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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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Artwork brightens walls at OC Haggen's


Oregon City residents can rediscover the beauty of Oregon’s scenic places, shop for groceries and have a bite to eat all at the same place, now that the Three Rivers Artist Guild has opened an art gallery in Oregon City Haggen’s Market Street Cafe.

The guild’s leadership has been asking member artists to talk to managers in their workplaces to find more venues to showcase the work of local artists, said Darla Lynn, the group’s president.

“People are unaware of how much talent is in the area, and we wanted to expand out to other venues,” she added, noting that the guild has more than 106 members.

Jeff Willard, who works at Haggen as a cashier and shop steward, took the idea to John Wirfs, who manages both the Oregon City and Tualatin Haggen stores.

Wirfs approved the idea, noting that the store’s philosophy has always been about promoting community values.

“This is part of what we do here,” he said. The gallery will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

by: PHOTO BY: DICK TRTEK - Robin Berry attaches the tags to her paintings, hanging in the Market Street Cafe at the Oregon City Haggen.Art on the walls

Willard is responsible for jurying in all the artwork, and he works with Wirfs to make sure that the pieces fit the Northwest theme.

There are no portraits or three-dimensional pieces, so all the art represents mostly Oregon-based landscapes or scenery in painting or photography, Lynn said.

Artists with work on the cafe’s walls include Ingrid Aubry, Robin Berry, Robert Bresky, Bonnie Burlew, Jerry Myra, Rhondi Myra and Ellen Shefi.

Some of Jerry Myra’s photography, featuring cowboys and cows in a field, also hangs in the meat department, Lynn said.

Every three months the art will change as new artists bring in their work to be displayed, she said. All the artwork is for sale, and artists are responsible for replacing pieces if their work sells.

The gallery “is a way to support art and beauty in our lives, to appreciate the beauty and creativity around us,” Lynn said.

Although the Three Rivers Artist Guild has a permanent gallery inside the Friends of the Library Bookstore at 502 Seventh St. in Oregon City, the Haggen’s gallery space “is a public area where many different kinds of people come and go,” Lynn said.

The guild wants to raise art awareness, and “what better way than to have original paintings in the cafe, as opposed to seeing commercial prints reproduced by the thousands. People can see the energy and feel the difference,” Lynn said.

The gallery also is “a good way to find new and local people to support, to see the beauty around you, and to rediscover Oregon,” Willard said.


Many of the artists were on hand for the official opening of the Market Street Cafe gallery space on Sunday, June 29.

Aubry was ill and unable to attend the opening, but Lynn described her pieces as photo collage; Jerry Myra was on a photo shoot that day, but his work is mostly photographs of wildlife, while his wife’s work is landscape photography.

Berry wanted to show her oil paintings at the gallery so she would be motivated to work on larger pieces, she said. Her “Lowland Route” painting depicts the “metaphor of the connection between exposed pebbles and a mountain,” she said, while another work, “Ponding Eddy,” is based on a scene in Clackamas.

by: PHOTO BY: DICK TRTEK - Darla Lynn, left, president of the Three Rivers Artist Guild, and Jeff Willard, an artist and employee of the OC Haggen, join Rhondi Myra standing under the photo of a cougar taken by her husband, Jerry Myra.Although Bresky, a photographer, has shown his work all over Oregon City at various local businesses, he has never exhibited in a grocery store before.

“I wanted my art out in a public place, and I wanted some name recognition,” he said. His “Multnomah Falls” piece is a digital photo on canvas, and the other is a photo of Mount Hood.

Burlew is a painter and also does what she calls “photo painting.”

One piece depicts a vineyard, showcasing local wineries, another is a representation of Yaquina Head lighthouse, and the third is titled “Devil’s Elbow,” featuring an inlet of water north of Florence.

She wanted to be part of the exhibit, Burlew said, partly for the exposure, but also because art is “an ongoing learning process.”

Shefi works in photography and “paintography,” where she takes a photo and then embellishes it with acrylic paint.

Her three works are “Fall Pathway,” depicting Elk Rock Island, “Sol Duc Falls,” and another piece highlighting the lavender festival in Sequim, Wash.

“I wanted to bring beautiful art to the area and share my passion. I hope it gladdens other people’s hearts when they see it,” Shefi said.

See it

For more information about the Three Rivers Artist Guild, visit threeriversartistguild.com.

Oregon City Haggen is at 19701 Highway 213; call 503-451-7961.