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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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Defending state champs will be tough in 5A


La Salle moves up to Class 5A, but the Falcons still plan on making some waves in cross country

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Cross Country is popular at La Salle Prep. As of last week La Salle had 80 athletes out for the sport, and La Salle cross country coach Tyrone Stammers anticipated that the turnout will exceed last years record turnout once school gets underway. The Falcons this year have moved up from the Class 4A to the Class 5A classification, but returning lettermen from their boys team still believe they can earn a spot on the podium at this years Class 5A state meet. Standing in the foreground in the above photo are returnees from last years Class 4A state championship boys team (left to right) Truman Rae, Sean Richardson, Nathan Tamashiro and Jason Rae.La Salle Prep distance runners were state champions in Class 4A high school boys cross country last fall; La Salle Prep girls were state champions in Class 4A girls cross country two years ago.

The Falcons have a good nucleus of returnees from last year’s teams, they’ve got a huge turnout for cross country, and La Salle cross country coach Tyrone Stammers believes his charges will be in the thick of things again this fall, in their inaugural season competing at the Class 5A level.

“Our goal for both our boys and girls is to make it back to state,” said Stammers. “And I think the kids would love to be the first team from our school to win league in Class 5A. The top three teams from our league qualify for state and I think top three in our league is doable, if the kids perform to their capabilities.

“I expect us to surprise some people and make an impact in the Northwest Oregon Conference, and in the state.”

“The coach showed us the numbers and, based on last year’s times, we should win the league,” said La Salle senior Jason Rae, who was a team leader on last year’s Class 4A state championship team. “We are very excited to compete with new teams, like [2013 Class 5A boys and girls state champion] Summit. We’re not quite at their level yet, but we expect to make some great gains, and get there. We’ve been working hard all summer.”

Jason said that he and his younger brother Truman Rae have logged 60 miles a week since school got out “and I believe the rest of our varsity runners have done the same.”

The Falcons had a record turnout of 82 athletes for cross country last year. Stammers says that the Falcons will likely surpass that record turnout when all is said and done this fall.

“The kids have been training hard since mid-June,” he said. “They’re in great shape and they’re healthy. They’re looking forward to competing at a higher level, because they know that good competition makes you better. We went up against a lot of 6A schools in meets last year and look what happened....”

The Falcon guys this year are led by Jason Rae and junior Truman Rae. They were the No. 2 and No. 5 runners respectively on last year’s state championship team. Senior Nathan Tamashiro and junior Sean Richardson also return. Tamashiro was the No. 7 runner for the Falcon varsity last year, while Richardson went to state as an alternate.

“We have probably as much talent as last year on our boys team,” Stammers said. “It’s just a younger group. Right now it’s Jason and Truman out front, and then everybody else. The pack isn’t as tight as it was last year, but our goal is to make it as tight by the time we get to district.

“We have a big sophomore and freshmen pool, along with some juniors, and I’m pretty confident we’ll do well in our new league.... On the boys side, we’ve got five or six athletes who are going to be battling for the remaining spots.”

La Salle girls return their top two runners from last year in juniors Carly Veasy and Myriam Yao, along with junior Olivia Ogard and sophomore Olivia Cooper. Ogard was anywhere between No. 3 and No. 5 for La Salle girls last year, and Stammers says he expects her to be top three this fall.

The Falcons face a stiff challenge this Thursday when they travel to Fernhill Park to kick off their season at a meet with Jesuit, Central Catholic, Valley Catholic and St. Mary’s.

They’ll get an idea of how they stack up with teams in the Class 5A Northwest Oregon Conference on Wednesday, Sept. 10, when they compete in the NWOC preview meet at Blue Lake Park.

Mustangs, Kingsmen

will be much improved

They won’t be league title contenders, but Milwaukie coach Bill Burdette and Putnam coach Andrew Sneed both expect improvement over last year, when their boys and girls teams finished in the bottom three in an eight-team league.

Milwaukie’s boys team has several runners with varsity experience returning and some youngsters new to the team won’t hurt the Mustang cause.

Junior Max Doman, who was Milwaukie’s top runner at district last year, is back to lead the charge.

And Burdette says he likes what he’s seen from freshman Juan Gudino and from sophomore Mike Lippi. Gudino was second at the area middle school district meet last fall, while Lippi is new to cross country.

“They’ve been training with Max, and they’re keeping up with him,” said Burdette.

Others with varsity experience from last year include: senior Yosiah Simon, juniors Kilin Ung and Trey Edwards, and sophomores Ben Davis and Austin Dongvillo.

Burdette noted that some of his runners, including Gudino, are also competing in other sports this fall, so that they may not be able to help the team out in league until the district meet.

“I think we’ll be better than last year by district,” Burdette said.

Burdette said that many of his better female runners also play soccer and that they may not be able to help the Mustang fortunes much before district.

Sophomores Caitlyn Grogan, Taylor Presley and Hope Frost-Mitchell return from last year’s Mustang varsity girls team. Grogan is healthy and eager to get started. She was the Mustangs’ top runner last season, but missed district because of an injury just prior to the district meet.

Burdette said that he expects sophomores Chelsea Brooks and Elsa King, and freshman Noelani McGowan to bolster the fortunes for Milwaukie’s girls team this fall. McGowan won the eighth grade district meet last fall. All three girls play soccer.

Putnam’s boys team should be much improved, with the return of five of the top seven runners from last year’s team.

The returnees include: seniors Thomas Korsness, Erik Korsness and Aiden Thran; and juniors Jeff Johnson and Devin Gill. Johnson was the Kingsmen’s top male runner a year ago.

“They’re all within 10 to 15 seconds of one another,” said Sneed. “If they stay healthy, I think we could be fourth or fifth in conference, which would be an improvement over last year.”

Senior Danielle Hill is the only returnee to Putnam’s girls team.

But Sneed says he is excited about the potential of freshman Taylor Johnson, who is a talented runner.

“She runs with our boys,” said Sneed. “She’ll probably be top 10 in our conference.”