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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


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Breastfeeding mom takes Clackamas case public


It was a 90-degree sunny Sunday evening in August, National Breastfeeding Month, and the Klein family wanted to eat.

After wandering around Clackamas Town Center Aug. 3, the Beaverton residents picked RAM Restaurant and Brewery and were seated at a table near the entrance around 7 p.m., during the height of the dinner rush.

During drinks and appetizers, Kleins’ five-month-old, Isaac, started to fuss. Erin Klein unhooked her nursing top and latched him on.

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY: LACEY JACOBY - Adam Klein stands with his wife, Erin, after she breastfed their son, Isaac (6 months), in their Beaverton home. Recently, at a restaurant in Clackamas, an employee repeatedly asked Erin to cover herself while breastfeeding, which is an illegal request.“He was hungry, too, so I was feeding him,” said Erin Klein, a stay-at-home mom with a professional childcare background.

“She’s not very shy,” said her husband, Adam Klein, who works in information technology. “She doesn’t have to be and she doesn’t need to be.”

After a few pleasant interactions with the waiter, a manager came over and said he had been getting several complaints and asked the mother to cover herself with a blanket.

The Kleins refused, citing a 1999 Oregon law.

The Oregon Revised Statute 109.001 states simply and in its entirety: “A woman may breast-feed her child in a public place.”

The manager left, but returned a few minutes later asking Erin Klein again to cover up, citing restaurant policy.

“Any time you begin a sentence with: “That may be the law, but...,” you’re probably making a mistake,” Erin Klein said.

Adam Klein said he began to get angry and frustrated.

“I told him: ‘You’ve got all these 72-inch TV screens, tell the customers to look at those instead of my wife’s breast, which really doesn’t take up that much room,” he recalled. “If you really don’t like it, look away.”

The Kleins left upset and submitted a complaint through RAM’s website. They said a district manager called and told them apologetically that the manager should have offered them a restaurant T-shirt to cover with.

“I said: “You’re totally missing the point,’” said Adam Klein.

After five months of breastfeeding in public, this was the first negative reaction the Kleins said they had ever experienced.

“I understand that Clackamas is a little more conservative, but still,” Adam Klein said.

“We (adults) don’t eat with blankets over our head,” said Erin Klein. “Ever.”

Community Relations Leader Mark Schermerhorn is a spokesperson for RAM restaurants, which has 27 restaurants across the United States, including three in Oregon.

“Daily I am sure we have dozens of breastfeeding women in our restaurants,” Schermerhorn said, adding that since the restaurant company started 43 years ago, the total number of babies being breastfed while at a RAM could reach into the tens of thousands. “To my knowledge, I don’t think we’ve ever had anything quite like this.”

Schermerhorn said the family-owned restaurant prides itself on being family friendly. That day, management was caught between two opposing viewpoints from its customers, and “it kind of blew up from there, I guess.”

“We were fielding more than one complaint from tables that were parents and adults who had kids in the nearby vicinity that were dining with us,” Schermerhorn said. “I think all we were asking for was some discretion.”

“I’m pretty good at minimizing the time that my nipple is exposed,” Erin Klein said, but added that Isaac popped off and needed to relatch a few times, distracted in part by incoming customers. “It’s not necessarily unreasonable for a baby to eat, take a break.”

Marion Rice, executive director of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon, said often in cases like this, the complaining party thinks the mother is trying to draw attention to herself, meanwhile the mother is concentrated on the needs of her infant.

“This is not about mothers. This is not about breasts. It’s about babies,” Rice said.

BCO often aids mothers as part of its mission to educate the public about the need for cultural acceptance of breastfeeding, universally accepted in the medical community as the healthiest option for almost all babies.

“These types of interactions with families are what perpetuate women feeling like breastfeeding is hard and that it’s shameful,” Rice said.

Erin Klein said she feels confident about breastfeeding in public, but worries that attitudes like those she experienced at RAM might discourage and isolate other mothers.

Adam Klein said he fully supports his wife’s decision: “As much as I appreciate the female form, that’s what breasts are for.”

Schermerhorn, the RAM spokesperson, said the company does not have a policy about breastfeeding in its restaurant and doesn’t plan to have one. He said he thinks this was a unique situation and that if management had reacted differently, the complaining parties would have been equally upset.

“We want everyone in our restaurants to have an enjoyable experience and they are entitled to that,” he said.