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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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Anderson crowned Miss Oregon 2014


For Rebecca Anderson, the fourth time was the charm, as the Oregon City resident was named Miss Oregon 2014 during the finals of the pageant held in Seaside on June 28.

by: PHOTO BY: JOE WHITEKO - Miss Oregon 2014 Rebecca Anderson of Oregon City is crowned last weekend as Harley Emery looks on.She was the first Clackamas County resident to win the title since Lucy Fleck, a graduate of LaSalle High School, was named Miss Oregon 2005.

The 2009 OCHS graduate and 2013 Portland State University graduate had competed in three previous Miss Oregon pageants, making the top 10 and even the top five, but this time she was named the winner.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: BEN WOOD - Miss Oregon 2014 Rebecca Anderson waves to the crowd in Seaside shortly after she is crowned.The previous night Anderson was named the preliminary swimsuit and talent winner; and then on Saturday she was one of two overall winners in the swimsuit category.

And yet, when her name was called as Miss Oregon 2014, she described herself afterwards as “so surprised.”

What did she do differently in this pageant, as opposed to the three others?

“I was myself; I didn’t try to be anybody else, I was just myself,” she said.

And nowhere was this better exemplified than in her talent performance of “Let it Go,” from “Frozen.”

She chose that number, “because I have been through my fair share of struggles in life, and always feeling like I had to be perfect. This song has become a kind of an anthem for me, and so many others, and I am still working on letting it go,” Anderson said.

Anderson obviously impressed the judges in the earlier rounds of competition, wearing a fuchsia bikini for the swimsuit category and a long, slinky white dress with a glittery midriff for the evening gown part of the pageant.

She was named to the top five, wearing casual black pants and a white top, and then was called to the microphone to answer an impromptu on-stage question.

Anderson was asked: “Why, when 40 percent of American women are heads of households with children, do they earn less than men? Is discrimination the cause?”

She answered, “Yes, there is discrimination, but women need to be more assertive and ask for pay raises. We can’t wait for politicians to do it for us.”

A few minutes later, the top five contestants, wearing their evening gowns, were called back to the stage, and it was announced that Anderson had won the title, and a $10,000 scholarship. She will now go on to compete in the Miss America pageant on Sept. 14, in Atlantic City, N.J. It will be broadcast live on ABC.

Anderson’s mother, Clackamas County Treasurer Shari Anderson, said that she and her husband, Ted, were excited for their daughter.

She added, “Rebecca has worked really hard for this and she will do a great job. She is ready and prepared.”

To learn more about the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, visit missoregon.org.

Other winners

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Deja Fitzwater celebrates her achievement as the newly crowned Miss America Oregon Princess at Seaside.

Another resident of Clackamas County, 9-year-old Deja Fitzwater, was named Oregon’s Princess 2014, and she will accompany Nicole Carter, named Miss Oregon's Outstanding Teen 2014, to that national pageant July 29 to Aug. 2, in Orlando, Fla.

by: FILE PHOTO  - BuschTwenty-six girls, all named Oregon’s Princesses, acted as little sisters to the miss contestants at the state pageant. They did a dance routine for the audience, and then watched as Deja’s name was drawn out of a glass bowl on stage; they did not compete for the privilege of going to Orlando.

Deja was unavailable for comment, but her mother, Fabienne Fitzwater, said her daughter “wants to be Miss America someday.”

In other pageant news, Oak Grove resident Kati Busch, 18, a graduate of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School and the current Distinguished Young Woman of Oregon, made the top 10 in the national pageant held in Mobile, Ala., on June 28.

Although she did not win the title of Distinguished Young Woman of America, she did win first place in both self-expression and interview, earning $7,000 in scholarship money.

In the fall, Busch will attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., as it offers full-tuition scholarships to any state representative from the Distinguished Young Woman program. To learn more about this program, visit distinguishedyw.org.