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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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Cavalier volleyers go undefeated in the TRL


Its the first perfect league season in volleyball in Clackamas school history

by: JOHN DENNY - Clackamas High Schools volleyball team made school history this fall, going 10-0 in Three Rivers League play. Its the first time that a Clackamas High School varsity volleyball team has gone undefeated in league. Vying for the standout team were: (front row, from left) seniors Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks, Hannah Stultz, Kiana Miller, Claire Walker and Kasey Toedtemeier; (back row) juniors Taylor Agost, Bailey Bremer and Emma Chizum, sophomore Caroline Combs, junior Tara Deaver-Noblisse, sophomore Marissa Rhodes, juniors Shelby Torgerson and Cassidy Scott, and sophomore Lauren OBrien; and (not pictured) senior Sydney Wilson.Oct. 23 was an historic day for Clackamas High School’s volleyball team. With a victory over West Linn, the Cavaliers finished the 2012 season with a perfect 10-0 record in the Three Rivers League.

It’s the first time in school history that a Clackamas High School varsity volleyball team has gone undefeated in league, and it’s only the fifth time that a Cavalier volleyball team has won a league title.

The Cavaliers went 9-1 and finished first in the Willamette Division of the Wilco League in 1974. They went 11-1 and won first place in the Three Rivers League in 1996. They went 8-2 and were TRL co-champs with West Linn in 2010; and they went 7-3 and were co-champions with West Linn and Lake Oswego a year ago.

The Cavaliers won eight of their 10 league matches this fall in three games. Lake Oswego took Clackamas to five games on Sept. 25 and West Linn lost in four games on Oct. 23.

“I’m so proud of our girls for winning league with a perfect 10-0 record,” Clackamas coach Jim Stultz said, after his Cavaliers defeated West Linn — 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20 — in last week’s final match of the 2012 TRL season.

“Shelby Vasconcellos-Mattocks (2.40) and Kiana Miller (2.28) were amazing on serve-reception [in the West Linn match],” Stultz said. “We were able to run our offense at a high level tonight, because our passing was so good.”

Hannah Stultz continued a force at the service line, going 17-for-18, with three ace serves. She also had 10 digs and 49 assists.

Vasconcellos-Mattocks was 15-for-16 in serving, with two aces.

Taylor Agost headed the Cavalier attack, with 21 kills and a .395 hitting percentage. Bailey Bremer hit .533, and she put nine balls to the floor for kills.

The Cavaliers begin postseason play tonight, when they host a first-round match of the Class 6A state playoffs. With a win, they’ll have another home match on Saturday, with a berth in the eight-team Class 6A State Tournament on the line.

Only three Clackamas High School volleyball teams have ever placed at state. The Cavaliers placed second at state in 1974, they were fourth in 1996, and they placed fifth last fall.

Coach Stultz is optimistic about his charges’ chances in postseason play this fall.

“I think our chances are as good as anyone’s,” he said. “We have defeated all the teams [ranked] in the top 6 this season except for Central Catholic. Central Catholic has lost to Lake Oswego, Sheldon and Jesuit, and we have beaten those three teams. I think any of the top teams could win it.”

Heading into this year’s Class 6A state playoffs, Central Catholic, Jesuit, Clackamas, Roseburg, Lake Oswego and Sheldon were ranked first through sixth respectively in the final OSAA power rankings.

Kingsmen tough

down the stretch

In Class 5A volleyball, the Rex Putnam Kingsmen closed out the Northwest Oregon Conference season strong, winning a barnburner from Sandy in their conference final, 25-20, 25-27, 18-25, 25-23, 15-8, after bowing to fourth-ranked Sherwood in three games, 25-12, 25-15, 25-13, earlier in the week.

The Kingsmen won five of their seven matches in the second-half of the league season, losing only to Sherwood and to St. Helens. And they took the 12th-ranked St. Helens Lions to five games.

Sherwood (14-0), St. Helens (11-3), Liberty (9-5) and Putnam (8-6) finished as the top four teams in the eight-team NWOC.

The Kingsmen were ranked 19th in the state heading into this week’s Class 5A play-in round. Only the top 24 teams — out of the state’s 39 Class 5A teams — advanced to postseason play.

Falcons advance

to postseason

In Class 4A volleyball, the La Salle Falcons (6-4) finished third in the Tri-Valley Conference — behind 10th-ranked Estacada (9-1) and 13th-ranked Madras (9-1) — and they captured the conference’s third and final berth in postseason play. The Falcons gave the Rangers a run for their money in last week’s final match of the TVC season, losing in three hard fought games, 25-18, 25-16, 30-28.

Ranked 23rd in the state, the Falcons had a state play-in match scheduled at seventh-ranked Astoria on Monday. An upset of the Cowapa League runner-up Fishermen would advance the Falcons to a state playoff game on Saturday, with a berth in the Class 4A State Tournament on the line.

The Gladstone Gladiators closed out their 2012 TVL season strong, defeating North Marion in four games, 26-24, 25-13, 19-25, 25-21.

“The girls showed great heart by coming back from an 11-2 deficit in the first game to win 26-24,” said Gladstone coach Emily Smith. “I’ve very proud of them for how they battled.....”

Smith praised senior Ashlee Muller: “Ashlee had a great night as the libero, with amazing serve-receive.”

Senior Heather Buchanan was sharp at the service line, serving 22 points on the night. Sophomore Olivia Goddard headed the offense, with six kills.

“It was great to end the season on a positive note, where the girls showed what they are capable of,” Smith said.

With a more experienced lineup, the Gladiators (2-8) will be looking for continued improvement next fall.