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.