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Published Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 57
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50,000 families face eviction on tide measurement
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Around 50,000 families living in the Pacific and Caribbean shores face the risk of eviction due to a mathematical dispute with the government’s geographical demarcations institute.

Those affected live or own property less than 200 meters away from the high tide line as defined by the institute.

According to a 1977 statute establishing what defines the Costa Rican maritime zone, all territory located 50 meters away from the high tide line is considered public, while 150 meters after that cannot be sold and it belongs to the municipality.

This allows local authorities to demolish any building inside the restricted area that was not grandfathered in before the law’s passage and enforcement.

However the Asociación Nacional de Habitantes Costeros, an advocacy group for those affected, claim that all these people suffer intimidation from their municipalities, who try to enforce a law based on measures that have not been updated in 40 years despite changes associated with rising sea levels and changes in plate tectonics.

The conflict has gone so bad that the association has recently filed a complaint before the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, seeking to halt all evictions, penalties and fines from municipalities.

The Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo is a special kind of court with the power to stop any government action that could lead to irreversible damage.

“We demand Instituto Geográfico Nacional to correct the measures, because right now some properties who used to be legally located, are now inside the restricted area.

The high tide is miscalculated and, as a result, all other measures are miscalculated as well,” said Adriana Rivera, the lawyer that represents the association.

Ms. Rivera said that every time she tried to discuss the matter with the geographical institute, she received only vague responses that show no interest in doing the calculations the right way according to standards emphasized by the association.

The lawyer explained that, last November, the legislative assembly approved a temporary halt to all evictions and demolitions until 2020, but now they are seeking a permanent halt based on the miscalculations of the high tide lines.

“They are avoiding the subject, but that's the core of the problem.” she added

A.M. Costa Rica tried to talk to authorities from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional, but a representative said that an answer was not possible before the deadline.  The representative then cited the necessity of supporting documents for any answer but said the matter was too sensitive at this time.


This newspaper also contacted Alvaro
Demolition
                              of beach property
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Adriana Rivera
Demolition in the works at Playa Matapalo.

Álvarez, a current worker of the institute, but he declined to make any comments.

“They have no clue where the measures come from and how to do it right.” said Guillermo Durán, a retired topographer who also works as a consultant for the legislative assembly committee in charge of examining this issue.


“The law says that high tide is at 1.15 meters above the Pacific shore and 0.20 meters in the Caribbean side. How did they arrive to that figure? Nobody knows,” he says.


Durán also considers that the methodology used by the geographic institute doesn't comply with the standards from the International Hydrological Programme of the United Nations Organization.

“To determine a high tide line, the observation period should be of at least 6,939 days, or about 19 years. In the case of our calculations, the observation period took less than five years, and out of that they extrapolated the final results.” Durán explained.

“Where demolitions have taken place, owners have committed suicide or gone mad. I've seen it. It is a real tragedy,” says Victoria Quirós, current president of the Asociación Nacional de Habitantes Costeros.

She is also the owner of the Hotel El Pargo Feliz, located in Montezuma, in the province of Puntarenas. She claims she's been fighting the right to have her property for more
than 25 years and many times she has been bullied by municipal inspectors.

“We didn't come here yesterday. We all have been living here most of our lives. Montezuma was founded 70 years ago, and we don't deserve to be kicked out in favor of the big developments, which is what the Costa Rican tourism board wants,” she said.

She backs up her claim on the report submitted on Aug. 13, 2010, by the then minister of tourism Carlos Ricardo Benavides to the legislative assembly.

In the document, the ministry says that these disputed areas “should be used for the development of projects that would provide jobs and revenues to municipalities” rather than being granted for building houses for low-income persons.

“That's the bottom of it all. They want to build big hotels and attract the wealthiest investors. In our case they have not been able to get us out, but they do make it difficult for us to renew our working permits,” she complained.


Costa Rica drops out of top 10 on happiness report
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There is a lot of happiness at Sustainable Development Solutions Network. This is the group that puts out the World Happiness Report, and the organization just announced it received a generous, three-year grant to continue to massage data from Gallup, Inc., to try to assess, country-by-country, happiness.

Costa Rica was the happiest county in the 2012 report, the first ever. But the organization has changed the methodology, and Costa Rica is not even in the top 10.

But residents here should not worry. The country came in 12th out of 155 in the latest report.

The latest methodology stresses caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.

The 2012 report favored countries that exported much more than they imported and embrace the simple life.

The top-rated countries above Costa Rica this time are: Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and Israel.

But as the report notes, the differences in the ranking of countries are very small.

The report came out Monday, which was designated World Happiness Day.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 57
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.
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Some platina bridge lanes open for traffic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The expansion joints have been installed and three of the lanes for the Río Virilla bridge on the General Cañas highway are ready for traffic to pass through once again.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes construction crews opened the lanes Monday morning at 6 in the direction of San José just in time for the traffic rush. The open lanes come with some caveats.

From midnight to noon, two lanes going toward San José will be open for transit, while only one will remain open going toward Alajuela. From noon to midnight, two lanes going to Alajuela will be open and only one will go towards San José, the ministry said. Between changing over the lanes, traffic will be stopped for a few minutes.

The public works ministry said that all vehicles will be allowed to use the bridge during that time excluding heavy trucks which have limited hours of use between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. going to the capital and then from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. going to Alajuela.

The ministry said that the lanes completed are the ones for the eventual direction toward San José. These completed works include a new surface of a concrete base and asphalt surface in addition to the expansion joints. Expansion joints are pieces that link each individual section of the bridge. Public works officials announced last Wednesday that the bridge would be opening this week.

The Alfredo González Flores bridge, colloquially called the platina, was closed back in January for the major construction project in expanding the lanes available for traffic. The platina represents one of the major arteries between San José and Juan Santamaría international airport in Alajuela.

Tamarindo residents angered over project

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Numbers of Tamarindo residents are expected to show up today at 5 p.m. when the Concejo Municipal of Santa Cruz meets.

The residents are unhappy that the municipal council has approved a project that encroaches on what was supposed to be a public park in the maritime zone.

Some 223 residents signed a petition over the weekend to delay the construction of the project, a cafe-restaurant, until environmental complaints are resolved. Work began on the project Tuesday, and workmen are reported to have cut down two trees.

The residents say that the developers did not have the correct permission to cut trees and that one of the trees was in the public zone within 50 meters of high tide. The municipal council in February approved plans for the park, but the building project takes some of the same land.

Our reader’s opinion
The Press is the demagogue!

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
 
dem·a·gogue / ˈdeməˌɡäɡ/ noun / a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
 
If appealing to popular desire means any of the things below, then Costa Rica needs a demagogue for sure.
 
Here are some of the “irrational” things (the demagoguery) Trump spoke about and has done or is doing so far through executive actions or working with the congress. Trump actually has relationships with many of the congress people, inviting them to the White House and meeting with them, an area in which President Obama showed a lack of negotiation skills.
 
1. Repealing and replacing Obama Care.
2. Lobbyist reform preventing appointees from lobbying for five years after they leave government.
3. Building a wall to secure the nation and cutting funding for cities that do not cooperate with detaining those who commit immigration crimes.
4. Limiting immigration in general and reforming it to eliminate the loophole business are using to hire foreign workers for less money, at the expense of nationals losing their jobs.
5. Eliminating regulations that prevent job creation, are outdated, unnecessary, or cost too much.
The order states that for every one regulation the executive branch proposes, two must be identified to repeal. It also caps the spending on new regulations for 2017 at $0.
6. Fast tracking infrastructure projects.
7. Approving Oil pipelines.
8. Reducing regulations for U.S. manufacturing.
 
The U.S. belongs to Americans. Our tax dollars built it. It does not belong to the world. The U.S. is a sovereign nation with independence and justice for our people – not for all people of the world.
 
Final word: this article is the reason the trust of the press is at historic lows. Middle America knows that Trump is not a racist or misogynist, and hardly a demagogue, but the repeating of these claims with no proof whatsoever simply because it appeals to a news source’s agenda is the demagoguery that has made the press untrustworthy.

Phil Baker
Incline Village, Nevada

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Bike lane from La Sabana to Universidad de Costa Rica approved
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authorities from the San José and Montes de Oca municipalities, in addition to the public works ministry, announced the commencement of a cycle-way project running from Universidad de Costa Rica all the way to Parque La Sabana.

The proposed 15-kilometer route will run east to west from the university’s law building to the metropolitan park. The Montes de Oca municipality has already begun its part of the project, according to officials. This includes the installment of traffic signals, reflectors and the placement of separators and security devices to create an independent lane for bicycles to pass through.

The Montes de Oca municipality’s section runs from the law building to around the Universidad Hispanoamericana in Barrio Escalante. Around 53.3 million colons have been invested into the project, officials said.

The work is expected to continue until early May.

Meanwhile, the Municipalidad de San José announced it began work Monday to connect La Sabana with the Montes de Oca’s cycleway. Officials from the municipality said that its side of the project would cost around 60 million colons. Aside from the cycleway, the municipality said that the pedestrian sidewalks would be widened along the route in addition to the installment of the separators and signs.

“Bikes, as has been evident in recent days, need an exclusive way to not only boost their use, but also for safety reasons,” said Johnny Araya, the mayor of San José, “We hope that, with this new bicycle path, people see the environmental benefits and in the quality of life.”

The representatives from the different institutions agreed on the need to resort to alternative transportation options for the greater San José area.

Cycleway
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo 
Example of what the new bike lane will look like.

There is little doubt that traffic congestion is a problem for the capital and its surrounding communities.

According to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, the route going to La Sabana will run through the boulevard in Barrio Dent, the supreme court and Judicial Investigating Organization building. Going the opposite way to San Pedro, the cycleway is proposed to run past landmarks like the Antigua Aduana and the Universidad Libre de Costa Rica building until arriving at San Pedro.


Officials said the bike lane would be around 1.5 and 2 meters wide. It will be separate from both vehicle traffic and pedestrian walkways.

The public works ministry’s engineering department carried out the feasibility study earlier this November and approved the study and design of the project.



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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 57
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People blinded following stem cell surgery becomes call to arms
By the Stanford University Medical Center press staff

Three people with macular degeneration were blinded after undergoing an unproven stem cell treatment that was touted as a clinical trial in 2015 at a clinic in Florida. Within a week following the treatment, the patients experienced a variety of complications, including vision loss, detached retinas and hemorrhage. They are now blind.

A paper documenting the cases was published March 16 in “The New England Journal of Medicine.”

The article is a call to awareness for patients, physicians and regulatory agencies of the risks of this kind of minimally regulated, patient-funded research, said Jeffrey Goldberg, professor and chair of ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and co-author of the paper.

The three patients were all women, ranging in age from 72 to 88, and suffering from macular degeneration, a common, progressive disease of the retina that leads to loss of vision. Before the surgery, the vision in their eyes ranged from 20/30 to 20/200.

Now, the patients are likely to remain blind, said co-author Thomas Albini, an associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Miami, where two of the patients were subsequently treated for complications from the stem cell treatments.

Two of the patients learned of the so-called clinical trial on ClinicalTrials.gov, a registry and results database run by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, where it was called “Study to assess the safety and effects of cells injected intravitreal in dry macular degeneration.”

Some of the patients believed they were participating in a trial, although the consent form and other written materials given to the patients did not mention a trial, Albini said.

“There’s a lot of hope for stem cells, and these types of clinics appeal to patients desperate for care who hope that stem cells are going to be the answer, but in this case these women participated in a clinical enterprise that was off-the-charts dangerous,” Albini said.

Each patient paid $5,000 for the procedure. Any clinical trial that has a fee should raise a red flag, the authors said.

At the clinic, which is not named in the paper, the patients had fat cells removed from their abdomens and a standard blood draw. The fat tissue was processed with enzymes, with the goal of obtaining stem cells.

Platelet-dense plasma was isolated from the blood. The cells were then mixed with the platelet-dense plasma and injected into their eyes.

Patients reported that the entire process took less than an hour, Albini said. The patients had both eyes treated at once, which is another red flag, Albini and Goldberg said.

The authors noted that most doctors would opt for a conservative approach to observe how one eye responds to an experimental treatment before attempting the other eye.

Shoddy stem cell preparation may have led to some of the patients’ complications, which could have been caused by injection of a contaminant or the cell wash solution into the eye, Albini said.

When injected into the eye, the stem cells also could have changed into myofibroblasts, a type of cell associated with scarring.

But even if executed correctly, there is no evidence suggesting that the procedure could help restore vision, Goldberg and Albini said.


In fact, there is sparse evidence that adipose-derived stem cells, the type of cells that the clinic claimed to use, are capable of differentiating, or maturing, into retinal pigment epithelium or photoreceptor cells, which play a critical role in macular degeneration and are the cells some researchers are targeting to develop therapies.

The trial lacked nearly all of the components of a properly designed clinical trial, including a hypothesis based on laboratory experiments, assignment of a control group and treatment group, collection of data, masking of clinical and patient groups, and plans for follow-up, Goldberg and Albini said.


Listings on ClinicalTrials.gov are not fully scrutinized for scientific soundness, Goldberg said. Although still visible on the website, the listing now states: “This study has been withdrawn prior to enrollment.” The clinic is also no longer performing these eye injections, although it is still seeing patients, Albini said.

The procedures were arguably not subject to Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approval because the cells were not transferred between patients and were considered minimally processed, according to the Code of Federal Regulations.

The administration released more specific guidelines in October 2015, after these procedures were performed, establishing the requirement for FDA oversight and approval for these types of procedures.

The authors acknowledged that it is difficult for patients to know whether a clinical trial, or a stem cell therapy, is legitimate.

Goldberg recommended that patients considering a stem cell treatment consult a website, A Closer Look at Stem Cells, maintained by the International Society for Stem Cell Research. It is also advisable to check if a trial is affiliated with an academic medical center, Goldberg said.

The report was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Department of Defense and the Klorfine Foundation.

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@travelinparadisecr.com
Web:  www.travelinparadisecr.com
8995-4/17/17

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon
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HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
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COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

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

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

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

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

Real estate rentals (paid category)

rental home
Beautiful Home for Rent
San Isidro Del General, Perez Zeledon. The beautiful southern zone. By week or month.  Only 10 minutes to town. Fabulous, artistic, one Bedroom, elegantly furnished home, overlooking river,  and near to attractions at the beach or mountain. Comes completely furnished with custom queen bed, orthopaedic mattress, all linens, large kitchen, all pans, dishes, silverware, blender new refrigerator, stove with oven, washing machine, glove leather couches, breakfast nook, patio with hammock.  Has also large bodega, with extra full sized bed, can sleep 4. Comes with satellite TV & WIFI. Located next to small river, with access to river pools, and over 60 varieties of rare, tropical birds. Only 45 minutes to beach, Playa Dominical and 40 minutes to National Park Chirripo. Perfect weather. Not hot like the beach. No car needed, bus take 15 minutes to town, costs 30 cents. Gated private and secure, near bus, mini markets. This is a complete home, artistic, beautiful surroundings, with convenience and privacy, yet near to it all. Nice folks.  For more photos and information: james43michael@gmail.com  Costa Rica phone: (506) 2771-4339
9178-4/7/17

Poas chalet
What a chalet!
We offer for rent a boutique quality 2-bedroom (BR)/1-bath mountain chalet, and a 2-BR/2-bath mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude within the limits of a small horse ranch.  Located just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance, our homes sit on the strategic high ground of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, and are contiguous with the park’s 47,000 hectares of primary cloud rainforest. The chalet and mountain home include a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace, and covered parking.  All utilities and wifi internet included. Please contact Allan or Cristina at barvavolcano@gmail.com for photos, pricing and contract details.
9163-3/10/17


Tropical Homes logo
Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
9055-2/23/17

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





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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 57
Calendar
Opinion
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Venezuelan opposition host
 meeting for action on regime


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Relatives of three prominent Venezuelan political prisoners Monday joined the leader of the Organization of American States in pleading for action to free the country from what they described as the repressive regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

“We come here to ask the OAS to end the dictatorship of Maduro,” activist Patricia de Ceballos said at a news conference with two other activists and the organization’s secretary general, Luis Almagro. Her husband, a former mayor in Venezuela, has been confined first at home, then in prison, for three years.

Venezuela needs democracy. It’s urgent, added Lilian Tintori, activist and wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The founder of the Popular Will party is serving a 14-year sentence after being convicted of inciting violence during protests in February 2014.

Last week, Almagro released a report recommending that, unless Venezuela agrees to quickly hold democratic elections, the regional organization’s Permanent Council suspend Venezuela’s membership for violating democratic norms. Violations include jailing political rivals and ignoring the results of 2015 elections. At least 22 of the organization’s 33 other active member states would need to approve suspension. A vote has not yet been scheduled.

Almagro is visiting the organization’s headquarters in Washington this week as the group debates what to do about Venezuela, whose political and humanitarian crisis has deepened in the past two years.

At the news conference, Almagro called on Venezuela to uphold the terms of the Inter-American Democratic Charter that it signed or face suspension.

Suspension would bring in regional monitors who would help the country fight corruption that has infected the country, Almagro said, citing the case of Vice President Tareck El Aissami. The U.S. Treasury Department last month announced sanctions against him on allegations of drug trafficking.

“We have the responsibility to rescue democracy in the continent,” said Almagro, a former Uruguayan foreign minister.

He accused the vice president of diverting public money while his country suffers.

Venezuelans have experienced severe shortages of basic goods, including medicine and food, with some individuals attributing unintentional weight loss to the “Maduro diet.”

The Maduro administration has blamed the deprivation on an economic war led by opponents, including the United States.

Ms. Ceballos called for the release of her husband, Daniel Ceballos, imprisoned since August. The former mayor of the western city of San Cristobal had been under house arrest in Caracas since 2014, when he was accused of fomenting political unrest. This is a charge he denied.

Also at the news conference was Oriana Goicoechea, sister of Popular Will youth leader Yon Goicoechea, who was arrested in August and charged with carrying explosives. Yon Goicoechea won a 2008 prize from the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian organization, for purportedly advancing democracy in Venezuela.

Ms. Tintori, speaking separately on Monday, called on the member-states to intervene and help to rescue democracy in Venezuela. “The Venezuelan people have to fight for elections, humanitarian aid and the freedom of political prisoners.”

Venezuela’s ambassador to the organization, Carmen Velasquez, interrupted the news conference to accuse Almagro of waging a provocative media political campaign against the legitimate and constitutional government.

Meanwhile, Monday in Caracas, Maduro again dismissed Almagro as a bandit and traitor for recommending the country’s suspension from the regional organization.


Vaccine experiment protects
against some malaria strains


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An experimental anti-malaria vaccine has been developed that protects against more than one strain of the malaria parasite that causes the mosquito-borne illness.

The vaccine, tested by principal investigator Kirsten Lyke and colleagues, is called PfSPZ and uses whole, live weakened early versions of the most common form of malaria Plasmodium falciparum, called sporozoites.

This early form of the parasite is what's first injected into humans by an infected mosquito.

By using the entire sporozoite in the vaccine, the immune system responds to more of the parasite, according to Ms. Lyke.

A study of the vaccine conducted by Ms. Lyke and colleagues, published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” enrolled 15 healthy adults who were assigned to receive three doses of the vaccine over several months.

Nineteen weeks after receiving the final dose, the volunteers were exposed to bites of mosquitoes carrying one strain of parasite from Africa.

A second group of six controls that was not vaccinated also got exposed to the mosquitoes. They showed signs of malaria and were promptly treated.

Nine of 14 vaccinated participants, or 64 percent, showed no signs of infection after exposure.

Of the nine, six participants were selected and exposed to a different strain, 33 weeks after the final immunization.

This time, five of the six were protected against this second strain, according to Ms. Lyke.

The agent would offer broader protection against a disease that kills mostly young children in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the World Health Organization, 212 million people were infected with the mosquito-carrying parasite in 2015, and 429,000 died.

There are four types of malaria parasite that typically infect people. The most common and deadly is Plasmodium falciparum, which goes through a number of life-cycle stages during which the parasite evolves into a different form.

That is what makes it difficult to develop a vaccine.

The problem is further complicated by the fact that P. falciparum can mutate and develop into multiple strains.


FBI director Comey debunks
Trump's wiretap allegations


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey has debunked President Donald Trump's explosive claim that former president Barack Obama wiretapped him in the weeks before last year's presidential election.

At a hearing before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Monday, Comey also confirmed that his agency is investigating whether Trump campaign aides criminally colluded with Russian interests to help him win.

Despite that statement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer later said Trump will not withdraw his wiretapping allegation.

Comey told the panel that because the counterintelligence investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election is classified, "I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining." He said congressional leaders have been briefed behind closed doors.

But Comey said he has been authorized by the Justice Department to confirm that the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts.

The White House last week suggested that Obama may have asked the British intelligence agency to wiretap Trump. But Adm. Michael Rogers, the director of the country's National Security Agency, told the House panel that did not occur and that the U.S. and Britain do not spy on each other under a long-standing agreement between the allies.

Comey said that Obama could not have unilaterally ordered a wiretap on a U.S. citizen such as Trump and would have had to secure a court order to do so, which did not happen.

For more than two weeks, Trump has refused to back down on his wiretapping allegation, even as a string of officials, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, have said there is no evidence to support the president's March 4 claims made.

Congressman Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House panel and Republican, acknowledged at the outset of the hearing that there was no evidence of the Obama wiretap on Trump, which Comey later confirmed under questioning from the committee's top Democrat, Congressman Adam Schiff.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who oversees the Justice Department and was a staunch Trump supporter during the presidential campaign, said last week he never gave the president any reason to believe he was wiretapped in the weeks before the November election.

The wiretapping allegation is part of broader investigations by the FBI and lawmakers into the conclusion by the country's intelligence community that Russia meddled in the election to help Trump defeat Clinton.


San Diego brewery unveils
beer made from toilet water


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Would you drink beer made from toilet water? The brewers at one popular brewery in California are betting you would.

Stone Brewing of San Diego unveiled a new beer made from water that comes from the toilet, according to ABC 10 News in San Diego.

Granted, the water for the brew, called Full Circle Pale Ale, is not made from water directly from the toilet, but it does use recycled water from the Pure Water San Diego program, the channel reported.

At the unveiling of the new beer Thursday, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer called the beer delicious, while Stone’s senior manager of brewing and innovation, Steve Gonzalez, said it was among the best pale ales the brewery has ever made.

Gonzalez said drinkers would get some caramel notes, some tropical fruit notes. It's a very clean tasting beer.

Some attendees at the unveiling were naturally a little skeptical of the beer, but after a taste, they were converted. The beer is not yet available to the public, but the brewery said it would be soon.

The Pure Water San Diego program aims to supply one-third of San Diego’s water supply through recycled wastewater.


White House documents failure of police agencies

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Trump administration has released its first weekly report documenting the failure of some local law enforcement agencies to help federal immigration authorities apprehend undocumented immigrants.

The report was mandated in President Donald Trump's executive order, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," to expose sanctuary jurisdictions, meaning those who choose not to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

From Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, the report says local police failed to honor 206 detainers issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A detainer is a request that local law enforcement hold on to individuals who immigration officials believe are subject to deportation.

During that week, the federal agency issued 3,083 detainers. Ten jurisdictions failed to honor 157 of the 206. Clark County, Nevada, topped the list with 51 declined detainers, while Nassau County, New York, followed with 38. Detainers include charges or prior convictions for offenses ranging from drunken driving to aggravated assault and homicide.

Immigration officials said the refusal to cooperate undermines the agency’s ability to protect the public safety, and added that the number of detainers will rise as more immigrants are targeted for deportation.

“It is much safer for everyone — the community, law enforcement and even the criminal alien — if ICE officers take custody of the alien in the controlled environment of another law enforcement agency, as opposed to visiting a reported alien's residence, place of work or other public area,” the agency said in a statement.

The National Immigration Law Center estimates there are 600 sanctuary cities and counties, as well as some states.

These counties, cities and local law enforcement agencies have decided not to cooperate with every detainer for fear that members of the community will be afraid to cooperate with police, even in cases where they are helping to prevent and stop crime. There also are concerns about due process.

Trump has ordered that federal funding to these jurisdictions be cut.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

Real estate services
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
 
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
 
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

colinasdelsol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
9056-2/28/17

Etlinger
                                      Farm rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9170-3/24/17

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

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9183-6/13/17

Kkpit
                                      rollover

FURNISHED  APARTMENT for SALE.
CONDOMINIO SATURNO, LA URUCA, OUTSKIRTS
of SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA
Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email: boriskopit@yahoo.com
9143-4/17/17

rollover
Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here  www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

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

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Remax
                                        Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918

ReMax Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property
CONTACT US TODAY with NO OBLIGATION whatsoever.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

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

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1
                                        graphic
A1 MASTER BUILDERS COSTA RICA
SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     Email: hotelescazu@aol.com
     For more info also see our sites:
    www.a1masterbuildercostarica.webs.com
    www.hotelsescazu.com
    www.hotel4salecostarica.com
    www.wind-solar.webs.com 
9142-7/27/17

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

COSTA RICA SOLAR
solar one

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

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

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

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



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A.M.
Costa
Rica
sixth
news page


San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 57
Calendar
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News from the BBC up to the minute













BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.
Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Gasoline seizure
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo  
Some of the 6,000 gallons of gas seized by police officials.

Border towns face the loss of vital fuel

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The police and coast guard have cracked down on informal gasoline transportation in northern Costa Rica, and some of the border towns face the loss of vital fuel.

March 8 and 9, the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and Fuerza Pública confiscated about 6,000 gallons of gasoline at the Puerto Lindo dock. The fuel was in 18-gallon plastic containers called locally pichingas. In addition, there were dozens of 55-gallon empty plastic drums that were likely to be taken to a nearby service station to be filled.

A coast guard crew confiscated 1,000 liters in Puerto Lindo the day before. The fuel was in five 55-gallon drums on a small boat. Puerto Lindo is on the Río Colorado, and residents along the river and in the community of Barra del Colorado get their fuel this way because there are no service stations.

Barra residents held a meeting Friday with a lawyer sent by the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuacultura. Many of the residents earn their living by fishing, and the community, near the Caribbean, is home base for several sports-fishing enterprises.

March 9, police called traffic officers who cited the truck driver for not having a license valid for a large truck. A man accompanying the driver was held on the allegation that he had in his possession a half kilo of marijuana and some cocaine, said the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública in a news release at the time.

The Barra del Colorado area has not had regular fuel service for 10 years, and the area has had to rely on informal suppliers. The tourist town of Tortuguero faces the same problem, but that community can be supplied from the south by boats using the Tortuguero canal.

The security ministry said at the time that the operator of the small boat holding the containers would be investigated for illegal marine transport of fuel, which is a violation of Costa Rican law.

Investigators correctly assume that many fishing boat crews supply drug dealers at sea with fuel, but a small sportsfishing boat can consume five to six gallons a day of gasoline. In addition, there is the daily need in the community for diesel and lubricating oils. That comes in from Puerto Lindo, too.

Some residents also have backup generators that use gasoline. One resident said Monday that a man who usually delivers fuel said he has made his last shipment, and there was a rush for what remained of his supply.


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From Page 7:

Billionaire David Rockefeller dies at age 101

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

David Rockefeller, the philanthropist billionaire whose family name is a symbol of American capitalism, died in his sleep Monday at age 101.

The former head of Chase Manhattan Bank was the last grandson of the legendary 19th-century founder of the Standard Oil Co. John D. Rockefeller.

David Rockefeller was the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Aspects of the Rockefeller brothers' upbringing became famous, including the 25-cent allowance, portions of which had to be set aside for charity and savings, and the inculcation that wealth brings great responsibility.

Throughout his life, David Rockefeller carried out the family name by his strong support for American-based global capitalism, but making sure no one was left behind.

"American capitalism has brought more benefits to more people than any other system in any part of the world at any time in history," he once said. "The problem is to see that the system is run as efficiently and as honestly as it can be."

He was critical of fellow billionaires who sought ways to dodge taxes. Rockefeller didn't say how much he paid in taxes and never spoke publicly about his personal worth. In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $3 billion.

Rockefeller also made sure the family fortune was used for philanthropic purposes, including funding for the arts and environmental causes.

To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine.

As head of Chase Manhattan Bank, David Rockefeller opened the first offices of an American bank in Moscow and communist China. He also spurred the project that led to the World Trade Center.

But Rockefeller helped persuade then-president Jimmy Carter to allow the Shah of Iran to come to the U.S. for cancer treatment in 1979. That was a move that led to the U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran.

Rockefeller's philanthropy and other activities earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1998.