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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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Heartbreak for Clackamas guys


The Cavaliers drop nailbiters to Sheldon and Sunset

by: JON HOUSE - Clackamas senior Keaton Bankofier (22) gets hammered by Sheldon senior post Mitch Herbert (5) as he takes the ball to the basket in the Class 6A quarterfinals.A tremendous season ended in heartbreak for Clackamas’ senior-dominated boys basketball team, as the second-in-the-state-ranked Cavaliers bowed out of the Class 6A State Championship Tournament with two straight losses.

The Cavaliers lost to sixth-ranked Sunset 60-55 in the March 14 consolation semifinals, after dropping a 65-57 barnburner to seventh-ranked Sheldon in the March 13 championship quarterfinals.

Both losses were contests that could have just as easily gone the other way. The game with Sunset was tied at 55-55 with 1:06 to play; and the contest with Sheldon was a two-point game, with Clackamas trailing 58-56, when Raekwon Mingledoff hit a 3-pointer with 1:09 remaining.

In a very balanced eight-team state-tournament field, the Cavaliers proved themselves without question one of the top high school teams in Oregon in 2014.

Sheldon went on to lose to defending state champion West Linn (67-56) in the state final, while Sunset went on to beat South Medford (50-44) in the fourth-place final.

Clackamas finished the year with an overall record of 22-6, its only losses in preseason to Barlow (64-63) and to nationally-ranked Whitney Young out of Illinois, to 2014 state champion West Linn twice in Three Rivers League play (63-43 and 81-61), and to Sheldon and Sunset at the state tournament.

Despite their lack of success at the state tournament, it was a year of tremendous accomplishment for the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers this season advanced to the state quarterfinals and the state tournament’s final site for the first time since 2003. They finished second only to West Linn in the TRL, with an 8-2 record; they beat Lake Oswego all three times that they played the Lakers — a first in school history; they went 3-1 and earned the consolation prize in the prestigious 16-team Les Schwab Invitational holiday tournament; and they finished the season ranked second-in-the-state only to West Linn in the OSAA RPI rankings, which rank teams based on their win-loss record and difficulty of schedule.

“These kids have given it a great effort all season,” said Clackamas coach Ryan King. “It would have been nice to come down here and have different results, but the kids gave it their all and we had a great season nonetheless. We’ve accomplished every one of our goals this year....”

“It’s been a great experience, playing in the Moda Center,” said Clackamas senior Cade Wilkins. “Not many teams get to come down here and play. It’s a great honor.... Overall, I think it’s been a pretty good year, making it down here and being ranked second [in the OSAA power rankings] most of the year.”

“It’s been a great experience,” said Cavalier senior Keaton Bankofier. “All of us seniors have played together since we were young. The new guys stepped it up and joined us this year and helped us accomplish some goals that we haven’t been able to accomplish before. We got to the Moda Center, but just couldn’t quite get it done. But we accomplished a lot. We accomplished more this year than we’ve accomplished in the last three years....

“The high point [in the season] for me was when we took consolation in the Les Schwab Tournament. We went 3-1, after going 1-3 in the tournament last year, and our loss was to one of the top teams in the country.”

Bankofier added, “I wanted to do better, but it was really fun playing [at the Moda Center]. “It’s a great atmosphere. I’ve wanted to come here my whole life....”

The loss to Sunset in the loser-out game was a bitter pill, because the Cavaliers had beaten the Apollos 68-60 in a preseason game at Sunset. And the two senior-dominated teams had met twice during the 2012-13 season, with Sunset winning both of those games.

Clackamas’ 65-57 loss to Sheldon in the March 13 quarterfinals of the 2014 Class 6A State Boys Basketball Championships was especially painful, because the Cavaliers played their hearts out, and, had it not been for one pivotal late-game judgment call by an official, or a bounce or two of the basketball, Clackamas could have very easily come out on top.

The pivotal official’s call came with just under a minute to play. Clackamas was trailing 58-56 and Clackamas senior Keaton Bankofier went to the floor when Sheldon senior guard Nick Nestell drove the lane. Fans at both ends of the floor thought that Nestell would be called for charging. But the officials saw it the other way.

Nestell got two free throws, made them both, and the Irish lead was four points, at 60-56.

Bankofier played for 24 minutes of the 32-minute game and it was the only foul he was charged with in the game.

Sheldon then salted the game away with 5-for-6 free throw shooting down the stretch, and claimed the spoils.

The Irish led through much of the game, building their lead by attacking the basket and forcing Cavalier turnovers through their aggressive defensive play with the full-court press and in the half-court.

But the Cavaliers battled, and stayed close throughout.

Trailing 36-30 near the midpoint of the third period, the Cavaliers scored on three straight possessions and took the lead.

A putback by David Reese trimmed Sheldon’s lead to 36-32.

Clackamas sophomore point guard Mitchell Fink then turned it up on defense and teamed up with senior wing Andrew Gutwig for a pair of buckets, stealing the ball and sending it ahead to Gutwig for a layup, and then stealing it again and sending it ahead to Gutwig for a trey.

Gutwig’s 3-pointer from the corner with 3:34 to play gained the Cavaliers their first lead since early in the first quarter, at 37-36.

Following a Sheldon bucket, Clackamas junior post Marcus Golder was fouled on the fast break and made two charity tosses to keep Clackamas on top, at 39-38.

Sheldon senior wing Peter Wood drove the lane to gain Sheldon a 40-39 edge heading into the final period.

The Irish then appeared to have the game in hand, as they scored on their first five possessions of the fourth quarter to build their biggest lead of the night, at 52-44.

But there was no quit in the Cavaliers. Bankofier scored six straight points, hitting 4-of-4 free throws and scoring a layup on a pass from Fink to trim Sheldon’s lead to 52-50 with 2:55 remaining.

Sheldon took advantage of a Cavalier turnover to score a bucket and two free throws to up the gap to six points, at 56-50.

But Gutwig hit a hand-in-his-face 3-pointer to cut the Irish lead back to three points.

A layup by Sheldon post Mitch Herbert made it 58-53 Sheldon.

Following a Clackamas turnover and an Irish missed free throw, the Cavaliers got renewed hope when Mingledoff cashed in from 3-point land to make it a two-point game, at 58-56, with 1:09 remaining.

But the pivotal foul charged to Bankofier on Nestell’s drive to the basket upped the Irish lead to 60-56, and Sheldon held on for the hard fought victory.

Herbert (17 points) and Nestell (13 points) led a balanced Irish offensive attack that saw eight players score.

Led by Mingledoff (13 points), Bankofier (11 points) and Gutwig (10 points), Clackamas also had eight players score. Fink had 7 points and 5 assists.

Bankofier led Clackamas to a 24-19 advantage in rebounding, with five rebounds.

Thanks to their emphasis on their inside game, the Irish had a good night of shooting, connecting on 23-of-40 (57.5 percent) of their shots from the floor — with four 3-pointers. They were also a hot-handed 15-of-17 (.882) from the charity stripe.

The Cavaliers made 18-of-39 (.462) field goals and 15-of-23 (.652) free throws.

Clackamas had 20 turnovers, while the Irish had only nine.

The consolation semifinal game with Sunset was one with wide swings in momentum.

Sunset took advantage of Clackamas’ lukewarm shooting at the start of the game to go up 11-3.

But after going 3-for-12 from the field in the first quarter, the Cavaliers attacked the basket, crashed the backboards and turned hot in the second period, making 10-of-16 shots and rallying to a 27-23 halftime lead.

Sunset turned more aggressive on offense in the third period, and the Apollos rallied back to take a 47-45 lead heading into the final period.

The two teams battled tooth-and-nail in the final period.

Mingledoff’s 3-pointer with five minutes to play pulled the Cavaliers within a point, at 50-51.

And when Cade Wilkins followed up a steal by Andrew Gutwig with a 3-pointer with 3:59 remaining, the Cavaliers were back on top, at 53-50.

Sunset took the lead on a fast break bucket by Jeff Bieber and a jumper by Mikey Fey.

But David Reese got an assist from Bankofier for a layup with 1:06 remaining, and it was all tied up at 55-55.

Fey hit two free throws with 40 seconds left to put Sunset up 57-55.

The Apollos then regained the ball when they got a jump ball with 23 seconds left.

Bieber hit two more charity tosses to up the gap to 59-55.

But a Cavalier bricked two free throws with eight seconds left, and the Apollos hung on for the 60-55 win.