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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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Clackamas AD is calling it a day


Jeff Erdman will step down in the spring. In his 14 seasons at the helm, he helped build Clackamas High School athletics into one of the top high school athletic programs in the state

by: JOHN DENNY - Clackamas athletic director Jeff Erdman shares memories with multi-sport senior athletes Cade Wilkins (left) and Taylor Stinson (right), and his daughter Shelby, as he prepares to step down after 14 seasons as Clackamas High School athletic director.Longtime Clackamas High School athletic director Jeff Erdman will be hanging it up as athletic director in the spring.

“I retired on Sept. 30 [of 2013],” said Erdman, who turned 55 in December. “It’s time for me to do something else after 33 years [of being involved with high school athletics].... I am going to do something else. I’m not going to sit around.”

Erdman, who took over as athletic director at Clackamas beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, says that cuts in Public Employees Retirement System retirement benefits, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2014, played a part in his decision to retire. He has an eight-month contract with the North Clackamas School District through spring of this year to serve as interim athletic director at Clackamas High School, until the district finds a replacement.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in a job that I love,” Erdman said. “My wife says I always get up and whistle when I’m on my way to work. I do love my job and every single day I do look forward to going to work. But it seems like the right time. Better to do it now, when I still enjoy it, than wait until I become a tired, disgruntled athletic director. It’s time for new blood.”

Erdman says he will not miss the long hours. On Fridays in the fall he’d arrive at work at 7 a.m. and head for home at around 10:30 p.m., after closing up after football games. On soccer game days it was often 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Except for July 4 through August 1, when he took his vacation, Erdman has worked pretty much the year around. One year — between fall football and winter basketball — he says he worked 21 straight Friday nights.

The license plate on Erdman’s automobile reads, “Go Cavs.”

“It’s been my life,” Erdman says. “I want to especially thank my wife and children, because without their support, it would not have been possible.”

Erdman also gives thanks to his coaches, student-athletes, teachers, administrators, Three Rivers League athletic directors and the Clackamas community.

He offered special thanks to athletic secretary Laurie Winkler: “This is Laurie’s twelfth year and she lives and breathes Clackamas athletics. I could not have done it without her.”

“It’s been a wonderful place to work and an amazing place to raise a family,” Erdman said of the Clackamas area, where his family has resided since 1988.

Erdman says his motto as Clackamas High athletic director has been “Team Clackamas.”

“At Clackamas we strive to have all of our coaches and sports programs work together and in support of one another....,” Erdman says.

One of the things he is most proud of is the fact that Clackamas has been ranked in the top 10 in the Oregonian Cup rankings for 10 consecutive years, earning a second-in-the-state ranking in 2004, 2009 and 2011.

“We were the top public school in the rankings in 2009 and 2011,” he says.

The Oregonian Cup ranks schools based on three criteria: success in the win-loss column, GPA’s of varsity athletes, and sportsmanship.

Clackamas teams have had plenty of success in the win-loss column during Erdman’s tenure. In baseball, the Cavaliers won state titles in 2008 and 2010 and placed second in 2013.

The Clackamas Cavalettes dance team won state titles in 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013, and they placed second in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2010.

Clackamas cheerleaders were state champions in 2010 and state runners-up in 2007, 2009 and 2012.

Clackamas was state runner-up in girls basketball in 2011 and the Cavaliers were third in the state in boys basketball in 2003.

The Cavaliers were state semifinalists in football in 2002 and 2003.

Clackamas’ girls soccer team was state runner-up in 2012 and the boys soccer team made the semifinals in 2012.

Clackamas volleyball teams placed third in 2012, fourth in 2013 and fifth in 2011; and they have been league champions or co-champions the last four years in a row.

Clackamas softball teams made the semifinals in 2001 and 2012.

Erdman says that two of his major goals as Clackamas High School athletic director were: “I want our teams, coaches and student athletes to strive for excellence, in the classroom as well and on the athletic field, and I want the maximum number of students participating [in athletics and activities].”

He says that 40 percent of Clackamas High students participate in athletics at some time during the school year and, “if you include activities such as band, orchestra, speech, choir, cheer and dance, it’s a much higher number.”

Erdman says he is proud that “we kept all of our sports during the economic downturn. We have not lost a sport at Clackamas in my 14 years.”

Erdman added an intramural basketball program nine years ago, which has 120 boys and girls participating today.

Erdman has been instrumental in the improvement and expansion of facilities at Clackamas. During his tenure, the grass turf on the football stadium field was replaced by artificial turf, visitors’ seating was expanded at the stadium, the “Big House” hitting facility was added for baseball and softball, baseball got an artificial turf infield, and the high school weight room was expanded threefold.

“I was one of the leading proponents for artificial turf [for the football field],” said Erdman. “And it’s been a boon to our community, used by youth and high school teams for practices and games, the marching band, physical education classes.... It’s increased the usage of the facility fourteen times. With grass, it sat idle most of the year.”

Before Clackamas, Erdman was a teacher and coach at his high school alma mater, Madison, for 16 years, and at Cleveland for two years. He was athletic director at Putnam for one year, before the job opened up at Clackamas High School. He was a student teacher at Lakeridge, where he assisted Tom Smythe, and one of his players was longtime area coach Mike Fanger.

Erdman’s Madison High School baseball teams were quite successful, winning six league championships, advancing to the state playoffs every year, and winning the state championship in 1997.

Erdman has received a number of honors as athlete, coach and administrator. He was named Three Rivers League Athletic Director of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and Oregon Class 6A Athletic Director of the Year in 2009.

He’s been inducted into the PIL Hall of Fame, both as a player and a coach. He’s been inducted into the Oregon High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, and he received the lifetime achievement award from Lewis & Clark College in 2006.

Erdman says that one of the main reasons he switched from coach to athletic director was: “As an athletic director you become coach of coaches instead of coach of kids and you can impact 500 to 600 kids, instead of just a handful.”

“I’m going to miss it,” Erdman said. “All the people, the students, coaches, teachers, parents and the community. I love my job. I love everything about it, and I’m going to miss it....

“One of the greatest joys of my job is watching young people come in as freshmen and seeing them grow and mature — doing what I can to help mold them so that by the time they are seniors they have matured into outstanding young men and women, prepared to go out into the world and make a difference.”

Erdman will be no stranger to Clackamas High School after he retires. His daughter Shelby is a sophomore and she competes in soccer and in track and field.

And he says he will likely continue to be involved in sports or athletics, as he pursues a second career.

“I’m currently working part-time with [Putnam athletic director] Danielle Barendse on a venture called ‘Booster Prep Scores,’” Erdman says. “It’s a phone app for schools to download real-time scores to their community. It will be free to schools and the community, paid for by advertising....

“I’ll play some golf, and I’m going to do something, whether it’s Booster Prep Scores or some other business related to athletics or sports. And I will be here at Clackamas to support my daughter....

“My teaching and administrative licenses are current, so substituting is a possibility.... Who knows, in a couple of years I may get back into coaching, helping someone out as an assistant in football, basketball or baseball. It would be fun to coach again. Perhaps I’ll do some tutoring. My wife is a vice-president at U.S. Bank, and when she retires, we’d like to travel. Spend a month in five or six places around the U.S. and see where we might like to live [in retirement].

“I’ll be busy. I am not going to sit around.”