Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

January 2019 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


Roof repairs on “kitchen building” in Sellwood Park


When Portland Parks and Recreation passed its last tax levy for park improvements, one of the projects on that list was the historic poolhouse beside Sellwood Park Pool, the first public swimming pool in the city. Those repairs were completed over a year ago. SMILE requested that part of that project include repairing the deplorable roof of the nearby kitchen building, just northwest of the poolhouse, which was just as old – and its steep pitched roof was thickly covered with moss and ferns, endangering the integrity of the roof. At that time, Parks said there was no room for that in the tax levy budget, and it would be part of the next levy passed. However, apparently funds were found, and to the pleased surprise of SMILE and neighborhood residents, Parks workers showed up in the park in November to remove and replace the roof of the kitchen building. In the process, they found other structural problems in the century-old building, and they have worked into December to complete the re-roofing, and the further structural repairs are to be completed in March.



Report from the Crime Prevention Committee


R. Corless, Chair of the SMILE Crime Prevention Committee, introduced Mark Wells of the city’s Crime Prevention Program, at the SMILE General Meeting on December 5. Wells said that property crime has been going up all over the city in recent years, largely linked to the ongoing drug addiction problem (addicts steal from cars, homes, businesses, and yards, to finance their drug habit) – but crime has not risen as much as the fear of crime among residents, and he distributed a number of informational pages telling how our risk various types of property crime can be minimized. Much of this information is available online at –; he also discussed the value of setting up volunteer Neighborhood Watches on blocks in the neighborhood to discourage criminal activity. Wells himself is a specialist in setting up such Neighborhood Watches and training the volunteers who run them; he can be reached through 503/823-4064.



Representative Karin Power speaks at SMILE


Recently re-elected State Representative Karin Power, a former Milwaukie City Council member and one of the youngest Representatives in Salem, appeared at the SMILE General Meeting to update us on the legislative process, and to update herself on Inner Southeast Portland, which is part of her legislative district. After a discussion of how the State of Oregon House of Representatives is set up and prepares for a session, she ticked off what she considers the top issues facing the next legislative session: (1) school issues, including mental health support and financial support;  (2) housing – including supply and affordability; she also mentioned the need for more paid family leave; (3) climate change – Oregon doing its part; and (4) healthcare. She tgen spent considerable time responding to questions from those attending the meeting.



SMILE “Buy a Brick” fundraiser resumes

The SMILE Station “brick pathway fundraiser” concluded in early August, with over two hundred bricks “sold” in the pathway on the front lawn of the building, at S.E. 13th at Tenino Street in Sellwood. The “sold” bricks were inscribed in place shortly afterward, and whether you “bought” one or not, you’re invited to walk the bricks and read the inscriptions! The inscribing firm intends to return to correct any misspellings, and is willing to inscribe some more bricks. If you didn’t buy a brick – or would like to buy another one – it is not too late to honor a loved one, a family member, a pet, or even yourself, by “buying a brick”. If you’re interested, simply go online at – – and buy your brick, and enter its inscription, there.



Attend a SMILE meeting!


You’re invited to attend SMILE meetings every month at SMILE Station, an historic fire station now owned by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association. The January General Meeting is at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, January 2nd – and the regular monthly Board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Wednesday, January 16th. SMILE Station is on the southeast corner of S.E. 13th at Tenino, a block south of Tacoma Street, at 8210 S.E. 13th in Sellwood. Meeting agendas beforehand, and draft meeting minutes afterward, are posted online at –



Rent SMILE Station – or the historic church!


SMILE is the renting agent for the historic and picturesque Oaks Pioneer Church, on S.E. Spokane Street at Grand, just north of the Sellwood Bridge – overlooking the Willamette River. The church is available at very attractive rates for weddings, memorials, christenings, and other events. In addition, SMILE owns its own building – SMILE Station, S.E. 13th and Tenino, at 8210 S.E. 13th – which is also for rent at very attractive rates for business meetings, parties, wedding receptions, and special events; it will seat up to 100 and has tables, chairs, and an industrial kitchen facility. See more at: For information on renting either building for your event, call 503/234-3570, and leave a message for Lori Fyre; she will return your call. To research Oaks Pioneer Church and what it offers, visit its own Internet website –


Community volunteers serve on SMILE committees, too!


SMILE is also looking for neighbors to serve on one or more of SMILE’s committees, including:

  • Transportation Committee
  • Land-Use Committee
  • Stewardship of Natural Amenities Committee (“SNAC”)
  • Sundae in the Park Committee
  • History Committee
  • Emergency Preparedness Committee
  • Crime Prevention Committee
  • Friends of Sellwood Community Center
  • Historic Pioneer Church Committee
  • SMILE Station Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Various ad-hoc committees as needed

Attend a SMILE meeting, and find out more about what we do!



Websites for Sellwood-Westmoreland


SMILE offers two complementary websites as a resource for the neighborhood. One is the neighborhood’s blog: – posting neighborhood news, and regularly updated. A second website contains SMILE’s agendas, minutes, announcements, documents, resources, and much ongoing and regularly-updated neighborhood reference information – it’s online at: In addition, SMILE maintains an informational website for the Oaks Pioneer Church on Spokane Street at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge, for which it is the renting agent: For more on SMILE Station:



Who SMILE members are


SMILE members are EVERYONE living in, working in, or owning property in, Sellwood and/or Westmoreland – unless they specifically exempt themselves. All SMILE members are welcome to volunteer for any of the SMILE committees of particular interest to them.



SMILE is a 501c3 nonprofit


Of the 95 recognized neighborhood associations in Portland, SMILE is one of the few to be authorized by the IRS as a nonprofit “501c3” organization. This means that donations made to SMILE are tax-deductible – and are very welcome!





SMILE 2018-19 Board election results!

At the May 2, 2018, Annual General Public Meeting, SMILE's annual Board election was held. The results were:

Officers (1-year terms):

President: Joel Leib

Vice President : Gail Hoffnagle

Treasurer:  Pat Hainley

Secretary: Eric Norberg


At-Large Board Seats (2-year terms):







Bob Burkholder

Tyler Janzen  [elected to fill an unexpired term on May 2, 2018]

Kim Borcherding

Kevin Palmer



Elaine O'Keefe

Elizabeth Milner

Julie Currin

Simon Fulford


Portland, Oregon 97202

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