Archive for December, 1997

Christmas In Hawaii’s Webspace – Hawaiian holiday gifts online

December 1, 1997

With the scary costumes and surplus leftover turkey put away, our attention must focus in on the holiday to come. No time for rest, Christmas shopping and all of its gravy-stained horror awaits us.

Sleigh rides, snow angels and Jack Frost. Sometimes it’s a little hard to imagine what Christmas is like in Hawai`i. Not a snow flake in the sky, nor a fireplace to keep us warm.

Sure living in Hawai`i brings nothing but blue skies and sunny weather (what torture), but there are those days – especially during the Christmas season – when one wants to experience an authentic Christmas, complete with torrential sleet and temperatures in the “minuses.”

What say we take a journey (with Rudolph leading of course) to the web sites on the ‘net that help us endure these trying times.
How about ordering a Hawaiian Christmas album from the people at Hawaiian Music Island? Although not locally hosted, the album collection at this web site is quite extensive. Following a specially created “Christmas Albums” button takes you to a collection of Hawaiian Christmas albums from such artists as Hapa, Kapena, Willie K, Teresa Bright and The Brothers Cazimero.
Creating a special “Christmas 1997” section, Island Gifts Direct sells everything from Hawaiian greeting cards, music, books, videos and even food for your holiday needs. Complete with Christmas icons, green and red fonts and online ordering, IGD is prepared for the holiday rush.
How about one for the keiki’s? This site features a musical drama for children called “Christmas in Hawaii,” a story about a family from Manatoka, Minnesota trying to cope with experiencing the holidays in Hawai`i. Taken from the web site, “Christmas in Hawaii” is described as follows: “… Follow the Johnson family, Stanley, Jane, Missy and Steve to Oahu, Hawaii as they meet brand new friends, discover ancient Hawaiian customs, but most important of all, find the true meaning of Christmas. Experience the retelling of the birth of Christ through the eyes of native Hawaiians. Hear ‘Silent Night’ and ‘The First Noel’ as never before while you witness the stirring ‘torch’ processional prior to the Hawaiian Blessing and Feast.”

Retailing for just $9.95, this gift is sure to please the kids, as well as the pocket.
For us older “kids,” we can challenge a Hawaiian boat cruise. GalaxSea Cruises and Tours offer this “Mele Kalikimaka” cruise package for a December 20th departure.
Just because it is Christmas, that doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves to a nice gift every so often. Equipped with this link, we can toss that shopping list out the door and reward ourselves with Hawaii Winter League Baseball game tickets and information to our heart’s content.
How would the children of Moanalua Elementary School decorate a palm tree for Christmas? Look at their interpretations here.

The rest:
Order holiday popcorn with Christmas tin can designs.
Hawai`i-specific tree ornaments can be ordered here.
The Aloha Tower Marketplace Web Site.
The Ala Moana Web Site.


Hawaii Newsnet – Newsgroups offer much for the local Web Surfer

December 1, 1997

One of the most captivating uses of the Internet is communicating to other “netizens” who share your common interests. Collectively informing, sharing and partaking in stimulating conversations always play a big role in building human development. So why not online?

In electronic mail, your communication is limited to the size of your electronic black book. Whatever Email addresses you have within your possession will be your circle of conversation. No email, no talk.

Web browsing is great. You can search in your favorite engine for your preferred topic and go straight to the interesting web site. But who can you talk to? Aside from the webmaster of that page, the only conversation that will result from this site is you reading the text of the page aloud.

Chats, MUDs, MOOs, etc. The list goes on, but nothing can quite compare to the experience and beneficial dialogue of a good, hearty USENET Newsgroup.

The PC Webopaedia web site ( defines a “newsgroup” as “an on-line discussion group”, going on to say that there are “literally thousands of newsgroups covering every conceivable interest.” In other words, whatever your interests may be, you are sure to find a newsgroup that fits it.

Living in Hawai`i is hot party conversation in itself. You know there has to be a newsgroup or two with Hawai`i themes in mind. Well, surprise, there are more than just one or two out there. In fact, there are more than 20 out there, with some more active in participation than the others are.

What follows is a listing of some of the Hawai`i-related newsgroups one can browse (dependent on your provider) to tickle one’s fancy, as well as a few quotes from the people who “hang out” there.

One of the more open discussion about Hawai`i and it’s wonderful culture. Flames and commercial SPAMMING are common here (as with almost any other newsgroup), but substantial content finds it’s way here often as well. Browsing through the messages brought up such varied topics as a request for ukulele sheet music and an announcement for the Island Bash ’97 in Texas. Browsers who are not from Hawai`i especially enjoy this newsgroup as it is a means to keep in touch with the islands. Grant Sakomoto states, “I went to a private high school and then a mainland college, so I find reading articles by others to be interesting and informative. It’s a different aspect than just reading the Star Bulletin or Advertiser.” “Mel” tends to disagree saying that alt.culture.hawaii, ” has earned a reputation as being a hangout for spammers, and online kooks who are well known to Hawaii newsgroup readers and posters.”

The only moderated newsgroup of Hawai`i. Why moderated? Well, Nathan Yuen (one of the five moderators of this group), explains, “SCH was created in 12/23/95 (thereabouts) to provide a spam-free and noise-free forum to discuss topics that are relevant to Hawaii.” Being moderated, it filters out the irrelevant posts and keeps the relative topics flowing. “Albert the Panther” explains soc.culture.hawaii as “still the best place for any serious discussion of Hawai`i-related topics.” SCH also has it’s own web site which can be found at
It’s all in the name. This newsgroup contains posts and hot conversations in regards to Hawaiian music. This group is known to be a favorite hangout for locals in the Hawaiian music industry, like KCCN’s Billy Van Osdol and musician BB Shawn, and even the late Israel Kamakawiwo`ole. “There has been an extended flame war in there in recent months, but despite that static it remains the best place for news of music performances, recordings and reviews of what has taken place. It is read by far more local musicians than one would guess from the list of active participants and has a substantial influence on what happens in the local community of musicians, even to the point of influencing what is being recorded. It is unlikely Israel Kamakawiwo`ole would have included ‘Hi`ilawe’ on his last CD if not for,” expresses “Albert the Panther” of the group.

For the technically inclined, this newsgroup offers the latest news on or about Hawai`i’s Internet Service Providers, as well as the many interesting controversies surrounding them. With that many “techies” in there battling it out, it often gets very “hairy.” John Engelhart explains about the group and why he hangs out there: “I’ve been one of the many people to occupy the position of “Head Network/SysAdmin” person at GST/Hawaii Online. I’ve also done a number of other things in the Hawaii Internet community. That’s why I hang out in that group, lots of other people in the Hawaii Internet community go there and pow-wow. Well, sometimes it’s a flame fest, but that hasn’t changed since the early 80’s.. :)”
This newsgroup is sees relatively less SPAM than the other groups. Many local recipes can be found here as well a good conversation. What kind of people can you expect to find here? “I subscribe to about 15 of the Hawaii newsgroups. I read each about once a week. I find them useful, entertaining and helpful for the tourist, the Internet tourist and the locals. I think the newsgroups provide a great outlet for the local people here to discuss what’s on their minds from cooking, to Hawaiian history, to local sports, to night life,” says newsgroup regular Edward Codelia.

Other Hawai`i-related newsgroups to mention are, hawaii.announce, hawaii.expatriates, hawaii.nortle and hawaii.sports. For a complete listing of all of Hawai`i’s newsgroups, go to