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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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Silent bats and the long ball sink Glads in semis


Robert, McLoughlin blank Gladstone 6-0 in 4A semifinals

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - McLoughlin pitcher Colette RobertGLADSTONE — One of the best softball teams ever to play for Gladstone High School came up a game short of reaching the championship final of the 2013 Class 4A high school softball championships.

The top-ranked Gladiators struggled to hit the ball off of McLoughlin ace Colette Robert, and the result was a 6-0 loss to the visiting Pioneers in a May 28 semifinal at Gladstone. Robert struck out six, walked one and allowed just one hit in a complete game.

It was only the second time this season that the Gladiators had been shut out. Gladstone lost a Tri-Valley Conference league game at Madras 3-0 on April 5. The Gladiators entered last week’s semifinal with the fourth-ranked Pioneers averaging 7.3 runs a game.

Robert was sharp, allowing only three balls to be hit out of the infield. Ashlee Muller’s bloop single to right-center in the bottom of the fourth was Gladstone’s only hit.

“That’s softball,” said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. “Sometimes you just can’t get a hit. It happens.”

Mortier said that Robert painted the outside of the plate with many of her pitches, and his Gladiators failed to adjust.

Mortier added, “These girls have nothing to be ashamed of. They’ve had a great year. Twenty-six wins is the most ever for Gladstone softball.... This is a great group of young ladies — the best group I’ve ever worked with. They worked hard, and they were team-oriented. They built their success around two outstanding pitchers, a luxury most teams don’t have.”

It was a truly amazing season for Gladstone. Besides going 26-4 and setting a school record for most wins in a season, the Gladiators were ranked the top team in the state for most of the season and they advanced to the semifinals for only the third time in school history. No Gladstone team has ever reached a state final.

The old school record for most wins was 24, set by a Gladstone team that went 24-3 and lost to Marist in the semifinals in 2009. Gladstone also lost to Marist in the semifinals in 2008. Marist went on to win the state championship both years.

Last week’s semifinal was also an historic game for McLoughlin. The Pioneers’ only other appearance in a semifinal was in 2006, when they lost to Mazama.

“This means everything,” McLoughlin senior co-captain Cheyenne Kessler said, following last week’s shutout of Gladstone. “We played Banks in the first round last year and lost in 11 innings, and they went on to win state. We came back this year with nine seniors, and we were ready to go.”

Robert and Kessler were offensive heroines for McLoughlin.

The Pioneers struck early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Senior outfielder Kariss Carrillo drew a leadoff walk on five pitches, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Robert then stepped to the plate and hit a long fly ball that was headed for the fence in left-center. Gladstone centerfielder Molly Webster chased the ball down and got a glove on it, but it deflected off of her glove and went over the fence, for a two-run home run, Robert’s second of the 2013 season.

“I didn’t see it go out,” Robert said. “I was just watching my base coach.... When [I learned it went out] I was like, ‘This is fantastic,’ because we do best when we jump on a team early.”

McLoughlin took advantage of a rare Gladstone defensive miscue to put a third run on the scoreboard in the third inning. Robert reached on a base hit and scored with two down, when a Gladiator outfielder missed the cutoff on Megan Reed’s base hit up the middle.

The 3-0 lead stood up until the top of the sixth, when the Pioneers rallied for three hits and three runs to put the game on ice. McLoughlin senior infielder Karli Cortez got things started when she singled to left. Reed beat out an infield single, and Kessler followed with a one-out, three-run home run over the left-field fence, her third round-tripper of the year.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Gladstone pitcher Nena DudleyGladstone starting pitcher Nena Dudley, struck out six, walked one and allowed six hits and five earned runs in 5-1/3 innings of work. Reliever Megan Kirchem (0 strikeouts, 0 walks) faced five batters, allowing one hit, and leaving no runners on base.

Robert, who has played summer ball with Dudley for the past two seasons, says she gave this advice to her teammates about Dudley prior to the semifinal game: “I told them I know she likes to live on the outside [of the plate] and she’s a Division I pitcher. But I also told them I knew we could hit off of her.”

Gladstone had only three baserunners in the game. Sophomore designated player Andra Breshears reached on a sharply hit ball that deflected off McLoughlin’s first baseman’s glove with two down in the second. But the next batter grounded out to Robert to end that inning.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - McLoughlin pitcher Colette Robert teamed up with first baseman Makayla Kelly (with ball) to keep Gladstone junior outfielder Erica Ward close to first base in the third inning of last weeks semifinal. Ward was one of only three Gladstone players to reach base in a 6-0 loss.Gladstone junior outfielder Erica Ward reached on a walk to lead off the third. Ward advanced on a passed ball and a groundout. But Robert sent the next batter down swinging to retire the side.

Gladstone senior catcher Ashlee Muller singled to lead off the fourth frame. But the side was retired on a flyout to center, a groundout to shortstop and a pop up to first.

Kessler said she was not at all surprised with the Pioneers’ success this year.

“This whole group knows what it’s like to win,” she said. “We won state titles in Little League as majors [sixth and seventh grade] and Juniors [eighth and ninth grade] and it’s been our goal to do it as our high school team.”

“I grew up with these seniors,” said Robert. “So it makes me feel really good [to help get them to the championship game]. I’m excited that I could lead them there.”

The Pioneers dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to Banks in Saturday’s state final, and they finished the year with an overall record of 24-7.

Gladstone should be tough in softball again next year, with Muller the only player on this year’s roster loss to graduation.

“We’ll miss Ashlee; but we’ll find a replacement, and I think we’re going to be right back in it next year,” Mortier said. “We’ll start back up lifting weights in November. I think it’s going to be another fun year.”

“I’m really proud of every one of our girls,” Muller said. “We all worked really hard. We had June 1st in mind at every game we played, and we nearly got there. It hurts that we didn’t make it. But now that they’ve gotten so close, they know what it takes [to get to the championship game], and I think they’ll do it next year....

“It just makes me so sad that I won’t get to play with these girls again.”

Muller said she plans to continue playing softball next spring, as a catcher for Mt. Hood Community College.

Players starting for the Gladiators in last week’s semifinal included: Muller; juniors Meghan Winkle (first base), Dudley (pitcher), Julia Schumaker (second base), Kirchem (shortstop) and Ward (right field); sophomores Webster (centerfield), Andra Breshears (designated player) and Melissa Campos (third base); and freshman Kat Kerr (left field).

The Gladiators were a hitting machine most of the 2013 season. They had a .340 team batting average on the season, with five players hitting better than .390.

Leading hitters were: Dudley (.442, 32 runs, 22 RBI), Muller (.422, 34 RBI, 26 runs), Kirchem (.418, 21 RBI), Schumaker (.417, 31 runs, 20 RBI) and Breshears (.391).

Muller was the leader in extra-base hits, with 16 doubles and two home runs. Schumaker hit 10 doubles and three triples; Dudley hit 10 doubles and two triples.

Dudley pitched 95-1/3 innings, with 167 strikeouts, 27 walks and a 0.88 ERA; Kirchem pitched 97-1/3 innings with 127 strikeouts, 17 walks and a 0.43 ERA. Both pitchers finished with 13-2 win-loss records.