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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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Seeking justice, more awareness


by: LORI HALL - Connie Johnson, left, and Sue Barrong will share their story of loss on 'America's Most Wanted.' Their sister was murdered and their mother was left for dead in a 2009 home invasion.Nearly three years ago, two West Linn sisters were dealt a heavy blow. They learned their sister was murdered and their mother was left for dead in Glendale, Ore.

Today, the murder and attempted murder remain unsolved, and the killer is still on the loose. However, Connie Johnson and Sue Barrong hope that changes after their horrific story is shared on the cable TV show “America’s Most Wanted.”

Tragedy hits

The sisters’ mother, Helen Long, lived on an isolated road in Glendale, a quiet town of about 800 people in southern Oregon between Roseburg and Grants Pass. At the time she was 88 years old, and her four daughters took turns during the summer staying with her and helping her out around the home. Her husband had passed away in 1984.

On Oct. 1, 2009, Barbara Tooley, 59, of Damascus, was taking her turn staying with her mother and celebrating her birthday. It was supposed to be Barrong’s turn, but she was having surgery and couldn’t make the trip.

No one is sure what transpired that day, but that afternoon Tooley was shot and killed and Long was beaten, received multiple gunshot wounds and was left for dead in her home. Nothing was taken.

“Mom was shot three times. She was stomped on. She was totally beat,” Barrong said.

“Someone just walked into the house and shot her,” Johnson said.by: SUBMITTED - Barbara Tooley, left, was killed in a home invasion in 2009 in Glendale, Ore. Helen Long was shot three times and left for dead.

The call

One of Long’s neighbors, a young woman, became suspicious early on that afternoon. She had seen a stranger walking along their road, which was five miles out of town and led to just four homes. Her dogs were barking like mad, perhaps sensing that something was off.

She then heard five gunshots.

The woman called her husband and he returned home. Thinking it was a poacher, the husband drove around the area looking for any activity. Finding none, he got his father and they peeked into Long’s window to see if anything appeared out of the ordinary. Seeing the TV on, they believed the two women were OK and returned home.

With the gut feeling that something was wrong, the neighbor insisted her husband and another neighbor return to Long’s home. As they entered the front door, they found Long trying to get up and the body of Tooley.

They called for help at about 6 p.m.

It took nearly an hour for the ambulance to arrive, as the police had blocked off the crime scene and were searching for the suspect.

Long, who is now 91, lost an eye in the attack and spent four weeks in recovery.by: 'AMERICAS MOST WANTED' - Americas Most Wanted host John Walshs 6-year-old son was kidnapped and murdered. Since then Walsh has been an advocate for children and victims of violent crimes.


Barrong recalls talking to Tooley that morning, singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Tooley had just retired and had three children and five grandchildren.

Long hasn’t been the same since the attack.

“It devastated her,” Barrong said of her mother.

When Long visits, she starts to get agitated in the late afternoon, around the time the shootings took place.

“None of us have stayed in the house since then,” Johnson said.

“There are so many good memories there. It shows the depth, the way this has affected people,” Barrong said. “It’s just there right in our face every day. There’s not a day that goes by.”

Long now splits her time living with Barrong and their other sister, Charleta Barrong.

{img:3099}The clues

Long and her husband moved to the Glendale home in 1956. In that time, there was never an incident at the home until 2007.

The sisters have looked at every angle to find a reason for the shootings, from a joy kill to a gang initiation, but their guts tell them it’s related to a prior break-in.

Long’s home was burglarized in 2007. In July of 2009, just two months prior to the murder, the burglary suspect was identified. They believe the shootings may have been retaliation.

Since that time, the burglary suspect, who was a known drug user in the area, has not been found.

“It makes us wonder,” Barrong said. “Especially since the way mom was beat up so badly.”

The suspect

The suspected murderer was seen by more than one person that day. Another neighbor, who was working on a vehicle, was approached by a young man wearing a hoodie and what appeared to be a fake beard earlier that afternoon.

The young man asked where the high school was, which seemed an odd question as the school was five miles away in town.

The suspect was described as a young white male of average height and a thin build. He was wearing dark gray or black pants and a light blue or gray hooded sweatshirt with pockets in the front. He also had a small dark-colored backpack.

A late-1990s or early-2000s black Toyota 4Runner-type SUV was also seen parked a short way down the road in the trees. It is believed to have been the suspect’s getaway car.

‘America’s Most Wanted’

With the case going nowhere, Johnson and Barrong turned to “America’s Most Wanted.” They had a friend who managed to get their story in front of the producers.

In late August, they met the show’s producers in Glendale, where producers talked with police detectives, neighbors and relatives and created a reenactment at the scene of the crime.

The sisters got to meet the show’s host, John Walsh, in early September when he was in Portland filming for another episode.

“What a kind man,” Barrong said.

Walsh, who has hosted the show since 1988, suffered his own loss. His 6-year-old son was kidnapped and murdered, thus starting Walsh’s crusade to advocate for justice.

“He’s just as he appears on TV. He does it because he cares,” Johnson said.

Since its inception in 1988, “America’s Most Wanted” has helped capture 1,197 suspects worldwide.

The hunt

Johnson and Barrong refuse to give up the search for the person who took away their sister and destroyed their mother’s life. They continually return to Glendale to ask questions.

“We feel there’s someone, somewhere in the area that knows something,” Johnson said. “We are still searching for this person. We aren’t going to give up.”

They are offering a reward of $22,500 for the capture of the suspect.

The “America’s Most Wanted” episode aired Friday at 9 p.m. on Lifetime. Johnson and Barrong encourage everyone to watch. Episodes can also be seen online at amw.com/show_archive.

The family also maintains a website at justiceforbarbaraandhelen.blogspot.com and a Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Barbara-Helen/243315933163.

Tips can be submitted by calling a confidential hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV or by visiting amw.com/report-tip.by: PHOTO - The suspect is described as a young white male of average height and a thin build. He was wearing dark gray or black pants, and a light blue or gray hooded sweatshirt with pockets in the front. He also had a small dark-colored backpack.