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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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Letters: Photo winner; tanning beds; park rules; Antique Fair move; Sunrise project; Jeff Molinari


Just saw your piece on the winner of the Historic Preservation Photo Contest (Aug. 21).

There is an interesting back story regarding that barber-shop sign: My brother Raymond (non-family members called him Ray) owned that shop for nearly 50 years.

He got the sign from Ray Wilson when Wilson retired from Ray’s Barber Shop in Garden Home. My brother used the original name on the sign, “Ray’s,” as the name of his Oregon City shop when he mounted it on the side of the building.

But another Oregon City barber up on the hill complained that his shop already was named Ray’s. So, my brother had “Depot” painted over “Ray’s.” And so it was!

Rick Newton

Lake Oswego

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CITY OF OC - In the 'See! Save! Celebrate!' Preservation Month Photo Contest, a $50 prize went to Oregon City High School student Erika Zitzelberger for her photo titled 'Barber Shop.'

Tanning beds harmful

Thanks to Ellen Spitaleri’s article (“OC student raises psoriasis awareness” Aug. 28) for shedding light on the seriousness of psoriasis, the nation’s most common autoimmune disease.

I’d like to address comments on tanning as a treatment for psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Medical Board does not support the use of tanning as a substitution for phototherapy (light therapy) treatment performed with a prescription under a physician’s supervision.

Phototherapy is one of the safest and most cost-effective treatments for psoriasis, which affects roughly 89,000 Oregonians. The beneficial effect of phototherapy, which is administered in a doctor’s office or at home with a phototherapy unit monitored by a health professional, comes from ultraviolet light B (UVB). UVB, present in natural sunlight, is an effective psoriasis treatment that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tanning beds emit mostly harmful UVA light, which can damage the skin, cause premature aging and skin cancer, and are not regulated the same way as phototherapy units.

NPF advocates for access to affordable and accessible phototherapy treatment so that psoriasis patients don’t feel compelled to use tanning beds. Learn more about phototherapy at psoriasis.org.

View the Foundation’s official statement on tanning for psoriasis at psoriasis.org/tanning.

Leah Howard, J.D.


County takes an almost totalitarian action

Your editorial (“No one has ‘right’ to drink in public parks,” Aug. 21) states that although the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners exaggerated reports of mass riots and drownings on the Clackamas River in order “to pass new rules... it was the correct decision.”

I strongly disagree. There was no basis to declare an emergency; their action was unfounded and heavy handed. The commissioners should have instead called for a round of several public-input meetings, gathered the real facts and made an informed decision.

Instead they overreached their authority and took what I consider to be an almost totalitarian action.

Frank Heaton

Unincorporated Oregon City

Sunrise project moving forward

I am pleased to report that the Lawnfield Industrial Owners dispute with ODOT has finally been resolved.

The resolution consisted of a settlement agreement signed in July, dismissal of our circuit lawsuit which occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 27, and (the following day) issuance of a final order from ODOT Rail requiring Clackamas County to build the Tolbert Overpass (as mitigation for loss of the Lawnfield Rail crossing) per a contract amendment by which ODOT has provided the county up to $20 million in funding.

But for the efforts of the Lawnfield Industrial Owners Association, the Tolbert Overpass would have been an unfunded portion of the master plan and may never have materialized. I believe the community owes many thanks to the association members.

John DiLorenzo


Disappointed with Antique Fair move

Everything was quiet in downtown Oregon City on Sunday, Aug. 25, like every other Sunday morning here, except for the last 18 years when the last Sunday in August found the streets full of antique dealers and people looking for something special.

This Sunday would have probably been the best Antique Fair, as we have a new downtown. As a small business owner, this proved to be a very successful day for my business in the past.

I was given many reasons why this event was moved:

1. Some Main Street businesses did not want their doors blocked. Well, I don’t know of any retail business that are opened on Sunday in that area. I would assume the restaurants would welcome the people. I never remember seeing any food vendors at the antique fair.

2. I was also told they would have to close the street at 2 a.m., and they did not have volunteers. I wonder why so early, and who did they use for the First City Celebration?

3. I was also told that there were too many vendors. They could have set a limit to keep it downtown.

The people that did come into my shop felt that it was a “political” move. This makes a little more sense. I was also told by someone close to the situation (who asked not to be named) that it had something to do with Clackamas Heritage Partners. I was told that they need visitors to the wagon trains so they can get funding to reopen. I was also told that they want to develop the train-station area.

I am not sure why the Antique Fair was moved, but it sure makes me wonder what event is going to move to the wagon trains next, and what the excuses will be. I will never understand why downtown Oregon City got a face lift and then was ignored. It was a painful face lift for us small business owners, so it would be nice to show off the benefits.

Sandra Gillman

Oregon City

Warning: Entering the ‘Molinari Zone’

I just couldn’t let Jeff Molinari’s “Light rail is the problem” (Aug. 28 on the Columbia River Crossing) fact-free zone continue to expand. His Community Soapbox titled “It’s now time to stop attacking John and Tootie” on Aug. 7 was similar. He claims:

n “Oregon’s elected officials are not listening to [a majority] of taxpayers.” Actually, only about 24 percent (51,267 yes votes/217,518 registered voters) approved measure 3-401 (the expensive and pointless measure requiring voter approval to contribute county money for light rail). That was a majority of voters but it is hardly a majority of “taxpayers.” But to the point, Mr. Molinari doesn’t seem to realize that being elected to public office is not a winner-take-all triumph of power. Being elected elevates politicians to positions of responsibility and service to every citizen, not just to those who elected them. Clackamas commissioners Smith and Ludlow would do well to remember that.

n “Wisconsin built a bridge for $3.6 million.” True. The city of Madison built a bridge for that much . . . a bike/pedestrian overpass. I even helped build a bridge for “free” once; it spanned a 10-foot ditch, and we used logs and planks.

There is insufficient space to adequately respond to the claims about mass transit and traffic. There is, however, this new, great thing called Google.

Gary Duell,

Happy Valley

Seriously Flawed, Chapter 2

Jeff Molinari, to the contrary, my letter of Aug. 14 said nothing about the elections of John Ludlow, Tootie Smith or the passage of Measure 3-401, voting down CRC and the Sellwood Bridge toll. What I wrote was a Political Science 101 truism — majorities are not made up of single-block, same-thinking voters. Majorities are made up of a variety of diverse individuals who alone and/or as groups come to believe that a particular candidate comes closest to representing their views. In the act of voting, those beliefs create a majority. These same individuals and small groups also create majorities over issues. It takes many individuals and minorities to create a majority.

Elections are volatile times because majorities are fragile and can fall apart as easily as they come together. My previous letter and this letter serve only to establish that majorities are made up of individuals and groups, and as quickly as they come together, they can dissolve.

Finally, from Mr. Molinari on Aug. 21: “It is pretty obvious who Mr. Lloyd represents. And it is not the majority of Clackamas County voters/taxpayers.” From Debate 101, a truism — if you can’t rationally attack the debate topic, attack the debater. There is absolute not a clue in my letter of Aug. 14 which suggests where I am on the subject of our elected officials or the issues they face!

D. Kent Lloyd