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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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Gladstone girls bring their A game to Cascade


Gladstone coeds upped their stock in Class 4A high school basketball, knocking off two top-10 ranked teams and claiming first place in the Cascade Holiday Tournament, held at Cascade High School Dec. 27-28.

After handling Elmira 53-43 in their opener, they beat Cascade 40-34 in the tournament championship game.

The win over Cascade in the final avenged state playoff losses to the Cougars in 2012 and 2013. Last year the Cougars went on to place fifth at state, after hammering Gladstone 54-32 in the round of 16. Two years ago the Cougars beat Gladstone 55-49 in the round of 16.

The Gladiators went on a 10-1 run to start the game and never trailed in the Dec. 28 tournament game with the Cougars. Cascade closed to within a point, at 29-28, in the third period. But the Gladiators went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter and put the game on ice.

“Mikaela Simac was huge for us [in the Cascade game],” said Gladstone coach Pat Scott. “She just flat out shut down [Cascade star Austyn] Lowder. Lowder tore us up in our playoff game a year ago, but she scored only seven points [in this year’s Cascade tournament championship game].

“Mikaela has become as good a defender as I’ve seen in my 35 years of coaching, and that’s both boys and girls. She’s quick, she’s strong and she’s fearless. Lowder is a lot bigger than she is, but Mikaela held her ground.”

While Simac, a 5-8 junior, was doing a defensive number on Lowder on defense, 5-9 junior Molly Webster (16 points) headed up a Gladiator offensive effort that saw nine players put points on the scoreboard. Webster was 7-of-11 from the field, and she hit two 3-pointers.

Simac led the Gladiators on defense with five steals, and she also claimed seven rebounds.

Alicia Feb, a 5-9 junior forward, claimed eight rebounds to head up the Gladiator effort on the glass. Feb also had three blocked shots.

With the score tied at 21 at halftime, the Gladiators put Elmira away in the third period, when they outscored the Falcons 21-12.

“We came out with a vengeance with a strong third quarter for the fourth game in a row,” said Scott. “We ratcheted up the defensive intensity and did a better job defending against their inside game.... It’s like night and day from a year ago, when third quarters were our bugaboo. We’ve matured. This year, in the third quarters, we’re like a veteran team....”

Junior guard Melisa Campos and senior guard Fiona Burrell headed the third quarter assault in the Elmira game, scoring eight and seven points respectively in the stanza. Campos hit two treys in the pivotal quarter.

Webster (14 points) and Campos (10 points) headed up a Gladiator offense that saw eight players contribute points to the winning tally.

Simac came through with a team-leading six steals. She also scored nine points and made three assists.

“We had nine kids score against Cascade and eight kids score against Elmira, while those two teams only had five kids score,” said Scott. “It’s a tribute to our depth.”

The pair of wins at Cascade put the Gladiators at 6-2 on the 2013-14 season, their only losses coming in early December games with fifth-ranked Philomath (58-51) and third-ranked Mazama (46-28).

Scott says that his Gladiators have been successful this season because of unselfish team play.

“Some of our turnovers are because these girls are unselfish to a fault,” Scott said. “But I like that. These girls like each other and they play together.”

The Gladiators met their match last Friday, losing 41-35 at fifth-ranked Seaside. It was the eighth win in nine games this season for the Seagulls, who are averaging 53 points an outing.

Trailing 19-7 at halftime, the Gladiators were fighting an uphill battle all the way. Webster (10 points on 4-for-7 shooting) was the only Gladstone player in double digits in scoring. Feb was a force close to the basket, with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and 4 steals.

“We had 16 turnovers in the first half, which is uncharacteristic of us,” Scott said.

Seaside was led by 5-10 guard Kaitlin Lewis, who lit up the scoreboard for 20 points.

The Gladiators (6-3) return home this Thursday, when they play host to Lebanon, a team ranked No. 4 in Class 5A.

“Our three losses were to teams ranked No. 3, No. 4 and No. 7 in the state in the current OSAA power rankings,” said Scott. “And we gave two of those teams a real good game.”