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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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Putnam Midgets county champs

Kingsmen knock off favorites en route to capturing Midget American crown

A group of young men from the local area did themselves proud at the recent Midget American Division Clackamas County Junior Baseball Tournament, battling back after a winners bracket loss to win the tournament.

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen entered the eight-team tournament for 9- and 10-year-olds as the No. 5 seed, and they had to defeat both the top-seeded team from North Marion and the winners bracket champion from Canby twice in order to claim the spoils. They played six games in the three-day tournament, including three back-to-back games — beginning at 8 a.m. — on the final day.

“I was absolutely choked up [when we won],” said Putnam coach Mike Geertsen. “It was totally unexpected. I told the kids, ‘You kids don’t realize, winning three games straight like we just did, it just doesn’t happen.’ [Our winning this tournament] was a huge surprise. I was happy just to get by our play-in game.”

Geertsen’s Kingsmen defeated Silverton 8-5 in a play-in game played on July 18, two days before their first game of the state tournament.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO
SUBMITTED PHOTO - Putnam Kingsmen pose proudly with their championship hardware from the 2012 Midget American Junior Baseball county tournament. Pictured are: (front row, from left) Derek Douangphrachanh, Korbyn Amundson, Robby Collman, Nick Geertsen, John Foglio, Alex Mehigan and Brett Harrison; (second row) Myles Gredvig-Hollins, Carson Golden and John Irish; and (back) Dakota Reber, coach Jason Reber, head coach Mike Geertsen, coach Dan Golden and coach Mike Harrison.

They followed that up with a 15-4 win over fourth-seeded Tualatin and a 10-0 “upset” of the top-seeded North Marion Huskies, before losing to Canby 7-3 in the July 21 winners bracket final.

They then beat North Marion a second time 11-1, before winning the tournament through back-to-back wins over Canby, 15-9 and 6-5. The final three games were played between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 22.

The top-seeded North Marion team had earned the county tournament’s top seed by going 19-1 in league.

“We met North Marion [in league] in our last game, when it really didn’t matter [an 18-10 loss] and treated it like a practice game,” said Geertsen. “I gave all of the guys lots of playing time, but I didn’t let [North Marion] see my number one pitcher, Dakota Reber.”

Reber pitched in both of the tournament games with the Huskies, allowing just one hit and facing the minimum of 12 batters in the 10-0 win, and yielding just three hits in the 11-1 win. Both games were stopped after four innings because of a 10-run rule.

In the eight innings pitched against the Huskies, Reber recorded 13 strikeouts, while walking three.

A North Marion batter reached on a base hit with one down in the fourth inning of the 10-0 shutout. The baserunner advanced around on a stolen base and passed balls, but catcher John Irish and Reber teamed up to get the out at the plate when the baserunner attempted to score on a passed ball.

“We work on that play a lot,” Geertsen observed.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth, the Kingsmen had to battle from behind in the 6-5 win over the Canby Cougars.

Brett Harrison singled and Reber walked in the bottom of the fourth, and Derek Douangphrachanh singled them home. Douangphrachanh stole around to third and scored the tying run on a groundout by Myles Gredvig-Hollins.

The Kingsmen held the Cougars scoreless in the top of the fifth, and they scored the game-winner in the bottom of the inning on a well-executed squeeze play.

Korbyn Amundson led off the fifth with a walk, stole around to third base, and scored on the squeeze-bunt by Nick Geertsen.

The tournament championship was all the more gratifying for the Kingsmen, because they started off the season with losses in their first five league games, after being forced to play at the Midget Federal level, the highest competitive level for 9- and 10-year-olds.

“We signed up as an American team, but because of low numbers [in Putnam Junior Baseball] they made us a Federal team [to start the season],” Geertsen said. “We were definitely not a Federal team. We were getting clobbered....”

Once the Kingsmen were reclassified back to the American Division, they went 9-2 in league, losing only to North Marion and to Oregon City.

The top finish in the county tournament advanced Putnam to the State Midget American Tournament, where they were seeded number one.

Geertsen explained his Kingsmen’s unanticipated success at the county tournament: “We don’t make a lot of errors and our pitchers don’t give up a lot of walks. Our pitchers throw strikes and let the defense make the plays.... Fundamentally we’ve very sound on defense.”

The Kingsmen were also pretty good with their bats, as they sported a .353 team batting average for their six county tournament games.

Vying for the Kingsmen at the county tournament were: John Foglio (shortstop/pitcher), Nick Geertsen (second base/shortstop/pitcher), Brett Harrison (pitcher/second/centerfield), Dakota Reber (pitcher/first base), Derek Douangphrachanh (centerfield/third base), Robby Collman (outfield/pitcher), Myles Gredvig-Hollins (outfield), John Irish (catcher), Carson Golden (outfield/catcher), Alex Mehigan (outfield) and Korbyn Amundson (third base). Henry Harrison (outfield) was also on the team, but did not play in the county tournament.

Brett Harrison hit .545 (6-for-11) to lead the Kingsmen at the plate for the county tournament. Irish, Foglio, Geertsen, Reber and Douangphrachanh all hit better than .425. Douangphrachanh had a team-leading nine runs scored and .785 on-base percentage.

Mike Harrison and Jason Reber assisted Mike Geertsen in coaching the team; Mark Collman and Dan Golden were parent helpers.

Success in baseball is nothing new for coach Geertsen. As a youth he played on a Harmony Junior Baseball team that defeated Sunset for the 1977 Senior Federal state title. His senior year in high school he played for a Clackamas High team that lost to Bend 5-4 in the state semifinals.

Some of the other players on Mike Geertsen’s youth team were: Trace Czyzewski, Bryan Peeples, Kent Howarth and Eddie Wilkins.

Geertsen says he plans to move his Putnam youth team up to the Junior American level next season.

“We’ll play Junior American fall ball beginning Sept. 9, so we can get used to the Junior [pitching and basepath] dimensions — let them get a taste of playing longer bases and against bigger kids, which I don’t think will hurt this group.”