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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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Kingsmen continue at the top of their game in 5A boys soccer


Putnam shuts out Marist in Saturdays play-in round

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen took care of business in Saturday’s Class 5A boys soccer state play-in game with Marist, dominating play en route to a 2-0 shutout over the Spartans. It was the first time Marist had been shut out since a 1-0 loss to Class 6A south Eugene on Sept. 26.

“We dominated, we had 80 percent of the possession and we were at their end most of the game,” said Putnam coach Mitch Wing. “We passed the ball around really well.”

Wing had his Kingsmen with a 17-4 advantage in shots on-frame.

Still it wasn’t until 15 minutes into the second half that Putnam put a ball in the net.

“We just couldn’t put them in,” Wing said. “We had shots a little wide and over the top, and their keeper made a couple of nice saves....”

Putnam junior Elliot Bixby broke the ice. Luis Perez sent a corner kick to the near post, where Alexis Sanchez popped it up with his head. Bixby chested the ball to the ground and walked it into the net.

Perez scored an insurance tally on a shot from 35 yards out with 10 minutes to play, following a foul.

“Ian Kay was back in-goal, and he did a good job, although he wasn’t very busy,” Wing said. “Our defense was pretty smothering.”

The win advanced the Northwest Oregon Conference champion Kingsmen (10-5-0, 6-1-0) to a Nov. 6 first round state playoff game at fourth-ranked Hood River (8-4-1). The Kingsmen lost to Hood River 4-1 in their first game of the 2012 season.

“We hope to repeat last year,” Wing said. “Last year we lost to Hood River in our first game and came back and beat them in the playoffs....”

Should the Kingsmen get by the Eagles, they’ll meet the winner of a playoff game between fifth-ranked Wilsonville (6-4-4) and 15th-ranked Ashland (8-6-0) in this Saturday’s quarterfinals.

“These kids have accomplished everything they’ve set out to do except win a state championship,” Wing said. “We like where we’re at. We’re likely to play our next two games on the road, and we play well on the road. When we play well, we believe we can beat any team in the state....”

Victory did not come easily for Rex Putnam’s boys soccer team on Oct. 30, as the Kingsmen eked out a 2-1 win over St. Helens in their final game of the NWOC season. But it was nothing new.

The Kingsmen won close games all through the conference season, and with the win over the Lions they finished all alone in first place in the NWOC for the second year in a row.

They went 6-1-0 in league, with five of the six wins either in overtime, or by a one-goal margin of victory.

Against St. Helens, the Kingsmen scored their game-winner 17 minutes into the second half, after battling to a 1-1 standoff in the first half.

“We controlled the game 80-20 and we passed beautifully,” Wing said. “We controlled most of the game. We just weren’t putting the ball in the net.”

Hero honors went to Denmark exchange student Martin Schmidt, sophomore midfielder Oscar Gutierrez and to sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Martinez.

Gutierrez scored the game-winner, receiving the ball from around 18 yards out on a cross from Schmidt, and blasting it home.

Putnam’s normal goalkeeper, senior Ian Kay, had a bicycle accident that required 40 stitches to a leg the day of the game. Martinez moved up from the jayvee and, in his first-ever varsity action, made six saves to help the Kingsmen bag the victory.

“Jesse did an unbelievable job,” Wing said. “He’d never played varsity before and he was a bundle of nerves, but he played great!”

Senior forward Jose Rivera scored the Kingsmen’s first goal, settling the ball on a 40-yard pass from Jacob Wood and hammering it home 12 minutes before the halftime break. St. Helens answered two minutes before halftime.

Wing praised Matt Baker, Jacob Wood, Luis Perez and Greg Elkins for taking some of the pressure off of Martinez through solid play at the defensive end.

Wing also commended Gutierrez for sparking the Kingsmen with his inspired play off the bench in the second half, and Bixby for his poised play in the midfield.

The NWOC is well represented in the Class 5A boys soccer playoffs, with five of the league’s eight teams advancing to the round of 16 — Putnam, Liberty, Sherwood, Wilsonville and Sandy.

Milwaukie Mustangs

bow out at Hermiston

The Milwaukie Mustangs (5-7-2, 3-4-0) had their season come to an end on Saturday, when they lost to 11th-ranked Hermiston 5-0 in a Class 5A play-in game at Hermiston. The score was 1-0 at halftime.

Hermiston improved its season record to 11-1-2 with the victory.

Milwaukie coach Roberto Aguilar commended his players for the progress they made this season:

“I’m very proud of the boys. We earned 500 percent more victories then last year, played several top 10 teams to one-goal games, and really brought our program back to a competitive level.

“Graduating 11 seniors and nine starters will make it a challenge for next year. But we do have an army of youngsters....

“Returning varsity players who will have an impact are juniors Edgar Pantoja and Randal Sam, sophomore Alex Cacho-Barrera and freshman Jake Cates.”