Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

November 2018 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


Effort underway for Pickleball and Futsal Courts in Sellwood Park

Appearing at the September SMILE General Meeting were Catherine Owen and Pam Jacobson, advocating for Pickleball Courts at Sellwood Park – they were supported by a large number of visitors who arrived for the presentation. The plan they propose is to work with the group which former SMILE Board Member Eric Miller had represented at the August General Meeting, which advocates converting the two disused upper Tennis Courts near the Sellwood Park swimming pool into Futsal Courts. The Pickleball group supports that idea, and their focus is on the two other, lower, Tennis Courts in the park.  They propose converting one of those into four Pickleball Courts, and refurbishing the other one into an attractive Tennis Court. Under this plan, instead of four Tennis Courts at Sellwood Park, there would be two Futsal Courts, four Pickleball Courts, and one Tennis Court. Owen and Jacobson said they would like SMILE to consider supporting this plan for its presentation to Portland Parks and Recreation.  They added that if this plan succeeds, Sellwood Park would have the first free, public, Pickleball Courts within the Portland City Limits.



“Haunted House” runs afoul of city regulations

The SMILE Friends of Sellwood Community Center Committee had been planning to present a “Haunted Hallowe’en Experience” fundraiser at the Sellwood Pool House in Sellwood Park, on S.E. 7th Avenue, 6-9 p.m. on Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, as announced here last month. Alas, as volunteers were beginning to decorate the place for this fun Hallowe’en family experience and fundraiser for the Community Center, it was discovered that the city has special requirements just for venues hosting Haunted Houses – even in the city’s own facilities! – and although it is not required that the Sellwood Pool House have a fire sprinkler system for any other event held there, it IS required for Haunted Houses, and the pool house does not have one. Therefore, with regret, plans for the Haunted House have been cancelled this year.



Plans to boost use of Oaks Pioneer Church succeeding


SMILE’s revenues to benefit its community activities are funded by rentals of SMILE Station, which it owns, and of Oaks Pioneer Church near the foot of S.E. Spokane Street, for which it is the rental agent, although the historic building sits on Portland Parks land. The SMILE Board recently hired a part-time expert to further develop weddings and other events at Oaks Pioneer Church, and she has reported to the Board that traffic to the church’s website – – have risen considerably, and weddings and rentals are up as well. This is good news, since it increases the neighborhood association’s ability to support itself and its activities on behalf of the Sellwood and Westmoreland community.



SMILE “Buy a Brick” fundraiser update

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! We have learned that the inscribing firm intends to return to correct any misspellings, and may be willing to inscribe some more bricks. If you didn’t buy a brick – or would like to buy another one – it may not be 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 sign up for notification by e-mail if an additional brick sale takes place.



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 November General Meeting is at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, November 7th – and the regular monthly Board meeting will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, November 21st. 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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