Have you ever wondered what the strange bunker-like building along the highway between Kahului and Kihei is? I know I have. I knew that during World War II there were bunkers on Maui, though it was never bombed during Pearl Harbor. More recently I had discovered that there used to be an airport near there… But looking at this abandoned building I always wondered. Why did it have such thick walls but so many window openings on the second floor?
It turns out, this was built as a bomb shelter. And a telephone exchange building. The Maui News just printed a really interesting article about it – so please check here for more information.
For as long as we’ve lived on Maui there have always been people spray painting it with graffiti. Recently someone has painted the bottom portion of the road-facing side black and made a memorial for the missing people of Maui on it.
In the state where billboards are prohibited, this has now become our own Amber Alert type billboard. A memorial to those who have mysteriously disappeared. This new memorial was installed shortly after the verdict in the Charli Scott murder case came down. This was a particularly brutal murder of a pregnant 26 year old girl by her ex-boyfriend and Maui’s most notorious murder case in recent history. Charli went missing three years ago. Sadly the month prior another woman had gone missing, Moreira Monsalve. Her case remains unsolved, with her ex-boyfriend a suspect.
Is Maui dangerous? It is no more dangerous than your hometown. Yes, our island has an underbelly we’d rather not think about. But generally, as long as you use common sense, you don’t have to worry.
I don’t remember most of the other names on this memorial. But clearly some do know and remember them. May they be found. May their loved ones find peace. In the mean time, I like this new memorial on the old abandoned building along the highway.