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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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Four MTC athletes bag state titles


The local track club advances 13 to the Junior Olympic regionals

SANDY — Four Mustang Track Club athletes proved themselves the best in the state for their age divisions, winning individual titles at the 2013 USA Track and Field Junior Olympic State Championships, held at Sandy High School June 20-23.by: JOHN DENNY - Mustang Track Club athletes display their medals and ribbons from the 2013 state club and state Junior Olympic championship meets. Pictured are: (first row, from left) Isabella Vaughn, Tieara Norman, Deshanae Norman and Natalia Chianello; (second row) Cross Chianello, Shane Halladin, Kaylie Burdette, Ben Scheible, Wesley McGuire and Charles Dayton; and (back) Natasha Rodriquez, Shyla Theel, Karla Herrera, Hana Herschberger, Layne McArthur and Lola McArthur.

Fifteen-year-old Tieara Norman of Gladstone, eleven-year-old Arthur Katahdin of Milwaukie, 10-year-old Isabella Vaughn of Clackamas and 8-year-old Logan Law of Milwaukie all won titles.

Norman headed the field in the 15-16 girls 100-meter high hurdles (15.90), placed second in the 400-meter low hurdles (1:09.08) and earned third place in the long jump with an effort of 16-10. She crossed the finish line half a second in front of the runner-up in the high hurdles.

Katahdin ran all alone and won a title in the 11-12 boys 1,500-meter race walk, placed second in the 80-meter high hurdles (14.51), scored 1,396 points and placed fourth in the pentathlon, and he teamed up with Cross Chianello, Ben Harvey and Wesley McGuire to earn second place in the 11-12 boys 4x400-meter relay (5:02.36).

Vaughn cleared 3-7-1/4 for first place in the 9-10 girls high jump and she earned second place in the triathlon. Law won first place in the 7-8 boys 1,500 (5:58.56) and placed second in the 400 (1:21.45). He won the 1,500 by 14 seconds.

Tieara’ Norman’s performance in the high hurdles was especially impressive, because many of the athletes she competed against were a year older.

Norman, who has personal bests of 15.50 in the high hurdles and 17-8 in the long jump, has ambitious goals. She says she’ll be shooting for the low 15’s at the upcoming Junior Olympic Regionals, and she has visions of someday competing in the Olympics.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - State JO champion Tieara Norman“I’d like to go to Louisiana State and follow in the footsteps of Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones,” Norman says.

Last school year, as a freshman at Gladstone High School, Norman competed at state in three events and helped Gladstone’s girls team win the Class 4A state team title.

She says of her other goals in high school, “To keep straight A’s, make good choices, have fun and not be too stressed out.... I have never had a B; try to make varsity in soccer; and in track, keep trying to do what I do and getting PR’s.”

Vaughn, who first turned out for track a year ago, said of her first state title: “It’s exciting! It feels like last year was just practice and this year it’s for real.”

Vaughn, who will be a fifth grader at Spring Mountain Elementary in the fall, says she has a goal to “get at least second” at the upcoming regional competition.

by: JOHN DENNY - Mustang Track Club coach Fred Crowe gives some advice to Isabella Vaughn during a recent practice, as Vaughn eyes the bar at 4-1. The Clackamas 10-year-old has cleared 4-0-1/4 this spring and she won first place in the high jump in her age division at the recent Junior Olympics State Championship Meet.“I think she has a good chance,” said Isabella’s mother, Elizabeth. “She’s jumped 4-0-1/4 and so far there hasn’t been anyone that she’s gone against that has gone higher than 3-9.... And Isabella does better when she has competition.”

Isabella has improved her personal best by six inches this season.

Tieara Norman, Arthur Katahdin, Isabella Vaughn and Logan Law will travel to Seattle this coming weekend to compete in the Northwest Regional Championships. But they won’t be the only MTC athletes competing. Nine other MTC athletes qualified through top-eight placings at state.

Among the qualifiers is 9-year-old Deshanae Norman, who like her sister Tieara, has turned more than a few heads with her performances this spring and summer.

Competing in a division that includes 10-year-olds, Deshanae placed second at state in the 400 (1:10.14) and third in the long jump (12-5-1/2). Her mark in the long jump was just three inches shy of the winning mark; she won her heat in the 9-10 400-meter dash, but because there was no final, she did not get to go head-to-head with the winner, who ran the race half a second faster.

Deshanae placed second in the 400 meters at last year’s regionals and she says she has a better time this spring than the girl who beat her in 2012.

She says of her goal in the 400 at the upcoming regionals, “To win it and to run 1:07 or 1:08, because my dad said I get 20 bucks if I run 1:07 or 1:08.”

Deshanae had some misfortune at this year’s state meet. She landed on her hand while competing in the long jump and her spikes ripped a long cash that required a trip to the emergency room and stitches. But she insists she’ll be ready for regionals.

Among other MTC athletes qualifying for the regional Junior Olympic meet were: Natalia Chianello, Beavercreek, fourth in the 7-8 girls 400 (1:20.36) and sixth in the 200 (36.74); Kaylie Burdette, Colton, fourth in the 7-8 girls 800 (3:22.29) and sixth in the 400 (1:30.67); Courtney Pardee, Gladstone, fourth in the 17-18 girls javelin (115-11-1/3); Charles Dayton, Colton, fourth in the 9-10 boys javelin (62-1-2/3); Ben Scheible, Milwaukie, fourth in the 11-12 boys high jump (4-1-1/4), fourth in the pentathlon and eighth in the long jump (12-10-1/3); Shane Halladin, Milwaukie, seventh in the 11-12 boys high jump (3-11-1/4); Wesley McGuire, Oregon City, sixth in the 11-12 boys long jump (13-7); and Griffin Johnson, fifth in the 17-18 boys pole vault (10-0).