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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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Pioneers could be tough to beat


Oregon City has had success both rushing and passing, and the Pioneer defense is much improved over a year ago

by: PHOTO BY JOHN LARIVIERE - OREGON CITY COACH BRUCE REECEThey’ve had some adversity, with the loss of their head coach early in the season. But it appears that Oregon City is headed to a very successful season of football.

The Pioneers are off to their best start since 2001, going 3-0, with convincing wins over Gresham (40-14), Crater (42-20) and David Douglas (35-0) to begin the season.

Defense appears to be where the Pioneers have made the biggest improvement over last season. A year ago they allowed opponents an average of 36 points a game. So far this season they’ve outscored their opponents by an average score of 39-11.

An improved defense was somewhat expected, since the Pioneers return eight defensive starters from last season’s team that finished with a .500 record — seniors Austin Bjorkman (6-0, 195) and Matt Oades (6-2, 205) at linebacker; seniors Tony Corvi (6-0, 250), Andrew Etzel (6-0, 235), Zak Merwin (6-3, 225), Josh Miller (6-3, 280) and D.J. Vandervort (5-10,220) in the defensive line; and sophomore Trevon Bradford (5-10, 170) at defensive back.

Miller is also a third-year starter in the offensive line, where he earned first-team all-league honors last fall, along with Bjorkman (linebacker), Bradford (cornerback), and Corvi (6-0, 250, tight end).

Oades also returns at wide receiver, where he was a second-team all-league selection.

The Pioneers return a veteran center in 6-1, 270-pound senior Keith Arnold, who received honorable mention league all-star honors a year ago.

Senior Jon Hall (6-0, 205) returns at quarterback, where he has shown vast improvement, and senior Nick Martin (5-7, 145) returns at wide receiver. Hall completed 10-of-14 passes for 242 yards and five touchdowns in last Friday’s 35-0 rout of David Douglas.

And the Pioneers have found a replacement for second-team all-state running back Mitch Thompson, who graduated, after rushing for close to 2,200 yards and 24 touchdowns in 10 games.

The replacement, 5-9, 180-pound sophomore Conner Mitchell, has been truly impressive in the Pioneers’ first three games, rushing for 634 yards. Mitchell carried 40 times for 311 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-20 win over Crater; he rushed 27 times for 164 yards and a touchdown in the Pioneers’ season opener with Gresham; and last Friday Mitchell netter 159 yards in 18 trips with the pigskin.

Oregon City coach Bruce Reece has said of Mitchell, “He’s an outstanding football player, without a doubt, Our challenge will be to keep him healthy, because he goes both ways and were not super deep at any position....”

Hall connected with 6-2, 200-pound junior wide receiver Hunter Knighton seven times for 147 yards and three touchdowns last Friday. In three games, Bradford has hauled in seven passes for 250 yards and five touchdowns; Oades has seven catches for 50 yards.

Reece commented: “Jon Hall threw the ball very well (against David Douglas) and our receivers did a nice job getting open.

“The defense was outstanding. Our team play and ability to swarm to the ball was incredible.

“We are very excited to be 3-0 and are ready for league play to begin on Friday.”

The Pioneers have a new kicker who has been money this season in senior Alex Canchola. Besides making all but one of his extra point attempts, Canchola has split the uprights on five of seven field goal attempts.

Hall says much of the Pioneers’ success this season is due to the offensive line.

“I think we have the best offensive line around,” he said. “Those guys are 100 percent reliable. Without them, we’re nothing.”

Oregon City senior co-captain Clay Valenzuela-Reece said, “We’ve had our adversity this season, with the loss of our head coach. But our new head coach [Bruce Reece] is an experienced coach.... Our seniors have stepped up as leaders to help run the team, and I think we’ll do just fine....”

But Valenzuela-Reece cautioned, “The Three Rivers League is a very tough league. Everybody’s got talent.... I think the league title is up for grabs.”

The Pioneers will likely be tested this Friday, when they entertain Lakeridge in their league opener. The Pacers (3-0) have been impressive as they’ve rallied around junior quarterback Eric Dungey in wins over Reynolds (35-18), Centennial (58-21) and North Salem (48-7). Dungey rushed for two touchdowns and completed 16-of-20 passes for 252 yards and four more touchdowns in last Friday’s rout of North Salem.