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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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Mall shooting widower turns to gun control


Three lifelong gun owners have come together to advocate for gun control after personally experiencing the horror at Clackamas Town Center last December.

by: PHOTO BY: JOSHUA DILLEN - Mike McQuade (left), a volunteer with the Marion County Democrats, shows Rick George (middle) and Paul Kemp where to sign in as they arrive at the meeting room at the headquarters of the Marion County Democrats. They attended to garner support for a bipartisan group they are forming to address gun control.At the six-month mark since the shooting, they aim to unite gun owners in Oregon and across the country to fight for the common goal of safety for citizens.

by: PHOTO BY: JOSHUA DILLEN - Robert Yuille (left) lost his wife in the Clackamas Town Center mall shooting in December. He was speaking at last months meeting of the Marion County Democrats about a new organization he is forming that wants to focus on gun safety and accountability of gun owners. Yuille is a gun owner and in favor of Second Amendment gun rights. Susan Schwab (middle), treasurer of the local Democrats and party Chairman Rick Hartwig look on as Yuille talks.Robert Yuille, husband of shooting victim Cindy Yuille, is one of those gun owners whose loss has changed his purpose in life.

“Cindy and I always believed that things in life happen for a reason. We’re not supposed to know what it is; we’re just supposed to follow that path however it leads us,” Yuille said. “When she was murdered, I really did not think about becoming involved in any kind of activism, whatsoever, but it just has pretty much presented itself to me.”

Paul Kemp lost his brother-in-law, Steve Forsyth, in the shooting. Together with Yuille and under the leadership of Rick George, they spoke of their ignited activism and of their deep wish for new action concerning gun safety to Marion County Democrats at their headquarters in Salem.

George, owner of Grande Ronde Consulting in McMinnville, wants to expand their mission to find a solution to the burgeoning gun violence across the nation. All three have a passion for gun ownership and believe responsible gun owners can exercise their rights and still protect the Second Amendment. They also believe that “gun control” is not a bad term.

“I have seen enough in the last couple of years to move me to action. I have never been involved in gun politics in my life and never wanted to — avoided it,” George said.

He obviously has had a change of heart. The activists are forming a not-for-profit organization tentatively called “Oregon Gun Owners for Safety.”

Kemp, a registered Republican, wants to create a dialogue with government leaders and voters and come to an agreement that will keep people safe and hold gun owners accountable for who their guns kill. The goal is to see legislation that preserves gun owners’ rights and keeps the public protected from guns in the wrong hands.

“My feeling is this is not a partisan issue, and I read a lot about history and leadership. Some of the greatest things that have ever been done in this country are when folks cross the aisle and work together,” Kemp said. “The overwhelming majority of Americans want to see some changes done.”

George, who is from Northeastern Oregon and lives near McMinnville, has been the vice president of policy and indigenous affairs for Ecotrust, executive director for Oregon Rivers Council, and a 21-year program manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The lifelong gun owner has decided to make an impact and do something to keep families safe from killers with guns.

George hopes the trio can harness the power and passion of gun owners.

“I do believe in my heart that it will take gun owners to stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ It’s time for change, and it’s time for respect for our rights, and time for respect for the rights of people who should be able to walk through malls safely,” George said. “And it’s time for children to be able to go to school with as much safety in their school environment as we can give them. And that means change.”

George is hard at work spreading his message to as many people as he can. He is talking to Democrats, Republicans, Independents, young people, mature people and all gun owners to develop a dialogue about changing current gun regulation.

Kemp has connected with the families and victims of several shootings across the country including the victims and families of the Gabby Giffords and Columbine shootings. The past several months have kept him busy experiencing the dynamic of the country’s heated dialogue.

Kemp, who spoke for about 10 minutes, outlined some ideas the group would like to present that would be palatable to government lawmakers. They included convincing the leadership of the National Rifle Association to be more in line with its membership to garner support from that gun-owning base. Kemp believes a majority of NRA members would support stricter laws mandating gun safes and trigger locks. The goal is to see legislation passed that will keep guns out of the hands of people like Jacob Tyler Roberts, the shooter in the Clackamas mall tragedy, who used a stolen gun.

Stroller Jam

In honor of the six-month anniversary of the Clackamas Town Center shootings, moms from across Oregon brought their children, their strollers — and their determination —- to the entrance of the state capitol’s legislative chamber this month to demand action from Oregon lawmakers on a background check bill, Senate Bill 700.

SB 700 would create background check requirements that include nearly every private and online sale, with a reasonable exception for transfers between close family members. Advocates say the bill would make background checks convenient and private for individual sellers, while making it much harder for criminals to buy a gun.

“Oregon moms and our families are tired of waiting for action on gun-safety legislation from our state senate, we’re not giving up and we’re not going away,” said Jenn Lynch, local chapter lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “As moms, we’ve been through the ‘terrible twos’ and we’ve heard our share of ‘no’s,’ so we’re converging on Salem to demand ‘yes’ from our lawmakers. Yes, we will grow up and step up to the challenge of preventing gun violence in Oregon.”