New York state briefs

Staff reports

Even in death, he's helping others

GATES - Saturday, Dec. 1 would have been Shamar Patterson's 17th birthday. Instead of celebrating, family and friends gathered at Grove Place Cemetery to pay their respects.

Patterson, of Gates, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Rochester last April 11, visiting his grandmother when he was shot in the head. Now that he's gone, others live. Joan Patterson donated some of her son's organs and tissues, helping a total of five people.

And she gave an impassioned plea at her son's grave last Saturday to encourage others to donate. Already, she said, many people have approached her since Shamar's death and told them that they were inspired to become donors by her bravery.

"That touches me so much to know that little me, and little Shamar, are really sending a big message out there," she said. For more information on becoming an organ and tissue donor, the Finger Lakes Donor Registry Network can be reached at (585) 272-4930 or online at The Rochester Eye and Tissue Bank can be reached at (585) 272-7890 or online at

Wind towers continue to stir debate

HAMLIN - After months of work and three reports on the effects of wind towers on nearby land,  the Town Board has come down on the side of those wanting to open their land to the tall towers and the cash they'll bring.

"They wanted to make the farmers and the landowners happy," said Linda DeRuet. "They ignored all of the major issues."

DeRue unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Town Board last November on a platform that included an anti-wind tower plank. Hamlin Supervisor Denny Roach said the town needs regulations that will support the rights of property owners while establishing safe limits for tower placement.

In October of 2006 the Maryland energy company, Competitive Power Ventures, built two 200-foot metrological towers on private property to gather data on wind and other atmospheric conditions with the town's permission.

The company was subsequently bought by the international energy giant, Iberdrola. Should wind conditions make power generation feasible, the company might ask the town for permission to build one or more wind towers in Hamlin, each measuring as much as 400 feet in height, including its blades.

University expanding overseas

HENRIETTA - With campuses already in Croatia and Kosovo, the Rochester Institute of Technology will soon be coming to another part of the globe, the Middle East.

The school recently announced it will open RIT Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with the goal of welcoming full-time undergrads by 2010. For now, part-time students there can study several fields of engineering and finance and service management. By 2009, there will be four other programs offered for full-time graduate students.

"About two years ago I was reading a news article on the Middle East and saw the mention that the government of Dubai would like to develop a micro-electronic industry," explained professor Mustafa Abushagur. "There's an immediate need of people with training in the field, and RIT is the best place to be for that."

Abushagur, the school's director of microsystems engineering, said everything seemed to fall into place in December 2005 while he was on a trip to the University of Dubai to give lectures on nano-technology. He visited the construction site of the Dubai Silicon Oasis, a 4.5-square-mile complex that will include a high-tech park, housing, retail, banks and conference centers.

The RIT Dubai campus will be in the heart of the multibillion-dollar complex. The campus will be provided by Dubai. and RIT will provide academic content, administration and management of the university.

By 2019, RIT expects to expand the Dubai campus to a million square feet and cater to about 4,000 students.

RIT Dubai will feature a student body comprised of local residents, but will also offer co-op abroad opportunities for RIT students.