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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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Cavs reload as they gun for another title


Clackamas has been hitting up a storm in preseason

Clackamas High School’s two-time defending Three Rivers League champion softball team has some shoes to fill, with the loss of eight players to graduation — including standouts like all-state catcher Vanessa Oaken, all-league infielder Mariah Scholes and all-league outfielder Missy Noble.

But anyone who overlooks the Cavaliers does so at their own peril. Clackamas is not without talent.

The Cavaliers have eight experienced players returning from last year’s team. And the returnees are hungry, with a bitter memory of last year’s exit from the state playoffs — a second-round loss to Tualatin during a relentless rain — still on their minds.

“I’m really pleased with these kids,” said Clackamas coach Dave Just. “They’re athletes. We’ve got 14 kids on our roster and they can all swing the bat. We’ve hit pretty well in our first few games....

“It’s just a matter of finding the best combinations of players. It’s going to come down to whoever is hitting is going to play. I’m going to put my nine best hitters on the field.”

Comparing this year’s squad to last year’s Just says, “I think we’re deeper than last year, and I think we’re quicker.”

And the Cavaliers have been hitting up a storm in preseason. They had a team batting average of .386, with 59 hits, in their first six games.

The Cavaliers are once again solid at pitcher, with the return of senior Madisen Vrabel and junior Amanda Zehr.

Zehr was TRL “pitcher of the year” last spring, and Vrabel was a first-team all-league pitcher and a second-team all-league infielder.

Other returnees include: senior Corey Erickson, and juniors Ashley Filler, McKenzie Giancola, Jade Haehlen, Sammy Haehlen and Cassie Haehlen.

Filler returns to centerfield, where she earned first-team all-league recognition as a sophomore.

Giancola returns to shortstop, where she was also a first-team all-league selection.

Jade Haehlen, an honorable mention TRL all-star as a sophomore, has been starting at third base.

Sammy Haehlen has moved in from the outfield to play first base.

Cassie Haehlen returns to start at either second base or catcher.

The position of catcher has been the Cavaliers’ greatest conundrum. Haehlen, Erickson, sophomore Alize Godinez and freshman Julianna Behunin have all given the position a try in early preseason. And Just says the jury is still out on who is going to win the spot.

Just says that he’s had freshman Maddy Oakden playing second base when Cassie Haehlen has played catcher.

Just says he’ll continue to shuffle his lineup in preseason, as he attempts to find other starters in the outfield and the right combination in the infield.

Among others on the Cavalier varsity roster are: junior Alexis Godinez and sophomores Bre Cox and Jill Hoppel.

The Cavaliers have had mixed results in preseason, as Just has been more concerned with discovering his strongest lineup, than with winning ball games. The Cavaliers posted wins over David Douglas (11-1), Centennial (10-3) and Aloha (10-4), but they came up short in games with Reynolds (2-1), Beaverton (9-8 in extra innings) and Putnam (7-2).

“We left 13 kids on base in the Reynolds game,” Just observed. “We hit well against David Douglas. Amanda Zehr pitched and she had a home run in that game. We won 11-1 in five innings and she had 13 strikeouts.”

Just said his Cavaliers turned a triple play in the narrow loss to Beaverton, and Giancola hit a solo home run in the loss to Putnam.

Top sluggers for the Cavaliers in preseason have been: Oakden (.600, 3-for-5), Giancola (.550, 11-for-20, 9 RBI, 7 runs), Sammy Haehlen (.500, 8-for-16, 5 runs, 3 RBI), Jade Haehlen (.471, 8-for-17, 6 RBI, 3 runs) and Filler (.389, 7-for-18, 5 RBI, 3 runs).

Zehr has 17 strikeouts in 21-2/3 innings of work.

The Cavaliers (3-3) play Central Catholic on the road this Thursday. They conclude the preseason next week, hosting West Salem on Monday and playing Forest Grove on the road on Thursday, April 10.