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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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Its a 3-peat for Milwaukie


With Fridays win at Sandy, the Mustangs earn their first outright league title in over two decades

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by: PARKER LEE - Milwaukie 6-9 senior post Henry Morris (34) tells Sandy offensive star Justin Adams not on my watch in last weeks boys basketball victory at Sandy.The Milwaukie Mustangs did themselves proud last week, dispatching with Sandy (67-56) and Parkrose (96-59), and earning their first outright league title in boys basketball since 1991.

The pair of wins put the Mustangs at 13-1 in the Northwest Oregon Conference (17-6 overall) with the conference season complete. Sandy (18-6, 11-3), which finished second in the conference, could have won a co-championship with the Mustangs had the Pioneers beaten the Mustangs in last Friday’s game at Sandy.

It’s the third straight NWOC championship for the Mustangs, who tied Wilsonville for the championship in 2011 and 2012.

“We’ve made a lot of progress throughout this season,” said Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy. “We’re hitting our stride heading into the playoffs. We’ve got to continue to play well if we want to continue. But when our guys are at the top of their game, I give us a shot against most any team out there.”

It took the Mustangs a half to get going in last Friday’s showdown with the Pioneers. Sandy was up 29-26 at the halftime break.

“We had four starters with two fouls in the first half and they sat most of the second quarter,” Bracy said. “[Sandy] packed it in with their zone, and without those starters, we had trouble making shots over the zone.”

Things changed when the starters returned in the third quarter. Shots that wouldn’t drop in the first half began to drop, and the Mustangs began to take charge.

Tre’Shann Stone sparked a 14-2 Milwaukie run to start the third quarter with seven points. C.J. Hubbard hit a big three from the corner as time expired at the end of the third quarter, putting the Mustangs up by six heading into the final period.

“It’s really tough to chase a team like that because they are so athletic,” Sandy coach Jason Maki said. “When we were ahead or tied, they were a little more tentative. When we got behind, they knew they could attack.... They are definitely a top team.”

Milwaukie 6-9 post Henry Morris played a pivotal role in the second-half turnaround. He took on Sandy star Justin Adams on defense and all but shut Adams down.

Morris had 12 points and 13 rebounds on the night.

“I thought Henry played his best game ever against Parkrose, and he topped that on Friday,” Bracy said.

The Mustang coach noted that Morris got a slow start to the season, missing five games because of an injury.

“And when he came back, then he got sick,” Bracy said. “Now he’s finally back near 100 percent, and he’s playing great.”

Morris scored 19 points, claimed nine rebounds and rejected seven shots in the game with the Broncos.

Stone scored 26 points to lead the Mustangs at Sandy. Jazz Johnson (14 points) and Hubbard (10 points) joined Stone and Morris in double digits in scoring.

Johnson had a career-night, scoring a game-high 26 points and serving up a team-high six assists in last week’s 96-59 rout of Parkrose. The 5-11 sophomore point guard was a hot-handed 9-of-12 from the field — with three 3-pointers, and he made all five of his free throw attempts.

Hubbard also had a big game, scoring 20 points and stealing the ball seven times.

Stone had 10 points and nine rebounds, Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd came through with six steals and five assists.

The Mustangs were in charge from the opening tip-off, building a 29-9 advantage in the first quarter.

The 96 points was a season high, topping a Jan. 25 game at Parkrose, which the Mustangs won 95-74.

Ranked eighth in the final OSAA power rankings, the Mustangs draw a bye from the play-in round of the Class 5A state playoffs. They’ll host a playoff game on Friday, with the winner of that game advancing to the eight-team Class 5A State Tournament.

“Barring upsets [in the Feb. 26 play-in round], it looks like it’s going to by Marist [on Friday],” Bracy said. “They’ve got a 6-5 kid that can play. He can score inside and he can shoot the 3. And they’ve got a couple of guards who are pretty good. If we play them, it’s going to be a tough game.”

Marist (11-11, 6-4) is ranked 12th, and the Spartans finished league play tied for second place — behind top-ranked Churchill (20-4, 10-0) — in the Midwestern Conference.

Hard luck

to the end

The hard luck continued for Rex Putnam last week, as the Kingsmen dropped a couple of close, losing to Wilsonville (50-47) and Liberty (56-44).

The Kingsmen had a tough time containing Liberty post Aaron Holman on Feb. 19, as the 6-4 senior scored a game-high 23 points in a 56-44 Falcon victory over Putnam.

The Falcons built a 27-20 lead in the first half and the Kingsmen were fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way.

Nursing a 6-point lead to start the fourth quarter, the Falcons hit four 3-pointers in the final period to put the game on ice.

Throstur Kristensson and Bryant Brown scored 13 and 11 points respectively to lead the Kingsmen in the losing effort.

Wilsonville 6-1 senior wing Ryan Walsh hit a contested 3-pointer just inside the final buzzer to gain the Wildcats their 50-47 victory over Putnam.

Devin Hager led the Kingsmen attack with 18 points.

Putnam finished the season with a 3-11 record in the NWOC and an overall record of 3-19.

Putnam assistant coach Preston Martin commented on the Wilsonville game and on the season:

“The team played hard on senior night. We were really proud of how hard they played, even though we did not have as good a season as we had hoped....

“We’ll miss our seniors — Kolleh Mitchell, Devin Hager, Bryant Brown, Nolan McCarthy, Kenny Helmes and Throstur Kristensson. They were a great group of kids that played hard to the end. Mitchell and Hager really took on a leadership role the last half of the year for us, and in this game.”