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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

Responding to recent articles on vandals, Metro, etc.


It was with great sadness that I read about the damage done to Mountain View Cemetery (“Wanted: OC’s serial cemetery vandals,” Oct. 23).

We were just there to visit the burial site of my Ford and Chambers families and were in the exact area that was damaged. I am at a loss for words that someone would do such a horrible thing.

I hope that they are caught and are punished to the full extent of the law.

Nancy Tinsley

Merced, Calif.

Please stay, Chief Jordan

Milwaukie needs Police Chief Bob Jordan to stay (“Milwaukie Police Chief Bob Jordan to retire,” Oct. 16).

His approach to the impact of the opening of light rail in Milwaukie is in line with the previous chief’s predictions and other communities’ experiences, his plans are thorough and supported by facts, his professionalism and relationships with Milwaukie citizens, businesses, schools and community groups go way beyond his job description and what could be expected of him, his procedures are cost effective, and his heart for Milwaukie and his department is obvious when you begin talking with him.

Why did the chief decide to retire? Please read paragraph one again. When the very things that make you a top-notch, professional and highly respected employee are disrespected and cut despite the efforts of citizens and council members and in the face of overwhelming evidence that we need and want a strong, well-trained, well-equipped police department, not only to protect us but to work with us as a community, and your best efforts to change that have not succeeded, retirement starts to be an option worth considering.

Who is first in line to hear our “Stop, Look and Listen” with regard to asking the chief to stay and to rethinking the city’s needs and desire for public safety as a priority? City Manager Bill Monahan has this responsibility. Many people probably believe the city councilors, being elected, protect the interests of the city, and in many ways they do. However, they gave away some of their rights to intervene with the wording of the current contract for city manager — or rather, they could have to buy them back for approximately $500,000 if they were to challenge the city manager concerning his conduct or choices for hiring, firing, spending.

A new chief will not fix this situation. Running down the clock and doing nothing until 2015 will create an environment where we will not be able to prevent things we know will happen, and will sidetrack us from our goal to show our city to be a welcoming and safe place to live and work. A replacement or new police officer can take as long as 18 months from the time of hiring to be able to patrol individually — we need to plan for full staffing now for 2015. This is not unfair to other departments who can provide an orientation and start someone new to their job in a week or two.

If this were an issue of retirement, I’d be the first to congratulate the chief. But this is an issue of respect, an issue of professional treatment of colleagues, an issue of budgeting according to City Council direction, an issue of acknowledging that the citizens/voters state that public safety is a very high priority, an issue of admitting that the changes coming from light rail are not “what ifs” and an issue of understanding the timing and planning required to fund the resources that are needed — all rolled up into one big bundle of issues!

We need Chief Jordan to stay.

Mary Weaver


We demand local control

Your coverage of the commissioner’s angst with Metro was very good (“Clackamas County targets roads, Metro,” Oct. 30).

Regardless of one’s politics, a huge centralized bureaucracy lacks the ability to objectively handle land-use decisions for a diverse area. Metro, like its sidekick TriMet, is a self-feeding machine that is dominated by special interests.

Metro has a poor track record... I’ve documented it for years. Hopefully the counties will regain local control in the future.

Les Poole


The bike bridge to nowhere

I specifically would like to know why taxpayers are funding an Interstate 205 crossing through the Sunrise Project that does not solve any of our problems, (“Sunrise Project breaks ground for new road,” Aug. 7).

82nd Avenue and highways 224 and 212 are dangerous places for bicycles and pedestrians alike. 82nd Drive is relatively safe. How are medium and low-income citizens in the communities like Johnson City supposed to avoid these death traps?

I understand there are a lot of competing interests in this case, but if we cannot resolve these issues, what’s the point of doing it at all? You may as well keep using 82nd Drive and the perilous 212 crossing of 205. No time is saved and very little danger is averted by commuters trying to get to the Clackamas Transit Center. I understand we’re well along in the process and probably too late, I feel this should at least be discussed.

When viewing a satellite map, you can clearly see a route from the 205 multi-use path at 82nd Drive to Schellenberg, Southeast Primrose Avenue, and the neighborhoods on the other side of this massive interchange. If Kilo vs New London is a precedent for upscale development, then a bike crossing surely passes the smell test of “the public good.”

Dan Heyden

Unincorporated Milwaukie area

The American way

Libby Wentz: “It is the statist who [are responsible] for killing the American Way” (Letters: “Governments can’t create prosperity,” Oct. 30). A statist is a person who supports economic planning and controls within a highly centralized government. Libby Wentz criticizes Sen. Jeff Merkley (her proclaimed statist) for bringing planning and controls to the table. Huh?

Sen. Merkley did not create this highly centralized government. Within his philosophical base he’s said that DC has its problems, that he was elected to work on said issues and his goal is to get the country on track. As Libby Wentz is entitled to her philosophical base so also is Sen. Merkley.

The American Way. The last five words of our Pledge of Allegiance charge us to go in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. “Different Strokes for Different Folks.”

Libby Wentz is entitled to her vision of the American Way to liberty and justice for all. Libby Wentz’s view is that my vision of how to seek liberty and justice for all somehow/perhaps makes me a liar, those who might agree with me fools and folks need to get in lockstep with her philosophical base.

I submit that in a free-thinking society, things don’t work that way, and she’ll never see the day.

D. Kent Lloyd


Standing up to Sen. Merkley

Sen. Merkley attacked the Tea Party for the recent government shutdown (Letters, Oct. 23). Yes, I would have liked to have avoided the shutdown, but here are the facts on the matter:

The House (controlled by Republicans) passed a bill that fully funded the entire government but delayed the implementation of Obamacare for one year. The Senate (controlled by Harry Reid and Democrats) refused to vote on the bill and forward it to the president. The president (a Democrat) said, “I will not negotiate on the issue” and stated he would veto the bill if sent for his signature.

Sen. Merkley, many of your constituents are very concerned about our country and its $17 trillion debt. It will approach $20 trillion by the end of Obama’s term. Senator, please answer a simple question: Where is that money going to come from, or will we be forced to default like Greece and other European countries? Should we just pass that debt on to our children and grandchildren? Should we keep printing money, which will lead to massive inflation?

The U.S. is in trouble. The city of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy, and many other major U.S. cities are on the brink due to the irresponsible spending supported by Sen. Merkley and his liberal Democratic Party. Senator, it is time to deal with our problems and not deny them or wrongfully blame them on others. We need to create jobs so people can care for their families not let them descend in to the government welfare system. The truth is the Democrats shut down the government, and the mainstream media is helping you to blame everyone but yourself. The Democratic administration even stooped as low as closing all open air parks, White House tours and veteran’s memorials based on lack of funds. Meanwhile, the wheels are falling off Obamacare. Suddenly many Democrats are asking openly to delay it. Its website cost almost $365 million and will likely need to be entirely rebuilt. Adding insult to injury, the website was developed by a Canadian firm that includes a high-level executive that was a close classmate of Michelle Obama at Princeton.

The truth is the House Republicans were trying to show some responsibility when they sent legislation to the Senate. They wanted to fund to government to allow more time to look at possible solutions to our massive debt. The Democratic Party leaders and the president refused to negotiate. Now as the rollout of Obamacare is a massive failure, it seems that the delay will occur anyway. Yes, this after your party shut down the government because you refused to allow the program to be delayed. Had your party agreed, the shutdown would not have happened, and the delay of Obamacare would now be underway so that the program could be fixed.

These are the facts. Really, Sen. Merkley blames the Republicans and the Tea Party? Sen. Merkley owes us objective and honest evaluations of congressional actions. Senator, please stop the misleading spin!

J. R. Hill

Oregon City

How wrong they are

We’ve always known that 2014 would be a tough fight. When you take on the special interests, sooner or later the special interests fight back.

And sure enough, the Republicans are now lining up to take me on. The last thing Oregon needs is one more senator who represents the top 1 percent instead of the rest of us, who goes to the mat for polluters and thinks politicians should stand between women and their doctors.

Just look at the Republican field:

1. A Tea Party activist who questions whether President Obama is an American citizen.

2. A right-wing state legislator who proudly displays his endorsements from anti-choice extremists and said he would have voted with the Tea Partiers who shut down the government unless the Affordable Care Act was defunded.

3. A wealthy businessman who’s already poured $100,000 of his own money in to his campaign and proudly boasts that “I am solidly in the top 1 percent of income earners” and that “I’ve worked an average of two hours a week” for the last decade.

Our campaign’s heading into a new phase. Let’s show these Republicans that want to take our country in the wrong direction that progressives are standing together.

I ran for the Senate because our country needs fighters in the Senate — people who will take on Wall Street’s excesses, stand up to big oil and agribusinesses, and tackle global climate change while working to create jobs here at home and protect middle-class families.

The special interests think their money can power one of my Republican opponents to victory. Let’s show them how wrong they are.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley