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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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Rex Putnam coeds make it 10 in a row


They put three more games in the win column, including a 39-37 barnburner with their rivals

The Rex Putnam Kingsmen last week continued on track for their best girls basketball season in three decades, improving their record in Northwest Oregon Conference play to 10-0 with wins over cross-town rival Milwaukie (39-37), Parkrose (75-40) and Wilsonville (58-43).

“The girls want to go undefeated in league, not so much because it may be the first time in school history, but because they want to make sure they get the best seed possible in the state playoffs,” said Putnam coach Kris Leatherman. “Our league is so weak that we have to win out to get a good seed. We could end up playing [defending state champion] Willamette in the playoffs if we don’t win out.”

Entering play this week, the Kingsmen (12-7, 10-0) were ranked 16th in the OSAA Class 5A RPI rankings, with league games remaining with Sandy (10-9, 5-5), St. Helens (1-17, 1-9), Liberty (8-12, 6-4) and Wilsonville (7-12, 4-6).

“I feel good about our chances of going undefeated [in league],” said Leatherman. “You can see by our stats in our last two games [Parkrose and Wilsonville], we’re starting to make shots.”

Defense has been the Kingsmen’s strength all season. It’s gained them a lot more shots than their opponents, but through much of the season they’ve struggled to get those shots to drop.

In last week’s game with Wilsonville, Putnam cashed in on 24-of-55 shots (44 percent) from the floor; in the game with Parkrose, they made 28-of-64 attempts (also 44 percent).

The Kingsmen have also been dominant on the backboards, claiming 48 rebounds (18 offensive) at Wilsonville and 45 in the Parkrose game.

Senior wing Kelsea Baton had a huge night in Saturday’s game at Wilsonville, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, assisting on six baskets, claiming seven rebounds and stealing the sphere four times.

Putnam was nursing only a 26-22 lead at halftime, but Baton led the charge in the second half, scoring 13 points, to help break the game open.

While Baton was doing the job on short jumpers, freshman post Haley Brandel and sophomore post Angela Arrington were dominating the play on the inside. Brandel had 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots; Arrington had 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and seven points.

Putnam playmaking guard Mariah Oliver was also tough, assisting on seven baskets, scoring eight points and stealing the ball five times.

Playing in front of a large, supportive crowd on Friday, they Kingsmen put the Parkrose game away in the first period, when they outscored the visiting Broncs 21-4.

“We just overwhelmed them,” said Leatherman.

Oliver (14 points, 5 assists), Brandel (13 points, 10 rebounds), Ali Schooley (11 points, 10 assists), Carly Bolander (9 points, 9 rebounds) and Baton (8 points, 4 steals) led the charge in a team effort that saw 11 Putnam players score.

Oliver was 7-of-10 from the field. Schooley made 6-of-6 free throws and Putnam’s team was 16-of-23 from the charity stripe.

Cold shooting nearly cost the Kingsmen in a Feb. 11 game with Milwaukie. Rallying around the sharp outside shooting of Alexis Mulford, the upstart Mustangs nearly pulled off an upset.

Mulford scored a team-high 15 points, hitting five of seven attempts on 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, the Kingsmen struggled to find the basket, making only 30 percent (15-of-50) of their shots from the floor. Putnam offensive leader Mariah Oliver was 0-for-7 from the field and she went scoreless for the first time this season. The 5-5 senior point guard entered the contest averaging 12.5 points.

“Hopefully this is a wakeup call,” Leatherman said, following the game. “The girls need to shoot the ball better and be more mentally prepared. They also struggled at the free throw line.”

The Kingsmen were awarded 20 charity tosses and made nine of them.

Putnam led 21-11 at halftime. But, rallying around Alexis Mulford’s sharp outside shooting, Milwaukie rallied back.

Milwaukie senior point guard Karissa Delaunay, who had struggled all night, hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:25 to play that tied the game for the first time since the first quarter, at 35-35.

Putnam senior guard Ali Schooley drove the baseline for a lay-up to put Putnam back on top, at 37-35, with 50 seconds remaining.

Arrington followed with the defensive play of the game, taking a charge as Delaunay drove the lane.

Baton found the basket on a mid-range jumper with 25 seconds left, which would prove enough to gain the Kingsmen the victory.

Skyler Hampton made a lay-up for Milwaukie with 14 seconds remaining to trim Putnam’s lead to 39-37.

And the Mustangs got renewed hope when they forced a travel on Putnam’s ensuing possession.

But Schooley stole an errant pass on Milwaukie’s final possession, and the Kingsmen held on for the 39-37 victory.

Arrington had a career night for the Kingsmen in the victory. The 5-11 sophomore scored a game-high 17 points, hitting 5-of-9 shots from the floor and 7-of-9 free throws. She also claimed 12 rebounds — eight at the offensive end, rejected four shots and had two steals.

Brandel claimed eight rebounds as she and Arrington led the Kingsmen to an advantage on the backboards.

Schooley had three steals, as the Kingsmen forced 18 turnovers, while committing only seven turnovers.

Merrily Jones had 10 points in the losing effort. Julia Rivers claimed a team-high nine rebounds.

The contest was pretty-much a half-court game, with the normally hard-pressing Kingsmen electing not to press most of the night.

Putnam hosts St. Helens this Thursday. The Kingsmen close out their league season next week, playing at Liberty on Tuesday and hosting Wilsonville on Friday, Feb. 28.