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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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Team play and defense are pivotal, as La Salle Prep guys top Gladstone 49-39


The Falcons improve to 12-2 with wins over their cross-town rivals and North Marion

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Gladstone senior forward Andrew Conway (left) and La Salle senior wing Luke Kolln scrap for a loose ball in last weeks Tri-Valley Conference opener at Gladstone. The Falcons played tough down the stretch in a 49-39 victory.La Salle Prep cagers used sharp shooting and poised play down the stretch to knock off Gladstone 49-39 in an intensely played game between two of the top Class 4A high school boys basketball teams in the state, played at La Salle on Jan. 21. La Salle entered the game ranked No. 3 in the OSAA power rankings; Gladstone was ranked fourth.

The Falcons converted at a .520 clip from the field, with six of their 13 field goals 3-pointers. The Gladiators, in contrast, connected on only 13-of-42 (30 percent) shots from the floor.

The game was tight all the way until the final four minutes, when the Falcons’ near perfect execution of a delay allowed them to take control.

With 4:28 remaining, Gladstone senior guard Ryan Fowler hit two free throws to trim La Salle’s lead to one point, at 40-39.

La Salle coach Jared Curtiss then instructed his charges to turn to more of a delay game. The Gladiators went scoreless the rest of the way, missing all eight of their shots from the floor. The Falcons executed in the delay, hit 6-of-12 free throws, and claimed the spoils.

Hero honors went to La Salle senior wing Chris Dowhaniuk and La Salle junior post Keeston Smith, who teamed up to make a huge play down the stretch.

With his team nursing a 41-39 lead and 2:59 remaining, La Salle senior co-captain Luke Kolln bricked two pressure-packed free throws. Dowhaniuk hustled to claim the rebound for La Salle on the second miss and found Smith wide open in the right corner. Smith launched a 3-pointer — his first of the game — and the ball found nothing but net, stretching the Falcon lead to five points, at 44-39.

The Gladiators, in somewhat of a panic mode, then starting firing up shots from long range.

Kolln, Smith and Valois Gashongore answered the Gladiator misses with free throws, and the game belonged to La Salle.

“Teamwork [has been the key to our success this season],” said Kolln. “It’s not any one guy out there. I might hit 20 points one night; the next night it would be someone else. We share the ball better than any team in the state, and that’s unstoppable.”

Kolln added, “Gladstone’s a great team. They play great on both sides of the ball, defense and offense. They’re easily top three in the state — with us, which makes this rivalry so intense.”

“I think the key tonight was defense,” said Curtiss. “We were contesting shots, taking away their initial looks. We made them take shots they didn’t want to take.”

The contest was a two-point game for much of the first 3-1/2 quarters. Gladstone’s biggest lead was four points at the start of the game. Matt D’Amore hit a 3-point buzzer beater to put La Salle up 26-21 at halftime. That was the Falcons’ biggest lead until the final three minutes of the game.

For most of the game, before Smith hit his late-game 3-pointer, the Gladiators attacked the basket, taking most of their shots from close range.

The taller Falcons, in contrast, scored 15 of their 26 first-half points from long range, with D’Amore, Reece Wible and Matthew Berger combining to hit five 3-pointers before the intermission.

Smith had one of his better games, scoring a game-high 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting, hauling down 11 rebounds and rejecting two shots.

Kolln and Wible scored 10 points and eight points respectively.

Fowler (10 points) and Ryun Gibson (9 points) were the top point-getters for Gladstone.

“I couldn’t be prouder,” said Curtiss. “We played hard tonight and we beat the best team in the state.”

La Salle improved to 11-2 on the season with the win; Gladstone slipped to 10-3 with the loss. It was the league opener for both teams.

La Salle (12-2, 2-0) continued on track last Friday, winning 66-57 at North Marion.

The Falcons showed up ready to play, building a 29-14 lead in the first quarter and coasting home from there.

“We came out of the locker room shooting well,” Curtiss said. “They sagged in on our bigs and Wible hit two treys, and D’Amore, [Michael] Edwards and Berger all stuck 3’s in first frame.”

Kolln had a big game, scoring 19 points — knocking down 11-of-14 free throws and 4-of-8 field goals.

Smith (11 points) was the only other Falcon in double digits in scoring.

Big games by junior forward Kerry Cook (20 points) and senior guard/forward Kyle Williamson (17 points) allowed the Huskies to close the gap after La Salle’s big first quarter, but the Huskies were unable to catch the Falcons.

Curtiss said that although his Falcons did not play their best defense in Friday’s game at North Marion, defense has been pivotal in the Falcon success story all season.

“We are giving up 30.3 percent shooting on the year,” he said. “Only Seaside and North Marion have eclipsed 38 percent this season.”

The Huskies were 22-of-48 from the field (45.6 percent) in Friday’s loss to the Falcons. The Falcons were 20-of-41 from the field (49 percent) and 21-of-30 (70 percent) from the free throw line.

La Salle hosts Estacada (4-11, 0-2) this Friday and the Falcons play Molalla (4-12, 2-0) on the road next Tuesday.