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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: County commission focus of reader interests


by: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS COUNTY - During the April 9 State of the County, commissioners answered questions on transportation, health care, jobs, public safety and economic development. Watch the video recording at clackamas.us/bcc.The recent process used by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to replace the county administrator is of great concern to the League of Women Voters of Clackamas County. While we might understand the desire of newly elected officials to hire their own people, we disapprove of the lack of transparency and disregard for Oregon’s public meetings law in this instance.

The League “believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation at all levels of government. The League further believes that governmental bodies must protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.”

For the future, we urge our county commissioners to be fully aware of the laws governing public meetings, to understand why these laws are in place, and to act in accordance with their provisions.

Luana Luther, president

LWV of Clackamas County

Support county appointees

Clackamas River Water District commissioners Kenneth Humberston, Hugh Kalani and Larry Sowa deserve our support in the upcoming May 21 special-district election. These newly appointed commissioners have brought a fresh perspective and sanity to this troubled district’s governing body.

The 93 percent recall vote that removed Patricia Holloway should be followed with a similar rejection of her allies, Grafton Sterling and Warren Mitchell. The Holloway group’s antics have cost my water district untold thousands in legal bills and traumatized the district’s hardworking staff. They have embarrassed all of us in Clackamas County.

To see for myself, I attended a Clackamas River Water District board meeting. What I observed was Holloway and Sterling making frivolous motions and disrespectful comments towards staff. The other commissioners at the time (who have since graciously resigned) struggled to keep the focus on the issues at hand. That alone was enough for me to enthusiastically support the recent citizen effort to recall Holloway and Sterling.

As an executive director for a state board and a board member myself (Clackamas Fire District), I know a few things about well functioning boards (as described in John Carver’s book, “Boards That Make A Difference”). The boards I work with are respectful to the public and focus on broad policy, oversight and do not attempt to micromanage every smallest detail.

Kenneth Humberston, Hugh Kalani and Larry Sowa are good people who are serving us well as our new Clackamas River Water District commissioners. I urge your support.

Dave McTeague


View letter with skepticism

While I hesitate to engage in a lengthy discourse with Mr. Molinari, several comments in his letter last week are misleading and need to be addressed.

He states that because Measure 3-401 passed, he and his group now speak for the majority of residents in stopping the light-rail project. I would point out again, that neither the wording of the measure nor the accompanying official explanation make any reference to light rail or to the measure being retroactive. So if any group sold the measure on the basis of going back on specific commitments and contractual obligations of the sitting Clackamas County Commission, then they were misleading the voters. Even had it contained such wording, it is doubtful that it would have prevailed against current contract laws. Which is why TriMet is confident that its pending lawsuit will be successful, and will likely cost our county dearly. This is after all a country that is governed under law, not he who can shout the loudest.

With regard to the union issue, even the most cursory reading of labor-movement history would show that trade unions fought for decades for many of the workplace conditions we enjoy today, until they became the law of the land. And it is because they are the law that both union and non-union organizations are required to comply with them. The sobering fact is that the drop in union membership in the past 30 years that Mr. Molinari seems to revel in, has been paralleled by one of the sharpest increases in income inequality in the industrialised world, to a level that rivals the worst of the 19th-century “banana republics.” The persistent economic recession and unemployment we are now suffering — driven by lack of demand — are directly related to the stagnation of middle- and working-class incomes.

I am disappointed that lack of imagination and forsight would undermine an economically viable and energy-efficient addition to this county’s infrastructure, an improvement that could benefit the community for decades. But I am sure that thoughtful Clackamas County residents will view Mr. Molinari’s misguided demonstration with the skepticism it deserves.

Peter Bellamy

Oregon City

Effectively a tax increase

I hope that state Rep. Brent Barton keeps me and the rest of District 40 voters and homeowners in mind as he considers any legislation that would reduce or cap the home-mortgage interest tax deduction. Specifically, HB 2456 is most alarming to me.

While I fully appreciate the hard job that he has in trying to get more resources into education, I also do not believe it is fair to balance the state budget by making housing and homeownership more unattainable. Being able to deduct the interest payments on my home mortgage is what allows me to afford my home. Reducing it is, in effect, a direct income tax increase on homeowners.

I hope that Rep. Barton can find other budget savings, and not just increase income taxes.

Mark Meek


Let’s get the facts on the CRC project

The Columbia River Crossing (CRC) is embroiled in continual controversy.

When the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) took up the issue on Jan 16., I strongly advocated taking a position, the BCC agreed and directed staff to request the Oregon Department of Transportation to make a presentation to the BCC. ODOT agreed, and it was a matter of Chair Ludlow scheduling it on the agenda for a Study Session.

However, on Feb. 2 Chair Ludlow placed his single page CRC resolution on the BCC’s Feb. 7 regular business meeting agenda without any of the requested documentation. Without the ODOT work session or our staff’s input, it was both surprising and premature as to why this was seemingly rushed through. At the Feb. 7 regular business meeting, we had substantial public comment, and unanswered questions were posed. Consequently, I abstained from the vote. My vote was premised by saying, “I am not going to make an uninformed decision.”

I read the letter to the editor from a misinformed citizen, printed in this newspaper last week, that was loaded with errors, including that I voted no on the CRC resolution when I actually abstained. Rushing into an up or down vote without information would neither be clear nor sound. My intention following that vote was again to schedule the work session as approved on Jan. 16.

The question that people apparently want to know is why has the BCC not taken a position on the CRC? Many of our citizens expect transparency and it is clear they deserve just that. On Feb. 12, I raised the CRC work session and once again I asked that it be scheduled soon and that we take a position. Oddly enough there was no support to do so? I persisted by making a motion to direct staff to schedule the work session on the CRC. The motion failed 1-4, I was outvoted which meant that no work session would occur and no position would be taken. It is still a mystery as to why, but I have honored the decision of the BCC.

At our State of the County event on April 9 a citizen requested that we take a stand on the CRC. Chair Ludlow responded with his experience and I responded with mine. I am fulfilling a responsibility to answer the questions from the public and clarifying any misinformation. All of our meetings are recorded for those who wish to validate my summary.

The citizens should not get the wrong impression and the commissioners should have the facts on the CRC.

Paul Savas

Clackamas County commissioner