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Published Monday, June 13, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 115
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                                white house
Voice of America photo
Aftermath of terror

Americans and foreigners, gay and straight, came together Sunday to show that the U.S. is the land of the free and the home of the brave after an Islamic terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida. This scene was at the White House.

Our coverage is HERE!

Animal health agency defends purpose of new tax
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation’s animal health agency acted swiftly Friday to put a positive spin on a new arrival and exit tax that had quietly become law.

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal called what it characterized as an emergency press conference after the Spanish-language La Nación and A.M. Costa Rica revealed the existence of the new tax

Unlike most taxes, this one was not passed by the legislature. The tax is being imposed by means of a presidential decree.

The animal health agency said Friday that the new levy is expected to raise about $4.5 million from travelers.

The agency, which is part of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, said in a statement that it needs the money to reduce the probability that an exotic animal disease enters the Costa Rican territory. In case that happens, the agency needs to detect it quickly and take the necessary steps, it added.

The agency confirmed that the tax applies to all who enter or leave the country, not just air passengers.

The money collected will be used to maintain correct quarantine infrastructure and provide equipment such as scanners, it said. The money also will provide maintenance to laboratories 

and modernize equipment to analyze animal samples and animal products and what was called subproducts, it added.

The new acting director of the animal health agency is Alexis Sandi. He was quoted saying that climate change is bringing new challenges

and that the agency had detected in the last year diseases or insects not found here previously. He cited these as Newcastle disease, a poultry virus, and a bee hive beetle, presumably Aethina tumid, an insect whose larvae damages honeycomb.

Sandí confirmed that the decree, No. 39600-MAG, showed up in the La Gaceta official newspaper May 25. He said that the agency still is working with the Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago to arrange collecting. The bank collects similar taxes.

Sandí also tried to differentiate the levy from a general tax. He said the money specifically is to provide quarantine services for individuals, and suspicious packages and baggage that is entering the country.

That technicality seems to be how central government officials are explaining why a decree established the tax instead of the normal legislative route.

Casa Presidential usually does not keep copies of presidential decrees on its Web site. Usually they are not announced but just show up in the official newspaper.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 115
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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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old piano
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Workmen unload the restored grand piano at the Teatro Popular Melico Salazar.

Theater piano gets its 100-year checkup

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Every once in awhile, even a classic Steinway & Sons concert piano needs a little tender loving care.

That care was administered to the 113-year-old Steinway that has been at the  Teatro Popular Melico Salazar downtown for 35 years. The piano is a nine-foot grand that came from the company’s German factory at the beginning of the 20th century.

Steinway has been making pianos for 160 years, and one like the concert grand contains up to 13,000 parts, the company said.

Although Steinway has a world famous restoration service, the ministry here put the instrument under the care of José Sojo, the restoration expert with the Centro Nacional de la Música. The ministry noted he has 22 years experience with this type of work. 

The job took eight persons and 850 work hours. The ministry noted that only original Steinway parts were imported and used. The German company notes that there is a steady market in non-standard piano parts.

The ministry estimated that the restored piano is now worth in excess of $100,000. A re-inaugural concert is being planned.

Plan to revitalize capital promoted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cartago-based public university, Tecnológico de Costa Rica, is promoting a plan to revitalize the historic district of the capital. The university has branches in San José.

In a meeting with Mayor Johnny Araya, university officials said that part of the plan is to convert abandoned buildings into living space, said a summary from the university. The university estimated that there were at least 30 abandoned buildings.

University Rector Julio César Calvo said the plan has been on the table since 2013 when the university first presented it.

Araya was quoted saying that a new San José needs to be a functional city with security, sanitation and public transport, the university reported.

Penguins are Stanley Cup series victor

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The visiting Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 Sunday night in San Jose, California, to win the 2015-16 National Hockey League Stanley Cup championship series four games to two.

Brian Dumoulin, Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins, while 22-year-old rookie goalie Matt Murray made 18 saves to help Pittsburgh take game six of the best-of-seven series.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who finished the game with two assists, won the Conn Smythe trophy for being the most valuable player during the Stanley Cup playoffs, finishing with an overall line of six goals and 13 assists.

Crosby had the assist on Letang's go-ahead goal midway through the second period after the Sharks had tied the game on Logan Couture's goal, which gave him 30 points in the postseason.

Sunday's win gives Pittsburgh, one of the National Hockey League's most storied franchises, its fourth Stanley Cup trophy in its history, and its first since beating the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008-09 season.

It was the first Stanley Cup championship appearance for the Sharks in their 25-year history.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 115
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Volunteer police turn out for a show of force at Parque la Sabana
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Parque la Sabana has been the center of the capital’s outdoor recreation for years. The former international airport hosts running events, soccer, volleyball, basketball, kite-flying, aerobics and skating, among other activities.

But things have not been well there. Over the last 15 years more and more crime has taken place in the park to the extent that some runners decline to go there. The park certainly is unsafe at dusk and in the night.

Sunday is a day of families, youngsters and picnics in the park, and the Fuerza Pública put on a show of force with its newly reorganized reserves. Some 30 uniformed police volunteers took to the park Sunday morning to augment the mounted officers who usually patrol the sprawling area.

They did not have long to wait for a problem. A young skater fell and may have broken her arm.

The Reserva de la Fuerza Pública also has a medical component, and some officers quickly took charge of the situation. The 11 year old and her grandmother soon were off to the Hospital National de Niños.

The Sunday show of force also had a publicity aspect. The

girl treted
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Officers attend girl with a possible broken arm

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública seeks more members for the reserves.

Those who are chosen and complete basic police training promise to work as officers for 20 hours a month. The ministry swore in a number of new officers recently, and officials are looking for more use for reservists. The volunteer officers usually turn out for such events as parades and other scheduled events.

Government's problems include paying $1.5 billion a year in interest
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country is paying more annual interest on its debts than the combined budgets of all 15 ministries, that of the Asamblea Legislativa, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, the Contraloría General de la República and the Defensoría de los Habitantes, according to the finance minister.

The minster, Helio Fallas Venegas, once again appeared before a legislative committee to push for approval of tax packages that
have been proposed by the central government.
Fallas also is first vice president. He told the Comisión Permanente Especial de Control de Ingreso y Gasto Público that the national debt has increased nearly 50 percent since 2008.

The change was given in percentage of the gross domestic product.

In 2008, the debt was 28 percent, and now it is 43 percent, he said. And the interest he reported for each year is more than 800 billion colons, some $1.5 billion at the current dollar rate of exchange.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 115
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Food inspection agency comes to the support of sea food industry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The agency that keeps track of food contaminants insists that fish sold in domestic markets complies with national and international health standards.

The statement comes after a local environmental organization made public doctoral research from Virginia that said shark meat sold in San José and Heredia can contain high levels of mercury.

The Programa Nacional de Residuos en Alimentos de Origen Animal did not mention the research specifically. The agency, which is part of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, cited undefined national and international standards to say that sea food on sale does not constitute a health risk. It said that the  Laboratorio Nacional de Servicios Veterinarios takes samples for analysis.

The researcher is Jason R. O’Bryhim, who studied the shark trade for his doctoral dissertation at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Among the goals, he said in the dissertation abstract, was that knowledge about contaminants might reduce the demand for shark meat and aid in the conservation of threatened species.

His work was distributed a week ago by the environmental organization the Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas.

O’Bryhim reported that he and a colleague collected 170 shark, ray, and fish muscle tissue samples from Costa Rican markets in San José and Heredia over a five-day period in September 2014.

They analyzed the amount of total mercury in each sample using standard U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved procedures.

“It is very concerning to find that samples for three shark species tested exceeded U.S. health guidelines,” said O’Bryhim in a release issued by the local environmental organization.

“Silky sharks are a special concern since they account for 70 percent of all the shark sold to the public in those markets and a number of the samples tested exceeded the U.S. health threshold.”

Anyway, said the Costa Rican agency, residents here do not eat on average more than three kilograms a year of sea food, which is equivalent to 58 grams a week.

The agency cited this data from another government agency, the Programa Integral de Mercadeo Agropecuario, and from the Centro Nacional de Abastecimiento y Distribución de Alimentos, a marketing organization.

And, said the agency, when products are encountered that exceed the maximum limit appropriate sanitary measures are taken.

The agency also said that other studies have shown the benefits of eating sea food outweigh any risks. It did not say it had analyzed any recent tests.

O’Bryhim and his associates were specific in the mercury content of the samples they obtained. They also noted that they were evaluating shark meat. Other species lower on the food chain have less mercury, the report said.

“This is yet another reason why Costa Ricans should reduce their annual consumption of 2,000 tons of shark meat, most of which consists of silky shark chops,” said Randall Arauz of the Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas and the Turtle Island Restoration Network. “Don’t eat shark. Mercury contamination is a known risk to women and children,” he said in the release.

Mercury in fish is not new. U.S. residents have been discouraged for years from eating swordfish because it accumulates mercury. Tuna is high in mercury, too.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges pregnant women to eat fish like tilapia that are lower in mercury.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

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Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 115
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Axiom new ad

killing suspect
Orlando Police Department photo 
Omar Saddiqui Mateen

Thousands rally across U.S.
in wake of Orlando killings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people, gay and straight, held candlelight vigils in several major cities across the U.S. Sunday night for the 50 people shot dead in the worst mass killing in U.S. history.

Twenty-nine-year-old Omar Saddiqui Mateen, an American born to Afghan parents, opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning. Fifty-three people were wounded, some of them gravely.

The nightclub catered to a primarily gay clientele.

Vigils for the shooting victims were held in Orlando itself, as well as in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

In Manhattan, lights on the iconic Empire State Building were turned off in sympathy for the victims. Meanwhile, the spire at One World Trade Center, near the site of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, was lit in rainbow colors, the symbol of gay pride.

President Barack Obama ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Obama declared it an act of terrorism and said the FBI is leading the investigation. He said no effort will be spared to find out what inspired the killer or if he had any links to terrorist groups.

The president again said it is easy for someone to get his hands on a weapon to shoot people in schools, churches, movie theaters and nightclubs.

"We have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well."

He said the murders unite Americans in "grief and outrage."

"This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country," a grim Obama said in a White House statement Sunday morning.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said, "If investigators conclude this was an act of terror directed or inspired by ISIL, it will only steel our resolve to defeat this depraved enemy, prevent the spread of its hateful ideology, and defend our people." He used the acronym for Islamic State.

Mateen's former wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said her ex-husband was bipolar.  "He was mentally unstable and mentally ill," she told reporters in Boulder, Colorado.  While the couple was married for two years, Ms. Yusufiy said they were only together for four months because he was abusive.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson have both canceled trips to Beijing for cybersecurity talks with Chinese officials.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Orange County, in which the city of Orlando is located.

The city is making public the names of the attack victims after their families have been notified. Orlando citizens lined up for blocks Sunday to give blood for the wounded.

In a particularly eerie scene, witnesses said they could hear cell phones, still attached to the victims' bodies, ringing unanswered from inside the nightclub, which was still an active crime scene. Sobbing relatives told reporters on the scene they did not know if their family members were alive or dead.

The owner of the Pulse nightclub, Barbara Poma, issued a statement saying she is devastated, and calling her club a place of love and acceptance for the gay community.

The annual Tony Awards, honoring the best plays and musicals on Broadway, began Sunday night with host James Corden standing on a bare stage and telling the victims that they are not alone.

"Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced, and is loved. Hate will never win," Corden said before the audience exploded in cheers.

Witnesses who scurried from the massacre say the shots came even while the music played on and guests kept dancing.

Mateen traded gunfire with a police officer working extra hours at the club, then left the building and returned, holding a number of hostages for about three hours.

A police SWAT team stormed the club and killed Mateen in a shootout.

Some media reports said Mateen made 911 emergency phone calls during the rampage in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Ronald Hopper of the FBI said Mateen had what he calls minimal ties to an American suicide bomber. Agents investigated him three years ago for possible terrorist ties but could not verify the allegations and closed their probe.

The founder of Make Space, an Islamic Center near Washington, D.C., said "shooting innocent humans is a cowardly act that every Muslim and every human being should condemn."

The Orlando Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement, "We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence."

On the gay club's Facebook page, a post around 2 a.m. gave early indication of the tragedy that was unfolding.

"Everyone get out of Pulse," a page administrator wrote, "and keep running."

Why the club was targeted remains unclear. The shooting comes as many cities around the world celebrate June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual Pride Month.

The Pulse nightclub incident follows another shooting in Orlando by a day.

Singer Christina Grimmie, a 22-year-old YouTube star and one-time contestant of the TV talent show "The Voice," was fatally shot by a man outside her concert late Friday.

Dead suspect’s father holds
revolutionary political views

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The father of Omar Saddiqui Mateen, the man identified as the killer in the Orlando nightclub massacre, is a self-proclaimed revolutionary president of Afghanistan.

Seddique Mateen, who lives in Florida, has been addressing the Afghan people through video messages on his Facebook account.

He has appointed a cabinet for his revolutionary government and has been issuing orders and policy-related statements via his Facebook page.

“The revolutionary people of Afghanistan, each one of you has the ability to arrest Ashraf, Atmar, Khalilzad . . . and rid Afghanistan of their evil acts,” Mateen, dressed in Afghan army garb, said in a Facebook message a few hours before his son allegedly killed at least 50 people at the Orlando nightclub. He meant  Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Afghan national security adviser, and Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Kabul

In his video messages, Mateen has been critical of the Afghan government under President Ashraf Ghani. He says his government will help Afghans get rid of the war and corruption and will guarantee a prosperous Afghanistan. 

In a video message Saturday, he blamed certain individuals inside the Afghan government who, according to Mateen, are plotting against the people of Afghanistan.

“Atmar is the leader of Da’esh who encourages and helps Da’esh expand in Afghanistan, and he offers money to people so that they join Da’esh and destroy the country,” claimed Mateen, using a name of the Islamic State.

Similarly, he accused former president Hamid Karzai of leading and orchestrating the plans and activities of the Iran and Pakistan-backed Taliban, who he says kill and kidnap Afghan people across the country. 

Mateen apparently traveled to Mexico from June 5 to 7 and sent messages to Afghans from a boat cruise. Before departing on the trip, he said he was on an official trip. 

According to a Voice of America source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Mateen has established an organization called Durand Line Jirga for political and financial purposes.

He organized a gathering of Afghans a few years ago in Northern Virginia. A number of participants objected as Mateen perused his own personal agenda, a participant said on condition of anonymity. “He wanted to establish contacts with U.S. officials and congressmen,” the source said.

Mateen told NBC News that his son’s act had nothing to do with religion. He added that his son was enraged when he saw two men kissing a couple of months ago in Miami.

“This has nothing to do with religion. We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We are not aware of any action he is taking,” Mateen said.

Ex-wife calls Orlando suspect
mentally unstable and ill

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The ex-wife of Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Saddiqui Mateen describes him as mentally unstable and ill, and characterizing their brief marriage as hell.

Sitora Yusufiy spoke to reporters late Sunday about the four months she was married to the man responsible for the worst mass killing in U.S. history.

Ms. Yusufiy said Mateen was normal at the beginning of their marriage, but soon started getting angry seemingly out of nowhere.

She said Mateen became physically abusive, flying into rages and beating her for little reason, such as if the laundry was not done when he came home from work.

She said her husband treated her like a hostage and kept her from seeing her family. She said with her family's help, she finally was able to get away one day, leaving all her belongings behind.

Ms. Yusufiy said despite his bad temper, the news that it was her ex-husband who was behind a mass murder "shook me off the ground," and that this was something she would never have expected.

Voice of America/K. Gypson  
Protester holds anti-NRA sign in Washington, D.C.

Major gathering took place
in front of the White House

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There will be many moments of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting in the days ahead, but Sunday night in front of the White House, the dead were remembered in song.

Singing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome,” the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to join a vigil quickly organized on social media.

Circling around a makeshift memorial of flickering candles and handmade signs protesting hate, the chorus sang the National Anthem.

Many in the crowd of hundreds openly wept. Partners hugged, wrapping the rainbow flags of gay pride around each other.

“This was an act of terrorism intended to strike fear into the hearts of LGBT people” said John Becker, a gay man from Washington who stood as close as he could to the gates of the White House waving a gay pride flag.

Becker said gay clubs, like Pulse, the Orlando, Florida nightclub where Omar Mateen murdered 50 people and injured 53 others, were safe spots when he was growing up and coming to terms with his identity.

“Those are spaces LGBT people through the decades have found safe havens to meet people like us,” he said. “For many of us, myself included, they’re one of the first places we felt comfortable being and expressing ourselves. That was shattered in Orlando today.”

Becker grew up in a culturally conservative town in the state of Wisconsin and said that while there has been progress, “there’s a lot of misinformation, a lot of misunderstanding.”

The crowd was filled with self-described straight allies who joined the vigil to help counter misunderstanding.

“I didn’t want hatred to win,” said Lauren Rose, a young woman from Washington.

She struggled through tears to explain why she felt it was so important to be part of the vigil.

“Any terrorist attack is hard but this one really shook me to my core because of where it was. It was supposed to be a safe space for people to be who they are,” she said.

Lauren often stopped talking to look at the vigil organizers who took turns calling on members of Congress to act on gun control.

She kept repeating to herself, “What a nightmare.”

The potential impact of the 2016 presidential campaign was on the mind of the vigil organizers and for Lauren.

“I’m tired of homophobia, transphobia, racism, xenophobia,” she said. “Especially right now with the Trump campaign galvanizing all of these bigoted groups.”

In the early hours after the tragedy, social media turned into a circle of finger-pointing about gay and lesbian rights, terrorism and gun control.

One young woman took the microphone to push people to act after the news had faded, a reminder that a seemingly endless string of tragedies can often obscure the emotion felt in these kinds of moments.

“Allow me to allow you to be something more than your cell phone,” she shouted, “something more than your Facebook page. How many of you will use those connections to be heard?”

The White House is often a rallying point for the causes and beliefs that shape Americans. But the unique nature of the Orlando attack, an Afghan-American man who reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before the attack, meant the vigil organizers had a range of issues to confront. Some mentioned past mass shootings and called for stricter gun control. Other held up signs calling Islamophobia un-American. But all of them mentioned the hatred gay and lesbian people still face.

And that bothered Chris and Kristen, two tourists visiting Washington from South Carolina. They sat on the curb of Pennsylvania Avenue watching the crowd.

“If you believe in the Bible and I do,” said Kristen, “I believe all of that’s not supposed to be.” She nodded toward the crowd of gay and lesbian men and women, many of them still wearing the colorful outfits for the Gay Pride march held in Washington earlier that day.

Kristen and Chris, who asked to be identified only by their first names, are in their late twenties and said they had seen significant changes in attitudes towards gays and lesbians in their short lives.

“Growing up in school, you still talked about God, you still had God in school, you still had the Pledge of Allegiance every morning,” said Chris. “They’ve taken all of that out of schools now, even in the South, and it seems like our youth is just awful. You take God out of the equation and this happens,” he said.

“Here we go again with the rallies – in your face,” Kristen said about her first thoughts upon hearing the news this morning. “Put your guns away – all that stuff.”

They both said they were not concerned by reports about the shooter’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State but were worried by the calls for gun control. Chris said in his home state of South Carolina, gun culture was strong and shootings like Orlando could be avoided if he and other law-abiding citizens were armed. They said they were offended by some of the language and actions of the gay and lesbian men and women at the vigil.

“You can’t change it now – they are how they’re going to be,” said Chris. “What I don’t like now is they push it in your face.”

John Becker acknowledged this problem. “The flip side of that progress is that there are people who see this inclusive America,” he said, “And they respond with fear and anger and hatred and we may have seen that in Orlando today.”

The chorus began “We Shall Overcome” for a second time, lit by news cameras and the illumination that surrounds the White House at night.

 “There have been so many times when we’ve felt like we’ve had turning points,” said Becker.

“We have to keep speaking out about the value of everyone’s life – whether they’re gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, male, female – every person’s life has dignity and value.”

las vegas ralley
Voice of America photo
Biblical advise is on a poster in Las Vegas

Earlier murder in Orlando
silenced promising voice

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The suspect in the slaying of singer Christina Grimmie after a performance Friday night in Orlando had come there from elsewhere in Florida with the intention of killing her, police said Saturday.

Police identified the suspect as Kevin James Loibl, 27. They were searching his computer and cellphone for a motive but said there was no sign that he and the victim knew each other or that he had been stalking her.

Ms. Grimmie, 22, was signing autographs for fans after performing at the Plaza Live Theater when the suspect walked up and opened fire.

Ms. Grimmie's brother tackled the gunman, who shot and killed himself. Police said he was armed with two handguns, a hunting knife and extra ammunition. They credited Marcus Grimmie's heroic actions for preventing what could have been many more injuries.

Ms. Grimmie was a rising star who first won attention on the TV music competition series “The Voice” in 2014. Millions of fans have also enjoyed her renditions of hit songs on YouTube.

Fellow performers were expressing sadness and shock over Ms. Grimmie's sudden and violent death. Her singing coach, Adam Levine, who appeared with her on “The Voice,” called her a "beautiful soul with an amazing voice."

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
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and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

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 $895K U.S.  Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email: or

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

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


Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, June 13, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 115
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
A vine by any other name may not be

Every now and then the garden makes a fool of you. Barring that, the seed company steps in and fools you.

I ordered seeds, you see, from a very reputable company. Lots of seeds. I
Victoria Torley
  planted them according to instructions, including the instructions on the kiwi (one month in the refrigerator) and put them in the right locations. Then I very carefully tended them.

Well, I thought I was doing right by all those seeds but I must have slipped up somewhere. A lot of
things did grow, including the kiwi, but there were a lot of disappointments. The biggest disappointment was the chocolate vine.

What woman doesn’t love some kind of chocolate? And to have a plant with blooms that are chocolate scented? Divine!

I waited and waited and nothing happened. I waited some more and something emerged! Fabjoyous! It emerged and grew taller, it didn’t look like any of the ordinary weeds, it must be my vine! We moved it to the deck where it could be closely watched, fertilized, watered, and get just enough sun. When it hit about a foot in height (30 cm or so), we began to doubt it’s identification as vine. There were no tendrils, no curling, no attaching to the wire. I went back over the seeds I had bought and double checked the markers. Perhaps a marker had been switched somehow and this was one of the trees I ordered.

Trees. Let’s see here. I ordered cinnamon, persimmon, and Malabar chestnut. Was it possible one of them got mixed up with my vine? We waited for more leaves. The first leaves were single tapered ovals. Then out came a leaf with three lobes. What? Back to the web and pictures of persimmon, cinnamon, and chestnut, and nothing matched. Still, I kept caring for my mystery tree hoping that someone would identify it for me from a Facebook posting. Nothing.

In the meantime, the mystery plant was very happy with all the care and attention. Then it happened. My gardener, Armondo, and I were deciding where the kiwi should go when I stumbled upon a small tree about 3 feet (a meter) and said, “Duh, Armondo, what is this?”

“This” turned out to be my mystery tree, a member of the Cecropia genus. Sigh. So much for my careful tending, as this turns out to be a very common tree with a seed that may have been blown in by the wind or dropped by a bird. I guess I need to keep repeating "better luck next time."

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

The giant allium, Allium Gigantheum, is a great sun-lover that does well in well-drained, amended soil. I especially like bulbs because they are so little work and these are wonderful. There are some 700 or so species of Allium in a multitude of colors and sizes so there is usually one for every garden. Propagation is from both bulb and seed so you will have plenty to share. As soon as my soil is prepped, this one will go in the garden.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit
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From Page 7:

Banco Nacional seems to have dropped limits

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Banco Nacional seems to have had second thoughts about restricting the withdrawal of colons by the use of foreign debit cards.

A reporter had no trouble withdrawing 200,000 colons, about $374 at the current rate of exchange, from a Banco Nacional automatic teller Saturday.

The same machine unexpectedly displayed a screen Thursday saying that withdrawals were restricted to 50,000 colons at one time but the user could make up to four withdrawals a day.

Also Thursday, a bank representative confirmed the new rule in a telephone conversation.

Bank spokespeople were not available over the weekend.

The rule generated some unhappiness in the expat communities, although it appears that not all automatic tellers had been adjusted for the new regulation.

Many banks have restrictions on dollar withdrawal, but expats in business need some way to transfer easily money from foreign accounts to Costa Rica, and many use automatic tellers.

The Banco National representative said that there were no restrictions on withdrawals from its domestic colon accounts, except the daily limit of 700,000 colons.