On Wednesday’s Juneau Afternoon, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was a topic of discussion as host Sheli DeLaney sat down with nuclear disarmament advocate Shelby Surdyk.
Nuclear disarmament became Surdyk’s cause when she was in high school in Skagway and met a new teacher who had previously taught at the U.S. military base on Kwajalein Island in the Marshall Islands. The central Pacific Ocean nation was the site of U.S. nuclear testing between 1946 and 1958.
The teacher educated students about the history and impact that nuclear weapons testing had on the Marshallese people, and their story left a lasting impression on Surdyk.
“I think that once you become connected to people whose lives have been touched by nuclear weapons testing, it’s a path you can’t turn back from,” she said.
Today, Surdyk is the project manager for HOPE: Alaska’s Youth Congress for the Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, a five-day conference for high school students to be held in Sitka in April 2020. The idea for the youth congress was introduced by Veterans for Peace, an organization that opposes the proliferation of nuclear weapons as part of their philosophy.
Surdyk recently attended the 2019 NPT PrepCom, a conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City this spring. She will be speaking about her experience over a brown-bag lunch hosted by Veterans for Peace this Friday at noon at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.
- Under Alaska state law, at least 30 days’ notice is needed to hold a non-emergency special session during the interim. That would push any special session now up against the holidays.
- The Tazlina was scheduled to have new side doors installed this winter. Instead, the state ferry will provide service between Juneau and the communities of Haines, Skagway, Hoonah and Gustavus.
- Bruce Tangeman, who ran the state's Department of Revenue, also wrote that any potential new taxes would support what he called an unsustainable budget, as well as permanent fund dividends.
- The NTSB update is a detailed, seven-page statement of facts about the flight and the investigation, with sections on the runway, the flight recorders, the plane and its engines. It does not assign a cause to the crash. That's expected later.