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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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'The Breakfast Club' remade at Clackamas High School


UPDATE: Students release preview of their film -

With the movie’s enduring nostalgia, it’s surprising that a remake of “The Breakfast Club” hadn’t already been made.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: HOPE ALEXANDER - Despite the freezing temperatures, Katharine Yates (from left) Ryan Coyle and Hope Alexander filmed the ending scene of their version of 'The Breakfast Club' at Clackamas High School.Entertainment Weekly named John Hughes’ 1985 classic the best high school movie of all time, and its iconic portrayal of reconciliation among representatives of five different cliques pushed Simple Minds’ theme song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” to No. 1 on the charts. Originally starring Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald, it launched the careers of this entire “Brat Pack.”

by: PHOTO COURTESY: HOPE ALEXANDER - From left, Ryan Coyle, Sierra Amanda Bish, Heron Bratschi, Calen Coates and Katharine Yates star in a North Clackamas School District version of 'The Breakfast Club' coming Jan. 31.Rumors of a remake have circulated for years, naming various Hollywood stars as candidates. But, against all odds, it took a dedicated group of North Clackamas students to make it happen.

Clackamas High School junior Hope Alexander, the remake’s director and executive producer, put her team through a brutal filming schedule on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for two and a half months this school year.

“It was pretty crazy to take on a project with 10 people that would be done with hundreds of crew members in Hollywood,” Alexander said. “There were times when we were behind schedule and everyone was freaking out, but we had to keep our composure and get the filming done.”

Sabin-Shellenberg Professional Technical Center teacher Deborah Barnes surprised everyone by announcing in September that Alexander would lead the project normally reserved for seniors. Alexander and most of her classmates hadn’t even seen the film that had premiered more than a decade before their births. Usually students in Barnes’ broadcasting and social media class make a five-to-10-minute video, but this 90-minute shot-for-shot refilming of a Hollywood classic is unprecedented. Their end product, on a negligible budget, would exceed the expectations of Oregon’s largest high school technical center, let alone most Hollywood producers.

“Hope is one of the most talented, gifted, charming, bright young women I have interested in a career in film,” Barnes said. “She is the perfect person for this, and I am incredibly proud of her and the work ethic and professionalism of the cast and crew.”

Watch the preview:

Their own ‘Breakfast Club’

Once named director, Alexander immediately got her team watching the original regularly, writing a script, storyboarding and working out technical details. They had no time to go over lines during their tight filming schedule, so the cast would come over to Alexander’s house for extra rehearsals in the evening. Cast and crew members heavily used the Alexander family’s dining table for meals at all hours.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: HOPE ALEXANDER - Before filming their remake of 'The Breakfast Club,' this is usually how the cast and crew look at 7 a.m. Clockwise from right, Katie Yate Ryan Coyle, Heron Bratschi, Sierra Amanda Bish, Jacob Linn, Tony Calambrogio, Haley Bricker, Hope Alexander and Calen Coates. (Not pictured: tech crew members Travis Whittaker, Guyanna Sundeen.)“It was like our own Breakfast Club that we made within the filming, and we’re all going to remember our individual personalities and how we ended up meshing,” Alexander said.

All five of her remake’s main characters start out as stereotypes, as in the original. Co-director and senior Katie Yates plays Ringwald’s “princess” character Claire Standish, although Yates isn’t ditsy in real life. More obvious casting choices for Alexander were Rex Putnam High School senior Ryan Coyle as Nelson’s “criminal” character John Bender, CHS junior Sierra Amanda Bish as Sheedy’s “basket case” Allison Reynolds and CHS senior Heron Bratschi as Estevez’s “athlete” Andrew Clark.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: HOPE ALEXANDER - Sabin-Shellenberg Professional Technical Center teacher Deborah Barnes put the finishing touches on Ryan Coyle for his portrayal of 'The Breakfast Club' character John Bender.Her most difficult casting choice was trying to replicate Hall’s masterful portrayal of the film’s “brain” character, Brian Johnson. She ended up going with CHS junior Calen Coates, who had the slight stature for the part and who was able to make his normally deep voice crack frequently while performing his dialogue. Bender has to comment on the voice cracking, so Coates’ character is occasionally called “Pubert” in this remake.

Such dialogue adjustments are the most noticeable change from the original to the remake. During a scene when she had to freak out near the end of the film, Yates initially wanted to play an exact copy of Ringwald’s performance.

“You have to make it your own; otherwise it’s not going to be believable,” Alexander would tell her film’s actors. To explain introducing the word “weird” to the script, she said, “I don’t know any teenagers now who say the word ‘bizarre’ on a regular basis.”

‘Back to the roots’

Barnes, whose favorite movie of all time is “The Breakfast Club,” encouraged her class to see the film’s timelessness, and otherwise mostly stood back and “got goosebumps” watching them work.

“We can see ourselves in parts of every character while in high school. We find ourselves wondering if we are just a label when we are a teen,” Barnes said. “This movie gives hope to those who dream of being somebody special.”

by: PHOTO COURTESY: HOPE ALEXANDER - In this remake, Jim Dail, Clackamas High School junior Hope Alexander's mom's boyfriend, plays disciplinarian Mr. Richard Vernon, the main adult role in 'The Breakfast Club.'Hollywood has had a long dry spell of any teen movie that’s been a cultural touchstone on the level of “The Breakfast Club.” Memorable teen comedies in subsequent years such as “Bring It On” or “Clueless” have given way to special-effect-heavy fantasy series like “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” to attract young moviegoers.

“We don’t have any movie now that influences young people day-to-day and how we think about the world,” Alexander said. “Unless they’re entwined with some werewolves or some vampires, audiences has been sold on all the add-ons, so it’s great to get this experience that takes us back to the roots of what it means to be a filmmaker.”

Alexander has visited California State University, San Bernardino in Southern California, and is now looking at other film-school options in New York. Contrary to typical practice, Coyle and Coates helped Alexander edit the film, even though they were also acting in it. Alexander made the final decision on which takes to pick.

“I’ve got to make sure that they’re not picking shots just because they think they look better than everyone else,” she said.

Alexander credited the student crew’s parents with being more than just supportive of their efforts. Jim Dail, Alexander’s mom’s boyfriend, played disciplinarian Mr. Richard Vernon, the film’s main adult role. Paul Gleason’s original performance of Vernon earned the actor the honor of being typecast in nearly every one of his subsequent movies.

Both Barnes and Alexander were “eternally grateful” to CHS for going to great lengths to assist in providing most of the locations for shooting the film. Windows were a huge issue especially for the library scenes there because they had to make sure that the weather looked the same for all the shots.

Other technical notes: They thought about using a fake cigarette for the marijuana-smoking scene, but they ended up using a fog machine and some post-production trickery. For the scene where Bender has a knife, they used a fake knife that could be used in a school. For Bender’s explosion, they filmed a really dirty locker where it looks like a bomb might have gone off.

Classic reborn

What: Sabin-Shellenberg Professional Technical Center Broadcasting and Social Media present a free screening of their remake of “The Breakfast Club.”

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31

Where: Clackamas High School theater auditorium, 14486 S.E. 122nd Ave.