Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Petition takes aim at medical marijuana shop moratorium


Photo Credit: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Lindsey Reinhart, in her closed dispensary, is the chief petitioner for a ballot initiative to repeal Clackamas Countys moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries.Four years ago, Lindsey Rinehart was a zombie, barely moving from her couch. The former Idaho resident had been suffering from multiple sclerosis for years and took 22 pills a day to manage the pain.

That, she says, was before she discovered medical marijuana.

“I have my life back,” Rinehart says. “I can hug my kids.”

Having moved to Oregon to gain legal access to marijuana, Rinehart is spearheading

the state’s first initiative campaign against a moratorium imposed on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Clackamas County commissioners unanimously passed the moratorium April 24 after Senate Bill 1531 was signed into law, allowing moratoria with criminal penalties until May 1, 2015. Across Oregon, 146 cities and 26 counties have passed such moratoria, with Portland, Bend and Eugene as notable exceptions.

To repeal Clackamas County’s moratorium, Rinehart and her petitioners have to collect at least 9,378 signatures by Aug. 6 to get their question on the ballot for the November election. It is widely expected that at that time voters will also be deciding on Measure 53, a recreational marijuana law.

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - From left, Melanie Treinen, Matthew Sanders and Lindsey Reinhart are fighting the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in Clackamas County.Clackamas County commissioners are worried about crime, addiction and availability of the drug to minors. Commission Chair John Ludlow says even the marijuana tax revenue proposed by Measure 53 will not make up for the impact to the county.

“We’re going to endure a lot of problems with addiction and with enforcement and we will not get our proportional share from the state of Oregon,”

Ludlow says.

Commissioner Jim Bernard says he wants a permitting process in order to be able to close down irresponsible dispensaries.

“If OLCC says ‘yes,’ and our sheriff says ‘no,’ we should be able to deny them,” Bernard says.

Rinehart says she has heard the commissioners concerns and included them in the ballot initiative. The petition includes a $250 permit, hours of operation, signage and location requirements for dispensaries.

There are four dispensaries that would like to open in Clackamas County. Rinehart is the manager responsible for The 45th Parallel Group at 16631 S.E. 82nd Drive, near Interstate 205 in unincorporated Clackamas County. She says that even though the dispensary never opened — the moratorium was passed a week before they planned to open — would-be patients come by every day asking for medication.

“They don’t want to get high,” Rinehart said. “They want to get out of pain.”

Patients need safe access

At a recent meeting of volunteer petitioners in the Lents neighborhood of Portland, children play with bubbles and everyone eats from a giant bag of Doritos. Bongs, pipes and pro-marijuana T-shirts are everywhere. The gathering is casual, but the adults grow serious and somber as they talk about the impact medical marijuana has had on their lives.

Patricia Rodriguez, a marijuana activist who moved from Clackamas County to Portland in part due to issues with access, says she used to go to a methodone clinic down the road from 45th Parallel. Years of surgeries had left her addicted to pain pills and Rodriguez says she served time in prison because in her addiction she would do anything to get more drugs.

Now that she is able to use less-addictive cannabis to control her pain, she says, “Why would I want to break the law?”

Nearby, Kori Hess says she is a different person since discovering medical marijuana. The Beaverton resident has lost 345 pounds and overcome an addiction to pain pills.

“I wanted to die last summer,” Hess says. This summer, she plans to marry her girlfriend and “have fun.”

Antony Castillo, a comedian and actor who often has these type of pro-cannabis gatherings at his house, says he was taking Percocet and Vicodin for a back injury for years after he left the U.S. Navy. He repeats what many others say: That medical marijuana is different from recreational use — it doesn’t get you high and it’s often eaten or applied topically rather than smoked.

“I’m a young professional,” Castillo said, “so I can’t be loopy, but I do need the pain relief.”

Rinehart says these stories are typical of those she hears. Patients are adults, seniors

and even children with cancer, seizures, brain injuries, arthritis and an array of other


There are 4,380 registered medical marijuana users in Clackamas County, the fifth-highest. Statewide, there are nearly 60,000. The majority of cardholders have been diagnosed with severe pain.

“The state gives us access to that medicine no matter where we live because we can go to Walgreens no matter where we live,” says Rinehart, who argues that marijuana should not be treated differently than any other medication.

“Patients need safe access. Period,” she says. “Patients are why the program exists.

Without patients, there is no program.”