Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Don't count Gladstone out in girls hoops


They're young, but they've got talent

JOHN DENNY - Gladstone team captains (left to right) Sophia Hollingsworth, Jessica Petersen and Madi Mott say they believe that an inexperienced Gladstone girls basketball team can contend for the Tri-Valley Conference title again in 2016.They’ve lost three starters, including their top two players, from last year’s team that was one of the most successful in school history. And there’s only one senior on the team.

But that doesn’t mean that Gladstone won’t be successful in high school girls basketball this year.

The Gladiators are without graduates Molly Webster and Mikaela Simac. The awesome twosome a year ago led the Gladiators to a 24-4 season, an undefeated league season and the fourth-place trophy at the Class 4A State Tournament. It was only the third state-tournament trophy in school history and the second-most wins in a season by a Gladstone girls basketball team.

Webster (offense) and Simac (defense) were named Tri-Valley Conference “players of the year” and they left Gladstone as the all-time single-season and career school offensive and defensive record holders. Webster last season averaged 19.9 points a game; Simac averaged 5.4 steals and she typically drew the assignment of guarding the top offensive player on the opposing team.

There are a lot of new faces on this year’s team, with only four players returning who saw much action a year ago — senior Jessica Petersen (5-8 guard), juniors Sophia Hollingsworth (6-1 post) and Madi Mott (5-10 forward), and sophomore Grace Campbell (5-9 wing).

Still, the Gladiators have high expectations.

“Our main goal is to win league,” said Petersen, who is team co-captain, with Hollingsworth and Mott.

“I think we can get back [to the state tournament],” said Mott.

“I think we can,” said Petersen.

“Especially if we continue improving and learn to work together,” said Hollingsworth.

“I think we’re playing more as a team than we ever have since I’ve been here,” said Petersen, who is in her fourth season playing on varsity. “We’ve got a lot of individual talent and I’ve noticed we work really well together.”

The Gladiators have given some of the top teams in the state a run for their money, only to fade down the stretch. They’ve gone 5-6 in their first 11 preseason games. But five of the losses came at the hands of teams ranked in the top 10 in the state, and the sixth loss was in a close game with 11th-ranked Stayton.

They’ve met Tri-Valley Conference favorite Molalla twice in preseason tournaments, and both games with the Indians were barnburners until the fourth quarter. In a 57-44 loss to the fourth-ranked Indians, it was a 36-36 tie heading into the fourth quarter, and they led the Indians heading into the fourth quarter of a 51-50 loss.

“It was mental,” Hollingsworth said of the Gladiators’ struggles in the fourth quarter of the games with the Indians. “They’re experienced and we aren’t, and it showed.”

“When it comes to the fourth quarter of games, we need to keep our foot to the pedal and keep driving to the basket on the offensive end,” said Mott.

The Gladiators have demonstrated a lot more depth on offense than last season, when Webster carried most of the load. They had six different players lead their scoring in their first 10 games. They’ve had nine players score in six games and at least six players score in every game.

Petersen (8.3 ppg), Campbell (7.9 ppg), Mott (7.1 ppg) and Hollingsworth (6.2 ppg) were the top point-getters through Gladstone’s first 11 games.

Junior Megan Fox, a 5-8 small forward, and Campbell tied for high-point honors in a 61-42 Dec. 28 win over Newport, each with 13 points.

Junior Allyson Paullin, a 5-7 forward, Mott and Campbell scored 10 points apiece to lead the way in a 63-23 rout of Hudson’s Bay on Dec. 18.

Others on this year’s varsity roster include: juniors Megan Kuhn (5-4 guard), Jillian Sharp (5-6 guard), Grace Chappell (5-11 forward) and Kinzi McLeod (5-6 forward); and sophomores Cameron Cronin (5-5 guard), Shaye Pinner (5-11 forward) and Emily Clinkscales (5-8 forward).

Sharp has been starting, along with Petersen, Mott, Hollingsworth and Campbell.

In comparing this year’s team to last year’s, Gladstone coach Pat Scott said the team has more balanced scoring and they have more of an inside approach on offense, instead of relying a lot on the perimeter game.

The Gladiators were impressive last Friday, when they handled Tillamook for the second time this season, upending the Cheesemakers 48-26, after winning 56-49 in the earlier contest, which was played at Tillamook on Dec. 11.

Petersen (16 points) led 10 players who put points on the scoreboard last Friday. She was 6-of-11 from the field — with two 3-point baskets. The Gladiators had nine different players make assists in the game and eight players had steals.

The Gladiators close out the preseason on Friday, Jan. 15, when they play host to sixth-ranked Banks (9-3).

They begin their league season next Tuesday, Jan. 19, when they entertain Crook County (2-9). Their final game of the league season is Feb. 23, at Molalla (9-2).