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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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Glads are tough in preseason

They aim to compete in a super tough TVC and get back to Gill Coliseum

by: JOHN DENNY - Returning lettermen (from left) Ryun Gibson, Sean Williams, Andrew Conway, Ryan Fowler, Trevor Browning, Austin Galvin and Handsome Smith like Gladstones chances in Class 4A high school boys basketball this season.“I think getting to Corvallis [and the Class 4A State Tournament] is a very distinct possibility again.”

So says Gladstone coach Ted Yates, in assessing his charges’ prospects in boys basketball in 2014.

“We’re ahead of where we were last year,” he said. “In fact I think we are close to where we were when we ended the season last year.”

A work in progress, the Gladiators a year ago played their best basketball late in the season, advancing to the eight-team Class 4A State Tournament through postseason wins over Cottage Grove (53-51) and Central (51-42), after going 5-5 and tying Madras for third place in the Tri-Valley Conference.

“We’re a lot more experienced,” said Gladstone senior Trevor Browning. “We’ve got seven returning lettermen, plus some new players who are stepping up to the challenge of varsity.”

“I wasn’t at all surprised [that we made the state tournament last year],” said senior Austin Galvin. “We played together as a team, just like we’re doing this year.”

“We definitely want to get back to [the state tournament],” said Browning. “We want to win league and get back to Gill [Coliseum]. Our No. 1 goal is to win state, and we feel like we have the fire power that can get us to that stage.”

“We have good depth,” said Yates. “We’ve got the kids that we can easily go ten deep in most games.”

The players new to the varsity know how to win. Last year’s Gladiator jayvee team had only three losses in 23 games.

The Gladiators have been impressive in preseason.

Heading into a Dec. 27-28 tournament at Cascade they sported a 4-1 record and they were ranked third in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings — behind top-ranked Brookings and No. 2 Henley.

They had wins over Philomath (46-45), Crook County (74-32), Henley (51-46) and Stayton (76-42).

The lone loss was in a 43-38 barnburner with Valley Catholic, a powerful Class 3A team that has also beaten La Salle this season.

Philomath lost a close game with La Salle in last year’s third-place final of the Class 4A State Tournament; Henley is ranked second in 4A in the OSAA power rankings; Valley Catholic placed fifth at last year’s Class 3A State Tournament and the Valiants are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A boys basketball this winter.

Returning lettermen from last year’s Gladiator varsity include: seniors Browning (6-0 guard), Galvin (5-11 guard), Ryun Gibson (6-5 forward), Ryan Fowler (6-0 guard/forward) and Andrew Conway (6-1 forward); and juniors Sean Williams (6-1 guard) and Handsome Smith (5-9 guard).

Browning, Gibson and Smith were starters last season. Galvin, who was slowed last year by a shoulder injury, was the first player off the bench. Browning and Gibson both gained honorable mention in the 2013 TVC league all-star balloting.

Rounding out this year’s roster are: seniors Emil Kot (6-0 guard), Chris Hauck (5-8 guard) and McClinton Stone (6-0 forward); and juniors E.J. Penn (5-10 guard), Ben Fox (6-0 guard), Andy Thompson (6-3 guard) and Justice Fridell (6-5 forward).

Gibson scored 14 points to lead all scorers in this winter’s preseason win over Philomath; Galvin scored 14 points to lead a balanced attack against Crook County; Gibson (14 points) led three players in double figures in the win over Henley. Yates put 12 players on the floor in the game with Philomath and he put at 11 players on the floor against Henley.

Browning (12 points) and Gibson (12 points) led 13 players who put points on the scoreboard in the rout of Stayton. Galvin had eight points and seven assists, as the Gladiators were a hot-handed 37-56 (66 percent) from the field. Led by Smith (4 steals), the Gladiators forced no fewer than 34 turnovers in the up-tempo game.

Yates says his Gladiators have the same M.O. that they had a year ago.

“We get up and down the floor,” Yates said. “And, if it’s a game, we press for 32 minutes.”

Yates says he expects cross-town rival La Salle and Madras to be his charges’ toughest opponents in the Tri-Valley Conference.

“I see La Salle, Madras and ourselves in the mix for the league championship,” he said.

“Estacada will also be good,” said Browning. “I think they may surprise some people. We played them in the summer and they played us really tough.”

“The key for us will be using all our players,” said Galvin. “Our bench players doing good under pressure. That’s going to be pivotal....”

The Gladiators return to the hardcourt this Friday, when they entertain Seaside. They have home games with Banks on Jan. 10 and with Sisters on Jan. 11.

League play begins Jan. 21, when the Gladiators play La Salle at La Salle.