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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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Mustangs fire up with Ramsey at the helm

The newfound quarterback runs for four touchdowns and passes for two more

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Richard Ramsey, pictured in an Oct. 5 game with Liberty, had a career night last Friday, as he moved from running back to quarterback in a game with Parkrose. The 5-10, 190-pound senior turned more than a few heads, as he passed for two touchdowns and rushed for 148 yards and four more touchdowns in a 52-0 Mustang victory.The Milwaukie Mustangs have a newfound quarterback in senior Richard Ramsey and, based on his performance last Friday in a 52-0 rout of Parkrose, the Mustangs are going to be a force to contend with with Ramsey at the helm.

The 5-10, 190-pound senior, who had excelled as a Mustang running back, demonstrated on Friday that he is even more dangerous at quarterback, as he completed 7-of-12 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, and ran with the football 11 times for 148 yards and four touchdowns.

“Richard played quarterback in youth football, but we had him at running back to help him get a college scholarship at running back or cornerback,” said Milwaukie coach Don Johnson. “Richard is more motivated about us winning, and he said if it would help us win games, he was happy to make the switch....

“We feel like with Richard playing quarterback, it gives us a chance to win any game. Turnovers have hurt us this season. Last night we played in a pouring down rain and had no turnovers. Richard can sling [the football] out there as well as any quarterback in the state, and with him playing quarterback, he touches the ball a lot more and it makes him even more dangerous on the run....

“Having our best playmaker back there [at quarterback] gives us our best chance of making a run in the playoffs.”

Last week’s game with the Broncs was a mismatch from the get-go. The Mustangs built a 46-0 halftime advantage, with Ramsey scoring first-half touchdowns on runs of 9-, 14-, 25- and 49 yards, and passing 21 yards to Chris Besaw for a fifth tally. He passed 27 yards to Eddy Barrientos-Thomas in the fourth stanza to round out the Mustangs’ scoring.

Johnson said he was just as pleased with his defense as he was with Ramsey in the runaway win over Parkrose.

“We had seven sacks and they had only 29 total yards in offense,” he said. “Our linebackers Robert Akil, Brenton Oten and Chris Besaw were just outstanding. They pressured the quarterback and made plays sideline to sideline. They were flying around, making plays, all night long.”

Oten, Chase Blackwell, Jake Leary and Kendrick Bourne all recovered Parkrose fumbles. Junior lineman Elias Brezai blocked a punt.

The win put the Mustangs at 3-2 in the Northwest Oregon Conference (5-2 overall) heading into this Friday’s game at cross-town rival Putnam (4-3, 4-1).

Coach Johnson put the Kingsmen on notice.

The Mustang coach said: “Our kids are pretty excited about playing Putnam. [Putnam offensive star] DeShawn Stephens said last summer that he loves playing Milwaukie because we’re ‘soft like wet flowers.’ Those wet flowers have dried up and turned to cactus, so watch out!”

Kingsmen escape

St. Helens with a ‘w’

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen last Friday scored two late-game touchdowns to escape St. Helens with a 32-22 victory.

St. Helens defensive lineman Joey Beggio intercepted a Max Bailey pass and returned it 85 yards to the end zone to put the Lions up 22-18 near the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

Bailey rallied the Kingsmen back, scoring a touchdown on a six-yard run with 3:45 remaining to put Putnam back on top.

The Kingsmen got the ball back, and Bailey scored on an 11-yard run to seal the deal.

The Kingsmen led most of the way, after building a 12-6 late first-quarter lead on a 43-yard touchdown run by Tucker Fleischmann and a touchdown run by DeShawn Stephens, after Stephens picked up a teammate’s fumble and raced 13 yards to the end zone.

Stephens upped the lead to 18-6 in the second quarter, returning a punt 54 yards to the end zone.

But there was no quit in the Lions. They narrowed the gap to 18-16 in the third stanza, with quarterback Gage Bumgardner hooking up with Tanner Long for a 69-yard touchdown pass play, and Nathan Reed converting on a 38-yard field goal.

Fleischmann was the only Kingsmen who had a decent night on offense. The 5-10, 170-pound senior rushed 23 times for 162 yards. Bailey completed only 2-of-7 passes for 14 yards, and he rushed five times for a net of 10 yards and the two touchdowns.

The win left the Kingsmen (4-3, 4-1) tied with Wilsonville (5-2, 4-1) in second place in the NWOC standings. They have conference games remaining with Milwaukie and with the league-leading Sherwood Bowmen (7-0, 5-0).