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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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King expects a dogfight every night out


TRL boys basketball teams excel in preseason

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Teammates (from left) Keaton Bankofier, Mitchell Fink and Garrett Dahmen celebrated with Beau Gunderson after Gunderson drained the winning shot in a mid-December win over South Salem. The Cavaliers have had a lot to celebrate in preseason, winning 12 of their first 14 games.Clackamas boys basketball coach Ryan King says he is excited about and eager to begin league play. And King has good reason to be excited. His Cavaliers have gone 12-2 in preseason and they are ranked No. 4 in the state in the OSAA power rankings heading into this Friday’s Three Rivers League opener at West Linn.

“I think our kids have done a good job of sticking together and fighting through adversity and playing hard,” King said.

Still King has no illusions about it being a cakewalk in the Three Rivers League. Three Rivers League teams, through play last week, had won 73 percent of their games against nonleague opponents. All six league teams had winning records and all six were ranked in the top 19 in the state in the RPI rankings — No. 1 West Linn (9-4), No. 4 Clackamas (12-2), No. 8 Canby (7-4), No. 11 Lakeridge (11-2), No. 16 Oregon City (9-4) and No. 19 Lake Oswego (8-4).

“It’s like I thought it was going to be before the season started,” King said on Sunday. “The Three Rivers League is the toughest league in the state. It’s going to fun; it’s going to be wild. Every night’s a ball game. If you don’t come ready to play, it’s a loss....

“Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do on Friday. We open league with West Linn at their place and I think they just might be the best team in the state. It’ll be a fun challenge for us.”

With their only loss to an in-state opponent a 64-63 barnburner with Barlow on Dec. 20, the Cavaliers last week demonstrated the fight that has made them competitive against Oregon opponents all season, winning at 10th-ranked Southridge 59-54 in overtime on Friday, after dispatching with Gresham 73-65 earlier in the week.

“Their kid [Hudson VanAllen] made a 26-footer to put the game into overtime, and their place went wild,” said King. “Our kids did a great job of remaining mentally tough and maintaining their composure in a very hostile environment. We scored the first six points in the overtime, and they couldn’t catch us.”

Mitchell Fink got the early overtime run started, scoring an inside bucket off a screen.

“It was a defensive battle,” King said. “We played really good defense in the first half. We relaxed a little in the second half, and you can’t relax against a team that has a kid as good as [A.J.] Monterossi.”

Monterossi, a 5-10 do-everything point guard, scored a team-high 21 points, after the Cavaliers had held him to 4 points in the first half.

The game was tight all the way, with Southridge up 20-18 at halftime and the Cavaliers leading 36-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Cavaliers were led offensively by 6-3 junior Markus Golder, who tallied a game-high 22 points.

Mitchell Fink (12 points) and Keaton Bankofier (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring.

King praised 6-8 post David Reese for his strong play on the backboards.

Last week’s win over Gresham was a game of wide momentum swings. Clackamas went up 22-8 in the first quarter, but the Gophers closed the gap to 33-29 by halftime. The Cavaliers got back on track after the halftime break and were up 61-49 heading into the final period.

Golder starred on offense, burning the nets for 27 points. Bankofier (14 points) and Raekwon Mingledoff (10 points) also had double digit games.

OC Guys are

back on track

Oregon City had a good week last week, defeating Pendleton 57-52 in overtime on Friday, after dropping Newberg 56-45 earlier in the week.

The Pioneers rallied around the play of Trevon Bradford and Briggs Young to beat the Tigers.

Bradford tallied 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting; Young also scored 17 points, going 6-for-8 from the field, with five 3-point baskets. Bradford also sparked the offense with six assists.

The Pioneers were a hot-handed 23-for-44 from the field as a team, and they only turned the ball over eight times.

“Our kids played well, led by our sophomore back court,” said Oregon City coach Aaron Newkirk.

The Pioneers jumped out to a 19-12 lead in the first quarter and continued in the driver’s seat the rest of the way.

“Newberg presented some challenge for us, because of their size,” Newkirk said. They start three kids 6-5. The key for us was playing physical and doing our best to control the paint. The kids did a good job of that.”

Brad Martin played a strong game, scoring nine points on 4-for-8 shooting and claiming a team-high seven rebounds. Austin DeWitz score nine points on 4-for-6 shooting.

Newberg 6-7 junior post Jacoby Wolfe (11 points) was the only player on his team in double figures in scoring.

Bradford (16 points, 5 assists, 6 steals), DeWitz (15 points) and Young (12 points) led the way in last Friday’s overtime win. DeWitz was 7-of-12 from the field and Briggs was 8-of-9 at the free throw line.

The Pioneers prevailed, despite ice-cold shooting. They made only a third of their shots from the floor and they made just one of 12 attempts from beyond the arc.

Joel Boozer scored 15 points to lead the Buckaroos.

Oregon City (8-4) begins TRL play this Friday at Lakeridge (11-2). Gametime is 7:30 p.m., after the Lakeridge versus Oregon City girls game.