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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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OC girls take care of business

Sophomores Cierra Walker and Taylor Shaw lead the way in a 66-44 win over No. 10 Canby

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Senior guard Toria Bradford (23) dishes off to a teammate in Fridays game with Canby. Crisp passes and unselfish team play helped the Pioneers take control of the game early on.The Canby Cougars discovered Friday night at Oregon City that they are not yet ready for primetime in Oregon high school girls basketball.

The 10th-ranked Cougars came to Oregon City with high hopes of competing with the fifth-ranked Pioneers, but they ended up on the losing end of a 66-44 tally.

The Pioneers had just too many weapons, and they had the Cougars fighting an uphill battle most of the game.

Five different Oregon City players found the bucket during a 15-2 run in the first quarter, and the Cougars found themselves trailing 19-6 inside the final minute of the opening period.

The Cougars regained their composure and focus and narrowed the gap to 30-25 by late in the second period.

But Oregon City sophomore play-making guard Cierra Walker scored on a layup with 46 seconds left in the first half. And she then followed up a Canby offensive foul with a 3-pointer, making it 35-25 Oregon City at the intermission.

Canby decided to go more with its outside game in the third quarter, and it proved costly. The Cougars went 3-for-13 from the field in the third stanza, with seven of the ten misses on 3-pointers.

Canby went scoreless in the third stanza until Bailey Raines hit two free throws with 3:12 remaining. And the Cougars were trailing 51-27 when 5-8 junior wing Taylor Jorgensen hit a 3-pointer for Canby’s first field goal of the second half, with just 1:50 left in the third period.

Much of Oregon City’s first-half scoring came on shots from long range. Four different Oregon City players combined to hit five 3-pointers before the halftime break.

In the second half, the Pioneers turned to their inside game, attacking the basket and hitting the backboards hard.

Two sophomores provided much of the offensive fireworks for Oregon City. Taylor Shaw, a 5-10 sophomore post, finished the game with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Walker, a 5-6 point guard, scored 17 points and served up six assists. She hit three 3-pointers on the night.

Senior wing Jessica Gertz added 11 points to the winning tally.

Canby was led by Jorgensen (13 points) and 5-8 senior wing Bailey Raines (10 points). Jorgensen had three treys in the losing effort, two of them coming late in the third quarter, after the game was out of reach.

“[The keys to breaking the game open in the second half were] cutting down on our turnovers, rebounding and our depth,” Gertz said.

“Our bench is good,” Shaw said. “They come out ready to play when they step on the floor.”

The Pioneers had 14 turnovers in the first half, and only four turnovers in the third period.

Coaches for both teams cleared their benches with 3-1/2 minutes to play.

The Pioneers shot 50 percent from the field on the night, dropping in 28-of-56 shots from the floor — including seven 3-pointers. Canby was a lukewarm 18-of-51 (35 percent) from the field.

Only one other team has scored as many as 66 points against the Cougars this season. Canby lost to second-ranked St. Mary’s 68-57 in its season opener.

Oregon City improved to 2-0 in league (10-5 overall) with Friday’s win. Canby slipped to 1-1 in league (12-4 overall) with the loss.

Oregon City faced a stiff test this Tuesday (Jan. 28), when the Pioneers were scheduled to entertain fourth-ranked Clackamas (13-3, 2-0).

Oregon City plays Lake Oswego (7-8, 0-2) on the road this Friday. The Pioneers play eighth-ranked West Linn (12-3, 2-0) at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, at West Linn.

Gertz said she sees West Linn and Clackamas as the Pioneers’ toughest opponents in league.

“West Linn is always physical and they come out ready to play,” said Gertz. “Same with Clackamas.”