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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: Support for Milwaukie's light-rail bond, county commission


Measure 3-439, to authorize general obligation bonds to refinance light-rail construction debt, was placed on the May ballot by the city of Milwaukie. Our Hector Campbell neighbors at the April 14 regular NDA meeting approved this letter asking Milwaukie voters to vote YES on this measure.

The city’s current finances are seriously underfunded because of a slow economic recovery, lowered property values and unanticipated costs to the general fund. Filling vacant staff positions has been delayed and will continue so even if the bond measure passes, because revenue cannot meet a very conservative current and projected city budget. New positions, such as additional police staffing dedicated to downtown patrols following light-rail start-up, are well beyond the future budget.

Even those who opposed Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail should understand that the previous City Council signed a legally binding contract to participate in funding the PMLR and committed the city to pay over $4.1 million. Some savings will be realized by refinancing this debt, but more importantly, that from $200,000 to $365,000 per year we would have paid will sustain the general fund budget rather than having to be paid for almost 20 years. In fact, improvements in downtown Milwaukie amounting to $13 million have been gained by the city through its commitment to light rail. The annual bond cost is a relatively small amount of money per household: about $36 on a $200,000 house — equivalent to the price of a single carton of cigarettes or 10 gallons of gas.

Even though passing the bond doesn’t resolve all of the city’s financial issues, it does allow the city to get on a more stable footing. If we wish to support the city so that we can move forward instead of stagnating, we need to all vote YES on Measure 3-439.

David Aschenbrenner

On behalf of the HCNDA, Milwaukie

Support Measure 3-439

There is an argument in support of this measure in the Voters’ Pamphlet that’s unfortunately signed by only two members of Milwaukie City Council. Should there be any doubt in voters’ minds, Councilors Miller, Churchill and I fully support this bond measure. In fact Councilor Miller and I were speaking in support of a bond in 2012 when the agreement with TriMet to pay the already-approved $5 million in installments was signed. Giving people the opportunity to decide how this should be paid was a condition of our support for that loan agreement with TriMet.

Staff positions have already been permanently removed from funding in the proposed budget for the financial year 2014/15, regardless of whether the bond passes or not. If the measure fails at the ballot, further cuts will be necessary to balance the budget. That will mean further cuts to the services the city provides. The city is committed to yearly payments from $200,000 rising to $365,000 to repay TriMet. Approving the bond will allow that money to be spent on other services. All five members of Milwaukie City Council support this bond measure, please vote yes to approve it. It is in the best interests of our city.

Dave Hedges

Council president, city of Milwaukie

Keep Ludlow, Smith in check

I urge all Clackamas County voters to re-elect Paul Savas and Jim Bernard as county commissioners. Without these two men, the Ludlow /Smith duo will continue to try to run their “own agenda.”

Paul Savas is a voice of reason, fairness, and has a vision for the future of Clackamas County. Paul diligently studies and researches the issues facing the county and makes fiscally sound decisions that benefit all of Clackamas County.

Jim is a strong advocate for Clackamas County job creation and economic growth. We need both of these commissioners re-elected to keep Ludlow and Smith in check until we can vote them out of office.

Elaine Krause

Oregon City

Government running amok

Like any other citizen, I am entitled to my opinion. In last week’s edition of this newspaper, I was being attacked by Gary Duell of Happy Valley and D. Kent Lloyd of Gladstone. These guys accuse me of slander and libel. These two are simply just sore losers and want the liberals back in charge of our county. There is no such thing as slander and libel when it comes to elected officials. They are open game. However, I am not an elected official. Then you have Peter Bellamy of Oregon City attacking Americans for Prosperity. There are many liberals along with conservatives who are members of AFP.

I mentioned in my editorial of April 16 that after losing her county commission seat, Charlotte Lehan went to work for Metro. This was actually her reward for supporting the Unions and Metro in getting things done, like the Portland/Milwaukie Light Rail Project. But did she listen to the voters who voted this down numerous times. No, of course not. But she helped keep the union workers employed. This is why she is former county commissioner. Then there is former Commissioner Ann Lininger, who one month after leaving the commission and supporting light rail, went to work for Oregon Iron Works helping build light-rail cars. Then Mrs. Lininger gets appointed to the state legislature, just like she was appointed to the county commission. Mr. Lloyd then goes on to point out that I did not mention Jamie Damon, who was given a high ranking position in Governor Kitzhaber’s administration. I just have two things to say about Governor Kitzhaber: “Cover Oregon” and “CRC.”

You see, there are just as many liberals who are disgusted with the way our local and state governments have been run over the past 30-plus years. It used to be that small business was the backbone of our economy.

However, since the unions have been lining the pockets of our liberal politicians over the past 30 years, small business has been squeezed out of existence. Yes, there are still many small businesses, but many are struggling. Keep in mind that many of these small business owners are liberals as well. And these people are also ready for a change.

Oh and let’s not forget about Clackamas County commissioners Paul Savas and Jim Bernard. Yes, Paul Savas was the lone vote against the light-rail project. He since has switched sides and now votes along with the liberals. I have to wonder what he was promised if he switched sides.

The best thing that voters can do for Clackamas County is to elect Steve Bates and Karen Bowerman to the Clackamas County Commission.

No more government run amok. It is time for our government to get down to doing the business for the people rather than their campaign contributors. The campaign contributors are the ones who are getting rich off of the liberal elected officials’ decisions. Until this changes, small business won’t have a chance.

Oregon’s economy is one of the worst in the entire country. Every Oregonian complains about it, however we keep electing the same liberals over and over again. It has also caused many good people and businesses to leave our state which has also hurt Oregon’s economy.

The last time Oregon’s economy was in good shape Vic Atiyeh was governor, before him, Tom McCall, and before him Mark Hatfield, all conservative governors.

If you are serious about wanting Oregon’s economy to improve, then it is time to bring back the conservatives and get our state moving again.

Jeff Molinari


County still in America

After testifing at the Clackamas County Commission April 17, I was appalled as to the manipulation of words from Chairman John Ludlow. Citizens and elected officials are tired of his actions on the board. They are unhappy with his endorsement openly attacking Paul Savas and Jim Bernard in a letter sent throughout the county. They represent us too. I’ve never in my 74 years seen it done. I’ve been involved in politics for many, many years. Also served as city councilor. After 35 years in the medical field.

I repeat what was in this newspaper. Mayor Jeremy Ferguson, former State Rep. Patrick Sheehan and Jane Logan were all unhappy about Ludlow’s letter attacking fellow commissioners. When you are a seated county chairman, you should display respect, admiration and honesty for the citizens. Not underhanded tactics.

The candidates that are running against Paul Savas and Jim Bernard are both inexperienced in politics. Steve Bates is chairman of a citizen planning organization; it’s a big step up to county commissioner. Karen Bowman just got on the Lake Oswego City Council. Why not learn about Clackamas County before such a big step? This will be her third political race since coming from California approximately four years ago. Does she not know, we do not do this in Oregon? There is a lot to learn about Oregon; we are not California.

Does Chair Ludlow not want citizens that have a difference of opinion? Last time I checked, this is still America. We still have freedom of speech.

Jo Haverkamp

Oregon City