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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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Playing for a lot more than the w


Oregon City lacrosse players have dedicated their season to Cassie Powell

by: RAFAEL GONZALEZ -      Cassie Powell and senior co-captain Danielle Kirby (26) do stick high fives with Oregon City High School lacrosse players prior to last Fridays game with Lakeridge. The Pioneers have dedicated their season to the Oregon City 8-year-old, who is battling neuroblastoma, a rare type of brain cancer. Cassie was guest of honor at the Lakeridge game and she announced goals in a 19-8 Oregon City victory.As the state high school girls lacrosse playoffs grow ever nearer, the Oregon City Pioneers are darkhorses in the race for the 2013 state title. But anyone who thinks they can count the Pioneers out had better think again.

The Pioneers have an added motivation to play hard this season. They have dedicated their season to Cassie Powell, an 8-year-old Oregon City girl who is battling neuroblastoma, a rare type of brain cancer.

“It’s given our team more of a purpose,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Danielle Kirby. “Usually our goal is a state championship. This year it’s different. Our goal this year is to help Cassie. To do what we can to help make her life better....

“It’s given us a new perspective on what’s really important in life. I love playing sports and I’m really competitive, but it’s made me realize there are things in life that are a lot more important than playing high school sports or winning in lacrosse....

“We found out about Cassie and dedicated our season to her about a week-and-a-half into the season, and I noticed a difference right away. Our next practice was a lot more intense and we’ve become closer as a team.”

Oregon City players show up for games with gold ribbons in their hair, inscribed with the letters PFC, “Play for Cassie.”

Kirby and her teammates met Cassie for the first time on April 25. She came to their practice. They presented her with a team poster autographed by the players and loaded with inspirational messages for her recovery, and they taught her how to throw and catch a lacrosse ball.

And last Friday, a day after chemotherapy, Cassie was the guest of honor at Oregon City’s Three Rivers League game with Lakeridge. Cassie tapped sticks with Oregon City players for good luck prior to the game, she got to announce the Pioneers’ 19 goals in a 19-8 Oregon City victory over the seventh-ranked Pacers; and $1,600 was raised to help pay for Cassie’s medical expenses.

“It’s a huge deal,” Kirby said. “To see the smile on her face, instead of the look of an 8-year-old with cancer, affected me hugely....”

“Hearing Cassie and her friends announce goals was definitely my highlight of the night,” said Oregon City coach Dara Kramer.

Kramer said people can donate to help Cassie’s family out financially through the internet at cassiesangels.com, or by calling 800-769-9152.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the Pioneers, who play in the toughest league in the state. League teams West Linn (10-1, 7-1) and Lake Oswego (8-2, 7-2) have greater experience and are ranked first and second in the state. Wilsonville (16-1, 11-0), which competes in the Northwest Oregon Conference, is ranked third. Oregon City (11-3-0, 6-2-0) is ranked fourth in the state.

The Pioneers upset Lake Oswego 10-8 in an April 11 game in Oregon City, but they lost to the Lakers 16-4 on April 29. They gave Wilsonville a run for its money on March 21, dropping a 12-11 barnburner. They lost to West Linn 11-6 on April 22 and they meet the Lions again this Thursday, at West Linn, in their final game of the regular season.

Kramer said the Pioneers had a sub-par game in the April 29 loss to Lake Oswego because the team had several players out or weakened by norovirus.

The Pioneers were at the top of their game in last Friday’s rout of Lakeridge.

“The team played very well together,” Kramer said. “They played a smart passing game, hustled for everything, and they gave Cassie 19 opportunities to say ‘Goal! Oregon City!’”

Seven different Oregon City players found the net, led by Kirby (4 goals, 4 assists), McKenzie Rollins (4 goals, 2 assists), April Lanz (4 goals) and Cassie Downing (3 goals). Kennedy Kullmann scored twice and Lindsi Peters and Britney Smith added single tallies.

Oregon City keeper Annaliese Hernandez made saves on 11 of 18 shots on-frame.

Coach Kramer commented: “Cassie Downing had a strong game on both ends of the field. Her draw controls and transition speed were outstanding.

“Senior captains April Lanz and Danielle Kirby continued the great assist/goal connections that they were having in the Clackamas game.

“Senior captain Emily Krupa helped the team control 70 percent of the draws, a major improvement over the 26 percent of draws we controlled in our first match-up with Lakeridge.”

The Pioneers have locked up a berth in the state playoffs, as have Lake Oswego and West Linn.

Oregon City will begin the playoffs on Wednesday, May 15, hosting a yet-to-be-determined opponent. With a win in that game, the Pioneers would host a quarterfinal game on May 17. A quarterfinal win would likely advance them to a May 21 semifinal game at Lake Oswego or West Linn.

Kramer said of this Thursday’s game with West Linn: “They had a great win over Lake Oswego recently, and they’re an incredibly deep team. You can’t just choose two girls to shut down and leave it at that. Our defense has to be completely in sync to stop their talented offense.

“Our first meeting with them was 11-6, and five goals in lacrosse is like one goal in soccer. It means they’re within our reach. But it’s going to take a great game from us to get a win.

“We need to move the ball better in transition than we did in our last match-up; we need to win more draws; and we need to win the 50/50 ground balls. Possession is so key when two strong teams are playing one another.”