4Higher Taxes for Airlines
Higher tariffs for airlines at Juan Santamaría International Airport northwest of San José shouldn’t be allowed to fly, according to the Association of Costa Rican Airlines, which this week protested approval of the new taxes. Mario Zamora, association president and San José manager of the Central American airline TACA, said the higher cost of doing business in Costa Rica could cause companies to reduce flights to the country, thusadversely affecting tourism. Local authorities, however, said the increases were necessary as the new administrator, Houston Airport System, takes over from Alterra Partners.
4Don’t Even Think About It
The Calle de la Amargura – the street that registers the most incidences of crime in the entire canton of Montes de Oca, east of San José – has been partially lit up and is being patrolled by a group of four policletos, or police on bicycles. Seventeen new lamps have been installed by businesses in the first 100 meters of the 400 m street in efforts to provide more security to the bar-ridden area close to the University of Costa Rica campus. In other crime-fighting efforts, the Municipality of Escazú, on the west side of San José, is installing 40 cameras to be monitored 24 hours a day by police officers.
4NASA Eyes Turrialba Volcano
The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellites took a cool photo of Costa Rica’s smoking Turrialba Volcano, about 40 kilometers northeast of San José, which began spewing clouds of gas and ash early this month. You can see it on NASA’s Web site: www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov. Also, Costa Rica’s OVSICORI has set up a Webcam at the volcano. Check it out at www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/vulcanologia/videoturri.
4Don’t Light Up Here
Five San José area restaurants have voluntary become smoke and tobacco free zones, according to the Ministry of Health. The restaurants – smoke-free as of Thursday of this week – are Il Panino, Il Ritorno, Chancay, Tre Scalini and seven locations of the Spoon chain. The restaurants’ action is part of an anti-smoking campaign sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer with the support of the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency and the National Anti-Tobacco Network.
4Corruption Cases Dog Alemán
Less than a month after announcing his 2011 reelection bid, ex-president and former convict Arnoldo Alemán was notified this week by the Managua Appeals Tribunal that the state is reopening two corruption cases against him. Alemán, who was absolved of those charges years ago, is calling the judicial investigation another example of “blackmail” by President Daniel Ortega, whom he claims is attempting to pressure him into re-forming their old power-sharing pact to again divvy up seats in the Supreme Court and Supreme Electoral Council.