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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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Falcons eye wins and a higher RPI


A 1-0 loss to North Marion appears to take La Salle out of the running for the TVL title

It looks like the La Salle Falcons will have to settle for second place in Tri-Valley Conference baseball.

First place appeared out of reach after a 1-0 loss to North Marion in a game played at La Salle last Thursday. The win put the league-leading Huskies at 11-1 in conference (15-7 overall) with but three league games remaining.

La Salle, at 9-3 (17-6 overall), was in second place in the standings, three games up on third-place Gladstone (6-6 league; 10-11 overall).

“We have to play for RPI now, and win as many games as we can for RPI,” said La Salle coach Mike Reed. “We want the highest RPI we can get, so we won’t have to go on the road [in the state playoffs], where we have to make an eight-hour trip to someplace like Ontario.”

The Falcons were to finish up their league slate this week, playing at Molalla (6-16, 3-9) on Monday (May 6), at Gladstone this afternoon, and hosting Estacada (6-13, 2-10) on Friday.

The pitching of North Marion junior all-league right-hander Brock Breshears, North Marion defense, and one bad inning by La Salle pitcher Trey Norton proved the difference in last week’s loss to the Huskies.

Breshears (8 hits allowed, 2 walks, one hit batter), who is 9-0 on the season, didn’t strike out anybody. But he had great control— throwing only 80 pitches. And the Falcons had problems getting on top of his curve ball.

“We couldn’t hit his curve with guys in scoring position, and they played great defense behind him,” Reed said. “We had 12 fly-ball outs and we left 12 on base. We had baserunners in every inning but the sixth....

“Trey pitched well, except for one inning.... He had that one bad inning, and you can’t have a bad inning against a team like North Marion, or it will cost you.”

North Marion scored the game’s only run with two down in the top of the third. The Huskies loaded the bases in the third with a hit batter, a base hit by Breshears and an intentional walk to Kyle Williamson. Tristan Wampole then stepped to the plate and a drew a two-out, full-count walk, forcing in the winning run.

Norton pitched a complete game, striking out four, walking two, and hitting the one batter.

Both teams played error-free defense behind their pitchers.

“We need to win our three remaining league games to get our RPI up,” Reed said. “But I’m confident these kids can do that. These seniors have been playing together since they were freshmen. They know what’s on the line and I know they’ll get it done....

“We’ve had a pretty amazing year so far — 9-3 in league and 17-6 overall. We’ve lost six games this year by seven runs total. That’s kind of unbelievable.”

Reed noted that his Falcons are 10-2 at home, with both losses coming at the hands of Breshears and his North Marion teammates.

In other games last week, the Falcons defeated Estacada 3-1 and they escaped Madras with a 15-7 extra-inning victory.

Leading 7-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Falcons appeared to have the Madras game in hand.

But there was no quit in the White Buffaloes, who scored a quick run with one down in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back singles and a run-scoring double. With two down, Madras brought two more runs across, when a Falcon outfielder dropped a routine fly ball.

Reed had a few words with his players before their at bat in the top of the eighth, and they responded, scoring eight runs on four walks and five hits.

All eight runs were scored with two down. Norton brought the game-winner across with a two-run single. Sam Eichhorn ripped a two-run double; Dane Maben hit a run-scoring single; Austin Vaughn singled; and Alex Tetherow rounded out the scoring with a bases loaded triple.

“The kids came back from adversity,” said Reed. “The same kids that screwed up in the seventh, came back and won it for us in the top of the eighth.”

Led by Grant Studdard (4-for-4, triple, double, 3 RBI, 2 runs), the Falcons stung the ball for 20 hits in the extra-inning win.

Sean Hays pitched the first six innings, striking out nine, while giving up nine hits and three walks, and hitting three batters. Vaughn and Norton finished up in relief.

The Falcons staged a three-run rally in the top of the sixth to pull out last week’s 3-1 win at Estacada.

Tetherow (2-for-2, double) walked, stole second, and scored on a two-bagger by Cam Young. Vaughn sacrificed Young to third, and Young scored on a squeeze-bunt single by Studdard. Studdard stole around to third and scored when Eichhorn reached on a dropped fly ball.

Estacada scored its only run in the bottom of the sixth on a base hit, two wild pitches and a passed ball.

Mike Duarte pitched the first 6-2/3 innings, striking out five, walking one, and scattering six hits. Norton retired the game’s final batter with two on in the seventh on a called third strike.