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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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Putnam ends quarterfinal jinx


The Kingsmen drop West Albany in extra innings, advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1995

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam senior Taylor Balfour (9) is all smiles as she is greeted by Maggie Waymire after scoring a run in last weeks 3-1 state playoff win over Churchill. Balfour went 2-for-2 in the game, with a triple.Last week was a huge week for Rex Putnam High School’s softball program.

With state playoff wins over Churchill (3-1) and West Albany (2-1 in 10 innings), the Kingsmen advanced to the semifinals of the Class 5A state high school playoffs.

Last Friday’s extra-inning win over fourth-ranked West Albany ended a quarterfinal playoff jinx that had stretched over 18 seasons. The Kingsmen had made it as far as the quarterfinals seven times since 1995, but the last time they made it past a quarterfinal was in 1995, when they went on to defeat Centennial in the big-school state final.

“That’s probably true [that a Putnam team hasn’t reached the semifinals since 1995],” said Putnam coach Tiffany Strnad, who took over as head coach in 2005. “I know it hasn’t happened since I’ve been here. It’s great to finally break that quarterfinal jinx!”

Strnad had teams lose in the quarterfinals in 2011 and in 2012.

Strnad says that it’s been a mix of senior leadership, the naivete of younger players and hard work that has brought the Kingsmen success this season.

“While the older players know the history, the younger players don’t,” said Strnad. “They’re used to winning in ASA ball and I don’t think they were aware of the jinx at the high school. We’ve had some great leadership by action through our seniors. It’s their last year, they want to win and they’re doing everything they can to make it happen.”

Strnad sited senior Ashley Culp as just one example of the senior leadership.

“Ashley’s done a lot of hard work to make her game better and she’s really improved over last year,” Strnad said. “She’s had nine or 10 home runs this year, including a grand slam, and she’s our RBI leader.”

Culp was money in last week’s 3-1 playoff win over Churchill, driving in all three Putnam runs. The Kingsmen led through the entire game, scoring one run in the first frame and two more in the fifth.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Sarah Abramson (with facemask) was at the top of her game on May 28, as she threw a 3-hitter in a 3-1 win over Churchill. The Kingsmen freshman right-hander had 12 strikeouts and Churchills only run was unearned. Pictured with Abramson during the Churchill game are (from left) Maggie Waymire, Taylor Balfour, Mariah Oliver and Brooke Snyder.Senior Taylor Balfour got things started in the first with a one-out triple, and Culp followed with a run-scoring single.

Junior Kate Betschart and Balfour put the ball in play and got on base in the fifth, and Culp brought them around with a two-run single.

Culp (2-for-2), Balfour (2-for-2) and freshman pitcher Sarah Abramson (2-for-2) led the Kingsmen in an eight-hit attack against the Lancers.

Abramson was sharp in the circle, striking out 12 and walking three, while yielding just three hits.

Last Friday’s quarterfinal at West Albany was a pitchers’ duel.

Abramson struck out nine and walked two, while scattering eight hits in 10 innings.

West Albany sophomore left-hander Kelsey Broadus struck out 12, walked one and allowed only six hits.

The Kingsmen executed their short game in the top of the tenth and then played defense in the bottom of the frame to earn the win.

Using the international tiebreaker, where the last out of the previous inning starts the tenth inning on second base, Putnam began the inning with freshman courtesy runner Justice Duval — standing in for Abramson — on second.

Senior Lauren Roberts laid down a picture-perfect bunt to move Duval to third. Duval then slid under the tag at the plate on a squeeze bunt by Betschart to score the winning run.

Betschart in centerfield and Balfour at shortstop got it done on defense in the bottom of the tenth. Betschart collected a fly ball in deep centerfield and got the ball in quickly enough to hold the runner at second base. Following a walk, Balfour fielded a ground ball cleanly and made the play for a force out at third.

Clean-up hitter Julia Smith-Harrington was next up for the Bulldogs. She crushed a long fly ball to centerfield, but Balfour chased it down and made the catch, ending the inning and the game.

West Albany scored its only run in the third inning, on a walk, a base hit and a RBI-double.

Putnam used aggressive baserunning to tie things up with a single tally in the top of the fourth. Balfour reached on a base hit, stole second and advanced to third base on a base hit by junior Maggie Waymire. With two outs, Balfour and Waymire then attempted a first-and-third steal. West Albany’s catcher overthrew second base, and Balfour dashed home for the tying run.

Putnam (21-7, 12-2) was to host Northwest Oregon Conference co-champion St. Helens (19-8, 12-2) in a semifinal game on Tuesday (June 3), with the winner advancing to Saturday’s Class 5A championship final at Oregon State University.

The two teams split in league play, with Putnam winning 5-2 in a home game on May 14, after losing 1-0 earlier in the season. Putnam was ranked fifth and St. Helens was ranked eighth in the final OSAA RPI rankings.

“There’s a lot riding on that game,” said Strnad. “We tied as league co-champions and I think we’re two pretty evenly matched teams. They’re ranked lower than us, but that doesn’t mean anything. They were without their best pitcher until the second half of the season. It should be a great game!”

Second-ranked Hood River (22-6) and third-ranked Pendleton (22-6) were to meet in the other Class 5A semifinal. Putnam lost to Pendleton 10-7 in a March 25 preseason game.

In last week’s playoff games, St. Helens dropped top-ranked Sandy 1-0 in eight innings, and ninth-ranked Marist 5-1.