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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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Clackamas coeds sweep West Linn


The TRL girls basketball title chase heats up

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Taylor Enders-Smith (15) and Courteney Landis (23) had a tough time keeping up with Clackamas guard Kaitlyn Reiner and her teammates in last weeks game at Clackamas. The Cavaliers thrashed the Lions 48-27.The Three Rivers League girls basketball league title chase remained a dogfight heading into the home stretch.

Clackamas (17-4, 6-1) and Oregon City (14-6, 6-1) entered play this week a game up on West Linn (16-4, 5-2).

Clackamas, which got blown out by Oregon City in a first-round game, was to meet Oregon City a second time on Tuesday (Feb. 18) at Clackamas.

The Pioneers host West Linn next Tuesday in their final game of the league season. They lost to the Lions 68-61 in a Feb. 4 game at West Linn. Clackamas has beaten West Linn twice.

The Cavaliers came out fired up in last week’s game with the Lions. They took charge early and were in command from the opening tip-off to the final horn.

Forcing turnovers, dominating the backboards and playing aggressively at both ends of the floor, the Cavaliers built a 12-point lead, at 16-4, in the first 5-1/2 minutes of play. They stretched their advantage to 32-13 by the halftime break, and the game was in hand.

Six different players scored for Clackamas in the first quarter, while West Linn made only four field goals and had only three players score in the entire first half.

The Lions struggled to get clean looks at the basket all night. They were 4-of-22 from the field (.181) in the first half and 10-of-45 from the field (.222) for the game. They made only one field goal, out of 19 attempts from 3-point range.

It was like night and day for the Cavaliers from an earlier game with West Linn. Clackamas won that game 48-39, but the Cavaliers trailed most of the way.

“We played really good defense tonight,” said Clackamas senior co-captain Sydney Azorr. “We played really well as a team and stuck to our assignments. Last time we struggled with our shooting. This time our shots were on.”

“I thought our defense and overall intensity was a lot better than last time,” echoed Clackamas coach Todd Lane. “We really challenged their shots and we blocked out and looked to get out fast in the other direction....

“We played hard on defense the whole game. Erin [McDonald] did a really good job guarding Ashley Johnson.”

Johnson scored just one point in the game and she was 0-for-8 from the field.

Senior leaders Azorr (13 points), Kaitlyn Reiner (11 points) and Erica Pagano (11 points on 4-for-6 shooting) headed up the offensive effort for the Cavaliers.

Pagano (10 rebounds) was also tough on the backboards.

The Cavaliers forced 20 turnovers, while committing 13, and they out-rebounded their guests 39-33.

Azorr said, “This win [over West Linn] is huge! Since West Linn beat Oregon City, now we’re all tied for first place. It’s a big step towards our goal, which is league champions.”

Lane said he felt confident in his charges heading into their Feb. 18 rematch with Oregon City.

“After we played them last time we had a little midseason talk,” said Lane. “Since them we seem to have things going back in the right direction. We looked great against Canby and West Linn. But it’s just one game at a time.”

Clackamas continued on track last Friday, hammering Lake Oswego 60-25. The Cavaliers took no hostages, building a 17-3 lead in the first quarter and a 28-7 advantage by halftime.

Jordan Rasberry (10 points) headed a balanced offensive effort that saw 10 Clackamas players score.

Clackamas concludes the regular season hosting Lakeridge (6-14, 1-6) on Friday and playing Canby (14-7, 3-4) on the road next Tuesday. In first round league games the Cavaliers handled both opponents, defeating Lakeridge 62-41 and Canby 66-42.

Heading into play this week, Clackamas, Oregon City and West Linn girls were ranked second, fifth and seventh in the state in the OSAA Class 6A RPI rankings.

Oregon City girls had a relatively easy time of it last week, winning 67-56 at Canby on Friday, after routing Lakeridge 96-31 earlier in the week.

The game with Canby was a lot more lopsided than the score might indicate. Oregon City was up 38-21 at halftime and Canby outscored Oregon City by 10 points in the fourth quarter, after Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf had turned the play over to reserves.

Toria Bradford (17 points), Cierra Walker (14 points), Jessica Gertz (14 points) and Taylor Shaw (10 points) all scored in double figures against Canby.

Gertz (24 points), Shaw (16 points), Walker (13 points, 5 assists), Jordan Kelly (13 points), Alyssa Durr (10 points) and Bradford (7 assists) led the charge in the Feb. 11 game with Lakeridge. Gertz hit 4-of-5 shots from 3-point land; Kelly was a perfect 3-for-3 on 3’s.

Led by Gertz (7 steals), the Pioneers forced 31 turnovers in the rout of the Pacers.

The Pioneers host Lake Oswego (7-13, 0-7) this Friday; they close out the league season next Tuesday, in their ever important rematch with cross-river rival West Linn.