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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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Ernest Gottfried Bachofner

Oct. 15, 1925 - Nov. 20, 2012

Ernest Gottfried Bachofner died on Nov. 20.

He was born Oct. 15, 1925, in Portland as the fifth child to Herman and Amelia Bachofner. He attended Vestal Elementary School and Benson High School.

In 1943, he entered the U.S. Navy and served on the escort carrier USS Savo Island. Released in 1945, he worked at various jobs until he started with Portland Screw Company and worked there as a purchasing agent for 45 years.

He married Jeannie Rankin in 1947 and had one son, Fred, in 1949. He divorced Jeanne in 1975.

Mr. Bachofner was a great athlete, playing on championship teams in softball, basketball and baseball, many times with his two brothers. After a knee injury playing basketball, he took up golf and loved bowling with his wife, Jeanne. He had five holes-in-ones and bowled on league championship teams.

He loved to be with family and friends and always took the time to visit friends when they were in need. He loved playing pinochle and going swimming in rivers or lakes, no matter how cold it was. After retirement, he would go camping in his fifth wheel with his camper club. He loved volunteering for The National Kidney Foundation, where he was named 1998 Volunteer of the Year. He was proud of bringing his famous pickle wraps to any family, friend or holiday event.

He had many nicknames throughout his life: Dirty Ernie, Bachy, Pickle Man, Honest Ernie, Ernie Got Fried in a Bakeoven and the like. Later in life, he met his partner for the rest of his life, Louise Lehl. They lived together for 15 joyful years. Those years were some of his most memorable, with cruises, trips to Mexico and Palm Springs and many trips to the beach. Louise’s sons, daughters and grandchildren all treated him as a member of the family.

The couple and their dog, Sophie, were always a bright spot at any get-together. His smile and warm sense of humor were always felt at a party.

The year 2012 was a tough year, with Sophie dying in July, Louise in September and the passing of Ernie in November.

Mr. Bachofner lived a full life with friends he had always loved when he was around, because he would always say something to bring a laugh or a smile and a warm spot in their heart.

He is survived by: brother, Herb; sister, Lillian; son, Fred, and his wife, Diane; granddaughters, Allison, and her husband, Trevor, and Kelli; nieces, Marilyn (Robert Hodson), Juanita (Ron Petersen), Donna (Dave Barr); and nephews, Gary, Jim and Josee Bachofner.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Raymond, and sister, Alice.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2013, at Willamette National Cemetery. To sign the online guest book and light a candle in his honor, please visit anewtradition.com.

Arrangements: Crown Memorial Center Milwaukie.

Joan Ruth Siefert Hall

May 19, 1936 - Dec. 5, 2012

Joan Ruth Siefert Hall died on Dec. 5, at age 76.

She was born on May 19, 1936.

Mrs. Hall is survived by her three children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two sisters.

Her parents and brother preceded her in death.

A celebration of life service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 1:30 p.m. at McLoughlin Place, 1153 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

Arrangements: Hillside Chapel Funeral Home.

Ronald Leyden Spencer

Feb. 27, 1934 - Nov. 30, 2012

Ronald Leyden Spencer passed away on Nov. 30, at the home he and his wife, Esther, had shared for 26 years. He was 78.

He was born in Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario, Canada, on Feb. 27, 1934. In 1950 he graduated from Galt Collegiate. He and Es (as he called his wife) married Nov. 16, 1956, and recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

The couple traveled the world, frequently with their close friends, Rod and Celine Bell. These travels provided him with opportunities to explore genealogy, and he was able to trace his Scottish history to 1692.

Mr. Spencer earned his accounting certification in 1959 and his degree in 1965 from Canadian Industrial Management, taking evening and correspondence classes while working full time. His work at Omark Industries brought him to the United States with his wife and three children in 1967.

The family moved to Oregon in 1974. They lived in Gladstone, and in 1986 Ron and Esther moved to West Linn. He worked for Freightliner for 15 years before retiring as the director of accounting in 1998.

Mr. Spencer valued community involvement and used his financial expertise, passion for the outdoors and love of birding in his volunteer commitments. He served on the United Way of Columbia-Willamette board for 14 years, was a board member for Tualatin Riverkeepers, helping rebuild their accounting system and was active with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. He was an enthusiastic birder, and at the time of his death, served on the Audubon Society of Portland board, where he had been involved since the 1990s. He assisted Audubon in critical financial times, most notably as treasurer. He was described as a calm, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer, with contributions that were of great benefit to these organizations.

Mr. Spencer was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2010. Never a smoker, he grew up in a time when smoking in the home and workplace was common. He championed the first-ever nonsmoking workplace at Freightliner.

The last few months his activities were more limited, but he got out of bed every day and experienced little pain. He said his wife, Esther, was his rock.

Mr. Spencer is survived by: his wife, Esther; their children, Ron Spencer, Tammy Spencer and Cheryl Knobeloch; sister, Norma Stubbs; grandchildren, Sandi Ferretti, Lee Spencer, Stephani Mongelli, and Griffin, Cassandra and Ethan Knobeloch; great-grandchildren Leland and Alli Spencer, Lilli Ferretti and Kyler Mongelli; and aunt and uncle, Ruth and Gordon Kaufman.

A celebration of life will be held in late February.

To view a short video clip of him on the river talking about birding, go to Ron’s Birding: facebook.com/video/video. php?v=10151167282621795&saved.

Donations in Ron’s honor and memory can be made to the Audubon Society of Portland, audubonportland.org.

To sign the online guest book and light a candle in his honor, visit anewtradition.com.

Arrangements: Crown Memorial Center Milwaukie.