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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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I learned a lot as your state representative


Ten years representing you in the Oregon House of Representatives has flown by.

It’s been an honor serving our community and helping lead Oregon to better strengthen education, health and human services, transportation, public safety, veterans’ services, economic development, our environment and government efficiency.

I’ve learned several key lessons on this legislative journey:

Everybody Loves Jobs: Democrats and Republicans don’t always work well together, but we’ve actively collaborated to strengthen jobs and our economy. We increased loans and grants for small businesses needing capital, invested in emerging industries, broadened research and development tax credits, streamlined regulations, and expanded industrial lands. Timber harvesting in state forests has been increased, maintaining sustainable practices. I authored the law creating “Oregon Business Xpress,” a one-stop shop for businesses.

Kids Can’t Vote: Children are too often ignored. But Oregon kids have been well served by major expansions of Head Start and $250,000 for Gladstone’s new Family Stepping Stones Relief Nursery. We reinvigorated career/technical education programs and facilities in high schools and community colleges. School facilities are better because we amended the Constitution to allow state K-12 capital funding and authorized construction-excise fees so new housing developments help fund school facilities.

Clackamas Community College won big with state funding to build the Allied Health Center, a second workforce building at the Harmony Campus, and enhanced workforce development facilities. We increased college financial aid by 72 percent and allowed greater flexibility for Oregon universities.

Tragically, the 2011 Legislature reversed our positive progress on K-12 and community college funding, but 2013-15 holds greater promise.

You Can’t Get There from Here: Transportation issues are amazingly controversial, but diligence pays off. The historic Jobs and Transportation Act funded our new Sunrise Corridor Highway in Clackamas (after 30 years of talk, construction begins in 2013), the Jughandle project on Highway 213 in Oregon City, the new I-5 northbound lane near I-205, the added westbound lane on Highway 212 at 82nd Drive, and significantly increased state road funds to our county and cities. We opened a new Amtrak stop in Oregon City, the MAX Green Line to Clackamas Town Center, and delivered $250 million for Portland-Milwaukie-Oak Grove light rail. We created ConnectOregon to improve air, rail, and marine infrastructure.

While Others Fight about Health Care, Oregon Leads: Healthy Kids now provides health insurance to 90,000 uninsured children and 30,000 low-income adults (reducing the cost shift onto the rest of us), a highlight from my tenure as House speaker. We created a prescription drug bulk purchasing pool for seniors and the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange to reduce costs for small businesses and consumers. After a decade trying, mental health parity now ensures mental health care is covered by insurance companies. I also passed a law strengthening organ donor rights. Oregon now leads our nation in health care reform.

Prevention is Cheaper than Punishment: After 15 years of drastic cuts to Oregon State Police, we restored 24/7 highway coverage. We led America by successfully cracking down on methamphetamines and metal theft. I authored two new laws to prevent drunk driving by requiring offenders to install ignition interlock devices. We protected child-abuse funding and changed the domestic-violence-funding formula so services in our county get a fairer share. We’ve begun to shift greater resources to crime prevention.

Whiskey is for Drinking, Water is for Fighting: Environmental issues are often hard fought in the Legislature. But win/win solutions can be achieved: helping businesses and homes become energy efficient, passing Ballot Measure 49 to bring greater balance to land-use laws, and modernizing Oregon’s Bottle Bill. New renewable energy and low carbon-fuel standards will improve air quality. Wave energy investments are creating jobs. And we increased protections for Oregon fish and sportfishermen by cracking down on California sea lions at Willamette Falls.

Freedom Isn’t Free: I was honored to serve on the first Veterans Committee in 50 years. We funded new Veterans Service Officers across Oregon, doubling local services. We passed a renter’s tax credit for low-income veterans and returning soldiers and a property tax exemption for disabled vets. We expanded educational opportunities, created a second Veterans Home, increased transportation services, and created an emergency fund for military families. We enabled service members to more easily vote in elections, even when stationed in a war zone.

There is Waste, But It’s Not All Waste: Two recessions during the past 10 years have required major budget cuts and agency streamlining. We created Oregon’s first Rainy Day Fund to protect services during recessions—and a proactive review of tax breaks each biennium. Campaign finance reforms increased transparency, ethics laws were strengthened, and “double majority” reform enabled local voters to fairly pass local measures. Under my leadership, we reduced the legislative budget and the length of legislative sessions, while increasing productivity and public access.

Live by the Golden Rule: We have a moral responsibility to serve needy Oregonians. We made progress by expanding farmer’s market vouchers for low-income families and seniors, providing more school breakfasts and lunches, more summer meals for hungry kids, and Oregon Project Independence for seniors at home. Amidst the greatest recession in our lifetime, Oregon took bold action to protect critical services.

Clackamas Deserves our Fair Share: Part of my job is standing up for our county’s unique needs. In addition to dramatically increasing infrastructure investments here, I worked with community leaders to author laws protecting unincorporated areas from unwanted annexation. We eliminated spiritual beliefs as a defense for refusing health treatment for children. We reopened the Government Camp Rest Area on Highway 26. Clackamas County has finally begun receiving our fair share.

Families Bear the Brunt: Families of candidates and elected officials endure lots of collateral damage. I’m deeply grateful to my incredible wife and kids - and families of all public servants.

Staff Facilitate Success: I’ve been blessed with amazing staff who’ve enabled us to achieve so much. Legislative staffers are unsung heroes.

Constituents Count: Your input and feedback has been vital. Based on ideas from your emails, letters, calls, surveys, and over 100 town-hall meetings, we’ve accomplished a lot for our community and state.

Did we accomplish everything during the past 10 years? No.

Did you agree with every vote or action I took? No. (My wife didn’t either.)

Did we leave Oregon and Clackamas County better off than 10 years ago? Yes.

But we’re not there yet. Please stay actively engaged in the legislative process by working closely with my amazing successors: newly-elected Reps. Brent Barton (Gladstone, Jennings Lodge, Johnson City, and Oregon City), Shemia Fagan (Clackamas and Happy Valley), and Jeff Reardon (North Clackamas and Happy Valley) and returning Rep. Carolyn Tomei (Milwaukie and Oak Grove). They will serve us well.

I’ve learned so much representing you in the Oregon House of Representatives during this decade. Thank you for the honor and privilege!

Dave Hunt has represented Clackamas County in the Oregon House of Representatives since 2002, including service as majority leader and speaker of the House. He previously served on the Oregon City School Board and is executive director of the Association of Pacific Ports.