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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 respond to county politics, Metro vote


Jeff Molinari’s latest in his fiction series strays wildly from the facts.

Mr. Molinari’s letter says: “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.”

If my fellow readers prefer fact to fiction, I refer you to the story published by Pamplin Media; go to the Clackamas Review website and search for Beaver Heat Treating. I summarize the story as follows:

Every public works project that requires privately owned land employs a condemnation process, in which the government entity negotiates a fair price with the affected landowner. Such was the case with Beaver Heat Treating (not “Beaver Heating,” as Mr. Molinari misnamed it). TriMet and Beaver Heat Treating (BHT), a major company that provides metal products to Ford and the U.S. military among others, began negotiating in 2008 over whether to close or move.

The result is that BHT, under a new name, Thermal Modification Technologies, has moved to a better, more spacious facility next to another TriMet rail line in Tualatin. No employees will lose their jobs. The company’s president is quite satisfied with this outcome.

Now, about Clackamas County taxpayers repaying $20 million for the next 20 years. Serious departure from the facts here. The correct amount paid to BHT was $12 million, not $20 million, less than expected for this major acquisition.

As Mr. Molinari surely knows, most of the money for PMLR is federal and state, not local, so “you and I” will be repaying only a small share for the BHT move. In fact, the county’s share of the entire PMLR project of approximately $19 million is less than 2 percent of the project total. Applying 2 percent to $12 million (not $20 million) gives $240,000: the correct county share of moving BHT.

Last, in case Mr. Molinari is tempted to bemoan the loss of a major company from Clackamas County because of PMLR, TriMet says that several large businesses have relocated from Multnomah County to Clackamas County because of PMLR. For details, Mr. Molinari should call TriMet, if he can tolerate talking to “our enemy.”

David Gray

Oak Grove

Suburbs don’t buy into agenda

Metro is not Mother Nature’s or your advocate, unless you are fond of social engineering and the government owning America’s property (“Mother Nature behind in the polls,” June 19). Reminder: America is the people, not the government.

Any illusion of Metro being a magnanimous entity that would protect our region from unwanted change must be dispelled by the reality that it has become a tyrannical, good ole boys club for control freaks wearing green sheep skins trying to mold the region into their vision of utopia with other people’s money. All the while lining their pockets, and the businesses they champion, with the spoils as they insulate sections of town they live in from the huddled masses by pushing them further from the city center.

The unveiled support, for forcing the majority of people in Clackamas and Washington counties to pay for values they do not hold, shown in your opinion piece (“Economy, environment need attention regionally,” June 19) and the article regarding Metro and Measure 26-152 sounded nearly identical.

Most people are too busy with their lives to see how onerous Metro has become. Just because people are not interested in understanding the agenda does not mean they support it. Just because people do not buy into Metro’s agenda does not mean they are not intelligent enough to understand that the emperor has no new clothes.

Libby Wentz


Think twice about loyalties

In response to Jeff Molinari’s letter to the editor, dated June 19, he stated Jo Haverkamp supports Paul Savas analytical style; this is true, and is not the only aspect I admire. I also respect him. The man has character, ethics, honesty and is a very honorable man.

I was in the medical field for 35 years, and my husband was a electrical engineer for over 40 years. We have had to make many difficult decisions in each of our careers.

It takes thoughtful research to make good decisions. I am glad to have a commissioner like Paul Savas, who researches and makes sound decisions for citizens.

You stated Paul Savas was not a team player. Why not John Ludlow and Tootie Smith becoming team players? Their action has shown an animosity against Paul Savas from day one.

In the letter, Jeff said at the next election or recall, the taxpayers will let us know how the commission is doing. Well, I believe he is correct. I think Mr. Molinari will be very surprised as to whom the taxpayers will vote out or recall.

We the taxpayers want elected officials to have a good code of conduct. This is not what has happened since we voted in the new commissioners in at the last election.

Think twice about where your loyalties lie, Mr. Molinari. Look at the past history of who cannot work together with others. You will see Paul Savas does not fall in that category.

Jo Haverkamp

Oregon City

A really bad idea

In the last paragraph of his recent letter, Mr. Molinari suggests the taxpayers of Clackamas County should be suing some of the past, and one present commissioner, for “misrepresenting us.”

Is he saying that the inter-agency agreement between TriMet and Clackamas County, where-in Clackamas County paid “20 million”of our tax dollars” to TriMet, was in fact to cover the move of Beaver Heating (actually Beaver Heat Treating) to Washington County? Is he saying it was Clackamas County, or TriMet that decided Beaver Heat Treating needed to be moved, and any fault for that decision lies with the Clackamas County commissoners and therefore some or all should be sued?

A March 29, 2010, article in the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce paints a very different picture. It is clear from the article that a decision by Union Pacific Railroad changed the route and required moving Beaver Heat Treating. Quoting from the article, “No one wanted the line to run through Beaver Heat Treating. The locally preferred alternative for the route, approved in 2003 and reaffirmed in 2008, would have shaved 6 feet off the company’s maintenance building, but otherwise left its operations in tact.”

Again, from the article, “Union Pacific had required light-rail trains run no closer than 25 feet from its trains.” Then in 2009, in light of a accident in Colorado involving light-rail and heavy-rail trains, the railroad updated its requirements to increase the distance to 50 feet. As a result, “the line will run through the center of what is now Beaver Heat Treating in north Milwaukie’s industrial area.”

Mr. Molinari, a self proclaimed “conservative” wants to spend taxpayer money to sue county commissioners for misrepresentation. There is no evidence that they misreprested the issue of moving Beaver Heat Treating. Sorry sir, but we the taxpayers would lose on this really bad idea.

Charles Berglund

Oak Grove