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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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Thoughts and prayers go to shooting victims


Letters from governor, senator, superintendents and others

by: MIKE LIGHT - The artist's hope with 'Santa's Sorrow' is that the community is engaged enough with Clackamas Town Center tragedy that they will be able to make the connection with the initials of the victims. 'If they are not, it will prompt them to have the discussion with themselves or others about what the initials stand for. Sometimes I believe giving the viewer the benefit of some level of awareness in general,' he said.All flags at public institutions statewide are to be lowered immediately and flown at half-staff until sunset on Wednesday, Dec. 12, as mark of respect for victims of Clackamas Town Center shooting.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and their friends during this very difficult time. I would also like to thank the first responders and the many citizens who helped protect those at risk.

I have directed State Police to make any and all necessary resources available to local law enforcement.

Gov. John Kitzhaber


Proud of response

We have already heard several descriptions by friends and neighbors who were at the Clackamas Town Center mall, and it is clear that this random act could have easily happened to people we know.

Happy Valley and Clackamas County continue to work in partnership to provide safety and livability to our citizens and our adjoining neighbors.

We are proud of the rapid and professional response of our law enforcement, and our hearts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones as victims. We share their grief.

Mayor Lori DeRemer

Happy Valley

Support students in crisis

As many of you have heard, there has been a horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. The fact that most of the victims were young children is especially heartbreaking and sad. This certainly adds to the sorrow we are feeling in our own community this week. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the Newtown, Conn., community.

As we have done since Tuesday, we need to continue to show our support for students, and to acknowledge what they are feeling. For those who had a tie to the shooting at the Town Center earlier this week, this latest event could raise added stress and anxiety.

Please remember that students handle crises with a wide spectrum of responses. Some may be visibly upset. Others may shut down. Some may inappropriately make light of these events. All these responses are normal. Ultimately, it is important that we support students, whatever their response. We have counselors and administrators at each school who can further support students who may be struggling with these acts of violence.

When violence happens it may be hard to know how to talk about it. If students are talking about this latest shooting, I encourage you to listen. Give them time and space to work through their emotions.

Even though we’ve had multiple violent public events this week, such events are rare. We need to reassure students that our schools have safety procedures in place, and remind them that staff and students practice these safety procedures throughout the school year.

We have trained safety personnel in our schools, including police officers who work within all our schools. We have on-going working relationships with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and the Milwaukie Police Department. Student safety is our top priority.

We are all feeling more vulnerable today. It is important that we understand that adults as well as children may be personally impacted by these events and may need your extra understanding and support in the coming days.

Matt Utterback

North Clackamas superintendent

Shocked and heartbroken

I am shocked by the horrific and deeply disturbing events at Clackamas Town Center. To lose even one Oregonian to violence is heartbreaking. To have an ordinary December afternoon at the mall descend into a scene of murder and terror is absolutely devastating.

My thoughts and prayers tonight are with the victims, their loved ones, and all who have been affected by this terrible act of violence.

Sen. Jeff Merkley


Additional support availible

ln response to the tragic events at both the Clackamas Town Center and at a Connecticut elementary school, I want to assure you that we will continue to take all the safety precautions necessary to ensure a safe school environment. ln Gladstone School District, We have a comprehensive safety plan that includes students, staff and a district level Crisis Response team.

In response to these tragic events, we have a team of trained staff who are on alert for students who may need additional support during this difficult time.

When children experience traumatic events, they can be comforted most by parents or trusted caregivers. Listening and offering assurance is essential. Follow regular routines and keep things as predictable as possible as this provides a feeling of safety.

As with any situation, each student responds in a variety of ways. You may notice difficulty sleeping, a change in appetite, a desire to stay close to home, irritability or other behavioral changes. Children need reassurance from those around them and a calm environment to feel safe. It is important to keep with routines, as predictability helps to keep children feeling safe. Therefore, we would encourage you to continue routine school activities as much as possible.

Do not underestimate your child’s awareness or understanding of what has happened or what may be happening. Please be mindful of the media that your child is exposed to as with the vast amount of information from a variety of sources (news, social media, newspaper) this can be overwhelming and confusing to children.

Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher if you are in need of additional support. We can also refer you to the Clackamas County Crisis Hotline, 503-655-8401.

Wendy Wilson

Gladstone elementary principal

Prevent future tragedies

In the midst of the season of hope and joy, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon laments the tragedy of violence resulting in death, wounding and terror at Clackamas Town Center yesterday.

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon calls upon all houses of worship to pray for the victims’ families and loved ones, and for the perpetrator’s family who are suffering now. We give thanks for the police, emergency professionals, and mall staff for their courage and quick response, making clear that we will not be paralyzed by fear in the face of sudden violence. We also acknowledge the importance of pastoral care and mental health services for all those impacted by this tragedy, and we give thanks for everyone who is part of the healing process.

Causes of these tragedies can be complex, including lack of resources to recognize and treat mental illness, easy availability of military-grade weapons, and the culture of violence permeating our society. At this time in our society, we must be willing to tackle these hard issues together in order to foster healing and help prevent future tragedies.

Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes

EMO Board president

Don’t take my rights

I noticed that a couple of your initial articles about the Town Center shooting applied a very bias tone concerning the gun-rights debate.

Please do no not spin it by giving only one-sided voice to banning advocates such as Ceasefire Oregon. Perhaps this can be saved for an Opinion column, but people can form their own opinions based on reported facts.

Especially considering the weapon in this case was stolen, that’s hardly grounds for making a case to have the government take away more of our rights. Many, many people in Clackamas County (where I live) and throughout Oregon value those freedoms. The right to own and bear arms is about self defense, and ultimately freedom from tyranny - which are not illegal or unethical principles. An armed law-abiding citizen could have put a quick stop to this tragedy, which could have been much worse if the shooter’s gun didn’t happened to jam up.

I appreciate your publication and read it regularly. I just fear that putting this kind of spin will tarnish your reputation and lose readers, especially here in Clackamas County.

Nate Alford


Demand action for sane gun laws

Our thoughts are with everyone who was shot and their friends and families.

We do not know all the facts yet, but a few things are already clear. Our communities can never be safe while the gun industry profits from arming the deranged and the dangerous with increasingly lethal weapons. As long as weapons that belong only on battlefields are sold in our communities, the lives of ordinary citizens will continue to be sacrificed as mere collateral damage by the gun lobby and the politicians who turn a blind eye to the carnage.

The outrage must outlast the news cycle if we are to stop the bloodshed. This kind of terror will continue in America until our legislators stand up to the gun lobby and put the lives of our families over the profits of one industry. Ceasefire Oregon has been working to ban assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. We have also been working to require background checks for every gun sold.

Call your senators and your representatives, on the state and national levels. Call the White House and demand action! Do it in memory of today’s victims, and in defense of tomorrow’s.

State Sen. Ginny Burdick’s proposed legislation to ban oversized ammunition magazines represents a major step in the campaign to stop the mass killings associated with semi-automatic weapons. We need more legislators like Ginny Burdick.

Congress has failed to act, and the President has failed to lead. The Oregon Legislature needs to show some courage and protect our citizens from these weapons. Next time, the gun might not jam

Penny Okamoto

Ceasefire Oregon, executive director

Support mall, one another

The North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce shares our concern and support for all those impacted by Tuesday’s tragic events. Please support the Clackamas Town Center Mall and one another as we move forward together as a community.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was in the mall at the time of this unfortunate incident. We are grateful to have the stellar support of all the law enforcement agencies and rescue personnel in the area, who immediately took action and continue to ensure the safety of everyone remaining at the property.

David Kelly

Chamber CEO

Safety taken seriously

We are all shocked and saddened by the tragedy that has unfolded in Connecticut. It was an unthinkable and horrific event. We all are struggling to find the capacity to absorb and respond to this tragedy on the heels of the incident at Clackamas Town Center.

Tragic events like this challenge our sense of security. It is appropriate and expected that we will all react with fear and apprehension. For many of us, this event will surface previous traumas. We naturally respond with a whole range of emotions and even some irrational behaviors. We all need to exercise patience and understanding with each other as we learn to cope.

We want you to know that all district staff take our responsibility for student safety very seriously. The Oregon City School District has a well-trained and prepared crisis response team, building emergency teams and plans. Our schools remain a safe place to learn.

Teachers and staff have been encouraged to take time as needed to talk about what has happened and the memories and fears it may evoke. School counselors and the crisis response team will remain on alert for those who may need additional help in dealing with this trauma. Please take time to talk with your child today.

Resources to assist you are available at orecity.k12.or.us/trauma-resources.

We know we all will keep those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

Larry Didway

Oregon City superindendent