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Hola Sun has a Cubana de Aviacion update for the trade

first_imgHola Sun has a Cubana de Aviacion update for the trade Tags: Cubana, Hola Sun, Plane Crash Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted bycenter_img TORONTO — Hola Sun has issued a statement following last week’s devastating Cubana crash.Late last week Cubana de Aviacion experienced major delays on all flights servicing Toronto Pearson Airport. “Passengers departing from Toronto who were affected by flight delays exceeding 24 hours were given the option to cancel their trip with a full refund,” says Hola Sun.Passengers who had purchased packages and were already in destination were accommodated in hotels, free of charge, and were assisted by Hola Sun’s destination representatives. “Hola Sun Holidays has been working diligently along with Cubana de Aviacion and our destination representatives, and is making every effort to minimize the impact of the flight time changes.”The last affected northbound flight, originally scheduled to depart Holguin May 20, was rescheduled to return May 22. The last affected southbound flight, originally scheduled to depart for Havana on May 20, was also rescheduled to depart May 22. Hola Sun added that Cubana has cancelled the previously scheduled flights for the coming weekend, May 24-27. “However Hola Sun Holidays continues to work to resume our flight itineraries at the earliest possible date. Hola Sun Holidays is deeply sorry for any inconvenience, as our passengers are always our first priority.” Wednesday, May 23, 2018 Travelweek Group last_img read more

Zika no longer a concern for Saint Lucia

first_img Tuesday, October 16, 2018 TORONTO — Scientists have determined the Zika virus is no longer present in Saint Lucia, meaning travellers, including pregnant women, can visit the destination with no known risk of getting Zika from mosquitoes, says the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.The SLTA is celebrating the news, which came down as an announcement came from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The last reported case of the Zika virus disease on Saint Lucia was in February 2017 – 19 months ago.The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Saint Lucia noted in a statement: “In the case of Zika virus disease, the country’s last case was diagnosed greater than one year ago, in spite of continuous surveillance and testing for this disease. Given that Zika virus disease has not been detected in over a year in many Caribbean countries, the Caribbean Public Health Agency has indicated that Zika virus transmission has been interrupted in the Caribbean and that risk of transmission is very low.”More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedActing CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Tiffany Howard said the announcement will have a positive impact on Saint Lucia’s tourism product.“Visitors, who were concerned about travelling to Saint Lucia because of Zika, now have the assurance that Saint Lucia has managed the situation effectively. Therefore, there is no need for worry about visiting the island. And what better time to come than now, when we have so many exciting things to do, see and experience on our inspiring destination.”Some visitors from the island’s major source markets had put off trips to the destination due to concerns about the Zika virus, especially couples who were thinking about getting pregnant.The Department of Health and Wellness has implemented several strategies to reduce the impact of Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs) and properties on the island continue to be pro-active in reducing the presence of mosquitos “so their guests can enjoy a wonderful stay”.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerFor more information on the Zika virus is available by calling the Chief Medical Officer at (758) 468-5309. To learn more about Saint Lucia, visit Zika no longer a concern for Saint Lucia Share Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Tags: St. Lucia, Zika << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Discover the natural wonders of Sanibel Island

first_img Thursday, April 4, 2019 Tags: Fort Myers, Fort Myers Spotlight 2019, Spotlight Discover the natural wonders of Sanibel Island Share Posted bycenter_img Over the years, Florida holidays have become synonymous with mega theme parks, larger-than-life characters and hair-raising thrill rides. But The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel offer a very different side to the Sunshine State. Famed for its lengthy shell-strewn beaches, vast nature reserves and epic sunsets, Sanibel Island is one of the natural highlights of Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.Located 20 miles south of downtown Fort Myers – escape over the three-mile causeway to Sanibel island, a subtropical barrier island with 50 miles of pristine white-sand beaches, 25 miles of multi-use bike paths and recreation trails beside buildings no taller than the tallest palm tree.As one of the world’s top destinations for seashells, Sanibel draws avid collectors from across the globe who flock to its beaches in search of nature’s treasure. If you want to know your alphabet cones from your painted egg cockles, visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, a vast collection of tens of thousands of native Floridian shells including wentletraps, fighting conches and the rare golden olive shell.Another big draw is Sanibel’s abundant wildlife. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a 6,400-acre nature reserve with the largest mangroves in the U.S. It’s home to more than 250 different species of birdlife and even more between January and April, when thousands of migratory birds flock to the refuge. There’s also a good chance you’ll see some of the state’s rarer wildlife too, such as the burrowing owl and the striking pink roseate spoonbill, Florida’s national bird.Like much of Florida, the turquoise Gulf waters surrounding Sanibel are teeming with marine life. Book a Gulf charter cruise and spot pods of bottlenose dolphins, manatees and flocks of white pelicans or take a guided kayaking excursion through the mangroves of the Estero River and witness yellow-crowned night herons, egrets and cormorants sunbathing in the weeds.With so much to do, it’s worth taking the time to do things right and stay awhile. With an abundance of intimate small inns, Gulf-front resorts and cottages, you will find a property to match any clients’ style of vacationing offering a rare chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.Visit for more information. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Costa Rican students to hold protest against police brutality

first_imgWho is responsible for the violence at the recent Caja demonstration?  Police. They used excessive force to remove protesters excercising their rights.  Protesters. A small group of antagonists is instigating violence.  Both. Police used excessive force and protesters failed to cooperate peacefully. Riots during recent protests Facebook Comments No related posts. San José will be the site of yet another protest Thursday as disgruntled citizens plan a response to recentpolice actions during a demonstration last week at San José’s Social Security System facilities, known locally as the Caja.The event’s Facebook page states that the demonstration is against the repression of social movements and a new law, known as the Ley Mordaza, which detractors say limits press freedom. The objective of the march is the resignation of Public Security Minister Mario Zamora and the head of the National Police, Raúl Rivera.Citizen Action Party presidential candidate and political scientist Luis Guillermo Solís came out in support of the protest posting a plea on Facebook urging organizers to have clear objectives and avoid provoking the police.“More than anything the march needs to have a large number of participants representative of society,” he said. “People cannot fall into temptation or be provoked by the media, the government or its allies; they need to give them a lesson in calmness, firmness and patriotic values.”  Solís also encouraged protest organizers to ask participants not to cover their faces, a tactic used by some participants in past protests that turned violent, including one outside the Legislative Assembly recently.The march is a response to what some are calling police brutality at a demonstration last Thursday at the Caja that led to the arrest of 36 protesters and the injury of two lawmakers. President Laura Chinchilla defended the police action, saying it was necessary in order to keep the streets open.The march, organized by university students, will take place at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, starting in Parque de la Merced. Protesters will then continue to the Health Ministry and eventually end at the main Caja building on Avenida 2, where a vigil will be held. Attendees are requested to wear black.Additionally, students at the University of Costa Rica are holding a strike through Wednesday in order to pass out leaflets and inform the public about the protest.last_img read more


6 people die every month in Costa Rica from skin cancer

first_imgExperts from the Social Security System, or Caja, on Tuesday asked Ticos to avoid overexposure to the sun and to remain vigilant to detect skin cancer. In Costa Rica, six new cases of skin cancer are reported daily, causing the deaths of six people each month.According to the National Meteorological Institute, Tuesday was expected to be the hottest day of the week – and possibly of the month – because of fewer clouds and little wind. Temperatures across the country increased by up to 10 degrees Celsius, meteorologist Francisco Poleo said.Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer here and case have increased by 25 percent in the first decade of the century, according to Caja records.“The risk is throughout the country and throughout the year. There is as much risk on a clear day as on a cloudy one, and there is risk at the beach or in the mountains,” Sergio Cortés, a dermatologist at San José’s Calderón Guardia Hospital said.Caja experts said that Ticos often make the mistake of protecting themselves only at the beach.“Costa Rica receives more UV radiation in the mountains than at sea level. There is 20-40 percent more UV radiation at an altitude of 1,500 meters than at the beach,” a Caja statement said.Another common mistake is not using sunscreen because the day is cloudy. However, clouds only block UV radiation by 50 percent, and people can actually suffer severe skin burns if exposed for long periods.Non-coastal areas have skin cancer rates above the national average, including Pérez Zeledón and Coto Brus (southern region), Turrubares (south of San José), San Ramón (Alajuela), and the Heredia cantons of Belén, Flores and Central.Cortés said that in order to detect skin cancer early, people should visit the doctor when an injury to the skin does not heal properly or when a mole changes appearance.“Five sunburns before the age of 18 increase by 100 percent the possibility of skin cancer after 40 years,” he said. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more


Arenal Report

first_imgThe panic sweeping the U.S. over the current flu epidemic is primarily due to one thing – stupid-ignorance – obviously a combination of stupidity and ignorance.Here are some examples: “ I’m young and healthy, I don’t need a flu shot.” “ I’ve been too busy.” “If I get a flu shot, my children will catch the flu from me.” “My sister who lives in Dale Hollow, Arkansas, knows somebody in Squirrel Valley, Tennessee, whose cousin from Jackson’s Still, West Virginia, got a flu shot and ain’t been right since. No sirree, no flu shot for me.” “We ain’t had no flu here in Chickisaw since that swine thing took Myrtice Johnson, and folks here believe that doctor got it wrong since Myrtice didn’t raise no pigs.” “I got a flu shot last year, and they last for 2-3 years.” Best of all: “The flu isn’t so bad. I can handle it.”In 1918, influenza killed more than one million people in the U.S. There was no flu vaccine then, and the virus was deadlier than the current strain, which so far has had a very low death rate. Let’s hope it stays that way. If you haven’t had a flu shot, get one as soon as possible. Don’t let your excuse become your epitaph.On a lighter note, the Ladies of the Lake held their first meeting of 2013 at the home of Christina Glass, and the attendance was high. The agenda included the group’s mission statement of service and plans for the coming year. Ladies of the Lake are well known for their culinary skills and the buffet luncheon was delightful. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb., 21, location to be announced.–William & Jean Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Worlds top drug trafficker El Chapo Guzmán arrested in Mexico

first_imgGuzmán separated himself from other drug lords due to his longevity and ability to evade the law for years. Captured in Guatemala in 1993, he was sent to Mexico’s high-security Puente Grande prison only to escape in 2001 on the eve of his extradition to the United States. Legend has it that he sneaked out in a laundry cart.Guzmán has been on the run ever since, periodically surfacing in Mexican beach resorts, Central American villages, even South America, only to vanish before authorities arrived. With each passing year he became wealthier and more powerful – Mexico’s mythical outlaw – with a reputation comparable only to fallen Colombia drug lord Pablo Escobar. He had a beauty queen wife and a reputation for generosity among his followers that elevated him to folk-hero status. Under Mexico’s previous president, Felipe Calderón, the appetite to capture Guzmán was so ravenous that Mexico ran at least three full-time kill-capture units dedicated solely to pursuing him. Yet Guzmán was not flashy or flamboyant, quietly building his billion-dollar narcotics empire through well-placed bribes and overwhelming firepower. He directed an army of hit men who murdered thousands. His strong-armed push to take control of the border city of Ciudad Juárez produced the drug war’s biggest bloodbath.Unlike Mexico’s widely-despised, upstart crime syndicates like Los Zetas or The Knights Templar, his Sinaloa cartel largely eschewed extortion and kidnapping. Instead, it focused on the lucrative business of delivering vast quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the United States.Guzmán was born into the trade. The son of a dirt-poor peasant farmer, he grew up in the “Golden Triangle” region of Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains that is the heart of North American marijuana and opium poppy production. He didn’t make it past third grade but was mentored by the local drug lords of the era and set himself apart as a smart operator and fearless gunman.The same remote mountain communities and tight-lipped locals have helped him elude capture for so long, despite costly, all-out efforts by U.S. and Mexican authorities to catch him. He was said to move between a network of ranches and hideouts high in the mountains, where local farmers referred to the 5-foot-6 Guzmán in hushed voices as “El Señor,” meaning “The Boss,” or “The Lord,” and not by his popular nickname “Chapo,” meaning “Shorty.”No one could have expected him to be taken so easily. A couple poses for a photo in front of the Miramar condominium in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, on Feb. 22, 2014 where Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was arrested early this morning by Mexican Marines. Fernando Brito/AFPIn 2009, Mexico’s defense secretary, Guillermo Galván, told Dennis Blair, then the Obama administration’s director of national intelligence, that “Chapo commands the support of a large network of informers and has security circles of up to 300 men that make launching capture operations difficult,” according to a secret diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.That Guzmán was captured without a shot and apparently without much security detail remains one of the biggest questions about his arrest. Authorities had been ratcheting up pressure on the Sinaloa cartel in recent weeks by busting several mid-level members. The Mexican Navy and other authorities have conducted operations in Sinaloa state, a sliver of Pacific coast territory long known as a drug-cartel bastion. The son of Guzmán’s partner, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, was arrested in November in Arizona when he tried to meet government officials to talk about his wife’s immigration status. Last month, Mexican Marines had raided the house of Grisela Pérez López, an ex-wife of the mob boss. That operation netted Jesús Peña González, a deputy known as “El 20” and others, the newspaper Reforma reported.The Sinaloa cartel, which has dominated drug routes into the U.S. through cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, has other prominent leaders, and security analysts expected their lucrative business empire would rumble on. Leadership of his Sinaloa cartel has long been shared with Zambada, who has proven himself capable of running the organization in the past. This file photo dated July 10, 1993 shows drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán at the Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico, maximum-security prison. AFP/Gerardo Magallón/Files“During El Chapo’s imprisonment [between 1993 and 2001], El Mayo helped keep the Sinaloa cartel together,” said George Grayson, a drug war expert at the College of William and Mary who has written several books about Mexican cartels. “He will step into Chapo’s boots.”Zambada’s son, Vicente, is facing a federal grand jury indictment in Chicago, where prosecutors have named Guzmán “public enemy number one” — a title last held by Al Capone. It’s not clear if information gleaned from the younger Zambada, who claims that he was working as a Drug Enforcement Administration informant at the time of his 2009 arrest in Mexico City, was used to track down Guzmán.Guzmán’s arrest has the potential to bolster Peña Nieto’s image as a tough-on-crime leader. Since taking over more than a year ago, his administration sought to distance itself from the belligerent rhetoric of Calderón. Peña Nieto said reducing violence, rather than capturing drug lords, should be the priority. Some political observers speculated this meant some type of accommodation with certain drug gangs would follow.And yet, Peña Nieto has captured some of the biggest players in the game, including the Miguel Ángel Treviño Morales, known as Z-40, who ran the exceptionally violent Zetas cartel. Calderón congratulated Peña Nieto and leaders of the armed forces for the arrest in a tweet Saturday.“This is one of the most important achievements of the Peña Nieto administration in terms of the fight against organized crime,” Chabat said.Washington Post staff writer Ernesto Londoño in Washington contributed to this report.© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Comments Guzmán runs an organized crime empire that spans several continents and earns billions of dollars. Guzmán built a shipping and transport empire that plied air, sea and roads to sate the world’s demand for cocaine, heroin and marijuana. From Los Angeles warehouses to Chicago barrios, his employees criss-crossed America to supply their customers.His Sinaloa cartel is the grandfather of Mexican drug-running organizations, the wealthiest and most powerful corporation in the business, whose riches have corrupted generations of Mexican politicians and corroded the nation’s democracy.“He’s a legend,” said security analyst Jorge Chabat in Mexico City. “He is the jewel of the crown.”Mexican television broadcast photographs of a shirtless, mustachioed Guzmán looking down at the ground. News reports said he had been captured by members of the Mexican military on Friday night in a building known as “Miramar” in the resort town of Mazatlán. Dicen que fue @SEMAR_mx la que capturó a Guzmán Loera. Felicidades al Presidente Peña, al Srio. @AlmSoberon y a los marinos por este golpe.— Felipe Calderón (@FelipeCalderon) February 22, 2014 Reconozco la labor de las instituciones de seguridad del Estado mexicano, para lograr la aprehensión de Joaquín Guzmán Loera en Mazatlán.— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) February 22, 2014 MEXICO CITY – Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the man who supplied more illegal drugs to the United States than anyone else on Earth, was captured by the Mexican military without a shot Saturday morning in the Pacific coast town resort of Mazatlán, according to U.S. and Mexican authorities.The arrest of the world’s most wanted drug lord was electrifying news in Mexico and a major political victory for its president, Enrique Peña Nieto. On Saturday afternoon, Peña Nieto confirmed the capture in a tweet and thanked his security forces. “Congratulations to all,” he wrote. Related posts:As Mexico catches cartel boss, others wait in the wings Mexico’s latest flash point emerges in Tamaulipas border state Sinaloa drug cartel lives on despite ‘CEO’ El Chapo’s capture Judge approves extradition of Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmánlast_img read more


Guatemalan Supreme Court justice commits suicide

first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – Guatemalan Supreme Court Justice César Barrientos, known for revoking dozens of death penalty sentences in a single year, committed suicide Sunday, reportedly shooting himself in the head.Relatives said the incident occurred as Barrientos rode in the back of his car with two bodyguards, in the southwestern town of San Francisco Zapotitlán, according to local media.“I confirm that he arrived [at the hospital] with a shot to the temple, but later died of the wound,” fellow Justice Héctor Manfredo Maldonado told the state-run Guatemalan News Agency, known as AGN.In 2012, the Supreme Court’s criminal chamber, led by Barrientos, revoked 53 death-penalty sentences on the ground that they violated prisoners’ “due process” and replaced them with 50-year prison sentences, the maximum allowed in the country.The Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre reported that Barrientos attempted suicide a few months ago.Barrientos “spent most of his career working on justice issues and strengthening the Guatemalan legal framework, encouraging and directing major reforms in this sector,” the U.S. Embassy said in a Spanish-language statement.Human rights activists also expressed their regrets.Police and prosecutors are investigating the death. Facebook Comments Related posts:Turning a Mayan doll gift idea into a small business that helps communities Clash over development plans leaves 8 dead in Guatemala Guatemala’s Pérez Molina says he’s ‘calm’ as impeachment storm swirls around him Guatemala elections marred by tensions as parties herd voters to other constituencieslast_img read more

Masters Class athletes to compete in international championship

first_imgUnlike the occasional marathon runner or recreational soccer player, Masters Class athletes are generally serious and committed, training year-round and traveling from all over the world to participate in the games. Costa Rica boasts the largest number of participants, with 187 registrants, followed by Mexico with 111 and the United States with 85. While smaller Masters Class events regularly take place in Costa Rica, the NCCWMA Championship is a major event: The full roster includes 615 athletes, most of whom are 35-65 years old.While any city north of South America was qualified to host the NCCWMA Championship, San José won the bid, possibly because of new and attractive facilities of the National Stadium, completed only three years ago. All events will take place in and around the stadium, where three action-packed days of shot put, relays, races, and triples jumps will unfold, plus countless other activities.One event will particularly embrace the championship’s Costa Rican setting. The 10K race will thread its way through San José, cutting through residential neighborhoods and looping through San Rafael de Escazú. See what this looks like the following NCCWMA video: Related posts:Master’s Track championship kicks off in San José 10 images from Costa Rica’s hard-fought victory over Paraguay Sloth Kong says ‘Thank you, La Sele’ Costa Rica set to host track and field championships The NCCWMA Championship takes place Aug. 21-24 at The National Stadium, La Sabana Park, San José. For a full calendar of events, visit the 2014 NCCWMA Championship page. Facebook Commentscenter_img They can sprint, hurdle, and throw hammers. They can pole vault, hurl javelins and discuses, run a 10K, and splash through a steeplechase. For the pentathlon alone, they can ride horses, swim, fence, fire rifles, and run cross-country.Based on these abilities, you might expect a pack of young athletes, fresh out of high school. But the stars of the NCCWMA Championship are all 30 years and older – and some are well into their 80s.NCCWMA stands for North, Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics Championship, and the event is like a mini-Olympics for the Western Hemisphere, starring only “Masters Class” athletes. Last held in New Brunswick, Canada, in 2012, the NCCWMA championship will descend on the National Stadium in La Sabana Park on Thursday, Aug. 21.“We’ve got an athlete from Japan, two or three from the Netherlands, people from all over the world,” said Jim Procter, a 74-year-old runner, during a conversation with The Tico Times last week. Originally from Texas, Procter moved to Costa Rica 40 years ago, but he didn’t become seriously involved in running until he sold a hotel he owned and had to occupy his time.“I’m addicted,” admitted Procter, who visits La Sabana’s race track at 6 a.m., five mornings a week, to train. “You think you’re 30 years old, and you’re not. Your mind says yes, but your body says, ‘Forget it.’ But I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a better time this year than last year.”While Proctor is only one of the many Master Class athletes in Costa Rica, he is also driven and competitive, and boasts a big personality. He is a major proponent of Masters Class athletics and has strong opinions about its health benefits. The Tico Times met with Procter last year to talk about his experience as a mature athlete. Watch him in action here:last_img read more

Costa Ricas Tropic Bowl brings American football down south

first_imgIn a country where the three most popular pastimes arefútbol, watching fútbol, and arguing about fútbol, Saturday brings another venture into the sport’s pigskin-laced counterpart from the north.The sixth annual Tropic Bowl, Costa Rica’s biggest American football event, returns Saturday with a full day of action planned at Ernesto Rohrmoser Stadium in the Pavas district of San José.Football kicks off at noon with a training session for youth and female athletes. Then, at 2 p.m., the Costa Rican women’s all-star team, which consists of the Pérez Zeledón Angels and the Olympian Goddesses of San José, will play against the Vikingas of Honduras.Despite historic struggles to get women’s American football popularized in Central America, both rosters are expected to have more than two dozen players each. The Costa Rican women’s American football all-star team will face the Vikingas of Honduras on Saturday. Robert Isenberg/The Tico TimesThe main event at 5 p.m. features the Costa Rican All-Stars against the North East All-Stars, whose players are based out of a semi-pro football league in the United States. In last year’s game, the Boston, Massachusetts-based North East All-Stars beat the Tico side 18-0.Athletes Without Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering healthy lifestyle alternatives to young people coming from marginalized backgrounds, is again sponsoring the Tropic Bowl. Related posts:Costa Rican soccer star Raquel Rodríguez: It’s time to talk about equal pay Ironman competition to be held in Costa Rica for first time ever WATCH: Raquel Rodríguez’s first professional score is a beauty Costa Rican footballer Álvaro Saborío suddenly retires due to ‘unfair insults’ Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tourism entrepreneurs oppose license royalty payments to canopy patent holder

first_imgRelated posts:Construction of Discovery Costa Rica set to begin in 2018 Only 17 cantons will enforce dry law during Holy Week Tourism Chamber: Please support businesses outside Poás safety perimeter Renovation of Hotel Costa Rica sparks criticism A new chapter has begun in a long-running Costa Rican tourism business controversy: The Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court, orSala I, has ruled that the Canadian national Darren Hreniuk is the sole owner of the exclusive rights of commercial explotation in Costa Rica of ziplining, or canopy. Hreniuk patented the recreational system widely used by many tourism businesses.In a ruling announced last week, justices affirmed that the patent should be returned to Hreniuk, after the National Registry in 2004 withdrew it following a lengthy legal process.Hreniuk said he built the first canopy system in the early 90s in Monteverde. In 1996, he applied for a patent on the system, and the National Registry granted him the exclusive patent rights for 20 years starting on Oct. 20, 1998.He patented what he described as a “gravity-propelled top forest transportation system, using harnesses and pulleys over a simple horizontal line, known as a canopy.”Legal complaintIn 2001, a group of tourism entrepreneurs who had built their own canopy systems and begun to offer tours asked that the patent be revoked. The National Registry accepted the petition, but later an Administrative Court reverted the patent cancellation, arguing that it had several procedural errors.The National Registry corrected all those errors and in 2004 canceled the patent again. Hreniuk then appealed the Administrative Court ruling with a lawsuit against the State of Costa Rica and all companies offering canopy tours here.On May 19, Sala I Justices ruled in favor of Hreniuk. The ruling also said that the State of Costa Rica will have to compensate him for the economic damage caused since 2005.The exact figure of the compensation will be estimated and disclosed by experts in coming months. Darren Hreniuk claims Costa Rica’s National Registry granted him an exclusive patent for exclusive commercial exploitation of canopy systems for 20 years starting on Oct. 20, 1998. (Courtesy of Darren Hreniuk)Licenses and royaltiesHreniuk’s lawyer, Jorge Mario Marín, said in a public statement that the “illegal cancellation of the patent prevented his client from the exclusive commercial exploitation of his invention.” It also prevented him from collecting royalties from all tourism companies that have been profiting from his invention, he said.As a patent holder, Hreniuk now demands that owners of all canopy businesses operating in Costa Rica apply for a license to keep offering their tours. They will also have to negotiate with him the payment of royalties, which he has set at $15 for every foreign tourist and $10 for locals.Marín noted that business owners have 15 business days, starting June 1, to file a request for a commercial license. Otherwise they will be exposed to legal actions ranging from the removal of all websites promoting the tours, to the closure of their businesses, the lawyer said.Tourism sector opposes paymentsIsabel Vargas, president of the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), said that the ruling will hurt not only adventure tourism businesses but the entire tourism sector in the country.“This situation seriously affects tourism: there are more than 100 companies offering canopy tours, and Costa Rica is widely recognized as a big adventure tourism destination,” Vargas said in a written response.CANATUR leaders and legal advisers met with a group of some 50 tourism entrepreneurs on Thursday to discuss the situation. The group agreed that at this time, they “will not contact Hreniuk to negotiate licenses or the payment of royalties.”Chamber leaders also called on all entrepreneurs to refrain from taking individual actions or contacting Hreniuk until its lawyers issue a full technical evaluation of the ruling.They also recommended waiting for the legal actions that CANATUR will introduce in the coming days to oppose Hreniuk’s intentions to collect royalties on each person taking a canopy tour here.“Entrepreneurs are very, very concerned about the consequences of collecting royalties from their tariffs,” Vargas said.Chamber leaders and business owners will meet again this coming Thursday to define legal actions they will take in order to protect their businesses.According to Hreniuk’s lawyer, his client holds patent rights not only in Costa Rica, but also in the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica and Belize, and the team is also amid negotiations with Caribbean cruise ship companies in order to demand the use only of canopy systems built by Hreniuk. CANATUR leaders and legal advisers met with a group tourist entrepreneurs on June 1 to discuss the implications of the Sala I ruling and the possible actions they will take. (Via CANATUR)Canopy invention CANATUR’s Vargas said that at last week’s meeting, entrepreneurs dismissed Hreniuk’s claims about the invention of canopy.“Some of them said there is no extraordinary invention regarding something that has historically been practiced here and in many other parts of the world for decades,” she said.In 2015, The Tico Times published the story of Donald Perry, a California grad student who pioneered new methods for climbing into and moving around the rain forest canopy. Pictures of him using a ziplining system appear on his 1986 book, “Life Above the Jungle Floor.”“In 1979 I used three emergent trees to build the world’s first canopy zipline at Finca La Selva,” he told The Tico Times in an email. “It was made with a thousand feet of rope.”The 2015 piece recounted that Hreniuk approached Perry with the idea of putting in ziplines at a local lodge around 1994. However, Perry, focused on more sophisticated ways of moving people through the canopy, wasn’t interested in building more ziplines.Perry was even called as a witness when Hreniuk sued other canopy operators for infringement.“Darren was there, saying, ‘I invented them,’” Perry recalled. “I said, ‘You didn’t invent them, I invented them. And they’re in the public domain.’”Read the full story: Was Recreational Ziplining Really Invented In Costa Rica? Yes, Indeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed Facebook Commentslast_img read more


NATO 202 Afghan bases closed more to come

first_img Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Comments   Share   Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – NATO has closed more than 200 bases in Afghanistan and transferred nearly 300 others to local forces, a concrete step toward its 2014 target of handing over security responsibility, NATO officers said Sunday.All 202 closed facilities were small, ranging from isolated checkpoints to bases of a dozen to 300 soldiers, said Lt. Col. David Olson, a NATO forces spokesman. Most of the closures have been along the country’s main highways, spread across nearly every province, Olson said. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project ___Associated Press writer Heidi Vogt contributed.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Another 282 bases of the same size have been handed over to the Afghan government, he said.That means international forces now operate about half as many bases in Afghanistan as in October of 2011, when they ran about 800 bases.The closures are part of the large-scale drawdown over this year and next as international forces prepare to transfer security tasks to the Afghan government at the end of 2014. Most of the troops that are leaving are American, and therefore most of the closures are U.S. bases.“As our Afghan security force partners take more responsibility for their own security, more bases will be closing and transitioning,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Shapiro, who is heading up the operation to return or hand over U.S. equipment. He said that so far the U.S. government has given about 20,000 pieces of equipment worth about $3 million to the Afghan government, ranging from chairs to large generators.“Our footprint here will continue to shrink,” Shapiro told reporters at a briefing about how non-military equipment is being processed as numbers of American forces decrease.The U.S. started drawing down forces from a peak of nearly 103,000 last year and plans to have 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by October. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technologylast_img read more


Rights lawyers harassed as China hails rule of law

first_img Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system BEIJING (AP) – About 200 thugs harassed lawyers and relatives of three civil rights activists outside a courthouse in eastern China on Wednesday, as top judges in the capital marked the anniversary of China’s constitution by hailing the rule of law.The three activists were standing trial in the city of Xinyu on illegal assembly charges that supporters say were trumped up to punish them for being part of a group that urges citizens to embrace their constitutional rights. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The three are part of the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of campaigners who have lobbied for officials to declare their assets to help curb corruption. Participants have held small, peaceful demonstrations and organized dinner parties.The three activists are accused of “illegal assembly” _ a charge their lawyers say stems from a photo of them holding signs calling for the release of other protesters _ and other charges.A woman surnamed Peng who answered the phone at the Xinyu public security bureau said police had not received any reports of anyone being harassed at the courthouse.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories The trial’s second day, ironically, coincided with the 31st anniversary of China’s constitution, and top judges in Beijing marked the day with pledges to promote the rule of law and judicial transparency.In Xinyu, lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said the thugs surrounded six attorneys and the defendants’ relatives as they approached the court, hurling abuse _ and clumps of mud _ at them. The court barred most of the public from attending the trial.“They called us traitors, scumbags and hooligans,” Pu said. “Today is China’s constitution’s anniversary. But we see how Xinyu is treating us. None of our rights have been respected.”At this time last year, newly appointed Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who is now China’s president, marked the anniversary of the constitution by pledging to uphold the rights of Chinese citizens and urging officials to build confidence in the law.Xi’s remarks last December prompted the country’s liberal intellectuals, activists and others to advocate that China adopt constitutionalism _ in which the government’s power is restricted by the country’s laws.The three Xinyu activists _ Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua _ are among those who sought to push the party’s new leadership to live by the promises laid out in the constitution, which guarantees freedoms of speech, assembly, religion and other rights that in reality are rarely protected in China. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more


Greek Premier Elections or referendum out of the question

first_imgATHENS, Greece (AP) — A government official says Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has told senior aides to “forget about elections or a referendum,” whatever the outcome of the country’s talks with creditors.The official said Tsipras told four senior ministers Friday that his government, elected last January, has a fresh popular mandate and that “people have trusted us to take crucial decisions and manage the difficulties.” How do cataracts affect your vision? Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories center_img The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks, on Saturday quoted Tsipras as saying his government would deal with an agreement with creditors “however difficult the compromise.” Alternatively, “if Europe insists on a split and the continuation of subservience,” it would fight “for dignity and national sovereignty.”Greece agreed on the resumption of talks Friday under intense pressure from creditors.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 0 Comments   Share   New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more


Dubai Airport leads world with 92 passenger growth

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Dubai International Airport experienced a 9.2 percent growth in passenger numbers last year. Bucking the trend of declining air travel in much of the rest of the world, Dubai International Airport recorded a total of 40.9 million passengers in 2009. These impressive figures have helped the airport cement its position as one of the world’s fastest growing airports for international passengers. “If we can set records in a tough economic environment, the sky is the limit for what we can achieve when conditions improve,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum (ck), the chairman of Dubai Airports and CEO of Emirates Airline. According to the Airports Council International, only three other airports managed to report increases – Istanbul, with 6.3 percent, Kuala Lumpur, with 4.6 percent and Cairo with 1.5 percent growth.This year, Dubai Airports expects the growth to continue and is projecting 13.6 per cent growth, to 46 million passengers.last_img read more


China Eastern aims to enter SkyTeam by mid2011

first_imgChina Eastern has just formally announced its intentions to enter SkyTeam, saying it is aiming for full integration into the airline alliance by the middle of next year.After months of speculation as to which airline alliance it would pick, China Eastern has finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SkyTeam, becoming the alliance’s second Mainland Chinese carrier along with China Southern.With this signing, the three largest carriers in China have all committed themselves to an airline alliance, leaving oneworld the only alliance without a major Chinese player – though it does include Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary of Dragonair within its ranks.“Today, China Eastern has taken an important step towards its future growth and the SkyTeam members are honoured to be part of this journey,” said Leo van Wijk, SkyTeam Governing Board Chairman.“I cannot emphasize the importance of China’s position in the global economy enough and increasing our network presence in this rapidly growing and dynamic part of the world will bring more benefits to both our members and customers.”Bringing its 150 domestic and international destinations to the SkyTeam global network, China Eastern’s hub in Shanghai compliments existing member China Southern’s hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing.“For China Eastern Airlines, joining SkyTeam is the just way leading to a globalized market, which will provide wider space for growth. It offers rare opportunities to absorb successful experiences and realize great-leap-forward developments,” said Liu Shaoyong, China Eastern Chairman. SkyTeam cabin crew. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.Xlast_img read more


Eclipse welcomed into Celebrity lineup and sent out on rescue missio

first_imgHandover ceremony of Celebrity Eclipse. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X Celebrity Cruises has welcomed its newest ship, the 122,000 tonne Celebrity Eclipse, into its fleet this week and instead of taking off on its inaugural welcoming sailing, has been dispatched on a rescue mission for stranded European travellers.Instead of travelling to the United Kingdom on her inaugural launch celebrations, the brand new cruise ship is now working with British wholesalers assisting UK holidaymakers who have been stranded in Northern Europe due to the volcanic eruptions in Iceland.Departing 9am on the Tuesday the 20th, the ship will journey to Bilbao in Spain where it is estimated that 2,000 passengers will be picked up in order to return to Southampton late Friday evening.“The events affecting air travel are completely unprecedented, and it is in times like these that the global travel industry needs to pull together,” said Richard Fain, parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Chairman and CEO.“Collecting stranded British and Irish holidaymakers is a fitting first mission for new ship Celebrity Eclipse – what better way for a ship dedicated to the UK to mark her arrival?”Officially handed over from shipbuilder Meyer Werft on the 15th of April, the brand new Celebrity Eclipse is the third of five Solstice-Class ships that Celebrity Cruises has commissioned.The 2,850-guest Celebrity Eclipse is still scheduled to be formally named in a ceremony to be held on the 24th of April and will enter service on the 26th.  But a two night launch cruise scheduled for the 22nd will now not take place.Currently Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox are the two Solstice-Class ships in operation, with Celebrity Silhouette and an unnamed fifth ship still to be delivered.last_img read more


Darwin airport parks for passengers

first_imgIncreased arrivals and departures have prompted Darwin International Airport to build a new long-term car park.Offering parking for more than 16 hours and located 450 meters from the terminal on Pedersen Road, the car park has been designed to free up the short-term car park, Darwin International Airport newsletter reported.The airport has also arranged for a free shuttle bus to run from the long-term car park to the terminal every 20 minutes during peak hour 10am-7pm and 10pm-7am, however between 20 April and 26 April the free shuttle bus requires booking six hours in advance. Meanwhile from 30 June this year, for transportation from the terminal to the long-term car park passengers will need to see the Airport Shuttle Bus driver at the front of the terminal. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more


APT connects in Travelscene award

first_imgAPT was awarded the Stay Connected Supplier of the Year award at the recent Travelscene American Express network conference in Santa Monica. The award is voted on by the Travelscene American Express network and covers all Travelscene suppliers.APT CEO, Chris Hall (pictured here left at the presentation with Damian Borg, Head of Product at Travelscene American Express and APT National Sales Manager, Susan Haberle) said APT was committed to the retail agency industry as its core business channel.“And we intend to stay very connected to the Travelscene American Express network,” he said. Source = APTlast_img read more


Etihad looks to buy into Jet Airways

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Etihad Airways has reportedly set its sights on the Indian aviation market, with reports that the carrier is close to buying nearly 24 percent of Jet Airways. Confirming the arrangement, a top civil aviation ministry functionary said the two airlines have been in talks for months and expects the deal to be concluded within 45 days, Business Standard reported. Although Jet Airways said it did not have “adequate information” to comment, Etihad chief executive James Hogan said earlier this year the airline saw “opportunity” in Asia and India. Etihad has already made its mark across the Asia-Pacific this year, purchasing a ten percent stake in Virgin Australia. last_img read more