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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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Remember what those mayors were really like?


The two letters printed in your Oct. 3 publication from “OC mayors” regarding Measure 3-407 need to be put in perspective for those who cannot remember what it was like when these two were mayors. We had many more blighted areas in our city then, than we do now. John Williams was instrumental in shutting down the Hilltop Urban Renewal Area two years ahead of its completion which left many projects undone and a Hilltop area that could even now, use some urban renewal dollars. John was not a mayor who inspired progress in Oregon City.

Ed Allick was a commissioner who voted on Urban Renewal projects and should understand how much work is involved in bringing projects to Urban Renewal for consideration and getting them through the process of approval. Developers spend many hours and thousands of dollars preparing their proposals. Allick wants the public to review land-use studies, read briefs from consultants and attorneys, calculate financial data, and analyze environmental reports? No? Then how does he expect the public to vote on these issues? Currently, that is what has to be done by our elected officials. This is what we elect them to do! Measure 3-407 wants to put that job in the hands of the public. I don’t want that job! Additionally, Allick rants on and wants to know why you would give YOUR urban tax dollars to a developer. These are not just YOUR tax dollars! They are OUR city tax dollars which help our city to be a better place to live in. You, as a voter, have the right to go to Urban Renewal Commission meetings and find out what’s going on. I trust the people I voted for to steer our city in the right direction. If they don’t, we can vote them out. Let’s not bog ourselves down with the cumbersome job of analyzing details of every proposed project in order to make informed decisions.

If passed, this measure will foster uncertainty by prospective developers and discourage them from proposing projects in Oregon City. Too much red tape and hurdles to jump through will keep our blighted areas blighted! Vote NO on Measure 3-407.

Cynthia Towle

Oregon City

Send city back to the drawing board

It’s time the mayor and most of the Gladstone city councilors admit they have not been telling the truth. Along with the adamant library promoters they continue to tell voters it won’t cost us any money. It’s true there are no new taxes associated with the project, but a minimum of 61 percent of the debt repayment comes directly from taxes we already pay. Assessed property value for the city of Gladstone is 16 percent of the proposed library district. Sixteen percent will pay 61 percent...what a great deal the politicians of Gladstone have gotten for their citizens. This information is from an audit by an independent CPA. See the entire report at savegladstone.org.

Happy Valley’s new library was provided at almost no cost to its taxpayers. Are you kidding?! Send the city back for a better deal!

We need a library we can afford and won’t take so much money from other essential services.

Vote NO on 3-413.

Kevin Johnson


Misuse of urban-renewal funds

The Oregon City Urban Renewal Commission meeting on Oct. 3 approved a grant in the amount of $45,000 to the Busch Furniture Store located at 804 Main St.

This Adaptive Reuse Grant will be used by Busch to convert 1,400 square feet of their showroom and 1,400 square feet of storage space into space they can rent to a tenant. They intend to use this $45,000 in public funding to convert their space to accommodate a restaurant/bistro and boutique market.

By comparison Craig Danielson, another longtime Oregon City businessman recently redeveloped his Hilltop Mall. Mr. Danielson did not ask the citizens of Oregon City for a single dime. The Hilltop mall is anchored by Safeway and has over 25 tenants ranging from restaurants and a theatre to a pet shop and flower shop.

Ask yourself which of these developments provides the most jobs to our community.

Those who are benefiting from current policies, claim developers will avoid Oregon City. Craig Danielson proves that claim to be untrue. I agree that developers who are interested only when the public subsidizes their greed are likely to look elsewhere.

Does a furniture store on Main Street really need $45,000 of taxpayer money to be a successful landlord?

I’ve yet to hear a plausible explanation as to why Urban Renewal Bonds should not receive voter approval the same as all other bonds issued by Oregon City.

Your urban-renewal funds should be used for projects that offer you a return on your investment.

If you don’t agree with how the current Urban Renewal Commission is using your tax money, you have an opportunity on Nov. 6 to take control of the misuse of your money.

Vote yes on Measure 3-407

Tom O’Brien

Oregon City

Your vote, your ballot

What is 3-407 about? Can we say it’s Oregon City’s “urban renewal” measure? Is it about growth versus no-growth, or about economic development?

No. None of the above.

How about TIF (urban renewal increments)? - No. Or complex finances? No. Maybe it’s about healthy businesses or bringing jobs? No, also not!

Absolutely, no!

3-407 is about a VOTE - Your vote. You do not have a vote now on 130 million dollars of city debt - they can take $130 million of your tax dollars. Do you want to vote? Do you want a say-so? The question is easy - yes or no.

We think your answer is “Yes.” I want that right (to vote on $130M). Do you?

Very simply 3-407 is about Your Right to Vote. End of discussion. Stop.

Take a peek, urrighttovote.com. Speak out for 3-407. Vote “Yes, please!”

May I thank you now?

Dave Prideaux

Oregon City

Newgard for OC

As a lifelong Oregonian I’ve seen our state slide down the economic scale more every year. I grew up here and remember seeing working sawmills, some of them using three shifts a day just to keep up with demand. I remember learning about my state as a school kid, we were known for our natural resourced based economy. As a resident of Oregon City, I have seen our last mill go bankrupt. Though some cheered that day because the mill was an annoyance to them, I had sadness in my heart for the many families suddenly without an income. As a kid, our family went through the same situation when dad lost his job because Oregon was no longer a good place to do business in for the company he spent decades working for.

Since those days my home state has certainly changed. Our use of natural resources has shrunk, our dependence on high-tech and international trade has grown.

With such a monumental change in our economy we have missed opportunities. Our elected leaders have continuously failed to see them. Their focus is on how to regulate more, tax more, and impose their vision on Oregonians. We need elected leaders that focus on the essential functions of government: criminal justice, roads, and providing necessary services efficiently.

The people we send to Salem to represent us should have an understanding of our state’s history; they should understand Oregon is full of potential. From growing the best timber to producing the most high-tech micro chips on Earth, we have the natural and human resources to get the job done. What we don’t have is a state government that truly believes in Oregonians. They believe in themselves. They believe they alone have the best plan to move us forward.

Hard working Oregonians know better, it’s time we send people to Salem that really understand the potential here. We should send people to represent us that have roots in our community. We should send people to represent us that understand the difficulties of starting a business and the pain of seeing how bad things have become. We need people in Salem that run for office because they know Oregon can be better.

That’s why I am voting for Steve Newgard as Representative for House District 40.

Steve is a man that has roots here, understands what it means to meet a payroll, and understands what it means to work twelve hours a day to build your business from the ground up.

I want Steve Newgard to represent Oregon City and I want more people like him in Salem. Maybe then our state government will focus on the basics and let Oregonians focus on creating products like nano-sized micro chips, the best timber in the world, or brewing world-class beer. Maybe then Salem bureaucrats will stop passing hundreds of new laws every year and instead get out of the way.

The pioneers that made it to the end of the Oregon Trail, right here in our city, didn’t need politicians to tell them how to create jobs. We don’t either. We need politicians to manage the business of government, not Main Street. Steve Newgard will do that.

Join me in voting for Steve Newgard to represent Oregon City.

Casey Flesch

Oregon City

Portland creeps

Today many campaign signs blot the scenic views alongside our ways and byways. These campaign signs often convey a message. The signs of Tootie Smith and John Ludlow broadcast they alone are the candidates to “Stop Portland Creep.”

The slogan suggests that we living in the unincorporated and incorporated areas of Clackamas County are subject to a considerable number of unhealthy influences from Portland. If we hold to a belief in “Portland Creep” shouldn’t our minds be opened to this? If “creep” exists; at all, it works both ways. If elected as county commissioners a primary obligation of Mr. Ludlow and Ms. Smith would be to see that property tax receipts collected from the residents of incorporated Clackamas County are used to maintain roads in unincorporated Clackamas County, to keep up the maintenance of Clackamas County’s country parks, to bring police protection through the sheriffs department to our rural residents, etc. Believe in “Portland Creep,” then Smith and Ludlow are campaigning to stop “creep” from urban environs reaching our suburban and rural settings. Believe in “creep, then as commissioners Ms. Smith and Mr. Ludlow would be captains of the “creep” ship advancing it from rural to suburban to urban settings. I suggest that peaceful co-existance arguments far outweight this confrontational—Pandora’s Box—agenda of Ludlow and Smith.

D. Kent Lloyd


Are you kidding me?

I am responding to Charlotte Lehan’s letter to the editor in your Sept. 26 issue. Are you kidding me? She claims that she and the other commissioners are listening. In reality the only commissioner who is listening is Paul Savas.

Let’s see just how well she is listening. Voter in Milwaukie, and in Clackamas County, have time and time again said no to light rail since the 1990s. In 1996 Milwaukie voters said no to light rail. In 1997 the mayor of Milwaukie and two city councilors were successfully recalled, with light rail being one of the reasons.

Now Lehan has repeatedly spoken on behalf of the light-rail project. She got a bank loan before the Sept. 18 vote and paid TriMet. She signed an agreement in 2010 with TriMet, even though the people said no.

She stated that she has been a county commissioner and mayor in both Washington and Clackamas counties. Does she really support “We the people,” or is she simply setting herself up for a position with Metro or TriMet after she loses her re-election bit in November? She does not care for the people of Clackamas County.

Jamie Damon, where have you been? Damon was appointed to a leadership position on the commission. She seems to be a follower, a follower of Lehan.

The agreement should be null and void, since the people said no, and all construction of the Orange Line should stop immeadiately. What these commissioners have done, with the exception of Paul Savas, is defraud the taxpayers of Clackamas County.

In November we have a choice. We can go with the status quo and re-elect Lehan and Damon or we can bring in new life, new blood and the right kind of new activities. I am voting for John Ludlow and Tootie Smith, who both say that the people come first.

Let’s make the changes in November for the betterment of Clackamas County.

Jeff Molinari