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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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All six Three Rivers League teams advance


The shorthanded Oregon City Pioneers continue impressive

Three Rivers League boys basketball teams fared well in the Class 6A high school boys basketball state playoff play-in round on Saturday.

The Oregon City Pioneers rallied around their up-tempo game and sharp free throw shooting to dispatch with Centennial (60-54), while Lakeridge topped Newberg 66-62 in overtime, and Canby took care of business with Sprague (55-43).

All six TRL teams are in tonight’s first round of the state playoffs.

Three Rivers League champion and top-ranked West Linn (20-4, 10-0) hosts 37th-ranked Century (8-17); second-ranked Clackamas (20-4, 8-2), which finished second to West Linn in the TRL, hosts 34th-ranked Aloha (13-12).

Twenty-second-ranked Oregon City (13-11, 3-7) plays at 11th-ranked McMinnville (18-5); 19th-ranked Lake Oswego (12-11, 4-6) plays at 15th-ranked Lincoln (14-11); 18th-ranked Lakeridge (17-8, 4-6) plays at No. 16 Grant; and 26th-ranked Canby (9-14, 1-9) plays at seventh-ranked Sheldon (18-6).

“We’ve got a good draw,” said Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk. “We’re real proud of the kids for what they’ve accomplished so far [considering the loss of two key players to injury] and we still think that we can make that state tournament....

“We’ve had three common opponents with McMinnville and had similar results.... If we beat McMinnville we’ll probably face Sunset. We met them in mid-December and lost by four, and that was without Tre [injured player Trevon Bradford]....”

It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Pioneers took control of Saturday’s game with Centennial. The score was tied at 25-all at halftime.

“They start four guards and [in the third quarter] we did a better job of keeping their guards in front of us,” said Newkirk. “Plus we forced the tempo, played more aggressively on offense, and got to the free throw line.”

Austin DeWitz played a pivotal role in breaking the game open, scoring 15 of his team-high 20 points in the second half, as the Pioneers built a 42-33 third-quarter advantage, and then made their free throws down the stretch.

DeWitz was on fire, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers.

Brad Martin (13 points) was 8-of-8 from the charity stripe and Briggs Young (13 points, 4 assists) made 6-of-6 free throws.

Martin ruled near the basket, hauling down 10 rebounds.

Dezmond Stoudamire carried most of the load for the Eagles, scoring baskets inside and out, for a game-high 28 points.

Newkirk said of tonight’s match-up with the McMinnville Grizzlies: “It’s a very winnable game. The toughest challenge won’t be defense. We play good defense. But without [injured players] Hunter Knighton and Trevon [Bradford] we’ve been inconsistent on offense. We’ve got to stretch out their defense and find ways to score....

“We’ve got to push the pace and make their big kid [6-7 post Vince Boumann] run. And we have to make [6-3 wing Gage] Gubrud work for every shot.”

Pioneers get up

for their rivals

The upstart Oregon City Pioneers gave their home fans an indication of good things to come in last week’s Three Rivers League final with West Linn.

The Pioneers lost the game to the top-ranked Lions 68-48, but they had the Lions on the ropes for a half.

The Pioneers forged an early lead and it wasn’t until the second half that the Lions turned hot from the field and rallied in front for the win.

Brad Martin’s layup off a crisp pass from Austin DeWitz put the Pioneers up 17-12 at the end of the first period; and Chris Mengis’ layup off a pass from DeWitz made it 25-17 late in the second period. Oregon City led 25-19 at the half.

West Linn hit 11 straight shots from the floor and 5-of-7 free throws during a 7-1/2 minute stretch that began three minutes into the third quarter to take control.

Still, the Pioneers battled, and it wasn’t until Elijah Grant scored a layup with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter that the Lions went up for good, at 37-35.

West Linn led 39-36 heading into the final period and the Pioneers were their own worst innings in the fourth stanza, when they made only 5-of-17 shots from the floor. West Linn hit five 3-pointers in the final period to make the game appear a lot more lopsided than it was.

“Oregon City played really well and we came out flat,” said West Linn senior leader Ryan Shearmire. “People think there’s a big difference between the top teams in our league and the bottom teams in our league, but there isn’t. Oregon City’s a good team and they played well.”

Shearmire explained the difference in his squad’s inspired play in the second half: “We talked at halftime about playing at our tempo and we came out with more intensity [in the second half].”

While the Lions found the mark on only 7-of-24 shots from the floor in the first half, they were 14-of-24 from the field in the second half, with six 3-pointers, scored by five different players.

Shearmire (17 points) and Payton Pritchard (17 points) paced the Lions in scoring.

Martin (16 points, three 3-pointers) was the only player in double digit scoring for Oregon City.

It was the fifteenth straight win for the Lions (20-4, 10-0), who finished first in the Three Rivers League standings, two games up on Clackamas (20-4, 8-2).

Oregon City finished 3-7 in league with the loss.

Only one other Oregon team has been ahead of the Lions at halftime this season. The Lions trailed Jefferson 33-30 at halftime in their second game of the 2013-14 season, a 75-66 Lion loss. Since that game the Lions have gone undefeated in games with opponents from Oregon.


finish strong

Clackamas’ boys basketball team was in charge nearly all the way, as the Cavaliers closed out their Three Rivers League season with a 68-53 win at Canby on Feb. 25.

The Cavaliers led 29-21 at halftime and 56-34 heading into the final period.

Reggie Oliver scored 27 points to lead the Cougars, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with a balanced Cavalier attack, led by Markus Golder (19 points), Keaton Bankofier (19 points) and David Reese (12 points).

Clackamas (20-4, 8-2) finished the regular season second only to top-ranked and defending state champion West Linn (20-4, 10-0) in the TRL standings.

The Cavaliers enter the Class 6A state playoffs ranked second only to West Linn in the OSAA RPI rankings.

They lost twice to West Linn (63-43 and 81-61) in league play. Other than that, their only losses during the regular season were in a Dec. 20 nailbiter at Barlow (64-63) and on Dec. 27, in a 71-31 loss to nationally-ranked Whitney Young in the Les Schwab Invitational.

Clackamas hosts 34th-ranked Aloha (13-12) tonight. With a win, the Cavaliers would host 19th-ranked Lake Oswego (12-11) or 15th-ranked Lincoln (14-11) in a second-round state playoff game on Saturday, March 8, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.

The Cavaliers beat Lake Oswego in two close games during the league season, 55-54 and 43-42.