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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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Benefits abound for New Urban's independence


New Urban High School students are enclosed in one building (except for PE) for the entire day.

In this seclusion, we can practice consistent reinforcement of positive behaviors such as nonviolent communication and peer-mediated conflict resolution. Our independent campus also eliminates substance-abuse opportunities during the day, increases all-day attendance, and decreases the number of aggressive incidents and bullying. Having a campus comprised of portables, multiple buildings, no hallways and no neighbors reduces the amount of structure we are able to provide for our students, and this is a major element of what makes us unique.

The Sabin-Schellenberg program, while amazingly successful, is not relationally focused. The population is the largest and most transient in the district, which makes nurturing the safe, mutually respectful relationships among students impossible to replicate consistently.There is constant action and movement on the campus, which for some feels like instability and compromised safety.

One component of our relational strength that is often overlooked is the scaffolding we build for students to widen the spheres of relationships in their lives. For the last seven years, students have been serving in the Oak Grove community, which has become a source of pride and a sense of ownership for our students, local business people and homeowners.

One can make an argument that these relationships don’t have to disappear with a move, but that again strikes us as an oversimplification of student needs. Transportation is an enormous barrier for a majority of our students; so offering them an equal chance for cultural collateral without extra money from the district requires a neighborhood with a wide variety of businesses.

Some of our students and families can afford TriMet and for a variety of reasons choose it over district transportation. Our current campus is accessible by two TriMet bus lines, giving parents and students without cars access to the campus every 15-20 minutes during the school day. The SS campus is accessible by one bus that comes just once an hour. The stop near campus has no sheltered area for passengers while they wait. This change lacks equity.

Our argument to stay in our home has frequently been met by assurance that people get attached to buildings and that’s tough but survivable. This is a distortion of how we’ve transformed not just our extended community, but also our physical space. We are attached to our building. First, because what’s being proposed is not an equitable transfer in square footage or in character. We would lose half of our classroom space; our cafeteria, which we use to hold a community dinner each year; our auditorium, which we use to celebrate positive behaviors each month and to hold school-wide exhibitions each trimester. We would lose our hallways, which reinforce our sense of community by displaying student work and remind us of our collective values and beliefs in nonviolent communication and thoughtful dispute management. Our hallways also offer us a chance to further instruction through intentional bulletin boards and a college resource space.

Finally, putting us in a smaller space locks us into never growing back to our original size. We have been discussing ways to take advantage of the Max rail that is connecting Oak Grove and Portland to increase our student population. All districts are changing their perceptions of boundary lines while closing their alternative programs and losing Title One funding. Oak Grove is accessible to all the boundary schools and already graduates inter-district transfer students every year. To reduce our physical size and limit our numbers at this time is a choice to eliminate a potential source of revenue for the district.

The structure, safety and relationships offered by New Urban High School depend largely on our location and the values and structures of our permanent staff. For the reasons we noted above, we feel that the relocation and redesign of our program is truly a loss of New Urban High School in all senses except by name.

We are a group of individuals who work collaboratively to provide superior service to the toughest-to-access students in the district. We are underutilized as a program and that’s where the true inefficiency lies.

At the last board meeting, a board member shared some advice he’d received: “When trying something new, do it on a scale that failure is survivable.” The district will survive financially if the proposal to relocate and redesign New Urban is passed. New Urban will not. For this reason, we developed some alternative plans to increase revenue and decrease spending without relocating and redesigning New Urban High School.

The district’s vision, mission, strategic plan and values describe the very things that make those who truly know us so passionate about New Urban. We help cultivate people we would be proud to have as neighbors: responsible, diverse citizens of good character. Our program offers equity and relevance to those who feel they don’t belong anywhere else; it increases achievement and wellness in our community, and engages the minds and hearts of our whole New Urban family. Our program is working for the students, families and community it serves, as it is where it is. Instead of seeing what it could be at Sabin-Schellenberg, see what it will be if it’s allowed to continue to build momentum and strengthen its roots. Instead of seeing it as a drain of district resources with little to show in terms of numbers, we hope you’ll chose to see it as an underutilized, cost-effective resource that can easily be transformed to be profitable for the district.

Anna Scarpino is a teacher at New Urban High School.