Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

February 2019 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


SMILE hears about, and endorses, “Main Street” project


At the January 16 SMILE Board Meeting, open as always to the public, the Board heard about a successful “Main Street Project” initiated by the Division-Clinton neighborhood, and being the basis for “Main Street” planning by the Hawthorne and other districts in Southeast Portland, developed in cooperation with Southeast Uplift by the two people who presented it in detail to SMILE at this meeting:  Urban Planner heather Flint Chetto, and Civic Advocate Linda Nettekoven. Architect Laurence Qamar was also present in their support. The plan was originally developed in and for Division Street development, intended to assure that new projects fit with a firm vision of what the neighborhood wants as concerns business design. Generally developers are happy to have firm guidelines from the area they are building in; and these guidelines are design-based to be harmonious with the surroundings, without advocating any particular style, or without trying to restrict modern ideas. This has worked very well for Division Street since it was implemented, which has interested the other neighborhoods that are adopting the plan, and then fine tuning for their own locality. SMILE was invited to, and did in a unanimous motion, adopt the Division Plan, with a commitment to compile for Sellwood and Westmoreland a “pattern guide” as a tool for better infill, and to clarify community priorities. This is intended to lead to policy requirements for the oncoming “city design standards”, with design overlay zone amendments. SMILE intends to work closely with residents and with the Sellwood-Westmoreland business association, SMBA, to make sure all points of view are incorporated into its plan. This will be advanced in future SMILE Board Meetings.

Sellwood’s “Summer Concerts” planners now a SMILE committee

 Jim Friscia, a former SMILE Board Member who for many years has been spearheading the widely enjoyed Summer Concerts in Sellwood, that are part of the Portland Parks’ “Summer Free For All” events, reports that changes in the program at the city level have changed the rules and opportunities for local business sponsors of the concerts, and increased the need for public participation in the funding if the concerts on July Monday evenings are to continue. Consequently, at Friscia’s request, his independent concert planning and fundraising group is now an official ad-hoc committee of SMILE, and under SMILE’s 501c3 nonprofit status, public contributions may again be directed specifically to this concert series by making tax-deductible contributions to the committee. This committee now needs interested local residents to volunteer to join and help plan the future Sellwood summer concerts.


SMILE “Buy a Brick” fundraiser – Part 2

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 turns out that it is not too late to honor a loved one, a family member, a pet, or even yourself, by “buying a brick”. The brick sale has restarted, and there are still bricks “for sale”.  If you’re interested, simply go online at – – and buy your brick, and enter its inscription, there.


“Family Night” Feb. 1 at Sellwood Community Center


SMILE Vice President Gail Hoffnagle announces that a “Family Night” is planned for 6:30 till 9 p.m. at Sellwood Community Center, S.E. 15th at Spokane Street, with a variety of fun activities to enjoy on Friday evening, February 1. It’s a fundraiser FOR the Community Center, with admission $15 per family, or $5 per individual. You’re invited; plan on stopping by for fun!


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, February 6th – and the regular monthly Board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Wednesday, February 20th. 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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