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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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Public welcome to attend Somerset Lodge's rededication of veterans wall


by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Kurt and Myra Mathews, co-managers of Somerset Lodge, pose with resident veterans Phil Shriver, left, and George Imhoff.New Guinea — 1942. One man, George Imhoff, was on the ground as part of Company D in the Oregon National Guard. Another man, Phil Shriver, was in the air flying a P-39, as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Myra Mathews, co-manager of Somerset Lodge in Gladstone, displays the book of honor and several photos for the new wall honoring veterans.Both men were born in Oregon, both served their country in the South Pacific in World War II and both are now residents of Somerset Lodge, 8360 Cason Road, Gladstone, where they will have their photos displayed on the Veterans Wall, to be rededicated at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3.

“It is very important that our military veterans not be forgotten. This is a way to make sure the community knows them,” said Myra Mathews, who with her husband, Kurtis, is the co-manager of Somerset Lodge.

The facility has had an informal wall for a long time, she said, but she and her husband, who have been managers for six months, wanted to make the wall a real showcase to honor the vets.

There are 28 veterans at Somerset, including two women, so Mathews framed a current photo and a military photo of each of them for the wall in the main building. She also put together a book of honor, containing photos of residents who have died or who have moved on to a higher level of care.

At the rededication, members of the VFW will make up the color guard for the opening ceremony, Gladstone Mayor Wade Byers will read a poem, and that will be followed by singing of the national anthem and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We will then have the reading of the names of the residents on the wall, and the VFW will retire the colors,” Mathews said, adding that members of the community are welcome to attend.

George Imhoff

Imhoff, 92, joined the National Guard in 1940, and served in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines as a forward observer in a heavy weapons company, specializing in mortars.

His earliest memory of being in New Guinea occurred when he had just landed in that country and was walking down a trail.

“Here came a native singing ‘Show Me the Way to Go Home,’ wearing a wool sweater,” in that tropical heat, Imhoff said.

He was born and raised in Gladstone, attending Gladstone Grammar School, when Walt Kraxberger was the principal. He graduated from Oregon City High School. He has lived at Somerset Lodge since June 2012.

Although Imhoff saw a lot of combat in the South Pacific, he wouldn’t trade that experience for the world he said, adding, “But I wouldn’t want to do it again.”

Phil Shriver

Shriver, 92, joined the Army Air Corps and graduated from flight school in November 1941. He was first assigned to a fighter outfit in Everett, Wash., but “the Japanese were pushing pretty fast toward Australia, and all the Australian men were fighting in Africa,” he said.

So in January 1942, Shriver and a group of newly minted pilots sailed for Australia, escorted by a U.S. Navy cruiser.

They landed in Melbourne in February, and by March Shriver was assigned to the 40th fighter squad; he had no experience flying the P-39s, and said he was lucky to get 30 hours in the airplane before being assigned to his first mission in New Guinea.

“The Japanese were attacking airports in New Guinea, and an Australian air squadron had almost been eliminated, so I was part of the first two American squadrons sent there,” he said.

The P in the P-39 stands for pursuit, Shriver said, and thus he and his fellow pilots were supposed to pursue and intercept the Japanese, but because of the altitude limitations of the P-39, the pilots could not get above the Japanese planes.

“The early part of the war was pretty rough. On our first mission, there were 12 planes in our squadron, and 20 Japanese above us. We lost five planes that day,” Shriver said.

“But we got a little better, and on July 11, 1942, I shot down my first, and only, bomber. Then the P-38s came over in the fall of 1942, and the war turned around for us, because those planes could fly higher than the Japanese,” Shriver said.

He flew 120 missions before coming home in May 1943.

Shriver was then made a test pilot and assigned to Tinker Field in Oklahoma. He left the U.S. Army in 1946 but stayed in the reserves. Shriver was born in North Bend, and even though he lived in Oklahoma for 35 years, he always knew he would return to Oregon. He lived in Sweet Home and Salem before moving to Somerset Lodge a year and a half ago.

“I was really proud to serve in the armed forces. This

country would not exist if not for the wars we fought,” Shriver added.