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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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Romantic sparks fly in 'Philadelphia Story'


Clackamas Repertory Theatre will kick off its 10th anniversary year when the romantic comedy, “The Philadelphia Story,” takes to the stage on June 27, in Oregon City.

by: COURTESY OF TRAVIS NODURFT/CRC - Main character Hillarie Putnam, who actually lives in Alaska, and three handsome co-starring men - (from left) Dennis Kelly, Jayson Shanafelt, Tom Walton - lead the production of 'The Philadelphia Story' by Clackamas Repertory Theatre, one of Portland's finest suburban theater companies.The plot of the play, set in the late 1930s, revolves around Tracy Lord, a Philadelphia socialite, whose next-day wedding plans are disrupted by the appearance of her ex-husband and an encounter with a handsome tabloid magazine reporter assigned to cover the society wedding.

by: COURTESY OF CRC - Doren Elias directs CRCs 'The Philadelphia Story,' saying it'll throw the audience back to a different period.That’s when “sparks start to fly,” said director Doren Elias, associate artistic director of CRT.

As the play progresses, the characters engage in witty repartee, champagne flows, fists fly, and things don’t turn out the way they were planned.

The play was a hit on Broadway in 1939, but is best remembered as the 1940 movie version, with Katharine Hepburn reprising her role as Tracy; Cary Grant playing Dexter, her former husband, and Jimmy Stewart starring as Mike Connor, the reporter from Spy magazine.

Hillarie Putnam

In the CRT version, Hillarie Putnam is willing to commute from Seattle to Oregon City to tackle Tracy, because she loves the character.

“She has so much internal conflict that many women have to deal with. This show, however, allows for much of those issues to boil to the surface, and when it happens in a stage comedy, allows people to relate,” she said.

Putnam was an Alaska resident and ardent outdoorswoman, who moved to the Pacific Northwest nearly three years ago. She met Elias in Portland, he asked her to play Tracy, “and the rest is history,” she said.

She has a number of film and television credits in Los Angeles, and can be seen hunting bears in Kodiak, Alaska, in the documentary “The Hunt” on The History Channel on Sunday nights.

People need to come see “The Philadelphia Story,” Putnam said, “because it is a quick-witted, intelligent, attractive and relatable romantic comedy. It is amazing how even though years have passed since the show drew its very first curtain, all the elements are still seen in relationships today.”

Her favorite scene actually comes in the second act when Dexter and Tracy “illustrate, in great comedic fashion, sometimes even our biggest mistakes can be the accidents that teach us the most. In doing so they remind us to give ourselves a break and always surround ourselves with friends who understand, because sometimes it takes falling down to really move forward,” she said.

A trio of suitors

As the play progresses, Tracy finds herself surrounded by three very different men vying for her attention: Dexter, her ex-husband; Mike, a reporter; and, of course, George, her fiance.

Playing Dexter is Tom Walton, a chiropractor with a clinic in downtown Portland.

Although this marks his CRT debut, he has been a member of the Northwest Classical Theatre Company for the past 13 years, and has appeared on other Portland stages.

Dexter, he said, “is from a different era. He comes from money and has always been surrounded by money.”

It is an honor and “great fun to play those roles that the greats have played in the past. Wonderful actors like Cary Grant said these same words,” Walton said.

What does he like best about his character?

“He finds humor in every situation. Nothing scares him, and he sees what he wants, and he goes after it.”

Walton added, “This is a charming, fun love story that will allow people to sit back and step into a different time.”

Jayson Shanafelt, a longtime CRT company member, has some experience playing a role associated with Stewart since he played the lead in last year’s CRT production of “Harvey.”

“It is always interesting to do a piece revamping an older icon,” he said about playing the reporter who catches Tracy’s eye.

“People enjoy seeing how it is modernized, and we are always trying to find a balance between a period piece and making it relevant,” he added.

Finally, Dennis Kelly plays George Kitteridge, Tracy’s fiance.

George is a former coal magnate from outside Philadelphia,with a “rags to riches” story, Kelly said, adding that his character thinks that by marrying Tracy he will “move into that network, that social strata, that will grease the wheels” of his ambitions.

George expects the weekend before his wedding “to go swimmingly, but it doesn’t,” Kelly said.

Mischief and wit

Two other female characters add to the story line: Dinah, Tracy’s younger sister, who arranges to get Dexter back on the scene, and Liz, the photographer who accompanies Mike to Tracy’s home the night before the wedding.

Aislin Courtis, 17, who just completed her junior year at LaSalle High School, describes Dinah as “a troublemaker who wants to get her sister and Dexter back together.”

Dinah also “says the wrong things at the wrong time and doesn’t fully understand the repercussions” of her actions, Courtis said.

Liz, on the other hand, “is a very smart, modern woman. She’s the type to take control of her own life,” said CRT company member Jayne Stevens.

What she likes best about her character is “her wit and her one-liners. She says things other women don’t say.”

Comedic ‘romp’

Elias directed “Harvey” last year, so he has some experience “re-inventing a different and fresher look” for period material.

Audiences will like the fact that there are some parallels between when “The Philadelphia Story” takes place and current times, he said, adding that “there are some timely political messages and issues, and it is fun seeing celebrities knocked off their perches.”

But at heart, he added, the play is “a romantic-comedy romp, with crackling dialogue and great witticisms. It will throw the audience back to a different period.”

Hot ticket

What: Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents Philip Barry’s classic American screwball comedy, “The Philadelphia Story,” directed by Doren Elias.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees, June 27 through July 20.

Where: Osterman Theatre at Clackamas Community College, 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City.

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

The cast includes: Ernie Casciato, Aislin Courtis, Jim Eikrem, Dennis Kelly, Hillarie Putnam, Cyndy Ramsey-Rier, Jayson Shanafelt, James Sharinghousen, Jayne Stevens, Tom Walton and Don Wright.

Coming up: Clackamas Rep continues its season in August with “Carousel,” and concludes with the comedy/drama “Good People,” by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, in late September.

Visit: clackamasrep.org for more info.