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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/

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

www.snapfitness.com/

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

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

503-656-2580

Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.

503-266-5515

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

bernardsgarage.com

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Soap maker enjoys holidays' sweet scent

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by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ruth Beck's felted dryer balls are a reusable natural alternative to dryer sheets.With the madness of Black Friday behind us, and the Christmas/Hanukkah season still to come, Ruth Beck has an idea that could make gift purchasing simpler and more heartfelt: put together gift baskets of homemade goods purchased from different local vendors.

“In these tough economic times, we all benefit from supporting small business, thereby strengthening our own local economies,” the Oregon City resident added.

Beck, the owner of Owl and Acorn, makes soaps and balms, felted soaps, felted dryer balls and hand-spun yarn, all of which are available locally at Wynona Studios on Main Street in downtown Oregon City.

She had been making soaps and balms for years as gifts for friends and family, as a kind of counterpoint to her academic pursuits at Marylhurst University, where she did her undergraduate work in religion and philosophy.

But just recently she decided to follow her heart, and Owl & Acorn officially became a business in May 2011.

“The name Owl & Acorn came from many moments of contemplation about what I want my work to symbolize, and who I want to honor,” Beck said.

Her mother represents the wise owl, while Beck thinks of herself as the acorn that did not fall far from the tree.

Her mother is her creative hero, Beck noted, saying that her mother, a collector of all things owl, is a talented artist and potter, in addition to being her best friend.

Beck describes soaps and balms as her passion, which she makes with the finest quality natural ingredients, “that will help skin regain and maintain natural healthy radiance. I am committed to using responsibly harvested, certified-organic carrier oils whenever possible, 100 percent pure essential oils and only natural herbal or mineral colorants and additives.”

But she admits that she is easily distractible and “and makes what the muse inspires.”

This has led her to make the felted items and hand-spun yarns, all crafted from the wool from her family’s sheep farm in rural Oregon City, which is also where her soap workshop is located.

“Being a maker of natural soaps and being a small business owner has been such a great way for me to stay true to the natural rhythms of life as they present themselves,” Beck said, noting that she is the mother of a son under 3, and having her own business allows her to “slow my life down to his pace, remain flexible and make choices independent of the typical nine-to-five workday demand.”

Soothing color and scent

Soon after opening her business, Beck was offered the opportunity to teach classes on making felted soaps at Wynona Studios, through the community education program at Clackamas Community College.

“I found it to be both challenging and rewarding, and have since been able to offer a few different classes through Wynona Studios. I believe that teaching is such an important part of being an artist/creator, as it is a way to share your passion, bring encouragement and provide useful knowledge for others looking to hone their crafts and creative expressions,” she said.

Starting this winter, Beck will add classes on making felted dryer balls and making natural balms and salves.

All of the handmade items she makes “are the kinds of small luxuries we could all afford to have more of in our lives, not only during the holidays but year-round,” Beck said.

“When someone uses or gifts one of my creations, it is my sincere hope they are taking a deep breath, inhaling, exhaling, slowing down, delighting in the details as they put their soap, balm or other product to use,” she said.

Beck wants her work “to bring pause and soothing color, scent and texture to the user, just as it does for me in the making of it. I believe we all benefit when we support the handmade ‘slow product’ movement. It’s a way of saying we care about the little things in life, too, and that maybe they really are no small thing after all.”

Boosting small businesses

This is a busy time of the year for Beck, as she sells her products at holiday bazaars, in addition to small, locally owned stores in Portland and Albany.

She loves this time of the year, she said, and not just because of the retail opportunities.

“The Winter Solstice is such a wonderful time for reflection, planning for the future and keeping the creative fires ablaze,” Beck said.

She also noted that she is excited to launch a new extension of Owl & Acorn, with the addition of her mother’s pottery.

“A variety of her high-fire ceramic soap dishes and other ceramic wares will soon be an exciting complement to the earthy expression of Owl & Acorn soaps. As always, I am excited to see what new inspiration will come my way via quiet and raucous moments in nature, gardening, farming, child-raising, music-making, writing; these are all places where I find my peace and dirt-inspired joie de vivre,” she said.

And right now, she hopes that people will consider shopping at small, local businesses for the holidays, because “many small businesses like mine in the handmade movement truly rely on your support and patronage to stay afloat.”

Fast Facts

Ruth Beck’s Owl & Acorn products are available in Oregon City at Wynona Studios, 719 Main St., Oregon City. Call 503-974-9193 for hours and class schedules. Her products are also available at Beck’s Farms, her family’s U-cut Christmas tree farm, 16700 S. Gerber Road, Oregon City.

Visit Beck’s Etsy site at owlandacorn.etsy.com, or visit her website for class schedules and other information at theowlandacorn.com.

Beck will also be a featured artist at the eighth annual da Vinci Arts Fair, Dec. 1 and 2 at da Vinci Arts Middle School, 2508 N.E. Everett St., in Portland.