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Open Season on Cops?

January 31st, 2009

crfp11In the United States, shooting,  assaulting and of course killing a police officer is a huge deal.  The police simply do not rest until the perpetrator has been caught, and they are non too gentle in the process. This is as it should be because when something like that happens, it is not simply an assault on that officer, it is an assault on all police officers and more important, it is an assault on society.

Whether or not you are a supporter of the police, the one unassailable fact is that they represent just about the only line between you and a very nasty group of people who pay little attention to the law.  A complete lack of respect for law enforcement is a harbinger of anarchy.

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Dress Code Change. Shorts are OK!

January 27th, 2009

shortsLast year, I was visiting an inmate err friend at the Costa Rica nacional funny farm err Psychiatric Hospital. I drove up to the gate and requested entry, but the guard told me I could not enter because I was wearing shorts.   I thought he was joking… but no.  It was a rule. Needless to say I was more than a bit torqued at this.  I said nothing as too many times foreigners (read that as Gringos) act in a manner that 1. makes us look like a bunch of arrogant buttheads and 2 one seldom wins these battles.

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Renewing My Costa Rica Residency

January 26th, 2009

pain1Oh the pain.  Caught again! Obviously a regular reader… and one with a good memory… Miguel is one of my Blog watchers.  This is good really as I get busy and fail to followup on things when months pass between the writing and the actual activity. The pain is for making me remember what I sort of wanted to forget!

In this case, Miguel (who I suspect is really a Michael as he writes from the USA), reminded me that I had never followed up on my post from last July 4 regarding my residency renewal. I really meant to do this, but as I did not go until September… OK October… I lost track. So for anyone interested in what happened… read on!

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Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans – A Tense Relationship

January 25th, 2009

flagSome time ago, I blogged about the increasing tension between Costa Rica and its immediate neighbor to the North, Nicaragua. I thought it was one of my better semi-humorous efforts (see it here), but I was recently taken to task for my opinions by alert reader EJ. While I think EJ perhaps overreacted to my post, his comments are really good if a bit emotional, and are worth discussion as the complex relationship between Costa Rica and Nicaragua is something we deal with every day.

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Gasoline Prices Drop Again

January 19th, 2009

OuchBetter late than never!  I wonder if there is such a thing as getting  “less screwed”.

While oil prices have dropped from the $145 per barrel levels of just a few months ago, to less than $36.00 per barrel, Costa Rica has been very slow adjusting gas prices here to reflect that decrease. Somebody is making some serious cash, and it is NOT me.  However, prices are due to come down this week.

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Earthquake Update

January 16th, 2009

paxFirst, a correction and an apology to my readers!  In an earlier Post, I stated the the La Paz waterfall was no more. This  mistake brought to my attention by a reader Mario and since verified.  Although La Paz is still running muddy, it is still there, although the damage to the surrounding area is extensive.

More and more aftershocks are hitting the same area and those still there are living in constant fear. Yesterday afternoon at least 10 aftershocks were felt areas of Sararipiqui. The smallest was 2.7 and and the largest was 4.5 (about 2 PM yesterday) on the Richter Scale.  Many could be felt here in the Central Valley.

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The Power of the Earthquake

January 14th, 2009

cloudJust how powerful is a 6.2 earthquake?

An interesting comparison was made in today’s Diario Extra, one of Costa Rica’s Spanish language newspapers. It is the equivalent (in released power) of seventeen atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. That sort of puts it into perspective huh?

If the quake had not occurred so deep in the earth, there probably would not even be much of a Costa Rica.

Rescue workers are still on the scenes searching for more bodies beneath the millions of tons of earth. At this point, six days after the event, it will be astonishing if any more bodies are found and a miracle if any are alive.

The death toll stands at about 21.  I say “about” as different sources report different figures.

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Residency Possible via Common Law Relationship

January 14th, 2009

immigration_Costa Rica has had a problem for some time with foreigners coming to Costa Rica, marrying a Costa Rica citizen, and promptly applying for Permanent Residency.

This is a very desirable status as Permanent Residency grants the person all rights and privileges of a citizen save the right to vote. The biggie is the right to work here legally!

Of course many people come here legitimately, meet the love of their life, and marry them! Others, however, arrange marriages through lawyers and often have never even met the person they marry.  Marriages could be performed by power of attorney. This causes (rightfully) some consternation at Migración (immigration)! Disallowed from applying for Permanent Residency were those living in a common law relationship (Unión de hecho).

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Huawei Wins $235 Million 3G Phone Bid

January 13th, 2009

huaweiAs most of you know, I am generally not a  fan of ICE, the nation’s soon to be ex-communications monopoly, but although they are, as usual, about three years late,  Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) finally gave China’s Huawei Technologies the preliminary OK for a 235-million-dollar contract to install a third-generation (3G) system for 935,000 customers in Costa Rica.

Final approval must come from the Comptroller (Costa Rica’s equivalent to the General Accounting Office) before the deal is finalized.  Huawei won in a bidding war against Sweden’s Ericcson and China rival ZTE Corporation

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Earthquake Update – Town Disappears

January 13th, 2009

poasNew Quakes

Five more earthquakes hit Costa Rica last night and in the early morning hours.  All occurred in the same general area and the massive 6.2 from last Thursday. The biggest was 4.3, not a biggie, but enough strike great fear into the people of that already badly affected area.

If you are interested in an interactive web page showing who felt what during the many quakes, click here.

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