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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 24, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Third Section The Lethbriikje Herald Lethbridge, Alberta, Thursday, May 24, 1973 Pages 25 34 Missiles to protect missiles Nuclear crop ripens on Dakota farmland By TOM TIEDE NEKOMA, N.D. (NEA) For more than a decade resi- dents of this remote region have muttered a bout the 20th-century use of their 19th- century farmland. Despite government assur- ances of safety and necessi- ty, few here have appreci- ated the planting of Minute- man missile silos in the flat, black earth that stretches along the Canadian border. And now, the citizens sigh, shaking their heads, the abuse has come full circle. "As ye sow so shall je reap." Almost like the ripen- ing of a nuclear crop, Ameri- ca's only Safeguard antibal- Jistic missile site has sprung from the earth here, ugly and awesome and altogether unthinkable. The site is actually a ser- ies of system components split up over 36 miles of wneatland. Blockhouses There are two monstrous blockhouses "designed to sur- vive in a nuclear atmo- sphere. There are accompanying constructions of energy sour- ces "designed to function even if the rest of the coun- try is blown to hell" And there are the warhead nests themselves, empty now but almost ready for a final seeding of kilotons and megatons. The flowering, strangely, depressingly for miles in this locale, has gone al- most unnoticed throughout the rest of the nation. Although Americans have paid some billion for ABM research, although they have worth of the expenditures like few other military issues, most are unaware that Safeguard exists and is, with perhaps a year more site preparation, ready to go and to presum- ably blow. Yet here it is. Since April of 1970 the Pentagon has al- lotted some ?200 million worth of construction con- tracts for the erecttion of (what amounts to) the first new domestic Army base since World War II. Structural work is almost complete. Major attention now is being given the posi- tioning of up to 100 Sprint and Spartan ABM's. Shopworn Says site publicist Glen Robertson: "We should be fully operational by late 1974." For all its eyebrow rais- ing potentiality, however, the Nekoma ABM base is ac- tually a bit shopworn and kicked around. At least phil- osophically. Officials originally hoped to construct 11 such locations in the nation. The SALT agreements with the Soviet Union reduced that figure to a mere two. And as of now it appears likely only one will be built; the other suggested ABM site, near Washington, has been so vigorously opposed that its chances for quick construction are almost non- existent. The opposition, though de- batable, is understandable. There are legions of scien- atergate probe draws bia audience By GEORGE KITCHEN NEW YORK (CP) The televised Watergate hearings have drawn the attention of large segments of the Ameri- can TV viewing audience but, for popularity, they can't match TV's normal com- mercial fare. Some viewers still prefer soap operas. The NBC research depart- ment estimated this week that 35 million persons fewer than the normal day- time audience watched the opening of the Senate hear- ings last Thursday while 33 million tuned in Friday. NBC declined to indicate what it consideied a normal daytime audience. But the A. C Neilsen rating service, reporting on the New York City area, estimated that about homes watched the morning session of the hearing Thursday down about for that time of day. The three major networks NBC, CBS and full coverage of the opening stages, dropping their usual same shows and soap operas. Their 585 affiliates across the country reported hundreds of telephoned complaints, mostly from women. On the other hand, audience gains were reported by the n o n-comrnercial Public Broadcasting System, which piouded full daytime cov- erage over its 234 stations and then re-broadcast tne entire proceedings during the eve- ning. Popularity of the televised hearings, seems to depend upon where the viewer lives. The hearings under- standably drew a big au- dience in Washington, where the next witness in the devel- oping drama could be a neighbor, a friend or an ac- quaintance. Interest was so high that one government offi- cial camped in front of his TV set grumbled that "nobody's doin' a damned bit of work around here." But interest was lower out in the hinterlands. One station in Tampa Fla., received 90 coirrolaints the first day, in- cluding one from a woman who asked: "How long do we have to watch these little kids who got their hands stuck in the cookie jar'" News-stand operators found newspaper sales eJxmt the same but reported an in- crease in sales of weekly news magazines featuring roundups and exposes of the Watergate scandal. Portable TV sets were moved into brokerage houses as the investment community concentrated on the investiga- Vfi. Iviany blame the current stock market slump on the in- quirv revelations "The whole damn country is coming to a standstill over this said one broker. "It's like the World Series. Everybody is watching TV." Husband and wife win their degrees NEW DAYTON (HNS) A husband and wife team, Diane and Terry Belanger of Leth- bridge, received their BA de- grees at the University of Leth- bridge spring convocation, ma- joring in psychology and eco- nomics, respectively. Mrs. Belanger is the former Diane Skeith of New Dayton. She received her elementary education at New Dayton and high school at Warner and Ray- mond. At present she is employed at the Devon Nursing Home at Lethbridge. However, she plans either to go on to graduate school or work in the mental health field in British Colum- bia. Her husband is employed with Edwin K. Williams Inter- national, management consul- tant in the petroleum industry, working in southern Alberta and the East Kootenay of B.C. tists and citizens who believe the ABM to be little more than a make-work mistake for defense contractors. The system, which does not destroy incoming missiles but instead is designed to "neutralize their is, say some, too fragile. Besides, as a Nekoma crit- ic adds: "What real good will it do even if it does work? The system is supposed to protect our Minuteman mis- siles, right? But how can you protect 1.000 Minutemans with 100 ABM's because, by the end of 1974 that's where we'll be. We'll have 100 ABM's here, none of which is effective at much more than a 100 miles. We won't be able to protect the Min- uteman in Montana. God, I don't even know if we can protect them west of Minot." Arguments There are of course coun- ter arguments to the nay- sayers. Pentagona uthorities believe that the protection of some Minutemans. even a minority, is better than the protection of none. "If we can assure the re- taliatory capacity of 50-60 Minutemans we can still de- stroy the enemy." That fact, assuredly, is well known to any enemy. Thus the con- tinued viability of the deter- rent is preserved. Furthermore, says the counter argument, Russia has already built one of her authorized ABM sites (near Moscow) and has reportedly deployed some weapons. The bickering over the merits of ABM will no doubt continue. But heie in Neko- ma the arguments are now obsolete. Regardless of who's right, this Safeguard site is fact and will remain so. And what a site it is. Says one neignbor: "I should be used to it by now, I suppose. Lven so, every time i ga by it stands my hair oa tnd The system's most visible structures, c a 11 e a houses by the locals, temples to Behemoth think- ing. 'ihe main building (Missile Site KaoarJ is -01 square at the base, stands 7o teet high, and sinks some 50 feet into the earth. It looks litce Ine Cheeps pyramid of Egypt witn tr.e peak lopped oil. It was bunt with cubic >aids cf concrete and tons of reinforced steel. The other principle build- ing, 36 miles away, is the Per- imeter Acquisition Radar site, 200 feet square at the base, 120 feet mgji and sneiled with seven-foot-thick walls Both buildings house gigantic rad- ar screens, thus tbe reason for their separation. Not so visible are the ABM hcies themseives for the 27-foot Sprint and 30 for the 55-foot Spartan The mis- sile gardens, as seme refer to them, are arranged in neat rows both quite near and fairly far away from the MSR. When loaded, each hole will contain more ex- plosives than were dropped on both Hiroshima and Nag- asaki during World War II. Statistically, the Safeguard. system is not all that much. But physically, standing on the bleak Dakota plains, re- placing durham wheat, it is truly staggering. And inside, what with all the equipment needed to do something never done before, the system beggars belief. Generators with 17-ton fly- wheels, electricity fuses as big as wastepaper baskets. Ihe radar face of the PAR is 112 feet high and can see north for miles. Replacements "We have the equivalent of 20 IBM 360-65 sajs Glen Robertson. 'They're designed to do maintenance on themselves, or to tell us what's wrong and how to fix it. Some of the really advanced computers are not here yet, therefore we now have old computers actually telling us how to in- stall their replacements." Eventually, perhaps, the Nekoma computers will be telling the technicians other things here on the farmlands of North Dakota. Like the speed of incoming missiles. Like which antimissile to use in retaliation. But then, well, hush-hush. Out here on the plains, surrounded by all this black soil and black hardware, no- body likes to think about the prospects of a nuclear har- vest. Watching the sky Strange growth rising out of the flat N orth Dakota farmland, the 120 foot high perimeter acquisition radar building houses one of the Nekoma site's two giant radar screens. SAVE HUNDREDS DURING DUNLOP'S Spring has come to our dealership, so why don't you. We hove hundreds of excellent buys as our spring sales quotas dictate that we accept every and any reasonable offer. Come in! Com- pare! You'll save more, hundreds more this week at Dunlop Ford! STOCK NO. 521 1973 PiNTD SQL'iRE WAGON DEMO with wood panel sides, 2000 cc engine, auto trans., radio, roof rack. Approx. 2000 miles. Brite red. NOW ONLY......... STOCK NO. 1973 Ford Custom 500 (Demo.) 4-door sedan, 351 VS engine, outo. trans., P.S P B., 2 tone paint, medium green with white roof, radio. Reg. NOW STOCK NO. 436 1973 GALAXIE 500 2 DOOR HARDTOP (DEMO.) Complete with factory air con- ditioning, 400 V8 engine, auto. Irons P.S P.B radial ply tires, tinted glass, power trunk re- lease, ermine white in color, green vinyl roof. Regular retail NOW ONLY STOCK NO. 484 1973 Ford Custom 500 2-DOOR HDTP. DEMO. Red metal- lic with white vinyl roof. 351 V3 engine, auto, trans., radio, rear speakers, power trunk release, HD susp blk. heater, P.S., P.B tinted rear defogger. Was NOW STOCK NO. 490 1973 GALAXIE 500 (DEMO.) 4 door pillared hard- top, V8 engine, auto, trans, P.S P.B tinted glass, power trunk release. Regular retail NOW ONLY 1973 LN 750 LOUISVILLE 204 inch wheelbase, umson driv- er and passenger seat, 391 VS, 5 speed trans., with short four- th, Ibs 2 speed eaton, P.S., radio, ready to go. Ideal for lagging or as a body job for cattle hauling. 1973 PINTO 2-DOOR, i eyl, 4 spa1., blk. heat- er. Your choice of several colors. Delivered S3277 OVER 50 A-l USED CARS ARE NOW ON SALE! STOCK NO. 554 1973 GALAXIE 500 4 DOOR HARDTOP (DEMO) Ermine white, white vinyl roof, V8, auto, P.S P.B., radial ply tires, radio and tape player, tinted glass, antitheft alarm system. Regular retail NOW ONLY 1971 FORD F100 V8, 3 speed trans, miles, new rubber, ready to go super clean. 1972 GALAXIE 500 Country Sedan, stn. wagon, 10 passenger, factory air conditioning, V8, auto, P.5., P.B., radio, new tires 1 ONLY! 1958 INTERNATIONAL 34TON 4 wheel drive 1972 CHEVROLET 60 SERIES 366 motor, 5 speed trans, 2 speed rear axle, new 1000x20 rubber, chassis and cab ready to go! 1971 MONTEGO MX BROUGHAM 2 DOOR HARDTOP miles, dark ivy green, 351 V8, auto, P.S., P.B., radio, new rubber, owners name available. 1970 OLDS CUTLAS 2-DOOR HARDTOP 396 V8, auto, trans, P.S P.B radio 1973 MAZDA Rotary engine RX3, grabber lime in color. 3500 miles ap- prox. Sale Hours: Wide Open Daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. y v w Sfy K v x; s COME HOME TO YOUR TOTAL TRANSPORTATION CENTRE 1510 Mayor Magrath Dr. at 16th Avenue S. Dial 328-8861 ;