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

Milwaukie candidates apply for your vote


Several viable candidates have filed for Milwaukie City Council Position 4, an open seat due to the retirement of current Councilor Mike Miller.

In campaign materials, these contestants have outlined their plans if elected to the volunteer position: Scott Barbur wants to “cut red tape and find ways to attract and retain quality businesses,” Brian Henderson is “a strong fiscal conservative (who) also believe(s) in a small government with limited powers,” and Karin Power is focused on “building positive coalitions and stronger civic engagement across socioeconomic, age and ethnicity lines, especially with new residents arriving ahead of light rail.”

Photo Credit: FILE PHOTOS - Karin Power, Brian Henderson and Scott BarburBarbur, 33, is now one of the city’s planning commissioners, vice-chairman of the Historic Milwaukie Neighborhood Association, a board member for the Milwaukie Historical Society and president of the Milwaukie Rotary Club. He graduated from Rex Putnam High School in 1999, and in 2007 moved back to Milwaukie, where he has his law practice downtown.

In a closely contested 2012 race, Barbur lost to City Councilor Mark Gamba by fewer than 500 votes. Barbur has criticized the City Council of 2008-10 for spending money it didn’t have through TriMet’s $4 million light-rail obligation, which “was, fortunately for the city, bailed out by its citizens voting in a bond” in May.

“I will do everything I can to make sure that the city is responsible with its finances,” Barbur said. “I want to assure that the development of our downtown and other areas is development that the citizens of Milwaukie have input on and want to see occur … and improve and maintain our commitment to public safety.”

Brian Henderson

Henderson, 44, moved to Milwaukie in March 2013 from Oregon City where he had lived for about five years. He was born in a Southern California town called Hawthorne, where he lived until his mother died in 2007.

“I'd like to start with telling you that I am legally blind. I have a condition called retinitis pigmentosa,” he said. “I have always had a desire to serve the community, but until recently, I hadn't the confidence in myself. … I decided to run for City Council as my first choice to serve the community.”

During the summer of 2013, he worked for Blind Enterprises of Oregon sewing nametags for U.S. Marine uniforms. Other than that, his paid work experience is limited to tutoring mathematics in college after receiving his high school diploma in Lawndale, Calif.

For the last three Christmas seasons, he’s worked for Salvation Army as a bell ringer, singing carols as he mans the donation kettle. His other interests include growing his own vegetables, cooking, baking, walking around town, and listening to audiobooks. He’s active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Riverside Ward, where he’s the second councilor to the Sunday School president.

“I don't want to be thought of as a politician, but rather as a public servant,” he said. “People who serve in public office are supposed to represent the people who vote them in, not their own self interests.”

Karin Power

Power, 31, was raised by a middle-school English teacher and a state prison administrator in Fair Haven, N.J., a riverside suburb where she rode her bike with friends, built tree forts, and worked summers at the county’s last independent bookstore. Since moving to another riverside suburb (Milwaukie), she’s been in the news for drafting a petition to encourage City Council to think more ambitiously than the $4 million bond that passed in May, and with her wife, Megan, becoming the third lesbian couple to legally marry in Clackamas County, and showing off her home-grown chickens as part of local Yard to Table and Tour de Coops events.

On the City Council, Power would review city code and fee structures in partnership with elder-advocacy organizations “to identify opportunities and impediments to modifying existing homes so that seniors can live in them safely, or develop new housing in more accessible parts of town.”

Power also hopes to work more closely with North Clackamas parks staff to research pesticide-free options, and with Milwaukie’s Public Works Department to use more stormwater-friendly road surfaces wherever possible as part of continued strategic road maintenance, including a greater focus on new sidewalks and bike lanes.

“The challenges that we face are common to all towns split by big arterials over the last few decades,” she said. “Our neighborhoods are disconnected. What would otherwise be a short walk or bike ride turns into a car ride, which in turn often leads to travel to a more trendy or convenient area of the Portland metro area. As a result, our own downtown renewal struggles to thrive.”

Power works as Freshwater Trust staff attorney with experience in commercial real-estate law, Oregon land-use law, and fundraising for nonprofit museum and foster kids support organizations. In Milwaukie, she volunteers as chairwoman for the Island Station Neighborhood Association and vice-chairwoman for the Kellogg Wastewater Treatment Plant Good Neighbor Committee.

She also volunteers on the environment and natural resources section of the Oregon State Bar’s Executive Committee. Before graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School, she received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.