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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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Museum reopens with free food, native art, photos and more


From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, the Museum of the Oregon Territory, 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City, presents “Willamette Falls: Where the Future Began,” a full day of new exhibits, papermaking, crafts, workshops, music, arts and culture.

by: PHOTO COURTESY RAY TATYREK - Art capturing the transitory beauty of the post-industrial ruins surrounding Willamette Falls will be exhibited and for sale at the indoor festival at the Museum of the Oregon Territory honoring the falls Saturday, Feb. 1.Overlooking Willamette Falls, this free indoor event is a collaboration among The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Portland General Electric, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, West Linn Paper Co., the Clackamas County Historical Society and others who recognize the need to balance the ecology, cultural relevance and economic potential of the falls.

In MOOT’s new PGE Theatre Exhibit, visitors enter the power of Willamette Falls through PGE’s film: “Willamette Falls; Where the Future Began,” an up-close experience of the “Niagara of the West,” and a timeless study of the falls’ ecological, cultural and industrial relevance. PGE operates the T.W. Sullivan Power Plant at Willamette Falls, distinguished as the oldest in the West, the site of the nation’s first long-distance transmission of electricity, and one of only two power plants in Oregon designated as “green.” Proven to have minimum ecological impact, with a fish smolt survival rate of nearly 98 percent, the first primitive fish-passage channels at Willamette Falls remarkably were made back in 1885, cut through solid basalt rock.

Native art

At noon, contemporary Native American issues will be presented in an acoustic folk-music concert for youth. Spider Moccasin is the stage name of 48-year-old Wasco/Warm Springs Oregon tribal member and modern folk songwriter Marcus Moseley. A graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Spider Moccasin is a frequent performer on KBOO 90.7 FM and a prolific cartoonist, with several published comic books and wall paintings including the new, large historic mural for the Grand Ronde Tribe, created under Karl Abramovik.

Before the falls were dammed, it was a vibrant social and economic gathering point for tens of thousands of years by the Clackamas and other Salmon Nation tribes. At 1 p.m. new tribal art will be unveiled and dedicated with a blessing song from representatives of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Descendants of the relocated indigenous tribes of the falls area will present their contribution to the museum in the form of two original, hand-carved, salmon benches honoring the fish’s sacred tie to the falls, a relationship older than man.

Cultural education specialists Bobby Mercier and Brian Krehbiel teach the tools and technique of traditional-style carving, creating canoes, paddles and Chinookan-style faces, at the Tribal Carving Shed on the CTGR Reservation in Grand Ronde. The two brothers volunteered to design benches for seating in the MOOT exhibit theater, which was funded in part by grants from both Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and PGE. Cedar bench foundations were collaboratively carved by Toby J’s Art of Aurora.

‘Lost Mural

Fans of both fishing and Captain America unite in the unveiling of the once-lost mural by comic-book legend Alex Schomburg (1905-1998), “Principal Fishes of Clackamas County,” revealed to the world Feb. 1. PGE has loaned this oil painting to the Clackamas County Historical Society, following its discovery at an abandoned fish-viewing station near the Clackamas River’s North Fork Fish Ladder, and its subsequent professional restoration.

“Alex Schomburg was to comic books what Norman Rockwell was to The Saturday Evening Post,” said Stan Lee, creator of “Spiderman.” The exhibit explains Schomburg’s significance as a Marvel Comics artist of international distinction, and how this renowned science-fiction icon, creator of the Human Torch and contributor to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” came to provide a mural in 1963 for PGE and the schoolchildren of Clackamas County.

“One of the new exhibits MOOT is proud to present is “Industries & Engineering: The Power of Willamette Falls and the Progress of Clackamas County,” said CCHS exhibit designer Mark Hurlburt. “It presents stories, artifacts and photographs of the enterprises and people that developed Clackamas County’s mills, with a focus on the monumental importance of Willamette Falls to the industries its power supported.” The entire museum has been repainted with colors that correlate with the different exhibit areas.

History and ecology

At 2 p.m., West Linn Paper Co.’s Environmental Manager Penny Machinski presents an inside look into the history and sustainability of the WLPC, the oldest operating enterprise of its kind below the Willamette Falls. The first of many papermaking operations once drawn to the area by the readily available energy of the falls, easy river transport and abundant wood from Oregon’s forests, West Linn Paper, established in 1889, now stands alone on the Willamette’s western shore.

Since paper manufacturing always has been located near the large bodies of water it requires, the industry has developed a notoriety for its impact on river ecosystems and temperatures. Machinski will explain how West Linn Paper has evolved with the times to operate in increasingly environmentally sustainable ways.

Just for kids

Children will enjoy a crafts table and take-home coloring books that explore the themes of the day. In honor of the original trade-highway marketplace of Willamette Falls, kids and adults are encouraged to bring an item to trade or a gift “offering” to honor salmon of the Willamette.

At 3 p.m., prepare to get your hands wet, with a free papermaking-arts workshop from Pulp and Deckle Paper Co. Kids and adults can make a truly homemade valentine from the paper they make by hand.

Photos, paper history, food

Photographer Ray Tatyrek has documented the intricate and transitory beauty of the post-industrial ruins of Oregon City’s Blue Heron paper-mill site in architectural photos, which he enhances to resemble fine watercolors. Tatyrek’s art will be displayed and available for purchase.

In conjunction with the new Industries Exhibit, historian and author Sandy Carter will read excerpts from her book “$1.09 An Hour and Glad To Have It,” which chronicles the oral histories of Crown Zellerbach paper-mill workers.

In the museum’s Murdock Gallery, “Dished — Tastes of Clackamas County” will be on display from opening day through mid-2014. “With spotlights on the pioneer days, early businesses, prohibition, World War II and the Cold War era, the exhibit showcases how historical events have shaped what we decide to cook,” designer Celia Baker explains. From heavy cast-iron cookware to ration stamps and Wonder Bread’s scientific laboratories, Baker’s research invites contemplation of the nuanced relationship between food and


“The exhibit has its lighter side, too,” she said. “If you want to know whether you can eat an orange after a nuclear attack on Portland, or if you love bacon and want historical justification for your indulgences, go see “Dished!” Local recipes from different eras in Clackamas County’s history will be available for visitors to keep.