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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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Lacey Lady's NEW MISSION


The WWII-era B-17 bomber will head to Aurora State Airport to be restored -

The Lacey Lady has been stuck at an altitude of about 15 feet for nearly seven decades. If all goes according to plan, however, the World War II-era bomber will one day reach much greater heights.

But there’s a lot of work that needs to be done before the B-17 — until recently held aloft by steel supports in front of The Bomber restaurant in Milwaukie — can fly again.

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The B-17 Lacey Lady was brought to Milwaukie in 1947, where it has since sat beside The Bomber restaurant and gas station. On Aug. 13 the plane was lowered to the ground by Emmert International crews in preparation for shipping to Aurora, where it the plane will be restored and made flightworthy once again. To start, the aircraft needs to be cleaned and disassembled. That began Aug. 13, when the Lacey Lady was brought gently to the ground. Ultimately, the B-17 will be hauled to a hangar at Aurora State Airport, where it will be restored.

“It’s the end of an era, and a new beginning,” said Terry Scott, director of the B-17 Alliance Museum, which sits alongside The Bomber restaurant on McLoughlin Boulevard.

Art Lacey, grandfather-in-law to Terry Scott, bought the B-17 in 1947 and brought it to The Bomber, which was at that time a gas station.

For the next eight weeks, the aircraft will remain on the grounds of The Bomber restaurant, surrounded by a fence and with 24-hour security, as the airframe and wings are cleaned out and then taken apart in preparation for the move to Aurora.

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - An Emmert International employee works on the B-17 Lacey Lady as the vintage plane is lowered slowly to the ground last Wednesday. It will be disassembled and shipped to the Aurora State Airport for restoration. “It’s a piece of history that we want to see preserved to carry and continue its new mission,” said Sean O’Brien, director of operations for the B-17 Alliance. “It’s already served a mission of over 60 years out here as a local landmark, and now it’s ready to go on to its new mission to finish the restoration that began a number of years ago.”

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Jayson Scott, grandson of The Bomber founder Art Lacey, speaks with reporters Aug. 13 outside The Bomber restaurant. Previously, the restoration team removed the Lacey Lady’s nose section, chin turret, four engines, ailerons and flaps.

The nonprofit B-17 Alliance, formed several years ago with the goal of restoring the Lacey Lady, has already pumped more than half a million dollars into the project. The group hopes to raise $3 to $5 million in coming years to see the project through.

The Alliance hopes to have the Lacey Lady restored and certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration within 10 years.

On August 13, a crowd gathered to see the local landmark taken down from its supports.

“When I was a young boy, my dad would stop for gas and you’d get to climb up and sit in the cockpit,” Alliance volunteer Fred Bremner recounted as he watched the crew work on the plane.

At that time, he added, Art Lacey himself would routinely come out and hold court at customers’ tables.

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Decades-old graffiti still adorns the interior of the Lacey Lady, long lost reminders of the days when the plane remained open to the public. A childs fall and subsequent lawsuit put an end to that practice back in 1965. “The Scott family has been so dedicated and persistent in preserving this,” Bremner said. “Now what we need is to get the word out and help see this thing fly. ... It’s deteriorating and we’ve got to get it into a covered hanger. But it’s not going to deteriorate anymore, we’ve got people dedicated to that.”

Budgeting for such a large restoration, which will call for parts that haven’t been manufactured for many decades, can be difficult.

“Cost is always hard because there’s not a set price for all the different parts involved,” O’Brien said. “A lot of those parts have to be custom-made, and a complete list of parts hasn’t been determined. It could cost an additional $1 to $3 million on top of what’s already been spent or achieved so far.”

Getting bombed on the bomber

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The Bomber restaurant in Milwaukie draws its name from the Lacey Lady, a B-17G that has lived at this spot along busy Highway 99 since 1947. Now, the plane is going to Aurora State Airport, where it will undergo restoration. The Lacey Lady is said to have been the venue for plenty of raucous, impromptu parties. In fact, the graffiti still exists inside the airframe to prove it.

“When it was originally placed up in the air, it even had all the armaments in it,” said Jayson Scott, grandson of Art Lacey and an Alliance board member. “It was a totally intact plane; but over the years, with people going through, they walked through six sets of floorboards and there was a lot of fatigue.

In 1965, the threat of a lawsuit over a child who fell out of the B-17 prompted Lacey to close the plane to the public.

The lawsuit, among other reasons:

“By that time, people were stripping stuff out of it, people would go up there and have wild parties and my grandpa would have to go and run them out of there,” Scott said. “So it was a probably a good thing that it did happen to some degree, unfortunately.”

Did you know?

Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The pigeons that long ago took up residence inside the wings and fuselage of the Lacey Lady were evicted July 13 as the B-17 was lowered to the ground for cleaning and shipment to Aurora Airport for eventual restoration.The Lacey Lady was the second B-17 that Art Lacey bought from a base in Oklahoma, according to an account from the B-17 Alliance website. He promptly crash landed the first B-17 he purchased for $13,000 — about $139,000 in 2014 dollars — thanks to a bad landing gear. Luckily for his sake, the head of the base sold Lacey another bomber for $1,500, all the money Lacey had left.