Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Putnam stuns No. 1


The Kingsmen up their stock in Class 5A girls soccer

Last week was a huge week for Putnam’s unheralded girls soccer team.

The upstart Kingsmen upped their stock in the Northwest Oregon Conference and in the OSAA RPI rankings, knocking off Wilsonville at Wilsonville, 1-0; and shutting down cross-town rival Milwaukie, 3-0.

The pair of wins left the Kingsmen (4-4-4, 4-1-1) tied with Sherwood (9-2-2, 4-1-1), in second place in the NWOC standings, with only an Oct. 29 conference game with Liberty (5-8-0, 3-3-0) remaining.

It was the first loss of the league season for the NWOC-leading Wildcats (9-3-1, 5-1-0), who were the top-ranked Class 5A team in the state heading into the game with the Kingsmen.

It was the first time the Cats had been shut out by a Class 5A team this year. Their only other losses were at the hands of Class 6A teams West Linn (1-0) and Tigard (2-0). Tigard (11-0-2) is the top-ranked team in 6A.

The upset of Wilsonville moved Putnam up from 16th to ninth in the OSAA Class 5A girls soccer rankings.

“It was a great night for some football,” said Putnam coach Alex Ponce. “The girls really stepped to the challenge, and it showed.”

Heroine honors went to freshman midfielder Abigail Herbert and senior goalie Bella Geist. Herbert scored the game’s lone goal in the 50th minute, while Geist made no fewer than 12 saves.

“Abigail had a great all around game,” Ponce said. “We’ve been working with her to get her into dangerous areas, where she can take more shots. She has a great strike on the ball and already possesses fantastic technical ability. When you put all three of those qualities together in one play, magical things can happen. We are very happy for her. She got her first varsity goal in her biggest match of her young career.”

Ponce described Herbert’s game-winner: “Maleah Maier had the ball on the left wing. She saw Abigail darting in behind the back line, so she played a 40-yard diagonal pass over the top. In two touches, Abigail controlled the ball, cutting inside the penalty-box and beating Wilsonville’s outside left back with one touch. She found herself 10 yards out from goal and placed her shot low left, leaving the keeper standing with her second touch.

“It was a professionally taken goal by Abigail, with great vision by Maleah.”

Ponce said of Geist’s play: “Half of their shots were taken from a deeper range, which Bella had no problem collecting. But she had three key saves, coming off her line to parry away three very dangerous crosses....

“One big save came midway through the second half, when a low close-range shot went through Bella’s legs. She reached through her legs backwards to snatch it. We on the bench thought it was in for a goal, but her hands reacted so quickly to snatch the ball, it was actually shocking to witness. That was Wilsonville’s only shot from close range....

“A few minutes later Bella misjudged a corner kick as it was curling to go in the goal. Bella dove backwards into her goal, swatting the ball before it crossed the goal line. One of our defenders came in and cleaned it up with a clearance....

“Bella is the reigning conference ‘player of the year’ and she exemplified exactly why that is the case on such a big stage, playing the top-ranked team in their own backyard. She’s a college-level player, playing in high school, so she has all the qualities to keep us in matches. She was simply incredible to watch.”

Ponce also had praise for sophomore Lauren Gilbert and freshman Megan Spaulding for their play in the upset of the Wildcats.

“Their anticipation of the ball coming down their sides is improving their positioning,” Ponce said. “At times during the game they made their jobs look easy. Their distributing is getting better and better, helping us keep the ball and get out of our half....”

Spaulding, Herbert and freshman Karla Herrera scored in the shutout of Milwaukie.

“Karla had a solid all-around match,” Ponce said. “She got her first varsity start and she was very active on both sides of the ball from the get-go. She really likes pressuring and winning the ball with her great energy. She never stops working. As a result, she earned herself a goal, moving off the ball and staying with the play. She grows with confidence each match....

“Lindsey Shaw made her regular-season debut, coming off a concussion injury. She was able to put in a good short shift at right back. She’d been working hard on her touch and fitness all week, so we were happy to see her with her friends on the pitch again....

“The back-line and Bella did their defensive duties well and earned another clean sheet.”

It was the seventh shutout of the season and the third shutout in a row for Geist and the Kingsmen.

Putnam boys kick Mustangs

Last week was an up-and-down week for Putnam boys.

The Kingsmen met their match in then fourth-ranked Wilsonville on Oct. 22, losing 6-2. But they regrouped and bounced back on Thursday with a 2-0 win at Milwaukie.

“Wilsonville is senior dominated and they are as good as any team we’ve played, but on a given night we could beat them,” said Putnam coach Mitch Wing.

Wing said his Kingsmen were dominant in last week’s game with the Mustangs, but he said they struggled to find the net.

German exchange student Luka Hartwig scored Putnam’s first goal unassisted in the 32nd minute, beating two defenders and firing a shot past the Mustang keeper form just seven yards out. River Lee added an insurance tally in the 72nd minute, taking a pass from Elliot Bixby and burying the ball in the back of the net from 10 yards out.

Jesse Martinez was in-goal, earning his second shutout of the season, with three saves.