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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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'All kids are priceless'


Project aims to transform lives of sex trafficking victims

“I was just raped in back of a porn store,” the caller pleaded. “What should I do?”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: MEGAN HENSON - Kids are helping Austin Burres and Cassie Eichenberger get across the message about the value of the lives of girls and boys. From left are Isaiah McMahon, Amanda Howell and Isabella McMahonThis is shocking, but such calls have been far too frequent for Cassie Eichenberger and Austin Burres. They may be young, but when it comes to helping victims of sex trafficking they have been around a long time. They have seen a lot, but still are never numb to the realities youth face as slaves in the world of sex trafficking in our community.

The two young social workers have been working with such victims for 10 years, and they have found that one crucial step is usually missing when it comes to leading them out of their lives of despair: a place where they can live and prepare for a new kind of life, one with a real future.

“There has been a hole,” Eichenberger said. “That is why we started this project. There has been a lack of appropriate housing. We can only give a kid so much counseling. They aren’t prepared for living with a foster family; they’re not prepared for the trauma they will face when they try to start a new life. And a child victim should not have to go to jail.

“We ‘rescue’ them, but then where do they go?”

Burres provides an answer: “They can be re-integrated into the community instead of going back to where the trafficking is a perpetual cycle.”

by: VERN UYETAKE - Despite their youth, Austin Burres, left, and Cassie Eichenberger are veterans when it comes to helping victims of sex trafficking. That is why Eichenberger and Burres have been planning A Village for One. It will consist of one home for girls, one home for boys and a holistic care center that can meet their physical, mental and spiritual needs. Their first step is to raise $400,000 to buy several acres of land in Clackamas County on which to build the village, and they are making good progress.

Pat Cahill, the owner of local Godfather’s Pizza franchises, has generously offered to donate 25 percent of all sales on Saturday, April 19, dine in or take out, at his Clackamas location, 14682 S.E. Sunnyside Road, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Other local businesses, such as Rock Creek Country Club, have donated raffle items, and Mystique Fancy Faces will be donating free face painting from 5 to 7 p.m. Cahill also has committed to donating pizzas on a monthly basis to the Sexual Assault Resource Center open-house night, which is feeding a lot of local youth who have been victims. Compassionate people such as Cahill are open to Eichenberger and Burres’ message that “all kids are priceless.”

Eichenberger and Burres are working with math construction students at the Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences in Oregon City to produce designs of what the future therapeutic home would look like. They also are members of the Clackamas CSEC Coalition (a group working to address the needs of victims and develop a systemic response to sexual violence), and were participants in the Rotary Peace Conference in February at Clackamas Community College.

They are well matched in their fierce dedication, intelligence and, most of all, their love for kids who are sucked into the humiliating and dangerous life of selling their bodies for the enrichment of pimps.

The two women were friends while growing up in Tualatin, but went their separate ways for a number of years. But destiny brought them together as the dynamic duo of sex trafficking fighters as their passion for helping kids took them on the same path.

They know they have their work cut out for them locally. Eichenberger said that Portland is known as a “sex town,” with more sex-related businesses per capita than even Las Vegas.

“They’re born here, they’re raised here and they’re sold here,” Eichenberger said. “It’s a case of simple supply and demand. The demand is that men want to purchase children for sex. The average age of girls pulled into sex trafficking is 12 to 14, and our youngest case was only 8 years old. Most kids enter the sex industry as minors, and they can’t get out. They get stuck.

“We’ve been trying to help one 21-year-old woman for years, and she has her own kids now,” Burres said. “She has found it extremely difficult to get any other type of work except sex work.”

The common wisdom among the general public is that girls who get into the sex trade are “bad girls,” girls from bad homes, with drug use and abusive parents. They are believed to be doomed from the start.

But Burres and Eichenberger can cite countless cases of “good girls” who go just as wrong as the bad girls, and no case is the child’s fault. They are victimized by people who are really good at brainwashing kids, both boys and girls, and transforming them into objects they can sell. Even a girl from a good home can be subjected to flattery and fear and end up in the biggest mess of her life.

Clackamas County has been in the news recently due to the case of the former Lake Oswego High School student and cheerleader, Julia Haner, accused of recruiting minor former classmates to work in the sex industry. A local survivor, Mara Hutchins, did an April 10 interview with KOIN 6 News, during which she talked about the manipulations used in this form of modern-day slavery.

“It’s not like they keep you behind a locked door,” Hutchins said. “They have your mind locked, so you can physically unlock the door and the girl is not going to walk out of there.”

Eichenberger said “it becomes a mind game, peer on peer and older males. They find ‘the hole’ in a kid’s life. If they love clothes, they give them clothes. They say, ‘If you love me, you’ll do a trick. After the trick they say, ‘You’re a slut, and that’s all you will ever be.’ They say sex is the only thing a girl is good for.”

Hutchins went on to share that she was recruited along with other teens at a local strip mall at the age of 13. The reality is that though Hutchins did not name a specific mall in her interview, it is well known that local malls are an attractive spot for traffickers to find their victims, and this includes Clackamas Town Center. They also are attracted to other areas where groups of youth tend to congregate, including public transportation, schools and social media.

“When I entered this work, I found that it was the kid next door who was getting involved in sex trafficking,” Eichenberger said. “People are so judgmental. It is not a willing decision, it’s a trauma reaction.”

In spring 2013, a Clackamas County man, Dwayne Jamal Hubbard, was sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by a five-year term of supervised release after pleading guilty to trafficking of a minor.

This is an overwhelming problem that defies solutions, even for the most dauntless crusader.

“To end sex trafficking, it is going to take outrage,” Eichenberger said. “It’s going to take people standing up and saying, ‘We are not going to allow this anymore.’”

Still, sex trafficking seems like an insurmountable problem. After all, as Eichenberger noted, it is based on an infallible business model. But Burres and Eichenberger are not “tilting at windmills.” Their idealism is tempered with realism. By building A Village for One they will be giving a home to kids, seven at a time, to help them step out of the trafficking life. It won’t end the tragedy of trafficking, but the lives of some children will be saved. They will be assured of receiving the highest quality of care for their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.

“We know the faces and the hearts of these youth,” Eichenberger said. “No one else has so touched my heart the same way. We know these kids, and we want to put them in a home they deserve.”

Added Burres: “We also want to aid the children of sex workers.” For more information, about A Village for One, go to childsextrafficking.org.

News Editor Raymond Rendleman contributed to this report.