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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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Its not just a mans game


Two local women play full-contact football with the Fighting Fillies

by: DAVID BALL - Sidelined by an injury, Portland Fighting Fillies lineman Jayne Johnson of Clackamas is eager to get back on the gridiron.It started as a way of keeping in shape. And now two local women are passionate about women’s full-contact football.

They play for the Portland Fighting Fillies, a Milwaukie-based full-contact football team that competes in the Women’s Football Alliance.

They are 35-year-old Christy McAtee, a technical writer for Xerox who makes her home in Milwaukie; and Jayne Johnson, a 32-year-old woman from Clackamas who is between jobs.

“I’ll keep playing as long as my body can take it,” McAtee said.

“I’m hooked. I’m going to play as long as I can,” echoed Johnson.

This is no powderpuff style football. The young women wear pads, they play by NFL rules, and when they hit, they hit hard.”

“It’s full-contact football,” said Fighting Fillies head coach Asia Wisecarver. “It’s as physical as any other type of football....

“I think people are surprised the first time they come to a game. I talked with someone in the stands after our first game and they said, ‘I didn’t realize you played that hard.’”

“I really like the team atmosphere of it,” Johnson said. “I love the physicality of it. There’s nothing better than going out there after a bad day and tackling someone.”

And Johnson, a lineman, knows what it’s like to hit and get hit. She joined the team this year and she is already sidelined with an injury.

by: DAVID BALL - Portland Fighting Fillies tight end Christy McAtee is double-teamed by Tacoma Trauma defenders in the Fillies 2013 season opener. McAtee, who makes her home in Milwaukie, has played for the Fillies since 2009.“I broke a bone in my foot [in early March], but I put off going to the doctor because I wanted to play,” Johnson said a month later. “Hopefully I’ll be back playing the beginning of May. I miss it — a lot.”

“I do it because I’ve always loved the game,” McAtee said. “In grade school, I’d play with the boys at recess, and me and my dad would toss the ball in the backyard....

“I like the challenge. I like being a part of a team.”

McAtee, who has been with the Fillies since 2009, explained how she got started with the team: “I hadn’t played sports in years and I was looking for something to do to get back in shape. I came across the Fillies on craigslist.

“At the time, I had no idea women’s full-contact football existed, and I jumped on it. I was a little scared at first. But it’s awesome!”

Johnson, explained how she got started: “I used to love playing intramural flag football in high school [in Spokane]. My husband [Jason Johnson] came home with a business card from one of the coaches. I went to their website, and I was hooked.

“On the website it says, ‘Empowering women, one yard at a time.’ I wanted to be a part of an organization that held the idea of strengthening women within themselves as a core value. And I have not been disappointed.”

Johnson, like McAtee, says she had been away from physical activity for a number of years and had been interested in finding something to do to get back in physical condition.

So how do McAtee and Johnson’s family members feel about their playing full-contact football?

“My husband thinks [my playing full-contact football] is the coolest thing....,” Johnson said. “It’s the highest level you can go [in women’s football]....

“My parents think I’m nuts. They think I’m crazy. But they say they are going to come to some of my games.”

“My parents are very supportive, as far as coming to watch me play,” McAtee said. “But they don’t want me to get hurt. Each year, when the season’s over, they ask me, ‘Are you sure you want to play again next year?’”

McAtee says that so far, “knock on wood,” she hasn’t been injured, except for a sprained ankle and “lots of bumps and bruises.”

McAtee, who competed in softball, basketball, track and field and cross country in high school and college, studied computer information systems at Southern Utah University.

Johnson competed in basketball, softball, soccer and gymnastics, and she holds a bachelor of science degree in the behavioral sciences from Canadian University College. She says she is hopeful she can land a job that involves helping people, possibly in law enforcement.

While Johnson, because of her injury, has yet to play in a game, McAtee was a star player for the Fillies last year, when she was honored as a first-team All-American for her play at tight end and linebacker.

“Her nickname is ‘Mac,’ because she’s just like a Mac Truck,” said Wisecarver. “She hits hard.

“She is one of my favorite players to watch — men and women. She’s always where the ball is. She gives great pass protection, and she catches anything within five yards.”

Wisecarver says of Johnson, “She’s a pretty tough girl. She has a great work ethic. She is one of our football players who looks like a football player. She’s big, she looks strong, and she is strong....

“I have total faith in her becoming a great football player one day.”

Playing for the Fillies requires quite a commitment. Beginning in early January, the team practices three days a week. April through the end of June, when they have games, the commitment is four days a week. And with success in postseason, the season can continue to the championship game, in August.

The Fillies’ program also stresses community involvement. They’ve put on youth clinics, done food drives to feed the hungry, and in February of this year they did a polar plunge into the Columbia River to benefit Special Olympics.

“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” McAtee said.

The team also does car washes, garage sales and other fundraisers to help cover expenses.

The young women don’t get paid to play the game they love. To the contrary, they pay $500 a year to play, and players must have their own insurance to be a part of the team.

The team has had its share of success on the playing field. The Fillies went 5-3 on the 2012 season.

McAtee scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rebekah Chee in this year’s WFA season opener, a 42-0 shellacking of the Tacoma Trauma, a game played at Milwaukie High School in early April.

“I don’t think I’ve played any sport that was this team-oriented,” McAtee said. “You really have to work together. Our motto this year is ‘One heart, one beat, one team.’”

The Fillies’ next home game, with the Everett Reign, is scheduled for Milwaukie High School at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. The Fillies host Portland Shockwave at Milwaukie High at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 26.

Upcoming away games are set for May 11 at Tacoma Trauma; May 18 at Utah Blitz in Salt Lake City, Utah; and June 8 at Everett Reign.

Ticket prices are $10 general admission, $8 military/senior (65+), $5 children ages 6-12. Children 5-and-under are free. Tickets may be purchased at the gate, online at www.fightingfillies.com, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

McAtee says that the Fighting Fillies are always looking for new players.

“Our players have very diverse backgrounds,” Wisecarver said. “We’ve got women in social work, in the corporate world, lawyers, stay-at-home moms. A vast variety.”

Coach Wisecarver, when she isn’t coaching football, is a team leader and mentor at Friends of the Children, a nonprofit mentoring organization that serves at-risk youth throughout the Portland Metropolitan area.

Wisecarver encourages women who think they may be interested in joining the Fighting Fillies team to contact her directly at 503-853-1919.

Practices are at Milwaukie High School from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and at 7 p.m. Fridays when there are Saturday games, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, when there is no Saturday game.

For more information about team sponsorships, or questions regarding the team or tickets, email the Fighting Fillies at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-974-4719. Visit the Fillies at www.fightingfillies.com or on Facebook www.facebook.com/fightingfillies.