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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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Alger, McNall bag district mat titles

Seven Gladiators advance to regionals

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone sophomore Blake McNall takes North Marion junior Adam Vega for a ride in the 113-pound final at Saturdays Tri-Valley Conference District Wrestling Tournament. McNall had little trouble winning the match, defeating Vega by fall in just 1:01.Gladstone High School’s wrestling team turned in a respectable showing at Saturday’s Tri-Valley Conference District Wrestling Tournament, advancing four wrestlers to the championship finals and seven wrestlers to the upcoming Region I Championship Tournament.

“When you get two champions and your taking seven guys to regionals, that’s pretty good,” said Gladstone coach Jon Wolf. “We’re pretty happy.”

“We’ve got a lot of guys going to regionals,” said Gladstone senior Wyatt Finch. “We’ll have a lot of guys in the [wrestling] room this next week. We’re going to work hard to improve where we made mistakes, and I think that we’re going to have a lot of guys going to state in two weeks.”

Gladstone junior 103-pounder Michael Alger and Gladiator sophomore 113-pounder Blake McNall both won district titles.

Finch (120) and junior Logan Good (152) earned runner-up honors.

Gladstone also had regional qualifiers at 126, where sophomore Kyle Kintz placed third; at 145, where sophomore Rylan Martin placed third; and at 160, where sophomore Adam Taylor placed fourth.

“This means a lot to me,” Alger said. “You have to work you butt off to get good enough to get this far.... I’ve reached one third of my goals for this year. Now I’ve got to win regionals and win state.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone junior Michael Alger (on top) gets the upper hand on North Marions Casey Roberts in the 106-pound final of last weekends Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament, held at Gladstone High School. Alger was dominant, winning by 11-4 decision.Alger was dominant in the district finals, where he handled North Marion freshman Casey Roberts, winning by 11-4 decision. Alger pinned Estacada freshman Tristan Thom in 1:46 of their semifinal match.

Wrestling at 113, Alger placed second at district and sixth at regionals last year as a sophomore. He takes a 28-4 record into this coming weekend’s regional tournament.

McNall was also dominant at district, pinning North Marion junior Adam Vega in 1:01 of their finals match, after advancing through a first-round fall over Estacada freshman Tucker Harkness and a third-round fall over North Marion sophomore Derek Jones.

McNall placed third in the region at 106 last year as a freshman, after finishing runner-up to Finch at district.

McNall takes a 24-4 record into this year’s regional tournament.

“I’ve worked hard all my life for this,” McNall said. “So I guess I just expected to win [district]. My next goals are to win regionals and then place at state.”

Finch turned in an outstanding performance in his district final at 120, taking Estacada junior Donny Wenlund to double overtime before dropping a 9-8 decision.

Wenlund entered his finals match with Finch ranked the second-best 120-pounder in the state, but he was lucky to escape with the victory.

Finch took Wenlund down to his back for a 5-0 lead in the first round. Wenlund battled back to take a 7-6 lead in the second round.

Both wrestlers had takedowns just off the mat in the third round, after Finch’s early escape tied things up at 7-7.

Both wrestlers earned escapes in the first extra period. Finch drew the down position in the next 30-second period and couldn’t escape, which gave Wenlund the win.

“I’m happy that I got to overtime with someone ranked high in the state,” Finch said. “It gives me confidence heading into regionals. I’d like to meet him again and have a match like this, only with a different outcome.”

“Wyatt wrestled great!” Wolf said. “That’s the best he’s wrestled all year.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone senior Wyatt Finch takes Estacadas Donny Wenlund for a ride in the 120-pound final of last weekends Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament. Wenlund entered the tournament ranked second in the state, but Finch gave the Estacada standout all he could handle, dropping a close decision in double overtime.Finch said his goals this year are to win another regional title and “place in the top three at state.”

Finch takes a 27-7 record into the regional tournament.

Good was not happy with his performance in his district finals match with Estacada senior Travis Cole, an 8-2 loss.

“I wrestled him at the Seaside Tournament and beat him,” Good said. “But I’m making no excuses. He came out well prepared and ready to wrestle.... All I can do now is look forward and try and come back at regionals.”

Good added, “My goals are still top four at regionals, and going to state, and placing.”

Kintz beat Molalla junior Tom Snegirev 4-1 in his third-place final at 126, scoring on first- and third-round takedowns. His only loss of the district tournament was by fall in a contest with North Marion senior Orion Walters.

Kintz placed fourth at district and sixth at regionals at 120 as a freshman.

“I worked hard over the summer lifting weights to get stronger and I’ve worked hard in the [wrestling] room to get better,” Kintz said. “I’m more mature and I’m a smarter wrestler. I feel like I should do good at regionals....

“I’d like to make state this year, and I’d like to place third at state or above before I graduate.”

Martin was dominant in his 145-pound third-place final with North Marion sophomore Vladmir Reutov, winning by 10-1 decision. His only loss was by second-round fall to Estacada senior Jake Davidson in the semifinals.

Martin says his goal is to place in the top three at this year’s regional tournament and earn a berth to the state tournament.

Taylor lost by 6-0 decision to Estacada junior Steven Weaver is his third-place final at 160. He also lost to Weaver, 8-0, in his first match of the tournament.

He earned his spot in the third-place finals through a second-round fall over Molalla junior Jacob Callahan and a first-round fall over Molalla junior Adam Carr.

The 11-team Region I Tournament is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 16, at Scappoose High School. The top four placers in each weight division will advance to the Class 4A State Tournament.

Regional qualifiers from the four Tri-Valley Conference teams will join qualifiers from Scappoose, Tillamook, Banks, Yamhill-Carlton, Astoria, Seaside, Scappoose and Roosevelt.