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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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Proposed compost facility on hold


S&H looks to stay at current location in Clackamas

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Compost facility protesters hold signs at the corner of Stafford and Borland roads.As a bill that would prohibit the construction of an S&H composting facility in the Stafford area makes its way through the state Legislature, the logging company has decided to suspend its Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) application and pursue an extension of its current lease at Clackamas Compost Products.

“We want to know what the outcome of the legislative debate is before we put much more money into permitting the facility,” said S&H Regulator and Compliance Director Will Gehr. "We decided to hold off and find out if we're even going to be permitted to site there."

The legislation that forced this change of direction is Senate Bill 462, which sets new rules for planned composting facilities, requiring applicants to hold a conference and public hearing before they can submit any land use applications that involve selling products and require a permit from DEQ.

At the urging of state Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, Tualatin) and state Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, the bill was amended to prohibit the construction of any compost disposal site within 1,500 feet of a school.

Certain areas of the proposed Stafford facility would be as close as 400 feet from school property.

"Senator Devlin and I both agreed that the health of our children and our community clearly isn't a partisan issue," Parrish said. "He was willing to step in and work on the bills with me."

Though the bill is currently waiting for its third reading in the House behind a "long list of bills," Parrish is confident that it will eventually pass and move back to the Senate for concurrence.

"I've been told it should receive the concurrence vote with no problems," Parrish said. "After that, it heads to the governor's desk for a signature, and hopefully he'll sign it quickly."

The proposed S&H facility, at 3036 SW Borland Road in the Stafford Triangle, would sit near Stafford Primary and Athey Creek Middle schools, and just 400 feet from Athey Creek's soccer field. It would be used to process yard debris into compost, which could then be used in products sold at S&H’s retail site, which is located across the street. It would not compost food waste such as meat scraps or other animal products.

Still, the proposed facility has been a source of controversy since a Clackamas County hearings officer approved the facility’s design application for the Borland Road site. In a series of public meetings since then, residents have expressed concerns about the facility having a negative effect on the community’s health, businesses and property values. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Rep. Julie Parrish and Sen. Richard Devlin have spearheaded a bipartisan effort to stop the S&H compost facility from being built.

S&H attempted to quell those concerns by amending its plans for the facility, but to little avail. In a public meeting on May 15, Gehr presented the updated plan to acquire a DEQ permit that restricts composting operations to yard debris only, as opposed to the permit that allows for incidental manure to be mixed in at times.

He explained the procedure S&H would use to quell any dust or odors coming from the facility, and colleague David Miller said he was planning to move his own family to the area as soon as possible.

However, that didn't stop concerned residents from packing into the Wanker's Country Store parking lot Saturday for the "Stop the Stink-Save Stafford" rally against the facility.

Event organizer Patty McCulla estimated that the rally reached a peak attendance of between 175 and 200 people, many of whom carried signs that read, "No industrial composting and mining near our schools!" or "Industrial Composting = Health Risk."

Both Devlin and Parrish spoke at the rally, along with West Linn-Wilsonville School Board Member Betty Reynolds.

"The group here today is committed to preserving an environment that will continue to let students achieve at their top potential and to preserving the livability of this amazing community," Reynolds said in her prepared remarks.

Parrish, meanwhile, focused on both the legislative process and what she sees as the next logical step: proposing alternatives for S&H to consider if the bill passes.

"We need to come together and find a use for that property that lets S&H have financial success for their asset," Parrish said. "If it needs another piece of legislation to get a positive outcome for them on something that isn't compost related, I'm committed to doing that too."

The rally-goers, of course, were unaware that S&H had already begun working on a contingency plan.

Gehr notified DEQ last week about the company's decision to suspend its application at the Stafford location, and also submitted a new application for environmental screening at the current site in Clackamas.

Even if Clackamas County — which owns the Clackamas Compost Products property at 11620 SE Capps Road — approves a lease extension, S&H would still need an updated DEQ permit to continue operations.

"DEQ is going to be evaluating what kind of improvements need to be made, if any," Gehr said. "And that’ll give us an inclination of what it might take to keep us there.

"If it’s going to stay there, it needs to get a new permit."by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - State Sen. Richard Devlin spoke at the 'Stop the Stink-Save Stafford!' rally on June 8.