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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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Letters: NRA fights reason; Metro levy; Youth Council

No organization, its members and supporters has fought harder to prevent the establishment of reasoned gun control laws in the United States than the National Rifle Association.

The standard clip of the Glock pistol, which the mass murderer at Sandy Hook Elementary had, carries 15 rounds. Though he carried many rounds of bullets, each capable of killing, he only had to drop one clip and push in another to kill the 20 children and seven adults he sent to their graves.

Found in his mother’s car was a Kalashnikov AK-47 whose standard clip contains 30 bullets.

Had he carried the AK-47 into the school, he wouldn’t even have needed to drop a clip—one would have sufficed to take the lives of his 27 victims. It should be noted that you can purchase clips, increasing the number of killing units for each of these weapons.

Not only has the National Rifle Association prevented the establishment of reasoned gun-control laws in the United States, it has even managed to quelch a discussion at the level of governance. Case in point, the subject of gun control went unmentioned in the last national general elections.

The National Rifle Association and the leaders Andrew Arulanadam and Wayne LaPierre are culpable—share the blame—for this continuted carnage, and those of us in favor of reasoned gun control should hold them accountable. The obstructionism of the National Rifle Association, its members and supporters has lead to and contributed to the killings at Colunbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Town Center and, yes, Sandy Hook.

A reasoned gun-control law must come out of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and be signed by the President into law. It’s time for those of us who support a reasoned gun-control law to demand that such a reasoned gun-control law become the law of the land.

D. Kent Lloyd


Blameliberal culture

So...the slaughter of innocent children and adults in the recent shootings around the country? And liberals want to blame guns? Surprise.

The culture of death that is being rammed into kids heads day after day through violent video games, movies and music is an indoctrination that is unparalleled in human history. Are we to believe that this isn’t influencing a generation of kids and cheapening life?

Does the constant defense and promotion of the taking of innocent children’s lives, through abortion, devalue life and make us nothing more than animals? We are a conscience-numbed culture with a god complex, making up our own fatal laws, devoid of the Judeo-Christian principles our country was founded on.

And yet, now we can expect a barrage of news stories and blabber mouths talking again about getting rid of guns. The discussion should focus on what our culture, and in particular what the Godless liberal culture, has done to eliminate the sanctity of life. We will undoubtedly hear nothing about the evil that has been indulged and the expectation, even while they gorge on death—that we can remain untouched by the sickness of our culture and leave our kids completely unaffected.

Marc Trueb

Oregon City

Gun tragedies demand response

The shootings at Clackamas Town Center and in Connecticut are tragic reminders that gun violence can, and does, happen when we least expect it, in happy crowds of Christmas shoppers and in a school filled with innocent young children. I am sure you join me in extending our thoughts and prayers to the victims of these shootings, along with their families and loved ones.

According to news reports, the shooters were able to mow down victims using rapid-fire weapons. These terrifying situations exemplify the danger of large-capacity magazines, an ammunition-feeding device with the ability to accept multiple rounds of ammunition. These weapons dramatically increase death tolls and have no legitimate place in our neighborhoods. Even hunters are restricted from using large capacity magazines: there is a five cartridge limit for large-game hunting, and three for bird hunting. If we limit capacity for hunting animals, shouldn’t we extend this same principle to guns that may harm our neighbors?

That is why I have joined with other legislators to co-sponsor a measure that creates the crime of knowingly selling or transferring a large-capacity magazine, defined as an “ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”

We need to get these large-capacity magazines OUT of our neighborhoods. These are the weapons that have the power to turn dangerous, unpredictable behavior into acts of horrendous violence that devastate families and communities.

Carolyn Tomei

Milwaukie state representative

Supporting gun safety

As the father of three children under 6, I have tried to imagine the horror of a parent who has sent their child to a school or mall only to never have them return home due to gun violence. As an elected official, I am supposed to have words of comfort in the aftermath of disaster or tragedy, but no words can do justice to a parent’s grief over losses like these.

I have supported important public safety initiatives in the past including closing the Gun Show Loophole, but I have concluded that these steps alone are not enough to protect public safety. I am committed to working for a number of policies that will help prevent these tragedies in the future.

First, my late brother Jeff suffered from a serious mental illness. My family and I were constantly aware of the potential for violence, both against himself and others that his condition presented. As a country it is long past time to prioritize the awareness, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. Those with emotional and psychological disorders need our help. It is time to establish, once and for all, a system through which individuals who are found to be a potential threat to themselves or others can receive the treatment that they need. It also means assisting family members, friends, teachers and other observers, including gun sellers and range owners, when they sense something is amiss and that an individual might need professional help.

Second, as the Supreme Court has outlined limits to the First Amendment right of free speech, particularly involving the responsibility of the speaker not to promote panic or incite violence, the Second Amendment includes its own responsibilities for gun owners and gives our legislatures the mandate to promote and protect public safety to stop these tragedies from happening again and again.

Third, policies must be enacted that get military-style assault rifles out of the hands of individuals who would commit these heinous crimes. In addition, Congress should decide whether the most dangerous types of weapons and ammunition should be held to higher ownership, licensing and security standards than other firearms. There must be renewed attention to securing our schools through the COPS School Resource Officers program, and ensure that our rural communities have the resources to protect their children through funding programs like Secure Rural Schools.

Many gun owners already believe that gun rights include responsibilities. I believe there is a responsibility to secure your weapons and prevent the illegal use of your firearms. Gun owners should have the responsibility to demonstrate proficiency with their firearm and familiarity with laws regarding them. In households with unlicensed individuals, gun owners must keep their firearms under lock and key. All owners have the responsibility to ensure that their own sales and transfers are conducted within a system to prevents dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons sales or transfers of dangerous weapons should not be conducted outside a well regulated retail system that checks for detailed criminal and mental health history. The federal background-check database must be made substantially more accurate and comprehensive. This system must also include legal protection for licensed dealers who refuse a questionable sale.

This is not simple problem with a single solution. Each of these steps would balance rights and responsibilities, limit access to the most dangerous weapons, promote responsible gun ownership and address the woeful lack of mental health services across the nation. I intend to do everything possible to move forward on a bipartisan basis before our nation loses more of our children to yet another tragedy.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden


No more funds for Metro

Isn’t it great! Metro dupes the voters into giving them some of our tax money to buy land, conveniently forgetting to tell us they would need more money in the future to maintain the properties.

Now because Metro lacks any foresight, they CAN’T maintain the land we bought them. Enter Mike Houck into the discussion. An instructor at PSU and director of Urban Greenspaces Institute, a nonprofit. His solution is more tax money and more government employees. He is right about one thing—the state needs to get its budget under control, but BEFORE Metro asks for more taxes. Maybe there should be an independent forensic audit of the last two bond measures. Tell us exactly where all the money has been spent. How much property has been taken off the tax rolls, how much lost revenue? How much may have been sent to Houck’s Urban Greenspaces Institute or members of the Coalition for a Livable Future?

It’s typical government thinking. They buy and build expensive projects that are touted as “assets” to the whole community.

The fact is in a few short years they turn out to be liabilities. Why else would they need more money? Maybe the people that use the assets should pay to maintain them. Or maybe they should sell some property to maintain the rest. Most of the bond parcels are not for public use. Metro wants more money to spend on those? Are all of the parks that people actually use in good shape?

Since they can’t take care of their current inventory why not buy more?

Metro and the city of Portland has just recently purchased another 54 acres. Columbia Slough property that will have trails installed. Makes perfect sense if you’re the government using taxpayer money.

All of the area mayors are correct. It’s a bad idea. Say no to any more money for Metro. It’s time Metro gets the kind of genuine scrutiny they have never been subjected to.

Kevin Johnson


Finding our voice

On behalf of the Happy Valley Youth Council, I’d like to invite you to attend one of our Photo Voice presentations at City Hall.

We selected Photo Voice as a project where pictures will serve as a vehicle for us to “speak out and be heard” through photography. Each of us will present images we have captured in Happy Valley. We’ll explain how they portray the positive, and challenging aspects of our community, and how our ideas, concerns and plans can reinforce or change what we see.

Mark your calendar for either Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., or Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. and come to the City Hall Council Chamber for the unveiling of our Photo Voice project.

We’re excited to share a new way to look at life in our community with you!

Ashley George

Happy Valley