Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Cav guys are consolation champs


Clackamas is off to a 10-2 start on the 2013-14 boys basketball season

HILLSBORO — After early jitters, the Clackamas Cavaliers more than held their own at the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament, defeating three of Oregon’s top Class 6A teams and capturing the consolation trophy.

The Cavaliers got a rough start to the tournament, connecting on only 21 percent of their shots from the field (13-for-60) in a humbling 71-31 loss to one of the top teams in the country, Whitney Young out of Illinois.

But they regrouped and won their next three games of the Dec. 27-30 tournament, defeating Sunset 68-60, Grant 79-75 in overtime, and Central Catholic 50-43 in the consolation championship final. It was the first loss to an Oregon opponent for Grant. Central Catholic’s only other losses to Oregon opponents came at the hands of No. 2-ranked Sheldon (66-60) and Tigard (64-53).

Clackamas’ depth proved pivotal in the tournament. The Cavaliers’ bench outscored all four Les Schwab opponents, including Whitney Young, and they outscored their four opponents 89-26 for the tournament. Nine Cavaliers put points on the scoreboard in the overtime win over Grant and eight scored in the consolation final with Central Catholic.

The win over Central Catholic was sweet revenge for the Cavaliers, many of whom played for Clackamas on a Cavalier football team that lost to Central Catholic in the 2013 Class 6A football quarterfinal.

Defense proved the deciding factor against the Rams. Central led 26-22 at the halftime break, but the Cavaliers upped their intensity on defense in the second half, and held the Rams to only 6-of-22 shooting from the field in the third and fourth periods.

Clackamas senior post Keaton Bankofier (17 points) was a hot-handed 6-of-8 from the field, as he led four Cavaliers in double figures in scoring. Senior post David Reese (10 rebounds) led the Cavaliers to a 32-24 advantage on the backboards; sophomore point guard Mitchell Fink sparked the offense with five assists.

Fink, Bankofier and sophomore wing Beau Gunderson were big for Clackamas in the overtime win over Grant.

Fink hit a jumper just inside the buzzer to knot the score at 60-60 and send the game into overtime.

Gunderson hit a layup and 3-pointer early in the overtime to make it 65-60 Clackamas.

Bankofier and Fink then combined to hit 10-of-11 free throws down the stretch to put the Generals away. Bankofier was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line in extra period, with four on-target charity tosses in the final 22 seconds.

Gunderson (18 points) and Bankofier (17 points) paced the Cavaliers in scoring. Gunderson was 6-for-12 from the field, with three 3-point baskets. Fink sparked the offense with eight assists.

Bankofier, Fink, Reese and junior wing Markus Golder led the Cavaliers to a 42-22 domination of the backboards, each of them with five rebounds.

Fink played a pivotal role in the 68-60 win over Sunset. Fink’s buzzer-beater at the end of the third period put Clackamas up 45-43. Fink had a steal and layup to start the fourth quarter to up the Cavalier lead to 47-43.

Gunderson followed up a Sunset turnover with a jumper to make it 49-43.

Another steal and layup by Fink made it 51-43 Clackamas just a minute into the final period, and the Cavaliers had the game in hand.

Bankofier (17 points) led four Clackamas players in double figures in scoring, hitting 5-of-7 shots from the floor.

Fink (14 points) had five assists and five steals.

Reese, Golder and senior wing Raekwon Mingledoff led Clackamas to a 36-30 edge on the backboards, each of them with six rebounds.

The Cavaliers were intimidated by 6-11 post Jahlil Okafor in their loss to Whitney Young. Okafor, considered by many to be the top NBA draft in the country, scored 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting, claimed nine rebounds and rejected three shots in 23 minutes of playing time. Whitney Young’s starting lineup also included 6-9 senior Paul White.

Clackamas wasn’t the only Three Rivers League team to put in an impressive performance at the Les Schwab Invitational. West Linn won the third-place trophy from the 16-team tournament, edging Whitney Young 68-67 in the third-place final.

In other games, the Lions handled South Eugene 80-51 and Tigard 58-44, before losing to Bishop Gorman out of Nevada, 57-49 in the championship semifinal.

The Lions used sharp shooting from downtown to put Whitney Young away. They hit 24-of-45 shots from the floor, including nine 3-pointers. Whitney Young was 24-of-50 from the field and 0-for-10 from 3-point land.

Payton Pritchard’s jump shot with three seconds remaining gained the Lions their 68-67 winning edge.

Anthony Mathis (15 points) was 4-for-7 from the field, with two 3-pointers; Ryan Shearmire (14 points) was 4-for-8 from the field, with three 3-pointers; Pritchard (13 points) was 6-for-10 from the field; and Hayden Coppedge (11 points) was 4-of-7 from the field, with two 3-point baskets. The Lions also got two 3-pointers from C.J. Sitton (6 points).

Clackamas continued on track last weekend, upping its season record to 10-2 with wins over Tualatin (89-81) and Union, Washington (60-55).

Ranked eighth in the OSAA power rankings, the Cavaliers play Southridge on the road this Friday. They begin Three Rivers League play a week from Friday, when they play fifth-ranked West Linn on the road.