Paul Farhi's Aug. 21 Style essay, "Wolf Trap's Double Bill: O.A.R. and the Police," is one of the most irresponsible pieces of journalism I have seen in print recently.
Farhi criticizes Wolf Trap management and the local police because they rigorously enforce the laws against public intoxication and underage drinking, unlike other local venues such as MCI Center, Nissan Pavilion and Merriweather Post Pavilion. Farhi concludes his article by saying, "Enforcing the law is always to be applauded, but I'd feel a lot better if the same standards applied everywhere." This isn't a call for stricter standards at the other venues but rather a criticism of Wolf Trap's actions because, as a result, young music fans are treated inconsistently.
As the parent of 19- and 22-year-old sons, I agree that teens need consistency, and I applaud Wolf Trap's efforts to hold all adults, young and old, to acceptable and legal standards of public behavior. Shame on the other venues for not doing so.
It is hard enough to raise good, responsible kids without their seeing illegal behavior in public places that is winked at or seems to have no negative consequences.
I have a couple of questions for Farhi: Does he realize that he has just sent his teenage son a public message that it is okay for him to drink in public places because the consequences shouldn't be enforced? How would he feel if Wolf Trap and the police had simply ignored those teenage drinkers and one of them had driven away from the concert and become involved in an accident with his own wife and son?
I believe Farhi needs to rethink his position.
-- Linda S. Shively
I was appalled by Paul Farhi's attitude regarding the arrests made for underage drinking at Wolf Trap during the O.A.R. concert. He essentially says that Wolf Trap should lower its standards for behavior to the level of other concert venues so that youth are not "confused." A far better lesson for all of us, not just the young, is how to exercise a proper sense of decorum and what the consequences can be for failing to use good judgment.
There are already enough examples of incivility and disregard for others in today's society, from aggressive driving on the Capital Beltway to cell phone conversations during movies. Places such as Wolf Trap are an oasis, where the parking lots are safe and we can bring our own food and drink into the venue.
The type of behavior that led to the arrests should not be allowed to ruin everyone else's fun. Don't take my word for it; read the quotations from the band and its manager in your paper's Aug. 19 Metro story.
-- Jay Gruendl