Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

April 2021 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


SMILE Board Election coming on May 5 – consider joining

 Every year in May, at the “first Wednesday evening” General Meeting, there is an election for the 12-member volunteer Board of the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association, SMILE. Four positions are the officers of the nonprofit organization – President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary, and those seats are for one year terms. The other eight positions are for at-large Board seats, and they are two year terms – with four seats coming up for election each year, to assure Board continuity. This year there will be five Board seats in the election, since one member has taken a job elsewhere, resigned, and left the neighborhood mid-term.  So, that seat will also be up for election to complete the term, which will be one year – but, like all Board seats, open for re-election (only the President is limited to two consecutive terms). If you or someone you know might be interested in getting more involved in the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood and getting to know who lives here, nominations are being sought. There will be an opportunity for nominations at the April General Meeting (held on ZOOM – see below), privately during the rest of April, and at the May General Meeting on May 5, before the election takes place. More information may be found on SMILE’s main website,


No in-person meetings, per “social distancing”; ZOOMing allowed

 The SMILE General Meeting for April will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, April 7. The SMILE Board Meeting for April will be on Wednesday evening, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.  Each meeting will last approximately 1-1/2 hours.

In accordance with the directives of the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, SMILE cancelled all of its in-person public meetings, including its General Meeting on the first Wednesday evening of each month, and the Board Meeting on the third Wednesday evening of each month from March 16, 2020, until further notice, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. When these restrictions are eventually relaxed, SMILE will resume in-person meetings at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th at Tenino in Sellwood. In the meantime, Simon Fulford, SMILE President, leads Sellwood-Westmoreland community virtual “online” meetings, via “ZOOM”, within the rules governing the operations of 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

SMILE online meetings take place at the same time and on the same date as usual, are always open to all SMILE members – that is, everyone who lives in Sellwood or Westmoreland, or works there, or owns property there. To attend, simply e-mail your request to Simon Fulford at: He will reply with a link for you to click to enter the meeting at the listed time, on the scheduled date, using your computer. Everyone is welcome.

Stay in touch with SMILE at its general website during this time – – and, also, at its procedural and resources website,


Status of SMILE community events this year

Jim Friscia, Chair of the new SMILE Events Committee, reported at the March General Meeting on March 3 that Portland Parks and Recreation has announced there will be citywide summer events this year, but they will be primarily limited to kids’ activities and recreation – there will be no Concerts in Parks or Movies in Parks in 2021. Consequently, Jim wants to plan smaller neighborhood music events. He added that there is room for more volunteers on the Events Committee! He reminded that the annual SMILE Neighborhood Cleanup is still planned to return this year – but not in May. This year, it is tentatively set for the third Saturday in SEPTEMBER.  It does not seem likely that it will be possible yet to revive Sundae in the Park, in Sellwood Park, on the first Sunday in August, however, due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic rules in effect that time regarding crowds. He also announced that State Representative Karin Power will be attending the April SMILE General Meeting to present an Oregon Legislative Update.

Apartment houses without parking still raise concerns

Neighborhood resident Ginny Yavorskyi appeared at the March SMILE General Meeting to say that she and other neighbors are concerned about a new looming parking problem, resulting from the completion of a 75-unit apartment house on Nehalem Street just west of Milwaukie Avenue that will have no on-site parking. Ginny said she is from Ohio, and this was her first-ever neighborhood association meeting. She has canvassed the neighbors about their concerns about this development, and found that they include: (1) It could negatively impact their property values; (2) Traffic congestion could result in Nehalem having to be made one-way; (3) The resulting street parking by many of the tenants could result in no resident parking available nearby (some do not have driveways to use); (4) Nearby businesses fear a negative impact from the congestion and lack of parking; (5) Possible dangerous conditions for pedestrians from all the traffic; (6) The nearby church is reliant on street parking.

The project has been approved by the city, so there is nothing official that SMILE can do about it at this point, except perhaps facilitate a meeting between the developer and concerned residents, seeking some voluntary mitigation of these problems. Elaine O’Keefe suggested Ginny ask Chair Zack Duffly to put this item on his next agenda for the SMILE Transportation Committee – and added that Ginny might also want to chat with David Schoellhamer of the SMILE Land Use Committee, for further insights. Juliana James suggested that the nearby church could reach out to other nearby churches about possibly allowing their attendees to park in the other churches’ lots. President Fulford invited Ginny to get involved in the SMILE Transportation Committee, or to run for the SMILE Board in May.

Portland continues to let businesses use streets

In support of local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, PBOT currently continues to permit participating businesses to offer restaurant seating, as allowed by the state, in parking spaces (“parking plazas”) along main streets in the Sellwood and Westmoreland business districts, and “side-street plazas” to offer additional business-oriented events and activities for a half block westward of the first few cross streets north of Tacoma Street on S.E. 13th Avenue in Sellwood. PBOT announced in March that applications to use the “parking plazas” and “side-street plazas” would now be continued until October 31. A new permit is required to continue the practice past March 31 however.

SMILE offers volunteer opportunities on committees

 SMILE has a number of committees in service to a number of needs in the neighborhood, and all are open to any resident or SMILE member in Sellwood and Westmoreland. They are listed on the main SMILE website – – and anyone is welcome to attend (currently, virtually, in ZOOM meetings) and to participate on any and all committees they are interested in.


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 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 information on the Sellwood Community House on the corner of S.E. 15th and Spokane Street in Sellwood, now operated as its own separate community nonprofit, “Friends of Sellwood Community House”, go online to:


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!



THE 2020-21 SMILE BOARD OFFICERS (1-year terms)

President -- Simon Fulford

Vice President -- Bob Burkholder

Treasurer -- Pat Hainley

Secretary -- Eric Norberg


AT-LARGE BOARD SEATS (2-year terms):


Elaine O'Keefe

Elizabeth Milner

Jim Friscia

Alison Daniel      [resigned & left area; unexpired term to be filled in
                                           May 2021 election; term to end May 2022]



Priyesh Krishnan

Rhea Smith

Juliana James     [elected in 2020 for unexpired term of Bob Burkholder]

Neal Spinler         [elected in 2020 for unexpired term of Gail Hoffnagle


Names in red are in seats which are open, for the election in May.




Portland, Oregon 97202

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