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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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Thelo U-16 makes waves


A group of young men from the local club have earned a trip to the National Premier League Finals

by: JOHN DENNY - The players on a local soccer team, Thelo United Galaxy-16, have proven themselves among the top two teams in the state in their age division and theyll be headed to Greensboro, N.C., later this month to play in the national championships for Premier League teams. Members of the standout team include: (first row, left to right) Braydon Simmons, Eli Wolfram, Noah de Leon, Sam Toops and Alex Severson; (second row) Dontae Fernandez, Anthony Avellaneda, Jack Warner, Matthew Williamson and Jorge Flores; (back) Alex Baasten, Adam Kane, Jose Canzun and Zef Cuevas; and (not pictured) Hunter Thompson and Evan Lawrie.A group of young men from the local area has been making waves in youth soccer this spring.

They play for the Thelo United FC Galaxy U-16 team. The team this spring won their U.S. Club Soccer Oregon Premier League and then advanced to the Oregon State Cup Premier League final, where they lost to Lake Oswego powerhouse Crossfire Oregon 97-Green No. 1, 2-1.

The team’s success earned the players a trip to Greensboro, N.C., where they’ll represent Oregon in the National Premier League Finals, scheduled in Greensboro July 10-14.

It’s the first time in the seven-year history of Thelo United FC that the Milwaukie-based club has advanced a team to a national tournament, and the first time the club has had a team play in a Premier State Cup final.

“This is big for the club and for the area,” said Thelo president Brent Gray. “We have all-volunteer coaches and an all-volunteer board. We don’t pay our coaches, so that we can keep our registration fees low and give local kids the opportunity to play high-level soccer at an affordable price. Most of the kids are from North Clackamas, Gladstone, Clackamas, Milwaukie and Oregon City feeder programs, and it’s the first time a club from our area has made it this far.

“We’ve had other teams do well this year, so it’s not just this U-16 boys team that is having success.... We’ve come a long way since Thelo’s first year in 2006.”

Gray said the club this past season fielded 16 boys and girls teams, competing at levels from U-11 to U-18.

“This is special, because we’re the first team that’s gone anywhere with the club,” said Sam Toops, a Clackamas High School junior-to-be who plays center back for Thelo Galaxy-16.

“It’s an honor,” said left back Braydon Simmons, who also attends Clackamas. “I’m super passionate about soccer and I’m never going to forget this experience. To be able to prove that I can play at the highest level with the best players, it’s the biggest honor I could ever achieve.”

“It means a lot,” said Putnam junior-to-be Eli Wolfram. “A lot of us have played together since we were little kids, and now, to think that we’re playing with the top teams in the nation, it feels great!”

Among local players on the standout team are: Clackamas High School juniors-to-be Toops (center back), Simmons (left back), Alex Severson (center back), Evan Lawrie (midfield/forward) and Matthew Williamson (forward); Clackamas freshman-to-be Jack Warner (midfield); Oregon City junior-to-be Zef Cuevas (midfield); Oregon City freshman-to-be Anthony Avellaneda (midfield/forward); Putnam junior-to-be Wolfram (right back); and La Salle Prep junior-to-be Alex Baasten (midfield).

Other players on the team include: Barlow senior-to-be Noah de Leon (forward), Barlow junior-to-be Hunter Thompson (goalie), David Douglas juniors-to-be Dontae Fernandez (midfield) and Jose Canzun (midfield), Cleveland junior-to-be Jorge Flores (forward) and Wilsonville junior-to-be Adam Kane (forward).

Lawrie and Williamson will not make the trip to Greensboro because they will be on a three-week National Soccer Academy tour of Europe with Evan’s father Jamie Lawrie, who is head coach of the Thelo FC Galaxy U-16 team. Assistant Miguel Soto will coach the team in the national finals in Jamie Lawrie’s absence.

“We have a very good attacking team,” said Jamie Lawrie. “Everyone is dangerous.... We lost to Crossfire Oregon 97-Green No. 1 on an own-goal [in the 2014 State Cup final] and they’re considered the super team. They haven’t lost in two or three years.”

Thelo United FC Galaxy U-16 played nine Premier League league games from Jan. 25 through April 6 and went 7-0-2, outscoring opponents 29-9. They defeated Forest Grove-based FC West DePortivo Valencia 3-0 and 3-1; Hillsboro Soccer Club 2-1; Lake Oswego-based Crossfire Oregon 98-Green 6-1 and 3-0; Thelo United FC Cobras-Green 6-1; and Hillsboro-based FC Academy 1998 Boys Navy 3-2.

The ties in league play were to FC Portland 1998 Boys Navy 1-1 and to FC Portland Academy 1997 Boys Navy 2-2.

They defeated FC Portland Academy 1997 Boys Navy 4-0 in the State Cup semifinals, after advancing through a 1-1 draw with Crossfire Oregon 97-Green No. 2, a 4-1 win over Crossfire Oregon 97-Black-West, and a 1-0 win over Crossfire Oregon 97-Black-East.

Thelo FC Galaxy U-16 players and parents are hopeful that the community will rally behind them with financial support of their trip to the Premier Nationals. Gray estimates the trip to Greensboro will cost the team around $15,000.

“The club will help out, but we don’t have a lot of funds and time is short for doing a lot of fundraisers,” said Gray. “We’d appreciate any help we can get with sponsorships from individuals and businesses in the community.”

To make a contribution, go to the club website at thelounited.com or contact Gray at 971-235-8848.