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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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'Bridge of the People'


Tilikum Crossing name reflects area's native roots, friendship

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Chet Orloff, an adjunct professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University, says the committee was unanimous in its name selection for the new Willamette River transit bridge. Orloff is also a 22-year member of the Oregon Geographic Names Board and director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society.TriMet has named the new multimodal bridge over the Willamette River the Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.

“Tilikum” is a Chinook Wawa word used by the earliest residents in the region that means people, tribe and relatives. With the passage of time, it also has come to mean friendly people and friends. Chinookans are indigenous people and tribes who have lived near the Columbia and Willamette rivers for 14,000 years.

The bridge is part of the $1.49 billion Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line that opens in September 2015.

The name is the first one chosen for a Willamette River bridge that involved a public process. It was unanimously recommended by a volunteer committee appointed by TriMet that received and reviewed more than 9,500 submissions from the public.

The committee was chaired by Chet Orloff, a 22-year member of the Oregon Geographic Names Board and director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society. It narrowed the list to four names in January and agreed on Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, within the past few weeks.

Orloff says that within the committee there was little disagreement on the name.

“There was unanimity among the 10 bridge-naming committee members over not just the final four selections, but the ultimate selection of Tilikum,” Orloff says.

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane, who accepted the recommendation from the committee, thanked the committee for its work. “The committee spent a tremendous amount of time and dedication to select a name that speaks to our past, our future, and the importance of transit connecting our community,” McFarlane says.

The other finalists considered by the committee were:

• Abigail Scott Duniway Transit Bridge. Duniway (1834-1915) was known as “the pioneer woman suffragist of the great Northwest” who dedicated herself to social justice, education and family welfare for more than 40 years. She was a tireless lecturer who led the fight to gain voting rights for women in Oregon, and she wrote and edited her own newspaper, “The New Northwest.” It would be the first Willamette River bridge named after a woman.

• Cascadia Crossing Transit Bridge. Cascadia takes its name from the Cascade Range and its snow-capped mountains, which provide a scenic backdrop along much of the Willamette River Valley. The word describes a cross-border region of the greater Northwest. The Cascadia region is generally considered to stretch from British Columbia to Northern California.

• Wy’east Transit Bridge. Wy’east is the original name of Mount Hood. According to Native American legend, two sons of the Great Spirit Sahale fell in love with the maiden Loowit. She couldn’t decide who to choose, and the two braves, Wy’east and Klickitat, burned villages and forests as they battled over her. Sahale became enraged and killed all three. Realizing what he had done, Sahale erected three mountains to mark where each fell: Mount St. Helens for Loowit, Mount Adams for Klickitat, and Mount Hood for Wy’east.

There had been some public support for naming the bridge after Duniway, in part, because no Willamette River bridge is named after a woman. Orloff says the committee did not feel pressured to chose Duniway because of that, and noted that no bridge is named after Native Americans, either.

“The committee members certainly expressed strong consensus around naming the bridge after a woman, yet there was stronger consens us for giving the bridge a name that reflects the region’s cultural — in other words, Indian — heritage, as well as conveys the concept of community, people and friendship,” Orloff says.

In making its decision, the committee rejected humorous and satiric names. Even such iconic words as Portlandia, Stumptown, Rose City and Rip City didn’t make the cut.

Other committee members are: Betty Dominguez, East County director of Home Forward; Matthew French, managing partner of Zidell Corp.; Sue Keil, member of the Willamette River Bridge Advisory Committee; David Lewis, cultural historian for The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Brenda Martin, Portland State University graduate student in urban and regional planning and regular transit rider; Alice Norris, former Oregon City mayor; Pat Reser, arts and historical advocate and Beaverton business owner; Travis Stovall, consultant and TriMet board member; and Krystyna Wolniakowski, director of the Western Partnership Office for National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

No private vehicles

The new bridge will be the first cable-stayed bridge in the region, extending 1,720 feet over the Willamette River. It is a unique multimodal bridge that will carry transit, bicyclists and pedestrians, but no private vehicles. Emergency vehicles will be able to access the bridge if necessary. The west end will connect to a new Southwest Porter Street that runs next to the OHSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building that is under construction. The east end leads to Southeast Sherman Street near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Opera headquarters.

When it is finished, the new 7.3-mile Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line will connect Portland State University in downtown Portland with inner Southeast Portland, Milwaukie and northern Clackamas County. It will include 10 new MAX stations and is projected to carry up to an average of 25,500 weekday riders.

The line is scheduled to open Sept. 12, 2015. TriMet projects the bridge itself will carry 22,765 weekday riders by 2030. It will be the first new bridge over the Willamette River in 40 years.

The Portland-Milwaukie line is more than 75 percent complete. It is a partnership of the Federal Transit Administration, Metro, TriMet, the city of Portland, the city of Milwaukie, the city of Oregon City, Clackamas County, Multnomah County and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Orloff explains the committee’s reason in an opinion piece in the April 17 Portland Tribune.