Editor: If the Maryland Institute College of Art decides to sell the Lucas Collection, (mostly 19th Century French paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture), which is on indefinite loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery, the art resources of Baltimore will be sadly diminished. We will all be losers -- the museums, the institute and the public.
As a former president of the institute, I do not want to interfere with decisions made by the current very successful administration, but as an artist I must shout from the roof tops: Don't do it!
I, for one, have been inspired for years by a wild and beautiful Rousseau painting, ''Morning Frost,'' in the Walters Art Gallery, and there are many others.
If the collection is sold, this community will be poorer in spirit, poorer in fact, and George Lucas will be poorest of all with his unique gift to the institute scattered to the winds.
Eugene W. Leake.
Editor: Recycling in Baltimore can be inconvenient and a lot of work. Out of fear that people will give up or wait till things get easier, I offer a few reminders.
The development of a reliable curbside pickup system (and orecycling as an established way of life) depends on participation now. Citizens have to show a commitment to recycling in order to get governments to cooperate, to encourage markets for recycled goods and to instill new attitudes in our children.
This commitment includes responsible use of recycling centers. I am appalled at the recent closing of the Wabash Avenue recycling center because of its callous use as a dump.
The search for comfort and convenience is one of the things that got us in this environmental mess in the first place.
There is much unnecessary packaging (a.k.a. garbage) done for the sake of convenience. There are many regulating corners cut for the sake of convenience (a.k.a. profit). This has resulted in environmental hazards and disasters.
There are government officials who fear disrupting our comfortable, oil-dependent lifestyles (and their re-election plans) to the point where they draft embarrassing energy policies. The list, of course, goes on.
Please recycle. It is only mildly uncomfortable compared to the Earth's current suffering.
Laszlo R. Trazkovich.
Editor: Barbara Tufty's Earth Day ''Dialogue with a Friendly Planet'' taught awareness of the need to get serious about saving the earth before human abuse sickens it to death.
Efforts so far, such as the Clean Air Act, are mere Band-Aids, Mother Earth complained, and she wanted people to go to work on basic requirements, such as renewable energy sources and vehicles that run 50 miles on a gallon of gas.
Alas! Ms. Tufty did not even allude to the most basic cause of pollution and resource depletion -- too many people. The rain forests are being cut down and farmed by desperate people trying to survive when other opportunities do not exist. Efforts to reduce air and water pollution are overwhelmed by the growing number of people.
Why do writers on environmental subjects avoid mentioning the most basic problem of all -- population growth?
Most people needed 25 or 30 years of screaming by such groups as Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund and others before they became aware of the real need to clean up and conserve and recycle.
How many more years before ZPG, the Population Institute and other such agencies reach the consciousness of individuals and governments before the Friendly Planet does indeed become uninhabitable?
Carleton W. Brown.
Good for GM . . .
Editor: Mayor Kurt Schmoke is to be commended for his early efforts to keep General Motors operating in Baltimore. It would seem to be telling evidence that the citizens of this area are behind him if more would choose GM vans and cars.
We have evidence that ''What's good for General Motors is good for the nation,'' in the words of the late GM CEO Charles ''Engine Charlie'' Wilson. It is truer than believed at its first saying.
Is there not validity as well to the paraphrase, ''What's good for General Motors is good for Baltimore''?
Arthur E. Wheeler.
Editor: Your editorial of April 18, ''Quagmire in Iraq,'' recognizes that the United States ''is profoundly implicated'' in the desperate plight of the Iraqi Kurds because of our decision to ''use force to liberate Kuwait.''
Because of the supreme technical skill with which our armed forces achieved that liberation, many assume that those of us who opposed military intervention in January (a majority of the American public, by some counts, together with a large minority of the Senate) were grievously mistaken and ought to slink away in shame.