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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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Local leaders want to improve communication


We have been communicating over the past several years how the Oregon City Chamber has become more engaged in large-issue advocacy.

These large issues are those like this May Special Election,

Measure 3-423. Essentially, this measure needs to be passed with a YES vote by Oregon City voters to eliminate the automatic rollback of water rates to 1994 levels. Setting Oregon City’s water rates to the levels of 20 years ago will be detrimental to the city’s ability to deliver and maintain a quality water supply.

Our chamber’s advocacy efforts need not always be on large issues. We know advocacy for business comes in all shapes and sizes.

Sometimes a single business needs an advocate. Take, for instance the Masonic Lodge in downtown Oregon City, purchased last year by a private equity firm. Based on a recommendation from the Government and Economic Affairs Committee, our Board of Directors voted unanimously to submit a letter of support for the use of urban-renewal façade improvements grant funds for the Masonic Lodge.

The chamber hopes our effort will: 1) Demonstrate positive representation and support for our local businesspeople (and members) who are investing funds in existing buildings, and especially investments in rehabbing our most unique buildings for marketability, and 2) Demonstrate support to our Urban Renewal Commission to fund the façade improvements grant for the Masonic Lodge, furthering economic improvements in our downtown through this showcase effort.

Masonic Temple Multnomah No. 1, 707 Main St., was constructed in 1907. This building is significant historically and architecturally. With four floors, its height and width make it one of the largest, most visible commercial buildings on Main Street.

It’s hard to speculate what new uses and tenants will be occupying the Masonic Temple, but one thing is certain. Façade improvements and interior rehabilitation of this 106-year-old building will be cause for even greater celebration of our downtown economic renewal!

Amber Holveck

Oregon City

Communicating with citizens

The city of Happy Valley and its City Council have goals that we keep in mind as we go about our duties. One is to work towards a safe, livable community with a sense of pride and a strong idenity, and another is to provide effective and efficient services. When it comes to communicating with our citizens, we show accomplishments for both.

In January the city received FCC approval and launched a new radio station — AM 1700. Soon, signs around town will remind drivers to tune in and listen. An information loop will announce city news and upcoming events, road advisories, and messages from partnering agencies that provide safety tips and reminders 24 hours a day. In an emergency, the city or any of our government partners or emergency responders can immediately broadcast updates and give you emergency instructions.

Happy Valley has kept up with technology and social media, too. Everyone from grade-school kids to grandparents uses the Internet, and the city has a very user” friendly website. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all daily connections for most of us.

Facebook followers can click on the city of Happy Valley’s page and catch up-to-the-minute news and happenings. The city has a great YouTube video showing our National Night Out celebration and plans to add more event videos. Twitter users can follow city happenings, too (@hvmayor and @HVCouncilorMichael).

At City Hall, visitors have wi-fi internet access, and can use touch-screen kiosks in the lobby to search city services, to find local points of interest or to print out forms and maps.

Staying on top of technology has boosted Happy Valley’s community profile, and also gives our citizens more ways to keep in touch with what’s happening in their community, and that keeps us all connected.

Councilor Tom Andrusko

Happy Valley

Improving communication

Clackamas Fire has been working closely with our cities to discuss areas of greater collaboration and partnership.

We have been meeting through an interagency committee process that includes representatives from both the Clackamas Fire District Board of Directors and elected officials to include staff from each city. We have met with the cities of Milwaukie and Oregon City. A meeting with the city of Happy Valley is scheduled for April.

Meetings include discussions regarding economic development, collaboration on future capital improvement projects, updates on fire and life safety initiatives, and exercising the local Emergency Operations Centers. Communicating openly and developing strategies within our communities in an effort to be more efficient and effective is a primary focus for Clackamas Fire.

Fred Charlton

Fire chief

Keep kids safe

Oregon added a new tool to help keep children safe this year when it expanded the list of professionals who are required to report suspicions of child abuse.

In addition to teachers, medical professionals and other established “mandatory reporters,” the new law increased the list of public and private professionals who must report child abuse, including: all employees of organizations providing child-related services or activities such as scout groups and summer camps; all employees of higher education institutions; and paid coaches, assistant coaches and trainers of child athletes.

These additions are a step toward increasing child safety. Yet, we must remember that each and every citizen plays a crucial role in keeping children safe.

We daily see the devastation of child abuse at Children’s Center. Though we applaud the increased responsibility placed on adults, we don’t believe the Jan. 1 expansion goes far enough. Every citizen needs to notify authorities when they suspect a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect. You can make a world of difference to a hurting child by acting on your concerns.

The expanded-reporting law means increased education is needed about how to respond, and when to call in suspected cases of abuse. We encourage you to contact Children’s Center if you have questions or would like a presentation about child abuse reporting and other related topics. Call the Center at 503-655-7725 or visit childrenscenter.cc today.

During Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, make this a community that will protect kids from child abuse. Call Children’s Center today to learn how you can partner with us to end child abuse in our community. And most importantly, call the Clackamas County Child Abuse Hotline at 971-673-7112 if you are concerned about the safety of a child.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Don’t get the wrong impression

I voted for Paul Savas for commissioner in 2010 but since he entered into county service he seems unable to make clear, sound decisions even when he has adequate information.

For example, Mr. Savas stated that the Columbia River Crossing is not our project and “we have no intimate knowledge of it” in your March 27 story headlined “County ‘compels’ 2014 run for Savas.” This project has been on the drawing board for 10 years! The CRC certainly does concern the citizens of Clackamas County. We are the taxpayers who are paying for it!

Although this was just a basic resolution, Mr. Savas felt that the issue had not been studied enough and voted “No” on the county voicing its concerns about the impact CRC may have on Clackamas County. I cross the bridge to Vancouver every day and my family and I would be greatly impacted by tolling on either bridge! Then there was a suggestion to go to the people of the county and ask to poll them on the tolling issue he says the people do not understand the issue fully. This could apply to any poll; apparently you should only poll if you know what the outcome will be, this is ridiculous.

This is just one of Mr. Savas’s many political ploys to stall and delay the county’s work, avoid taking action or making a firm decision!

I will not support Mr. Savas’s re-election campaign for 2014.

I cannot support a candidate who publicly professes to be in favor of transparent county business, conservative spending and pretending to serve the citizens wishes only to turn to indecision.

I would support a candidate that shows courage, acts boldly in making timely decisions that serve to have a positive impact on the citizens of Clackamas County.

Wes Stanley

Oak Grove

Occupy TriMet

The stage is set. There will be an Occupy TriMet on Tuesday, May 7, all day at TriMet headquarters, 1800 S.W. First Ave., in downtown Portland.

We need a huge turnout. Bring signs, we will have microphones or megaphones set up so people can talk. We need a huge crowd to make a difference. This is all having to do with Portland/Milwaukie light-rail project, which voters in the city of Milwaukie, and Clackamas County have voted down for nearly 20 years. We are tired of our locally elected officials trading favors for campaign dollars and ignoring the voters/taxpayers. The voters/taxpayers hired these people by electing them. We need to let TriMet know that they can not bully the voters/taxpayers or our local elected officials. TriMet is currently suing Clackamas County.

They don’t want the voters/taxpayers to have a say. These are our tax dollars at work.

There will also be media coverage at this event. We can make a difference with a huge turnout. So please spread the word. We hope to seee not just Clackamas County residents, but residents from all over the Portland metro area.

Let’s let TriMet and our

elected officials know who is in charge.

I am also responding to Peter Belamy’s April 10 letter to the editor titled “Let county, TriMet sort it out.”

I never said that myself and my group represents all of the voters in Clackamas County. However, based on the fact that Measure 3-401 passed by a 61 to 39 percent margin, we do speak for the majority of Clackamas County voters.

As for letting Clackamas County and TriMet sort it out, the county commissioners need our help. Do we really want to do business with a company who is financially unstable? I think not.

As far as my comments on the unions, what Mr. Belamy says is true. The unions do provide 40-hour workweeks, however, so do non-union companies. Many of the union jobs that provide 40 hour work weeks are temporary jobs. Once the Orange Line is finished, these workers who really want to provide a stable environment for their families will go on unemployment until the next job comes along.

Measure 3-401 was designed to stop the Orange Line. Why do you think the previous county commission went to Bank of America and got a $20 million loan that they paid to TriMet four days before the Sept. 18, 2012, voters’ approval of 3-401? I never implied that the people’s word cannot be trusted. I am one of those people. Some members of the previous commission however, could not be trusted, so they were fired by the voters/taxpayers.

And then there is Ann Linninger who set herself up with Oregon Iron Works. This is why she did not seek re-election. She did not care about the people of Clackamas County. She only cared about her future.

Mr. Belamy also claims that the unions provide living wages, annual holidays, workplace safety. So do non-union companies. He also claims that there has been a drop in union membership. Need I say more?

Jeff Molinari