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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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Glad High wrestlers are making some waves


They are short on numbers, but not on talent

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - In a photo taken at last years Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament, Gladstone junior Blake McNall puts the finishing touches on North Marions Adam Vega. McNall (126), who placed sixth at state a year ago, is off to a 16-0 start this season.With a new coach and a host of wrestlers returning from last year’s team that placed fifth in the 10-team Class 4A Region 1 Tournament, the Gladstone Gladiators expected to be much improved this season. And based on preseason results during the month of December, and last weekend at Cleveland, the Gladiators are more competitive.

In their first competition of the season, the Ranger Classic, the Gladiators were competitive despite forfeiting at six weights. In that tournament, they defeated Molalla 36-24, gave Banks (42-36) and Colton (36-30) tough dual matches in defeat, and lost to tournament host Estacada 60-24 and to Class 4A power La Grande 60-6.

They then finished out the month of December with victories in 10 straight dual meets, defeating opponents from Nestucca, The Dalles, Stayton, Yamhill-Carlton, Central, Philomath, Santiam Christian, Pleasant Hill and Yamhill-Carlton (twice) in dual-meet competitions at Gladstone, Stayton, Philomath and Yamhill-Carlton.

They placed second only to Rainier in a nine-team tournament with Rainier, Clatskanie, Gervais, Vernonia, Corbett, Molalla, Knappa and Neah-Kah-Nie at Clatskanie on Dec. 28.

Forfeiting at four weights for lack of a competitor, they defeated Central 40-39 in the championship final of a dual-meet tournament at Stayton, after advancing through dual wins over Yamhill-Carlton (55-18), Stayton (38-34) and Junction City (57-6).

“As far as I know, it’s the first time in a long time that we’ve won a tournament,” Gladstone coach Michael Hess said of his charges’ team win at Stayton.

Last weekend, wrestling in an 18-team, two-day tournament at Cleveland, Gladstone placed tenth, despite having only nine wrestlers entered. Pendleton, McNary and Centennial placed first through third in the tournament, which included mostly teams from Class 6A and 5A schools. Gladstone finished ahead of teams from Putnam, Wilsonville, Reynolds, Beaverton, Woodburn, The Dalles, Franklin and Molalla, and just back of Forest Grove.

“The guys wrestled great!” said Hess. “All of the teams that finished ahead of us had at least twice as many wrestlers. We had four kids place, two kids win titles, and every kid we took scored points.”

The Gladiators return six wrestlers who placed at last year’s regionals: seniors Michael Alger and Logan Good, and juniors Blake McNall, Kyle Kintz, Ryland Martin and Adam Taylor.

McNall, who won a regional title and placed sixth at state at 113 as a sophomore, moves up to wrestle at 126 this season. And he’s off to a great start, winning his first 16 matches of the 2013-14 season, including seven by fall. He pinned La Grande junior Seth Deviney, a wrestler ranked among the best in the state, in his first tournament of the season.

“Blake’s put in a ton of work in the offseason,” said Hess. “I expect him to be top three in the state.”

Wrestling at 106 and 126 respectively, Alger and Kintz placed fourth in regional competition and qualified for state last year. Alger is a defending Tri-Valley Conference champion.

Wrestling at 126, Alger won six of the seven matches that he wrestled in December. Wrestling at 132, Kintz sports an 18-2 record through competition last weekend.

“I expect Kyle be top six at state,” said Hess. “That’s his goal. I believe he has the ability to do that.”

Martin and Good just missed qualifying for state last year, both wrestlers placing fifth at the regional competition. Martin moves up from 145 to 152; Good moves up from 152 to 182. Good and Martin placed second and third respectively at the TVC league meet a year ago.

Good has wrestled 23 times this season, winning 19 times.

Taylor placed fourth in the TVC at 160 last year. He’s wrestling at 170 this winter, where he’s won 11 of his first 17 matches.

Among other top prospects for the Gladiator varsity this season are: freshmen Nathan Ward (106), Alvin Lopez (120) and John Bettger (220); junior Dijaun Davis (160), and senior David Ventura (145).

Ward went 6-2 in matches wrestled in December; Lopez went 8-5. Both are first-year wrestlers.

McNall (126) and Kintz (132) were both champions at last weekend’s 18-team tournament at Cleveland. McNall had only three matches. He won by injury default over Clackamas junior Johnny Nguyen in his final.

Kintz went 5-0 at Cleveland, defeating Michael Phelps of McNary 7-4 in his final, after winning by fall over Chad Smith of Forest Grove in the semifinals and defeating Eli Day of Wilsonville by major decision in the quarterfinals.

Good (170) won five of six matches and placed third at Cleveland; Martin won five of seven matches and placed fourth.

After dropping an 8-6 decision to Nathan Burnett of Sunset in the championship semifinals, Good bounced back with a first-round fall over Terrell Platt of Pendleton, and a first-round fall over Piper McCallum of Pendleton in the third-place finals.

Martin lost to Bahr Trayhorn of Reynolds in his third-place finals match.

With a turnout of only 17 athletes, Hess says that the Gladiators are likely to continue to forfeit for lack of wrestlers at 113, 138, 195 and 285 this season.

Still, he expects the Gladiators to have a good season.

“We don’t have the numbers yet to contend for a regional title,” Hess said. “But I if we wrestle to our potential, I expect us to be top four [at regionals]. The guys we do have, I expect them to be very successful.”

Hess added, “I would liked to have had a couple heavier guys stick with it. It would give us more success in dual meets. But I’m happy with the guys we have. They all work really hard, and I think they all have the potential to make state this year.”

Hess is counting on team captains McNall, Kintz, Ventura and Good to lead Gladstone to success at this year’s end-of-the-season tournaments.

Gladstone hosts the regional championship tournament Feb. 21-22, where the Gladiators will do battle with the top wrestlers from Tillamook, Scappoose, Estacada, North Marion, Molalla, Yamhill-Carlton, Astoria, Banks and Seaside.

Tillamook and Scappoose went on to place fifth and sixth respectively at last year’s Class 4A State Tournament, after going one-two at the Region I Championship Tournament.

Gladstone will face some stiff competition this Friday and Saturday, when the Gladiators travel to Seaside for the 17-team Pacific Rim Tournament, a competition that features many of the top 4A teams in the state.

The Gladiators host Molalla and Astoria in a home meet at 5:30 p.m. next Wednesday.