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

It was a difficult decision for Wetzler


But hes happy to have another season as a Beaver

by: PHOTO COURTESY OSU - Ben Wetzler, who helped lead Clackamas High Schools baseball teams to state championships in 2008 and 2010, plans to return to Oregon State University next year, putting off a decision to turn pro.Oregon State University head baseball coach Pat Casey and Beaver baseball fans got some exciting news on July 12, the last day for college baseball players to decide whether to return to college or accept an offer to play professional baseball.

Former Clackamas High standout and OSU senior-to-be Ben Wetzler decided to return to Oregon State after being selected by Philadelphia in the 5th round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.

Wetzler explains why it took him so long to make a decision:

“I honestly was changing my mind daily as to what I ultimately wanted to do. When it came down to it, I set my number that would get me to choose professional baseball, but it wasn’t met. And now I get to follow my heart back to Beaver Nation.”

Oregon State couldn’t be happier that their 6-1, 209-pound southpaw decided to come back. Wetzler finished the 2013 season 10-1, with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 83 batters in 96 innings. He received first-team All-Pac 12 honors; he is 24-6 as starter over the past three seasons.

Oregon State finished the 2013 season 52-13, including 24-6 in Pac-12 action, due in large part to an amazing pitching tandem. Their amazing run landed them a spot in the mecca of college baseball — the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Last season was a dream come true and something that we all knew that we were capable of....,” Wetzler said. “Even the previous year we told ourselves every day that we were good enough to get to Omaha. We did and came up just a little bit short, so I think we will be a little more specific with our goal (in 2014).”

The Beavers fell into the losers bracket after losing 5-4 to Mississippi State in game one of the College World Series on June 15. The team bounced back like they did during their magical run in 2006 and won back-to-back games against Louisville and Indiana.

Then the Beavers met Mississippi State again in a must-win situation. They lost 4-1 on June 21, ending their season.

But that didn’t leave the players dragging their heads.

“Omaha was incredible!” Wetzler said. “It is every college baseball player’s dream to go to Omaha, and we were able to get there last year (2013). But as cool as it was, we left there with the same sour taste in our mouths that we left LSU with, and we are itching to get back on the diamond and compete (next season).”

Getting drafted isn’t something new to Wetzler. He was selected in the 15th round by Cleveland in 2010, after a stellar career — under head coach John Arntson — at Clackamas High School. Wetzler helped lead Clackamas to state high school championships in 2008, and again in 2010.

Arntson says he gave Wetzler this advice as his former ace was struggling with this summer’s decision to remain at OSU or turn pro: “First thing I told Ben, ‘It’s a win, win situation. Try to keep that in mind. You’re either going back to college for one more year, or playing pro baseball.’”

“Getting drafted twice has been incredible and I would like to thank both the Cleveland and the Philadelphia organizations for drafting me,” Wetzler said. “Ultimately the dream is to get drafted higher and higher if you come back to school. But I won’t put any thought into it during the year. I am just excited to wear orange and black for another year.”

At this rate, Wetzler should have no problem being selected even higher after his senior season, if he keeps up the hard work and continues throwing in the low 90s.

Wetzler said it has been amazing to work and learn under coach Casey.

“Coach Casey is a special coach that I would go to battle for any day,” Wetzler said. “He is the most competitive human being on the planet, which makes him fun to play for.”

Wetzler added, “I have had some really good coaches growing up, not just pitching coaches, my high school coaches have helped shape me into the person that I am.... Specifically speaking, my (Oregon State) pitching coach Nate Yeskie is a great coach as well. He really knows the craft and he has spent countless hours learning and finding ways to teach us to be the best we can be.”

What makes Wetzler so competitive and talented?

“My best traits probably boil down to my mindset and the competitive nature that I have grown up with. That has been instilled in me by my family, friends — and most of all coaches — over my playing days.”

Wetzler says he has been enjoying the summer off from all baseball activities. He even landed himself a warehouse job in Portland and loves the grind.

“This summer is definitely different then any summer I’ve ever had before,” Wetzler said. “For the first time in my life I have a job working in a warehouse, picking hydraulic parts nine hours a day. Having this job has really made me appreciate the game more and how much I love being at the field all day.”

As a senior-to-be, Wetzler knows he has to be a role model for the younger players and really step his game up. He says he is more than ready for the challenge.

“With this being my last chance down at OSU, there is no doubt that I am completely ready to do whatever the team needs me to do, and more,” Wetzler said.

“Ben will be successful in anything he does,” said Arntson. “I have no doubt in my mind about that.”

Arntson added: “He’s a little bit of a local celebrity (in Clackamas). He comes back to the community and gives them (young players) the right message. He says and does all the right things. He’s been a role model....”

Arntson said of next season, “I told him I was going to text him every weekend. I want to see him be a first- or second-round draft pick.... He’s full-board committed to being the best.”