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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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Another great season?


Clackamas returns nine lettermen from last years team that went undefeated in the TRL and placed third at state

by: JOHN DENNY - Clackamas senior co-captains (from left) Shelby Torgerson, Taylor Agost and Bailey Bremer believe that Clackamas will be a power in the state, as well as in the Three Rivers League, again this fall. The Cavaliers have won at least a share of the TRL title and they have placed at state in each of the last three seasons.Clackamas High School’s volleyball team has been a Three Rivers League and state powerhouse the past three seasons, and that is unlikely to change this fall.

The Cavaliers were TRL co-champions in 2010 and 2011, and they won the league championship outright and went undefeated in league last year. They placed third at the state tournament last fall and in 2010, and they were fifth in 2011.

“We hope to win league, make the final eight (in the state), and bring home a state championship....,” said Clackamas coach Jim Stultz.

“We’re hoping to go 10-0 in league and also make the state tournament and win state,” echoed Clackamas senior co-captain Shelby Torgerson.

“I think (a state championship) is definitely a possibility,” said senior co-captain Taylor Agost. “I could see the team getting there. We have a lot of talent and we have that potential. If we put in the work and put in the time, it could happen.”

Agost, a 6-2 outside hitter/middle blocker, and junior Lauren O’Brien, a 6-1 outside hitter/middle blocker, return to lead the Cavalier attack. Agost is a third-year starter and she’s made a verbal commitment to play volleyball at the University of Oregon; O’Brien is a third-year starter who is being recruited by three NCAA Division I schools — Utah State, University of Portland and University of San Francisco.

“I think we’ll be really competitive,” said Stultz. “Our freshmen and jayvee teams won league last year and we’ve got two Division I hitters in Taylor and Lauren. Plus we’ve got several other good hitters. It’s going to be a matter of getting them the ball.”

Missed the most from last year is Stultz’ daughter, Hannah Stultz. Hannah, who has been the Cavaliers’ starting setter for the past three seasons, is at D-I Murray State University, where she received a full-ride scholarship to play volleyball.

Attempting to fill Hannah Stultz’ shoes are 5-5 junior setter Marissa Rhodes and 5-8 senior setter/opposite-side hitter Shelby Torgerson.

“Marissa has an incredible work ethic,” said Clackamas senior co-captain Bailey Bremer. “She’s put in the time and she’s improved a lot. And Shelby flies all over the floor to get the ball up. They are not Hannah, but they are working hard to fill that position, and they’ll do just fine.”

Agost and O’Brien are not the only Cavaliers with varsity-level experience from last year. Seven other lettermen return, including: seniors Bremer (5-11 middle blocker/outside hitter), Torgerson (5-8 setter/opposite-side hitter), Emma Chizum (5-10 opposite-side hitter), Tara Deaver-Noblisse (5-7 defensive specialist) and Cassidy Scott (6-0 middle blocker); and juniors Rhodes (5-5 setter) and Caroline Combs (5-10 middle blocker/outside hitter).

Bremer, Chizum, Rhodes and Combs all saw starting action last year. Rhodes moves from defense to play setter.

Rounding out this year’s varsity roster are: seniors Celeste Coryell (5-5 defensive specialist) and Julia Jenkins (5-2 defensive specialist); juniors Ally Atkeson (5-8 outside hitter) and Jensen Perrick (5-6 defensive specialist); and sophomores Emiko Kahler (5-9 opposite-side hitter) and Anjola Oladapo (5-11 middle blocker).

“We’re very different (from last year),” said Torgerson. “Last year we had a lot of natural talent. We still have natural talent, but this year I feel we’re more of a ‘team.’”

“We have really good chemistry,” said Bremer. “Everyone cheers for each other and we all get along.”

“We always encourage each other — a lot,” said Agost. “We’re there for each other on and off the court.

“And we’ve got a passion that we didn’t have last year. You can see it in their eyes. How everyone wants to be here and everyone wants to play.”

Stultz said he expects Lakeridge to be highly competitive in the TRL this year. The Pacers return most of last year’s team, including six players who received TRL all-star honors last fall. Lakeridge seniors Saskia McNairy (middle blocker), Malia Scott (setter) and Madison Marshall (middle blocker) were first-team all-league selections in 2012.

Lake Oswego returns talent in the front line, with first-team all-league outside hitters Taylor Beckman and Heather Pippus back in their lineup.

Agost was a first-team all-league and a second-team all-state selection last season. Bremer and O’Brien received honorable mention in the 2012 league all-star balloting.

Stultz said that Jesuit and Central Catholic should figure in the hunt for the Class 6A state title this year, along with his Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers will get an idea of where they stand early on. They were to meet Central Catholic in their Sept. 3 season-opener. They vie in a tournament at Central Catholic this Saturday, and they play Jesuit on the road next Tuesday.

“We have a lot of talent,” said Agost. “The key will be every girl on the team giving 100 percent every day. If everyone works hard and gives their all, we could have an amazing season.”