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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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Falcons will be tough to beat in 2014


La Salle boasts experience, a talented rookie, and a hunger for a state title

by: JAIME VALDEZ - FILE PHOTO BY JAIME VALDEZ Morgan McSmith puts up a shot in last years Tri-Valley Conference home game with Madras. Sporting a veteran lineup that includes a host of experienced players from last years team that placed fourth at state, the Falcons plan on making a run at a state title this winter.The La Salle Falcons have a target on their backs as they gear up for the 2014 Tri-Valley Conference girls basketball title chase.

The Falcons return nearly everybody from last year’s team that went 10-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference and placed fourth at state. And they’ve added a talented player in 5-8 freshman Aleah Goodman. She’s replaced two-year starter Allison Ilg as the Falcons’ starting point guard.

“She’s a good, solid all-around player,” senior co-captain Andrea Novak said of Goodman. “She’s a really strong defensive player. She’s a good ball handler and passer, and she’s able to score too....”

“I think our depth is even better [than last season],” said La Salle coach Kelli Wedin. “We have a season under our belts and the girls have a pretty good understanding of what we’re trying to do. We’re a lot better at this point in the season than we were last year.”

The state’s coaches expect big things from the Falcons. They’ve ranked them the top Class 4A high school girls team in the state.

“I think we have an opportunity to get back to Gil [Coliseum] and compete for the [state] title,” Wedin said.

The Falcons showed signs that they were going to be good last summer. Playing in a tournament that included several top Class 6A teams — like Oregon City, South Medford and Tigard — the Falcons held their own.

“We beat Prairie, Newberg and Southridge [at the Newberg tournament],” Wedin said. “We lost to Tigard, but we competed — a six or seven-point game. And [we played in the tournament] without Aleah or Allison. It was point guard by committee.”

Top returnees for the Falcons include Ilg, 5-8 senior wing Sterling Swift, 5-10 senior post Andrea Novak, 5-9 senior wing Morgan McSmith, 6-0 senior post Katie Buerk, and 5-7 junior post/wing Makenzie Cook.

A four-year starter, Swift was a first-team all-conference selection a year go, along with McSmith.

Novak and Ilg received honorable mention, along with Cook, in last year’s conference all-star balloting.

Buerk saw a considerable amount of varsity playing time a year ago, and she has earned the nod as a starter this winter.

The Falcons return three other players who saw a considerable amount of playing time a year ago: senior Courtney Crain (5-5 wing); junior Tori Goodman (5-10 post/wing) and sophomore Ally Jansen (5-9 wing).

Rounding out this season’s varsity roster are senior Mattie Portash (5-9 post) and sophomore Shannon Tran (5-7 point guard).

The Falcons have been dominant in early preseason, going 5-0, with relatively easy wins over Stayton (88-45), Valley Catholic (61-39), Banks (62-37), Cascade (91-55) and Scappoose (80-46).

Aleah Goodman scored 19 points and Novak scored 17 to lead the charge against Stayton; Novak (14 points) led the way against Banks: Swift (17 points) headed a balance attack in the rout of Valley Catholic.

Aleah Goodman (18 points) led five players in double figures in the road win over the Cougars.

Valley Catholic is the defending state champion in Class 3A; Banks played La Salle in the fourth-place final of last year’s state tournament, losing 48-36.

The rout of Cascade avenged losses to the Cougars at last year’s state tournament and in the state final in 2011.

“Last night we ran [Cascade] out of the gym,” said Swift. “They couldn’t keep up. We got some redemption.... We went 28-1 when they beat us in the final [in 2011]. We have some unfinished business to take care of [this season].”

“Our goal is to finish strong in the playoffs so we can go strong into state and hopefully win a state championship,” said Novak.

Despite her team’s experience and success in preseason, Wedin says her charges may have their work cut out for them as they attempt to defend their title in the TVC.

“Madras is going to be tough again,” she said. “They return [first-team all-conference playmaking guard Maria] Stacona. And I hear they have a couple of transfers. And Gladstone returns most of its roster....

“I feel like we’re going to have to play our best every night, because everyone is going to give us their best. We have a target on our backs.”

Madras was ranked ninth in the state in last week’s Class 4A coaches poll.

Gladstone and Madras both went 7-3 and tied for second in the TVC last season.

Asked who she expects to be La Salle’s toughest competition in league, Novak said, “Definitely Madras. They have a couple of really good guards, plus a couple of transfers. And we always have a tough time at their place.”

Next up for the Falcons is a tournament, scheduled Jan. 2-4 in Sisters.

La Salle opens TVC play on Jan. 21, playing Gladstone on the road.