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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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Gaddis protests development proposal


Last Wednesday, Oregon City resident Miriah Gaddis began collecting signatures in opposition to a 40-unit drug-and-alcohol residential rehabilitation center proposed on the Beavercreek Road site where her sister had been found murdered in 2002.

Central City Concern Executive Director Ed Blackburn noted that the project is intended as permanent housing for parents choosing to live in a clean and sober environment. On-site family mentors and CCC’s self-sufficiency staffers plan to work with families to help them continue to achieve success.

“Those individuals who identify as being in recovery will be tested and monitored for adherence,” Blackburn said. “Due to lengthy waiting lists, it is highly likely that individuals in recovery will have many months of recovery prior to moving into the building.”

by: FILE PHOTOS - Ashley Pond (left) and Miranda Gaddis.Gaddis, 23, fears that CCC, a Portland nonprofit, is attempting to develop a “halfway home” for drug addicts and homeless individuals on the Ward Weaver lot here. by: PHOTOS BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Miranda Gaddis and Ashley Pond are memorialized at the Beavercreek Road site where they had been found murdered in 2002.Weaver is serving a life sentence for sexually abusing and murdering 12-year-old Ashley Pond and 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis. His rental house there has been bulldozed, and the Beavercreek site, including the storage shed and concrete block where he had hidden their bodies, is now a field.

“I agree with Central City Concern’s mission to try to rehabilitate people,” Gaddis said. “But I’m worried about the safety issues for kids.”

Gaddis, whose mother has signaled support for the project, says she has no specific goal for numbers of signatures but is instead trying to raise awareness. She’d rather see the site become a playground or some other public facility for children.

“This (rehab) facility will have a negative impact on the local communities of Oregon City,” the signature sheets say. “It would decrease local property values as well as potentially harm businesses that are in the local vicinity.”

In her first hour collecting signatures, Gaddis received support from several residents of Forest Edge apartments who are concerned about sliding down the hill toward Newell Creek due to erosion. If the development paved an additional acre, even if planners implemented techniques for water-drainage mitigation, it could have a serious negative impact on the drainage of the lower properties, they said.

Oregon City’s Mapping Portal shows CCC’s proposed housing development on Beavercreek Road is not in a landslide buffer zone. CCC also contracted with an independent geotechnical company in July for a full environmental review as part of its federal funding application.

“According to that review, the property is defined as sloped in the smallest category of 0-10 percent,” Blackburn said. “There are no signs of unstable soils in the vicinity, and soil was not found to be highly erodible.”

Forest Edge resident Darci Rae Mundale thought of her daughter who’s now in middle school as she signed the form.

“I lived in Gladstone when it first happened, but I brought my 2-year-old daughter here to leave flowers,” Mundale said.

Neighborhood concerns

As both a business and building owner across Fir Street from the proposed developments, Greg Rogers also has “serious concerns” about the project. Developers have said that they are looking forward to working with family members to plan memorials for Ashley Pond or Miranda Gaddis. But no significant location is indicted on architectural renderings.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Miriah Gaddis collects a signature from Darci Rae Mundale in opposition to a 40-unit drug-and-alcohol residential rehabilitation center proposed in Oregon City.“Given that the scars of this tragedy are still fresh here in Oregon City, it would seem that more thought and dedication should be given,” Rodgers said. “Anecdotally, large numbers of our clients comment that the lot should never be developed and left as-is.”

CCC officials have heard from other friends and family members of that the community wishes to see a memorial for Pond and Gaddis.

“If the project goes forward, Central City Concern has every intention of honoring the victims in a respectful way and is open to receiving input on this matter,” Blackburn said.

Given the circumstances of the individuals who would be moving into the proposed apartments, there is concern about crime spilling out into the surrounding neighborhoods. Finding that CCC hadn’t released tracked crime statistics of surrounding neighborhoods where it develops projects, Gaddis and Rogers followed up with local law enforcement.

But CCC manages 88 units of similar family housing scattered throughout the Portland metro area and reviewed criminal activity this year from January through September in those areas. The agency found that its buildings had a significantly lower rate of criminal conduct than the surrounding neighborhoods within a half mile of its buildings.

“In all of CCC’s family housing, there were only two instances of criminal conduct and in both instances, CCC and residents were the victims of the crimes, with no evidence that CCC residents were involved in commission of the crimes,” Blackburn said. “In contrast, there were a total of 1,044 instances of criminal conduct with police involvement in the surrounding neighborhoods during the same period.”

Rogers also is concerned that Oregon City is reducing the parking requirement by 25 percent and only requiring 50 spaces. He argues that even residents at high poverty levels can have multiple cars and wouldn’t have space to park.

Blackburn confirmed that many CCC tenants do not have vehicles. “Because the number of parking spaces meets code, Central City Concern believes that the parking will be more than adequate for the building,” he said.

With right-turn-only traffic onto Beavercreek, where traffic accidents already are common, it may be difficult for anyone to turn left. They either have to turn right, pull into a private drive, turn around and then turn left; or they turn right slightly until they pass the median and then make a U-turn.

Gaddis says there are a lots of reasons that it’s a “sore spot” for herself, the development and the community.

“I’m not trying to stop the project, but I am trying to change its location,” she said.

CCC maintains this housing would be a safe place for families to live in Oregon City.

“Central City Concern is saddened at the disparaging and discriminatory tone used by some individuals commenting on the project,” Blackburn said. “It is also worth noting that this project has drawn verbal and written support from many community members.”