Library Notes

Hip pain presentation at PCH

Palos Community Hospital is offering a free presentation by Orthopaedic Surgeon David Butler, M.D., about hip anatomy, common causes of hip pain and when to consult a physician about pain. He also will address the surgical treatment options in total replacement; including the direct anterior, the posterior and the posterolateral hip replacement surgery.

The program will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Palos Health & Fitness Center, 15430 West Ave., Orland Park. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required; call 226-2300.

Moraine Valley CPR, first aid classes

As adults are increasingly diagnosed with heart disease, knowing CPR and first aid can mean the difference between life and death. Training in both of these areas is available at Moraine Valley Community College during the spring 2013 semester.

This class is recommended for individuals as well as employees of small businesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires many businesses to have employees trained in CPR and basic first aid to help create a safe, supportive work environment. It also can help prevent possible liabilities that may arise from health-related incidents that occur at work. The class can be customized to meet any company's needs.

Moraine Valley also offers several CPR for Health Professionals classes. These classes assist current healthcare professionals with maintaining their CPR credentials and allow new healthcare students to earn their credentials.

For more information, call the Corporate, Community and Continuing Education Department at 974-5735 or visit

Making sense of memory loss

Forgetfulness is a common human experience, but severe forgetfulness is not a normal part of aging.

Palos Township Health Service will present a session on Friday Jan. 25, from 9 to 11 a.m. Kim Kumiega, a community outreach representative, will distinguish between normal and abnormal forgetfulness and explain ways to reduce the risk of dementia.

Call the health service at 598- 2441 to reserve a space. Palos Township is at, 10802 S. Roberts Road in Palos Hills.

A 'greener, gentler choice'

Mortician is one of few in country to offer burial alternative

By Laura Bollin

For people who find traditional burial, entombment or cremation so 2012, another option is available for interring the dead here in the southwest suburbs.

The result of the process of alkaline hydrolysis, or "flameless cremation," is not ash but bone and an organic aqueous solution consisting of dissolved soft tissue and water. Among the funeral homes that offer the service is Palos-Gaidas Funeral Home in Palos Hills.

Carrying out the procedure is Ryan Cattoni, the owner of AquaGreen Dispositions in South Holland and the only alkaline hydrolysis facility in Illinois. Cattoni wanted to get into the mortuary industry after the death of his grandfather, he said.

"When I was a junior in high school, my grandfather passed away and it was a very hard experience because he lived with us," Cattoni said. "His funeral and wake really helped me through the grieving process, and I wanted to do that for other people."

Cattoni attended Worsham School of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, and in October opened AquaGreen. Now, he is encouraging people to "think outside the casket," his company's slogan.

Alkaline hydrolysis begins with the body of the deceased lowered into the vessel in a stainless steel basket. The vessel door is sealed, and sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are added to the machine.

"You find the chemicals in everyday household cleaners like Mr. Clean, in toothpaste and in beauty products," Cattoni said.

After the chemicals are added the machine fills up with water. The water is heated, and the mixture is gently circulated for six to 12 hours until all that remains are bones, liquid and inorganic material such as artificial joints and pace makers. The bone remains are crushed and can be placed in an urn, and the inorganic material is sent to a recycling plant.

Through alkaline hydrolysis, a body is broken down by water and chemicals into amino acids, small peptides, sugars, salts and nutrients. The sterile solution that remains is sent to a waste treatment facility and recycled.

The process produces no air pollution like traditional cremation, Cattoni said. Alkaline hydrolysis uses less energy than traditional flame creation.

Cattoni spent two years working to get laws passed that licensed alkaline hydrolysis in Illinois. The law approving flameless cremation was passed in February 2012. Cattoni's facility is the only licensed one in Illinois and one of only four in the country, with others in Florida, Maine, and Minnesota. The Shands Hospital in Florida and Mayo Clinic use the procedure to inter the remains of people who donated their bodies to medical research.

"I just want people to know that at this unfortunate and hard time, they do have more options than just cremation or burial," Cattoni said. "This is a greener and gentler choice. There haven't been options in the funeral industry for a very long time, and this is another option."

Ice down

Registration is open for the 13th annual Chicago Polar Plunge benefitting Special Olympics Chicago. The Polar Plunge, one of the largest fundraising events for Special Olympics Chicago, will be Sunday, March 3 on Chicago's icy lakefront at North Avenue Beach from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Known for festive costumes and courageous participants, last year's event attracted more than 2,000 participants and raised more than $650,000. Register at Registrants are asked to raise a minimum of $150 and may participate with a team or individually. Complimentary bus service will be provided for teams of 20 or more people. All participants will receive a complementary t-shirt and towel. Prizes will be awarded to top three individual fundraisers, top team fundraiser, best three individual costumes, largest team, and best group costume.

A "Melt Down Party" will be held afterward in the North Avenue Beach boathouse and in expanded heated tents from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free and participants will receive free food and nonalcoholic beverages. A cash bar will be available. For more information call (312) 527-3743 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Community Briefs

Palos Hills

Water watch

The Public Works Department is paying close attention to residents' water usage through water main inspections and sump pump inspections, and is exercising the water main valves throughout the water system to ensure proper functioning during a water emergency, according to Alderman Frank J. Williams (5th Ward).

The city's seasonal sump pump inspection program has already begun. Residents will be notified prior to inspections

"In an effort to reduce illegal sump pump to sanitary sewer connections, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago mandated the city several years again to perform regular inspections," said Palos Hills Public Works Commissioner Dave Weakley.

In other water news, Palos Hills' water rate on Jan. 5 increased 25.3 cents per thousand gallons to $6.69. The city's water rate was $5.96 per thousand gallons in 2011.

- Kelly White

Woman booted from April ballot plans to mount write-in campaign

Shawn Good is first in 12 years to challenge EP Mayor Sexton

By Laura Bollin

An Evergreen Park woman kicked off the spring election ballot when the village's electoral board declared her nominating petitions invalid will run for mayor as a write-in candidate.

The Evergreen Park Electoral Board on Jan. 17 upheld the Cook County clerk's ruling that wouldbe mayoral candidate Shawn Good's petitions were invalid because they did not contain the 66 signatures required to run for office this year in the village. The electrical board consisted of Evergreen Park village Clerk Cathy Aparo and village Trustees Jerry Bosch and Carol Kyle, all members of incumbent Mayor Jim Sexton's political party.

Evergreen Park residents Anthony Yukich and Geoffrey Layhe each filed objections to Good's petitions after reviewing public records, according to Aparo said. Yukich believed Good had, at most, 50 valid signatures, while Layhe believed she had 52, she added. Attorney Burt Odelson represented objectors Layhe and Yukich at the electoral board hearing, while Good represented herself.

The Cook County clerk's office had reviewed the petitions Jan. 11 and ruled in favor of the objectors. The electoral board upheld the ruling based on various criteria including petitions being improperly bound, petitions signed by unregistered voters, and names in which the signers used their middle initials, despite not having used middle initials when they registered to vote.

"There is a whole list of reasons signatures are invalid," Aparo said. "Some people [who signed the petitions] aren't registered to vote at all. Some aren't signed properly, like people using a middle initial. Unless your name is the way you signed your voter's card, it is invalid.

"She had six pages of petitions put together with a paperclip, and the way the board reads it they have to be bound like a book," Aparo said. "The pages have to be connected to each other using something like brad-fasteners."

Good disagreed with some of the objections.

"For example, if somebody used a nickname, like their name was Edward, but they signed the petition as Ed, it didn't count," Good said. "I felt like the decision was already prepared."

Good, who has lived in Evergreen Park for 40 years, wanted to run for mayor because she has always been interested in politics. She is a former member of the Illinois Air National Guard and views public office as another way to serve her community, she said. She plans to challenge Sexton via a write-in campaign.

"I'm going to follow through," she said. "I'm not done yet.

"I already went out and became a challenger. It has been so long since we have had any challenger run against the incumbent. I got the common interested of so many people in a small town. Throughout the town, there is still a lot of support."