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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 clinch at least a share of their first TRL title since 1996


Clay Valenzuela-Reece makes three picks to lead the way in a 35-21 win at Clackamas

Clay Valenzuela-Reece earned hero honors for Oregon City Friday night, as a packed house at Clackamas High School watched the Oregon City Pioneers dispatch with the Clackamas Cavaliers 35-21 in an intensely played game between two of the state’s top Class 6A high school football teams.by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City defenders Easton Christiansen (4) and Kiahve Dennis-Lee (20) break up a pass to Clackamas senior tight end Brody Haehlen in last Fridays Three Rivers League game at Clackamas.

Valenzuela-Reece, a 5-9, 159-pound defensive back, intercepted three passes deep in Pioneer territory to turn the tide in Oregon City’s favor.

“That kid’s a baller,” said Oregon City senior quarterback Jon Hall. “He’s stepped up more than anyone as the leader of our defense. Three picks, and he scored a touchdown tonight too. He’s something special.”

The first interception came on Clackamas’ first possession of the game. The Cavaliers were driving, with first-and-goal at the Oregon City 7-yard line, when Valenzuela-Reece dove in front of the intended receiver just inside the goal line to take away what would have been a Cavalier touchdown.

The second pick came with Oregon City leading 21-14 late in the third quarter. The Cavaliers had penetrated to the Oregon City 25, where Clackamas quarterback Doonie Johnson launched a pass into the middle of the end zone. Valenzuela-Reece leaped, came down with the ball and ran it out to the Pioneer 16 before he was brought down.

Nine plays after that pick, Hall scored on a 2-yard run, putting the Pioneers up 28-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers went on a 13-play drive on their next possession, but were stopped on downs at the Oregon City 15.

On Oregon City’s next play from scrimmage, Hall launched a pass to the left sideline near the midfield stripe. Oregon City senior wide receiver Matthew Oades outran the Cavalier defensive secondary, hauled in the pass, and sprinted untouched for an 85-yard touchdown pass play.

Oregon City senior Alex Canchola split the uprights on his fifth on-target PAT kick, making it 35-14 Oregon City. And the game was in hand.

Valenzuela-Reece then sealed the deal, picking off a Cavalier pass at the Oregon City 10-yard line with 8:10 left to play.

The Pioneers then maintained possession on a drive that erased more than five minutes off the clock.

Clackamas got a touchdown back on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Nick Krska inside the final horn to cut the gap to 35-21. But it proved too little, too late.

Valenzuela-Reece said of his three picks: “I was in the right place at the right time. Like my defensive coach DeShawn McKenzie says, ‘Alignment and assignment. Do it, and you’ll be alright.’”

Valenzuela-Reece noted, “Now I have six picks [on the season] — five of them in my last two games. I’m doing a lot better now than I was at the start of the season. I dropped four in a row in our first couple of games, and they were easy picks.”

The Pioneers had other heroes besides Valenzuela-Reece.

Hall executed at quarterback, completing 10-of-15 passes — without an interception — for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

Oades had four catches for 110 yards on the night, including the long touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter that helped put the game out of reach.

Oregon City sophomore running back Conner Mitchell rushed 31 times for 187 yards and two touchdowns — a 17-yard run early in the second quarter for Oregon City’s first touchdown of the game, and a 35-yard run late in the second quarter that put the Pioneers up 21-14 at the intermission. And Mitchell was money late in the game, when the Pioneers rode his legs to wind time off the clock.

Canchola was perfect on his PAT kicks and he gave the Cavaliers a long field with kickoffs deep into Cavalier territory.

Valenzuela-Reece also got it done with his toe, averaging 39 yards on three punts.

And sophomore linebacker Kiahve Dennis-Lee, who was assigned man coverage on Cavalier star running back Dan Sherrell, led a defensive effort that shut down Sherrell, making 12 solo tackles and two assists.

Sherrell, who had averaged 190 yards per game rushing in seven previous games this season, was held to 83 yards and one touchdown, on 22 carries. He had rushed for over 100 yards in 11 consecutive games prior to last Friday.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City sophomore defensive back Trevon Bradford (6) holds Clackamas senior running back Dan Sherrell to a short gain in Fridays game at Clackamas.“We shut down Dan Sherrell, and he’s a great back,” said Oregon City senior lineman Zak Merwin. “I’m so proud of my team.”

Clackamas senior quarterbacks Cade Wilkins and Johnson combined to complete 20-of-44 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown. But they also had the three costly interceptions.

Oregon City finished with a 402- to 399-yard edge in total offense.

The win was huge for the Pioneers (7-1), because it put them at 3-1 and in first place in a heated Three Rivers League title chase with but one league game remaining.

Clackamas (6-2, 2-2), Lake Oswego (3-5, 2-2), Canby (4-4, 2-2) and Lakeridge (6-2, 2-2) were in a four-team logjam for second place after last Friday’s games.

Oregon City coach Bruce Reece told his players following last Friday’s win: “We have one more piece of good news for you. Lake Oswego lost [in tonight’s game with Lakeridge]. So no matter what, you’re going to end up at least tied for the league championship.”

It’s the first time since Oregon City made the state final in 1996 that an Oregon City High School varsity football team has won a league championship.

“Being a part of this means the world to me,” said Hall. “It means more than anything.”

“It’s huge!” said Merwin. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this before in my life. I’m just glad I got to do it my senior year.”

“It’s a great feeling!” said Valenzuela-Reece. “We were picked to finish last in the league, so it’s a huge accomplishment....

“It’s great for our community. We’ve worked hard for this and we’re going to keep working hard and playing hard and go as far as we can, for our community and for our city. I feel so much joy right now....”

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Canchola. “I can’t thank my teammates and coaches enough. We’ve come through so much adversity....”

Clackamas team co-captain Taylor Stinson said, “This is a tough loss for us. After last week [a 42-18 loss to Lake Oswego], we wanted to prove ourselves and show people what we could do. It’s disappointing for us, but Oregon City is a good football team.”

There’s no question. The Three Rivers League has been the toughest Class 6A league in the state this fall.

Clackamas, Oregon City and Lake Oswego were ranked among the top 10 teams in the state in last week’s oregonlive.com sportwriters poll.

Heading into this Friday’s games, the league has five teams ranked in the top 13 in the state in the OSAA Class 6A RPI rankings, which rank teams based on their wins and the difficulty of their schedules — (6) Clackamas, (7) Lakeridge, (9) Oregon City, (11) Canby and (13) Lake Oswego.

Depending upon what happens in this Friday’s games, the TRL could end up with three teams tied for first place. The schedule has Oregon City playing Lake Oswego at Lake Oswego, Clackamas playing Canby at Canby, and Lakeridge playing West Linn (3-5, 1-3) at West Linn.

“It’s going to be a great fight [with Lake Oswego] Friday night, because we don’t want to tie [for the league championship],” said Canchola. “We want the whole thing.”

“It’s going to be our biggest challenge of the year,” said Valenzuela-Reece. “They’re well coached and they always have a great team. We’re going to have to focus harder and practice harder than we have all year if we want to win and get to the top of that mountain.”

Lakeridge upset Lake Oswego 20-14 last Friday, scoring on a touchdown pass with no time remaining. The eight-time defending TRL champion Lakers have played perhaps the toughest schedule in the state this fall, losing to West Linn (7-3) and to four teams currently ranked in the top seven in the OSAA RPI power rankings.