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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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Filmmaker bringing Hollywood home to Oregon City


Travis Zariwny and actress Louise Linton were sitting poolside in Los Angeles one day last August when they came to a humbling realization.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - West Linn native Travis Zariwny, who wrote and directed the independent film Intruder, watches as a shot is being set up on the last day of filming in Oregon City.As veterans of the Hollywood machine — Linton as an actress and West Linn-native Zariwny in various roles as an art director, production designer and director — they had seen first-hand how difficult and lonely it could be to sell a passion project. Their work as an actor-director pair on a low-budget science fiction film called “Scavengers” was nearing its end, and it was time once again to look ahead.

“You could go to 1,000 auditions,” Zariwny said to Linton. “And I could go to 1,000 meetings — but no one will give us a chance.”

What they had in experience, they lacked in funding and authority.

“If you really want to do something, you just make it yourself,” Linton said. “Let’s make a movie ourselves.”

• • •

Almost a year later, that movie — operating under the working title by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Travis Zariwny watches a take on the monitor.“Intruder” — has finished shooting in Oregon City. It’s a psychological thriller about a woman (played by Linton) who takes her trash out one day and unwittingly allows a man to sneak into her apartment. Low on blood and gore, the film plays on that near-universal sense of fear when the floor creaks and no one else is home.

“What ‘Jaws’ did for the water, we’re trying to do to the apartment,” Zariwny said.

The idea came to Zariwny, 43, a few months after that talk with Linton, when he was still putting the finishing touches on “Scavengers.” He texted one of the film’s producers, fellow Oregonian Michael Jones, to ask what he thought.

“We’ve got to make this,” Jones replied. “It’s a home run.”

Zariwny worked backward, drawing scenes on storyboards first before writing the script itself. He was booked for a production job in Savannah, Ga., and it was during the four-day train ride home to Oregon for the holidays that he drew out the bulk of the film.

He used those storyboards to pitch the movie to producer Tina Sutakanat, who was immediately intrigued and set off to find funding. Zariwny was told to get in a draft of the script as soon as possible.

It was late January by this point, and the script was due by Feb. 15. Starting Feb. 1, Zariwny worked 12 hours daily to produce about 10 pages at a time until he had a complete script finished on Feb. 10. After a few days of exchanging notes with his closest collaborators, Zariwny had the complete script ready to be reviewed by potential backers.

Within two weeks, the money was in the bank.

“It’s always amazing,” Zariwny said, “how these little projects come together.”

• • •

Zariwny has been hooked on movies since he was 7, when he first saw “Star Wars.” But he didn’t just watch films; he studied them. He gobbled up “behind the scenes” videos and decided at an early age that he would someday make his own films.

Writing and drawing both came naturally to Zariwny, but when he graduated from West Linn High School and moved on to Lewis & Clark College, he took a detour into political science and Asian history.

The Hollywood dream never left him, though, and Zariwny caught his first big break when he received an internship offer from Panavision cameras in 1991. He was taking graduate-level classes at Lewis & Clark by then, but only as a way to fill time. This opportunity was too good to pass up.

Soon, Zariwny found himself working on live movie sets, taking pains to absorb everything he could. He was invited to a Sundance Filmmakers program as a cameraman, and a year later the institute asked if he would return as an art director. It was the first step on a path toward his eventual work as a production designer, a role he’s now filled on 49 different films.

Yet throughout that time, he had his eyes on a bigger prize: the director’s chair.

“As a designer, that really just put me in the right frame of mind,” Zariwny said. “Because I could fill the sets for the actors — and I could write where they were — I could build where they were. And I had a camera.

“That’s when I turned to directing.”

• • •

Zariwny won’t call himself a true director just yet, despite being in the process of finishing his second feature film. He’ll need at least two more movies under his belt before he feels comfortable with that distinction.

“I heard that from Robert Rodriguez: You’re not a real movie director until you’re done with four films,” Zariwny said. “Because a lot of guys burn out; they don’t keep pushing or they don’t keep getting the opportunities.”

Despite the frenzied pace of shooting “Intruder” in just 10 days, there was no sign of fatigue in Zariwny’s eyes as he organized the last scenes. It helped that the movie was in Oregon this time and that he could roll out of bed and be on set within 15 minutes — which he called “magical” compared to commuting in Hollywood.

It took about three months for Zariwny to find that perfect set location in Oregon City. He originally had planned to rent out a furnished apartment in Portland, but

found them all to be too small. Instead, he worked a connection through his mother to rent a large house up in the hills.

The basement was an unfinished theater room and thus completely empty. In the two weeks leading up to production, Zariwny and a handful of friends overhauled the area to create a set that resembled an apartment. The great majority of the movie would take place within that space.

Throughout the whole process, from production design to the filming itself, Zariwny remembered something he noticed while working at Sundance. “I experienced lots of directors who were seduced by the dream of making a movie,” he said, “and forgot the people around them who actually made it.”

When filming wrapped up on June 21, Zariwny took a day off before viewing the 52 reels of film that made up the rough cut of “Intruder.”

“I’m feeling super solid,” he said. “I’m super excited with the look we achieved.”

Zariwny flew back to Los Angeles shortly after filming wrapped to begin the editing process, and he said the movie should be finished in about four months.

That would make two feature films under his belt, halfway to becoming a “real” director if he follows the Robert Rodriguez formula.

But really, who’s counting?by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Travis Zariwny advises actress and co-producer Louise Linton.