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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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Letters: Readers want investment in schools, services


by: PHOTO COURTESY: JENNIFER LESIEUR - Pictured are Amber Harvey, sophomore and quarter finalist (from left), and sophomores Jennie Jiang and Emily Holland, who both tied for first place in Lincoln-Douglas debate. The speech and debate team from Clackamas High School took second place in the state competition last month, finishing behind Tigard.Only four states—New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont and Colorado—provide less taxpayer support per student than Oregon. As an Oregonian, it pains me that my state continues to disinvest in higher education.

Oregon and its legislators just don’t seem to care about ensuring that the current generation of Oregonians are educated. The average student debt in Oregon is $25,497, and unless the legislature does something that number will only continue to increase. In my own case, I have accrued over $6,000 worth of student-loan debt after three terms of college, not including books and living expenses.

The Legislature will soon be deciding Oregon’s higher education budget for the next two years. It is time for Oregon to buck up and start reinvesting in its future, before we price all but the rich out of an education.

Galen Russell


Contact your lawmaker

The mission of community colleges is more important today than ever before.

We provide an affordable path to a four-year degree for students. We offer the skills and training Oregonians need for good, family-wage jobs from health care to high tech. We retrain workers, working closely with our local businesses to identify their needs and provide the training to fill those needs. We help people in our communities gain basic skills or complete high school so they can train for better jobs and provide for their families.

The education and training community colleges provide is vital to building a strong economy in Oregon. Jobs requiring a two-year associate’s degree will have the highest growth rate through 2020. The average growth rate of all jobs by 2020 is just 14 percent, while high-growth jobs requiring an associate’s degree will grow by an average of 35 percent.

The governor and the co-chairs of the Ways and Means committee are recommending funding community colleges at $428 million, a funding level last seen 10 years ago when the state’s community colleges served 70,000 fewer students.

After five years of growing enrollment and a 20 percent loss in state funding, this budget will force more of the burden on Oregon’s students who will lose access to courses and programs and see higher costs. We must do better for our students and for our community.

We are asking the Legislature to fund community colleges at $460 million, an increase proportionate with the increase the co-chairs’ budget gave our K-12 partners. If keeping quality, accessible education and training in your community is important to you, I urge you to contact your legislator and ask them to support community colleges at the $460 million level. You can find the name of your representative at leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr.

Greg Chaimov

CCC Board, Zone 1

Tolling I-205: A red herring

I must respond to the Wes Stanley letter printed in the April 17 edition.

I spent two years on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) Committee and had the opportunity to watch various groups try to come to agreement on any subject. After more than 10 years, the CRC still doesn’t have it right. It is a flawed project. Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas is right in saying that there is still not enough correct information to support it or completely deny it. An example is tolling.

The whole idea of tolling Interstate 205 and the I-205 bridge is a “red herring.” When it was discussed at the commission meeting, neither the commission nor the people understood tolling on federal highways. You must have federal permission to toll, and that’s not going to happen.

It’s too bad that you won’t support Commissioner Savas because he is not bold enough. He works on facts, not wild suppositions. Acting boldly without facts is folly and usually results in chaos.

Larry Haverkamp

Oregon City

Keep momentum going

The Clackamas River Water Board has been in chaos and little has been accomplished, but with the appointment of Larry Sowa, Ken Humberston and Hugh Kalani to the board, things have begun to stabilize.

They need to be elected so we can keep the momentum going and get some order to this board and put the discord of the past behind them.

Vote for Sowa, Humberston and Kalani for the CRW board, as soon as you get your ballot.

Lori Luchak, president

Miles Fiberglass & Composites

Rollback not an option

Measure 3-423 addresses a rollback of Oregon City water rates to 1994 in 2014. While that might sound financially beneficial, it would not be possible to repair and maintain our water distribution pipes, some of which are over 100 years old, yet alone purchase and deliver clean water to Oregon City homes.

It is imperative the voters of Oregon City understand there are no options, no wait-and-sees, it’s “Yes” on 3-423 in order to keep the current rate, along with the 3 percent annual increase which has been in place for almost 20 years.

Please understand, our water distribution is not an option. Clean water, delivered in clean pipes to Oregon City homes, businesses, hospitals and schools is not an option.

Vote yes 3-423 on May 21.

Barbara Renken

Oregon City

Vote for civility

Larry Sowa, Ken Humberston and Hugh Kalani should be elected to the Clackamas River Water Board.

All three were appointed by the Clackamas County Commission, and have brought civility, stability and reasonableness to the CRW board. Together they will be able to move the agency forward and enable it to meet the needs of their customers.

Vote for Larry Sowa, Ken Humberston and Hugh Kalani on May 21.

Mark Meek


Support proven leadership

Vote Vivian Scott for North Clackamas School Board position 5. She is a proven leader who supports all children in our community.

Vivian knows our community. She has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in the public schools during and throughout her son’s attendance in North Clackamas schools.

She later served on the district Budget Committee, the Diversity Task Force and the North Clackamas Education Foundation. As an employment and career counselor, she understands what it takes to prepare all children for success.

Vivian helped develop the district’s long range strategic plan and works to support quality options for all students.

In these times of school cuts, she has worked to maintain career education, music, PE and counseling, plus AP and IB courses.

She listens, involves others in the process, looks for new solutions, then makes the best decisions for everyone. We need her continued leadership.

Debi Stromberg & Mitzi Bauer

Community volunteers

The choo-choo fantasy

Do you remember Disneyland? We all would like to own a bright, red Ferrari, but we know we can’t make the payments, afford the insurance, or run it and maintain it.

So how are we going to pay for the light rail? Who is going to pay for the sheriff’s department, the fire district, the affordable (Section 8) housing and most of all the overcrowded, failing schools? In addition, who is going to fill the deficit we are now facing in the courthouse? Clackamas County is not Fantasyland.

Wake up voters! It’s a small, small dream after all.

Jim Knapp

Oak Grove

Protect our parks

The League of The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County urges voters to support Metro’s Parks and Natural Areas Levy 26-152 which will appear on your May 21 ballot. This five-year local option levy of 9.6 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation of your home is proposed to restore natural areas, protect water quality and provide people with more opportunities to enjoy nature.

Voters approved bond measures in 1995 and 2006 to purchase and protect some of the region’s most significant undeveloped land. Neither of these bond funds for property acquisition could be used for operating expenses.

Metro owns or manages more than 16,000 acres, including more than 100 miles of stream and river frontage, wetlands, prairies, forests and more. Metro’s regional parks and natural areas are visited by more than 1.3 million people a year.

Metro has spent limited general funds to maintain these parks and natural areas, but has determined that such funding is not sustainable over the long term. Input on this proposal consisted of public opinion research, an advisory panel, local governments and community groups. Metro council voted unanimously to put this levy on the ballot.

The League supports management of our natural resources to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, fight invasive species, build trails and improve parks.

Luana Luther, president

LVW of Clackamas County

Joan Batten, action chair

End of status quo

In response to Mr. Bellamy’s letter to the editor in the April 24 issue of the Clackamas Review, he again is trying to mislead the voters/taxpayers of Clackamas County by saying that I am the one doing so.

This is simply not true. Measure 3-401 passed by 61 to 39 percent. He represents the minority of voters/taxpayers in Clackamas County when it come to light rail. The words future light rail projects do not appear in the wording of measure 3-401. It was meant to include the current light rail project.

“We the People” have a voice, which sadly the previous Clackamas County Commission ignored. Two of them were fired by the voters/taxpayers in November. A third did not run for re-election and instead set herself up for a high paying position with Oregon Iron Works, while still on the Board of County Commissioners while still making decisions on her behalf, not ours.

We need to remember that as voters/taxpayers, elected officials work for us. This includes judges who all to often run unopposed. If they refuse to listen to us then they need to be fired.

Again, many of our elected officials seem to want to ignore us and trade favors for campaign contributions. We need to make a stand and make it now. I do not have a problem with unions except that they carry way too much political weight. Look back over the past 30 years in our state as far as the state’s economy and tell me that we don’t need to make any changes. The “status quo” does not work any more.

Jeff Molinari


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Editorial and Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; 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.