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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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Loaded and ready for bear


Oregon City matmen aim to make some more school history

by: JOHN DENNY - Oregon City senior leaders (from left) Tanner Fischer, Devin Poppen and Michael Griffin believe the Pioneers have the horses to do some damage at the state tournament again this season. All three wrestlers placed high at the 2013 State Tournament, as they helped the Pioneers earn second place in the state-meet team scoring, the highest team placing in school history.With nine regional place-winners returning from last year’s team that finished second to defending state champion David Douglas at regionals and at state, the Oregon City Pioneers have high ambitions for the 2013-14 high school wrestling season.

“Last year we placed second at state with seven guys there and six guys placing,” said Oregon City co-head coach Roger Rolen. “We’ve got three guys that placed in the top three at state and nine guys that placed at regionals returning. We figure the three guys that placed top three can win it and the guys that placed at regionals can all place at state this year. If they do that, I think we can win a trophy and maybe the state championship. That’s one of the goals we’ve got up their on the wall in our wrestling room — trophy at state.”

“The sky’s the limit with the potential we have,” said Oregon City co-coach Bobby Bates. “We have strong senior leadership and, if the kids continue to work hard and listen well, I definitely believe we have a shot [at state title].”

Returning to lead the way are senior leaders Devin Poppen, Tanner Fischer and Michael Griffin.

Poppen won a regional title and placed second at state at 113 a year ago; Fischer was regional runner-up at 170 and he placed third at state; Griffin was regional runner-up at 182 and he placed third at state.

“Our team goals are dual meet champions, regional champions and at least a trophy at state,” said Poppen. “Tanner, Michael and me have a good shot at winning state. And we have a lot of guys who came close to going to state last year. They should make it this year and they’ll all have a shot at placing. Guys like Ethan Holt, Grant Hicks, Alex Canchola, Gabe Ellicott and Ryan Leonard. And Keith Arnold, he didn’t wrestle last year, but he has a shot.”

“I definitely do [believe we can win state],” said Griffin. “We’ve got a ton of seniors and we’ve spent the last five-plus years together in this room. We’re not athletes. We’re wrestlers. We’re dedicated. We’ve spent countless hours preparing for this year, and I truly hope that this year we can bring home the gold and make school history again.”

Last season’s state runner-up team finish was the highest placing at an OSAA sanctioned state wrestling tournament in the history of Oregon City High School.

“I believe we can do it,” said Fischer. “But we’re going to have to work hard and get everybody on the team working towards that goal.”

Poppen, Fischer and Griffin also have high personal ambitions.

“Be a state champion, go undefeated, and pretty much dominate everybody I wrestle,” said Fischer.

“My senior goals are to go undefeated in Oregon and walk away from the state championships with a gold metal,” said Griffin.

“A state championship,” said Poppen. “I fell short the last two years and hope to get there this year. I want to go undefeated and break my [school] pin record. And also win the triple crown.”

Other top returning district place-winners are: senior Canchola (fifth at 138), Ellicott (fifth at 160) and Hicks (fifth at 195); junior Dennis Podloujnyi (fifth at 120); and sophomores Larry Bodunov (sixth at 120) and Holt (fourth at 152).

Arnold figures to be one of the top wrestlers in the region, if not in the state, at heavyweight, according to Rolen. Arnold played center for Oregon City’s Three Rivers League championship football team and was named the football team’s most inspirational player.

Rolen says he’s got several other wrestlers with the potential to make state, including seniors Wyatt Griffith (152) and Josh Smith (138), junior Ryan Bergerson (145-152) and several talented freshmen.

“We’ve got 20 freshmen out,” said Rolen. “They’ve come up through the middle school program. They understand the basics and what it takes.”

Bates says that “a very strong coaching staff” should bode well for the Pioneers, as they strive to make history this season.

“We’ve got Roger and his brother Rich,” Bates said. “My younger brother John. Rich’s son Tony. And Ryan La Doucuer. Everyone has their strengths and brings something to the table.”

John Bates went 38-0 his senior year at Oregon City and he went on to become a four-time collegiate All-American.

Although they will be a strong tournament team, Rolen concedes that the Pioneers could have their hands full in winning the TRL dual-meet championship.

“It’s going to come down to match-ups,” Rolen said. “West Linn will be tough. They have eight wrestlers ranked in the state. Canby is solid, and will be a contender. And Clackamas has five or six ranked people....

“Our goal is to win [the TRL district dual title]. But it won’t be easy.... We go to Canby for our first [league dual], and they’re going to be tough.”

Still trying to get wrestlers in the weights where they belong, the Pioneers struggled in this season’s nonleague dual openers, eking out a 34-33 win over Centennial, and yielding to Barlow, 42-40.

“I’m not concerned [with the dual loss to Barlow],” said Bobby Bates. “It’s early. We’re still moving around weights. We’ll get settled in after Christmas. Everything we’re doing now is building towards and preparing for regionals and state, preparing ourselves for the big dance.”

Bates added, “But give credit to Barlow and Centennial. They came to battle because we finished second in the state last year. They both have real strong programs and they wanted to get us.”

The Pioneers travel to Hudson Bay High School Jan. 3-4 for the rugged Pacific Coast Invitational. They battle Canby on the road on Jan. 9 in their TRL opener.