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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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Thoughtful approach needed to reduce violence


How do you make sense of the senseless?

You don’t. It’s impossible.

I won’t try.

Certainly, the staff of The Outlook — and really, all of the member news organizations of the Pamplin Media Group — are as deeply affected as anyone else by the shooting at Reynolds High School, which shattered our peaceful lives on Tuesday morning.

As a company, our collective hearts go out to Emilio Hoffman’s parents and family, who will never again hear his laugh or watch him on the soccer field; and to shooter Jared Padgett’s family, who must be overcome with confusion and remorse.

We cannot even begin to imagine the sense of loss and sadness that these families feel only three days removed from the shooting.

And to the first responders and all of the law enforcement and emergency crews who responded, you have our gratitude and sincerest thanks. We know this was not easy for you as you dealt firsthand with these senseless, senseless deaths.

We extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends and communities that have been so deeply hurt by this horrific event. No words can be written here that will diminish the pain. We won’t try.

But we would like you to know that you are not alone. Tens of thousands of people in East County and the metro area collectively hold you in the embrace of their thoughts and prayers.

While The Outlook will continue to report the news as it unfolds, we also will continue to bear in mind that this is not just another big headline. This is about two real boys — Emilio and Jared and their tragic ends — and the communities they called home. We promise to treat this story with professionalism and sensitivity.

And to that end, I — as executive editor of The Outlook — cannot ignore the fact that a 15-year-old boy, Jared Padgett, accessed weapons owned by his father, which he used to carry out his deadly attack.

I cannot stress enough the importance of separating guns from ammunition and locking those firearms away from the reach of underage children, even those we believe to be responsible and harmless.

So you can put into context where I come from on this topic, I should disclose that I own guns. I grew up in Northeast Portland near 82nd Avenue and attended Vestal Grade School and Madison High School, the child of a man who hunted birds and who took me deer hunting at a young age. It’s a part of my lifestyle that continues today well into my 50s and long after my father’s death. This fall, I will use my dad’s rifle on my deer and elk hunting adventures into Eastern Oregon.

The people who know me would describe me as an avid hunter, while others — like my wife — might say I have an obsession.

So it will not surprise you when I say, in general, I bristle at the notion of limitations on gun ownership. That’s because my opinions have been shaped by a lifetime steeped in activities involving rifles and shotguns.

To me, these weapons are tools akin to a fishing rod for a person who enjoys catching salmon. While others may view firearms as wicked, I see them simply as another piece of outdoor equipment that needs to be handled with great care and intent.

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution — stricter gun control — as the placebo that will end this escalating nightmare of shootings on school campuses across this nation.

This is a far more complex issue that demands deeper thinking than a one-issue agenda of gun control.

But I will say this: While I fervently support gun ownership, I do not believe thoughtful rules and regulations regarding firearms pose any threat to gun ownership.

To that end, I say, NRA be damned.

There are very simple things that can, and should, be done at the legislative level that will help reduce the risk of gun violence, while doing nothing to interfere with the right to own firearms.

Right off the top, Oregon’s lawmakers should consider requiring all gun owners in Oregon to lock up their weapons to prevent them from being accessed by children.

That law will be next to impossible to enforce because it mandates a behavior that will rest on compliance by people within the private walls of their homes, a place police can’t go without a warrant. But such a law would put gun owners on notice that if that weapon falls into the wrong hands because it was unsecured, they will share some level of culpability.

From there, the collective force of peer pressure by law-abiding gun owners would need to be used to change the mindset of all gun owners to willingly comply.

Such a law would be similar to what we have already become accustomed to. We wear seat belts in cars because it’s the law, not necessarily because we want to. Over time — through peer pressure and the help of police officers and their helpful citations — we just automatically buckle up. We do it because it saves lives and prevents injuries to ourselves and passengers. It’s the right thing to do.

Likewise, we aren’t allowed to talk on cell phones or text while driving, because it endangers ourselves and other people.

And yet, neither of those laws hinders our rights or ability to own and operate a vehicle or cell phone.

The mandatory use of gun safes and other security measures will do nothing to keep anyone from owning or legally using their firearms, when appropriate.

Let’s urge our lawmakers to address this topic during the next legislative session.

Lawmakers also should reconsider the ideas of universal background checks. This is not popular among my fellow gun owners. It’s another level of bureaucracy, but it would close a loophole. Right now, you can buy a gun at a garage sale without going through a criminal background check. We need to end that practice in Oregon.

Lastly, we ought to look beyond gun control, and seriously invest in programs that enable trained professionals to identify and intervene in the lives of the young men who seem most vulnerable to carrying out attacks on school campuses.

What these kids need are connections that make them feel part of something bigger. As a society, we need to help these young men find hope where now, they only have hopelessness.