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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


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Quality preschool today will lower future crime


As the Multnomah County sheriff, I make no apologies for arresting people who threaten public safety.

But I also know from research and from my personal experience that we can’t simply prosecute and incarcerate our way out of crime problems. The best way to create safer communities is to prevent more people from turning to crime in the first place.

Education must be the focal point of that strategy. Nationwide, seven out of 10 offenders in state prisons don’t have a high school diploma. That includes 48 percent of the more than 16,000 incarcerated in Oregon’s prisons and jails who do not have diplomas, which cost our taxpayers $769 million each year.

Getting more children into quality preschool programs will change this trend. The proof is found in numerous reports by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders.

Its recent report, “I’m the Guy You Pay Later” (fightcrime.org/wp-content/uploads/OR-Im-the-Guy-Report.pdf), highlighted research that compared outcomes for children who did and did not participate in the Chicago Child Parent Centers program, which served more than 100,000 children, most from low-income families.

The research, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed these children for decades into their adult lives and found that non-participants were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18. Participants were 40 percent less likely to be placed in special education and 29 percent more likely to have graduated from high school by age 18.

Those who did not participate in a similar program in Michigan were five times more likely to be chronic lawbreakers by the age of 27, while participants were 44 percent more likely to graduate from high school.

These outcomes make perfect sense when you look at studies on state preschool programs in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Mexico, North Carolina and others. The studies showed a range of benefits for participating kids, including a lower need for special education, fewer developmental delays and significant gains in mathematics and literacy that lasted well into the elementary school years.

With this in mind, I offer some bad news and good news. The bad news is that Oregon’s state prekindergarten program currently serves only 10 percent of our 4-year olds. Those who don’t participate are missing out on a program that ranks very high on the National Institute for Early Education Research quality standards checklist, with small classes and teachers with specialized early childhood training, among other qualities.

The good news is that we have a historic opportunity to expand access to the program. Bipartisan legislation known as the Strong Start for America’s Children Act would give Oregon and other states nationwide billions of dollars to create, strengthen and expand quality preschool programs. States would be in the driver’s seat when it comes to creating their programs and ensuring they meet quality standards that have a proven impact on children’s long-term success.

This legislation will be working its way through Congress and will undoubtedly focus on the return on investment for preschool programs. That means even more good news for this legislation.

The “I’m the Guy You Pay Later” report estimates that full implementation of the state federal proposal will ultimately lead to a reduction of 1,400 people who are incarcerated in Oregon each year and save taxpayers as much as $77 million each year due to reduced costs for crime and incarceration.

Equally important: A well-respected, independent analysis of more than 20 different studies of preschool programs showed they can return, on average, a “profit” to society of $15,000 for every child served, based on lower crime, welfare, special education and other taxpayer-funded costs.

The legislation also comes at a prime time for quality preschool support among lawmakers. In 2013 alone, governors of 25 states proposed or signed into law significant expansions of state preschool programs. Law enforcement leaders nationwide support their leadership, as evidenced by a recent Mason Dixon poll showing eight out of 10 want Congress to make the state-federal preschool partnership a reality.

Simply put, we are at a fork in the road. We can continue with the status quo, which is leading too many people to failure in school and involvement in crime, at a huge cost to Oregon taxpayers. Or, we can take a different course that acts on the power of preschool to lead more kids to success in school, high school graduation and savings to taxpayers.

I urge our elected leaders to take the right path for the sake of kids today and crime reduction in the coming years.

Daniel Staton has served as Multnomah County sheriff since January 2010, and has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1989. He and Multnomah County District Attorney and Portland Police Chief Mike Reese are among those actively promoting early children education as a means to reduce future crime.