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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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Mustang guys expect to contend for a state title


The Milwaukie Mustangs advance to their third straight state tournament through an 83-58 rout of Marist

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie senior Richard Ramsey caps off Milwaukies 83-58 playoff rout of Marist with a crowd-pleasing dunk. The 83 points was the most points any opponent had scored against the 12th-ranked Spartans this season.The Milwaukie Mustangs did themselves proud in last Friday’s Class 5A boys basketball playoff game with Midwest Conference runner-up Marist, handling the visiting Spartans 83-58 and advancing to the Class 5A State Tournament for the third consecutive season.

“[This win is] everything,” said Milwaukie senior Henry Morris. “It’s such an honor to play well and have our team play so well. I hope we can do well in the tournament.”

“This is my first time going to Eugene,” said Milwaukie senior Kendrick Bourne. “For me, it’s exciting! This game shows our chemistry is getting better, and I think we can go far [in the state tournament]. That’s what I believe.”

“This means a lot,” said Milwaukie senior Richard Ramsey. “It’s my first year ever going to Eugene. My senior year, doing something I’ve never done before in my life.”

“This is my second time [going to Eugene],” said Milwaukie sophomore Jazz Johnson. “I made it last year as a freshman at Benson.”

Informed that the sixth-ranked Mustangs are likely to face third-ranked Silverton, second-ranked Jefferson and top-ranked Churchill if they are going to compete for the state championship, Johnson said:

“The way we’ve been playing, I think we could beat all three of those teams. It doesn’t matter their rankings.”

“This means everything, to the team, to our city and out school, it’s huge for us!” said Milwaukie senior C.J. Hubbard. “But we’re not satisfied just getting down there. We’re going to go for the state championship. We want to bring back some hardware.”

“Any time you [make the state tournament] there three years in a row, you’re doing something right,” said Milwaukie coach Kyle Bracy. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the players. They’ve put in a lot of work. I know they’re not satisfied with just making it to Knight [Arena]. They want to do something when they get there....

“I do think we’re playing well. But when you get to the final eight, everyone’s good. We’re going to have to play our best basketball to bring home a trophy.”

The Mustangs have had plenty of success in the last two state tournaments. They beat Crescent Valley 58-47 for fourth place at state two years ago, and finished second last year, losing to Corvallis 63-51 in the Class 5A championship game.

The Northwest Oregon Conference champion Mustangs (18-6, 13-1) face third-ranked Silverton (21-4, 14-0) in the University of Oregon’s Knight Arena tonight at 6:30 in the quarterfinals. With a win, they’d likely meet second-ranked Jefferson (21-4, 12-0) Friday at 8:15 p.m. in the semifinals. And if they win that game, they’d likely meet top-ranked Churchill (21-4, 10-0) Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the championship final.

The Mustangs have two losses in their last 17 games, to Wilsonville 57-46 in a home game with the Wildcats on Jan. 29, and to Silverton 67-56 in a Dec. 27 game at Silverton.

“We have a lot more experience playing together than we did when we played [Silverton] at the beginning of the year,” Johnson said. “We’ve played the whole season together, and now we know each other’s tendencies.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie senior wing C.J. Hubbard (5) leaps high to block a shot by Marist senior guard Ben Fusek in Fridays state playoff game with the Spartans.“If we come together as a team and play as a team, I think we can [win a state championship],” Hubbard said. “When we play as a team, we can beat anybody.”

“It’s going to take our best game of the season [to beat Silverton],” Bracy said. “They’re a really good team and they have the best 5A player in the state in [6-2 point guard] Zach Gengler. He’s going to Portland State and he’s a legitimate Division I player.”

It took the Mustangs a quarter to get their game up to speed in last Friday’s 83-58 shellacking of Marist.

Marist first-team all-league wing Josh Harper, a 6-4 senior, attacked the basket with a vengeance in the first quarter, scoring nine of his team-high 21 points and keeping his team within two points, at 18-16, heading into the second quarter.

But rallying around the defensive play of Milwaukie 6-9 post Henry Morris and the aggressive offensive play of Tre’Shann Stone and Jazz Johnson, the Mustangs took charge in the second quarter.

Milwaukie went on a 15-0 run to start the second quarter, and when Stone scored a fast-break bucket with 3:15 left in the period, Milwaukie’s lead was 33-16 and the Mustangs had the game in the bag. Marist never got closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Led by Stone (8 points) and Johnson (7 points), the Mustangs connected with 11-for-17 accuracy (.647)) from the field in the second quarter, while the Spartans went 2-for-14 (.143), tossing up bricks from long range.

Johnson made three fast-break outside shots — including a 3-pointer — to help ignite the second-quarter run.

“Henry did a great job [defending] Harper and making him shoot over a taller guy,” said Bracy. “And we did a good job defending their shooters and making their other guys do the shooting.”

Not one reserve scored a point for Marist, while the Mustangs had nine players contribute to their winning tally.

Stone paced the Mustangs in scoring, tallying 27 points on 12-for-21 shooting.

Johnson (15 points, 5 assists) and Hubbard (10 points) also scored in double figures. Hubbard was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, with two 3-point baskets.

Morris (9 points) was an intimidating presence inside, rejecting four shots.

Tyler Spencer hauled down a team-high seven rebounds; Ramsey had three assists and five rebounds; Bourne (6 points) was 3-for-4 from the field; Aubrey Daschel-Lloyd sparked the offense with four assists.