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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 on CRW, state park, gun laws, etc.


by: CARTOON COURTESY: DEBRA BLASZAK - This editorial cartoon was created by Debra Blaszak, a resident of Milwaukie, and her illustrator, Rene Sanders, in response to recent articles about PERS and an ambulance-contract fight in Clackamas County.Opinion seeks to intimidate voters

First, it is bad enough that the Clackamas Review continues to so recklessly publish such stuff as Clackamas River Water Commissioner Grafton Sterling’s opinion piece (“Union rips off CRW ratepayers,” Jan. 30) with no attempts to check into the facts.

There is little question that this article is another attempt to intimidate petition circulators and signers, as well as voters.

However, it was the choice of the Review staff, themselves, to choose such a defamatory headline for this piece. Not a good idea.

Barbara Kemper


Promote tourism, not retail wasteland

A new state park at the old Blue Heron paper mill site is a great idea (“A state park at Willamette Falls?” Feb. 6).

Rather than allowing another profiteering developer to turn the site into another retail wasteland, a state park would not only serve to highlight the history of the falls, but also would enhance tourism in Oregon City. We live in a city with a rich cultural heritage, and we should not continue to allow roughshod development to destroy that heritage.

It is quite refreshing to see someone considering a use for this site other than the usual WalMart, Cabela’s, Cinetopia or other shortsighted, unimaginative, money-driven ideas.

A state park would bring more tourism dollars to Oregon City, and would also provide a great place for local residents to spend the day.

Dennis Gallagher

Oregon City

Amen to state park

I think Jim Morgan’s idea of a State Park at the old Blue Heron/Smurfit site is an excellent idea—worthy of an immediate, serious plan to be considered by state, city and county officials, and local businesspeople. Maybe the state should also consider development funding of the Oregon Interpretive Center/Museum and the development of a campground near there—and the OC Trolley can run between both.

The sites mentioned above could be developed into a great tourist draw. If people are concerned about finding space for business development and jobs in our area, then maybe they should seriously revisit the dormant Beavercreek Concept Plan instead.

Robert Malchow

Oregon City

Train select troop’

Your newspaper’s Editorial Board wrote in (“Don’t rush to judgment on gun laws,” Jan. 30) that the new proposals for gun laws would have little or no effect on hunters or people who lawfully carry concealed weapons. Unfortunately, this viewpoint sets limits on my rights that do not exist.

To U.S. founders, hunting or self defense were an obvious given. Alexander Hamilton wrote regarding the militia in the Federalist no. 29: “This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the Government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the People, while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights, and those of their fellow citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”

The idea was, and remains that people like me should be trained and armed in a similar manner as the “select troop” as Madison called it. It is my birthright as an American to keep these arms in my possession and bear them in force to; repel an invasion, suppress insurrection, participate in law enforcement, and, as a last resort, the American people have a right to insurrection if the circumstances of our society fall into a state of despotism.

These new laws would violate the contract between the people and the government that we call a Constitution. Liberty has its inconveniences, but I prefer them to any alternative.

I challenge you to print letters like mine as a matter of proper public discourse in a free society.

John Brandenburg


Teach the beach

I am an 18-year-old senior at La Salle High School in Milwaukie writing to ask that you please join me in an attempt to raise public awareness of a growing issue in our state, littering on the Oregon Coast.

After attending two separate beach clean-up events, I was a appalled at how much trash and debris our group picked up. The beach is littered with beer bottles, soda cans, fast-food wrappers and other garbage that simply shouldn’t be there.

Not only does this affect the natural beauty of our coast, but it also poses a major threat to anybody visiting the beach, as well as to all the animals who call the beach their home. Playing children, who are not paying attention, could easily step on broken glass bottles lying half-hidden in the sand. Parents should not have to worry about their children getting hurt on what is supposed to be a fun day at the beach.

This is an issue that should be brought to the attention of Oregonians so that we can come together as a community to try and stop this growing problem. Please help me raise awareness by using your media platform as a beacon for environmentally friendly men and woman to come together and help restore the beach.

Robert Blaine Boyd III

Oregon City

Definition of love

With Valentine’s Day fast upon us and my 52nd wedding anniversary a few months away, I’m drawn to give thought to-What is that which we call love?

I suggest that there are times in our lives when we feel pretty self-assured and harbor a certain degree of healthy egocentrism. For want of better words, we have a sense of comfortable oneness. Then someone enters our lives, and his or her presence brings change.

Over time we become aware that we are only experiencing that sense of oneness/inner happiness when we are, in any circumstance, with that “someone.” I submit that this is love.

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 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.