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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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Oregon City gridmen improve to 9-1, as they continue their historic run


The Pioneers drop McMinnville, advance to the round of sixteen

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City senior lineman Zak Merwin (55) wraps up McMinnville running back Zach Silver in the backfield in Fridays Pioneer 40-23 playoff win over the Grizzlies.Defense turned the tide for the Oregon City Pioneers Friday night, as they rallied from a 16-14 early third-quarter deficit to drop unheralded McMinnville 40-23 in a first-round game of the Class 6A high school football playoffs.

It was an historic win for the Pioneers. With the win, Oregon City not only advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but the Pioneers improved their season record to 9-1.

It’s the first time since 1996 and only the seventh time in over 100 years of high school football that an Oregon City varsity football team has had nine wins in a season. Oregon City teams went 9-0 in 1937, 9-1-1 in 1962, 9-1 in 1980, 9-2 in 1981, 9-2 in 1988 and 12-1 in 1996, when the Pioneers lost to Roseburg in the state final.

“It’s humbling. It’s awesome!” Oregon City senior co-captain Jon Hall said, when learning of the rarity of a nine-win season for Oregon City High School football. “I’m just happy that I’ve got to do it with my friends. It makes it a special season.”

“That’s crazy!” said Oregon City senior co-captain Zak Merwin. “We’ll go down in history as one of the best teams ever at Oregon City.

“It means so much, because people picked us to finish in the bottom of the league. They said we wouldn’t be able to get it together as a team, because we had lost our coach.

“But we’ve bonded and come together as a team. These guys are my buddies, and I’m glad that I’ve got to experience this with them in my senior year.”

The Pioneers appeared headed for defeat in last Friday’s game with the Warriors. They built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. But then the Grizzlies’ scored on their next four possessions. And when McMinnville kicker Jacob Bannister hit his third field goal 2-1/2 minutes into the third period, the Grizzlies found themselves owning a 16-14 lead.

But then the Pioneers went to work, on defense as well as on offense, forcing turnovers on three of the Grizzlies next four possessions.

“We’ve got the best defense I’ve seen,” said Hall. “When they’re on, they’re the best around, and they were on in the second half. They did a great job of getting the ball back to the offense.”

“We overlooked them too much [in the first half], but that was our bad,” said Oregon City team co-captain Clay Valenzuela-Reece. “Their quarterback was a stud. He made some big plays that got them back in the game. We made some adjustments in the second half and came out more intense, playing the way we know we can play.”

“At halftime, we came to the realization that if we lose, it would be our last game,” said Merwin. “That motivated us to pick it up in the second half. We didn’t want this to be our last game. We didn’t want the season to end.”

“In the first half we were sluggish,” said Oregon City sophomore standout Trevon Bradford. “They executed better than we did. In the second half we executed, on offense and on defense.”

The Pioneers took just six plays to score following Bannister’s go-ahead field goal. Hall hit Matt Oades with a 33-yard touchdown pass 4-1/2 minutes into the third period, and the Pioneers went on top for good, at 21-16.

On McMinnville’s next possession, Oregon City defender Jonathan Marquett knocked the ball out of the hands of Grizzly star receiver Darby Ramos and into the hands of Oregon City lineman Zak Merwin.

“I was thinking about running the ball back,” said the 6-3, 225-pound Merwin. “But I trust our offense better than I trust myself. I was afraid I might fumble, so I just fell on the ground on top of the ball.”

The Pioneers took over at the McMinnville 34, and four plays later Bradford sprinted wide left nine yards for a touchdown and a 27-16 Pioneer advantage.

The Grizzlies returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 26. But on their first play from scrimmage, Coy Vandehey picked off a pass, gaining Oregon City the ball at the McMinnville 37.

Two plays later, Oregon City sophomore running back Conner Mitchell sprinted 24 yards to the end zone, putting the Pioneers up 33-16 with 2:05 remaining in the third period.

Easton Christensen then sealed the deal early in the fourth quarter, intercepting a sideline pass at the Oregon City 12 and returning it 40 yards to midfield.

Two plays later, Hall hooked up with Oades for a 28-yard scoring strike, and the Pioneers had the game in hand, leading 40-16.

The Grizzlies got a touchdown back as the game was winding down, and they made a stab at a late-game comeback with a successful onside kick. But Valenzuela-Reece then silenced the Grizzly sidelines, intercepting a pass in the end zone for a touchback.

Mitchell saw limited action, after suffering a deep leg bruise in the first quarter. But the Pioneer star running back still picked up 103 yards and scored two touchdowns on 16 carries.

While the Oregon City coaching staff was resting Mitchell, Hall’s throwing arm was called into action more than usual, and he responded with the best game of his high school career. The 6-0, 205-pound senior completed 16-of-22 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns, and he did not throw a single interception.

Oades had six receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns; Bradford had three catches for 71 yards and one touchdown. Bradford also rushed four times for 20 yards and a touchdown.

McMinnville 6-2, 190-pound senior quarterback Gage Gubrud had a big night, completing 29-of-53 passes for 271 yards. But the Pioneers toughened up on defense when Gubrud got near the red zone, intercepting him three times and allowing just one touchdown through the air.

The Pioneers finished with a 435- to 404-yard edge in total offense on the night.

With the loss McMinnville, the fifth-place team from the Pacific Conference, finished the season with an overall record of 6-5, after going 3-4 in conference play.

The win advances 10th-ranked Oregon City, the champion from the Three Rivers League, to a second-round state playoff game at seventh-ranked North Medford (9-1, 7-0), which finished first in Special District 1.

“I don’t think we’ve peaked yet,” Hall said. “I think we can pull through next week and challenge North Medford.”

“I think it’s a 50-50 game,” said Bradford. “A toss-up. I think their team is a lot like us and I think it will be a hard fought game. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

The Black Tornado enter this Friday’s playoff game riding a nine-game win string, their only loss in a close game with 14th-ranked McNary in their season opener. North Medford this fall is averaging 34 points a game, while allowing opponents an average of 20 points.

Oregon City is riding a five-game win string. The Pioneers’ only loss came in a 20-15 barnburner with Canby, played at Canby on Sept. 27. The Pioneers are averaging 32 points, to 19 points by their opponents.

North Medford dropped Reynolds 49-27 in last Friday’s first round. TRL title contender Clackamas defeated Reynolds 56-25 on Sept. 20. Oregon City defeated Clackamas 35-21 in a TRL showdown on Oct. 18.

The Black Tornado built their offense around 6-0, 165-pound junior quarterback Troy Fowler, who has a school record of over 2,300 yards passing on the 2013 season.

The Three Rivers League continues to prove itself the toughest league in the state in postseason. All six league teams made the state playoffs and five of the six have advanced to this Friday’s round of 16.

In playoff games last Friday, Clackamas trounced Aloha 47-7, Lakeridge topped South Medford 30-17, Canby stopped Newberg 35-7, Lake Oswego edged Sunset 35-28, and West Linn tested eighth-ranked Southridge in a 28-20 loss.