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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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Look at downsides of moving New Urban


The district has pointed out the many benefits of the proposed move of NUHS. As previous letters have explained, most of these benefits are based on misunderstandings and misinformation. Now, let’s look at the other side of the proposed move:

Our Classified Staff: It’s difficult to concisely explain the importance of these members of our team, but they are an essential part of NUHS. Several of my students have stated that certain classified staff members are the most important adults in their lives. I am only one teacher, but I’ve relied on classified staff hundreds of times this year, usually during a crisis. Our school needs a vice principal to handle discipline. Our school needs its two school counselors plus a third whose sole purpose is to handle crises. With those additions to our team, we would still need our classified staff. Without those additions, we rely on our classified staff to fill the void.

Teachers: The district would not only lose valuable classified staff but likely teachers who have been dedicated to building a program. It’s disrespectful to take away the program they built and ask them to build a new one. If our program is taken away, how can you expect them to show such dedication again? While you can’t take the dedication from these teachers, the teachers may take that dedication to other districts. The district may claim that they will try to retain the NUHS team of teachers, but with only a small percentage of our population planning to attend school at the new location, the claim doesn’t hold up. The move may mark the end of the greatest team of educators I’ve ever come across.

Financial: Our school helps retain students. Our school helps the marketability of the district. The loss of a few students represents thousands of dollars. If the move would mean the loss of a few dozen students, the proposed savings may be nonexistent. At our current location, we have the physical space to allow for more students.

Elimination of Barriers: One of the three goals of the district states that we must “Eliminate all barriers to student equity regardless of disability,...socio-economic status, and/or sexual orientation.” As students have testified before the board, both in person and in letters, they found many barriers at other schools. They were treated poorly because of sexual orientation, disabilities, and socio-economic status. They have found success at our campus because these barriers have been eliminated. They do not plan to go to Sabin because of they fear these barriers will exist on that campus.

Support of Alumni: As past students show their support for this program—writing letters and traveling to attend meetings—it becomes clear that NUHS has the support of many young people who will one day help run this country. Many of these past students were part of the move to the Oak Grove location, and they know firsthand the difference between our Oak Grove location and a program at Sabin. These alumni are strong allies and their continued support of NUHS and North Clackamas schools may be vital to the continued success of our district. They are upset that the district would even consider closing our Oak Grove campus, but the district can regain their support by preserving the NUHS they grew to love. Their support is important.

Art Room: Most of our students didn’t come to NUHS to learn a trade. They came to NUHS because it was a project-based program that valued creativity. They thrive in the art room. This room is a sanctuary for many of our students and often the place they first find success at our school. Success is the turning point for most of our students; it provides evidence that a student has talent. The confidence they gain in the art classes spreads to other subjects. It pulls students into our program. For many of our students, the art room is not only their favorite place at school, it is their favorite place in their lives. I know this because I have students in my English class write about their favorite places.

Pottery Room: The back room of the art program also serves as a sanctuary for many students. I know this because last year I covered the art classes for an entire trimester while Kat Snyder was on maternity leave. In the pottery room, students can get away from the chaos of their lives. On their own, they learn to control their anxiety. (As my daughter once pointed out, the pottery wheel is my therapist.) With this tool, many students first find success in the arts. It was a worthwhile investment, and with limited space at the new location, I assume the proposed move would mean the loss of the wheels and the kiln.

Our Community: The years of community building in Oak Grove is an investment. With the proposed move, that investment is lost.

Rocco’s Cafe: With the budget cuts, we rely on our community, and this coffee shop is just one example of the partnerships we’ve made. The owner allows the students to show and sell their art at the shop. She involves the students with the plans of many events—for example the outdoor market. Currently, one of our seniors interns at the shop. Students stop to talk with her in the morning, and she provides helpful but nonjudgemental advice to the students. Students have fled the school to avoid violent outbursts only to calmly return after talking with Lindsey. She once provided a free breakfast for all my students. She’s a caring aunt in our Oak Grove family, and students return her favors by supporting her business and blogging reviews of her treats.

Our Home: Many of our students lack something most Americans take for granted: a family and a home. Many of our students are homeless. Many have been shifted between dozens of foster homes. Often the dark rings under their eyes fade in the middle of the week, only to return the next Monday. When we approach holidays, anxiety often surfaces, and since students found out about the proposal to close this campus, the anxiety stays throughout the week. Apologies for proposing to close this building remind students of all the other adults in their lives who have let them down. They have heard too many promises of a better future only to find themselves in someone else’s basement. They’ve heard too many caregivers blame the situation on financial difficulties. They’ve heard too many promises of getting away from abusive adults only to find themselves back in the care of the abusive caretakers. They are afraid of the Sabin-Schellenberg facility because they came to NUHS to get away from the same students that attend that school. Our students have finally found stability at our Oak Grove campus. Countless have told me that this school is their home.

The proposed move means the loss of investment. If the district would have talked with the staff at NUHS before putting together this proposal, they likely would have considered other options. After all, the community favored several strategies over closing or consolidating schools or program: 1) Sell property; 2) Eliminate math book purchases; 3) Further reduce the number of school days. It’s not too late to look at these options.

Fortunately, we have a School Board; therefore, I remain optimistic.

Milwaukie resident Martin Winch is a teacher at New Urban High School in Oak Grove.