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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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Gladstone voters spar as votes loom


On Aug. 14 I attended the Gladstone City Council meeting. The first item on the agenda was the Carleton Hart City Hall Building Renovation Update. I am writing this letter to tell the city of Gladstone citizens how embarrassed I was at how unprofessional Councilman Walt Fitch was in his questioning of the principal architect responsible for the update, along with his egregious lack of knowledge in regards to the commercial building process.

His comment regarding his remodeling friend’s ability to walk up on the roof of our city hall, and with a pad of paper in hand, write up a proposal and sketch up what needs to be done, was an eye opener. It became obvious we have a council member who clearly believes that city business can be handled on the back of a napkin and a handshake!

Maybe the problems we are facing today, with our infrastructure collapsing around us and public buildings with safety ratings of zero, is because of decades of other leaders handling our critical decisions in the same manner. I am embarrassed by the behavior and lack of respect shown by our council. I would ask that in the future council people remember that they are sitting up there as representatives of our city, as a professional extension of our city administrative staff, making decisions that are in the best interest, and the majority desires, of our citizens.

I would urge that the City Council properly vet any future appointments to confirm they are knowledgeable on what it takes to make the decisions needed as a council person, and that they are capable of the decorum we expect of those representing our community and our needs.

Tammy Stempel


Facts about new library

Building a new library will not increase your tax bill. It will be paid for by the Clackamas Library Funds, and 14 or 27 percent (depending on the debt structure) of urban-renewal funds. Over a period of 20 years, approximately $15.4 million of urban-renewal funds would be available for city projects and only $2.5 million would be used for the new library.

Fact: Urban-renewal funds can be used in urban-renewal areas (mostly surrounding the city) only. Only a few pockets within the downtown area are in the urban-renewal area. Only 1 percent of the city can be added to the urban-renewal area yearly.

Fact: Gladstone will pay approximately 25 percent of the total cost of the library. The county will provide $2.5 million upfront and about $1.5 million per year from the Library District will pay for operations and debt payments.

Fact: The Clackamas Library Fund windfall for Gladstone to build a new library will disappear if the library is voted down in November.

The new library will improve the livability and desirability of the City of Gladstone and improve the intrinsic value of your property.

Only a new library can accommodate futuristic library needs. Repairing and upgrading our present 50-year-old library would require condemnation of homes and businesses within the city block where it is located. The expense of this would be prohibitive as the county contribution would not be forthcoming and new taxes would be required.

Why are we voting on the new library again? Because the measures passed in May require the city to place the library on the ballot.

Approving the vote to build the new library in November is a one-time golden opportunity for Gladstone. It will not occur again anytime in the near future, if ever.

Beth Oetken


They want it, they don’t need it

George Orwell said, “As of the truthfulness of news, however, there is probably more suppression than down right lying”. A vocal minority of uninformed city officials and new library supporters are running a false information campaign to trick voters into voting for a new library.

To understand the city propaganda, you need not look any further than the Gladstone’s 2010 and 2011 Library Progress Reports sent to the Oregon Library Association. Here is irrefutable evidence that new library supporters have been busy casting a web of deception about a new library. There are nine questions about library efficiency, services, circulation, maintenance repairs and facility needs in the progress reports. The answer is yes to eight out of nine questions, which gives our current library a good rating of 89 percent. Question #9 reads, “Does the library have a written long range strategic plan that addresses facility needs?” Answer, No. The ninth answer is false. It should be a yes, which would give the existing Gladstone library a score of 100 percent.

Apparently, you can’t support the new library and tell the truth at the same time?

The city spending so far: $1.1 million on a “new” library, including architects, design plans, building contractor, oppose citizen Measures in May, sponsor another Measure in November—if that isn’t a permanent long range plan to address library facility needs, tell me what is?

Some things you can believe. There is nothing wrong with the existing Gladstone library. The Gladstone city council has a lot of explaining to do. Don’t let city leaders do your thinking for you.

Please vote no on Measure 3-413.

Rose Johnson