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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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OC could be very good in 2014


The Pioneers will be loaded with talent, with outstanding athletes from successful freshmen and sophomore teams joining a host of returning varsity players

by: JAIME VALDEZ - With the return of star running back Conner Mitchell (7) and a host of experienced players, the Oregon City Pioneers expect to be a state power in football again next fall.The Oregon City Pioneers in 2013 proved themselves among the top high school football teams in the state, going 9-2 — their first nine-win season since 1996, winning the Three Rivers League championship, and giving the seventh-ranked North Medford Black Tornado all they could handle [a 14-9 loss] in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

Look for the Pioneers to be even tougher next year, with the return of a host of players off of this year’s varsity — including gifted skill players Conner Mitchell and Trevon Bradford, and the addition of talented players up from jayvee and freshmen teams that both finished with 8-1 records.

“We’ll have a chance to be very good,” said Oregon City coach Bruce Reece. “We’ll have a talented group of freshmen backing up a very talented sophomore class, and a very talented junior group. We’ll lose some outstanding seniors and we’ll have some holes to fill. But with the talent we have coming up, we won’t have any trouble filling those holes.”

The Pioneers next year will return a good nucleus of experienced players on both sides of the ball, including six who started or played a lot on offense and six who started or played a lot on defense in this year’s season final with North Medford.

Among those expected to return on offense are junior wide receivers Tristan Birge and Hunter Knighton, sophomore wide receiver Trevon Bradford, sophomore running back Conner Mitchell, junior offensive tackle Christopher Mengis and sophomore guard Aaron Parker.

Mitchell, a first-team all-league selection, starred for the Pioneers this season as a sophomore, averaging 7.8 yards a carry, with 244 carries for 1,590 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Knighton and Bradford were both second-team all-league selections on offense, while Mengis merited honorable mention in the Three Rivers League all-star balloting for his play in the offensive line.

Bradford and Knighton were two of the Pioneers’ top three receivers this year, Bradford with 22 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns, and Knighton with 16 catches for 287 yards and five touchdowns.

Among those expected to return on defense are: junior cornerback Jonathan Marquett, junior linebacker Coy Vandehey, sophomore linebackers Jake Yoshimura and Mitchell, Mengis at defensive end, and Bradford at safety.

Bradford was a first-team all-league selection on defense this fall; Marquett made the league’s second all-star team, while Vandehey, Yoshimura and Mitchell merited honorable mention in the balloting.

The Pioneers will also return three key underclassmen that had their 2013 seasons cut short by injuries — juniors Jake Lundmark (fullback), Conor Mahoney (offensive guard) and sophomore Kiahve Dennis-Lee (inside linebacker). Dennis-Lee, who suffered a concussion in a playoff game with McMinnville, was a first-team all-league selection.

Missed the most from this season will be seniors Jon Hall, Alex Canchola, Clay Valenzuela-Reece, Austin Bjorkman, Zak Merwin, Matthew Oades, Andrew Etzel and Josh Miller.

Hall excelled at quarterback, completing 96-of-164 passes (57 percent) for 1,506 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Canchola excelled as the Pioneers’ kicker, earning first-team all-league recognition. Besides putting opponents deep in their own territory with kickoffs near the goal line, Canchola made 37-of-39 PAT kicks and 10-of-15 field goals, including two 37-yarders.

Valenzuela-Reece garnered TRL “Defensive Player of the Year” honors for his play at cornerback. He was also a second-team all-league selection at punter.

Bjorkman (outside linebacker), Merwin (defensive end), Oades (wide receiver), Etzel (offensive guard) and Miller (offensive tackle) were all first-team of all-stars. Miller and Etzel also made second-team all-league as a defensive linemen.

Oades had a team-leading 37 receptions for 531 yards and five touchdowns.

Among other outstanding athletes lost to graduation will be: second-team all-league players Keith Arnold (center) and Tony Corvi (fullback); and honorable mention all-league picks Easton Christensen (defensive back), Corvi (defensive end) and D.J. Vandervort (defensive tackle).