokesman for agricultural firms told a
legislative panel Wednesday that a proposed ban on
genetically modified organisms, if passed, would cost
the country about 1,000 jobs.
|8/28/14 3:27:36 AM|
|Can you believe it? IRS gives expats a break|
| U.S. taxpayers who failed to file all those
forms required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service now
have a second chance. The IRS has expanded its amnesty
program for overseas taxpayers, according to Randall J.
Lindner, an enrolled agent and principal of U.S. Tax
International in Rohrmoser.
|8/28/14 3:27:08 AM|
|Most invaders of mangroves are local farmers|
| The nation's environmental police are cracking
down hard on invasions of the Puntarenas mangrove
protected areas, and this time those facing charges are
not foreign developers.
|8/27/14 3:20:49 AM|
|Cruise season is here officially|
| Cruise season has officially hit Costa Rica's
Pacific shores. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo
has marked the season's beginning with the arrival of
Carnival Legend Sunday, which brought nearly 3,000
tourists to Puntarenas.
|8/26/14 3:49:06 AM|
|CBS says its experts dispute Bender trial verdict|
| CBS News promises a full report on the John
Bender murder case in its fall television season. The
television network has been following closely the Costa
Rican case and the acquittal and subsequent conviction
of Bender's wife, Ann.
|8/26/14 3:48:41 AM|
|Armed gang sacks town near Arenal|
| A gang of up to 14 armed men descended on the
community of Nuevo Arenal, cut the power to part of the
town and began to plunder.
|8/25/14 3:31:55 AM|
|Country acts to protect national anthem|
| A Swedish television show upset official in
Costa Rica because the producers used the Costa Rica's
national anthem as background music.
|8/25/14 3:31:33 AM|
|Jacó developer finally out of prison|
| Patrick Hundley, the owner of Daystar
Properties in Jacó, left prison Wednesday after spending
six months in preventative detention, according to his
lawyer, José Manuel Echandí. Hundley was set free from
his jail cell in Pérez Zeledón after posting $1.5
million in bail, Echandí said.
|8/22/14 3:43:16 AM|
|Committee will try to generate more cruise ship arrivals|
| As the number of cruise ship arrivals into
Costa Rica have fallen over recent years, the country's
tourism institute has established a committee bent on
bringing more ships to local shores. Tourism Minister
Wilhelm von Breymann said Costa Rica is creating the
committee to focus on cruise promotion, infrastructure,
and worker training in an effort to attract major cruise
lines to visit the country more frequently.
|8/21/14 3:47:59 AM|
|Solís plans to do his own evaluation|
| Academics are quick to point out that Franklin
Roosevelt was not the one who coined the term 100 days.
Instead that was used for years to address Napoleon's
escape from Elba and the period that led to his final
defeat at Waterloo.
|8/21/14 3:47:30 AM|
|Man who murdered two Austrian expats gets 50 years|
| A former employee has received 50 years in
prison in the murder of two Austrian expats on the Osa
peninsula. That is the maximum number of years possible
under Costa Rican law.
|8/20/14 3:41:13 AM|
|$100 Fine is meant for Nicaraguans|
| Some perpetual tourist in Costa Rica are
verging on paranoia because they think they will be hit
with a $100 fine if they are delayed in leaving the
country to renew a visa.
|8/19/14 3:02:10 AM|
|Homebuyer's guide to avoiding real estate pitfalls|
| Buying real property in Costa Rica is a little
different than buying it in other parts of the world.
Learning how to do a little preliminary due diligence
or, in simple terms, property homework, is good for
everyone to know. This will help them stay clear of the
bad and zero in on good opportunities in Costa Rica’s
growing real estate market..
|8/19/14 3:01:47 AM|
|Prices in Costa Rica|
| Recent complaints about prices in Costa Rica
has drawn responses suggesting that there are ways to
avoid being clobbered. Even Costa Ricans are getting
into the discussion because they said they believe high
prices hurt tourism.
|8/18/14 2:39:37 AM|
|Happy birthday to us|
| Today marks the 13th birthday of A.M. Costa
Rica. That's 13 years of providing local and
international news targeted to English-speaking expats
here and those who would like to be here.
|8/15/14 3:46:52 AM|
|Illegal garbage dumps called a national problem|
| Some 22 municipalities are facing action from
the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo because they have
mismanaged or illegal garbage dumps.
|8/15/14 3:46:24 AM|
|Opinions mixed on genetically modified organism law|
| A legislative committee continues to consider a
proposal for a national moratorium on genetically
modified organisms. Committee members heard several
opinions about the bill over the last two days. This is
the measure proposed by Frente Amplio in the last
legislature, mainly in opposition to the agricultural
work by Monsanto Co. here.
|8/14/14 3:27:00 AM|
|Those seeking secular state to bring demand to Solís|
| There is a growing movement to make Costa Rica
a secular state. Article 75 of the Costa Rican
Constitution specifies the Roman Catholic faith as the
state religion but also guarantees the free exercise of
other religions. Some critics estimate hat this state
support of the Catholic church could be nearly $3
million a year.
|8/13/14 3:35:51 AM|
|Merchants prepare traps for Mother's Day buyers|
| Not even a mother could be proud of a family
member who gets swindled on apparent deals. That's why,
as Costa Rica's version of Mother's Day this Friday
nears, the Ministerio de Economía Industria y Comercio
released a consumer protection report warning of false
advertising or overpriced promotions for the holiday.
|8/12/14 3:13:32 AM|
|Sales tax on tourism activities returns|
| Just when tourism operators thought that
President Luis Guillermo Solís cut them a break on
taxation, the tax agency came out with a new decree. The
result: There will be no sales tax collected on
admissions to national parks and other reserved areas,
but many tourism operators will have to collect taxes on
|8/11/14 3:18:22 AM|
|Country's heritage corn might be as many as 100 varieties|
| Last July 24 President Luis Guillermo Solís
signed a decree establishing corn as a cultural heritage
of the nation. Environmentalists saw this as a way of
protecting the native species. But Thursday the
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud pointed out that there
are between 80 and 100 varieties of local corn due to
the cross pollination that ha gone on for centuries.
|8/11/14 3:17:22 AM|
|Government seeks new way to measure poverty|
| Together with Oxford University, the Costa
Rican government is installing a tool designed to help
politicians grapple with inequality and extreme poverty.
|8/8/14 3:03:14 AM|
|Restored engine a reason for a party|
| Residents of Palmar Sur on the south Pacific
coast have restored Engine #84 and plan a fiesta to
|8/8/14 3:02:42 AM|
|Administration dumping sales tax on park admissions|
| Costa Rica's tourism operators can breath
easier because President Luís Guillermo Solís rejected a
much-feared sales tax.
|8/7/14 4:14:13 AM|
|Proposal launched for more oversight on lobbying|
| After running a presidential campaign largely
based on transparency and anti-corruption, leaders from
the party of President Luis Guillermo Solís are now
calling for political lobbying activities to be public.
|8/7/14 4:13:44 AM|
|After three months president seems light on respecting laws|
| The first three months of the Luis Guillermo
Solís administration are causing some political
opponents and even some allies to shake their heads.
|8/6/14 2:29:51 AM|
|U.S. trained youngsters here to subvert Cuban regime|
| In another bungled effort to foster
anti-government activism in Cuba, the United States
trained young Latin Americans in San José and then sent
them into Cuba to identify potential targets who could
bolster opposition against the Communist government of
|8/5/14 2:42:10 AM|
|Museum announces new species of passion flower|
| Plant specialists the Museo Nacional have
discovered yet another species of passion flowers in
rain forests around rivers and streams in the Cantón de
|8/4/14 2:43:44 AM|
|Ministry ready to submit its tax package|
| The nation's tax collector said Thursday it is
introducing legal reforms to reduce fraud as well as
evasion. Evasion generally is defined as legal
manipulations to reduce the tax bill.
|8/4/14 2:43:20 AM|
|President says he has unveto power|
| Every expat knows that court cases are never
finished. There are appeals after appeals. In fact, a
truth about Costa Rica is that there usually is a
footnote to reverse or change just about any official
action. Now, it turns out, even a presidential veto is
|8/1/14 3:10:42 AM|
|Guanacaste developer detained briefly in fraud case|
| Judicial agents briefly detained Craig
Williamson, the real estate developer behind a purported
billion dollar project in Guanacaste, because he failed
to appear in court to answer a fraud charge.
|7/31/14 3:21:23 AM|
|Ban Ki-moon can't leave the troubles behind|
| Ban Ki-moon may be coming to Costa Rica today,
but he cannot leave the world's troubles behind.
Supporters of Palestine said they would protest this
morning starting at the Fuente de Hispanidad in San
Pedro to make Ban, the secretary general of the United
Nations, know that "Costa Rica repudiates the massacre
that Israel brought against the people of Gaza
|7/30/14 3:34:05 AM|
|Uncle Sam has another surprise for expats|
| The U.S. State Department will seek Social
Security numbers from Americans who renew a passport.
This is a rule that went into effect last week. American
Citizens Abroad, an expat advocate group, said that
while not discussed in the regulations, it seems clear
that with this information the tax people, the U.S.
Internal Revenue Service, can check to see whether tax
returns are being filed.
|7/29/14 3:45:59 AM|
|Search efforts stepped up in Corcovado|
| Search teams have ramped up operations and are
now working at all hours to find an American man,
27-year-old Cody Roman Dial, who was pronounced missing
last week. Local Cruz Roja patrols are camping overnight
in Parque Nacional Corcovado and police are using a
helicopter to scan the area, according to rescue
coordinator Gilberth Dondi.
|7/29/14 3:45:35 AM|
|Cameras are popping up all over|
| Under the stated aims of improving citizen
safety, municipality leaders are putting up public
surveillance cameras throughout Costa Rica's streets and
|7/28/14 2:45:28 AM|
|Alaskan sought in Corcovado|
| A man from Alaska is missing after telling his
father two weeks ago that he would be traveling into
Parque Nacional Corcovado on the Osa peninsula. Local
authorities now say search operations have begun to look
for the man, Roman Dial, Jr., 27, a native of Anchorage.
|7/28/14 2:44:54 AM|
|APM Terminals gets and extension|
| Plans to begin construction of a new container
terminal in Limón are on hold for three months more due
to legal reasons. The Caribbean economic development
agency agreed to extend the start date for the work that
was slated to begin Thursday. A request to do so came
from the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones.
|7/25/14 3:29:26 AM|
|There are some advantages to a dry raining season|
| The weather news from Guanacaste and the
central Pacific is not all bad. Tourism operators might
be able to capitalize on these conditions by advertising
a dry rainy season. Prices are lower in the rainy season
from May until November because tourists prefer blue
skies and full sun on the Pacific beaches.
|7/25/14 3:29:03 AM|
|Not all illegal guns are equal|
| Despite police efforts and registration
requirements, illegal weapons proliferate. Some expats
have said they keep illegal firearms because the
registration process is too difficult and has to be
|7/24/14 3:34:55 AM|
|Tourist industry balks at triple tax threat|
| The tourism industry is reeling under triple
blows that may force operators to pay crippling amounts
of back sales tax. The situation developed April 30 when
the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía published a decree
increasing the admission to national parks and other
protected areas under its control.
|7/24/14 3:34:33 AM|
|Alert issued for Pacific coast|
| The national emergency commission is taking
action to help the north and central Pacific coast where
there is drought and where the lack of rain is expected
|7/23/14 3:04:29 AM|
|Drought fears overshadow Guanacaste celebration|
| Just a few days before the annual celebration,
Guanacaste is facing a crisis.
|7/22/14 3:14:47 AM|
|Expats have many options with online education|
| Aging expats do not need to be sticks in the
mud when confronted with modern information and
technologies. Neither do youngsters. Some already know
the secret and come to Costa Rica to play and study.
Today there is no excuse not to learn what one wants or
needs to know. And much of it is 100 percent free with
no strings attached.
|7/21/14 2:39:30 AM|
|Rabies death of child called isolated case|
| A 9-year-old child with rabies died Wednesday
following a two-month bout with the disease, according
to a health ministry report. The boy from Palmar Norte
was bitten by a wild animal when sleeping overnight in
an area heavily populated with bats. He was placed into
the Hospital Nacional de Niños earlier this month, the
statement said, and tested positive for the disease upon
|7/18/14 3:02:17 AM|
|Bill would tighten rules for pawn shops|
| Some of the most complete collections of Nikon
cameras and lens can be found at pawn shops downtown.
There's a pretty good chance that the pawned camera
equipment now up for sale did not come from a Costa
Rican photographer. They appear to be the booty from
thefts from tourists.
|7/18/14 3:01:50 AM|
|Apollo 11 also was a great public relations coup for U.S|
| The Apollo mission that took off 45 years ago
Wednesday was more than just the greatest scientific
achievement of the 20th century. The successful moon
landing was the greatest pubic relation event since the
Boston Tea party.
|7/17/14 3:51:18 AM|
|Government issuing an austerity decree|
| Government officials rolled out a savings plan
that promises to shed $77 million of spending on public
entities. Vice President Helio Fallas, who doubles as
the finance minister, announced the efficient spending
directive 009-H at a Tuesday press conference alongside
Jose Francisco Pacheco, Costa Rica's vice minister of
|7/16/14 3:16:36 AM|
|Year predicted to be a dry one in much of the country|
| The first five months of the year have been dry
in all but the southern Pacific, according to the
Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. And with El Niño
growing in the far Pacific, the probability is for
drought and not enough water to run all of the country's
hydro electrical generating plants.
|7/16/14 3:16:11 AM|
|Clues sought in case of missing girl|
| Little Yerelyn Guzmán Calvo, 6, has been
missing in Santo Domingo de Heredia since Friday.
Police, investigators and volunteers continue the
search, but the case more and more looks like a crime.
|7/15/14 3:35:17 AM|
|President defends his progress|
| President Luis Guillermo Solís took to the
television Sunday to defend the progress of his
administration. Although he did not say so, his first
television speech seemed to be generated by concerns
that the new administration was spinning its wheels.
|7/15/14 3:34:49 AM|
|Museo de Jade has lots of items but little data|
| The new Museo de Jade is overwhelming, The
Instituto Nacional de Seguros said all 7,000 of its
pre-Columbian holdings have been put on display in the
five-story, $21.5 million museum.
|7/14/14 3:02:56 AM|
|Arrests made in complex property case|
| Allegations of property theft on a grand scale
surfaced again Thursday with the arrest of two women
lawyers and 50-year-old man.
|7/14/14 3:02:24 AM|
|Ground broken for marina|
| After years of planning, a marina is springing
up in Golfito. Developers from Hacienda El Dorado
announced Thursday they have begun construction on the
Golfito Marina Village & Resort, which is planned to
be a central destination for luxury tourism focused on
yachting and sport fishing.
|7/11/14 4:35:25 AM|
|Administration gets tough for consumers|
| The nation's consumer protection agency seems
to have added some muscle with the arrival of the new
administration. A new study takes on supermarkets and
the traditional methods of tricking the consumer.
|7/10/14 4:16:10 AM|
|Obama has designated a new ambassador|
| President Barack Obama has put forward the name
of a New Jersey businessman as the next ambassador to
Costa Rica. The man, Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, is an
unusual mixture of race, religion and culture.
|7/10/14 4:15:45 AM|
|Gigantic party to welcome the soccer team|
| When the Costa Rican national soccer team
returned home from the historic run in the World Cup,
players were greeted with thousands of screams and waves
from every direction. Miles of fans stretched from La
Sele's arrival point at Juan Santamaría Airport down the
highway to Paseo Colón and Parque la Sabana, as the team
concluded a welcome back party on stage at the park in
front of a massive crowd Tuesday night.
|7/8/14 3:22:48 AM|
|Land war continues at native reserve|
| A long-running land war erupted into flames
Saturday when a mob torched the home of a native
resident of the Bribri de Salitre territory northeast of
Buenos Aires de Puntarenas. This is the continuation of
confrontations that have taken place for at least five
years and involve duplicate claims for the same real
|7/8/14 3:22:20 AM|
|World Cup achievements considered victory|
| The amazing journey of the national soccer team
came to an end Saturday, but most Costa Ricans see
reaching the World Cup quarter finals as a great
|7/7/14 3:29:12 AM|
|Ticos lose but keep their heads up|
| Despite a strong defensive showing against the
Dutch team in the World sup Saturday, Costa Rica lost on
|7/7/14 3:28:48 AM|
|Cementerio General to become a tourist attraction|
| Savvy tourists already know the place, and a
project announced Thursday will make the Cementerio
General into a museum that will attract more.
|7/4/14 3:21:45 AM|
|More red cards against family violence|
| There may not be any substantial evidence that
sports on television generates domestic violence, but
that is not stopping public officials from using the
World Cup as a hook to campaign against such abuse.
|7/4/14 3:21:14 AM|
|Policeman dies in Parrita shooting|
| Officials said Thursday that they have
apprehended the prime suspect in the killing Wednesday
of a police officer in Parrita.
|7/3/14 4:18:08 AM|
|Police link soccer with family violence|
| The Fuerza Pública has embarked on a campaign
to prevent domestic violence amplified by the World cup
soccer games. The department said in a tape prepared for
radio that there were 20 domestic violence calls per
hour during the Costa Rica-Greece game in Brazil Sunday.
Despite the number of calls, the same agency reported
detaining just two persons Sunday and early Monday.
|7/2/14 3:16:34 AM|
|Culture minister asks for probe of finances|
| The minister of culture said Monday that she
has asked the Ministerio Público, the national
prosecutorial office, to investigate five years of
expenses by her ministry.
|7/1/14 3:57:21 AM|
|They did it, and country goes wild|
| Miles of red-clad bodies again enveloped main
streets throughout Costa Rica. Just like last weekend,
the president waved down upon the swelling crowd at
Fuente de Hispanidad. Seemingly the entire population of
this tiny country had taken to the streets Sunday to
celebrate the national team's latest World Cup victory.
|6/30/14 2:55:34 AM|
|Credit card debit continues to grow|
| A study by the economics ministry showed that
credit card debt increase 2.37 percent from January to
April 30 when the data was gathered. The total debt on
that date was 806,138,896,697.60 colons or about $1.5
billion. That meant that of the estimated 4.8 million
Costa Ricans every man woman and child owed about $305.
|6/30/14 2:55:08 AM|
|Tax people want you to turn in scofflaws|
| The finance ministry has launched a campaign
against the so-called local discount. The discount is
the sales tax that the vendor does not collect if the
customer does not want a receipt.
|6/27/14 2:41:06 AM|
|The Sept. 11 statue ravaged by vandals|
| When sculptor Roland Hockett was creating a
memorial to the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, he said later
he wanted the work to be around for a long time. That
decision has come back to haunt him.
|6/27/14 2:40:25 AM|
|Poás puts on a great show|
| As the Costa Rican national soccer team took
the field against Italy Friday, Volcán Poás emitted an
eruption that flew 200 meters into the air. The
eruption, called the second biggest this month, was
caught on the Web camera positions at the volcano
|6/25/14 3:24:35 AM|
|The kinder, gentler IRS wants to help you|
| U.S. taxpayers living overseas and some U.S.
residents with foreign bank accounts are getting a
better deal from the Internal Revenue Service.
|6/25/14 3:23:36 AM|
|Remains of one Dutch woman identified|
| Panamanian authorities have found human remains
with DNA matching that of Lisanne Froon, a Dutch woman
who had been missing from the Chiriquí area near the
Costa Rica border since April 1. At a Monday press
conference, Betzaida Pittí, district attorney of
Chiriquí, announced that investigators found the
22-year-old's bones in the Bocas del Toro province in
|6/24/14 3:59:11 AM|
|An expat's guide to death in Costa Rica|
| There is a wild misunderstanding in Costa Rica
about dying without a will. Most people believe if they
do not have one, the government will take everything.
This is not true. Here is a closer look.
|6/24/14 3:58:38 AM|
|That bootlegged booze can do real damage|
| When an expat pours a drink of alcohol, there
is a possibility that the glass contains home brew of
some other substance. Costa Rican law enforcement
officials raided two storefronts Sunday and confiscated
7,000 bottles of alcohol. These were not bottles
smuggled in from Panamá to avoid taxes.
|6/23/14 2:33:40 AM|
|Costa Rica pulls off a sensational victory|
| Costa Rica broke into another round of World
Cup celebration Friday after the country's national
soccer team beat favored Italy in a preliminary match in
|6/20/14 4:23:18 AM|
|Jacó businessman seeks change in nation's prisons|
| Jailed Jacó businessman Patrick Hundley says
conditions in his Pérez Zeledón prison are deplorable,
evil and a poor, poor reflection of Costa Rica. He said
he hopes President Luis Guillermo Solís can find the
strength to make needed changes.
|6/19/14 2:37:34 AM|
|Backpack is new clue to missing Dutch women|
| A backpack holding key possessions from two
Dutch women who went missing nearly three months ago in
Panama may give investigators clearer insight into their
mysterious disappearance. Panamanian police are
examining a pair of cell phones, an insurance card and a
digital camera belonging to Lisanne Froon and Kris
Kremers that were in the bag.
|6/19/14 2:37:07 AM|
|President wants to know about fuel prices|
| The president, Luis Guillermo Solís, has asked
Dennis Meléndez Howell for background on how gasoline
prices are set. Meléndez is the regulator general, the
head of the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos.
This is the agency that sets all sorts of utility
|6/18/14 3:24:15 AM|
|Sure you can drive and watch the World Cup!|
| Time was when traffic police would be
suspicious when a taxi driver mounted a small television
on his dashboard. That took some mechanical kills and
the set was pretty obvious. No more. Electronics have
shrunk, and even the state phone company is serving up
devices that can be affixed easily to the rear view
mirror. No longer does a taxi driver have to miss the
action while zipping along the autopista.
|6/17/14 3:53:22 AM|
|How many U.S. citizens live overseas?|
| The U.S. Federal Voting Assistance Program has
commissioned another effort to find our how many U.S.
citizens live abroad.
|6/16/14 3:18:41 AM|
|Happy end to a major public works project|
| Workers Thursday broke through the last bit of
a six kilometer tunnel that will feed water to a new
turbine at the Cachí hydroelectric plant.
|6/10/14 3:43:53 AM|
|Expats have an alternative to traditional banking|
| Expats and foreigners have an alternative to
banks for their financial needs in Costa Rica:
Financieras. They are good, solid options too, offering
substantially higher returns on deposits and other
investments than banks. Two-year certificates of deposit
return as much as 5 percent in U.S. dollars. They are
also more friendly, eager to answer questions and solve
customer needs. Much more so than banks, most of which
are bureaucratic monsters.
|6/9/14 3:38:45 AM|
|Government's fiscal plan outlined|
| The central government plans a freeze on 2,500
public jobs as part of the plan to reduce the nation's
|6/6/14 3:13:31 AM|
|Possible treatment found for dragón amarillo|
| A research team in Florida says it has found a
possible treatment for a disease that threatens to wipe
out the citrus industry there and even in Costa Rica.
|6/5/14 3:59:05 AM|
|Decree to protect dolphin not a done deal|
| A fishing protection agency and the nation's
largest tuna cannery are battling over a signed but
unpublished decree that would make purse seine fishing
illegal within 60 miles of Costa Rican shoreline. The
principal combatants are the Federación Costarricense de
Pesca and tuna giant known as Sardimar.
|6/4/14 3:13:54 AM|
|Teacher strike appears to be ending|
| By planting their signatures on the latest
proposal, the country's education officials have finally
put an end to the strikes that kept many public school
teachers out of classrooms for five weeks.
|6/3/14 3:38:17 AM|
|Latest U.S. tax report neutral on overseas exemption|
| The tax situation of U.S. citizen living abroad
is again the topic of a major report produce by the
Government Accountability Office . The report quickly
came under criticism from an expat advocacy organization
|6/3/14 3:37:51 AM|
|Health officials want borders tight against virus with funny name|
| Health officials are putting the country on
alert over the chikungunya virus spreading through the
Caribbean and now Panamá. Similar to dengue, the virus
is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This disease
leads to severe pains and fevers but is almost never
|6/2/14 2:22:16 AM|
|Where the national museum keeps cool stuff|
| Fragments of Costa Rican history are stacked
away neatly amid the metal shelves and towering boxes
kept in locked, temperature-controlled rooms. At the
Museo Nacional's warehouse in Pavas some of the nation's
most important artifacts can be found tucked inside
these storage rooms and restoration workshops.
|5/30/14 3:03:31 AM|
|Archives to teach conservation of memories|
| Everyone has a valued news clipping or a family
photo made long ago. The clipping probably is yellowed,
and the photo has faded.
|5/30/14 3:03:02 AM|
|Sala IV orders action to stop beatings at La Reforma|
| The constitutional court ordered the justice
ministry Wednesday to take steps to protected the human
rights and physical well being of maximum security
|5/29/14 2:46:21 AM|
|Bender's wife convicted of his murder|
| A criminal trial panel in Pérez Zeledón
convicted Anne Maxin Patton Tuesday of the 2010 murder
of her multimillionaire husband.
|5/28/14 3:34:15 AM|
|La Penca: some mysteries remains|
| This Friday will be the 30th anniversary of La
Penca bombing, the failed assassination attempt on Edén
Pastore, then the leader of the southern Contras who was
called Comandante Cero. Pastore suffered injuries, but
seven persons, including three news persons, died from
the explosion during a press conference. One was Linda
Frazier, a reporter for The Tico Times and wife to the
Costa Rican bureau chief for The Associated Press.
|5/27/14 3:10:30 AM|
|Expats should consider mediation in place of arbitration|
| People with legal problems in Costa Rica should
try mediation to resolve their issues. Arbitration and
the courts are expensive and slow. Most contracts today
include arbitration clauses by default, and they are
signed without giving much thought to the process.
Expats should not get locked in without doing some
|5/23/14 3:50:55 AM|
|Bill would eliminate cutoff on responsibility for old Caja payments|
| Death and taxes are supposed to be certainties,
and now lawmakers are about to add to the list payments
to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
|5/23/14 3:50:30 AM|
|More arrests of traffic policemen|
| When the new traffic law went into effect,
critics said that the high fines would encourage
corruption among traffic officers. That prediction
continues to play out as judicial investigators detained
three officers Wednesday.
|5/22/14 2:50:03 AM|
|Supreme court orders probe of narco penetration|
| Supreme court magistrates Tuesday created a
committee to investigate the penetration of organized
crime and drug traffickers into the judiciary.
|5/22/14 2:49:38 AM|
|DNA says humpbacks are really three subspecies|
| A new genetic study has revealed that
populations of humpback whales in the oceans of the
North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere
are much more distinct from each other than previously
thought, and should be recognized as separate
subspecies. Understanding how connected these
populations are has important implications for the
recovery of these charismatic animals that were once
devastated by hunting.
|5/21/14 3:25:59 AM|
|The tax man cometh with new rules and fines|
| Tax collectors have new rules, and individuals
who pay taxes or manage corporations face penalties that
the public accountant association says have increased
|5/21/14 3:25:37 AM|
|What is the brain like on meditation?|
| What is the brain like on meditation?
A team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney is now trying to determine how the brain works during different kinds of meditation.
|5/20/14 3:18:35 AM|
|You can count on a July Fourth bash|
| The American Colony Committee Plans another
Fourth of July picnic this year. That the event would be
held has been known for some months, but the committee
has started updating its Web page with current
information intermixed with details from previous years.
|5/20/14 3:18:09 AM|
|Lionfish will be hunted with traps|
| Fishermen on the Caribbean coast are
considering the use of traps to catch lionfish, the
predators that eat their weight in other species each
day. The Asociación de Pescadores Artesanales del Caribe
Sur said it has created a model of a trap that will be
duplicated and distributed along the coast.
|5/19/14 3:45:13 AM|
|Government agencies mark day against homophobia|
| Costa Rican government agencies are marking
Saturday, the national day against homophobia, by flying
the multi-colored diversity flag at public offices. The
flag went up Thursday at the Ministerio de Cultura y
|5/19/14 3:44:46 AM|
|Survey of potential slide sites says they are stable|
| Emergency commission staffers and a geologist
have made air flights to look at nine areas in the
country with high landslide risk. They report that the
slide areas appear to be stable, although this is just
the start of the rainy season.
|5/16/14 3:40:13 AM|
|Not all Costa Ricans are drinkers either|
| Nearly half of Costa Rica's population abstains
from drinking, according to a World Health Organization
study released this week. The global report showed the
nation as consuming much less alcohol per capita than
the American average.
|5/15/14 3:38:05 AM|
|Solís may lose his top minister|
| The Sala IV constitutional court said Tuesday
night that it would study the status of the new minister
of the Presidencia. The minister is Melvin Jiménez
Marín, who also happens to be a Lutheran bishop.
|5/14/14 3:53:43 AM|
|Expats have mixed feelings about the news president|
| Days into the presidency of Luis Guillermo
Solís, some in the expat community are keeping a close
eye on Costa Rica's new leader to see that he acts on
his promise for nationwide reform. In trumpeting other
campaign emphases like increased transparency and more
efficient public services, Solís has bolstered
expectations for these transplants who have so much
invested into Costa Rica.
|5/13/14 4:00:07 AM|
|A neat trick for ducking that corporate tax|
| Want to save some money? Expats using sociedad
anónimas and S.R.L.s. to hold assets in Costa Rica can
save tax dollars by converting them into a sociedad
civil that pays no tax. A sociedad civil means a civil
society in English. Yes, this is a secret to beat Law
9024 and the annual corporate tax.
|5/13/14 3:59:32 AM|
|Stone sphere back home after prolonged Florida visit|
| A pre-Columbian stone sphere weighing about
3,000 pounds has arrived safely in Pavas after a sea
voyage from Florida.
|5/9/14 3:21:02 AM|
|New eviction law gets good marks|
| Judicial officials are upbeat about the impact
of a new law that cuts the time necessary for evictions
from years to months.
|5/8/14 4:12:24 AM|
|President signs law protecting those in maritime zone|
| President Laura Chinchilla signed another law
Tuesday that is designed to protect homes and businesses
that are now in the country's maritime zone.
|5/8/14 4:12:02 AM|
|Tourism chamber presents its wish list|
| The national tourism chamber would like to
create a mandatory registry of tourism operators to
formalize the business in Costa Rica.
|5/7/14 3:10:35 AM|
|The Museo de Jade is a jewel|
| The new Museo de Jade looks every bit of the
$21.5 million spent to build it.
|5/7/14 3:10:00 AM|
|Charges due soon in murder of environmentalist|
| Prosecutors in the Ministerio Público said
Monday it will accuse five Costa Ricans and two
Nicaraguans in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora
last May 31.
|5/6/14 3:48:47 AM|
|Incredible discovery involving crocodile tears|
| The butterfly and the bee were most likely
seeking scarce minerals and an extra boost of protein.
On a beautiful day last December they found the precious
nutrients in the tears of a spectacled caiman relaxing
on the banks of the Río Puerto Viejo in northeastern
|5/6/14 3:48:24 AM|
|Arenal emissions too small to measure|
| Emissions from Arenal Volcano have reached
their lowest points in years. The latest "State of the
Volcanoes Study" by the Observatorio Vulcanólogico y
Sismológico de Costa Rica said that the output from the
volcano has been less than the one-ton-per-day minimum
required for measurement.
|5/2/14 3:29:45 AM|
|Enjoy that first may rain|
| The Teatro Nacional is taking advantage of the
seasonal change. An exposition has been mounted called
“Mayo en Verde.” The art show is based on the poem
“Trópico Verde” by Isaac Felipe Azofeifa. A dozen
artists were asked to create a work that reflected a
line in the poem. The exposition was juried.
|5/2/14 3:29:18 AM|
|Archaeologists will get help from ground penetrating radar|
| Archaeologists have long wished to be able to
see into the ground. Instead, for nearly 200 years, they
have been forced to dig trenches, test holes and
meticulously scrap away the soil. But now researchers at
the sites of the famous stone balls will be getting a
peek into the ground without disturbing it.
|5/1/14 3:48:35 AM|
|President acts to protect dolphin and sports fishing|
| President Laura Chinchilla signed a decree
Tuesday that is dolphin and sports fishing friendly. The
decree divides up the country's Pacific waters and
designates a 60-mile area parallel to the coast where no
purse seine operations area allowed. The area is
reserved for sports fishing and medium long-line
|5/1/14 3:47:59 AM|
|Solís top picks are heavy on academics|
| Some in the media have made much of the number
of lawyers in the new administration of Luis Guillermo
Solís Rivera. But current and past professors outnumber
the lawyers two to one in the top spots.
|4/30/14 3:41:56 AM|
|President's unintended legacy: Infinito arbitration|
| An unintended legacy of President Laura
Chinchilla is the international arbitration case lodged
by Infinito Gold Ltd. Infinito is the firm that wanted
to process gold from an open pit mine in northern Costa
Rica. the company struggled for years from one court to
another to win permission to proceed on the contract it
has signed with the Costa Rican government.
|4/29/14 3:53:39 AM|
|Can Costa Rica effect a turnaround for expats?|
| Is Costa Rica moving forward or backward for
expats? Is the country killing the golden goose? Is it
too late to turn things around for foreigners? Are taxes
and the red tape getting to be too much for expats to
|4/28/14 2:40:12 AM|
|Non-Catholic clerics say ceremony will be beneficial|
| Thanks in large part to a Costa Rican woman, a
Sunday ceremony at the Vatican will pass Pope John Paul
II into the rarified air of sainthood. The rapid healing
of Floribeth Mora’s inoperable brain aneurysm was a
necessary step for his canonization. Ms. Mora said she
prayed to a newspaper photo of the deceased pope.
|4/28/14 2:39:35 AM|
|A.M. Costa Rica announces death of columnist Jo Stuart|
| A.M. Costa Rica's weekly columnist, Jo Stuart,
84, died late Thursday morning in Hospital México. Ms.
Stuart suffered a stroke at home Friday and had been
hospitalized since. For nearly 14 years Ms. Stuart
provided a liberal voice to the newspaper, and she made
many friends though her writings.
|4/25/14 3:37:42 AM|
|First newspaper was a long time in arriving here|
| Although printing with movable type flourished
in Europe since the middle of the 15th century, the
first press did not arrive in Costa Rica until 1830.
|4/24/14 3:24:15 AM|
|Climate forum hosts experts from region|
| About 50 government experts, academics and
others from Central America and the Caribbean are
gathering here today for a forum on vulnerability to
climate change. The forum is supposed to address the
impact of climate change on the coasts and the maritime
|4/23/14 3:36:01 AM|
|A dark history of forced adoptions|
| Her documentary draws upon these tragic stories
and first-hand accounts from the mothers to detail a
lost generation of Latin American children during the
end of last century.
|4/23/14 3:35:38 AM|
|The lowdown on selling solar power to utility firms|
| “The silver lining here is that home and
business owners who are interested in investing in their
own renewable generation, likely solar generation, can
use this time period to prepare themselves. For
instance, they can gather their historical monthly
consumption history and identify qualified service
providers who can design, install and warranty a private
generation connected to the grid.
|4/17/14 2:23:02 AM|
|Casinos are anchor for green Guanacaste project|
| A massive Guanacaste solar energy project,
involving Frank Biden, the brother of the U.S. vice
president and promoted as being a green development,
will be anchored by three casinos that would take most
of the budget.
|4/17/14 2:22:38 AM|
|Tourism operators pin hopes on new administration|
| When the new administration takes over,
President Luis Guillermo Solís is going to have to look
past job losses caused by the exit of Intel Corp. and
Bank of America. The tourist industry says that 22,000
jobs are at risk there.
|4/16/14 3:59:23 AM|
|Solís announces part of his team to change the country|
| Under a banner projection that read Vamos a
cambiar Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís praised his new
cabinet members as leaders who can help redirect the
|4/16/14 3:58:51 AM|
|The season is changing, weather experts say|
| The weather experts say that the country is
beginning the transition to the rainy season this week.
A strong but brief downpour ran through the metro area
Monday afternoon, and similar downpours are expected
today in the metro area and on the Pacific coast.
|4/15/14 3:14:46 AM|
|Foreigners have few options to open a bank account|
| Expats are having a very hard time
understanding the new rules and regulations set forth by
national and private banks in Costa Rica. They were
outlined in detail March 31. They do not understand why
they cannot open a bank account if they are on a tourist
visa but own property or have other investments in the
|4/14/14 3:13:15 AM|
|El Niño is a good bet to return this year|
| A better than 50 percent chance exists that the
El Niño condition will return this year, and some
forecasters fear the weather phenomenon might be among
the strongest on record.
|4/10/14 3:36:12 AM|
|Commerce officials surprised by Bank of America|
| A planned exodus of two U.S.-based businesses
and the loss local jobs has shaken Costa Rica. Between
the move of Intel Corp's manufacturing operation to
Vietnam and the eventual closure of the Bank of America
subsidiary BA Continuum, the nation stands to lose 3,000
|4/7/14 3:35:46 AM|
|As expected, Solís wins in a walk|
| Luis Guillermo Solís has won the presidential
election in a blowout. He took 77.7 percent of the votes
compared to 22.3 percent for his opponent Johnny Araya
Monge of Partido Liberación Nacional, based on the
|4/7/14 3:35:17 AM|
|Modified tomato compared with new, powerful technique|
| Does genetic manipulation cause unintended
changes in food quality and composition? Are genetically
modified foods less nutritious than their non-modified
counterparts, for example, or different in unknown ways?
|4/4/14 4:15:38 AM|
|Major fishing tourney called off due to lack of interest|
| The Presidential Challenge sports fishing
tournament planned for later this month in Golfito has
|4/3/14 3:56:50 AM|
|Regulator will let every customer bank solar electricity|
| The utilities regulating agency decided Monday
to let electrical customers bank excess power with their
|4/3/14 3:56:27 AM|
|Legislature snagged by one of its own laws|
| The minister of culture has rejected a plan for
a new legislative building because construction wold
have impact on adjacent historic structures
|4/1/14 3:41:55 AM|
|Opening and maintaining a bank account now wrapped in red tape|
| The crux of the story is the bank employee was
correct. The red tape and requirements to open a new
bank account for a company are a bad dream.
|4/1/14 3:41:25 AM|
|Heredia expat explores the country's folklore|
| Heredia expat Jack Donnelly travels the country
investigating and documenting folkloric events. The
result is a new book, his first.
|3/31/14 3:14:11 AM|
|Baby left for hours in parked car dies|
| A seven-month -old baby left by accident in his
father's sweltering car died Thursday in the Hospital de
Niños. The case has attracted widespread emotions over
|3/28/14 3:52:03 AM|
|New book recounts the John Paul miracle|
| Pope John Paul II's canonization in Rome has
great local significance for Costa Ricans. On April 27
the former pope, who died in 2005, will be put into
sainthood by Pope Francis at a Mass in St. Peter's
|3/28/14 3:51:35 AM|
|This is a bad time to be a sardine|
| There is no law that says Catholics have to eat
tuna or sardines during the religious period before
Easter, Lent. But the culture says they do.
|3/27/14 2:48:41 AM|
|Spanish firm to build first new sewer line|
| A Spanish construction firm has been selected
to install the first three kilometers of sewer line for
the valley project. The firm is a familiar one, Fomento
de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A., known by its
initials FCC. The company said that it will have 10
months to build the line which will connect to the Los
Tajos treatment plant, which also is under construction.
|3/27/14 2:48:13 AM|
|Government salaries are public record, Sala IV says|
| The constitutional court ruled that the right
of the public to know the salaries of public employees
transcends the individual right of privacy.
|3/26/14 3:46:25 AM|
|3-D printing ready to change life here|
| There's a device that can create a new pair of
shoes, a model for a new home and maybe soon a beating
human heart. In a future with 3D printers the
opportunities for application seem unlimited.
|3/26/14 3:45:55 AM|
|Country among Latin America's three most secure, Florida firm says|
| A West Palm, Beach, Florida, firm has published
an index that says Costa Rica is one of the three most
secure countries in Latin America.
|3/25/14 3:27:34 AM|
|Tax is factor that makes gasoline so high|
| The the topic is the cost of living, many
expats quickly bring up the price of gasoline. They look
to Panamá as a country where the prices are lower.
|3/24/14 3:45:26 AM|
|Estimated dates set for arrival of rainy season|
| The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said
Thursday that the season will arrive in the south
Pacific between April 1 and 5. Then the season will move
north and into the central Pacific between April 26 and
30. The Central Valley will undergo the seasonal change
sometime between May 6 and 10, which the north Pacific
will see this happen between May 15 and 20,
|3/21/14 3:57:29 AM|
|Fugitive lawyer can beat rap with long vacation|
| One reason crimes pays in Costa Rica is that
crooks can duck any penalty by taking a really long
|3/21/14 3:57:02 AM|
|Postal service honors pope|
| The national postal service came out Wednesday
with a stamp honoring the first Latin American pope,
Francis, on his first year in office.
|3/20/14 3:56:59 AM|
|Tax agency prepared to seek names of corporate shareholders|
| The Dirección General de Tributación has
prepared but appears to have not issued a decree that
would require everyone who is responsible for a
corporation to report the names, identification numbers,
citizenship and other data of every shareholder several
times a year.
|3/19/14 3:20:44 AM|
|Zoo foundation wins a court battle to stay operating|
| The Laura Chinchilla administration has been
rebuffed in its efforts to close down the zoo in north
|3/19/14 3:20:12 AM|
|Life of Germans here during World War II was not pura vida|
| On July 2, 1942 a German submarine sunk a
United Fruit Co. boat and killed 24 Costa Rican workers.
Two days later a riot targeted shops and homes of
German-Costa Ricans, which destroyed more than 100
|3/18/14 2:50:08 AM|
|Registro in court over corporate resignations|
| One Costa Rican woman had a rude awakening in
2012 when she tried to resign her position as secretary
of a local company as allowed by Transitorio IV of Ley
9024. The Registro Nacional said she could not quit
because the company owed money to the Caja Costarricense
de Seguro Social, known to most as the Caja.
|3/18/14 2:49:34 AM|
|How about all those scruffy immigrants to America?|
| Can a country like the United States survive
with a flood of immigrants with very different
traditions? They come group after group of uneducated,
perhaps even dirty individuals who worship false gods
and are excessively prolific enough to eventually
overwhelm the existing hard working population. And many
speak a strange language and cannot understand simple
|3/17/14 2:59:38 AM|
|Brazilian firm gets a $28.4 million going away present|
| The central government has paid off the
Brazilian construction firm OAS with some $28.4 million.
|3/14/14 3:41:55 AM|
|Central bank moves to meet inflation|
| The Banco Central acted Wednesday to make money
a bit more expensive. The board of directors of the
Banco Central increased the rate at which commercial
banks can borrow money to 4.75 percent, That is a 1
|3/14/14 3:41:21 AM|
|Chiquita merges with Irish firm|
| Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and Fyffes
plc have announced a merger. Both firms are involved in
agriculture for exporting from Costa Rica.
|3/13/14 3:53:59 AM|
|They finally put up some train crossing signals|
| The transport ministry finally is putting in
signals at railway grade crossings. The first two are in
service, and transport officials are warning motorists
of steep fines for failing to obey the flashing lights
|3/13/14 3:53:32 AM|
|Advertising characters going on display|
| Well-known characters from the ad pages of old
are taking over the Museo de Arte y Diseños
Contemporáneo. Graphics and caricature drawings of Costa
Rican corporate branding characters will make up the
Fundredimas-based exhibit in conjunction with the fourth
annual Festival Internacional de Diseño.
|3/12/14 3:50:48 AM|
|There's even a campaign plan for animals|
| Protection of the habitat and its wildlife has
long been a focal point for green-conscious Costa Rican
authorities. Presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís
and his campaign have released a plan to focus on the
well being of the nation’s animal population. Wildlife,
pets, and farm animals are all addressed in the party’s
|3/12/14 3:50:18 AM|
|He's Costa Rican but a real banger fan|
| A familiar Costa Rican name with political
legacy is behind a small and relatively unknown sausage
business. Claudio Pacheco, the one-time director of the
national coast guard and brother of former president
Abel, sells homemade pork sausage and produces the
monthly e-mail newsletter, Banger News.
|3/11/14 4:32:38 AM|
|What will a Solís administration be like?|
| Business operators in Costa Rica had better
brace for more taxes and a renewed participation of the
state in public life. That seems to be the philosophy of
Luis Guillermo Solís, the remaining active candidate for
the April 6 presidential elections.
|3/11/14 4:32:15 AM|
|Expat creates a center of diversity on the skirts of Volcan Poas|
| There are stories in each one of these roots.
This plant can help against the flu. That tree over
there has leaves used to make the iconic Panama hats.
Here's the kudzu, which became invasive when planted in
the southeastern United States but has stayed tame in
the tropical climate.
|3/10/14 3:42:36 AM|
|Tourism promoted in Brazil and Germany|
| The tourism chamber said Thursday that it has
entered into a cooperation agreement with the city of
Santo, Brazil At the same time, government tourism
officials said that the country was being represented at
what is considered the world's biggest tourism show in
|3/7/14 4:02:43 AM|
|Organization wants to double number of U.S. kids overseas|
| An organization that is expert in sending
American students overseas to study says it has launched
a five-year initiative to double the number.
|3/7/14 4:02:21 AM|
|(Solís has a new campaign|
| As he walked under the red and yellow flags
into the backyard of his party's headquarters, Luís
Guillermo Solís put a pin over the left side of his
chest that read "Salí a votar."
|3/6/14 4:17:17 AM|
|Johnny Araya announces he is concluding presidential campaign|
| Johnny Araya Monge, the candidate for
president, said this afternoon that he was concluding
his campaign. That means Luis Guillermo Solís of the
Partido Acción Ciudadana will be the next president May
8 unless a great surprise happens in the election runoff
|3/6/14 4:16:36 AM|
|Giant Guanacaste solar project starts soon|
| A series of multi-million dollar projects
designed to install solar panels throughout Guanacaste
should soon be under way, according to the heads of Sun
Fund Americas. Company president Craig Williamson and
his partner, Frank Biden, the brother of the U. S. vice
president, said they are set to begin their solar farm
developments with the Guanacaste Country Club in
|3/5/14 3:48:08 AM|
|Oil palm lagoons targeted as source of methane|
| Researchers have found some bad news and some
good news about oil palm production in Costa Rica.
|3/5/14 3:47:39 AM|
|There seems to be a run on the dollar at ATM machines|
| There is a rush on to accumulate dollars. The
U.S. currency soared to an official rate of 557.11 by
the close of business Monday. The Banco Central said it
invested $19.95 million to keep the dollar from going
|3/4/14 4:11:33 AM|
|Did they make your company active for no reason?|
| This year the tax department, known officially
as Dirección General de Tributación, and loosely as
Tributación Directa, had a surprise for many expats and
Ticos alike. The government institution changed inactive
companies that pay the lower company tax assessment
created by Law 9024 to active without any warning.
|3/4/14 4:10:57 AM|
|San Diego to San Jose by muscle power|
| A pair of tired cyclists slowly climb up a hill
on Ruta 27 outside Escazú. A stranger driving the other
way in traffic points his head out the window and yells,
"You're almost there." After four months and roughly
5,000 kilometers of biking through México and Central
America, cousins Bradie Kozera and Tommy Peters are
indeed close to the end.
|2/28/14 4:02:53 AM|
|Here come the spring breakers!|
| Spring break or reading week as it is called in
Canada already has begun, and students at various
colleges and universities are off for fun and perhaps
sun through late April.
|2/28/14 4:02:31 AM|
|Firebombing of Dresden still fresh after 69 years|
| Martin Börner was working as a 14-year-old
apprentice in a hotel kitchen when the alarms went off.
It was nearly 10 a.m. when the first bombs dropped.
Börner was instructed to hastily take shelter
underground with everyone else. Hours later, when he
popped his head back into the daytime, his city of
Dresden was in flames.
|2/27/14 4:13:59 AM|
|Medical crisis shows there's quality care at the beach|
| One hour after undergoing routine throat survey
at Hospital CIMA, Brad Sanson started to bleed
uncontrollably. Six hours later, back in a hospital bed,
the bleeding had subsided. By then he had lost a third
of his blood. The week following his release and return
to his home in Jacó, the real estate developer said he
noticed he was only feeling worse.
|2/26/14 3:43:13 AM|
|Guanacaste yields many, many new wasp species|
| An inventory of wild-caught caterpillars, its
food plants and parasites, has been going on for more
than 34 years in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste. As
a result, more than 10,000 species of moths and
butterflies are estimated to live there. Their
caterpillars are in turn attacked by many parasitic
wasps,also numbering thousands of species.
|2/26/14 3:42:52 AM|
|Kid's book will promote Chorotega tradition|
| The Chorotega pottery tradition has existed for
perhaps more than 2,000 years, but soon a fictional
iguana will lend a claw to keep it going.
|2/25/14 2:58:55 AM|
|Dengue has less of a presence this year|
| A year after a nationwide dengue epidemic, the
Ministerio de Salud reported greatly reduced numbers for
2014. Confirmed dengue afflictions have dropped by 67
percent from last year's peak, although there are still
more than 1,000 people affected.
|2/25/14 2:58:34 AM|
|Association of Residents gets new rates but may challenge them|
| Disputes continue between the Association of
Residents of Costa Rica and the persistent Caja
Costarricense de Seguro Social that has started to
charge higher rates for association members.
|2/24/14 3:10:57 AM|
|Water becoming more precious as dry season nears end|
| The nation's regulatory agency said Thursday
that water customers who will be rationed have a right
to know that in advance unless the cutoff or reduction
is a problem of infrastructure.
|2/24/14 3:10:30 AM|
|Shrimp bill meets opposition|
| A legislative committee approved and sent to
the full legislature Thursday a measure to reinstate
shrimp trawling in Costa Rican waters. Immediately, an
environmental organization said that the proposal does
not agree with a constitutional court ruling.
|2/21/14 3:52:54 AM|
|Study confirms that manual laborers get kidney malady|
| Doctors researching the abnormal rate of
chronic kidney disease in Guanacaste gave a preliminary
analysis of findings Wednesday. Physician Ray Wong, who
works at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social in
Libería, said the findings are consistent with their
hypothesis that mostly uneducated men who work in
physical labor are affected.
|2/21/14 3:52:33 AM|
|Editorial: These soccer fans are really just street gangs|
| Costa Rican officials are treating the riot by
soccer fans Sunday as a sports problem.
|2/20/14 3:29:25 AM|
|Tourism industry seeks change with new president|
| Tourism in Costa Rica is either pretty good or
pretty bad, depending on who is doing the assessment.
With a new president comes change, and that is true of
the country's tourism agency, the Instituto
Costarricense de Turismo. Already, the national tourism
chamber is on record urging that its members be named to
the institute's board of directors.
|2/20/14 3:28:55 AM|
|Country made $1.5 billion in overseas investments in 2013|
| More than $1.5 billion was invested by 105
Costa Rican businesses into foreign projects last year,
according to the Promotora del Comercio Exterior de
Costa Rica and the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior.
|2/19/14 4:04:49 AM|
|Museum will tell you how to make money|
| The Museos del Banco Central wants to show the
world how to make money. The museums mean how to really
make it from start to finish. The newest exhibit at the
museums is a detailed explanation on how the new family
of currency was created.
|2/19/14 4:04:23 AM|
|Frustration times comes again to the Central Valley|
| Get ready for more lost time, more late
arrivals to work and a spike in the frustration index.
Traffic officials have reduced the single-lane bridges
over the Circunvalación washout from four to three.
|2/18/14 3:42:15 AM|
|Deadline draws near to duck the corporate tax|
| Here is an opportunity for a last chance to
resign from companies before the Registro Nacional
starts collection for taxes due under Law 9024. One
attorney estimated 275,000 out of the 575,000 estimated
mercantile companies registered in Costa Rica are
defunct. They are part of an estimated 420,277 companies
currently behind on the tax, as reported by the Banco de
|2/17/14 3:42:19 AM|
|Venezuelan protesters get some support from Arias|
| Glaring camera lights and shaking microphones
waved in front of Lorent Saleh, as three Venezuelan
flags were raised at his back. Outside the gated house
of ex-president Óscar Arias Sánchez, he spoke to
reporters about the violent student protests in Caracas
that led to three deaths Wednesday.
|2/17/14 3:41:53 AM|
|Study planned on mystery kidney diseases|
| Chronic kidney disease is getting a lot of
attention worldwide, but the mystery remains. Boston
University's School of Public Health says its experts
are conducting an investigation of chronic kidney
disease in the northwestern region of Nicaragua in
conjunction with the World Bank and Nicaraguan partners.
|2/14/14 3:39:46 AM|
|Not having a police record called a human right|
| A human rights organization wants lawmakers to
wipe clean police records after sentence is served.
|2/14/14 3:39:07 AM|
|Clovis child's DNA shows common ancestry with most Native Americans|
| The first mapping of the Clovis genome provides
evidence that ties these ancient people to contemporary
|2/13/14 3:43:33 AM|
|A stamp for Juan Mora|
| The honors keep flowing in for Juan Rafael Mora
Porras, the Costa Rican president who led the country
into the Campaña Nacional in 1856 and 1857.
|2/13/14 3:43:07 AM|
|Leatherbacks endangered in Atlantic, too|
| Another satellite study shows that leatherbacks
are at risk in the Atlantic Ocean, too. The report of
the research follows identification of two trouble spots
in the Pacific.
|2/12/14 3:26:33 AM|
|Internet and emails encourage anonymous claims|
| IThe campaign up to the runoff election April 6
promises to be one filled with lies and
misrepresentations. The blame can be leveled at the
Internet and email.
|2/12/14 3:26:11 AM|
|Yikes! Crocs can climb trees|
| When most people envision crocodiles, they
think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water
not climbing trees. However, a University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, study has found that the reptiles can climb
trees as far as the crowns.
|2/11/14 3:22:04 AM|
|Infinito seeks arbitration but for lesser amount|
| Infinito Gold Ltd. has filed an arbitration
request with the World Bank's arbitration organization
and seeks $94 million from Costa Rica, the local
subsidiary said today.
|2/11/14 3:21:38 AM|
|Tourism institute bets big on Winter Olympics|
| The nation's tourism institute is investing
nearly $700,000 in advertising related to the Winter
Olympics. The campaign calls for 267 commercials for
$500,000 on NBC Universal networks between last Friday
and Feb. 23.
|2/7/14 3:45:57 AM|
|Some expats will see a jump in Caja fees|
| Some expats are facing a stiff hike in
mandatory monthly payments to the Caja Costarricense de
Seguro Social. The Association of Residents of Costa
Rica announced Wednesday that the Caja would charge
individual members based on their residency status.
|2/7/14 3:45:33 AM|
|Expat in property dispute loses defamation case|
| Sheldon Haseltine was found guilty of
defamation by San José judges Wednesday. He was ordered
to pay plaintiff Armando González the maximum penalty
allowed for such a charge, approximately 15 million
colons or $30,000.
|2/6/14 3:49:43 AM|
|Little wasp may be a big help against citrus disease|
| The country's citrus growers now has a safe
ally in their battle against the dreaded dragón
amarillo, the insect-born bacterial disease that ruins
crops and kills trees.
|2/5/14 3:33:16 AM|
|Satellites track leatherbacks to spot danger zones|
| A team of researchers have tracked by satellite
135 leatherback turtles to determine that there are two
spots in the Pacific where the creatures are in the
greatest danger from longline fishing.
|2/5/14 3:32:51 AM|
|No matter who wins, expats can count on new taxes|
| One facts is certain after the first round of
elections Sunday. There will be more taxes. That is true
no matter who wins April 6.
|2/4/14 3:02:24 AM|
|Presidential election results in need for a runoff|
| Luís Guillermo Sólis staged an unexpected
comeback Sunday to join Johnny Araya in the April
|2/4/14 3:02:01 AM|
|Drug trafficking blamed for several types of deforestation|
| Add yet another threat to the list of problems
facing the rapidly disappearing rain forests of Central
America: drug trafficking.
|2/3/14 3:31:23 AM|
|Country celebrates poetry and poets|
| Today is the Día Nacional de la Poesía, which
was created in memory of Jorge Debravo, a Turrialba poet
whose life was cut short by a drunk driver.
|1/31/14 3:21:28 AM|
|Some expats not plugged into the national election|
| Debates between five candidates in rapidly
spoken Spanish and mounting talk of a second round of
voting leave the expat community trying to make sense of
the Costa Rican presidential race. Facing some
disorienting election laws plus a lack of voting rights
for most, Gringos often dedicate their attention on the
first Sunday in February to the Super Bowl over election
|1/31/14 3:21:00 AM|
|Florida appeals court upholds jurisdiction over lawyers here|
| A Florida appeals panel has upheld a lower
court order that says a civil case against Costa Rican
lawyers will be heard in that state.
|1/30/14 4:02:56 AM|
|This is the time for a general lethargy|
| The country not only is approaching a quiet
time for electioneering, but the prospect of a change in
presidents has employees and officials sitting tight.
|1/30/14 4:02:35 AM|
|Hemisphere meets without U.S. or Canada|
| The Community of Latin American and Caribbean
States was set up to free much of the hemisphere from
the influence of the United States and Canada.
|1/29/14 3:25:40 AM|
|President in Cuba where dissidents complain of arbitrary arrests|
| A smiling President Laura Chinchilla arrived in
Havana, Cuba, Monday night as the Castro regime
continued picking up dissidents so there would be no
protests. She was met with a guard of honor.
|1/29/14 3:25:13 AM|
|Costa Rica's museum treasures|
| Though they often get overlooked in favor of
beach-side comfort and rain forest exploration, San
José's museums offer engaging and comprehensive insights
into the country's deep well of culture and history.
|1/28/14 3:17:09 AM|
|Caribbean fishermen on right track with lionfish|
| There is confirmation that human intervention
can control the invasive lionfish and allow native fish
|1/27/14 2:46:21 AM|
|Quiet time approaches for election campaigns|
| Expats know that Costa Rican official are
taking the general election seriously when they prohibit
soccer games the Saturday before and the Sunday that is
election day Feb. 2. Soccer is sacred, but the
democratic process even trumps the sacred in Costa Rica.
|1/24/14 3:40:31 AM|
|Minister seeks to eliminate the annual deficit|
| The finance minister said Wednesday that the
country's annual budget budget deficit could be
eliminated in five to six years.
|1/24/14 3:39:57 AM|
|Researchers say many shark and ray species could go extinct|
| One quarter of the world’s cartilaginous fish,
namely sharks and rays, face extinction within the next
few decades, according to the first study to
systematically and globally assess their fate.
|1/23/14 3:26:22 AM|
|Opposition to modified foods creates a business|
| Caution: food labels are not always as they
appear. When organic farming advocate Albert Lusk roams
the vendor stalls of local food fairs and sees tags or
signs promising organic products, he says he is reminded
not to trust such hollow claims.
|1/23/14 3:24:48 AM|
|Researchers test the brains of the elderly|
| “The brains of older people do not get weak,”
says Michael Ramscar. “On the contrary, they simply know
|1/22/14 3:16:56 AM|
|Teatro Nacional ceiling gets some good press|
| The ceiling of the Teatro Nacional has made a
short list of 10 best published by USA Today, the U.S.
|1/22/14 3:16:25 AM|
|Tico media giving a close eye to candidates|
| Press and television reporters in Costa Rica
are digging deeper this year into the backgrounds and
promises of candidates.
|1/21/14 3:48:52 AM|
|The flippers are back on the prowl|
| Expats should not fall for the old caper that
goes like this when trying to sell property to an
unknown buyer: “Can you give me a first right of refusal
|1/21/14 3:48:26 AM|
|March against violence brings out hundreds|
| Costa Ricans are murdered in street robberies
nearly every day. There were three such cases, at least,
over the weekend. Yet the murder of two budding
musicians has had an impact that brought hundred to the
streets Sunday to protest violence. Some came from
outside the country specifically to participate in the
|1/20/14 2:45:41 AM|
|Tourism totals higher due to Europe and South America|
| Tourism officials were congratulating
themselves Thursday as they reported a 3.6 percent
increase in international arrivals over the number in
2012. A look at the statistics in detail, however,
reveals less than a 1 percent increase from the United
States with 8,305 more visitors.
|1/20/14 2:45:08 AM|
|Big influx of music lovers to Jacó|
| With the drifting remnants of the setting sun
coloring the sky orange, it becomes easy to see why so
many able American tourists have descended upon Jacó for
these concerts that take place in a postcard.
|1/17/14 3:38:48 AM|
|Questions surround murder of two teens|
| Investigators of the double murder of teens in
Paraíso are trying to piece together what happened, and
they now have the help of a 21-year-old who admits being
|1/17/14 3:38:20 AM|
|Hearing centers on dog poisonings|
| An unusual hearing takes place today in the
Juzgado Contravencional del 2nd Circuito in Goicochea. A
woman is facing an allegation of poisoning two dogs in
Pinares de Curridabat. last August.
|1/16/14 2:51:32 AM|
|Environmentalists reject blame for causing poverty|
| Some 22 environmental organizations has issued
a statement in which they decline to take responsibility
for the collapse of the Las Crucitas open pit gold mine
and the looming $1 billion arbitration demand.
|1/15/14 2:58:24 AM|
|High season occupancy less than expected|
| The high season so far has been a grim one for
the hospitality industry. The Cámera Nacional de Turismo
said Monday that average occupancy for weeks around
Christmas averaged 72.1 percent.
|1/15/14 2:57:58 AM|
|Photo exhibit features early 20th century structures|
| The country as it was in 1922 is on display via
photos by one of the nation's pioneer photo
|1/14/14 3:13:05 AM|
|Legislative races take back seat but are vital|
| As presidential candidates debate, as they did
again Sunday night, legislative candidates are being
overlooked. But the legislature also is important.
|1/14/14 3:12:43 AM|
|Expat tells about his spider encounter|
| Initially it was not painful. When I looked
with my reading glasses the magnified lenses could not
see it. I felt it though.
|1/13/14 2:56:52 AM|
|You have to be sharp to get a good refrigerator deal<|
| The jungle has nothing on appliance stores.
It's a jungle there, too, according to the most recent
survey by the economics ministry.
|1/13/14 2:56:32 AM|
|Great white sharks can be senior citizens|
| Great white sharks, top predators throughout
the world's ocean, grow much slower and live
significantly longer than previously thought, according
to a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic
|1/10/14 3:01:44 AM|
|Survey seems to confirm tourism is coming back|
| The sense that tourism is picking up is now
official. The tourism chamber released the results of a
survey that supports the anecdotal evidence from major
|1/10/14 3:01:20 AM|
|Costa Rican sailfish helped bring down a big city scam|
| Live is good in Costa Rica A little beer on the
beach and maybe an exciting sports fishing adventure.
But if you are a New York police officer applying for
disability you better not put the photo of you and the
fish on Facebook.
|1/9/14 3:38:49 AM|
|Expat concerns have low priority in political campaigns|
| No presidential candidates appears to be
talking about the issues important to expats. Foreigners
cannot vote nor can they make political contributions,
but they certainly have opinions and needs. Many feel
they have been battered during the Laura Chinchilla
|1/9/14 3:38:24 AM|
|Supervolcano requires no trigger, scientists say|
| Scientists have reproduced the conditions
inside the magma chamber of a supervolcano to understand
what it takes to trigger its explosion. These rare
events represent the biggest natural catastrophes on
Earth except for the impact of giant meteorites.
|1/8/14 3:58:31 AM|
|The party is in Palmares|
| The party has not ended. The Fiestas Palmares
kicks off Jan. 15 for another carnival for Costa Ricans.
|1/8/14 3:58:06 AM|
|In the trenches during the War on Poverty|
| Johnson's war was great for reporters because
it generated a lot of government activity. One was the
Model Cities Program that was supposed to rebuild the
nation's urban areas. Covering what was called urban
renewal became a full-time journalistic job as plans
were advanced to tear down the central city to construct
|1/7/14 3:13:59 AM|
|Windows 8.1 worth the effort|
| A new year usually brings new challenges. One
expats are trying to avoid is upgrading to Microsoft’s
new operating system, Windows 8.1. The company is trying
to cram it down everyone’s throats after the release of
Windows 8 was such a disaster.
|1/7/14 3:13:35 AM|
|Monkeys are immigrants, too|
| When monkeys landed in South America 37 or more
million years ago, the long-isolated continent already
teemed with a menagerie of 30-foot snakes, giant
armadillos and strange, hoofed mammals. Over time, the
monkeys forged their own niches across the New World,
evolved new forms and spread as far north as the
Caribbean and as far south as Patagonia.
|1/6/14 2:57:21 AM|
|Museo de Jade ready to plan exhibits in new building|
| Administrators of the new Museo de Jade hope to
have 6,881 archaeological pieces on display when the
structure is open to the public. That is nearly six
times what is on display now in the first floor of the
Instituto Nacional de Seguros on Avenida 7.
|1/3/14 3:55:25 AM|
|Some foreign students go to school there while living here|
| In Costa Rica a few students, perhaps from the
United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, are
preparing for next semester. But they will attend full-
or part-time through the Internet. And some will have
the advantage of government loans the same way they
would if they were freezing on their way to class up
|1/2/14 2:53:36 AM|
|House committee asked to hold hearing on expat banking woes|
| The U.S. House Financial Services Committee is
being asked to hold hearings on the problems Americans
are having overseas with banking.
|1/2/14 2:53:12 AM|
|Here's how to get trees for reforestation|
| The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad,
the government-owned telecommunications and electricity
provider, offers residents an opportunity to get native
tree species for reforestation and plantation purposes.
|12/31/13 2:53:17 AM|
|Nursing mother wins a big payoff because she was fired|
| The Sala Secunda, the high labor court, has
awarded a nursing mother 12 months pay because she was
laid off from her job. The court said the labor
termination was discriminatory.
|12/31/13 2:52:52 AM|
|Emotions rule when it comes to voting|
| Costa Rican election authorities are promoting
the concept of an informed vote Feb. 2. In the face of
all this effort is a mountain of political science
literature that says emotional factors will guide the
public vote, not their intellect.
|12/30/13 3:31:43 AM|
|There's a lot of work to put on a Tope Nacional|
| Tremendous effort went into the preparation for
the Tope Nacional Thursday. More than 5,000 riders had
to bring their mounts to San José, saddle them up and
wait their turn to step into the parade route. And
police and Cruz Roja workers also had to prepare for
|12/30/13 3:31:16 AM|
|Internet use linked to addictive behaviors|
| Young people who spend a lot of time on the
Internet may exhibit classic addiction behaviors,
according to new research.
|12/27/13 2:32:00 AM|
|Santa confronts the bureaucracy|
| Costa Ricans better enjoy their Christmas 2013
because next year may be a little bleak. Santa still is
in the immigration lockup in Hatillo grousing about his
treatment by the bureaucracy.
|12/27/13 2:31:37 AM|
|Sámara earthquake was predicted, researchers say|
| Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say
they predicted the magnitude 7.6 Nicoya earthquake that
shook Costa Rica in 2012.
|12/26/13 1:10:47 AM|
|Downtown is alive with nativity scenes|
| Club Unión, downtown merchants and the
municipality combined to sponsor San José Ciudad Luz,
which included a contest of nativity scenes, called
portales in Spanish. Radio Fides (left) took one of the
top honors for a living representation of the birth of
|12/24/13 2:35:31 AM|
|Owners of second homes may face a sales tax nightmare|
| Many people renting their second homes and
short-term rentals are not collecting and remitting the
13 percent sales taxes, which they are required to do by
law. Some are not even paying income taxes if they make
|12/24/13 2:35:04 AM|
|Corporate tax next month will be 199,700 colons|
| The country's tax on corporations is going up
about $20 for 2014. The tax is keyed to the salary of a
judicial worker, as are many other fines and fees in
|12/23/13 3:13:53 AM|
|Massive earthquake seen as a possibility|
| An Australian researcher has studied subduction
zones where one tectonic plate presses against an
adjacent one. He reported that certain characteristics
show which areas can produce big earthquakes and which
probably will not.
|12/23/13 3:13:24 AM|
|(Experts have doubts about Chinese loan deal|
| Organizations of road builders and construction
firms are expressing reservations about a loan deal with
China to widen Ruta 32.
|12/20/13 3:00:16 AM|
|Electric rates expected to be lower|
| The price regulating agency came out with a
surprise Wednesday and said that electrical rates would
average about 5.5 percent lower next year.
|12/20/13 2:59:51 AM|
|Milanes will go to trial|
| The Luis Ángel Milanes Tamayo fraud case has
taken another turn. A judge has ordered the case to
trial, according to messages some lawyers are sending
their clients. There has been no confirmation by the
|12/19/13 3:34:29 AM|
|Policies announced against racism and xenophobia and for culture|
| Costa Rica established two national policies
Tuesday. One seeks to eliminate racism and xenophobia.
The other established a network to insure the right to
|12/19/13 3:33:54 AM|
|But the bull does not need insurance|
| The national insurance company is reminding
those holiday bull fighters that they need insurance
coverage. They sure do. These are the participants
called toreros y montadores improvisados who get in the
ring with a fighting bull for the benefit of an audience
and, in come cases, an international television
|12/18/13 3:14:00 AM|
|Banking association issues ultimatum on updating account info|
| The nation's banking association is warning
that accounts may be closed if customers do not show up,
fill out a form and provide income information to their
|12/17/13 3:13:50 AM|
|Live bait crackdown designed to protect sailfish|
| Coast guard patrols are cracking down on
illegal fishing, but the effort may be too little and
|12/17/13 3:13:25 AM|
|Hoopala over World Court decision premature|
| AN ANALYSIS: Newspapers were quick to tout the
second court victory over Nicaragua. But each was just a
|12/16/13 3:38:49 AM|
|Nicaragua fails to convince World Court|
| 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.
|12/13/13 4:05:34 AM|
|New project would give Santa Ana a downtown|
| Santa Ana will be getting a downtown. The
rapidly growing community west of San José was once a
sleepy agricultural center. But in the last 10 years it
has become a trendy place for the well off and for
|12/13/13 4:05:01 AM|
|Fmily ties do not prevent deportation, Sala IV reaffirms|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has reaffirmed
that foreigners must follow the laws of the nation and
underlined the chamber's long-standing position that
family ties in Costa Rica do not trump the regulations
relating to immigration.
|12/12/13 3:50:15 AM|
|Refinery to report on its hydrogen project|
| The state petroleum monopoly said that is is
ready to outline its project to produce and store
hydrogen, a gas lauded as a potential clean fuel.
|12/11/13 3:17:29 AM|
|Historic Heredia church being restored|
| Repair work has begun on the 19th century
Catholic church in Santo Domingo de Heredia. The church,
Nuestra Señora del Carmen de Castilla in San Miguel, is
unusual because it is one of the few churches still in
use that was constructed of adobe.
|12/10/13 3:35:12 AM|
|Owner-carry mortgage might be a good sales option|
| In a market where buyers are scarce, sellers
need to look at all the options to snag a sale. Owner
financing is one options available to sellers, but many
expats are scared to death of the courts and shy away
from carrying a mortgage.
|12/10/13 3:34:52 AM|
|Paragon property owners begin to organize|
| Some former Paragon Properties buyers are
trying to organize to retain ownership of the land they
purchased. Paragon was the heavily marketed real estate
venture that collapsed in the face of the economic
|12/9/13 2:58:45 AM|
|Closer eye promised on domestic employment|
| The labor ministry seeks to step up enforcement
of laws protecting domestic employees even though much
of the workforce is in private homes.
|12/9/13 2:58:15 AM|
|Expats in business terrified by prospect of Villalta presidency|
| The curse of the front runner can be
contagious. For several months Johnny Araya Monge of
Partido Liberación Nacional has been enjoying front
runner status in the race for president of the country.
When a recent poll showed that the candidate of Frente
Amplio, José María Villalta, might be giving Araya a
competition, the tone of the campaign changed.
|12/6/13 4:02:01 AM|
|Drilling expedition in Pacific made discoveries|
| Drilling at the the Hess Deep in the Pacific
uncovered major advances in understanding what goes on
inside the earth.
|12/6/13 4:01:38 AM|
|Exporters, truck drivers and Limón residents push for Chinese loans|
| Business organizations from the Limón areas and
some lawmakers are pressing for approval of a big loan
from China to widen the key Ruta 32.
|12/5/13 3:47:17 AM|
|Government reported suspending new $5 land exit tax|
| The government appears to have suspended the
new $5 land exit tax, but there has been no official
|12/4/13 3:26:57 AM|
|Survey crews on streets with culture questionnaire|
| The government is sending workers with
questionnaires door-to-door to measure public
participation in cultural activities.
|12/4/13 3:26:32 AM|
|Buying off highway contractor will cost $35 million|
| The central government has agreed to a payoff
of about $35 million to a Brazilian firm that had a
concession to build a highway from San José to San
|12/3/13 3:23:02 AM|
|Theater nativity scene showcases bamboo|
| The new portal or nativity scene at the Teatro
Nacional might give a boost to the country's bamboo
|12/3/13 3:22:37 AM|
|Coffee plants on city streets harbor disease|
| As coffee producers and the government seek to
stem an epidemic of coffee rust, there is a fifth column
that can harbor the disease.
|12/2/13 3:32:13 AM|
|A new designation likely for manatee|
| School children in Limón Centro have been
successful in getting a legislative committee to advance
a bill to make the manatee the symbol of Costa Rica
|11/29/13 4:02:05 AM|
|Some annoying questions about Chinese road deal|
| Politicians keep asking troubling questions
about the central government's deal with a Chinese firm
to widen Ruta 32 from Río Frio to Limón.
|11/28/13 2:53:58 AM|
|Those slimy fellows are seeking a new, moist home|
| As the rainy season ends slimy creatures that
like moisture are looking for new homes. They may end up
in the house.
|11/28/13 2:53:36 AM|
|Tax agency will get expat banking info|
| Costa Rica has set up its tax agreement with
the U.S. federal government so that officials here can
keep an eye on expat finances.
|11/27/13 3:09:23 AM|
|Don't invite any Pilgrims to Thanksgiving dinner|
| If any of the original Pilgrims were around
today, they would make poor dinner guests on
Thanksgiving. Like many before and after there were
religious extremists who were pretty sure that only they
were going to Heaven.
|11/27/13 3:08:50 AM|
|Hearing planned on personal generation of power|
| The nation's utility regulator plans a meeting
Thursday to get reaction to a draft that would allow all
electrical consumers to generate their own power and
perhaps sell the excess to their local electric company.
|11/26/13 3:20:54 AM|
|Two organizations work toward real estate licensing|
| In a country where real estate or attorney used
in the same sentence as ethics is an oxymoron, two
organizations are trying very hard to bring some sanity
to the real estate profession. There are two real estate
associations here: CGGAR, the Costa Rica Global
Association of Realtors, and CCCBR, the Camara
Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices (Costa Rica
Chamber of Real Estate Brokers).
|11/25/13 2:57:21 AM|
|Costa Rica gets what it wanted at The Hague|
| The 16 justices of the World Court in the Hague
have ordered NIcaragua to fill in part of the
controversial ditch in what Costa Rica considers its
|11/25/13 2:56:57 AM|
|Display of ancient jars includes demonstration|
| More than 1,200 years ago residents of
civilizations in the central Caribbean coast made jars
that had three legs. These were ritual objects that
frequently were broken up as an offering at a graveside,
said the Museos del Banco Central.
|11/22/13 3:34:50 AM|
|Social Security recipients get a warning|
| The U.S. Embassy warned Wednesday that some 800
U.S. Social Security recipients in Costa Rica might have
their payments interrupted.
|11/21/13 2:55:16 AM|
|Tax on adultery is about to go higher|
| The legislature is about to increase the sin
tax. This is not the tax on alcohol or cigarettes, which
is the usual description of sin tax elsewhere. This is
the country's tax on adultery and other illicit sexual
|11/20/13 3:45:04 AM|
|Online gambling on upswing in U.S.|
| Remember when online gambling companies here
were jolted when the U.S. congress passed a stern law in
2006 prohibiting their activities in the United States?
The attitude appears to be changing in the north.
|11/20/13 3:44:36 AM|
|Advances in predicting dengue outbreaks|
| A study by an international team of researchers
has provided public health officials with information
that will help decrease the risk of dengue, a
life-threatening mosquito-borne viral disease that is
now one of the fastest spreading tropical diseases
|11/19/13 3:46:35 AM|
|(Chinese want presentation on APM terminal<|
| Representatives of the proposed $1 billion
container-handling terminal in Limón will present
project plans to visitors from the the Chinese
|11/19/13 3:46:11 AM|
|Tourists need not fear the water|
| There are dozens of new scientific studies
discussing the acidification of the oceans, a critical
issue for Costa Rica. It turns out that there is little
chance the ocean will move to the acid side of the pH
scale. Acidification turns out to be a figure of speech.
|11/18/13 3:19:57 AM|
|The main course is on the way|
| Gentleman farmer Garry Wiersum plans to harvest
the last six of this season's turkeys today or over the
weekend. The 65-year-old expat has been raising turkeys
in an organic way for four years, and this year his
small flock produced 45 main courses.
|11/18/13 3:19:34 AM|
|It's almost aguinaldo time again|
| Christmas is something short of ho ho ho for
employers. The approach to the holidays includes the
deadline for paying aguinaldos to employees.
|11/15/13 3:19:45 AM|
|Will embassy goof cost Wyoming man his life?|
| A U.S. veteran may lose the chance for a
life-saving bone marrow transplant because a staffer in
the U.S. consulate denied a visa to the Costa Rican
woman who was going to undertake an extraordinary effort
to help him.
|11/15/13 3:19:20 AM|
|Bill advances for defender of prisoners|
| A legislative committee approved and reported
out to the full body a measure to create a special
defender for prisoners.
|11/14/13 3:32:06 AM|
|Another rough time at the immigration counter|
| If you are a snowbird coming to stay at your
Costa Rican condo for six month to duck the northern
snow, you better have a bus ticket showing that you are
leaving in three months.
|11/14/13 3:31:18 AM|
|How about a ministry of gender equality|
| A legislative committee has given approval to a
bill that would create a ministry of equality of gender.
The measure would allow the president to appoint a
minister to this new entity.
|11/13/13 3:52:37 AM|
|Commerce ministry promotes CAFTA treaty|
| Costa Rica's trade treaty with the United
States and other Central American countries has wrought
great changes here. The commerce ministry arranged a
seminar Monday to promote the treaty and its impact.
That summary was the essence. Not all of the politicians
running for president agree, and depending on the vote
Feb. 2, the trade treaty known as CAFTA-DR might be in
|11/12/13 4:04:31 AM|
|Registro will auction property of deadbeat firms|
| Doomsday is coming for expats and Ticos alike
who have ignored their responsibilities under Law 9024.
The law is better known to all as the Impuesto a las
Personas Jurídicas or the company assessment tax.
|11/8/13 3:27:10 AM|
|Many more wasp types discovered|
| Scientists have described an astonishing 277
new species of wasps that live in Costa Rica
|11/8/13 3:26:46 AM|
|Falling faith in democracy suggests larger crisis|
| AN ANALYSIS: As the country moves toward
another general election Feb. 2, the public is restless
|11/7/13 3:27:28 AM|
|More dates for the Christmas calendar|
| Christmas events will dominate the news as more
and more organizations fix the date for their
contribution to the holiday season. The Hospital de
Niños said Tuesday that the traditional tree lighting
would be Thursday, Dec. 5, at the hospital starting at
about 6 p.m. when dusk falls.
|11/7/13 3:26:53 AM|
|Prosecutors ask judge to jail Milanes|
| Prosecutors Tuesday morning asked a judge to
remand Luis Ángel Milanes Tamayo into preventative
detention Tuesday morning. The casino owner and operator
of the collapsed Savings Unlimited high-interest
operation was characterized as a flight risk who faces
up to 22 years in prison on allegations of aggravated
fraud and illegal financial intermediation.
|11/6/13 3:42:42 AM|
|Children's museum plans Christmas show|
| The fiesta at the museum will be Dec. 4, a
Wednesday, this year, and there is a special early event
at 4:30 p.m. The museum said that it expected 12,000 to
see the show.
|11/6/13 3:42:20 AM|
|Payments for marchamo being accepted|
| The Instituto Nacional de Seguros is ready to
take payments by motorists for the 2014 marchamo or road
|11/5/13 3:47:29 AM|
|Two more weeks of the traffic nightmare|
| Central Valley residents have about two more
weeks to suffer through what has been a major
environmental and financial disaster.
|11/4/13 2:55:46 AM|
|Key meeting on APM terminals Nov. 9|
| The country's environmental agency plans a
hearing in Limón Nov. 9 to announce its finding on the
anticipated impact of a proposed $1 billion shipping
container handling facility.
|11/4/13 2:55:11 AM|
|Measure advances to increase fines for animal mistreatment|
| Every dog has its day, and it was Thursday at
the legislature. Lawmakers on the Comisión Permanente
Especial de Ambiente reported out favorably a change in
the criminal code that stipulates stiffer penalties for
those who mistreat, molest or cause the death
unnecessarily of an animal.
|11/1/13 3:35:55 AM|
|Streets are getting meaner with bulk release of convicts|
| There is a scene in the movie "Ghostbusters"
where the evil energy peaks to the extent that that
spooks are swirling around New York like so many
wind-driven newspaper pages. That may be the situation
soon in Costa Rica except the ghosts will be very solid
robbers and other crooks.
|11/1/13 3:35:31 AM|
|On the trail of the lightning strikes . . .|
| The power company, the Instituto Costarricense
de Electricidad, is spending $650,000 to beef up its
monitoring of lightning strikes.
|10/31/13 3:25:52 AM|
|Social media and emails are great ways to slander politicians|
| Modern social media has opened up new avenues
for dirty politics.
|10/31/13 3:25:26 AM|
|Public schools will get a diversity program|
| The Ministerio de Educación Pública is
beginning a project to increase the depictions of
non-white personages in schools.
|10/30/13 3:08:19 AM|
|Big parades of mascaradas Thursday|
| Back in second grade making a papier mâché head
was easy. An inflated balloon was plastered with wet
paper and some form of adhesive such as wallpaper paste.
All that was lacking was a painted happy face. When
Costa Rican artists seek to create one of those giant
papier mâché heads, the procedure is much more
sophisticated. The traditional mascaradas are unique
works of art.
|10/30/13 3:07:43 AM|
|Public school students face their last series of tests|
| As fifth year students face their first final
exam today or tonight in Spanish grammar and literature,
their futures hang in the balance.
|10/29/13 3:23:08 AM|
|Deadline in five months to duck the corporate tax|
| The tax is the “Impuesto a las Personas
Jurídicas,” Ley 9024, known to most as the company
assessment tax. Many people are still unaware the law
provides several bailout provisions.
|10/29/13 3:22:45 AM|
|Where are the hurricanes?|
| With just a month left in the Atlantic
Hurricane season, forecasters are scratching their heads
and trying to figure out what happened to the
hurricanes. So far there have been 12 named storms and
two category 1 hurricanes, the least powerful type.
|10/28/13 3:03:37 AM|
|Some hope for the food consumer|
| The economics ministry reported again Thursday
on a survey of food stores that showed wide variations
in prices. But the ministry also reported that three
entrepreneurs are developing an application called
Ahorre Más, "Save more," that will give shoppers
information on food prices in various supermarkets in
|10/25/13 3:38:59 AM|
|Big weekend planned in Aserrí|
| There is a double feature this weekend in the
town of Aserrí. Starting Friday there is the three-day
Feria de Tamal, featuring the traditional Costa Rican
dish. Then Sunday the community expects some 800 masked
visitors from all over the country for the Encuentro
Nacional de Mascaradas.
|10/25/13 3:38:29 AM|
|Minimum wage increase set at 3.78 percent|
| The Consejo de Salarios decided Wednesday
afternoon that minimum salaries will be raised 3.78
percent as of Jan. 1.
|10/24/13 3:26:10 AM|
|Costa Rica guaranteed to keep your brain sharp|
| A recent study that was the subject of a news
story Tuesday said that seniors need continual
challenges to stay sharp. The sedate retired life is not
enough to keep the brain cranking along. Fortunately for
expats, there are no shortages of challenges in Costa
|10/24/13 3:25:46 AM|
|Advocacy organization gives a litany of press woes in Americas|
| The Inter American Press Association outlined a
troubling litany of affronts to press freedom Tuesday.
|10/23/13 3:58:35 AM|
|Domestic employee bill gets final approval|
| Lawmakers have approved for the second and
final time a binding agreement or convention with the
U.N. International Labour Organization to safeguard
|10/23/13 3:58:02 AM|
|Contract awarded on Circunvalación bridges|
| The nation's road agency has picked a
contractor to provide a final solution to the collapse
of the Circunvalación between Pavas and Hatillo.
|10/22/13 3:27:34 AM|
|There are plenty of defenses against cholera now|
| The cholera epidemic in central México concerns
health officials here, but the disease is unlikely to be
much of a problem even if cases are discovered here.
|10/22/13 3:27:08 AM|
|If it's loud, funky or sexy, it is perfect for Limón|
| A person could visit the city of Limón on the
Caribbean Coast 364 days of the year and leave with the
impression that the Limoneses carry around with them an
inherent sadness. The city looks like it is all work and
no play from November through September. There are few
smiles shared by strangers on the street.
|10/21/13 2:56:05 AM|
|Pacific project developer seeks relief via CAFTA treaty|
| Investors and the developer of a residential
and hotel project in Esterillos Oeste are threatening to
take Costa Rica to arbitration under the free trade
treaty with the United States.
|10/21/13 2:55:18 AM|
|Column calls for balanced budget amendment|
| A drunken sailor in port on leave has a more
stable financial situation than Costa Rica. The central
government is spending about twice as much as it brings
in. Now the finance ministry is setting up roundtables
so that the public can have a chance to comment..
|10/18/13 3:22:19 AM|
|Air photo was major evidence in The Hague|
| An air photo taken Oct. 5 became key evidence
Wednesday when lawyers for Costa Rica had a second day
to outline their case against the canals Nicaragua has
constructed on Costa Rican territory.
|10/18/13 3:21:55 AM|
|Would-be expats have to be leery of the tall tales|
| Graying members of the U.S. population are
seeking cheaper retirement locations frequently
overseas. Thousands of Americans have found happiness in
retirement elsewhere, but a string of commercial
enterprises present a simplistic overview of life abroad
and may be setting up many retirees for disappointment
|10/17/13 3:53:36 AM|
|Opposition already developing over proposed taxe|
| Edgar Ayales Esna, the finance minister, is
supposed to lay out proposals for new taxes this week,
but there is opposition already. The Asociación Nacional
de Empleados Públicos y Privados has issued a statement
under the heading "We don't want, we can't and we ought
not pay more taxes!"
|10/17/13 3:53:12 AM|
|(Lawyers and filmmakers seek to help Caribbean with documentary|
| The muddled property ownership situation in the
southern Caribbean coast has attracted the interest of
lawyers, researchers and filmmakers, and they are
launching a storytelling project and beginning to
collect footage for an interactive documentary, they
|10/16/13 3:19:48 AM|
|Nicaragua tried to blame Edén Pastora|
| Nicaragua has been trying to make Edén Pastora
the fall guy in the dispute over the Isla Calaero.
During a presentation Monday at the International Court
of Justice, Costa Rican advocates noted that Nicaragua
tried to wash its hands of the situation by suggesting
that Pastora, the former Contra leader, was working on
|10/15/13 2:31:44 AM|
|Independent contractor status depends on the number of jobs!|
| What makes a service or independent worker an
employee? According to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro
Social, commonly known as the Caja , and the Instituto
Nacional de Seguros, known as INS, the key element is
the number of jobs.
|10/15/13 2:31:23 AM|
|The dark side of medical tourism|
| Six arrests and a continuing investigation have
illuminated a dark side of medical tourism. The
allegation is that physicians and recruiters targeted
low-income residents of the country and caused them to
sell their internal organs, mainly kidneys.
|10/14/13 12:44:42 AM|
|Activists to promote proposed law against modified organisms|
| Wednesday, World Food Day, activists will be at
the legislature to present a proposed law for a national
moratorium against genetically modified organisms.
|10/10/13 3:19:06 AM|
|Expats have a right to take their complaints to candidates|
| The election campaigns for president and
legislative deputies are in full swing. Generally expats
are not supposed to involve themselves in the campaigns
or donate money to favored candidates. But there is no
rule preventing expats from speaking out on issues that
concern them directly.
|10/9/13 3:14:40 AM|
|New $100 bill coming|
| Soon $100 bills with a new look will be
circulating in Costa Rica. The U.S. Treasury said that
the $100 bill is the most global banknote the U.S.
prints with one-half to two-thirds of the more than 8
billion in circulation in use outside the United States.
|10/8/13 3:54:51 AM|
|Ocean provides a mystery in the Caribbean|
| The southern Caribbean coast has another
problem, and the source is a mystery. The problem is
dead fish and turtles. and even the experts are stumped
until lab results are available.
|10/7/13 3:37:48 AM|
|112 of those traditional masks are on display|
| Masks probably are as old or older than modern
humans. In Costa Rica they are considered an art
form.The Centro de Investigación y Conservación del
Patrimonio Cultural is honoring the Costa Rica tradition
of making these mask with a contest and an exhibit that
ends appropriately Oct. 31.
|10/7/13 3:37:28 AM|
|Teachers want schools free of genetically modified foods|
| The school teachers union has demanded that the
public schools stop serving or selling food that has an
origin in genetically modified components.
|10/4/13 3:33:25 AM|
|Longline fishing blamed for massive snaggings of turtles and sharks|
| The second-most-common catch on Costa Rica’s
longline fisheries in the last decade was not a
commercial fish species. It was olive ridley sea
turtles. These lines also caught more green turtles than
most species of fish.
|10/4/13 3:32:41 AM|
|Sex criminals to be barred for 50 years|
| Lawmakers moved Wednesday to jack up the
penalties for producing or distributing child
pornography and also to modify the immigration law to
bar convicted sex offenders for 50 years.
|10/3/13 3:01:26 AM|
|Nicaragua is betting on the river|
| Costa Rica has a date next Oct. 14 with the
International Court of Justice seeking a cease and
desist order against Nicaragua. But the result of the
Nicaraguan dredging might be provided by nature,
something the court cannot command.
|10/2/13 3:26:01 AM|
|Teatro Melico Salazar plans a big party|
| The Teatro Popular Melico Salazar marks 85
years this month, and the time was not without trouble.
The sprawling theater, the largest in Costa Rica,
occupies the block north of Parque Central.
|10/2/13 3:25:39 AM|
|Drake Bay visitor surprised by conditions|
| "We were escorted to the Nature Air hub and
told we may want to change clothes. Confused, we asked
why we would need to change clothes. The reply was that
we would need to ford the river on foot because it was
swollen and impassable due to heavy rains."
|10/1/13 2:21:36 AM|
|Even expats have to pay attention to local taxes|
| Today is the end of fiscal year 2013-2013. This
is important for Costa Ricans and expats alike doing
business in this country. It is also noteworthy for
individuals and retired persons who are not in the Costa
Rica tax system. There are more tax collectors beating
the streets, making phone calls and performing audits
like no time in Costa Rican history. Fines have
increased dramatically too, making it very expensive not
to follow the rules.
|10/1/13 2:21:10 AM|
|U.S. government shutdown will not stop benefit checks|
| Expats who receive Social Security or veterans'
checks need to relax over the impasse in the U.S.
Congress. The U.S. government faces a shutdown Tuesday
if both houses of Congress cannot agree on extending
federal funding authority.
|9/30/13 2:45:36 AM|
|Bracelet bill nears approval|
| When law officers put these bracelets on,
criminal suspects might be pleased if a bill on the
verge of passage finally gets full approval. Bracelets
usually are considered handcuffs, and no one like the
discomfort and embarrassment of being led off that way.
|9/30/13 2:45:15 AM|
|Editorial: was it possible to miss construction of canals?|
| Well known is the fact that there are many
heavily armed police officers in the area. Certainly
some of them have training that would allow stealthy
reconnaissance on the ground.
|9/27/13 2:53:41 AM|
|Firms involved in future sales have to show assets|
| New rules have gone into effect that require
real estate developers to register and receive approval
of their financial status before selling to the public.
The real estate firms are being covered by a rule that
also applies to concert promoters and producers of other
public events who receive money beforehand.
|9/26/13 3:26:20 AM|
|Anti-mopping bill gives employees more rights|
| A bill reported out favorably by a legislative
committee Tuesday would give additional rights to
employees in an effort to prevent workplace harassment.
|9/25/13 3:13:56 AM|
|Two reports about contamination involve pesticides|
| Two separate news stories emerged Monday that
suggested the Costa Rican environment has an
unexpectedly high level of toxic chemicals. The first
was a report by a researcher at a South African
university who said that the caiman in the Tortuguero
area have accumulated pesticides in their body that
appear to come from banana plantations upstream.
|9/24/13 5:51:44 AM|
|Promotion at World Cup likely to be millions of dollars|
| The tourism industry will be promoting the
country heavily at the World Cup soccer championship in
Brazil next year. The Cámera Nacional de Turismo said it
wants to expose the country as a world-class tourism
destination in a strategy similar to what was done in
2006 during the World cup events in Germany. Seven years
ago Costa Rica spent $4.2 million.
|9/24/13 5:51:21 AM|
|Maritime zone dweller may get a break|
| Expats who have concession property in the
maritime zone may be getting a break.
|9/23/13 3:16:18 AM|
|New FBI wrinkle for residency applications|
| Another wrinkle has developed that may delay
even further the lengthy processes for U.S. expats to
obtain residency in Costa Rica. At least in some cases,
the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería demands
a criminal history reported generated by the U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
|9/23/13 3:15:53 AM|
|Zoo foundation gets restraining order against government|
| The foundation that runs the San José zoo and a
conservation center in Santa Ana has won a delay in an
effort by the central government to evict it.
|9/20/13 3:54:47 AM|
|Lawmakers being asked to give a better deal to low-income illegals|
| Lawmakers soon will consider a proposal to make
more immigrants legal. The principal concerns are mostly
Nicaraguan immigrants who are in the gray labor market
because they cannot afford the cost of official
|9/20/13 3:54:23 AM|
|Dust from Africa seem to suppress hurricanes|
| In addition to those troublesome low pressure
tropical waves bring downpours, Africa also contributes
large quantities of dust to the Caribbean and Costa
|9/19/13 3:27:53 AM|
|Papaya is not a cure for dengue, but it seems to help|
| Suggestions that papaya extract can cure dengue
fever appear to be overly optimistic. But several
studies show that the leaves of the plant can help
sufferers reverse some of the damage by dengue viruses.
|9/19/13 3:26:33 AM|
|Nicaragua does what it pleases in northern Costa Rica|
| Costa Rican officials are expressing their
outrage because Nicaragua seems to have dug two channels
from the Rio San Juan to the Caribbean.
|9/18/13 3:54:10 AM|
|Officials try to reduce cattle emissions|
| The government is confronting the emissions
from agriculture and seeking to mitigate them to reduce
greenhouse gases. One major source is cattle. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each
adult cow produces 80 to 110 kilos of methane annually.
Costa Rica has 1.5 million cows, according to the
Ministerio de Agricultura y Gandería.
|9/18/13 3:53:40 AM|
|There could be a long wait to get those plates|
| From now until January 2016 motorists will have
to get new license plates for their vehicles.
|9/17/13 3:35:56 AM|
|Is real estate making a comeback?|
| Up and down the coast of Guanacaste, real
estate circles are buzzing with talk that properties are
selling again and that there are buyers in the market.
|9/13/13 2:57:48 AM|
|Impact of highway closing falls on public|
| The public will again pay the price for
deficiencies in highway maintenance. The impact of
closing a section of the Circunvalación for two months
will mean more metro traffic jams, changed work hours
for some public employees and more hours when passenger
cars are forbidden on the roads.
|9/13/13 2:57:26 AM|
|Can you believe they are stealing news stories?|
| Reading some Web sites and some expat
discussion lists is, a Yogi Berra said, déjà vu all over
again. Staring out of the computer are articles that
appeared in A.M. Costa Rica that have been copied and
posted without permission elsewhere.
|9/12/13 3:26:43 AM|
|President creates a market for carbon credits|
| President Laura Chinchilla launched a domestic
carbon credit market Tuesday.
|9/12/13 3:26:07 AM|
|Tuesday was a big night for Costa Rica|
| Both Costa Rica and the United States national
soccer teams earned enough points Tuesday night to
qualify for berths for the 2014 World Cup.
|9/11/13 2:59:33 AM|
|Environmentalists urge rejection of big container project|
| Environmentalists are stepping up their attack
against the proposed $1 billion container handling
facility at Moín on the Caribbean coast.
|9/10/13 3:42:58 AM|
|U.S. will try to determine safety levels for arsenic in rice|
| The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will try
to develop a safety standard on arsenic found in rice.
The agency just released the results of a study of foods
that showed that that the amount of detectable arsenic
is too low in the rice and rice product samples to cause
any immediate or short-term adverse health effects.
|9/10/13 3:42:28 AM|
|Watusi cows horn into Costa Rican dairy herds|
| In the year 2000, Costa Rica banned in-vitro
fertilization or IVF. The Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights has ordered the country to lift the ban,
but to date no significant steps have been taken. The
in-vitro ban only referenced humans and not bovines
which was good news for Barbara Lapp, owner of Lecheria
Las Lapas in Siquirres.
|9/9/13 3:19:36 AM|
|Readers mostly unimpressed by new logo|
| Nearly all readers who responded to the
invitation Thursday to comment on the country's new
Esencial Costa Rica logo said they did not like it or
|9/6/13 3:34:15 AM|
|What does the new logo or slogan say to you?|
| So what does Esencial Costa Rica or the English
Essential Costa Rica say to the potential tourist? What
does it say to expats? Editors would like to know, and
they welcome your opinions.
|9/5/13 2:52:38 AM|
|How about five bucks more to fly out of the country?|
| Lawmakers are considering another dedicated tax
on those who leave the country by air. This one is $5
for support of the Universidad Técnica Nacional and for
technical studies in general.
|9/5/13 2:52:17 AM|
|A new slogan and trademark for the country|
| Government officials have announced a new
trademark for the country that is supposed to promote
tourism, increase exports and attract foreign
investment. Despite the lengthy effort, the chosen logo
or slogan comes very close to the copyrighted name of a
Costa Rican professional services firm,
|9/4/13 3:34:12 AM|
|A wish list for expats|
| The season approaches for campaigns, and the
general election is Feb. 2. Costa Rican law and simple
courtesy prohibit foreign expats from participating in a
candidate's campaign or donating money, although that
last rule frequently is broken. But there is no reason
expats should not push for changes in the management of
the country when they are directly affected.
|9/4/13 3:33:48 AM|
|It's development vs. turtles on the Caribbean|
| IThe apparent rejection of a hotel-marina
project on the Caribbean coast would seem to be the
overture to eight more battles that will pit as many
development projects against the turtles that nest on
the Moín beach.
|9/3/13 3:35:12 AM|
|Failing to cover employees can blindside expats|
| There is a popular adage in Costa Rica, Pide
perdon, no permiso. Doing this can get an expat snagged
into a big, expensive problem.
|9/3/13 3:34:48 AM|
|Limón, Puerto Viejo are full of colorful costumeS|
| The elaborate float put forth by the Refinadora
Costarricense de Petróleo contained young Limón
residents complete with hard hats. Costumed marchers
from the refinery union, the Sindicato de Trabajadores
Petroleros, Químicos y Afines, spent the time handing
out colorful brochures with the message, "Si a la
|8/30/13 3:19:31 AM|
|Court finds faults with new alcohol law|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has declared
certain parts of the new alcohol law to be
|8/30/13 3:19:01 AM|
|Readers respond and nominate their favorite restaurants|
| After four articles reporting on some of Costa
Rica's fine restaurants, readers were invited to make
nominations. This is what they said:
|8/29/13 3:42:41 AM|
|Ox cart factory being honored as living history|
| For 90 years workmen at the Taller de Carretas
Eloy Alfaro in Sarchí have been making ox carts. So the
Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio
Cultural will honor the facility today as a living
|8/28/13 3:33:45 AM|
|Government proposes to cap credit rates|
| The central government moved Monday to put a
lid on what is being called abusive interest charges.
|8/28/13 3:33:18 AM|
|Some lawmakers want an accounting of unpaid work by women|
| Women in the legislature proposed a law Monday
that would include the uncompensated work in the
national statistics such as gross national product.
|8/27/13 3:28:14 AM|
|Retirees and their money attracting interest|
| There is renewed interest in Costa Rican real
estate, in part because some owners are willing to
accept offers. A new rental law is supposed to make
evicting deadbeats easier, thereby increasing the value
of investment property. There even are more new firms
that say they can help English-speaking foreigners make
the transition to expat. Some are former real estate
brokers emerging under a new name and with a new
|8/26/13 3:14:09 AM|
|Fear and the public mind: Things have changed|
| Some 24 years ago in the twilight of the Cold
War, there seemed to be cultural and psychological
differences that allowed residents of some nations to
accept authoritarianism and other to cherish their
|8/23/13 3:25:25 AM|
|Mother Nature is after your computer|
| The rainy season is the time when lightning can
cook computers and household appliances. The nation's
regulatory agency said Wednesday that electrical
customers who have their devices blown away by a nearby
lightning strike have recourse against the utility
company. But the agency added that such complaints
|8/23/13 3:25:00 AM|
|Water institute gets OK to seek devices to remove arsenic|
| The nation's water company said Wednesday that
it has received approval to issue direct contracts to
purchase seven devices to remove arsenic from drinking
|8/22/13 3:24:56 AM|
|Major crimes show an upswing in first seven months of 2013<|
| Crime reported in the first seven months of
this year showed an 11 percent increase over 2012, the
Judicial Investigating Organization reported Tuesday.
|8/22/13 3:24:30 AM|
|Ortega generates a distraction from Caribbean|
| Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his
loose lips are a public relations practitioner's dream.
|8/21/13 3:21:48 AM|
|Some perpetual tourists feeling the squeeze|
| Perpetual tourists are facing more constraints
as Costa Rican and adjacent countries tighten up their
|8/21/13 3:21:28 AM|
|Prosecutors to show off paperless system|
| The concept seems too good to be true. The
judiciary plans to announce today a new online procedure
whereby individuals can file criminal complaints from
the comfort of their homes.
|8/20/13 3:27:12 AM|
|Some expats are making money creating mortgages|
| There are some expat retirees in Costa Rica
giving mortgages to others in order to supplement their
retirement incomes. Generating a nice extra sum is
possible if ones finds the right debtor because interest
rates are high in Costa Rica. Finding the borrower is
easier than it was in the past because there are
numerous services providing credit information on
individuals and companies here. Mortgages are easier to
collect now, too, if the deal goes amiss than they were
a few years ago.
|8/19/13 2:30:26 AM|
|Silent quakes seen as possible help in predictions|
| Scientist at Penn State University think they
have found a way to predict earthquakes particularly in
areas like Guanacaste where so-called-slow moving quakes
|8/19/13 2:29:51 AM|
|Male police officers shoot it out with crooks, too|
| President Laura Chinchilla rushed to honor a
female police officer who exchanged shots with and
eventually arrested two suspected hijackers. The
president did not seem to be aware of the
inconsistencies in her actions, which have been a
trademark of a series of presidential administrations.
|8/16/13 2:42:46 AM|
|Pistol-packing grannie is Mother's Day heroine|
| The poster mom for today, Mother's Day in Costa
Rica, is a grandmotherly woman who shot it out with
would-be hijackers overnight in Desamparados.
|8/16/13 2:42:19 AM|
|A.M. Costa Rica turns 12|
| Thursday was the 12th birthday of A.M. Costa
|8/15/13 2:38:29 AM|
|Female drug smugglers get a break|
| President Laura Chinchilla signed in to law
Tuesday a measure that reduces prison terms for female
drug smugglers if they are disadvantaged.
|8/14/13 2:58:18 AM|
|School kids enlisted in campaign against dengue|
| School children will be enlisted Aug. 19 into
the campaign against dengue. The Ministerio de Educación
Pública said Monday that every school in the country
would dedicate time to find breeding places for
mosquitoes, which transmit dengue.
|8/13/13 3:22:33 AM|
|Story of friendly crocodile makes the television|
| In Siquirres a crowd, including people from as
far away as Canada, gathered at a popular restaurant to
watch a premier of National Geographic’s latest special,
"Touching the Dragon." Why, because a local hero is the
subject of the documentary.
|8/12/13 3:09:12 AM|
|Culture ministry co-sponsoring 2013 book fair|
| The 14th annual edition of the country's
international book fair has received the support of the
culture ministry for the first time. The support is in
the form of money, some 50 million colons, about
|8/12/13 3:08:45 AM|
|Experts check out river above Parrita|
| The national emergency commission enlisted a
University of Costa Rica hydrologist Thursday to fly
over vulnerable sections of a Pacific coast waterway.
This was the third such observation after rains last
weekend caused flooding and destroyed homes in the
|8/9/13 2:55:47 AM|
|Constitutional court acts against shrimp trawlers|
| The Sala IV constitutional court unexpectedly
ordered a halt Wednesday to the use of trawler nets to
catch shrimp. The court said the fishing technique does
serious damage to the marine environment because of the
other creatures that are captured and not used.
|8/9/13 2:55:21 AM|
|Mother's day purchases are a maze again|
| The consumer agency in the economic ministry
again has checked out potential gifts for the Día de la
Madre Aug. 14. As usual, there are some startling
|8/8/13 3:44:53 AM|
|Security ministry finds silver lining in grim survey|
| The security ministry said Tuesday that a new
survey shows that crime is going down. The ministry, in
a news release, cited a national telephone survey done
by Cid Gallup for the Cámara Norteamericana
Costarricense de Comercio and the accounting and
consulting firm Deloitte.
|8/7/13 3:05:21 AM|
|Country's best known pedophile finally detained|
| Costa Rica's best known pedophile finally is in
custody. The arrest took anywhere from eight months to
three years, depending on who is doing the counting.
|8/6/13 3:15:53 AM|
|How about some premium Stateside television?|
| Expats living in Costa Rica would love to watch
U.S. movies, shows, and sports on their home
televisions. Hotels and bed & breakfast owners would
like to offer the same to their guests. Travelers would
like to access their favorites from home while visiting
|8/6/13 3:15:27 AM|
|Home invasions appear to be the crime of choice|
| Although the current administration has taken
steps to clean up the streets of small-time robbers,
home invasions are becoming the crime of choice
throughout the country.
|8/5/13 2:35:10 AM|
|Legal change would make sexy ads illegal|
| A legislative committee moved Thursday to make
sexy ads illegal. There is no surprise that the action
came from the Comisión Permanente Especial de la Mujer.
|8/5/13 2:34:46 AM|
|($200,000 allocated to fix up historic Limón building|
| Another historic Limón building will be
restored as part of the culture ministry's architectural
heritage program. In addition, the structure, the
Antigua Capitanía de Limón, will anchor a handful of
historic structures in the coastal community that will
be restored under the Limón Ciudad Puerto program.
|8/2/13 2:57:18 AM|
|Immigration to tighten entry for foreigners|
| Immigration officials are supposed to reveal
today a system to catch dangerous foreigners and
international fugitives when they try to enter the
|8/2/13 2:56:51 AM|
|Irazú volcano found to be quick on the trigger|
| If some volcanoes operate on geologic
timescales, Costa Rica's Irazú had something of a short
fuse. In a new study in the journal Nature, scientists
suggest that the 1960s eruption of Costa Rica's largest
stratovolcano was triggered by magma rising from the
mantle over a few short months rather than thousands of
years or more, as many scientists have thought. The
study is the latest to suggest that deep, hot magma can
set off an eruption fairly quickly, potentially
providing an extra tool for detecting an oncoming
|8/1/13 3:14:38 AM|
|Eight arrests made in case of slain environmentalist|
| Judicial agents have detained eight persons in
the Limón area in the murder of environmentalist Jairo
|8/1/13 3:14:07 AM|
|Fire fighters get a song|
| The nation's fire fighters now have their own
song. The composition is in honor of the 148th
anniversary of the founding of the Cuerpo de Bomberos de
Costa Rica. The song appropriately is title Bombero Yo
Soy or "I am a fire fighter."
|7/31/13 3:50:48 AM|
|New program proposed for tax delinquent U.S. expats|
| An advocate organization for U.S. citizens
abroad is urging major changes in tax policy to
encourage more individuals to pay taxes.
|7/31/13 3:50:20 AM|
|Some ugly species of ants found in Central America|
| A University of Utah biologist has identified
33 new species of predatory ants in Central America and
the Caribbean and named about a third of the tiny but
monstrous-looking insects after ancient Mayan lords and
|7/30/13 2:30:54 AM|
|Constitutional court throws out another traffic fine|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has found that
the fine for not carrying a first aid kit and battery
cables in a vehicles is disproportionate.
|7/29/13 2:53:08 AM|
|The restaurants in the west|
| The western suburb of Escazú has become a
cosmopolitan boomtown, while further west nestled in the
Valley of the Sun; Santa Ana is no longer a sleepy
country town but a mind-boggling kaleidoscope of urban
expansion. Prosperity abounds throughout this area of
the Central Valley as shopping plazas, trendy boutiques,
bars and a plethora of restaurants spring up overnight.
|7/26/13 3:05:01 AM|
|Famous pottery communities honored|
| The pottery operations in Guanacaste that date
back before the Mayan empires got a boost Wednesday.
|7/25/13 3:31:28 AM|
|How to experience the Tico culture this holiday|
| Thursday is a holiday, and it is a great time
for Costa Ricans to remember their past and contemplate
their present. But for expats the day might be a bit
boring with a lot of offices and work places closed.
|7/24/13 3:30:18 AM|
|Rural folk here count on phases of the moon|
| A full moon rose over the Central Valley Monday
night and peeked through the low clouds. The celestial
object plays an important role in the local agricultural
communities, large and small.
|7/24/13 3:29:42 AM|
|Culture being promoted as a human right|
| The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is seeking
to make culture a right and establish income to support
it. The ministry said Monday that after three years of
effort preliminary texts of a national law and a policy
on culture have been created.
|7/23/13 3:12:01 AM|
|Ex-CIA fugitive allowed to leave Panamá|
| The former CIA station chief in Milan has been
spirited out of Panamá to the United States. This is the
man who is accused of the 2003 forced abduction of an
Egyptian terror suspect,
|7/22/13 3:02:56 AM|
|You have not seen a pothole until you see this!|
| Heavy rains are being blamed for a gigantic
washout of the highway in Nuevo Arenal. The Consejo
Nacional de Vialidad said that the highway, Ruta 142
that goes along the east side of Lake Arenal, has been
|7/19/13 3:10:27 AM|
|Costa Rica and Peru irked by Paris artifact auction|
| The sale of a south Pacific coast pre-Columbian
statue for nearly $1 million has Costa Rican officials
trying to put a stop to such deals.
|7/18/13 3:29:10 AM|
|Black helicopter and conspiracy theories in the Talamancas|
| A strange story has emerged from the high
Talamancas. The tale is classic conspiracy theory
complete with black helicopters, police inaction and
armed and mysterious intruders.
|7/18/13 3:28:45 AM|
|Ham radio hobbyists get a break|
| Amateur radio hobbyists have gotten a break
from the telecom ministry.
|7/17/13 3:08:42 AM|
|Little community gave bandits a nightmare|
| Bandits who tried to invade the home of expats
near Ciudad Colón Saturday ending up with their own
|7/17/13 3:08:09 AM|
|The pick of the downtown restaurants|
| Twenty-years-ago San José was a barren
wasteland when it came to restaurants offering fine
dining and International cuisine. But not anymore.
|7/16/13 3:33:56 AM|
|Some tips for businesses with Facebook accounts|
| Many businesses using Facebook to reach
customers are using personal fan profiles instead of
business pages. This is in direct violation of
Facebook’s terms of service.
|7/16/13 3:33:33 AM|
|Vacation is over, but there still are legal holidays coming|
| Mid-year vacation ended Sunday, and students
are back at their desks today. Anyone lucky enough to
have had two weeks off also is supposed to return today.
|7/15/13 2:48:29 AM|
|Human action urged to control lionfish|
| Controlling lionfish populations in the
Caribbean is a job for humans not ocean predators,
according to a new study of the invasive fish species.
|7/12/13 2:26:13 AM|
|Milanes articles in La Nacion please expats|
| Some expat investors with the failed Saving
Unlimited are pleased that the Spanish-language La
Nación has begun reporting on the convoluted
circumstances involved in the case.
|7/11/13 3:08:14 AM|
|Deadline approaches for ham radio fans|
| Radio amateurs and those who would like to
pursue the hobby have until Friday to apply to take a
written and practical test to obtain a license.
|7/10/13 4:11:30 AM|
|What can monkeys tell us about booze?|
| Drunken monkeys might be a new hit at the local
bar or perhaps a struggling teenage punk rock band. But
this is about real drunken monkeys, the kind that are
presumed to lurch through the forest after eating
certain fermenting fruits.
|7/10/13 4:10:39 AM|
|Expat advocate organization produces video on tax proposal|
| American Citizens Abroad, the expat advocacy
group, has come out with a video promoting
|7/9/13 3:50:24 AM|
|Same-sex marriage couple makes history in California|
| Two of the first beneficiaries of a U.S.
Supreme Court ruling on gay marriages were a Costa Rican
man and a frequent visitor from San Francisco. They are
Juan Carlos Hernández and Jay Redden.
|7/9/13 3:49:59 AM|
|Miracle claim links Costa Rica with John Paul II|
| Costa Ricans and the Catholic Church here are
basking in the glow of a certified miracle that will
propel former pope John Paul II into sainthood.
|7/8/13 3:18:58 AM|
|So just where is Enrique Villalobos?|
| The great catastrophe that befell expats here
took place 11 years go. That was the raid on the Luis
Enrique Villalobos Camacho high interest borrowing
operation. Many loose ends remain, not the least of
which is Villalobos himself who has been a fugitive
since October 2002.
|7/5/13 3:23:43 AM|
|U.S. officials must follow the Constitution|
| OUR DEMAND: . . . there is no justification for
universal eavesdropping on telephone calls, emails and
other forms of communications by federal bureaucrats and
secret courts. Nor is there justification for
weak-willed lawmakers to accept the argument that such
destruction of human rights are necessary to guard
|7/5/13 3:23:19 AM|
|Nicoya ceramics are a show stopper in Washington|
| The country's prehistoric past is betting major
exposure in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian’s National
Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino
Center have an exhibit running until Feb.1, 2015 that
spotlights Central America pre-Hispanic cultures.
|7/4/13 3:45:14 AM|
|Another raffle to catch tax cheats|
| The nation's tax collecting agency is embarking
on another series of raffles to put a spotlight on tax
|7/3/13 2:57:21 AM|
|Traditional foods make a great display|
| How about some flan made with a base of
marcuyá? Or maybe a drink made with bamboo? These were
among the 301 dishes or drinks that competed for awards
Saturday in Palmar Sur. There were 145 main dishes, 95
breads and desserts and 61 typical drinks.
|7/2/13 2:56:01 AM|
|A way to secure your Internet and get movies, too!<|
| What does watching a movie in Costa Rica
restricted to viewing in the United States and accessing
the Internet securely at a WiFi hotspot like McDonald's
have in common? Give up? The answer is a VPN.
|7/1/13 3:42:37 AM|
|Signatures sought to put same-sex marriages on the ballot|
| A campaign is being launched to hold a
referendum to legalize same-sex marriages. That was
announced Thursday by an organization called Frente por
los Derechos Igualitarios. The organization said it
would be collecting signatures to put the question on
the ballot during the march for diversity Sunday in San
|6/28/13 2:52:21 AM|
|Sala IV ducks key decision on property fraud|
| The Sala IV has ducked the chance to resolve a
key issue in property theft. The Sala IV, the
constitutional court, rejected an appeal because it said
the case still was open.
|6/27/13 2:46:37 AM|
|How about those cooks in the southern zone?|
| What are the traditional dishes along the south
Pacific coast. That is a question food historians will
seek to answer Saturday as residents of that area are
invited to demonstrate their unique food products.
|6/27/13 2:46:10 AM|
|Virgen del Mar procession in Puntarenas harbor to be on TV|
| The celebration of the Virgen del Mar in
Puntarenas July 7 will be televised throughout the
world, said Telefides, the religious station that is
initiating the broadcast.
|6/26/13 3:26:52 AM|
|Minimum wage going up 2.4 percent for second half of year|
| Employees in the private sector will receive a
2.4 percent raise July 1 if they are receiving the
minimum wage for their job category, as many Costa
|6/25/13 2:55:23 AM|
|Opposition developing against restrictive gun bill|
| Opposition is growing among Costa Ricans and
expats to more restrictive firearms bill now in the
legislature. The bill is patterned after the 2010
presidential decree that stripped rentistas and
pensionados of the right to own and carry firearms.
|6/25/13 2:55:01 AM|
|Restored Botica Solera to be inaugurated today|
| Today is a big day for Johnny Araya, the mayor
of San José who is leaving that job to continue his run
|6/24/13 3:10:56 AM|
|More info on license plates|
| Expats who have been anxious about getting new
license plates got their answer Thursday. The Registro
Nacional said that the distribution of the plates would
begin next month and be based on the last digit of the
|6/24/13 3:09:03 AM|
|Lost Maya city finally rediscovered|
| Archaeologists have found an ancient Maya city
that remained hidden for centuries in the rain forests
of eastern Mexico, a discovery in a remote nature
reserve they hope will yield clues about how the
civilization collapsed around 1,000 years ago.
|6/21/13 3:03:16 AM|
|Embassy seems fixated with child sex tourism|
| The U.S. annual human trafficking report again
characterizes Costa Rica as a hotbed of child sex
tourism. "Child sex tourism is a serious problem,
particularly in the provinces of Guanacaste, Limón,
Puntarenas, and San José," said the country report that
is part of the federal government's annual effort. But,
despite this rampant illegal activity, the report notes
that there were no convictions in 2012.
|6/21/13 3:02:55 AM|
|The crime appears to be in buying a kidney|
| The case against a transplant physician seems
to hinge on the fact that kidney donors were paid.
Prosecutors have not said so exactly. Instead they
allege that Franciso Mora Palma, the physician, was
involved in the illicit extraction of organs.
|6/20/13 2:40:34 AM|
|Detained surgeon says he transplanted 550 kidneys|
| A surgeon who specializes in kidney transplants
says in Internet promotions that he has done 550 of
these life-saving procedures. He is Francisco Mora
Palma, chief of nephrology at Hospital Calderón Guardia.
He was detained Tuesday morning at his office on
allegations that he was engaged in the illegal
trafficking in organs.
|6/20/13 2:40:10 AM|
|News agency celebrates 40 years with photo exhibition|
| Central America's own news service is
celebrating 40 years here, and 45 photos of dramatic and
historical moments will be on display starting Friday at
the Museo de los Niños.
|6/19/13 2:19:38 AM|
|Tourism operators may get a boost from vacation|
| Public schools and many private schools will be
on vacation in less than two weeks, and tourism
operators are ready to receive them.
|6/19/13 2:19:11 AM|
|Bullfrogs off the hook as only fungus vector|
| Amphibian populations are declining worldwide
and a major cause is a deadly fungus thought to be
spread by bullfrogs, but a two-year study shows they can
also die from this pathogen, contrary to suggestions
that bullfrogs are a tolerant carrier host that just
spreads the disease.
|6/18/13 2:43:12 AM|
|Facebook is the quick access to officialdom|
| Government institutions in Costa Rica are
usually impossible to reach on the telephone. Sometimes
the phone just rings and rings. Other times one gets a
phone tree that states dial “this” for “that. If “that”
answers, usually it knows nothing about the “this” one
was calling about.
|6/17/13 2:58:51 AM|
|Clay costs endanger 4,000-year-old enterprise|
| The phrase dirt cheap does not resonate in the
Costa Rican communities where residents produce
traditional pottery. The entire industry in San Vicente
de Nicoya and Guaitil de Santa Cruz is in jeopardy
because the clay that potters need comes for deposits on
|6/14/13 2:38:14 AM|
|U.S. immigration law would change the face of country|
| A proposed immigration bill now being studied
in the U.S. Senate is too strict, according to advocates
for illegal immigrants.
|6/13/13 3:59:12 AM|
|Folks in Monteverde say it is the road that hurts tourism there|
| Monteverde tourism operators are blaming a
decline in visitors on the bad state of the access road.
Time was when residents of the cloud forest community
took pride in their rough road as something protecting
the community from the pressures of outside
|6/13/13 3:58:46 AM|
|Great video of the volcano|
| Not many people want to get as up close and
personal to a volcano as a scientists did April 13.
|6/12/13 3:44:40 AM|
|Costa Ricans are up to their ears in credit card debt|
| Costa Ricans have reduced slightly what they
owe credit card companies, but the amount in arrears has
|6/12/13 3:44:16 AM|
|Tropics confirmed as cradle of diversity|
| The University of Chicago evolutionary expert
has refined his theory that the tropics is the key to
the biodiversity in the world today.
|6/11/13 3:41:07 AM|
|Expats blindsided again — this time by the Caja|
| Some expats are being caught up in another one
of those governmental kafkaesque situations. This one is
courtesy of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
|6/11/13 3:40:41 AM|
|A.M. Costa Rica co-sponsors firearms informational meeting|
| This newspaper in cooperation with the La
Garita Pistol Club plans an informational meeting June
22 for English speakers who might be interested in
obtaining a firearms permit.
|6/10/13 2:53:00 AM|
|Costa Rica once almost had a low-cost tourist airline|
| When TACA Airlines said May 17 that it was
suspending 10 direct flights to and from Costa Rica,
tourism operators were outraged. Officials were
surprised, and the civil aviation authority said it
would look into the lack of notice of those flights
carrying the LASCA destination.
|6/7/13 3:02:14 AM|
|Sala IV issues order on arsenic|
| The Sala IV constitutional court Wednesday
ordered the central government to make a detailed study
of why tap water in Guanacaste contains arsenic. It also
told officials to provide the region with potable water
that does not contain arsenic and to determine how the
chemical can be removed.\
|6/7/13 3:01:46 AM|
|Road agency moves to eliminate another traffic circle|
| There's good news for motorists, The nation's
road agency has accepted a 4.7 billion colon bid for a
new overpass on the Circunvalación.
|6/6/13 3:18:31 AM|
|Fisheries institute head defends trawler nets for shrimp|
| The head of the nation's fisheries institute
appeared Tuesday before a legislative commission to urge
rejection of a proposal to ban the use of trawler nets
to catch shrimp.
|6/5/13 2:44:58 AM|
|On the trail of a long-delayed letter|
| Coreos de Costa Rica has certified mail. What
can go wrong?
|6/5/13 2:44:32 AM|
|Reward posted for info on conservationist killed in Moín|
| Conservation groups have posted a $10,000
reward for information on the murder of Jairo Mora
|6/4/13 2:38:09 AM|
|Has the Registro Nacional got a deal for you!|
| There is a great way to protect property and
foil attempts by property thieves in Costa Rica by using
Registro Nacional Digital asset monitoring service. The
best news is the latter is cheap, only $15 per year.
|6/4/13 2:37:37 AM|
|There's no ice, but hockey is flourishing|
| On any Saturday or Sunday passersby can’t help
but to notice the abundance of activities taking place
in La Sabana Park. Soccer takes a front row seat, but a
closer look reveals sporting activities that are novel
for Costa Rica.
|6/3/13 2:42:48 AM|
|Gunmen murder Limón environmentalist|
| Five men ambushed an environmentalist near Moín
late Thursday and carried him off to execution.
|6/3/13 2:42:23 AM|
|Jacó to get a new 17-story building|
| A ground breaking is scheduled June 20 in Jacó
for a 17-story casino resort. The business, to be known
as Croc's, is expected to be in operation by December
2014. The building will be on the north side of the
central Pacific community.
|5/31/13 3:30:38 AM|
|Feds change form for FBAR reporting|
| The U.S. government has changed the form that
some taxpayers must use to report their overseas bank
account. But the agency has put the form online.
|5/31/13 3:30:02 AM|
|Watch the U.S. ambassador dance|
| Staffers at the the U.S. Embassy on the Pavas
Boulevard are continuing to dabble in showbiz.
|5/30/13 3:36:12 AM|
|Expat advocate sees residency-based taxation advancing|
| The U.S. income tax deadline for overseas
Americans is just 18 days away, and next year the tax
code may be very different. American Citizens Abroad, an
expat advocacy organization, says its 18 months of work
has paid off in getting U.S. lawmakers to consider
changes in the current system to a residency-based tax
|5/30/13 3:35:49 AM|
|Agents here started Liberty Reserve probe in 2011|
| Judicial investigators said Tuesday that they
have been working since 2011 on the Liberty Reserve
|5/29/13 3:13:57 AM|
|Can president make public employee strikes illegal?|
| The Laura Chinchilla administration is prepared
to take on the public employees with a proposal to
prohibit strikes. Casa Presidencial sent such a proposal
to the legislature in exchange for a proposed labor code
rewrite that would have permitted strikes.
|5/28/13 2:26:13 AM|
|Number of emergency calls on gas leaks skyrocket|
| Calls to fire fighters because of petroleum gas
leaks are up 151 percent in the first quarter of the
year, in part because of an explosion that killed five
persons, the latest last week.
|5/28/13 2:25:48 AM|
|Expat seeks to create a signature beef cow for Costa Rica|
| Many expats do not realize that cattle ranchers
here face seasonal problems like their counterparts in
the north. Although there is no cold winter here, the
dry season is a time of little food for animals in the
|5/27/13 3:13:28 AM|
|Business chamber blames soaring utility prices for survey results|
| The business community's perception of the
future is off slightly, according toe a survey
reflecting opinions in the first three months of the
year. And part of the concern is the soaring rate of
regulated utilities, according to the chamber that has
been taking the survey for the last 17 years.
|5/27/13 3:13:06 AM|
|Some answers to readers questions|
| Jo Stuart is home from Hospital México after a
bout of illness. We expect her column to resume next
week. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to give
some newspaper trade insights.
|5/24/13 2:57:38 AM|
|Ailing expat trapped in Costa Rica|
| In addition to death and taxes, there is one
other fact that is certain: A foreigner who owes child
support can't get out of the country without posting 13
months of payments.
|5/23/13 3:47:24 AM|
|On the planetary scale, Turrialba was just a burp|
| At the very least, Turrialba and the rest of
Costa Rica's active volcanoes show that humans are not
fully in control. In fact, turmoil seems to be the
constant in the geological and meteorological history of
|5/23/13 3:47:00 AM|
|Whales suffer slow death from fishing gear tangles|
| North Atlantic right whales were nearly
eradicated by whaling and remain endangered today, with
a population of 450 to 500. About 75 percent bear scars
of fishing lines that cut into their flesh.
|5/22/13 2:38:11 AM|
|Expat has a rough time with city hall|
| You can't be a chicken if you want to sell
chickens in Barrio Otoya. Ask Richard Sims, a long-time
expat who is developing the southeast corner of Avenida
11 at Calle 15. He has been besieged by municipal
inspectors in what he considers a vendetta orchestrated
by someone high up in the municipal government.
|5/22/13 2:37:50 AM|
|Bar and restaurant owners organize against much higher fees|
| Unhappiness with the increases in the fees for
liquor patentes are growing. And in Heredia a group
formed to modify the law is spilling over the boundaries
of the province.
|5/21/13 2:35:47 AM|
|Here are some ways to manage your projects and your life|
| Expats can regain control over their personal
and business matters in Costa Rica today by employing
new, easy-to-use tools. Many of them are free.
|5/21/13 2:35:27 AM|
|Congress may get a chance to vote on law hurting expats|
| A U.S. senator from Kentucky has introduced
legislation to eliminate aspects of the Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act. That is the U.S. law that is causing
so many problems for expats and sometimes freezing them
out of the local banking system.
|5/20/13 2:18:45 AM|
|Scientists zero in on origin of fungus killing all the frogs|
| Scientists have long suspected that the deadly
fungus disease that is killing millions of New World
amphibians came form Africa. Thursday a scientific
research paper offered proof and said that the fungus,
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, came to the Americas on
the skin of African clawed frogs that were being used
for pregnancy tests in the early 20th century.
|5/20/13 2:18:10 AM|
|Casa Presidencial ax falls on two more|
| President Laura Chinchilla fired her top aide
and the nation's security chief in the midst of a media
feeding frenzy over her trip to Perú.
|5/17/13 2:54:05 AM|
|Motorists need to be alert for Cartago train|
| When regular train service begins Friday
between Cartago and San José, motorists will have some
help in avoiding collisions. The transport ministry has
installed 40 free-standing signs near the tracks and
also has painted 28 warnings on the roads approaching
|5/17/13 2:53:38 AM|
|Don Burro comes to the rescue|
| What appears to be just another humorous dig
critical of current lawmakers also appears to have a
serious purpose. The Internet is now the home of Don
Burro, the deputado or legislator. The character is a
real burro or donkey.
|5/16/13 3:33:03 AM|
|Nicaragua dumps canal plan, giving Costa Rica an option|
| Nicaraguan development officials have decided
not to use the Río San Juan for a canal across the
isthmus. The decision appears to mean that no canal will
be built, opening the door for Costa Rica to install its
own dry canal and use the exiting rail system to compete
with the 99-year-old canal in Panamá.
|5/16/13 3:32:31 AM|
will be another July 4 picnic this year
| The American Colony Committee once again will
present a traditional U.S. July 4 celebration at the
Cerveceria Costa Rica picnic grounds west of San José.
|5/15/13 3:32:31 AM|
|Expats have great electronic tools to beat high prices|
| As the government imposes new taxes and utility
rates go up, more and more expats complain about prices.
A quick trip through a supermarket shows products priced
two or three times of what they cost in the United
|5/15/13 3:32:04 AM|
|Monsanto wins a U.S. case over seed patent|
| Monsanto Co., which is engaged in controversy
in Costa Rica, has won a U.S. Supreme Curt victory
against a creative Indiana farmer.
|5/14/13 2:30:04 AM|
|How to make some money at the feria . . or not|
| Short on cash? This may be a solution. Round up
a uniform or perhaps clerical garb, find a can and paste
drawings of happy kids on it. They you are ready to
solicit funds for your favorite charity: You!
|5/14/13 2:29:39 AM|
|Arrests made in home invasion murder|
| Judicial agents detained two neighbors Sunday
in the home invasion murder of a 73-year-old woman
|5/13/13 2:37:19 AM|
|Scientist unravel genome of magnificent scarlet macaw|
| University researchers in Texas have
successfully sequenced the complete genome of a Scarlet
macaw. The bird, Ara macao, is one of the animal wonders
of Costa Rica.
|5/9/13 2:44:45 AM|
|President wants to put a lid on utility and fuel prices|
| The president Tuesday issued an order to public
institutions and agencies that provide basic services
telling them to reduce expenses and to hold the line on
|5/9/13 2:44:15 AM|
|Why did the U.S. tourist go to a dangerous neighborhood?|
| A U.S. tourist might have become disoriented
when he ended up having a fatal encounter in a dangerous
|5/8/13 3:22:12 AM|
|U.S. robbery victim finally dies of wound|
| A 31-year-old U.S. tourist who inexplicably
ended up in a dangerous section of Desamparados has died
at Hospital San Juan de Dios.
|5/8/13 3:21:38 AM|
|Country still struggles with making business easier|
| Costa Rica gets six low scores of the 10 used
to compute the World Bank Doing Business index. The 2013
Index evaluates 185 economies on 10 specific business
activities. Costa Rica ranks the lowest at 169th place
for protecting investors. The country also is in 128th
place on starting a business, dealing with construction
permits, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvencies.
|5/7/13 3:04:46 AM|
|Here are some good reasons for getting in the cloud|
| Expats running businesses or tracking
investments while struggling with new Costa Rican taxes
and accounting rules may find some freedom in the cloud.
The cloud represents powerful computing resources
delivered to customers as a service. By using hardware
and software via a connection to the Internet, users can
tap applications once only available to the few with
money to buy them.
|5/7/13 3:04:26 AM|
|Nothing solid from visit by Obama|
| Despite enormous efforts of security and large
amounts of hype, there was little concrete that
developed immediately from the two-day visit hereby
President Barack Obama. There were no financial pledges.
|5/6/13 2:51:06 AM|
|Two presidents outline similar approaches on drug|
| Presidents of the United States and Costa Rica
outlined their broader approach to attacking drug
trafficking at a press conference here Friday.
|5/6/13 2:50:40 AM|
|Some tips for seniors on countering aggression|
| Just because some expats are seniors, they are
not defenseless. They have many options to protect
themselves and their loved ones from aggression,
|5/3/13 3:19:56 AM|
|Disturbance at the legislature|
| Police moved in and thwarted Wednesday what
appeared to be a plot to rain down firebombs on a crowd
at the legislature.
|5/2/13 3:13:13 AM|
|Congressional panel hears from expats on taxes|
| A U.S. congressional committee considering
changes in the nation's tax code received more than 100
suggestions from expats, said the American Citizens
Abroad, an expat advocacy organization.
|5/1/13 3:33:36 AM|
|Crocs continue to be a tourist attraction on the Tárcoles|
| Rio Grande de Tárcoles is the habitat for
various types of wildlife including hundreds of American
crocodiles. The beasts are one of the largest of the
crocodiles and can grow up to 6 meters in length and
have a recognizable V-shaped snout.
|4/30/13 2:59:19 AM|
|The sloth gets a screen test|
| With tourism operators facing another sagging
green season, the country's tourism ministry is turning
again to the Atlanta, Georgia, ad firm of 22 Squared.
This time the agency plans to put an ad campaign in
1,345 movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada.
|4/30/13 2:58:56 AM|
|Drivers evaluated on a new point system|
| A new system of points for wayward motorists
went into effect Friday six months after the new traffic
law went into effect. Now drivers can lose their license
with 20 points instead of the 50 that was the rule under
the previous version of the law.
|4/29/13 3:19:46 AM|
|Trees linked to a cancer agent|
| Costa Rica protects huge tracts of land, many
of the beneficiaries are all sorts of trees. They are
supposed to be the country's bulwark against greenhouse
gases and global warming. Now it turns out that trees
can create a cancer agent.
|4/29/13 3:19:21 AM|
|U.S. announces support for clean energy schemes|
| The United States will donate $850,000 to
support five different clean energy policies and
projects in Costa Rica, U. S. Embassy officials said
|4/26/13 3:05:53 AM|
|Those costly border runs|
| The issue of immigration and the process of
renewing a tourist visa are important to expat readers,
according to feedback from a news story Wednesday.
|4/26/13 3:05:27 AM|
|How about a couple of more forms to fill out?|
| True to the unofficial government slogan We
make easy hard, the traffic agency has set up an
elaborate scheme so vehicle owners can report an email
|4/25/13 3:23:22 AM|
|Can Costa Rica cater to the wave of retirees?|
| With just a year left in office for President
Laura Chinchilla, expat business people are searching
for someone, anyone, who can stimulate the economy and
start using a little promotion to market the country to
|4/25/13 3:20:46 AM|
|World Court rejects Nicaragua's use of Rio Colorado|
| The International Court of Justice has rejected
a request by Nicaragua for free passage on the Río
Colorado, said the Costa Rican foreign ministry. The
court orders are not yet available.
|4/24/13 2:39:59 AM|
|t's the new white meat . . . with scales!|
| Just call it the other white meat. Or perhaps:
Croc, it's what's for dinner.
|4/24/13 2:39:37 AM|
|Mrs. Chinchilla cancels road concession for social peace|
| President Laura Chinchilla said Monday night
that she was terminating the concession with the
contractor who was supposed to build a modern highway to
San Ramón. The president said she was doing this to
guarantee the social peace of the country.
|4/23/13 2:45:17 AM|
|A daily dose of sun will keep the depression away|
| Gray days like Sunday may have more impact on
mental state than most expats believe. There is not a
lot of research from tropical sources on the effect of
weather on the brain, even though the rainy season and
gloomy days are part of life here. But elsewhere
researchers have linked something called seasonal
affective disorder to 7 percent or more of the
|4/23/13 2:44:55 AM|
|Not much for expats in annual U.S. rights report|
| The U.S. Department of State has issued another
report outlining the status of human rights around the
world. The section on Costa Rica holds no surprises for
anyone who is a daily newspaper reader
|4/22/13 2:32:50 AM|
|Oh no! That sunset has a price under water|
| Oh no! That sunset has a price under water
Talk about wet blankets. Those spectacular ocean sunsets have a downside, according to scientists associated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamá.
|4/19/13 2:56:08 AM|
|New issue will celebrate 150 years of stamps in Costa Rica|
| The country's fascination with stamps began 150
years ago with the first postal issue. Correos de Costa
Rica is marking the anniversary with a commemorative
issue, a 2,000-colon sheet that contains copies of the
country's original blue half real and red two-real
|4/19/13 2:55:47 AM|
|So how do you feel about coconut water?|
| My first encounter with coconut water came
during a trip to the Las Isletas off from Granada,
Nicaragua. They are a cluster of 365 small islands sit
in the midst of Lake Nicaragua. These land masses
formerly were chunks of volcano Mombacho that were shed
when the volcano erupted thousands of years ago.
|4/18/13 2:25:55 AM|
|Carbon neutral framework gets an addition|
| The country is slowly assembly the framework to
support plans for a carbon neutral declaration by 2021.
The latest development is the selection of a California
firm to verify carbon footprints.
|4/18/13 2:25:30 AM|
|Temporary money will be part of exhibit|
| When a merchant asks customers how they will
pay for purchases, the expected answer could be paper
cash, coins or credit cards. The Museos del Banco
Central de Costa Rica will host an exhibit to show these
are not the only options.
|4/17/13 2:31:31 AM|
|You won't believe this homemade pistol|
| One of the homemade weapons destroyed Monday
was an eight-shot pistol that fired shotgun shells.
|4/17/13 2:31:04 AM|
|Prosecutors become involved in the San Ramón highway case|
| The case of the highway concession for the San
José-San Ramón route keeps getting worse. Now
prosecutors are involved in the controversial issue
because someone made a criminal complaint.
|4/16/13 3:22:05 AM|
|Homemade firearms and the new gun law|
| Armament officials plan to destroy about 1,000
homemade firearms today, highlighting the black market
in the illegal production of guns. A proposed new
firearms and explosives law forbids firearm production
in Costa Rica, legal or otherwise. But making an illegal
gun is cheap, and technology will make such activities
|4/16/13 3:21:32 AM|
|Seeking justice might get a bit more expensive|
| A large U.S. law firm has a slogan: How much
justice can you afford? That also might be appropriate
for the Poder Judicial here which might be the
beneficiary of yet another new tax. This time the tax
would be levied on those going to court to collect money
on a debt.
|4/15/13 2:24:05 AM|
|President has a tough day in Alajuela|
| Juan Santamaría day celebrations of the 157
anniversary of the Battle of Rivas were interrupted soon
after the start by protesters unhappy with the San José
to San Ramón road concession.
|4/12/13 3:04:09 AM|
|Tower for children's hospital moves ahead|
| Health officials took another step Wednesday to
build an $80 million critical care facility for sick
|4/11/13 2:52:46 AM|
|Secret Service surveys expats and others here|
| Whenever U.S. officials make a trip, the
various U.S. security agencies send teams to clear the
way weeks before. Along with local police agencies, they
seek out troublemakers, and anyone who may represent a
danger to the official.
|4/11/13 2:52:21 AM|
|Cell phone will be an aid to help you quit|
| Health officials are turning to cell telephones
to encourage smokes to kick the habit. Costa Rica is the
first of some eight countries that are adopting a
program supported by the International
Telecommunications Union. The idea is to use text
messaging to support those who are trying to quit.
|4/10/13 3:11:17 AM|
|Fare set for Cartago train trip|
| Expanded valley train service to Cartago is
almost a reality. The nation's regulatory agency said
Monday that it has approved a 495-colon fare for a
one-way trip. That's about $1.Fare set for Cartago train
|4/9/13 2:30:55 AM|
|For some reason the Guanacaste birds are migrating|
| The movement of species typical of the tropical
dry forests of Guanacaste into the Central Valley
continues at a rapid pace. In particular is the
explosive expansion of the white-winged dove with this
conspicuous species increasing its numbers rapidly. In
some areas around Heredia where it did not occur at all
five years ago and still with just a few two years ago,
it is now omnipresent with flocks as large as 40 or 50
in particularly favorable conditions.
|4/9/13 2:30:19 AM|
|A lite look at sex tourism|
| Once again La Nación, the Spanish-language
newspaper, has come out with a thin story on sexual
tourism that fails to address some of the important
aspects of this Costa Rican phenomenon.
|4/8/13 2:19:49 AM|
|Gold mining firms take a step toward arbitration|
| The operators of the Las Crucitas mining
concession served notice to Costa Rica Thursday that the
country is in violation of its investment treaty with
Canada and invited the country to resolve the conflict.
The alternative would be arbitration at a World Bank
agency, it said.
|4/8/13 2:19:27 AM|
|Canadian study says Chinese grossly understate fishing catch|
| Chinese fishing boats catch about $11.5 billion
worth of fish from beyond their country’s own waters
each year – and most of it goes unreported, according to
a new study led by fisheries scientists at the
University of British Columbia.
|4/8/13 2:13:56 AM|
|U.S. tycoon had a major role in defeat of William Walker|
| April 11 is the celebration of the Battle of
Rivas that immortalized Juan Santamaría as a Costa Rican
national hero. That is why there is a statute of Juan
Santamaría at the international airport that bears his
name and in the central park of Alajuela, his hometown.
There ought to be a statute of U.S. businessman
Cornelius Vanderbilt, too, because if Juan Santamaria's
brief and fatal action to torch an enemy stronghold is
memorable so should the extensive support provided by
Vanderbilt and his agents.
|4/8/13 2:13:33 AM|
|More taxes on the way|
| The Laura Chinchilla administration is making
an effort to create new taxes and increase government
income before the president leaves office in May next
|4/4/13 2:26:19 AM|
|Costa Rica proud of its U.N. achievement|
| The foreign minister Tuesday called U.N.
approval of an international arms treaty a triumph of
Costa Rican diplomacy and an example of how a small
country can have universal reach.
|4/3/13 3:20:09 AM|
|The Sixaola search for sea cows|
| Tourists can be forgiven if they have been
unable to view those 1,000-pound-plus mammals that make
up the nation's largest wildlife. They are manatees, and
even scientists have to call upon modern
electronics,including side-scanning radar, to count
|4/3/13 3:19:44 AM|
|Health officials trying to limit salt intake|
| Costa Rican health officials have a plan to
reduce the nation's intake of salt. The plan includes
reducing the salt intake of school children.
|4/2/13 2:36:17 AM|
|Semana Santa pageantry a winner|
| The weather cooperated fully as Semana Santa
pageantry took place under clear and sometimes cloudy
|4/2/13 2:35:55 AM|
|Reader moved by death of volunteer fire fighter|
| "I find it necessary to write in respect to the
death of Andrés Cruz Castro, and I beg the public to be
aware of what can happen when we become careless."
|4/1/13 2:35:00 AM|
|Obama to meet heads of states here in May|
| U. S. President Barack Obama will visit Costa
Rica as part of a three-day, two nation trip May 2 to 4,
the White House said Wednesday.
|4/1/13 2:34:36 AM|
|U.S. Embassy urges caution on Caribbean coast|
| The U.S. Embassy has published a notice on its
Web site warning its nationals of an increase in armed
robberies in the Puerto Viejo area.
|3/28/13 2:31:44 AM|
|Drug smuggling was for local consumption, police say|
| Anti-drug police have known since at least last
August that a gang was involved in bringing drugs from
Panamá into the country for consumption here.
|3/28/13 2:31:21 AM|
|Yelling is not the way to get service here|
| So if you want to get great service here, never
raise your voice, even a little bit, when dealing with a
Costa Rican employee. Keep in mind, in most cases the
employee was not personally responsible for the
complained about activity or action.
|3/27/13 3:26:36 AM|
|Convention center design awaited|
| Within a month the preliminary design for the
nation's public convention center should be presented.
The central government and its Instituto Costarricense
de Turismo are betting on the 15,000-square meter
(161,459-square foot) project to move the country firmly
into the international convention business.
|3/27/13 3:26:08 AM|
|A do-it-yourself guide to prosecuting your own financial crime|
| "The reasoning behind this system is, on the
one hand, to lessen the burden on the prosecutors at the
Ministerio Público by allowing the victims of financial
crime in those cases that meet the criteria, to take
personal charge of them, giving them in turn the
opportunity to have their day in court a lot sooner than
going through the long regular process."
|3/26/13 2:57:40 AM|
|The bugs are back and predicting the weather|
| The weather experts say there will be a normal
rainy seasons with a normal start from April 1 to about
May 10, depending on the location in Costa Rica. The
june bugs concur.
|3/25/13 3:12:29 AM|
|Estimated dates given for advent of rainy season|
| Costa Rican summer is coming to an end, as
indicated by the first big storm of the season Thursday
afternoon in the Central Valley. Residents can expect
the rainy season to officially begin next month in the
|3/22/13 2:32:01 AM|
|Country finally begins to handle it sewage|
| After years of planning and even years of
neglect, Costa Rica is about to begin a project to
protect its rivers and the gulf of Nicoya. This is a
major step that will affirm to tourists the country's
strong environmental stand.
|3/22/13 2:31:11 AM|
|Cocos tectonic plate seems to ride on magma|
| Scientists have found a layer of liquefied
molten rock in Earth’s mantle that may be acting as a
lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet’s
massive tectonic plates. The discovery may carry
far-reaching implications, from solving basic geological
functions of the planet to a better understanding of
volcanism and earthquakes.
|3/21/13 2:42:00 AM|
|Three centers planned for victims of violence|
| The U. S. government is partnering with Costa
Rican organization Fundación Paniamor and the government
to develop programs to reduce domestic violence and the
demand for drugs in the country.
|3/20/13 3:07:39 AM|
|Cops on the lookout for wildlife poachers|
| Frontier police stopped a vehicle Sunday that
was carrying 112 orchids, mostly guarias moradas. That
is a clear violation of the environmental laws, in part
because the plants appeared to have come from the Parque
Nacional Volcán Miravalles.
|3/20/13 3:07:10 AM|
|Semana Santa roundup for cathedral and Anglican parish|
| The Catedral Metropolitana has a full schedule
for Semana Santa or Holy Week beginning with a Palm
Sunday procession this Sunday.
|3/19/13 2:38:31 AM|
|No hard data to show warming intensifies storms|
| Researchers at Washington University in St.
Louis. Missouri, sought to determine causation.
"Although many people have speculated that the weather
will get stormier as the climate warms, nobody has done
the quantitative analysis needed to show this is indeed
happening," says Jonathan Katz, professor of physics at
|3/19/13 2:37:55 AM|
|Straight from Alice's cookbook|
| Some shoppers had a high time at the weekend
agricultural fair in Quepos. But not everyone
|3/18/13 3:23:53 AM|
|Pura vida makes its mark in Ireland|
| Every March as St. Patrick's Day approaches
columnists dwell on the Irish contribution to the world.
There even is a 1995 book titled "How the Irish Saved
Civilization." recounting the works of the Eighth
century monks who kept and made copies of crucial
|3/18/13 3:23:27 AM|
|Country getting money to set up carbon credit system|
| The country will get $3 million from a World
Bank agency to set up a domestic carbon trading market.
The World bank through its Partnership for Market
Readiness is defining the structure for a carbon trading
scheme to offset emissions of so-called greenhouse
|3/15/13 4:19:25 AM|
|Irazú began to blow its top 50 years ago|
| Just 50 years ago Costa Ricans and visitors in
Cartago and the metro area were surprised when the
Volcán Irazú awakened.
|3/15/13 4:18:58 AM|
|Bids will be sought for Circunvalación north|
| The transport ministry in publishing a bid
request to the northern loop of the Circunvalacion.
|3/14/13 3:15:28 AM|
|Semana Santa less than two weeks away|
| Only 10 days remain before offices and
businesses begin to shut down for the Semana Santa
vacation. Easter is March 31 this year, and Holy Week
starts March 24,
|3/14/13 3:14:55 AM|
|5,000 skateboarders predicted for this year|
| Organizers predict that 5,000 youngsters on
skateboards and longboards will take to the streets
March 24 for another Emerica Wild In The Streets event.
|3/13/13 3:10:15 AM|
|Greater protection for sharks gets initial OK|
| A local environmental organization is claiming
victory because a gathering of nations has voted to
protect five species of shark.
|3/12/13 2:48:21 AM|
|It took a murder to get action on the Caribbean coast|
| Investigators suspect that individuals detained
in a fatal stickup early March 2 maybe be the gang that
has been plaguing the Caribbean Coast since October.
|3/12/13 2:47:57 AM|
|Artist have unusual ways to recycle|
| For many, the solution to getting rid of those
odd and end pieces is to place them all in a drawer for
a time when they can become useful again. This time is
one that usually rarely comes, and the drawer continues
to accumulate random items.
|3/11/13 3:09:54 AM|
|Lottery operators try to fight the illegal games|
| The numbers racket in Costa Rica is a $100
million a year business, according to top officials of
the government-sponsored lottery.
|3/8/13 2:10:34 AM|
|Our survey shows food in Panamá is about 28 percent cheaper|
| Backpackers and locals in both Costa Rica and
Panamá will immediately tell those going between the two
countries that the prices of items in Panamá are less.
|3/8/13 2:10:13 AM|
|Sphere festival later this month|
| The Municipalidad de Osa is getting ready for
the eighth Festival de las Esferas later this month.
This is an entertainment and cultural event set against
the backdrop of the pre-Columbian stone sphere in that
part of Costa Rica.
|3/7/13 3:03:06 AM|
|Tax considered to support movie makers|
| Lawmakers want to see more Costa Rican movies,
so they are planning to assess a 1 percent tax on
television providers and to order an increasing amount
of local films to be shown.
|3/6/13 2:48:31 AM|
|Emergency plans prepared for active volcanoes|
| Marking the 50th anniversary of the Irazú
eruptions, the national emergency committee Monday said
it has created contingency plans to go into effect when
one of the nation's volcanoes erupts. The popular
volcanoes are in national parks and are visited
frequently by tourists. The contingency plans establish
evacuation routes and places to meet after an
evacuation. There also are efforts to improve
|3/6/13 2:48:09 AM|
|Garage sales here have some unusual twists|
| Costa Rica has generated professional sales
advisers. These individuals will conduct the sale for a
percentages of the income, usually between 10 and 20
percent. The advantage is that such advisers known the
going price for that 5-year-old Atlas stove and also
have a following.
|3/5/13 2:49:33 AM|
|Bulk of violent gang still at large|
| A violent crime wave has spread fear along the
Caribbean coast. Even though Fuerza Pública officers
detained two suspects in a fatal stickup, the bulk of a
gang continues at large.
|3/5/13 2:45:01 AM|
|Stone spheres move closed to U.N. designation|
| The stone spheres of Costa Rica are a step
closer to becoming a world cultural heritage site. The
U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
has put a collection five Costa Rican archaeological
sites on a tentative list in the agenda for action by
the World Heritage Committee.
|3/4/13 2:18:47 AM|
|Hotel invasion is another blow to tourism|
| Tourism took another hit Thursday as news of a
hotel invasion started reaching the various travel
sites. Locals say that the invasion by gunmen early
Thursday into the Hotel Samasití in Hone Creek on the
Caribbean coast was the fourth such recent incident in
the area. They blamed the same gang.
|3/1/13 2:38:21 AM|
|Tax collectors keep you guessing|
| How many expats who pay Costa Rican income tax
know that today is the deadline for telling the
government where the money was made and spent in the
2011-2012 fiscal year? They might be forgiven for being
confused because the nation's tax collectors have
instituted rules and then changed them at the last
|3/1/13 2:37:59 AM|
|Survey shows a grim tourism season|
| A new survey report by the national tourism
chamber showed that even in the most popular areas hotel
occupancy was below 50 percent during December and
|2/28/13 2:35:43 AM|
|Long-time sugar cane ritual draws new protests|
| Neighbors of sugar cane fields in central Costa
Rica are unhappy again this year with the annual ritual
of burning the fields before harvest.
|2/28/13 2:35:24 AM|
|Endangered birds facing mandatory move to Nicoya|
| After more than three decades of service, the
Costa Rican macaw conservation program, The Ara Project,
is being sent from its Alajuela home, and is under
threat to be shut down unless the group can raise enough
to relocate, according to directors.
|2/27/13 2:46:40 AM|
|U.S. budget cuts bound to have an effect here|
| Mandatory U.S. spending cuts are bound to have
an effect in Costa Rica. Secretary of State John Kerry
is on record saying the automatic cuts would impair the
ability of the State Department to fulfill its mission.
|2/26/13 2:37:55 AM|
|Despite U.S. Senate resolution, not much has changed|
| Expats may not be aware that Costa Rica was
once the subject of a blistering U.S. Senate resolution
over a complex squatter case that resulted in the murder
of a U.S. citizen. No much seems to have changed in the
last 16 years because property thefts still are in the
|2/26/13 2:37:35 AM|
|Ms. Pearson goes bungee jumping|
| 'I never understood the phrase “heart jumping
out of your chest” until I was standing 265 feet in the
air at the end of the platform that was affixed to
Puente Viejo del Colorado in Naranjo, Costa Rica.'
|2/25/13 3:13:47 AM|
|San José will accept credit cards for parking fees|
| There's bad news for those individuals who eke
out a living by reselling parking boletas in the central
area of the capital. Credit card dispensers are are
being installed by the Sección de Control Vial of the
|2/25/13 3:13:21 AM|
|Police officials report less Caribbean crime|
| Police officials around the Caribbean coast
report that although they still have more work to do,
they are making progress in reducing crime in the area.
In the last year, criminal arrests have increased by
nearly 20 percent, and property crimes have decreased by
10 percent in the Talamanca canton, said Leandro
Chaverri Cordero, head of the Policía de Fronteras
|2/21/13 2:28:32 AM|
|Concern voiced over mishaps on coastal highway|
| Health and rescue officials are raising the
alarm because the highway has had 33 major accidents
since the beginning of the year, according to the Caja
Costarricense de Seguro Social. The most sensational one
was this weekend when four persons died in a head-on
crash near Parrita that ended when one of the vehicles
exploded into flames.
|2/21/13 2:28:10 AM|
|Safe house for exploited girls gets official OK|
| As a child care psychologist, she wanted to
help. To do so, she gave up her childcare facility in
the Bay Area, of California and moved to Costa Rica in
November 2010. Now, two years later, she has built and
received the necessary governmental permits to open the
first safe house for child survivors of sexual
exploitation. A group of six girls will move into the
house, known as Salvando Corazones, April 15.
|2/20/13 3:02:32 AM|
|'The Return of the King,' Costa Rican style|
| Years ago in the faraway Kingdom of Pavones,
the people lived in paradise under the benevolent eye of
the king, a one-time visitor from the north.
|2/20/13 3:02:09 AM|
|Decree institutionalizes loud noise until 10 p.m.|
| Persons plagued by loud sounds from national
events near their homes will now have to wait until 10
p.m. to get relief.
|2/19/13 4:15:42 AM|
|Child sex suspect finally back in the States|
| A suspected child molester who has lived in
Quepos since 2006 is finally in custody in the United
States. The case has religious dimensions because the
man, Michael J. Norris, 67, was an elder of the
Jehovah's Witnesses congregation where the long-running
molestation is alleged to have taken place.
|2/18/13 2:35:04 AM|
|Another blow to the tourism image of the country|
| The German government has called for an
investigation by Costa Rica officials of the case of a
young accident victim who had to have her arm amputated
after a quadracycle accident on the Pacific coast of the
Nicoya Peninsula. In a formal note to the foreign
ministry, the German Embassy here recounted delays in
getting the woman adequate medical attention and said
that it would warn other Germans about the state of
medical services here.
|2/18/13 2:34:38 AM|
|Internet speed is getting better, international firm says|
| An international company that measures Internet
speeds reports that Costa Rica is improving. The average
Internet connection speed has tripled over the past
three years, and peak Internet speeds have doubled over
the past two years, said Craig Adams, the local site
leader here. The firm is Akamai Technologies, which
opened a new operations center here in October.
|2/15/13 2:24:14 AM|
|Expat advocates bring their battles to Congress|
| Overseas American week ends Friday, but that
does not mean there is an obligation to take an overseas
American to lunch. This is the time of year when
advocate for overseas Americans meet with U.S. lawmakers
and staffers to discuss problems confronting expats.
|2/14/13 2:54:52 AM|
|Modern methods blamed for advance of coffee rust|
| A shift away from traditional coffee-growing
techniques may be increasing the severity of an outbreak
of coffee rust fungus that has swept through plantations
in Central America and Mexico, according to a University
of Michigan ecologist who studies the disease.
|2/14/13 2:54:30 AM|
|Japanese dolls are window to the culture|
| Dolls are typically thought of as children's
toys, that are used for play dates and given
personalities by the owner's imagination. In Japan, the
delicately made figurines carry a deeper significance.
They are created with intriguing designs, colors and
shapes and collected as an embodiment of the ideals of
|2/13/13 2:18:02 AM|
|What are the options for Valentine's Day?|
| Retailers have already taken advantage of the
holiday by placing up signs for two-for-one specials and
discounts that range from 20 to 60 percent depending on
how much a person buys. Sales clerks are strategically
placed in the pedestrian walkway with merchandise in
hand to help advise both lovers and friends on the
|2/13/13 2:17:39 AM|
|Insecurity fears eclipsed by corruption and economy|
| Security officials and the Chinchilla
administration are taking credit for the results of a
new survey that said insecurity was no longer the No. 1
concern of Costa Ricans. That concern fell to third
place behind government corruption and the economy.
according to a report in the daily La Republica Monday.
|2/12/13 3:26:18 AM|
|Judiciary setting up diversion plan for crooks on drugs|
| A person with a drug addiction who commits a
minor crime will now have another option to facing the
criminal courts. That choice is rehabilitation.
|2/12/13 3:25:51 AM|
|Measure banning sex tourism ads goes into effect|
| The security ministry confirmed Friday that a
new law against trafficking in persons has gone into
effect. The law became valid because it was published in
the La Gaceta official newspaper that day.
|2/11/13 2:53:31 AM|
|The controversy over genetically modified corn|
| The latest environmental crusade is against
genetically modified corn or, perhaps more correctly,
against the international business giant Monsanto. The
crusade has a patriotic theme: To protect historical
Costa Rican corn species from pollution from the pollen
of a Monsanto import.
|2/11/13 2:53:04 AM|
|Arenal hotel operator and two sons murdered|
| A hotel operator and his two sons became murder
victims early Saturday, and their bodies were found in
different locations around the tourist community that is
dominated by the Arenal volcano.
|2/8/13 3:02:55 AM|
|Administration has plans for many more taxes|
| Slowly the Laura Chinchilla administration is
moving to raise bit by bit taxes that could not be
approved in one large package.
|2/8/13 3:02:31 AM|
|A caution for medical tourists and expats|
| Never does the phrase "you get what you pay
for" apply more strongly than in seeking medical care in
Costa Rica. A medical tourist who looks only to price,
is bound to have troubles. Some of them can be very
|2/7/13 2:41:13 AM|
|Business chamber backs a value-added tax|
| The country's leading business chamber Tuesday
endorsed a value-added tax as a way to reduce interest
rates and the central government's deficit.
|2/7/13 2:40:48 AM|
|The place was once Amon's barrio|
| Barrio Amón is called the first San José
suburb, and it is well known for the many early 20th
century homes that are there. Alliance Française plans
another of its walks through history Saturday with a
tour off the barrio, which is the north side of Avenida
|2/6/13 2:47:29 AM|
|Liquid petroleum gas plants have problems|
| An explosion at a small restaurant in Alajuela
last month and subsequent news reports show that
anything less than a pristine liquid petroleum gas
container is a time bomb. Now regulators are pointing a
finger at the firms that put the gas in those
|2/6/13 2:47:04 AM|
|Latin America becoming an economic powerhouse|
| Many countries across Latin America are
forecast to show economic growth of around 4 percent or
above during 2013 which is exceptional compared to
Europe and North America where many countries are
struggling to maintain positive growth. Brazil is
leading the charge. México is increasing its influence
on the worldwide trading arena, and even countries such
as Costa Rica have played their part. But can this boom
|2/5/13 2:53:18 AM|
|2013 marks 150 years of Costa Rican stamps|
| Costa Rica marks the 150th anniversary this
year of its first postage stamps. Before the adhesive
postage stamp was invented, the recipient of a letter
was expected to pay the tab.
|2/5/13 2:52:59 AM|
|Sala IV will get a shot at decision on genetically modified corn|
| Environmentalists report that the Sala IV
constitutional court has admitted for consideration a
challenge to the way the country's Comisión Técnica
Nacional de Bioseguridad and the rules governing how it
|2/4/13 3:02:29 AM|
|Journalism colegio irked by agent disguised as reporter|
| The journalist professional organization is
miffed because a government security agent pretended to
be a television reporter and infiltrated a labor protest
|2/1/13 2:31:49 AM|
|Muscles move the goods in the downtown|
| Carretas in Costa Rica come in many shapes and
sizes that range from a bicycle with a basket affixed at
the front to refrigerated systems on wheels. There are
even large wooden buggies with wheelbarrow-style
|1/31/13 3:28:33 AM|
|Sala IV rejects double taxation argument against corporate tax|
| The Sala IV constitutional court has thrown out
one challenge to the tax on corporations. The Poder
Judicial reported Tuesday that the court did not agree
with the argument that prohibiting taxpayers from
deducting the amount on their income tax represented
|1/31/13 3:28:12 AM|
|Dance club patrons asked to watch out for themselves|
| A night out in Costa Rica usually consists of
drinking and dancing at local discotecas. However, aside
from drink specials and band details, clients of dance
clubs should also take into consideration the safety of
|1/30/13 3:17:57 AM|
|Hotel chamber worried that dollar will drop|
| The Costa Rican hotel chamber painted a grim
picture Monday as it urged the legislature to prevent
so-called speculative capital from depressing the value
of the dollar against the colon.
|1/30/13 3:17:40 AM|
|Poetry will have its day|
| Poetry is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the
arts. It does not get a lot of respect. In part, that is
because anyone with a pen and paper can call him or
herself a poet.
|1/29/13 2:34:50 AM|
|That Ruta 1856 is really a mess|
| The latest official survey of the controversial
Ruta 1856 shows not much has changed. Employees of the
Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación flew over the
area last week and released a report that said the
roadway has deteriorated considerably.
|1/29/13 2:34:30 AM|
|Humble dung beetle looks to the stars|
| The next time that expats are outside finding
their direction by the stars, they might not be alone.
Researchers at a South African university report that
dung beetles also use the Milky Way to ensure they keep
rolling their balls in a straight line and don’t circle
back to competitors at the dung pile.