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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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Milwaukie rehires fired cop

Arbitrator's ruling says Sgt. Graves did not break protocol

A Milwaukie police sergeant fired at the end of 2010 for rushing to help a suicidal woman in Clackamas County Sheriff's Office jurisdiction has been reinstated with paid back wages after a long battle between the city and police union.

Sgt. Robbie Graves was dismissed after a call in October 2010 in which he left city limits to help a friend who was distraught. The city contended that Graves broke protocol for handling such emergencies.

While on duty on Oct. 4, 2010, Graves received a 9 p.m. call on his personal cell phone from Teddie Penhollow, with whom he had an affair. Penhollow told Graves that she wanted to go to sleep and never wake up, so he immediately drove to her house outside of city limits.

Graves had several reasons for not calling dispatch until about 20 minutes later. Penhollow had also told Graves that she hadn't done anything, and it's not typical practice for Milwaukie officers to tell their supervisors every time they assist on a call in the 82nd Avenue area, so Graves thought he could take a quick break to check on the situation of his 'really good friend.'

He arrived at Penhollow's house a few minutes later, finding the door locked and receiving no response after pounding on the door.

Worried that sheriff's deputies and medics would arrive too late to help due to short staffing, Graves called in a friend of Penhollow's who had a key to the house - a common practice for police to call to avoid having to force doors open.

After a few more minutes, Graves determined that Penhollow was unresponsive and called for medical aid.

Graves notified the other sergeant on duty that he wouldn't be able to finish his shift and spent the night at the hospital where Penhollow recovered from an overdose of sleeping pills.

It was determined that Penhollow's attempted suicide was not caused by Graves' affair, which had ended several months earlier.

Called for help

The latest fight between Milwaukie officials and the city's police union again required the intervention of an arbitrator through the state of Oregon's Employment Relations Board. Without any prior administrative leave, on Dec. 27, 2010, the city dismissed Graves, a veteran officer hired by Milwaukie on Aug. 31, 2000.

After formal hearings in July, the city was forced to rehire him on Sept. 30, 2011.

'There is no evidence that (Graves') actions ... put Ms. Penhollow's life in jeopardy. He followed the generally understood procedure when dealing with a potential suicide call,' concluded arbitrator Nancy E. Brown in her report.

In both cases, Larry Kanzler, who served as Milwaukie's police chief from October 1999 through June 2008, provided evidence that bolstered the police union's arguments. Kanzler said that it had long been acceptable for officers to leave the city during their lunch breaks, and that the union and city had not developed their mission statement as a basis for disciplinary action.

The city unsuccessfully argued that Graves failed to 'protect life' by responding to the emergency call himself.

'If for the sake of argument (Graves) had called immediately for medical assistance upon receiving Ms. Penhollow's call, it would have been necessary for law enforcement officers to clear the scene so that the medical team could have entered the premises,' Brown said.

Money still flowing into fight

Milwaukie spent a total of $53,850 in police labor negotiation and arbitration during the past year.

For the current fiscal year, the city is required to pay two thirds of the arbitration costs related to the Graves case, a total of $5,332 from the $8,000 total.

Milwaukie also had to pay Graves for the nine months he was unemployed at his more than $70,000 annual salary, plus about $20,000 in benefit costs.

'In our view they've paid close to $200,000 fighting for claims that the arbitrator determined to be completely unsubstantiated,' said police union attorney Daryl Garrettson.

The two sides are returning to the negotiating table to renew a two-year agreement that expires June 30. The most recent contract also required an arbitrator's intervention and was last summer applied retroactively to a year of negotiation without a contract.

Police Association President Jon Foreman has raised concern that the city's 0.5 percent pay scales above market average would allow nearby cities to raise police compensation to a point where Milwaukie can no longer compete for new recruits or transfers.

Less than six weeks after an arbitrator ruled in the city's favor on pay and benefit scales, the Milwaukie Police Employees Association sent a formal complaint Aug. 2 to the Oregon Employment Relations Board alleging unfair labor practices. The complaint alleges that the city is not following its past practice of allowing officers to leave city limits, and the state finding on that case is still pending.

Rerimand issued

Graves was reprimanded for accessing criminal records of Ken Colorie, Penhollow's ex-boyfriend, on the Portland Police Data System in 2009 and 2010. Portland prohibits the dissemination of criminal records, but Milwaukie's rules go further, also prohibiting access for non-law-enforcement reasons.

Graves was concerned that Colorie was a 'cop hater' and a potential threat. But Graves was neither involved in an active case nor notifying fellow officers of his use of confidential databases. The state's designated arbitrator determined that Graves violated Milwaukie's policy but that he didn't disseminate the records.

'I concur with the city's argument that it is the Milwaukie (police) policy that governs,' Brown said.