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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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It's a 5-peat for OC boys in duals


Also, Oregon City girls tie Lakeridge and Clackamas for first place in Three Rivers League duals

Oregon City thinclads closed out their Three Rivers League dual seasons strong, defeating Canby and Lake Oswego in a May 7 tri-dual meet in Oregon City.

Oregon City boys wrapped up their fifth straight undefeated league dual season, going 6-0, with decisive wins over the Cougars (91-54) and the Lakers (107-38).

Oregon City girls finished 5-1 in league duals, defeating Canby 98-47 and Lake Oswego 88-57, and tying Lakeridge (5-1) and Clackamas (5-1) for first place in the TRL girls dual standings.

It was the 31st and 32nd consecutive TRL dual wins for Oregon City boys, whose last league dual loss was to Clackamas (75-70) on April 22, 2009.

“Our seniors were very, very happy to finish off undefeated [league dual] careers,” said Oregon City boys coach Adam Thygeson. “They were extremely happy and excited to achieve that first goal.... Their next [goal] is five straight district championships. It’ll probably come down to our overall depth verses Canby’s elite athletes. It’ll be closer than it’s been the last couple of years, but I think we can pull it out. It’s going to be a fun meet.”

Canby hosts this year’s TRL district dual meet, today and Friday.

Oregon City boys were clearly the better team in last week’s meet with the Cougars and Lakers. They turned in the top marks of the day in 10 of the 17 events and they posted the two best marks in no fewer than five events.

The Pioneers were especially tough in the distance races, where sophomore James Swyter (10:00.67) led a sweep of the first three places in the 3,000, and senior Al Lacey led a one-two finish in the 800 (2:03.28) and 1,500 (4:14.19). Swyter’s time was a PR, and Lacey was near his PR’s in both of his races.

Oregon City sophomore Ethan Dodson had a big race in the 3,000, placing second to Lacey in a 20-second lifetime best of 10:01.20.

The Pioneers were also tough in the jumps. Junior Austin DeWitz cleared 6-2 to head up a sweep of the top three places in the boys high jump; senior Alex Canchola (20-6-1/2) led a one-two finish in the long jump; and DeWitz (40-7-1/4) led a one-three finish in the triple jump.

Oregon City boys won every field event except the shot put. Senior Josh Miller launched the discus 144-8 for victory in that event, and Oregon City senior Easton Christensen won the javelin with an impressive throw of 182-1.

Oregon City boys also got the job done in the 4x400-meter relay, where they were clocked at 3:29.65.

The meet featured two of the state’s top sprinters in Canby juniors Devon Fortier and Noah Walker. Fortier won the 100 (10.90), 200 (22.14) and 400 (49.95), and Walker finished runner-up in the 100 (11.22) and 200 (22.14).

But Oregon City freshman Jake Harthun also made some waves in the sprints, placing second in the 400 with a 50.65 clocking, and fourth in the 200, at 22.89.

Harthun’s time in the 200 shattered a freshman class record set by Josh Gill, at 23.24, in 2001.

Harthun also broke his own freshman class record with his second-place time of 50.65 in the 400 meters.

“There’s no shame in finishing second to one of the top sprinters in the state as a freshman,” said Thygeson. “Jake is only a hundredth of a second off making our all-time top 10 [for all classes in the 400]. It wouldn’t surprise me if he made the top 10 come district.”

Oregon City girls ruled in the sprints. Seniors Karrin Shriner (12.48 and 25.75) and Becca Houk (12.68 and 25.77) went one-two respectively in the 100-meter dash; freshmen N’Dea Dye (1:00.19) and Maddy Griffith (1:01.42) went one-two on the 400.

Shriner and Houk also helped pace Oregon City’s 4x100-meter relay team to a season’s best time of 49.45, second only to Grant in the TRL this spring.

Oregon City girls were also impressive in the throwing events, with sophomore Taylor Shaw (32-2) winning the shot put, junior Jenny Holbrook (95-4) the overall winner in the discus, and junior Chelsea Bone (108-0) and Shaw (107-1) going two-three in the javelin.

Shaw also cleared 5-0 for an easy win in the high jump.

Junior Miranda Nelson had a big day in the distances, winning the 3,000 in 11:13.29, and the 1,500 in 4:55.91.

And Oregon City girls closed out the meet with a winning effort of 4:04.87 in the 4x400-meter relay, a time that ranks them among the best in the state in that event this season.