News Page
Hi, got any news items that you'd like to share with your classmates.  If so, send them to me and I'll see to it that they get posted on our website.

Look below for news items, newsletters and other points of interest.
Newsletter September 2004
Newsletter - September 2004
Italy 2004 - List of Attendees
Italy Reunion 2004 - List of Attendees
Class of '61 News Page
Class of 1961 News Page
12/04 Newsletter
LAHS Alumni Newsletter - Italy Reunion Recap (12/04)
Livorno Unit School Newsletter - 2/05
Livorno Unit School Newsletter - (2/05)
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DOD Closing Announcement (9/05)
Summary of DOD Decision to Phase Out
Livorno Unit School ((09/05) by Harry Heflin
Reunion Recap
Recap of 2005 Reunion - Lyndhurst, NY
DOD Revision Announcement (12/15/05)
DOD Revision on planned Phase Out of Livorno Unit School (12/15/05)
Grades 9-12 to remain open for school years 2006-2007
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Learn More - Click Here
Years ago, when we had children in high school, we hosted an AFS student from Japan.  We still keep in touch, and she has recently presented us with our fourth "grandchild," a little boy named Shogo.  I think some of the alums would be interested in doing this considering their international backgrounds.
Sue (Harris) Wright ('61)

Learn how you can host an AFS student -- Click on the adjacent icon or use the following contact information.

Interested families can contact YFU by calling 1-866-493-8872, emailing or going to our website at

If you go to this web site,, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and send it to a member of our armed services, currently serving in Iraq. It's Free!  You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to one of our courageous kids.  How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! 
LAHS Graduation 2007
What are the options for LAHS students next year (2007/2008)?  Answer -- Home School or attendance at the International School of Florence.  Learn more about the school at the following link.
International School of Florence
Do you remember the year a total eclipse ocurred during school at LAHS?  Was it 1958, 1960 or 1961? 
On March 29th, 2006, a solar eclipse swept across the world from South America, through Africa and into Asia. At the International School of Florence some lucky students were able to see a partial eclipse using the school telescope and sun filter. Some intrepid eclipse hunters even recorded the moment using their latest up-to-date digital cameras.
Partial Eclipse - March 29th, 2006
Answer: February 15, 1961 --Congratulations Sue (Harris) Wright, class of '61.
U.S. military base expansion splits Italian city By Ian Simpson

Wed Jan 17, 3:46 PM ET

Expansion of a U.S. military base in Italy has split the prosperous city of Vicenza, with fears about terrorist attacks to traffic jams countering worries about the loss of jobs and American dollars.

Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them base workers, held a demonstration in Rome in favor of the expansion on Wednesday, an event that had been scheduled to coincide with an end-week deadline for a decision but was overtaken by events.

Prime Minister Romano Prodi made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that Italy would not object to U.S. plans to expand the base at Vicenza, about 400 km (250 miles) north of Rome, despite divisions over the base in his centre-left coalition.

The Pentagon wants to double the size of the base, the home of the U.S. Southern European Task Force, to unite its 173rd Airborne Brigade. The rapid reaction unit is divided between Vicenza and bases at Bamburg and Schweinfurt, Germany.

Anti-base protesters angered by Prodi's decision took over Vicenza's train station late on Tuesday, blocking rail traffic.

"Prime Minister Prodi has given us an answer that definitely is not one we like," Anna Paggi, a demonstration organizer who backs a local referendum on the issue, told Reuters.

The raging debate and repeated protests among Vicenza's 115,000 residents is a rare sign of turmoil in a town where local pride centers on a can-do approach to business.

Just hours before Prodi's announcement, Mayor Enrico Hullweck said the base expansion roiling the city had been blown up into a national issue by politicians in Rome.

"The city shouldn't be scared of bombs and airplanes. This is only a question about traffic," he told Reuters.


Vicenza's city council has only narrowly backed the expansion and an October poll showed 62 percent of Vicenza residents opposed the move.

Washington wants to expand its 2,750 military personnel to 4,500.

The new barracks would be on the other side of Vicenza from the current one. That has raised worries about new roads to handle military traffic linking the two parts, loss of green space and strains on public services like water and gas.

Opponents argue the bulked-up base could militarize the city and make it a target for terrorists.

They also say it is too close to the historic city center and buildings designed by Renaissance architect Palladio that have made Vicenza a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Supporters have contended that U.S. closure of the base would threaten its roughly 800 jobs. It also would be another blow to a local economy based on textiles, clothing and small industries reeling from the impact of globalization.

The U.S. Army said in a briefing document that the base pumped about $230 million into the local economy in 2005.

Massimo Carlearo, local head of the Confindustria business association, hoped a base deal would prompt the United States to trim customs duties on gold jewelry, a major Vicenza export.

"I think I speak for all Vicenza businessmen, who are all in favor of the base," he said.

Vicenza Update
Click on the adjacent icon for the latest information on the 2007 Italy Graduation Trip
Italy Trip 2007 - LAHS Final Graduation
Updated Information -

Now in our video library ...

The movie will be available for viewing at all GHT Reunions

Check out to learn about a new DVD documentary about "Growning up Military". Showings are scheduled around the country, and the reports I've heard are complementary. From the website:

"It's hard to imagine a military BRAT'S childhood. Moving from base to base around the world, they are at home everywhere - and nowhere. There are 1.2 million children being raised in the military today. An estimated 15 million Americans are former BRATS. They include actors Jessica Alba and Robert Duvall, Senator John McCain, and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

BRATS is the first cinematic glimpse into a global subculture whose journey to adulthood is a high-octane mixture of incredible excitement and enormous pain. Make no mistake - BRATS is not about the U.S. military - it's about their children, who grow up in a paradox that is idealistic and authoritarian, privileged and perilous, supportive and stifling - all at the same time. Their passports say "United States," but they're really citizens of the world.

Singer/songwriter and Air Force brat Kris Kristofferson leads us through the heart of their experiences, sharing intimate memories with fellow BRATS, including General Norman Schwarzkopf and author Mary Edwards Wertsch. Their stories reveal the peculiar landscape of their childhood, the culture that binds them together, and the power it exerts over their lives.

A seven-year work of passion by independent filmmaker Donna Musil, BRATS features rare archival footage, home movies and private photographs from post-war Japan, Germany, and Vietnam."

Learn More - Click Here
Scroll down for new articles as of March 2010
What Ever Happened to the SS Independence and Her Sister Ship, the SS Constitution

March 11, 2008

Many of us traveled the high seas either en route to Italy or returning from Italy.  I was fortunate to have sailed on the Independence in 1958 on my way to Italy.  I remember the rough seas (6 days out of NYC) and the sunny days basking in the sun on the ship's fan tail while being attended to by one of the ship's stewards, Arthur.  I also remember glimpses of celebrities that were aboard for the transatlantic voyage.  Betty Davis and Eve Arden (Our Miss Brooks) often appeared on deck with their entourage.  My sister, Karel (class of '59) not only got to sail to Italy on the Independence but she was fortunate to have returned to the States aboard the Constitution.  I often wondered how many others were that fortunate to have voyaged on both.

Anyway, for those of you that sailed on either of the grand ships I thought you might want to know what has become of the twins.

Butch Ray (Class of '61)

As reported in Vacations-to-Go Newsletter

Last month, the 57-year-old SS Independence was towed from her berth in San Francisco and led into the Pacific, heading towards Asia to meet an as-yet unconfirmed fate. Norwegian Cruise Line purchased the Independence in 2003, along with the SS United States, after the collapse of the ships' previous owner, American Hawaii Cruises. NCL considered refurbishing the ship for US service, but eventually determined that the cost of refurbishment and modernization would be too great.

Industry rumors have suggested that the Independence was heading for the breakers. However, agents representing Global Shipping LLC, the believed new owner of the Independence, have announced that the ship will actually be converted into a floating hotel or casino. Time will tell.

The Independence set sail for the first time from New York in January 1951. While a bit overshadowed by her sister ship, the Constitution--best remembered for an appearance in An Affair to Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr--the "Indy" had a distinguished career sailing for several different lines, and developed a loyal following among cruise enthusiasts.
High School Students Will Spend 1&1/2 Hours Traveling to and from the International School In Florence

March 2008

Students attending grades 9 - 12 will have the option to attend the International School of Florence (ISF) or receive home schooling. The school bus to ISF requires approximately 1.5 hour drive from Camp Darby.
Right brain day at Livorno Unit School

March 2008

Story and Photo by Joyce Costello
USAG Livorno Public Affairs

Students at Livorno Unit School got a chance take a break from class when the U.S. Air Force “Winds Aloft” woodwind quintet performed for the school March 4.

According to the LUS music teacher, Pete De Luca, studying music and instruments helps develop the right side of the brain.
“By providing this musical performance, children can develop creative senses and improve their teamwork,” explained De Luca. “I always tell the students that band is spelled ‘W-E’.”

Band member and French horn player, Tech. Sgt. Brian LeDoux, has a 15-year old son of his own and understands the importance of music in the school.

“Music has so many applications that are relevant and applicable in the school curriculum,” said LeDoux. “Music can help you with noticing patterns in language, in math and in developing team work.”

After performing a very animated version of “Peter and The Wolf”, the quintet held a special clinic for members of the school band. De Luca said his students were able to getop-quality instruction from the group, and were able to ask questions that highlighted some of the finer points of musicianship.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Julia Hinderliter added that the members of the quintet were impressed with the enthusiasm, professionalism and knowledge of the Livorno students.

The quintet went on to visit Vicenza and Aviano Air Base schools as they support “Music in Our Schools” month.

The nation has had trouble choosing where to create new dumps as old ones filled up. All the dumps around Naples are now officially considered full.

Karel (Ray) Van Gelder (class of '59) will attest to the garbage problem and its attendant stench.  In March (2008) she visited Naples as part of a tour group in route to Sicily and couldn't get out of there quick enough.

Near city hall in Melito di Napoli, near Naples, in January. Warm weather makes the stink worse.

Published: May 7, 2008
Italy's Trash Problem Remains Unresolved
May 2008
Some 3,000 tons of waste are clogging up the streets of Naples -May 23,2008
There's something in the
air and it's not pleasant
By Alessandra Rizzo, Associated Press Writer

Put down the gelato! Rome bans snacks at tourist sites

ROME — Don't chow, bella! At least not on the steps of Roman monuments.

City Hall is banning all those enjoying a Roman holiday this summer from snacking near the sights in Rome's historical center with fines up to $80. (Ban is from July thru October of this year)

Officials say they want to preserve artistic treasures and decorum in a city that has millions of visitors every year.

The ordinance also bans the homeless from setting up makeshift beds and cracks down on drunks, litterbugs and nighttime revelers loitering in central areas.

It says unless the situation is "kept under control" misbehaving visitors will "irreparably damage the preservation of historical and art areas and monuments and the possibility to enjoy them."

Spanish Steps - A major attraction for tourists
Ray S Randolph, age 81 passed away Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ray S Randolph, age 81 passed away Sunday, January 25, 2009. Mr. Randolph was preceded in death by his wife, Celia Scott Randolph. He is survived by a son, Christopher Scott (Mary) Randolph, Sr.; one daughter, Julie (Stuart) Simons; three sisters, Nan Cox, Peg Woods, Kate Myers; four grandchildren, Christopher Scott Randolph, Jr., James William Randolph, Augusta Courington Simons and Joseph Randolph Simons. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at Oakview Cemetery in Lowndesboro, Alabama at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in memory of Mr. Randolph to Oakview Cemetery, P.O. Box 34 Lowndesboro, Al 36752. Leak-Memory Chapel Directing  334-272-6501.

Ray was quite a man, and I believe that we all hold our High School principals in some sort of awe. I remember Ray leaning out the secretaries little window into the hallway booming out "QUIET!" when we got too rowdy in the hallways at LAHS between classes. Once after the LAHS dress code went into effect requiring guys to wear belts, I was running late and forgot my belt in the morning race to meet the bus in Terrania.   J Verna of course caught the deficiency in his classroom and sent me down to the office. Ray looked at me and asked, "what are you doing down here, Heflin?" I explained that I had forgotten my belt and that J sent me down to see him. Ray took off his belt (I was thinking, this is not good...), gave it too me, and told me to put it on and get back into class right now. His belt went around me twice, but it got me back into J's class!

If anyone has remembrances of Ray, send them to me and I'll pass them on to the family.

     -Harry Heflin

Grayce Kenemer Barak, age 82 passed away Monday, March 1, 2010
Grayce K. Barck, age 82, of New Smyrna Beach, died Monday, March 1 at the Southeast Volusia Care Center of Hospice of Volusia/Flagler,.
For more on Grayce, click here