Editor: Columnist James Kilpatrick apparently needs the National Endowment for the Arts as much as Sen. Jesse Helms.
Both have a history of arts bashing in an attempt to capture public attention. They are like sixth-grade bullies picking on the skinniest kid in the playground.
Leave the National Endowment for the Arts alone and let it do its work. Don't misrepresent the truth by using data out of context.
For the record, Elvi Moore is a charming lady who commands and deserves the pronoun ''she'' not ''he'' (as stated by Mr. Kilpatrick).
I liked the visual -- peas in a pod.
B6 Messrs. Helms and Kilpatrick are certainly a pair.
Elspeth Udvarhelyi. Washington.
The writer is director of development at Arena Stage.
Editor: I was very interested in Paul A. Rohde's letter of April 9 about ''pickin' eggs.'' My father was born on High Street in Baltimore in 1894. He often told me of the ''egg pickin' '' of his childhood, using the exact wording Mr. Rohde quoted. That would take the custom at least back to the turn of the century!
Another quote: My father used to say that the children of his day identified themselves by which fire engine company they ''ran for.'' Was that a Baltimore custom?
$Virginia L. K. Levin. Baltimore.
Editor: As a West Baltimore old-timer I read with great interest East Baltimore's Paul A. Rohde's letter concerning ''pickin' eggs'' at Easter time in the 1920s.
This custom was practiced not only in East Baltimore but throughout the state. We had family members from out of town who used to ''pick eggs.''
Incidentally, only boys ''picked eggs.'' No girls allowed.
Mr. Rohde's description was clear and accurate for the most part. However, I am dismayed that those East Baltimore guys ''picked'' with fresh eggs.
Their mothers should have had them ''pick'' with the dyed, hard-boiled eggs that the bunny delivered in their Easter basket.
When we won 'em, we ate 'em!
dward J. Sale. Westminster.
Raise the Limit
Editor: I feel I must respond to the debate on raising the speed limit on rural stretches of highway to 65 mph. For the past 5 1/2 years I have lived out West where the speed limit, on rural highways, is 65 mph. Contrary to popular opinion in the Baltimore area, there is not a great number of people in those states who exceed the speed limit. People drive at a speed which is comfortable to them under the prevailing road conditions, regardless of the speed limit.
It just so happens that most people feel comfortable driving 65-70 mph, and it is perfectly fine to drive slower if the person does not feel comfortable with those speeds. There has not been an increase in traffic deaths due to the higher speed limit because people were already traveling those speeds in the first place.
Additionally, the 65-70 mph limit is enforced. Groups that support the higher speed limits also advocate the use of seat belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes and driver-safety programs.
So why raise the speed limit at all? The answer is simple: so that people will not be ticketed and fined for driving at a reasonable and comfortable speed.
Since Gov. William Donald Schaefer seems hell-bent on raising taxes, I submit that he use some of the proceeds for driver-education programs to make the roads safer, whatever the speed limit. Driving is a task that people do every day and most take it far too lightly.
homas Carlson. Bel Air.
Editor: I want to let everyone know that all the men and women aren't home from serving in Operation Desert Shield. My father is still away and he won't be back until the end of June.
To me it seems like everyone is forgetting about all of the other people who are still away. I'm hoping that all of the cheering will be the same when my father comes home. I want everyone to remember that there are others still away from their families and they are as important as the men and women who have already come home.
Everything has been changing now that some people have come home. There aren't as many flags out now. What I'm trying to say is please don't forget all of the other people still serving. Let your flags stay out until every last person is home again.
Jill Roeth. Baltimore.
April Fool Joke?
Editor: Was Baltimore County Councilman Bill Howard's 10-minute tirade during the April 1 county council meeting an April Fool's joke?
Mr. Howard's response to a bill that would give Baltimore County police and firefighters a one-time incentive bonus was not only unorthodox but overly dramatized, resentful and obviously practiced. Councilmen Donald Mason and Douglas Riley were not in full agreement with the bill either, but both left their ''chips on their shoulders'' home.
During the meeting, Mr. Howard questioned the integrity of the police and fire departments with his claim that during last year's election, four on-duty firefighters campaigned at a Fullerton polling place -- obviously not for him. What does this have to do with the bill in question?