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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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Geist excels in football as well as soccer


The female soccer phenom has proven herself among the top PAT kickers in the NWOC

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam junior Bella Geist sends the game-winning PAT kick through the uprights in this falls 28-27 win over Sandy. Geist has made 62-of-68 attempts over the past two seasons as the main PAT kicker for Putnams varsity football team.Rex Putnam High School’s varsity football team had one of the best PAT kickers in the Northwest Oregon Conference this past fall. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, she’s a girl.

Bella Geist, a Putnam junior who excels as a goalkeeper in soccer, has been the Kingsmen kicker for most of the past two seasons.

“When I was a freshman, one of my good friends (Joey Cardinal) was talking about football in ceramics class,” Geist recalls. “He said, ‘It would be so cool if you’d kick. And you’d be really good at it because you can kick a soccer ball really far....’

“I talked with my advisor (Ryan Mitchell), who is also a football coach, and he said he thought I should give it a try.”

That Christmas, Bella’s father, Dean Geist, bought her a practice tee, and she started practicing.

“I didn’t think it was too hard,” Geist says. “It’s different in a game though....”

Last fall she got her chance to show her stuff in the Kingsmen’s third game of the season, a 64-34 win over Parkrose.

“The regular kicker missed the first one, and I did the rest,” Geist recalls. “I made the next eight or nine in that game — I don’t remember exactly how many, but I know I didn’t miss. I was 100 percent. And I’ve been the kicker ever since.”

Geist made 27-of-30 (90 percent) of her PAT kicks last year and 35-of-38 (92.1 percent) this fall.

She’s attempted only one field goal in a game, a 30-yarder.

“It was long enough, but it was wide,” she says.

Geist says she’s kicked a 37-yard field goal in practice.

Geist says that making a PAT kick in a game isn’t as easy as it looks: The snapper has to get off a good snap, the holder has to get the ball down, the kicker has to do his or her job, and your teammates have to block. And then there’s the nerves.

“In the game with Hood River [a Nov. 2 state play-in game at Hood River], we were behind 13-14 with 51 seconds left and I was super nervous,” Geist recalls.

“I was afraid I would lose one for the guys. My legs were shaking....

“It turned out to be my best kick of the night. It went right down the middle.”

Putnam ended up winning that game 20-14 in overtime.

Geist says she has had first-class snappers and holders in junior Brady Eberhart and senior Nick Parr.

“I’m going to miss Nick next year when he’s gone,” Geist said. “He’s a really good holder.”

Geist admits that sometimes she gets a little scared, but just a little, because she believes her teammates have her back.

“Sometimes, if someone misses a block, I get a little afraid,” she admits. “But, if it happens and I get taken down, one tackle’s probably not going to hurt that much. If I got hurt, I know my teammates wouldn’t be okay with that, so they don’t miss a lot of blocks when I’m out there.”

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Bella Geists main claim to fame is in soccer. In club soccer, shes been the goalie of record on three state championship teams over the past four seasons; in high school soccer, she was selected the Northwest Oregon Conference girls soccer Player of the Year this fall. She was a NWOC first-team all-star as a sophomore.Geist says she’s not really that afraid that she’ll get hurt playing football, but she adds, “I get nervous when it’s a close game.”

Geist says she is happy to be a part of a football program at Putnam that appears to be making a turnaround.

“I’m really proud of my team,” she says. “One of their main goals has been to put Putnam football on the map for kids that are freshmen now, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Although Geist gets her biggest crowds on Friday nights, football is not her main sport. She’s an accomplished goalie in soccer, and she cleared 5-0 as a high jumper in track and field last spring.

In 2009 she was just one of two Oregon female soccer players named to the Olympic Development national pool in her age division.

Geist, who competes for the Oswego Southside Soccer Academy, has been named to ODP regional teams the last four years in a row.

She was the goalie for club teams that won Oregon Premier League State Cup championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Geist was the Northwest Oregon Conference girls soccer Player of the Year this fall and a NWOC first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore. She helped lead the Kingsmen to the state quarterfinals the past two seasons.

Geist, as a junior, has already made a verbal commitment to play NCAA Division I soccer for Oregon State University. She says she’s been told that OSU will pay for four years of education.

“If I red-shirt my freshman year, they’ll pay for my fifth year,” Geist said.

Asked if she might be interested in kicking for the Beavers’ football team, Geist said, “I’d like that. That would be really cool. But I don’t think the soccer coach will let that happen.”

A 3.94 student, Geist plans a career as a physical therapist.

“I’ve always wanted to do something related to medicine,” she says.