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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: Light rail; CRC project; exchange students


The time has passed for the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners to stop playing “political football” with the MAX light-rail project, particularly as it closes in on the 50 percent completion milestone.

The taxpayers of Clackamas County — including those within the urban growth boundary who, generally, support mass transit options — deserve leadership from their elected officials, and leadership by the collective BCC is still the missing ingredient in the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail project.

Do the commissioners want the urbanized, unincorporated areas of Clackamas County to remain infinitely dependent on county resources? Or, do they want the urbanized areas to grow up and take care of themselves?

If it’s the former, then continue to treat these areas with deference, a lack of vision, and a lack of respect ... devoting little to no resources to their current and future needs.

However, if it’s the latter, then help us begin to seriously redevelop economically blighted areas and to encourage financial investments. Help us, guide us, toward self-determination and incorporation. Help us help you!

Please stop using us as your political football, punting us around like we were some sort of deflated, ragged, worn out piece of leather. The Clackamas County communities that the coming MAX line will service are already rejuvenated and engaged because of this project — and could be even more so with your support.

Whether you live or work here, we all want an economically vital county. We all want a vibrant county we’re proud to live in.

And I believe even the naysayers — the ones who fear the change coming — in their heart of hearts really do want to leave their children and grandchildren something worthwhile.

Commissioners, enough is enough. Settle this lawsuit with TriMet now. Honor your contractual commitments. Get this project built.

Protect the rural, build the future.

Fred Nelligan

Oak Grove

CRC fact-check needed

I am responding to the three letters responding to my letter regarding Commissioner Paul Savas. Jeanne Freeman of West Linn says that I am missing the point. Kathy Hendricks of Lake Oswego wants me to remember Obamacare, and Jo Havercamp supports his analytical style.

Don’t get me wrong, Paul is a great guy. Paul is a conservative, so we were lead to believe. If he is, then why doesn’t he support the other conservative commissioners in this decision? I have been in sales and management for 40 years. I have worked with a lot of analytical people. I saw many of them struggle when it came to making decisions.

For our Clackamas County commissioners to work effectively, it takes teamwork.

Paul seems to be on his own mission. And now we find out that the states of Oregon and Washington are trying to work out deals with two companies near the bridge that are affected by the current height proposal, as far as these companies moving. In other words, let’s use the taxpayer dollars to help these companies relocate. This, so light rail can be built on the bridge.

The whole idea as far as replacing the bridge, and it does need to be replaced, is to improve the flow of traffic across the bridge. It would take more lanes to do this. Remember, there is a lot of interstate commerce that travels across this bridge. With light rail, they wouldn’t be able to add more lanes. So what is the point?

I would like to see Paul get re-elected next year. I have known Paul for a while. However, he has lost a lot of conservative support since the first of the year.

There are other issues that required the commissioners immediate attention when they took over in January. They are trying to right the wrongs of the previous commission, since they misrepresented the majority of taxpayers when they signed the agreement with TriMet.

This is why they are no longer on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

Bottom line, if you don’t listen to the voter/taxpayers who are actually the employer of any elected official, they get fired at the next election, or by recall. Paul just needs to become more of a team player. He is not the enemy—neither are the other commissioners.

Our enemy is TriMet, who has continued to bully our commissioners and taxpayers, via a lawsuit. And now that TriMet gave the Clackamas County taxpayers’ $20 million away to Beaver Heating for their move to Washington County—money that you and I will be repaying over the next 20 years. Maybe the taxpayers should file a lawsuit against the previous commissioners and one curent commissioner who misrepresented us.

Jeff Molinari


Wonderful community

I’m an exchange student from Italy, and I’ve been living here for almost 10 months.

I had such a great year thanks to the wonderful community I found at Clackamas. I wish I could spend more time here because I’ve never met so many friendly people who were always open to me and my culture.

This experience made me a better person, and I would redo it 10 more times if I could. Thank you, Clackamas. Thank you, Oregon.

Claudia Massioni


Dance teammates now sisters

I am an exchange student from Germany, and I stayed in Oregon City for the last 10 months. I really enjoyed this community,. and I wanted to say thank you to everybody who supported me. Oregon is an amazing state, and I will truly miss it.

One of my favorite things to do was being on the Oregon City High School Dance Team. My teammates are now my sisters, and I will sure come back to visit them.

Toni Koch

Oregon City