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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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Red Sox Juniors are 2nd in the state


South Clackamas Junior Nationals excel

by: SUBMITTED - South Clackamas Red Sox pose proudly with their championship hardware from the recent Clackamas County Junior Baseball Junior National Championship Tournament. The Sox were tough to beat in 2014, earning a 32-3 record and finishing second at the state tournament. Pictured are Rex Sox players and coaches: (front row, from left) Shepard Percival, Michael Percival, Rory Greco-Hall, Bailey Hellberg, Anthony Chinchilla and Austin Pottratz; (second row) coach Dave Percival, Dominic Loeb, Linden MacKenzie, Patrick Raschio, Matt Woolcott, Brody Blanchfill, Jackson Stone and coach Russ Loeb; and (back) head coach Doug Hall, Zach Lemmon and coach Jerry Stone.Persistence and hard work has paid dividends for a group of young men from the Oregon City area.

They call themselves the South Clackamas Red Sox and last weekend they capped off a tremendous season of Junior Baseball with a runner-up finish at the Junior National State Championship Tournament in Lebanon.

The high finish at the state tournament was all the more impressive for the Sox because several of the boys on the team had been to state twice before, but this was the first time they had even won a single game at a state championship tournament.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the way these kids battled all season long,” said Red Sox coach Doug Hall. “It’s a testament to 13 kids coming together and each of them contributing to our success. Whether it was a caught fly ball in the outfield to stop another team’s momentum or a huge at bat to knock in a needed run, these kids came together and did what they needed to do to get it done as a team. And every one of them contributed in some way.”

It wasn’t just at the state tournament that the Red Sox excelled. Their season record was 32-3 — with two of the losses at the state tournament, they went a perfect 16-0 during the regular league season and they earned their spot at the state tournament with a first-place finish in the county championship Junior National Tournament.

They went 4-2 in the double elimination state tournament, forcing state champion Central Linn to a second state championship game in order for the Cobras to claim the state title.

The Red Sox won a couple of barnburners in their first two games at the state tournament, defeating Keizer 10-9 and Washougal 5-4.

They then lost to Central Linn 11-7, but bounced back with a 14-10 win over Glencoe to earn another shot at Central Linn. They defeated Central Linn 7-6 in their rematch with the Cobras, forcing the second title game, which they lost to the Cobras 6-2.

The county tournament was no cakewalk for South Clackamas. After turning to the mercy rule to defeat Wilsonville 12-2 in four innings, the Sox had to go to extra innings to top Putnam 10-7 in the semifinal; and they topped an upset-minded team from Clackamas 12-8 in the county championship game.

“All season long, these kids have been competitors,” said Hall. “We were down 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth of the [county] semifinal.”

Vying for the Red Sox were: Michael Percival (catcher/pitcher/shortstop), Rory Greco-Hall (pitcher/third base/shortstop), Zach Lemmon (third base/pitcher), Linden Mackenzie (shortstop/pitcher/catcher), Dominic Loeb (first base/pitcher), Sheppard Percival (second base/first base), Jackson Stone (second base), Matt Woolcott (outfield), Brody Blanchfill (outfield), Anthony Chinchilla (centerfield/third base), Bailey Hellberg (centerfield/outfield), Patrick Raschio (outfield/first base) and Austin Pottratz (outfield).

Hall said that pitching was a huge part of the South Clackamas success story.

“In addition to hitting the ball, we have four solid pitchers and two outstanding catchers,” Hall said, following the county tournament. “We’ve thrown out at least one person in every game this year, through pickoffs or steals. Our pitchers and catchers have been phenomenal.”

Hall said that his ball club had 41 putouts on pickoffs or stolen base attempts through the county tournament.

Linden Mackenzie and Michael Percival got the job done behind the plate, while Mackenzie, Percival, Rory Greco-Hall and Zach Lemmon excelled on the mound.

Through the county championship tournament, Mackenzie had a 2.70 ERA, with 86 strikeouts in 44 innings; Greco-Hall had a 3.67 ERA, with 40 strikeouts in 34 innings; Percival had a 4.64 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 28 innings; and Lemmon had a 4.96 ERA, with 37 strikeouts in 18 innings.

Top sluggers were Mackenzie, with an incredible .667 batting average; Percival, at .589; and Anthony Chinchilla, at .585. MacKenzie had a team-leading 39 RBI.

Heading into the state tournament, South Clackamas’ leadoff hitter, Percival, had scored a team-high 41 runs and he had not struck out once, according to coach Hall.

Raschio had a hot bat in South Clackamas’ three state tournament games on Sunday, going 3-for-5, with two doubles and a single. MacKenzie hit a solo home run in Saturday’s 11-7 loss to Central Linn.

Raschio also drove in the winning run with a sixth-inning base hit in the Red Sox’s 5-4 state tournament win over Washougal. The Sox trailed 4-3 heading into the final inning of that game. Lemmon and Mackenzie were tough on the mound, together sending 16 batters down swinging.

“Dominic Loeb was huge for us on Sunday,” said Hall. “He is not one of our main pitchers, but he came through when we needed him, giving us four strong innings against Glencoe and two solid innings in our first championship game [with Central Linn].”

Nursing a 7-5 lead, the Red Sox broke their game open in their county final with Clackamas with four runs in the top of the fifth. Mackenzie had a home run in the fourth inning, his second of the county tournament.

Lemmon went 2-for-3 with his bat and scored twice. Anthony Chinchilla and Patrick Raschio also scored twice to help bring South Clackamas the victory.

Greco-Hall, Mackenzie and Percival took turns on the mound.

In the county semifinal with Putnam, South Clackamas scored four runs in the top of the sixth and four more runs in the top of the seventh to pull out the 10-7 extra-inning win. Putnam scored just one run in the final two innings.

Mackenzie, Percival, Lemmon and Greco Hall all took a turn on the mound. MacKenzie picked off a runner at first, while Percival gunned down two runners stealing from behind the plate.

Chinchilla, Patrick Raschio and Jackson Stone starred with their bats. Chinchilla went 3-for-3 and scored twice; Raschio had two hits, including a two-run triple in the seventh; Stone went 2-for-3 and scored twice.

Greco-Hall carried much of the load in the 12-2 four-inning rout of Wilsonville. He pitched all four innings, striking out seven, while allowing just two hits and picking off a base runner. Percival turned a few heads when he threw out a runner stealing third.

MacKenzie went 2-for-2 with his bat, with a double and a home run.

“Five of these kids have played together for five years, and it’s been fun watching them grow,” Hall said of Percival, Lemmon, Greco-Hall, Mackenzie and Anthony Chinchilla. “They placed third in the county as Midget Nationals and they were county champions last year as Junior Nationals. But this is the first time they’ve gone undefeated in league.”

“The kids were sad that they didn’t win the state tournament,” said Hall. “But they were just ecstatic about winning four games at state and finishing second out of 76 teams.”