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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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OCHS production recreates live broadcast from war years


“1941 Christmas From Home” is a holiday show, but it’s so much more than that, said director Karlyn Love, Oregon City High School drama teacher.

by: PHOTO BY KARMIN TOMLINSON - Looking charming in period dresses are Jenika Flynn and Tabitha Damm.  “It is not just about Christmas. It is a trip back in time, and it shows how we’ve changed and how we’ve stayed the same.”

by: PHOTO BY KARMIN TOMLINSON - From left, Sam Babst, Matt Devlin and Stefan Previs, in elf hats, sing a humorous song. The show opens Dec. 11 and continues through Dec. 14 at the high school. The setting is Christmas 1941, and while World War II plays out overseas, back home in Portland a radio station is recording a special live broadcast for the soldiers who are away from home for the holidays.

As the play progresses, the audience gets to watch a group of singers, dancers and actors perform this special radio play, but they also are part of the show, Love said.

Audience members will be asked to dance in the aisles during some numbers, and at the very end of the show will join the cast singing “Silent Night.”

Although the show is set in 1941, the message still resonates today: We must support our troops overseas.

“At heart we are still the same. At the end of the show it is about peace, and the hope that the war will end quickly and we will all be together again,” Love said.

There is variety in the production, she said, noting that “within the first 10 to 15 minutes the audience will see a play within a play, hear an ad, a jingle and a Christmas song. It is so much fun and it just moves. There is always something new happening.”

Singing, dancing, bananas

“One minute the show is so patriotic and the next moment we are laughing and singing about Chiquita bananas or Spam,” said Sam Babst, one of the performers.

Junior Blaine Holbert plays Alfred Bell, the announcer and owner of the radio show, who has a “professional voice” when he is on the air, but there are moments when his real voice comes out as he talks to his employees.

“He brings the resident lovebirds, Jack and Evelyn, up on stage, and he asks them to share the story of how they met. He’s standing there looking so proud,” Holbert said.

Two OCHS graduates, Hannah Harlon, 18, and Joel Anderson, 18, have returned to help Love with the show; Harlon as assistant director and Anderson as stage manager.

Harlon said students were asked to interview elderly people to get their memories of that time period as a way for students to understand the time period.

But in the end, “this show is for people to connect with the troops that did serve and are still serving,” she said,

Many of the actors play multiple roles, and Anderson noted that the use of props and costumes helped the actors individualize their characters. He also emphasized the importance of the band, which sits onstage, in full view of the audience.

“We have 32 actors and seven band members on stage. My favorite scene is one of the dance breaks, “You’re a Lucky Guy,” and I must give credit to the band,” he said.

Local author

Love said she knew she wanted to do a holiday-themed show for her first production this year, and a big plus for her is that it was written by

local playwright Pat Kruis Tellinghusen.

“Research was absolutely delightful for this play,” Kruis Tellinghusen said, adding that she “had a blast” looking through newspaper and magazine stories from that time period, seeing ads listing cigarettes as a health aid and Listerine as a cure for dandruff.

“1941 Christmas From Home,” is the first in a series of five plays, one for each of the war years.

“It is fascinating to see the role of women blossom from 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor, to 1942, Rosie the Riveter, on through to wearing pants in 1945,” Kruis Tellinghusen said.

She also sat down and talked with anyone and everyone she could about their experiences in the war years: soldiers, sailors, Marines, pilots and ski troopers, and people who served and sacrificed on the home front.

“Their stories run the gamut of human emotion — laughter, sorrow, pride, fear. What an honor to hear and retell their stories,” she said. Kruis Tellinghusen moved to Portland 30 years ago to take a job as a news reporter for KGW-TV, where she reported for 14 years. She lives in Portland with her husband and two teenage children, and is now focusing most of her energy into writing plays.

When she met with the OCHS cast last October, one of the cast members told her that doing this play had given him a greater appreciation for the veterans who fought the war.

‘1941 Christmas From Home’

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 through 14

Where: OCHS Auditorium, 19761 S. Beavercreek Road, Oregon City

Details: Tickets are $9, and are available at the door only. Call 503-785- 8980 for more information, or visit ochs.orecity.k12.or.us/drama.