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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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Novak, Jensen spark La Salle past Gladstone


The Falcons eke out a 34-32 victory in a defensive slugfest

by: JON HOUSE - La Salle seniors Andrea Novak (15) and Sterling Swift (2) team up to double-team Molly Webster in last weeks barnburner with Gladstone.It didn’t come easy, but La Salle Prep coeds defeated cross-town rival Gladstone for the second time this season, 34-32, in a key Tri-Valley Conference girls basketball game at La Salle on Feb. 12.

The game was a defensive slugfest and it was the lowest scoring game of the season for the number-two-in-the-state-ranked Falcons, who entered the contest averaging 69 points an outing.

The win, combined with a 72-28 blowout of North Marion on Friday, put the Falcons at 7-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference (18-1 overall), and it all but assured them of the 2014 TVC title.

Gladstone (14-7, 5-2) and Madras (14-7, 5-2), through play Friday, were tied for second place in the TVC with but three conference games remaining.

Through an aggressive half-court defense, the Gladiators had the Falcons on the ropes for much of the Feb. 12 game. La Salle was only 5-of-20 from the field in the first half and the Falcons turned the ball over no fewer than 12 times in the first two periods. The result was an 18-13 Gladiator lead at halftime.

The Gladiators had a shooting slump of their own in the third period, when they went one-of-15 from the field. But they continued to hold the Falcons at bay, making La Salle scoring opportunities tough to come by.

The turning point came late in the third quarter. The Falcons hit the Gladiators with an aggressive full-court press nearly the entire game, but it wasn’t until late in the third quarter that the press began to pay dividends — with turnovers leading to fast-break lay-ups.

Andrea Novak and Ally Jensen scored key buckets in the turnaround.

Novak scored on a put-back with 1:00 remaining in the third period to gain the Falcons their first lead of the game, at 24-23.

Jensen got a steal on the press and promptly scored to up the lead to 26-23.

And with 40 seconds remaining in the third stanza, Novak followed up a Gladiator miss on the fast break with a fast-break bucket of her own, making it La Salle 28, Gladstone 23, and putting the Falcons in the driver’s seat.

Another steal and fast-break bucket by Jensen early in the fourth quarter made it 30-23 La Salle.

The Falcons then slowed the pace of play in a half-court game the rest of the way, and did enough to hang on for the victory.

Novak scored a lay-up off a pass from Morgan McSmith with 6:12 to play to make it a 32-25 game; and Sterling Swift took the ball to the basket for a lay-up with 3:44 to play for a 34-30 Falcon lead and what would prove the winning bucket.

Trialing 34-32, Gladstone had the ball the final 34 seconds of the game, with a chance to tie or win. But Melisa Campos’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell off the mark, and the Falcons celebrated the hard fought victory over their longtime rivals.

“This means a lot,” said Novak. “With this being my senior year and Gladstone being our rivals, especially coming in the second half of league.”

“Since La Salle’s moving up to 5A and this will be the last time we play Gladstone, it’s a really big deal,” said Swift. “It was difficult, but we pulled it out....

“I think the key was energy. In the first half we were kind of sluggish. In the second half we played with more energy, led by our defense. We came together at halftime and said, ‘We’ve got to do this for the league title. And, since it’s our last time playing Gladstone, we’ve got to give it our all. We have to give 110 percent.”

Novak (12 points), Swift (6 points), Jensen (6 points) and Morgan McSmith (3 assists) led a balanced Falcon offense.

Novak was especially tough in the second half, when she scored 10 of her 12 points and snagged some key rebounds. The 5-10 senior claimed a team-high nine rebounds on the night and she was a hot-handed 6-of-9 from the field; Katie Buerk snagged eight rebounds, four of them at the offensive end of the floor.

La Salle earned a 27-22 edge in rebounding on the night.

Gladstone was led by Molly Webster (10 points), Fiona Burrell (8 points) and Mikaela Simac (7 points). Webster, who was double- and triple-teamed most of the game, also had three steals and seven rebounds.

Burrell was an intimidating force on defense, with four blocked shots and a team-high eight rebounds.

La Salle had 19 turnovers in the game; Gladstone had 18.

The Falcons made 15-of-41 shots (.365) from the floor, with two 3-pointers; the Gladiators made 13-of-39 shots (.333), with two 3-pointers.

Novak said she was very pleased with the Falcons’ success this season, in winning 17 of their first 18 games and gaining a second-in-the-state OSAA RPI ranking.

“We’ve had a lot expected of us,” she said. “We’ve had a target on our backs, since we’ve only lost one game.”

“La Salle [girls basketball] won its last state championship 30 years ago,” said Swift. “That’s our goal this year, taking it all the way. We’ve got seven seniors on the team and we’re going to give it everything we have, because it’s our last chance.”

Swift was on La Salle’s varsity team as a freshman when the Falcons lost to Cascade in the state final.

“That’s not going to happen again,” Swift said. “I’m going to tell my teammates how bad that felt, sitting on the bench with my sisters crying, after we lost to Cascade on a last-second shot. We don’t want to feel that kind of pain. We’ve got to come out and play with high energy in every single game we play, no matter who we are playing.”

Comparing the 2011 La Salle team that made the state final with this year’s team, Swift said: “We’re a lot more rounded. Different people step up for us in every game and help us succeed.”

La Salle was to host Madras on Tuesday (Feb. 18). The Falcons close out the regular season, hosting Estacada on Friday and playing Molalla on the road next Tuesday (Feb. 25).

La Salle’s boys basketball team rebounded on Friday, defeating North Marion 62-52, after dropping a 45-43 heartbreaker to Gladstone earlier in the week.

The Falcons showed up ready to play and took charge of the game from the opening tip-off.

They led 25-6 after just one quarter of play, and coasted home from there.

“We had a blazing start, after not scoring in first 1:55,” said La Salle boys coach Jared Curtiss. “We went on a 25-4 run. [Matt] D’Amore sparked us with two triples, and Valois [Gashongore] got us three steals and five quick points in setting the tone.

“Our lead surged to 20 in the second period, with balanced scoring from the outside from [Michael] Edwards, D’Amore and [Reece] Wible, who hit six 3’s combined in first half.”

Keeston Smith (14 points) and Reece Wible (11 points) led 10 La Salle players who scored.

Edwards had a team-high four assists on the night; Smith had a team-leading eight rebounds, and he blocked three shots.

Gashongore came up with five steals.

“We kept a La Salle tradition strong,” said Curtiss. “In our four years at La Salle, our teams have never lost two straight games. NEVER. I think anyone can play a poor game like we did at Gladstone and lose a close game. For us, losing two games is a pride thing. The players were glad to keep that tradition going. Now, its time to go on another eight-game winning streak, and it started tonight.”

La Salle boys (16-3, 6-1), who are tied with Gladstone (16-3, 6-1), in first place in the Tri-Valley Conference, play Estacada (4-16, 0-7) on the road this Friday. They finish up the regular season next Tuesday, when the entertain Molalla (5-16, 3-4).