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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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Family gets into apple spirit


Parrishes' Oregon City company likes the crush of a hard-cider operation

by: PHOTOS BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Jeff Parrish, chief brewer of Oregon City's Portland Cider Co., tests out a batch as his niece Kaitlyn Nelson (top left) helps him out with friend David Unziker.‘Tis the season for Northwest apples, but the apple obsession for Oregon City’s Parrish family goes a little beyond buying those 5-pound grocery bags for pies, juice and cheap, tasty snacking.

The Parrishes went through 30,000 pounds of apples this season, making about 900 gallons of juice a day for a total of 12,800 gallons.

“Let’s make an apple-lanche!” yelled Jeff Parrish when his family was ready to process another huge crate of Jonagolds, Honeycrisps and Galas.

But there’s a good reason the Parrishes are making a large amount of juice — they’ve just gotten into the bottling business. This amount of juice is “pretty small change, but for a startup, we’re doing pretty good,” said Parrish, 44, chief cider maker of Portland Cider Co., which recieved permission this month to sell its alcoholic brew out of a small factory on Beavercreek Road across from the Clackamas County offices. His wife, in-laws, 19-year-old niece and 14-year-old son are regular helpers.

Although the alcohol content is similar to beer, cider making is a four- to-five-month process similar to making wine. Unlike brewers who can make their beer from non-perishable materials, cider pressing has to be done immediately for the best-quality juice.

For juicing, Parrish buys bins of what doesn’t make it to the grocery store from Oregon Heritage Farms on Scholls Ferry Road near Hillsboro. Then his family begins an assembly line of grinding and pressing in their 2,500-square-foot space at 275 Beavercreek Road that they’ve leased since August. Adding rice hulls aids in the compression of apple pulp because the hulls provide channels for the juice to flow out.

About 40 percent of the total weight of apples is leftover solid, which Parrish feeds to a Clackamas County herd of Asian water buffalo owned by his landlord, Terry Emmert.

“When they see my truck coming, those buffalo love the apple pulp so much, they all push each other to get to it,” Parrish said.

Tasting the brew

by: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Clive Radford, (from left) Marilyn Unziker and Kaitlyn Nelson help out Jeff Parrish in the family's apple-cider factory on Beavercreek Road in Oregon City.Parrish tests the dry cider out of fermentation cauldrons on a daily basis to see when it’s ready for the next step.

Taking a sip recently, he said, “as a cider maker I’m very happy, because there are no off flavors, and the yeast has almost all racked out.”

Other folks are finding they like hard cider, and it’s the fastest growing adult beverage in the United States, spurred on by general success of the local craft brewing industry. Hard cider was pretty much all the colonialists drank because water was so foul in the 1700s.

Parrish’s father-in-law, 73-year-old Clive Radford, who has retained his accent since emigrating from England, denied bringing any expertise to the operation. He’d just like to share in the fruits of his labor.

“We’re going to teach Americans how to have a decent drink, and after a long day’s work, I’ll be the first to model that,” Radford said.

Before bottling, it goes into completely aseptic, evacuated plastic bags to minimize its contact with oxygen. Parrish says the key to good cider is “process control,” which means identifying biological risks to tasty cider and avoiding those pitfalls.

Cider will naturally come out at about 9 percent booze, but Parrish will mix in some more juice before bottling to lower the alcohol content. “Kinda dry” will be the 6.8 percent version, while “Sorta sweet” will come down to about 6.2 percent.

Stores will sell the Parrishes’ cider for about $6 per 22-ounce bottle. Parrish is starting by making 1,000 cases, but he’s frozen enough juice to make 4,000 cases before next season if the demand is high enough. Many of those 12,000 gallons of juice maturing, fermenting or in the freezer will find their way to the family’s holiday table off of Henrici Road, where more than a dozen Parrishes will enjoy feasting on various apple dishes.

“Apples have been my favorite fruit all my life. We’ll cook with them, and hard cider will be part of the festivities as well,” Parrish said.