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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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Ponce, Cereghino honored


Putnam, La Salle coaches are honored by their peers as Coaches of the Year

Two local coaches and three local athletes have received top recognition in the Oregon high school girls soccer coaches’ all-star balloting.by: JOHN DENNY - Alex Ponce

The state’s coaches have honored Putnam first-year coach Alex Ponce and La Salle Prep coach Ryan Cereghino as Class 5A Girls Soccer Coach of the Year and Class 4A Girls Soccer Co-Coach of the Year respectively.

They’ve named Putnam senior goalkeeper Bella Geist to the Class 5A girls soccer first-team of all-stars and they’ve named La Salle senior defender Joslynn Bigelow and Gladstone senior midfielder Kelsey Hathaway to the Class 4A girls soccer first team of all-stars.

by: SUBMITTED - Ryan CereghinoPonce’s and Cereghino’s honors were unusual, because “Coach of the Year” honors usually go to the coaches of teams that win state.

Putnam (7-5-4, 5-1-1) this year tied for second place in the Northwest Oregon Conference and advanced to the Class 5A quarterfinals, despite graduating 11 seniors from last season and battling injuries through much of the 2013 season.

La Salle (13-4-0, 9-1-0) lost to eventual state champion Scappoose in the semifinals, after splitting with two-time defending state champion Gladstone in league and claiming its first league title since 2008.

This was the first year as a high school head coach for Ponce, who assisted Medhat Mohamed, aka “MeMo,” for three seasons at Putnam before becoming head coach.

This was the third straight year that Putnam had advanced as far as the state quarterfinals, and it was the Kingsmen’s highest finish in league since 2010, when MeMo became head coach.

Although he is relatively new to coaching, Ponce excelled in soccer as an athlete at Hood River High School, garnering Oregon big-school “Player of the Year” honors his senior year (2004), when he led the Eagles to the semifinals, for their best season in school history. He was NWAACC Southwest Division “Player of the Year” at Clark College; and he was an NAIA All-American and Cascade Collegiate Conference “Player of the Year” in 2007, when he led Concordia to the regional finals.

“To have won it as a player and now as a coach, within a 10-year time span, it’s a really great feeling,” said Ponce. “I would trade it for a couple of state championships any day, but I’m glad I got to share it with the girls on the team. It’s been a really great experience and I’ve got a great group of girls who picked up on my coaching style really quickly. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have received the honor.”

Cereghino, who graduated from La Salle in 2001, was La Salle boys soccer junior varsity coach in 2006 and 2007 and varsity assistant coach in the Falcon boys’ program in 2008. A math teacher at La Salle, he took over as head coach in girls soccer in 2009.

During Cereghino’s five seasons as head girls coach, the Falcons placed third in the then seven-team Capital Conference and made the first round of the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state playoffs in 2009; placed third in the six-team Tri-Valley Conference and made the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs in 2010; tied for second in the TVC and made the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs in 2011; placed third in the TVC and made the Class 4A quarterfinals in 2012; and this fall Cereghino’s Falcons won the TVC and advanced to the Class 4A semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Cereghino’s Falcons finished with an overall record of 13-4-0 this fall, outscoring opponents 47-13. Over five seasons, Cereghino’s La Salle Prep girls teams have compiled a combined win-loss record of 50-28-5.

“It’s very humbling [receiving the Coach of the Year honor],” said Cereghino. “It means a lot to me. It’s nice that other coaches have noticed what we’re doing with our program and are honoring us. But like I tell the girls, when a player gets an honor, it’s not because of what that one player has done by herself, but what she has done with the help of all the players around her. It’s the same with me. I’ve got an excellent coaching staff. We work well to together. Each of them brings something special to the table and they have all contributed to the success of our program. Varsity assistants Anne Braghero and Lauren Strand and jayvee coach Alle MacLeod, they’ve all played a role in making good things happen at La Salle.”

La Salle Prep junior Kate Christoferson was named to this year’s Class 4A girls second all-state team, and La Salle Prep senior Kevin Luyamba was honored as a first-team selection in the Class 4A boys all-state balloting.

In volleyball, Clackamas senior Taylor Agost got the nod to the Class 6A first team.