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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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Monkeys off their back


OC gridders beat LO, finish atop the TRL for the first time in 17 seasons

by: VERN UYETAKE - Oregon City sophomore running back Conner Mitchell (7) eludes tacklers in last Fridays 21-17 win at Lake Oswego. With the win, the Pioneers finished all alone, in first place, in a highly competitive Three River League.The Oregon City Pioneers last Friday continued on track for one of the best football seasons in school history, winning a 21-17 nailbiter at Lake Oswego.

The win gained the Pioneers (8-1, 4-1) the league title in one of the most competitive Class 6A football leagues in the state, their first league title since 1996, when Oregon City lost to Roseburg in the big-school state final.

It was the Pioneers’ first win over Lake Oswego since 1998. For the Lakers (3-6, 2-3), the loss ended a Three Rivers League league title win string at eight.

“It’s like walking on air,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Alex Canchola. “That Oregon City has not accomplished this in such a long time is unbelievable. Now people are going to be talking about the 2013 team instead of the 1996 team.... It’s a great feeling!”

“It’s a great feeling!” echoed Oregon City co-captain Clay Valenzuela-Reece. “It’s overwhelming. I still don’t believe it. It’s unreal. I knew we could do it, but now that we’ve actually done it and it’s soaking in, it feels pretty amazing!”

The TRL this season is without question the toughest Class 6A league in the state. Heading into postseason, Clackamas, Lakeridge, Oregon City, Canby and Lake Oswego are ranked sixth, ninth, tenth, twelfth and seventeenth respectively in the OSAA RPI rankings. Forty-two teams played football at the Class 6A level this fall.

Clackamas (7-2, 3-2) and Lakeridge (7-2, 3-2) ended up tied for second place in the TRL. The Cavaliers last Friday won 42-41 in overtime at Canby, while the Pacers won 28-20 at West Linn. Had Lake Oswego and Canby won on Friday, four teams would have tied for first place in the TRL, with 3-2 records.

Last week’s game at Lake Oswego was not decided until the closing seconds, and things looked grim for the Pioneers early on.

“I think we were [a little intimidated],” said Canchola. “We were pretty low [heading into the locker room at halftime]. Fortunately our coaches were able to get us pumped up. They ripped us pretty good and put a fire in our bellies....

“[In the second half] we came out more intense. Our team came together and started playing for one another.... We made that defensive stop and scored that touchdown [at the start of the second half], and we knew then that we could beat them.”

Oregon City trailed 14-0 at halftime and, when sophomore return specialist Trevon Bradford returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown with just 2:12 left to play, it put the Pioneers up 20-17, giving them their first lead of the game.

Bradford also starred on defense down the stretch, intercepting a Laker pass at the Oregon City 10-yard line inside the final minute of play to seal the win.

“Trevon’s a great athlete,” said Valenzuela-Reece. “He’s very talented. He’s going to be one of the best players in the state by the time he finishes high school, and he’s going to be a great college player. He knows the game and he plays hard.”

Oregon City began the turnaround early in the second half. The Lakers punted on their first possession of the third quarter and the punt took an Oregon City bounce, giving the Pioneers possession at the Lake Oswego 40.

Sophomore running back Conner Mitchell broke loose for a 39-yard run on Oregon City’s first play from scrimmage of the second half. And on the next play, Mitchell dashed one yard to the end zone to make it a 14-7 game.

The Pioneers then stopped a Lake Oswego sustained drive when Valenzuela-Reece pounced on a Laker fumble at the Oregon City 16.

Fourteen plays later, Mitchell scored on another one-yard run. Alex Canchola split the uprights with his second on-target PAT kick, and the game was a 14-14 standoff, with 33 seconds remaining in the third period.

Oregon City senior linebacker Austin Bjorkman claimed a Lake Oswego fumble at the Oregon City 25 early in the fourth quarter to halt another Laker drive.

The Lakers went on the march again later in the fourth quarter, but quarterback sacks by defensive linemen Zak Merwin and Josh Miller forced the Lakers to settle for Ethan Agritelley’s 34-yard field goal, and a 17-14 lead.

Bradford then returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to the end zone and made his pivotal late-game interception. And the Pioneers ran out the clock and celebrated the 21-17 victory, and their first league title in 17 years.

Lake Oswego scored twice in the second quarter: at the end of a 12-play, 74-yard drive, on an 11-yard pass from sophomore Mitchell Verburg to senior running back Craig Hodges; and at the end of a seven-play, 60-yard drive, on a 9-yard run by Hodges.

Lake Oswego junior defensive back John Olsen intercepted a pass in the end zone to halt an Oregon City scoring threat on the Pioneers’ first possession of the game.

The Pioneers’ only other scoring threat of the first half ended when Alex Canchola missed a 35-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

Lake Oswego ended up with a 335- to 310-yard edge in total offense.

Oregon City quarterback Jon Hall completed 16-of-24 passes for 191 yards, with two interceptions. Mitchell rushed 24 times for 112 yards.

Oregon City senior Matthew Oades hauled in seven passes for 108 yards.

For Lake Oswego, Verburg connected on 17-of-28 passes for 225 yards, with one interception. Hodges rushed 17 times for 71 yards; Jordan Horak had six receptions for 79 yards.

Oregon City now advances to a first round state playoff game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. The Pioneers will host the game on Friday, Nov. 8.

“I’ve been around these kids for nine years and getting to watch them grow and offer some guidance now as their coach has been a real treat for me,” said Oregon City coach Bruce Reece.

Reece added, “As far as potential, this year it’s untapped. We haven’t played up to our potential yet, and the kids know that. You watch game film, and there are a lot of things they can do better....

“Down the road, over the next few years, there’s the possibility of doing great things. We’re 8-1 at all three levels [varsity, jayvee and freshmen] this year. That speaks well for our coaches and our program.”