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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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Kingsmen prove they belong


But they meet their match in the defending state champs

The battle-tested and ninth-ranked Rex Putnam Kingsmen proved on Nov. 5 that they deserved to be ranked among the top teams in the state, as they won a 2-1 overtime thriller from eighth-ranked Corvallis in a first-round game of the Class 5A state high school girls soccer playoffs.

The two teams battled to a 1-1 standoff through 80 minutes of regulation play and two 10-minute overtimes. The game then went to an overtime shootout, with the Kingsmen earning a 4-2 advantage on penalty kicks, making their first four in a row.

Heroine honors went to Putnam senior keeper Bella Geist and to Kingsmen junior forward Makenzie Maier.

Besides limiting the Spartans to just one goal in regulation, Geist scored the Kingsmen’s first goal of the overtime shootout and made a save in the shootout.

Freshman Megan Spaulding, Maier and junior Madi Kading also hit their PK’s in the shootout, gaining the Kingsmen the win.

Maier, who sat out much of the season recuperating from surgery on a knee, saw her most action of the season, playing about 65 minutes. And the Spartans had their hands full in trying to slow her down.

“It was Makenzie’s fifth game back and she’s getting close to 100 percent,” said Putnam coach Alex Ponce. “She was a handful for them.”

Putnam trailed 1-0 with five minutes remaining in regulation when Maier got shoved, earning a free kick. She took the kick herself, sending a rocket into the net from 30 yards out to knot the score at 1-1 and bring about the overtime.

“Makenzie took the shot real quick, before they were ready and put it where she wanted it to go,” said Ponce. It was a laser, low and into the side netting. The goalie didn’t have a chance.”

Corvallis led most of the game, taking advantage of a miscommunication between Geist and her defense to score a goal and go up 1-0 just ten minutes into the game.

“We didn’t panic,” said Ponce. “We tightened up on defense and they didn’t threaten the rest of the half.”

Ponce said his counter-attacking Kingsmen also had the best of the play in the second half and in the extra periods.

Ponce said Putnam earned a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks and he said that Geist made six saves in regulation play.

“Bella does a phenomenal job every single game she plays in,” said Ponce. “She kept us in it with her perseverance, and helped us out on offense as well.”

The win gained the Kingsmen a spot in Saturday’s Class 5A quarterfinals, where they met defending state champion and top ranked Summit on the road.

The Special District 1 champion Storm (15-0-2, 7-0-1) on Saturday continued on track for a repeat state title, defeating Putnam 4-0. Summit was to host fourth-ranked and Special District 1 runner-up Bend (11-2-2, 6-1-1) in the Nov. 12 semifinals.

“They have a lot of quality players and they’re at a different level than the teams we played in conference....,” said Ponce. “They had two really good players that made the difference, number 4 [Shannon Patterson] and number 5 [Hadlie Plummer]. Number 4 was a central midfielder with two-footed ability. She had a huge passing range and she could pass with accuracy with either foot, which made her very difficult to stop. Number 5 was an outside midfielder with great speed....”

Still, the Kingsmen stuck with the Storm for a half, and they trailed only 1-0 at halftime. The floodgates opened after the halftime break, with Summit scoring twice inside the first 10 minutes of the second half to put the game on ice.


will be back

Looking back on the season, Ponce said, “The girls did better than anticipated. Last year we had a senior dominated team that only made it to the first round [of the state playoffs]. This year we had only one senior, and we made the second round. As quickly as these girls matured, it gives us that much hope for the future.”

The Kingsmen finished the year with an overall record of 7-5-4, after going 5-1-1 and tying Sherwood (10-3-2, 5-1-1) for second place in the NWOC.

NWOC champion Wilsonville (12-3-1, 6-1-0) defeated sixth-ranked Crescent Valley 4-1 on Saturday, earning a spot opposite unheralded Wilson in the semifinals. Putnam dealt the Wildcats their only league loss 1-0 in an Oct. 22 game at Wilsonville.

The Kingsmen should indeed be tough again next year, with the return of everyone but Geist, and the addition of defender Rachel Baker, who sat out this year with a knee injury, after earning first-team all-league recognition last year as a freshman. Geist was the only senior on this year’s squad.

Expected to return are: juniors Sydney Gibbons, Makenzie Maier, Taren Rock, Lindsey Shaw and Madi Kading; sophomores Tiana Swenson, Sydney Nichols, MacKenzie Crowe, Lauren Gilbert and Rachel Baker; and freshmen Maleah Maier, Lauren Rock, Abigail Herbert, Megan Spaulding, Maggie Batz, Karla Herrera and Taylor Stevens.

A three-time first-team all-league selection, Geist was the NWOC Player of the Year in 2012 and again this fall.

Seven other Putnam players received league all-star recognition this fall: Kading, Gilbert, Nichols and Spaulding, for their play on defense; Herbert and Swenson, for their play in the midfield; and Maleah Maier, for her play at forward.

“Losing Bella is a very big blow to the program,” Ponce said. “But getting so many young players so much experience could be just as big a gain for us as losing Bella, if not more.”