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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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Woodpecker Pizza opens in downtown Milwaukie


Not every restaurant ribbon-cutting ceremony features a pizza pan and pizza cutter, but Milwaukie Mayor Jeremy Ferguson came up with the idea to set the event apart from others.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Woodpecker Pizza owner Lindsey Morstad, left, wields the pizza cutter, while Milwaukie Mayor Jeremy Ferguson and Cindy Kauffman hold the ceremonial red ribbon.And just before he and Woodpecker Pizza Wings & Sports restaurant owner Lindsey Morstad sliced the red ribbon in half on Wednesday, March 19, Ferguson welcomed the new business to Main Street.

“We are glad to have a new family-friendly restaurant in downtown Milwaukie,” Ferguson told the small crowd gathered in front of the site, located in the spot formerly occupied by Milwaukie Kitchen & Wine.

As for the name of the restaurant, Woodpecker was Morstad’s radio name when he was a long-haul truck driver.

Value in the pizza crust

“This is something I have always wanted to do. Sometimes when you go out to a pizza parlor, you don’t get good value for money, so I decided to build pizza the way I like it, and so far, so good,” Morstad said, of his new business, which officially opened Feb. 26.

He makes his own sauces and his own dough, of course, but Morstad has come up with a way to get customers to eat the entire slice, including the crust.

“I have created a handle to hold the pizza slice, but it’s folded over,” he said, noting that there is sauce and cheese under the handle, so customers “are getting good value.”

Morstad calls his cooks “pizza engineer architects,” and said he and his staff take time putting each pie together individually, and not like “fast food pizza.”

His favorite is the Hawaiian, with Canadian bacon, pineapple, smoke Gouda cheese and lots of garlic.

Other choices include cheese, cheese with pepperoni, vegetarian and the P & O, with pepperoni and olives.

His most unusual pizza is the spicy chicken, made with Woodpecker’s signature hot sauce and chicken.

Whole pizzas, range in price from $12, for a small cheese pizza, to $25, for the large Woodpecker and all-meat pizzas; large whole pizzas will feed four to five people.

Cheese, pepperoni and Hawaiian slices are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, when the lunch special of a slice and soda for $5.50 is in effect.

Salads also are available, starting at $5, along with build-your-own pizza options.

Woodpecker also features a variety of drinks, including beer, wine, hard cider, soda and bottled water.

Wings, sports round out menu

But there are other menu choices, which brings us to chicken wings and sauces.

“At first I wasn’t going to have wings, but everyone seems to be into wings, and this is a sports bar, so I needed to add something to the menu,” Morstad said.

But he didn’t want to simply offer customers regular wings with an overpowering bleu cheese sauce, so Morstad came up with three of his own dipping sauces: Woodpecker hot sauce; Woodpecker burn in, burn out; and Woodpecker spicy peanut sauce, which “starts out with a mild buttery peanut butter taste, and then the heat kicks in,” he said.

Other dipping sauce choices include honey garlic, honey barbeque and roasted garlic.

Wings are priced from $7, for six pieces with one sauce, to $18, for 20 pieces and three sauces.

As for the sports bar aspect, big-screen TVs will broadcast Blazer games and other sporting events, and, if a game runs overtime, the restaurant will stay open so customers can see the final moments, Morstad said.

At other times, when there are no sports events happening, the TVs will be on, but the volume will not be ear-splitting, he said.

Jumping in

While Morstad is overseeing the cooking in the kitchen, his girlfriend, Cindy Kauffman, is in the front of the house, greeting customers.

The couple kicked around ideas for their dream restaurant a couple of months ago, then decided to take a walk down Main Street. They walked by the site of the former Milwaukie Kitchen & Wine, and saw restaurant furniture piled up inside.

“We talked to the landlord about the furniture, and he said it came with the building. We walked in the door, and said, this is it. We had no time for should we or shouldn’t we, we just jumped right in with both feet,” Kauffman said.

She added that neither one has ever owned a restaurant before, so it’s all new to them. But they both knew they wanted to be in downtown Milwaukie, Kauffman said, partly because she is a long-time Milwaukie resident, and partly because they see downtown as “an up-and-coming area.”

There were a few hurdles to surmount, she said, adding that when their first pizza oven didn’t work out, Morstad had to drive to Fresno, Calif., for another one.

The restaurant is a family affair, Kauffman said, adding that Morstad’s oldest daughter, Courtney, a PSU graduate this spring, is a server and keeps the books; Morstad’s 16-year-old son, Tyler, works in the kitchen on weekends; and his 12-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is working out front, bussing tables and getting to know the customers.

The formula seems to be working, Morstad said, adding that even in the short time the restaurant has been open, he has seen customers come back three or four times already.


Kauffman and Morstad are dedicated to helping the community with their new venture, she said.

“We want to bring a community feel back to Milwaukie. I want to bring back the car clubs, and we want to get high school sports teams down here,” she said, noting that team parties or small events of any kind can be accommodated at the back of the restaurant.

The restaurant will be open for Milwaukie’s First Fridays, starting May 2, and Woodpecker sauces will be available at the Milwaukie Farmers Market, opening May 4.

The restaurant also will be a participant in the upcoming Dine Out Donation Tuesdays, a community campaign to help eliminate child hunger at Rowe Middle School in Milwaukie. (See sidebar sbove.)

Kauffman added, “We want to help the kids and we want to make a difference in the community, and we need the community to be here for us.”

For more information about Woodpecker Pizza Wings & Sports, located at 10610 S.E. Main St., in downtown Milwaukie, call 503-387-5798 or visit woodpeckerpizza.com. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to around 9 p.m., depending on sports events.

Dine Out Donation Tuesdays to benefit Rowe Middle School students

Evan King, the school social worker at Milwaukie’s Rowe Middle School, informally started the End School-Time Hunger Program at the school three years ago, when she offered snacks to hungry students.

But over the past few years she has seen “an increase in the number of families facing economic challenges. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for these families to meet their students’ basic needs,” King said.

The programs from the school district provide some food for Rowe students, but 12- to 14 year-olds, with their growing bodies, need more food to be able to thrive and learn, she said, noting that the program has increased from snacks to having five components.

“We have free breakfast for everyone. At each meal service, we have a share table for extra food, and a seconds serving, so that the kitchen staff does not throw away perfectly good, unserved hot food,”King said.

“We have a guest account to pay for meals for students whose families are the working poor — these families do not qualify for free meals, yet they cannot pay for their student’s lunch. Mid-afternoon we serve a snack to every student who wants one, so that they can continue to focus on their learning. As we like to say, ‘hungry kids can’t learn.’ ”

The program has partnered with organizations in the community, including the Clackamas Rotary Club, Milwaukie Rotary Club, GracePointe Church, Rowe PTA, Oregon Food Bank, La Salle Preparatory School, Milwaukie Neighborhood Associations (Ardenwald, Hector Campbell, Lake Road, Lewelling, Linwood), Safeway Foundation, Bob’s Red Mill and Trader Joe’s, King said.

And the program is helping students and their performance; 72 percent of the staff who responded to a survey said they have noticed a moderate or significant improvement in student concentration during instructional time.

Dine Out Donation Tuesdays is “the brilliant brainchild of local resident Jody Schreffler,” who approached King with the idea.

“It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. We here in Milwaukie have the opportunity to show the world that Milwaukie is not just a wonderful community, but is a community that truly cares about each of its children,” King said.

She added, “Dining out on a Tuesday and telling your server it is for the students at Rowe may have an impact beyond your wildest imagination. It just might be the difference that makes a big difference in the lives of these young people.”

Tell your server at the following restaurants that you are participating in Dine Out Donation Tuesdays, and 10 percent of that day’s proceeds will be donated to Rowe Middle School’s End School-Time Hunger Program: Cha, Cha, Cha, Duffy’s Irish Pub, Gaucho’s Argentine Cuisine, Painted Lady Coffee House, Pietro’s Pizza, Sully’s Cafe, Wind Horse Coffee and Tea, Wine:30, and Woodpecker Pizza Wings & Sports. For an updated list of restaurants, visit firstfridaymilwaukie.com.