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

Development of Oregon City Market Place moves forward

Oregon City’s Urban Renewal Commission restarted negotiations on the latest Rossman Landfill shopping-mall proposal as California-based Donahue Schriber Realty Group announced Wednesday that it was ready to proceed on “roughly 600,000 square feet” of retail space next to Home Depot and Interstate 205.

Retail developers noted they’ll be looking to city staff for advice on how to deal with Measure 3-407, which passed by a more than 70 percent margin last November to force public votes on tax-increment-financed projects in Oregon City. Donahue Schriber had approached the URC earlier last year for an estimated $23 million contribution from urban-renewal fund to make the landfill site developable.

Previous landfill developers from CenterCal had proposed in 2011 to front about $17 million, to be paid back by the city’s urban-renewal fund once it leased 80 percent of the property, but Donahue Schriber is asking for more money up-front from the city. Donahue Schriber started talking with the Parker family in July of 2012 and finalized an option to purchase that September. However, with leases outstanding on the property that includes a driving range, it wasn’t that simple, and at one point it looked impossibly complicated to strike a deal on a property that inspired the 2011 recall of a commissioner and the 2012 urban-renewal voting measure.

Jack Steinhauer, director of acquisitions and development, was “proud” to announce this month that as of July of this year, Donahue Schriber finalized agreements with all five parties and are moving forward with the city on a disposition and development agreement.

With more than 1,000 jobs, Donahue Schriber estimates that the new shopping mall would employ the equivalent of 3 percent of Oregon City’s population.

Two other potential sticking points became clear during the meeting on Oct. 2. When Donahue Schriber first approached the URC on Oct. 30, 2012, it was still trying to lure Cabela’s sports superstore, which has since decided to locate in Tualatin instead. Mayor Doug Neeley said he wasn’t sure if Donahue Schriber would be able to attract a “major player” such as Cabela’s to generate excitement about the project.

Steinhauer also indicated that Donahue Schriber has determined that “it would take more than” $23 million to make the site buildable, which prompted clarifying questions from URC commissioners. Steinhauer responded that it was too “early in the process” to give an updated amount, or to say whether Donahue Schriber or the city would have to make up for the difference.

Design considerations

Donahue Schriber and commissioners seemed eye-to-eye on architectural and cultural priorities for the shopping-mall design. Steinhauer promised to try to mimic Oregon City’s architecture, based on community input, to pull more shoppers off of Interstate 205 and to funnel them into downtown. He also showed URC members some of the other projects totaling more than 12 million square feet that include plazas featuring live music.

“They’re not just shopping centers,” he said. “We have people places…we want people to congregate—this is part of their neighborhood.”

Neeley then took the opportunity to give the developers a history lesson on how settlers stole from Native Americans to create Abernethy Green, where covered-wagon owners to met to discuss land claims in the 1840s. Much of Abernethy Green eventually became the Rossman Landfill.

“A theme connected to that history would be very palatable to the people who live in this area,” Neeley said.

Steinhauer responded that the Oregon Trail theme was a “good idea” and promised that Donahue Schriber’s designs would connect to shopping mall to the next-door End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Commissioner Rocky Smith indicated that he would only vote for a design that is “amazing.” However, he thought that Donahue Schriber had the potential to live up to the standard being set on the other end of downtown, where planners are working with citizens to redevelop the bankrupt Blue Heron paper mill next to Willamette Falls.

“It gives us an opportunity to show that Oregon City is so unique,” Smith said. “I haven’t seen (that type of) plan come to us yet, so that’s going to be the challenge.”

The meeting ended with four Donahue Schriber representatives thanking the URC for thinking they might be up for the task. “We don’t just collect the pay checks — we’re not just the landlord,” Steinhauer said in pointing to an 84 percent lease-renewal rate that he saw as speaking to strong relationships with tenants.

“We know they’re a lot of hurdles,” he said, “but we’re excited for the opportunity.”