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ticotomasino

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About ticotomasino

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  1. I was in MultiPlaza Mall in Escazu yesterday and visited an incredible MAC retail store in front of the Carrion department store on the north end of the mall. I don't know much about MAC's but this store looked to be state of the art.
  2. Some good wave energy sites can be found at: < http://www.wavegen.co.uk/ > < http://www.owec.com/ > < http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/tech/oceanenergy > < http://www.oreg.ca/members.html > < http://www.wave-energy-centre.org/pages/index.html >
  3. General Electric Sees Investment Potential in Costa Rica With the Approval of the TLC Lloyd Trotter, vice president of General Electric, made his first visit to Costa Rica yesterday meeting with Costa Rican president, Oscar Arias, and the ministro de Ambiente, Roberto Dobles, and the ministro de Comercio Exterior, Marco Vinicio Ruiz. Trotter assures that with the approval of the Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) - free trade agreement with the United States, Costa Rica and Central America will become more competitive. Exterior commerce minister Ruiz explained the benefits to the local economy of the investments by companies like GE. "This (the meeting) is a demonstration that foreign companies are evaluating Costa Rica for increased investment", said Ruiz. Ruiz also assured that the approval of the TLC will also see increased export to the US by the large foreign companies of products manufactured in Costa Rica . The move by GE to increase investment in Costa Rica is seen as more job opportunities for Costa Ricans. Trotter said that the high education level of Costa Rican workers is one of the reasons for GE to get involve itself in the country. The subject of environmental matters was also discussed at the meeting, as GE considers itself a manufacturer of environmental friendly products and Trotter commented that the company would make further investment in environmental friendly projects in Costa Rica. Environment minister Dobles commented that he sees the GE investment as good for the country, not only for the environment, but also because the company is involved in energy projects that could see potential investment in the bio-fuel sector. http://insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2007/...st/04/nac01.htm
  4. What could be more ideal than to use the oceans on both of Costa Rica's coastlines to identify alternative forms of generating electricity? The oceans waves might be used in the future to generate electricity. Generating electricity from the constant motion of the sea is an emerging technology that may have commercial potential in the future. The technology involves a cylindrical device encased in a rubber-like material called an "artificial muscle," that will be strapped to a buoy and launched in the ocean. A large commercial system might involve hundreds of larger buoys linked together, floating a few miles offshore and capable of generating 1,000 watts of power. The power can be stored in a battery aboard the buoy and transmitted to distribution facilities on land through an underwater power line. The key element in the design is a polymer or low-cost rubber that has the complexity of a rubber band. The sheet of polymer is tied to a weight, which expands and contracts the polymer as the buoy moves up and down with each wave. Each movement is converted into about 5 watts of electricity, which can be stored in a battery aboard the buoy. Think of the artificial muscle as a spring with a weight on it. As the spring expands from the wave, it captures energy from the wave. As it contracts, it releases that energy into either a battery or some other storage device. The waves in Costa Rica are certainly big enough to generate currents strong enough for a commercial-scale system. If you could capture a significant portion of the energy from the ocean, eventually a system like this could power the entire country. Wave power is more expensive than coal-and-gas fired power, but it produces no greenhouse gas emissions and requires no fuel. This could be a valuable tool in meeting President Oscar Arias' new mandate to lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources in Costa Rica.
  5. What could be more ideal than to use the oceans on both of Costa Rica's coastlines to identify alternative forms of generating electricity? The waves might be used in the future to generate electricity for homes and businesses. Generating electricity from the ceaseless motion of the sea is an emerging technology that may have commercial potential in the future. The technology involves a cylindrical device encased in a rubber-like material called an "artificial muscle," that will be strapped to a buoy and launched in the ocean where researchers plan to measure electricity generation from the device. A large commercial system might involve hundreds of larger buoys linked together, floating a few miles offshore and capable of generating 1,000 watts of power. The power can be stored in a battery aboard the buoy and transmitted to distribution facilities on land through an underwater power line. Imagine a series of buoys or similar structures in the water that look like wings under water absorbing the energy from waves and generating electricity. The key element in the design is a polymer or low-cost rubber that has the complexity of a rubber band. The sheet of polymer is tied to a weight, which expands and contracts the polymer as the buoy moves up and down with each wave. Each movement is converted into about 5 watts of electricity, which can be stored in a battery aboard the buoy. Think of the artificial muscle as a spring with a weight on it. As the spring expands from the wave, it captures energy from the wave. As it contracts, it releases that energy into either a battery or some other storage device. The waves in Costa Rica are certainly big enough to generate currents strong enough for a commercial-scale system. If you could capture a significant portion of the energy from the ocean, eventually a system like this could power the entire country Wave power is more expensive than coal-and-gas fired power, but it produces no greenhouse gas emissions and requires no fuel. It could be a valuable tool in meeting President Oscar Arias' new mandate to lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy sources in Costa Rica.
  6. ticotomasino

    Aparthotels?

    If you're going to be here a month based out of one apartment you may want to get to know a little more about the weather in the community where you'll be staying. If you're accustomed to big city living you may get along in San Jose where it tends to be cooler but if you're a suburbanite and like it a little warmer Santa Ana may be more to your liking. That's the beauty of the central valley, you can drive or take a 30 minute taxi drive in the suburbs and reduce or increase the temperature to your liking. I remember years ago when I lived at the beach in Guanacaste and would get tired of the heat out there. As soon as I got back to the central valley I would head up to Tirol in Heredia for a blast of the mountain air and forest. Now, from living in what I consider the stable climate in Belen, if I go to upper Heredia or Escazu in the evening and spend a couple hours dining outdoors, the next day I have mild flu type symptoms. Likewise when I travel to San Jose or the other side east of San Pedro where it is cooler I wake up with a headache and runny nose. That I believe is from the pollution caused by the excessive public transportation. There are plenty of communities around the central valley to select from so let us know a little more about what type of climate you would like and what activities you would like to participate in while you're here. We will be happy to help you. Good luck!
  7. ticotomasino

    CR Affordable Living

    Even the author of "Butterfly in the City: A Good Life in Costa Rica", Jo Stuart, is enjoying the amenities of living in Belen. Take a look at her insightfull article from last Friday at; http://www.amcostarica.com/072007.htm#10
  8. ticotomasino

    CR Affordable Living

    That's the beauty of the central valley you can drive or take a 30 minute taxi drive in the suburbs and reduce or increase the temperature to your liking. I remember years ago when I lived in GTE and would burn out there. I would head up to Tirol in Heredia for a blast of the mountain air and forest. Now, from living in what I consider the stable climate in Belen, if I go to upper Heredia or Escazu in the evening and spend a couple hours dining outdoors, the next day I have mild flu type symptoms. Likewise when I travel to San Jose or the other side east of San Pedro where it is cooler I wake up with a headache and runny nose. That I believe is from the pollution caused by the excessive public transportation. Natrold is right, "we're lucky that CR has some place for everyone" and I for one am thankful that the friendly Tico's are willing to share their wonderful country with us. All we need to do is exercise a little tolerance and patience in order to appreciate this country and the variety of friendly folks who reside here with us. PS: Does everyone know that we have had a nice RV and camping park here in Belen since 1973 right on the main road. I ran into some posts on another thread where the people were stating that CR did not have any facilities for RV's. So I posted some new photos of the very nice RV and camping park at http://ticotomasino.spaces.live.com. If anybody has friends with RV's or who like to camp out they can call the owner, Laurie Atkinson at 239-0421 or visit her website at; http://belentrailerpark.com.
  9. ticotomasino

    CR Affordable Living

    I have no dog in this fight but don't like people to start throwing around allegations about others without all the facts. Different Strokes For Different Folks. I own a home in Manuel Antonio and know many wouldn't like it there but, it is perfect for my purposes. In fact, I'm glad all the expats don't live there; if they did I would have to move. Dear David of costaricareality@yahoo.com. I don't understand what allegations you're perceiving from my postings but you may want to explore some new housing options outside of San Jose if you plan on selling much real estate. CR is a wonderful country that offers quite a few affordable communities with varying climates to live in. I'm relatively new to this forum but as I understand it the idea is to share positive experiences about living in CR so residents and newcomers can benefit from our experiences. If you choose to live in San Jose that's your risk. After living and working here for over 15 years I have many Tico as well as foreign friends and I don't know anybody that likes to go to SJ for anything anymore, especially at night. Every long term resident I know that used to live in SJ has moved to the suburbs where it seems cleaner and safer. And that is not just our jaded perceptions. As far as the facts are concerned, on July 24, La Nacion reported that Belen was rated the #1 Municipality in Costa Rica for the 3rd year in a row. One of the considerations used by the Control Generals Office was usage of municipal funds to clean and improve the local infrastructure. Santa Ana, another popular western suburb was 2nd. Stay safe in SJ and good luck with your Costa Rica realty business!
  10. ticotomasino

    Is the Real Estate market cooling revisited

    The advent of affordable financing in CR has opened up the housing market for the last several years. With ScotiaBank, HSBC and now CitiBank purchasing Costa Rican financial institutions the competition will drive the market to its limit. The limit is difficult to envision however for many years the Costa Rican market did not offer mortgage financing and now it's booming. A downturn or correction as it's referred to in the USA is an inevitable part of life. As long as the banks stay healthy this market will continue to grow and these large financial institutions are just beginning to compete and offer their loans at lower rates. Remember what it was like to get your first new car and borrow the money from the bank. I for one was very honored to be accepted into the adult financial world. Over the last few years the Tico's have been offered financing for cars, homes, etc at affordable rates. This economy is like any other and is driven by financial investment and borrowing power. With these new banks just now beginning to do business here the local economy is just getting started.
  11. ticotomasino

    Belen is #1

    On July 24, 2007, in Costa Rica's largest Spanish newspaper, La Nacion, it was reported that Belen was rated the #1 Municipality in Costa Rica for the third year in a row. There were 30 evaluations considered by the Control General of the Republic to determine how the municipalities had performed. Some of the considerations used were debt ratings, collection of taxes, usage of municipal funds to clean and improve the local infrastructure and growth from income and investments. Other popular western suburbs were in the top 10. Santa Ana was 2nd and Escazu was rated 6th.
  12. ticotomasino

    CR Affordable Living

    San Jose is affordable just like many of the suburbs. Belen was just rated the #1 Municipality in Costa Rica for the third year in a row for it's cleanliness and infrastructure improvements among other amenities that were considered by the Control General of the Republic. If you're looking for a comfortable climate and a safe community to live in, check out San Antonio de Belen. Here you will find all the conveniences you're accustomed to for much less than most other communities. I have been in CR since 1992 and over the last 15 years I have had the opportunity to live on the beach in Guanacaste, in several communities around the central valley and now in a condo in the center of Belen. The climate here is very agreeable and since the sun shines most of the day it does not get cold at night. In Belen there are a variety of restaurants offering some of the best fire cooked chicken, broiled fish, Chinese, pizza and typical Tico food. The prices are lower here than in most pueblos. I eat out everyday and spend an average of 1500 colones or $2.90 for fresh cooked meals. A beer in the local bar is now 425 colones or $.82 during happy hour and a Johnnie Walker is 700 colones or $1.35. The municipality in Belen is very organized and keeps development under check which enables the community to stay clean. Additionally, it is one of the safest communities because it has its own Municipal Police force in addition to the Fuerza Publica and Transito officials that are present throughout the country. I walk to get everything I need in Belen and do not get stuck in traffic jambs or need to drive all over to find parking. If you want to get to know a community better, walk around as much as you can and say hola to as many people as possible to see how friendly the locals are toward you. In many pueblos it's difficult to walk around because there is little or no infrastructure. In Belen there are handicap accessible ramps at most major intersections and ample sidewalks everywhere. Visit http://ticotomasino.spaces.live.com to see some photos of Belen.
  13. ticotomasino

    Is the Real Estate market cooling revisited

    The advent of affordable financing in CR has opened up the speculative housing market for the last several years. With ScotiaBank, HSBC and now CitiBank purchasing Costa Rican financial institutions the competition will drive the market to its limit. The limit is difficult to envision however for many years the Costa Rican market did not offer mortgage financing and now it's booming. A downturn or correction as it's referred to in the USA is an inevitable part of life. I have been inspecting land development projects in Guanacaste this week from Samara all the way north to Papagayo and in every community that I have been in the major hotels are FULL. This surprises me as we are now in the low season and before you had your pick of where you wanted to stay and at very low rates. As long as the banks stay healthy this market will continue to grow and these large financial institutions are just beginning to compete and offer their money for housing purchases.
  14. Visit our newest forum for those who desire to live affordably in Costa Rica. $47 for a nice ocean front room and cold Imperial for $1.10. See photo's of a fabulous resort in Guanacaste at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CostaRicaAffordableLiving/
  15. ticotomasino

    Title Insurance ?

    CR Expertise, Garland Bakers view of Title Insurance in CR 11/27/06 Categories: Property and Real Estate, Property Protection Title Insurance Here Can Cause Misunderstandings Skeptic's view of title insurance - an insurance policy stating not allowed, not covered, no way, no how By Garland M. Baker Special to A.M. Costa Rica Is title insurance legal in Costa Rica? An Instituto Nacional de Seguros ruling Sept. 29 says that title insurance was not legal in this country but that now it is and has been since July of 1997. However, insurance officials say the legality could change in the future. The decree from the legal department of the insurance monopoly explains title insurance is not insurance but a guarantee or a bond. This finding is a flip flop of the insurance monopoly's last ruling in 1976 that said title insurance is an insurance and that no company in Costa Rica can sell it except for the monopoly known as INS. The national insurance company became a monopoly with law No. 12 of Oct. 30, 1924. Only INS can sell insurance. INS further stated that title insurance is an Anglo-Saxon creation and is not necessary in Latin America or Costa Rica because Roman law governs Latin countries. According to INS, the Registro Nacional and licensed public notaries make property transactions safer than in the Anglo world like the United States. In 1997, a representative of a Stewart Title Guarantee Co. asked INS for a new analysis because the company wanted to sell a product called "Guaranty of title for land located in the territory of the Republic of Costa Rica." The legal department of INS ruled in a decree dated July 30, 1997, that a title guarantee is not regulated by the monopoly. The legal opinion said Article One of the Law of Fidelity Insurance of 1931 precludes fidelity guarantees, also referred to as fidelity insurance, from the insurance monopoly. In other words, warranties and guarantees of all types are insurance but excluded by definition from the domain of the national insurance monopoly. The fine print goes on to explain that a title guarantee is really a bond of fulfillment and not an indemnification. Most people in Costa Rica believe title insurance is an indemnification. This is incorrect because indemnifications cover unknown futures losses where title insurance is to cover something from the past. The cornerstone of title insurance in the United States is the chain-of-title. Chain-of-title means the history of all of the documents that transfer title to a parcel of real property, starting with the earliest existing document and ending with the most recent. Different variations of title insurance exist around the world. However, it is principally a product developed and sold in the United States. Title insurance protects an owner or a lender against a financial loss in real property due to title defects and other issues. Title insurance gets a bad rap in the United States because creditors require it to protect lending interests and force borrowers to purchase it even if they do not want it. Many believe it is overpriced. Legal regulators criticize the market because it is full of commission schemes and kickbacks. The industry mimics other business structures paying high commission to brokers and/or resellers. Affiliated business arrangements attempt to legitimize kickbacks or commissions to brokers, real estate agencies and attorneys. Affiliated business arrangements exist in Costa Rica too, and that is why almost everyone is hit with the "buy title insurance" spiel when purchasing property here. In Costa Rica, title insurance is not necessarily insurance over the title of a property but legal insurance to help pay the legal bills to protect the title of a property. In theory, title insurance according to the INS ruling guarantees one's right under Article 1038 of the country's civil code. Many factors can limit a payoff. Knowing the "what is not covered" is more important than knowing "what is covered" with any policy. Is it worth it? Title insurance is full of hype and it is not the same kind of policy as most North Americans purchase in the United States. Read the fine print and understand what the warranty truly guarantees in Costa Rica. Good homework and due diligence can save buyers the additional expense. Garland M. Baker has been a resident of Costa Rica since 1972 and is now a naturalized citizen. He provides multidisciplinary professional services to the international community. Lic. Allan Garro provides the legal review. Reach them at info@crexpertise.com Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica. Copyright 2006, use without permission prohibited.
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