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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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Myrtle A. Bergren

Jan. 17, 1920 - May 1, 2013

Myrtle A. Bergren, 93, a resident of the King City community, died May 1, at her home.

She was born on Jan. 17, 1920, in Anaconda, Mont., the daughter of the late John F. and Anna C. (Alm) Orn. She was raised in Anaconda until the age of 4, when the family moved to Vancouver, Wash. She received her education in the Vancouver community, having been a graduate with Vancouver High School Class of 1938.

She was united in marriage to Ivor W. Bergren on June 27, 1947, in Vancouver. Following their marriage they resided in the community of Gladstone, until 1962, when Ivor passed away. They celebrated 15 years of marriage together.

Mrs. Bergren then resided in Portland for many years until 2003, when she moved to King City and has resided there since.

She worked at the Alcoa Aluminum Plant in Longview, Wash., during World War II. She then went on to become a medical secretary at Good Samaritan Hospital and worked there for 20 years prior to her retirement in 1985.

She was a member of St.

Stephen Lutheran Church in Gladstone.

Among her special interests, she enjoyed sewing, crocheting, reading and animals.

Survivors include: her two daughters and sons-in-law, Judy and Dan Whittington and Brenda and Cal Caruthers; grandson, Michael Whittington; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by: her parents, John and Anna Orn; and her eight siblings, Martha Haller, Frank Orn, Lil O’Donnell, Roy Orn, Ruth Lewis, Carl Orn, Harry Orn andWalt Orn.

A graveside service was held on May 9, at Willamette National Cemetery, with Reverend Julie Smith, officiating.

The family suggests that remembrances may be contributions to Hospice and Palliative Care of Washington County, Oregon Humane Society, American Cancer Society, a local food bank or a charity of one’s choice, in her memory.

Arrangements: Tualatin Valley Funeral Alternatives-Beaverton.

Kenneth Ray Bladow

Oct. 5, 1960 - May 4, 2013

Kenneth Ray Bladow, 52, of Clackamas, died May 4, as a result of an accident on Highway 212 while riding his motorcycle (scooter) home after enjoying an evening of laughter and the company of his wife’s family at her parents’ home in Oak Grove, including relatives who were visiting from their home in Minnesota. Family was always important to him.

He was born Oct. 5, 1960, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, to Woodrow (Woody) and Juanita Bladow. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sellwood, the neighborhood in which he grew up and attended elementary and middle schools. He graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland and received an associate degree from Portland Community College.

Mr. Bladow came to Sabin-Schellenberg (North Clackamas School District) in 2002 as the technical assistant in the telecommunications program. He played a critical role in setting up the Schellenberg TV studio and radio station, and worked with instructor Deborah Barnes to teach students how to run the studio: lights, cameras, monitors, teleprompter, as well as how to set up a radio show.

In 2006, he then became the technology support specialist for the three campuses of Sabin-Schellenberg, where he maintained hundreds of computers and other technology devices. If you attended or facilitated an event in the Schellenberg Commons, he most likely set up your technology needs for you.

Mr. Bladow and his wife, Susan, knew each other nearly from birth as both their families attended Immanuel Lutheran. They were in Sunday School and youth activities together at the church and were married at Immanuel on May 21, 1983. In a few weeks they would have celebrated their 30th anniversary. To this union were born two sons, Kristopher and Stephen.

Mr. Bladow followed in his dad’s footsteps, playing for the Wilhelm Funeral Home bowling team, made up of men from the church who bowled each Tuesday night for many years at Milwaukie Bowl. Kristopher and Stephen got the itch as well, with the entire family (including his wife’s family) bowling in the church’s Sunday league with mother Juanita cheering them on from the gallery.

He served his congregation in many capacities. He was a member of the church choir for many years, joining his wife and her family to make up a significant percentage of the choir. He also played in the church’s handbell choir for several years along with the family.

With the dawn of computer technology, he became the church’s one-person audio-visual department. He installed all the equipment, upgraded it as necessary, and served as the “sound engineer” for services at the church - missing only when ill or on vacation with family.

As a part of this service, he prepared CDs of each service to be used by members of Immanuel who could not attend (“shut-ins”). He trained a second volunteer, son Kristopher, to help with these duties. Mr. Bladow helped (along with his wife and sons) in usher duties at the church and was the player coach/captain of the church’s softball team for several years, again where his entire family joined in playing and where he developed son Stephen’s baseball skills. In later years, when the church lacked enough players to field a team, he joined the West Linn Lutheran softball team to continue his participation in the sport.

Family and friends were always an important part of his life. He made sure his mother was cared for, bringing her to Sunday services at the church each week and performing many other care activities for her. The family enjoyed many camping (including fishing, of course) and other outings with their friends Wayne and Tammy Berry, and enjoyed cruises to exotic locations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, in addition to trips to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm when the kids were younger. Also included were trips to visit Susan’s relatives in Minnesota, where Ken would always be found with fishing pole in hand in pursuit of northern pike. A favorite memory of the family is Ken’s role in the family produced musical video, “Fishing the Floyd,” where he had a solo part singing the words “the lakes are alive with the sound of big loons” to the “Sound of Music” tune.

Mr. Bladow is survived by: his wife, Susan; sons, Kristopher and Stephen; mother, Juanita; sister, Terry Jensen (Randy); and a number of family from both the Bladow and Cox families.

His father, Woodrow (Woody), preceded him in death.

He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all the people he touched throughout his life.

The family extends its sincere thanks to the first responders and the TIP volunteers who assisted the family at the scene of the accident and to all the family and friends who have kept them in their thoughts and prayers and provided support in many ways during this time.

A celebration of life service was held Friday, May 10, at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Pastor David Zemke officiated.

The family believes that Ken, with an embarrassed smile, would request any memorials given in his honor be given to Immanuel Lutheran Church and specified towards its audio-visual needs. In addition, an account has been established to help support the family in the coming weeks, and donations can be made to the Kenneth Bladow Memorial Fund at any branch of U.S. Bank.

Casey Conrad

Dec. 10, 1982 - May 6, 2013

Casey Conrad died on May 6. He was born Dec. 10, 1982, in Oregon City, to Scott and Tami Conrad. Following his graduation from Oregon City High School in 2001, he worked as a groundskeeper and attendant at Mary’s Woods Retirement Community. He often told stories of the retirees that he came to know and love. After Mary’s Woods, he was fortunate to earn a living pursuing his passion of woodworking.

He loved to snowboard, play basketball and follow his favorite sports teams: the Ducks, the Blazers, and the Dolphins.

His family and friends knew him as a man who could make everyone laugh and who constantly looked for ways he could help those around him.

He was loved by all, but will be missed especially by his nieces and nephews who adored his playful and gentle affection.

His memorial service was held on May 9, at the Oregon City Christian Church.