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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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Defense is pivotal, as OC girls advance


The full-court press saves the day in a 60-42 come-from-behind win over South Salem

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City senior Montana Walters serves up an assist as the Pioneers go on the attack in Saturdays 60-42 win over South Salem.Oregon City’s top-ranked girls basketball team has been known for its aggressive, attack-dog full-court defense, and defense was pivotal for the Pioneers on Saturday, as they survived an early scare to drop the upset-minded South Salem Saxons 60-42, in a second-round game of the Class 6A state high school playoffs.

The Pioneers struggled to get their shots to drop early on and as a result they fell behind 10-3 to start the game. The Pioneers trailed 20-15 near the midpoint of the second quarter.

Oregon City got only two of 17 field goal attempts to drop in the first quarter. Fortunately the Pioneers’ full-court press kept Oregon City in the game, as the Pioneers forced seven turnovers in the first quarter and 15 turnovers in the first half.

Their shots started to drop late in the second period. They went on a 16-4 run to end the second quarter, building a 31-24 lead by the intermission. They then put the game away in the third period, when they made 10-of-16 shots from the floor.

Two inside buckets by Johanna Paine — off of passes from Montana Walters and from Catelyn Preston — to start the second half made it 35-24 Oregon City. And the Pioneers widened the gap from there.

Johanna Paine explained the cold shooting to start the game: “We came out really fired up. For the seniors, it’s our last game on our home court. There were a lot of emotions.”

“We were just over-amped,” Walters said. “I think we came out too ready to play. Knowing it was the last game on our home floor for the seniors, we wanted to win so badly....

“I missed my first three shots. But I knew if I kept after it and kept putting them up, eventually they’d start to drop, and they did.”

Walters added, “I guess this game was kind of special for me. I’m kind of sad. I’ve been playing on this floor since fourth grade and it’s the last game I’ll play here.”

After their suspect start at the offensive end of the floor, the Pioneers connected with 50 percent accuracy, making 22-of-44 attempted field goals in the final three quarters.

Walters headed up the effort, hitting three 3-pointers, scoring a game-high 17 points and assisting on nine baskets. Walters was 7-of-15 from the field on the night. Johanna Paine scored 14 points, and she corralled eight rebounds.

The Pioneers took off the press in the fourth quarter, after forcing 22 turnovers in the first three periods.

Payton Wilcox, a 5-10 senior wing, and 6-2 sophomore wing Katie McWilliams paced the Saxons offensively, scoring 12 and 8 points respectively. Both players were first-team all-league selections in the Central Valley Conference, where they helped the Saxons (18-9, 9-1) earn a co-league championship with West Salem, the school’s first league championship in girls basketball since 1992.

Saturday’s win was Oregon City’s 15th consecutive victory, and the win advanced the Pioneers (24-1, 10-0) to the big-school state quarterfinals for the 24th year in a row.

The Pioneers will face Metro League co-champion Beaverton (21-5, 9-1) Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Rose Garden in their state tournament opener. With a win in that game, they’d advance to a 1:30 p.m. Friday championship semifinal game with Central Catholic.

The Central Catholic Rams dealt the Pioneers their only loss of the 2012-13 season (59-48) on Dec. 29 at the Lake Oswego Interstate Shootout. The Mt. Hood Conference champion Rams (23-3, 12-0) enter the state tournament riding a 20-game win string, their only losses to two out of state teams and to Metro League co-champion Westview (63-49) early in the season.

Central Catholic, Southern Oregon Conference champion South Medford (22-4, 12-0), Oregon City, Westview (21-4, 9-1) and Clackamas (21-5, 8-2) were ranked first through fifth respectively in the final Oregon 6A high school coaches poll. Oregon City, South Medford, Clackamas, Central Catholic and Westview were ranked first through fifth respectively in the final OSAA power rankings, which take into consideration difficulty of schedule, based on opponents’ win-loss records.

“I’m totally fine with meeting [Central Catholic] in the semifinals,” Walters said. “Our bracket has us playing the top teams, which will make winning the state championship more meaningful. And I want redemption, because I did not play well the last time we played [Central Catholic].”

Walters said the key to getting by the Rams in a rematch would be: “We just have to play together and believe in each other the whole game. We have to play together and play for each other.”

“It’ll be like the state championship for us,” Paine said of the anticipated rematch with the Rams in the semifinals. “We don’t care when we play them, we just want a crack at them again.”

Paine added, “I have no doubt we can beat them. We just need to be focussed.... We didn’t finish [the last time we played them]. We didn’t box out, and we didn’t shoot well....”

Paine said she is confident that she and her teammates will show up ready to play for each of their games at this year’s state tournament.

“None of the seniors have won state, so this is huge for us,” she said. “We’re ready. We’ve worked hard. We’re prepared. We just have to bring it....

“[Wining a state championship is] a big deal for us, especially after last year. We took West Linn for granted, and it cost us. We’re not going to let that happen again.”

A year ago the Pioneers lost to West Linn 49-43 in the quarterfinals, after beating the Lions soundly twice during the regular season. West Linn was behind by nine points, trailing 33-24, heading into the fourth quarter of last year’s quarterfinal with Oregon City.

Pioneers light them up

in a first-round game

The Pioneers were at the top of their game in a Feb. 27 first-round state playoff game with Hillsboro, a 96-23 victory.

The Pioneers forced 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone as they rolled to a 27-4 first-quarter lead and never looked back. It was the sixth time in their last seven games that they’d scored 80 or more points.

The Pioneers forced 34 turnovers in the game. Making shots from long range as well as from close to the basket, they burned the nets, shooting with 62.7 percent accuracy from the field. They had assists on 30 of their 37 baskets, and they hit 13 of 25 shots from 3-point range.

Led by Jessica Gertz (14 points), Jenae Paine (13 points), Johanna Paine (12 points) and 5-6 freshman Cierra Walker (11 points), thirteen players scored for Oregon City. Gertz was 5-of-9 from the field, with three 3-pointers; Jenae Paine was 5-of-10 from the field, with three 3-pointers; Johanna Paine was 5-of-7 from the field; and Walker was 4-of-6 from the field, with three 3-point baskets.

Montana Walters and Toria Bradford sparked the offense with 13 assists between them.

Johanna Paine and sophomore Jerusha Paine headed the defensive onslaught, each with four steals.

Hillsboro made only nine field goals, out of 36 attempts, for a lukewarm .250 shooting percentage.