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Hate, Detox, Backlash and a Board of Directors: Mandatory Member Reading.

I want everyone to know something very important about myself and I've been saddened and angered to see the behavior that has come out here in grown adults. Bickering, name-calling, lies and other childish and downright evil character has become
 what many people think about when they hear the name ""

This website is something I've worked hard on for
 nearly five years. I've made it into something that people already know about before I can tell them. It's made me a local celebrity. People greet me all the time now and I have no idea who many of them are. This might sound cool and exciting, but as soon as someone speaks about what's happening on the site, it's all about...

  1. What I must be going through because of the 
lawsuit against members of the site,

  2. How the site is covered up with
 hate and
 negativity from people who don't even sign their own name to their comments.

I don't know if this is going to make sense to you, or if you'll even read this, given that you're either one of the people guilty of this behavior or you're one of the people avoiding the site because of that behavior... But here goes.

As alluded to above,
MySaline is my baby. I've spent countless days and nights - and overnights - feeding it, teaching it to walk and talk and cleaning up after its messes. I got my baby to a point where I didn't have to watch her every second. She was able to feed and dress herself and be rather independent. I was the proud parent for some long time.

Now what's happened is comparable to a stranger coming in and pushing drugs on a child. The parent's efforts don't have the same effect on the child. The child pulls away and becomes engulfed in the new culture of poor decisions and regrettable consequences that come with her new habit. A 
terrible, sad and hurtful habit, both to herself, her parents, and to society in general.

You want to raise your child to be a healthy, positive contributor to society. You want her to be successful and beautiful in as many ways possible. When find that your child is on drugs, you feel that you've lost her. You feel you've failed her. You'll do whatever you can to bring her back. The damage is done and you can't undo it,
but there is something a parent can do.

This is the hard part.  You have to strip away the things that are harming her, but she's addicted to them.
You have to separate the child from the drug and watch her scream and cry and shiver through detox. I will also compare this to having to make that painful incision in surgery in order to get the tumor out from under the skin.
The tumor that's consuming your child's flesh.

I'm speaking in parallels because this is one of the more difficult things I've had to write. I need desperately for you to understand what's about to happen. Moreover, I need your help in deciding what should happen next. I've paused and breathed deep and walked away a couple times and come back to this writing since eight o'clock this morning. We don't always get to say exactly what we mean, but I'm putting my best into this.

You know that I have allowed anonymous members on because there are some things that must be said. Many times, the person who must say what must be said will become someone with something to lose after they have said it. This is the only reason I have allowed it. What's happened is that certain members have taken that freedom and run in a full-blown, no-holds-barred direction akin to dropping a piano on the sidewalk to kill a weed.

Last night, a longtime MySaline member that I call friend asked me a simple question: [paraphrased] "Has everyone on MySaline gone flat crazy?!" Next, another friend and member since forever expressed how awful it is on MySaline, particularly close to election time and she hasn't checked in for a while. Then, still another friend who's been a member from nearly the start said that he hasn't been on in a long time. He didn't say why, but I know. These remarks from good and trustworthy friends cut me. I felt at that moment like I wanted to delete every member who didn't put their name behind what they say. For a few minutes, this really was my decision. Luckily for you and for me, my very best friend called and interrupted my thought process. 

So here's what's going to happen. I'm going through the site today - yes, on election day, of all days - and I'm deleting the troublemakers. You've seen me make several appeals over the months and years for members to read and take care to follow the site agreement. It's so very simple, and yet people don't do it. Some people even say they are following it - or after I've messaged them to talk about it they say they'll do better to follow it. They aren't. They just aren't. I say "they" because I'm assuming at this point that the troublemakers have stopped reading. So here goes.

I'm certain this move will provoke much fork-tongued backlash to show up in my inbox... From the people who never cared that this isn't just any website. It. Is. My. Baby. has got the heart of the close-knit community of Saline County in it. That's you and me. This site is no longer a hobby for me - I've quit my day job and benefits and regular paycheck to turn the crank on this ice cream maker until it no longer makes ice cream. Or until nobody is left that likes ice cream. The name "MySaline" is now synonymous with "Shelli Russell," my own name my parents gave me. I want my family to be proud of that name; proud to speak of what I do. 

So if you're with me, I'll need your help. I'll need you to give me suggestions about what the site needs. I'll need folks who care to get together in person on a regular basis and discuss what's working, what isn't, and what's next for MySaline... your watering hole, your history book, your go-to for community questions and more. All these members aren't for nothing. Let's make fun, informational, easy, and hate-free.

Please email me at if you're in for any of that last paragraph. I'll add you to the MySaline Army and after the election tonight and after the Freedom of Speech Rally June 1st, we'll rock the snot out of this bad boy.

Your comments...?

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Comment by Shelli Poole on May 22, 2012 at 5:03pm

Wow. Thanks Chris for your comments. I had a very difficult time writing all that down like I wanted, but now I feel like a ninja. Yes!

Comment by Robyn McCombs Manees on May 22, 2012 at 4:53pm

Thank you Shelli, I don't get on here much simply due to the hate and discontent that has started to develop.  I think it is a great site with great potential if everyone would just remember why we have this site and what makes our county so great.  I have spent most of my life in Saline County and there are a lot of very great things about it that could be filling these pages instead of tearing each other down.  I believe in free speach but tearing people apart is just downright childish and inappropriate.  Thank you for making a stand so this site can get back to what it was meant to be! 

Comment by Joe Gregan on May 22, 2012 at 4:52pm

Shelli, do what as you see fit. As we all know as of late it is not just the anonymous members who need to be addressed. In the future after this major purge is finished, you may want to post of the names of the accounts you have suspended or deleted and the reason(s) for the action. This will help remind everyone to “be nice and play fair”.  

Comment by Paula G on May 22, 2012 at 4:36pm

I agree that the "local politics" should be moved and taken off the latest activity column but you still need to watch the discussion.  I seldom make comments because some on here start attacking you.  I logged on today and got caught up on the blogs and it has been terrible on here.  Even today I read a comment from one person who complained about the hateful comments of Undertaker and Shadow (Well I'm Glad We Finally Know What Our Deputies In Saline County...). I find the same complaints almost each time I log in.  I hope you do clean this up.  Sometimes I talk myself out of coming on here because I dread seeing those hateful people again.  My friends who told me about this place stopped coming here because if has been so bad.  It's been sinful at times.   If there's a way that people have to use their real names, I would be for it.  My parents taught me words can be weapons.  Just my two cents.  

Comment by Linda Kay Bryant on May 22, 2012 at 4:17pm

You go, girl.  If you don't take care of your "Baby", nobody else will.   I am so glad that all the mudslinging stuff is going to come to an end.  I enjoy MySaline and I want to continue the enjoyment.  Thanks, Shelli, for all the hard work you have invested in this web site.  I know it was not easy.  Oh and I admire you for leaving your wonderful day job to accomplish something you want in life.  Not many people will do that.  Prayers, peace and love to you and all your family members.  Keep up the good work!!

Comment by guitarman on May 22, 2012 at 4:04pm

You just earned some advertising.

Comment by Henry on May 22, 2012 at 4:04pm

I know that I'm going to be in the minority here, but I do feel that the full disclosure of a person's identity is unreasonable.  We use the term anonymity here often but what we are really talking about is pseudonymity.  Requiring the use of a full name will, in itself, be no more effective than making someone pinky swear about their identity.  You don't know who I am.  I could be Henry, I could very easily be someone else.  Knowing who I am, however, does not add or detract from what I say.

Perhaps Truth's suggestion is manageable.  Create a group called "Local Politics" and make it so the posts do not appear in the Latest Activity column?  It would serve as a forum for those people to migrate to as well as keep an important (in my opinion at least) function of this website - discussion of local politics.  Just an idea. 

Comment by Zachary Major on May 22, 2012 at 3:32pm

Well said Shelli.  I'm fairly new to the site and I enjoy reading many of the topics, but I've noticed several members seem to contribute nothing but negativity and name calling.  There's been more than a few times that I've come to the site, seen the "Latest Activity" section full of political arguments, and moved on to another site instead of digging for topics that actually have to do with news/events in Saline County.  I love this site, and I think you're doing a great thing by trying to wrangle in some of the recent craziness. 

Comment by Chris Peterson on May 22, 2012 at 3:26pm

Shelli, I'm behind you on this. Very well written post!
I haven't been a member long, but I have been "watching" for a long time. And since I have become a member, I haven't said much because I have been in a small battle with the city of Bryant and didn't want to ruffle any administrative feathers just as things looked to be slowly going my way. And I also run a business and didn't want to open the door to attacks that could hurt MY "baby" - the baby I've raised for 15 years with every bit of blood, sweat & tears I had.

On my facebook page I have chosen to add members of my family, my wife's family, my clients and people from my church as my friends. Doing this, being "out in the open", keeps my posts civilized and actually makes me think before I post. If I had no accountability on facebook, there's no telling how much drama I would jump into the middle of or how much I would wrongly stir the flames myself. Just being honest.

I am sorry but I do think it sad that people got upset because a band member at FamilyFest was drinking a beer. If my kids would have seen that, I would have told them #1) that person is an adult, and #2) that we should pray for them to not want to do that sort of thing at a family function, and #3) if they didn't like the rules they shouldn't have played here. But I wouldn't have made a big to-do about it (if I were to make a big deal out of anything at FamilyFest it would be the raunchy lyrics that my kids couldn't hide from; but again, as a pro-active parent I simply handled that by teaching my kids that there will be a lot of stuff in this world they will see/hear and they just have to decide to be better than that). And it is even sadder that there may be some council members that chose PUBLIC office but can't take the heat of criticism. But I can say this with my name attached. These are MY views and if I believe in them so much, I shouldn't worry who doesn't like them. 

On that note: I haven't been a Saline County citizen for many years at all. I actually never thought I would be because of all the corruption here that I witnessed from a nearby town all of my life. In fact, as soon as we moved here it started on us. I have first hand experience that you can't get a fair shake in this county unless you know someone. But we couldn't find a better school district in central Arkansas, so here we are. So I see why some people would want to be anonymous; administrative backlash is a very real thing here - it has been proven, yet again, by the lawsuit against MySaline. 

But there is a way to play the game without hiding. I have figured it out and I think you have to. 
The ones that haven't figured it out, don't want to anyway. They like lurking in the shadows. And maybe it's because they aren't living right anyway and it would be easy for them to be taken down should the Powers That Be get angered and want revenge. Let that be their problem and keep this site civilized. 

We are stronger together, but only when each one of us is in the right and has nothing to hide. When we shoot from behind walls, it is because we are hiding something. Usually something more than we can bear coming to light. The scary local government will even have trouble hiding stuff in this day and age; so if we speak out & get unjustly retaliated against, that will be easier to deal with - IF we don't have anything to hide!

The hiders will say you caved to pressure. Ignore them. Even though their complaints about the city or county may be right, I really think WE can get more done about it by standing together out in the open.

I'm proud of you!

Comment by Shelli Poole on May 22, 2012 at 3:18pm

Kerry, don't act like you don't know how to get a pic on here! ha

By the way, I'm very happy about the positivity...

-woops, spellcheck says I can pick from "positivism" or "positiveness" but "positivity" isn't a word...

However, I see that it's used widely, and those other words make lisp in my brain, so...

I'm very happy about the positive response I am seeing here, and guess what - if I see you posting (in the Latest Activity over there to the left) and you haven't posted anything on this blog, you can bet I'm reviewing your profile for suspension.

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