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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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Guelsdorf sees his Pioneers as contenders


The youthful Pioneers make a phenomenal run in the TRL

by: JAMIE VALDEZ - Oregon City sophomore post Taylor Shaw (center) battles Caitlin Malvar (left) and Morgan Haskin for a loose ball in last weeks pay-back win over the West Linn Lions.After an amazing run in the Three Rivers League, Oregon City girls basketball coach Kurt Guelsdorf believes that his Pioneers have a shot at the Class 6A state title. But he acknowledges that it won’t be easy.

“I believe the state tournament field is wide open,” Guelsdorf said. “There’s lots of parity state-wide.

“We have a great opportunity, if things go well, to win a state title. But I also believe Clackamas, West Linn, Westview, South Medford, St. Mary’s, South Salem, Tigard and Canby can say the same thing.

“Coming from the best league in Oregon, I believe we are battled tested and ready. Of course, every single game will be a great challenge.”

Three Rivers League teams certainly did prove themselves during the regular season. Entering postseason, the league had four of its six teams in the top 11 in the OSAA’s final 43-team RPI rankings, which rank teams based on their win-loss records and the toughness of their schedules.

Three Rivers League champion Oregon City (17-6, 9-1) enters the state playoffs ranked second only to South Medford (22-3). TRL runner-up Clackamas (19-5, 8-2) was ranked No. 4, just back of St. Mary’s (20-4). West Linn (17-6, 6-4) was ranked ninth and Canby (16-8, 5-5) was ranked eleventh.

The Pioneers, in 23 regular season games, have outscored their opponents by an average of 24 points a game, 65-44.

Oregon City’s success heading into the playoffs has been nothing short of phenomenal, because the Pioneers began this season with a youthful and inexperienced varsity lineup, having graduated 11 seniors — including all five starters — from last year’s team.

Guelsdorf explained the Pioneers’ success:

“The biggest factor in our ability to win the TRL this year is our culture and tradition of hard work. Oregon City players are not afraid of hard work. They are very willing to sacrifice for the team, and are extremely unselfish.

“Another factor is senior Leadership. Jessica Gertz, Toria Bradford, Alyssa Durr, and Stephanie Tolke all provided great leadership on a daily basis. Pioneer tradition is a big deal, and those four upheld that tradition each and every day.”

The Pioneers had plenty of senior leadership in last week’s league final with West Linn, a convincing 61-46 win that avenged an earlier loss.

Senior starters Gertz (9 points), Bradford (11 points) and Durr (11 points) joined sophomore guard Cierra Walker (16 points, 4 assists) as the leading scorers in the game.

Bradford had a team-high six assists; Durr claimed a team-high seven rebounds.

The Pioneers led the entire game. Walker made it 3-0 when she was fouled on the fast-break and turned a layup into a three-point play. Durr drove the lane to make it 5-2; and Gertz hit a 3-pointer to make it 8-2 and put the Pioneers in the driver’s seat.

West Linn battled, and stayed close in the first half. But Bradford’s 3-pointer at the horn ending the first half made it 28-22 Oregon City.

And the Pioneers forced turnovers on four straight possessions early in the third period, as they took control.

Walker hit a 3-point basket, a fast-break bucket and 2-of-2 free throws during an 8-0 run, making it 39-26 Oregon City 3-1/2 minutes into the third stanza.

Oregon City sophomore post Katie Kammerer came off the bench to score a rebound basket and two layups as the third quarter was winding down, and it was all over but the shouting, with Oregon City up 45-30 heading into the final period.

Gertz, Durr and Bradford combined to go 6-for-8 from the charity stripe in the fourth period, and the Lions never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.

“This was our last game in the Three Rivers League and we wanted to go out with a win,” said Gertz.

The Pioneer senior leader added: “If we keep up the hard work and play like we did tonight, I think we’ll be successful [in postseason], as we work towards our goal of a [state] championship.”

“It think the key tonight was shutting them down at the 3-point line,” said Bradford.

“It was tough defense and giving a lot of effort into shutting down their 3-point shooters,” echoed Walker.

The Lions were only 2-of-17 from beyond the arc in last week’s loss. Earlier they had hit twelve 3-pointers in a 69-61 come-from-behind upset of their rivals.

“It was a good team effort, and I’m really proud of our team for coming back and redeeming ourselves,” said Walker. “West Linn’s our biggest rival, so this was a really big win for us.”

“Depending on how the brackets end up and where we are seeded, I think we have a real good chance [of winning state],” said Bradford.

“I think we have a pretty good chance,” Walker said. “We just have to push as hard as we can.”

Heading into the state playoffs, Oregon City’s offensive leaders were Gertz (15.7 ppg), Walker (13.0 ppg, 4.1 assists per game), sophomore Taylor Shaw (11.2 ppg) and Bradford (8.0 ppg, 5.1 assists per game).

Shaw was averaging a team-leading 7.2 rebounds; Bradford was averaging a team-leading three steals.

Oregon City was to begin postseason play on Tuesday (March 4), hosting Grant (6-17), which was ranked 38th in the OSAA power rankings.

With a win, Oregon City would advance to a Friday home playoff game with the winner of a first-round playoff game between 15th-ranked Crater (16-8) and 18th-ranked Forest Grove (15-10). And the winner of that game will advance to the 2014 eight-team Class 6A State Championship Tournament, scheduled for the Moda Center [formerly the Rose Garden] March 12-15.