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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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6-0 in the NWOC, and counting


Putnam girls appear headed for their best season in decades

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Weary, but proud, Putnam players took a moment to thank their fellow students for their support following last Friday nights 43-36 win over Liberty. The Kingsmen are off to their best start in girls basketball in decades.Move over Oregon City, Clackamas, West Linn, La Salle and Gladstone, and make room for the Rex Putnam Kingsmen.

North Clackamas County has been a hotbed for high school girls basketball this winter, with Oregon City, Clackamas, West Linn, La Salle and Gladstone all in the top 10 in the state in coaches’ polls.

Putnam girls are making a case that they also deserve recognition.

After playing a super tough preseason schedule that included several competitive 6A and 5A programs, the Kingsmen have taken the Northwest Oregon Conference by storm.

With wins over 2013 NWOC runner-up Liberty (43-36) and St. Helens (52-25) in games last week, the Kingsmen improved their conference record to 6-0 and their season record to 8-7.

They conclude the first round of the conference season on Friday, playing Wilsonville (5-10, 2-4) on the road.

The Kingsmen appear well on their way towards their first winning season since 1986-87 and perhaps their first league championship since way back in 1981-82, when they went 17-1 (19-3 overall) in the Wilco League.

“It’s really exciting to know that we’re the first team to do this well in such a long time,” said Putnam senior co-captain Ali Schooley. “It’s kind of overwhelming. This [crowd tonight] is the biggest crowd that Putnam girls, or even Putnam boys basketball, has had in a long, long time.”

“Playing harder teams in preseason helped prepare us for this,” said Putnam senior co-captain Mariah Oliver. “We were close in most of our games with 6A teams, so we knew we could take these guys in 5A.”

“It was a little nerve-racking [losing so many games in preseason],” said Schooley. “But once we beat Sherwood, I knew we could beat everyone else in the league....

“Our goal’s to go all the way [to a state championship], and I think we can do it.”

“We talk about it every day at practice, and we’re working hard to make it happen,” said Oliver.

“It’s our goal, but we’re still going to take it a game at a time,” said Schooley. “Each game is a step towards our goal. We’re going to keep working hard in practice, come out hard as we can in every game, and not let up.”

Determination and defense were huge in last Friday’s win over the visiting Liberty Falcons.

Although Putnam led in every quarter, the Falcons held the lead for most of the first three quarters, after going up 13-3 to start the game.

The Kingsmen, who pressed on defense throughout the game, upped their intensity on defense and took charge of things in the fourth quarter. They went on a 10-0 run to start the quarter, forcing turnovers on the Falcons’ first five possessions.

Schooley put the Kingsmen up for good, at 33-32, a minute into the final period, taking an outlet pass from Oliver following a steal, and scoring on a lay-up.

Moments later, Schooley stole the ball herself, was fouled on the fast break and hit two free throws, upping the Kingsmen lead to 35-32.

Schooley stole the ball again on the Falcons’ ensuring possession. She was fouled on another fast break attempt, hit two more free throws, and the Falcons were on the ropes, trailing 37-32.

Oliver connected from downtown to make it 40-32 with 4:23 remaining.

Schooley stole the sphere again, and the Kingsmen spread the floor and made enough free throws to hold the Falcons off for the 43-36 victory.

Except for a horrendous night of shooting, the Kingsmen would have turned the game into a rout. They hit only 14-of-49 shots from the floor (.286) for the game.

Putnam’s harassing full-court defense was pivotal. Through their full- and half-court defensive pressure, the Kingsmen forced 30 turnovers, which led to 15 extra field goal attempts. The Falcons were 12-of-34 (.353) from the field on the night.

Putnam was a super cold one-of-12 from the field in the first quarter.

“We’ve been very average in our shooting,” said Putnam coach Otis Oliver. “Our defense has kept us around. We’ve been working very diligently on becoming a better jump-shooting team.... The girls are working hard in practice. Once our shots start dropping, it’s going to be a nightmare for somebody.”

Sophomore post Angela Arrington (10 points), Oliver (9 points), Schooley (8 points) and senior wing Kelsea Baton (7 points) were Putnam’s top point-getters in last Friday’s win.

Baton (4 steals), Oliver (4 steals), Schooley (3 steals) and freshman post Haley Brandel (3 steals) headed up the defense.

Putnam junior guard Carly Bolander and Oliver defended against and made things tough on Liberty star wing McKenzie Oster. The 5-9 senior all-star scored just six points, hitting two 3-pointers in the first half.

Alyssa Grenfell, a 5-10 sophomore guard, scored 10 points, to head up the Falcon offense.

Brandel and Arrington led Putnam to a 25-19 edge on the backboards, each with six rebounds.

The St. Helens Lions pleaded no contest in their Jan. 28 girls basketball game with the Kingsmen.

Putnam led 15-0 at the end of the first quarter and 29-6 at halftime.

“They struggled to get the ball up the floor,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “Our pressure overwhelmed them.”

The Kingsmen forced 34 turnovers, led by Bolander (4 steals) and senior wing Shelby VanLeuven (4 steals).

Mariah Oliver was at the lead on the fast break, scoring a game-high 11 points and assisting on eight baskets.

Bolander tallied 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.

“The girls are internally motivated,” coach Oliver said. “They’ve bought into the program. They’re believing and they’re seeing that hard work does pay off.”

Oliver added, “I’d like to thank our home crowd. They were great tonight. They’re the reason we won this game. Our student body was fabulous. And I’ve got to thank our youth teams and the parents and community for coming out and supporting us. I hope they come back.”

Putnam boys continued to struggle to put a league game in the win column last week, losing to St. Helens 77-57 and to Liberty 81-76. But they gave Liberty a game, taking the Falcons to four overtimes before yielding.

Byron Greenlee, a 6-3 junior post, was Putnam’s nemesis, scoring 17 of his of his game-high 24 points in the four overtimes.

David Vasquez and Calvin Spencer scored 22 and 21 points respectively to lead Putnam. Vasquez was 10-of-10 from the free throw line for the game and he scored 9 points in the overtimes.

With the win, Liberty improved to 4-2 in the NWOC (10-6 overall); Putnam slipped to 0-6 in conference (1-14 overall) with the loss.

Drew O’Dell (16 points) and Vasquez (15 points) were Putnam’s top point-getters in the loss to St. Helens.

Milwaukie’s boys and girls basketball teams both put games in the win column in play last Friday.

Tyler Spencer (26 points), Vasiliy Voznyuk (12 points), Grant Loudon (11 points) and Miliak Rood (10 points) all scored in double figures in Milwaukie boys’ rout of Parkrose.

“We turned it around in the fourth quarter,” said Milwaukie coach Scott Bays. “We outscored them 27-10 in the fourth quarter....

“Miliak played great defense on their best player. Tyler was great all night. He had 112 rebounds and five blocks to go with his 26 points....

“The turning point was in the fourth quarter when Vasiliy scored and got fouled, hit a three, and then scored another basket. All of a sudden we were up by 10.”

Milwaukie boys (4-11, 3-3) play at Sandy (14-2, 5-1) this Friday, while Milwaukie girls (7-8, 4-2) entertain their Pioneer (9-6, 4-2) counterparts.