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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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Historic run for Putnam softball


Kingsmen make a state final for the first time in two decades

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam softball players pose with their second-place hardware from the 2014 Class 5A high school state championship playoffs. Its the first time a Putnam team has trophied at state in softball since 1995.Rex Putnam High School softball players left Oregon State University’s Softball Complex Saturday as champions in the minds of their fans.

They’d played their hearts out, leaving it all on the field in a 2-1 loss to Class 5A softball powerhouse Pendleton in the championship final of the 2014 Class 5A state softball playoffs.

“They’ve done a great job,” said Putnam coach Tiffany Strnad. “They’ve come together and played as a team. They’re just like a family, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world!”

It’s the first time since Putnam won a state title in softball in 1995 that a Kingsmen softball team has advanced past the quarterfinals. It’s a Putnam team from which little was expected, since the team had gone 7-17 (5-9 in league) and finished fifth in the eight-team Northwest Oregon Conference just a year ago.

“I saw potential in this team from the beginning of the year,” said Putnam senior outfielder Lauren Roberts. “After last year, people didn’t expect much from us, but we proved them wrong. It’s been a special season for us....”

For many of Pendleton’s players, reaching the state final was nothing new. The Buckaroos were state champions in 2012 and some of the seniors on this year’s team had played in the state final as freshmen in 2011.

The Buckaroos this spring had been a scoring machine, averaging 8.3 runs a game for the 29 games that they’d played prior to the final. Before Saturday’s final, only one other team this season had held them to as few as two runs. They lost to 2014 Class 4A state champion McLoughlin 6-2 in an April 15 game at McLoughlin.

After getting a new hitting facility at their school just prior to the 2014 season, the Buckaroos practiced their hitting, a lot, this spring. The result was a school-record 36 home runs by the team on the 2014 season.

The home run proved pivotal in Saturday’s final.

With her team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Pendleton junior Tiah Grass, who had struck out in her two previous at bats, lofted a wind-driven ball over the fence in left field, knotting the score at 1-1.

The round-tripper, Grass’ 12th homer of the year, ignited a fire in her teammates and brought Pendleton fans to their feet. Pendleton had not advanced a baserunner past second base until that point.

Pendleton’s next batter, sophomore clean-up hitter Alexis Morrison, followed with a base hit to right field. Freshman Payton Hergert moved Morrison to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Morrison scored the game-winner on a one-out base hit to left field by senior Lindsey Roach (2-for-3).

Pendleton senior pitcher Hailey Kline then sent the Kingsmen down in order in the top of the seventh, and the Buckaroos celebrated the come-from-behind victory.

Kline (4 hits, no walks) only had two strikeouts in the game. But her teammates supported her with clutch defensive play when it counted.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam junior Kate Betschart rounds third en route to scoring Putnams only run in the 2-1 state-final loss to Pendleton.Putnam scored its lone run in the fourth frame. Junior outfielder Kate Betschart led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Taylor Balfour and a rare Buckaroo error, and scored on a hard hit ball to left by senior catcher Ashley Culp.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam senior Ashley Culp receives some advice from coach Tiffany Strnad prior to her fourth-inning at bat. It was Culps fourth-inning line-drive single to left that scored junior Kate Betschart.Putnam junior third baseman Maggie Waymire moved Balfour and Culp to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. But Pendleton then got out of the inning with a pop up and a tag-out in a rundown between third and home.

Except for the fourth inning, Putnam never threatened to score.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam freshman Sarah Abramson had a shutout going until the sixth inning of Saturdays state final.Putnam freshman Sarah Abramson was solid in the circle, except for the sixth inning, when the hard-hitting Buckaroos strung their three hits together and scored their only runs.

Abramson had five strikeouts, while issuing two free passes and yielding six hits.

Culp said of the home run pitch, “It was supposed to be an outside change, but it ended up an inside change, and she went with it. It was a nice hit. She hit it hard.”

Both teams made their share of standout defensive plays behind their pitchers, who were named their teams’ “players of the game.”

Betschart chased down a hard hit fly ball near the fence in right-center in the third inning. And the Kingsmen turned an impressive double play to foil a Buckaroo scoring threat in the fifth inning.

Pendleton junior Darian Lindsey got the Buckaroos’ hopes up in the fifth when she hammered a one-out double to the fence in left field.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Teammates greet Maggie Waymire (16) after the Rex Putnam junior third baseman completed a double play to close out the fifth inning of Saturdays Class 5A state final, contested Saturday at the Oregon State University Softball Complex.The next batter hit a ground ball to Balfour at shortstop. Balfour fired to sophomore Brooke Snyder at first, and Snyder rifled the ball to Waymire, who caught Lindsey with her glove as Lindsey approached third for an inning-ending double play. That silenced the Buckaroo crowd, until Grass ignited the fire with her round-tripper to lead off the sixth.

Pendleton finished the year with an overall record of 24-6. Pendleton and Putnam were ranked third and fifth respectively in the final OSAA RPI rankings.

Pendleton advanced to the championship final through state playoff wins over 14th-ranked Corvallis (10-0 in six innings), sixth-ranked Liberty (4-1) and second-ranked Hood River (3-2).

Putnam advanced to the final through state playoff wins over 13th-ranked Churchill (3-1), fourth-ranked West Albany (2-1 in 10 innings) and eighth-ranked St. Helens (3-2).

Putnam finished up with an overall record of 22-8, after going 12-2 in league and tying St. Helens for the Northwest Oregon Conference championship. Putnam’s losses were to 6A teams Central Catholic, Westview, Lakeridge and Glencoe, to Pendleton (twice), and to St. Helens and Liberty.

“It means a lot [to make the state title game for the first time since 1995],” said Balfour. “But it means more to me to have had the experience of playing with these girls. These girls are my family and, win or lose, I couldn’t have asked for a greater experience...

“At Putnam, we never hang our heads. We stay loud and proud, no matter what.”

“It’s an awesome feeling [playing in the state final]!” said Culp. “It’s been a total team effort...”

“It means everything,” said Putnam senior second baseman Mariah Oliver, who transferred to Putnam this year. “At my other schools, I never got past first round. I wish I could have come here sooner.”

“It’s such a great feeling, getting here as a junior,” said Betschart. “It makes me want to fight harder and get my team back here next year.”

“We were a young team this year, and we had a freshman pitcher that got us here,” said Roberts. “I see a strong future for this team.”

“They’ll make it here again,” said Culp. “They’ll be back here next year. They’re solid, and they play with so much heart.”

“With the girls coming up and the girls now on the team, they have a lot of potential,” said Oliver. “I believe they can do bigger and better things than we did. Next year, it’s state champs.”

Vying for the Kingsmen in the 2014 state title game were: seniors Taylor Balfour (shortstop), Ashley Culp (catcher), Lauren Roberts (right field) and Mariah Oliver (second base); juniors Kate Betschart (centerfield), Maggie Waymire (third base) and Hayley Dolfay (designated player); sophomores Brooke Snyder (first base) and Sydney Nichols (left field); and freshmen Sarah Abramson (pitcher) and Justice Duval (courtesy runner).

Also on the roster were: senior Kim White (infield), and sophomores Elysia Webb (infield), McKenzie Cruz (utility), Taylar Schmidt (outfield) and Vicki Garvin (outfield/catcher).