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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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The La Salle Falcons will be back


Coach Jared Curtiss says he expects his La Salle boys team to be even better next year

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - With a right to be proud, La Salle Prep players and coaches pose with their second-place hardware at the 2014 Class 4A State Championship Basketball Tournament. The Falcons had a remarkable season. Despite graduating most of the players off of a team that placed third in the state in 2013, they finished the 2013-14 season with a 22-4 record, losing only to Philomath - twice (in preseason and in the state final), to 2014 Class 3A state champion Valley Catholic, and to cross-town rival Gladstone. Pictured are: (kneeling, left to right) Chris Dowhanuik and Mike Duarte; (second row, from left) Will Huynh, Andrew Lam, Thomas Callahan, Mike Edwards, Luke Kolln (20), Valois Gashongore, Keeston Smith and coach Mike Thul; and (back) head coach Jared Curtiss, Coach Troy Coady, Grant Cameron, coach Nick Phillips, Matt DAmore, Theo Peterson, Matt Berger, Reece Wible, Brandon Falk, Ryan Cavanagh and Ben Sisul.Class 5A boys basketball teams are forewarned. The La Salle Falcons aren’t going away just because they will be moving up to Class 5A next season.

“I think we’ll be even better next year,” La Salle Prep coach Jared Curtiss said of his Falcons, who were state runners-up at the Class 4A level this year. “We lose two starters. But [6-5 freshman] Matt Berger was our best post next to [6-7 junior starter] Keeston Smith this year. We’ll return three strong starters, plus a talented jayvee group.... Will be get to the 5A title game next year? I don’t know, but we have a chance at being a better team next year [than we were this year]....

“Offensively we’ll be better. We’ll score more points. Berger could lead us in scoring as a sophomore. He’s got the potential to be an all-state player. We’ll have size, shooters, guards.... Our jayvee team was loaded. They could have finished third in our league [at the varsity level] this year. They practiced with the varsity 90 percent of the time, so it won’t be much of a transition to varsity-level play....”

While this year’s varsity finished with an overall record of 22-4, the Falcon jayvees went 22-1, losing only to Lincoln; and La Salle freshmen went 22-2, splitting with Gladstone and losing to Lincoln.

Among those expected to return next year from this year’s varsity are: juniors Keeston Smith (6-7 post), Reece Wible (6-6 wing), Michael Edwards (5-6 guard), Matt D’Amore (5-8 wing), Valois Gashongore (6-0 guard) and Brandon Falk (6-5 post); sophomore Ben Sisul (6-3 post); and freshman Matt Berger (6-5 post).

Smith and Wible were first-team TVC all-league selections this year. D’Amore and Edwards garnered honorable mention in the league all-star balloting.

“Keeston was our best all-around player and Valois was our best defensive player,” Curtiss said.

Edwards started eight games and he took a team-high 18 charges on the 2013-14 season.

“That’s the most charges taken I’ve ever had,” said Curtiss.

Smith (13.8 ppg), Reece (13.5 ppg) and senior Luke Kolln (9.5 ppg) were the Falcons’ top scorers for the 2013-14 season.

Smith (9.3 rebounds per game), Berger (6.0 rpg) and 6-4 senior post Thomas Callahan (5.0 rpg) were the top rebounders.

Kolln (4.8 assists per game) and Edwards (3.8 apg) were team leaders in assists.

Wible and Gashongore averaged 2.8 and 2.2 steals respectively to lead the team in that category.

Smith and Berger both averaged two blocks a game.

The team averaged 47 percent shooting, led by Smith (53 percent), Berger (52 percent) and Wible (50 percent).

D’Amore (42 percent), Wible (41 percent), Kolln (40 percent) and Berger (38 percent) were all deadly from 3-point land. Wible hit the most treys, finding the mark on 41-of-100.

Members of this year’s talented jayvee team included: juniors David Schroeder (6-0 wing) and Keenan Hall (6-0 wing); sophomores Andrew Lam (5-6 guard), Will Huynh (5-6 guard), Makhai Hurst-Sloan (6-1 wing), Jalontae Walker (6-2 post), Jhevon Lancaster (5-9 guard), Joe Boyd (6-1 wing), Jacob Lyver (6-1 forward) and Ben Sisul (6-2 post); and freshmen Ange Toku (5-8 guard) and Christian Reyes (5-8 guard).

Asked if this year’s varsity players were overachievers, Curtiss said, “I wouldn’t say they were overachievers. What I would say is they maxed their potential. Winning league is not something I thought would happen. I thought it could happen. They came as close to maximizing their potential as possible....

“These guys cared about each other, but they were competitors. They hated losing any drill in practice, but after practice they were best friends....

“I’m very proud of these guys and what they accomplished this year.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - La Salle Preps girls basketball team had a tremendous season in 2013-14, going undefeated in the Tri-Valley Conference for the second year in a row, finishing with an overall record of 25-2, and placing second at the 2014 Class 4A State Tournament. Pictured with their hardware from the state tournament are La Salle players and coaches: (first row, from left) Mattie Portash, Courtney Crain, Andrea Novak, Allison Ilg and Sterling Swift; and (standing) head coach Kelli Wedin, Maddie Hill, Mary Olarte, Makenzie Cook, Tori Goodman, Aleah Goodman, Morgan McSmith, Ally Jansen, Shannon Tran, Katie Buerk, coach Darrell McSmith and coach Kevin Goodman.It was an historic season. It’s the first time since 1986 that a La Salle boys basketball has advanced to a state final.

The Falcons lost to Philomath 49-39 in the 2014 state final, the same team a senior-dominated La Salle team defeated in the third-place final in 2013.