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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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Oregon City girls make a statement with an 80-33 trouncing of West Linn


Oregon City coeds force 19 first-half turnovers en route to a 41-10 first-half advantage

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City senior post Johanna Paine (32) turns point guard, as she pushes the ball up the floor in last Fridays 80-33 rout of West Linn.If the top-ranked Oregon City Pioneers bring it at this year’s state tournament the way they did in Friday night’s girls basketball game with cross-river rival West Linn, then the Pioneers will be very tough to beat at this year’s Class 6A State Championship Tournament.

Oregon City upended the 10th-ranked Lions 80-33 on Friday, dominating the play at both ends of the floor through nearly the entire game.

Playing super-aggressive full-court defense with an attack-dog mentality, the Pioneers forced 19 turnovers in the first half, as they rolled to a 41-10 first-half advantage. In a game of possession, the Pioneers were 17-of-29 (.586) from the field in the first half, while the Lions made only 3 field goals out of 15 attempts (.200).

West Linn turned the ball over on seven of its first eight possessions, and the Pioneers scored on their first eight shots from the floor.

When Oregon City junior wing Jessica Gertz scored an inside bucket off an inbounds pass from senior point guard Montana Walters four minutes into the game, Oregon City’s lead was 17-2, and there was no question which team was going to come out on top.

Oregon City senior post Johanna Paine was like a player possessed in the first four minutes of the game, scoring 11 points on five baskets, including three baskets from near the top of the key.

“We want Jo to shoot inside, but she’s got the green light to shoot from anywhere,” Walters said. “She’s been practicing that shot [near the top of the key] and she was open, so she took it.”

“[Beating West Linn] was a big deal for us, especially after what they did to us last year,” Paine said. “We came out with a lot of energy. Last year left a bad taste, and we felt like we had something to prove.”

“We came out with a little extra emotion,” Walters said. “We wanted to make a bit of a statement. What happened last year should not have happened....”

A year ago West Linn dashed Oregon City’s hopes of winning a state championship, rallying back from a 33-24 early fourth quarter deficit to beat the Pioneers 49-43 in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Class 6A State Tournament.”

“That first half [of last Friday’s game] was one of our best halfs this season,” Walters said. “We were playing together and hitting our shots....”

The Pioneers ended up shooting .555 (30-for-54) from the field on the night — with eight 3-pointers.

The 80 points was the most points the Lions had given up this season.

Oregon City had 10 players contribute points to the winning tally, led by Johanna Paine (21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 steals), Walters (15 points, 8 assists, 3 steals) and freshman guard Cierra Walker (13 points on 5-for-5 shooting). Walters and Walker both hit three 3-pointers.

Walters said of Walker, “She’s got a lot of potential. That girl’s good. She could start right now and she’s going to get a lot better. She could become one of the best to come out of Oregon City, if she keeps working hard.”

No one from West Linn scored in double figures. Junior guard Ashley Johnson hit two treys and scored seven points to lead the Lions in scoring.

With the win, Oregon City (17-1, 5-0) finished the first half of the Three Rivers League season all alone in first place in the Three Rivers League girls basketball standings. Clackamas (15-4, 4-1) and West Linn (9-10, 3-2) were second and third respectively.

Oregon City entertains Canby (8-8, 2-3) this Friday, and the Pioneers host fifth-ranked Clackamas next Tuesday. The Pioneers escaped Clackamas with a narrow 58-57 win in a Jan. 18 game played at Clackamas.

“I’m hoping we’re going to get our shots to drop and that it won’t be close like last time,” Paine said. “But even if it is close, it’s going to be a fun game. It’s going to be at our gym and this place is going to be packed....”

“We’ve got to come out more focussed and ready to play [in the upcoming game with Clackamas],” Walters said. “And I think we will. It will be a home game and we’ll have our fans behind us.”

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City defenders Nolan Muckenthaler (left) and Brad Martin double team Ryan Shearmire in last Fridays game with West Linn.

OC guys test Lions

for three quarters

Oregon City’s unheralded boys team held their own with fifth-ranked West Linn for three quarters in a 64-49 loss to the Lions last Friday.

It was still a 4-point game, with Oregon City trailing 41-37, a minute into the fourth quarter. But that’s where West Linn took over, outscoring Oregon City 23-12 down the stretch.

West Linn sophomore Anthony Mathis led the fourth quarter surge, scoring 13 of his game-high 28 points in the period. Mathis, who hit five 3-pointers in the game, connected on back-to-back 3-pointers and on a fast-break bucket near the middle of the fourth quarter to gain the Lions breathing room. He then teamed up with Hayden Coppedge and Payton Pritchard to hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 2:34 to put the Pioneers away.

Coppedge (9 points) was also tough on the backboards, corralling 10 rebounds.

“We started out slow,” Mathis said. “It’s been happening all year. But give it to them. They shot the lights out early on. They came to play and we didn’t.”

The way the game started, it looked as if the Pioneers might pull off an upset. Oregon City began the game like a house afire, connecting on 7-of-10 shots from the floor, with five of the seven baskets 3-pointers.

Oregon City senior guard Nolan Muckenthaler scored 13 points in the first period, cashing in three times from downtown. Oregon City sophomore guard Hunter Knighton added a pair of treys, and the Pioneers found themselves up 19-12 with the first quarter winding down.

The Pioneers continued to battle in the second quarter, and found themselves owning a 29-27 lead at halftime.

Things changed in the third period, as the Lions upped their intensity on defense. Five different West Linn players had steals in the period, as the Pioneers turned the ball over seven times and made only 2-of-7 shots from the floor.

West Linn went up for good, at 31-29, 1-1/2 minutes into the second half. But the Pioneers stayed close, keeping the pace of play slow, and making the Lions work for their baskets.

Pritchard (13 points) and Ryan Shearmire (10 points) joined Mathis in double figures in scoring.

Knighton (17 points) and Muckenthaler (16 points) were the top point-getters for the Pioneers.

“I wasn’t surprised [that we gave them a game],” Muckenthaler said. “We came in expecting to win the game. We just couldn’t get our shots to drop [in the second half].”

With the win, West Linn finished the first half of the league season with a 4-1 record (14-5 overall). Oregon City slipped to 0-5 in league (10-8 overall).

“It’s disappointing [that we haven’t won in league],” Muckenthaler said. “We know we have a good team. We just have to execute better, and we’ve got to play with a little more heart....”

Oregon City boys had balanced scoring in a 65-43 nonleague boys basketball win at Hood River on Jan. 29.

Muckenthaler, Valentino Polk and Brad Martin scored 10 points apiece to lead a Pioneer attack that saw ten players score.

Leading 27-22, the Pioneers put the game away in the third quarter, when they outscored their hosts 20-6.

Oregon City hosts Canby (6-12, 1-4) this Friday, while West Linn plays host to Lakeridge (12-6, 3-2).