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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 Academy of the Arts plans open house


The community is invited to the Milwaukie Academy of the Arts open house on Nov. 14, to be informed and entertained, said Tim Taylor, director of the academy and assistant principal at Milwaukie High School.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Senior Carlie Hughes selects two of her works, 'The Grand Journey' and 'Sage,' to hang in the J.C. Lillie Center for the Arts at Milwaukie High School.Creativity will be everywhere inside the J.C. Lillie Center for the Arts at MHS, including on the walls of the lobby and inside the theater, starting at 4 p.m.

In addition to paintings, drawings and sculpture, visitors “will see our kids on stage singing and dancing, in the pit performing music, selling tickets and ushering, and doing all the lights and sound for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ ” Taylor said.

The fall musical is a collaboration among Scott Walker, director and theater arts instructor, Greg Van Winkle, instrumental music instructor, and Emily Gimba, the choir and vocal music instructor. It opens at 7 p.m. the night of the open house, and continues through Nov. 17.

School within a school

The Milwaukie Academy of the Arts is a free, public, arts-based, college-prep charter school, housed within Milwaukie High School, and open to students anywhere in the state, Taylor said, adding, “It was founded in 2005 and designed to sustain a high-quality arts presence on this campus.”

MAA is embedded within the high school, allowing students access to “a wide and deep variety of electives and honors courses. MAA students take their core courses as a cohort together, and then take other required classes with MHS,” Taylor said.

Students have access to all clubs and Oregon School Activities Association-sanctioned sports teams and activities within MHS, and can get college credits from Clackamas Community College for a wide range of courses. They also can take classes at the Sabin-Schellenberg Professional Technical Center on Johnson Road in Milwaukie.

Entrance to MAA is through an application process and only 100 students per grade level are accepted; siblings of current MAA students and in-district students get first preference in enrollment, Taylor said.

There is an essay component to the application, so that students “know they are applying to come to an arts school, and to see if they are a good fit for us and if we are a good fit for them,” he said.

Typically, 60 percent of the MAA students are from within the North Clackamas School District, while 40 percent come from outside the district, including students from Portland, Estacada, Oregon City, Canby and West Linn, among other places.

Students in the academy have been awarded in excess of $400,000 in college scholarships and MAA is rated outstanding on the State of Oregon School Report Card.

Amazing things’

The open house on Nov. 14 will give community members the opportunity to learn about “the high-quality education experience here, and they can see the amazing things our students can do, so they can feel good about the investment in the future,” Taylor said.

The money from a bond measure in 2006 allowed for a remodel of the J.C. Lillie Center for the Arts, including spaces for theater, visual arts, dance and more, he said.

A week before the open house, visual art instructor Lori Moe-Burgener asked Carlie Hughes, a senior, to begin hanging her artwork on the walls of the lobby. Hughes has been in MAA all four years, and hopes to attend Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland on a scholarship; she ultimately would like to be a graphic


What she likes best about the academy is “the creativity and intellectual stimulus,” she said, adding that the students interact like a family.

Although the curriculum is “difficult and demanding,” she found it less scary to jump into, partly because staff members are so welcoming.

Another positive aspect of MAA is that the instructors are “focused on getting you ready for your career, even if it is not in art.”

Taylor noted that applications for admission to MAA will be available at the open house. He doesn’t know if the advent of light rail may lead to more students applying to the academy, but he does know one thing, Milwaukie MAX will make it easier for MAA students to take field trips to Portland, to take advantage of, among other things, “a partnership with Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, where our students get to tour the facility, see a play and talk to the actors.”

Feast your eyes

What: The Milwaukie Academy of the Arts open house

When: 4 p.m.Thursday, Nov. 14

Where: The J.C. Lillie Center for the Arts, 11300 S.E. 23rd Ave., Milwaukie, on the Milwaukie High School campus

More: The community is welcome to come for the art exhibit and stay for the 7 p.m. opening performance of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” in the theater at the J.C. Lillie Center for the Arts. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. The musical also plays at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

Contact: For more information about the open house or the musical, call 503-353-5830.