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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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No. 4 Milwaukie makes it 10 in a row


The Mustangs answer a wakeup call at Liberty

Ranked fourth in the state in the OSAA high school girls basketball power rankings, the Milwaukie Mustangs put two more games in the win column last week, staging a second-half rally to win at Liberty 41-35 on Friday, after cruising to as a 65-34 victory over St. Helens on Jan. 15.

Friday’s win over Liberty was Milwaukie’s 10th win in a row. The Mustangs (11-2) are undefeated against Class 5A opponents. Their only losses this season were in their season opener with Oregon City, the top-ranked team in Class 6A; and in an overtime game with Class 6A Jesuit on Dec. 7.

Milwaukie (4-0) was all alone in first place in the Northwest Oregon Conference standings heading into play this week. Liberty (5-9 overall, 3-1 in the NWOC) was in second place.

Milwaukie coach Kevin McElroy said the game at Liberty was a wakeup call for his Mustangs.

“We didn’t get off to a good start,” he said. “I think we kind of took things for granted, thinking we could just show up and step on the floor and win. If we had lost that game, we would have had no one to blame but ourselves. Hopefully it’s a wakeup call. We’ve got to show up and play four quarters every night out.”

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, McElroy said his charges righted the ship in the second half of the Liberty game, when they turned more aggressive on defense, and took the ball to the basket at the offensive end of the floor.

Alexis Noren, who finished with a game-high 11 points, scored all 11 points in the second half. Lorissa Martine (8 points) went scoreless in the second half. April Meads tallied 9 points, hitting three treys.

It was a different story in the St. Helens game. Milwaukie led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and 65-34 at halftime.

The Mustangs were firing on all cylinders, as they committed only four turnovers and ran their offense like clockwork.

Martine and Noren had big games. Martine tallied a game-high 20 points, hitting three 3-pointers. She also had six assists and seven rebounds.

Noren tallied 17 points, served up eight assists and hauled down seven rebounds.

Meads (14 points) had a hot hand from downtown, connecting on 4-of-9 shots from 3-point land.

Noren (4 steals) and Meads (3 steals) headed up the defensive onslaught.

Milwaukie (11-2, 4-0) hosts Parkrose (5-7, 2-2) this Friday, and the Mustangs battle Wilsonville (5-8, 2-2) on the road next Tuesday.


win at Sandy

After a lackluster first half, the Rex Putnam Kingsmen turned up the defensive pressure and rallied to a 42-34 win at Sandy on Jan. 15.

Sandy 5-10 post Raquel Pellecer had her way in the first half, scoring 16 of her game-high 22 points, to lead the Pioneers to an 18-15 first-half advantage.

The Kingsmen did a better job guarding Pellecer after the break, and Putnam guards turned up the pressure on defense. As a result, the Kingsmen outscored their hosts 27-16 in the second half.

“Brooke Snyder came in in the third quarter and gave us a spark,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “She blocked Pellecer on her first shot of the second half, and that got us going.”

Besides her key block, Snyder claimed four rebounds in the second half.

The Kingsmen went on top for good in the third period and widened the gap in the fourth stanza, Kelsea Baton and Carly Bolander then combined to go 7-for-8 from the free throw line down the stretch, and Putnam claimed the spoils.

“It was a team effort,” Leatherman said. “We had 13 girls play, and they all contributed.”

Bolander (12 points) and Baton (10 points) headed the Kingsmen offense.

The Kingsmen turned cold from the field and from the free-throw line last Friday, as Putnam fell to Parkrose 50-45, in a foul-plagued game at Putnam.

“We missed a lot of lay-ups and we shot less than 30 percent [from the field],” Leatherman said.

The two teams had 59 fouls whistled between them. Putnam was only 14-of-35 from the charity stripe.

Nine different Putnam players scored, but Kelsea Baton (12 points) was the only Putnam player in double figures in scoring.

Parkrose was led by 6-2 post Audrey Frison (21 points).

The Kingsmen (4-9, 2-2) play Liberty (5-9, 3-1) on the road this Friday.