Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

TRL tough as ever in baseball


Clackamas figures to be in the thick of things in the league title chase

by: VERN UYETAKE - Returning infielder/pitcher Austin KellyClackamas High School baseball coach John Arntson believes that the Three Rivers League will be the toughest Class 6A high school baseball league in the state this spring. And he believes his Cavaliers will be one of the top teams in the six-team league.

“I think our league is as good as any league in the state, without a doubt,” Arntson said last week. “In fact, I think it’s the toughest league. We’ve got three teams that should be in the top 10 in the state.... Oregon City, Lake Oswego and Clackamas should be top 10, at least preseason.”

Arntson pointed out that defending state champion Oregon City has all of its top pitchers returning. And he says of defending TRL champion Lake Oswego, “Lake Oswego is always good. Their coach, Jake Anders, has built a strong program. And Lake Oswego was good in summer ball. I think they only lost four games.”

Arntson also speaks highly of his Cavaliers: “We’re a lot deeper than last year. This is the deepest team I’ve had at Clackamas. We could field two teams and be very competitive at the varsity level....

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can pitch. Our pitching is as deep as it’s been in my 17 years at Clackamas.”

Arntson lists eight players — all right-handers — vying for action on the mound this season, including seniors Austin Kelly and Skyler Schlunz; juniors Aaron Ahlstrom, Taylor Stinson, Jared Bell and Zach Farnes; sophomore Luke Burns; and junior closer Josh Devore.

Kelly, Ahlstrom and Devore saw varsity action last year. Bell is a transfer from Lake Oswego. Stinson was the ace for a Cavalier jayvee team that won the majority of its games a year ago, according to Arntson.

Ahlstrom was a second-team all-league selection as a sophomore.

The Cavaliers return two of their top players from last year in third baseman Austin Kelly and centerfielder Garrett Myers. Both were unanimous first-team all-league selections a year ago, when the Cavaliers (16-11, 9-6) tied Oregon City (20-11, 9-6) for second place in the TRL, finishing back of Lake Oswego (23-5, 13-2).

Returnees senior Jake Iverson (shortstop) and junior Cade Wilkins (outfield) also received all-league recognition last year.

Iverson returns to shortstop and as backup at catcher; Wilkins, who is still recovering from major surgery to a knee, is playing designated hitter this spring.

Ahlstrom returns to start at second base or shortstop when he’s not on the mound.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Returning infielder/pitcher Aaron AhlstromArntson says that with all the depth, his starting lineup is still a work in progress. Top prospects include: junior Taylor MacClanathan at catcher; senior Jarrod Switzer and Stinson at first base; Ahlstrom and sophomore Luke Burns at second base: Iverson and Ahlstrom at shortstop; Kelly and junior Cole Scruggs at third base; senior Ryan Gilbert and Bell in left field; Myers in centerfield; junior Michael McDonald and Devore in right field; and Wilkins and senior outfielder Curtis Powelson at designated hitter.

“Our depth is a double-edged sword,” Arntson said. “It means good competition on the team, but it’s an added challenge for me, trying to get everyone playing time.”

Arntson said he is very happy with Clackamas’ new artificial turf infield.

“It’s been awesome!” he said. “We played Sunset five innings in the rain and the only reason we had to quit after five innings was because of darkness.”

The Cavaliers have had their share of success in early preseason, going 6-0, with wins over South Salem (7-3), Glencoe (15-4), Sunset (8-6), Roseburg (4-0), Beaverton (3-0) and Putnam (5-4).

Bell, Burns and Scruggs pitched against South Salem, combining for three strikeouts, while walking three and scattering six hits.

Kelly hit a solo home run. Myers (2-for-4) and Burns (2-for-4) both had a pair of hits; and Gilbert smacked a two-run double.

Kelly, Ahlstrom and Devore pitched in the Glencoe game, combining for five strikeouts, while yielding three hits and nine walks.

The Cavaliers reached Glencoe pitchers for 15 hits, led by McDonald (2-for-2, 2 doubles, 5 RBI), Bell (2-for-3, triple, 2 RBI) and Stinson (2-for-3, 2 runs). Myers, Scruggs and Ahlstrom had doubles in the slugfest.

The Cavaliers erupted for eight runs in the fourth inning in an 8-6 win over Sunset on March 19. They took advantage of seven walks and an error in the big inning. Wilkins and Ahlstrom had the only hits in the rally.

Ahlstrom, Burns, Scruggs and Farnes pitched, yielding six hits and five walks, while striking out six.

“It rained the whole time,” Arntson said. “It was a walk-fest. It was an ugly game.”

Sunset pitchers walked nine Clackamas batters, while allowing just four hits, in the Apollo loss.

Ranked sixth in the state, the Cavaliers (6-0) play West Salem (3-2) on the road next Tuesday. They entertain Jesuit (4-1) on Thursday, April 4, and they begin league play on Monday, April 8, when they play host to defending state champion Oregon City (2-2).