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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 state powerhouse in football?


The Oregon City Pioneers may have the horses to go all the way

Oregon City is coming off arguably its most successful football season since 1996, and much is expected of the Pioneers in 2014.

The Pioneers have been ranked second in the state only to defending state champion Central Catholic in statewide preseason polls. And many of the players on the team believe that Oregon City can make a run at a state championship.

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Its been a competitive battle for the starting nod at quarterback for Oregon City this fall, with four athletes in the mix. Pictured with first-year Oregon City head coach Randy Nyquist are quarterback contenders (from left) sophomore DeQuahn Dennis-Lee, senior Scott Lloyd, junior Riley Rexine and senior Thomas Hamilton.“I think if we play up to our ability, we can play with anybody in the state,” said Oregon City senior Hunter Knighton. “I think we could go all the way.”

“We have the potential to be great!” said Oregon City senior Jake Yoshimura. “But we need to get some things figured out first. Our defense is the same, but our offense is all new. And we’re still learning.”

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Hunter Knighton“It’s a different offensive scheme than last year, but I like it,” Knighton said. “Last year we spread the ball out, with one back and multiple receiver sets. This year we’ve got two running backs and we’re more run-oriented.”

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Jake YoshimuraKnighton, Yoshimura and their teammates have good reason for optimism. The Pioneers return most of their top skill players from last year’s team that won the Three Rivers League and finished with a 9-2 record, the most wins since 1996, the last time an Oregon City team made a state final.

Six experienced players return on offense and six experienced players return on defense from last year’s squad. And many of the players filling the holes move up from jayvee and freshmen teams that both went 8-1 in 2013.

First-year Oregon City head coach Randy Nyquist says that the Pioneers, skill-wise, compare favorably to some of his best teams.

“I was at West Albany 15 years,” said Nyquist. “In the last eight years we won seven league titles and three state titles and we played in four state championship games. We had two teams that had back-to-back 14-0 seasons and the year before our team lost only one game. That’s 41-1 over three season. Skill-wise, this Oregon City is comparable to those teams.”

But Nyquist cautioned, “This team has the potential to be a very good football team. But potential in itself does not equate to being a good football team. I like what I see and I have high expectations. But we are not there yet. We have a ways to go. We’ve got to play together as a team. We’ve got to be disciplined and play our best every night. And we’ve got to stay healthy.”

Among the returnees from last year’s successful Pioneer varsity are three top skill players, junior running back Conner Mitchell, senior wide receiver Knighton and junior wide receiver Trevon Bradford.

A first-team all-league selection as a sophomore, Mitchell last season headed up the Pioneer ground attack, rushing 244 times for 1,590 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Conner Mitchell (7) breaks loose in last years win over ClackamasMitchell has good company in the backfield this season in Richie Mock, a 6-3, 205-pound junior. Mock transferred to Putnam from Oregon City last year, where he was the Kingsmen’s top running back. Now he is back at Oregon City.

“Richie is more of a power back,” said Knighton. “He’s real aggressive, he has speed, and he loves contact.”

And Nyquist says that Tanner Smith, a 6-2, 220-pound sophomore, will likely see his share of time in the offensive backfield this fall.

Bradford, who has already received a scholarship offer from Montana State, last season had 22 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. Knighton made 16 catches for 287 yards and five touchdowns. Both received second-team all-league recognition for their efforts on offense.

The Pioneers have yet another talented receiver in Sam Maughan, a 6-4, 210-pound junior, who moves up from last year’s successful jayvee team.

“I’ve been real impressed with Sam,” Nyquist said. “He’s big, he’s physical, and he’s got good hands. He’s going to cause some people problems.”

The Pioneers have graduated most of last year’s line, but they return a tough two-way lineman in 6-1, 260-pound senior Chris Mengis.

“We’re a little undersized [in the line], but our linemen are relentless and they work hard,” said Knighton. “Mengis is doing a great job mentoring them and helping them learn.”

“I’ve been impressed with Duncan Cranston,” said Yoshimura. “He’s a junior up from the jayvee. He’s been playing center and he’s doing a great job. He’s picked up on the new offense really well.”

The Pioneers return six players who received all-league recognition on defense last year: seniors Jonathan Marquett (cornerback), Coy Vandehey (linebacker), Mitchell (linebacker) and Yoshimura (linebacker); and juniors Bradford (safety) and Kiahve Dennis-Lee (linebacker).

Other top returnees include seniors Conor Mahoney (line) and Tristan Birge (wide receiver), and junior Aaron Parker (line).

One of the biggest holes that the Pioneers have to fill from last year is at quarterback, where graduate Jon Hall excelled last season.

But Nyquist says he’s got at least three players quite capable of filling Hall’s shoes in senior Scott Lloyd (6-3, 195), senior Thomas Hamilton (6-3, 215) and junior Riley Rexine (5-10, 175). Lloyd and Rexine split time on jayvee last year, while Hamilton is a transfer from Baker City.

“They all have their strengths,” said Nyquist. “We’ll give them reps and continue to evaluate before we make a decision as to who is No. 1.”

“It’s been a competitive battle [for the starting nod at quarterback],” said Knighton. I’m not sure how it will end up, but they are all really good. No matter who is starting, we’ll be in good shape.”

The Pioneers are looking to Maughan to do their punting and to junior Jordan Phillips to do kickoffs and PAT kicks.

The Pioneers will get an idea of how they stack up with the best teams in the state on Friday, Sept. 19, when they travel to Hillsboro Stadium to take on defending state champion Central Catholic.

“It’ll be a great challenge,” Knighton said. “But I think we’ll be up to it. I don’t think we’ll be at all intimidated. I think we should be able to compete with them. I’m excited. It’s been a long time since we got to play a team of that caliber.”

Oregon City begins play this Friday, when the Pioneers play cross-river rival West Linn at West Linn. The Pioneers host Lakeridge on Friday, Sept. 12; and then they begin Mt. Hood Conference play, beginning with their Sept. 19 conference opener with Central Catholic.

Yoshimura said of the new conference: “It’s not much different from the Three Rivers League. We’ll still have good competition, with Clackamas and Central Catholic in the league. I don’t know that much about the other teams in the league, but I expect there to be other good teams. I’m looking forward to it.”