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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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Cavs knock off No. 5 Saxons

Also: Clackamas guys remain unbeaten

The seventh-ranked Clackamas Cavaliers last Friday upped their stock in Class 6A girls basketball, knocking off fifth-ranked South Salem 51-49.

The win avenged a 58-49 loss to the Saxons on Dec. 5 in a game played in a tournament at Southridge.

“Our energy was a lot better,” said Clackamas coach Todd Lane. “First game jitters. We were a little hesitant, a little tentative the first time we played them. This time we played as a team and with confidence....

“South Salem is one of the better teams in the state. We played hard. Anytime we play hard for 32 minutes like we did [in the second game with South Salem] I believe we can play with anybody in the state, and on a given night, we can beat anybody.”

Last Friday’s game was close all the way, with South Salem leading 13-11 at the end of the first period, Clackamas up 26-25 at halftime and the Cavaliers leading 39-36 heading into the final period.

South Salem was up 42-41 with six minutes to play. But then Erin McDonald, Kaitlyn Reiner and Erica Pagano all took the ball to the basket on a 10-2 run, as the Cavaliers built a commanding 51-44 lead. South Salem’s Jordan Woodvine (18 points) hit a 3-pointer from the wing just inside the final buzzer to trim the Cavaliers’ lead to 51-49, but it proved too little too late.

Clackamas 5-9 junior wing Erin McDonald had a career night in the big win, scoring a career-high 16 points — on 4-of-5 shooting. McDonald hit two 3-pointers and she made 6-of-6 free throws, earning trips to the line when she was fouled on drives to the basket.

McDonald also excelled on defense. She drew the assignment of guarding Katie McWilliams and she held the 6-2 Saxon star guard to just seven points, on 3-for-8 shooting. McWilliams had scored 18 points in the Dec. 5 game.

“Katie McWilliams is one of the best players in the state and Erin outplayed her,” said Lane. “She played real physical on defense and wouldn’t let her go where she wanted to go.”

Reiner (10 points), Pagano (9 points) and Sydney Azorr (9 points) joined McDonald with major contributions on offense.

Azorr played a strong game all around, with 10 rebounds and four steals to go with her nine points.

Clackamas sophomore post Peyton Carroll hauled down eight rebounds, as the Cavaliers earned a 37-32 edge on the backboards.

Through aggressive defensive play, the Cavaliers held the Saxons to .352 (18-of-51) shooting from the field.

It was a cakewalk for the Cavaliers on Dec. 10, as they breezed by Class 5A Wilsonville 69-24.

The contest was a mismatch from the start, with the Cavaliers rallying around their full-court press to create turnovers and roll to an 18-2 advantage in the first four minutes of play.

Lane took the press off and substituted often after that. The Cavaliers stole the ball 23 times and forced no fewer than 38 turnovers in the game.

Junior wing McKenzie Giancola played a strong game off the bench, scoring a career-high 16 points to lead Clackamas in scoring. Giancola was 8-of-12 from the field and she stole the ball three times.

Starting post Erica Pagano played sparingly but still scored 12 points and had a team-high six steals.

Sophomore wing Marissa Kelly was tough, scoring 10 points, serving up three assists and stealing the sphere four times.

No one from Wilsonville reached double digits in scoring, as the Wildcats found the basket on only 9-of-33 shots from the floor, for a cool 27 percent shooting percentage.

The Cavaliers (4-1) have a home game with Cleveland this Friday. They play in the Lake Oswego Nike Interstate Shootout Dec. 27-30, playing Roseburg at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 27, in their tournament opener.

Clackamas boys kept on track last week, improving their record to 3-0 with wins over Sprague (74-53) and Cleveland (65-46).

Sophomore playmaker Beau Gunderson burned the nets for 24 points in the contest with Sprague. The Cavaliers outscored the Olympians in every quarter.

Keaton Bankofier (12 points), Raekwon Mingledoff (10 points) and Gunderson (10 points) led a balanced effort in Friday’s game at Cleveland. The Cavaliers led 15-10 at the end of the first period and 37-16 at halftime.

Clackamas guys meet Barlow Friday at 6:15 p.m. in a first-round game of a two-day tournament at Century. The Cavaliers vie in the Les Schwab Tournament at Liberty High School Dec. 27-30.