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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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A tough way to bow out


Gladstone coeds come up short at Scappoose

The 2013 season was both successful and disappointing for Gladstone High School’s two-time defending state champion girls soccer team, which had won state titles in three of the past four seasons.

Ranked sixth in the state, the Gladiators bowed out of this year’s Class 4A state playoffs on Saturday, with a tough, tough 2-1 loss in a state quarterfinal game with third-ranked Scappoose, played at Scappoose. It was the 12th straight win for the Indians (14-3-0), who were to meet Gladstone’s Tri-Valley League rival La Salle in the Nov. 12 semifinals.

The loss was especially tough, because the Gladiators had defeated Scappoose 2-0 in early September, and Saturday’s game was a contest that could have just as easily gone the other way.

“We hit the post three times and their goalie blocked a penalty kick,” said Gladstone coach Steve Thomas. “We get a goal out of one of those shots and the game at least goes into overtime.”

Scappoose did all of the damage in the early going, putting both of its goals in the net inside the first 16 minutes of play, scoring on a penalty kick after a foul in the box, and off a corner kick.

Gladstone pulled within 2-1 when Kendall Schumaker scored off a cross from Rielee Jaekel in the closing minutes of the first half, and both teams went scoreless in an intensely played second half.

Thomas had his Gladiators with 13 shots, to eight by the Indians. He had Gladstone keeper Molly Webster with three saves, and Scappoose’s keepers with eight. He said the Gladiators had six corner kicks, while the Indians were awarded four corners.

“We played a good game, we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net,” Thomas said.

With the loss, the Gladiators finished the year with an overall record of 12-2-2, scoring 54 goals, while allowing 16 opponents just seven goals.

“I’ve never been more proud of a team,” Thomas said. “Nobody expected us to do as well as we did, after losing four four-year seniors [to graduation]. We lost only two games all year, to Scappoose and La Salle. And those two teams are battling it out in the semifinals....

“We lost the ‘defensive player of the year,’ Madi Cronin [to graduation] and we were still the second-best defensive Class 4A girls soccer team in the state. The girls worked hard, and we had a great year!”

The Gladiators took care of business in a Nov. 5 first-round Class 4A playoff game with North Valley, recording their eleventh shutout of the season with a 2-0 win.

The Gladiators totally dominated the play, outshooting the Knights 22-2 for the game, with no fewer than 13 shots on-frame.

“They only had one shot on-goal in the entire game,” said Thomas. “We passed the ball really well, controlled the midfield and shut down their star player.”

Still, the game was a scoreless tie at the intermission.

“We changed formations and were attacking more [the second half],” Thomas observed.

Riley Webster put the Gladiators on board 19 minutes into the second half, cracking the ball home from 20 yards out. The assist came from Kelsey Hathaway, who corralled a free kick from Kendall Schumaker, and one-touched the ball behind the defense.

“The goalie was standing on the line,” said Thomas. “She reached high, but it went off her hands and bounced in.”

Just five minutes later, Hannah Kent stole the ball and sent it ahead to Megan White, who passed it across the field to Hathaway. Hathaway beat the defense and fired a rocket inside the far post from the top of the 18. And the Gladiators had their 2-0 margin of victory.

“The score could have just as easily been 5-0,” said Thomas. “Their goalie made three stupendous saves in the second half.”

Thomas said that the defensive play of Mikaela Simac, Julia Schumaker, Talia Pena and Jessica Petersen on North Valley star forward Venessa D’Arpino was pivotal in the Gladiator victory.

“She had five or six hat tricks this season, and we held her to just one shot,” said Thomas. “We took her out of the game. She’s the defending state sprint champion and she broke through a couple of times, but Mikaela stuffed her....

“They can be a very dangerous team. They had scored 10 goals in [a Nov. 2 state play-in game with] Ontario.”

Last week’s 2-0 win over North Valley was only the third time in 16 games this fall that the Knights (20-5-1) had been shut out. The Knights entered the Gladstone game averaging three goals an outing.

The Gladiators should be tough again next year, with the return of seven players who started in last Saturday’s final with Scappoose — juniors Talia Pena (defense), Mikaela Simac (defense), Hannah Kent (forward), Riley Webster (midfield) and Molly Webster (goalkeeper); sophomore Jessica Petersen (defense); and freshman Rielee Jaekel (midfield).

Sophomore Madi Stirling, who split time with Webster in-goal, will also return.

Seniors lost to graduation include: Kendall Schumaker (midfield), Julia Schumaker (defense), Kelsey Hathaway (midfield), Megan White (forward), Cheyenne Stubblefield (forward) and Rosa Magana (midfield).