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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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Glads are inexperienced, but talented


Gladstone guys aim to make some noise

JOHN DENNY - There are a lot of new faces in Gladstone High Schools varsity boys basketball lineup this season. But that doesnt mean the Gladiators wont be successful. The players up from the jayvee are accustomed to winning, having gone 23-1 last season. The six seniors on the team believe the Gladiators have the horses to make it to the state tournament. Pictured are senior captains (front, left to right) Robbie Knewitz and Devin Neer; and (back) Bryce McNabb, Nick Brown, Skyler Bradford and Deion Fields.With only three players returning with any amount of playing time from last year, little was expected of this year’s Gladstone High School varsity boys basketball team this season.

But the Gladiators have been impressive, winning seven of their first 10 games, holding their own with some of the top teams in the state, and earning a 13th-in-the-state ranking.

“I have to admit I’m a little surprised we’ve done this well,” said Gladstone 6-5 post Skyler Bradford, the lone returning full-time starter from last year. “But we have a lot of players who work hard. They are working harder than the seniors did last year, and we’ve got better team chemistry. On and off the court, we all get along together.”

Last year an experienced, senior dominated Gladstone varsity boys basketball team won the Tri-Valley Conference title, but lost to state finalist North Marion in the round of 16 of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Bradford says he believes that, even with their lack of experience playing at the varsity level, this year’s team can surpass what last year’s team did.

“Our goals are to get to the state tournament and win a state championship,” Bradford said. “And I confidence in us reaching that goal. We just have to come out every game and play with intensity. Play hard and give it our all for four full quarters. Come out and play as a group, and play hard.”

The players new to the varsity are not without talent. They finished last season with a 23-1 record, winning every game after a season-opening loss to cross-town rival La Salle.

“We played as one,” said Devin Neer, a 5-10 senior who was a playmaking guard on last year’s jayvee team. “We were fast and we were physical. Playing on varsity isn’t that much different. It’s a little faster, not much. And the atmosphere is different — bigger crowds. That’s about it.”

Bradford says this year’s varsity doesn’t have the speed that last year’s team had. But he says the team has more depth and more versatile players. And they execute a lot better in the half-court game, he insists.

“We have people that come off the bench and can play wing, point guard and post,” said Bradford. “Last year we only had people playing post coming in off the bench.”

“In my mind we’re deeper [than last year],” said Gladstone head coach Cody Aker. “We’ve had multiple games where I’ve played 10 guys. That was one of the nice things about last year’s jayvee team. Everyone played a lot.”

This year’s Gladiator varsity includes six seniors: Bradford, Neer, 6-6 post Nick Brown, 6-3 wing Bryce McNabb, 6-0 wing Robbie Knewitz and 6-3 post Deion Fields.

Bradford, Brown and McNabb are the only players who saw significant playing time on varsity a year ago.

Rounding out this year’s varsity roster are: juniors Jose Rodriguez (6-3 wing), Quinn Carl (6-2 wing), Briggs Tatom (6-2 wing), Jordan Watts (6-2 wing) and Keaton Hogan (6-3 post); and sophomore Lyric Warren (5-10 point guard).

Bradford, Brown, McNabb, Rodriguez and Warren have been starting most of the preseason.

Brown and Bradford have been the go-to players on offense, averaging 18 and 15 points respectively.

The Gladiators have demonstrated potential in preseason, taking fourth-ranked Seaside down to the wire in a 46-45 loss and giving sixth-ranked Valley Catholic a run for its money in a 48-41 loss. They were up by 12 points heading into the fourth quarter of their loss to Seaside.

“We slowed down and didn’t push ourselves like we could have,” said Neer. “We learned from that game that we can’t let up in the fourth quarter. We did the same thing in our game with Valley Catholic.”

Aker said he sees the Tri-Valley Conference title chase as being wide-open, with Molalla, Crook County and hopefully his Gladiators being the top contenders.

He insists, “There is no favorite” to win the TVC.

Crook County returns three players who garnered TVC league all-star honors last year: seniors Seth Kessi (6-5 post), Blake Bartels (6-2 guard) and Garrett Harper (6-2 guard).

Madras returns two players who received league all-star recognition — seniors Bryce Rehwinkel (6-6 post) and Sean LeRiche (6-4 post).

Gladstone plays Banks on the road on Friday (Jan. 15) in its final tuneup for the league season.

The Gladiators begin league play on Tuesday, Jan. 19, playing Crook County (6-6) on the road. They have a home game with Madras (1-9) on Friday, Jan. 22.