Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

Brought to you by Craig and Jodie - Budget Blinds - WINDOW TREATMENT INSIDER -


BUDGET BLINDS - Craig and JodieStatistics show that an average of one serious injury or fatality occurs each month from blind cord strangulation, both of which are highly avoidable. Cordless window treatments can help make your home a safer place for family and pets. These coverings offer both stylish fashions as well as elimination of cords, allowing you to design as creatively as you would like to.

Wood, faux wood, composite, and honeycomb blinds are just a few of the options that can be made cordless, either through motorization or through wand-controlled operation of louvers, both of which eliminate dangerous, dangling cords.

Shades are the most versatile window treatment, offering a wide variety of styles, color options, fabrics and material choices. Best of all, shades can be cordless or motorized making them ideal window coverings for those with children and/or pets in their homes and/or businesses.

Another option to consider are shutters. Shutters are an incredible window treatment offering clean, crisp lines that complement all décor styles. Shutters are great for arched, rounded, and other unique window shapes that can be a challenge to address. All shutters are custom made from both premium wood and composite materials and they are always cordless.

If you are ready to make your home safer for those you love, call us at 503-590-4333 for a free, in-home consultation. We can translate your safety concerns and style preferences into beautiful custom window coverings for your home.

Budget Blinds

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

(503) 590-4333

budgetblinds.com

Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTO REPAIR INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John Sciarra Before you hit the open road this summer, run through the Bernard’s Garage Road Trip Checklist to lower your chances of getting sidelined by vehicle troubles.

Check your tires: Are your tires at the correct pressure? How much tread do your tires have left? How even is the tire wear? Tires are the most common component of vehicles to fail, so make sure yours are in good condition

Make a road trip playlist: There’s nothing worse than the static of a radio with no service, so burn a CD or create an mp3 playlist with your favorite jams to keep the good times rolling.

Check your different engine fluids: If your transmission fluid isn’t pinkish and almost clear, have it drained and changed out. Check to make sure you have the proper amount of coolant in your cooling system. And change out the oil and air filter in your engine. The improved fuel economy alone is reason enough.

Bring some good snacks: There’s nothing worse than a car full of hungry people yelling at each other. Grab a couple of bottles of water per person, and have foods like trail mix, granola bars, bananas, and jerky handy for when hunger strikes

Stop by Bernard’s Garage: At Bernard’s Garage, vehicle safety is our number one concern. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can help ensure your vehicle is running smoothly before your trip. Give us a call, check out the website, or stop by today!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Automotive INSIDER -


BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's here and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Auto Repair INSIDER -


John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's right around the corner and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

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

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

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.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

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.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

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

503-659-7722

bernardsgarage.com/

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

www.snapfitness.com/

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.

503-266-5515

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

bernardsgarage.com

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters: Light rail, State of the Union, assault weapons

Share

Why is the Portland-to-Milwakie light-rail project such a bad idea? Let’s look at a comparison between New York City and the Portland metro area.

Manhattan has a population of 1.5 million and sits on 23 square miles of land. Can you imagine this many cars on 23 square miles? Many New Yorkers who have a driver’s license do not own a car and use their license only for ID. Here the subway system is full all day long, so it makes money.

In comparison, imagine Manhattan built on Sauvie Island, 32.75 square miles of land. Think that might be too spread out? TriMet’s service area covers a Portland metro area over 550 square miles wide with a population similar to Manhattan’s. It’s too spread out, so the light-rail system is a losing proposition financially.

If we keep spending money on things that are not cost-effective, the metro area will be bankrupt for years to come, affecting our children and grandchildren.

I would suggest: just the buses. I would eliminate many of the bus stops, and with the remaining stops, I would build turnouts, so that the buses don’t interrupt the flow of traffic.

Jeff Molinari

Milwaukie

Framework for prosperity

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, I was pleased that the President’s speech led with the need to reduce our nation’s debt and deficits using a balanced, comprehensive approach—including tax and entitlement reform and spending cuts. That is the best way for us to create the economic certainty necessary for our private industries to want to invest and create American jobs.

I share the President’s call for the funding of early childhood education, college affordability initiatives and workforce training programs and believe they are integral steps in generating a workforce that is able to out-research, out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Comprehensive immigration reform, an all-of-the-above energy policy and investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure are other areas of vital importance if our country is to flourish in the twenty-first century global economy.

I was disappointed that the President failed to mention how Congress must solve the problems of America’s rural communities, who have been hit harder and longer during our economic recovery. Passing a 21st-century farm bill, promoting coherent forest policy that preserves healthy forests and rural communities and reforming our guest worker programs are all issues that Congress must address.

I applaud the President’s announcement of an accelerated withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan. Now, we should use that money for nation building here at home. That means making sure that our heroes come home to the jobs and investing in the middle class of the future.

The President laid a broad framework for long-term, long-lasting economic prosperity. Only by working together with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and bipartisan organizations like No Labels, can Congress trust each other, produce results and ensure that our children and grandchildren are left with a better, stronger nation than we inherited.

Congressman Kurt Schrader

D-Clackamas County

Supporting bipartisan agenda

President Obama laid out an economic vision that includes rebuilding our infrastructure, strengthening American manufacturing and overhauling the tax code. If Congress is serious about creating jobs, there is no better place to start than tax reform. Bipartisan tax reforms like the ones I have been working on would create a simpler, more business-friendly tax code that would increase tax revenue without raising tax rates. In fact, we would lower corporate tax rates to make American businesses more competitive—helping businesses to create jobs that pay middle-class wages.

I am also pleased that the President supports the principles behind the Student Right to Know Before You Go initiative I’ve drafted with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). We need to work together to ensure that parents and students get the most bang for their educational buck. We will soon be reintroducing the legislation to make sure this happens.

President Obama also got it right by highlighting the importance of national infrastructure as a way to create jobs and rebuild our crumbling bridges and highways. You can’t have big league economic growth with a little league transportation system. I have always believed that private investment follows public investment. That is why I’ve teamed up with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to champion the Transportation Regional Infrastructure Project bonds. These bonds, like their predecessors, Build America Bonds, will save local government millions of dollars in financing public works projects. It is time for Congress to build on that success.

It is past time for Congress to take action to address the issue of climate change and the associated health and environmental impacts. Only Congress has sufficient tools to address the global nature of the problem and pursue a solution that will reduce domestic emissions while also keeping us competitive in the world market. I will continue to work to pass laws to address climate change by increasing clean energy use and reducing America’s carbon footprint.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden

D-Oregon

Assault weapons preposterous

It seems that Mr. Brandenburg (Letters, Feb. 13) not only wants to turn the clock back to the 1780s, but would also have us believe that the so-called Federalist Papers are legally-binding documents. They are not. The papers were written as a series of news articles, and confer no rights or freedoms, least of all the “right to insurrection.”

Insurrection is, by definition, “revolt against established authority” (Websters). The authority of our government is established by the consent of the people through the democratic electoral process. Is Mr. Brandenburg proposing to usurp the will of the people? This idea, in a modern society governed under the rule of law, is preposterous.

I served more than a decade in the military, and have some familiarity with the lethality of assault weapons. Frankly, I am far more concerned about a self-appointed vigilante or “select troop” having access to stockpiles of high-powered weapons, than I am about any overreach by our elected government.

It is time for us to support our President in his effort to enact sensible gun-safety regulations and put a stop to gun violence.

Peter Bellamy

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.