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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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Rachel Roberts No. 1 in the nation


The OC grad finishes her sophomore year at Pacific as the national leader in stolen bases for NCAA Division III softball

by: COURTESY PACIFIC UNIVERSITY - Rachel Roberts (left) finished her sophomore season of softball at Pacific University with a school record 47 stolen bases and a Northwest Conference-leading .468 batting average. The 47 stolen bases is the best in the nation for NCAA Division III for 2014.Former Oregon City High School athletic standout Rachel Roberts is making a name for herself in athletics at Pacific University.

Roberts is a sophomore at Pacific, where she is studying to become a pharmacist and playing second base for the Boxers’ softball team.

She has taken the Northwest Conference and the nation by storm this spring, with her offensive play.

The Boxers finished their season April 19, losing to Linfield 8-0 in the championship game of the Northwest Conference Softball Tournament. It was the first time a Pacific softball team had every reached a conference tournament final in softball, and the Boxers finished with an overall record of 26-12 with the loss.

Roberts has had a phenomenal sophomore season, finishing up with a conference-leading 58 hits, .468 batting average and 46 stolen bases — out of 50 attempts.

The 46 stolen bases is a school record, bettering the old single-season record of 38, set by current assistant coach Stephanie Henningsen (formerly Vanoudenhaegen) in 2011.

Through the Boxers’ final game, Roberts was the NCAA Division III leader in stolen bases for the 2014 season, and she will likely finish the season No. 1 in Division III. Through play April 20, Kayla Malkos of Virginia Wesleyan College was No. 2 in Division III, with 38 stolen bases out of 40 attempts.

The stolen base leader for NCAA Division I through play April 20 was Olivia Watkins of Western Kentucky, with 49 stolen bases out of 52 attempts.

The leader for NCAA Division II was Chelsea Hall of Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, with 51, out of 51 attempts.

Roberts was also successful on 20-of-21 stolen base attempts as a freshman, when she finished with a .331 batting average. If she continues at her current pace, her career total for stolen bases will likely be a school-record mark that lasts for decades.

Roberts finished her sophomore season with 58 hits in 124 at bats. She only struck out nine times. She was second on her team in runs scored, with 33.

“She’s fast, she plays the game hard and she has a lot of desire,” Pacific head coach Tim Hill said of Roberts, who batted second in the Boxer lineup.

Hill has coached college and/or Amateur Softball Association fastpitch softball the past 35 seasons and he says that Roberts is one of the most gifted baserunners he has ever had.

“I’ve seen a few really good [baserunners] in my 35 years, and Rachel’s one of the top three or four that’s been able to rack up numbers like she has,” Hill said.”She’s talented, she’s very coachable and she learns quickly.

“She’s also a good hitter. You can’t steal that many bases without getting on base. She bunts, she slaps and she hits. She’s made big strides this year in her short game.”

Hill says that after losing three of his top four pitchers to injuries before the season started, he anticipated a “mediocre year,” but the team overachieved this season because of the competitiveness and determination of Roberts and her teammates.

“She’s had a big part in our success,” Hill said. “Her stats speak for themselves. You have 47 stolen bases, it generates a lot of offense. We’ve had a lot of games where we’ve come from behind, and she’s started a lot of our rallies.”

Hill says that he gives Roberts the steal sign on around 90 percent of her stolen base attempts, although he says she has the “green light” to steal on her own.

Hill says that Roberts has been successful at stealing bases, both because she gets a good jump off the bag and because “she is really fast.”

“She has mastered the jump off first base,” said Hill. “She’s very quick off the base, but she doesn’t leave too early. The umpires know her and they watch to see that she doesn’t leave early, but Rachel’s only been called out once for leaving early.”

Asked if Roberts has a career in softball after college, Hill said, “It’s tough, when you’re playing Division III. But if she continues to grow over the next few year’s, anything’s possible.”