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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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Mustangs flex their mat muscle


They give the sixth-ranked Sandy Pioneers a run for their money

JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie freshman Bryant Smith breaks down Sandy sophomore 120-pounder Hunter Rickman.Milwaukie High School’s wrestling program gained a little respect on Thursday, Jan. 7, as the Mustangs wrestled tough in a Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet with Class 5A wrestling powerhouse Sandy, losing 46-21 to the sixth-ranked Pioneers.

The Mustangs won five of the 13 matches contested on the mat and they came close to winning a sixth match.

And it was a youthful Mustang team going up against a veteran Sandy team, which featured a number of athletes who had competed for the Pioneers on a team that placed third at state a year ago.

Sandy had a full lineup that included eight wrestlers ranked in the top ten in the state in last week’s Richard Rockwell Rankings.

Milwaukie’s lineup included seniors River Meyer (170) and Andy Montes (195) and eleven underclassmen — freshmen Jacob Ashley (106), Jarrett Graff (113), Bryant Smith (120) and Matthew Lee (138); sophomores Jonathan Lee (126), Chazz Amundson (182) and Noah Ramirez (220); and juniors Juvoni Penn-Harris (145), Jake Hickey (152), Jon Snyder (160) and Ethan Dye (285).

And the Mustangs were without three first varsity wrestlers, who were absence because of injury or illness — sophomore Romario Ramirez (132), junior Mikel Bremner (152) and senior Anthony Flynn (195). The Mustangs forfeited at 132. Bremner, one of the Mustangs’ top wrestlers, was ranked 11th in the state heading into the meet.

Milwaukie winners included: Ashley, Smith, Lee, Amundson and Noah Ramirez.

Milwaukie’s Ethan Dye dropped a barnburner at heavyweight, yielding by 6-4 decision to Sandy sophomore Sefa Polamalu. Dye was within a point, trailing 4-3, early in the third round.

Ashley defeated Sandy freshman 106-pounder by first-round fall; Smith won by 9-6 decision over Sandy sophomore 120-pounder Hunter Rickman; Lee won by 5-4 decision over Sandy senior 138-pounder Steven Patton; Amundson won by 5-1 decision over Sandy junior 182-pounder Abe Mitchell; and Ramirez won by second-round fall over Sandy junior 220-pounder James Ruhl.

Patton entered the meet ranked fifth in the state; Rickman entered the meet ranked seventh.

JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie freshman Matthew Lee (right) battles Sandy senior 138-pounder Steven Patton.Trailing 3-0 after two rounds, Lee battled from behind to pull off his upset of Patton. Lee escaped early in the third round for his first point. With 30 seconds remaining in their match, Lee took Patton down to his back to go up 5-4. He then battled tough to the end to claim the spoils.

“He beat me last year in our dual meet,” said Lee. “I think he pinned me in the first round; so, at first, I didn’t know what to expect…. He might be ranked fifth in the state, but we were both getting a little tired after the second round. I was thinking, I have to keep pushing the pace. In the last 30 seconds, I got him in a head-and-arm and took him to the mat for a takedown and a two-point nearfall….”

Ask what the upset of Patton means to him, Lee said, “Hard work pays off.”

Lee said of his personal goal: “I really want to become a state champion. I’m going to keep working hard, and pushing myself.”

Smith’s match with Rickman was a barnburner. Smith scored a takedown early in the first round for a 2-0 lead; Rickman tied things up at 2-2 with a reversal early in the second round; nursing a 6-5 lead early in the third period, Smith put the match away with an escape and takedown.

Smith said of his winning strategy: “Just to come out tough, get the first shot and score first.”

JOHN LARIVIERE - Milwaukie sophomore Chazz Amundson rides Sandy 182-pound junior Abe Mitchell.Smith has ambitious goals for himself and his team before he graduates.

“To be a four-time state champion, and for our team — by my senior year — to have a top finish at district and place at state as well, if not win state.”

Ashley looked impressive in earning his first-round fall over Giltner. He out-hustled Giltner and got a takedown 1:20 into their match and he stacked him up for a fall 32 seconds later.

“It feels good,” Ashley said. “I wrestled that kid a long time ago, like in fourth grade, and he pinned me.”

Amundson wrestled smart to earn his 5-1 win over Mitchell, wrestling conservatively until late in the match, when he took charge. After a scoreless first round, Amundson went up 2-1 with a takedown as the second round was winding down. He escaped midway through the final round for a 3-1 lead, and he took Mitchell down as the match wound down for his 5-1 victory.

“It was a tough match,” Amundson said. “I definitely have a lot to improve on…. I’m glad I got good coaching and stuck with my defensive strategy.”

Amundson added, “This makes me feel good, because last year I didn’t even wrestle varsity. It’s a big improvement for me and for the team. It feels like we’re going places.”

Ramirez’ win by fall over Sandy junior James Ruhl was totally unexpected, because Ramirez is a first-year wrestler. But Ramirez was in charge all the way, building a 4-1 lead through early in the second round with a pair of takedowns. Ramirez then pinned Ruhl with a minute left in the second round.

“My friends from football talked me into coming out for wrestling, and I’m glad they did,” Amundson said. “I love it. I know I have a lot to learn, but my teammates are helping me out a lot, showing me moves after every practice…. I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but by the time I’m a senior, I’d like to be a state champion.”

With the team win at Milwaukie, Sandy (3-0) remained tied with fourth-ranked Hillsboro (3-0) in first place in the NWOC dual standings. Milwaukie, which lost to Hillsboro 51-21 on Dec. 16, slipped to 1-2 with the loss.

The Mustangs vie in the Oregon Wrestling Classic Jan. 15-16. They return to league competition on Thursday, Jan. 21, when they entertain St. Helens (2-0). Sandy hosts Liberty (1-2) on Jan. 20.

In other NWOC league matches last week, Putnam improved to 1-1 with a 54-27 trouncing of winless Parkrose, Hillsboro hammered Liberty 69-6, and St. Helens dispatched with Wilsonville 50-29.

Last week’s meet between Putnam and Parkrose went quickly, as the Broncs spotted the Kingsmen 42 points through seven forfeits.

Winning on the mat for the Kingsmen were: sophomore Giovanni Hernandez (152), by third-round fall over Isaac Hernandez; and senior Cameron Davis (182), by second-round fall over Danny Pascual.

Putnam has an away meet with St. Helens on Wednesday, Jan. 13; and the Kingsmen host Hillsboro on Jan. 20.

Kingsmen wrestle

tough at Cleveland

Putnam continued impressive in an 18-team weekend tournament at Cleveland High School, with five athletes placing in the top five and Putnam’s team finishing seventh — back of strong teams from Churchill, Tualatin, McNary, Forest Grove, Sandy and Reynolds.

“It was easily our best ever finish at this tournament,” said Putnam coach John Telesmanich. “The bad thing is we could have wrestled better and finished higher. The good thing is we weren’t satisfied with just doing the best we’ve ever done, but we’re looking to do even better.”

Putnam placers included: sophomore Gio Hernandez (152), second; freshman Jonny Hernandez (106) and sophomore Drew Urben (38), third; senior Zack Mason (285), fourth; and senior Brice McDonald, fifth.

Gio Hernandez won four of his five matches in the tournament. His only lost was to Terrell West, who was a Class 6A state champion for Jefferson last winter.