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

Coach believes Milwaukie has the horses


Adversity and a tough-as-nail schedule lead to a slow start

by: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie senior co-captains (from left) Tyler Spencer, Chris Besaw and Elias Brezai say they believe that Milwaukie will have another good season in football this fall, despite a rough start.Milwaukie High School’s football team has gotten off to a rough start to the 2013 season, losing to defending Class 5A state champion and top-ranked Sherwood 68-19 in a Northwest Oregon Conference game played at Milwaukie on Aug. 30; and bowing to Franklin 38-13 last Friday.

Milwaukie coach Jeffrey Thomas says that despite the losses, he still believes his Mustangs will have their share of success in 2013.

“We’ve got enough horses (to be competitive in the Northwest Oregon Conference),” Thomas said. “We’ve got the talent. I’m not worried about that. What I am a little worried about is execution. If we execute and raise our intensity level, I think we can be near the top (in the NWOC) again.”

Besides the challenge of going head-to-head with arguably the top Class 5A team in Oregon, the Mustangs had their share of adversity in the Sherwood game.

Thomas says he learned a week before the Sherwood game that he would be without his starting quarterback — Aaron Walston — for that game, and most likely for the season.

“That was 80 percent of it right there,” said Milwaukie senior captain Chris Besaw. “We didn’t have our starting quarterback. Aaron was our varsity quarterback, our first string and our second string quarterback. Brenton Oten, who is a great athlete, stepped in and did his best, but on limited practice....”

Walston, a 5-9, 155-pound junior who started three games last season, has undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his lymph nodes.

Oten, a 5-11, 180-pound senior, had taken some snaps, as backup quarterback, this summer. But this is the first time he has played the position since youth football.

The Mustangs also learned a few days prior to the Sherwood game they would be missing one of their top receivers, 6-5 junior Garrett Zundel, who would be away on family vacation.

Understandably, the Mustangs struggled offensively in the Sherwood game. Oten attempted 14 passes, but completed only one.

Thomas says the turnout this year has been pretty decent, with 90 players donning pads for daily doubles practices.

The Mustangs have the most experience in the offensive line, where four players with starting experience return — center Elias Brezai (6-0, 247), wide receiver Tyler Spencer (6-4, 185), and down linemen Tui Tuitele (5-10, 260) and Mitchell Wilcox (5-11, 230). Brezai, a senior, and Tuitele, a sophomore, garnered conference all-star recognition last season.

The Mustangs also return an experienced running back in Besaw (5-6, 160). Senior Skylar Besaw (5-9, 160) and junior Ji’laundre Edwards (5-3, 135) will also see action in the offensive backfield, according to Thomas.

The Mustangs return four starters on defense — Brezai at noseguard, Besaw at strong safety and Oten and junior Griffin Johnson (6-0, 180) at linebacker.

Brezai and Oten were both second-team all-conference selections at linebacker last season.

River Meyer, a 5-11, 160-pound sophomore transfer from Putnam, has been starting in the defensive secondary.

Thomas said he believes that senior captains Chris Besaw, Spencer and Brezai have the talent and ability to excel at the collegiate level. Besaw was named running back MVP and Spencer was named receiver MVP at a camp held at Western Oregon University over the summer.

Chris Besaw says he is confident the Mustangs will be able to rally around their new starting quarterback and turn things around.

“He’s been coming early every practice and throwing routs,” Besaw said.

“He’s a good leader,” said Brezai. “He knows how to keep his head up if things go bad.”

Spencer said one of the biggest things he hopes his teammates have learned from the Sherwood game is “We’ve got to keep our heads in the game after a team scores, instead of dropping our heads.”

“We have to play with more intensity,” Besaw said.

Thomas says he believes that after Sherwood, the NWOC will be a very balanced league.

“All of those teams — except Sherwood, like us, lost a lot of people (from last year’s varsities),” Thomas said.

“Sherwood left a nasty taste in our mouth and we’re working hard, trying to get it out,” said Spencer.

“I think we’ll learn from Sherwood and we’ll have a good year,” said Brezai. “I think we can make it past the first round (of the state playoffs) this year. It’s our senior year, so we really want it.”

“We’re definitely going to step it up at every game and every practice from here on out,” said Besaw.

“More intensity at every practice and every game,” said Spencer. “Hard work and discipline.”

“Better communication,” said Brezai. “Talking on and off the field.”

“Making sure you know your roles,” said Spencer.

“There’s no mistakes when everyone knows what they’re doing,” said Besaw.

A year ago the Mustangs had their best season since 1991, going 7-3. But they lost in the play-in round of the state playoffs. Thomas was offensive coordinator on the team. He takes over for Don Johnson Jr., who is heading up the program at Washington’s Evergreen High School.

Milwaukie gets its final tuneup for the remainder of the conference season this Friday, when the Mustangs (0-2) take on Pendleton (2-0) on the road. They resume conference play on Friday, Sept. 20, with an away game with Liberty (1-1).

Liberty struggled last season, going 1-8 and averaging just 15 points, compared with 43 points a game by their opponents. The Falcons defeated Churchill 38-21 last Friday.