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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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Gronke, Shook recognized for community service


Two men devoted to making Clackamas County improvements -

They've put in countless hours of community service and attended numerous meetings, yet Ed Gronke and Dick Shook never sought recognition for their efforts. But now recognition has caught up with both men.

On July 22, Carol Mastronarde, chair of the Jennings Lodge Community Planning Organization, presented Gronke with the CPO’s first-ever JLCPO Outstanding Citizen Award, recognizing his many years of service to the Jennings Lodge community.

And on Sept. 10, Shook, a Milwaukie resident, will receive an award from the Oregon Recreation & Parks Association for his outstanding contribution to the natural resources field. He was nominated for this award by Tonia Burns, natural resources coordinator, North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District.

Ed Gronke

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY STEVE BERLINER - Carol Mastronarde presents Ed Gronke with the Outstanding Citizen Award. Gronke is a former Metro councilor and member of the Metro Policy Advisory Committee. He currently is a member of the McLoughlin Area Plan (MAP-IT) committee, and its former chairman. He also is on the Gladstone Library Advisory Committee, making recommendations to the city of Gladstone about a new library to serve Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge and Gladstone.

In her presentation of the award, Mastronarde cited Gronke’s countless hours on local and regional committees, representing the Jennings Lodge area of unincorporated Clackamas County in a “responsible way, which is beneficial to us all.”

He also “understands the big picture and is always willing to share his vast knowledge to enable visions to become the realities that help shape our community, not only now, but far into the future,” she said.

In making the surprise presentation to Gronke, Mastronarde concluded by quoting the final words on the award certificate: “We take this opportunity to let you know that you are very much appreciated. And that we are forever grateful that many years ago, you chose to live and raise your family here in Jennings Lodge.”

“Ed has probably given every spare second of his time to the community for decades now, starting even before he was a Metro councilor in 1992,” said Karen Bjorklund, Jennings Lodge CPO vice chair.

Serving community a duty

Gronke was taken by surprise by the award.

“I had no idea this was planned. For the first time in many years, I could think of nothing to say,” he said.

“I was touched and overwhelmed. I didn't realize that people actually were noticing what I was doing or how long I had been at it. Knowing that my efforts are appreciated means a great deal to me at this stage of my life,” he added. Gronke said he was raised in the era when “the responsibilities of citizenship were assumed by us all. This included seeing taxes as the price one paid to live in a free country. As well, paying attention to what was going on in one’s community, in the country, and in the world was considered important.”

He added, “We were taught that we had a responsibility to one another, especially those who could not care for themselves. I carried that with me through my military service and have never lost that belief.”

In addition to his other accomplishments, Gronke is the past chairman of both the Jennings Lodge CPO and the JOBS Plus effort for Clackamas County and is a member of the Rotary Club of Clackamas.

Dick Shook

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY STEVE BERLINER - Dick Shook, on duty with the Tsunami Crew, moves between shearing invasive plants in the 3-Creeks Natural Area.

NCPRD is a member of the Oregon Recreation & Parks Association and within that organization is the natural resources division, which promotes workshops, training and sharing of information, such as management methods and techniques, lessons learned about projects, outreach, volunteers, stewards and more, Burns said.

She nominated Shook for the Outstanding Contribution to the Natural Resources Field award, because of his more than 20 years of support for NCPRD and Clackamas County parks.

“Dick was a board member of the NCPRD Advisory Board for many years, lending his skills and knowledge to leading the district toward developing many parks, but also to help begin the natural resources division that is thriving today,” she said.

Burns noted that prior to 2008, NCPRD did not have a natural resources division, but then Shook, along with others, encouraged the district to value natural areas and show it by funding the care of wild, open spaces.

“Dick has also supported the NCPRD natural resources division by attending almost every volunteer event that the district has coordinated. He is calm and quiet, but has a strong work ethic, which encourages others to respect and emulate his strong passion for providing all citizens amazing access to natural areas. And not just to weedy natural areas, but healthy, beautiful places where both humans and wildlife can thrive,” Burns said.

In 2007 Shook petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to name one of the creeks within North Clackamas Park Camas Creek, for all of the camas plants growing in the headwater wetlands. On Nov. 13, 2008, his petition was granted.

Shook is a co-founder of the Friends of Kellogg Creek/Mount Scott Watershed, a precursor to the current North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council, of which he now is a board member.

Natural areas worth saving

In addition, Shook is a member of the Tsunami Crew, a group of volunteers who have put in hundreds of hours of work at the 3-Creeks Natural Area, one of the largest natural areas in the dense urban North Clackamas area.

Finally, Burns added, Shook “has supported and attended Clackamas County parks natural-area volunteer work events, proving that he is committed to helping his extended community support healthy natural areas.”

When he was told that he had been nominated for this award, at a NCUWC meeting on July 16, Shook’s reaction was “complete surprise.”

What has kept him motivated all these years?

“The knowledge that improvements to watersheds and conservation areas will allow wildlife, fish and birds to return to our natural areas,” he said.

Shook added that his wife, Sally, “has been a big help to me in achieving these goals and was a large reason we were able to get the naming of Camas Creek in North Clackamas Park officially recognized.”