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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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Milwaukie reloads with five transfers


Playing a preseason schedule that includes the top 6A teams in the state, the Mustangs aim to prove themselves the best in 5A

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Sophomore talent Jazz Johnson (32) goes on the attack in Milwaukies preseason game with Jesuit. The transfer from Benson scored 15 points, as the Mustangs gave the defending state Class 6A champion Crusaders a run for their money.It would be difficult for Milwaukie High School’s boys basketball team to top their past two seasons — two league co-championships with Wilsonville, fourth place at state in 2011 and second place at state last year. But the Mustangs plan to do just that.

“I believe we have the top talent in the state, 5A and 6A,” says Milwaukie point guard Jazz Johnson, a transfer from Benson who gained PIL all-league recognition last season as a freshman.

“I think we’re just as good top-to-bottom as last year,” said Milwaukie senior wing Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd. “I think that once we jell, we can be just as good as last year, if not better. Our goal this year is the state championship.”

“[Our goal is the] state championship,” echoed senior wing C.J. Hubbard.

“Nothing less,” said Johnson.

“We’re probably more athletic top-to-bottom,” said Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy. “And we have more depth. We can play a lot more guys.... What we lack is experience playing together. The chemistry is not quite there. We’re a work in progress.

“None of the transfers played with us in summer ball. The first time we were all together was our first day of practice [in November].”

The Mustangs aspirations are not “pie in the sky.” There are five transfers on this year’s 11-player varsity roster, and, although they’ve played together for only a few weeks, the Class 5A Mustangs have been holding their own with the top Class 6A teams in the state in preseason. They’ve had arguably the toughest preseason schedule of any Oregon Class 5A team, playing defending state Class 6A champion Jesuit, 2012 Class 6A quarterfinalist Central Catholic, Class 6A Tigard, Class 6A Grant, which was ranked No. 1 in the state in last week’s coaches poll, and Madison. Jesuit and Central Catholic were ranked second and third respectively in the 6A coaches poll.

After digging themselves an 11-0 hole to start the game, the Mustangs lost to Jesuit by just nine points, 63-54. They were within three points of the defending state champs at one point near the midpoint of the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs defeated Tigard 63-60 and they routed Madison 64-46; they fell to Central Catholic 70-50 in a contest that was closer than the final score might indicate.

And they battled top-ranked Grant tough last Friday in an 84-71 loss.

“I told our AD I wanted a tough schedule, but I didn’t expect to be playing the top 6A teams in the state,” Bracy said. “But that’s okay. You’ve got to play the best to become the best.”

The transfers new to the team include: seniors Richard Ramsey (5-11 guard, Jefferson) and Kendrick Bourne (6-2 wing, Benson); juniors TreShann Stone (6-1 point guard/shooting guard, Jefferson) and Tony Bruno (6-1 guard, Lake Oswego); and sophomore Jazz Johnson (5-11 point guard, Benson). Ramsey and Bourne were Milwaukie’s top offensive skill players in football this fall.

Rounding out the roster are: seniors Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd (6-3 shooting guard), C.J. Hubbard (6-5 wing), Henry Morris (6-9 post), Trevontae Anderson (6-0 wing) and Thomas Nisbett (6-6 point guard/forward); and junior Tyler Spencer (6-4 wing/post).

Daschel-Lloyd and Morris were starters on varsity last year and Hubbard was the first player off the bench. Spencer was also a varsity letterman. Nisbett and Anderson move up from last year’s jayvee team.

The Mustangs have had a balanced attack on offense and they’ve played aggressively on defense in preseason.

Johnson has been electric, taking the ball to the basket against double teams for a team-leading 14.2 points per game average. He scored 19 points against Grant, 15 points in the Jesuit game, and a team-high 13 points against Central Catholic.

Hubbard has averaged 13.2 points through the Mustangs’ first five games. He scored a team-high 17 points in the Mustangs’ season opener with Tigard and a team-high 20 points in the Jesuit game.

Stone has averaged 10.6 points. Bourne (10.2 ppg) scored a team-high 18 points in last week’s rout of Madison and a team-high 21 points against Grant; Stone tallied 16 in the rout of Madison.

Although — because of their super tough schedule — the Mustangs are off to a 2-3 start in preseason, they were still ranked eighth in the OSAA Class 5A RPI rankings through play last weekend.

“If our guys can come together and trust each other, and build some chemistry, I think we can be just as good as we were last year,” Bracy said.

But the Mustang cage boss cautioned, “It’s going to be tough [to match last season’s accomplishments]. There are some really good 5A teams out there....

“That’s why we front-loaded our schedule. You aren’t going to see any 5A teams that are better than Jesuit or Central Catholic.”

Bracy said he expects the Northwest Oregon Conference to be tough from top to bottom.

“Sherwood will be tough,” he said. “And St. Helens will be right up there. They bring a lot of players back. Sandy has a lot of seniors and Putnam’s going to be tough. When you get to league you can’t take a night off, because anybody can beat anybody on a given night.”

“I think it always goes through Wilsonville and Sherwood,” Daschel-Lloyd said. “Sandy’s going to be good. But we have to show up every night. We’re going to have targets on our backs. People see second in the state, and they’re going to come at us that much harder.”

The Mustangs play Class 6A Canby on the road this Friday. They close out the preseason next week, when they travel to Silverton for a tournament, playing Silverton at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Woodburn at 5 p.m. on Friday.

League play begins Jan. 8, when the Mustangs battle Wilsonville on the road. The Wildcats will have revenge on their minds, having lost to Milwaukie 59-41 in the semifinals of last year’s Class 5A State Tournament.