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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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Broken Arrow Archery benefits from popularity of 'Games'

by: PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - Chuck Pedracini shows David Calhoun the advantages of using a compound bow. “Hunger Games,” released last March, was the ninth highest grossing movie in the world for 2012, so it did not surprise Chuck Pedracini, owner of Broken Arrow Archery in Milwaukie, to see a rise in interest in archery.

His store has a large target-shooting range and a variety of archery and bow-hunting supplies and accessories.

The movie, based on the 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, focuses on teens fighting for their lives, while hunting each other with bows and arrows, among other weapons. The poster for the movie featured actress Jennifer Lawrence posing with a drawn bow, a quiver of arrows on her back.

The interest appears to be nationwide. A July 24 Washington Post article reported that archery was gaining ground among young women because of the story. “Thanks to Suzanne Collins’ dystopian books and their ongoing movie spinoffs, interest in archery among preteen girls has spiked significantly, as area camps and archery schools are swamped with requests for lessons,” the Post reported.

So when girls 7 to 14 started showing up at Broken Arrow, “wanting bows and wanting to shoot, I thought that had to be because of the movie,” Pedracini said.

His eldest granddaughter was excited about the release of the movie and had read the book, so Pedracini figured “that may translate into a lot more interest in archery in general.”

Then along came the Summer Olympics and the movies “Avengers” and “Brave,” also featuring archery, and all that interest in the sport culminated in December, when his shop had “almost twice as much business as any December we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Older customers, who may not have shot a bow since they were involved in scouting activities, are also expressing interest in archery, he added.

Archery is a fairly inexpensive sport, Pedracini said, noting that customers can come into Broken Arrow and rent a bow for $5 and get a target for $1.25; there is also a $5 range charge.

“We set customers up with the basics and teach them the stance and rules of the range, and then we watch them shoot 10 to 20 shots. We give them a little bit of instruction to get them started,” he said.

When someone buys a bow, Pedracini or one of his employees will come out and teach the techniques and fundamentals.

“We stress those, especially for people who have never shot before. That is why we are so successful; we are going to take care of you and make you feel comfortable,” he said.

Although Broken Arrow does not have adult archery classes, the shop offers lessons to children through North Clackamas Parks and Recreation every Saturday.

“We had to add another term this winter, so we teach from 10 to 11 a.m., and from 11 a.m. to noon,” Pedracini said.

All the interest in archery has led to a shortage of the popular traditional style recurve bow, similar to that used by Katniss Everdeen, Lawrence’s character in the movie.

“I have almost none of those bows and I can’t get them from the manufacturer, because they are backed up from the national interest,” Pedracini said.

Broken Arrow does sell another popular bow, the compound bow, which comes with a sight and other accessories, and shoots faster and straighter, he added.

Archery takes a lot of practice, Pedracini said, and although there are outdoor archery ranges at Portland’s Washington Park and Blue Lake Park in Fairview, he wishes there were more and closer outdoor ranges for families to enjoy the sport.

Hunting season change

Pedracini has owned Broken Arrow Archery since 2004, when its original owner, who started the business in 1994, decided to sell it. It was located at that time near Round Table Pizza on McLoughlin Boulevard.

“I was a customer for three or four years, and when my son heard the owner wanted to sell the business, he said I should buy it,” Pedracini said.

At that time, On Target Archery was next door to the U.S. Post Office in downtown Milwaukie. Pedracini purchased that business and moved into Southeast Adams Street in June 2005, after quite a bit of remodeling.

His interest in archery stems from his switch to bow hunting from rifle hunting.

Because there have been more rifle hunters, seasons have been cut, and hunters have to draw for a permit to hunt in certain locations. Deer season for rifle hunters is only a week long, for example, while for bow hunting it is a month long. There are also fewer regulations for bow hunters and fewer people engaging in the sport, which Pedracini said takes more skill than rifle hunting.

As for the future of Broken Arrow Archery, he wants to keep growing, and noted that 95 percent of his customers already know about the business or have passed along their knowledge to friends and family members.