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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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Freezing rain adds layer on top of snow


The winter storm that blasted through the Portland area Thursday and Friday delivered what was promised: a thick coating of snow throughout the city and suburbs, reaching more than a foot in some places.

The snow showers slowed down overnight Saturday and temperatures have been steadily increasing on Sunday.

The Oregon Department of Transportation continues to warn drivers to stay off the roads in the Willamette Valley, coast, Coast Range and Cascade foothills for at least one more day to give crews time to work on the roads.

Should they venture out, motorists should have chains, an emergency kit with blankets, water and a fully charged cell phone.

Many roads and sidestreets in the Portland area are closed because of slick road conditions. ODOT declared vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds must have chains or traction tires.

Road crews throughout all of Oregon and the Vancouver area are on duty working to clear the roads. However, officials said commuters may expect to be affected on Monday morning.

As of noon on Sunday, most local school districts had yet to make any announcements about whether they would be open on Monday.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Allen Chu, center, gets ready to ride an inflatable boat along with other winter revelers at Irving Park on Friday.

On the mountain

Officials at the Mount Hood Meadows ski area were thrilled to see 18 new inches of snow after the long drought this winter.

A press release from the resort called it a “powderful” winter storm and noted that another eight to 12 inches was expected to fall Friday night and into Saturday.

Resort officials said they anticipate a good turnout of skiers on Saturday even with ODOT advising the public not to drive.

“Guests are advised to leave early to allow plenty of time for slow driving to the mountain on snowpacked roads, and only in vehicles equipped with snow tires or chains,” the press release said.

Meanwhile, the Cooper Spur Ski Area, located on the north side of Mt. Hood, may open for its first day Saturday.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Ania Pavitt and her dog Marie Curie brave Thursday's cold weather for a walk in the North Park blocks.

Sportsmen's show, auto show stay open

Local school districts were closed on Friday. State offices closed in Portland and Salem. Some courts, including Multnomah County Circuit Court, were closed also. Clackamas County courts opened at about 9 a.m. Friday.

Beaverton City Hall and the city’s library opened Friday morning for business. Multnomah County libraries and Portland’s parks and recreation centers were closed.

Portland International Airport was open and most flights are expected to operate Friday, despite wintery conditions. Friday morning, nine flights were canceled. Flight schedules are available at www.pdx.com.

TriMet’s MAX lines were running with some weather delays as crews hand to manually operate some switches because of the cold weather. Buses also were running slower because their tire chains.

TriMet’s Roberta Alstadt reported that a majority of the transit agency’s 79 bus lines were running on regular routes. About two dozen TriMet lines were adjusted for snow routes.

“We are occasionally seeing a bus get stuck here and there, but we have crews respond to get them back on their way,” Alstadt says.

“We have more than 200 buses with automatic chains. In addition to those, we have chained up the rest of the fleet. So we have about 500 buses out for the morning commute that either have the traditional chains or the drop down chains.”

The cold weather forced elevators to shut down for several hours at the Hollywood Transit Center and at the Northeast 60th Avenue and Northeast 82nd Avenue MAX stations, but TriMet crews are working to correct the problems, she says.

Several private programs and events have been canceled or rescheduled. The Multnomah Dental Society rescheduled its annual Free Children’s Health Fair to Saturday, Feb. 22, at Reynolds Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is at 1200 N.E. 201st Ave., Fairview.

For more information, call the Multnomah Dental Society, 503-513-5010.

OMSI was closed Friday, but the The Empirical Theater opens at 5:30 p.m. for the Portland International Film Festival. Showtimes are available at www.omsi.edu/empirical-theater

The snow and cold didn’t deter the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show at Portland Expo Center, which remained open Friday and through the weekend.

The Portland Auto Show also was open at the Oregon Convention Center.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Cameron Rogers of Beaverton crosses Southwest Canyon Road Thursday afternoon during the first snow blast that hit the region. The National Weather Service says more snow will hit Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday morning.

First wave of snow

Thursday's winter storm forced schools to close early and left some drivers sliding on slick streets while an east wind blew snow flurries sideways.

The storm crawled north up the Willamette Valley, hitting Eugene, Albany and Salem before drifting into the Portland area. A several-vehicle pileup closed Interstate 5's southbound lanes south of Albany for a couple of hours Thursday morning.

Once the storm hit Portland, local roads turned slick. The area is under a winter storm watch until about 4 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7. The National Weather Service reported that three to five inches of snow could fall in the Portland area before the storm passes.

On Friday and Saturday, another round of moisture is predicted to move in, starting Friday evening and continuing into Saturday, which could mean snow and rain or possible freezing rain in the central Willamette Valley. Saturday may start dry, but light rain may develop over areas south of Portland with an afternoon round of snow or freezing rain in the region area.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - A snow plow slow moves north in heavy traffic in North Portland Thursday afternoon. Rush hour started early as snow continued to fall.

On the road

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, motorists should use extreme caution this weekend. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and wind could create serious problems for travelers in Portland, the Willamette Valley, the Coast Range and the Columbia River Gorge.

ODOT plans to deploy all available tools in its winter arsenal, including plows, sanders and deicers, as appropriate. For updated information about highway work and current travel information throughout Oregon, visit www.tripcheck.com, or call the Oregon road report at 511 or 1-800-977-6368.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Kevin Nichols makes his way along a snow-covered Northwest Eighth Avenue, delivering goods despite Thursday's bad weather.Portland General Electric announced Thursday morning that now is the best time to prepare for weather-related power outages and other events. Portland General Electric teamed up with the American Red Cross on its “Prepare!” initiative, aimed at helping individuals, businesses and communities prepare for emergencies of all sizes. Prepare!, a new multiyear initiative, provides a variety of tools and resources that make simple work of creating emergency kits and putting together a plan in case of an emergency.

"PGE employees are prepared to swing into action if a winter storm hits, and we want our customers to be ready and safe too," said Jim Piro, PGE president and chief executive officer. "Together with Red Cross, we're working to help families and businesses put plans in place to have food, water, light and a heat source available if a power outage were to occur due to a severe winter storm or natural disaster."

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Pedestrians on Northeast Williams Avenue hustle to get inside during Thursday's snow storm.

Be storm ready

To help prepare for power outages that may occur, PGE customers can visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/Prepare to learn how to put together an outage kit and review tips and ideas. You can also check out its preparedness blog, which covers topics such as safety tips, best picks for emergency food items and more.

PGE recommends all customers have a basic outage kit on hand that includes a flashlight, fresh batteries, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a battery-powered alarm clock and a manual can opener. A cellphone car charger for cellphones or a corded, nonelectric phone at home is also important.

PGE customers are also encouraged to take the "Pledge to Prepare" through the Red Cross at www.RedCross.org/lp/pledge-to-prepare. Taking the online pledge offers access to tools and resources to help families create their own disaster plan. They can also download earthquake and first aid mobile apps and purchase ready-made disaster supply kits.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A bicyclist rides south on North Vancouver Avenue as snow begins to fall in Portland Thursday morning.

If the lights go out

If an outage occurs, PGE recommends first checking the circuit breaker or fuse box. If breakers or fuses are OK, call PGE. Report power outages by calling 503-464-7777. Mobile phones can also be registered for two-way texting with PGE to report an outage and request a text update. Customers can also visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/Outage for outage updates. Look outside to see if any utility lines are down; if there are, stay away and call PGE. Turn off all electrical equipment to prevent an overload on the system when power is restored.

Tualatin Valley Water District reminded customers of the importance of being ready and avoiding the damaging effects of frozen plumbing. During the last cold snap in December, TVWD received more than 250 weather-related calls. Most calls were emergency shutoffs related to customer plumbing, such as water running out of the ceiling. TVWD wants its customers to be ready for the latest cold snap.

Never thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. You may start a fire and at the very least, your pipe will burst. Use hot air from a hair dryer, the exhaust from a vacuum cleaner, or a closely monitored heat lamp or electric heater. If your pipes break, shut off the water at the shutoff valve and turn off the circuit breaker or gas to the water heater.

If you have trouble shutting off your water, call your water provider.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Drivers found themselves without traction Thursday afternoon in Beaverton as snow hit the region.

KOIN News 6 contributed to this report.