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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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Milwaukie guys could be tough to beat

Coach Nott believes the Mustangs may have the horses to do great things

Milwaukie High School boys track and field coach Chuck Nott says he believes the Mustangs may have the horses to contend for the Class 5A state title this spring.

“I think this will be a very good big-meet team and I think we could could very well challenge for a state championship this year, if we stay healthy...,” Nott said. “I don’t believe Milwaukie has ever had a state champion [in boys track and field before]. But the kids have been working hard and I think they understand they have a chance of being something special.”

Nott says that Sherwood and Wilsonville should be his Mustangs’ toughest competition in the Northwest Oregon Conference, but he also believes his Mustangs have a good chance of unseating the two-time defending district champion Wilsonville Wildcats.

“They’re the only [league] team that’s beaten us in dual meets and district meets since we’ve been in the league,” Nott noted.

Nott says he’s got a host of athletes capable of making the finals at state in multiple events, including the sprints, shot put and discus, all three jumping events, and the sprint relay.

The Mustangs got an indication of things to come in last week’s meet with Gladstone and Banks at Gladstone.

Milwaukie senior Richard Ramsey breezed to first place in the 100- and 200-meter dash, in speedy early-season times of 11.14 and 22.74. His time in the 100 tied Ramsey’s personal record for the event, and his time in the 200 was just off his PR.

The 200 time ranks Ramsey No. 1 in the state for all levels, including 6A; his 100-meter time ranks him No. 1 in 5A.

Competing for Jefferson High School, Ramsey placed sixth at state in the 100 and eighth in the 200 at last year’s Class 5A State Meet.

“Last week was his first week out [for track] after basketball,” Nott said. “So he’s going to get a lot faster. He should be one of the top athletes in the state in both the 100 and 200, and he’ll help us in the relay.”

Nott noted that Ramsey will have competition in the Northwest Oregon Conference, with state 100- and 200-meter finalists Cristian Morris (Sherwood) and Ryan Walsh (Wilsonville) both returning. Morris was state runner-up in both the 100 and 200 in 2012.

Milwaukie throws specialist Jake Leary demonstrated in last week’s meet at Gladstone that he still has his stuff, winning the discus in a 5A state’s best and 21-foot PR of 147-4, and winning the shot put with a heave of 47-10, just two inches shy of his lifetime best in the event.

Leary was a state finalist in the shot put last year, placing in the top eight at state with an effort of 46-8-3/4. Last week’s mark in the discus would have earned Leary fifth place in the discus at the 2012 State Meet.

Leary is the defending NWOC champion in the shot put.

Nott says he has three very capable long and triple jumpers in senior Dominique Meade, junior Dante Meade and senior Kendrick Bourne.

Dante Meade leaped 20-6-1/2 and Bourne leaped 20-4-1/2 to finish one-two in the long jump at Gladstone. It was Bourne’s first time competing in the event.

Dominique Meade proved himself one of the NWOC’s top jumpers and sprinters last year before being sidelined by an injury late in the season. He’s had some issues with injuries again this year, but is expected back after spring break, according to Nott.

Dominique Meade had bests of 21-6 in the long jump, 11.52 in the 100 and 23.68 in the 200 as a junior.

“Dominique looks stronger and faster than ever,” Nott said.

Nott says he has yet another talented sprinter in senior Javonte Hughes, who finished second to Ramsey, with a time of 11.2, at Gladstone.

“He also ran the high hurdles for the first time ever and won that in 17.2,” Nott said of Hughes. “I was very impressed.”

Another first-time hurdler showed potential at Gladstone. Milwaukie junior Robert Akil Jr. won the intermediate hurdles in 45.2.

“Robert’s dad, Robert Akil Sr., was a two-time state champion at Jefferson, and Robert says he’s going to try to match what his dad did,” Nott said.

And the Mustangs have senior Trevontae Anderson in the high jump. He cleared 6-0 in last week’s meet at Gladstone.

And Nott says that his 4x100-meter relay team of Dominique Meade, Hughes, Bourne and Ramsey could prove to be one of the best sprint relay teams in the state.

The Mustangs were dominant at last week’s meet at Gladstone, outscoring Gladstone 87-47, and Banks 79-56.

The wins would have been even more decisive except for a dropped baton in the 4x100 relay.

The Mustangs begin NWOC competition next Wednesday at St. Helens. They host Sherwood on Wednesday, April 10, and they meet Wilsonville in their final meet of the dual season on May 8, at Wilsonville.