Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

College students visit the big house


CCC class provides opportunity to work with prison inmates

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF PATTY SALAZAR - Clackamas students talk to Titus (far right) about his duties in the woodshop where he works with other MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility residents. The residents get paid to make pallets for local business and other wood products they make are sent to the Army.Wednesday afternoons this year have seen several Clackamas Community College students put behind bars. Not for crimes committed, but in the name of education. They attend Criminal Justice 199 alongside inmate students at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn.

Abe Rios, a program director and assistant superintendent at the facility, and a few of the inmates gave CCC students and their instructor, Ida Flippo, a tour of MacLaren before one of those class sessions, which conclude this week with spring term finals. The first stop was where the inmates actually live.

“Kincaid is a different program from what you will see in other living units. It’s not the same; this is more of a higher end youth that do fairly well on campus,” Rios said. “They pretty much take care of business. (They are) involved in college courses, full-time work or doing some kind of academic work.”

The comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in the Kincaid Unit was not the steel and concrete fortress with armed guards one would expect at a youth detention facility. Widescreen televisions, couches and even computer access for homework were available for the prisoners’ use. Inmates in the unit have more privileges because of good behavior and have the opportunity to enroll in college classes.

Only first names of inmates were provided for this story. Noah is an inmate who resides at Kincaid and is also a student in CJA-199. Residents in the Kincaid Unit enjoy more privileges than the average inmate at MacLaren.

“This is a self-managing unit. The idea is that we are old enough now and we’ve shown that we can earn the responsibility to take care of ourselves and we don’t have to be micro managed every minute,” Noah said.

Stephan, a MacLaren resident, has completed 82 college credits at Lane Community College, not including CJA-199 at Clackamas. All of his college coursework has been completed while incarcerated. He plans to have an associate degree by the end of this term. His goal is to enroll at Oregon State University and obtain a degree in human resources.

“My whole purpose in going to school is to better my surroundings that I came from; because it’s (gang/drug life) just a cycle and I don’t want any part of keeping that cycle going. Someone’s got to stop it,” Stephan said.

Real college experience

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program works with institutions of higher learning and correctional systems to deepen the conversation about and transform approaches to understanding crime, justice, freedom, inequality and other issues of social concern. More information about the program can be found at insideoutoregon.com

The spring schedule of classes describes CJA-199, Inside Corrections, as bringing a group of students from CCC together with a group of residents of a correctional facility to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly meetings at the facility. Students will explore ideas about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and incarceration.

The four-credit class was held at the correctional facility most Wednesdays this spring from 1 to 4:50 p.m. The learning experience is an opportunity for criminal justice and corrections students to see their field from the inside.

Across the correctional campus, the students gathered in the facility’s educational buildings in a classroom. Students discussed the tour of the grounds and how it made them feel.

“Is there anything you want to talk about that stuck out?” Flippo asked the class.

Danna, a CCC student, replied: “I like all the different work opportunities. I didn’t realize all the different opportunities that they (inmates) have.”

Although the inmates at MacLaren can take online classes, CJA-199 gives them a chance to experience education more traditionally.

“The inside students really appreciated this opportunity because it gave them more of a real college experience than just communicating online with their instructors or with their fellow students,” Flippo said.

Inmates and CCC students were asked the following questions about their experiences in CJA-199:

What will you take with you from Inside-Out?

How, if at all, has Inside-Out changed you?

What would you tell a friend about Inside-Out?

What has Inside-Out meant to you?

Adam: I will take away the ability to see the law from the perspective of the inside students. It is an experience you have to see to believe. I will become a cop, and have found the experience valuable in many ways.

Amy: When I began this course as an “outside” student, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had not previously spent any time with anyone who had been incarcerated. I was a little nervous and apprehensive, but have realized that if I hadn’t met these young men inside a correctional facility I never would have been able to the tell the difference between the “inside” and outside students. This class has been invaluable to me. It has given me more insight than an entire term full of standard corrections classes could give me based on the interaction and insight from the inside students. We all have a stake in the future of the correctional system, whether we are eventually being released from it, have a future career in it, or just become a regular citizen who is also affected by it. I hope this course will give us all a deeper knowledge of different opinions, and a new found respect for everyone’s opinion, even if it is different than our own.

Andrew: I will take away the knowledge that was shared between the class. It has given me a better outlook on the criminal justice system. Inside out has meant a new start and beginning, and an understanding of others’ outlooks. Great class.

Ben: I will take the knowledge as well as the reasons behind everybody’s thinking. It changed my way of thinking. it opened my eyes. It is a great way to learn, not only about the subject in general, but also the inside students. It is fun. It gave me a chance to open up and listen to what they had to say instead of what media had to say.

Beverly: I will take with me a positive attitude, and will advocate for more classes and opportunities. It has given me an open opinion of inside students, and opportunities for them. It was an awesome opportunity to get information from both sides of the criminal justice system. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this class, and would be interested in other classes as well.

Cindy: I will take with me a lot more knowledge about corrections; also a look on the inside. It gives me a better perspective of inside corrections—what all goes into it. It is a great opportunity to take this class if you are going into the criminal justice program. It gave me more knowledge about the career path that I am taking. Great class. Enjoyed both inside and outside students. Also enjoyed the teachers. Great opportunity.

Danna: Great lessons from class and small group discussions, fond memories, and a greater sense of self-awareness. This class helped me learn how to explain my past struggles in a more positive light. This was a very unique and eye-opening experience that I would highly recommend anyone coming into this field to take. This experience has meant so much to me, and I will continue to carry these lessons and memories with me forever. This class has not only helped me understand corrections better than I did before; it helped immensely with my personal growth.

Felicia: I’ve learned a lot about the criminal justice system, from an inside perspective. I now know how many flaws our criminal justice system has, and a little bit about how it works inside a correctional facility. Inside-Out has helped me to throw out the stereotypical way of thinking that all incarcerated people deserve to be locked up and are bad people. I now know that some are just normal people who made a mistake in life, and everyone makes mistakes. I’m very grateful to have been a part of this group.

Griffin: I will take with me the experience I gained from being in an active classroom and knowledge I gained through other peers. It kind of changed my thinking about certain aspects of the criminal justice system. It opened my eyes on a lot of problems with prisons. It was a good experience, and I enjoyed it. It meant a change in learning and breaking barriers to the community’s involvement with people who are incarcerated.

Jeff: I think I have gained more empathy for juvenile offenders. It is a very important class to take if you are going to work in this field. It gave me a better understanding of what juvenile offenders go through in the facility and how they feel.

Kayla: This program has given me an appreciation and awareness of: the barriers incarceration creates and the domination of united experiences shared by all, Inside and Out. I will take with me the motivation and faith to push for the resources and changes needed to expose the united experiences and alter the perceptions and negative projections currently experienced by those who are incarcerated. Inside-Out has changed my perspective of: the proposed purpose of the prison system and my misconceptions that offenders receive an abundance of amenities while incarcerated. The reality is that so many more resources are needed in order to produce the “change” society wants to see. Inside-Out is an experience that will alter your perceptions and change the way you interact and approach those in your community. It is an opportunity to experience and learn from other people’s experiences the realities and barriers from both sides of the fence. Inside-Out is an experience that provides a meaningful learning opportunity that a textbook could never capture.

Marino: I have learned a great deal and the program has definitely broadened my perspective in the criminal justice system. The data the book presented was unbelievable and very informative. The different people involved made the program more diverse and brought a significant amount of input from both sides. I believe the Inside-Out program was very useful because it gave good insights in terms of risk factors involved and the rate of recidivism and how they classify offenders, but most important was the reason why some offenders were still coming back into the prisons. The knowledge now will be useful. I believe everyone in the system should take this program so that they can receive the proper education about prisons and take a step towards recover and integrating back into their community.

Noah: I will take a way a deeper understanding of the criminal justice practice. It is a great opportunity to grown mentally through a positive group environment. It has been a chance to change any preexisting stereotypes. The teachers are awesome!

Robert: I will take away the interaction in a classroom setting. It has given me a new perspective and more to now look at. I would tell others that it is an experiment, and gives a new meaning and depth. Shannon: It was a great experience. It has helped me change the way I view the justice system. It’s a class I would recommend for everyone.

Stacey P: This class has given me a new way of seeing the system—a lens that brings into focus the distorted stereotypes and myths. Inside-Out has opened my eyes to so many new perspectives about our criminal justice system. I would tell others to take advantage of a life changing experience. I think by hearing perspectives from those experiencing the system first hand, it will help me in my career as a counselor in the future. Awesome class.

Stacy: I will take with me a respect for the inside students as individuals, as students. It was a great experience that made me want to work harder to be a part of the juvenile system. It has given me the opportunity to open my mind to the supposed “juvenile criminals,” and not be so judgmental. It has been an honor to learn about corrections from these individuals who are living inside these walls every day. Their views are necessary to start making changes in our system and creating real justice.

Susan: From this class I will take a very different perspective. These inside students are genuine people that made unfortunate mistakes at some point in their lives. They are working very hard to change society’s perception of the typical “juvenile delinquent.” I am impressed with the effort that they are exerting. At the beginning I was very nervous. TI think most of us were. It took one class to change that. My entire opinion of how the criminal justice system “should” function has changed. This class has been the most rewarding for me in my two years as a criminal justice student. If you have the opportunity to take it, it’s well worth it. I would take it again. Inside-Out has meant to me that we all have something to learn from each other, regardless of our “social status.” We’re all human. We all make mistakes. What matters is how you attempt to recover from your mistakes. Stephen: I will take away the sense of acceptance from this little community, because for so long I felt unwanted by society for the crime I committed. Not only has it broadened my horizon of the criminal justice system’s positive end and flaws, it has stopped my stereotypical judgments of free citizens not wanting to get to know who is incarcerated. Not too many things can change my stubborn mind, but this class has altered my thinking in a positive way. Taylor: I’ll definitely take away a lot more realities about our system as well as a new perspective on inmates and various topics learned from them like Measure 11. It has changed me a lot. I feel like I just know more in general, and gained a lot of knowledge. It was a worthwhile experience! It has meant a lot to me. I was pretty clueless about the realities of our system. Titus: I will take with me a better understanding of the justice system, and knowing how a regular college class is run. It has helped me get out of my comfort zone, and taught me to open up more. It’s a good experience. It’s not what I expected, and you have to go in with an open mind. It has made me feel better that a group of people can come from the outs and treat me like just another regular person in school.