Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Oregon City girls shine at 12-B state


The Nightmare earn state runner-up honors, despite a youthful lineup

by: SUBMITTED - The Oregon City Nightmare did themselves proud at the recent Oregon Amateur Softball Association 12-B State Tournament, bagging the second-place team trophy. Pictured with their trophy are Nightmare players and coaches: (front row, from left) Brooklynn Yee, Brooke Bullock, Katie Schroeder, Emily Dugan, Maddie Krekel and Maddie Miller; and (second row) head coach Jeff Schroeder, coach Bret McCullough, Brooklyn Roberts, Samantha Brewster, coach Carrie Miller, Kora McCullough, Kiley Maynard, Emily Gates, Hannah Jagow and coach Kevin Miller.HILLSBORO — Oregon City’s youthful 12-B Nightmare girls fastpitch softball team made a tremendous run at the recent Oregon Amateur Softball Association State 12-B Championship Tournament, winning six of eight games in three days and finishing second only to Tualatin in the 28-team field.

“I am so proud of these girls,” said Nightmare head coach Jeff Schroeder. “We were most likely the best first-year 12-U team in the state. We played 63 games and ended with a 39-23-1 record, collecting quite a few second- and third-place trophies along the way.”

The Nightmare’s state runner-up finish at the 12-U level was a surprise to many, because the nucleus of the team consisted of girls who had played at the 10-U level a year ago, playing for a Nightmare 10-U team that placed third in the state. The accomplishment was all the more impressive because the 12-B Nightmare had to beat several teams that they had lost to during the regular season in order to earn second place.

En route to this year’s state runner-up finish, the Nightmare defeated the Lady Celts of Keizer 6-3, the Silver Bullets of Beaverton 7-6, Oregon Thunder of Hillsboro 9-4, the Black Widows 10-6, Roseburg Indians 10-6 and Corvallis Lady Nights 8-3.

They had lost to the Lady Knights 10-7 earlier in the state tournament and had to battle back with three back-to-back wins on the final day of the tournament in order to earn a shot at Tualatin in the final.

The win over the Lady Celts in their tournament opener helped the Nightmare gain early confidence, because it was a team they had lost to 3-2 earlier in the year.

The Nightmare jumped to a 6-0 lead and cruised to the win behind the pitching of Maddie Miller (seven strikeouts). Hannah Jagow had the hot bat, hammering out two triples.

The Nightmare gained even more confidence in their second game, a 7-6 victory in a nailbiter with their rivals from Beaverton, the Silver Bullets. The Nightmare had not beaten the Silver Bullets in three other meetings this year, and the Bullets were the team that knocked the Oregon City team out of last year’s 10-U state tournament.

The contest with the Silver Bullets was a barnburner, with the Nightmare scoring what would prove the game-winner in the bottom of the fifth, and then holding off a Silver Bullet comeback attempt in the top of the final inning.

Samantha Brewster got things started in the fifth with a two-bagger, moved to third on a sacrifice by Katie Schroeder, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kora McCullough.

The Bullets answered with two runs in the final inning. But shortstop Emily Dugan closed the door on the comeback effort, making the play on a ground ball for the final out, when the Bullets had runners on second and third.

The Nightmare had a big inning in the fourth, scoring six times. Jagow and Emily Gates had big hits in the pivotal inning. Jagow, Gates, Dugan, Brewster, Schroeder and Kora McCullough scored runs.

Next came the 9-4 win over Oregon Thunder, another team the Nightmare had lost to earlier in the season. Brewster (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Dugan (3 RBI) starred at the plate, while Maddie Miller and Maddie Krekel got the job done in the pitcher’s circle.

“We beat a good pitcher [in the win over Oregon Thunder],” coach Schroeder said. “She threw hard and had good control. But we battled and got to her for six hits.”

The Nightmare dug themselves an early hole in the 10-7 loss to the Lady Knights, and were unable to make up the deficit. Miller and Dugan had two hits apiece and both scored twice.

The Nightmare rallied late to pull out their 10-6 losers’ bracket win over the Black Widows. Trailing 4-2, they scored eight runs in the fifth inning. The key hit in the big inning was a bases clearing double by Brooke Bullock. Jagow had a huge day at the plate, going 3-for-4, with a double and a triple. Brooklynn Yee pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits, while issuing just one free pass.

The Nightmare barely had a chance to take a breath before their next game, but they were ready to play. It was against one of the tournament favorites, the Roseburg Indians, a team they had lost to 12-5 earlier in the year.

It was another come-from-behind win. Trailing 6-2, the Nightmare scored seven times in the fourth frame to take control, en route to the 10-6 victory.

The Oregon City team’s bats were on fire in the Roseburg game, as they punished the ball for no fewer than 14 hits. Bullock (3-for-4) and Brewster (2-for-4, bases loaded double, 4 RBI) had the hot bats. The Nightmare was trailing 6-5 when Brewster hit her double. Krekel and Miller both took a turn in the pitcher’s circle.

Next the battle-weary Nightmare players battled from behind in their rematch with the Lady Knights, scoring seven runs in the third and fourth innings to take control. Yee pitched her second complete game of the day, striking out three and walking one. Gates and Jagow had two hits apiece, Dugan scored twice and Brooklyn Roberts cracked a two-run double to head up the offense.

The Nightmare then met the Tualatin Terror. But it was their fourth back-to-back game of the day, and they ran out of gas, losing 11-3.

“They were a very good second-year 12-U softball team,” said Schroeder. “We battled hard.... We were only down 5-3 after the top of the third, but couldn’t hold on. We had too many errors and not enough hits.”

The Nightmare roster included eight players from Oregon City: Kora McCullough, Brooklyn Roberts, Brooklynn Yee, Brooke Bullock, Katie Schroeder, Maddie Miller, Emily Gates and Emily Dugan.

Kiley Maynard (Gresham), Hannah Jagow (Tigard), Samantha Brewster (Brightwood) and Maddie Krekel (Happy Valley) rounded out the roster.

Dugan was the top hitter on the season, with a .421 batting average. Jagow, Gates, Miller and Brewster all hit better than .300. Dugan had a team-leading 69 hits; Jagow had a team-leading 55 RBI.

Miller, Yee and Krekel shared pitching duties. Miller had 104 strikeouts; Yee had a 2.69 ERA.

Bullock caught nearly every inning of every ball game.

Nightmare coaches were: Schroeder, Bret McCullough, Carrie Miller and Kevin Miller.

This was the sixth year playing together for many of the girls on the team.