Lipinski among four from Illinois to propose sewage regulations

  U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3, Western Springs), joined by U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin of Illinois and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (D-14), unveiled legislation last week proposing to prohibit sewage dumping in the Great Lakes by 2033.
  The proposed Great Lakes Water Protection Act would increase fines up to $100,000 a day per violation and provides communities 20 years to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities.
  “The Great Lakes are our region’s most precious natural resource and we must do more to protect them,” Lipinski stated in a press release. “We cannot continue to allow the dumping of billions of gallons of raw sewage in the waters we use for drinking, swimming, boating, and fishing. By imposing penalties that will not only deter dumping but will help pay for infrastructure improvements that will help alleviate future dumping, this bill provides the type of innovative, bipartisan, bicameral action that we need to see more of in Washington.”
  Money collected from fines would go to a Great Lakes clean-up fund to generate financial resources for the Great Lakes states to improve wastewater treatment options, habitat protection and wastewater treatment systems. In addition, the legislation would make it easier to assess fines at existing levels, beginning a year after the bill’s passage.
  “We are faced with many challenges when trying to protect the health and safety of the Great Lakes — from invasive species to air pollution around Lake Michigan,” Durbin said. “This legislation tackles another significant threat to the water system — municipal sewage. I will continue to work closely with Senator Kirk and Congressmen Lipinski and Hultgren to ensure that this national treasure is around for generations, providing drinking water, recreation and commerce for Illinois and other Great Lakes states.”
  Cities around the Great Lakes Basin continue to dump sewage directly into the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Reports estimate that 24 billion gallons of sewage are dumped into the Great Lakes each year, according to Lipinski’s press release. Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows that Lake Michigan beaches experience hundreds of beach closures and contamination advisories each year. A University of Chicago study concluded beach closings because of high levels of harmful pathogens like E. coli cost the local economies about $2.4 million each year in lost revenue.

Sandburg alum is Eagles' doc

Dr. James Leonard checks out the Sandburg athletic website. Leonard is a former Sandburg three-sport athlete who is now the school

By Jeff Vorva

  When Dr. James Leonard returned to the Chicago area, one of the first things he wanted to do was to get hooked up with a high school program.
  As luck would have it, he hooked up with his alma mater.
  Leonard, who works in the Orland Park and Oak Lawn offices of Midwest Bone Joint Spine Institute, took over as the Sandburg High School team physician in August, 15 years after he graduated from the school. He was a three-sport athlete for the Eagles playing golf, basketball and baseball.
  Back in the day, he suffered some broken bones and a concussion and had to be treated. Now that he’s back, he’s the one treating the athletes.
  “I go to the football games and I try to go to wrestling and basketball whenever I can,” he said. “I try to have good communication open with the athletic trainers so whenever they have athletes they wanted me to looks at, we would talk. If Sandburg needs me to see athletes, I will always be available. I’m there as an option if they need someone.”
  He’s worked on a variety of athletes over the years in his jobs at Vanderbilt University, the Nashville Predators, the Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team, the UIC Flames, the Chicago Sky and a group of Chicago high schools.
  “I like the idea of taking care of athletes of any age,” Leonard said. “I like to be able to fix people with both surgery and non-surgical methods. It’s a patient population that wants to get better and is motivated to get better. That’s the patient population that I wanted to work with. I have family members who were Division I athletes so I get the athlete’s perspective behind things and I’ve picked up the parent’s perspective behind things so it’s something I grew up with and wanted to keep doing.”
  He stays active in sports even if it’s a little painful.
  “I played basketball recently and sprained both my ankles,” he said. “I was limping into the clinic telling people ‘see, even the doctor gets injured.’”
  Whether he is working with professional, college or high school athletes, he doesn’t differentiate.
  “From my standpoint, it doesn’t make much of a difference,” he said. “The professionals are normal people with normal lives and families and this is their job and you have to treat them like regular people because you don’t want to get intimidated if you think about them a being this big athlete. You have to treat them like a normal person. You don’t want to treat people based on who they are. You want to treat everyone the same.”
  His next assignment might be a little different, though.
  He is heading to Vantaa, Finland, in April to work as the team physician for the United States in the 2013 World Deaf Hockey Championships.
  “I love covering hockey and this is a great opportunity for me,” he said. “Its work but it’s going to be a lot of fun. This will be my first connection with them. I know a little bit of sign language but there will be a signer there. I don’t know … it will be interesting.”
  Leonard holds athlete clinic hours from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Mondays and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays in the Orland Park office, 10719 W. 160th St., and 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Oak Lawn office, 10900 S. Cicero Ave.
  Leonard said that the best advice he can give to young athletes and their parents is to try multiple sports out and don’t get stuck on just one sport.
  “I think everyone is becoming so super-specialized at an early age,” he said. “Now they are 9-years-old or 10-years-old and deciding they are just going to play baseball whereas before you played baseball, you played basketball, you played football, you ran track, you played volleyball, you would swim — you used to do all of these other things. Now people are just concentrating on one sport and getting these overuse injuries.

Wildcats earn their bucks

Wildcats earn their bucks

  Worthwoods School students Katie Beltz (left) and Salma Sammak, seen with Principal Tim Hathhorn, are the school’s March Reward Buck winners. The Wildcat Reward Bucks will be placed into a raffle drawing from which two winners will be chosen. Students can earn the bucks for performing such acts as helping others without being asked, being polite and holding a door open for someone.

Submitted photo



  Last week’s “Whatizit?” was definitely a bottle opener. It was just a keychain bottle opener, a relatively new one at that, but we’ll give credit for “church key” and old fashioned bottle opener. That was known by Mime Martin, Bella Fruendt, Jan Merchantz, Dan and Cathy Higgins, George and Theresa Rebersky, Jack and Griffin Burke Faddis, Kelly Small, Patty Vandenberg, Jim Long, Marilyn Gutierrez, Sandy Joiner, Lois Faragher, Robert Solner, Gene Sikora and Amanda Callas.
  This week’s clue is: Burn from one end. Send responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject Whatizit, and include your first and last names and where you live.

Germans, Shepard

Shepard High School student Larry Lesniak and the school's jazz band perfrom George Benson's classic "On Broadway" at the welcome reception for 20 students and teachers from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Gymnasium (high school) in Germersheim. The Germans will for the next two weeks live with host families, attend classes at Shepard and live as Americans. Shepard students will visit Germersheim in summer 2014.

Supplied photo