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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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The real story behind the Oak Lodge Water District


In response to a recent article in the Oregon City News/Clackamas Review on May 1 and information that has been published in May 21 Voters' Pamphlet, I am compelled make a few comments to correct factual inaccuracies.

The water distributed by the Oak Lodge Water District is purchased from the North Clackamas County Water Commission. The NCCWC was formed by an Inter-Governmental Agreement with the Sunrise Water Authority. OLWD owned and operated the treatment facility on the Clackamas River using a sand filter process. SWA needing additional stable water supply and in exchange for rights and intake access on the Clackamas River agreed expand the processing plant using the latest fiber filtration process. This expansion was completely paid for by SWA.

Subsequently the city of Gladstone purchased 2 MGD of Oak Lodge’s share of plant production for $2,000,000. The NCCWC then was comprised of SWA, OLWD and the City of Gladstone. The NCCWC Board has 3 commissioners from Oak Lodge, 3 Commissioners from Sunrise and 1 Commissioner from the City of Gladstone. The $2,000,000 OLWD received was put into reserve and over time was used to subsidize the District’s O & M.

The OLWD actively works with the Clackamas River Basin Council, Clackamas River Water Providers, and the Regional Water Providers Consortium. We maintain a strong relationship with these organizations and share with them efforts to secure future and maintain current water supplies for the region.

OLWD has a secure water supply now and for the future through it’s ownership in the NCCWC and partnership with SWA and the City of Gladstone.

OLWD also has an IGA with the Oak Lodge Sanitary District ( OLSD ) to share equipment and resources. The combining of the OLWD & OLSD has been considered by the current OLWD Board and past boards. The economies that some have suggested just do not exist. The boundaries of the two districts are not coincident. The customer bases are not the same.

In addition, the OLSD now has approximately a $50,000,000 debt and in 2014 OLWD will be debt free. If the districts were to combine the customers of both districts would lose representation since instead of five commissioners on each on two boards there would be only a single board with only five members. Although some may think that there would be a benefit in combining OLWD and OLSD, the issues surrounding providing fresh clean water and processing water waste and affluent are as different as night and day.

The current OLWD Board took action in raising the base service charge to prevent the continuing erosion of the funds received as a result of the sale of the 2 MGD of OLWD water production to the city of Gladstone.

The increase in the Base Service Charge from $5.05/month to $13.70/month was implemented to bring the base charge within a range that would cover the operations and maintenance of the District. Prior to this increase the O & M of the district was being supported by usage rates and funds transferred from contingencies and reserves. Critics of the Base Service Charge increase like to use a figure of 171 percent increase, but the reality of $8.65 increase puts the issue into proper perspective. This equates to six pack and bag of chips. OLWD is among the lowest cost water providers in the region. In addition, I can say with confidence that anyone would be hard pressed to find a water district anywhere that is debt free, has a secure water source as we have through the NCCWC and has a comprehensive infrastructure replacement and upgrade program to match OLWD.

Oak Lodge through the NCCW and the Clackamas River Water Providers (CRWP) maintain a continuous Conservation program. This Conservation program can be reviewed on the OLWD website. We outreach to Schools and the Community at large. As a result of CRWP conservation programs and the infill within the OLWD, the water usage in the District has been steadily declining at a rate of about 5 percent per year.

OLWD is currently upgrading all four of our storage reservoirs. They are engineered to withstand a 9.0 earthquake. We will be providing portable water filtration systems and dispensing water directly from the reservoirs should the pipe distribution system be compromised. We are prepared for emergencies.

The current board along with the general manager has developed a master plan for the distribution system. OLWD has been spending on average of $500,000/year replacing and upgrading pipes in the ground. In order to keep pace with that plan the board will be considering small Base Service Charges on a regular basis. The objective is to rebuild the $2,000,000 reserve fund and to keep upgrading the system. Our major objective is NOT to have to go into debt. Because of our planning we have been able to pay cash for the remodel of the office, purchase new backup power systems, replace pumps and pump houses along with other capital improvements.

The inference the current OLWD Board of Commissioners has not been doing a job of planning and preparing for the future is simply not borne out by the facts.

Myron Martwick is a commissioner for the Oak Lodge Water District.