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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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'Mayan Calendar' threat complicates psychological recovery from shootings


UPDATE: Student arrested in Gladstone after threatening Facebook post

by: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Tears well up in Sheriff Craig Roberts' eyes as he describes the events at Clackamas Town Center at a press conference last week.Clackamas County is beginning to gradually recover and come to terms with two people killed and one other person seriously wounded during a Dec. 11 afternoon attack in the Clackamas Town Center’s food court.

Cindy Ann Yuille, 54, a Kaiser nurse and resident of northeast Portland, and Steven Mathew Forsyth, 45, of West Linn, were killed.

Kristina Shevchenko, 15, is slowly recovering from a chest wound in the shooting and was taken by Life Flight to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, where she was released Tuesday. Donations to benefit her recovery can be made at any Wells Fargo branch.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Hundreds of police vehicles seal off Clackamas Town Center Mall on Tuesday evening.But school administrators statewide have been investigating student and parent sources regarding a rumored shooting threat that could occur on Friday, Dec 21, vaguely relating to the end of the Mayan Calendar. The threat is especially concerning in Clackamas County coming the week following shootings at the Clackamas Town Center and Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

On Wednesday, a Gladstone High School parent alerted the school district of a student threat via on Facebook. The student, whose name was attached to the Facebook post, reportedly wrote on Tuesday night, “Imma blow up ur school on Friday!”

The student in question was immediately detained by school administration, said Principal Stu Evans, and the Gladstone Police Department transported the student to the Clackamas County Juvenile Detention Center. Clackamas County has a “Threat of Harm” assessment protocol that will be part of the processing done by the juvenile and mental health departments.

“I want to thank the parent and student who made us aware of this threat, and are obviously looking out for the safety of our school,” Evans said. "Any threat of this specific nature is information that schools need to know about as soon as possible, so that we may act in a timely and safe manner.”

This week, Evans locked an extra set of doors so that only the front entrance is open, where a staff person greets all visitors who have to sign in there to get a visitor pass, instead of reporting to the main office as is usual. GHS teachers, along with teachers at other high schools around the region, talked with students this week about intruder threats and shooter safety procedures.

Administrators across the state have also been investigating the Mayan Calendar threat. GHS officials had asked students to provide credible information relating to rumored threats of violence, but Evans enlisted the help of parents on Tuesday after turning up nothing substantial. Given the lack of credible information, school officials are planning a full day of school on Friday.

“If you or your student happened to come across any credible information, that could substantiate or put an end to these rumors, then please let us know right away,” Evans wrote to parents on Tuesday.

Talking with kids

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Mimi Tran tells her friends that she 'heard gunshots right above me, so I ducked and all this glass started pouring down the escalator, and we ran into American Eagle,' as she left Clackamas Town Center Tuesday night after a gunman shot several people at the mall. The mall was closed Tuesday evening, and all day Wednesday and Thursday, as law enforcement investigated the shooting. The mall’s owners, General Growth Properties of Chicago, managed to reopen the mall on Friday, when people tried to go back and begin recovering psychologically.

Steve ForsythKPAM 860 newscaster Terry Boyd was good friends with Forysth and saw the mall’s opening as a chance to broadcast there and begin the healing process.

“We need a way to begin to move on from this,” Boyd said.

Boyd shared his thoughts during a live report from a Friday evening candlelight vigil at the mall.

Cindy YuilleMilwaukie teacher Deborah Barnes’ middle daughter was working at California Pizza Kitchen when she got the call from her boss to “get outta there.” Many kids who were working at the mall or shopping there couldn’t get to their purses or backpacks until it reopened Friday.

Stress levels of students are affected by many factors, Barnes noted, but it didn’t help that many kids personally knew the killer, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, who used a semi-automatic rifle he stole from a friend. Roberts went to Rowe Middle School and Milwaukie High School, finishing his degree in the Oregon City School District.

“One thing I’m hearing over and over is this is so out of character for this kid, so for them the hardest thing is wondering how this happened, and they see themselves as somehow culpable for their actions,” Barnes said. “So the most important thing for us to tell them as educators is: ‘It has nothing to do with you, and there was nothing you could have done to change what he did.’”

Gladstone Superintendent Bob Stewart also recommended that parents try to shield their youngest children from the initial trauma as much as possible.

“It’s as it’s happening, so that kind of thing really scares kids, so I would hope that parents do not let their kids watch TV with them after incidents,” Stewart said.

Dr. Lawrence Hipshman, a psychiatrist based at Kaiser’s Sunnyside Hospital in Clackamas, offered his expert practical advice on coping, and agreed that kids should be talking with their friends and family, not watching TV.

“Most importantly is that people stay with their families and do those things that they associate with caring,” Hipshman said.

In response to the tragic events at both the Clackamas Town Center and at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school on Friday, Dec. 14, Wendy Wilson, Gladstone elementary principal, Oregon City Superintendent Larry Didway and North Clackamas Superintendent Matt Utterback assured parents that the school districts will continue to take all the safety precautions necessary to ensure a safe school environment.

“Children need reassurance from those around them and a calm environment to feel safe,” Wilson wrote to parents. “It is important to keep with routines, as predictability helps to keep children feeling safe.”