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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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OC matmen expect to contend for a trophy at state in 2013


The Pioneers are loaded with talent and experience

by: JOHN DENNY -  Trophy Hunters  Returning state placers (from left) Devin Poppen, Kyle Sether, Parker Folliard and Michael McCoy believe the Oregon City Pioneers have the horses to capture a trophy at state this season.The Oregon City Pioneers this year aim to bag the state team trophy that eluded them at last year’s Class 6A State High School Wrestling Tournament.

And there’s good reason to believe that they can realize that goal.

Oregon City is loaded with talent. Oregon City coach Roger Rolen says he’s got at least 13 wrestlers with the potential to make state, including five of the six wrestlers who competed at state for the Pioneers in 2012, when they placed fifth at state, just 12 points back of state runner-up David Douglas.

“We’re going to be tough,” said Oregon City senior Michael McCoy. “We’re going to be competitive throughout our lineup....”

“I think this is one of our best teams in recent years and in the history of Oregon City,” said Oregon City senior Kyle Sether. “I think we could push Roseburg for the state [team] title....”

Top returnees from last season include: Sether (132), McCoy (220), senior Parker Folliard (126), and juniors Devin Poppen (120) and Michael Griffin (170). All five were state participants in 2012. Poppen and McCoy both earned state runners-up honors; Sether placed third and Folliard placed fifth.

“My [personal] goals are to be a state champion this year and to go undefeated in the state of Oregon,” Sether said.

Sether was a state champion as a sophomore. Folliard has placed at state three times, finishing fourth as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore.

The Pioneers also return junior Tanner Fischer (170), who competed at state as a freshman, but sat out last season with a knee injury.

“If these guys are all healthy, they all could place in the top three [at the state tournament].” Oregon City coach Roger Rolen said. “Plus we have other guys who could place — like Jacob Hagler, Carter Marshall, Dakota Trumbull, Alex Canchola, Gabe Ellicott, Dennis Podloujnyi, Ryan Leonard....

“We should be right in there for a [team] trophy.”

Hagler, Marshall and Trumbull are seniors; Canchola and Ellicott are juniors; Podloujnyi is a sophomore; and Leonard is a freshman.

The Pioneers had five wrestlers ranked in the top seven in the state in recent Oregon Grappler rankings. Poppen and McCoy were both ranked No. 1; Sether and Folliard were ranked third; and Griffin was ranked seventh.

The Pioneers have had their share of success in preseason.

Poppen (120), Sether (132), Fischer (170), McCoy (220) and Hagler (285) all won their weight divisions as the Pioneers scored 232 points and placed third behind defending Idaho state champion Weiser (257) and La Grande (253) in a season-opening tournament at La Grande.

McCoy (220), Fischer (160) and Sether (132) placed second, fifth and seventh respectively at the 64-team Tri-State Invitational, held Dec. 14-15 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Oregon City, which had only six wrestlers entered, won the small-team [seven or fewer wrestlers] division of the tournament.

Oregon City had six wrestlers place at a 17-team tournament held Dec. 22 at Liberty — Poppen(120) and Sether (132) placed first; Folliard (138) and Fischer (170) were runners-up; McCoy (220) placed third; and Hagler (285) placed fourth. Oregon City scored 221-1/2 points and finished second only to Class 5A state powerhouse Sandy (265) in that tournament.

Rolen commented: “Sether was dominating. None of his matches were close; Poppen pinned all of his guys; Fischer was in one of the tougher weight classes. The kid from Sandy who beat him was ranked No. 1 [in Class 5A].”

The Pioneers held their own in dual competition with area teams in December, defeating Barlow 57-0, Gresham 63-12 and Wilson 63-10, while giving defending regional champion David Douglas a run for its money in a 43-29 loss.

“It’ll be different the next time [we go against David Douglas],” Rolen said. “We’ll have all our guys at the weights where they are supposed to be.”

Oregon City’s top performers and their win-loss records, through competition Dec. 22, included: Sether (18-2), Poppen (15-2), McCoy (15-2), Fischer (15-3). Folliard (12-4), Griffin (7-2) and Hagler (8-3).

Rolen said he expects the Three Rivers League title chase to be a two-team battle between his Pioneers and defending TRL dual champion Canby. The two teams go head-to-head this Thursday, at Oregon City.

He said that David Douglas is the odds-on favorite to repeat as District 2 regional champion.

“David Douglas is still the powerhouse [in the region],” Rolen said. “I expect us to battle it out for second place with Canby, West Linn and a number of other teams.”

“I think we match up well with Canby,” Folliard said. “I think we’ll have a good chance of beating them.”

“David Douglas has a lot of tough kids,” Poppen said. “But I think we stack up better. They have a lot of kids at the same weights; we’re more spread out. And I think we’ll have more [regional] champions.”

Oregon City hosts the TRL/Mt. Hood Conference District 2 Regional Championship Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Canby returns nine wrestlers who placed at last year’s regional tournament: Zach Tracy (106), Justin Cardinale (120), Devon Jarmer (120), Jesse McCaffrey (126), Rawley Warren (138), Keith Nichols (145), Noel Hygelund (160), Jacob McKinnon (182) and Alejandro Sandoval (185). Nichols and McKinnon are defending regional champions.

Returning regional place-winners from West Linn include: sophomores Ethan Staley (106) and Tim Harman (138), and seniors Adam Roethe (152) and Tyler Chay (160).

The Pioneers battle cross-river rival West Linn on the road on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Rolen said his likely lineup for this Thursday’s dual-meet showdown with the Cougars would be:

Leonard (106), Poppen (if he can make weight at 113) or forfeit at 113; Poppen or junior Jake Libby or freshman Larry Bodunov at 120, Podloujnyi (126), Sether (132), Folliard (138) — with junior Josh Smith and sophomore Ryan Bergerson as backups, Canchola (145), Marshall (152), Ellicott or Trumbull at 160, Fischer with Griffin and junior Zach McMullin as backups at 170, junior Grant Hicks (182), junior Jory Merritt (195), McCoy (220), and Hagler (285).