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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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Milwaukie police mourn loss of K9 officer Jag


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Training was intense for Scott Huteson, Milwaukie officer, and his canine police partner, Jag.Jag, a beloved Milwaukie police dog, had to be euthanized Friday at the age of 5 after being diagnosed with inoperable bone cancer.

The German shepherd, born May 11, 2007, helped to catch dozens of suspects and earned the trust of the hundreds of elementary school students that he played with.

Since June 2009, Officer Scott Huteson and his partner, Jag, had assisted during high-risk criminal apprehensions by tracking fleeing suspects, and by locating possible evidence that suspects dropped during their attempts to elude capture. During that time, Jag found his suspect 32 times out of the about 100 times he tried, well above the 20 percent norm for his type.

“Jag was not an average dog, and he was not even an average police dog,” Huteson said. “This has been really hard for me and will be especially hard for my son.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jag the Milwaukie police dog had no trouble interacting with members of the public, loved to play and catch suspects.At home, Huteson always felt comfortable leaving Jag alone with his toddler son, even at 2 or 3 years old.

Jag got his start in police work with the efforts of John Truong and Kevin Krebs, Milwaukie officers who started a series of fundraisers in 2008. Milwaukie’s remaining police dog, an American Staffordshire terrier named Shaka, handled by Officer Billy Wells, specializes in drug sniffing.

Huteson’s police car had been especially adapted for Jag with a secure water bowl, a fan and heat sensors so when temperatures hit 90 degrees, the windows rolled themselves down, a fan came on and Huteson’s pager alarm went off. The pager also has a button that pops the door so Jag could jump out of the car if Huteson needed assistance in a crisis.

While on patrol, Huteson would stop the car for groups of schoolchildren who enjoyed interacting with Jag. Many police dogs are high-strung, but Huteson said that Jag “knew when to turn off his attitude” while visiting schools, helping raise money for the Milwaukie Pioneer Cemetery or during hundreds of other community events.

Cheeseburger snacks

Bob Jordan, Milwaukie’s police chief, sadly told citizens last week that Jag’s biopsy report came back as osteosarcoma or more commonly, malignant bone cancer. After consulting with Huteson, and considering the diagnosis, Jordan made the decision to euthanize Jag.

Dr. Chris Bonnell, the veterinarian at VCA Southeast Portland Animal Hospital who had been responsible for Jag’s overall care, located the cancerous tumor by Jag’s skull and nasal cavity, making surgery not an option.

“Other treatment options, such as chemo, are very difficult on the patient and not likely to succeed, according to Dr. Bonnell,” Jordan wrote to City Council. “Dr. Bonnell recommended euthanasia, an option she would pursue if Jag were hers.”

Huteson brought a wagging Jag around to tearful members of the department and offered an opportunity for members of the public to visit Jag for the last time. Although Jag seemed mostly healthy and happy, during his last week, he was becoming increasingly prone to nose bleeds and could only breathe out of one nostril.

by: PHOTO BY ADAM BACHER - Milwaukie Police Officer Scott Huteson and his canine partner, Jag, are photographed earlier this year as a benefit for the annual 9K for K9 Walk downtown.Members of Milwaukie’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, who were instrumental in fundraising to get the current program up and running, visited Jag during his last days to say goodbye. They brought Jag extra treats from the American Legion and promised Huteson that they would schedule additional fundraisers, beside the annual 9K for K9 Walk, to allow Huteson to continue in the program. Although Huteson said he would like to continue serving in the K9 unit, he wasn’t ready to discuss details.

“The department will be evaluating the idea of obtaining another canine in the future, but Officer Huteson and Jag’s situation is foremost in our minds,” said Milwaukie spokeswoman Officer Ulli Neitch. “All other thoughts right now are ancillary.”

Jag was on a strict veterinarian-supervised diet, but whenever Huteson and Jag caught a suspect, Jag was treated to a drive-thru cheeseburger. For the final week of his life, Jag got cheeseburger snacks without having to work for them.


The Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation was formed specifically for raising funds for public safety-related projects such as the K-9 program, although some members of Milwaukie's Public Safety Advisory Committee are active in doing fundraising, as a story reports. People can make tax-deductible donations through the foundation, but PSAC, as a city-appointed committee, can't accept money.