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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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Record season ends with heartbreak


The Gladiators bow out in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 loss to Ridgeview

by: JON HOUSE - Gladstone senior Megan Kirchem is tagged out at home by Ridgeview pitcher Sara McKinney as Kirchem attempts to score on a passed ball in last Fridays quarterfinal game at Gladstone. The Gladiators dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker, with Ridgeview scoring the games only run in the top of the seventh.A tremendous season came to an end for Gladstone High School’s fourth-ranked softball team Friday night in Gladstone, as the Gladiators bowed out of the 2014 Class 4A state high school playoffs with a 1-0 heartbreaking quarterfinal loss to seventh-ranked Ridgeview.

The Gladiators finished the season with a 26-2 record, their only losses to Ridgeview and to Hood River, a team that reached this week’s semifinals in Class 5A softball. Gladstone went undefeated (15-0) in league for what is thought to be the first time in school history.

The 26 wins ties the school record for most wins in a season, equaling the mark set last year, when the Gladiators went 26-4, advancing to the Class 4A semifinals, where they lost to McLoughlin. The Gladiators this year also set a school record for consecutive wins, at 20. That record ended with last Friday’s loss to Ridgeview.

Few expected last Friday’s game to be low scoring. Both teams were averaging seven runs a game heading into the contest.

But the game turned into a battle of pitchers and defense. The Gladiators made contact with their bats, but they struggled to get the ball through the Ravens’ infield.

Ridgeview junior Sara McKinney struck out only three batters, walked no one, and the Gladiators reached her for only three hits.

Gladstone freshman outfielder Madi Mott (2-for-3) had a single up the middle in the fourth inning and a single to right in the seventh. But her two base hits were the only balls that the Gladiators hit out of the infield.

Senior Julia Schumaker, the Gladiators’ leading hitter for most of the season, made solid contact three times, hitting three line drives. But they were right at Ridgeview infielders, one of them to Ridgeview first baseman Hannah George and two to Ridgeview second baseman Shawna Marshall.

The Ravens reached Gladstone senior Megan Kirchem (7 strikeouts, one walk) for five hits. The game’s only run was unearned.

With the game a scoreless tie, Ridgeview freshman outfielder Alex Spencer led off the top of the seventh with a bloop single to right field; Spencer then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Paige Davis.

Senior outfielder Lexy Brown, who bats ninth in the Raven lineup, then hit a ground ball to third base. Gladstone’s third baseman handled the hard hit grounder with no difficulty. But her pressure-packed throw to first base was off-line, and Spencer scored on the overthrow.

The Gladiators didn’t go quietly, as they battled in the bottom of the seventh. Kirchem reached on a fielding error by Ridgeview’s third baseman, the Ravens’ only error of the game. Mott singled to right field, and Kirchem and sophomore pinch runner Ainslee Jordan advanced on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore shortstop Kat Kerr.

McKinney sent the next Gladstone batter down swinging. And McKinney then ended the game, handling a come-backer off the bat of junior Melisa Campos and making the play at first in plenty of time.

“I think we did a good job battling to the end,” said Schumaker. “We just had trouble getting our hits through their infield, and we made a couple of errors. Other than that, I think we played a great game.”

Schumaker said of Ridgeview’s pitcher, “She was pretty good, better than we expected. She beat us a lot on the outside....”

Gladstone’s only other scoring threat came in the fourth inning. With one down, Kirchem reached on a bunt single. Mott followed with a single up the middle; and Kirchem advanced to third when the Ravens got Mott out at second on a ground ball by Kerr.

Kirchem them attempted to score on a passed ball. The play at the plate was close, but McKinney made the tag on a belly-first slide by Kirchem, and Ravens’ escaped with no damage done.

“[Our kids] played their hearts out and left it all on the field,” said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. “And that’s all that you can ask.”

With the 1-0 win over Gladstone, Ridgeview (20-5) advanced to a June 3 Class 4A semifinal game at third-ranked McLoughlin (21-3).

by: JON HOUSE - Megan Kirchem had a tremendous senior year at Gladstone High School, finishing with a 19-2 record, a 0.50 ERA and a school-record 261 strikeouts in 140 innings. Kirchem was also Gladstones leading hitter, with 44 hits in 95 at bats, for a .463 batting average.Things look promising for the Gladiators next year. Kirchem (pitcher), Schumaker (second base) and Meghan Winkle (first base) were the only seniors on this year’s varsity roster.

Underclassmen starting in last week’s quarterfinal with the Ravens included: juniors Molly Webster (centerfield), Andra Breshears (right field) and Campos (third base); sophomore Kerr (shortstop); and freshmen Kinzi McLeod (catcher) and Mott (left field).

“We had a super year and they were a great group of girls to coach,” said Mortier. “They played with tremendous heart. They battled and played hard all year. We had a couple of other games like [the quarterfinal with Ridgeview] where we were down and were able to pull it out. It didn’t happen tonight, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. They gave it their all.”

“They were a better team than most of the teams we played,” Brown said of Gladstone.

Schumaker gave this advice to returning Gladstone players: “Keep working hard and always give it your all. Because you never know when it’s going to be your last game.”

Schumaker added, “I definitely believe they can make it just as far or further next year. They still have a lot of talent on this team.”

The Gladiators in 2014 had a .319 team batting average, led by Kirchem (.463, 44-for-95), Schumaker (.459, 45-for-98), sophomore Kennedy Coy (.345) and Mott (.322). Coy missed Gladstone’s last five games of the season because of a shoulder injury.

Mott (22), Winkle (21) and Schumaker (16) were the RBI leaders; Schumaker (36) and Kirchem (35) led the team in runs scored. Schumaker (10) and Mott (8) led the team in extra-base hits.

Kirchem finished with a 19-2 record, a 0.50 ERA, and 261 strikeouts and 12 walks allowed in 140 innings; Mott went 6-0, with a 1.33 ERA, and 43 strikeouts and four walks allowed in 42 innings.

Glads sink Pirates

Gladstone rallied around its bats and the pitching arm of senior Megan Kirchem to dispatch with Marshfield 6-3 in a first-round Class 4A state softball playoff game, played at Wilsonville May 25.

The Gladiators reached Marshfield freshman left-hander Mackenzie Johnson (no strikeouts, 2 walks) for nine hits.

The margin of victory would have been greater except for a couple of untimely errors. Only one Pirate run was earned.

Kirchem struck out eight and walked one, while scattering four hits.

The Gladiators took charge early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Senior Julia Schumaker led off the game with a base hit to left and scored when a Pirate infielder overthrew first base on a bunt single by Kirchem.

Kirchem stole third and scored on a groundout by freshman Madi Mott. Sophomore Kat Kerr kept the rally going with a base hit, and she scored on another overthrow at first on an infield single by senior Megan Winkle.

The Gladiators upped their lead to 4-0 in the third frame, taking advantage of control problems by Johnson. Kirchem reached as a hit batter, Mott singled, and back-to-back walks by Kerr and Winkle forced in the fourth tally.

A Pirate reached on a bunt single in the top of the fourth, stole around, and scored on an overthrow as she was stealing third.

Gladstone put the game away in the sixth frame, scoring two more runs, for a 6-1 advantage. Schumaker hammered a two-run double to bring the runs across.

The Pirates got a pair of hits and executed two first-and-third steals in the top of the seventh to narrow the gap to 6-3. But Kirchem then ended the game with a called third strike for the third out of the inning, leaving a runner stranded at second base.

Schumaker (2-for-4), Kirchem (2-for-3) and Kerr (2-for-2) headed up the Gladiator offense.

It was the 20th consecutive win for the Gladiators.

Marshfield finished up at 17-11 with the loss.

The Pirates had advanced to the first-round game through a 2-1 win over La Salle in the May 22 play-in round.

“I think it was the first time this year that we’d faced a left-hander,” said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. “But we had her scouted from the La Salle game. We knew she throws to the outside of the plate, so we had all our kids crowd the plate.... We hit the ball really well.”