Regarding your editorial titled Foes should get on track with rail plan. As a nonnative Mercedian I find the opposition to a rail project particularly curious, as this community would not exist were it not for rail. I found this piece of Merced historical trivia that your readers may enjoy and could serve as perspective.
From the National Register of Historic Places:
"When Merced was originally laid out by the railroad its planners used the standard gridiron pattern of streets. These streets were normally established on a true north-south axis, but in Merced the streets are slightly off the compass axis but in perfect alignment with the railroad tracks."
San Leandro, CA