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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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Have a good time at 'HULLABALLOO!'


Families looking for a free live theater performance that will appeal to all ages need look no further than “The Hullabaloo! Red Goes Green,” opening Friday, Dec. 20, at LaSalle High School in Milwaukie.

“The Hullabaloo!” is an original musical that JANE a theater company produces every year. At only an hour long it is family-friendly, said director and JANE founder Kim Bogus.

But just what is a “Hullabaloo”?

by: PHOTO BY MADALINA GIBSON - Pictured are Molly McDevitt as the Bee, Heather Ovalle as Red, Leland Radburne as the Polar Bear, and Kim Bogus as the Cow. “’The Hullabaloo!’ is our version of a British pantomime, a huge tradition in England. There are lots of things that happen in every panto, such as the Grande Dame is played by a man, the lead boy is played by a girl, and the audience cheers for the good guy and boos for the bad guy,” Bogus said.

JANE’s version has become a tradition for many families, and although it happens during the holidays, the show is not about Christmas. 

Riff on fairy-tale classic

“This year’s production is our version of ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ only ours is called ‘Red Goes Green.’ It’s a fun way for our audience to learn about the climate-change crisis that is happening. We take a fairy tale or classic story, give it a modern spin and message, and add great songs and lots of jokes.”

Bogus wrote the script for the piece, noting that she read an article on honeybees and colony collapse disorder several years ago.

“That was my inspiration. It scared me, and I thought we should all be doing something about climate change,” she said.

As for the original music in the show, “we have the best songwriter in Portland, the award-winning Greg Paul, a renowned rock musician/writer, who has written songs for his own band and for national/international stars such as Shania Twain,” Bogus said.

“My favorite moment in the show is the ‘Red and Blue’ song. The entire cast is on stage singing with such heart. It makes me proud to be part of it, and the message of the song is very important. Climate change affects everyone,” she said.

Bogus, the founding artistic director, started the company in 2008 and named it after her mother.

“We do plays that deal with issues that matter to our community. ‘The Hullabaloo!’ is what JANE gives back to the community for supporting us in our endeavors,” Bogus said.

Price is right

Audiences will enjoy the production, said Milwaukie resident Molly McDevitt, because it is fun and free.

“If parents haven’t tried live theater with their young children yet, this is the show to start with, no matter how young. We have toddlers getting up and singing and dancing, and they don’t have to worry about being quiet audience members. We want them to participate. It’s a great way to spend an hour as a family. They won’t be disappointed,” she said.

McDevitt plays the part of the Bee that Red meets on her way to Grandmama’s house.

“The Bee is the most unwittingly tragic figure in the show. I am most directly feeling the effects of climate change, but only just learning about it.”

She first became involved with “The Hullabaloo! ” eight years ago when her daughter, Sydney Chvilicek, was invited to join the show as a child performer. Since she was at every rehearsal, she offered to help out with costumes. Then next year, the first time “Red” was performed, she was invited to be part of the cast as the Bee.

“This is the type of theater I like to do best. I prefer audiences full of children, as it allows me a connection to the audience that I just don’t get with straight adult shows. There is no fourth wall. We don’t expect the audience to be passive, but to join in the fun and be part of the show,” McDevitt said. “It’s hard to find a show that entertains adults and children at the same time, but this show does. It is also not your normal audience experience. We expect everyone to say yay for the good guys, boo for the bad guys, and get up and dance with us.”

Sydney, now 17 and a senior at LaSalle, acted in shows with JANE from 2006 to 2009. She transitioned to tech work in 2010, when the group did “Hansel and Gretel.”

“I filled in for our composer Greg Paul, who was running sound for that show, when he couldn’t be there for a couple of shows, and since then I have been running sound for the shows. This is my first year as sound designer.”

People should come and see the show, she said, because “there are a lot of jokes for the kids to get, but there is plenty for the adults, too. It’s like watching a Disney/Pixar movie. There’s a little bit for everyone, and they’ll be singing Greg’s songs until next year’s show.”


What: JANE a theater company presents “The Hullabaloo! Red Goes Green”

When: 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 20 through 29

Where: LaSalle High School Theater, 11999 S.E. Fuller Road, Milwaukie

Details: Free; reservations can be made at: boxofficetickets.com/go/event?id=253515.

Cast: Beth Biggs, Kim Bogus, Kelly Brown, Todd Carlson, Arlene East, James Lawrence, Molly McDevitt, Heather Ovalle and Leland Radburn

More: janetheater.org