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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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Glad guys are at the top of their game


Coach Yates says hes happy with his charges effort and with their defensive play

Gladstone High School’s boys basketball team turned in an impressive showing over the weekend, after dropping a 57-54 heartbreaker to Tillamook earlier in the week.

The fourth-ranked Gladiators bounced Sisters 49-24 on Saturday, after breezing by Banks 57-34 on Friday.

The 24 points was Sisters’ lowest scoring game of the year; the only other time that Banks was held to as few as 34 points this season was on Dec. 13, when the Braves got blown out by La Salle, 70-34.

Saturday’s win put the Gladiators at 9-2 in preseason. They begin Tri-Valley Conference league play next Tuesday at La Salle (9-2). La Salle and Gladstone were ranked second and fourth respectively in the OSAA Class 4A RPI rankings heading into this week’s preseason finals.

“We still have some things we need to work on,” said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. “But I’m pleased with our progress. These guys are very coachable. We challenge them in practice and they respond. I know I can count on them to give their all. They play hard and play good defense every time out....

“It’s going to be a competitive league, but I still see us as one of the top three teams in league.”

The Gladiators played some of their best defense of the year in last weekend’s games. They led Sisters 26-14 at halftime and the outlaws had only scored 17 points when Yates called off the dogs with four minutes to play. Led by Austin Galvin (4 steals), the Gladiators forced a season-high 37 turnovers in that game.

Ryun Gibson (10 points) led a balanced offense that saw 10 Gladiators score.

The Gladiators led Banks 32-15 at halftime and they held the Braves to 31 percent shooting (13-for-41).

Galvin (9 points) and Handsome Smith (9 points) led a balanced offense that saw 10 Gladstone players score.

Smith played a strong game all-around, with six assists, six rebounds and five steals.

It’s bricksville from charity

Missed free throws proved costly in the Gladiators’ 57-24 loss at Tillamook on Jan. 7.

“It was one of the best games we’ve played in awhile,” said Yates. “We beat them in just about every category, except free throws.... We were up by five to 10 points most of the game. We went into a quiet delay with about three minutes left, but we couldn’t make free throws. We did everything right except shoot free throws.”

The Gladiators were 11-of-22 from the free throw line for the game, while the Cheesemakers made 15-of-16 charity tosses.

The Gladiators had four players score in double figures — Handsome Smith (12 points), Trevor Browning (11 points), Ryan Fowler (11 points) and Ryun Gibson (11 points). Browning was 5-of-7 from the field.

Smith and Austin Galvin led the Gladiators to a 32-27 advantage on the backboards. They also sparked the offense with eight assists between them.

The Gladiators had six fewer turnovers than their hosts and they made three more field goals.

Six-foot-three senior Matt Strang (16 points) and 6-2 junior Trent Meyer (15 points) headed the attack for the Cheesemakers. It was only the second loss in nine games for the Gladiators. Unheralded Tillamook improved to 6-4 with the win.

A tough week for Glad gals

Last week was a tough week for Gladstone’s girls basketball team. The Gladiators dropped two of three games, losing to Lebanon and Tillamook, two of the top programs in the state.

The Gladiators lost to Lebanon, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 5A, 58-46 on Thursday; and they lost 25-20 at Banks, the 11th-ranked team in Class 4A, on Friday. They took care of business earlier in the week, dispatching with Tillamook 51-23.

“I’m happy with the big improvement we’ve made defensively,” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “We played Lebanon tough most of the way. They’re ranked second in the state in 5A and they’ve got a post who I believe is the best high school post in Oregon this year; Banks’ is a strong 4A team and their coach told me we defended their high-low game as good as anyone they’ve played this season.... Most times when you hold a good team to just 25 points in their house, you’re going to win the game.”

The Gladiators trailed Lebanon by just a point at halftime. But they struggled to contain Idaho 6-3 signee Jenna Morch, who burned the bets for 34 points.

The game with Banks was a three-point game most of the way. Gladstone would have likely come out on top had it not been for an abysmal night of shooting. Fiona Burrell tied her season high with 14 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting. But the rest of the team combined to make only 2-of-25 shots from the floor.

Mikaela Simac had five steals in the losing effort.

Leading 18-8, the Gladiators put Tillamook away in the third quarter, when they outscored the Cheesemakers 20-4.

“Shots we were missing in the first half started to drop,” said Scott.

Molly Webster led the way against Tillamook, scoring a game-high 20 points on 6-for-12 shooting — with three 3-pointers. Feb had a huge game on the inside, hauling down 11 rebounds and rejecting five shots. Simac had five steals.

Simac (9 points) and Burrell (9 point points) tied for team-high honors in a balanced offensive effort against Lebanon.

Ranked 15th in the OSAA 4A RPI rankings, the Gladiators (7-5) conclude the preseason this Friday, when they play host to Astoria.

Gladstone coeds begin Tri-Valley Conference play next Tuesday, hosting cross-town rival La Salle (10-1), the No. 5-ranked team in Class 5A.