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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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Willamette Falls Symphony readies new season


by: STAN MILKOWSKI - Dr. Mark Perlman conducts a performance of the Willamette Falls Symphony at an Oregon City Parks and Recreation summer concert in the park.The Willamette Falls Orchestra kicks off its 2012-13 season on Sunday, Nov. 11, with three very different pieces of music: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”; Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite”; and Brouwer’s “Remembrances.”

“Our number one goal is to make a really good performance, playing the music we love,” said Mark Perlman, the music director and conductor of the orchestra since 2001, and a professor of philosophy at Western Oregon University.

The musicians will be ready to perform on Sunday, but one thing is crucial — community support.

“We need to have an audience; there are a lot of people who don’t know there’s an orchestra in Oregon City,” Perlman said.

Many of the members of the orchestra are Clackamas County residents, and most are volunteers.

“These are your friends and neighbors doing this, because it is their passion to play music. And this is in a small venue; at intermission we serve cookies and chat with the audience members — it is interactive,” Perlman said.

People from all walks of life make up the orchestra, he said, adding, “I try to make it fun for them, and they make it fun for me.”

Margie Arighi, the orchestra president, said that Perlman has a good rapport with the musicians and conducts with a relaxed and friendly style.

“He pushes the orchestra, but in a nice way, and his music choices have been wonderful,” she said, adding that the Stravinsky piece is difficult and attempted by very few community orchestras.

Classical music

Perlman chose the three pieces that the orchestra will play on Sunday, because each is “good in a different way.”

Beethoven’s “Pastoral” is the “pinnacle of symphonies,” and “The Firebird Suite,” is exciting, he said, adding, “One part of ‘Firebird’ is called ‘The Infernal Dance,’ and the whole orchestra goes crazy.”

Perlman chose Margaret Brouwer’s “Remembrances,” partly because she is a female composer, and “women composers don’t get very much exposure, and I wanted to take one step toward remedying that problem,” he said.

But he did not want to do just any piece by a female composer, and in listening to her work on a CD, he said, “this piece jumped out.”

Future events

Next up for the Willamette Falls Symphony Orchestra is a concert on March 17, so it should come as no surprise that the group will be doing Irish-themed music.

But as part of that concert, the orchestra will be joined by the winners of the Youth Concerto Competition.

The group holds this competition every two years, and in the past the entrants were limited to Clackamas County residents, but now any person between the ages of 12 to 19 may apply, Perlman said.

And in another effort to “emphasize the community aspect” of the orchestra, “we are sending out small groups of players to local events,” he noted.

A brass quartet played traditional wedding music for the renewal of vows ceremony at the recent Arch Bridge re-opening event, and another small group will play for an upcoming meeting of the Oregon City commissioners.

In addition to getting the word out that there is an orchestra in Oregon City, sending small groups out into the community has another benefit, Perlman said.

“It gives some of our musicians an opportunity to show their musicianship and it is fun for them to play with trios, quartets and quintets.”

And as for those who think it is too far to drive up Interstate 5 to Oregon City for a symphony, Perlman noted that he drives from Salem.

The Willamette Falls Symphony Orchestra

Under the direction of Dr. Mark Perlman, the orchestra will present its fall concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Oregon City United Methodist Church, 18955 South End Road.

It will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”; Stravinsky’s “The Firebird Suite” and Brouwer’s “Remembrances.”

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Children younger than 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at the door.

For more information, visit the website at willamettefallssymphony.org.

The 2013 Youth Concerto Competition is now open to all musicians between the ages of 12 to 19; the deadline to apply is Dec. 7. The competition will be held on Jan. 12 at the Oregon City United Methodist Church, 18955 South End Road. Winners will receive a $100 cash award and will perform their piece at the Willamette Falls Symphony concert on March 17, 2013. For more information, visit the website listed above, click on Welcome, and scroll down to Youth Concerto Competition, or call 503-632-7267.