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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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MathKwonDo adds kick to math classes


Watch how Ardenwald teacher Darryl Coppedge encourages student-ninjas to defeat math monsters -

There is a place where students defeat math monsters, using their minds.

by: PHOTO BY: ALVARO FONTAN - Darryl Coppedge requires his third graders to solve a math-monster problem on the board before explaining the MathKwonDo process step by step to the rest of the Ardenwald Elementary School class.A place where they are urged to be courageous, respect their instructor, their classmates and themselves; a place where they work with others, helping their classmates to learn math, and where they are not afraid to ask for help themselves.

Above all, they are encouraged to never give up.

This place really exists: it is Darryl Coppedge’s third-grade classroom at Ardenwald Elementary School, where his one goal is simple — to replace the fear of math with confidence.

See a video of the classroom in action here:

Coppedge has developed a method of teaching math he calls MathKwonDo, and for the last three years he has been using this method, math scores at the school have gone from some of the lowest in the state to some of the highest, said Kelli Rhea, an instructional coach for the North Clackamas School District.

This is especially significant, she added, because Ardenwald Elementary School is a Title One school, with a high poverty level.(Image is Clickable Link) by: PHOTO BY: ALVARO FONTAN - Darryl Coppedge, a third grade teacher at Ardenwald Elementary School, is the originator of the MathKwonDo program that the North Clackamas School District is now exporting regionally.

Rhea works with 30 teachers in six different buildings. She supports teachers with instruction, does observations, and gives feedback.

She said that Coppedge has not reinvented the curriculum. All the teachers in the NCSD are using the new national standards for teaching math. But instead, he has created an incentive program “where students have recognized what they know and what they need to know. He is not just teaching math, he is teaching how to learn, and students who may not have seen themselves as learners, see themselves that way now.”

Martial-arts model

Coppedge developed his learning strategy after watching his 11-year-old son’s Taekwondo class.

A wide range of students, from age 5 to 70, were engaged in learning the martial art at a different level, striving for a different belt, “but students knew exactly what they were working on. They knew how to practice in class; they knew when they had mastered a skill; and they knew when to approach the instructor about learning more,” Coppedge said.

“I realized if that can work in a martial arts class, it could work in an academic class,” he said.

Coppedge started thinking about how he could apply this strategy, where students work toward a goal and take pride when they earn it. He wanted the whole third-grade year to be mapped out and as open as a book.

Three years ago, after many, many hours of work, Coppedge aligned all the Oregon state standards in third-grade math to a belt color or stripe. Then last year he adapted his learning strategy to accommodate the new common-core standards in the national-math curriculum.

He told his students that when they had mastered all the third-grade standards and earned their black belts, then they were ready for fourth grade, and they would have the skills and confidence for the rest of school, all the way into college.

“I created an authentic learning culture — it is a dojo,” where students will be courageous and respectful, Coppedge said.

And even more than that, “They have learned how to learn and how to set goals for themselves. That is a big piece to carry on,” Rhea said.

Collaborationby: PHOTO BY: ALVARO FONTAN - Third grader Logan Law defeats cartoon monsters as part of a MathKwondo class at Ardenwald Elementary School. Every Monday, his teacher awards stripes by making a colored marks that stand in for belts.

The teachers in the North Clackamas School District are all working really hard, dealing with large class sizes and lack of materials, Rhea said. So once Coppedge felt confident with his system, he began teaching workshops, showing 20 other math teachers how MathKwonDo works.

“The response has been phenomenal, and it has been great meeting caring people and having the opportunity to collaborate. It gives us another tool in the toolbox,” he said.

Rhea said that the other teachers recognized Coppedge’s enthusiasm about the program and shared in that excitement.

“There is such value in teacher-created methodology, especially when teachers have little time to collaborate or create something on their own,” she said.

Coppedge’s program promotes the district’s K-12 instruction-across-the-curriculum program, Rhea said, noting that he builds relationships with students, honors student identity, and removes barriers for access to content for even the most marginal of students.

Engagement is crucial

As for why the students have been so successful at MathKwonDo, both Coppedge and Rhea noted that student engagement is high for a program like this, because it taps into their interests and makes math fun.

Coppedge really does create a dojo-like atmosphere in the classroom, even wearing a black belt when math class rolls around. Students come into the room and immediately sit cross-legged on the floor. He bangs a gong, and students stand up and bow to him and to one another.

He asks if they are ready for MathKwonDo and if they are ready to defeat math monsters, and they shout “yes.”

Students then compete with one another to see who gets to go to the whiteboard to demonstrate how to solve the math problems Coppedge has drawn on the board. After this part of the lesson is over, students break up into groups to complete an assignment, and here is where another crucial part of the teaching system comes into play.

“Darryl tells them that they are not successful unless they are helping others,” Rhea said, adding that “students who have mastered a skill can help others, and this fosters a sense of leadership, because they know they can help other people.”

With “peer-tutor ninjas, I am fostering a culture of volunteering and teamwork that will carry over into other subjects. The idea in martial arts is that you don’t progress unless you help others,” Coppedge said.

When students are helping other students, this frees him up to work with anyone who is experiencing problems with the lessons, he said.

Coppedge also has arranged bulletin boards and charts around the classroom, so that students know exactly which skills are being taught that day when they walk in the room. They can see what they need to master in order to earn another stripe on their belts, and they can follow their progress on a color-coded chart at the back of the room.

Every Monday, Coppedge awards stripes by making a colored mark on students’ wristlets, which stand in for belts.

“They get public recognition for their belt, the class applauds, the awardee bows, and they get immediate feedback. This is a team effort; we are building trust in a safe environment,” he said.

Rewarding program

Coppedge feels that all teachers care about kids and will do whatever it takes for them to experience success. He says the district supports creative and innovative staff and teachers who are willing to think outside the box.

He feels his MathKwonDo program engages kids because it has a hero-defeating-monsters theme, and because it capitalizes on the martial arts craze.

“It’s a challenge, because we have to compete against kids who are engaged with movies and DVDs, even in the car, so we have to make learning interesting and exciting,” Coppedge said.

What has been the most rewarding for him, has been seeing his students thrive in math.

Several weeks ago he was set to go into an Individualized Education Program meeting for one of his students and her parents.

The student was not yet up to grade level in math and her parents and teachers were concerned, thinking she might need to go into special education.

But, before the meeting happened, the student came up to the whiteboard and started solving problems.

“She took it to a whole new level and solved four challenging math problems on her own. The class applauded and she felt successful. I told the parents, and she was flooded with compliments. I have seen a change in her, and it took teamwork — her parents, fellow students and teachers,” Coppedge said.

“Now she sees herself as someone good at math and successful in school,” Rhea said.

It takes watching just one math lesson to see that Coppedge’s students are engaged, having fun and learning.

There are three 9-year-old boys at Jack’s table; he is the designated peer-tutor ninja, helping the two others understand inverse relationships.

“You help someone when they don’t get something. When I help someone solve a problem, it feels good that I taught them well,” he said.

Parker, who is 8, is happy to explain the whole belt chart hanging on the wall, noting that “each stripe is a strategy, with its own color. If you master all the required ones, you get a stripe that matches the color.”

Phillip, 9, is working on an assignment about numbers and operations in base 10. He likes the belt system and working as a team.

“It is fun, and the teacher makes it so easy for us,” he said.

Coppedge is reframing students’ identities, Rheas said, adding, “He has high expectations for all his students and has decreased their achievement gaps through instruction, so that they all see their progress in the belts and now see themselves being good at math.”

Coppedge added, “MathKwonDo brings the joy back into teaching math. I look forward to it; it’s fun.”

By Ellen Spitaleri
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