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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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Rebuilt Arch Bridge revived


Wedding vows, party will help kick off celebration weekend

by: VERN UYETAKE - More than 1,500 feet of railing was replaced on the Oregon City-West Linn Arch Bridge. A couple from West Linn and a couple from Oregon City will celebrate their wedding anniversaries in a peculiar fashion on Oct. 14: They will renew their vows on the newly finished arch bridge that spans between the two cities.

Ted and Shari Anderson of Oregon City and Michel and Toni Layoun from West Linn will be two of the couples taking part in the Willamette Falls Festival and reopening celebration of the arch bridge.

The arch bridge, built in 1922, has been closed for the past 22 months. It reopens to traffic Oct. 15. But before it is taken over by traffic once again, the Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition is throwing a three-day party for the big old structure.

The wedding vow renewals taking place are a nod to a wedding that occurred on the bridge Dec. 28, 1922. West Linn’s Ella Averta Parker and Oregon City’s Louis E. Hartke Jr. were married on the bridge as part of the new bridge’s dedication. Their union symbolized the joining of the two communities.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Construction work was still powering forward Sept. 27, making the last efforts to reopen the arch bridge on time.Toni Layoun and her husband will celebrate their 23rd anniversary Oct. 14. But it was pure happenstance that they got roped into renewing their vows on the bridge. Toni Layoun had stopped by the Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition booth during the West Linn Old Time Fair and commented that she would not be attending the bridge reopening because it was her anniversary. The person at the booth then jumped at the chance of recreating the 1922 wedding.

“The hardest part is figuring out what to wear,” Layoun said, adding that the ceremony organizers originally wanted them to wear period costumes. Instead, she settled on a mother-of-the-bride style of a dress.

The Layouns’ two teenage children will stand as attendants and they have invited family to the renewal.

Ted and Shari Anderson will be celebrating their 27th anniversary Oct. 12. Shari, the Clackamas County treasurer, had commented once that she thought it was neat the bridge was reopening on her anniversary. When word got through the grapevine, she and her husband were soon committed to renewing their vows.

“We did go ahead and take advantage of this opportunity to get new rings,” she said.

The Andersons have lived in Oregon City since 1985 and their two grown daughters were be their attendants. They have also invited family to the ceremony.

“People think it’s a real neat idea,” she said. “I think it’s a nice way to mark the reopening.”

The Andersons and the Layouns will not be the only couples renewing their vows. The coalition invited all couples to the rededication ceremony, which is set for 1 p.m. The ceremony will be conducted by Beverly Mason of Radiant Touch Weddings and the Willamette Falls Symphony Brass Ensemble will provide the music. After the ceremony and the bridge re-opening event, there will be a reception back at the Pacific Crest Grand Ballroom at 3 p.m. with cake and sparkling cider.

Events lead to dedication

There will also be a variety of events during the three days for the Willamette Falls Festival that will highlight the heritage, culture and recreational opportunities in the area.

On Friday, Oct. 12, “An Evening of Arts and Culture” kicks off with the Oregon City and West Linn high school bands marching across the bridge at 5:30 p.m., after which the public is free to walk and picnic on it.

by: VERN UYETAKE - ODOT Project Manager Wayne Statler leads a tour of the almost completely renovated arch bridge.On Saturday, Oct. 13, “Family Fun Day” events for all ages include an artisan farmers market, a trolley heritage tour that runs Saturday and Sunday, a painting demonstration, speakers, a poetry workshop, costumed re-enactors, RiPPLe Legacy Sculpture interactive project and a Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde tribal encampment with Native American drumming, dancing and craft demonstrations.

Musical entertainment on Saturday will include performances by Grammy-nominated blues singer Ellen Whyte, classic soul band Deep Blue Soul Revue and Cascade Blues Association’s Hall of Famer Lisa Mann performing with award-winning guitarist Sonny Hess. The evening will end with a Sternwheeler Rose Wine and Cheese Event and a fireworks show over the Willamette River.

Sunday, Oct. 14, is “Get Active Day” and will highlight

outdoor recreation with a fun-athlon (run/paddle/bike) as well as a 5K fun run. Activities will then move onto the bridge for the wedding vow rededication and the ceremonial bridge reopening.

Proceeds from the Willamette Falls Festival will benefit the now-closed historic Willamette Falls Canal and Locks. The Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition is dedicated to protecting, enhancing and sharing the heritage of the Willamette Falls region between the Tualatin and Clackamas rivers.

Stewards of history

The arch bridge was designed by the renowned Oregon bridge engineer Conde McCollough and opened in 1922. It replaced a wooden suspension bridge built in 1888.

The bridge is back to its original condition.

“It is to the credit of designer Conde McCullough that the bridge went for 90 years without the need for major repairs,” said Oregon City Mayor Doug Neeley.

Through the restoration, there is a new roadway, sidewalks, railings, pylons and replica historic lights. To add strength and longevity to the bridge, repairs were made to the steel under the original concrete coating.

“This was not a typical project for ODOT,” according to a state newsletter about the bridge work. “Like remodeling your house, bridge rehabilitation is full of unknowns and surprises. Replacement was not an option due to cost as well as the bridge’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places.”

In the process, 18,000 square feet of Gunite (concrete) was removed using a high-pressure water jet. More than 1,500 feet of concrete railing was replaced.

Though the original lights on the bridge were lost years ago, replicas were fabricated and installed.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Replicas of the original lights were fabricated to complete the restoration of the history Oregon City-West Linn Arch Bridge.“This entire project was especially dangerous. The contractor faced challenges working high above a fast flowing river, inside the confined spaces of the arch ribs and working in areas with limited access,” stated ODOT.

Though the bridge officially opens Monday, Oct. 15, finishing touches will continue until March 31, 2013.

An estimated 14,000 vehicles crossed the bridged daily before it closed.

Construction costs for the bridge are $14.6 million, paid 89.7 percent with federal funds and 10.3 percent from state funds.

“The closure of the Arch Bridge for the past two years has been a significant burden on West Linn and Oregon City citizens and businesses,” said West Linn Mayor John Kovash. “We are happy to join in celebrating the grand re-opening of this critical component of our transportation system.”

A ribbon reopening celebration will be Sunday, Oct. 14, at 2 p.m. and will include remarks by ODOT Director Matt Garrett, the mayors of Oregon City and West Linn, representatives from the Federal Highway Administration and from Wildish Standard Paving, the construction firm.

Two time capsules will be dedicated. A parade of historic cars from 1915 to 1932 will be the first vehicles to cross the restored bridge.

“As stewards of Oregon’s historic McCullough bridges, ODOT is proud to be reopening a restored arch bridge to traffic when promised,” said ODOT Region 1 Manager Jason Tell. “This beautiful piece of Oregon history is ready to serve the next generation of travelers and stands as a grand gateway to communities on both sides of the river.”

For more information, visit willamettefallsfestival.com.