Sunday, August 30, 2009

Your Trash is My Cash says Fairbanks Alaska Man

"I even have my own missile," he said.

"Everyone should have their own missile."

Over the years, Karl has built a mini-kingdom from other people's unwanted items. His motto: "Your trash is my cash." At his K&K Recycling 10-acre facility yard in North Pole, he stores such items as pipe and pipeline camps, as well as aging aircraft and steel beams.

"I even have my own missile," he said. "Everyone should have their own missile."

Years ago, Karl was hired to clean up a government Nike site, an anti-aircraft missile system used between World War II and the Cold War eras. The Army left behind a missile in the launch silo. Contracted to take everything out, Karl ended up with the memento.

He finds some interesting uses for many of his long-stored items. Insulated pipe previously used on North Slope oilfields was recycled to move hot water to turbines to power the facilities at his Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Chena Hot Springs is a world-class resort, but the 450-acre lot also is a proving ground for Karl's numerous and varied experiments. Karl has pioneered the use of geothermal energy at the Chena resort, located 56 miles east of Fairbanks.

Fairbanks' Bernie Karl eyes new renewable energy sources

Published Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Dad was assigned to one of the first Nike Missile batteries, that's how he met my Mom (and I wouldn't be here if not for this little fact)

The first 24 Nike anti-aircraft missile batteries were deployed in a ring around Washington D.C., my Dad was in the 16th Battalion. Dad said the Army wouldn't let them deploy until they had successfully shot down a radio controlled WW2 B-17 drone (it took them 2 years of practice to shoot one down, that's how new the technology was in the mid 1950's)

From Wikipedia:
When it became apparent that the greatest threat to US National defense was from missiles instead of bombers, most Nike-Hercules units were deactivated. All CONUS Nike-Hercules batteries, with the exception of the ones in Florida and Alaska, were deactivated by April 1974. The remaining units were deactivated during the spring of 1979. Dismantling of the sites in Florida - Alpha Battery in Everglades National Park, Bravo Battery in Key Largo, Charlie Battery in Carol City and Delta Battery, located on Krome Avenue on the outskirts of Miami - started in June 1979 and was completed by early fall of that year. The buildings that once housed Delta Battery became the original structures used for the Krome Avenue Detention Facility, a federal facility used primarily to hold illegal immigrants awaiting immigration hearings. In Alaska, Site Point was converted into a ski chalet for Kincaid Park.
The US Army continued to use Nike-Hercules as a front-line air defense weapon in Europe until 1983, when Patriot missile batteries were deployed. NATO units from West Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Greece and Turkey continued to use the Nike-Hercules for high-altitude air defense until the late 1980s. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the units were deactivated.

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