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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - Auto Repair INSIDER -


John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageWhat’s less fun than getting stuck in a nasty traffic jam? Getting cooked in your car on a hot day.

Summer's right around the corner and 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, the system may need to be recharged. Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as Freon. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on a vehicle’s 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 peripheral components at the same time.

Bernard’s, which has been in business since 1925, services our clients’ foreign, domestic, hybrid and electric cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. We offer free pickup and delivery for our customers’ convenience.

Plan ahead and stay cool this season!

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

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

503-659-7722

>bernardsgarage.com/

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.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

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.

503-353-7627

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/milwaukie-or-97222/1023

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

www.snapfitness.com/gyms/oregoncity-or-97045/400

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

503-659-7722

bernardsgarage.com/

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

www.snapfitness.com/

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.

503-353-7627

Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170

503-656-2580

Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.

503-266-5515

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

bernardsgarage.com

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Be patient with new education standards

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Despite what you might read in the blogosphere, the latest movement in public education reform is not an example of big government run amok.

The Common Core State Standards are not the product of liberal conspirators wanting to brainwash children. Nor are they the result of a conservative plot to undermine public education. They certainly don’t live up to the derisive name “Obama-core” — since the president had nothing to do with their development.

The issue with the Common Core isn’t whether these ambitious standards are appropriate, because they undoubtedly are. Rather, the question is whether a state such as Oregon and its school districts can dedicate the resources necessary for children to meet the core’s rigorous requirements.

School districts in Oregon have been rolling out curriculum based on Common Core standards since 2011. The new standards have generated some controversy in Portland Public Schools and other districts as critics on the right and left complain about a perceived loss of local control. Naysayers also worry, with good reason, about faulty implementation of yet-another educational initiative.

We understand opponents’ concerns, given the checkered history of education reform in the United States.

The Common Core, however, is different from previous attempts to make U.S. students more globally competitive. These standards weren’t handed down from on high by Congress and the president. They were developed from the bottom up — by governors and chief education officers from all 50 states — and they were shaped by input from teachers, school administrators, parents and education experts. The concept is simple: The educational progress of every child should be measured against a common set of standards, regardless of where he or she lives.

These standards are meant to be clear and ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to attend a two- or four-year college, or to enter the work force. So far, 45 states, including Oregon, have adopted the Common Core standards, which specifically target a child’s development in English language and math.

The language standards include benchmarks in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The standards grow increasingly complex as a child moves through different grade levels. In math, students in the lower grades start out with the foundation — whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals — and then progress toward hands-on learning in the areas of geometry, algebra, probability and statistics.

The goal is to have students in every state be competitive with students from throughout the world.

Establishing standards, however, isn’t enough to guarantee students will meet steeper expectations. Local school districts are working hard to complete implementation of the core this year, but they still face obstacles related to resources, testing and public perception.

Among the issues are:

1. The difficulty of raising standards for student learning at the same time class sizes in Oregon are at their peak. Teachers are confronted with classrooms overloaded with students of widely different abilities. Now, they are being asked to bring these students up to even higher standards.

2. The cost of training teachers in the new core and purchasing textbooks and other materials that line up with the core. Students are expected to demonstrate deeper comprehension of language and math, which means teachers and textbooks must be capable of delivering that understanding.

3. The probability that scores on Oregon’s standardized tests will drop at first. The rigor of the Common Core will catch many people by surprise. Standardized test scores may decline, but that must be balanced against the fact that students are being challenged like never before. In some cases, standards have jumped by one to two grade levels, which could mean a fourth-grader is now expected to perform in math like a sixth-grader.

4. Engaging parents so they understand the ambitious nature of the new standards and the parental role in helping children be successful in a tougher educational environment. In PPS, the district will launch a Parent Academy in January to bring parents up to speed.

All of these issues require patience on the part of parents and the general public. They also require transparency and direct communication from school officials. Progress cannot be measured solely by looking at one year’s standardized test scores. Something deeper is occurring in classrooms throughout Oregon, and it will take a few years before a change of this magnitude shows up in statewide data.

Parents and the public are rightly suspicious of the value of standardized tests, but the common core is much more than that. It’s an attempt to help our children develop the critical thinking skills necessary for Oregon and the nation to compete in the modern world. That’s an objective everyone should support.