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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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Mustangs tame the Broncs in their NWOC opener


Sophomore transfer Tieara Norman shines for Milwaukie girls

PARKROSE — Milwaukie dominated the field events and the Mustangs cruised to victory in their Northwest Oregon Conference track and field openers.

The Mustang girls swept the shot put, javelin, discus, pole vault and 3,000-meter run en route to a 102-32 shellacking of their Parkrose counterparts.

The Mustang boys swept the javelin, triple jump, pole vault and 1,500-meter run en route to an 89-2/3 to 55-1/3 dual win.

Tieara Norman, a transfer from Gladstone’s 2013 Class 4A state championship team, starred for Milwaukie girls. The sophomore talent won the long jump with an impressive early-season leap of 17-6-1/2, breezed to a 16.59 clocking and first place in the 100-meter hurdles, and paced herself to a 49.28 clocking for first place in the 300-meter hurdles.

Norman’s mark in the long jump ranks her No. 3 on Milwaukie’s all-time school bests list for the event, back of Kathy Wehr (18-3 in 1985) and Alicia Smith (17-7 in 1990).

Norman competed in a meet at Sandy over the weekend and won the low hurdles in 47.41 and the high hurdles in 16.52, and she leaped 17-5-3/4 for second place in the long jump. The mark in the low hurdles ranks her fifth all-time at Milwaukie in that event, and she is 10th all-time in the high hurdles.

Through competition last weekend, Norman’s marks ranked her first in the state in Class 5A in the low hurdles, first in the state in 5A in the long jump, and second in the state in 5A in the high hurdles.

Norman’s best marks during her freshman year at Gladstone were 46.26 in the low hurdles, 17-8 in the long jump and 15.5 in the high hurdles.

Senior Dante Meade demonstrated that he still has his stuff, as he won three events for Milwaukie boys in last week’s meet with the Broncos. Meade set the pace in the 100-meter dash, at 11.84, outclassed the field with an effort of 43-7-1/2 in the triple jump, and soared 21-5 in the long jump, for an easy win in that event.

Junior Annette Sansburn was a double winner for Milwaukie girls, leading the sweeps of the shot put (32-6) and discus (77-8).

Other winners for Milwaukie girls included: senior Becky Ponnay in the 400 (1:05.28), senior Nada Mannai in the 3,000 (13:56.53), sophomore Araceli Paxton in the javelin (79-8), sophomore Samantha Persad in the high jump (4-8) and freshman Shelby Jarvis in the pole vault (8-0).

Sophomore Max Doman was a double winner for Milwaukie boys, setting the pace in the 1,500 (4:57.86) and in the 3,000 (10:30.49).

Other winners for Milwaukie boys included: senior Chris Spanovich in the 800 (2:11.15), junior Griffin Johnson in the pole vault (12-6), sophomore Tui Tuitele in the shot put (41-2) and sophomore River Meyer in the javelin (136-4).

Milwaukie girls placed eighth in the team scoring at last Saturday’s 12-team Sandy Invitational, with three girls doing all of the scoring — Norman, Ponnay and sophomore Kenady Hammond.

Ponnay placed second in the 400 (1:02.59) and sixth in the 100 (28.09). Hammond placed sixth in the discus (92-0).

Milwaukie girls coach Barrie Malcolm says it will be a building year for Milwaukie in girls track this spring.

“We lost a lot of seniors to graduation,” Malcolm said. “We’re young, and we’ll get better. Our goals are individual improvement and being the best that we can be by district.”

Malcolm says he expects Norman to be a force at this year’s state meet, and he believes Ponnay (400 meters), Sansburn (shot put) and senior Megan Miettinen (sprints) also have the potential to qualify for the Class 5A State Meet.

Milwaukie boys had hard luck in Saturday’s meet at Sandy, as two of their top athletes did not compete. Senior Dante Meade was sidelined when he suffered a hamstring pull during warmups and his brother Devin Meade, a sophomore, missed his top event because of confusion as to when his heat of the event was to begin.

The two brothers entered the meet with the two best marks among entrants in the triple jump and Dante entered the meet favored in the long jump.

“Dante would have scored 25 or 26 points all by himself,” Milwaukie boys coach Chuck Nott said.

Senior Jordan Stromvig was the top performer at Sandy for Milwaukie boys, clearing 12-0 for third place in the pole vault.

The Mustangs return to NWOC action this Thursday, when they battle Sherwood on the road. Sherwood boys and girls handled St. Helens in last week’s NWOC openers.

“I think we’ll be a good big-meet team,” Nott said. “Dante and Devin, Jordan Stromvig, Griffin Johnson, River Meyer and Chris Spanovich should all score well for us.”

Nott sees Sandy as the favorite to win district on the boys side, with Wilsonville not far behind.