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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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La Salle coach Curtiss likes his team


The Falcons are shorthanded, but they continue to excel

With his team sporting a 9-2 record and a second-in-the-state RPI ranking, La Salle Prep’s boys basketball coach Jared Curtiss says he is pleased with the way his charges have played in preseason.

“Each game this season, with the exception of perhaps the Philomath game, we’ve competed hard,” he said. “When you graduate nine of the ten best players from a year ago, as we have, you worry about competing when things and opponents get tough.... We went 5-1 without [junior guard Valois] Gashongore. He’s a team captain and plays about 25 minutes a game.... We’ve added to our already solid bench each game this year. We’re excited for league and Season Two.”

The Falcons’ lone losses this year came at the hands of Philomath (45-32) in a Jan. 4 game at Philomath; and to Valley Catholic (42-35), the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A, in a Dec. 12 game with the Valiants.

La Salle (9-2) begins league play next Tuesday, hosting cross-town rival Gladstone (9-2), which is ranked No. 4 in 4A.

La Salle Prep’s boys basketball team put two more games in the win column last week, winning 54-51 at Seaside and 52-35 at Astoria.

They nearly let the game with unheralded Seaside get away from them. They led 33-23 at halftime and they stretched the lead to 13 points on a 3-pointer by freshman Matt Berger near the midpoint of the third period.

But the Fishermen trimmed the lead to three points with 25 seconds remaining in the game, when the Falcons struggled to make free throws. They were 1-for-5 from the line at crunch time.

Chris Dowhaniuk hit a huge 3-pointer midway through the fourth period that proved pivotal in the Falcon win.

“We had to survive sickness, being short-handed [the absence of starting guard Valois Gashongore] and Seaside’s shooting [50 percent from the field] to get us a close road win,” said Curtiss. “Seaside shot the ball better than any team I’ve faced as a head coach at La Salle. I think most of it was execution, but some of it was fatigue and illness. Not having Valois hurt us a little in the short term. But in the long term, it helped us build confidence in our bench.”

Six-foot-seven senior post Keeston Smith (19 points) was the only Falcon in double digits in scoring.

The Falcons put together one of their better games last Friday at Astoria. Smith (16 points), 6-5 freshman post Matthew Berger (11 points) and 6-4 senior post Thomas Callahan dominated the inside play, while the Falcon guards were money from the outside.

La Salle made 6-of-11 shots from downtown. Senior wing Luke Kolln, junior wing Reece Wible and Berger each hit a pair of treys.

La Salle coeds

improve to 10-1

Ranked fifth in the state in last week’s Class 4A high school girls basketball poll, the La Salle Prep Falcons continued tough in games last week, defeating fifth-ranked Seaside 48-43, and routing Astoria 76-15.

It was only the second loss in 10 games this season for Seaside, which scored nine points below its season average.

The Falcons sported a preseason record of 10-1 heading into their Jan. 14 preseason final with Elmira, their only loss coming in a Jan. 2 game at seventh-ranked Henley (56-46).

Through their first 11 games, the Falcons averaged 72 points an outing, to just 38 points by their opponents.

The Falcons begin Tri-Valley Conference play next Tuesday, when they play cross-town rival Gladstone (7-5) on the road.

Senior post Andrea Novak (11 points) and senior wing Morgan McSmith (11 points) led a balanced effort in the win over the Seagulls.

The Falcons took charge of the game early, building an 18-12 lead in the first quarter and a 32-19 advantage by the halftime break.

“Seaside is a very solid team and we knew going in that we would have to defend in the half court for 32 minutes,” said La Salle coach Kelli Wedin. “With the exception of a couple of minutes in the third quarter, where we missed some rebounding assignments and allowed them to get the offensive board and put-back — for the other 29 to 30 minutes, we were tough on the defensive end and we made Seaside work hard for every scoring opportunity.”

Wedin singled out McSmith for her defensive play on Seaside star guard Kaitlin Lewis: “Morgan had our toughest defensive assignment. She rose to the challenge and was able to lock Lewis down, holding her to only four points.”

The game with the Fishermen was a mismatch from the start. La Salle was up 32-5 at the intermission. The Falcons had no fewer than 25 steals, and they had 26 assists on 31 baskets.

Senior wing Sterling Swift got out on the fast-break often and finished with a game-high 19 points, hitting 8-of-12 shots from the floor — with two 3-point baskets.