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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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Motivated and talented, OC girls plan on going all the way in basketball in 2012-13


A senior-dominated lineup should make the Pioneers tough to beat in 2012-13

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City senior Jenae Paine pushes the pace in the Pioneers season-opener with Milwaukie. Paine is one of three third-year starters in the Pioneer lineup.With a sour taste still in their mouths from a disappointing fourth-place finish at last year’s Class 6A State Tournament, the athletes on Oregon City’s girls basketball team aim to go all the way this winter.

“No matter what year, [winning a state championship] is always our goal,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Montana Walters.

“But this year it means a lot more, because it’s our last go-around,” said Oregon City senior Johanna Paine. “This is my fourth year on varsity and we haven’t won one yet. We’ve got eleven seniors on the team and we don’t want to be known as the class that didn’t get [a state title].”

“It was really hard [losing to West Linn in the quarterfinals and not winning the title last season],” Walters said. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. It was the worst feeling — a feeling I never want to experience again in my life. It’s given us added motivation this year.”

“It’s showing up in the way we practice, the way we do drills,” Paine said. “We’re a senior dominated team and we want it a lot more than last year’s team did....”

“The team this year is a lot closer,” Walters said. “We care about each other more than any team I’ve ever been on. We’re less selfish....

“If we do win state, it’ll be because we’ve done it for each other and because we’ve done it together.”

The Pioneers were the dominant girls basketball team in the state from 1992 through 2004, winning 10 state titles over a period of 13 seasons.

Since then titles have been harder to come by, although Oregon City teams are always contenders. Oregon City teams reached the state final in 2006, 2008 and 2009. But their only state title since 2004 came in 2009. They were third in 2010 and 2011.

Still, if any Oregon City team were favored to win state, it would be this year’s team.

The Pioneers are loaded, sporting a lineup that includes nine seniors who are experienced in varsity level play, four of whom were starters last year.

The returning starters have all signed with top-level college programs.

Johanna Paine (6-0 post) and Walters (5-5 point guard) have both signed with NCAA Division I Santa Clara University. Senior Catelyn Preston (6-0 post) has signed with Division I North Arizona University, and senior Jenae Paine (5-10 wing) has signed with Division II Metro State University.

Johanna Paine and Walters were Three Rivers League co-Players of the Year last year, and Walters was named first-team all-state. Both have started since they were sophomores.

Walters last season averaged 9.8 points, 7.3 assists and 2.0 steals. The Pioneers’ leading scorer, Johanna Paine averaged 13.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Jenae Paine is also a three-year starter. Preston was a second-team all-league selection last season, while Jenae Paine merited honorable mention in the league all-star balloting.

Seniors Chelsi Brewer (5-9 wing), Amber Fifield (5-7 wing), Jamie Goff (6-1 post) and Tiani Bradford (5-8 post/wing) also return from last year’s varsity.

by: JOHN DENNY - Oregon City senior leaders Johanna Paine (left) and Montana Walters have not yet been a part of a state championship team and they plan on changing that this season.And the Pioneers have gained a ninth experienced senior in McKenna Hopkins (5-10 wing), a transfer from Gladstone who was a first-team all-league selection in the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference last winter.

Rounding out this year’s varsity roster are: seniors Danielle Kirby (5-6 wing) and Breanne Johnston (5-9 post); juniors Toria Bradford (5-6 point guard), Alyssa Durr (5-6 wing) and Jessica Gertz (5-10 wing); and freshman Cierra Walker (5-6 wing).

Kirby sat out last season recovering from an injury, but played jayvee basketball as a sophomore. Johnston, Toria Bradford, Durr and Gertz moved up from last year’s jayvee team.

Walker has good athletic genes in her family. Her mom, Tami [Bannick] Walker, played for an Oregon City team that went 23-1 and placed fourth at state in 1983.

Johanna Paine (14 points), Preston (12 points), Gertz (10 points) and Walters (points) were the Pioneers’ leading scorers in this year’s season opener, a 65-51 win at Milwaukie. The Pioneers prevailed in that game despite 21 percent shooting in the first half.

“I think [the relatively close game with Milwaukie] was good for us,” Johanna Paine said. “It was a wakeup call. Everyone’s gunning for us and we’ve got to come ready to play every night, no matter who the opponent is.”

The Pioneers were much more ready to play last Friday, when they won big at Southridge, outscoring the Skyhawks 37-22 in the first half, en route to a 79-38 victory. Johanna Paine tallied a game-high 20 points to lead 11 Oregon City players who put points on the scoreboard.

Paine said of the Pioneers’ prospects in the TRL: “We’re not looking at ourselves as favorites, because we know anything can happen. You’ve got to come ready to play every night.”

“We’re trying to stay humble this year because last year we got ahead of ourselves, and it kind of hurt us,” Walters said.

The state’s Class 6A coaches have ranked the Pioneers fourth in the state — behind South Medford, Westview and Central Catholic — in their weekly poll.

by: ETHAN FITZGERALD - Oregon City High School senior (from left) Jenae Paine, Catelyn Preston, Montana Walters and Johanna Paine signed letters of intent to play college basketball during recent signing ceremonies in the high school gymnasium. Walters and Johanna Paine have signed with NCAA Division I Santa Clara University; Jenae Paine has signed with Metro State University, a Division II school in Denver; Preston has signed with Northern Arizona University, a Division I school in Flagstaff.Johanna Paine said that she and her teammates are looking forward to this season’s league games with West Linn.

“Those games [with West Linn] will be a big deal to us,” she said. “When they beat us last year, it wasn’t so much that they played good, as we didn’t play to our potential. We didn’t play well at all and [the loss] hurt a lot. They hadn’t beaten us in 28 years. It’ll be a different story [the next time we play them].”

Last season the Pioneers beat West Linn handily twice during the regular season, winning 88-56 and 64-42, but lost to the Lions in the quarterfinals of the state tournament, 49-43.

Oregon City is in Hawaii this week, competing in the Iolani Classic. The Pioneers play two Washington teams on the road on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, and they play in Lake Oswego’s NIKE Interstate Shootout Dec. 28-30.

League play begins Friday, Jan. 11, when the Pioneers entertain Lakeridge.

Oregon City hosts West Linn on Feb. 1, and the Pioneers close out the regular season on Feb. 19, when they battle the Lions on the road.

The Lions were dealt a blow this fall when one of their better players, starting point guard Brittany Smith, went down with a season-ending knee injury.