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It's Not Blight; It's a Family's Nightmare

A Cupertino home that burned in May 2011 gets included in a "blight" contest by a Mercury News columnist.

Sometimes a picture doesn’t tell the whole story, as is the case with Thursday’s Mercury News front page photo of a burned out Cupertino home as an example of “blight” in Silicon Valley.

The photo is misleading because it doesn’t show the green fence that surrounds the scarred structure and blocks some of the view from the street.

What Scott Herhold left out of his column, “Herhold poll: What’s your top ‘Rotten Tooth’ vote”—a vote for the worst blight in the area—was that the family who lived at 873 would like nothing more than to have the charred ruins stripped from the lot, as well as their memories.

The Moores, a family of six—four children and two parents—have had to wade through mountains of insurance paperwork, city paperwork timelines and such before demolition could start.

Herhold wrote in his column, “The assessor's office shows that the property is owned by a doctor in Albuquerque, N.M. I left a message for him at his office but got no response by deadline.”

That doctor he tried to reach is Kevin Moore’s father who actually owns the property and is on his way to the area to meet with a contractor Friday, according to Lydia Moore.

Herhold wrote, “Understandably, there are reasons why property owners may not be able to clear a lot immediately. They may have a dispute with their insurance company or insufficient cash for the demolition.”

This is the case with the Rose Blossom home that Herhold included at the top of his list and identified as being in an “upscale” neighborhood in Cupertino. By comparison, this neighborhood is modest for the community.

The Moores had hoped to be back in their home by spring but there were complications with the insurance and a reliable contractor; things that were out of their control.

The while Lydia walked her children to school in the morning. By the time she turned around and headed home smoke was rising in the distance and she had no idea it was her home in flames.

They lost all their personal belongings in that fire and the community rallied around them, but that doesn’t rally away the pain that’s left behind in their hearts.

"After the fire, many caring, generous people in the community donated clothes, toys, and money to get them on their feet again after the fire," wrote Julie Johnson in an email to Patch and Scott Herhold.

The family was, and is, grateful for the outpouring of donations and love. But it also weighs heavy on them because they no longer have their own personal things such as family photos, a favorite sweater, or the baby shoes worn their first born.

As Lydia once said to Patch, “We’re with .” 

It’s been a long, tough 16 months for the family, but they keep up their spirits.

It’s a shame Herhold didn’t try a little harder to find out more about the situation of the Moore’s and their home on Rose Blossom Drive before he put it up for a vote. This is not a case of neglect and indifference and this editor thinks Herhold owes the Moores an apology.

"This contest is yet another rotten thing to happen to this family" Johnson wrote.

Susan September 08, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Instead of an apology or a retraction, today's Mercury News reminded readers to vote? Let's pause for a moment to "judge" the ethical character of these bad actors living in a glass house: Mercury News Caught with Stolen Racks [August 1, 2012] San Jose Police were called to the headquarters of the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday afternoon after an independent distribution firm discovered its news racks — along with those of other local publications — in a metal recycling dumpster behind the daily’s plant. http://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/8_2_12_mercury_news_stolen_news_racks/ The Mercury News is Lying There are two kinds of thieves: ones who own up to their actions when caught and those who make up facts to justify their thievery. The Mercury News executive team has chosen to go the route of lying thieves. Luckily, no one is really fooled, and the ethical character of the group running the Bay Area’s daily newspapers is now on display for all to see. The emperor has no clothes. http://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/entries/8_3_12_mercury_news_newsrack_lies/
Lydia Moore September 08, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Hey everyone, I need to correct something. I need to apologize to Jacqueline Ramseyer. She was the original reporter who contacted us about doing an update story and wanted a photo of the kids. I called her a liar and I was wrong and for that I am SORRY! Upon a closer look of the photo( and believe me I did not want to look at it) the photographer was Patrick Tehan. Thanks. Lydia
Anne Ernst September 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Lydia, you never used Jacqueline's name in your previous comment. I know her personally and she's a fine human being and would understand and accept your apology.
Meyer Weed September 09, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Cupertino Patch should be on high alert as the MercuryNews may stoop to stealing your newsracks...
Meyer Weed September 09, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Herhold does not drive or ride the bus except to take his mother to the soup bar at the Whole Foods store in Palo Alto where (as he proudly wrote in a column) he loads his pockets with the "free soup crackers," to maintain a consant supply at home. Scott's preferred mode of transportation is his, "rickety old Nishiki 10-speed" which he rides to and from his home in San Jose's Posh Rose Garden District to his MercuryNews Office in San Jose's City Hall. From his City Hall office he carries Mayor Reed's water.

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