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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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The end of one of the nations oldest rivalries?


New OSAA committee proposal would move Oregon City and Clackamas to the Mt. Hood Conference

The Oregon School Activities Association Classification & Districting Committee last week released its latest proposal for new league alignments for athletics beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

The new alignments would move Clackamas and Oregon City to a new eight-team Mt. Hood Conference, where they would compete with teams from Barlow, Centennial, Central Catholic, David Douglas, Gresham and Reynolds high schools.

West Linn, Lake Oswego, Lakeridge and Canby would remain in a new nine-school Three Rivers League, where they would be joined by Newberg, Sherwood, St. Mary’s Academy, Tigard and Tualatin.

Not everyone is happy with this new proposal, which might jeopardize the longstanding rivalry between athletic teams from Oregon City and West Linn high schools. The football rivalry between Oregon City and West Linn dates back to 1921 and it is heralded as the longest uninterrupted high school football rivalry West of the Mississippi.

“The first thing that comes to mind is losing that rivalry [football game with Oregon City] that has been going more than 90 years,” said retired West Linn football coach Ron Chappell. “It would be a shame to see that go away. I’m not sure some people realize how important that rivalry is to our communities. Oregon City and Clackamas are two traditionally strong programs and they would be replaced by two traditionally strong programs in Tualatin and Tigard. So I don’t see any program there. But losing that rivalry would be a shame....

“We’ve had an alumni game between our schools the last three years, raising money for cystic fibrosis research, and it’s been attended by 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 fans. That has rekindled the interest and involvement by our two communities and it shows just how important the rivalry is — for both communities. Sure, we could play one another in a non-league game, but it wouldn’t be the same as playing a game that might be for a league title.”

“If they [follow through with the proposed alignment], it would be the end of the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi, and that would be tragic....,” said retired Oregon City football coach Ed Burton. “I know the OSAA’s argument will be that they can still play one another in a nonleague game. But who’s to say that some year, when one of the schools has a down year, an athletic director might decide, ‘Let’s not play them this year.’”

“We think [the proposed new alignment is] awful,” said Oregon City boys soccer coach Myque Obiero. “They don’t take into consideration the parents and players. West Linn is right across the river and the other teams [currently] in the Three Rivers League are nearby. Going to schools like Gresham and Centennial to play league games is going to mean more travel.”

Retired Oregon City basketball coach Brad Smith offered this input:

“It would seem that the logical move would be St. Mary’s [instead of Oregon City to the Mt. Hood Conference], as they are equidistance no matter what league they are in.... Past history, from many years ago, also favors that from when St. Mary’s was in the 80’s and 90’s. But the biggest reason to leave Oregon City [in the TRL] is the West Linn rivalry. In a time when high school sports needs attendance, money and interest, to take one of the nation’s longest rivalries and break it up makes no sense in light of how easy it would be to move St. Mary’s.

“The OSAA always talks about how kids are so important, but they make many decisions that do not show that. There is an old saying that seems relevant here: Sayings remain meaningless until they are embodied in habits. The habits of the OSAA seem to always be the same.”

Clackamas High School coach Jeff Erdman says that the Three Rivers League has had input into the OSAA’s latest proposal, and approves of the new alignment.

Erdman said, in an email: “Regarding the latest OSAA League Proposal, the entire TRL League was involved in developing the latest OSAA Draft of new leagues and then supporting this proposal that came about due to the PIL decision to have all nine [PIL] schools, regardless of their enrollment numbers, all play up in 6A. Even though we are not excited about leaving the TRL- as we truly do love our league, but entering the Mt. Hood League, along with OC, we believe is the best move for the ENTIRE makeup of 6A leagues, as it gives most leagues eight schools. This fact alone allows for improved league play and, due to the new power ranking formula, gives bigger leagues more chances to improve state playoff positioning by increased importance on league play.”

“We as a school are not very excited about it,” Oregon City athletic director Bruce Reece said. “But I know that there will have to be some changes in order to have larger leagues, which is what we asked for.”

Reece said that Three Rivers League administrators had hoped that the OSAA would go with five classifications, instead of six.

“That didn’t stick,” he said. “So we are ready to move to the next step.”

Other leagues involving area 5A schools Milwaukie and Putnam and area 4A schools Gladstone and La Salle would remain little changed under the latest league alignment proposal.

Putnam and Milwaukie would remain in the Northwest Oregon Conference, along with Liberty, Parkrose, Sandy, St. Helens and Wilsonville. Hillsboro would replace Sherwood.

Gladstone and La Salle would remain in the Tri-Valley Conference, along with Estacada, Molalla and Madras. Corbett and Crook County would join the league, and North Marion would move to the Oregon West Conference.

The OSAA Classification & Districting Committee has scheduled its final public meeting regarding proposed realignments at 9 a.m. next Monday (Oct. 7) at the OSAA office, 25200 S.W. Parkway Avenue, Suite 1, in Wilsonville.

The public may also give input through email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Emails received will be forwarded to Classification & Districting Committee members, according to the OSAA website.

The committee will make its final recommendations to the OSAA Executive Board at the Oct. 28 meeting of that body.