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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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Memo to Metro 'gang': Keep out of county


Oh please, enough already.

The editorial opposing 3-401 (“Reject roadblock to county’s future,” Aug. 29) is such a deceitful collection of nearly every farce ever touted by light-rail supporters, it might as well been written by Jim Bernard or Positively Clackamas- the Political Action Committee funded mostly by TriMet’s light-rail contractor and light-rail car manufacturer.

There are also many factual errors, including the claimed new station provisions in the new deal with TriMet. They are not for the Milwaukie station.They are for the Park Avenue Station. None of them are really new improvements at all, and the public safety additions are illusions with no real funding for more safety with a phony pretense the station may someday be a closed system.

Is this board hopelessly naive or worse?

Of course this blowing deceitful smoke at the voters is nothing new. This rail transit and planners’ density agenda relies upon perpetual propaganda.

You say the economic prosperity, future of the county and their role in the region all depend on this boondoggle train project that barely enters the county???? Well, laugh out loud.

Did Mayor Sam Adams or Neil McFarlane help write this?

This editorial is precisely the condescending lecture the government class uses to prohibit public votes and force upon communities what they do not want.

It’s the same anti-public vote sermon aimed at the Lake Oswego opponents of the Streetcar and Foothills, opponents of Metro’s plan for Damascus, opponents of the Park Avenue and McLoughlin plans, opponents of reckless urban-renewal schemes and opponents of the Boring property-rights takings.

The idea that this unwanted and unneeded light-rail link to Portland somehow makes Clackamas County a key player is made-up nonsense.

This transit connection is a wasteful replacement of the existing transit connections, and the obscene unfunded cost rips off funding for essential services and local roads, highways and bridges, while causing TriMet to cut more bus service to pay their share of the project.

This board may genuinely “believe the new light-rail line will bring economic development.” But that is one of the most refuted claims light-rail zealots have made with evidence to the contrary all across the region at every MAX station. The heavily subsidized overcrowded apartment bunkers and chaos found along existing MAX lines is not something desirable and worth duplicating in Milwaukie and Oak Grove. That is not a boost. It is an act of ruining these communities.

It’s offensive to the extreme to claim businesses are attracted to rail-line locations. Have you no authentic awareness of the existing MAX lines at all?

If only a fraction of these deceitful claims were true, the area of the Convention Center/Rose Quarter/Lloyd District with multiple light-rail and streetcar lines would not still need government handouts to spur development. But that is the story everywhere these tracks go. “Gimmie gimmie gimmie” follows the trains with “oh no, it failed” results.

Clackamas County had foolishly agreed—in a flawed and since altered contract—to pay $25 million it could not afford for a project voters would never approve.

The shadow government’s “renegotiated” lower payment with TriMet that is only good if the payment is rushed to TriMet before the public vote is the ultimate lesson for voters.

That alone should outrage most Clackamas County voters and send the county commissioners another huge loss.

Misrepresenting the rail opposition is always in the lecture too.

Opponents don’t say Measure 3-401 is about voting on large infrastructure projects. It’s about voting on outrageous and contentious projects that infuriate the public to the point of having to gather 12,000 signatures in order to vote. In this case the commissioners plan to raid the general fund while their own county projection shows a $4.5 million general fund gap as soon as 2015.

I’ve never heard the argument that light rail is “an ideology” inconsistent with Clackamas County’s beliefs. That’s a twist. It certainly has been cast accurately as the way to ruin neighborhoods with overcrowding, lousy parking and apartment bunkers. Planners call that smart growth and insist it be forced upon our communities without their approval.

3-401 proponents justifiably say the project was jammed down local residents’ throats. The entire process was rigged with stacked committees and tax-funded chicanery to avoid any and all genuine measurement of public will. That’s how the planning racket works.

The heavy-handed government gang of Metro, TriMet, Portland, Milwaukie and Clackamas County have sought to roll over the public everywhere they plan.

Every step of their planning process has included an orchestrated pretense of public approval. The elected leaders conceal nearly all of their intentions while getting elected and end up representing only the small minority, which any public vote will prove.

In this case and with the recent fee and urban-renewal battles, Clackamas County commissioners have plotted against the super majority they were elected to represent.

We know from existing MAX lines that light rail is a costly transit system that cannibalizes bus service, devours road funding and sucks up local tax dollars trying to spur the high-density planner’s fantasies that never arrive.

Voters have every reason to reject the Portland planner’s agenda and look forward to genuine progress for their Clackamas County.

Vote YES on Measure 3-401 and replace Lehan and Damon in November.

Jim Knapp is a chief petitioner for Measure 3-401.