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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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Milwaukie and Sandy are tied for first in the NWOC


The Mustangs lose to Wilsonville, but bounce back with a win over the seventh-ranked Sandy Pioneers

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Milwaukie sophomore Jazz Johnson (32) goes on the attack in last weeks game with Wilsonville.Fresh off an humbling loss to Wilsonville, Milwaukie’s seventh-ranked boys basketball team was all business on Friday, as the Mustangs made their free throws down the stretch and won a 66-58 barnburner from seventh-ranked Sandy.

Just three days earlier the Mustangs had fallen behind early and trailed all the way in a 57-46 loss to then ninth-ranked Wilsonville.

“Our guys were pretty devastated by the loss to to Wilsonville,” said Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy. “They wanted to show [against Sandy] that they are still a good basketball team....

“They still want to win league, but they know it won’t be easy. Sandy’s a great team, Wilsonville’s a great team, Sherwood’s a great team. St. Helens and Parkrose have been playing well. Parkrose almost upset Sandy. It’s a tough, tough league and anyone can beat anyone on a given night. The league champion could very easily have three losses.”

With Friday’s win over Sandy, Milwaukie (11-6 overall) and Sandy (14-4 overall) finished last week tied for first place in the NWOC standings, both with 7-1 records in conference play. Sherwood (10-7, 5-3) and Wilsonville (13-5, 5-3) were tied for third place.

For Sandy, Friday’s loss ended a win string at nine games. The Pioneers’ only other losses in state this season were at the hands of 6A teams Lakeridge and Barlow in early December.

“Sandy has experience and they have size,” Bracy said. “They have 10 seniors, many of whom played a lot last year. They’re tough.”

Bracy’s Mustangs jumped to an early lead in Friday’s home game with the Pioneers, building a 19-12 lead in the first quarter and a 34-27 advantage at halftime.

“Our plan was to speed up the game, force turnovers and get some easy buckets, and we did that early,” Bracy said.

The Pioneers didn’t give up without a fight. Rallying around the play of 5-11 senior wing Jacob Groom, they can roaring back, closing to within 45-44 by the end of the third period. Groom finished with a game-high 22 points on the night, hitting five 3-pointers.

Groom gained the Pioneers their first lead of the game late in the third period, and the fourth quarter was a seesaw affair, with Milwaukie sophomore point guard Jazz Johnson putting the Mustangs on his shoulders down the stretch. Johnson scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a key 3-pointer and going a perfect 8-for-8 at the charity stripe.

“He’s our best free throw shooter, so when we got the lead, we tried to get the ball in Jazz’ hands,” Bracy said. “He was 8-for-8 in the fourth quarter and 10-for-10 from the line for the game.”

Milwaukie junior guard Tre’Shann Stone (15 points) hit a huge basket with 1:30 to play that put the Mustangs in the driver’s seat, banking in a tough shoot in traffic over the guard of Sandy 6-7 post Justin Adams (18 points).

Senior wings Kendrick Bourne (13 points) and Trevontae Anderson (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Mustangs.

Mustangs bite

the bullet

The Milwaukie Mustangs got a reality check on Jan. 29, when they dropped their first Northwest Oregon Conference boys basketball game of the season to Wilsonville 57-46.

It was the Mustangs’ first loss in league after six straight victories, and the Mustangs (then 6-1) slipped into second place in the NWOC — behind Sandy (7-0) — with the loss.

Wilsonville went up 10-0 to start the game and the Wildcats led the rest of the way.

The Mustangs appeared lethargic early-on, turning the ball over in their half-court offense, while Wilsonville forged a lead with a patient offense.

Milwaukie turned the ball over four times in the first three minutes of the game and the Mustangs went scoreless until Jazz Johnson found the basket on a driving lay-up six minutes into the game.

Milwaukie trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter and by as many as 14 points early in the fourth. The closest the Mustangs got in the final period was within six points, at 49-43, with 1:27 to play.

The Mustangs attempted to make several runs, but each time they got in their own way, hurting their own cause with a missed dunk, two technical fouls, and missed free throws.

“Defense and intensity [were missing tonight],” Johnson said. “Defense and intensity breed offense, and we just didn’t have it tonight.”

Johnson added, “I think we may have overlooked Wilsonville because Parkrose beat them. We can’t let that happen again. We’ve got to work harder and take it one game at a time. We’ve got to work hard every game if we want to get to the playoffs and win when we get there.”

“This [win] means a lot,” said Wilsonville senior captain Ryan Walsh. “Milwaukie’s a very talented team and, if we can play with them, we can play with a lot of other talented teams.”

“Taking care of the basketball, blocking out and rebounding, and being patient on offense, those were the keys [to beating Milwaukie],” Wilsonville co-captain Dylan Livesay said. “We have a ton of good athletes, and they were flying around a lot tonight.”

Livesay, a 6-4 senior wing, was the Wildcats’ leading scorer, tallying 20 points. He hit two 3-pointers and he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

Wilsonville 5-11 junior wing Zach Malvar (11 points) was the only other Wildcat in double figures in scoring.

Johnson tallied a game-high 25 points and made four assists, but he was the only Mustang to score in double figures.

Kendrick Bourne hauled down 10 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Mustangs were a lukewarm 19-for-55 (.345) from the field and they connected on only 6-of-15 (.400) free throw attempts.

The Wildcats were 19-of-49 (.387) from the field and 16-of-20 (.800) from the charity stripe.

It was the fourth win in seven conference games for the Wildcats, who dropped a recent game to Parkrose, 63-60.

“Wilsonville played great,” Bracy said. “They were very patient and they did a good job spreading us out. We didn’t shoot the ball well at all. I think our kids got a little impatient and forced things.... Wilsonville has the best half-court defense in the league.”

Milwaukie and Wilsonville were ranked 10th and 11th in the state respectively heading into the Jan. 29 game. Milwaukie defeated Wilsonville 57-47 when the two teams met at Wilsonville in their NWOC opener. The two teams tied for the NWOC league championship in 2011 and 2012, and Milwaukie defeated Wilsonville 59-41 in the semifinals of last year’s Class 5A State Tournament.