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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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Another historic year


Milwaukie girls go 14-0 in the NWOC, win their first outright league title

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Milwaukie senior starters (from left) Emily Downs, Taylor Cunningham, Lorissa Martine, April Meads and Alexis Noren have made quite a run in their four years at Milwaukie. Over the last four years the Mustangs have gone 39-15 in league play and 69-32 overall in girls basketball. In the previous four years the Mustangs went 1-49 in league and 7-90 overall. The Mustangs this year went undefeated in league for the first time in school history and they take a 20-game win string into Saturdays state playoffs.The Milwaukie Mustangs are flying high heading into postseason play in Oregon high school girls basketball. They hit back-to-back season highs of 68 and 71 points in last week’s final games of the Northwest Oregon Conference league season.

With routs of Sandy (71-46) and Parkrose (68-50) in last week’s league finals, the Mustangs (21-2 overall) finished the NWOC season at 14-0, earning their first undefeated league season and first outright league title in school history.

Last Friday’s win over Sandy was the Milwaukie’s 20th straight victory in a school-record win string. The Mustangs (21-2) have gone undefeated against Class 5A opponents this season. Milwaukie’s only losses this season were to Class 6A Oregon City (65-51) and to Class 6A Jesuit (49-43 in overtime) in early December. Oregon City (22-1) ended up ranked first in the state in Class 6A.

The Mustangs went 13-1 in the NWOC last year, when they shared the title with Wilsonville. The only other time a Milwaukie girls basketball team won or shared a league title in girls basketball was in 1980, when the Mustangs shared the title with Oregon City.

Milwaukie enters postseason play ranked sixth in the OSAA power rankings — behind Springfield (21-3), West Albany (23-0), Willamette (19-4), Bend (18-5) and Hermiston (15-8).

The high ranking gains the Mustangs a home game in the 5A state playoffs on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the eight-team Class 5A State Tournament at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. The Mustangs placed fourth at state last year, earning their first state-tournament trophy in girls basketball in school history.

It was the Taylor Cunningham show on Tuesday, Feb. 19, as the 5-6 senior lit up the scoreboard for a career-high 27 points in a 68-50 win at Parkrose.

Cunningham made 10-of-15 field goals, and she was a sizzling 6-for-8 on 3-pointers.

“Taylor kind of dominated the game,” said Milwaukie coach Kevin McElroy. “They had a big girl who was clogging up the middle. It left Taylor open outside, and she was knocking them down. She hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter.”

Cunningham’s previous season high was 11 points in a Jan. 22 58-43 win at Sherwood, and in a 63-25 rout of St. Helens on Feb. 12.

“Taylor’s been consistent for us in recent games, scoring 9 to 11 points,” McElroy said.

The Mustangs also got 13 points from Emily Downs, and 12 points and eight assists from Alexis Noren in the Parkrose game, as they built a 21-10 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Lorissa Martine headed the defense, with six steals.

The Mustangs put Sandy away early in last Friday’s game with the Pioneers, which was played on senior night at Milwaukie.

The Mustangs hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter, opening up a 21-9 lead. And the game was never close after that.

Led by April Meads (13 points), who hit four 3-pointers, the Mustangs had nine three-point baskets in the game.

Alexis Noren had a big night, hitting 9-of-10 free throws and scoring a game-high 28 points.

Emily Downs scored 15 points, connecting three times from beyond the arc.

Milwaukie honored six seniors during the senior night ceremonies — starters Noren, Martine, Meads, Downs and Cunningham, and reserve guard Hana Whisman.

Following Friday’s game, the seniors described what making school history with their first outright league title means to them.

“It’s really incredible,” Cunningham said. “I’m really proud of my team. They’re family, and I couldn’t ask for a better family. We’re all good friends and this is something we’ll never forget.”

“This means the world to me,” Downs said. “I’m so excited we could do this. I’m hoping we can go on to state and win some more.”

“I’m speechless,” Meads said. “It’s so special to be a part of all these records over the last two years. I’m really going to miss it when it’s over. It’s been a trip.”

“It’s hard to process it all,” Martine said. “For me though, it’s about time. We’ve worked so hard. I think it’s a life lesson. You can make anything happen if you put your mind to it. I’m proud of my team.”

“It’s an honor to be part of this program,” said Noren. “To be able to share this experience with such a good group of girls, I couldn’t ask for more....

“I’m excited to see what we can do at state.”

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Milwaukie senior Hana Whisman defends against Sandy junior Paola Phipps in last Fridays game with the Pioneers. It was an historic night for the Mustangs, who wrapped up their first undefeated league season in school history with a 71-46 rout of the Pioneers.“It’s a huge honor for me, because my freshman year I was a first-year player in competitive basketball,” Whisman said. “I’ve had to work my way up. To have this opportunity now is really cool.”

Asked what he thought about his Mustangs’ winning their first outright title and setting a school-record with a 20-game win string, McElroy said, “I hadn’t thought that much about it. I’ve been focussing on the playoffs. The competition will go up, and hopefully we’ll be playing our best basketball of the year at the right time.”

McElroy added, “It’s a tremendous honor for me, just to coach this group of girls. They’ve certainly earned everything they’ve accomplished.”

McElroy said he is happy to have eight days between the Mustangs’ last regular-season and Saturday’s playoff game.

“It gives me a chance to develop a good game plan,” he said. “And with our seniors and their leadership, I feel good about our chances.”

Putnam coeds

are competitors

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen proved once again last week that they are not that far back of the top teams in the Northwest Oregon Conference in terms of competitiveness, as they gave Northwest Oregon Conference runner-up Liberty a run for its money in a 49-43 loss, and they took Wilsonville down to the wire in a 45-38 loss.

With Friday’s loss at Wilsonville, the Kingsmen finished the season with a 4-10 record in the NWOC (6-17 overall). Six of their 10 league losses were in close games, where they lost by eight or fewer points.

Putnam was ahead of Liberty 28-23 at halftime and it was still a 2-point game, at 43-41, with two minutes left to play.

“We turned the ball over twice, on a travel and when we threw the ball away,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman “Then they made their free throws....

“In the end, it was their senior leadership versus our inexperience, and their senior leadership won out.”

McKenzie Oster (15 points) led three Liberty players in double digits in scoring, while junior wing Kelsea Baton (17 points, 4 assists) was the only player in double figures for Putnam.

Leatherman said that Carly Bolander’s defensive play on Liberty offensive star Kylie Wruble was pivotal in keeping the Kingsmen in the game until the end.

“Wruble’s their leading scorer and she hurt us the last time we played them [a 68-53 loss],” Leatherman said. “Carly held her to just seven points.”

Bolander also came through with a season-high six rebounds, and she came up with three steals, Leatherman said.

Friday’s game with Wilsonville was another barnburner. Putnam was within two points with three minutes to play, but the Kingsmen turned cold from the field and turned the ball over down the stretch.

Ali Schooley, a 5-4 junior guard, had a big game at Wilsonville, scoring a team-high 12 points, hauling down a season-high 10 rebounds, assisting on three baskets, and blocking three shots.

Leatherman praised Bolander for her defensive play on Wilsonville offensive leader Brynn Lio.

“Carly did a phenomenal job on Brynn Lio,” he said. “She held Lio to 7 points. Lio scored 24 in Wilsonville’s upset of Sherwood.”