Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Veterans propose USO center at PDX


Col. Joe Williams (Ret.) will talk to members of the Portland chapter of the Military Officers Association of America in Clackamas this weekend about his group’s plan to start up a USO center at the Portland International Airport and what’s needed to get the center opened by the end of this year.

by: SUBMITTED  - WilliamsPDX is one of the few international airports in the United States without a USO center. Known for hosting celebrities such as Bob Hope to entertain troops, the center would provide a range of programs and services to the many active-duty military, Reserve and National Guard members who travel through the airport each year. The Port of Portland has agreed to provide the space. Williams said when enough funding and volunteers are available, the center will open.

Williams agreed to answer questions for the Clackamas Review prior to his speech:

Q: Why did you approach the USO about opening a center in Portland?

A: I saw a need. My sons have been in Portland since 2000. I was stationed at then-Fort Lewis from 2000-04; Boston 2004-05; and the Pentagon 2005-07 when I retired. For the three years on the East Coast, I flew to PDX every other weekend for my parenting time with my kids.

Q: Why should people care about a USONW Center opening in Portland?

A: Oregon Veterans come up to me and tell me they’ve been pushing for a USO at PDX for years. ... They cannot understand why we don’t have one, while the only active-duty bases in Oregon are the U.S. Coast Guard. The Portland Military Entrance Processing Station inducts about 4,000 per year. In Oregon and Southwest Washington, we have over 7,000 active duty; 10,600 in the National Guard and Reserves; and 53,000 military retirees. That’s a military community over 70,000 and doesn’t include their family members or veterans.

Q: What kind of events have you and the volunteers supported?

A: Information tents at Rose Festival Fleet Week (without the fleet due to sequestration); Guard and Reserve unit Family Days; The Governor’s Employers Executive Briefing (we provided and served coffee to the 300 attendees). We are especially excited to be named this year’s grand marshal of Portland’s Hollywood District Veteran’s Day Parade.

Q: What is a favorite memory you have from one of the events?

A: The members of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Security Forces Squadron, upon redeploying after 217 days to Qatar to discover that the USONW Portland’s “Army of Gratitude” had brought VooDoo Doughnuts to their de-mob processing site at the Portland Air National Guard Base.

But I can’t leave out the looks on the faces of the WWII veterans who participate in the Oregon Honor Flights where they travel to D.C. to visit the World War II memorial. On June 14, our lead volunteer, Christine Vu, had several members of the Oregon National Guard, who were wearing World War II uniforms belonging to the James Thayer Military Museum, accompany her to a sendoff of 26 World War II veterans and their caregivers at PDX.

The looks on the veterans’ faces were priceless — a mixture of disbelief, shock and gratitude that these young people would don the uniform of their era to give them a sendoff from PDX. There were very few dry eyes in the gate area that morning.

Q: What are you looking forward to most about the future PDX Center?

A: Getting my 16-year-old son, Brad, off my back! During our return to Portland from Washington, D.C., in October 2012, we had a mechanical delay causing us to spend five hours in the Houston USO followed by five hours in the Denver USO (which has an incredible USO Center).

Relaxing in leather recliners and watching Sunday night football on the big screen, my son said, “So Colonel, I thought you were putting in one of these at PDX?” ... “I tried,” I told him. His reply: “And?” ... “They said “no ...” “And?” (he retorted again). So everyone should be thanking my son for guilt-tripping me into dusting off the plan I created in March 2011 and re-engaging ... It is because of Brad that I decided I was not going to disappoint my son ... or the men and women who provide our national security — whether active duty, National Guard, the reserves — and all their families, plus our retirees, veterans and their families, too.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?

A: I am very humbled by our young men and women in uniform — those who stepped up to serve their country while we were a “nation at war.” Then I see those veterans with their hats reflecting which units they served in during Vietnam, Korea and World War II who are becoming fewer and fewer. The USO Northwest Portland Center at PDX is for those who are serving and those who served “Until Everyone Comes Home.”


Col. Joe Williams (Ret.), a senior volunteer of the Portland International Airport USO project, will speak about the center to MOAA at its Saturday, Sept. 7, brunch meeting at the Monarch Hotel, 12566 S.E. 93rd Ave., Clackamas.

Social time begins at 9 a.m. with the brunch starting at 10 a.m.

The MOAA brunch costs $20.

To make reservations, go to moaaportland.org, call 503-650-9506 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..