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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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We need to look for alternatives to costly CRC


I have had a long-term involvement into Oregon and Southwest Washington transportation issues and was on the Clackamas County Citizens Transportation Committee that developed our new 20-year countywide Transportation Systems Plan.

The Columbia River Crossing plan to replace the I-5 bridge is a killer for Clackamas County, as it earmarks the next 20 years of all regional federal transportation dollars coming to our region for this one project. Our critical investment needs will only get a few crumbs in those federal dollars.

Widening of the I-205 corridor from Stafford interchange through West Linn and across the Abernathy Bridge into

Oregon City is a prime example. This critical choke point affects economic development and creation of new jobs in our county and Oregon City, my hometown. The congestion that is found or created in this choke point in the I-205 corridor directly causes the redirecting commercial traffic and business investment away from our area. We need more new local jobs, and that means having a business friendly transportation environment, and that does not exist with our critical I-205 corridor at the current congestion level.

We are investing into a new Sunrise Corridor through the Clackamas Industrial Area, and without the added capacity on the I-205 corridor, it will not be able to achieve its full potential.

With a CRC project that solves virtually nothing, we will never get the funding resources needed and the prioritization to fix most of the critical statewide transportation shortcomings.

Please help get the word out on this. We need to make sure the CRC project is killed and killed forever.

Paul Edgar

Oregon City

Readers should skip remaining letters

Jeff Molinari’s letter of Aug. 28 assumes facts not supported by evidence. He stated he thought “everyone can agree that the Interstate 5 bridge needs replacing.” Not so fast. Even ODOT said in 2005 that the bridge was good for another 60 years.

He continues with a suggestion that a bridge across the Columbia River that cost a mere $3.6 million “would be more effective” at moving traffic. That amount might be enough to pay for a zip line across the river. A tourist attraction across the river would not be “more effective” at moving traffic.

The problem with the CRC is not light rail, or any form of robust mass transit that is sorely needed between Vancouver and Portland. The problem is with the enormous cost of building and maintaining a bridge that has many more lanes than the current one.

The amount of traffic over the current bridge has leveled off in recent years. Part of the reason for this is driving is the most expensive form of transportation ever devised. A growing number of people need alternatives to get to work because they cannot afford to drive. More lanes do not solve that problem.

Readers of these pages would be well advised to skip over Mr. Molinari’s letters on light rail in the future. They add nothing to the discussion.

David Jorling

Lake Oswego

I’ll keep writing

In response to John Robinson’s letter to the editor of Sept. 18: He states, and I quote, “While the rest of us are living, paying taxes, etc. the Jeff Molinaris of the world are sitting around writing editorials.”

What has he been putting in his Kool-Aid? We all are living, paying taxes, etc. He says that I tout Ludlow and Smith as open to the voter, yet only Paul Savas has a personal email. John and Tootie can be contacted by either phone or email through the county. All you have to do is go to the Clackamas County website. John and Tootie were elected because the majority of Clackamas County voters want change. If the other members of the board don’t want to support John and Tootie, and this includes Paul, then they are probably committing political suicide. If Mr. Robinson doesn’t want to support John and Tootie, well, he has that right. Although, he must not like change.

The people who keep responding to my letters are the same people who supported the previous commissioners who lost the election. The commissioners who thumbed their noses at the voters and voted according to the way their campaign contributors urged them to. This county belongs to all of us, and all we want is to have our money spent wisely.

As far as his comment, that we don’t want to deal with anyone unless they agree with us, is way out of line. Compromise is always the best way to go, through discussions. The best way for an elected official to keep their job is to listen to the people, then vote with the majority of the people, not the campaign contributors. Mr. Robinson must be one of those campaign contributors, or he works for one.

Oh, and as long as people like the John Robinsons of the world keep responding to my letters, I will keep writing them.

Jeff Molinari


Money can’t buy love

To my surprise, the Review has continued to aid and abet the expansion of the Molinari Fact-Free Zone, including his tired taunt about the contents of my Kool-Aid. (I favor beer.)

When some folks run out of evidence and ideas — or have none to begin with — they resort to defamation of character. It’s to be expected.

Rather than contest every fantasy in Mr. Moinari’s rant, let me deal with his last one: “We need more people on the BCC like John and Tootie . . . by no means will they allow any campaign contributors [to] dictate our future.”

Really? Does it tell you anything that Nevada resident Loren Parks and “King of Clackistan” Andrew Miller spent over $200,000 on Ludlow alone?

Money put them in office, but I doubt it will be enough to keep them there.

Gary Duell

Happy Valley

Libel means penalty

From the pen of Jeff Molinari in response to an opinion letter authored by Mr. Gary Duell of Happy Valley, “I have to wonder what he [Mr. Duell] has been adding to his kool aid.” Had Mr. Molinari read the Kool-Aid packaging, he’d be aware that you don’t have to add anything.

Multiple letters published, and Mr. Molinari still uses voters and taxpayers out of context. Eighteen-year-olds have the right to vote in Oregon, but that doesn’t make them taxpayers. Taxpayers have to do with taxes and voters have to do with the franchise. Moving away from Kool Aid and to “there’s proof-in-the-pudding.”

Mr. Molinari, in an accusatory form, writes that the previous commissioners, “made their decisions based on their campaign contributions.” Under Oregon state law, this is a criminal offense; so also, is slander! Our courts of law could say to these accusations by Mr. Molinari “put up or shut up,” and here’s the penalty for not considering the consequences of being wrong.

Finally; from Mr. Molinari, “Mr. Duell, you sir, need to go back to the drawing board.” Given the research that went into Mr. Duell’s letter to the editor, I have to conclude that, save for Google research, he never left said “drawing board.”

D. Kent Lloyd


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.