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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 tankers excel at district


Also: Lainey Visscher in record form for Clackamas

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City sophomore Brian FrazierLAKE OSWEGO — Oregon City High School’s boys swim team turned more than a few heads at last weekend’s Three Rivers League district swim meet.

The Pioneers nearly beat out Grant for second place in the boys meet. They qualified four boys for state in seven events, and they set some district meet records.

“Wow! An unbelievable finals,” said Oregon City coach Bryan Watt. “I have literally never seen anything like it. An awesome job by everyone! And six district championship swims.”

The Pioneer boys scored 184 points and placed third in the team scoring, finishing close behind Lake Oswego (234 points) and Grant (203).

“We couldn’t have beaten Lake Oswego, because of their depth,” said Watt. “But we would have beaten Grant, except for a disqualification.”

The disqualification came in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay, where the team of sophomores Isaac Watt and Brian Frazier and juniors Chase Tucker and Josh Morton blew away the field, completing the race in a district-record time of 1:29.60. But before they could finish celebrating, coach Watt was notified that one of his swimmers left too early and the team was therefore disqualified.

“We absolutely blew everyone away,” said Watt. “Won by body lengths. I’m not questioning the disqualification. If the judges said we had a kid leave early, then we had a kid leave early. But it wasn’t by very much.... That was our only letdown of the entire district meet. The kids recovered and swan great in their remaining races. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Lake Oswego’s winning time in the 200-freestyle relay was 1:34.50.

Oregon City was also tough in the 200-yard medley relay, where the same four boys raced to a time of 1:39.18, beating out Grant (1:41.78), which also qualified for state in the event by beating the state qualifying standard. It was a repeat district title for the Pioneers in the event.

“Every kid PR’d, and we beat Grant by 2.6 seconds,” said Watt. “A terrific race. I’m so proud of the kids.”

Frazier also won district titles in the 200-individual medley (1:54.67) and in the 100-freestyle (47.71). He was one of three swimmers to meet the state qualifying standard in the individual medley and one of two swimmers to meet the standard in the freestyle. His time in the individual medley was just six tenths of a second off the district record.

“Brian told me right before he swan the medley, “I’m going for a 1:57. He swims it in 1:54.67 and beats the pack by five seconds. That’s amazing! It’s just unheard of.”

Frazier’s previous best time for the individual medley was 1:58.6. His personal best in the 100-freestyle prior to the district meet was 48.7.

The Pioneers had another double winner in Morton, who set the pace in the 100-butterfly (52.64) and in the 200-freestyle (1:47.08), recording personal records in both events. Morton just nosed out Lake Oswego sophomore Edward Kang (52.68) in the butterfly, where both swimmers met the state qualifying standard.

“Josh just absolutely killed it in both races,” coach Watt said.

The sixth district title came in the 100-breast stroke, where Isaac Watt (1:01.08) and Tucker (1:02.29) went one-two respectively. Both swimmers recorded lifetime best marks in the event at the district meet.

Tucker learned on Sunday that he’s gained a wild-card berth to state in the event.

The Pioneers could score big at the upcoming state championship swim meet. Frazier is seeded third in the state in both the individual medley and 100-freestyle; Oregon City’s medley relay team is seeded third; Morton is seeded sixth in the butterfly and ninth in the 200-freestyle; and Watt is seeded eighth in the breast stroke.

Sophomore Alissa Frazier was a standout for Oregon City girls at district, placing third in the 100-butterfly (1:00.61) and fifth in the 100-breast stroke (1:09.19). Her times were good enough to gain her wild card berths to state in both events.

“All said and done, the boys’ times were better than I could have hoped for,” Watt said. “And Alissa swam great, especially in the breast stroke.... I’m just so excited for these kids.”

Clackamas (159), Lakeridge (156), Canby (138) and West Linn (123) rounded out the district meet scoring on the boys side.

Lakeridge (268) topped West Linn (245) for first place in the girls team scoring, followed by Lake Oswego (194-1/2), Clackamas (184), Grant (142), Oregon City (102-1/2) and Canby (62).

TRL dual meet standings on the boys side had Oregon City (4-1) and Lakeridge (4-1) tied for second place, behind Lake Oswego (5-0). Clackamas boys went 1-4.

TRL dual meet standings on the girls side had Lake Oswego and Lakeridge going 5-0, followed by West Linn (4-2). Clackamas girls went 3-2 and Oregon City girls went 1-4.

The final week of league dual competition was not held because of inclement weather.

Visscher in

record form

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Clackamas sophomore Lainey VisscherClackamas sophomore Lainey Visscher was in record form at last week’s TRL district meet, breaking her own school and district record with a winning time of 55.61 in the 100-yard backstroke, and coming within three hundredths of a second of her year-old school and district record with an effort of 56.55 in the 100-butterfly.

Visscher finished over a second in front of the runner-up, West Linn sophomore Laura Laderoute, in the backstroke, and her time earns her consideration for All-American honors.

Visscher finished nearly two seconds in front of runner-up Brenda Cha of Lakeridge (58.27) in the butterfly.

Visscher also teamed up with senior Sarah Wozniak, junior Anna Depaepe and freshman Denise Dao to earn third place and a wild card berth at state in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Visscher, who placed second at state in the butterfly and third at state in the backstroke last year, is seeded first in both events this year.

The Cavaliers also had a state qualifier in junior Christian Gilbreath, who placed first in the 50-freestyle (22.81), and finished runner-up in the 100-freestyle, with a qualifying time of 49.17.

The state meet runs Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.

Championship finals run from 1 to 5 p.m. for Class 6A, from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. for Class 5A, and from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m. for Class 4A/3A/2A/1A.