Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Letters: Hobby Lobby decision; CCC Bond; canine fundraiser


I am pro-choice. The soapbox piece, “High court ruling infringes on women’s rights,” July 23, is a bold statement that I find at odds with the actual ruling which is quite narrow in scope. What it fails to mention is that it allows the Hobby Lobby litigants not to fund only four of the 20 approved methods of birth control.

It is an overreach when the piece states that the decision “allows bosses... reach... into their employees’ bedrooms.” The choice to engage in an activity is in no way compromised. Prior to Roe vs. Wade, the battle cry was keep government out of the situation. Times have certainly changed. Now government involvement is desired. The one infringed right is the right to compel others to subsidize all 20 methods of contraception. Economics may have an adverse effect on access to the four methods excluded but access is not patently denied.

The piece surmises a slippery-slope danger. A slippery slope can just as well be applied to the progressive trends in reproductive rights. The case may eventually compel all private insurers (employer-paid and/or sponsored); all state exchanges under the ACA; as well as Medicaid to cover the procedures that terminate pregnancy absent a signed faith-based affidavit. While this may be welcomed by some, it may strike those with divergent opinions as: going down a slippery slope. Usage of slippery-slope language invariably is invoked by those whose “ox is being gored.”

What was ostensibly an issue-driven commentary was far more effective at championing the candidacy of U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), than shedding light on the factual-versus-speculative effects of the Hobby Lobby case. The sky is not falling.

Randy Hunt


Invest in our community, job market

The November election will include a bond measure for Clackamas Community College. The CCC Board of Education referred the measure to the ballot at a special meeting July 16.

Our board strongly believes the projects supported by this bond measure would bring tremendous value to our community by allowing the college to expand job training and educational opportunities for students. We have worked hard to develop a proposal that responds to what the community and business need.

Through our two-year community-engagement process, Imagine Clackamas, we asked students, community members, business owners and staff for input on current and long-term education and workforce needs. We tested the responses we received in a scientific survey of our community.

The primary goal of this bond is to provide the services our students need to get job training or continue their education. This plan will allow us to do that without increasing the current bond tax rate. In addition, the college has secured $16 million in state matching grants that will support two projects, leveraging bond resources.

More than 30,000 students enroll in CCC courses each year. Many of these courses have a waiting list, which means that some students may face delays to classes they need. This bond measure would expand facilities and labs, allowing the college to add courses to meet student and workforce demands.

Meeting those needs — affordable education that allows students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and train for today’s job market — is a priority us and our community. We believe that this is a good plan that will invest in our community and allow us to offer more programs without increasing tax rates.

Chris Groener

Oregon City

CCC Board of Education, Zone 4

Police canine fundraiser declared a success

Yet again, we’d like to thank all the folks who showed up, those that entered and those that just came around to share the fun at the Milwaukie 9-K For K-9 Walk held July 19.

There were lots of dogs and lots of generous people who all turned out to make the event a smashing success; the best K-9 Walk event held to date to support Milwaukie’s Police K-9 Unit. Especial thanks should go to all of the businesses, both large and small, that sponsored the event, donated funds, items or services or turned up to show support with a booth and other participation, including the Milwaukie Police Cadets, Clackamas County’s Sheriff’s Office and Clackamas Fire District No. 1.

Also, special mention should be given to Chief Steve Bartol and K-9 Handler Billy Wells for subjecting themselves to the cold water of the dunk tank. Brave lads!

In fact, the only disappointment of the entire day was that none of the current Milwaukie City Council, except Councilor Dave Hedges, felt that such a huge community-based event warranted them showing up, and none of our city staff were present that weren’t directly affiliated with the police department. Perhaps not having the event in downtown Milwaukie didn’t appeal to those folks?

The vast community support for our police department was highly evident and perhaps the City Council and the decision-makers in Milwaukie need to revisit the drawing board and determine what is really of high priority to the Milwaukie citizens and taxpayers?

One would think that since this widely supported community event was scheduled several months in advance, some of each would at least put in an appearance, but in any case, many thanks to the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation volunteers, and the volunteers from the devoted 9K For K-9 Walk committee, and also, especially Milwaukie Marketplace for use of the donated the space, the Industrial Way businesses that provided wading pools, drinking bowls and the like and those around town and in the county, as well as a cast of hundreds, both residents and non-residents, that worked so hard to make this event such a rousing success.

It was a great event, and hopefully will continue into coming years with ever higher achievement and greater success. Thanks to all again for a great event in 2014!

D.I. Macken-Hambright

Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation, treasurer