How many flies doth a fly problem make?

The Fairfax County Health Department and Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts are swatting at that question.

"I understand that they did have a problem with flies last August," said Clevo O. Wheeling, the county's supervising sanitarian, who has been bugging Wolf Trap since that time to screen in its open-air concession where a buffet is served before the nightly performances.

But according to a spokesman for the park, "there's a good strong breeze here and they [the flies] don't linger." He said the U.S. Park Service, which operates the performing arts park, is "studying a design for a screen" and that it will be put up "if there's a problem."

The health department official said county and state codes require that food be protected from insects while it is being prepared and served. Since the Wolf Trap buffet sits out on tables under a tent for up to two hours, the area needs to be screened, Wheeling said.

At the Fairfax Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday, Supervisor John P. Shacochis (R-Dranesville) said he had talked about the screen requiremtn with Wolf Trap's founder, Catherine Filene Shouse, last week.

"I don't see any need or any logic that a screen be built around the tent. It would totally disrupt the food process," Shacochis said. He asked the board to overrule the health department's requirement. Action on the matter was deferred.