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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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Letters: Sandy storm relief efforts, gun control


My Path Wellness and Active Evolution Fitness, both from Milwaukie, teamed up on Dec. 9 for a Day of IMPACT to raise money for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

After seeing firsthand the devastating effects of Sandy, fitness industry leader Todd Durkin immediately set up the Durkin IMPACT Foundation and made a call to action. He asked all fitness professionals, worldwide, to host a Day of IMPACT. Motivated by this call to action, Certified Personal Trainers, Mike Thomas (owner of My Path Wellness) and Active Evolution Fitness joined forces to offer the community a fun, IMPACTful workout, while raising money for a great cause.

With the help of Max Muscle Clackamas, Dave’s Killer Bread, Great Harvest Bread Company, Dr. Mike Regan DMD, Wheeler Tree Farm, Tracy Todd, LMT, Susan Gervasi with Integrative Nutrition, Papa Murphy’s, Yogurt Shack, K. Allen Bodyworks, LLC, Nita’s Aloha Water, CAbi, Spotlight Performing Arts and JAFRA, Thomas and Santorno raised over $1,000. One-hundred percent of the money raised will go to the Durkin IMPACT Foundation. The foundation will be sending that money directly to those most affected in New Jersey and New York.

It is an honor to be able to help those who need it most. It is not every day that you can do what you love and make such an impact in the lives of strangers thousands of miles away. The community here in Clackamas County stepped up in a big way. It is amazing to see so many people, businesses and organizations, come together for those in need.

My Path Wellness and Active Evolution look forward to offering future fundraising events for local and national charities in need.

Nicole Santorno

Active Evolution Fitness owner

Guns are just objects

It is now long past time to repeal the Second Amendment. It serves evil, not good, violence, not peace, hatred, not love. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution is a relic of a time when the citizens accepted their general powerlessness and seemed to live without imagination, just fear.

Still, it will likely take independent-minded gun owners to lead the overdue effort to rid our society of this curse. We need gun owners with conscience to finally, at long last, face morality, face the truth, face the irrefutable terrible facts on the ground, in the ground, that perfectly innocent children are victims again and again and again to the lack of backbone of gun owners.

I’m a peace person, as are my friends. I am striving to be nonviolent and have tried to learn nonviolence for years. I can point to alternatives to guns, I can argue against them, and that’s about it. What we need—what would dramatically change our national discourse on this—is for gun owners to stand up and tell the rest of us, “We no longer want our possessions to be regarded under our Constitution as sacred and above the law. We reject the kneejerk response from the NRA and the gun industry every time there is a tragedy. Not once—never, ever one single time—have they admitted that guns can ever be a problem and are just things that should be subjected to laws like anything else.”

When I worked on high-rise construction projects in my 20s and 30s I was very glad for OSHA. They inspected just often enough to help us stay relatively safe, even 300-plus feet off the ground in the Minnesota winter. We didn’t have company owners lobbying to declare scaffolding or tie-ropes or other safety devices somehow related to near sacralization. The OSHA inspectors would pick up a faulty extension cord, pull out their wire snips, and cut it into short, unusable pieces, and would then write up a fine. Did that cost our companies? Only once—then they told the foremen to be careful to keep it all legal.

We regulate cars, motorcycles, boats, and much much more. Some things are simply outlawed. People cannot have a marijuana brownie but they can have a handgun?

The lives of children are sacred; guns are just objects. We choose guns over children every day that we do not get rid of that long-antiquated Second Amendment.

Am I suggesting ridding ourselves of the Second Amendment would solve everything? Obviously not; guns haven’t solved much either. We need to learn new ways.

Learn nonviolence. Work to end poverty. Share. Support candidates who will reduce military expenditures and increase subsidies to all the many new ways to manage conflict that do not involve violence and the threat of violence. Learn about Gandhi. Learn about mediation. Learn about de-escalation. These are how we negate the “need” for guns. Are they foolproof? Nothing is. But the Second Amendment is not serving us well, not at all. Time for change.

Tom H. Hastings


Prosecute those responsible

In response to the gun-control folks: The recent events in Sandy Hook and Clackamas Town Center is just centered on the guns, not the irresponsible gun owners.

I realize the mother is deceased, but what parent teaches her mentally-ill son how to use a gun and where were they kept?Were they secured in a gun safe or locked away, or did they have trigger locks?

With the Town Center shooting, the suspect stole the guns from a friend. Were they kept in a secure location or with trigger locks? Put the blame where it belongs: irresponsible gun owners.

Prosecute them.

Don Brown

Oregon City

Reasoned gun control defined

During World War II the standard issue semiautomatic rifle issued to the Army and Marine Corps was the MI Garand.

The MI Garand was described by Gen. George Patton as “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” The MI Garand had an eight-round clip. If an eight-round clip was sufficient for soldiers winning the war in Western Europe, an eight-round clip should be sufficient for hobbists and hunters today.

The manufacture and sale across the counter of extended clips/magazines is outlawed. The sale of extended clips, whether at gun shows or by private parties, is outlawed. The use of extended clips by the original semiautomatic pistol/rifle owner is limited to rifle/pistol ranges or in licenced competitions. The sale price of any automatic rifle/pistol, whether sold across the counter, at a gun show or privately, includes an installed law enforcement-approved trigger lock.

The only semiautomatic pistols/rifles which will be registered or empounded will be those where the owners have been found guilty of violating gun-control laws at the city, county, state and/or federal law.

D. Kent Lloyd


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Editorial and Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by Friday at noon to Raymond Rendleman at editor@clackamasreview.com. Try to keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words, but longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.