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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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With your help, Milwaukie can become Tree City USA


It’s time once again for the city of Milwaukie to take a hard look at protecting one of our greatest assets — trees.

by: 2010 FILE PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Before being elected to City Council, Mike Miller joined a group trying to protect this 60-foot Western Red Cedar in his Lake Road neighborhood. In a work session on July 2, other members of City Council agreed that more tree rules were needed and directed city staff to schedule public-outreach events to prepare for drafting ordinances.Trees and their benefit to our environment through clean air and water are vital to a livable city. We have in this city many historic trees that lack protection, but which are very attractive and give the city of Milwaukie character and a sense of identity.

In Portland a new tree code was just completed. It took more than five years to complete. The goal as stated by Meryl Redish on The Oregonian opinion page, “Was to streamline regulations, improve customer service, protect trees better during development and, in general, ensure compliance.”

Their program was developed by citizen stakeholders. The goal was to provide a safety net for trees. Many years ago I was a member of a committee that put together a program in the city of Milwaukie to provide protections for our tree canopy and provide a process to preserve trees in the city.

I believe it is once again time to try to develop a program that will protect this precious resource.

By pulling together a group of citizens that can find consensus on this need we will be able to put together a program which will benefit all our residents. I also believe homeowners will be receptive to a program that increases their livability and home values. My hope is that through this process we can become a Tree City USA.

On a side note, don’t forget that businesses downtown are open and eager for your business even though construction has made it harder for you to get there. We need to give them our support.

Mike Miller

Milwaukie city councilor

Toxic environment unacceptable

Was very disheartened to hear of the poisoning of bumble bees in Wilsonville. Of course, I do not know anything beyond what the article in this newspaper last week quoted.

However, any chemical as lethal as what was used seems reckless and irresponsible to the situation. Not to forget the toxic load to the whole ecosystem, humans included. According to the article the fact that “wild bees are killed all the time in agricultural fields where nobody sees it happen” does not excuse anything and in fact makes it all the more serious. I consider it an invasion of my rights to enjoy a safe and healthy living environment.

We have to have a prescription in order to legally consume controlled substances/drugs, and yet toxic chemicals are sprayed into our environments without our permission and essentially against our will. I would also expect that when foliage has been treated with such a chemical that there is a notice/signage indicating such.

We all know there are other, less toxic ways to successfully treat aphids. What has happened is unacceptable. We need to do better.

I hope government will use this experience to take a leadership role in protecting when it comes to chemicals being sprayed in our communities. Besides the current “temporary” moratorium on the use of this chemical, I would like to hear what steps are being taken to prevent this from happening in future.

Robin Rasch


Metro’s obligations

The Metropolitan Service District (Metro) is charged to identify problems, begin to ask questions (conduct research), based on their research findings hypothesize and where appropriate conduct experiments in search of means to solving identified problems, reach conclusions after analyzing the data, communicate their findings and finally act on the results.

Libby Wentz writes (Letters, June 26), “Just because people do not buy into Metro’s agenda does not mean they are not intelligent enough to understand that the emperor has no new clothes.” Without apology: Frankly, that just doesn’t cut it!

What would work would be for the Libby Wentzs of Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties to take the problems that exist as we face the future, go through the same systematic steps that Metro does and give us their solutions to the problems. Our parents and their parents anted up and as a result we have the quality of life we have today. It’s our turn to ante up for our children and their children.

D. Kent Lloyd


Regional realities realized

Four years ago the economy collapsed. Since that time billions have been borrowed under the guise of stimulating the economy.

Metro failed to respond to the downturn, continuing to make promises that can’t be kept. For two years dedicated local citizens in Clackamas County have demanded that our tax money be carefully spent, and that government be held accountable. In spite of the ridiculous claims, we are not backwards isolationists or simpletons afraid of the future.

To those who feel they have no voice, please consider the following important changes that were primarily the result of effort by local citizens. Future light-rail projects will include a public vote, as will creation of any new urban-renewal districts.

Thanks primarily to citizen activists, the bloated CRC project was put on hold.

Most folks have no idea what Metro does, or how Metro affects their lives. As more become informed, Metro and TriMet will no longer be allowed to operate in a vacuum.

Les Poole

Oak Grove

Progress continues

The very nature of citizen involvement ensures that not everybody will be happy with the outcome. Hopefully many will be better informed.

It’s almost an axiom that those who are unhappy will make the most noise. That’s what we have going on here. Didn’t the “unhappy folks” lose a case before the Oregon Supreme Court the other day? Yes, they are very unhappy.

That is not to say that they are in the majority. I believe the majority in this case is simply remaining silent. They can see the light rail line being built, many will ride it, many will see it as progress.

As for the McLoughlin Plan of 1990, several options were considered, light rail, exclusive bus lanes, etc. between Milwaukie and Gladstone. A package of signal improvements, bikelanes, sidewalks, street lights was chosen as the preferred alternative. Some of those improvements in certain areas were made in following years, sadly others were ignored.

As an observer of the light-rail process, I was surprised that Milwaukie chose not to be at the end of the line. That would have been a terrific stimulus for economic development in the city. What was news? Milwaukie was short-sighted again. The decision to extend the line to Park Avenue was a second best. However, now I will be able to walk to the station even pulling a suitcase and ride to the airport, that’s great. I do not see the extension to Park Avenue as violating the McLoughlin Plan of 1990. That plan stopped at the Milwaukie city limits.

Parking impacts in the vicinity of the Park Avenue end of the line could have been greatly reduced by the construction of a parking structure. However it is largely the same crowd of light-rail opponents that railed against urban renewal, and succeeded, thus making the most likely financing source for such a structure impossible.

Dick Van Ingen

Oak Grove

More light-rail consequences

In last week’s Clackamas Review, David Jorling of Lake Oswego wrote an article called “Make leaders pay.” He thinks that John Ludlow and Tootie Smith should cover the lawsuit and not the taxpayers.

He makes a good point, except for one thing. John and Tootie are both on the side of the majority of Clackamas County taxpayer/voters. Mr. Jorling must have voted for the light-rail project. Both Milwaukie and Clackamas County voters have said no to this project for nearly 20 years, yet the project moves forward because our elected officials before John and Tootie became county commissioners, traded votes for campaign contributions. All they are trying to do is right the wrongs of the previous commission. Remember Charlotte Lehan and Jamie Damon lost their jobs in November because they did not support the majority of taxpayers in Clackamas County.

Also, last week an Oregon Tax Court judge visiting the Clackamas County Circuit Court ruled in favor of TriMet, saying that the county must honor the agreement. Judge Henry C. Breithaupt stated that Measure 3-401 only applies to future light-rail projects.

So he sided with the minority of Clackamas County voters. Remember last September passed by an overwhelming 61 to 39 percent margin. This measure is intended to include the current light-rail project (Orange Line). Those opposing this measure, after they lost, immediately claimed that this measure only applies to future light-rail projects. Again, they lied.

I think that it is time for the voters of Clackamas County to send a strong message, that if you want to keep your job, you’d better listen to the majority of voters.

Jeff Molinari


Shout out for civility

I was riding the train into Clackamas when a heavyset man suddenly whipped out a TriMet ID saying he is an employee of TriMet and loudly and aggressively demanding this young girl sitting directly behind me turn off her music.

I could barely hear the music and it wasn’t unpleasant. He berated her in a rude and obnoxious manner in front of the entire car. She protested his manner saying he could have asked nicely. Someone yelled “No one was complaining.”

The loud conversation he was having with his companion was far more disturbing and I resented his polluting the air with his anger and hostility.

The girl was attractive and well dressed. Her appearance and manner demonstrated she clearly did not have an attitude. She did not warrant being humiliated by this lout.

This man was clearly a bully abusing his position, something I’m sure TriMet would never approve of.

TriMet needs to take steps to discourage their employees misbehaving like this.

John Freeman


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.