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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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'Lend Me a Tenor' brings nonstop energy, mistaken identity to stage


A classic farce set in Cleveland, Ohio, will close the New Century Players’ season, when “Lend Me a Tenor” opens on April 11 in Rex Putnam High School’s Blackbox Theatre.

by: PHOTO BY DICK TRTEK - Debra Hudkins, left, admonishes Doug Jacobs, as admirers Allison Andersen and Jane Vogel claim his attention. Kraig Williams keeps an eye out in the background.Director Tony Bump described the play as a “rip-roaring comedy” that will transport the audience “into a world of fun and yesteryear.”

He added, “ ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ is set in the early 1930s in a hotel room. The Cleveland Opera is hosting the greatest tenor in the world for his American debut, but everything goes wrong; doors are slammed, ladies chased and a budding new talent is discovered. All as the manager of the opera house tries not to have a heart attack.”

Tenors abound

by: PHOTO BY DICK TRTEK - Director Tony Bump, far right, works with Debra Hudkins and Kraig Williams, during a recent rehearsal of 'Lend Me a Tenor.'Gladstone resident Doug Jacobs plays Tito Merelli, a world-famous Italian opera star, rather full of his own pomp and circumstance and coming to Cleveland to make his U.S. debut in Verdi’s “Otello.”

“He plays the tough guy on the outside but we quickly discover his (many) weaknesses, not the least of which is a profound interest in the female form. He can be brash, charming, demanding and pleading and ... in his own mind, quite an impressive character,” Jacobs said.

He wanted to play the part, he added, because Tito is “a fun role in that there is a wild range of emotions that can be played with and expanded upon. Having been accused of being more than a little over-the-top at times myself, it just seemed sort of a natural fit.”

But Tito is not the only tenor on tap, as Kraig Williams plays Max, another aspiring singer. The problem is, Max is an assistant to Saunders, the owner of the opera company, so is often overlooked, and not just by his boss.

“I am the guy who keeps everything flowing for Saunders, but I also just happen to be in love with Maggie, his daughter,” Williams said.

He added that he relishes the role of Max, because he enjoys the physical comedy and is looking forward to the challenge of singing an operatic aria onstage.

Double trouble

At the beginning of the play, it is obvious that Maggie knows Max is in love with her, but she wants more; she wants some experiences first, Allison Andersen said.

“I don’t dislike him, but when Tito comes in, he’s a big star,” she added, explaining her character’s immediate attraction to the Italian tenor.

The problem is, however, that Tito has a jealous wife named Maria, who is constantly on guard, keeping an eye on her husband.

“Maria is a fiery, Sophia Loren-type with a hot temper. She is passionate, and has built her world around Tito,” but feels like she must compete with all the other women who swarm around her husband, Debra Hudkins said.

Jane E. Vogel plays Julia, yet another woman who is titillated by Tito’s charm.

“Julia takes her role as chairwoman of the opera guild very seriously. Power is very important to her. She is a woman who knows what she wants, and she knows how to get it,” Vogel said.

And then there is Diana, another opera singer played by Dorinda Toner, who is desperately trying to attract Tito’s attention.

So, we have four women, two tenors, a snarky bellhop, played by Zac Burgess, and Saunders, the stressed-out opera company owner trying to ride herd on all these characters.

“He’s very nervous and wants everything to be in place,” but circumstances arise, involving two tenors wearing identical “Otello” costumes and dark character makeup, “so I kind of freak out,” Doug Hudkins said.

Frenetic pace

“Lend Me a Tenor” is characterized by a burst of “headlong energy that starts to build from the opening act and never stops accelerating. I hope it is as much fun for the audiences as it has been for the cast,” Jacobs said, noting that he has two favorite scenes in the play.

“One is when Tito is trying to make up to his wife after a real blowout of an argument, and she surprises him by feeling immediately amorous ... at which he panics. Later he finds himself pursued by a dizzying wannabe star soprano and almost trips over himself trying to be debonair, while demonstrating a complete lack of command of the situation.”

Jacobs added, “A fantastic, interactive cast and director like we have for ‘Tenor’ is the only way to assure a successful production. I’m having a blast, and I believe the rest are as well. I hope we can transfer that energy directly to the hearts of the audience.”

Challenging play

Bump has always wanted to direct “Lend Me a Tenor” because it is “so well-written and full of physical comedy.”

He began his career as Squire Dap in a production of “Camelot” in 1979, and has been singing, acting and directing ever since.

As a performer he has played Petruchio in “Taming of the Shrew,” Daddy Warbucks in “Annie” and Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Some of his favorite nonmusicals that he has directed are “Agnes of God,” “Julius Caesar” and “Steel Magnolias.”

Bump studied theater and music at Portland State University, as well as at U.S. International University. He has sung with the Portland Opera at Carnegie Hall and is also the president of the new theater company “Pacific Stageworks.”

Bump added, “Comedy is challenging and fun, and I am always up for a challenge. I am also excited to work with the New Century Players for the first time.”

Too many tenors

What: The New Century Players present “Lend Me a Tenor,” a madcap comedy by Ken Ludwig.

When: 7:30 p.m. April 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19, and at 2 p.m. April 13 and 20

Where: Rex Putnam High School Blackbox Theatre, 4950 S.E. Roethe Road, Milwaukie

Tickets: General admission $18; students/seniors $12. Tickets are available online at NewCenturyPlayers.org; for more information, call 503-367-2620.

Cast: The play is directed by Tony Bump and features Allison Andersen, Zac Burgess, David Hudkins, Debra Hudkins, Doug Jacobs, Dorinda Toner, Jane Vogel and Kraig Williams.