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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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Mustangs flock to the mat room


Coach Duhrkoop has Milwaukie athletes excited about wrestling

by: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie veterans (from left) Chris Burton, Brenton Oten and Clay Bispham are excited about the renewed interest in wrestling at Milwaukie High School this winter. The Mustangs have a turnout of 43 wrestlers, including a large number of freshmen.First-year head wrestling coach Brian Duhrkoop has high aspirations for Milwaukie High School’s wrestling program.

“Short term, I want guys to improve on technique so that they are wrestling their best and peak at district,” Duhrkoop said. “Long term, five to 10 years from now, I want us to be a program that competes at the highest level possible. But we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re a long ways from the Sandy’s and Sherwood’s of this world.”

A 1999 graduate of Milwaukie High School, Duhrkoop has things headed in the right direction, with a turnout of 43 wrestlers. He says that the Mustangs will field close to a complete varsity lineup this year, with only one or two forfeits.

The Mustangs will have plenty of veterans in their first varsity lineup. The lineup includes seven wrestlers who placed at district last year, including three state qualifiers, senior Brenton Oten (170) and juniors Chris Burton ((138-145) and Clay Bispham (220).

Oten was runner-up at 170 to eventual state champion Kyle Bateman of Sandy at last year’s Northwest Oregon Conference district tournament.

Others in the lineup who placed at district a year ago include: senior Zander Carlson (126-132); juniors Justin Edwards (138-145) and Kenan Ragan (170); and sophomore River Meyer, a transfer from Putnam.

Duhrkoop says he also expects good things from senior heavyweight Anthony Gutierrez and juniors Jordan Ostrander (126) and Ji’laundre Edwards (136-142).

Ostrander had high expectations last year but had his season ended early when he suffered an injury just prior to the district tournament.

“Three-fourths of our team are new to wrestling, but we have a new coaching staff and a great turnout,” said Burton. “I’m excited to see what the team can do over the next four or five years.”

“We’re young, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” said Oten. “We have some veterans who are pretty good and the new guys are only going to get better as the season goes along. If everyone stays positive and keeps working hard as a team, we could have a pretty decent team by district.”

“We have a lot of young guys that haven’t wrestled before, but they’re improving every day,” said Bispham. “When district comes, I think they’ll be ready for it....

“I think that by the time of district, we can be best in our league. I think it will be between us and Sandy at district.”

The Mustangs will see three Northwest Oregon opponents this Thursday, when they travel to Wilsonville for a tournament with the Wildcats, Putnam and St. Helens.

A math teacher at Milwaukie for the past seven years, Duhrkoop is not new to coaching. He was assistant wrestling coach to Dan Williamson at Milwaukie in 2005 and 2006. He assisted in baseball in 2005 and 2006 and was head baseball coach in 2007-2009.

Duhrkoop was a standout student/athlete when he attended Milwaukie High School. A 4.0 student and class valedictorian, he earned a full-ride athletic scholarship to Oregon State University, where he was in the starting wrestling lineup for two seasons, earning a .500 record on a college team that was ranked among the best in the U.S.

A three-time district champion and two-time state place-winner, Duhrkoop earned a 105-10 record in four seasons as a varsity wrestler for Milwaukie. He placed fourth at state as a junior and was state runner-up at 152 his senior season.

Duhrkoop earned first-team all-league honors as a punter and place kicker in football, averaging 39.8 yards on punts and missing only one extra point. His efforts as a punter gained him all-state recognition.

The Mustang talent had plenty of success in baseball as well. A first-team all-league shortstop, he hit .438 his senior year, earning a spot on the school’s newly inaugurated .400 club.

Duhrkoop says he has been working hard to get better coordination between Milwaukie youth and high school wrestling programs. He says he’s extended an open invitation to members of the community’s kid wrestling club to attend high school workouts and work out with the high school team. Youth interested in joining the Milwaukie Mat Club can do so by contacting Rod Hale at 503-786-0374.