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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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'He gave his life with courage and selflessness'


Celebration-of-life service for fallen OCPD Officer Robert Libke includes full military honors, heart-rending memories

At a service with thousands in attendance at Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Oregon City Reserve Officer Rob Libke was remembered as a natural leader — highly organized, practical, realistic, no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined.

by: PHOTO BY: JON HOUSE - Members of the Combined Regional Honor Guard wrap up the flag to present to the fallen volunteer's wife during the memorial service for OCPD Reserve Officer Rob Libke.Libke died on Nov. 4 at the age of 41 after being shot in the line of duty. While responding to a local house fire during the previous afternoon, the suspected arsonist shot Libke in the face before shooting himself.

During the Nov. 14 celebration of Libke’s life, Oregon City Police Chief Jim Band noted that he personally interviewed the shooter’s neighbor Pam Laird, who feared for the safety of her two grandchildren when she called police. Based on that interview and other available evidence, Band has concluded that Libke did his duty in putting his life on the line to stop a man from breaking down a neighbor’s door.

“Rob’s intervention in the call saved lives,” Band said, also reading from a letter by Libke’s father-in-law, Thomas Spires: “He gave his life with courage and selflessness.”

by: OCPD - Robert LibkeFor his heroic actions on Nov. 3, Libke was awarded the Medal of Valor, Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service Medal and the OCPD Chief’s Medal of Merit. He was also awarded the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice by the Oregon Governor’s Commission so that the family of the officer who worked part-time and for free could receive full death benefits.

“The fact that he was a volunteer officer speaks volumes,” said Heidi Moawad, representative to Gov. John Kitzhaber.

As a person who liked to understand things before taking action, speakers at the service referred to Libke’s strong sense of duty that he carried with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Libke earned the respect of everyone acquainted with him by communicating his goal to be a stable force in his community.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Robert Libke's wife, Wendy, who is pregnant with their first child and being pushed in a wheelchair, leads her family members to the front row of a service for the Oregon City officer who was killed in the line of duty.A civic-minded person, he was a member of several community groups that included various committees for OCPD, where he was hired in September 2009. According to his family’s obituary, he was always ready to help organize community activities, events and projects and then see to it that they were run as efficiently as possible. After he attended the Clackamas County Interagency Reserve Academy, Former Mayor Alice Norris swore him into the OCPD force in March 2010.

His anxious expectation of his first daughter, Ziva Nicole Libke, heightened the sense of tragedy for the community. On Feb. 20, 2011, he married Wendy Nicole Spires at The Old Church of Portland.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City Police Chief James Band told the memorial service audience about the work that Officer Robert Libke did for the community.Oregon City Municipal Judge Laraine McNiece officiated the wedding and Libke’s celebration of life. Recalling their wedding vows that promised “to be your best friend and love you with all your heart,” McNiece told Libke’s wife that she would always keep him in her heart.

Family members said that Libke, as an objective and conscientious individual, found comfort in the security in relatives. Born on Aug. 29, 1972, at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City, Libke was raised in Portland with his sister Angie, who wrote a letter for the service saying that she still was feeling the same stream of tears that were falling on Libke’s deathbed at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

“I will be forever lost without you,” she wrote.

Libke was also survived by his mother Fran, her husband, Norm, many friends, and brothers and sisters in arms. Hundreds of officers from across the state attended the service, along with city, county and state officials. City Manager David Frasher decided to close City Hall in Oregon City, so most of his employees attended the service. Frasher said it was the least he could do to honor the family by allowing City Hall employees to pay their respects.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Hundreds of police officers from across Oregon and Washington file into Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 14 to celebrate the life of a fallen OCPD reserve member.With Chief Fred Charlton at their head, Clackamas Fire personnel led other firefighters into the coliseum and provided a drum-and-fife band as part of a traditional military funeral ceremony. Musical and video segments at the service celebrated the joy that Libke had for life. Slideshow portions of Libke’s wedding played Pink’s “Glitter in the Air,” hunting-trip photos streamed by to heavy-metal songs, his days growing up in the ’80 included period music, and Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” played during photos of his police work.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JONATHAN HOUSE - Patrol cars from several law enforcement agencies led a procession on Interstate 205 prior to Thursday's memorial service in Portland for Oregon City Officer Robert Lipke.Being general supervisor was his day job for 16 years at Evraz Oregon Steel, where he was praised as an efficient, hard worker. Fellow steel workers said Libke, able to analyze problems and keep everyone on track, was always striving to make necessary improvements. Libke could be counted on there to be a person who quickly made decisions based on the information available. His co-workers found that he worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues.

His favorite hobbies were hunting, camping and recreational sports such as cross training, running and golf. His favorite teams to watch were the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Francisco 49ers. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1991 with the personal motto, “Do it right the first time.”

All who knew him agreed that Libke was a pillar of the community who lived his life constantly seeking means for self-improvement, including by applying to be a full-time OCPD officer. In both his personal and professional environments, he held himself to the high standards, his family obituary added. As a mentor to many in Oregon City, he was willing to share his ideas and knowledge so that they could accomplish more in life.