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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: K-9 support; AMR; Oregon Lottery; party politics; tobacco


by: PHOTO COURTESY: MILWAUKIE POLICE DEPARTMENT - This file photo shows Jag training with K9 officer Scott Huteson. Jag had to be euthenized in December 2012.Thanks for printing the previous article on this fundraising (“Foundation seeks funding for K9 officer,” Jan. 9).

I thought you might like to know what has happened in the previous month, especially as the article in the Clackamas Review prompted several generous donations. It was mentioned by some, and some donations came with a check clipped to the article.

So far the “100 @ $50” campaign has raised $2,435, almost half way to our target of $5,000. In addition the Hector Campbell Neighborhood Association made a donation of $1,000, the Linwood Neighborhood Association donated $250, and the Professional Firefighters Association of Clackamas County donated $250. We set a target of between $15,000 and $20,000, and we have now managed to raise $13,750, very close to the low end of what is needed to purchase and train a new K-9 officer.

As background—Jag was credited with 32 suspect apprehensions during his four-year service with the Milwaukie Police Department. Shaka was our second, and now only K-9 officer. Shaka is a narcotics dog, and certified to work with our K-9 Officer Billy Wells in 2011. She has been deployed on 89 occasions on drug missions.

K-9s enhance the ability to respond to certain types of calls that are highly beneficial to the community, and are deployed to help other departments when their K-9 officers are not available. Likewise other departments send their K-9 officers to Milwaukie when we need assistance. This was the case recently when K-9 officers from Clackamas County helped to track and apprehend two suspects seen taking parcels from the front step of a house in Milwaukie.

Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation is actively campaigning to raise funds to purchase a K-9 officer as a replacement for Jag. We are seeking donations, of any size, towards our 100@$50 campaign in which we hope to encourage 100 people to donate $50. Further information at milwaukiepsf.org/k9fund.

Dave Hedges


Support for AMR

As a citizen of Clackamas County and with my family living within this county I feel I must respond to this article (“County digs into ambulance contract,” Jan. 30).

Clackamas County is a large county with a geographical area that is spread out from Wlisonville to over Mt Hood. The experience that the EMTs have in this county has developed over many decades.

The specialty programs are the best around. I guarantee a change in provider will cost lives. Do you want your family who called 911 to have a service that is unfamiliar with the area and doesn’t have the expertise needed for long transport times?

This is not a acceptable act by our commissioners, and there must have been some outside interest involved in attempting to replace some of the best paramedics and EMTs in the state.

Mike Raschio


Good first steps

A state legislator from Milwaukie, Carolyn Tomei has introduced a package of bills designed to address some of the problems associated with the Oregon Lottery (“Beating the odds on addiction,” Jan. 30, and “Momentum builds for Oregon Lottery reforms,” Jan. 9).

Perhaps the most important of the three bills is HB 2167, which would cap the total amount of lottery revenue going to the state’s general fund. Under her proposal, all money above the cap would be diverted into a so-called “rainy day” fund, used only during times of fiscal crisis.

This would begin to address a central problem with the lottery, which is the mixed incentives it creates for legislators. On one hand, most of them pretend to be concerned about the growing problem of gambling addiction. Yet, when they use lottery money to pay for base funding of important state programs, they are incentivized to promote gambling.

When priorities collide, the lottery as cash cow always trumps concerns about gambling addiction.

The best solution would be to get state government out of the gambling business entirely; but since that’s not politically feasible, cutting off some of the revenue to the state’s general fund is a good first step. If the cap is set low enough, it potentially could force legislators to look elsewhere for base funding, or maybe even cut spending. Either option would be better than the status quo.

John A. Charles Jr.

Cascade Policy Institute

Party politics

Is the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners broken, dysfunctional or what?

Several years ago, the voters of Clackamas County passed a measure to change the Board of Commissioners from partisan to a nonpartisan position/job. That means: Do your job, represent your constituents, and the political party you are affiliated with has nothing to do with the job and the decisions you make. Leave your party affiliation at the door!

That is not what is happening. What party they are affiliated with splits the Board of Commissioners in their working environment. The media reports their name with their party affiliation. The community talks about the commissioners with the party name included. The current commissioners support those running for open commissioner positions by party trying to out beat the other one. The commissioners also support or don’t support those in other Clackamas County nonpartisan jobs according to their party.

Apparently, the commissioners don’t understand the term nonpartisan. If they can’t do their job in a nonpartisan manner, then it is time we change it back to partisan jobs so that the voters and commissioners are all on the same page.

Sue Conachan

Oak Grove

Take action against tobacco use

Each year, 443,000 people die from tobacco-related illness and secondhand-smoke exposure. It is important that Oregon invest in our tobacco-prevention programs so that we can keep kids off of tobacco and help smokers quit.

The first step is to invest tobacco settlement funds and other tobacco-related revenue into evidence-based tobacco-prevention programs. Sadly, Oregon joins many other states in neglecting to properly invest its annual tobacco-settlement funds and tobacco taxes to implement proven tactics that save lives and reduce tobacco-related disease.

According to the American Lung Association’s just released “State of Tobacco Control’’ report, Oregon received an F for tobacco control program funding. Currently, we only fund our program at 17.5 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended level.

Oregon must make it a priority to invest in programs that will prevent youth tobacco use and help smokers quit. The 2012 Surgeon General’s report states that failure to invest in programs and policies to reduce tobacco use will result in 3 million new youth smokers, with a third of them dying from their addiction. If states invest in tobacco-prevention programs today, youth-tobacco use would be cut in half in just six years.

Tobacco use touches all of our lives, and for many of us the stakes are very high. In our family, my nonsmoker mother died of lung cancer and my father died as a result of chronic lung issues.

It is imperative that we encourage our state representatives to more fully fund Oregon’s tobacco prevention and control programs through available tobacco-settlement funds. I encourage the public to visit stateoftobaccocontrol.org to view Oregon’s grades and to take action!

Irene Pugh