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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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Greased lightning, with pitching and hitting


Cavaliers may have the horses to bring home another state championship trophy

by: JON HOUSE - Speed demon Elliott Cary takes an extra base in Clackamas 7-2 season-opening win over Grant. Cary, a transfer from Florida who has signed with Oregon State University, had six stolen bases in thea Cavaliers first six games.It will be tough to top last year, when the Clackamas Cavaliers made their third Class 6A high school championship baseball final in six seasons, won their second league title in school history and set a school record for most wins in a season, finishing with a 27-4 record.

But the Cavaliers aim to do that, and they just might have the horses to get it done.

“We’ve never had this much team speed,” said Clackamas coach John Arntson. “[Senior outfielder] Elliott Cary can fly [around the bases]. He’s probably as fast as any kid I’ve seen. And [senior outfielders] Garrett Myers and Michael McDonald are nearly as fast as Elliott.... I kid them that if a fly ball hits the grass, I’m going to have them buy me an ice cream. I tease our track coach that we might come over and challenge his guys to a race.... And we’ve got other guys that are fast. It makes us more diversified offensively. We can score in more ways....”

Arntson says that his team went 25-for-29 on stolen base attempts in their first six games. Elliott was the leader, with six.

Arntson continued, “I don’t know if we’ve ever had this many guys with experience that are starting pitchers. I’ve got five or six guys I feel comfortable with as starters.... I don’t think we’ve got an overpowering pitcher like we did with Nick Struck, or Ben Wetzler, or even Austin Kelly. But we’ve got five or six guys who are awfully good.”

Arntson says he sees seniors Jared Bell, Taylor Stinson, Aaron Ahlstrom, Josh Devore and Elliott as strong starting pitchers, along with junior Luke Burns, who was the top pitcher for a very successful Cavalier jayvee team a year ago.

And the Cavaliers have the bats to go with their team speed and pitching. Their team batting average was .361 through their first six games.

Cary, due in part to his quickness, has had a phenomenal early season at the plate. He’s hit safely in 13 of his first 17 at bats for a .765 batting average, with seven triples, 11 runs scored and 10 RBI.

With limited at bats, Devore is batting .667 and senior Justin Garry is batting .577.

Ahlstrom sports a .438 average, going 7-for-17. He had a lead-off home run in an early-season game with Southridge. Stinson sports a .400 batting average.

The Cavaliers’ starting lineup will vary, depending in large part upon who is pitching.

Senior Taylor MacClanthan has returned to start at catcher, but he’s being pushed by Brett Peterson, a junior up from the jayvee. MacClanathan earned all-league recognition behind the plate last season.

Stinson and senior Cade Wilkins, both part-time starters a year ago, are splitting time at first base. Stinson garnered second-team league all-star honors as a utility player as a junior.

At second, it’s Burns and Danny Hoff; Ahlstrom returns to start at shortstop.

At third base, it’s senior Cole Scruggs and Hoff. Scruggs was a first-team TRL all-star as a junior.

Cary and Myers will split time in centerfield, where Myers is a third-year starter. Cary, who has signed with Oregon State University, is a transfer from Niceville High School in Florida, where he started for three seasons. Myers was second-team all-league in the TRL last season.

Bell is a returning starter in the outfield, where he earned first-team all-league recognition last season.

Others likely to see a good deal of playing time in the outfield include: McDonald, Garry, Devore and Wilkins.

Wilkins will also play DH.

“Wilkins is going to be in our lineup somewhere, for sure,” Arntson said.

The Cavaliers have had their share of success in early preseason, going 5-1, with decisive wins over Grant (7-2), Southridge (12-0), Whittier, CA 10-0, Pueblo West, CO (14-4) and Lebanon (10-0).

Their lone loss was in a 3-1 barnburner with California powerhouse Cimi Valley, during a spring break trip to Arizona.

“Our kids are excited!” said Arntson. “They know they have a chance to be really good. But they know they’ve got to continue to work hard, because there are a lot of good teams out there, and some of the best teams in the state are in our league.”

Asked if he sees his Cavaliers as favorites to repeat as Three Rivers League champions, Arntson said, “I don’t think I’d call us the favorite. Lake Oswego is also going to be very good, and I anticipate a heck of a series with them. They’ve got three starters on the mound who are as good as anybody. I will say that I think Lake Oswego and ourselves are two of the better teams in the state, or at least we should be....

“The key for us will be to just take it one game at a time. We have a very tough preseason schedule and it doesn’t get any easier when we get to league.... The Three Rivers League is a juggernaut. If you relax and take a night off in our league, someone’s going to get you.”

The Cavaliers have four games remaining to close out the preseason. They play at Westview on Thursday. They return home on Saturday, playing eighth-ranked West Salem at 11 a.m. and Roseburg at 4 p.m. And they play Barlow on the road on Thursday, April 10.

Their first league series is with Oregon City, beginning with an away game on Monday, April 14.

Clackamas’ league series with Lake Oswego is April 21-25, with two of the three games in the series at Clackamas.