Share Thursday, May 3, 2018 MONTREAL – Canada’s two largest airlines are using an airfare prediction app to unload some of their seats via “secret fares” at discounts of up to 35%.Air Canada and WestJet are among the first global airlines to make their flights available for the large discounts, starting Wednesday.Montreal-based app developer Hopper said other airlines such as LATAM, Turkish, Copa and Air China will be joined by other carriers in the coming weeks.The discounts are available on more than 60,000 routes to international destinations such as Tokyo, Melbourne, Paris, Barcelona, Rio De Janeiro and Costa Rica. There are currently no domestic routes.The app will alert users to secret fares that could result in savings of up to $500 on long-haul flights.Hopper said these low fares aren’t available online.Instead, it communicates directly with app users to avoid triggering a competitive reaction that could lead to a fare war among airlines.Airlines largely see secret fares as a complementary distribution channel, said Dakota Smith, Hopper’s head of growth and business.More news: Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?“Being a mobile-only, closed environment puts Hopper in an extremely unique position to offer a new way to reach brand-neutral consumers who do most of their shopping on the phone,” he said in an email.Hopper sends personalized recommendations and data-driven results using push notifications. It sends more than 400 million push notifications a year.Smith said airlines give the heavily discounted rates to fill planes and increase their bookings beyond their fair share – the percentage of seats an airline flies on a route.“To increase their share, they need to stand out from competing airlines in a way that cannot be publicly replicated,” he added.Air Canada didn’t respond to requests for comment, but WestJet said mobile use is an important way for it to connect with potential customers, along with its own website and travel agents.“Hopper, as with other online travel agents that WestJet works with, sells both published and private fares,” said spokeswoman Lauren Stewart in an email.More news: Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyShe said private fares are provided to travel agencies at a discounted rate depending on the needs of the airline.“This is standard and a long-standing practice in the commercial aviation industry,” she added.Smith said the Hopper hopes to offer secret fares soon from U.S. and European airlines.Hopper said more than 20% of its sales are generated by its artificial intelligence algorithms that make recommendations for trips that passengers may not have even searched for.Unlike some online searches that don’t identify the provider, the secret fares provide all details about the flight such as the airline, departure time and arrival time before booking.Hopper said more than 60% of its users are millennials, 90% are leisure travellers and 52% are travelling internationally. Air Canada and WestJet make flights available through Hopper at secret low fares Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
No related posts. An important announcement for any U.S. citizens residing in the South Caribbean: Members of the American Citizen Services Team at the U.S. Embassy are going to visit the area on Thursday, Oct. 25. A brief presentation will be held at 1 p.m. at La Costa de Papito Hotel on the types of assistance provided by the American Citizen Services.They also will help with voter registration (although the deadline for the presidential election was Aug. 15 in most states), notary services and passport renewals. In addition, they will be ready to field questions about non-immigrant visas to the United States as needed for Costa Rican citizens. Part of the charm of the South Caribbean is its curving road that stretches from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo, along with its laid-back vibe, beach cruisers and sand strollers.Unfortunately, this slow-motion feel is being threatened by higher volumes of traffic. In most areas, the speed limit is 25 kilometers per hour, but there are few signs. This is a threat to the safety of wildlife and pedestrians alike. If you have found the traffic near your home or business seems dangerously fast, you can send a request for reductores de velocidad (speed bumps) to MOPT. Let’s keep our friends, families and neighbors safe. Visit http://mopt.go.cr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=213.Concrete Jungle Skate Park offers several options of supervised skate hours for all ages. Looking for something healthy and active to offer your children? Drop-in Mondays from 2-5 p.m. for ages 11 and up, Tuesdays 3-5 p.m. for ages 5-10 and girls of all ages or Fridays 5-8 p.m. for Open Skate Church. Some equipment is available, feel free to bring your own as well.A special thank you to all of the event organizers and volunteers who made ArteViva 2012 a weekend to remember here in Puerto Viejo. This gathering of all of the area communities has proven again to be a wondeful adhesive, bringing people together to participate in positive and healthy pursuits. Thank you Claudio Ambroso and your entire team.-Kristin Gilbert Ramírezkristinlgilbert@gmail.com Facebook Comments
No related posts. Your bag is slightly too wide for the personal item bin, which means a hefty fee just for your carry-on. Then the plane has an unexplained delay and you’re stranded overnight. A Spirit Airlines employee tells you there’s nothing that can be done. The Costa Rican vacation must wait another day. This information makes you want to go buy some anxiety meds, further bankrupting you.We’re not the only ones with a low opinion of the Fort Lauderdale-based airline. However for the longest time, the ultra-cheap, absurdly thrifty Spirit Airlines presented the most cost-effective way to get from Florida to Costa Rica and vice versa. Not anymore. Another low-cost carrier entered the market in the late summer of 2013, and it’s one of the best airlines in the world. JetBlue – widely regarded for running on time and general awesomeness – created a route between Fort Lauderdale and San José. (Spirit still can cost you less if you travel light and can avoid all the supplemental fees.)In other Costa Rica airline news, should we be upset that Taca/Avianca dropped five nonstop flights to the country? Nah. A whole new airline, Tico Air, has stepped in to fill the void, and the outlook for 2014 seems bright.These routes and a few others are opening up the country to new visitors. Here are the latest routes connecting the rest of North America to a Pura Vida vacation:JetBlue: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to San JoséRead more: http://blog.jetblue.com/index.php/2013/06/28/fort-lauderdale-to-san-jose-costa-rica-takes-flight/Delta: New York to San José (seasonal)Read more: http://ticotimes.net/More-news/News-Briefs/Delta-announces-seasonal-Costa-Rica-New-York-flight_Thursday-October-24-2013Tico Air: Mexico City, Caracas, New York and Miami to San José Read more: http://ticotimes.net/More-news/News-Briefs/New-Costa-Rican-airline-offers-to-operate-routes-eliminated-by-TACA_Friday-June-28-2013Avianca: New Jersey to San JoséRead more: http://ticotimes.net/More-news/News-Briefs/Avianca-Airlines-offers-new-Costa-Rica-New-Jersey-flight-_Thursday-September-19-2013 Facebook Comments
Being of an indolent nature myself, I am perpetually amazed at the raw energy and intestinal fortitude of those who do good works: Chairmen of many committees, indefatigable organizers of charity events and persistent gadflies to those of us who labor under the mistaken impression that retirement means just that. In short, the overachievers of this world.Speaking for the vast army of underachievers, it is my proud boast that I have nothing to boast about, and that my name will never be added to the interminable list of kings and queens, tyrants and record-breakers, and assorted notables who are responsible for History. Should you rush to censure me for this lack of spirit, let me tell you that I have excellent credentials based on the Law of Parsimony. This law, sometimes known as the Law of Conservation of Energy, states that all natural processes (which of course includes underachievement) consume the least possible amount of energy. For example, an apple falls straight down from the branch, rather than touring the landscape before hitting the ground.Accordingly, ever careful to observe the law, I rise late and retire early, exerting myself to the minimum extent possible in the few remaining hours of the day. Even so, my tranquil existence is often rudely interrupted by some overachiever, scornful of natural law and trampling roughshod over my Fourth Amendment rights. I can hear one at the door right now, and I know exactly what’s coming: “Jackson, this is disgusting! Already five in the morning, and here you are, still pigging it out in bed! Out with you, immediately, and sign this Title Agreement!”The awful thing is that we underachievers are putty in the hands of these monsters, always preferring to sign rather than argue, and of course they know it. Last year, I signed away twenty-one tenths of my disposable income, and my accountant no longer speaks to me. But then, overachievers never limit themselves to personal assaults; they are to be found everywhere: on billboards, on TV, in our junk mail, exhorting us to lose weight and improve our spelling, in fact wherever we could maybe, just maybe, use a little sharpening.So what’s the answer, for those who don’t want to be sharpened? Well, just like the healing leaf grows right next door to the stinging nettle, the answer lies in the very nature of overachievement. Your typical overachiever suffers from a shortage of self-esteem, which by some quirk of the psyche he transfers to his victims, so use that very weakness to overthrow him. Try reproaching him for never having made President of the United States, or even CEO of Google. That should shut him up for a bit while he tries to figure what went wrong and what you should be doing to put it right for him.In fact, that’s one of the few duties we underachievers can admit to, and practically our only defense against the varmints. They know instinctively that without us they don’t really exist, because they can’t be overconfident or overinvolved unless we provide them with a basis for comparison. So next time an overachiever gives you lip, reproach him for inexcusable failure in the achievement department, and watch him curl up in a ball and roll out of your life. Of course, if you decide to use the Presidential gambit, you’d better be sure of your facts; there’s nothing more embarrassing than accusing an ex-President of failing to make the grade. Facebook Comments Jack O’Brien No related posts.
Former Costa Rican President Óscar Arias accepted an invitation from Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López to observe the conflict in Venezuela. It seems unlikely, however, that the two will meet soon, asLópez recently turned himself in to Venezuelan authorities.Arias, the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been one of the most vocal critics in the region of Venezuelan’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. Arias has said there has been a “negligent silence” from Latin America’s governments on what’s occurring in Venezuela.Three protesters have been killed so far. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced plans to arrest López on charges of homicide and inciting violence. Leftist governments in the region have backed Venezuela’s head of state. Supporters for Maduro also have taken part in the daily demonstrations. Other international political figures also have accepted López’s invitation, including former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former Spanish President Felipe González.Costa Rican officials also have repeatedly spoken out against the violence. President Laura Chinchilla said Tuesday, “We hope they can reach a peaceful solution because the Venezuelan people are suffering.”There also has been talk about giving asylum to Venezuelan opposition political leaders, a proposal endorsed by Costa Rica’s ruling party presidential candidate Johnny Araya. Facebook Comments Related posts:Police disperse another rally in Venezuela as former beauty queen becomes latest casualty Venezuela looks set to lock away prominent opposition leader Leopoldo López Costa Rican ex-President Óscar Arias hospitalized for pacemaker adjustment Three steps Venezuela must take
Facebook Comments Related posts:Adiós, El Chapo VIDEO: Hilarious parody of ‘El Chapo’ prison escape Talk of ‘Yankee imperialism’ rankles US Embassy in San José Did Delta Force help capture El Chapo? US role yet to be detailed It seems like you can find anything on social media these days – including the apparent lifestyles of family members of Mexico’s biggest drug capos.Following the high-profile arrest Saturday morning by Mexican authorities of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the U.S.’ most-wanted drug trafficker and head of the infamous Sinaloa cartel, Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre and other media appear to have tracked down two of Guzmán’s children, Iván and Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, on Twitter.The two men are Guzmán’s sons from his first of at least three marriages, and while they were cautious enough (mostly) not to publish photos of themselves, some repeating patterns emerge about their social lives: guns in movie theaters, off-road racing, flashy cars, narcocorridos, wild animals as pets, and lots of women. Oh, and also Mike Tyson.Of course we have no way of independently confirming the accounts actually belong to Guzmán’s sons, but there also isn’t much indicating they don’t.The tweets stopped last November, perhaps after – according to Prensa Libre – the Mexican Public Prosecutor’s Office said the Twitter photos could be used as evidence of wrongdoing.Then again, with things as they are in the Wild Western city of Culiacán, does it really matter?UPDATE: Costa Rica’s Diario Extra reports that Guzman’s sons have ties to a well-known businessman in Costa Rica.Diario Extra reported Sunday night that a known Costa Rican businessman in the northern city of San Carlos met with Guzmán’s sons in an upscale home in the Northern Zone.The report also states that Costa Rican authorities opened an investigation of Sinaloa cartel activity in Costa Rica in 2011, and “El Chapo” himself may have visited the country on at least two occasions, crossing the northern border with Nicaragua under a fake name. The story goes on to say that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration believed the Sinaloa cartel operated its Central America operations out of Costa Rica.The Tico Times attempted to contact Public Security Minister Mario Zamora and Vice Minister Celso Gamboa to confirm the report, but was unable to reach them by phone Sunday night. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted.Meanwhile, here are some of those tweets:https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/395692752240787456https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/389175524930498560https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/385951826580762624https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/379398014462205952https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/379384046876233728https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/383388923289796608https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/380706036035776512https://twitter.com/AlfredoGuzma/status/379966991798259713
Officials in Moscow confirmed Friday that North Korean despot Kim Jong Un may attend ceremonies next year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It would be Kim’s first public foreign visit since coming to power in December 2011.“Yes, such an invitation was sent,” confirmed Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, speaking to Reuters.The news comes at a particularly conspicuous moment. On Friday, U.S. federal investigators accused North Korea of being behind the hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. An escalation of cyber threats has compelled Sony to cancel the release of “The Interview,” a controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts the two being sent on a mission to assassinate Kim.The film’s plot riled Pyongyang — and, leaked e-mails revealed, Sony executives — and instigated one of the strangest geopolitical spats of the year, with many in the United States reacting angrily to Sony’s acquiescence in the face of North Korean “terror.”Meanwhile, Putin has also been in the spotlight. On Thursday, he held a defiant three-hour-long year-end news conference, where he inveighed against the “external” forces that had conspired to undermine Russia’s economy. Sanctions imposed by the West, a slide in oil prices and a free-falling ruble have all made the end of 2014 a gloomy time for the Russian president.But his invitation to Kim is not just meant as a rebuke of the U.S. and its allies. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union helped prop up the totalitarian regime in Pyongyang. Now Russia needs North Korean cooperation in its bid to build a pipeline that would boost gas exports to South Korea, Reuters reports. As is often the case in Moscow, energy policy usually outweighs other imperatives.Russia celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II annually on May 9. This year, Putin marked the occasion in Crimea — the Black Sea region that had controversially been annexed from Ukraine just months before. Standing at the historic and strategic port of Sevastopol, Putin spoke at length of the Russian glory and sacrifice that inextricably bound Crimea to Moscow.His ironclad nationalist rhetoric set the stage for the rest of the year. A pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine has led to thousands of deaths and deepened tensions between Russia and the West. Given that precedent, the presence of Kim among other dignitaries of the post-Soviet world could perhaps be less controversial.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Related posts:Putin offered to support Venezuela in case of war with Colombia, book claims Rebel attack on Ukraine chopper kills 14 as Russia sees war Putin’s Russia expands Latin American role, Kelly says Russia back to fishing in troubled waters in Latin America, Costa Rica expert tells US congressional committee
The ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo, in the Nicoya Peninsula, will resume just on time for vacationers heading to North Pacific beaches during the Easter Holy Week break, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) confirmed Monday.Strong winds and a choppy sea destroyed the bridge and dock ramp to access the ferry in Playa Naranjo on March 8, forcing ferry owner Coonatramar to suspend the service.MOPT’s Marine and Ports director Luis Fernando Coronado said in statement that construction had begun on a temporary dock, and it was expected to be ready within two weeks.Early on Monday, work crews began transporting materials to Playa Naranjo for the repair, estimated to cost ₡67 million (some $124,000).Later this week work also will begin on a brand new dock next to the current one. The project was awarded in a public bid to private construction company Nautica JJ S.A.The new dock will cost ₡300 million ($556,000) “and will be fully operational in two and a half months, if weather conditions are favorable,” MOPT’s statement added.The temporary dock will be removed once the new one is ready, Coronado said.Alternate routes to get from Puntarenas to Playa Naranjo include taking the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry and then traveling by road to Playa Naranjo. The trip on a gravel road takes up to two hours.Traveling by road from the capital takes around six hours. Related posts:Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo to resume in 3 weeks Ferry service between Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo to restart on Sunday Tambor ferry back on schedule Paquera ferry adjusts schedule Facebook Comments
Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican filmmaker – ‘It’s important to leave people thinking’ ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: Baby, it was born to run 5 questions for a Costa Rica band – ‘We all have our own chaos’ 5 questions for Cuban pianist Leonardo Gell – ‘I believe in love and effort’ See also: 5 questions for a Costa Rican filmmakerNatalia Arias has had quite a year. The actress – who hails from Coronado, north of San José – followed up her first film apperance in the 2009 film “Gestación,” directed by Esteban Ramírez, with a lead performance this year in the latest Ramírez film, “Presos.” This project won not only the Best Film award at Colombia’s Santander Film Festival, but also the Best Actress award for Arias. The 28-year-old is a multitasker: she has been a theater actress since 2006, is a radio broadcaster for Costa Rican radio station Los 40 Principales, and has participated in several information campaigns with the Ministry of Public Education and National Road Safety Council (COSEVI), among others. She studied Performing Arts at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and journalism at San Judas University.The Tico Times sat down with Arias at the radio booth of Los 40 Principales to talk about what is it like to be onstage and in front of the camera. Excerpts follow.How did your love for acting start, and what has kept you there?Theater has given me the basis for everything. It is connected to almost everything I do, everything in my life, even who I’m with. It has a direct effect on life itself: [it has helped me] to be more sensitive and observant. And it has helped me incredibly with my film career, because, here in Costa Rica, there are no acting schools for film. All the tools I’ve obtained and explored have been thanks to the theater, the plays I have performed in, the classes I have taken, the directors I have worked with, and workshops I have attended.What is the main difference between acting in theater and in a film?The greatest difference is that while acting in film, you are more welcome to make a mistake. Scenes can be edited, or the director can just say “Cut, let’s do another take.” I think it is more difficult to act in the theater, because you are performing live. If you make a mistake or forget the script, that is the one take, you can’t redo it. There’s no going back. That is a great training process, because you must have consistency and patience. You must not give up if something is not the way you want it.In films you can have an editing process and choose the scenes you want. To me, the editing process is a wonder, and hardly anyone recognizes the editor! Which is a shame, because he or she is the one who creates the final product.The difficulty of acting in a film is the concentration you must have in front of the cameras. Behind the cameras there are a lot of people doing a lot of things, so you have to focus and avoid watching the cameraman, or the director’s gestures, or people in charge of the makeup or the outfits. You must always keep your concentration, and I’m so absent-minded, so one my biggest challenges is not getting lost when it comes to what they are asking me to do. The other thing is that in films, scenes are not filmed in sequence, so it is a challenge to know what part of the story you are in, to know the line of character, where it comes and where it goes. Maybe you have to film one scene where you are supposed to be mad at you father, but in the scene you film before it wasn’t like that.How did you come to work in your first movie, “Gestación”?Actually, it’s a pretty curious story. I wasn’t going to be part of it, I did audition, but the character of Alba was already chosen. Actually, it was one of my friends! Bu she had to travel to Argentina and couldn’t act in the movie… and Esteban asked for recommendations of actresses at the university, and I went to a casting. Adriana Alvarez [the lead] was there, and we got along really well from the first moment.“Presos” was a great opportunity, but I also see it as an exchange. I promised Esteban I was going to give him really good material, and he was going to direct me on the right path. Also, I’m familiar with his way of working, so that was really helpful too.Do you identify with your character in “Presos”?Yes, absolutely. Victoria is a woman who is trying to break down barriers. She is looking for her own freedom. I identify with her because she is an empowered woman who makes her own decisions and takes risks. I’m a really intense person. I’m always taking the risk of… living, and that is living! To not know what will happen, but do it anyway. I’d also say that I’m in the search of my own sovereignty, independence. I mean, I work here [in the booth] with these five men, and sometimes they make chauvinistic comments or have strong personalities, so you have to put a stop to what you don’t like, what you’re not comfortable with, and Victoria has that. She stops her boyfriend, stops her father, and thereby gets others to respect her. I, too, have a strong personality, and I always get people’s respect.How does acting complement with your work as a radio broadcaster, and in the future where do you see yourself (radio, theater, films)?I’d say that both in theater and film, there’s always the possibility to create new characters. On the radio, you are like a character: sometimes I’m really tired or feel ill or I don’t feel like talking to anybody, and you can’t show that in front of the microphone, so you basically have to create a character. I’m a really expressive person. I really like to talk, and to communicate my ideas, and in theater and radio there is a lot of improvisation.I have always said that I love the radio, but is just one of my many facets. I don’t think I see myself on a morning radio program in five years. I love it, but I’ve already been doing it for a while. I do see myself doing theater for the rest of my life, because it is what keeps me happy. It is what keeps my heart full of passion. It is a really deep feeling of love. I’ve always said that theater is love and hate, because sometimes you get mad and say, “I don’t want to do this shit anymore, it demands a lot of sacrifice,” but then you come back.Read other “Weekend Arts Spotlight” interviews here.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Comments
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian police said Monday they had arrested a family of four, including a teenager, who were together carrying 91 cocaine and heroin capsules in their stomachs.The Colombian “drug mules,” who were on their way to the Dominican Republic, were carrying more than 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of the illicit drugs, police said.The four suspects were arrested Sunday at the Cucutá airport, near the border of Colombia and Venezuela, before boarding a flight to Santo Domingo, via Panama.The mother, 39, her 21-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter and their stepfather, 67, had obtained passports just four days earlier and “were traveling by plane for the first time, with light baggage, but pretending to go on a vacation,” police said in a statement.All four were taken to a local hospital, where X-rays revealed they had 54 latex capsules of heroin and 37 of cocaine in their stomachs, 24 of which were in the teenager.“A total of 2,077 grams of heroin and 1,227 of cocaine hydrochloride, worth up to $100,000 in Central America” were seized, the statement said.The parents, who worked as street vendors, and the son, a mason, face trial. The daughter was put into the care of child protection services.Police, who are attempting to identify the traffickers who supplied the “drug mules,” said the family had been recruited with offers of new clothes and money upon their return. Colombian police said they have arrested 138 drug mules trying to board international flights with capsules hidden in their bodies this year, including 35 foreign nationals. Facebook Comments Related posts:Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua In ‘Narcos,’ Netflix recreates Pablo Escobar’s world US seizes $12 million of drugs in Caribbean Colombia is again the world’s top coca producer. Why that’s a blow to the US
National and local officials in the Central Pacific canton of Garabito are stepping up measures to ensure theWorld Surfing Games that will take place in Jacó beach Aug. 6 – 14 is a safe, healthy success for the country.Public agencies will also be on the look out for businesses trying to take advantage of the visitors expected to crowd the popular beach town. Organizers said they expect nearly 100,000 people to attend the area during the competition.Zika surveillanceThe Health Ministry reported Wednesday that the confirmed cases of Zika virus in the country have reached 351. More than half of those cases are patients in Central Pacific cantons, including Garabito.Media outlets around the world in recent days reported that the surfing event will take place in one of Costa Rica’s most Zika-affected regions. But Minister Fernando Llorca said the number of confirmed cases in Central Pacific cantons has decreased in the past two weeks.Llorca said that despite the decrease in cases, health officials maintain a permanent coordination with the organizers of the World Surfing Games. He said the Health Ministry has carried out periodic fumigations, garbage collection and inspections to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites along the Pacific coast this year.The effect of each fumigation lasts just over a week, so these actions will be suspended this week, Llorca said Wednesday.Pollution-free certificationThe Costa Rican Surfing Federation, the Sports Ministry and the Garabito Municipality will seek recognition for the World Surfing Games as a pollution-free, or “Blue Flag” event. Mayor Tobías Murillo Rodríguez said the municipality rented three additional garbage trucks to maintain waste collection in the district 24-7.Besides increasing garbage collection, the municipality performed special cleaning projects at the beach and in various local rivers.The Water and Sewers Institute’s water laboratory also evaluated the quality of seawater at Jacó beach in late July. Results of those evaluations certified the beach as “A Class,” which means seawater in Jacó is bacteriologically safe for recreational purposes.The quality of seawater is one of the most important aspects in the evaluation required to obtain a Blue Flag certification in the beaches category. The Blue Flag program recognizes beaches for trash-free sands, clean ocean and drinking water, access to showers and restrooms and waste disposal programs.Surf Federation President Randall Chaves said he hopes all these actions will help boost the tourism potential of the Central Pacific area and give Costa Rica a name as a world leader in organizing environmentally friendly sporting events.Price hikes and paying taxesThe Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) warned earlier this week of a “disproportionate increase in reservations at rental homes and condos, whose owners might be dodging taxes and insurance payments.”A query of lodging options in Jacó on the accommodation-sharing service Airbnb on Thursday showed almost 100 options of houses and apartments available during the week of the surfing games. Prices for the full week range from ₡84,000 to ₡500,000 ($151-$900).In a news release, the Chamber of Hotels demanded that the Tax Administration, the Social Security System, the National Insurance Institute and the municipality of Garabito carry out “a close inspection across the canton to find insurance and tax dodgers.”Chamber president Gustavo Araya said the World Surfing Games “can be a good opportunity for public agencies to collect taxes just like they do with all of us legal business owners.”Garabito Mayor Tobías Murillo said Thursday that the sports event represents a great business opportunity for the canton. However, he is aware that some might try to overcharge for their products and services and some might try to conduct businesses without a permit.Murillo said he knows it’s almost impossible for local hotels and other lodging options to accommodate the large number of visitors expected. “However those who will be renting their homes or properties must fulfill their tax duties,” he said.The mayor said the municipality is ready to go after those seeking to dodge taxes. In the case of people offering accommodations, municipal officials are currently making an official list of online and print ads that will be used for verification purposes during tax collection.Street vending and securityMayor Murillo said one of the municipality’s main goals is to prevent street vendors from affecting local businesses and disturbing visitors.The Garabito municipality did not issue any permits to sell products on the street during the surf competition, only granting temporary business licenses for selling food and other products within a special fairground located at the beach.“All merchandise sold outside this area, along the beach or on nearby streets will be confiscated,” the mayor said.Murillo said he’s aware that it is very difficult to fully control street vendors and that some of them will risk bringing their merchandise to Jacó, “but we will make every effort to avoid it,” he said.The city’s 50 Municipal Police officers will work alongside National Police officers to provide security for the event around the clock.The Public Security Ministry will report on Friday the number of officers who will be patrolling the Jacó area during the event. The ministry’s press office reported Thursday that it is still reviewing the event’s compliance with security requirements.Read more coverage of the World Surfing Games here. Facebook Comments Related posts:Team Costa Rica shines on first day of 2016 World Surfing Games World Surfing Games in Jacó: 5 things to know about attending World Surfing Games preview: Can Costa Rica win second consecutive title? Scoring the World Surfing Games: A guide
Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican musician: blind artist Gerardo Mora 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician 5 questions for a Colombian rapper 5 questions for a Honduran artist Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at email@example.com. Facebook Comments Recommended: 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician – blind artist Gerardo MoraLuis Carmona may be only 22, but he has organized his life around the strings of an instrument for about 10 years now.The young artist started playing the guitar at the age of 12 under his brother’s influence, and then moved on to the bass; he now studies both instruments at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). He plays in the Young Chamber Orchestra of Costa Rica (OCJCR), the Youth Band of Desamparados and the Symphonic Orchestra of the UCR School of Musical Arts (OSEAM), and works as a freelance musician.Carmona also studied sociology for two and a half years at the UCR.“It gave me a form of analysis that helped me not only as a musician, but also as a researcher and in my adventures teaching,” he said.The Tico Times talked to Carmona about his approach to music, his orchestra experience and the impact of orchestras on Costa Rican society. Excerpts follow.What was your initial approach to music?Music has always been there. It is something that we all consume at some point: it is something very human. But as for my academic preparation… my brother had a guitar and I started to play with it. Eventually, I started open education in electric bass in 2010, in order to have a formal formation. There I learned basic things like solfeggio, harmony… basic components of musical language which later I would use when I entered the basic stage of contrabass in 2011.I have also developed myself in other musical contexts, such as rock bands, folkloric groups, and musical groups with nonprofit organizations.What was it like to make the decision to study music instead of letting it remain a hobby?It is a very stigmatized road… but in general, I think I never saw it as a hobby. I don’t see it as my job either. I feel it is more like a task. I think we are all musicians and we all make music, todos musicamos, which means that we all celebrate and share music in different ways.How can music influence youth for the development of Costa Rican society?The trade of music brings with it a lot of challenges. There is a discipline with an instrument but more than that, it’s a discipline within oneself. It’s similar to sports. I see a lot of similarity between the discipline of athletes and the discipline of musicians. It is a constant surrender, and that builds character. (Courtesy of Luis Carmona)Why is it important for Costa Rica to maintain its orchestras and philharmonics around the country? We live in an era where my generation plays on a stage where there is a lot of competition. There are many good musicians, but there are not many orchestras to play in. I think the development of orchestras in 2017 has to be linked not only to a musical project but to a cultural one as well. To involve other areas and become multidisciplinary proposals.What’s the value of joining an orchestra for the musicians of Costa Rica?Although we are a musically advanced country within the Central American region, we still have a long way to go in the national media, and when it comes to opportunities for growth and professional work. We have advanced in the professionalization of the musician at the level of academic preparation, but we have not professionalized the theme of jobs and the generation of spaces to involve both our academic and popular musicians within a clear cultural policy.Read also: 5 questions for a Colombian rapper
Related posts:This week in the Peace Corps: Moving Out in Costa Rica This week in the Peace Corps: A Costa Rican Country Christmas This week in the Peace Corps: Mural project opens doors to the explore the world This week in the Peace Corps: Sports for youth development JumpStart camps led by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have officially begun all throughout Costa Rica. These intensive four-week English camps provide children from low-income areas the opportunity to learn with their peers before starting high school, and provide hands-on training to public-school teachers.According to the organization, Amigos of Costa Rica:“Due to lack of resources, 45 percent of public elementary schools in Costa Rica do not offer English classes. This represents a serious disadvantage for kids who graduate from elementary schools that do not teach English to high schools where students have had English lessons through their first six years of education.”Here are some Peace Corps Volunteer-led JumpStart camps in action.From PCVs Laura and Christian’s Camp: Pictured below we see high school volunteer, Andres, teaching the students how to plan for success and create goals using the SMART goals approach. As a former JumpStart participant, Andres expressed the importance of working hard and having goals since it has led him to find and pursue a career where he can further develop his English skills. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)From PCV Laffon’s Camp: Many camps rely on community volunteers to help them cook for the participants. Thank you to all the volunteers (in and outside of Peace Corps Costa Rica) that help make this camp. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica) (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)PCV Georgina’s Camp: Pictured below, PCV Georgina, along with help from PCVs Ethan and Susan. They work with a group of 5th and 6th graders for Jumpstart English intensive sessions while having fun. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica) (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps Costa Rica)The Peace Corps photo series in The Tico Times Costa Rica Changemakers section is sponsored by the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), a proud financial supporter of Peace Corps Volunteer projects nationwide. Learn more here. To donate to support the Peace Corps Costa Rica, visit the official donation page. Volunteers’ last names and community names are withheld from these publications, per Peace Corps policy.Connect with the Peace Corps Costa Rica on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Brought to you by the Costa Rica USA Foundation (CRUSA). Courtesy of CRUSA Facebook Comments
MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine coast guard says nine Chinese and two British sailors have been rescued after their yacht sank in rough waters.They were picked up by a Hong Kong cargo ship that was passing through the same waters near the Batanes islands off the country’s northern tip Sunday. The yacht “Tipsy Frenz” was sailing from Hong Kong to Taiwan as part of a race when strong winds from a typhoon capsized it. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments Share Sponsored Stories Top Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 treatments for adult scoliosis More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The rescued sailors were taken to Manila’s harbor Tuesday and will be handed over to their respective embassies after medical examination.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments Share 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) – Caribbean airline LIAT says investigators are looking into a fire that destroyed one of its hangars, two offices and a Dash 8-300 plane. The carrier says it suffered a significant loss.A Monday statement from the Antigua-based airline says it is working with Antiguan investigators and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority to determine the cause of the late Sunday fire.The airline says its flights are running normally. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top holiday drink recipes LIAT serves 21 destinations across the Caribbean. Its shareholders include the governments of Antigua, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories
Four benefits of having a wireless security system Monday’s spring-summer 2013 show had a gaucho feel and was served in unflattering, floppy Stetson hats _ that sometimes blocked out the models’ faces.The pressure on the former Dior Homme designer Slimane _ who was appointed in March _ must have been huge.World media have pitted Slimane in a battle of designers against Christian Dior’s new man, Raf Simons, who was appointed a month later.Here Slimane tried to impress with the no-holds-barred approach _ but it may have given the upper hand to his rival.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments Share Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 treatments for adult scoliosis AP Fashion WriterPARIS (AP) – When fashion editors put down their pens halfway through a catwalk show, it’s always cause for concern.This was the case at Hedi Slimane’s disappointing debut at Yves Saint Laurent _ a rather confused ode to excess that used fringing, leather, lacing, feathers, sequins, pendants, skinny menswear tailoring, baggy pants, capes, pendants and almost everything under the sun.
Comments Share Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Votes for Charlotte surged after the British princess was named Monday and topped the ballot in the last three days of voting, which ran from March 27 to May 6.Many critics said giving the princess’ name to a monkey was disrespectful to British royals. According to zoo official Akira Asano, some said the Japanese people would feel offended if a monkey were named after Japanese princesses.The complaints originated in Japan. Asano said he was not aware of any complaints from British citizens. He said the zoo has also received support for Charlotte, and the views are now largely divided.“We deeply apologize for causing trouble to many people over the naming of the first baby (monkey),” said a statement posted on the zoo’s website. “We take these opinions seriously.”Officials at the zoo and the city were still discussing what to do with the monkey’s name. The zoo now plans to seek advice from the British Embassy before making a final decision, Kyodo News agency reported.The embassy declined to comment, and Japan’s Foreign Ministry said it was not involved with the issue.___Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at twitter.com/mariyamaguchi Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese zoo has apologized after being criticized for naming a baby monkey Charlotte, the name of the newborn British princess.The Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden said Thursday it was considering renaming the macaque. It was flooded with angry calls and emails Wednesday after announcing the name for its first monkey born this year, a tradition at the zoo run by the southern city of Oita.Charlotte was the favorite in a public ballot, receiving 59 out of 853 votes in the counting, conducted after the female monkey was born Wednesday. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Check your body, save your life Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration’s lead nuclear negotiator is leaving her post this summer, by which point the U.S. hopes to have reached an accord with Iran.State Department officials say undersecretary Wendy Sherman will leave when nuclear talks are complete. Negotiators are hoping to clinch a deal with Iran by June 30.Sherman has led much of the technical discussions in Europe with Iranian officials over the last two years. During her tenure the U.S. and Iran reached an interim agreement in November 2013 and a framework pact in April. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments Share Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called Sherman a “critical” member of his team, hailing her “tenacity and skill.”Sherman’s upcoming departure was reported first by The New York Times.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Top holiday drink recipes 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J The strong Aussie dollar is working in favour of US tourism with up to 17 percent more Australians visiting the States in June this year compared to the corresponding month last year.US Department of Commerce statistics found Aussie travellers ranked in as the fourth top arrivals for the month following travellers from Germany, Brazil and China.The rise from Australia contributed to America’s four percent increase in overall international visitors for the month compared to June 2010.For the year ending June 2011, 23 percent more Aussie travellers flew into the US compared to the same period last year, while the number of travellers from China jumped by 32 percent more. Visitors from Brazil also spiked for the year, with an extra 28 percent arrivals from the South American country, while Japan based arrivals dropped by up to seven percent.Overall for the year compared to the corresponding 12 months 2010, America welcomed up to 12.5 million overseas arrivals, a six percent jump on the previous period.
The stresses of travel revealed in new survey. When travelling what could be more stressful than airport security? How about healthy eating, exercise or returning home to a long list of chores?Travel organiser app, TripIt’s new survey results indicate 67 percent of frequent travellers rate exercise as a very stressful activity when travelling.Maintaining a healthy diet was distressful for 66 percent of travellers.59 percent of travellers found airport security to be a stressful, while 54 percent found driving in unfamiliar territory to be troublesome.“As someone who is constantly travelling, eating healthy and keeping up my fitness routine are incredibly important,” TripStyler.com editor-in-chief Trish Friesen said.“My two biggest travel health tips are to make sure there’s always a rainbow of colour represented on your plate, and in a pinch, never underestimate the amount of exercise that can be done on the carpet of your hotel room.”TripIt recommends travellers carry healthy, portable snacks and opt for the stairs over escalators.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.