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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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Lions, Cavs will be tough as nails


The two teams are expected to battle for supremacy in a highly competitive TRL

by: JOHN DENNY - With a veteran lineup, the Clackamas Cavaliers believe they have the horses to contend for the Three Rivers League boys basketball title this winter. Pictured are team captains (front, from left) Keaton Bankofier and Andrew Gutwig; and (back) Beau Gunderson and Cade Wilkins.West Linn and Clackamas are everyone’s picks to rule in Three Rivers League boys basketball this winter.

The Lions have six of their top players — including four starters — returning from last year’s team that won the Class 6A state title, after finishing second to state semifinalist Lake Oswego in the Three Rivers League.

And while Lake Oswego has graduated all six players who garnered all-league honors last year, Clackamas returns seven players with starting experience from last year, along with veterans Cade Wilkins and David Reese.

Wilkins, a 6-1 senior guard who started as a sophomore, sat out last year recuperating from knee surgery. Reese, a 6-9 senior post, missed last basketball season because of knee and back injuries, but earned all-league honors this fall as a lineman in football.

The Cavaliers looked sharp in last Friday’s season opener, an 84-47 trouncing of Centennial. Clackamas dominated despite the absence of Reese, who was away on a college visitation for football. The Cavaliers hit thirteen 3-pointers in the runaway win, with seven different players finding the basket from beyond the arc.

“It felt good to get back on the floor after not playing for two years,” said Wilkins. “It was a great feeling [when the first of my two 3-pointers passed through the net]. The team played great tonight. Very unselfish play, making that extra pass to get the open shot. It was good to see.”

“We have a lot of shooters,” said Clackamas senior guard Andrew Gutwig. “Everyone can shoot the three, which makes us more of a threat. We’ve also got lot of talented big kids. They kind of suck up the defenders, which leaves us open for the 3-point shot. We got a lot of open looks tonight.”

“We’re a lot further along at this point in the season than we were last year,” said Clackamas coach Ryan King. “Having some kids back that were hurt has helped....

“You can’t coach 6-9. David is healthy now and we’re excited to have him back on the floor. He’s got got hands, good feet and good body size.... Cade is a great leader and he can do some things with a basketball that others can’t do.”

Besides experience, Clackamas has good overall size. Reese is one of five players on the Cavaliers’ roster who stand 6-4 or taller.

Players returning to Clackamas’ varsity with starting experience from last year include: seniors Gutwig (6-2 shooting guard), Keaton Bankofier (6-7 post/wing), Taylor Stinson (6-6 post), Cole Scruggs (6-4 guard) and Aaron Ahlstrom (6-0 guard/point guard); and sophomores Mitchell Fink (5-10 point guard) and Beau Gunderson (6-1 guard).

Stinson was a second-team all-league selection last season, while Bankofier garnered honorable mention in the league all-star balloting.

Scruggs (15 points, four 3-pointers), Gutwig (13 points, three 3-pointers), Stinson (12 points), Bankofier (12 points) and Gunderson (10 points) all scored in double digits in the opener with Centennial. Fink was a playmaker, dishing out 12 assists.

Top returnees for the Lions are seniors Ryan Shearmire (6-6 post), Hayden Coppedge (6-5 guard) and Ty Cleland (6-0 guard); juniors Anthony Mathis (6-2 guard) and Kevin Edwards (6-2 guard); and sophomore Payton Pritchard (6-1 guard).

Shearmire and Mathis have both started since they were freshmen and they were both first-team all-league selections last season. Coppedge, a third-year-starter, made the league’s second all-star team a year ago, along with Pritchard.

Mathis (16 ppg), Shearmire (15.8 ppg) and Coppedge (13.2 ppg) all averaged in double digits in scoring last winter, while Pritchard averaged 9.5 points.

Gutwig (10.3 ppg), Ahlstrom (9.1 ppg), Bankofier (8.7 ppg) and Stinson (8.6 ppg) all made major contributions in a balanced Cavalier attack a year ago.

Rounding out Clackamas’ varsity roster are seniors Garrett Dahmen (6-3 guard/post) and Raekwon Mingledoff (6-2 guard), and juniors Markus Golder (6-4 post/guard) and Drew Conaway (6-1 wing). Mingledoff is a transfer from New Jersey.

“The Three Rivers League is going to be tough, top to bottom,” said King. “You’re going to have to come to play every night....

“West Linn will be favored to win state again; Lake Oswego will reload; Oregon City was young last year, so they’ll be better; Canby’s always tough; Lakeridge has [first-team all-league guard] Reggie Oliver back and they’re going to be tough....”

Oliver last season averaged 18.6 points per game and was the TRL’s second-leading scorer — behind Lake Oswego graduate Calvin Hermanson (21 ppg), who was the 2013 TRL MVP.

Among the players new to Lake Oswego’s lineup are Jazz Johnson, a 6-0 junior do-everything guard, who starred for Milwaukie last season.

“It is a tough league, but I think we can win it,” said Bankofier. “We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle and we’re working hard....

“Obviously West Linn’s the favorite right now. They’re defending state champions. But we’re going to come after them. We’re going to play hard and try to get the ‘w.’ We’ve played them close before, so I know we can beat them. We just have to be consistent, and not have any lapses.”

“I think we can go as far as we want to go,” said Wilkins. “We’ve got to just come to practice and continue to work hard. We’re in a tough league, but anything can happen.”

“I think we’ve definitely got the talent [to win a league title],” said Gunderson. “It’s a great challenge. But if we play as a team, like we did tonight [in the game with Centennial], I think we can do it.”

The Cavaliers host South Salem next Tuesday. They’ll have their hands full Dec. 27-30, when they play in the Les Schwab Invitational at Liberty High School. Their tournament opener is with Whitney Young of Chicago, a team that is ranked third in the nation and features Duke signee Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 post who is projected to be No. 1 in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Clackamas meets West Linn on the road in its Three Rivers League opener on Friday, Jan. 17.