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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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La Salle guys make it 11 in a row with wins over Glads, Huskies


The Falcons prove themselves the best defensive team in the state in 6A, 5A and 4A high school basketball

by: JAIME VALDEZ - La Salle Prep senior Ian Johnson (5), Gladstone junior Trevor Browning (left) and Gladiator senior Michael Stoutt scrap for a loose ball in last weeks game between the two rivals. The Gladiators gave the Falcons a game, but La Salle prevailed 42-36.Rankings mean little when La Salle and Gladstone high school sports teams go head-to-head.

Ranked third in the state, the La Salle Falcons were reminded of that on Jan. 10, when they had their hands full in downing 13th-ranked Gladstone in a hotly contested boys basketball game at Gladstone.

La Salle won the game 42-36, but the contest was close all the way. And the Gladiators might have pulled off the upset had they shot a little better at crunch time.

La Salle took the lead for good, at 17-16, near the midpoint of the second period, when Keeston Smith was fouled on an attempt at an inside bucket and made two free throws. At one point the Falcons led by as many as 11 points, at 32-21, early in the third period.

But there was no quit in the Gladiators and they gradually narrowed the gap.

Gladstone junior forward Ryun Gibson took the ball to the basket for a 3-point play in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to cut La Salle’s lead to 36-31.

La Salle coach Jared Curtiss was concerned enough at that point that he then instructed his players to hold the ball to make the Gladiators switch from their zone to a man defense.

Gladstone coach Ted Yates held firm, instructing his players not to come out. And play remained at a standstill for nearly six minutes until the Gladiators came out of their zone with just 2:16 to play.

Jacob McGraw took the ball to the basket for La Salle’s first fourth-quarter attempt at the basket with 1:44 to play and he made the lay-in to up the Falcons’ lead to 38-31.

The Gladiators had plenty of opportunities down the stretch, as the Falcons were only 4-of-9 from the free-throw line in the final 1:04. But the Gladiators struggled to find the basket at the other end, and the Falcons held on for the 42-36 win.

Smith hauled down a huge rebound for the Falcons when a teammate missed the front end of a one-and-one with 46 seconds remaining. And Valentin Gashongore, Ian Johnson and McGraw made single free throws down the stretch.

Gladstone coach Ted Yates explained his strategy in not coming out of the zone earlier: “I wanted to shorten the game. I figured I’d rather have it a 5-point game with two or three minutes remaining than a 5-point game with eight minutes left. I hadn’t played a lot of guys and I figured it would give our guys a chance to catch their breath, and maybe we’d get a break or two down the stretch and pull it out.”

Yates added, “I didn’t think they’d hold the ball as long as they did.”

“I was a little surprised when they stayed in their zone and we had a five-point lead,” said La Salle senior post Sean Hays. “But it was a good game. Both teams played hard on defense, and they gave us a game. We’ll see them at our place next time, and I expect another good game.”

“I think we won the this game with rebounding and hustle plays,” Curtiss said. “While we didn’t play very well, we played really hard.

“Gladstone did a great job of slowing the tempo way down with their sagging zone and style of offense....

“It felt like a playoff game. While we missed a few gimmes, overall we did enough to win. I think our guys realize that Gladstone is well coached and very capable of beating anyone. They are a dangerous team.”

“We did what we wanted to do to slow them down,” Yates said. “We played good enough to win. The kids played hard and, for the most part, we limited them to one shot. But we weren’t consistent enough. We shot the ball too early at times and we had too many unforced turnovers.”

Hays (12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), McGraw (12 points) and Johnson (9 points) paced the Falcons in scoring. Hays was 6-of-11 from the field; McGraw connected with 5-for-9 success; Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3, with two 3-pointers.

Michael Stoutt (15 points) and Gibson (12 points) headed the offense for Gladstone. Gibson also hauled down a team-leading seven rebounds; Kobe Williams came up with four steals.

The Falcons connected at a .516 clip from the field, dropping in 16-of-31 attempts. The Gladiators connected on 15-of-36 (.416) shots from the floor. They were only 2-of-11 in the second period, when the Falcons moved on top for good.

Each team had 12 turnovers.

La Salle (15-1, 2-0) and Gladstone (7-5, 1-1) both won handily in Tri-Valley Conference games played last Friday. The Falcons hammered North Marion 62-33, while the Gladiators upended Estacada 67-28. Friday’s win was the 11th in a row for La Salle.

McGraw starred for the Falcons in the game with North Marion, scoring 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, with two 3-point baskets.

Johnson was tough on defense, stealing the ball six times. Keeston Smith rejected three shots.

Best defense

in the state

Curtiss noted: “In our current 11-game win streak, we’ve held teams to 34.5 points per game, which included wins over three top-10 teams — Henley, Astoria and Central. Our season points against average is 38.9, which is the lowest points against average in the state for teams in 6A, 5A and 4A.

“The guys have bought into locking down on defense and taking away our opponents’ first options on offense.”

Handsome Smith (14 points, 4 assists), Stoutt (14 points, three 3-pointers) and Gibson (14 points, 8 steals) headed the effort for Gladstone in Friday’s game with Estacada, as 10 different Gladstone players found the basket.

“They had 31 turnovers and we scored 34 points off those turnovers,” Yates said.

La Salle plays Estacada (4-8, 0-2) on the road this Friday, while Gladstone entertains Madras (11-5, 2-0).