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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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Get a grip! Women flex for charity


She faced down Heidi Klum and Michael Kors on national television, and emerged as the season 11 winner of Project Runway. But now an event in Milwaukie will pit Michelle Lesniak Franklin Saturday afternoon against Pain Fonda, Payne Mansfield and maybe Captain Man Hands in a women’s arm wrestling for charity.

“I’m kind of terrified,” Lesniak Franklin says. “I usually only lift bolts of fabric.”

by: PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ - Jody Schreffler, left, and Michelle Lesniak Franklin go head to head in a practice session at The Warrior Room.She agreed to do the event because it allows her to give back to the community in a “really fun, whimsical, loud and brash way,” she says.

The big question is what Lesniak Franklin will wear, and she is happy to report she will be decked out in a shredded T-shirt of her own design, featuring a saucy kitty. To enhance her ‘80s rock band metal style, she will also wear acid-washed tight jeans

The event, called Honey Badgers and Cobras, will benefit Milwaukie’s Northwest Housing Alternatives, a nonprofit organization, providing safe and affordable homes to more than 2,500 Oregonians. The Annie Ross House, part of the organization, is the only whole-family shelter in Clackamas County; it houses five families with five transitional units nearby, along with two units of permanent housing.

by: PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ - Lesniak Franklin prepares to lay the hammer down.The event takes place at The Warrior Room, a kettlebell-exclusive studio in downtown Milwaukie, owned by brother-sister team Luke and Ashley Jensen. They and their clients have participated in fundraisers for Northwest Housing Alternatives, and they opted to host this event to bring people to Milwaukie and “see how wonderful the community is,” says Ashley Jensen.

The actual idea for the arm-wrestling event came from Warrior Room client Jody Schreffler, who wrestles as Pain Fonda. The Milwaukie resident says she realized that “The Warrior Room is a small business, very limited in donating financially, but we could give back by donating the space, creating buzz for a fun event and donating all the proceeds.”

Schreffler chose the name Honey Badgers and Cobras “as a playful reference for a not-hardcore arm-wrestling event. It’s a bracket-style tournament where the small and bad girls, the Honey Badgers, will be randomly paired off with the big and bad girls, the Cobras.”

By chance, Schreffler discovered there is a hot sauce called Honey Badgers and Cobras, and that company has donated some of its sauces to be used as prizes.

Fun and competition

by: PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ - Jody Schreffler hefts a kettlebell.The whole day will be fun, Schreffler says, noting that in addition to the competition, a professional photographer will host a live photo booth and a masseuse and acupuncturist will be on hand charging $5 for 15-minute sessions. Several local restaurants will serve food at the event, and donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Northwest Housing Alternatives.

“We are charging general admission; $5 before the event or $10 at the door, and more expensive VIP seating will be available with drink service around the arena,” Schreffler says.

About 25 ladies have signed on to meet competitors in hand-to-hand combat, and anyone interested may still sign up. Many of the participants work out at the Warrior Room, and have been training for this event by taking a class called super sexy arms, says Lauren Drury, an Oak Grove resident.

She has been doing pushups and bicep curls to train, and because she is 14 weeks pregnant, her wrestling name is Pregasaurus.

In addition to Project Runway winner Lesniak Franklin, Daria Eliuk, the host of “The Buzz” on 105.1 FM, will wrestle as Payne Mansfield, wearing “something tight, shiny and entirely inappropriate for the event,” she says.

“My previous arm-wrestling experience stems exclusively from my pre-teen and early teen years, when I was stronger than the boys and thought they would be impressed and want to give me kisses when I trounced them in front of their friends,” she says (the technique was not effective).

Eliuk wanted to be part of the arm-wrestling event, “because nothing is better than being in the company of strong, dynamic women. When helping the community, it’s wonderful to gather as a community. It’s the type of thing where people enter as strangers and leave as friends.”

Schreffler wants people to get something more from the event than just showing up, having fun and supporting Northwest Housing Alternatives.

“I hope events like this inspire people to think outside the box about how they might contribute to the community,” she says.

Thrill of victory

What: The Warrior Room Kettlebell Studio presents Honey Badgers and Cobras, women’s arm wrestling for charity

When: Saturday, Sept. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: The Warrior Room, 1928 S.E. Washington St., Milwaukie

Details: All proceeds raised will be donated to Northwest Housing Alternatives. For more information, visit nwhousing.org.

For more information about The Warrior Room, visit warrior room.org or call 503-303-5852.

For tickets to the event, visit strangertickets.com/go/awawce.