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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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Mustangs 'believe' they'll put some points on the scoreboard


Jon Wolf works to build an 'expect-to-win' culture at Milwaukie

Milwaukie has not had a lot of success in football in recent years. But any team that overlooks the Mustangs this fall may be in for a rude awaking.

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie team captains (from left) Dre Edwards, Jonathan Snyder, Griffin Johnson, Tui Tuitele, Falcon Piner and River Meyer believe that the Mustangs will be much improved in football this year.Longtime successful Gladstone coach Jon Wolf has taken over the football program at Milwaukie and he’s got the players believing that they can be winners.

“He’s the best coach I’ve had in my four years here,” said one senior on this year’s team.

“I like the new coach a lot,” said Milwaukie senior co-captain Griffin Johnson. “He’s a lot more organized, and he holds everyone accountable for their actions....

“He made everyone make 20 practices over the summer. That’s the first time that’s happened while I’ve been here. In the past, a lot of guys would show up for the first time at daily doubles. This year almost everyone came to summer practices.”

“We haven’t set goals yet, but I know what I want,” said Johnson. “I want a winning record, I want to host a play-in game and I’d like to be practicing on Thanksgiving. I know that’s what coach Wolf wants and I think it’s what most of my teammates want.

“We want to bring back the tradition of Milwaukie being a hard hitting, fast and physical football team, playing with a chip on our shoulders.”

Johnson says that Wolf has re-energized Milwaukie’s summer conditioning program, adding the core body lifts and movement dynamics exercises that helped turn things around at Gladstone.

“I’ve never had [a summer conditioning program] like it,” said Johnson. “I feel like I’ve got better athleticism. Like I can run faster, cut better. I’ve never sweat so much at a workout in my life. These workouts are the toughest I’ve ever had.”

Wolf, who is the fifth head coach at Milwaukie in as many seasons, had plenty of success in his eight seasons at Gladstone. Wolf’s teams won 61 of 91 games, won two league championships (2010 and 2013) and advanced at least as far as the state quarterfinals in five of his eight seasons as head coach (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013). In 2010, Gladstone went 12-1 and the Gladiators advanced to a state semifinal for the first time since 1987.

Wolf has his players excited about the upcoming season. Still, it’s unlikely that a turnaround in Milwaukie football will take place over night. Milwaukie varsity football teams have gone 1-8 in three of the past four seasons and last year they were the worst offensive team in the Northwest Oregon Conference, averaging just seven points an outing.

“I knew when I took the job we’d have some work to do,” Wolf says. “But I’m excited about who we have here. We have a core group of guys working as hard as any core group of guys I’ve had. They’ve really bought into it and they’re working their tails off. Unfortunately that core group isn’t a very big group, but we’re working to change that.”

Asked if the Mustangs would continue to struggle on offense this fall, Wolf said, “I believe our offense will move the ball and score points. We’ve got to hold onto the ball, and execute. But I believe we’re headed in the right direction.”

Wolf said he is sticking with the veer offense and stack defense that brought his teams success at Gladstone.

“I’ve got to be myself and do what I know,” he said. “We’re going to hang our hat on running the veer.”

“It’s a completely new offense,” said Johnson. “But we ran it well in our watermelon scrum, and I think it’s going to work. We’re going to score some points.”

Wolf said he has had a turnout of 60 athletes for football.

He’s named seven players as team co-captains: seniors Dre Edwards, Falcon Piner, Garrett Zundel and Johnson; juniors Tui Tuitele and River Meyer; and sophomore Jon Snyder. Johnson received league all-star recognition for his play at inside linebacker last season, but he is the only returning Milwaukie player who received all-star recognition.

Wolf says that senior Aaron Walston and Snyder will likely split time at quarterback, at least early in the season. Both saw varsity action last year, but Walston had his season cut short when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

“They are both good leaders,” said Wolf. “Aaron can throw the ball; Jon’s strength is running the option.”

Wolf plans to go with Edwards at tailback, with Meyer and junior Cole McPherson as his backups. Johnson, Piner and Meyer will all see action at fullback.

Seniors Jordan Ostrander and Zundel will see action at flanker back, along with sophomore Jake Hickey.

At wide receiver, Wolf says he likes what he’s seen from senior Noah McGowan, juniors Josiah Reed and Top Lohachhaichana, and freshman Donovan Wah.

Sophomore Todd Sjullie has earned the starting nod at center. Other top prospect in the offensive front are: juniors Jason Williamson, Josh Hill and Tuitele, and sophomores Jack Kissane and Michael Bremmer.

Tuitele, Hill and Bremmer have earned the starting nod up front on defense.

Wolf lists six players as top prospects at inside linebacker: Johnson, Sjullie, Ivan Smith, Brent Charron, Kenan Ragan and Patricio Hernandez.

Snyder, Meyer, Piner, McPherson and Ostrander will play outside linebacker.

It’s Walston, Hickey, Zundel and Lohachhaichana at cornerback, and Edwards at free safety.

“I like the team unity,” said Wolf. “The way these kids care for one another. I just like these guys.

“I believe they can be the beginning of a turnaround, returning Milwaukie to the glory days. Back when they were in contention for the league title and in the state playoff hunt. We’ve got work to do, but I’m excited. We’re teaching life skills. These kids have a great work ethic and we’re working to build an expect-to-win culture. You do the right things, and the wins will follow. I’m excited about this program.”

The Mustangs will be darkhorses in the new nine-team Northwest Oregon Conference, which includes teams from Putnam, La Salle, Hillsboro, Liberty, Parkrose, St. Helens, Sandy and Wilsonville.

Liberty, Parkrose and Sandy all return a number of players from teams that were successful in the NWOC last season, and those teams will likely fare well in the league this fall.

Milwaukie begins its league season this Friday, when the Mustangs play La Salle on the road. The Falcons were Class 4A state champions in 2011 and they went 9-3 in 2012. But they struggled last fall, going 1-4 in the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference and 2-7 overall. However, like Milwaukie, the Falcons have a new coach and a newfound enthusiasm.