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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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Connor McLean - champion times 4


ALSO: Italian exchange student Sofia Crescenzi excels for Clackamas girls

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Clackamas senior Connor McLean (center) got the best of defending state champion Connor Bracken (right) and his brother Carter Bracken (left) in Fridays finals of the high hurdles at the 2014 Three Rivers District Championship Track and Field Meet, held in Canby.CANBY — Clackamas High School senior Connor McLean continued to make waves at last week’s Three Rivers League District Track and Field Championships, winning first place in four individual events.

“The last athlete I had win four events was Jereme Richardson (both hurdles, long jump, triple jump) at Gladstone in 2000,” said Clackamas coach Jeff Kelleher. “Connor is my first at Clackamas. I had Tyler Clarke here at Clackamas win three events — both hurdles and the high jump — in 2004. But he just had those three events.”

McLean was right at his best in all four of his events at last week’s district meet in Canby, winning the high hurdles in 14.49, the intermediate hurdles in 38.79, the pole vault at 15-8-1/2 and the long jump with a leap of 22-4-1/2.

McLean beat Lake Oswego senior Connor Bracken, the defending state champion, by a tenth of the second in the high hurdles, and McLean blew the field away in the intermediates, winning by nearly two seconds, with a personal-record time.

His district-meet marks in the pole vault and high hurdles were both meet records.

His district-meet time in the intermediate hurdles is No. 2 all-time at Clackamas, second only to Clarke’s school record of 38.0.

McLean has run the high hurdles in 14.37 this season, just one hundredth of a second off Clarke’s school record for that event.

And McLean has a personal best of 22-5 in the long jump this season, a mark that trails only Mike Nelson (22-6-1/2 in 1977) and Chris Orblom (22-6-1/2 in 1984) on Clackamas’ list of all-time best long jumpers.

McLean cleared a school-record 16-0 in the pole vault this year in regular-season competition.

Entering this year’s state meet, McLean has the state’s top marks in the high hurdles and pole vault, the third-best mark in the long jump and the fourth-best mark in the intermediate hurdles.

“I’m really happy with my season so far,” said McLean. “Within the last week and a half I’ve had less intense workouts. I feel fresh and energized, and I’m ready to get some more PR’s.”

McLean said of his goals for state, “I’d like to win as many events as I can. Hopefully all four [of my events], that’s my goal.”

“Connor’s a good athlete and he’s been blessed with good coaches....,” said Kelleher. “He’s also been a very dedicated track kid. He’s worked really hard. His bests as a freshman were 17.46 and 42.56 in the hurdles, 12-0 in the pole vault and 18-3 in the long jump.”

Connor McLean scored nearly half of the team points for Clackamas boys at district, but he wasn’t the only Clackamas athlete to make a strong showing.

The Cavaliers will take nine athletes to state in 13 events.

Two other Clackamas boys will make the trip to state with McLean. Senior Brodie Haehlen qualified with a second-place toss of 42-10 in the shot put, and Markus Golder earned a wild card berth to state with an effort of 21-3 in the long jump.

Clackamas girls had several standout performances, including a school-record clocking of 49.62 in the 4x100-meter relay. The time gained the Cavaliers third place in a very fast district-meet field and it was fast enough to gain a wild card berth to state.

Setting the new record were the team of juniors Alli Dickey, Katya McKenzie and Amarachi Nwokoma, and sophomore Alaina Edgerly.

The old mark of 49.64 was one of Clackamas’ longest standing records, set in 1976, by the team of Marta Annus, Shelly Jaeger, Abby Lyons and Joan (Walton) Kintz. Kintz is head girls track coach at Gladstone High School.

Dickey had a tremendous district meet, winning the high hurdles in 15.41 and the high jump, at 5-2. She’d only been a part of the sprint relay team for two weeks prior to the district meet.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Clackamas exchange student Sofia Crescenzi qualified for state in three events, with personal best marks in the pole vault, long jump and javelin at last weeks Three Rivers League District Meet. Crescenzi also had a lifetime best mark in the triple jump and she nearly made state in that event.The Cavaliers also got outstanding performances by Italian exchange student Sofia Crescenzi. She qualified for state with a personal best mark of 16-8-3/4 in the long jump, a personal best of 115-8 in the javelin, and she was among four TRL athletes clearing 10-9, to meet the state qualifying standard for the girls pole vault. Crescenzi also leaped a personal best of 35-2 in the triple jump and earned fourth place in that event.

“I’m not at all surprised [with how Sofia did at district],” said Kelleher. “The girl is blessed with athletic ability. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her go over 11 feet in the pole vault and over 17 feet in the long jump at state.”

Crescenzi says she started pole vaulting in Italy last year and had a personal best of 10 feet prior to the district meet. She says her other events are all new to her this year.

“I’m so happy,” said Crescenzi. “I didn’t expect this. I’m super happy.”

Clackamas freshman distance standout Maia Edwards also had a good meet, qualifying for state with a 10:48.34 clocking and a runner-up finish in the 3,000 meters, and placing third with a personal best time of 4:49.37 in the 1,500.

Edwards says her goal for state is 10:30.

Clackamas boys and girls both finished fourth in the district meet team scoring.