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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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Gladstones Logan Good tours Japan


He returns home with a newfound appreciation of America and the sport of wrestling

by: JOHN DENNY - Dressed in a kimono, Logan Good displays his most cherished souvenirs from his trip to Japan with the Oregon Cultural Exchange wrestling team - wrestling shoes worn by one of the best wrestlers in Japan, and a towel commemorating a meet between his Oregon team and a team from Miyazaki Agricultural High School.Gladstone 17-year-old Logan Good gained a newfound love for wrestling this summer, when he toured the southern Japanese island of Kyushu as part of an Oregon Cultural Exchange wrestling team.

“I learned you’ve really got to dedicate yourself,” Good said. “Those kids [who wrestle in Japan] are wrestling the year around. And they don’t get to the college level and then quit. They keep wrestling as long as they can. They just love the sport.

“They all wanted to be there and they all wanted to be great. Their coaches were former national champions, who came back to give back to the sport they love....

“The kids worked hard at it, like Akira. This kid took wrestling seriously — He had his own wrestling mat inside a barn; a squat rack, bench press, pull-up bar and rope climb (at his home).... He had 11 pair of wrestling shoes....”

Good stayed with the family of a wrestler named Akira during part of his trip. Akira, who is 17, was the No. 3 wrestler in all of Japan at 60-kilograms (138 pounds), Good says.

Good’s most cherished souvenirs from the trip are a pair of orange and black super light-weight wrestling shoes that belonged to Akira, and a towel commemorating the Oregon Cultural Exchange team’s dual meet with Miyazaki Agricultural High School.

“Akira traded the shoes for two shirts and a pair of shorts,” Good says.

The souvenir towel says: “Oregon vs. Miyazaki, 52nd annual friendship wrestling game between America and Japan.”

“We won the dual [with Miyazaki], but their kids were really strong.... I lost my match....”

The Oregon team wrestled two other Japanese high school teams and lost both matches. Good went 2-3 in his freestyle matches. He also wrestled four Greco Roman matches with college wrestlers during a wrestling practice with the Nippon Bunri University Braves and went 4-0.

“I’m a lot better in Greco than I am in freestyle or folkstyle,” Good said. “I was third in the state in Greco.”

A highlight of the visit to NBU was a performance by the Braves’ cheerleaders.

“They’re world champions,” Good said. “They did some amazing things.”

Asked what his favorite part of the trip was, Good said, “When I wrestled Akira. I ended up losing, but by just one point.”

School was in session in Japan during the Oregon team’s visit and the wrestlers spent some time at schools, answering questions from students enrolled in English classes.

“The students asked questions in their best English,” Good says. “Their English was similar to the Spanish spoken by American high school students taking Spanish....

“The girls loved Americans and anything American. They asked if we had girlfriends. They asked if we like pop stars, like Justin Bieber, One Direction and Michael Jackson. It was funny, because no guys our age like them, but we told them we did so they would like us.

“They asked if we liked Japanese cartoon characters — Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Pokemon. What video games we liked.”

Although Good says he knows few Japanese words, other than the words for hello, goodbye and thank you, with the help of charades, he had little trouble communicating.

“Their phones were a lot more high tech than our iPhones,” he said. They use translators on their phones which translated spoken English into written Japanese, so they could tell what we were saying.”

Still, Good says there was one word that apparently has no direct translation to Japanese.

“When we asked them what they do for fun, we’d get the weirdest look,” Good says. “We never got an answer. They had no idea what the word ‘fun’ means.”

Good says that during his stay he went bowling, he joined his Japanese hosts in singing American pop songs at a karaoke club, and he spent some time playing video games at a video arcade.

“They had some of the neatest [video] games,” Good says. “Some of the games are 3-D and they are interactive. They blow air to simulate wind and they spray you with water.”

Although he put on weight during the trip, mealtime was sometimes difficult for Good, because meals rarely included beef and frequently consisted of rice, noodles and sushi.

“I couldn’t stand sushi to begin with,” Good says. “But when in Rome, you’ve got to do it, because we didn’t want to be impolite or disrespectful. I’d eat sushi, and then chug water to wash it down.”

Good says that the octopus was okay.

“It sort of tastes like chicken, only chewy.”

Good said that at one meal he ate birds’ hearts, shishkabobe-style, with four or five hearts on a skewer.

“The birds’ hearts weren’t bad,” he said. “Kind of like beef, only real chewy.”

Eating was made more difficult, Good says, because “We had to use chopsticks. They wouldn’t let us use a fork. I would drop everything. It was really hard.”

Good said he’d hang out with Elmira coach Shannon Scott whenever he could, because Scott is allergic to fish.

On his last day with his host family, they put on a barbecue.

“It was one of only two times on the trip that I had beef,” Good says. “I ate eight steaks.”

For beverage, Good says, they offered Pepsi, Coke and Japanese sodas.

“They had a watermelon-tasting Japanese soda that was a hit with us,” Good said. “They also had a soda called Dragon Ball Z. It tastes like bubblegum.”

When they visited schools, Good says the first thing they did was sit down with the principal and drink green tea.

“I don’t like green tea,” Good says. “I would gulp it down and then say I was full when they asked me if I wanted another.”

Good says one of things that it was most difficult to get used to was Japanese toilets.

“They’re just a hole in the ground,” he said. “You don’t sit. You squat.”

Mt. Aso, Japan’s most active volcano, is on the island of Kyushu. Good visited hot springs near a MBU research facility and he went to two bath houses, built around hot springs.

“The hot springs near the research facility had super, super hot water, that came out in different colors — one pool was light blue, another one was blood red.... There were magma pools, where the magma had melted rock....”

Good says he didn’t care much for the bath houses.

“You were always naked [in the bath houses],” he said. “It made me very uncomfortable.”

Good says he didn’t get to watch any sumo wrestling, but he did get to take in a kendo match, a martial arts sport where competitors wearing protective armor battle with sticks.

Good says that he and his teammates were treated like celebrities, and saw themselves on the evening news on a regular basis as they toured Kyushu.

All in all, Good says he enjoyed the trip and is now more appreciative of living in the U.S.

“It was a great experience, seeing another country,” Good said. “It opened my eyes. There’s a big difference between America and other countries. Japan was ridiculous. Everything you did was tradition-based, and you didn’t question anything....”