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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 girls make it 16 in a row

The Mustangs are tested, but they defeat Liberty in a 43-40 barnburner

by: JAIME VALDEZ - With other players poised to rebound, Milwaukie senior Alexis Noren (2) attempts a late-game free throw in last weeks 43-40 win over Liberty. Noren made the shot, which was Milwaukies 43rd point of the game and Norens 1,000th point of her high school career.Milwaukie coeds last week gained the inside track in the Northwest Oregon Conference girls basketball league title chase, boosting their conference record to 10-0 (17-2 overall) with wins over cross-town rival Putnam (67-36) and over NWOC title pretender Liberty (43-40).

Friday’s win over Liberty was a school-record sixteenth win in a row for the Mustangs, and it gained them a two-game lead over the second-place Falcons (10-10, 8-2) with but four NWOC league games remaining.

The Mustangs can clinch at least a tie for the title with wins in two of their last four games, and they can clinch their first outright, unshared league title in school history with three more NWOC wins.

“It’s really important to us that we win out [in league play],” said Milwaukie senior co-captain Alexis Noren. “Not so much because of the [outright] league title, but for the state rankings. The league we’re in is not very strong, and we need to beat everyone because we want to get a good seed for the state playoffs.”

Milwaukie was ranked fifth in the state after Friday night’s win over the 15th-ranked Liberty Falcons.

Friday’s win had special significance for Noren. When she scored Milwaukie’s final point of the game in the 43-40 victory, it was the 1,000th point of her high school varsity career. She scored 169 points as a freshman, 254 as a sophomore, 272 as a junior, and through play last Friday she had 305 points in 19 games this season, a 16-point-per-game average.

Milwaukie coach Kevin McElroy presented Noren with the game ball following Friday’s game for her rare accomplishment.

Asked what hitting 1,000 points means to her, Noren said:

“I don’t know. I’m speechless.... I guess it is an honor, but it’s not something any of my teammates couldn’t do. We all have such talent and potential in this sport.”

Asked what she was thinking when she stepped to the charity stripe to attempt a free throw for her 1,000th point, Noren said: “When I shot it, I had no idea [it was the 1,000th point]. When you’re playing the game you focus on the game and not individual stuff.”

She added, “For Milwaukie, it doesn’t matter who scores for us. Just that we do score, and win.”

Friday’s game was no cakewalk for the Mustangs. They led most of the way, but they struggled at times to get the ball up the floor against Liberty’s aggressive full-court press. And they lost their rhythm in the fourth quarter when McElroy elected to take the air out of the ball with his Mustangs nursing a 36-31 lead.

The Mustangs turned the ball over six times and went scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

“Their press also gave us trouble last time we played them,” Noren said. “It’s something we’re going to need to work on in practice. I think one of our biggest strengths is passing the ball. When we put our heads down and start dribbling, it causes problems.”

The Mustangs owned their biggest lead of the night, at 32-22, when Taylor Cunningham scored on a putback near the midpoint of the third quarter.

A 3-point basket by Liberty 5-6 senior Kylie Wruble with 3:57 remaining in the game put Liberty up 39-36, gaining the Falcons their first lead of the game.

Following a Mustang turnover, the Falcons pulled the ball out and played keep away. Liberty freshman starter Sydney Smalley made one of two free throws with 1:47 left to up the Falcon lead to 40-36.

But there was no quit in the Mustangs. At 1:37, Lorissa Martine burned the net from 3-point land to make it a one-point game, at 40-39.

The Mustangs then wreaked havoc with their own full-court pressure, forcing an errant Falcon pass and turnover.

At 1:24, Milwaukie senior sharpshooter April Meads cashed in from downtown, and the Mustangs were back in the driver’s seat, leading 42-40.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Milwaukie senior Lorissa Martine (3) is overcome with emotion after classmate April Meads (left) hits a late-game 3-pointer in last Fridays Northwest Oregon Conference game with Liberty. The basket put the Mustangs up 42-40 and they went on to win 43-40, earning their sixteenth straight victory.At 1:13, Liberty junior guard McKenzie Oster was fouled and missed the front end of a one-and-one. A Falcon was charged with a foul on the rebound, and the ball was handed over to the Mustangs.

Noren was fouled and made her 1,000th point on the front end of a one-and-one, gaining the Mustangs their 43-40 winning edge.

A last second attempt at a 3-pointer by Oster fell off the mark. Meads claimed the rebound, and the Mustangs celebrated the hard fought victory.

Noren said of the Falcons: “They’re tough. They have two amazing shooters and two really good posts, and they play really good defense. It took our best effort to get this one. They earned our respect and I hope we earned theirs.”

Noren paced the Mustangs in scoring with 13 points.

Wruble led the Falcons, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 20 points.

Milwaukie was to host St. Helens (8-12, 2-8) on Feb. 12. The Mustangs finish up the regular season, hosting Sherwood (7-12, 6-4) this Thursday, playing Parkrose (9-9-, 6-4) on the road next Tuesday, and entertaining Sandy (3-16, 1-9) on Friday, Feb. 22.

Liberty (10-10, 8-2) entered play this week with league games remaining with Wilsonville (8-11, 5-5), Sandy, Putnam (4-15, 2-8) and Sherwood.

It took the Mustangs awhile to get going in last week’s game with Putnam. But once they got rolling, there was no stopping them.

Putnam was within six points, trailing 26-20, with three minutes remaining in the first half. But Emily Downs, Lorissa Martine and Alexis Noren then answered Putnam misses with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, and it was all over but the shouting. Milwaukie was up 35-23 at the intermission, and the Mustangs widened the gap from there.

Four Milwaukie players reached double figures in scoring against the Kingsmen — Noren (20 points), Martine (16 points), Downs (14 points) and Meads (11 points). Led by Martine (3 treys), all four hit at least one 3-pointer.

Noren was 7-for-12 from the field, with two 3-point baskets. She also had seven assists and three steals.

Martine was a terror on defense, with six steals.

Kelsea Baton scored 14 points to lead the Kingsmen.

Putnam had a bad case of turnover-itis last Thursday, as the Kingsmen got blown out by Parkrose 57-34.

Twenty-nine turnovers proved costly, as the Kingsmen fell behind early and were playing catch-up all the way.

Parkrose 5-6 senior Jacia Jointer was on fire, attacking the basket for a game-high 22 points.

Freshman Brooke Snyder had a big game on the inside for Putnam, corralling nine rebounds, all in the second half.