Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

September 2019 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"


SMILE to operate Sellwood Community Center


On August 31, Portland Parks and Recreation will stop operating the historic Sellwood Community Center, as part of the widely publicized city budget cuts – and they originally planned to just close it down permanently. SMILE stepped up and submitted an offer to PP&R to take over the building and keep essential programs going, effective September 1. The offer has been negotiated, and accepted in principle, by the Portland Parks Bureau; and only the formality of the signing of the agreement remained to be done, in mid-August. 


SMILE has established a new nonprofit corporation to operate the Center, under the supervision of SMILE – and it intends to call the century-old Center the “Sellwood Community House”, to make clear the change in operation. A website is under construction for it –


Opportunities continue for neighborhood residents to be part of this important community project; contact the Chair of SMILE’s Friends of Sellwood Community Center Committee, Gail Hoffnagle – to get more information; to volunteer to help; and/or to join the committee.  Her e-mail address is –



Portland’s housing density is rising – learn more


Changes for multi-dwelling properties: The City's “Better Housing by Design” Project is revising the zoning code for multi-dwelling residential properties (in R2, R1, and RH zones; 19% of properties). Search the Internet for the project, to see the latest proposal – which has not changed significantly, but adds design requirements and increases housing options by eliminating limits on the number of residential units and reducing required on-site parking. The Portland City Council will hold a hearing on the proposals in late

September. The SMILE Land Use Committee will meet on Wednesday, September 4, at

6 p.m. at the SMILE Station to outline SMILE’s testimony on this matter. All are welcome to attend.


Second chance to "Buy A Brick" ends on September 13

The SMILE Station “brick pathway fundraiser” concluded last August, with over two hundred bricks “sold” and engraved in the pathway on the front lawn of the building, at S.E. 13th at Tenino Street in Sellwood. Those “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” -- but only till September 13!  If you’re interested, simply go online at – – and buy your brick, and enter its inscription, there. This is most likely the last chance you will have to buy one and have it inscribed, inasmuch as the inscriber tells SMILE he intends to retire very soon.

New SMILE Committee seeks members


A new SMILE committee, the ad-hoc “Community Connection Committee”, is looking for volunteers! Are you interested in getting more involved in your neighborhood and promoting ways for more connection with your neighbors? As a neighborhood, would you like to see more social opportunities?  If so, consider joining the Community Connection Committee! Organizers are seeking those interested in helping the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood grow deeper roots. Contact Kim Borcherding at 503/504-0234 for more information.


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 September General Meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4th – and the regular monthly September Board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 18th. 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. The 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, nondenominational and operated entirely as a venue, 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. 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.


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
  • 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 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 –



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 2019-20 Board election results!

At the May 1, 2019, Annual General Public Meeting, SMILE's annual Board election was held. The results were:

Officers (1-year terms):

President: Tyler Janzen

Vice President : Simon Fulford

Treasurer:  Pat Hainley

Secretary: Eric Norberg


At-Large Board Seats (2-year terms):



Elaine O'Keefe

Elizabeth Milner

Julie Currin

Justin Dick  (elected in 2019 to complete Tyler Janzen's term)


Bob Burkholder

Gail Hoffnagle

Joel Leib

Rhea Smith



Portland, Oregon 97202

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