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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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Gladiators stun No. 1 Falcons


They save their best for their cross-town rivals

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Gladstone junior guard Handsome Smith splits the defense of La Salles Luke Kolln (20) and Michael Edwards in a Tri-Valley Conference first-round game at La Salle. Smith was the hero in last weeks second-round conference game with the Falcons, driving the lane for his only field goal in the closing seconds to gain the Gladiators a 45-43 upset of their rivals.Feb. 12 was a huge night for Gladstone High School boys basketball.

The then fifth-ranked Gladiators knocked off top-ranked La Salle 45-43, avenging an earlier loss and earning themselves a tie with the Falcons for first place in the Tri-Valley Conference standings.

“We were a completely different team emotionally from the last time we played La Salle,” said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. “I was just really impressed with our kids. We were focussed. We didn’t let minor things get in our way....

“Even though 14 guys didn’t play, 14 guys won this game. It was a testament to how we practice. Everybody did what they needed to do. When kids came off the bench so our starters could get a breather, we didn’t lose anything. I think we had fun playing basketball tonight....

“Last time we played them we played hard, but we didn’t handle our emotions. This time we controlled our emotions and we played hard. Playing hard is something this group always does.... We still have room to improve, and the kids know that. But when we do those two things, control our emotions and play hard, we can play with anyone.”

“I thought it was the best game we’ve played all year,” said Gladstone senior leader Trevor Browning. “Every single player, whether they were on the bench or on the floor, contributed. Props to our bench. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Asked what was different from the last game with their rivals [a 49-39 loss], Browning said, “This time we played a lot looser. In the first game, we were tight. This time we were looser and the game was a lot quicker paced, the way we like it.”

Last week’s game was similar to the earlier game between the two teams, except for the ending. Gladstone led most of the way, after taking the lead early in the second period.

In last week’s game, the Falcons stayed close and they battled back to tie things up with two minutes to play. The game was then a dogfight to the end.

La Salle junior post Keeston Smith hit two free throws to knot the score at 43-43 with 13 seconds to go.

Seconds later, Gladstone junior Handsome Smith found himself double-teamed and he dished off to teammate Ryun Gibson. Gibson passed back to Smith near the top of the key; Smith drove the lane and made a lay-up with 1.8 seconds to play, gaining Gladstone the 45-43 hard fought victory.

Ironically it was Handsome Smith’s only field goal of the game, although the junior playmaker had four assists.

Senior guard Ryan Fowler (12 points) was the only Gladstone player in double figures in scoring, although nine Gladiators contributed points to the winning tally. Fowler was 6-of-8 from the field, doing most of the damage in the paint.

The win was all the more sweet for the Gladiators because one of their top offensive players, Ryun Gibson, got in early foul trouble and spent a good deal of time on the bench.

Fowler (3 steals) and Smith (3 steals) headed up a stellar team defensive performance that forced 22 La Salle turnovers.

Luke Kolln (11 points) and Reece Wible (10 points) were the top point-getters for the Falcons.

The Gladiators went 20-for-43 from the field, with two 3-point baskets; the Falcons were 18-of-37 from the field, with six 3-pointers.

The taller Falcons claimed a 25-19 advantage in rebounding.

It was only the third loss of the season for La Salle, which lost to Valley Catholic 42-35 in early December and to Philomath 45-32 in early January.

It was Gladstone’s fifth straight win in league, after the 49-39 setback in a Jan. 21 game at La Salle.

“This win was big,” said Yates. “It gives us a shot at the league title or a piece of the league title. And a league title means you go straight to the state playoffs.”

“I think both of our teams — Gladstone and us — can get a rubber match in the state-title game,” said La Salle coach Jared Curtiss.

“That would be an amazing experience and I could definitely see it happen,” said Browning. “We are both top five teams and I could see us getting there. That would be amazing!”

Gladstone had a bit of a letdown last Friday, following the emotional win over La Salle, winning a slow-down game at Estacada by only 11 points, 40-29.

“They slowed things down and made their 3’s, and we rushed things,” said Yates. “They controlled the tempo.”

The Gladiators led 16-8 at halftime, but it was still a five-point game with three minutes to play.

“Even though they played us close, we were in control,” Yates said. “We had some great looks and we missed some point-blank shots.... We played with poise. Austin Galvin and Trevor Browning hit 4-of-4 free throws down the stretch.”

Justice Fridell (12 points), Browning (10 points), Galvin (10 points) and Gibson (8 points) did all of the Gladiators’ scoring. Smith had four assists.

The Gladiators were a lukewarm 15-of-41 from the field.

Browning (5 steals) and Galvin (4 steals) headed up a defensive effort that resulted in 18 Ranger turnovers.

Gladstone boys host Madras (9-12, 2-5) this Thursday. They finish up the TVC league season next Tuesday, when they entertain North Marion (12-9, 4-3).

Gladstone girls last Friday got back on track, bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss to La Salle with a 52-42 win at Estacada.

Molly Webster

lights them up

Molly Webster showed up big-time on Friday, scoring a career-high 32 points, just one point shy of Gladstone’s all-time school record (33 points, Jana Barmore, 1985-86).

Webster was 12-of-26 from the field, with three 3-point baskets, and she hit 5-of-7 free throws. She also had four steals.

Defense was pivotal, as the Gladiators forced close to 30 turnovers. Mikaela Simac had a team-high five steals; Fiona Burrell had four steals.

Gladstone led nearly all the way, but Estacada kept things close by hitting 21-of-29 charity tosses.

Gladstone girls (14-7, 5-2) entered play this week ranked 14th in the state in the OSAA rankings. They close out the regular season playing at 15th-ranked Madras (14-7, 5-2) on Friday and at North Marion (7-14, 1-6) on Tuesday, Feb. 25. They handled Madras 62-40 in the first round of the league season.