The Green Party candidate for governor says Western New York would be better off using the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as a solar panel manufacturing plant with a giant solar power array, rather than turning it into a base for drones.
The theme of Howie Hawkins's visit to the base Sunday was "fly kites, not drones," and with kites flying, he explained there is already one drone base in New York, near his home in Syracuse, and the state doesn't need another. He added that we shouldn't be dropping bombs from a drone anyway, since it antagonizes people who otherwise don't want to attack us.
Hawkins says the proposal for a drone base here is a way to avoid the military budget cuts that are on the way.
"Most of the politicians in New York are like trying to hold back time," he said. "You know, we are getting out of these wars in the Middle East. There's going to be downsizing. Let's get ahead of the curve and find a way to put people back to work. Let's declare war on climate change. One of the thing we can do is put these solar panels in and a solar panel factory out on a military base," Howakins said.
Hawkins says studies from his supporters say a solar plant at the base would produce electricity far below current prices, helping business and industry in the state that have been hurt by high power prices. He says issues like this are what the voters are interested in, not the mudslinging of Governor Cuomo and Republican candidate Rob Astorino.
Hawkins describes his candidacy as issued-based, calling for better schools and infrastructure repair as well as more renewable energy.
He says he is running a campaign of "retail politics," going into neighborhoods for old-fashioned meet-and-greet events, such as the one he attended later Sunday at El Buen Amigo, in the Latin American Cultural Center in Allentown.