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January 18, 2003

Around Annapolis: Good news you'll want to hear

From: Annapolis Capital, MD - 18 Jan 2003

By MARY P. FELTER, Community News Editor

It was my pleasure to read a chapter in a new book, "Bridge to Sound with a `Bionic' Ear," compiled by Cynthia Farley and published by Periscope Press.

Mrs. Farley gathered stories by individuals, from youngsters to seniors, who have had the revolutionary cochlear implant surgery and now can hear.

She had the successful surgery herself in 1995.

One such individual is Jacob Landis, son of Randy and Lois Landis of Admiral Heights, who lost his hearing while in elementary school and had the surgery in June 1999 at Johns Hopkins Hearing Center in Baltimore.

His dad told him that the day the implant was activated, he felt he had his boy back. He saw the "sparkle" return to his eyes.

Jacob writes: "One day I heard the phone ring and I answered it. It was my dad. We hadn't talked on the phone for two or three years. He later told me that as we talked he was sitting in his office at the bank with tears running down his face. A few years earlier I cried because I couldn't hear the phone ring. Now my dad was crying because I could hear it ring."

Jacob is a person to whom other hearing impaired children turn for advice.

Since the operation, he has become a voluntary ambassador for cochlear implant surgery to more than 30 families of hearing impaired children around the region. He answers questions about how it feels to have the surgery and what it's like having the implant.

Mrs. Farley has a list of Web sites at the end of the book, so anyone interested can visit, or for information. She also lists cochlear implant sites.

The book can be ordered on-line at and costs $19.95 plus shipping and handling. The Web site also has additional information on the implant and statistics.Hear ye, hear ye! The Maritime Republic of Eastport is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the MRE Ambassador's Ball on Friday.

After a year's hiatus, the ball is back with a twist.

Elvira Thompson, "minister of propaganda," informs me that "we'll celebrate the fact that we `still like it this way' (MRE's motto), with a nod to the entity that inspired us, Key West's Conch Republic. Attire is still Eastport formal, but with flowery island shirts encouraged. In fact, let's just forget it's winter and dress for the Keys."

Members are also having a potluck this year, with everyone asked to bring a dish of finger food to share.

You don't have to be an Eastport resident to participate in the celebration. It's like being Irish on St. Patrick's Day. Everyone is invited to join the fun.

The event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Eastport Democratic Club, 525 State St. Tickets at the door are $7.50. Music for dancing will be provided. There will be a cash bar, but you must be 21 or older to enter.

The club will be decorated with memorabilia from the MRE's glorious history, and past premiers, ministers and other celebrities are expected to attend.

For information, call Marilyn Henderson at 410-268-8242. The Web site is

The Caritas Society of St. John's College is pleased to have booked The Capitol Steps to help raise funds for the financial aid the nonprofit provides in emergency cases to St. John's students.

The Capitol Steps is a troupe of congressional staffers-turned-comedians who travel the U.S. satirizing the very people and places that once employed them. The group is comprised of equal opportunity offenders who constantly update their material.

Founded in December 1981, they perform 500 shows a year. Most cast members have worked on Capitol Hill, some for Democrats, some for Republicans and others for politicians who firmly straddle the fence.

The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. March 8 in Key Auditorium. A reception with the performers follows the entertainment. Tickets are $50 per person, of which $35 is tax deductible. Call Claire Wagner at 410-544-2405 or Nancy Reinhard at 410-224-4039 to order tickets.

The Caritas Society has awarded some $18,000 a year for the past two years for students' emergency needs, said President Ralph C. Reeder. This year the board has voted to increase the grant amount to $20,200.

So go to the show, have fun and help raise those funds!

Copyright © 2003 The Capital, Annapolis, Md.