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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Auto Repair INSIDER -

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's right around the corner and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



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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Milwaukie neighborhood opposes coal trains


The Historic Milwaukie Neighborhood District Association believes it is our responsibility to protect and promote the quality of life, safety, health, well being and economic interest of our neighborhood.

We are opposed to the transport of coal through Milwaukie and the Portland metropolitan region that will have long lasting impacts on the health and quality of our lives and our environment. Additionally, we are opposed to the export of coal mined from public lands through the Pacific Northwest that will contribute to a global increase in carbon emissions and climate change.

We support Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s call for federal agencies to evaluate the impact of the five coal terminal proposals. We call upon state and federal governments to require a cumulative and comprehensive programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, EIS.

Key reasons for our opposition:

1. Diesel emissions from locomotives are known to cause significant public health hazards

2. The toxic emissions from coal dust are cumulative, far reaching, and permanent in the soil, water and people

3. The intrusion of coal trains represents a profound degradation in the health, safety and security of a significant number of residents and businesses in our community and the entirety of the Historic Milwaukie neighborhood

4. The threat to public safety. Coal trains are expected to be a mile or more in length, bisecting our community, which could create disastrous delays impacting fire, police and other critical services

5. Will render the city’s recently completed land-use plans and principals on which they are based essentially unachievable

Such destructive health and environmental consequences to Milwaukie and its neighborhoods would decrease the quality of life and increase health and safety risks, impacting property values and tax revenues.

We urge the City Council to take a leadership position for the city in supporting our neighborhoods and oppose coal trains.

Jean Baker

Dion Shepard

Historic Neighborhood District Association co-chairwomen

Rail voters need some data

Once again, Libby Wentz tries to throw Positively Clackamas under the bus (Letters, “Positively Clackamissed the point,” Aug. 29).

First, she questions whether 15 percent of the contributions, a whopping $1,250 come from contributions of less than $100. Then, having posed a doubt she decides “for the sake of argument” to assume that each of these contributions is for less than $100, so she can make a point that “15 percent does not a huge ground swelling of local support make.”

She goes out of her way to make this incredibly confusing. It is really very simple, the contributions of money to Positively Clackamas are a SMALL part of the “ground swelling of local support” that I see every day. Positively Clackamas supporters contribute enormous amounts of personal time and energy to hand out flyers; put up signs, invite friends and neighbors into their homes to communicate and educate them on the benefits of light rail; attend regular community meetings; attend Clackamas County commissioners meetings and provide valuable input to our county leaders regarding light rail. Dave Gray, whom she mentions in her recent letter, is one of several supporters of Positively Clackamas deeply engaged in these efforts.

Then she goes on to tell us that she is voting for 3-401, and so are the “actual people” (her term). Positively Clackamas is a grassroots effort on the part of actual people who strive to see to the long-term development of their community in a positive manner, but disagree with the positions of those supporting the 3-401 initiative. They are actual people who were here in the 1990s and voted for light rail then and support it today. They too are taxpayers, road users and bus riders as am I. I too am an actual person and I will vote NO on 3-401. We are all actual people, including the Clackamas Review/Oregon City News Editorial Board which has urged a NO vote on initiative 3-401 on Sept. 18.

I am an active member of, and wholeheartedly support Positively Clackamas. Wentz is digging herself into a hole regarding Positively Clackamas that is getting deeper and deeper. As the saying goes in part, maybe it is time to stop digging.

As to your final comment about TriMet buses being “more cost effective” than light rail, I would like to see some credible data supporting your opinion.

Chuck Berglund

Oak Grove

Telling the ‘real story’

By now you must be aware why extending Milwaukie light rail into Oak Grove at a cost of $130 million is a bad investment, and that the county has a huge debt load, limiting its ability to come up with millions for the unnecessary last leg of the line. Building a shorter line and saving the Trolley Trail is a legal requirement that is being ignored. TriMet and its “partners” know that.

If you’d like to see the real story, go to cityofmilwaukie.org and watch 15 minutes of video from the Nov. 17, 2011, Milwaukie Planning Commission meeting. About 10 minutes into the meeting is when I started speaking. Fraud? What fraud?

You’ll see why Bernard and others have done everything they could to dump the end of the line at the first intersection south of town. Milwaukie’s redevelopment plans, including those for Bernard’s property would be impacted if the line ends near the post office at Lake Road. Why would anyone expect the guy to recuse himself? Lehan continues to pretend that citizens holding him responsible are making personal attacks. How convenient.

Lake Road was the approved end of the line in 2003. If not for Bernard’s involvement, the $900 million line would probably have (Millport Rd & 99E). The past eight years of divisive shenanigans was

completely avoidable.

Uncivil actions are often perpetrated by people who are well-dressed actors, oblivious as to why anyone would question their flawed leadership.

Les Poole

Oak Grove

Ruling in Hunt v. Crocker

I have been a small business owner for over a year now. I did not know much about small business or Oregon City politics. I have learned quite a bit from just listening to people that visit my shop from Oregon City and neighboring communities.

My prior occupation was a legal investigator/mitigation specialist for 24 years. I know Kevin Hunt. Kevin is a master at taking a fact and twisting it beyond recognition. I did not read his editorial about David Frasher and Mayor Doug Neeley. Nor do I want to read it, as I know the kind of anger Kevin can spew.

This is what I do know. I had a difficult time at first with Mr. Frasher, but after meeting with him several times, I do believe he is trying to help the small business community. I am not quite sure what Mayor Neeley does, so I cannot comment on that.

Mr. Crocker’s editorial quotes regarding Measure 3-407 “if passed, it will have serious and long-lasting negative implications for economic growth and jobs in Oregon City” Don’t we already have that? Another statement in part “close the door on potential investments in Oregon City.” Again don’t we already have that now?

Mr. Crocker reports in part “stop agitating and causing disharmony and dysfunction in Oregon City.” We do have that now in a big way.

During about half the life of my hat shop the streets has been under construction. That has given me a lot of time to talk with the locals. I tend to ask lots of questions and this is what I have been told. There are about a handful of people who own most of downtown Oregon City, they seem to handpick the City Commission. Therefore It seems to me that these people have been running Oregon City.

I have been told story after story about business being kept out of Oregon City, or making it very difficult to expand current businesses. So my thought is, if the old way is not working perhaps we should try a new way.

Yes, Oregon City is all pretty now, she has a new dress, a new hat and pretty new shoes. I think she now needs to work on her personality. It’s not the repaving and new trees. Oregon City is stagnating and has been for years. We need to do something.

Sandra Gillman

Oregon City

Signing off on election

Clackamas County commissioners have constantly been in the news, a conflict of interest complaint against commissioner Bernard, and the fight with citizens over bringing light rail into Milwaukie. Milwaukie citizens turned down light rail four times, but apparently that didn’t send a message to the commissioners. Now, they have paid off TriMet just days before an election that might prevent them from doing so. The commitments the commissioners have been making appear to be following their own agenda.

Bank of America decided to finance the $20 million for the rail, a 20-year loan that after 15 years carries a $7 million balloon payment. Current commissions will long be gone by then so it matters not to them they have stuck the county with mega future debt.

The voters elected these officials in hopes of trust and that they would protect our county with good judgment. We did not give them a blank check. Sadly, our current commissioners are drawing the county closer to a critical bottom line. Then they will expect business and taxpayers to bail them out.

When we are marking our ballots for the November election, we need to elect new commissioners we can depend on to follow good sense and the wishes of the people, and let go of those who have been loose cannons firing in all directions.

Clarence L. Wise


You elected them...

The same people that created uncertainty and eventual departure of the developer of the $200 million shopping complex, The Rivers, which included Cabela’s and 1,500 jobs, are now disqualifying the nine-member Urban Renewal Commission (URC). The URC members spend many hours studying documents, hearing testimony, and analyzing data on tax-increment financing, DEQ requirements, fish-and-wildlife habitat, etc. to assess the viability of the potential projects which need additional incentives to become financially viable in the urban-renewal district.

Do you feel comfortable voting for funding for these complicated projects?

It took 20 years to pass a school bond. When decisions for projects like The Rivers come to Urban Renewal (UR), they are almost “shovel ready” and are time sensitive for financing, contracts and tenants, therefore they need a more immediate reaction than waiting 20 years.

Oregon City residents voted to allow UR to bond up to $130 million in 2005. It’s been available, but the URC has approved NO bonded debt. There have been feasible projects, but the political uncertainty and economic conditions have caused these projects to be delayed. The URC has been doing its job to make sure that projects will be successful.

If and when a project is approved, and bonded debt occurs, it will not raise your taxes. The tax increment from the project pays off the indebtness. Your taxes will get raised when UR projects are NOT there to provide new funding sources. You will hear about successful projects that did not use UR funds. But these were not on landfills and quarries where methane needs containment, habitat protected and building conditions are more difficult.

You have elected people to make these complicated decisions.

Please vote NO on voting for UR financing. Continue to allow the URC to make these decisions. They know how to make UR effective as they opened and closed the Red Soils Urban Renewal District which led to the new development such as Safeway and Benchmade Knives.

The taxes Oregon City police, fire and schools were receiving before the UR district, they still receive. They’ll receive more taxes when the district closes. That would have been $1 million per year had The Rivers been built.

Continue to let the URC make the decisions. Vote NO on Measure 3-407.

Brian Shaw

Oregon City

Barton is best for OC

As a retired teacher and school administrator, it was my privilege to go door-to-door last week in Oregon City and meet voters in support of Brent Barton, who’s running for the Oregon House in District 40.

And after talking with local voters, I’m more sure than ever before that Brent Barton is the right choice. Brent’s priorities are right in line with the concerns I heard voiced by voter after voter.

Brent supports better results and more accountability in the classroom. Our kids deserve nothing less.

He also has a record of voting for increased government accountability to make sure taxpayer dollars are used wisely.

And Brent Barton’s support for public safety investments like increased state trooper coverage on our roads are crucial for keeping our families safe.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Brent Barton to help our state make it through these hard times so that the middle class can prosper and thrive in the future!

State Rep. Betty Komp


Another voice against Sheehan

Deanna Rusch writes that criticisms of Republican State Rep. Patrick Sheehan (R-Happy Valley) are based on gossip and rumors (Letters, “Look at Sheehan’s record,” Sept. 5). But what she doesn’t understand is that the criticisms are based on fact.

The letter referring to Sheehan’s “frat boy image” was citing a conservative radio talk show commentator who was discussing Sheehan’s antics (“Time for Sheehan to go,” Aug. 22).

Criticisms of Sheehan’s behavior were also based on fact as reported by multiple news sources. Does Rusch dispute the fact that Sheehan hosted an event for lobbyists with disgraced State Rep. Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) that focused on Ultimate Fighting?

Does Rusch dispute the fact that Sheehan used the time before the February legislative session to go on a boys trip with six other Republican legislators? Or that multiple news sources reported on the attempted cover-up of Sheehan and the other Republicans’ topless club scandal?

If Rusch thinks Sheehan’s behavior is worthy of a state elected official, she’s welcome to make that argument. But she can’t dispute the fact that Patrick Sheehan has engaged in these behaviors, or that even conservative talk show hosts are calling him a “frat boy.” I myself do not find these behaviors acceptable for a state legislator.

Sandra Lissman


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Editorial and Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by Friday at noon to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Try to keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words, but longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes.