Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

June 2018 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


Annual May SMILE election – the results!


The annual SMILE neighborhood association Board and Officers Election takes place each year at the SMILE May General Meeting, which this year was on Wednesday, May 2, starting at 7:30 p.m. Nominations were welcome from the floor before the elections took place, and one nominee was entered at that time, added to the slate already developed. Four one-year Officer positions are open each year (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary), and four of the eight two-year “Board Member At Large” seats are be open each year as well. One Board Member in the middle of his two-year term resigned – and one candidate was to be elected to fill the remaining year of his term. In a well-attended election overseen by a representative of the area’s nonprofit “neighborhood coalition”, Southeast Uplift, the four sitting officers, running uncontested, were elected. The 2 two-year Board Members up for re-election were re-elected – Elaine O’Keefe and Elizabeth Milner; they were joined by Julie Currin. The remaining 2 vote-getters of the five, Simon Fulford and Tyler Janzen, were tied. Given the opportunity to decide among themselves which of them would take the two-year seat and which the one-year seat (both would be eligible to run for re-election at the end of either term), it was agreed that Simon Fulford would receive the two-year term and Tyler Janzen would accept the one-year term. The others in the race for a Board seat were urged to join a SMILE committee, and to consider another run for the Board next May!



SMILE gets an update on Oaks Bottom rehab project


At the May 3 General Meeting, in the interval between when the Board votes were cast in the annual Board election and the results were tabulated and presented (see above), Ronda Fast from the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services was present to update SMILE on the “Oaks Bottom Habitat Enhancement Project” underway at the Oaks Bottom Lagoon.  The project will remove a “water control feature” and replace a large pipe with a wide, open culvert to restore a direct flow link between the lagoon and the Willamette River.

“Ken”, Project Manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, stood to report that a contractor has been hired, and the initial tree removal has been completed in the area of the work (the removal permits storing the materials on-site, and the trees will be replaced at the end of the project).  The Springwater Trail will close in the area of the culvert work on July 1, and will reopen no later than October 31, and earlier if possible.  Dick Samuels’ railroad tracks will be removed there starting July 1; the track will be replaced within one month, with extensive finishing work to complete the project to follow.  The current configuration at the lagoon was created in the 1980’s to control mosquitoes, but the predominant species of mosquito there has changed, and the new configuration should work as well or better to control mosquitoes now – and also will permit young salmon to take needed refuge in the lagoon on their way to the Pacific Ocean.

Ronda Fast then again took the floor to discuss the routes available to bicyclists to bypass the affected section of the Springwater Trail while the trail is closed.  One option is to cross the Sellwood Bridge and go north to downtown (and return south from downtown) on the Westside Trail; but that has a strictly enforced 10 MPH speed limit, and could make for a slower commute than some bicycle commuters would accept.

The other alternative is to use the “19th Avenue Greenway” which has been constructed on S.E. 19th Avenue from Tacoma and Umatilla Streets in Sellwood north to Reedway Street in Westmoreland over the past several years.  It has a number of features intended to speed bicyclists on their way, while keeping them safe.  Since 19th does not continue north from Reedway, the route jogs a block east to 20th, then travels two blocks north to Insley Street, then turns west on Insley to Milwaukie Avenue – thence a block north to Mitchell Street, where a large structure is being completed to route cars while providing safer access to bicyclists and pedestrians to the trailhead across Milwaukie at Mitchell.  The trailhead is that of the connector trail down to the Springwater Trail; the Springwater Trail will be open in both directions from that point north throughout the construction period.


Thanks to local businesses

SMILE thanks the many generous local businesses for supporting our recent Open House by providing gifts for the free drawings. They make the Selwood-Westmoreland neighborhood the vibrant community we all find special. SMILE volunteers always enjoy the close working relationship our Neighborhood Association has with the business community here, and look forward to working together on many future events. Thank you to: UPS Store, Sellwood; The Bull & The Bee; Tom Dwyer Auto Repair; Oodles 4 Kids; Savory Spice Shop; Tote-a-Leigh; a Cena Italian Café; Meditation for Regular People; Sellwood Cycle Repair; Natural Pet Food Solutions; Beacon Acupuncture; Zenbu Lounge; Sweetpeas; Reverend’s BBQ; Sellwood Flower Co.; Grand Central Bakery and Café; Rogue Pack Theater; Dance With Joy Studio; Fluid Movement and Massage; Rumpus Events; Silver Lining Consignment Clothier; Rose City Coffee Co.; Collin Murphy, Artist; Free Being You; Collage Art & Craft Supplies, Sellwood and Westmoreland; Sock Dreams; Kay’s Bar; New Seasons Market in Sellwood.


SMILE “Buy a Brick” fundraiser update

Kim Borcherding, SMILE Board Member who is heading the SMILE Station “brick pathway fundraiser”, reported at the May Board meeting 155 bricks have been sold so far (of which ten are the larger size), and the brick engraving will be done in August. The Board agreed that the cutoff date should be the end of the day of the SMILE “Sundae in the Park” on Sunday, August 5, at which there will be a prominent last-minute push. The point: It’s not too late to honor a loved one, a family member, a pet, or even yourself, by “buying a brick”. If you want to do it right now, go online --


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 June General Meeting will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, June 6th – and the next regular Board meeting will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, June 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:


Two volunteer leadership positions opening

Two longstanding events of special importance to Sellwood and Westmoreland are its annual cleanup, which takes place on one May Saturday morning each year in the south parking lot at Westmoreland Park – it’s the oldest neighborhood cleanup drive in the state – and Sundae in the Park, held for the past 38 years in Upper Sellwood Park on S.E. 7th on the first Sunday afternoon in August. Both are led by neighborhood resident volunteers – in the case of the cleanup, by Kris Heiberg; in the case of Sundae in the Park, currently by Nancy Walsh. Both Kris and Nancy are planning to step down from this responsibility in the next year or so, and both invite involved residents to step up to take over. Both have notes and timelines and contacts already organized in writing to make the transition easy, and both would like an interested resident to “shadow” them step by step as they ensure a successful event next year. Anyone interested in considering taking such a leadership role will find it fun and interesting, and this will really involve you in the community. For more information, come to a SMILE General or Board meeting), or call 503/234-3570 and leave a message to find out more.



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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