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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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Let city voters decide


When I ran for this office, my primary goal was to be the eyes, ears and voice of the constituents who elected me. I take this responsibility very seriously and constantly reassess my adherence to that goal.

I believe that Oregon City is at the most important “fork-in-the-road” that we have encountered in the last 150 years. I also believe that the decisions debated currently are critical to choosing the path that we follow. I am speaking of many current movements, but most importantly Measure 3-407.

Oregon City has grown from a small “company” town to a medium size city. We no longer have “the company,” but other factors have taken over that position. The government of the small town was run by the city employees to provide for the most efficient way of transacting business.

We are no longer a small town. It is time for a total reassessment of how we conduct ourselves in the business, government and politics. The business of the city employee is to run the “business” of the city, not determine the politics nor set the policy. In fact state law prohibits us from mixing the two.

Our City Manager has pointed out an issue that he believed to be a problem. He and others agreed that Measure 3-407, which will be on the November ballot was not clear and that the city should insert a clarifying statement in the voter’s pamphlet. In doing that he is performing his job.

However, it was up to the commission to make the decision on passing a new ordinance that would allow us to make that insertion.

As such, I have no problem with the ordinance being proposed that would allow the city to insert an explanatory statement in the voter’s pamphlet. What I do have a problem with is in attaching this ordinance to any ballot measure as an emergency. The very word emergency gives the impression of dire consequences. If this ordinance was necessary it needed to come before the commission on its own merits.

I do not believe that the city can compose a neutral statement. Neutrality is not a “bulls eye” that you can hit with an arrow. Neutrality has an infinite number of sides depending on from where you approach.

In short, it is my belief that we need to separate the ordinance from the ballot measure. We need to stand back and let the voice and intelligence of the voters speak. If they find issue with the measure, they will vote it down. If not, it will pass.

But the invaluable lesson will be that the staff employed by the citizens will have avoided electioneering and will have respected the will of the people. The voters of Oregon City are quite capable of deciding if they want to vote on any issue. It is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Some have suggested that urban renewal is too complicated an issue for the common voter to understand. I would suggest that this is not the case and in fact a demeaning statement.

Take a look at your property tax statement. On the far right you will see a column which adds up each of your taxes by District. There are currently two lines labeled “Urban Renewal.” If you add up all of the figures in the column you will see that those two lines are included in the total. Some opponents of 3-407 suggest that these figures are not really included and that you don’t pay for urban renewal. In theory, the money will come back to the City when the urban-renewal district closes. However, Oregon City has only closed one urban-renewal district, ever. The rest of the time those monies have been used for extremely inappropriate projects, like City Hall. City Hall does not pay taxes and will never pay back a dime to the city itself.

This is only one example of the mismanagement of urban-renewal funds here in Oregon City. Many cities and some entire states have recently banned urban renewal because they are now realizing what a drain it is on the citizens and the original purpose has been compromised by those who have found loopholes in the process. They then use those loopholes for personal gain on the backs of the citizens.

We are a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Not a crowd of uneducated people waiting to be told how to react.

A friend recently told me the definition of a “quantum leap.” Simply put, it is when an electron that is in orbit around a nucleus, leaps to an orbit further away from the nucleus, but the electron never exists in the space between orbits. I submit that it is time for Oregon City to take a “quantum leap.” Leave the small town, company run government behind and propel ourselves into a new century. This is not exclusive of keeping our pioneer roots. It is simply the only way that will be able to move ahead with development, prosperity and enhancement for the new challenges facing our citizenry.

I would urge each of our voters to become informed and vote “yes” on Measure 3-407. You simply deserve the right to vote.

Kathy Roth is a commissioner for Oregon City.