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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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Theyre tough as nails


Fighting adversity, Gladstone guys find a way to keep their season going

Last week was a character builder for Gladstone High School's boys basketball team.

After escaping with a 48-37 win at North Marion in their Feb. 19 Tri-Valley Conference final, the short-handed Gladiators traveled to Cottage Grove for a Class 4A state play-off play-in game on Friday and upset the Lions 53-51.

The 14th-ranked Lions (14-10, 7-3) had finished second to Elmira (17-6, 9-1) in the Sky-Em League and they entered Friday's game with an 11-4 record in games played at home this season.

Gladstone (13-9, 5-5) had barely made the state playoffs, needing last week's win at North Marion to tie Madras (14-10, 5-5) for third place in the TVC.

And the Gladiators had to play the Lions without 6-4 junior forward Ryun Gibson, their top scorer and rebounder on the season. Gibson had been ejected just before halftime of the North Marion game when he got in an altercation with a North Marion player, and was ineligible to play on Friday.

Asked if he was surprised that his Gladiators knocked off the Lions, Gladstone coach Ted Yates said:

“Not at all.... We've got tough kids.”

After struggling to find the basket in the second quarter, the Gladiators had to battle from behind to defeat Cottage Grove. They got outscored 14-2 in the second period and trailed 24-13 at the intermission.

Gladstone closed the gap to 35-29 by the end of the third stanza. But the Lions remained in the driver's seat until they turned to a delay, while leading by five points with 3:49 to play.

“When they held the ball, we forced some turnovers and got some momentum going.

The Gladiators went on top briefly, but a Cottage Grove player hit a 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds remaining to knot the score at 51-all.

Yates called timeout. Senior guard Michael Stoutt took the inbound pass, brought the ball up the floor and fired a contested buzzer-beater from just inside the 3-point arc. Stoutt's prayer found the basket, and the Gladiators celebrated the upset.

Stoutt finished with a game- and season-high 26 points, hitting 9-of-17 shots from the floor, with three 3-pointers. Stoutt put 11 points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

Handsome Smith (13 points) was the only other Gladiator player in double digits in scoring. Smith connect on 4-of-7 shots from the floor.

“This was by far Michael's best game of the year,” Yates said. “He's the reason we won this game and the North Marion game. When we had two kids ejected, he took over the North Marion game.”

Yates added, “It's good to have Michael back healthy again. He tweaked his knee in the La Salle game and it's taken him some time to get back to where he was. He's playing with a lot of confidence now.”

Yates also had praise for 6-0 junior post Ryan Fowler and for sophomore playmaking guard Handsome Smith.

“Ryan's been our post on jayvee,” Yates said. “He came in and sparked us in the third and fourth quarters. He came in and took a couple of charges and grabbed some rebounds.”

Yates said of Smith, “He had maybe his best game of the year. He played with a lot of confidence, got to the rim and scored 13 points.”

Defense proved the difference at North Marion, the Gladiators turned up the heat with their full-court press and stole the ball 21 times.

Koby Smith, Stoutt and Handsome Smith headed the defensive assault with 14 steals between them.

Stoutt (14 points) led nine Gladstone players who put points on the scoreboard.

The Gladiators went ahead in the second quarter and never relinquished the lead.

“It was a team effort,” Yates said. “Once again, it was everybody. All 12 kids.”

Yates praised junior forward Andrew Conway for providing a spark in the third quarter with a basket and a couple of steals. And he lauded sophomore Sean Williams for his rebounding and defensive play off the bench.

The Gladiators could have their hands full this Friday, when they play sixth-ranked Central (18-6, 6-4) on the road.

“I feel good about our chances,” Yates said. “We think we have a shot at anybody. If you look at our losses, we've been competitive in almost every game. Our biggest loss was by 17 points, to [fourth-ranked] Philomath, in our second game of the year.”