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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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Letters: Water service; child abuse; abortions; guns; Dorchester Conference


It was with significant dismay that I read through Oak Lodge Water Board Chairman Myron Martwick’s Community Soapbox piece in last week’s Clackamas Review.

by: PHOT COURTESY: OLSD - The completion of a major overhaul for Oak Lodge Sanitary District's water reclamation facility sewage-treatment plant in Oak Grove is pictured in July.As a fellow elected public official I realize that there is no privilege of personal opinion in a public forum. A public official is elected to work and speak in the interests of the public, not use the podium to settle what appear to be personal grudges. The OLWD Board passed a resolution to participate in the study with OLSD evaluating possible benefits to the merging of the two districts.

As the OLWD chairman, Mr. Martwick is obligated to support the majority decisions of his board. If the commissioner chair wants to rail against the decision of the OLWD and OLSD boards and speak only for himself, then he should resign from the board, effective immediately, rather than attempting to color the discussion of the merger study by leaving much of the important information left unsaid, in effect misrepresenting the facts to suit his own personal perspective.

Impugning the professional reputation of the consultant hired to evaluate the potential financial benefits to be realized by a merger is also not in the interest of the public, as well as being personally unprofessional. However, the most onerous point in Mr. Martwick’s account was his reference to the OLSD debt for the brand-new Water Reclamation Facility. To go shouting from the rooftops that debt is to be avoided at all costs is facetious on the commissioner’s part since he has a large degree of personal responsibility for it. In the first place, Commissioner Chair Martwick was on the advisory committee that oversaw the development and funding strategy for the new WRF. Second, OLWD Commissioner Chair Martwick, as a member of the Budget Committee for the OLSD for as long as I can remember, has personal responsibility for the approval of that debt, even though he likes to tar the OLSD with the debt every time the two districts are compared. And, his misleading statements that the merger would somehow change customers’ responsibility for the debt seems to be intended to foment fear. The debt will remain with OLSD customers, regardless of whether the districts merge or not, until it is paid off. The debt cannot be moved to OLWD-only customers.

When Commissioner Chair Martwick infers that there is some hidden agenda regarding the study of the potential benefits of the two districts merging, he fails to convey the truth that both districts’ boards have an obligation and fiduciary responsibility to evaluate whether there are options that can reduce customers’ costs and improve quality of service.

OLSD’s position on a potential merger, or any other cooperative venture with OLWD, is that we should let the study work speak for itself. Once the study is complete, the respective boards can determine whether there are compelling reasons to further study this issue. The half-truths and unfounded claims by Commissioner Chair Martwick suggest that what he really fears is having to work as a member of a board rather than using his position to serve his personal agenda. Our community deserves better.

Terry John Gibson

President, Oak Lodge Sanitary District Board of Directors

Truth: Child-abuse cases on the rise

You may have seen news accounts reporting the number of child abuse victims in Oregon dropped in 2012 compared to 2011. Unfortunately, there is more to the story before we falsely celebrate the safety of Oregon children.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Protective Services department reports 10,054 confirmed victims of abuse or neglect in 2012, compared to 11,599 in 2011. The report shows fewer reports of abuse were made during that year, a smaller number were referred for DHS investigation.

This report only captures child-abuse cases that involved DHS. Many cases are investigated only by law enforcement. This does not mean fewer children are being hurt — a statement DHS officials agree with.

At Children’s Center, the only place in Clackamas County where suspected victims of child abuse or neglect receive a comprehensive medical evaluation and intervention services, we saw a 9 percent increase in referrals.

Children are still being abused at alarming rates, and most abuse remains unreported. Experts estimate only 1 in 10 cases of child abuse are reported. We are fortunate in Clackamas County that Children’s Center stands ready to respond and to help every child and family who can benefit from our services.

But none of us can help a child until a responsible adult reports a concern of child abuse or neglect. If you have concerns about the safety of a child, have the courage to call the Child Abuse Hotline (971-673-7112) or law enforcement.

Children’s Center and our kids need you. Visit www.childrenscenter.cc to see how you can join the movement against child abuse so that one day, we will read that children truly are safe in Oregon.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Whose embarrassing problem?

“Your embarrassing problem is our Tuesday morning.” These words, posted high above Highway 213, advertise for the top abortion provider in America — Planned Parenthood. While some argue that the “embarrassing problem” refers to treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or other services, most seem to conclude that the sign implies unplanned pregnancy because, unlike other “problems,” it is impossible to hide.

As a 19-year-old woman, I know that women should be able to make their own decisions about their body. But based on science and reason, it is clear that unborn children are not their mother’s body — they have unique and distinct DNA, fingerprints and genders. We all have the right to make choices, but that right must end where another person’s rights begin.

Oregon holds over a dozen Planned Parenthood clinics, two within 10 miles of my house. They often gain support with the claim that their goal is to “make abortion rare.” However in recent years, many Planned Parenthood employees — even directors — have quit their jobs as they’ve watched this “health organization” turn into an abortion business. In fact, comparing Planned Parenthood’s annual reports shows that while every non-abortion-related prenatal service has dropped, the abortion rates have continued strong, with more than 150 abortions for every one adoption referral.

If Planned Parenthood were simply a health organization trying to educate women and provide birth control, I wouldn’t really mind. But I must speak out when a local business so blatantly advertises abortion — a procedure that takes one life and leaves the other scarred physically and emotionally. Most women don’t know that each abortion increases their risk of breast cancer by 300 percent (Brinton L.A, Hoover R., British Journal of Cancer), or that 25 percent of women who have had abortions eventually seek out psychiatric care (Report on the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law). Abortion is the leading cause of death in Oregon with over 10,000 abortions per year, while the distant second cause is heart disease with just over 1,000 deaths per year (worldlifeexpectancy.com).

Because I care about both the women and children of Oregon, I must speak about abortion — the business of Planned Parenthood.

Shelby Bennett

Unincorporated Oregon City

Dorchester Conference is not the Republican Party

The Clackamas County Republican Party would like to remind the public, media, and Republicans in Oregon that the Dorchester Conference is not a Republican Party event, and never has been.

Dorchester was started by Bob Packwood in 1964 after Barry Goldwater’s defeat in the presidential race. Packwood, in defiance of the party leadership, founded the annual Dorchester Conference in Lincoln City as a forum for progressive Republicans to gather and share ideas.

Dorchester is and always has been, an event put on by an independent group of people who come together annually to discuss the politics of Oregon.

While many of the attendees and candidates who attend are Republicans, the views and policies put forth there are simply those of the attendees and do not speak for the platform or beliefs of the Clackamas County Republican Party or the Oregon Republican Party.

Republicans throughout Oregon are encouraged to get involved in our party and help us stand for the principals that make Oregon and America great!

We encourage Republicans and supporters in Clackamas County to get involved now and help us elect Republicans to positions from senator to governor, county commissioner to city council. Get started by visiting our website, ClackamasRepublicans.org.

John Lee

Clackamas County Republican Party

Gun thoughts

In the past few weeks, this newspaper has contained some articles and letters about the continuing controversy regarding guns, gun ownership and gun violence in our society. While there is no doubt that we have problems associated with guns, it seems that we never get beyond background checks (important as they are) as a way to solve these problems.

It is with those thoughts in mind that I offer a suggestion that does attempt to go beyond background checks and may contain some new possibilities for lessening gun violence.

We live in a high-tech society. We can lock and unlock our cars and door without key, and we use touch-screens in various ways. There seems to be no limit to what we can accomplish with good-old American talent and ingenuity. It seems to me that it would be possible to equip guns so that only the owner could fire them. Most gun owners are responsible people. Guns so equipped would virtually eliminate all death where children kill other children while playing with guns and where stolen guns are used to kill people. And it would accomplish these things without infringing on the Constitutional rights of anyone.

Yes, comprehensive background checks are important, but there may be some other worthwhile ideas out there. After all, anyone who is not willing to help solve the problem may be part of the problem.

Bruce Hamilton

Unincorporated Milwaukie

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.