Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Mustang girls, boys are 6-0 in NWOC hoops


Milwaukie girls make it 12 in a row with a 55-44 win over Parkrose

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie senior Lorissa Martine (3) drives the baseline in Fridays 55-44 win over Parkrose.The Milwaukie Mustangs continued tough in Northwest Oregon Conference basketball last week.

Ranked fifth in the state in the OSAA power rankings, Milwaukie girls on Friday upped their NWOC record to 6-0 (13-2 overall), cruising to a 55-44 win over Parkrose (6-8, 3-3). Friday’s win was the 12th straight victory for the Mustang girls, whose only losses this season came in preseason games with Class 6A Oregon City and Jesuit.

Ranked 10th in the state, Milwaukie boys on Friday also upped their league mark to 6-0 (10-5 overall), with a 95-74 trouncing of the Broncos. Friday’s win was the seventh straight for Milwaukie boys, whose losses are to Class 6A teams from Central Catholic, Jesuit, Grant and Canby, and to Silverton, which entered play this week ranked third in the state in 5A.

Milwaukie boys face perhaps their stiffest test so far this season this Friday, when they conclude the first half of the NWOC season hosting Sandy (13-3, 6-0), which is ranked sixth in 5A.

Milwaukie girls, who entered play this week all alone atop the NWOC standings, play league cellar-dweller Sandy (3-12, 1-5) for the first time this season on Friday, at Sandy.

While Milwaukie boys find themselves in a relatively tough league, with Sandy, Wilsonville (11-5, 3-3) and themselves all ranked in the top 11 in the state, Milwaukie girls are expected to have a cakewalk through the league, unless they are overcome by complacency and lose a game that they shouldn’t lose.

Liberty (5-1), which entered play this week second in the NWOC girls standings, was only ranked 20th in the 5A power rankings, sporting an overall record of 7-9. The Mustangs were the only girls team in the league with a season record better than .500 and the only girls team ranked higher than 20th.

“[Playing in a weak league] can hurt us, but only if we let it hurt us,” said Milwaukie senior Lorissa Martine. “Sometimes we play down to other people’s level, and we can’t afford to do that. We’ve got to win all our league games so we can finish top eight in the rankings [and earn top seeding in the state playoffs].”

“We’ve got to become stronger mentally,” said Milwaukie senior Alexis Noren. “We can’t play down to other teams’ levels, because for teams like [second-ranked] Willamette and [third-ranked] Springfield, they have competition in their league. They have to battle every night. We’ve got to bring our game in every league game to get ready for those teams....

“When we play our game and share the ball, I believe we’re just as good as those teams.”

The Mustangs were in charge all the way in Friday’s game with Parkrose, but the Broncs kept within striking distance until the final horn.

Milwaukie held its biggest lead of the night, at 39-21, when Martine cashed in from downtown five minutes into the second half. But the never-say-die Broncs continued to battle, and they closed the gap to eight points, at 53-44, with 35 seconds to play.

Martine had a huge night for the Mustangs, scoring a game-high 19 points.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie coach Kevin McElroy gives Taylor Cunningham (24) the high five as Cunningham exits the floor during last Fridays game with Parkrose. Riding a 12-game win string, the Mustangs are fast proving themselves among the top Class 5A high school girls basketball teams in the state.April Meads added 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers.

Noren, the Mustangs’ leading scorer (15 ppg) on the season, struggled, scoring just seven points. She went without a field goal in the first half.

“We have a lot of talent,” Noren said. “When one of us has an off-night, we always have other players who step up....

“If I’m able to draw a defender to me and kick the ball out to create a shot for someone else, that’s just as good as scoring myself. It doesn’t matter who does the scoring, as long as we win.”

The Mustangs had too many horses for the Bowgirls to keep track of in a Jan. 22 game at Sherwood, as Milwaukie had five players score nine or more points in a 58-43 win.

Noren had a big night, scoring 16 points, hauling down 12 rebounds, dishing out six assists and stealing the ball six times.

Meads added 12 points, hitting two 3-pointers.

Taylor Cunningham had 11 points and six rebounds. Emily Downs scored 10 points and she headed the defensive effort with four steals. Martine scored nine points.

The Mustangs led 30-22 at halftime, and they outscored the Bowgirls in every period.

Milwaukie guys

light them up

Everything was clicking for Milwaukie’s boys basketball team in Friday’s 95-74 win at Parkrose, as the Mustangs put 40 field goals in the basket en route to their highest scoring game of the year.

Jazz Johnson headed the onslaught, scoring 28 points on 13-for-18 shooting. Johnson played a strong game all around, stealing the sphere seven times and assisting on four baskets.

Tre’Shann Stone (23 points), C.J. Hubbard (12 points) and Richard Ramsey (11 points) joined Johnson in double figures in scoring. Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd had six assists and Tyler Spencer claimed nine rebounds.

The Mustangs were 40-of-79 from the field.

Milwaukie boys had a tougher time of it on Jan. 22. They had to turn up the defensive intensity in the second half to rally from a first-half deficit to a 59-46 win over Sherwood.

Nursing a 36-35 advantage, the Mustangs outscored their guests 23-11 in the fourth period, led by Johnson (5 points), Daschel-Lloyd (4 points), Stone (4 points) and Ramsey (4 points).

“We started trapping a lot more and it lead to some steals that we turned into lay-ins,” Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy said of the Mustangs’ tough play down the stretch. “And we did a good job of keeping their big guys off the boards.”

Led by Spencer (9 rebounds), Johnson (6 rebounds), Stone (6 rebounds), Ramsey (6 rebounds) and Hubbard (6 rebounds), the Mustangs corralled 42 rebounds on the night.

Hubbard also rejected three shots.

Johnson (15 points, 5 assists), Stone (15 points, 3 assists) and Trevontae Anderson (10 points) headed the offense.

Bourne (3 steals), Johnson (3 steals) and Daschel-Lloyd (3 steals) led the defensive assault.

It was one of the lowest scoring games of the season for the Bowmen, who entered the contest averaging 59.4 points an outing. Jordan Skoubo, a 6-0 senior guard, and 6-10 junior post Jordan Kurahara led the Bowmen offensively, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.