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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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Comments on museum, Ludlow, Tootie, taxes


Hats off to our City Council for the $30,00 grant to preserve history at the Milwaukie Museum (“History in the making,” April 9).

by: FILE PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Greg 'Frank' Hemer of the Milwaukie Historical Society  looks forward to help from consultants to organize exhibits at the Milwaukie Museum, including this alligator skin left over from the citys defunct amusement park.It was Chris McDonald who planted the seed, giving her expertise and energy in establishing the museum on Adams Street.

Alice Downs


Savas has integrity

I was nauseated to read about Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow’s most recent perversion of Commissioner Paul Savas’ record. The people deserve governance that conveys honesty and integrity — neither of which were represented in Ludlow’s vile comments.

“It’s just politics,” is not an acceptable response to such behavior. We should never excuse lies told to erode someone’s reputable character by someone in pursuit of power.

Paul Savas has earned a reputation for being an honest, thoughtful and respectful commissioner by his enthusiastic engagement with the citizens of our county and his considerate votes on our behalf. Savas is exactly who we want in that position — and exemplifies a sharp contrast to the values of those who want him out.

Patrick Sheehan

Happy Valley

Savas: Outstanding commissioner

As a former nurse of 35 years and owner of apartment complexes and rental properties, I have come into contact with numerous outstanding business owners. When I see someone who is as dedicated to help and serve the citizens with honesty and integrity as Paul Savas is, I am impressed.

We need a person like this for our Clackamas County Commission. Paul Savas has operated his own business and knows what is necessary to be successful. Clackamas County is a business and we need good people to run it. Paul Savas is that person.

His opponent Karen Bowerman comes from California and has only been here for less than four years. We are not California, and we need an experienced person who knows our county. Vote for Paul Savas and keep him as our commissioner.

Jo Haverkamp

Oregon City

Let’s right previous wrongs

I am in total support of Chairman John Ludlow’s endorsements. Do we remember why both Chair Ludlow and Commissioner Tootie Smith were elected to the Clackamas County Commission? It is because of the decisions the previous commission were making. Rather than listen to the citizens of Clackamas County, they chose to listen to their campaign contributors instead. The two incumbents, Jim Bernard and Paul Savas, were a part of the previous commission. Both Chair Ludlow and Commissioner Tootie Smith were elected to right the wrongs of the previous commission.

When Jim Bernard ran for mayor of Milwaukie, he stated that “as long as I am mayor, there will be no light rail in Milwaukie.” So he buys downtown property and then sells it to TriMet for $20,000. This sounds like a conflict of interest.

As far as Paul Savas is concerned, he was outvoted by the by the previous commission 4-1 most of the time. By electing both Chair Ludlow and Commissioner Smith, this should help with a 3-2 edge on the commission in support of Clackamas County voters, rather than the campaign contributors.

Since the election and the evening John and Tootie were sworn in, Commissioner Paul Savas has done nothing but fight John and Tootie. It is obvious that he still wants to be chair of the commission. It is almost as if he has switched sides. I have wondered about this since then. Then I get an email with an invitation to attend a fundraiser for Paul, hosted by former Commissioner Ann Lininger (a Democrat) who did not seek re-election, and one month after leaving office went to work for Oregon Iron Works. Charlotte Lehan has since gone to work for Metro.

Paul has also had trouble making decisions. He keeps saying that he needs more information. This when the other four commissioners say that they have plenty of information. It is almost like he is using this as a stall tactic.

A debate was held recently between Paul Savas and Karen Bowerman which you can find on the CCC website. In this debate Karen shined, and Paul was stumbling for words. With this said, Paul had a lot of trouble defending his decisions.

Like John and Tootie, Steve Bates and Karen Bowerman want what the majority of voters want. So I encourage Clackamas County voters to support both Steve and Karen. This gives Clackamas County a win-win situation all the way around. This guarantees that the people will be heard.

Jeff Molinari


Thanks a lot, Ludlow

In a recent letter, Former State Rep. Patrick Sheehan criticized County Chairman John Ludlow for Ludlow’s article encouraging the removal of Commissioners Savas and Bernard, as “lacking honesty and integrity” and “misleading.” I, on the other hand, appreciate the information contained in Commissioner Ludlow’s article. It has given me a clear indication of who I should NOT vote for in the coming election.

Ludlow reveals that the candidates Bates and Bowerman are both very much in the Ludlow/Smith mold: anti-development, anti-union, and solidly aligned with his lack-of-leadership philosophy, a populist style that entails putting every decision up for a costly vote, whether or not that vote would be legally binding or have any real effect.

I am grateful to Ludlow for making my task as a voter easier by reducing my list of candidates by two.

Peter Bellamy

Oregon City

Tootie for Congress

The May Primary Election to select a candidate to face Congressman Kurt Schrader next November is a serious race. At stake: a very real opportunity to unseat Kurt Schrader, who voted for Obamacare without reading the bill, and the urgent opportunity to replace and repeal Obamacare.

Tootie Smith has won multiple elections within the boundaries in Congressional District 5, and she knows how to get the job done; she knows how to take out an entrenched Democrat incumbent. She will not be distracted in this critical mission by a well-meaning, but very inexperienced young opponent who is desperate to get publicity.

Republicans are glad to see that she will not allow our primary election to be turned into a media circus. Her sights are set on Kurt Schrader — her campaign is aimed at winning in November.

Cindy OeDell


Best for county

I admire Paul Savas. Why? I was an electrical-engineering graduate from Oregon State University and a registered professional engineer for the state of Oregon. In engineering you look at the problem, gather the facts, evaluate them and make an informed decision. This is not an immediate procedure and should take some thought time.

This is exactly what Paul Savas does. He thinks about the problem and evaluates it. We need that type of person in our Clackamas County Commission.

His opponent, Karen Bowerman, seems the opposite. Coming from California four years ago, she immediately tried for a seat against Kurt Schrader for U.S. representative which failed. After failing she went for Lake Oswego City Council. Now, after less than half of her term, she wants to be a Clackamas County commissioner, which would be the third try in four years. What is her obsession with political office? Looking at the Internet, I see comments that say “Carpetbagger, go back to California.” This is interesting since they come from Lake Oswego residents.

We need Paul Savas and his thorough study of our problems. He inspires trust, is not a lackey of special interests and will give his best for Clackamas County.

Larry Haverkamp

Oregon City

Ludlow’s inappropriate actions

This weekend I received an email from Karen Bowerman, candidate for Clackamas County commissioner. I was appalled at the content!

It was a letter of endorsement from John Ludlow for her and contained one untruth after another! I find it very inappropriate that he’d do such a despicable thing while representing the county as chairman of the Board of Commissioners!

I’m also appalled Karen Bowerman is so desperate as to sink so low. I’d have thought better of her. I feel her endorsement by John Ludlow is truly unfortunate. Having attended the Board of Commissioners meetings, it’s obvious Ludlow and Tootie Smith have their own agenda, and neither are in the best interest of the citizens of Clackamas County. I’m sorry Karen Bowerman has chosen to “jump in their camp.”

I think it is inappropriate for an elected Republican official to endorse one candidate in a Primary Election when they have an opponent! In my opinion this will cost Bowerman votes rather than win votes for her. I wish she’d shown more strength of character to be her own person and not Ludlow’s puppet.

She shouldn’t have run against another Republican when, at the time she filed, she could have filed against a Democrat. I’m truly disappointed in her!

I know she has heard of President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Obviously, if John Ludlow has, he choses to ignore it and continue his “schoolyard bully” tactics!

Joy Lott

Oak Grove

Resist carbon tax

The president is proposing yet more tax increase on oil and gas companies. How could this make any sense? The cost to fill my car continues to rise but their solution is to make it even more expensive by raising the cost of producing it?

I realize that many factors can cause gas prices to fluctuate, but higher taxes are fixed costs that are always passed on to consumers. We don’t need the Obama Administration making gas prices even higher. Oregon consumers can’t afford it.

I hope that Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and the entire Oregon congressional delegation will resist calls to raise taxes on energy companies or even consider an ill-advised carbon tax. We don’t need higher energy costs which would hurt every citizen and our fragile economy.

John Lee


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