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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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Best season since 1986 for La Salle guys


The Falcons prove themselves among the states best

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Proud, but disappointed, La Salle players find it tough to hide their emotions during the trophy presentation following Saturdays championship game. La Salles state runner-up finish is the best since 1986.CORVALLIS — A tremendous season came to an end one win short of their goal for the La Salle Prep boys basketball team Saturday night, as the second-ranked Falcons lost to top-ranked Philomath 48-39 in the championship final of the Class 4A State Championship Tournament.

Despite losing most of last year’s team to graduation, the Falcons finished their 2013-14 campaign with a 22-4 record, their only losses to Philomath twice (45-32 in preseason and in the state final), to Tri-Valley Conference rival Gladstone (45-43) and to 2014 Class 3A state champion Valley Catholic (42-35).

This is the first time a La Salle boys basketball team has advanced to a state-title game since 1986, when the Falcons won their fourth state title in six seasons. A senior-based La Salle team placed third at state last year, beating Philomath 45-43 in the third-place final.

The Falcons didn’t have an answer for Philomath guard Ben DeSaulnier on Saturday. The 6-3 senior was on fire, scoring 30 of the Warriors’ 48 points, hauling down 11 rebounds and stealing the sphere four times. He turned three of his steals into momentum building dunks at the other end of the floor.

DeSaulnier was 11-of-21 from the field, with three 3-point baskets.

And while DeSaulnier proved next to impossible to stop on offense, he and his teammates got into the Falcon passing lanes, forcing turnovers and causing the Falcons to struggle to get much going on offense.

DeSaulnier hit a three-pointer to put Philomath up 3-2 early in the game, and the Warriors led the rest of the way.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - La Salle senior Luke Kolln is pursued by Philomath defenders as he brings the ball up the floor in Saturday nights championship game at Gill Coliseum.Philomath rallied around DeSaulnier to build a 29-15 lead by halftime, and it was an uphill battle for La Salle the rest of the way.

Still, the Falcons never quit. And when Ryan Cavanagh hit a 3-pointer with 1:49 left to play, it was a seven-point game, with La Salle trailing 43-36.

But DeSaulnier silenced any hopes of a Falcon comeback on Philomath’s ensuing possession, when he went coast-to-coast for a layup, making it 45-36 Philomath.

La Salle had 24 turnovers in the game, and the Falcons struggled to get their shots to drop, going 14-40 (.350) from the field, with 17 misses from 3-point land.

Keeston Smith scored a team-high 17 points in the losing effort, hitting 7-of-8 shots from the floor, with two 3-pointers. But the rest of La Salle’s team found the basket on only 7-of-32 attempts, for an ice-cold .218 shooting percentage.

Philomath finished the season with an overall record of 24-3, with early-season losses to Gladstone (46-45) and Seaside (41-38) and a 40-36 loss to Central on Jan. 21. The Warriors ended their season with 15 straight wins.

La Salle advanced to Saturday’s final through a 49-29 rout of eighth-ranked Tillamook in Friday’s semifinals, after winning an overtime barnburner from Cottage Grove, 61-58, in the quarterfinals.

Defense and sharp shooting were the keys in breaking open the game with Tillamook. The Falcons went on a 12-0 run in the second quarter to put an until-then close game out of reach.

Tillamook was held to just 10 points and four field goals, as the Falcons built a 22-10 halftime advantage, and coasted home from there.

The Cheesemakers made only 28 percent of their field goals in the game, thanks to the aggressive defensive play of La Salle guards.

Reece Wible and Keeston Smith packed the one-two punch for the Falcons on offense. Wible was on fire, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. He scored a game-high 18 points on the night.

Smith was a force to be reckoned with close to the basket, scoring 12 points and claiming 11 rebounds.

Matt D’Amore was the hero in the overtime win over Cottage Grove, banking in a 3-pointer at the horn at the end of regulation to knot the score at 51-51 and send the game into the extra period.

Luke Kolln made two layups early in the overtime to put the Falcons in the driver’s seat, and they held on for the hard fought win.

The contest was a battle from wire-to-wire, with 12 lead changes and five ties. Neither team led by more than seven points.

Rebounding was pivotal for the Falcons. Wible hauled down 10 rebounds to lead La Salle to a 33-18 advantage on the backboards.

Wible was also huge on offense, hitting 5-of-9 shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers. He finished with a team-high 15 points on the night.

Keeston Smith added 12 points, on 5-of-7 shooting; Kolln scored 10 points, connecting on 5-of-9 shots from the floor.

The Falcons were a hot-handed 25-of-46 (.543) from the field, with six 3-pointers.

Cottage Grove (20-8) went on to lose to North Valley 68-39 in the consolation final, after defeating Seaside 48-44 in the consolation semifinal.

La Salle had two players make the Class 4A State Championship All-Tournament first team. Reece Wible was a unanimous selection and he was joined on the first all-star unit by Keeston Smith.

Smith was among the state tournament leaders in scoring (13.7 ppg), field goal shooting percentage (.680, 17-of-25) and rebounding (8.0 rebounds per game).

Wible was a tournament leader in scoring (12.7 ppg), three-point shooting (8-for-14, .571) and rebounding (7.0 rpg).

Luke Kolln averaged 3.3 assists, second highest for the tournament.

La Salle’s team was the state tournament leader in overall field goal shooting percentage (56-for-123, .455) and 3-point shooting percentage (18-of-48, .375).

The Falcons should be tough again next year, with the loss of only five seniors from this year’s 15-player state tournament roster — Luke Kolln (6-0 guard), Thomas Callahan (6-4 post), Ryan Cavanagh (6-2 post), Grant Cameron (6-0 wing) and Chris Dowhaniuk (5-10 wing).

Expected to return are: juniors Keeston Smith (6-7 post), Reece Wible (6-6 wing), Valois Gashongore (6-0 wing), Mike Duarte (5-9 wing), Matt D’Amore (5-8 wing), Michael Edwards (5-6 guard) and Brandon Falk (6-5 post); sophomores Andrew Lam (5-6 guard) and Ben Sisul (6-3 post); and freshman Matt Berger (6-5 post).