ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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June 4 , 2008


Volume V, No. 24



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Flame-colored Tanager
Flame-colored Tanager

©Peter S. Weber
click on picture to view larger image

In this Issue

Legislative Update

ISVMA Membership Survey

In Memoriam

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Legislature Leaves Much Work Undone

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned last Saturday night after adopting a state budget that is generally regarded as out of balance and seriously flawed. Meeting its May 31 deadline, after which a three-fifths’ majority would have been needed, the Democrat-dominated legislature has dropped the budget in the Governor's lap and have invited him to use his amendatory veto to bring the budget into balance.

A balanced budget is required by the Illinois Constitution which specifies that "proposed expenditures shall not exceed funds estimated to be available for the fiscal year as shown in the budget." The Governor's revenue experts believe the fiscal 2009 budget sent to him by the legislature is $2.1 billion out of balance and the Governor wants to meet with legislative leaders to continue working on a plan that matches spending to revenues.

Last year's legislative session, and the struggle to reach an agreement on a balanced budget, resulted in an acrimonious series of overtime special sessions. The legislative majority has decided upon a new strategy in an effort to avoid a repeat of last year's legislative debacle. ‘We in the legislature just need to pass a budget" said State Representative Gary Hannig, chief House budget negotiator, "and if the executive branch wishes to participate, we’ll work with him.’”

In what promises to be an eventful and extensive Fall Veto Session, the legislature will take up the many substantive issues on which action was delayed while the budget proposal was worked out between Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Among the issues that will be decided during the Veto Session are two proposals advanced and supported by ISVMA - the Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act and the Internet Pharmacy Prohibition Act.

Please pay attention to future issues of the E-SOURCE and Epitome newsletters for more information on how you can help ISVMA in its advocacy efforts on these and other important issues related to the veterinary profession.

ISVMA Member Survey - Please Participate

The ISVMA is committed to providing its members with the best service possible.  With that objective in mind, the ISVMA Board of Directors has requested that our members and other veterinary professionals be surveyed. The results will assist in evaluating services and benefits that are, or would be, most valuable to ISVMA members. The results should also spotlight the emerging needs of the varied professionals who comprise the veterinary community in Illinois.  From your feedback, we will be better able to serve ISVMA members and the veterinary profession throughout the state of Illinois.

The survey takes under ten minutes to complete. The ISVMA Home Page has a link to the survey or it can be accessed directly at:

Results will be compiled through July 31, 2008. At that time a report will be created and presented to the ISVMA Board of Directors for their review.

Please forward this information to other veterinary professionals that are not currently members of the ISVMA. The more feedback received, the better we will be able to serve the veterinary profession in Illinois.

In Memoriam

The membership renewal period always results in sad news being reported to ISVMA. Upon receipt of renewal statements, we hear from families of veterinarians that have passed during the previous year. In the last couple of weeks, we have learned about the deaths of the following:

Dr. Ira John Aves Jr. (ILL 1957) of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, died on May 23, 2008. Before retirement, Dr. Aves had a mixed animal practice in Belvidere, Illinois for 47 years. Dr. Aves also was the Animal Control Administrator for Boone County, Illinois. He was a Life Member of ISVMA had been a member for 50 years.

He was a Phi Zeta graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nancy, his two children, Steven John Aves, Kimberly Anne Bender, and two grandchildren Justin and Kolsen Bender.

His cremains will be scattered over the farm he was born and raised on in Kirkland, Illinois.

• Dr. John W. Brown (UP 1943) of Collinsville. Dr. Brown was a Life Member of the ISVMA. No additional information on his death was conveyed.

• Dr. George L. Balster (ISU 1970) was the hospital director and a veterinarian at Bethany Animal Hospital since 1984. Previous to his arrival at Bethany, Dr. Balster worked as associate veterinarian in Arizona and Iowa and co-owned a hospital in Dixon, IL for 10 years.

Having received both his undergraduate and DVM degrees from Iowa State University, Dr. Balster was a general small animal veterinarian. Along with his duties as hospital director, Dr. Balster had obtained special training and had an interest in veterinary endoscopy and orthopedic surgery.

Even with his busy career, Dr. Balster found time for outside activities. He was a past member and president of the Kishwaukee Kiwanis Club and past president of the DeKalb County Board of Health. His hobbies included downhill and cross country skiing, running and fishing. Dr. Balster also traveled across the country with his horse Smokey doing cowboy mounted shooting.

Do You Have a New Associate?

If your practice has hired a new associated since July 1, 2007 please make sure that ISVMA is aware of your staff changes. Membership renewal packets were mailed five weeks ago. If you or your associates have not received your membership renewal information, please contact our office at (217) 546-8381 and speak to Jill Blanton so that we can make sure we have the correct contact information.

Your support of the veterinary profession through membership in ISVMA is greatly appreciated and, as noted in a letter from Dr. Ronald Gill, ISVMA President, your state association had a very successful year and continued to provide high quality services and programs to support the veterinary profession, individual practitioners, veterinary students, animals and the public.

If it is easier for you, you can renew your membership online at You can indicate on the web form whether your application is a renewal or new application. You may also make a voluntary contribution to VMPAC or the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation (IVMF).

About the Photo

The Flame-colored Tanager (Piranga bidentata), is a medium-sized tropical songbird with a flame red-orange body, black wings with white wing bars and spots, and a black-streaked back. Its face has a pale gray-tinged ear patch bordered with black. The bill is gray and the legs and feet are black. Its flight is swift and direct and its song is noticeably loud compared to other American tanagers. The Flame-colored Tanager was traditionally placed in the tanager family (Thraupidae); it is now thought to be much closer to cardinals (Cardinalidae).


A tropical passerine bird, the Flame-colored Tanager is found in the mountains of Mexico, and throughout Central America to northern Panama; it is occasionally seen in the United States in the mountains in the southeast corner of Arizona, the southwest of New Mexico and Sonora (the Madrean sky islands of the northern portion of the western Mexican mountain range, Sierra Madre Occidental), and also the southwest corner of Texas. It prefers humid coniferous, oak and pine-oak forests in mountains.


The Flame-colored Tanager is the national bird of Puerto Rico.


I photographed this male Flame-colored Tanager at Madera Canyon, Arizona on May 19, 2008.

Contact Us

Please feel free to forward this issue of the E-SOURCE to veterinarians that are not receiving ISVMA’s electronic newsletter. Any ISVMA member may subscribe to the E-SOURCE for free:

If you wish to add your name to the recipient list, send an e-mail to and ask to receive the E-SOURCE newsletter.

ISVMA values your membership and does not want to send you any unwanted email. If you would like to be removed from this member service, please email


Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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