Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

December 2017 SMILE Newsletter

SMILE -- "The Neighbor"



“Buy a Brick” fundraiser underway at SMILE Station


“Give the gift of eternity! – By having an engraved brick in the new SMILE Station front path,” encourages SMILE Board President Joel Leib. As the old Sellwood Bridge’s railing fragment was installed in front of the meeting house owned by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association, Leib said that a suggestion had been made to add a brick pathway, leading from the sidewalk on S.E. 13th Avenue at Tenino Street, up the front lawn to the monument, and continuing to the front steps. “Now, the path has been installed, and the next step is encouraging people to ‘buy a brick’ and have it engraved.” The funds raised will help liquidate the cost of the project; excess funds that might be generated will be used for other neighborhood needs, according to Leib. More than 500 bricks can be thus memorialized, as well as about 40 larger 12” x 12” pavers. “We’re offering the bricks and pavers for 10% discount through the end of 2017; $90 for regular size brick, and the larger pavers go for $450 each,” Leib explained. The bricks are to be engraved without removing them, by “On the Rocks Engraving” of Milwaukie, in April or May of next year. For complete information, including how to purchase, visit the new website at –; or go to –, and look for the “Buy a Brick” link.



SMILE Christmas Tree still needs new lights!


The traditional SMILE living Christmas Tree, overlooking Oaks Bottom on the Bybee-13th curve between Portland Memorial and Beeson Chiropractic, will be lit again at the end of November with the same old damaged and failing string of lights. Since early this year a GoFundMe campaign has been underway to buy new, more durable LED lights to rejuvenate this Holiday tradition – but it’s a ways from its conclusion so far. THE BEE has contributed twice to date, as have many individuals, and the needed money is gradually narrowing. To contribute to this tax-deductible community cause, go online –  (SMILE is a 501c3 nonprofit.)



SMILE Land Use Committee update

SMILE Land Use Committee Meets Wednesday December 6:  A proposed land division at 824-838 S.E. Tacoma Street will be one of the items on theagenda. The committee meets at 6 p.m. on that date at the SMILE Station at 13th and Tenino. Meantime, the Land Use Committee webpage at: contains a spreadsheet of ongoing developments and helpful links regarding zoning and land use issues. You can also sign up to get e-mails from SMILE about Land Use issues.


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