The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Editorial: Resolve driveway dispute

Monday, July 14, 2014
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Can't we all just get along?

You wouldn't think you'd have to say that to a group of Chinese Buddhists and an organization dedicated to martyred Jesuit missionaries and the Virgin Mary.

But apparently, all those connections to a higher power can't overcome a dispute over access to a driveway.

For the past year or so, the World Peace and Health Organization and the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Amsterdam have been unable to resolve a dispute over a shared access road to the Buddhist temple that the WPHO purchased from the Jesuits in 2006.

To keep the World Peace organization from using the road, Shrine officials recently placed concrete blocks in front of it. They claim that the Buddhists had agreed to build their own access road when they purchased the property, and that the existing road wasn't designed for heavy traffic that the WPHO brings in.

If this is an insurmountable problem for these two groups, then they're a long way from tackling world peace.

The reason the outside world should care is because the dispute has drawn in lawyers and police and the local government and the courts and the media, which means it's no longer an internal problem.

So what exactly is the problem?

If money is an issue, could both sides agree to share the expense of a new road? Maybe have one side pick up the tab and have the other side pay it back over time. Or rather than require a new road, could both sides agree to share the existing road and go into together on widening and improving it? Isn't there some volunteer labor they could muster among them to bring down costs?

Surely, if any two organizations can figure out a compromise, these two can. Otherwise, what hope is there for the rest of us?

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