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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



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 lend support to candidates, OC library


Many cities have at least one or two crown jewels of architecture, societal beacons, or famous places. More cities have undeveloped potential crown jewels. Oregon City has at least one of each. In Oregon City’s case, the “actual” is key to the “undeveloped.” Our actual “crown jewel,” Maureen (Mo) Cole, City Library Director, is championing our “potential crown jewel,” the renovation and expansion of the Carnegie Library building.

Some would say the Carnegie Library building is already a crown jewel, but they would be wrong. It has the potential to rise to an actual crown jewel, it needs to serve the city in a way that will allow most of our citizens to enjoy it, use it, and point to it as the shining gem it should be. Mo believes in its potential and has quietly been saving the city’s dedicated library-tax dollars to help fuel this important endeavor. To her credit, she’s rallied support and generated so much interest that a PAC has formed (OCBCL Oregon City Backs the Carnegie Library) to get Measure 3-435 onto the May voting ballot. See the website: ocbcl.org.

Some say, “Libraries aren’t relevant anymore.” Cities that have good ones would disagree. “Libraries are more than just stores of books and knowledge. They are the cornerstone of neighborhoods and communities. They are the public square, and we need them in this capacity now more than ever.” (T. Colby)

Vote “YES” on Measure 3-435 and make our new library the next “crown jewel” of Oregon City.

Cynthia Towle

Oregon City

Suport library expansion

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County urges the voters of Oregon City to support Ballot Measure 3-435 to build an addition to the existing historic Carnegie Library which was built in 1913. Although the building is a valuable asset, it is much too small to serve the existing population of Oregon City.

The League is conducting a third study of the libraries of Clackamas County. In our survey every librarian responded that the amount of space available defines and determines what programs and uses can happen in that space. All the librarians have been very creative in the use of their existing space to the maximum. Some of Oregon City’s books remain in storage, as there is no room for them on the shelves. The need for a larger facility in Oregon City is evident.

You are fortunate to have the ability to build an addition and pay no additional taxes. Your City Charter requires a vote on the bond sale. Please vote to suport the expansion of your library.

Luana Luther

League of Women Voters of Clackamas County president

Joan Batten

LWV library study chairwoman

What is in an name?

I find it perplexing that with the upcoming Ballot Measure 3-435 to expand the Carnegie Library, the library PAC, librarians and city officials are missing an opportunity to educate the public on the correct pronunciation of the library benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. (kar-NAY-gee)

A simple look at the Carnegie foundation website, a listen to NPR, or a Wikipedia search of the man will revel that the proper pronunciation of the name is kar-NAY-gee, being of Scottish origin.

You would think that librarians and city officials would be the first to want to honor the benefactor and educate the public by pronouncing his name correctly, but this does not seem to be the case as they regularly insist on pronouncing the name incorrectly. It does not promote the right impression of the people who should know.

Todd Last

Oregon City

Honest commitment to good governance

I write in support of two candidates to the Clackamas County Commission, Jim Bernard and Paul Savas. Both men have demonstrated the qualities necessary to effectively govern our county.

They come from different parties but work together for the common good. They offer a business background, concern for people, jobs, and the environment, can disagree without being disagreeable and negotiate and compromise in good faith. They are not ideologues, but citizen representatives.

When the Clackamas River Water Board was in chaos, they stepped up and took the political risk of appointing new members to the board in order to bring the district under control with members that understood their roles and that had a commitment to the ratepayers.

Having watched them on other issues, both Jim and Paul have shown that same honest commitment to the citizens of Clackamas County and to good, effective government. They have earned our respect and our votes. I enthusiastically encourage my fellow voters, of either party, to support these men in their re-election bids.

Kenneth Humberston

Unincorporated Oregon City

No-spin candidate listens to the people

For Position 5 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, I am supporting a man who has for years demonstrated the type of leadership I appreciate and hope for every time I mark my ballot.

I am supporting Steve Bates because of my close observation of the honesty and sincerity of his leadership during the past four years while I was a reporter for newspapers in the Boring area of Clackamas County.

Bates’ style of leadership gives the power to the people he represents. At meetings and visits to his home office, I was impressed with his exhaustive research on current topics. He listens to people’s views, says what he’s thinking and doesn’t put political spin on anything.

Bates is an extremely organized person who would be an excellent addition to the commission. He would bring added integrity to a board that has not always enjoyed the esteem and respect of local residents. He also would keep the board on task, add new ideas and increase its collective knowledge with his incessant research into agenda topics.

This position is likely to be decided in the primary, so please vote in May for Steve Bates for Commissioner No. 5. Visit friendsofstevebates.com for information.

Jim Hart


Molinari’s patently libelous statements

I sincerely appreciate your wide acceptance of all kinds of opinion letters. But I, for one, would like to see better lines drawn between opinion and outright falsehood and slander. For example, if I point to a green tree and say “That tree is green,” that’s a true statement.

If I go on to say, “I hate green trees. I want them to all be pink.” That is an opinion. A stupid one but an opinion nevertheless. However, if I claim, “All trees are pink; they are evil and trying to kill me,” that is patently false.

Jeff Molinari’s latest rant against Paul Savas is a case in point. Rather than refute every instance of hyperbole and erroneous information (I don’t have all day), let’s take the libelous phrase “Paul Savas has done nothing but fight John and Tootie.” To the contrary, in an admittedly baffling gesture of solidarity, Mr. Savas voted with Smith and Ludlow to fund the pointless vote on light rail. This is the most glaring of dozens of examples in direct contradiction of Mr. Molinari’s claim.

Your guidelines for letters to the editor say you may edit for inaccuracy, including libel. Mr. Molinari’s letter could have used some of that assistance.

Gary Duell

Happy Valley

Bowerman will spend wisely

This is information that all residents of Clackamas country needs to know: Karen Bowerman is challenging longtime County Commissioner Paul Savas. Our streets are poorly maintained since our tax dollars are directed to TriMet.

TriMet has overpaid executives with sleepy dangerous drivers and a platinum health plan soaking up our payroll taxes. And what does Clackamas County receive for the expenditure? Poor service.

Paul Savas was not in favor of exploring the opportunity to opt out of TriMet.

Ms. Bowerman concurs with a study to determine if our county would benefit rather than jumping in with both feet. She is determined to spend our dollars wisely. Help us all to spend money where it will benefit Clackamas the most.

Jay Betts

Lake Oswego

Prevent disaster, vote Bernard, Savas

I want to thank County Chairman John Ludlow for helping me to decide whom I should vote for in the upcoming election.

His vitriolic and vindictive public attack on fellow commissioners Jim Bernard and Paul Savas, his attempts to alienate nearby governmental bodies and his poor relationship with county personnel indicate to me that he will only be satisfied with total control.

My vote will go to Bernard and Savas to keep that disaster from happening.

Bruce Hamilton

Unincorporated Milwaukie

Admirable vision out of reach

Much as I support Commissioner Paul Savas’ dream (“Sick and tired of overly partisan county politics?” April 16) of a kinder, gentler Clackamas County Commission, I fear that it will be almost impossible to realize.

Consider, for example, that Americans for Prosperity, the political organization funded by the oil-billionaire Koch brothers, has openly declared that it is shifting some of its focus to local government, meaning races at the county and city level. AFP’s operations involve the use of inaccurate or misleading “facts” in advertising campaigns supporting their regressive issues, along with character assassination of anyone who dares veer from their conservative path.

While there is no demonstrable connection between our commissioners and the AFP, we have seen tactics that have helped make national bipartisanship impossible, imported into our local election process: first in the vindictive campaign to recall two Clackamas County commissioners, then in the pointless vote on public transit, and more recently in the editorial written by Chairman John Ludlow in support of conservative candidates for our County Commission.

Add to this the anti-union, anti-government and populist rhetoric of Commissioners Ludlow and Smith, and you have a pronounced similarity between the beliefs and activities of national, right-wing political extremists and those of some of our county representatives.

We do not need this political grandstanding in our local government. But sadly, in this poisoned, partisan atmosphere it is difficult to see how Commissioner Savas’ admirable vision has even a chance of becoming a reality.

Peter Bellamy

Oregon City

Re-elect Hall

I support Sherry Hall for re-election as Clackamas County Clerk. She has done an outstanding job at bringing honest elections to Clackamas County. Yes, there was an incident last election, when an employee decided to fill in blank ballots. This situation was rectified when this employee’s employment was terminated by Sherry Hall. It is wrong for her opposition to try and use this against her during a campaign.

Ask yourselves a question. Do you always know what your employees are thinking? Probably not. This could happen to anyone. If Mark Meek is the county clerk at that time, then it happens under his watch.

An employee could do something that could embarrass Gov. John Kitzhaber in the governor’s office. It could happen in any regional government operation.

Remember, not long ago in the city of Portland where the manager of the department involved in Portland’s parking meters, where this manager was accepting kickbacks from a company back east, so that the city of Portland would buy the parking meters from this company. The mayor did not receive any flack over this. And this manager is no longer working for the city of Portland.

So let’s keep Sherry Hall where she belongs: In office as Clackamas County Clerk.

Jeff Molinari


Demonstration of talent

I appreciate Mr. Jeff Molinari of Milwaukie; in his letter of April 16, reminding us what talented Clackamas County commissioners we had in Ann Lininger and Charlotte Lehan. As Mr. Molinari points out, Ann Lininger upon leaving county government was very soon employed by Oregon Iron Works and Charlotte Lehan by Metro. Mr. Molinari; probably inadvertently, left out that the third former Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon took a high position in the administration of Gov. John Kitzhaber. As Mr. Molinari so succinctly points out, employers very swiftly made these talented ladies their employees.

I do have to take exception to one short comment by Mr. Jeff Molinari. He writes that John Ludlow and Tootie Smith want “what the majority of voters want.” Try as I might I cannot make the case that the majority of Clackamas County voters wanted tens of thousands of Clackamas County tax dollars gone for naught as Commissioners Ludlow and Smith violated the rules governing personnel matters. Nor do I believe that the majority of Clackamas County taxpayers want the rules of sealed bidding so seriously violated by our Clackamas County commissioners that we barely avoided a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

In closing; no one gets “total support,” so it was “thank you,” Mr. Molinari, once and “whoa” once.

D. Kent Lloyd


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.