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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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Glads on track for an historic season


An elusive league title appears within reach

by:   JOHN LARIVIERE - Even triple teams failed to slow Madras standout Jered Pichette in last weeks game at Gladstone, as Pichette scored 30 points in a 52-43 White Buffalo loss. Defending for Gladstone in the photo are: Sean Williams (left), Handsome Smith (center) and Trevor Browning (right).The Gladstone Gladiators last week continued on track for one of their best boys basketball seasons in years, knocking off always tough Madras 52-43 on Thursday, after stopping Molalla 54-24 earlier in the week.

With the pair of wins, the fifth-ranked Gladiators (18-3, 8-1) remained tied with La Salle (18-3, 8-1), in first place in the Tri-Valley Conference, heading into this week’s Feb. 25 league final with 15th-ranked North Marion (14-9, 6-3).

It took a solid team game and sharing the basketball for the Gladiators to get by the upset-minded Madras White Buffaloes in last Thursday’s game, played before an enthusiastic and supportive crowd at Gladstone High School.

Madras star point guard Jered Pichette was on fire, and he did everything he could to beat the Gladiators all by himself, scoring 30 points, assisting on four baskets, snagging seven rebounds and stealing the sphere five times.

Pichette couldn’t be stopped. He hit 8-of-14 field goals, including four 3-pointers, and the 5-10 do-everything junior hit 10-of-13 free throws, as the Gladiators struggled to stop him.

“He’s difficult to defend,” said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. “We tried several different things to no avail.... I’m glad to have Madras behind us.”

“He’s super quick and elusive,” said Gladstone senior guard Trevor Browning. “He’s been playing basketball a long time, and it shows.”

“And he’s very aggressive,” added Gladstone senior forward Ryun Gibson.

Still, the White Buffaloes’ one-man show struggled to keep up with the Gladiators, who had too many weapons for Madras defenders to keep track of.

While only four Madras players scored, eight different Gladstone players found the basket, led by junior reserve forward Justice Fridell (13 points) and senior forward Ryun Gibson (12 points, 5 assists).

“For us, we don’t know who’s going to score for us on a given night,” said Yates. “Everyone can shoot the ball and score. That’s our strength. It makes it tough for people to defend.”

Fridell was dynamite in the Madras game, hauling down a career-high 11 rebounds on the night and scoring all of his points in the second half, when he hustled to grab offensive boards for three putbacks.

Gibson was also huge on the backboards, corralling a season-high 11 rebounds himself, as the Gladiators out-rebounded their guests 27-17.

“Justice didn’t play last year, but he’s been getting better all season,” said Yates. “He’s playing well and peaking at the right time. He hits the glass hard....”

“He crashed the boards hard tonight,” said Browning. “But he’s been doing that all season.... He made a couple of buckets in the third quarter that were huge in getting us the lead.”

Gladstone trailed only briefly at the start of the game, but the White Buffaloes stayed close, until three minutes into the third period, when Fridell started to take charge.

Fridell scored a lay-up off an inbound pass from Handsome Smith to up Gladstone’s lead to five points, at 28-23.

Following a Madras miss, Sean Williams cashed in from 3-point land, and it was a 31-23 ball game.

The two teams traded misses, then Fridell upped the Gladiator lead to 33-23 with a putback on a missed 3-pointer.

Another putback by Fridell upped the Gladiator lead to 35-23, and his fast-break bucket with 1:35 left in the third stanza made it 37-23.

He added a tip-in of a missed shot for a 39-25 Gladiator lead as the third quarter was winding down, and the White Buffaloes never got closer than seven points the rest of the way, despite Pichette’s heroics. Pichette scored 14 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, when he hit three of his four treys.

The Gladiators were 22-of-53 from the field on the night, while the White Buffaloes were 14-of-41.

Gladstone had 10 turnovers, to 17 by Madras.

With a win over North Marion on Tuesday (Feb. 25), the Gladiators would claim at least a share of only their third league title in two decades. Gladstone teams were co-champions with Madras and North Marion in 2011. Before that, they were league champions in 1991, 1992 and 1998.

“I think we’re in a great spot, since we split with La Salle,” said Browning. “And if we take care of business with North Marion, we’ll be in a real good position to make [the state championship tournament at] Gill Coliseum.”

Comparing this year’s team to last year’s squad that went to Gill Coliseum, Gibson said, “I feel we’re more of a team. We’re unselfish. It’s a pass, pass, pass, and lay-up type of game.”

Browning had kind words for Gladstone’s home crowd: “They really pump us up. We’ve been able to protect our home court this season and the fans have been a big part of that.”

“They definitely help with momentum,” said Gibson. “When they get loud, it gives me energy and makes me want to play harder.”

“We really appreciate them and we hope they follow us to Gill,” Browning said.

The Gladiators played one of their better defensive games of the year in their Feb. 18 game at Molalla. It was the lowest scoring game of the year for the Indians, who entered the contest averaging 47 points an outing.

Still, it wasn’t until the second half that the Gladiators put their hosts away. Nursing a 22-14 halftime lead, the Gladiators outscored the Indians 22-3 in the third period.

“We made some adjustments on defense,” said Gladstone coach Ted Yates. “We changed our press and our half-court defense, and it got us going.”

The Gladiators forced 30 turnovers in the game, 11 of them coming in the third period.

“[In the third quarter] it was an explosion unlike any I’ve ever seen,” said Yates. “Ryun Gibson started us off with a dunk.... Austin Galvin had four steals [in the third period]....”

Besides struggling to maintain control of the ball, the Indians had a tough time getting shots to drop. They made only eight field goals out of 34 attempts (.235) in the game.

Ten Gladstone players scored, led by Sean Williams (11 points), Gibson (10 points) and Justice Fridell (8 points). Williams was 3-of-6 from 3-point land.

Galvin and Handsome Smith both had four assists on the night. Galvin had six steals in the game.

Smith and Fridell led Gladstone to a 26-19 advantage on the backboards.

Tyler Gengler scored 10 points to lead the Indians.

Last Thursday’s 52-43 win over Madras was the Gladiators’ eighth win in a row.