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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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Milwaukie thinclads win a barnburner from Sandy


Mustang throwers carry the day in a surprise dual win

It was a team effort, as Milwaukie coeds dealt Sandy its first league loss of the 2014 Northwest Oregon Conference track and field season, winning 70-65, in a dual meet held under less-than-ideal weather conditions at Milwaukie on April 17.

“It was cold, windy and showery, and athletes and coaches on both teams were in survival mode,” said Milwaukie girls coach Barrie Malcolm. “I didn’t even know we won the meet until I got home. It was an absolute surprise.

“I was checking the scores, and when I saw we were ahead in the scoring, at first I thought there must be some mistake. But then I got a phone call from [Milwaukie boys coach] Chuck Nott. He never calls me after a meet. He said, ‘Did you know, you won the meet?’ It was a complete surprise to me.... I didn’t think we had a chance to win.”

Malcolm said the meet was especially tough on the sprinters and jumpers, who had to compete in nasty conditions, running and jumping into a stiff head wind, with intermittent cold rain showers. Only one athlete cleared the opening height in the girls pole vault, and Malcolm said that during the boys pole vault, he saw one athlete clear the bar, only to be blown backward, erasing his clearance.

It was indeed a team effort that put the Mustangs on top. They had athletes score points in every individual event.

The Mustangs picked up big points in the sprints, with freshman McKenzie Weinert (13.71) and senior Becky Ponnay (13.71) crossing the finish line together for a one-two finish in the 100, senior Megan Miettinen (28.59) and Ponnay (28.69) going one-two in the 200, and Miettinen (1:06.29) edging a Sandy runner for second place in the 400.

Another strong point was the throwing events.

“It was a huge surprise in the throws,” Malcolm said. “Sandy is traditionally very tough in the throwing events. But our throwers stepped up. [Freshman] Kenady Hammond (88-3) and [junior] Annette Sansburn (83-3) went one-two in the discus, Sansburn (34-0) and [junior] Megan Dieringer (26-9) went one-three in the shot put, and [sophomore] Samantha Persad (82-4) got second place in the javelin.”

Malcolm said that despite the inclement weather, Sansburn had four throws over 33-10 in the shot put. And he said that Persad’s mark in the javelin was a 16-foot PR.

Milwaukie sophomore Tieara Norman breezed to wins in the high (17.08) and low hurdles (48.02), Milwaukie senior Darienne DeLa Rosa won the triple jump (27-5-1/2) and Milwaukie freshman Shelby Jarvis cleared 6-6 for a win in the pole vault.

“Even with the poor weather conditions, we had over 20 PR’s,” Malcolm said. “The kids came to compete, and we were rewarded with the team win because of their individual efforts.”

It was the first league dual loss for Sandy girls (2-1), who began the season with wins over Liberty (103-41) and Putnam (89-51).

It was the first league win for Milwaukie girls (1-2), who opened with losses to Parkrose (102-32) and to Sherwood (110-35).

The Mustangs entertain Liberty (1-2) this afternoon and they play host to St. Helens (1-2) on Wednesday (April 30).

Milwaukie guys had their hands full in last week’s dual with Sandy. The Pioneer guys won every event except the high jump and triple jump en route to a 104-40 dual win.

“Sandy’s got a strong team all-around....,” said Milwaukie boys coach Chuck Nott. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they won league, both in duals and at district. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they won a trophy at state.”

Milwaukie’s lone winners on the boys side were senior Jordan Stromvig in the high jump (6-0) and sophomore Devin Meade in the triple jump (41-4).

Stromvig’s mark was a 4-inch PR and it beat out Sandy senior Nathan Miller, who cleared 4-10. Stromvig is one of only three NWOC athletes who have cleared 6-0 in the high jump this season.

Meade’s winning mark in the triple jump was a PR by over a foot and it ranks him No. 2 behind his older brother Dante Meade in the NWOC in the event.

Dante Meade is battling a hamstring pull and the Mustangs held him out of his specialties. But he did run the 400 and placed second, in a personal best time of 53.57.

Nott said he also liked what he saw from sophomore River Meyer, who launched the javelin a personal best of 151-4. The mark earned Meyer second place in the event, and it was just a foot back of the winning mark.

“River Meyer’s improving four to six feet every meet,” said Nott. “He just keeps getting better and better. And the nice thing about it — he’s only a sophomore.”

Nott said he was also pleased with the performances of junior Falcon Piner in the intermediate hurdles (45.52) and senior Taylor Stanford in the long jump (19-3).

Piner’s time in the hurdles was a two-second PR and it earned him second place; Stanford is a first-year competitor in track and field, and his mark also earned him second place.

Through competition last week, Sandy, Sherwood and Wilsonville boys track and field teams all sported 3-0 records in NWOC competition. Wilson and Sherwood meet this afternoon at Sherwood, while Sandy entertains the winless Parkrose Broncos.

Milwaukie boys slipped to 1-2 in conference with the loss to Sandy.