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Moore Family Defends Itself Against Mercury News Columnist

"The past 16 months were a nightmare," Kevin and Lydia Moore wrote in an email to Scott Herhold.

Kevin and Lydia Moore were more than surprised to find their home , but they are not burying their heads in the sand and pretending it’s not happening, they’re trying to set the record straight.

Their home, all their belongings and their security went up in flames in May, 2011, and they’ve been doing all they can to get the scalded structure torn down so they can build anew, but they’ve encountered roadblocks along the way.

Scott Herhold’s column listed the Moore’s Rose Blossom home as one of three top contenders for worst blight in the valley. Patch, and many of its readers, agreed that Herhold’s judgment in including the Moore home in his contest was unfounded and unfair.

The Moore’s decided to not sit idle and instead are fighting back, speaking out and telling the whole story of why their charred home sits, and why they are not in a completed new home yet.

The following is what the Moore’s sent to Herhold, and his response to them:

“We were the occupants of 873 Rose Blossom. Our parents own the home. The past sixteen months were a nightmare.

The insurance company did not settle with us until December 2011. The contractor delayed our start date repeatedly. We could not sign a new contractor until the original contract was dissolved.

We’ve worked diligently to protect our children from the stress of this ordeal. Imagine our shock to find an image of our burnt home in an eyesore competition on the front page of your newspaper.

To include our family’s plight in your mean-spirited competition is insensitive. Would you have included images of a burnt home from the San Bruno fire? Unlike the public spaces mentioned in your article, we are a family struggling on a day-to-day basis.

The next time you include a family home in your competition, realize that there is a very real family behind the story.”

Scott Herhold’s response: “Sorry, 16 months is an awfully long time. As you're aware, I didn't try to blame anyone here.  Scott”

Anne Ernst September 12, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Susan, the Moores did submit that letter to the Merc. They were told it would run in Thursday's paper. They also received an apology from someone other than Herhold I was told.
Susan September 12, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Thanks, Anne. I'm glad someone over there had the decency to apologize. Sounds like the contest might be ending with a loser (Herhold) instead of a winner.
ElaineY September 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Well, at ONE time Herhold may have been a columnist that I would have been interested or cared about what he had to say - but now that I know that he's insensitive, has poor judgement, lacks common sense, integrity and humanity, I honestly don't care what he has to say. Any byline from Herhold will definitely be passed up by me as I already know it's not worthy reading.
Paula September 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Herhold's reply is pathetic and insufficient - it makes me almost as angry as his initial article. He was so off-base to begin with - how dare he right about a family's home in the way he did? I'm so glad Lydia and Kevin wrote back to him - but then to get THAT reply? I am beyond disappointed in the SJ Mercury News for allowing this to unfold. I'm glad someone apologized to the Moores and I hope the paper holds Herhold responsible for his extremely irresponsible article and that a genuine public apology from the paper is provided for all to read.
Paula September 13, 2012 at 01:00 AM
sorry for the typo: right about -> (should be) write about

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