Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

September 2017 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


38th annual “Sundae in the Park” another success

It’s called “Sundae in the Park”, and since 1979 SMILE has presented it, to bring the community together in upper Sellwood Park – on the first Sunday afternoon of August – for a day of live music, ice cream sundaes, lunch, local history, informational tables, and games of various sorts. In the last few years, Portland Parks has joined in with evening entertainment followed by an outdoor showing of a recent family movie to end the day at dusk (sponsored by the Sellwood-Westmoreland Business Alliance). The whole day is fun, it benefits the Meals on Wheels People service, and it really draws a crowd to the park. If you missed it, don’t miss it next year! Sales of the Umpqua Dairy ice cream sundaes benefitted Meals on Wheels by close to $900, and a large family crowd – in almost perfect weather – enjoyed the music and entertainment, the ice cream sundaes (scooped by the Southeast Portland Rotary Club) – and, at dusk, the outdoor Warner Brothers animated movie, “Storks”, sponsored by the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance. The current Chair of the event, Nancy Walsh, warmly thanks all the volunteers who helped make it another great party sponsored by the neighborhood association, in celebration of the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood.



SMILE Land Use to hear about Westmoreland apartments


The SMILE Land Use Committee will meet Wednesday September 5 at 6 p.m. – and the first Wednesday evening at that time every month – at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th and Tenino.  You are welcome to attend. Minutes of Land Use Committee meetings are available online at – under the Land Use Committee tab. At this meeting, the Committee will hear about proposed developments at 5415 and 5425 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in Westmoreland: Two five-story apartment buildings; one with 32 units, and one with 48 units – and with 31 surface parking spaces. The buildings will be “designed to meet Community Design Standards.” This is the required neighborhood contact meeting, and is your opportunity to learn about this development directly from the architect.


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 (see schedule below), or call 503/234-3570 and leave a message to find out more.


Attend a SMILE meeting!


You’re invited to attend SMILE meetings every month at SMILE Station, an historic building on the site of the original fire station for the old “City of Sellwood”. The September General Meeting will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 6th – and the next regular Board meeting will be at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 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:



Neighborhood survey: What your neighbors think


Many thanks to the hundreds who completed last year’s SMILE Neighborhood Survey. It was a fantastic success, with over 700 people filling out the questionnaire! Your neighborhood association, SMILE, is using the results of this survey to help give direction to our stances on neighborhood issues facing our community. It will also help recruit much-needed new volunteers for SMILE’s various committees. Thanks once again. We have a great neighborhood!! Go to this Internet address to view the detailed results of the survey:  It is also posted on both SMILE websites:, and  A Southeast Uplift presentation, from the July 15, 2015, SMILE Board Meeting on Land Use Training, is also now posted for downloading on the latter website for those interested in the subject.



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 2017-18 Board election results!

At the May 3, 2017, 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):


Elaine O'Keefe

Elizabeth Milner  [Elected to fill this vacant seat at a special election on October 5, 2016]

Miriam Erb 

Timothy DuBois



Bob Burkholder

Brian Bawol

Kim Borcherding

Kevin Palmer

Portland, Oregon 97202

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