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

Cavs clinch the TRL title


But Forest Grove ends Clackamas win string at 16

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City third baseman Morgan Bookout prepares to put the tag on Clackamas Melissa Noble in last Fridays game at Clackamas. The Cavaliers won 4-3 in extra innings and upped their league record to 12-0 with the victory.It wasn’t a great week. But it was a good week for Clackamas High School’s softball team last week.

The Cavaliers faced disappointment on April 30, when they had a 16-game win string come to an end with a 12-11 extra-inning loss to Forest Grove. The game was the completion of an earlier game that was suspended after 4-1/2 innings because of the Hood View Softball Complex time limit.

The Cavaliers also played three league games last week and they won all three, improving their league record to 12-0 (18-4 overall) and locking up first place in the Three Rivers League.

West Linn (12-9, 8-4) was second in the league — four games back — heading into this the final week of the TRL season.

Clackamas was scheduled to wrap up the regular season hosting Lakeridge (10-12, 4-8) on Monday (May 6), playing at West Linn this afternoon, and playing at Canby (12-10, 5-7) on Thursday.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” said Clackamas coach Dave Just. “They’ve run the table in league, and that’s not easy to do. It was a total team effort, and I’m really proud of them.”

Just said he didn’t think the end to the win string would have a negative impact on the way his charges perform through the remainder of the season.

“I think they’ll be fine,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that happen. Of course, you’d like to see it continue. But life goes on. And I liked the way they bounced back after the loss [with wins over Lake Oswego and Oregon City].

“In the Oregon City game, we were down 3-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and they came back. We haven’t had a lot of games like that where we’ve had to come from behind, but they stayed patient. And they got it done.”

Friday’s game with the Pioneers was a barnburner. The Cavaliers got off to a slow start, spotting their guests three runs in the top of the first.

Kaitlynn Donaca and Bri Spencer started off the game with base hits, advanced to second and third on a wild pitch; and Stefanie Snow plated Donaca with a sacrifice fly. Morgan Bookout followed with a two-run home run, making it 3-0 Oregon City with the game barely underway.

Clackamas got a run back in the bottom of the first. Melissa Noble rapped a two-out single and advanced to third on a base hit by Vanessa Oakden. Noble scored on a successful first-and-third steal.

The two teams then went scoreless until Clackamas’ two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Ashley Filler started things out with a one-out single. With two down, Noble and Oakden hit back-to-back singles to bring one run across. Mariah Scholes drew a walk, McKenzie Giancola connected for a base hit, and it was all tied up at 3-3.

The Pioneers got two baserunners on in the top of the eighth, but couldn’t move them around.

Cassie Haehlen led off the bottom of the eighth with a base hit, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Sydney Opoka, moved to third when Filler beat out a ground ball for an infield single, and scored the game-winner when Madison Vrabel hit an 0-0 pitch over the head of Oregon City’s shortstop.

Oakden (3-for-4) led the Cavaliers at the plate as they reached Oregon City pitcher Devin Halley for 12 hits. Halley recorded four strikeouts and issued eight free passes.

Vrabel pitched a complete game for Clackamas, striking out four, walking one and giving up eight hits, keeping them scattered after struggling in the first inning.

Bookout (3-for-4, home run, double) led Oregon City at the plate.

In other games played last week, the Cavaliers rode an early lead to a 5-2 win over Canby, and they scored big in the later innings en route to an 18-4 six-inning blowout of Lake Oswego.

The Cavaliers strung four hits together in a four-run first inning in the win over Canby. Filler (2-for-4) singled, Giancola reached on a fielder’s choice, and Filler scored on a base hit by Noble. Oakden walked and Giancola scored on a base hit by Scholes. A third run was forced in when Vrabel got hit by a pitch. And Allie Anderegg singled to bring around a fourth run.

Amanda Zehr and Vrabel shared pitching duties, combining to strike out four and walk one, while yielding five hits and one earned run.

The Cavaliers unleashed their bats for 15 hits in last week’s rout of Lake Oswego. Eight different Clackamas players got hits and nine scored runs.

Coach Just showcased his seniors in the game, starting Jessica Engle at second base, Rachel Atchison in right field, Opoka in centerfield, Scholes at designated hitter, Oakden at third, Noble at first, and Anderegg at shortstop.

Heading up the Cavalier offensive onslaught were: Scholes (3-for-4, two-run triple, 2 runs), Oakden (2-for-4, double, 4 RBI), Zehr (2-for-4, three-run triple, 2 runs), Engle (2-for-4, 2 runs), Filler (2-for-4, double, 2 runs) and Noble (2-for-5, double, 4 runs).

Vrabel (5 strikeouts, one walk, 3 hits, 2 earned runs) pitched a complete game.

As TRL champions, the Cavaliers will host a first-round state playoff game on Monday, May 20.

This is the second consecutive league championship for the Cavaliers, who lost at 2012 state champion North Medford 5-4 in extra innings in last year’s semifinals.

Heading into play this week, the Cavaliers sported a .331 team batting average. Leading hitters were: Scholes (.473), Filler (.453, 27 runs scored), Giancola (.397, 26 RBI, 13 extra-base hits), Oakden (.397), Noble (.375) and Vrabel (.333).