I enjoyed reading Joelle Pettus' letter in the July 31 issue and do agree. Athens is the town it is due to its small town charm, locally owned businesses and eclectic folks who live here. The new shopping center you mentioned is not typical for Athens, but it is typical for Oconee County, and that is where it is located.
I am a huge advocate for buying locally, and in my mind that means Clarke County. I want my tax dollars to go to my local schools and help out my county. I'm not saying do not shop anywhere else, but let's buy as much in Clarke County as we can. Then, if there is not a store in Athens that sells what we need, we can venture into our neighboring counties.