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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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Oregon City Red Rascals come to play


The Oregon City Midget ball club saves its best for the county tournament

by: SUBMITTED - The Oregon City Red Rascals have a lot to be proud of. They played their best baseball of the season at the 2013 Clackamas County Junior Baseball Midget American Championship Tournament, and won the third-place team trophy. Vying for the Rascals were: (first row, left to right) Robert Ashby, Weston Bean, Dylan Ha, Harley Richter, Dominik Neff and Rylan Williams; (second row) Blake Anderson, Owen McCrae, Camden Fowler, Timothy Hyne and Justin Caldwell; (back) head coach Jason Stewart, coach Mike Fowler, coach Travis Stewart and coach Michael Richter; and (not pictured) Ashton Meeker.The Oregon City Red Rascals made an amazing run at the recent Clackamas County Junior Baseball Midget American Championship Tournament, held June 28-30 at Wilsonville’s Memorial Park.

After going 8-8 in league regular-season play and needing to win a play-in game just to make the tournament, the Red Rascals entered postseason play as decided darkhorses. But they finished third in the county tournament and earned a berth in the Midget American State Tournament.

“I’m amazed at what they’ve done,” said Red Rascals head coach Jason Stewart. “But I’m not surprised. I knew they were good enough. They’ve worked hard the last seven months. It was no fluke.”

The Red Rascals weren’t expected to even make the county tournament. They were matched up against a Tualatin team that had beaten them twice — 10-5 and 8-7 — in a loser-out pre-county tournament game. They came ready to play, and they stunned the Tualatin team 13-5.

“We just wanted it more,” said Stewart. “We five-runned them in the first inning, and they couldn’t come back from that. The defense was awesome! The pitching was awesome! And we played awesome!”

The Red Rascals were matched up with the tournament’s No. 2 seed, a Clackamas team coached by Bruce Harmier, in their first game of the double-elimination county tournament. They had lost to that team in two close games during the regular season, 14-13 and 14-12.

The third time was once again the charm, as the Red Rascals took no hostages en route to an 18-3 upset of their cross-county rivals.

The Red Rascals continued hot, handling South Clackamas in their next game 6-4. It was once again a team that the Rascals had not beaten during the regular season.

The Red Rascals then exited the tournament with a pair of losses, bowing to Sellwood 14-0 and to a different Tualatin team, 10-5. It was a Sellwood team that had gone 16-0 in league and the Rascals struggled to keep up with Sellwood’s flame-throwing pitchers.

Stewart explained the Rascals’ successful run at the county tournament:

“I call [our players] rascals for a reason. Each kid has got a certain knack about them and each kid helps the team in a different way.”

Stewart said that pitching was pivotal in the Red Rascals’ success story. He says he’s got six strong pitchers in fireballer Harley Richter (pitcher/catcher/third), Timothy Hyne (pitcher/utility), Dylan Ha (pitcher/shortstop), Camden Fowler (pitcher/first base), Justin Caldwell (pitcher/third) and Weston Bean (pitcher/second).

“None of them had pitched before this year,” Stewart said. “But the coaches worked with them, and they worked hard and got better.”

Stewart said he had four pitchers who could throw the ball pretty hard and two who were pretty proficient with knuckleballs.

The Red Rascals’ success was all the more impressive because they sported a youthful lineup, with only four 10-year-olds on the team.

Blake Anderson, a 7-year-old at the start of the season, had only played T-Ball before this year. But he held his own on the Red Rascals’ ball club, playing centerfield and second base.

“He was the youngest player on our team,” said Stewart. “He’s little, but he throws the ball hard. He may be small, but he plays big.”

Rounding out the roster were: Dominik Neff (outfield), Robert Ashby (outfield), Rylan William (catcher), Owen Mcrae (centerfield) and Ashton Meeker (centerfield).

Stewart says that his charges could play the short game and bunt the ball on offense, as well as hit the long ball. Ha, Richter, Ashby, Caldwell and Hyne all hit home runs during the 2013 season.

Mike Fowler, Mike Richter and Travis Stewart were assistant coaches on the team.

The Red Rascals will be in Corvallis July 11-14, playing in the Midget American State Tournament.

“Win or lose [at state], I’m happy with them,” said Stewart. “And they should be very happy and proud of what they’ve accomplished. They’re wonderful kids and they’ve come a long way. The first practice, none of them could catch the ball....”