(Through Feb. 15, 2016. Text version)
|2/15/16 2:27:28 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
|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 good.<
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 before 1992.
|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
|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 Ciudad Quesada.
|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
|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 to class.
|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
|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
|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 medium enterprises.
|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
|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 Cerro Chirripo.
|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
|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
|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
|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 February.
|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
|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 then boiled.
|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 Milanes.
|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 Sunday.
|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
|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 fishing.
|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 Rica belongs.
|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 personas juridicas.
|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
|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 next week.
|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
|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 Investigating Organization.
|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
|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
|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. 15, 2017.
|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
|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 passengers.
|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
|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
|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
|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.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|2/15/16 3:49:39 PM|
|Lawmakers pass bill to give tourism operators debt relief|
overwhelmingly approved Thursday on first reading a plan
to provide financially distressed tourism operations up
to $175,000 each in a low-interest loan.
|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
|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 countries.
|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
|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
|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 earthquakes.
|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 money.
|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 prohibitions.
|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
|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
|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 Satan's lair.
|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 Guardia.
|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 ranchers.
|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 naked branches.
|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 different reasons.
|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 neoliberal.
|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 Costa Ricans.
|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 12 months.
|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
|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
|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 man-made.
|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 expat organization.
|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 thing.
|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
|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 regulating agency.
|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 dreaming.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 person's identity.
|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 abandoned.
|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
|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 areas.
|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
|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 Guardacostas.
|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 evacuation.
|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 collector, reports.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 Rica.
|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
|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
|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 intelligence-gathering
|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
|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 trapping heat.
|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
|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 humans.
|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
|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
|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 building.
|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 owners.
|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 workers receive.
|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
|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
|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
|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 country, too.
|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
|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 tourism.
|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 since 1998
|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
|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
|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 television programming.
|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 changes.
|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
|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
|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 hard feelings.
|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 shelf.
|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 cocaine.
|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
|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
|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 tomorrow.
|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 season.
|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
|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 withdrawn.)
|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 Tributación
|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 staffers.
|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
|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
|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
|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 agencies.
|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
|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
|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 impact.
|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 anniversary.
|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 Vialidad.
|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 vehicles.
|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
|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
|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 current problems.
|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 institutions.
|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
|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 Investigating Organization.
|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
|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 colons.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 culture.
|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
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
|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
|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 politics.
|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
|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 be.
|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 and abroad.
|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
|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 project.
|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
|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 product.
|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 process.
|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 decades.
|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 locals alike.
|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
|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 trouble.
|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 environmentalists.
|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
|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,
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 Pacific coast.
|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 kidnapped.
|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
|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 card transactions.
|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 Pacific coast.
|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
|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 the country.
|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.
|1/21/15 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 ministry.
|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
|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 Biology.
|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
|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 against cruelty.
|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 Data Journal.
|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 ministry.
|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 weeks.
|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
|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
|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 financial.
|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 dangerous.
|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 family package.
|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 supports democracy.
|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 hypothermia case.
|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 little.
|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
|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 desired
|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 Canada.
|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
|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 economy.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 Hacienda.
|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 public.
|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 drug war.
|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
|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 Constitution.
|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 inspectors arrive.
|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 phone camera.
|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
|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 protection Sunday.
|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
|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 Puriscal.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 the Messenger."
|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 messages.
|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
|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 foods.
|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 place.
|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
|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 universal.
|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 everyone.
|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
|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 Patton case.
|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 budget ministry.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 constitutional court.
|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 Europeans.
|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
|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
|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 Commission.
|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
|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
|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 Tuesday.
|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 women.
|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
|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 failures.
|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 taxes.
|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
|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 Rican Constitution.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 their activities.
|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
|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 celebrate Friday.
|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
|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 Raúl Castro.
|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 Osa.
|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 not final.
|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
|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 Palestine."
|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
|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 parks.
|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
|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 repeated frequently.
|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
|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 to increase.
|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 his death.
|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 expenditures.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 estate.
|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 victory.
|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 penalty shots.
|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
|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
|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
|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 crater.
|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
|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 northeast Panamá.
|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 Brazil, 1-0.
|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 prices.
|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
|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
|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 budget deficit.
|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
|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
|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 fatal.
|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 prisoners.
|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 homework
|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
|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 drastically.
|5/21/14 3:25:37 AM|
|What is the brain like on meditation?|
| What is the brain like
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
|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 Juventud.
|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
|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
|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 Costa Rica.
|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
|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 commercial fishing.
|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
|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 live here?
|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
|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 zones.
|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 nation’s course.
|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 country.
|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 total jobs.
|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 initial report.
|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 been canceled.
|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 distributor.
|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
|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,
|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 the tragedy.
|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 Square.
|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
|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
|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 vacation.
|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
|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 San José.
|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 buildings.
|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 English.
|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 percent increase.
|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 and bells.
|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 platform.
|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,
|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 Berlin, Germany.
|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
|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 April 6.
|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 Liberia.
|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 higher.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 Costa Rica.
|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
|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 American Indians.
|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
|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
|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 presidential runoff.
|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 results.
|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
|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
|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 to recover.
|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
|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
|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 more.”
|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. national newspaper.
|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 letter? "
|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 march.
|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 the murderer.
|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
|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
|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 documentalist.
|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
|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 tourism areas.
|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 presidency.
|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
|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 new buildings.
|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
|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
|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 north.
|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
|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
|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 their responsibilities.
|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
|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 Jesus Christ.
|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 a profit.
|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 Costa Rica.
|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
|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
|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 Poder Judicial.
|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 culture.
|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 audience.
|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 local institution.
|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 too late
|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 temporary decision.
|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
|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 luxury homes.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 downturn.
|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
|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
|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
|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 confirmation.
|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 Ramón.
|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 industry.
|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 marine life.
|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
|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 land.
|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 behavior.
|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 globally.
|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 Development Bank.
|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
|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
|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 jeopardy.
|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 and unhappy.
|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
|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 tax.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 real time.
|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 Rica.
|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 domestic employees.
|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
|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
|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 and failure.
|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 said.
|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 his own.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 applications.
|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 Rica.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 understand it.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 refineria."
|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 unconstitutional.
|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
|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 historical document.
|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 business plans.
|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 independence.
|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 seldom prosper.
|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 water.
|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
|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 entry requirements.
|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 take place.
|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
|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
|8/16/13 2:42:19 AM|
|A.M. Costa Rica turns 12|
| Thursday was the 12th
birthday of A.M. Costa Rica.
|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
|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 $100,000.
|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 northern zone.
|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 differences.
|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 the country.
|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
|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 country.
|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 volcanic disaster.
|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 Mora.
|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
|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 demons.
|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
|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 closed.
|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
|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 nightmare.
|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
|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 residency-based taxation.
|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
|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 against terrorism.
|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 cheats.
|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
|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 José.
|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 Ricans are.
|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 for president.
|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 existing plane.
|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
|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 private lands.
|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
|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 increased.
|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
|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
|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
|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 Sandoval.
|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
|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 system.
|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 case.
|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
|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 field.
|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
|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 the world.
|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
|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
|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
|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 the tracks.
|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
|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 States.
|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
|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 Thursday.
|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 prices.
|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 Desamparados neighborhood.
|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
|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
|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 Thursday.
|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 address.
|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 the world.
|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
|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
|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 population.
|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
|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 stamps.
|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
|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
|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
|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 easier.
|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
|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 children.
|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
|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 trip
|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
|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 year.
|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 them.
|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
|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 skies.
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 Pacific regions.
|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
|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
|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 the university.
|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 appreciated it.
|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 literary works.
|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 gases.
|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
|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
|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
|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 communications.
|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
|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 minute.
|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 January.
|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
|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
|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 news.
|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 municipal government.
|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
|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
|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
|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 the people.
|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 perfect gift.
|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 con|