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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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OC guys continue on track


The Pioneers improve to 3-0, as they win big at Clackamas

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City senior Alex Canchola cleared 6-0 for a win in the high jump and he leaped 20-4-1/4 to finish a close second to Clackamas senior Connor McLean in the long jump in last weeks dual meet with the Cavaliers.The Oregon City Pioneers last week continued on track for a successful defense of their Three Rivers League boys track and field dual-meet title, upping their record to 3-0 in league duals with a sound drubbing of Clackamas, 98-47.

The Pioneer guys won first place in 10 of the 15 individual events, and they earned sweeps of their hosts in the boys 400, discus and javelin.

The Pioneers were especially impressive in the throwing events and the sprints. They outscored the Cavaliers 24-3 in the three throwing events and 19-8 in the sprints.

Oregon City senior Easton Christensen (169-2) led the sweep of the javelin; Oregon City senior Josh Miller (140-6) led the sweep of the discus. Miller was also tough in the shot put, winning that event with a lifetime-best and Three Rivers League-best heave of 48-3.

Oregon City junior Jordan Howell (53.25) led the sweep of the 400, while Pioneer sophomore Trevon Bradford (11.37) set the pace in the 100.

Oregon City also had individual winners in the 800 (senior Al Lacey, 2:02.15); 3,000 (sophomore Ethan Dodson, 10:29.21), intermediate hurdles (senior Derek MacDougal, 43.69), high jump (senior Alex Canchola, 6-0), triple jump (junior Austin DeWitz, 39-8-3/4) and 400-meter relay (44.42).

Lacey’s time in the 800 was a three-second PR.

Senior Connor McLean continued a force for Clackamas boys, winning the high hurdles (15.72), long jump (20-5-3/4) and pole vault (15-6) with impressive marks.

Clackamas senior Matthew Haglund (4:36.28) set the pace in the boys 1,500 and Clackamas sophomore Anthony Mendez (23.57) headed the field in the 200-meter sprint.

“We host West Linn (in an April 30 dual meet) and it will be our last league meet against our cross-river rivals for a few years,” said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. “A victory against them would be our 30th straight Three Rivers League dual-meet victory, so our kids are pretty excited about the opportunity.”

Last week’s Oregon City vs. Clackamas girls meet was a dogfight, with Oregon City building an early lead and holding off the Cavaliers for a 77-1/2 to 67-1/2 dual win.

“The girls competed hard,” said Clackamas coach Jeff Kelleher. “We would have won, except we were missing Caroline Combs (knee injury) and Melissa Carson (mononucleosis). With them we win easily. Caroline would have gotten us 15 points and Melissa would have won the long jump.”

Oregon City girls were tough in the sprints and shot put; Clackamas was dominant in the middle distances.

Oregon City seniors Becca Houk and Karrin Shriner continued the class of the league in the short sprint races, going one-two respective in both the 100 (12.67 and 12.80) and 200 (26.33 and 26.44).

Oregon City freshman N’Dea Flye (1:02.49) cruised to first place in the 400.

Clackamas freshman Maia Edwards led a Cavalier sweep, with an effort of 2:29.08, in the 800; She also got the best of Oregon City junior Miranda Nelson (5:03.39 to 5:07.57) in the 1,500.

Nelson (11:08.37) won handily in the 3,000.

Clackamas junior Alli Dickey breezed to wins in both the high hurdles (15.67) and the low hurdles (47.40). She also cleared 5-0 in the high jump, winning on fewer misses over Oregon City senior Alisa McEniry, who also cleared 5-0.

Sophomore Taylor Shaw (29-1) led an Oregon City sweep of the shot put, while Oregon City junior Jenny Holbrook (29-1) won the discus (90-2).

Oregon City senior Alisa McEniry was the only female athlete over the bar at 8-6 in the pole vault.

Clackamas senior Madi Visscher (15-6) cruised to a win in the long jump.

Oregon City sophomore Jenna Hoiland (33-0) beat Visscher by six inches to win the triple jump.

Clackamas senior Savannah Warner uncorked a personal best throw of 107-4 to top Oregon City junior Chelsea Bone (103-2) for first place in the javelin.

With the team dual win, Oregon City’s girls team improved to 2-1 in league; Clackamas girls are 1-1.

Oregon City hosts West Linn (2-0) this afternoon, while Clackamas meets Lake Oswego (1-2) on the road.

“It’s still our goal to beat Lakeridge,” said Kelleher. “If we do, we should tie for the Three Rivers League dual title. We’ll need to have Caroline and Melissa back to do that. If they’re back, it’ll be close, but we could get them.”

Clackamas meets Lakeridge and West Linn in a May 7 meet at Grant.