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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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Letters: Changing county focus; imagine CCC; 'I feel' complaint; alternative to CRC


by: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY - New Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow shakes hands with County Clerk Sherry Hall after he took office last week in a swearing-in ceremony administered by Circuit Court Judge Susie L. Norby.Thanks to all of you for joining me on this journey of running for office we have taken together this last year. So many of you have told me your stories, given me your support, volunteered for me, hosted events, and made campaign calls. You have put up yards signs, installed field signs, attended events, and joined me in the “rolling up the sleeves” part of campaigning. It has been a long road, but our efforts have been worth every minute. We have won!

Our work now has a different focus. Clackamas County is a great place to live and will become even better as we focus the next four years on job creation, public safety and roads! We have a budget to balance, debt to pay off and make sure we give priority to focusing on what Clackamas County residents support while still working with our partners outside of the county.

We have much to do. I am so humbled that you have entrusted Tootie Smith and I to serve you. Because of our key wins, the commission has a balance that will represent listening to residents and making sure basic services in Clackamas County are addressed.

John Ludlow

Clackamas County chairman

Help imagine CCC

Clackamas Community College is approaching it 50th year of service in 2016 and is asking the community for their help envisioning the future of education and training at the college. The college has embarked on a community engagement initiative called “Imagine Clackamas” and welcomes community input through an online survey.

As a member of the CCC Board of Education representing Zone 3 serving Gladstone, Oak Grove and the west Clackamas area, I share CCC’s vision to create a brighter future for students and district members. The college is your best option for quality, affordable education and training, whether you are training for career, returning to work or gaining new skills.

Community members are invited to participate in the “Imagine Clackamas” online survey and help shape the future of Clackamas Community College. The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and can be accessed online at clackamas.edu through Feb. 15.

The feedback collected from the “Imagine Clackamas” survey will help guide the college’s decision-making processes, priorities and activities, and will help us prepare for our 50th Anniversary in 2016 and beyond.

It will shine a light on areas where we should improve and adapt the college’s educational and training services to better meet the needs of the communities we serve today and in the future.

Judith Ervin


I think, I want, I advise

In recent months, I noticed the Gladstone City Council minutes writer is inserting “I feel ....” before statements made by people testifying. It happens too often to attribute to chance: “I feel” is attached to a female testifying, when she never used the phrase. Most of the time, the men get, “he said, he testified, he thinks, he wants” etc. (all acceptable sentence starters).

Why in 2013 would a city produce inaccurate minutes that are offensive, sexist and sexually discriminatory in public meeting minutes? I want the city to stop this sexist practice. The city did not answer my recent letter concerning the misquotes. They ignored my request to put the subject on the next meeting minutes.

Perhaps the minutes writer needs some sexual harassment-avoidance training. Adopt the policy: Never use “I feel” in the minutes of any person’s testimony unless they actually say it. It’s inaccurate. Sometimes people say “I feel” out loud. If so, feel free to quote it.

Sate law requires “accurate meeting minutes.”

In some circles the phrase “I feel” is considered illiterate and inferior. So misquoting such phrases to women’s speech is discriminatory. It is comparable to saying, “She is so emotional, we don’t have to listen to her,” etc.

However, the minutes writer continues to take liberties and repeatedly singles out feminine voices for “I feel,” when the woman did not use the phrase. This is gender bias. It’s offensive to women. Please clean up the minutes from now on. Accuracy is good. Sexism is illegal.

Another serious inacuracy appears in the July 2012 minutes. Two female citizens were quoted as having used the word disturbed. We did not. I find the minutes writer’s insertion of those words, “feel” and “disturbed” very, very offensive and gender-bias discrimination. To remedy the problem, it looks like I must hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against the city.

Is there anyone out there who shares my concerns?

Rose Johnson


Editor’s note: City Administrator Pete Boyce notified Gladstone City Council’s minutes writer of these observations. “Moving forward she will consider this input, and city staff will review minutes with your observations in mind,” Boyce wrote last week to Johnson, asking for detailed citations of specific examples of possible inaccuracies. Boyce told this newspaper that City Council may vote to correct the minutes if any discrepancies are found.

Alternative bridge possible

I agree with the reasoning of Economic Transportation Alliance on why the Columbia River Crossing Project as proposed is bad for our region, Clackamas County and interstate commerce.

The most important reason that I endorse their position is that there are better, more reasonable alternatives to the CRC Project that make more sense. An alternative can truly solve congestion and freight-mobility problems/opportunities within the Portland-Vancouver region that eliminate the justification for CRC Project in its entirety. The most important critical values of the attributes provided by the alternatives are: that they cost less and provide better results.

As a resident of Clackamas County and a citizen member of the Clackamas County Transportation Advisory Committee, charged with developing the long-term Transportation System Plan (TSP), I see this CRC Project as eliminating 90 percent of the critical federal funding my county needs to fund its critical projects we are prioritizing. This proposed CRC Project will equally hurt all counties in the state of Oregon, because of how it takes virtually all of the next 20 years of federal funding and puts it into one project, with limited advantages and justification.

Please read their press release and join in with the call to not provide funding to continue with the CRC Project, which results in stopping bleeding of people and resources, enabling a refocus on what is important.

Paul Edgar

Oregon City

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 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.