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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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2014 'Battle for Bridge' biggest ever


There'll be a golf tournament, along with the Oregon City vs. West Linn alumni football game, and Town & Country Honda has signed on as 'title sponsor'

by: JOHN DENNY - Oregon City High School alumnus Jon Hummel (left) and West Linn alumnus Dave Norman get acquainted with Rylee Ferro as they gear up for the 2014 Battle for the Bridge. Rylee, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis shortly after birth, will be the honorary captain for Oregon City at this years Battle for the Bridge Oregon City vs. West Linn alumni football game. Battle for the Bridge has added a golf tournament to this years festivities, which benefit the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.Organizers are gearing up for this year’s “Battle for the Bridge” Oregon City vs. West Linn alumni football game and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser. Plans are to make the fundraiser the biggest ever.

“We want to do double what we did last year,” says Dave Norman, who is chairman of this year’s fourth annual Battle. “Our goal is $50,000.”

Organizers have a good start to this year’s “Battle.” For the first time in the four-year history of the event there is a “title sponsor.” Town & Country Honda in Gladstone has signed on as the title sponsor with a $5,000 contribution.

The main draw for the fourth annual Battle for the Bridge will still be the alumni football game between rivals from Oregon City and West Linn high schools. This year’s game will be contested on Saturday, Aug. 16, with kickoff at 7 p.m. in the Oregon City stadium.

An added attraction this year is a “Battle” Golf Tournament, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Aug. 2, at Stone Creek Golf Club.

“We wanted to give people who don’t get particularly excited about football a chance to get involved and contribute to a good cause,” said Norman.

Cost for participating in the golf tournament is $125 per individual or $400 per foursome, with all proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The entry fee covers 18 holes of golf, range balls, a golf cart and a silent auction.

“It’ll be limited to the first 155 to sign up, and we hope to fill up by mid-July,” Norman said.

The Battle for the Bridge alumni football game has raised close to $60,000 for the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in its first three years.

The money has come from sponsorships, game program advertising and donations, as well as from ticket sales.

To sign up for sponsorships, purchase an advertisement in the program, register for the golf tournament, purchase a ticket to the game, volunteer, make a donation, or find out more about Cystic Fibrosis, visit the website at www.battleforthebridge.com; or contact Dave Norman at 503-407-2444.

“We’re so grateful to [the Battle for the Bridge organizers] and everyone involved,” said Johnie Ferro, whose young daughter Rylee was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis just days after her birth in March of 2013. “They are doing some really amazing things through research. The life expectancy for someone with Cystic Fibrosis is currently age 32 to 38, and it’s doubled in just the last 15 years. They have gene specific trials going on right now. They are so close to finding a cure. They’re not there yet, but they are getting there. And even if they don’t find a cure they’re doing some some stuff that could be really life-changing and make a huge difference in quality of life for kids like Rylee.”

Rylee Ferro will be an honorary team captain for Oregon City’s football team for this year’s Battle for the Bridge alumni game.

Johnie, whose husband Eric Ferro graduated from Oregon City High School in 2000, noted that Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that receives very little federal funding. So she says that every dollar generated through fundraisers like the Battle for the Bridge is important in funding research to find a cure.

“Rylee has a twin brother, Gage, and he does not have Cystic Fibrosis,” Ferro said. “When they were born, both Rylee and Gage appeared perfectly healthy. But then Rylee couldn’t keep her food down. She kept throwing up — a lot.”

Rylee was taken from Willamette Falls Hospital, where she was born, to the St. Vincent Hospital neonatal intensive care unit in Beaverton, where they did blood work. And eight days later she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

“Newborn screening is relatively new in Oregon,” Ferro said. “It made it possible for treatment to begin right away. Funding research is so important. It’s making a difference.”

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease and one in 30 people in the U.S. are carriers of the defective gene that causes the disease. Children pass on the gene as carriers, but they cannot get the disease unless both of their parents are carriers.

“When I first got involved in the inaugural Battle for the Bridge, I did it purely for the thrill of playing football one more time,” Norman said. “Now that I’m playing in my fourth game I’ve come to see that this game is about something bigger than personal glory. It’s about community, brotherhood and standing shoulder to shoulder with players, volunteers, sponsors and our community to defeat Cystic Fibrosis. I’m proud to play a part in it.”

“Initially I played [in the alumni game] for the camaraderie,” said Oregon City alumnus Jon Hummel, who will be playing in his fourth Battle alumni football game this year. “There was a period where we didn’t have any kind of alumni game. I thought it was kind of cool, going against West Linn and renewing the rivalry.

“Now that I have my own young kids, my heart goes out to kids like Rylee and her parents, and all that they’re going through. It makes you want to be an advocate for the disease and do everything you can to help fund research to find a cure....

“Just playing in the game and getting together with old friends, playing against your rival is a lot of fun. Raising money for a good cause is an added bonus.”

“To me, it’s much more than a football game,” said Justin Fisher, who, with Norman, is one of the main organizers. “It’s an opportunity to reconnect with many generations of Oregon City graduates. Building community, getting together and having some fun. It’s about community.”

And of course there’s bragging rights to the Battle for the Bridge trophy. Oregon City holds a 2-1 edge in the “Battle,” having won the alumni game 23-14 in 2011 and 16-15 last August. West Linn prevailed 36-35 in 2012.

“I encourage young guys in college and new graduates to be a part of our alumni team,” said Fisher. “It’s so important for generations [of Oregon City graduates] to keep in touch. It’s building community. If money is a problem. If they can’t afford the [player] registration fee, it needn’t be a problem. We’ll find a way to cover the fee so that you can play.”

The player registration fee is $95. Players for Oregon City and West Linn alumni teams can sign up at www.alumniiathleticsusa.com.

Oregon City and West Linn alumni will begin practices for the big game in early July. Oregon City will practice from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, beginning July 7, at the high school stadium.

West Linn is holding practices from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays, beginning July 9, at Rosemont Ridge Middle School.

For additional information, Oregon City alumni can contact Fisher at 503-720-0861; for additional information, West Linn alumni can contact Norman at 503-407-2444.

Any graduate of Oregon City or West Linn High School is eligible to take part in the alumni football game, and the golf tournament is open to anyone who enjoys playing golf and would like to help out with a worthy cause.