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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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Everybodys nightmare


Youth is no handicap as Oregon City Nightmare takes state in 12-B

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Oregon City Nightmare players pose proudly with their championship medals and trophy from the Oregon Amateur Softball Association 12-B State Tournament. Pictured are: (front, from left) Allie Edwards and Callie Blanchard; (second row) Hannah Sisul and Makenzie Chambers; and (back) Emily Dugan, Morgan Hornback, Aubree Schrandt, Liberty Robinson, Zoe Munn and Camryn Williams.The Oregon City Nightmare was everybody’s nightmare at the recent Amateur Softball Association 12-B State Championship Fastpitch Tournament, played in 100-degree heat in Medford July 6-8.

The Nightmare won the double elimination tournament despite being one of the younger teams in the 35-team field.

“All of our girls came up from 10-U,” said Nightmare coach Ron Williams. “None of them had played 12-U before this year; they’ll all be able to play 12-U ball again next year.”

The Nightmare coaches and players expected to be competitive this year. Most of the girls on the team played on a Nightmare team that won the state 10-U title a year ago.

Still, winning state this year was no small accomplishment. The girls had to learn to play with a bigger ball; they faced faster pitching, and most of the teams they played had players who were a year older.

“The girls we were playing against were a whole lot bigger and they hit the ball a lot harder,” said Williams.

Williams said that his pitchers and starting catcher played huge roles in this season’s success story.

“Our pitchers, Morgan Hornback and Liberty Robinson, were better than any pitchers we saw out there,” Williams said. “Our starting catcher, Zoe Munn, was the best catcher in 12-U softball this year and her backup, Makenzie Chambers, is as good as most catchers we saw.”

Hornback pitched 29 innings at the state tournament, striking out 40 and tallying a 0.83 ERA; Robinson pitched 16 innings, striking out 10 and tallying a 0.0 ERA.

Williams said that Hornback has a fastball, drop and change, and “she throws real hard.”

He said of Robinson, “She’s got a change, curve and fastball, and she’s real accurate.”

And he said the fact that his pitchers have former University of Oregon pitcher Amy Harris coaching them doesn’t hurt.

“Zoe is great at blocking the ball and throwing people out,” Williams said of his catcher. “Most people are afraid to steal on us when Zoe’s catching.”

The Nightmare had a .271 team batting average for the state tournament, led by Robinson (.462), Chambers (.381) and Munn (.346). Hornback (8) and Chambers (7) led in runs scored: Chambers (7) and Aubree Schrandt (6) were the RBI leaders.

Hornback said she was not at all surprised that the Nightmare won the state tournament this year.

“We played most of the teams [that were at state] earlier in the season and beat them, so I wasn’t surprised,” she said.

Still, the Nightmare did have some close games at state, and they had to win an “if” game in order to claim the state crown.

They went 5-0 in championship bracket play, defeating the Beaverton Silver Bullets 9-3, Medford Black Tornado 6-3, Central Oregon Misfits 1-0, Oregon Rampage of Forest Grove 13-2, and Oregon Thunder of Hillsboro 3-2.

They then lost to the Silver Bullets, who had battled back through the losers’ bracket, 9-4 in extra innings. But they regrouped and buried the Bullets, 11-1 in five innings, for the title.

“We knew we could beat [the Silver Bullets in the final], because we played them twice before the state tournament and beat them both times,” Hornback said.

Hornback (5 strikeouts, 2 walks) threw a 2-hitter in the final, pitching shutout ball after giving up two hits and one run in the first inning. Munn, Chambers and Callie Blanchard had two hits apiece, as the Nightmare stung the ball for 10 hits in the final.

Hornback pitched a no-hitter in the 1-0 win over Central Oregon, striking out 11 and walking four. The Nightmare scored the game’s only run in the top of the seventh. Chambers reached on an error and scored from first when Hannah Sisul bunted down the third base line, and a Central Oregon defender overthrew first base.

The 3-2 win over Oregon Thunder went down to the wire, with the Nightmare scoring the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh inning. Munn led off the inning with a triple and Robinson singled her home.

Five of the players on the Nightmare’s 10-player roster live in Oregon City: Hornback (pitcher/first base), Sisul (second/first/outfield), Camryn Williams (second/outfield), Allie Edwards (shortstop) and Emily Dugan (outfield/third).

Mann (catcher) and Chambers (catcher/third/outfield) commute from Hood River; Robinson (pitcher/third) is from Milwaukie; Aubree Schrandt (outfield/first) and Callie Blanchard (outfield) are from West Linn.

Nathan Hornback, Scott Robinson and Laird Blanchard are assistant coaches.

Williams said he expects the team to return intact next year, when they play at the highest level of 12-and-under fastpitch softball, 12-U-A.

The Nightmare have two more tournaments this summer before they take a break from softball. Next week they travel to Newberg for the North American Fastpitch Association Nationals, and the following week they travel to Salem for the ASA Western Nationals.