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Baltimore Sun letters to the editor: EV emergency power, tofu crabcakes and withholding insurance from the unvaccinated | READER COMMENTARY

Tofu is the new crab, kudos for Shields’ recipe

John Shields’ recipe for stretching crab cakes to feed multitudes via infusion of an equal amount of gently crumbled tofu saved a Labor Day family fest for this old B’more cook! Rave reviews and great admiration all round (”High crab prices got you down? Gertrude chef John Shields adds tofu to stretch crab cakes to perfection,” Aug. 31).

Clarinda Harriss, Baltimore

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Another benefit of electric vehicles: emergency power

An often overlooked advantage of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is their ability to provide emergency power when the grid goes down (“Affordable electric vehicles must be a national priority” Sep 2nd.)

With millions predicted to be without power for a month or more in the wrath of hurricane Ida, this lifesaving potential of electric cars is a game changer. The new 2022 Ford F150 pickup, for example, can provide 9.6 kW of electricity and has outlets built in for electric power at the work site or at home.

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Simply connecting a $150 inverter (available from any hardware store) to the 12v battery of any EV or hybrid can provide modest power (1 kW) for days to a week. The 64 kWh battery capacity of the all electric Chevy Bolt can provide 1 kW (the average American grid draw for 64 hours). Or the 16 kWh battery in a plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt can power for 16 hours before its backup engine will automatically cycle on and off to recharge the battery as needed for days depending on gas in the tank.

Although EV’s are only practical for those with a place to plug-in and recharge overnight, that still represents over two-thirds of American households. And pressure is building for apartment and condo buildings to provide EV charging outlets for their tenants considering an EV. With 67 EV models to choose from, it is easy to find one that is better, faster, stronger, cleaner, safer, quieter and cheaper to buy (with incentives), cheaper to operate (half the cost of gas) and cheaper to maintain than the average gas car. Add in kilowatts-to-go and they make a great choice.

Bob Bruninga, Glen Burnie

No vaccine? No insurance coverage for COVID care

I think a good way to get the shots into the arms of the anti-vaxxers is to charge them the full amount of their care when they come down with COVID (“Baltimore to require employees to get fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face weekly COVID testing,” Aug. 31). If the insurance companies stopped paying for their care, and huge bills start showing up in their mailboxes and the word gets around, then it just might be a choice of get the shot or file for bankruptcy. If their credit is threatened, they might just start thinking for themselves for a change.

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What happens when the variant that kills everyone who is not vaccinated evolves and now they all want the vaccine and there isn’t enough to go around? Who will they blame then? I can think of plenty of people or institutions they will try to blame, but you can bet it will never be themselves. They will blame their usual targets, the liberals because that’s who Fox News will tell them to blame.

Too much freedom of irresponsible behavior is a very dangerous thing. As we are seeing now, it can actually kill people.

Jeff Rew, Columbia

The maglev proposal keeps coming back from the dead — enough already

I was gladdened to see that the Federal Railroad Administration is suspending its review of environmental planning for the maglev (“Review of high speed maglev train proposed between city, DC paused,” Sept. 3). Resulting from the Baltimore Circuit Court’s ruling dismissing the eminent domain case to condemn land in Westport, perhaps this is the silver bullet or stake-through-the-heart that maglev needs to keep from coming back from the dead.

The asset we already have is Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. With appropriate investment, the NEC can truly become a high speed rail line between Washington and Boston. Locally, approval of work on the B&P Tunnels in West Baltimore is significant progress in addressing a major bottleneck on the route. Much more investment is needed, but the NEC is already there. No condemnations of property for additional rights of way are needed. The corridor needs to be protected and the safety and capacity projects implemented to make affordable high speed rail available.

Paul Oberle, Lewes, Delaware

Texas will protect residents from masks, but not pregnancy

In Texas, a 12-year-old girl cannot be forced to wear a mask but can be forced to carry a pregnancy to full term (“The Texas abortion law could represent a sea change in the battle over reproductive rights. Here’s what to know,” Sept. 2). It’s hypocrisy and nonsensical.

Jim Mundy, Ellicott City

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