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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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Oregon City is still the team to beat in TRL girls hoops


But the Pioneers may have their hands full in attempting to go undefeated in arguably the toughest Class 6A league in the state

by: JON HOUSE - Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf discusses strategies for his Pioneers during last Fridays game at Lincoln. The Pioneers breezed by the Cardinals and West Salem in preseason games played on the road last week. Oregon City girls begin Three Rivers League play at 6 p.m. Friday at Lakeridge.Celebrating their growth after playing six of the nation’s top teams in holiday tournaments, the Oregon City Pioneers were at the top of their game last week, as they made quick-work of girls basketball teams from Lincoln and West Salem in postseason mismatches.

The Pioneers upended Lincoln, which is now coached by former West Linn coach Glen Lee, winning 77-35 in a Jan. 10 game at Lincoln; and they humbled West Salem, winning 79-27 in a Jan. 6 game at West Salem.

The Pioneer led Lincoln 41-23 at halftime; and they surged to a 23-4 first-quarter advantage at West Salem.

“I think we’re a solid group now,” said Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf. “We played six teams that were awfully good during the break. That tough schedule is paying off for us now....

“Taylor Shaw is shooting the ball real well in the paint; Jessica Gertz and Cierra Walker are providing the outside scoring punch, and also getting to the basket; Toria Bradford is doing a good solid job delivering the ball. She’s averaging eight assists....”

Gertz and Walker scored 20 and 18 points respectively in the Lincoln game, scoring all their points in the first half. Bradford sparked the offense with nine assists. Twelve Oregon City girls played and 10 scored.

Shaw scored a team-high 17 points at West Salem, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the field.

Walker played a strong game all-around, with 13 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Gertz (16 points) and Bradford (11 points, 5 assists) joined Shaw and Walker in double digits in scoring.

Although the state’s Class 6A coaches last week ranked Oregon City the second-best high school girls basketball team in the state, the Pioneers will have to work to go undefeated in league.

All of the league’s teams except Lakeridge (4-8) have winning records against nonleague opponents in preseason. Four of the league’s teams — Oregon City (8-4), Clackamas (10-3), West Linn (10-2) and Canby (10-3) — are ranked in the top 12 in the state, and those four teams have a combined winning percentage of 76 percent.

“I think the Three Rivers League is tough from top to bottom,” said Guelsdorf. “But it’s no different from any other year. Girls basketball is a priority in the league. We’ve got great coaches, great players and a great tradition. It’s a shame that the Oregon School Activities Association doesn’t see it that way and they are putting an end to that tradition....”

The Pioneers begin their final season in the TRL this Friday at 6 p.m. at Lakeridge; they entertain 12th-ranked Canby at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, in their first home game since Dec. 10.

A tough week

for Clackamas

Last week was not a great week for Clackamas’ fourth-ranked girls basketball team.

The Cavaliers dropped a 51-47 barnburner to eighth-ranked Westview on Friday, after struggling to find the basket earlier in the week in a 47-31 win at Forest Grove.

The Wildcats went ahead for good late in the third quarter, hitting shots from the outside, while the Cavaliers concentrated on defending Jaime Nared, a 6-2 senior wing who has signed with Tennessee.

Still, the Cavaliers stayed close and made a game of it. It was still a two-point game, at 49-47, inside the final minute of play, when a Cavalier turnover allowed the Wildcats to salt the game away with free throws.

Despite Clackamas’ defense on her, Nared was huge for Westview, scoring 22 points and corralling a dozen rebounds. She’s been averaging 29 points and 15 rebounds on the 2013-14 season.

Led by 5-6 sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin (13 points and three 3-pointers), Westview went 7-for-14 from 3-point land.

Clackamas was led by Kaitlyn Reiner (11 points), Erin McDonald (11 points), Erica Pagano (10 points) and Peyton Carroll (8 points).

A bit sluggish after the holiday break, the Cavaliers rallied around Pagano to dispatch with Forest Grove 47-31 in the Jan. 6 game at Forest Grove.

Pagano was on fire, hitting 8-of-14 shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers. The 6-0 senior finished with a season- and game-high 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

“They left her open at the top of the key and she knocked them down,” said Lane. “She had a great shooting night from the start. She hit three 3’s in the first half.”

Except for Pagano, the Cavaliers struggled to get their shots to drop. The other players on the team were a combined 10-of-34 (29 percent) from the field.

Azorr and Reiner had strong passing games, recording six and four assists respectively.

The Cavaliers forced 27 turnovers, but they also had 21 turnovers.

Azorr and Reiner headed up the defense, each with five steals. Like the Cavaliers, the Vikings struggled to find the basket, making only 10-of-40 (25 percent) shots from the floor.

It was only the third loss in 10 games for Forest Grove and it was the lowest scoring game of the season for the Vikings, who entered the contest averaging 57 points an outing.