Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Pioneer girls clinch another TRL title


Oregon City wins a big one at Clackamas

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf celebrates with Taylor Shaw (41) and Jessica Gertz (1) following the Pioneers 52-50 win at Clackamas. Oregon City sophomore Cierra Walker (10) also appears delighted with the outcome.Heading into this Tuesday’s (Feb. 25) final Three Rivers League girl basketball games of the season, the Oregon City Pioneers had clinched at least a tie for their 19th league title in the past 20 seasons.

“I’m very proud of these girls and what they’ve accomplished,” said Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf. “At the beginning of the season, with our youth and inexperience, some people in the league picked us to be third or fourth [in the TRL].

“I don’t want to say they’ve overachieved, because that comes with a negative connotation. But I think they’ve maximized what they’ve done with their talent....

“Taking our lumps against very good teams in December has paid dividends. Our goal has been to get better in every game, and I think they have done that.... The girls have practiced hard three hours a day, six days a week for the last four months. And I am very proud of what they have done.”

With a win over West Linn (17-5, 6-3) on Feb. 25, the Pioneers (16-6, 8-1) would win the TRL title outright. With a loss, they’d likely tie Clackamas (18-5, 7-2) for first place.

But, heading into Tuesday’s game with the Lions, more was at stake than the outright team title. With a win over the Lions, the Pioneers might move ahead of Clackamas in the OSAA power rankings, which would give them a higher seed in the Class 6A state playoffs.

Clackamas, Oregon City, West Linn and Canby were ranked fourth, fifth, ninth and 11th respectively in the power rankings entering their final league games.

Oregon City and Clackamas will both host first-round state play-off games next Tuesday, against yet-to-be determined winners from Feb. 28 and March 1 play-in games.

The Pioneers played like champions in a Feb. 18 game at Clackamas, demonstrating poise down the stretch en route to a 52-50 victory.

The game was an intense battle from the opening tip-off, with both teams struggling to make shots they normally make. For the game, the Pioneers made 16-of-55 (.290) field goals; the Cavaliers found the mark on 16-of-49 (.326).

“Extra possessions through offensive rebounds was big for us,” said Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf. “Offensive rebounds and forcing turnovers helped us overcome a poor shooting night.”

Oregon City 5-10 sophomore Taylor Shaw hauled down a career-high 13 rebounds and 5-11 senior Jessica Gertz claimed a career-high 11 rebounds.

Shaw (17 points), Gertz (9 points), freshman point guard N’Dea Flye (9 points) and senior point guard Toria Bradford (6 assists) headed up the Pioneer offense.

Flye played a pivotal role in the Pioneer victory, making baskets and forcing turnovers at crucial times to help turn the momentum in Oregon City’s favor.

The first quarter was pretty much a half-court game, with the Cavaliers in control.

“N’Dea Flye put constant pressure on the defense with her attack, getting to the free throw line and Toria Bradford made some great decisions down the stretch,” Guelsdorf said.

“N’Dea’s always been really strong in practice, and she’s been getting more comfortable out there with every game,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Alyssa Durr. “I think she can be one of the best players out there if she believes in herself.”

Durr said of Shaw, “She’s our big on the floor, even though size-wise she’s not that big.... She leaves it all on the floor every time out, and she has the skill to do it.”

Marissa Kelly’s steal and fast-break bucket a minute into the second quarter gained the Cavaliers’ their biggest lead of the game, at 15-7.

Steals by Gertz, Alyssa Durr, Shaw, Jordan Kelly and Katie Kammerer helped Oregon City close the gap, as the Pioneers increased the tempo of play.

Kelly’s 3-pointer with 2:12 left in the half knotted the score for the first time, at 22-22.

A short time later, Kelly was fouled on the fast break and her free throw gained the Pioneers a lead that they would never relinquish.

A fast-break basket by Kelly made it 25-22 Oregon City.

Clackamas’ team was dinged with a technical foul for too many players on the floor when a player stepped on the floor to enter the game without permission from the officials.

Gertz’ free throw made it 26-22 and Toria Bradford followed with a lay-up to make it 28-22 Oregon City at the half.

Durr’s 3-pointer 2-1/2 minutes into the third period gained the Pioneers their biggest lead of the night, at 32-23.

The Cavaliers battled back and closed the gap as the pace of play slowed. They were within a point twice early in the fourth quarter, trailing 34-33 and 37-36.

Oregon City stretched the lead back up to eight points, at 49-41, just inside a minute to play.

Clackamas senior wing Sydney Azorr hit two threes and Reiner added her fifth 3-pointer of the game as time wound down. But Bradford and Gertz made enough free throws down the stretch for the Pioneers to hang on for the 52-50 victory.

Reiner (16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, 3 assists), Erica Pagano (15 points, 4 assists) and Sydney Azorr (12 points) scored in double figures to lead Clackamas.

“Defensively I thought we did the job we needed to do on most of their players,” said Clackamas coach Todd Lane. “But we missed a ton of shots around the basket.... “The league title stuff is out of our hands now. We need to take care of business with Lakeridge and Canby.”

“Clackamas is an excellent basketball team and to win in their gym was a big victory,” said Guelsdorf. “Todd Lane does a great job with his team. They were well prepared and well coached.”

Asked the key to the Pioneer victory at Clackamas, Durr said, “I think we just wanted it more. Us seniors wanted it and the underclassmen stepped it up because they wanted it for the seniors....

“Clackamas has been our biggest rival since fifth grade and to come on their floor and win, it’s really exciting. It puts us in a better position going into the playoffs.”

Of Tuesday’s game with West Linn, Durr said, “The last time we played them we led the whole game, but we didn’t finish. Toward the end we forgot our roles and who we needed to shut down.”

The Pioneers didn’t have any problem shutting down Lake Oswego in last Friday’s home game with the Lakers. Oregon City surged to a 25-1 first-quarter advantage en route to a 73-29 blowout win.

“It was senior night and it was a team effort,” said Guelsdorf. “Fourteen people played and our four seniors started, and they all contributed.”

Led by 5-7 playmaking sophomore Cierra Walker (16 points, 6 assists), 5-7 senior wing Alyssa Durr (15 points), 5-11 senior wing Jessica Gertz (10 points) and 5-6 senior point guard Toria Bradford (7 points, 5 assists), eleven Oregon City players contributed points to the winning tally. Walker was 4-of-6 from 3-point land.

Durr headed the defensive effort, with four steals.

Clackamas got back on the win track last Friday, taking no hostages in a 70-27 rout of Lakeridge.

Eleven Clackamas players scored, led by Peyton Carroll (12 points), Erica Pagano (11 points, 5 assists, 8 rebounds), Erin McDonald (11 points) and Kaitlyn Reiner (9 points).

Freshmen Maddy Oakden and Taylor Morris both hit a pair of 3-pointers.

The Cavaliers were dominant in every phase of the game, connecting on better than 50 percent of their shots from the floor (31-of-60) — with six 3-pointers, claiming a 45-20 advantage on the backboards and forcing 19 turnovers.

Looking ahead to postseason play, Lane said, “The state is so balanced, it’s going to be interesting to see how the power rankings end up. St. Mary’s, Beaverton, us, Oregon City and Westview, any one of us could finish anywhere from second to sixth in the power rankings when the rankings freeze on Wednesday. It’s that close. I’m pretty sure we’ll finish in the top eight, which will mean two home playoff games if we get by the first one [on Tuesday, March 4].”