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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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FIVE LETTERS: Fate of Gladstone library in hands of voters


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Citizens who rallied this year for the proposed Gladstone library worry it will only come to fruition if the city's voters pass a measure on the Nov. 6 ballot.Isn’t it something to hear a politician talk about integrity? I’m talking the case of Judith Ervin, ex politician (Letters, Oct. 24).

Before she resigned however, Judith and her fellow politicians tried to ram the proposed library down the throats of Gladstone taxpayers without a vote. I think she’s confused when she says “the opposition says the ballot measure is not about the library.”

Judith, that was the May vote. This ballot is entirely about the library. It’s $10 million price tag. It’s $506-per-square-foot cost (not modest by any measure) is completely insane. Using taxes we already pay to fund the debt.

Library supporters say we lack integrity. Why don’t they tell the voters that if passed the city (taxpayers) will borrow over $7 million with a total debt of $9.7 million including interest? If passed, the city will use general fund and urban-renewal money—taxes we already pay—to pay off the debt. Gladstone makes up 16 percent of the library district but will pay a minimum of 61 percent of the debt. All of this information is confirmed by an independent CPA. Why don’t they tell the voters? Integrity?

No new taxes. That’s their line. Every time the city doesn’t have enough money to fix some problem because the money has gone to pay for the library—guess what. It either won’t get fixed or your taxes will go up.

As for Mary Accettura wanting us to build the new library, it’s no wonder since she doesn’t live in Gladstone and won’t be part of the 16 percent paying the majority of the debt.

Kevin Johnson


New library or no library!

The current Gladstone library building is deteriorating. It cannot be upgraded, retrofitted, nor expanded either upward or outward.

If the new library in Gladstone is not built, eventually Gladstone will not have a library. Build the new library now or lose everything: the planning money will be wasted, the $1.5 million from the library district will be forfitted, the Webster/Oatfield property will be abandoned, the current building will become unusable and the property on which it sits will be sold.

That’s the way of things.

Peter Montgomery


Long, winding road

Sixteen years ago our family moved from Florida and serendipitously landed in Gladstone. The kids and I walked to the river, garden, pre-school and to the library.

We loved the small-town feel of Gladstone and bought our house here, on Collins Crest. Halfway between the middle school and high school. Until they entered Kraxberger Middle School, our kids could walk anywhere in the city as long as they didn’t cross Oatfield or McLoughlin. They could walk to Max Patterson Park, the library, Ray’s Market, Danielson’s, Figero’s and Blockbusters and up to Cross Park. Living just blocks from the proposed new library site, I would never let my child go there alone because of the location.

Moving the library from the heart of downtown is a bad idea. Moving it to the side of town, well out of walking distance of the population that would most likely need to be able to walk to it, is worse. The future of the old library? The county buying the old library site to put in a detox center. That would be a wonderful compliment to the clinics and relief nursery built where Figeros and Blockbuster used to be. I never envisioned what Danielson’s plaza has become when we were being convinced to support our schools. We were misled about that plan and how expensive it would be and the same play list is being used to sell us a bill of goods on the library.

Most of the library proponents do not realize how poorly thought out this new library plan is. When a forensic accounting report was recently presented to the City Council, they could not refute any of it. You can read the truth about the financing for the new library at SaveGladstone.org.

Save Gladstone had to pay for the audit because city and county officials would not acknowledge the plan could possibly be a bad idea. But the city didn’t even consider that a bigger building will, in the least, require more insurance, janitorial expenses and even office supplies and postage. The city does say it can use 100 percent urban-renewal moneys if they have any shortfalls...which are going to happen because, like a child, they considered the cost of the puppy but not the cost of veterinary expenses and enough food!

Gladstone is not going to grow in population nor does it have the land to bring in large industrial companies like Wilsonville, Happy Valley or Canby and increase our tax base. We cannot, and would not want to, annex our neighbors. We are restricted by our geographic location, and our small, finite size is the charm of living here. As we move into the future, libraries will become more obsolete, and a 20,000-square-foot community center to draw in more traffic, but less business, along Oatfield is a terrible idea.

Gladstone does need to update the original library, update the City Hall and finish the bike trail they started planning a decade ago...the rest of the trail is finished up to Glen Echo and is lovely! An improved Trolley Trail through Gladstone would bring our neighbors by foot and bike to and through our city, it would be good for businesses along Portland Avenue and good for Gladstone tax base. All of these important projects could be finished if we vote no on 3-413. If we vote yes, then we will be saddled with surprise expenses and no improvements to the rest of the city.

Please, help Gladstone keep focused on its future and vote no on 3-413.

Libby Wentz


Measure of civic pride

For Gladstone Measure 3-413 will be a critical vote this November. Gladstone has long needed a new and more usable library.

The land is owned by the city and is dedicated to building a library and nature park on it. Architectural drawings are finished and approved. All the studies for the environment, fire and traffic safety and construction have been accomplished and approved.

Library District funds were approved by voters in 2008 and city property owners in Gladstone and in all the unincorporated areas will still have to continue paying these funds whether the library is built or not.

The money will just not go to Gladstone Library if it is voted down, but will go to another county library. Why would property owners want to jeopardize that? How responsible is that in managing money? The priority should be to keep those funds working in our own community! Jobs in the construction field will be provided, as we await the unveiling of a spacious educational place that will speak well for the whole community of Gladstone.

We have never been denied the right to vote and we still have that right. Vote yes on 3-413 and savor Gladstone’s new library!

Ted and Yvonne Phillips


Library plan wrong

As a candidate for Gladstone City Council Position 4, I am not supporting the proposed new library because it is costs too much and the city wants to move it out of the Portland Avenue core area. Spending $10 million plus for a library when we have other needs such as a City Hall, police station, sewer and fresh water system that are falling apart is wrong.

Also, a forensic accountant who audited the funding plan the city has proposed determined the numbers do not add up. The audit determined If the library is built as planned by the city there may not be enough money left over from the money given to Gladstone to operate the library to help pay off the debt.

Actually, the County Library District readjusted that amount down from $1.3 million to a little over $1.1 million. So please join me in voting no on 3-314.

Neal Reisner


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