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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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Teamwork makes the dream come true — Oregon City girls are state champions for the twelfth time in the past 23 seasons

The Oregon City Pioneers did themselves and their community proud last week, battling back from a 12-point third quarter deficit to topple top-ranked South Medford 57-48 in Saturday night’s championship final of the 2014 Class 6A State High School Girls Basketball Championships, after advancing through convincing wins over seventh-ranked Tigard (67-44) and sixth-ranked Westview (70-52).by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City players and coaches pose proudly with their first place hardware following their 57-48 win over top-ranked South Medford in Saturdays championship final of the Class 6A High School Girls Basketball Tournament, held at the Moda Center.

Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf was ecstatic following Saturday’s night’s come-from-behind victory.

“Heart of a champion!” Guelsdorf said. “Heart of a champion! A great comeback! It’s like a dream. Heart of a champion! Heart of a champion....!”

It’s Oregon City’s first state championship in girls basketball since 2009 and the Pioneers’ twelfth title since 1992, when they won their first title under retired coach Brad Smith. It’s the twenty-eighth straight season that Oregon City has trophied at state in girls basketball.

Although the Pioneers won handily in their quarterfinal with Tigard and their semifinal with Westview, Saturday night’s final with South Medford was no cakewalk.

The Pioneers trailed through much of the game, thanks to 10-for-30 (.333) shooting in the first half.

And Oregon City’s victory prospects appeared grim three minutes into the third period, when South Medford 6-2 forward Ashley Bolston, who has signed with Washington State, followed up a 3-pointer by Panther point guard Lauren Orndoff with a layup to gain South Medford it’s biggest lead of the night, at 40-28.

But there was no quit in the Pioneers. They continued their strategy of trying to force the tempo and tire the Panthers out, and they turned it up a notch in their half-court defense.

Oregon City shots that weren’t falling in the first half began to drop, while the Panthers struggled to find the basket. And while the Panthers missed their next seven shots from the floor, the Pioneers went on an 8-0 run.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City senior Jessica Gertz launches a 3-pointer in Saturday nights championship game with top-ranked South Medford.Oregon City senior forward Jessica Gertz hit two free throws, 5-11 sophomore post Taylor Shaw scored an inside bucket off a crisp pass from Gertz, freshman guard N’Dea Flye drove the lane for a bucket — twice. And South Medford’s lead was down to four points, at 40-36, with the third quarter winding down.

Sophomore point guard Cierra Walker connected from downtown to close out the third period, trimming the Panther lead to 42-39.

Gertz stole the ball in the half-court on South Medford’s first possession of the fourth quarter and went coast-to-coast to trim the lead to one.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City senior Toria Bradford goes on the attack in the state final with South MedfordAnd when Oregon City 5-6 guard Toria Bradford stepped in front of the 6-2 Bolston and drew a charge, players and fans alike could feel the momentum changing.

A short time later, Bradford drove the lane for a layup that put Oregon City up 43-42, gaining the Pioneers their first lead since late in the first quarter. And Oregon City fans rocked the Moda Center in celebration.

The Pioneers scored on their next five possessions. And when Gertz cashed in for a 3-pointer with 2:44 left to play, Oregon City had its biggest lead of the night, at 53-44.

The Pioneers then went without a turnover in a successful delay. And Walker and Gertz both made their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Shooting statistics reflect the turn in momentum as the second half progressed.

While the Pioneers made only 10-of-30 shots from the floor in the first half, they found the mark on 11-of-15 attempts (.733) after the halftime break.

And while the Panthers made 14-of-29 (.483) shots from the floor in the first half, they were only 7-of-27 (.259) in the second half.

Walker explained the turnaround in the Pioneers’ shooting: “We knew we had to have a shooter’s mentality. If your shot doesn’t go in, you have to put it behind you and move on to the next one. And eventually they’ll start falling.”

It was truly a team effort by the Pioneers, who had four players score in double figures — Gertz (17 points, 3 assists), Walker (13 points, 3 assists), Bradford (10 points, 3 assists) and Shaw (10 points).

Gertz was 5-of-10 from the field on the night, with three 3-pointers, and the Pioneer senior leader was a perfect 4-for-4 at the charity stripe; Walker made all three of her shots from beyond the arc; Bradford connected on 5-of-8 field goal attempts.

Shaw more than held her own with South Medford’s physical inside players, going 4-of-5 from the floor and hauling down 10 rebounds.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City starters (left to right) Jessica Gertz, Cierra Walker and Toria Bradford were honored as three of the top players at the 2014 Class 6A State Champinship Tournament.And Oregon City 5-7 senior Alyssa Durr played a pivotal role on defense, as she, with help from her teammates, all but shut down Bolston after the halftime break. Bolston, who finished with 11 points and seven assists, had only 4 points and one assist in the third and fourth periods. She was 2-of-8 from the field in the second half.

Guelsdorf praised his charges: “An unbelievable team, and I mean team. We are the sum of all our parts. We don’t have the All-Americans.... It’s just a bunch of kids that believe in each other and play for one another. Even down by 12, they believed that if they kept doing what they were doing, the shots would drop, and South Medford would get tired....

“It was tremendously gratifying to win, because they were a team that wasn’t expected to get a state title. But they did it.”

Walker explained the Pioneers’ success: “Hard work, teamwork, and effort. We left it all on the floor for our seniors.”

“I’m excited! Overjoyed!” said Durr. “Out of my four years, this was the year when people thought we had the least chance [of winning state].... We knew we would have to work harder than everyone else to get it. We’ve worked hard since the end of last season and we’ve done it. It’s unbelievable!”

“This means the world to me, because I came out to play this game for my grandpa, the Oregon City community, for former Pioneers, and for future Pioneers,” said Bradford.

Bradford explained the Pioneers’ unexpected success: “Everyone underestimated us, so we played every game with a chip on our shoulders. It showed on our hustle plays, on jump balls and diving on the floor to get loose balls. The little things. Playing for one another.”

Bradford continued, “I’m not at all surprised [we won state], because every day in practice, we go against our starters, while other teams face our starters maybe two games a year, and that gives us an advantage.”

“I’m really proud of our team,” said Gertz. “All of our hard work has paid off.”

Gertz explained the second-half comeback in the title game, “We came out with fresh energy. We just went out there and left everything on the floor.”

“This means a lot to me,” said Oregon City senior Stephanie Tolke. “I work just as hard as everyone else, and I take pride in being a great teammate and cheering my teammates on when I’m not playing. It means a lot. It’s what we’ve been working for all year.”

“Everyone doubted us,” said Walker. “They didn’t even think we’d win league. But we’ve put in the hard work. Three hours of practice every day, and we gave it our best every time we stepped on the floor.”

“It’s a dream come true,”Walker said. “As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to win a state championship. I remember in Tri-State Basketball, as a fifth-grader, looking up at those banners in the gym and hoping that one day one of those banners would be mine.”

The Pioneer players this year played with the letters TMDW inscribed on their arms.

Durr explained what the letters mean: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

The victory over South Medford was no small accomplishment. It was the third straight state final for the Panthers, who were state champions in 2012. And the Panthers entered the title game undefeated against opponents from Oregon and riding a 15-game win string. They had allowed opponents an average of just 42 points a game this season, and Oregon City’s 57 points was the most points scored by an Oregon opponent all season.

And while the Panthers were ranked the top team in Oregon all season, the Pioneers, although ranked No. 2, were decided underdogs. They did not have a single starter returning from last year’s team that handled Tigard (68-29) in the 2013 third-place final, after losing to eventual state champion Central Catholic (57-52) in the semifinals.

South Medford finished the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 26-4.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf takes flight as the final horn sounds in the championship final of the 2014 Class 6A High School Girls Basketball Tournament. Guelsdorfs Pioneers defeated top-ranked South Medford in the final to claim their first state championship since 2009.Oregon City finished the year with a record of 22-6, the Pioneers’ last loss in a Feb. 4 game at Three Rivers League rival West Linn, 68-61.

The Pioneers later avenged that loss and claimed their 19th league title in the past 20 seasons.

If anyone believes the Pioneers are going to go away next year or in the near future, they’d better think again. Only four players will be lost to graduation from this year’s 13-player state-tournament roster next season — Gertz, Bradford, Durr and Tolke.

Expected back are: juniors Lucy Kleiner (5-8 wing) and Maleah Herbaugh (5-10 post); sophomores Walker (5-8 point guard), Shaw (5-11 post), Jordan Kelly (5-6 wing), Lindsi Peters (5-5 guard), Katie Kammerer (5-11 post) and Taylor Knighton (5-9 post); and freshman N’Dea Flye (5-8 guard).

And the Pioneers are still hungry.

“My goals are to keep winning state [my junior and senior years], keeping winning league, and keep working hard,” said Walker.