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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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Brewery opens in 'untapped market'


by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Brewmaster Ben Edmunds welcomes customers to Breakside Brewery in Milwaukie with an array of well-reviewed offerings.You will have to forgive brewmaster Ben Edmunds for his pun, but he said that one reason owner Scott Lawrence wanted to locate his Breakside Brewery in Milwaukie was because the area presented a “great opportunity to jump into an untapped market.”

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Jacob Leonard, director of brewery operations, empties a fermenter at Breakside Brewery.One thing Breakside has is plenty of taps, and the hand-crafted beer flows freely from them.

Breakside Brewery opened Jan. 30 in the industrial park just off Harmony Road in Milwaukie. Mayor Jeremy Ferguson was there to cut the red ribbon and sample the beer.

“He liked the Breakside pilsner,” Edmunds said, adding that it is also his personal favorite.

“It is a light, crisp and balanced German beer,” Edmunds said. “What is beautiful about it is that it is an accessible beer — not super bitter, not sweet and not highly alcoholic.”

Breakside was founded by Lawrence in May 2010, when he opened his first location on Northeast Dekum in Portland. The name originally stemmed from an ultimate Frisbee term, but now the logo of a “vacation deck chair” says it all.

Lawrence wanted the logo to evoke a lifestyle where people relaxed, took a break and spent time with friends, Edmunds said.

“Few things are better than eating and drinking with friends,” he said. “This business is our attempt to put that philosophy into action, in the way that we run the business, hire employees and how we grow as a business.”

The Dekum location is a full restaurant with classic pub grub, Edmunds said, but is also a three-barrel brew house.

Only potato chips will be served at the Milwaukie location, but it is considerably larger, with a 30-barrel system; the goal is to brew about 5,000 barrels this year and double that in 2014.

“We’ll continue to brew at Northeast Dekum, and do some fun experimental beers. Few breweries have both a 30-barrel and a three-barrel system,” Edmunds said.

Why Milwaukie?

“We decided not to be a huge, huge brewery, but a mid-sized craft brewery, where we could produce both draft and bottles, so we had to have the space to produce a lot of beer. There is an underserved market here in the Clackamas County area, and the real estate is more affordable” than in Portland’s city center, Edmunds said.

“One thing we did successfully at Northeast Dekum was we took a neighborhood that did not have a pub and created a great environment where people learned to trust what we are doing, and we want to do the same thing here.”

The addition of Breakside Brewery to International Way, a location that already houses Bob’s Red Mill and Dave’s Killer Bread, means there are now “three businesses that manipulate grain,” Edmunds noted.

A delicate beverage

Breakside will offer tours of the brewery on Saturdays, and visitors will see a spotless area with shining vats and containers with mysterious devices for checking temperatures and such.

But the actual brewing process is not such a mystery.

“Beer-making is the conversion of unpalatable cereal into a moderately alcoholic and delicate beverage,” Edmunds said.

Of course, it is not exactly that simple.

To produce the beer, the four full-time brewers and four part-timers grind malted barley into a very coarse flour called grist. From there, water is mixed in and starches become sugar; the sugars eventually become the alcohol in the beer, Edmunds said.

The liquid is strained off the grain and boiled; hops are added for flavor and aroma, and this mixture is boiled down. Rapid cooling is the next step, and the mixture is put into a fermentation tank, and yeast is added. Fermentation takes from five to eight days; the beer is then moved off the yeast in a natural filtration process; and finally, carbonation takes place.

The grain residue is picked up by a local farmer and fed to cattle, Edmunds noted.

Ninety-nine percent of beer is made in this way; variations come in different ways.

“In the last two years, we have released about 170 beers, and hope to release another 100 or so this year,” Edmunds said.

One seasonal or small-batch beer made by Breakside is Cedarbaumbier, which means cedar tree beer in German, the making of which involves foraging for red cedar tips and the substitution of those for hops in the beer-making process.

Making the county famous

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Ben Edmunds next to a fermenter at Breakside Brewery.Customers can come in and have pints or try taster trays. The classic tray has six beers — four popular year-round beers and two picks from the bartender, while the choose-your-own-tray allows people to choose six glasses from a huge menu of beers.

One thing that sets Breakside apart from other breweries is that the brewers are behind the bar, serving customers, Edmunds said.

“It is a unique experience. Customers get to talk to and learn from the people making the beer, and we want to learn who’s drinking our beer,” he said.

As for the future, “we want to grow into this facility and become a well-recognized and successful brewer of draft and bottled beer all over the Northwest, Western Canada, Idaho, Northern California and select other markets in the country,” Edmunds said.

“We want to be the brewery that makes Clackamas County famous. In the next six months, we want to be in restaurants and bars in all of Oregon. Support your local brewery — ask for it on tap.”

Breakside Brewery

Located at 5821 S.E. International Way in Milwaukie.

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 3 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Tours are offered on Saturdays.

Visit the website: breaksidebrews.com to see a full menu of beer choices, or call 503-719-6475 for more information.