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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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Groups step up sex-abuse fight


Clackamas County detectives tapped 2013 Milwaukie High School graduate Isabella Butler’s phone while Cliff Robert Martinez admitted to his perverse acts, thinking that only his stepdaughter was listening.

Oregon City-based Children’s Center employees conducted an independent forensic analysis. Then prosecutors turned a cold case into Clackamas County Circuit Judge Robert D. Herndon’s Thursday sentence of Martinez, 47, to 15 years in prison, stipulating no possible reductions in time served for admitting to sodomy in the first degree, unlawful sexual penetration and abuse.

“He committed, short of murder, the most horrible act,” Herndon said.

Martinez agreeing to a plea deal last week is part of a pattern of Clackamas County child-abuse cases that have resulted in convictions, often without going to trial. Although state courthouse budgets have been slashed, county officials have increasingly swayed juries or encouraged plea deals by partnering with the sole local agency providing medical assessments, forensic interviews, and family support services to children who are suspected victims of child abuse and neglect.

“This is our bread and butter, unfortunately, and we do a lot of Children’s Center cases,” said Mike Regan, the Clackamas County deputy district attorney who runs the child-protection department. Several employees under Regan meet every week to discuss active cases at their offices in Oregon City. “They’re all bad,” he said.

Martinez began abusing his stepdaughter in the state of California when she was 8 years old. After she reported the abuse in 2008, he denied her claims and was able to move back into their home in West Linn. She endured continued molestation and recanted her accusation because she feared losing his financial support for her wheelchair-bound mother.

Wanting to share her name and story with the public to prevent other abuse cases, the now 18-year-old Butler lives with her mother whose divorce from her stepfather is now pending.

Brave speech

After pronouncing the sentence, Herndon and prosecutors lauded Butler’s bravery in coming forward to the witness stand to read a statement. She wrote it in all capital letters on a few sheets of notebook paper that she folded up until they fit into the palm of her hand.

Before reading the statement, she asked Herndon if she could bring a friend with her to the front of the courtroom for moral support. After Herndon granted her request, the two girls who had been holding hands let go of each other only to walk about dozen steps to the witness stand.

Butler then read clearly, with only a slight shakiness in her voice, glancing up occasionally to look directly in Martinez’s eyes:

“Today I finished a horrible chapter in my life,” she told her stepfather and a courtroom with more than a dozen of her friends and family members. “Cliff, what you have done to me was not OK. …”

During that post-conviction speech, the only part of her story that she wanted to take back was the fact that she ever thought of Martinez as her father. She blamed him for her mother’s failing health and their ongoing financial struggles:

“You didn’t stop to think about what you were doing. … I just want you to know that I will never forgive or forget what you have done to me.”

Martinez, who had answered the judge’s questions about his guilt by only saying “yes,” did not offer any closing statement. Escorted to jail by two deputies, he shuffled out of the courtroom in shackles.

Pattern of violence

Shortly after the abuse of a girl in a separate case, Children's Center investigators recorded an hourlong interview with the 9-year-old victim of Gary Lee Rose. Jurors who decided on Rose's guilt in June had the opportunity to review the interview during their three-hour deliberation.

A detective was able to retrieve pornographic photos of the girl that Rose had tried to delete from his phone. Earlier, she also had gone to her aunt to report abuse by her father.

"I knew there was something wrong with him when he told me he wouldn't hurt me like my dad and brother did," the girl said in a Children’s Center interview during the investigation.

After Rose, 39, showed no remorse, Circuit County Judge Douglas Van Dyk sentenced him to 50 years in prison. News stories tend to focus on cases like Donald Lee Cockrell’s life sentence for murder for abuse and criminal mistreatment of his 3-year-old daughter, whose battered body was found at the 30-year-old's home in Sandy. DAs resolve most abuse cases with sparsely attended public hearings and no media coverage.

“As bad as that Rose case was, it was pretty typical of the cases we see,” Regan said.

Most sex-abuse cases going through the DA’s office in Clackamas County pass through a Children’s Center’s multidisciplinary approach of physical exams and interviews. Although as the designated medical provider, Children’s Center medical providers work closely with law enforcement aiding convictions in certain cases, they’re not always backing up DAs’ views of seemingly clear cases. They are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team, but their focus is far more medical and clinical.

“The defense attorneys frequently try to paint the Children’s Center as an arm of the prosecution, but they make their own determinations, and we often disagree with them,” Regan said.

Prior to 1985, there was no independent organization to aid detectives in child-abuse investigations. That year, Dr. Jan Bays, spurring state legislation that transplanted the medical model to Oregon from San Diego, created a child-abuse clinic at Emanuel Hospital.

“After the 1980s, the interest in exploring it as a physical and medical issue exploded,” Regan said. “They’re able to treat the child and let the child know that despite those years of abuse, their bodies are going to heal.”

That’s why the public needs multiple partners to protect families against abuse, said Barbara Peschiera, Children's Center executive director.

“Because we’re not an arm of the law enforcement or DHS, we can do much more support for the families,” Peschiera said.

Families are very complicated, and it’s not our job to be judging or blaming, she argues.

“Parents and families, in general, are doing the best with what they have, and, hopefully, with investigating sexual abuse, we’re helping them have the tools to improve their situation,” she said. “In situations where families are challenged, we also point out things they do well, because the only bad guy is the offender, and it’s important to remember that.”