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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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La Salle girls fire up at Gladstone


The Falcons up their intensity in the second half and put their cross-town rivals away

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Gladstone sophomores Alicia Feb (40) and Molly Webster (top left) scrap for a loose ball with La Salles Ellie Mulvaney and Tori Goodman (1) in last weeks game at Gladstone.Unheralded Gladstone gave fourth-ranked La Salle a game for a half in a Feb. 5 Tri-Valley League girls basketball game at Gladstone.

But the Falcons upped their intensity at both ends of the floor after the break, forged a lead; and the Gladiators were playing catch-up the rest of the way.

La Salle coeds prevailed 48-36, hitting five of their first six shots from the field in the third period to build a 28-22 advantage. Makenzie Cook’s rebound basket as the third quarter was winding down made it 32-22 La Salle, and the Falcons maintained at least an eight-point lead the rest of the way.

“We outran them in the second half,” said La Salle senior co-captain Ellie Mulvaney.

“We didn’t have a great night of shooting, but we made up for it with heart and hustle,” said La Salle junior playmaker Sterling Swift. “We came out with a lot more energy [in the second half], got up and down the floor, and got after it.”

“I think that the difference in the second half was our ability to play eleven kids,” said La Salle coach Kelli Wedin. “We have great depth and I think being able to play a lot of kids extended minutes allowed us to wear Gladstone down.

“We really wanted to push tempo in that second half and the girls were dedicated to the game plan and were able to get some easy shots in transition and they continued to make stops in our half court defense....

“Gladstone is a very athletic team and we knew it was going to be a hard fought battle, but the girls were up for the challenge and we couldn’t be happier with the total team effort!”

Swift led the second-half surge, scoring 10 of her game-high 13 points after the halftime break.

The Falcons converted at a .392 clip for the game, dropping in 20 of 51 shots from the floor. The Gladiators had an even tougher time finding the basket, making only 15-of-56 attempts (.267).

“We didn’t shoot well the entire game,” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “The difference [in the second half] was we didn’t block out on the boards and we didn’t make our free throws. We gave up three or four putbacks and we only made 2-of-10 free throws.”

Swift and Cook (12 points) were the only Falcons in double digits in scoring. Allison Ilg and Mulvaney sparked the Falcon offense with six assists between them.

Andrea Novak battled tough on the backboards, corralling 10 rebounds, four of them at the offensive end of the floor. Morgan McSmith had a team high three steals.

Molly Webster scored 11 points and dished out four assists to lead Gladstone.

Gladiators Mikaela Simac and Alisa Bradshaw were tough on defense, coming up with six and four steals respectively. Alicia Feb claimed seven rebounds.

“It’s really nice to beat our rivals at their place,” Swift said. “We knew it would be tough. They’re a good team....

“This puts is in good position to be league champs.”

“We’ve clinched a league playoff spot,” Scott said. “But this loss means that the league title is no longer in our control. It’s out of our hands. Our goal now is a home playoff game. I think that if we win out, there’s a good chance that we’ll get a home game in the playoffs.”

“If we want to go far in the playoffs, we’ve got to pick it up, bring it up a level,” Webster said. “We’ve got to work harder, in practices and in games.”

La Salle and Gladstone both got the job done in league play last Friday, although their victories did not come easily. The Gladiators edged Estacada 36-34 and the Falcons rallied in the second half to drop North Marion 46-36.

Andrea Novak hit a buzzer-beater to give the Falcons a 26-24 lead to close out the third quarter, and the Falcons widened the gap from there.

Swift led a 20-12 fourth-quarter run, scoring seven of her game-high 17 points in the period. She was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line at crunch time.

Cook also provided a spark in the fourth quarter, when she came off the bench to score five points.

Novak (12 points) was the only La Salle player besides Swift to score in double figures.

La Salle (17-3, 7-0) entered play this week needing one win in its three remaining league games to clinch at least a share of the 2013 Tri-Valley Conference title. The Falcons had league games remaining on Tuesday (Feb. 12) with Madras (11-10, 5-2), at Estacada (6-12, 2-5) on Friday, and hosting Molalla (6-15, 0-7) next Tuesday.

The Gladiators’ dodged a bullet in Friday’s 36-34 home win over the Rangers.

Webster scored all of her team-high 11 points in the first half, and she and her teammates couldn’t get the ball to drop in the third quarter, when they got outscored 9-0.

“We must have been 0-for-10 or 0-for-12 from the field in the third quarter,” Scott said. “We were getting good shots, but nothing would drop.”

Trailing 30-26, the Gladiators outscored their guests 10-4 in the final period to salvage the victory.

Kendall Schumaker scored a lay-in off a pass from Webster with eight seconds to play for the winning basket.

Melisa Campos blocked a last-second shot by Madison Haga at the other end of the floor, and the Gladiators claimed the spoils.

Simac played a pivotal role in the Gladiator win, stealing the ball nine times.

“That we can go scoreless for a quarter and still win is a real testament to our defense,” Scott said.

Gladstone (12-6, 5-2) entered play this week tied with Madras (11-10, 5-2) in second place in the TVC standings. The Gladiators had league games remaining on Tuesday (Feb. 12) with Molalla, hosting Madras on Friday, and hosting North Marion (9-12, 2-5) next Tuesday.