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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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Kingsmen stick with the big girls


Putnam coeds give 6A Century and 5A power Hermiston a run for their money

Putnam coeds gave both Class 6A girls basketball power Century and Class 5A girls basketball powerhouse Hermiston a run for their money last week, as the Kingsmen closed out the preseason in impressive fashion.

The Kingsmen last Saturday gave the Hermiston Bulldogs, the second-ranked team in Class 5A, all they could handle in a 41-39 loss. And they took the 11th-ranked Jaguars down to the wire in a 65-61 loss in a game played at Putnam on Jan. 7.

“It was by far our best defensive performance in the last 1-1/2 years that coach [Otis] Oliver and I have had the team,” said assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “Last year we were getting blown out by good teams. This year we're right there with good teams.

“We're turning the corner. We have a strong inside game, we have a strong outside game and we play good defense. We hung with the No. 2 5A team in the state and it's going to be a springboard to bigger things in league....”

The Kingsmen were to begin Northwest Oregon Conference league play on Tuesday (Jan. 14), playing Sherwood on the road. They have an away game with cross-town rival Milwaukie on Friday.

Leatherman heaped praise on his posts, 6-1 freshman Haley Brandel and 5-11 sophomore Angela Arrington, for their efforts at Hermiston:

“Hermiston's best players are their posts, 6-2 senior Shelby Sanders and 5-11 senior McKenzie Byrd. Shelby Sanders is a Division I post. She's their leading scorer and she's signed with Portland State. Angela guarded her and held her to just four points and fouled her out of the game.... Our freshman post isn't a freshman any more. She's grown up. She's a stud basketball player. She had 11 rebounds and five blocked shots [in the Hermiston game].”

Brandel tied for team-high scoring honors with Mariah Oliver, who also scored 11 points.

The Bulldogs trailed Putnam by three points at halftime and by two points heading into the fourth quarter.

“We were ahead with three minutes to play when Angela fouled out,” said Leatherman. “After that they pretty much dominated the offensive boards, and got extra shots. But we still had a chance to win. They didn't go up for good until they made a free throw with 20 seconds left.”

Byrd scored just eight points in Saturday's win. Sophomore guard Jansen Edmiston (12 points) was the only Hermiston player able to reach double figures in scoring. The Bulldogs scored just eight field goals in the entire game and three of them were 3-pointers.

The Jan. 7 game with Century was much like the contest with Hermiston.

“We were ahead 54-53 with three minutes left, but then we made three straight turnovers, and that was the game,” Leatherman said.

The game was filled with fouls. Century made 23 of 37 free throws, including 15 in the fourth quarter; Putnam was 19-of-26 from the line.

Putnam lost two players — senior wing Kelsea Baton and Arrington — to fouls.

“Angela fouled out early in the fourth quarter and it hurt us because they have two big posts [6-3 senior Courtney Sirois and 6-2 senior Chandler Montgomery],” Leatherman said.

Montgomery and sophomore wing Chantal Castaneda led the Jaguars in scoring, each with 16 points. Castaneda was huge in the first quarter, when she hit three 3-pointers, forcing the Kingsmen to play catch-up much of the way. Putnam trailed 25-9 at the end of the first quarter, 34-23 at halftime and 46-40 heading into the final period.

Brandel (16 points) and senior guards Ali Schooley (14 points), Mariah Oliver (11 points) and Kelsea Baton (10 points) led a balanced Kingsmen attack.

Oliver was coming off a holiday tournament game with McNary in which she had scored a season-high 29 points, hitting a tournament record six 3-pointers [out of seven attempts] at the Lake Oswego Interstate Shootout.

Brandel held her own on the backboards, claiming 10 rebounds; Schooley came up with four steals.

“We're competing,” said Putnam head coach Otis Oliver. “We're 2-7 but most of our losses have been in close games. The only team that took it to us was Tigard [a 62-40 Putnam loss].”

Century's win over Putnam at Putnam was the ninth win in 10 games this season for the Jaguars.

Hermiston sports a 9-4 record, with losses to Lewiston, Idaho; Kmiakin, Washington; Class 6A West Linn and Class 6A Canby.

Putnam guys


Putnam's boys basketball team last week continued to struggle against big-school opponents, yielding to David Douglas 68-44 on Friday, after getting blown out by Lakeridge 81-55 earlier in the week.

Lakeridge entered play this week ranked 11th in the state in the Class 6A OSAA power rankings, while David Douglas was ranked seventh in the rankings heading into the game with the Kingsmen.

Friday's loss to David Douglas was the Kingsmen's eighth loss in a row, after a 65-62 win over Woodburn in their season opener.

Putnam fell behind in the first quarter of both of last week's games, and the Kingsmen were playing catch-up the rest of the way.

Drew O'Dell (16 points) hit three 3-pointers and was the only Kingsman in double figures in scoring in Friday's game with the Scots.

Jake Hamilton (15 points), Austin Klein (12 points) and David Vasquez (10 points) all scored in double figures at Lakeridge.

Charles Jones, a 6-0 sophomore guard, led a balanced attack for David Douglas with 19 points.

Reggie Oliver, a 6-0 senior guard, paced the Pacers with 26 points.

The Kingsmen were hopeful of getting back on the win track this week, as they began Northwest Oregon Conference play, hosting seventh-ranked Sherwood (7-2) on Tuesday (Jan. 14) and cross-town rival Milwaukie (1-8) on Friday.