Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

Brought to you by Craig and Jodie - Budget Blinds - WINDOW TREATMENT INSIDER -


BUDGET BLINDS - Craig and JodieWith all the styles, colors, and options available, selecting the right window treatments can seem overwhelming. That’s why we have four tips to help you choose the perfect window coverings for your new place.

Don’t start with the cost: With custom window coverings, there is always a range of pricing that is influenced by add-on features, luxury finishes, and fabric styles. Chances are that no style of window covering is unattainable, even on a budget.

Determine what your windows need to do: Is you major concern blocking sunlight or preserving a captivating view? Is energy efficiency an important issue for you? Do you need a child-safe, cordless covering? Answering questions such as these can help point you in the direction of the right window covering type.

Define your decorating styles: Are your furnishings traditional, contemporary, or a combination of styles? Are your rooms neutral and calming or colorful and energizing? Do you prefer vibrant prints and geometrics or solid colors in intriguing textures? Define your style, and you’ll begin to see it shine through in your new home.

Give us a call!: With Budget Blinds you get a free, in-home consultation with a Style Consultant who can help translate your needs, style preferences, and budget into beautiful window coverings. You can see how samples of treatments, colors, fabrics, and finishes coordinate with your wall colors and furniture, taking the guesswork out of dressing your windows. Call us at 503-590-4333 to set up your in-home consultation.

Budget Blinds

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(503) 590-4333

budgetblinds.com

Brought to you by Marie Nicholson - Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care - MEMORY CARE INSIDER -


SUNNYSIDE MEADOWS MEMORY CARE - Marie NicholsonFor those suffering from dementia, home can come with a lot of “no” answers, all with good reasons from the family’s point of view. “No, honey, you can’t go out there alone.” “No, that’s not safe.” ”No, you can’t use that/do that/ go there!” People with memory issues may feel limited in their own home.

“They may feel like people are always whispering about them behind their back,” says Community Outreach Director Marie Nicholson. This can be frustrating from the senior’s point of view and certainly add to the paranoia and restlessness, since emotions are still intact.

Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care is being created to give all “yes” answers through the building design and staff training. Sunnyside Meadows provides a safe, non-restricted environment. The four neighborhoods have been thoughtfully designed for dementia and encourage residents to keep their minds and bodies active.

Every area presents a “Yes, go there, play there, wander there, and enjoy!” Stations are set up with interactive, hands-on life experience reminders, such as baseball cards, pipe fitting pieces, hats and necklaces, puzzles, games, an office or an art project.

Residents feel capable and purposeful when they participate and succeed in activities. Each aspect of the day has been centered on their well-being from the smell of freshly baked bread, to freedom to walk the many patios.

Models are now open for touring and seeing the “Yes”! Call Marie Nicholson at 503-798-1341 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your tour.

Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care

503-563-6734

12195 SE 117th Ave, Happy Valley, OR 97086

www.sunnysidemeadows.com

Brought to you by Marie Nicholson - Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care - MEMORY CARE INSIDER -


SUNNYSIDE MEADOWS MEMORY CARE - Marie NicholsonHappy Valley will be welcoming a new memory care community, Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care, as the doors open this fall. Sunnyside Meadows invites the community to come “feel the warmth” and tour as models are open now!

Led by Administrator Pepsi LaCamp, an experienced and respected industry insider, and Community Outreach Director Marie Nicholson, each 14-18 resident neighborhood at Sunnyside Meadows is named after an Oregon river. Featuring both private and companion apartments, each neighborhood supports interactive life stations, individualized activity programs, and a specialized environment for memory loss.

Not a corporate conglomerate, but a family-owned, local business, Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care features a unique dementia neighborhood. The serene setting provides intimate areas for family visits and enclosed courtyards with safe walking paths.

Specially selected staff will be supervised by a full-time R.N. and L.P.N. resident care coordinator. The care team’s goal will be to meet the spoken and unspoken needs of residents with a can-do, positive spirit.  Call Marie Nicholson to tour 503-798-1341 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sunnyside Meadows Memory Care

503-563-6734

12195 SE 117th Ave, Happy Valley, OR 97086

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brought to you by Craig and Jodie - Budget Blinds - WINDOW TREATMENT INSIDER -


BUDGET BLINDS - Craig and JodieWhen it comes to your home’s safety, you can never be too careful. We’ve already discussed some of the stylish and creative cordless window fashions for your home that are ideal when living with children and pets. Whether it’s the classic look of shutters, the versatility of shades, or any other cordless window covering, there are a number of great window treatments available that make your home a safer place.

If you’re still living with cords, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure a safe environment for you and your loved ones:

  • Move cribs, beds, or other furniture that children can climb on away from windows.
  • Keep all cords as short as possible and out of a child’s reach.
  • Be sure continuous-loop cords are firmly secured to the wall or floor to prevent a child or pet from becoming entangled.
  • Spring-assisted clutches can be installed to raise and lower window coverings, replacing cords.
  • Break-away tassels are designed to break apart under minimal stress to prevent entanglement.
  • Cord stops restrict how far internal ladder cords can be pulled from a blind or shade, eliminating the possibility of a loop big enough to fit over a child’s head.
  • Cord cleats safely secure cords up and away from a child’s reach.
  • Let Budget Blinds translate your safety concerns and style preferences into beautiful custom window coverings for your home. For a free, in-home consultation, call us at 503-590-4333 today!

    Budget Blinds

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    (503) 590-4333

    budgetblinds.com

    Brought to you by Craig and Jodie - Budget Blinds - WINDOW TREATMENT INSIDER -


    BUDGET BLINDS - Craig and JodieStatistics show that an average of one serious injury or fatality occurs each month from blind cord strangulation, both of which are highly avoidable. Cordless window treatments can help make your home a safer place for family and pets. These coverings offer both stylish fashions as well as elimination of cords, allowing you to design as creatively as you would like to.

    Wood, faux wood, composite, and honeycomb blinds are just a few of the options that can be made cordless, either through motorization or through wand-controlled operation of louvers, both of which eliminate dangerous, dangling cords.

    Shades are the most versatile window treatment, offering a wide variety of styles, color options, fabrics and material choices. Best of all, shades can be cordless or motorized making them ideal window coverings for those with children and/or pets in their homes and/or businesses.

    Another option to consider are shutters. Shutters are an incredible window treatment offering clean, crisp lines that complement all décor styles. Shutters are great for arched, rounded, and other unique window shapes that can be a challenge to address. All shutters are custom made from both premium wood and composite materials and they are always cordless.

    If you are ready to make your home safer for those you love, call us at 503-590-4333 for a free, in-home consultation. We can translate your safety concerns and style preferences into beautiful custom window coverings for your home.

    Budget Blinds

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    (503) 590-4333

    budgetblinds.com

    Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTO REPAIR INSIDER -


    BERNARD'S GARAGE - John Sciarra Before you hit the open road this summer, run through the Bernard’s Garage Road Trip Checklist to lower your chances of getting sidelined by vehicle troubles.

    Check your tires: Are your tires at the correct pressure? How much tread do your tires have left? How even is the tire wear? Tires are the most common component of vehicles to fail, so make sure yours are in good condition

    Make a road trip playlist: There’s nothing worse than the static of a radio with no service, so burn a CD or create an mp3 playlist with your favorite jams to keep the good times rolling.

    Check your different engine fluids: If your transmission fluid isn’t pinkish and almost clear, have it drained and changed out. Check to make sure you have the proper amount of coolant in your cooling system. And change out the oil and air filter in your engine. The improved fuel economy alone is reason enough.

    Bring some good snacks: There’s nothing worse than a car full of hungry people yelling at each other. Grab a couple of bottles of water per person, and have foods like trail mix, granola bars, bananas, and jerky handy for when hunger strikes

    Stop by Bernard’s Garage: At Bernard’s Garage, vehicle safety is our number one concern. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can help ensure your vehicle is running smoothly before your trip. Give us a call, check out the website, or stop by today!

    Bernard’s Garage

    2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

    503-659-7722

    bernardsgarage.com/

    Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Automotive INSIDER -


    BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

    Summer's here and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

    Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

    Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

    Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

    Bernard’s Garage

    2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

    503-659-7722

    >bernardsgarage.com/

    Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Auto Repair INSIDER -


    John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

    Summer's right around the corner and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

    Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

    Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

    Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

    Bernard’s Garage

    2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

    503-659-7722

    >bernardsgarage.com/

    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

    503-659-7722

    >bernardsgarage.com/

    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.

    503-353-7627

    www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

    Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

    503-656-2580

    www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

    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.

    503-353-7627

    www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

    Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

    503-656-2580

    www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

    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

    503-659-7722

    bernardsgarage.com/

    Other Pamplin Media Group sites


    Picking up the scent of 'black diamonds'

    Share

    Enticing aroma of truffles appeals to dogs and foodies


    In this game, the dog always wins by a nose. Literally.

    The game is hunting for Oregon truffles, which have a distinct aroma. And it just so happens that many dogs can identify that scent and unearth the fungi, which Elizabeth Kalik calls “black diamonds.”

    Kalik, along with partners Allan Kalik and Kelly and Roy Slocum, runs N.W. Truffle Dogs, a truffle-dog-training school in Oregon City.

    Elizabeth Kalik and Kelly Slocum used to train and handle search-and-rescue dogs, but Kalik said she grew tired of the long hours and stress, so started looking around for something else to do with her dogs.

    She started using her dogs to look for chanterelle mushrooms, and then in 2008 came across an article in “Bark” by Charles Lefevre.

    “He did a feasibility study at OSU on Oregon truffles, and there was a large section on the use of dogs. I called and told him I was interested, and he told me there was only one truffle-hunting dog in Oregon. I said, ‘I can fix that,’ ” Kalik said.

    “I told him if he can teach us about truffles, we can train dogs. He took us out on a few hunts near Corvallis. It was like taking Truffle 101.”

    In 2009, she went to a dog-training seminar in Eugene for the Oregon Truffle Festival, and then she and her partners founded N.W. Truffle Dogs that same year.

    by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Elizabeth Kalik, one of the owners of N.W. Truffle Dogs, shows a very interested Gordie a container of preserved Oregon black truffles. Canines find the scent of truffles to be particularly delectable.

    Douglas fir relationship

    So what are truffles and why are they so expensive?

    The short answer: Truffles are underground fungi and are rare and hard to find. The longer answer is a bit more detailed.

    There are four kinds of culinary truffles: the Oregon black truffle, the Oregon winter white, the Oregon spring white and the Oregon brown truffle.

    They are mostly found growing underground in proximity to Douglas fir habitat, which happens to be prolific in Oregon, Kalik said.

    “You have to find just the right patch of Douglas fir, in the right conditions,” she said. “The planets have to align.”

    Truffles have a symbiotic relationship with the tree, with a sort of exchange of nutrients between the two.

    The reason that dogs can find them is that the truffle’s luscious smell appeals to a dog’s taste buds, Kalik said.

    “The purpose of the aroma is to disperse spores, and to do that, the truffles have to be consumed by animals in order to propagate,” she said, noting that usually they are found and eaten by voles and other rodents.

    Part of the reason truffles cost so much is their season is short, generally from October to February, but most hunters have the best luck in January and February, Kalik said. And there is the added cachet associated with the European truffles from France and Italy that can sell for thousands of dollars a pound, and are “highly prized and valued by foodies.”

    Oregon truffles aren’t comparable to European truffles in the culinary world yet, Kalik said, but experts say the Oregon white truffle is gaining a good reputation.

    In a small bit of canine irony, Kalik said that when they are freshly dug up, ripe Oregon black truffles look shiny and wet, just like a dog’s nose.

    ‘It just happens’

    Of course, Kalik admitted that her interest in truffles is not culinary, but is instead in using them for training the dogs.

    “We use basic operative conditioning; the truffle scent is like Pavlov’s bell” to a dog, she noted.

    Dogs like to do scent work, she said, and training them to hunt truffles in a controlled environment is relatively easy. The challenge comes when you take the dogs out into the woods, and there are things the dogs would rather find, Kalik said.

    “We have to work on distraction-proofing and developing a work ethic. We train the dog to find truffles, but not eat them,” she said.

    She and Kelly Slocum have developed an assessment program, where they can test dogs ahead of time to see if they are right for the training program.

    If a dog is shy or not engaged from the start, or if the owners seem to want to do this more than the dog, she and Slocum “mitigate expectations. We hate to see people desperate to do this, and not all dogs enjoy the training process.”

    As for what breed of dog works best, Kalik said she and Slocum have worked successfully with every kind of dog, from a tiny dog like a Chinese Crested to a Giant Schnauzer.

    One of their most successful dogs was a pug-beagle cross, Kalik said, noting that beagles “are the epitome of a scent-detecting dog,” but might not be the best pet.

    People interested in this kind of dog training, “should find a dog they love and make the best of that. They will be spending more hours in the company of the pet than they will hunting truffles,” she added.

    The best breeds for truffle training should be outgoing and independent and not clingy and cuddly.

    “Hounds do great scent work, and golden retrievers can be fantastic. I love to watch them hunt with their noses; it is so great to see them doing something they love,” Kalik said.

    She recounted a time last year when she took students and their dogs on a hunt. The adults were standing around talking, and then Sasha, a golden retriever, started snuffling around a fern, and then turned around with a big, black truffle in her mouth.

    “That was the first time it clicked with Sasha. You can’t make it happen, it just happens,” Kalik said.

    Dogs only, please

    Contrary to what some people think, truffles are cultivable, but as far as she knows, the only truffle plantations have been planted with trees inoculated with European truffle spores from Italy and France, Kalik said.

    “The spores have to be in before the trees are planted, and after five to seven years, you should start to see some truffles,” she said.

    She knows of plantations in the Napa region of California, and in the South. A woman in North Carolina has asked Kalik to come to her plantation with her dogs to help her harvest truffles.

    That brings up the issue of ethics. The best way to find truffles is using dogs, who will detect the intensely aromatic ripe fungi. But some people take the easy way out and rake up the truffles.

    “If you rake up the truffles, you bring up the unripe as well as the ripe ones, and then you are done for the season. At any one time, few truffles are ripe; maybe two out of 10, she said, adding that the rake method drives the value of the product down if people try to sell an unripe truffle on the market. 

    “We ask that plantation owners sign an ethics agreement that they won’t sell non-dog-found truffles,” Kalik said.

    As for the future, she and her partners plan to continue training dogs to find native truffles, and they would like to find students interested in working on plantations, Kalik said.

    She encourages people who are interested in truffles to learn more about the habitat by joining local mushroom clubs and going out on forays with knowledgeable members.

    “People here don’t know what they might have right in their own backyards,” Kalik added.

    Fast Facts

    To learn more about N.W. Truffle Dogs, visit NWTruffleDogs.com; email the owners at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or call 503-664-0364.