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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

'Pulp Fiction' garners Sustainable reader reaction


Your recent article about forest certification (“Pulp fiction?” Sustainable Life, Aug. 15) missed important facts about the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

First, SFI is an independent organization governed with equal representation from conservation, economic and social stakeholders. You cited Forest Stewardship Council’s supporters but did not report that SFI’s Board of Directors includes representatives of The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Bird Studies Canada, the Manomet Center for Conservation Studies, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, several academic foresters and the State Forester of Maryland.

Second, the notion that an FSC-labeled product indicates the product comes from land in which clear-cuts have been restricted to “six acres” is inaccurate. FSC actually has no clear-cutting restrictions over at least 45 percent of the land certified to that standard, including in Russia, Sweden, Brazil and parts of Canada.

On conversion of forestland to other uses, there is no significant difference between SFI and FSC. Both require participants to exclude lands slated for development from certified areas.

On chemical use, the SFI Standard requires use of chemicals to be the least toxic and narrowest spectrum pesticides and herbicides to achieve forest management objectives and to use integrated pest management wherever feasible. Meanwhile, FSC has granted at least 74 exemptions for companies to use “FSC-banned” chemicals, which leaves consumers in doubt about the veracity of FSC claims to forbid these chemicals.

SFI also promotes responsible forestry in many ways other than through the Standard: through our Chain of Custody and certified sourcing labels; by investing in conservation research; by working directly with communities to promote sustainable practices; and through the innovative Forest Partners program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of State Foresters and other authorities have said the SFI, FSC and other credible certification programs all can be accepted as evidence of sustainable forestry. The reason that “academics and government foresters are avoiding the fight,” as your article put it, is that they know that the differences between SFI and FSC are insignificant compared with the need to promote responsible, science-based forest practices, regardless of the specific approach.

Kathy Abusow

President & CEO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.

Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Ontario

Correcting the record

Your article about forest certification programs painted an inaccurate portrait of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and left out many important facts, including several that I discussed with reporter Steve Law when interviewed for this article.

As an Oregonian running a fourth-generation family logging business, I care passionately about the health of our forests and want to make sure they thrive for generations to come. I’m also committed to protecting our watersheds and wildlife habitats, which every community in the state depends on upon.

The science-based SFI Standard has become the leading one in Oregon, and throughout North America, in improving responsible forestry practices to meet those goals. It requires practices that protect fish and wildlife, ensure clean water and soil and result in sustainable, healthy working forests.

The critical difference between SFI and other certification programs is that SFI’s network of regional implementation committees actively work to train loggers and others in best practices. Only by engaging with those doing the work on the ground can an organization make a difference in the forest. SFI makes a difference and is recognized for its community network and its logger training, its best management practices for water quality and soil protection, and much more.

Also, by excluding SFI from credit under Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), the U.S. Green Building Council is actually taking jobs away from Oregonians who practice responsible forestry. It’s wrong economically and ecologically.

It is disappointing to me that the author of the article had an opinion he was forcing on everyone without listening to and reporting on the opinions of those he interviewed. As an Oregonian, I expect more from the Portland Tribune.

Bob Luoto


Library thriving

It has been a long, warm summer in Milwaukie enjoyed by students and parents alike. Despite the challenges of navigating light-rail construction closures, many of our citizens have made it to the library to participate in Summer Reading programs, adult classes and weekly lunch-time concerts in adjacent Scott Park.

Last month alone, 64,491 items were checked out from Milwaukie’s Ledding Library. 22,439 library patrons visited in July. That is more than the total population of Milwaukie walking through the doors of our library ... every month. 1,697 children and 507 teens also signed up for the Summer Reading program. More than 450 books were read by our members in the Adult Summer Reading Program. In addition, there were 2,634 computer sessions logged last month.

The Wednesday concerts in Scott Park have allowed over 600 people to enjoy the variety of music while enjoying food provided by Jill Younce of Painted Lady Coffee House.

All told, there were 59 different programs offered by the library in July this year, all managed by the Library staff and 923 hours of volunteer time. In all of the Clackamas County System of libraries, Milwaukie is second only in patrons served to the Lake Oswego branch. It is very clear how important the Ledding Library is to our community.

A recent study paid for by the Library Foundation donor funds, supports a finding that the library is in need of more room at its present location. We are not meeting the Oregon Library Association size standards given the amount of space we use to house the collection and provide programs. This study by the architectural firm FFA has found that there is a way to expand the library on the existing site and bring the library into conformance with the Oregon Library Association standards. Look for that report and renderings of potential expansion at the city of Milwaukie website.

Milwaukie clearly loves Ledding Library ... and the library loves to serve the thousands of people who pass through the doors, seeking to read and learn more with each visit.

Scott Churchill

Milwaukie city councilor

Thank you!

Thank you to our community for your support restoring our track at John McLoughlin Elementary!

In the spring of 2010, one of our amazing instructional aides here at John McLoughlin Elementary, Teri Walt, came to our PTSO with a proposal to restore our school track to support the health of our school and community. The property that John McLoughlin now sits on was actually in Teri’s family and her father sold the land to the school district.

This dream would not have become a reality without all of you! We would like to thank the Oregon City Metro Enhancement Committee for their support of our project with a grant of $16,000.

We have held numerous fundraisers with local restaurants including Burgerville, Mike’s Drive In, Panda Express, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Singer Hill Cafe, Wichita Bar and Grill and the Yogurt Shack.

We have received donations and support from these local businesses, organizations and families: Choices Insurance Agency, NW Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeons; Oregon City Optimist Club; Pacific Power Foundation; Jane Campillo; Allen Family; Crandall Family; Gregory Family; Mathews Family; O’Brien Family; Rickenbach Family; Williams Family; and Wilson Family.

A very special thank you to Hal’s Construction who worked with us and shared in the dream!

Thank you to our wonderful principals for their guidance and assistance — Carol Sanders, Gary McCormick, Ginger Redlinger and Lisa Normand. Thank you to the Oregon City School District for their lasting support. Thank you to the PTSO and the parent coordinators who have volunteered their time and efforts to make this happen!

Most importantly, we would like to thank all of our students, teachers and families who have worked so hard these past three years.

We did this together — THANK YOU!

Becki Coulsey

Oregon City

Re: Sept. 4 ‘demand for action’ story

While I am deeply sorry for Mr. Kemp’s loss and for all the victims of the Clackamas Town Center tragedy, I can’t help but wonder how further background checks would have altered the events of that day whatsoever?

As with this crime and so many others like it, the firearm that was used was stolen. Same was true for Newtown, so how does a background check change any of this?

Furthermore, be cautious of the group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” Between February and the end of July nearly 60 mayors had recanted their membership to the group because they felt they had been misled as to what the actual goals of the group were. No one should be confused about Michael Bloomberg’s real agenda with the M.A.I.G, they want all guns banned and confiscated. Go to nationalreview.com and read “Mayors Against Bloomberg’s Bombast,” and see if you don’t agree.

I am all in favor of a solution, but let’s have one that makes sense. Perhaps a registration for the mentally ill? Would that stop them from stealing firearms? No. However, it would ensure they could not buy one legally.

Perhaps if it were vetted properly it would prevent parents, such as the mother of the Newtown killer, from buying firearms that she so irresponsibly left unlocked and accessible to her mentally-ill son.

Jim Perrault


Savas’ open policy

While the rest of us are living, paying taxes, etc., the Jeff Molinaris of the world are sitting around writing editorials.

He touts Ludlow and Smith as open to the voter. Yet only one commissioner, Paul Savas, has a personal e-mail which he actually answers.

The simple truth for people like Ludlow, Smith and the Molinaris is they really don’t want to deal with you unless you agree with them.

John Robinson