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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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Glads cruise to another district title


Coach Kintz believes Gladstone has a good shot at defending its Class 4A state team title

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone senior Donna Robinson, pictured at Gladstones Dick Baker Invitational, set a new school record last week, launching the discus a states best of 144-2 for first place at the Tri-Valley Conference District Meet.Gladstone High School coeds last week bagged their third straight district team title and the 2012 Class 4A state champions head to this week’s state championships with as good a chance as anyone of bringing back a team championship trophy.

Gladstone girls scored 187-1/2 points at the 2013 Tri-Valley Conference District Meet, finishing 36-1/2 points in front of the runner-up girls team from Molalla (151).

Gladstone coeds scored points in every event except the 1,500 and 3,000. They were dominant in the field events, where they had three athletes place in the top six in every event except the high jump.

Gladstone will take girls to state in eleven events, and the Gladiators head to state with athletes ranked in the top six or higher in 10 events.

Commenting on her charges’ performances at district, Gladstone coach Joan Kintz said, “I was really proud of them. They competed like champions. They did everything they were supposed to do.”

Kintz said she expects the state meet to be a dogfight, between her defending state champion Gladiators, Molalla, North Valley and Newport.

“You never know what’s going to happen at state,” Kintz said. “You have to have depth, like we have, but you also have to have some luck.... We’re going to have to hit everything, just like we did at district. If we do that, I think we have a pretty good chance [of winning state].”

Kintz noted that Gladstone has all but seven points returning from last year’s state championship team, plus the Gladiators have added a talented freshman in Tieara Norman, who is likely to score in multiple events.

Gladstone senior Madison Cronin and Norman were big point-getters in last week’s district meet.

Cronin won the triple jump in a near lifetime best of 35-6-3/4, placed second to state leader Claire Thomas of Molalla (18-3-3/4) with an effort of 17-3-1/4 in the long jump, placed second in the 100-meter dash in a near PR of 13.04, and helped pace Gladstone’s 4x100-meter relay team to second place and a berth at state, with a season’s best time of 49.90.

Norman will compete at state in four events. She placed second to Thomas in both the high hurdles (14.99 to 16.29) and low hurdles (44.35 to 46.26), met the state qualifying standard with a leap of 16-10 for fourth place in the long jump, and helped pace Gladstone’s 4x400-meter relay team to third place in a state qualifying time of 4:05.70.

“When Tieara ran [the low hurdles] she ran them in the wind and rain, and she still set a new PR by half a second,” Kintz said. “She’s improving every time she runs them.”

Gladstone junior Kendall Schumaker continued impressive in the triple jump, finishing runner-up and qualifying for state with a leap of 34-0.

Gladstone senior throws specialist D’onna Robinson continued to prove herself among the state’s elite athletes in the throws, winning the shot put with an effort of 41-4 and the discus with a throw of 144-2, a state’s best mark and a new district record.

Robinson’s mark in the discus is 12 feet better than any other Class 4A athlete this season and it broke her own school record — which she set earlier this season — by 1-1/2 feet.

The Gladiators also had winners in the girls javelin and pole vault.

Gladstone senior Courtney Pardee won the javelin by over six feet with an effort of 112-7, and Gladstone sophomore McKenna Streed, last year’s state runner-up in the pole vault, took just one jump and cleared 10-0 to win district and qualify for state in that event.

Streed and Gladstone juniors Elena Otteson (8-0) and Ellery Pearson (8-0) swept the first three places in the pole vault.

Gladstone girls had two athletes just miss state qualifying in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Gladstone senior Taylor Plunkett (26.97) placed third in the 200, and Gladstone junior Kelsey Hathaway (1:00.61) placed third in the 400. Both girls were a part of Gladstone’s state qualifying relay teams.

The Gladiators’ one sour note in an otherwise phenomenal district meet came in the high jump, where Alisa Bradshaw was unable to compete because of a stress fracture. Bradshaw is one of only two Class 4A female athletes in the state who have cleared 5-4 this spring.

The Class 4A State Meet runs Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

Gladstone’s top prospects for placing at state and their rankings heading into the state meet are: Robinson, No. 1 in the discus and No. 3 in the shot put; Cronin, No. 1 in the triple jump and No. 2 in the long jump; Streed, No. 2 in the pole vault; Norman, No. 3 in the high hurdles, low hurdles and in the long jump; Schumaker, No. 4 in the triple jump; Pardee, No. 5 in the javelin; Gladstone’s 4x100 relay team, No. 3; and Gladstone’s 4x400-meter relay team, No. 6.

Gladstone guys

third at district

Gladstone High School boys came close to capturing second place at last week’s Tri-Valley Conference District Meet, scoring 118 and finishing just a point back of the runner-up Molalla Indians (119). La Salle, as expected, ran away with the meet, scoring 205.

Gladstone boys held their own throughout the meet, scoring points in every event except the intermediate hurdles and discus.

The Gladiators qualified four individuals and a relay team for state.

Junior Andrew Conway was tough in the pole vault, where he cleared 13-0 for the first time in competition to win the event, going a foot higher than the runner-up, Cam Mitchell of La Salle.

The Gladiators also had a winner in the triple jump, where senior Michael Stoutt soared 40-9-1/2.

And Gladstone sprinters got it done. Senior Dakota Hollingsworth ran the 100 in 11.86 for runner-up honors and a trip to state; and senior Tyler Bitter ran the 400 in 52.16 to place second and earn a trip to Eugene. Bitter’s mark was a personal record by half a second.

Bitter and Hollingsworth also teamed up with sophomores Eric Prom and Armand Jayne for a runaway win and a berth at state in the 4x100-meter relay. They were clocked in a season’s best 44.56.

Four Gladstone athletes placed third, falling just one place short of qualifying for state — Prom in the 100 (11.91), junior Trevor Browning in the 800 (2:01.94), Jayne in the long jump (19-6) and freshman Roman Chub in the javelin (146-6).

Gladstone’s 4x400-meter relay team of Browning, Jayne, Prom and Bitter also came up just short, placing third in 3:30.62.