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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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Glads are young, but dont count them out


Gladstone guys are proving that they can compete in preseason

by: JOHN DENNY - Gladstone co-captains (from left) Trevor Browning, D.J. Williams and Michael Stoutt say they expect Gladstone to contend with La Salle and Molalla for one of the top spots in Tri-Valley Conference boys basketball, despite playing on a team with limited varsity experience.If success at the jayvee level means anything, Gladstone High School’s boys basketball team should figure in the mix in the battle for supremacy in the Tri-Valley Conference this winter.

Last year’s jayvees went 20-2 on the season, their only losses in two close games with La Salle.

“It was a three-way tie [at the jayvee level] for first place in league,” Gladstone varsity head coach Ted Yates said. “La Salle beat Gladstone twice, Gladstone beat Madras twice and Madras beat La Salle twice.”

“The jayvee did real good last year,” said Gladstone junior co-captain Trevor Browning. “We lost two games, both to La Salle — the first time by two points and the second time by three.”

Gladstone also had success at the jayvee-II level last year, going 14-4, with only two league losses — splitting with La Salle and Molalla.

Senior captain Michael Stoutt (5-10 guard) is the only returning full-time player from last year’s varsity.

“We’re young, but we’ll be good,” said Stoutt, who started on varsity a year ago. “We had a lot of seniors last year, but we’re going to be better this year. We play more as a team, and we’re a lot faster....”

“In our first game, we had 10 guys who were playing their first varsity game,” Yates observed.

“We have a lot better chemistry,” Stoutt said. “We don’t have a go-to guy. Everyone can play and everyone can shoot — and make it.”

Longtime Gladstone coach Rick Priester, who coached last year’s jayvee, said of the athletes who played for him a year ago: “They weren’t very big, but they worked really, really hard, and they played hard....

“We didn’t have any really true post guy, but we were really quick, and we pressed a lot.”

Yates says he likes what he’s seen from this year’s varsity so far: “We are very athletic; we defend very, very well; and we play hard. I have not been displeased with our effort.”

After dropping their first two games of the season — 59-50 to sixth-ranked Astoria and 54-37 to 12th-ranked Philomath, Yates’ Gladiators won their next two preseason games, defeating Sisters (53-47) and Crook County (50-34). Crook County had gone 5-1, averaging 54 points a game before the loss to Gladstone; Sisters placed fifth at last year’s state tournament.”

“We pressed wire-to-wire against Sisters and Crook County,” Yates said. “We wore them down.”

Yates noted that his height-challenged Gladiators out-rebounded a Crook County team that had players standing 6-7, 6-5, 6-4 and 6-2 in their starting lineup.

He said that Gladstone out-scored Crook County 31-12 in the second half, after trailing 22-19 at halftime.

“They got tired and threw the ball away [in the second half],” he said.

The Gladiators held their own with Sisters despite have to battle Eli Harrison, a 6-5 wing who is headed to Dartmouth.

Yates says he’s got good depth, which allows him to put nine to 10 different players on the floor without a loss in performance or intensity.

He’s been going with a starting lineup of 5-8 sophomore Handsome Smith at point guard, Stout and 5-10 junior Trevor Browning at guard, and 6-2 senior Kobe Williams, 6-1 senior Jacob Kelly and 6-4 junior Ryun Gibson taking turns at post.

Browning swung between jayvee and varsity teams last year.

Smith, Williams, Kelly and Gibson move up from last year’s successful jayvee team, along with juniors Andrew Conway (6-1 forward) and Austin Galvin (5-9 guard), and sophomore Sean Williams (6-1 guard).

Rounding out the roster are 5-8 senior guard D.J. Williams, who wrestled last year; 6-1 senior guard Robert Staehle, who did not play last year; and 6-0 junior forward Ryan Fowler, who was on last year’s jayvee-II team.

Gibson has been the most consistent player for the Gladiators so far in preseason, averaging 11.8 points and scoring in double figures in each of the Gladiators’ first four games. He and Kobe Williams teamed up to haul down 16 rebounds in the Crook County game.

Stoutt and Kobe Williams have also been consistent point-getters for the Gladiators.

Still a little rough from football, Yates says that fouls proved the difference in the first-of-the-season loss to Astoria.

“They were 24-of-37 from the line,” Yates said. “We were 3-of-7. We had four guys foul out.”

“Our goals are to be first or second in league, and to be a better practice team [than last year],” Stoutt said. “Because it all starts in practice.”

Stoutt added, “Coach Yates is more vocal [than former head coach Karl Schmidtman]. If you’re doing something wrong, he lets you know. And that’s good for us, because we learn from our mistakes.”

The Gladiators travel to Cascade for a tournament this Friday and Saturday.

They have four preseason games scheduled in January, at home with Tillamook (Jan. 8) and Yamhill-Carlton (Jan. 11), and at Seaside (Jan. 4) and Banks (Jan. 10).

League play begins Tuesday, Jan. 15, when the Gladiators entertain cross-town rival La Salle.

“La Salle will obviously be the favorite [in league],” Yates said. “They are big, strong and quick. Molalla and Estacada have been winning some games, and all three of those teams bring back experienced players from last year....

“Whether or not we win on the scoreboard, I know we will come out and play hard from baseline to baseline.”