Our goal is to create a more welcoming Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Everyone deserves a voice in our civic conversations – not just those who have lived here a long time, or those who own a house.
Our point of view
We live in a college town that benefits from new people and new ideas and new people moving in and out. There are no affordable starter homes here. We know UNC graduate students using food pantries. We see people driving more than an hour to teach in our school system.
We live here, and want to make this a better town — and that, to us, means building more housing, more types of housing, and talking about the racism baked into housing in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It means building more ways to get around by public transportation and bike — for our health, for the environment, for our kids to safely get to school, and to create the kind of community we want to live in.
Who we are
We’re a group of people who live in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. (Our bios are below.) We write about housing, development, civics, community life, transportation, and issues that affect our towns.
How we work
We write about topics that are pertinent to Chapel Hill and Carrboro, a lot of us write in humorous ways, and we try to provide primary sources and fact-checking so that people know we’re not bullshitting them — and we make our point of view very clear. We try to counter misinformation about housing and land use where we see it – on neighborhood listservs, on social media, and at council meetings.
Sometimes, especially when correcting misinformation being spread before a council meeting, we aim for speed. Other times, we may work on revising a longer piece for weeks. As for live blogging, the goal is to be informative while having a little fun. Essentially, we sit through five hours of hell so our readers don’t have to.
How to reach us
Mail from readers
We’re always happy to hear from readers and/or “former readers,” as one person described themselves. Here’s some of what we’ve heard recently via email and the not-so-polite corners of NextDoor.
“I really enjoy your posts and links. I feel more confident in talking to neighbors.” – D.L.
“I enjoy your humor and courage – you know just where to aim your pen.” – J.K.
“Your post inspired me to attend the Chapel Hill Town Council meeting and speak for the first time.” – N.L
“I’m a Carrboro resident and have found it to be entertaining and informative.” – K.J.
“Your work – individual and collective – is excellent in the substance, social, and political arena of Chapel Hill.” – S.R.
“You all are doing great work. You are successfully redefining the key
local issues in CH/Carrboro and rocking CHALT back on their heels.” – MM
“Hello and thank goodness for you!” – DS
“Love your work and fully support & welcome more housing / diverse housing types, & new neighbors — in my own neighborhood. Keep it up!” – JE
“I find your writer to be especially insulting of the older, more affluent members of the community.” – S.H.
“Triangleblogblog is a shameful nuisance.” – K.S.
“Once again, I refuse to read that blog.” – T.B.
“Another screed…” D.F.
“Shame on the writer and shame on providing a platform for such fake reporting/writing.” – JRB
“Not only is this Triangle Blob Blog piece 200% offensive–and should NOT be allowed to be said or written… it is WRONG WRONG WRONG !!!!”” – MM
Our donation policy
We have a strict firewall between our writers/editors and the people who are helping us with finances. That means our writers will not know who individual donors are or how much they’ve donated. But we also believe in transparency. If we launch a specific project supported by an organizational or individual funder, we’ll let you know. (For example, we’re hoping to launch a new website specifically around Chapel Hill’s covenants. That will likely have both community and financial supporters, specifically for that work.) We will err on the side of too much, not too little, disclosure. (We are following the same guidelines NPR follows.)
We have a donate button at the top of each page if you’d like to help pay for our hosting and other expenses. (For example, we’d like to launch a website specifically for our real estate covenant project, which has 35 volunteers looking at exclusionary language in Chapel Hill covenants.)
Chapel Hill pickleball players protest at Town Council meeting, prompt response from AOC (Daily Tar Heel)
The Editor’s Desk interview (January 2023)
David Anderson (@bjdickmayhew) is currently a middle age PhD student in Population Health Sciences. He lives with his family in Chapel Hill after moving here from Pittsburgh where he used his masters in public policy ineffectively for a decade.
Ryan Byars (@ryanbee) writes about transportation infrastructure, greenways, and how to get around with your kids safely on a bike. He lives in Carrboro with his wife and three young children.
Caroline Dwyer, AICP (@plan_splaining) lives in Durham with her spouse, teen, and cat. Caroline earned her Master’s Degree from UNC Chapel Hill’s Department of City & Regional Planning in 2014 after relocating to the Triangle from Long Island, New York. Caroline is a practicing transit planner and serves on the Executive Committee of the American Planning Association’s Women & Planning Division, on Durham’s Cultural Advisory Board, and on Durham’s Public Art Committee. Caroline likes to maximize her free time by knitting while also listening to non-fiction audio books or true crime podcasts. Double or nothing, baby. Note: As of August 2022, to avoid potential conflicts of interest with her current employer, Caroline is no longer authoring content related to the Town of Chapel Hill.
Geoff Green, AICP (@geoff_green) serves as chair of the Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment and lives in Chapel Hill. In his day job he’s a practicing urban planner; in his spare time he rides his electric bike around town and advocates for improved facilities so that everyone can safely walk/roll and bike to destinations as part of everyday life. He very rarely posts about urban planning/transportation and related issues on his substack at Triangle Thoughts. He used to be on the board of NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro and sometimes attends their events.
Martin Johnson (@martinlj) lives in Chapel Hill. He teaches film studies courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his research interests include documentary, educational film, and local film. Like John, he serves on the board of NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill. He believes that walkable urbanism is the solution to our environmental and economic challenges.
Jillian Kern is a Chapel Hill resident and renter, teacher, avid naturalist and outdoors-meanderer, and PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill in the department of English and Comparative Literature.
Melody Kramer (@mkramer) serves on the OWASA board and lives in Carrboro with her family. By day, she leads communications for a large academic research center and recently obtained her MLIS degree focusing on digital archiving practices. She generally writes about journalism, archival research, and things she finds interesting. A long time ago, she wrote jokes for a living, received a Peabody Award, and was called the Most Popular Person at Fresh Air.
Chuck Mills serves on the Chapel Hill Planning Board and on the board of the Community Home Trust. He served as the Kitchen Manager at Elmo’s until it shut down during the pandemic and now works at Harris Teeter.
Theodore Nollert is a PhD student at UNC-CH in the English and Comparative Literature Department. He is also the President of the UNC Graduate and Professional Student Government.
Kyle Onda (@adnosk) lives in Carrboro, and is an Associate Director of the Center for Geospatial Solutions at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He is a PhD Candidate in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he studies the political economy of urban water services reforms.
Cristóbal Palmer is a Carrboro resident, new parent, graduate of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and loyal attendant to the two cats who believe they own the house.
Heidi Perov (@HeidiPerov) is a long-time bicycling advocate from Carrboro, Heidi is a founding member of the Carrboro Bicycling Coalition (BikeCarrboro). She has worked on several Bike Walk NC statewide BikeWalk Summits, and has participated in the NC delegation that lobbies once a year on Capitol Hill. Heidi was the recipient of the 2011 NC American Planning Association’s Marvin Collins Award for her contributions to Carrboro’s Planning program.
Heidi has been a League Certified Instructor (LCI) since 2013, and uses the bike as her main form of transportation. She embraces the idea that a community that walks and bikes is a healthier and more equitable community. Retired from a career in book publishing, well-designed and well-written books still bring her much joy.
John Rees (@jreesnc) lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. Other job is Chapel Hill Planning commissioner. He serves on the boards of NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill, and is also a member of the Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition. His focus is on non-car transportation, equity and housing for all.
Kirk Ross (@ludkmr) is a journalist and musician based in Chapel Hill. He writes the New Hope City newsletter, and has served as the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Carolina Public Press, Editor of the Carrboro Citizen, and Managing Editor of Indyweek.
Stephen Whitlow (dirt_rocker) lives in Chapel Hill and serves on the town’s planning commission. Trained as an urban planner at DCRP, he works for a research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm and focuses on the areas of housing affordability, fair housing, community development, and local government innovation. He is interested in placemaking, how cities change (or don’t), and the role of place in shaping economic and social opportunity.