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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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Glads win a wild one from La Salle


The game's only runs score on a wild pitch and a passed ball

A wild pitch and a passed ball proved the difference, as two of the state’s top Class 4A high school softball teams battled tooth and nail on April 22.

Gladstone ended up victorious, winning 2-0 over cross-town rival La Salle — with senior Julia Schumaker scoring on a wild pitch with two down in the third frame, and senior Megan Kirchem scoring on a passed ball with two down in the sixth.

The game was a pitcher’s dual. Gladstone pitcher Megan Kirchem fanned 18 batters, walked no one and hit one batter in a two-hitter.

La Salle pitcher Loryn Williams fanned 10 and walked one in a four-hitter. Only one of Gladstone’s two runs was earned.

Schumaker (2-for-3) reached with two down in the third on a base hit, stole second, and moved to third on a slap-bunt single by Kirchem. Schumaker then scored the game-winner on a wild pitch.

Kirchem reached in the sixth on a dropped third strike and moved all the way to third when La Salle’s catcher overthrew second base when Kirchem was stealing. Two outs later, Kirchem raced home on a passed ball, upping the Gladiator lead to 2-0.

La Salle threatened to score twice, advancing runners to third base in the fourth and sixth frames, only to have Kirchem end the threats.

La Salle sophomore Nicole Schreiber doubled off the wall in left-center with one down in the top of the fourth. Schreiber advanced to third on a passed ball, but Kirchem struck out the next two batters to retire the side.

La Salle junior Makenzie Cook singled with one down in the sixth, and she stole all the way to third base when a pickoff attempt sailed past Gladstone’s first baseman. Kirchem also ended that threat with two strikeouts.

The Falcons went quietly in the top of the seventh, with Kirchem retiring the side with three strikeouts on nine pitches.

“It was a tough game, a pitchers’ duel,” said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. “Both pitchers were excellent. We had a couple of breaks go our way and we capitalized, and scored.”

Mortier added, “La Salle is a very good ball club. They are well coached, they make very few errors and they play hard.”

“To me, that’s what high school fastpitch softball is all about,” said La Salle coach Walt Stockfleth. “Two good pitchers dueling, and two good teams playing hard.... I’m looking forward to the next time we play them.”

It was La Salle’s first loss, after 11 straight victories.

The Gladiators (13-1, 5-0) continued on track on April 24, putting their seventh straight game in the win column, winning 9-0 at Estacada.

Kirchem (15 strikeouts, no walks) came within one pitch of a perfect game.

With two down in the bottom of the seventh, Elsie Gleason blooped an 0-2 pitch to right field for the Rangers’ only hit of the game. The Gladiators then committed an error, putting Estacada runners on first and second.

The next batter flew out to Molly Webster in center field to end the game. It was the only ball that the Rangers hit out of the infield.

Kirchem also had a hot bat, going 4-for-5 at the plate and scoring three times.

With the win, Kirchem improved her record to 10-1. Through play last week she had a 0.45 ERA, with 150 strikeouts and five walks allowed in 77 innings.

The Gladiators sport a .304 team batting average on the season, led by Schumaker (.489) and Kirchem (.447).

Gladstone has a home game with Estacada (3-12, 0-5) this afternoon, and the Gladiators play La Salle on the road on Friday.

The Falcons (12-4, 4-1) didn’t waste any time taking charge in an April 21 rain-shortened game with Estacada, putting five runs on the scoreboard in the first inning en route to a 6-1 five-inning victory.

Junior infielder Shannon Stockfleth and senior infielder Sydney Chvilicek lighted the fire in the big first inning, Stockfleth with a three-run home run and Chvilicek with a run-scoring double. It was the first round-tripper of her high school career for Stockfleth.

Junior shortstop MaKenzie Cook (2-for-2) had a good day at the plate, pounding out a double and a single, scoring twice and stealing two bases.

Williams struck out seven and allowed one hit in three innings in the circle. Freshman reliever Emily Goodman fanned two, while allowing one hit and one earned run.

La Salle plays Molalla (2-10, 1-3) in a home game this afternoon.