Mystery auditorium on South King
I read in the Star-Bulletin that AARP and the Honolulu Police Department are sponsoring a pedestrian safety forum 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Mission Memorial Auditorium. Where is this auditorium? I've never heard of it.
Answer: Until it was renovated in 2004, the 300-seat Mission Memorial Auditorium was more anonymously part of the City Hall Annex.
It is one of three red-brick buildings located next to Honolulu Hale. The most distinctive of those is the Mission Memorial Building, with eight white pillars facing South King Street.
The auditorium's address is 550 S. King St.
The two buildings were designed by H.L. Kerr and built in 1915 and 1916, in anticipation of 1920's 100th anniversary of the arrival of New England missionaries to Hawaii.
The third building was added in 1930.
The buildings served first as the headquarters of the Hawaii Evangelical Association, part of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society.
The city purchased the buildings for $162,000 in 1945 to use as office space.
The 2004 renovation brought "the Mission Memorial Auditorium back to its former elegance and use," according to a City Hall press release at the time.
Q: My daughter-in-law needed a quick flight out of Honolulu to Seattle due to a family emergency. Her father was gravely ill and given one day to two weeks to live. She explained her situation to several airlines and chose Northwest Airlines because they had a direct flight leaving Honolulu at 9 that night. They charged her more than $800 for a one-way ticket, which I thought was exorbitant. I was wondering if the airlines have a "compassion fare" for emergency situations.
A: Some airlines do have "compassion" or "bereavement" fares, although Delta notably dropped the fare for mainland travel in 2005.
However, it still offers the fare for travel to and from Hawaii.
Most of the discount carriers, such as Southwest and JetBlue, do not.
Critics think the fares are a joke.
The value in bereavement fares is not that they are low cost, but that they can be gotten at the last minute and offer flexibility in making changes and getting refunds.
In fact, they often are higher than other special fares because they typically are discounted off full, unrestricted fares that start off expensive.
Former U.S. Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana introduced a bill in 2004 basically requiring airlines to offer the lowest fare available for bereavement, but it did not pass.
Bereavement fares are offered to people traveling to an immediate family member's funeral or to visit a family member who could be near death.
The airlines require documentation (proof of death or illness) and might provide the discount, in the form of a refund, only after the documents are submitted or after the trip is completed.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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