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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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A program on the rise


Oregon City guys are tough in summer basketball -

Oregon City High School’s top boys basketball team made some noise over the summer.

Playing without two players who were among their top scorers as underclassmen last winter and playing what Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk termed “a very tough schedule,” the Pioneers still won close to 60 percent of the 30 games that they played. And they finished things off in impressive fashion July 22-28, when they won six of seven games to finish second in their bracket of a tournament in Las Vegas.

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY CHRIS MENGIS SR. - Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk maps out strategies during a Las Vegas Tournament game played at Clark High School. Pictured are: (seated, left to right) Chris Mengis, Briggs Young, Mason Martin, Austin DeWitz and Teron Bradford; and (standing) assistant coach Bryce Fisher, Chase Kaloust, Tanner Fowler, Jake Sather, Austin Sillett, Jake Vetter, Ben Sisul and Chris Figert.Junior-to-be Trevon Bradford, a 5-11 guard who averaged 11.4 points last winter, played basketball sparingly over the summer while he concentrated on football; senior-to-be Hunter Knighton, a 6-2 guard who averaged a team-high 14.7 points last winter, missed play this summer while he recuperated from surgery on a hand.

“We’re going to have a lot more depth,” said Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk. “We’ve had some tough competition this summer.... The kids are gaining in confidence and we’ll be better this year, and a lot better the year after. The team has great togetherness. They work really hard and they play well together.”

Among those adding to the depth are Ben Sisul, a 6-2 junior-to-be who has transferred from La Salle; and Jake Sather, a 6-3 senior-to-be who has transferred in from Sherwood.

“Ben Sisul is a longtime Oregon City resident,” Newkirk said. “He’s an incredible leaper. He can dunk it with his elbows. He’s the best leaper we’ve had here.”

Newkirk says that Sather will add depth at post, while Sisul will add depth at the wing.

Newkirk says that seniors-to-be Austin DeWitz (6-5 wing) and Chris Mengis (6-2 post), and junior-to-be Briggs Young (5-10 guard) were standouts for the Pioneers over the summer.

“DeWitz had an awesome summer,” he said. “He averaged a double-double. He averaged close to 20 points and he was also our leading rebounder. He’s getting attention from colleges....”

“Mengis had a great summer as well. I spent time with him one-on-one in the spring, working on his post moves. He’s improved his outside game. He also averaged double-doubles....

“Briggs Young had a really good summer. He was our second leading scorer and our team leader in assists.”

Newkirk says he also liked what he saw from incoming freshman Teron Bradford. A 6-0 guard who is a brother of Trevon, Teron hit the game-winner at the buzzer in a quarterfinal game with Texas Team Pride in the tournament in Las Vegas.

Among other top contributors during the summer were senior-to-be Mason Martin (6-0 guard); juniors-to-be Chase Kaloust (6-3 post) and Austin Sillett; and sophomores-to-be Tanner Smith (6-2 wing), Chris Figert (6-0 guard), Tanner Fowler (6-4 post) and Jacob Vetter (6-0 guard).

At Las Vegas, the Pioneers won six straight games, before losing to the Tucson Roadrunners 55-49 in their bracket championship game. They defeated Texas Fire 50 in the quarterfinals 52-50 and Berkeley Red Devils in the semifinals 54-53.

“Fouls killed us in the championship game [with Tucson],” said Newkirk. “We had beaten them earlier, but in the final, Mengis fouled out in the first half and DeWitz fouled out in the second half.”

The Pioneers won a 16-team tournament hosted by Canby in June, a tournament that included teams from Clackamas and from Tualatin.

They advanced all the way to the semifinals of the Curtis Shootout in Tacoma, Washington, dropping a one-point game to the host team, which went on to breeze to the tournament championship.

The Pioneers gave two-time defending Class 5A champion Jefferson a run for its money in dropping a close game to the Democrats. And they took Lake Oswego to overtime in a loss.

They also travelled to Chicago, where they learned what it’s like to play against physical ball clubs from that area of the country.

“Overall we had our best summer in the last three years,” Newkirk said. “Lots of reasons for optimism for the upcoming season.”