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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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'Harvey' opens CRT's new season June 27


Acting on stage with other humans is hard enough, but interacting with a 6-foot rabbit that just happens to be invisible to everyone else, well, that is one big challenge.

In Clackamas Repertory Theatre’s upcoming play “Harvey,” opening June 27, Jayson Shanafelt plays Elwood P. Dowd, an affable fellow who has created a relationship with that rabbit, named Harvey.

Shanafelt said that the hardest part is figuring out where Harvey is supposed to be, in their scenes together.

“Sometimes we have someone stand in so I can impose Harvey on them, so we can construct blocking for an invisible character,” he said.

by: PHOTO: DICK TRTEK - A dramatic scene from 'Harvey' unfolds. Pictured left to right are Amanda Valley, Tobias Andersen and Jayson Shanafelt.The plot of “Harvey” revolves around the fact that Elwood lives with his sister, Veta, and her daughter, Myrtle Mae, who “are getting increasingly frustrated at having to accommodate for a character that they can’t see,” Shanafelt said.

Early in the play, Veta gives a party to introduce her daughter to society, and when Elwood and Harvey show up, things go horribly wrong.

“His sister decides to have him committed to a sanitarium, but when she visits the place to explain the situation, people think she is crazy. This gets unraveled, but then Harvey goes missing,” said director Doren Elias.

The play is set in 1944, “an interesting time period when people had a fear of psychiatry and people in white coats,” so the plot thickens when the director of the sanitarium, Dr. Chumley, and Elwood end up in a bar, and Chumley begins to see and believe in Harvey, Elias added.

A theater classic

“Harvey” is a classic play for a good reason, Elias said, because “the writing is so good. It is a fast-paced comedy with snappy dialogue from another era.”

In addition to having to work around an invisible rabbit, the play presents a few other challenges, namely the switching back and forth between dramatically different sets, including a mansion, where Elwood and his sister live, and the sanitarium.

Timing is so important, since “there are a ton of entrances and exits thorough a lot of doors. There are intricate rhythmic patterns so the actors just miss each other,” Elias said.

He added that he is grateful to scene and lighting designer Chris Whitten for giving him rotating set pieces that allow for “enormous scene changes without a huge disruption in the play.”

Audiences will like “Harvey,” Elias said, because they will appreciate what author Mary Chase “has to say about life, psychiatry and Elwood’s unique perspective on life.”

Well-developed characters

Elias describes Elwood as an “eccentric character,” but Shanafelt notes that Elwood “charms people as he tries to introduce them to his friend.”

One character who is more frustrated than charmed by Elwood is his sister, Veta, played by Amanda Valley.

“Veta is a fretful mom, and she wants to get her daughter started off on the right foot and find her a husband. But Elwood and his peculiarities are getting in the way of her plans for Myrtle Mae,” Valley said.

The hardest part about playing the role is toeing the line between being “totally annoyed with, yet still loving Elwood and trying to do the right thing. We all have family members we love, but they make us crazy. This play is just taking it to its logical absurdity,” she said.

Dr. Chumley also is able to resist Elwood’s charm, at first, said Tobias Andersen.

He described his part as a “self-assured man, who is good and he knows it. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly and things will be done his way and right now.”

But Chumley has secret yearnings that emerge when he interacts with Elwood and Harvey, and, ultimately, the “pompous doctor who thinks he has things all figured out comes to find out differently.”

Andersen, who has been making his living in theater for 48 years, said he has done some of the best work of his career at CRT. He noted that he could not pick out a favorite moment in “Harvey,” because all the scenes are “delicious.”

Valley’s favorite part of the play is at the end, when everyone comes to a realization. “It has a happy ending and it is always nice to do a happy ending,” she said.

Now you see him

What: Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents “Harvey,” directed by Doren Elias

When: June 27-July 21; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays

Where: Osterman Theatre at Clackamas Community College

Tickets: Season tickets and single tickets may be purchased at clackamasrep.org or by calling 503-594-6047.

Cast: Tobias Andersen, Bonnie Auguston, Nathan Crosby, Michael Mitchell, Kevin Newland Scott, Annie Rimmer, Jayson Shanafelt, Cyndy Smith-English, Amanda Valley and William Wilson.

More: CRT continues its season in August with “Kiss Me Kate,” and concludes with the farce “The 39 Steps” in late September.