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Davey D. at the Fresno Free College Foundation Banquet – October 26, 2008 Hanson-Parenti Debate at Fresno Pacific University: Michael Parenti vs. Victor Davis Hanson in a debate sponsored by the Fresno Center for Non Violence, Peace Fresno, Community Alliance and the Sunbird Conservatives, recorded April 17, 2010. Down in the Valley with LLoyd Carter – February 13, 2009 Scott Ritter, Tour of Duty: Operation Thanks in Fresno – October 24, 2008 George “Elfie” Ballis – On November 22, 2009, Elfie held an “End Game Party” to celebrate his life at the Sun Mountain house. It was recorded by Mike Rhodes and originally aired on KFCF on November 27, 2009 Play

Remembering George Ballis

by Alex Vavoulis

photo of George Ballis and Maia Sortor I first met George Ballis when I was president of the Fresno Free College Foundation and manager of KFCF radio. The radio station started broadcasting on June 9, 1975. One of the big political issues at that time was the Federal regulations governing the use of water for agricultural purposes on the basis of the farmer owning 160 acres of land. For the corporate farmers with thousands of acres of farm land it was easy to circumvent the law. They just put 160 acre parcels in the name of a family member.

George Ballis could not sit by and watch this misuse of a law which was intended to help small farmers. When a Senate sub-committee came to Fresno to hold hearings, George, who was very knowledgeable in agricultural issues, saw an opportunity to help the small farmer. The hearings took place in the auditorium at Fresno City College, in the late 1970s and were broadcast live on KFCF. I could still see George rolling a huge file cabinet filled with folders about the 160 acre legislation onto the stage of the auditorium. It was a sight to see!

George was into a lot of political and social issues; he seemed to be everywhere. At a back yard at the home of Chris and Howard Watkins, I quipped to George that there are people in Fresno who are masquerading as George Ballis.

In 1978 he presented the Fresno Free College Foundation with a slide show at its 10th Anniversary celebration. The show that he produced with Maia Sortor, was a wonderful history, with narration and music, of the Foundation’s first 10-years. That slide show has been transferred to a DVD and is catalogued at the Henry Madden Library at CSUF and at the Fresno County Library.

The Board of Directors of the Foundation shares the sorrow that is felt by many members of the community. It is not easy to lose someone who made such a positive contribution to human rights; our community lost a fighter who wanted peace and justice for all human beings. To individuals who joined the battle with him, they lost a comrade-in-arms. George will be alive in our grieving and in our thoughts.

On November 22, 2009, he held an “End Game party” to celebrate his life at the Sun Mountain house.

KFCF’s Mike Rhodes was there, and captured it on tape.