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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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MHS leaders urge students to 'Think Pink'


If the Associated Student Body officers at Milwaukie High School have their way, the school will be a sea of pink-clad students at the home football game on Friday, Sept. 27.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - MHS ASB officers demonstrate the 'I Stand For' activity they plan for the football game on Sept. 27. Left to right: Courtney Ryman, Jackie Liang, Arrow Bless and Brandon Kneebone.The reason? That night is the culmination of Think Pink Week, a seven-day show of support for cancer survivors and their families.

The pink ribbon has come to symbolize the fight for breast cancer awareness, and that is why the leadership class chose to call the activity Think Pink Week, said Jackie Liang, 16, the ASB president.

That said, “Think Pink Week recognizes and honors anyone who has suffered any type of cancer,” said Brandon Kneebone, 17, one of two ASB communications vice presidents.

Kneebone added that the activity is just another example of how the high school students care about their community.

During the week of Sept. 23 through 27, instructor Scott Roosevelt’s leadership class will sell Think Pink T-shirts, temporary tattoos, headbands and bracelets to raise money for a local organization that helps anyone with cancer.

Last year the funds raised by the school’s cancer-awareness activities went to Matt’s Chemo Bags, an organization that provides “care packages to men and women going through chemo. They are full of items that comfort them” as they go through the process, said Courtney Ryman, 16, the ASB communications vice president.

She thinks the student body probably will vote to give the funds to that same organization this year, noting that it is based in Hillsboro, so the proceeds raised for cancer awareness will stay local.

‘Super fans’ show support

Several different activities will take place the night of the football game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27.

Liang said he is hoping that students will wear pink and mass together in the “super fan” section of the bleachers. For the I Stand For activity, students will be given pieces of white paper, and asked to write down the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer in any way.

“At halftime they will stand up and hold up their papers, so everyone can see. And we will also hold a cancer-survivor walk around the track,” Liang said.

Roosevelt noted that there may not be enough time to walk around the whole track, but he is hoping that plenty of cancer survivors will attend the game and come down to the front of the stands to be recognized and honored by the student body.

“Last year we had about 35 cancer survivors, and they all said what a great and wonderful thing the recognition was for them,” he said, noting that he hopes anyone who has survived cancer contacts the high school and attends the game.

All donations welcome

Kneebone added that people who do not attend the high school or who cannot come to the game can still contribute donations to the cause by contacting the high school and making sure the money is earmarked for Think Pink Week.

A donation of any amount helps, said Arrow Bless, 16, the ASB vice president and promotional director.

“My grandmother died from bone cancer, and we are hoping that students will support cancer awareness week by buying T-shirts and wearing pink,” she added.

“Part of being a Mustang is giving back to the community, and this is a great opportunity to give back to anyone who’s survived or been affected by cancer. It is empowering for students to make an impact on their community,” said Ryman, who added that she has two family friends who are cancer survivors.

She added: “I try to lead by example. I participate as well as being a preacher to get others involved. It is a great feeling to give back.”

Bless said she plans to put this activity on Facebook, especially to encourage people to attend the football game, while Liang said he wants to make the activity as fun as possible.

“It is fun helping the community,” he said.

Milwaukie High students stay busy all year doing charitable activities, Ryman said, noting that she and other students walked around Milwaukie cleaning up trash before every First Friday this year.

“I help with the blood drive and the canned food drive, where we go door-to-door, asking for canned food for the needy,” Bless said.

Liang noted that in April the whole school celebrates Milwaukie Cares Week, doing a lot of charity work.

Ryman added, “There’s never a dull moment.”

Any cancer survivors who would like to be placed on the VIP list to participate in the survivor walk may contact Scott Roosevelt at MHS at 503-353-5830, ext. 38331; or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Admission to the game will be free. To make a donation to support Think Pink Week, call the high school at 503-353-5830.