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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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Edwards, Al Lacey excel


Also: Hard work pays dividends for Clackamas girls

OREGON CITY — Two local runners and Clackamas High School’s girls team made some noise at last week’s Three Rivers League District Cross Country Meet.by: VERN UYETAKE - Clackamas freshman Maia Edwards

Clackamas freshman Maia Edwards and Oregon City senior Al Lacey placed well up in the pack in the varsity girls and varsity boys races and qualified for state as individuals.

And Clackamas girls qualified for state as a team, scoring 61 points and finishing runner-up in the TRL to defending Class 6A state champion Grant (29 points). Lakeridge girls scored 79, and placed third.

Grant sophomore Ella Donaghu (18:26.31), who placed fourth at the Class 6A girls state meet a year ago, proved she still has her stuff, pushing herself to an 18:26.31 clocking on Clackamas Community College’s 5,000-meter TRL district meet course, to outclass the field.

It was the second district title for the youthful General, who won the district girls race in 18:38 as a freshman.

Ella’s older sister, senior Piper Donaghu, finished second, in 19:01.08.

Edwards also finished well ahead of the pack, in third place, with a 19:36.75 clocking. She was nearly 30 seconds in front of the girl who finished fourth. Forty-eight runners took part in the varsity girls race.

“I think I did pretty well,” Edwards said. “I gave it all I’ve got, and that’s what matters most.”

Edwards said of the Donaghu sisters: “It’s awesome to see how fast they are. They’re incredible! They’re awesome! I’d like to be like them some day.”

Lacey placed fourth in the varsity boys field and qualified for state as an individual for the second year in a row. He was clocked at 16:37.78, an improvement of 18 seconds over last year, when he placed eighth.

“Al’s had a phenomenal cross country season,” said Oregon City coach Brandon Lee. “His time at [this year’s meet at] Sandelie Golf Course was No. 11 all-time. He’s put in a lot of hard work between track in the spring and this fall. High mileage. And all that hard work has paid off.”

by: VERN UYETAKE - Oregon City senior Al LaceyLacey finished back of West Linn sophomore Roman Ollar (16:15.23), West Linn sophomore Grayson Ollar (16:29.27) and Grant junior Henry Houghton (16:35.44), and just ahead of Lakeridge sophomore Leo Lukens (16:38.33).

“I think I could have done better,” Lacey said, following the race. “I didn’t feel very good when I started the race. And then, when I was running, a whole bunch of negative thoughts were going through my mind. My muscles were aching a little. Maybe it was because I ran on an empty stomach. Maybe the heat got to me a little, but I was well hydrated.... I don’t know what happened, because usually I’m pretty positive when I’m running.”

“I was 43rd at state in 16:57 last year and that was the fastest time and best placement at state for Oregon City in around six years,” said Lacey. “This year I’m shooting for 16:30 and top 18 [at state]. That should get me into the Border Clash, and that’s my goal.”

Grant and West Linn were the top two boys teams, scoring 44 and 50 points respectively.

Grant girls had all five of their scoring runners place in the top 12.

Five underclassmen earned Clackamas girls their team berth at state, placing in the top 21.

Scoring, along with Edwards, were four juniors: Courtney Beard (seventh, 20:25.03), Amber Harvey, (14th, 21:24.63), Sydney Peters, (16th, 21:30.16), and Zoe Clegg, (21st, 21:51.83).

“Hard work and dedication, that’s why these girls are going to state,” Walruff said. “They ran hard last winter and they ran all summer. They were motivated and they worked hard. They wanted to be the first non-Claire [Michel] team to go to state in 20 years.”

Claire Michel starred for Clackamas in distance running from 2003 through 2006, leading four Clackamas girls’ cross country teams to berths at state, winning four TRL individual titles, winning the state meet as a junior, and placing among the top six individuals at state four times. Michel went on to excel at the University of Oregon, where she set a school record for the women’s 5,000-meter steeplechase and placed as high as fifth in the event at the NCAA National Championships.

Walruff noted that his charges had met Lakeridge, which placed third at district, three times this season prior to district and lost to the Pacers all three times.

“These girls were the most focussed [at district] of any team I’ve coached,” Walruff said. “They ran on more than talent. They ran on guts and glory.”

He noted that Clegg was Clackamas’ No. 2 runner two miles into this year’s district meet, when she pulled up with a nagging hip injury.

“She gutted it out and finished the race — in a lot of pain,” Walruff observed.

He also noted that the district meet was only the second meet of the season for Harvey, who has been nursing a knee injury.

“Except for Maia, our girls team was the same girls who finished fifth at district last year,” said Walruff. “Most of them improved their times by two minutes over last year. It was a great group of girls who worked really hard. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Walruff spoke to Edwards’ potential: “She’s going to make a run at Claire Michel’s school record before she’s done here.”

Edwards says she’s been running for as long as she can remember.

Her father, Blair Edwards, says he knew she was going to be a runner when they first signed her up for soccer.

“She’d run around and around the field, without touching the ball,” he recalls. “She’d probably get in five miles in a game.”

He says he’s been a runner all his life but can longer keep up with his daughter on foot, so he rides his bicycle when he accompanies her on training runs.

“I run almost every day, and do the core training on top of that,” Maia said. “I like the thrill of it. The runner’s high is just incredible, even in practices. It’s like no other feeling in the world. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Lacey wasn’t the only Oregon City runner to fare well at the Three Rivers League District Meet. Oregon City junior Miranda Nelson (20:42.21) and Oregon City senior Kaelynn Lowe (20:54.85) placed 10th and 11th respectfully in the varsity girls race. Nelson’s placement gained her the last of four TRL individual berths to the Class 6A state girls meet.

“Those two girls have worked together all season and they’ve posted some fast times,” Lee said. “Miranda was top 10 at district and that’s what she wanted to do from the beginning of the season. Kaelynn this year had the No. 10 all-time time for a senior, and she’s a first-year cross country runner as a senior. They’ve had a great season.”

The Class 6A State Championship Meet is scheduled Saturday at Lane Community College, with the girls running at 2:25 p.m. and the boys competing at 3 p.m.