07/25/12 2:00pm
07/25/2012 2:00 PM

FILE PHOTO | If approved, the proposition would upgrade district computers and pay for repairs to the Shoreham-Wading River High School track.

Residents in the Shoreham-Wading River School District will vote this fall on a more than $1.6 million technology and athletic facilities proposition aimed at upgrades to district computers and repairs to the high school track, according to a resolution passed unanimously Tuesday night by the district’s school board.

The majority of the proposition would cover upgrades to the district’s aging wireless communications and computer systems, school officials said.

According to a presentation made before the board in June, 77 percent of classroom computers are more than five years old, with some more than 10 years old. These computers run obsolete versions of Windows — like Windows 95 or Windows XP — that are incompatible with the latest educational software, officials have said.

District computers are also “unable to reliably run critical instruction tools” like streaming video from the Web to teach students.

If approved by voters, the proposal would allow the district to purchase new computers that can both run the latest software and satisfy upcoming state regulations that will require students to use computers for state standardized testing.

The rest of the proposition would pay for resurfacing and repairs to the high school track, which has become cracked due to wear and tear.

At a previous school board meeting, members of the high school boys’ track team said that racing officials told them if the district didn’t resurface the track soon, they would no longer be allowed to hold meets at the high school because of safety concerns.

School officials said the repairs could become more expensive in the future if not addressed soon.

The total project would cost $1,642,000, according to the resolution, which adds the district would use prior year state aid money in the district’s reserve funds that can only be used for voter-approved capital improvement projects or tax mitigation. Taxes would remain at the same rate, the resolution states.

Taxpayers will go to the polls Oct. 2 to vote on the proposal.

psquire@timesreview.com

02/07/11 11:43am
02/07/2011 11:43 AM

caption id=”attachment_8228″ align=”alignright” width=”475″ caption=”BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Verizon Wireless store in Riverhead has been popping since presales began on the new Verizon iPhone.”][/caption]

The long awaited launch of the iPhone on Verizon Wireless is upon us.

Verizon’s version of Apple’s iPhone4 was available for pre-order last Monday and will hit Verizon and Apple retail stores Feb. 10, exciting some area Verizon managers who expect increases in sales.

George Williams, a district manager who oversees Verizon dealers in Riverhead, Medford and Coram, foresees the return of customers who flocked to AT&T to purchase the pinnacle of cool, modern cellular technology.

He said AT&T customers who bought the iPhone have already come to his store after being dissatisfied with dropped calls and other service flaws.

“There will be a lot more people who will come to Verizon,” he said. “We’ll get a lot of AT&T customers.”

Only time will tell, but according to a January survey by the Maryland firm ChangeWave Research, the majority of AT&T customers will stay put. The survey, given to 4,050 AT&T customers, reported that 16 percent said they plan to switch to the Verizon iPhone, while 60 percent said they’ll remain loyal to AT&T. Twenty-three percent were unsure.

When asked if they were satisfied with reception under AT&T’s network, 42 percent of customers said no.

AT&T spokesperson Jennifer Clark insisted that AT&T has superior service.

“For iPhone users who want the fastest speeds, the ability to talk and use apps at the same time and unsurpassed global coverage, the only choice is AT&T,” Ms. Clark said in a statement.

The iPhone4, which has 300,000 apps — short for software applications — will have a new video-calling capability. The phone has a camera in front and back, allowing users to see each other on their screens during phone calls.

Managers at some Verizon stores anticipate the iPhone to increase foot traffic in their stores, adding to overall sales. Mr. Gerweck said he’s already seen an influx of customers who come to inquire about the iPhone and end up purchasing another smartphone.

“A lot of people are sold on the idea of the iPhone rather than the iPhone itself,” he said. “What people like about it is e-mail and Internet, which many other smartphones have.”

Many managers said they’re not worried the iPhone will eat into sales of their less glamorous phones.

“We still have users that want basic phones, like the older crowd,” Mr. Williams said.

Even some younger users seem satisfied with their less high-tech phones.

Ray Swartz, 22, of Riverhead, outside the Verizon Store at the Tanger Outlets, said he wouldn’t be trading in his Verizon Motorola for an iPhone any time soon.

“I don’t have any need for it,” he said.

He wasn’t alone in not buying into the iPhone hoopla.

Roy Christensen, 59, has been a lifelong AT&T customer. He said he’ll stay with AT&T when it’s time to upgrade to a new phone, but he probably won’t choose the iPhone since he doesn’t send text messages or use most of the iPhone’s features.

Verizon’s iPhone will cost the same as AT&T’s — $199 for the 16 gigabyte model and $299 for the 32 gigabyte model. Verizon also charges a $35 activation fee.

But AT&T customers who want the Verizon iPhone will have to pay a little more. AT&T’s termination fees depend on whether customers began their contract before or after June 1, 2010, and when they purchased the iPhone.

For example, if your contract began after June 1, 2010, and you purchased your iPhone in December, you’d be charged a maximum termination fee of $315. If you bought the iPhone before December, the fee would be reduced by $10 for each month you’ve owned it. If your contract began before June 1, 2010, and you bought your iPhone in December, the termination fee would be $170 and would decrease by $5 for each month of ownership.

Eric Marx, 24, of Ridge, who has a Verizon Blackberry, never bought the iPhone through AT&T after hearing friends complain about service issues.

“A bunch of my friends have the AT&T iPhone and they all have problems with it,” he said.

He said that if he decides to buy the iPhone, “obviously I would stick with Verizon.”

samantha@northshoresun.com