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Newsgroup Announcements: Bonaire Talk E-Talker Newsletter
Bonaire Talk: Newsgroup Announcements: Bonaire Talk E-Talker Newsletter
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Newsgroup Moderator on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 4:44 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

We just published the first ever Bonaire Talk E-Talker Newsletter - via e-mail to all our members. See below for the contents (in case you're not registered):


Welcome to the Premiere Issue of the Bonaire Talk E-Talker Newsletter!

The E-Talker Newsletter will be sent out occasionally to those folks registered as users of, and will also be posted in the Newsgroup Announcements section of BonaireTalk.

In This Issue:

- BonaireTalk Short-Cuts
- Using Topic Filters When Searching
- Support Bonaire Needs Your Old Equipment
- Hot Topics: Flying ALM (or not!)
- Hot Tip: Cutting Down on BonaireTalk E-Mails
- Hot Tip: Making the Most of New Messages
- Happy Halloween
- History & Statistics

BonaireTalk Short-Cuts

It's not common knowledge, but BonaireTalk offers some shortcuts for folks trying to get to specific top-level topics - these are particularly useful if you have a favorite topic and happen to be away from your own computer (where you might have bookmarks to your favorite topics saved). The shortcuts are accessed as follows:

Where SHORTCUT is the following (and is all lower-case):

ShortcutBonaireTalk Topic Destination
announceNewsgroup Announcements
divingDiving & Snorkeling
natureBonaire's Nature Organizations
onGetting Around Bonaire
otherEverything Else
sailWindsurfing & Sailing
sbiSupport Bonaire
snorkelingDiving & Snorkeling
supportSupport Bonaire (for those who can't remember sbi :-) )
toGetting To Bonaire
tripsTrip Reports
usingUsing the Newsgroup Software
webcamsBonaire WebCams Discussions
windsurfWindsurfing & Sailing

So, for example, to go to the "Getting To Bonaire" section, you'd use:

Another use of these shortcuts is on your own Web pages, where you may want to link to a particular topic on BonaireTalk - this short form is a lot easier than the actual address, and it works just as well.

Using Topic Filters When Searching

One complaint we've heard from newcomers to BonaireTalk is that much of the conversation appears to be dominated by the Bonaire WebCams. If one measures message volume, certainly the Bonaire WebCams discussion message traffic is the highest, but with the BonaireTalk Newsgroup software running on our server, it's very easy to look for new messages and at the same time, ignore topics you may not be interested (even the Bonaire WebCams).

There are two ways to manage this:

1) If you click on the New Messages icon in the BonaireTalk toolbar (which is at the bottom of every regular BonaireTalk page), you can specify which topic to perform a new message search in, but this means you have to keep coming back to selecting new topics, as you can only select one topic at a time.

2) Go into your User Profile (another icon in the BonaireTalk Tool Bar), and use your user ID and password to log in. Once there, click on the "Preferences" option, and make sure that the "Remember my username and password in a cookie" option has a checkmark in the box. Then scroll down a bit, and indicate which of the BonaireTalk topics are ones you consider your favorites. Click the "Save this Information" button to save these settings. Now you can go back to "New Messages" (in the toolbar), and the "All Topics" options will have changed to showing "My favorite topics" instead. Select the proper search time frame, click "Search" and you'll find that only the favorite topics you selected in your User Profile are included in the search.

See more below on another tip for improving your use of the New Messages function.

Support Bonaire Needs Your Old Equipment

As some of you may be aware, we, the moderators of BonaireTalk, Jake & Linda Richter, recently launched a new U.S. non-profit organization called Support Bonaire, Inc. (see The purpose of the organization is to allow U.S. taxpayers to donate to support various Bonairean charitable efforts and projects, and get an IRS-approved tax deduction for such contributions.

We realize (even in our own case), as Americans that cash is tight - all of our charitable cash contributions for the year after Sept. 11, 2001, have gone to U.S. charities involved in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, such as the American Red Cross and And we expect the same is the case with many of our fellow Americans. However, there is another way to help support Bonaire, even before the year is out, and that would be via the contribution of various used goods which Bonairean non-profit efforts could put to good use. Examples of what we have seen requests for include (all in usable condition):

- Snorkel gear - primarily for children and teenagers, as part of various educational programs for local kids.

- Computer equipment - working PCs of any form and shape, as well as peripherals such as modems, monitors, mice, and especially, printers. So far we've been approached by several non-profits for help in this area, including two environmental groups and another which deals with helping foster disadvantaged children from broken homes (Maria Hoppner Foundation).

- Computer software - for above computers as well as others which have already been donated - must be legal copies.

- Dog supplies - the Bonaire Animal Shelter is in need of 1" wide collars and leashes for big dogs, "Frontline" brand flea/tick Spot On treatment and prevention, and Dromtal Deworming Tablets.

- Christmas Presents for Kids - The Maria Hoppner Foundation, which takes in children from broken homes and provides foster care, currently has 12 boys and 4 girls under their care, ages 5 - 14 (most older than 9). If you would like to help make a Bonairean's child's Christmas extra special, consider contributing something which would make a nice present for one of these kids. If you want more information, contact the foundation at

Any and all of the above items can be shipped to:

Support Bonaire, Inc.
c/o AMCAR Freight
7700 NW 81st Place, Ste. 01
Miami, FL 33166

Phone (for FedEx/UPS purposes): 305-599-8866

Shipments intended to reach Bonaire before the end of the year must arrive in Miami no later than December 4, 2001.

If you are shipping any of the above goods, please e-mail with a description of what you're sending and what you estimate the value to be so we can document it for shipment and for Bonaire customs. Once the goods reach Bonaire, we'll evaluate the used items, and send you a receipt you can present to the IRS. Please make sure to label all boxes with your sender name and address, and include the same in your e-mail to us. Should you be donating new items, please e-mail us the value, or better yet, if you can, FAX them to Support Bonaire at 703-783-1315 (Virginia number). Indicate in your e-mail to us whether you'd prefer to remain anonymous, or if we can publicly thank you for your contribution.

If you don't have any of the above items to contribute, consider a monetary contribution to help cover the costs of shipping all the donated items to Bonaire and paying for the duties on the goods when they get here.

Also, if you're an American taxpayer and own a vehicle on Bonaire, and it's in reasonable shape, and you want to get rid of it, consider donating it to Support Bonaire in exchange for a tax deduction. Many of Bonaire's non-profits are in serious need of transportation in any form.

If you want to get updates similar to this particular message, about what organizations on Bonaire are looking for and how you might be able to help, either via donations of goods or money, or by volunteering a little of your time, we ask that you please sign up for Support Bonaire's free newsletter at:

Thank you in advance for your help. And, in case you're wondering what this has to do with BonaireTalk, you'll find discussions pertaining to Support Bonaire, Inc. at:

Hot Topics: Flying ALM (or not!)

As some BonaireTalk contributors will tell you, flying the national carrier of the Netherlands Antilles, Air ALM, is a questionable proposition. Well, in the last month it's become a potential costly proposition as ALM tickets are not being honored by most international carriers. That's because ALM itself stop operating flights on October 15, 2001, but a sister company, Dutch Caribbean Express/Airlines took over all of ALM's routes, and claimed it would honor all ALM tickets. Reports from BonaireTalkers indicate that even this isn't the case anymore. See the following threads for more information:

"Help, ALM left us stranded..."


"ALM & United"

"No more Curacao to Bonaire via ALM"

"Any ALM News?"

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Also on October 15th, American Eagle started three times daily service between Bonaire and Aruba, and with Aruba being a major regional hub, it opens up lots of options. This adds to the four times weekly flights American Eagle flies to/from San Juan, and the three times weekly flights Air Jamaica offers to/from Montego Bay.

And starting this week (November 1st or so) is a new high speed ferry service between Bonaire and neighboring Curacao. Check out photos of the new ferry and the current schedule:


Hot Tip: Cutting Down on BonaireTalk E-Mails

We occasionally get e-mails from BonaireTalk members who complain about the large volume of e-mail messages they've been getting from the BonaireTalk Newsgroup. We'd like to note that this E-Talker is the first e-mail that we've ever sent en masses to BonaireTalk members. All other e-mails are ones that are automatically generated by the newsgroup software and sent out to users based on those users' User Profile E-mail Notification settings.

So, if you're suffering from e-mail overload, or going on a trip and don't want your mailbox overflowing with BonaireTalk messages, simply log into your User Profile (see the icon for "User Profile" in the BonaireTalk toolbar at the bottom of most every BonaireTalk page), click on "E-mail Notification", check or un-check the various boxes as you need, and then scroll down to "Save this Information" and click that. You may also make exceptions in a given topic where you may not want copies of all new postings, just in some sub-topics, by clicking on "Select by Subtopic" (may take a minute or two to display the complete list of subtopics).

Hot Tip: Making the Most of New Messages

We've been doing quite a bit of traveling this year, and often it's been impossible to keep up with BonaireTalk during the trip. So, when we get home, we use the New Messages function (see the BonaireTalk Tool Bar and the New Messages icon) to get a list of all messages since the last time we checked BonaireTalk. We make that Web browser window smaller, put it at the bottom of our display, and then instead of directly clicking on each new thread to read it, we click the right mouse button (doesn't work for Mac or WebTV viewers this way, sorry), and select the "Open in New Window" function, often for several different topics in a row. Then, as they all load up, we use the Windows taskbar (that line of buttons at the bottom of the screen) to switch between all the BonaireTalk topic windows we've opened up to read them, possibly respond, and ultimately close them.

The benefit of doing this, whether you've been away from BonaireTalk for an hour or a month, is that you never have to close or regenerate the contents of your New Message window - it's always open and ready for another right click. Just make sure to note the time you first generated the New Message window so you can go back and check for any postings that came in after you searched and viewed a thread.

The purpose of moving the New Messages window down to the bottom of the computer screen is that Internet Explorer will then automatically open new windows at the top of the screen, since there's no space below the New Messages window.

Try it - you might find it useful.

If you have any cool tips which make your BonaireTalk use go easier, please drop a note to

Happy Halloween

We'd like to wish all of our fellow Bonaire Talkers a hauntingly boo-tiful All Hallows Eve (assuming you celebrate it). For an example of how Bonaire Talkers and their offspring have celebrated Halloween in past years, check out the following thread, and help update it after Wednesday, October 31st, with your own pictures:

"Halloween Pictures"

History & Statistics

The BonaireTalk Newsgroup was first launched as part of InfoBonaire, in July of 1999. In April of 2000, the newsgroup gained significantly in visitation, coincident with initial test period of the Bonaire WebCams (, when it was disclosed that captures from the WebCams could be posted in the newsgroup.

On September 14th, due to increasing popularity, server load issues, and politics, NetTech N.V. spun BonaireTalk off from InfoBonaire and made it a completely independent discussion area. Since then BonaireTalk has become Bonaire's second most visited Web site (the Bonaire WebCams are the top visited Bonaire site).

As of October 30, 2001, BonaireTalk has 2,481 registered users (this number will likely drop a bit once this Newsletter's mailing goes out and we start collecting a list of out-dated e-mail addresses on registrations, which will result in the deletion of those registrations), has 35,282 active messages on it, and sees an average of over 800 visitors a day.

It should be noted that while some advertising is offered on BonaireTalk (at the bottom of each page there's a banner ad), the Web site generates no practical revenue and is mainly a contribution to those who enjoy Bonaire and want to share it with others. However, should someone wish to advertise (and thereby indirectly help support BonaireTalk), they may wish to visit :-)


The BonaireTalk E-Talker Newsletter is e-mailed to all registered users of BonaireTalk. Should you wish to no longer receive these missives, which will be coming out 3-6 times a year, you need to notify us at so we can delete your registration record, as there is no way to selectively filter or designate individual registrations as wanting or not wanting to receive these e-mails. Comments about the newsletter or BonaireTalk should be posted in the appropriate topic at:

BonaireTalk is completely owned and operated by NetTech N.V., Bonaire's Official Web Site Developer, and moderated by NetTech owners, Jake and Linda Richter. BonaireTalk is not in any way connected to any governmental or private sector tourism efforts on Bonaire, to ensure that BonaireTalk remains an open place for the exchange of messages about Bonaire.
All contents Copyright (c) 2001 by NetTech N.V. - All Rights Reserved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Newsgroup Moderator on Friday, November 2, 2001 - 4:54 pm:     Edit PostPrint Post

It appears that our mailserver didn't properly clean out its queue, and when we restarted it after making a small addressing change, it reinitiated a complete remail of the first issue of the BonaireTalk E-Talker to all the original addresses (even the ones we had removed after they requested it). We managed to stop it, but not before it sent out to about half of the list of registered BonaireTalk users.

That half will see a duplicate of the newsletter in their mailbox.

We apologize profusely for this problem, and have taken steps to try and ensure this accident won't recur.

Thank you for understanding, and again, our apologies.

Jake & Linda Richter


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