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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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Oregon City athletes commit


Houk signs with Seattle Pacific; it's College of the Siskiyous for Corvi; and three standout wrestlers ink with Southern Oregon

Oregon City High School had five athletes sign letters of intent to compete in college sports during signing ceremonies at the high school on Friday.by: JOHN DENNY - Oregon City High School standout athletes (from left) Becca Houk, Devin Poppen, Kyle Sether, Tanner Fischer and Toni Corvi last Friday signed letters of intent to compete in sports in college. Houk inked with Seattle Pacific; Corvi inked with College of the Siskiyous; Poppen, Sether and Fischer will wrestle for Southern Oregon.

Track and field standout Becca Houk signed with Seattle Pacific; Toni Corvi inked with College of the Siskiyous in football; and wrestlers Kyle Sether, Devin Poppen and Tanner Fischer signed with Southern Oregon.

Houk, a 3.5 student/athlete who has excelled as a sprinter, said of her decision to sign with Seattle Pacific, “The coach recruited me and I like the atmosphere of the college.”

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Becca Houk, who placed third at state in the 100 and 200 a year ago, is taking her talents to Seattle Pacific.Houk plans a major in psychology. She plans to pursue a doctorate, before going to work in counseling.

Houk, who placed third at state in both the 100- and 200-meter dash last spring, says her goals this year are: “To win state in at least one of those events.”

Heading into competition this week, Houk sported the second-best time in the state this season in the Class 6A girls 100-meter dash (12.50) and the fifth-fastest time in the 200 (25.64).

Corvi, who was recruited to play fullback, says he plans a criminal justice major at College of the Siskiyous. He has a goal of becoming a police officer.

Corvi played a pivotal role in Oregon City’s success in football last fall, earning all-league recognition for his play in the offensive backfield, as well as his play in the defensive line. Oregon City last fall had one of its most successful football seasons ever, winning league for the first time since 1996, advancing to the second round of the state playoffs, and winning nine games for the first time since the 1996 season.

Sether, Poppen and Fischer have joined forces to wrestle at Southern Oregon, a NAIA school that placed fourth in the nation a year ago.

“We’re excited about having them join our program,” said Southern Oregon University coach Mike Ritchey. “First of all, they come from a quality program, and that helps. We’ve had some success and Oregon City wrestlers have been part of that success.... All three are great kids, and they come from great families.”

Ritchey noted that John Bates, an Oregon City wrestler who graduated from Southern Oregon in 2010, won a pivotal match that gained the Raiders the NAIA national title in 2009. Bates was a two-time regional champion and two-time All-American, Ritchey said.

“We’ve got seven returning All-Americans coming back [from last year’s team] and traditionally freshmen don’t crack the starting lineup,” Ritchey said. “But these kids could break that curve. I see all three of them with bright futures.”

Sether, who graduated form Oregon City in 2013, is transferring from Notre Dame College of Ohio, which won the NCAA Division II national team title in 2010, 2011 and 2014. He was a redshirt freshman at Notre Dame last season, while making the dean’s list as a 3.8 student.

“[I’m transferring because] I wanted to be closer to home and to be able to wrestle with some of my teammates from high school,” Sether said. “It was an amazing experience being part of a national championship team, and I’m glad I did it. I matured a lot, as a person and as an athlete. But I’m excited about being part of Oregon City’s sister program at Southern Oregon. I feel blessed to be part of their program and I’m looking forward to helping bring them a national championship.”

Sether says that since he was a redshirt at Notre Dame, he still has four years of eligibility remaining at Southern Oregon. He’ll major in business, which was his major at Notre Dame.

At Oregon City, Sether, with Poppen and Fischer, was a part of an Oregon City team that placed second at state in 2013, the highest team placing ever by an Oregon City team in wrestling. Sether won state titles in 2011 and 2013, and he had a career record of 160-20. He is Oregon City High School’s all-time leader in takedowns, with 316 during his high school collegiate wrestling career.

Poppen, who plans a computer science major at Southern Oregon, says he chose the school because, “I like the campus, I like the school, and the school colors are the same, so I won’t have to change my shoes.”

Poppen was state runner-up three years in a row while wrestling for Oregon City, and he holds the school record for career falls, at 107.

Fischer, who plans to study business, said, “I like the coach, I like the campus, and the weather.”

After graduation, he plans to “take over the family business with by brother.”

Fischer says that Fischer’s Mill Supply in Oregon City has been run by his family since 1889, and he will be a fifth generation operator of the family business.

Fischer was a state runner-up at this year’s Class 6A State Tournament, and he placed third at state his junior year.

Poppen and Fischer both say they plan to pursue “individual and team” titles in wrestling at Southern Oregon.