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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 take three from Parkrose


Sam leads the way on Friday, fanning 12 in a two-hitter

Hard work finally paid dividends for Milwaukie High School’s youthful baseball team last weekend, as the Mustang swept a three-game series from Parkrose, winning 3-0 in a home game on Friday, and 7-6 and 6-2 in two games played on the artificial turf at Sandy High School on Saturday.

The three wins snapped a Mustang losing skid at nine games.

Senior captain Randall Sam rallied the troops on Friday, striking out 12, walking two and allowing only two hits in a complete-game win, and also driving in two of the Mustangs’ three runs.

“Randall was huge for us,” said Milwaukie coach Phil Marchant. “He’s our senior leader and he helped us win with his arm and his bat and his attitude.... He only faced 27 batters. It’s the best he’s pitched all year.”

The Mustangs showed up ready to play, scoring all three of their runs in the first inning and supporting Sam with near error-free defensive play.”

Freshman Cole Roberts got things started in the first with a lead-off single. He stole second and scored on a base hit by sophomore Matthew Yerman.

Sophomore Gunner Murk singled, the runners advanced on a passed ball, and Sam followed with a two-run single.

Parkrose’s biggest scoring threat came in the top of the fifth, when the Broncs loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman. Sam got a called third strike to get the Mustangs out of the inning with no damage done.

Sam (2-for-3) and Yerman (2-for-3) had two hits apiece to lead the Mustangs in a six-hit attack.

Saturday’s wins both came in barnburners. The Mustangs scored five runs in the top of the seventh of both games.

With his club trailing 2-1, freshman Riley Howard led off the seventh of Saturday’s opener with a base hit. Sophomore Darrin King and Roberts followed with base hits to knot the score at 3-3 with one down.

Consecutive walks by Yerman and Murk pushed another run across.

Sam them crushed a bases clearing double to make it a 7-3 ball game.

But the Broncos weren’t ready to give up without a fight. They pushed three runs across in the bottom of the seventh before the Mustangs were able to get the final out, courtesy of a Bronco baserunning mistake. Milwaukie third baseman Aaron Wenger bobbled a ground ball, which allowed the third run of the inning to score. But just after the run scored, a Parkrose baserunner ran into Wenger’s tag at third, ending the game.

Led by Sam (3-for-4, double), Yerman (2-for-4) and King (2-for-4), the Mustangs outhit the Broncos 10-4.

The Mustangs trailed 2-1 heading into the seventh inning of Saturday’s nightcap.

The Mustangs parlayed two walks, a hit batter and three hits into five runs in that seventh-inning comeback. And all of the damage was done with two down, as the Mustangs started the inning with two strikeouts.

Yerman ignited a spark when he drew a two-out walk. Murk walked on four pitches, and Sam’s double to left-center plated Yerman and Murk for the tying and winning runs.

Wenger and junior Maxx True added insurance, Wenger with a run-scoring base hit, and True with a two-run triple.

Freshman lefty Brad McVay and Wenger were tough on the mound, combining for five strikeouts, while yielding four hits.

“We played some really good baseball,” said Marchant. “We overcame some minor errors, and showed that we’re getting better, and we can compete.”

Milwaukie improved to 3-6 in the Northwest Oregon Conference (6-11 overall) with the sweep of Parkrose.

Kingsmen drop three

The Mustangs return to Sandy (9-8, 6-3) this week for a series with the Pioneers, hosting Sandy this afternoon, and playing the Pioneers on the road on Friday.

Milwaukie squares off with cross-town rival Putnam next week. The Kingsmen (9-8, 5-4) had a rough week last week, dropping three games to Sandy, 4-3, 10-3 and 12-8.

“We struggled to get timely hitting,” said Putnam coach Jason Stanley. “Plus we made some costly errors. We made more errors last week than we’d made all season.”

Because of inclement weather, all three games were played on the road, two on the artificial turf field at Sandy and one on the artificial turf at Clackamas.

Leading 3-1, the Kingsmen let the April 22 game at Sandy get away from them. Sandy stole the win, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth on two walks, a groundout, a sacrifice bunt and two run-scoring base hits.

Putnam earned a 5-3 edge in hitting in the loss. Alex Martin (3 hits, 5 walks, one strikeout) pitched the first six innings; Sean Deford finished up.

Trace Loehr had a two-run single for Putnam in the second inning and Martin had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the first frame.

Five errors proved costly in the 10-3 loss to the Pioneers. All 10 Sandy runs were unearned.

Loehr (2-for-2, double, 3 stolen bases) and Jesse Countrymen (2-for-3) led Putnam at the plate.

One bad inning told the story in Saturday’s makeup game with the Pioneers at Clackamas. The Pioneers scored seven runs in the second inning when they strung together four hits with two walks, a hit batter and one error.

The game was a slugfest, with the two teams pounding out 25 hits between them.

Loehr (3-for-3, 3 runs, home run, triple) led off the game with a solo home run; Josh Bancroft (3-for-4) had a hot bat for the Kingsmen, driving in five runs with a two-run home run and two doubles.

The Kingsmen have a three-game series with Parkrose this week, hosting the Broncos this afternoon and playing them on the road on Friday.