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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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From Gladiator to Mustang


Wolf comes out of retirement to head up the football program at Milwaukie High School

by: JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie football coach Jon Wolf wasted little time in putting some of his football players to work rearranging the high school weight room for his movement dynamics program, which features both weight lifting and agility training. Pictured with the new Mustang head coach are (from left) Ivan Smith, River Meyer, Tui Tuitele and Patricio Hernandez. Wolf encourages any Milwaukie High School athlete, regardless of their sport, to take advantage of the movement dynamics program. Sessions run from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays through the summer.Jon Wolf’s retirement from coaching was very short-lived.

The longtime successful area high school football coach, who retired as head coach at Gladstone High School in December, has signed on as head football coach and part-time physical education teacher at Milwaukie High School.

Wolf, 55, this spring had said that he was still interested in coaching and teaching, but he had anticipated doing so in an assignment that required a lesser time commitment.

“I just want to be halftime,” Wolf had said during an interview in May. “Teaching full-time and coaching was like working two full-time jobs. I want to work another seven to 10 years. I just don’t want to kill myself doing it....”

Besides heading up the Mustang football program, Wolf will teach three weight training classes at Milwaukie. And he has brought the successful movement dynamics program that he helped start at Gladstone to Milwaukie, running sessions for all Milwaukie athletes from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays through the summer.

“I was thinking assistant coach, but only for certain people,” Wolf said in late June. “But I wasn’t ruling out head coaching. This opportunity came along, and it’s a great opportunity. I’m very excited about being here....

“This is basically everything I wanted. With teaching part-time, I get more time in the afternoon to work on football.”

Wolf has coached high school football for the past 32 seasons, including the last 17 as a head coach, and he has been one of the most successful high school football coaches in the local area. His varsity teams at Gladstone (2006-13), Putnam (1997-2002) and Madison (1989-91) high schools had a combined win-loss record of 95-77.

As head coach at Gladstone, Wolf’s teams won 61 of 91 games, won two league championships (2010 and 2013) and advanced at least as far as the state quarterfinals in five of his eight seasons as head coach (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013). Wolf’s Gladiators in 2010 went 12-1 and took Gladstone to the state semifinals for the first time since 1987.

Still, the head coaching position at Milwaukie will be no cakewalk. The Mustang program has struggled for years, and Wolf is Milwaukie’s fifth head coach in five seasons.

“We had to work hard to change the culture at Gladstone, and we’re going to have to do the same thing here,” said Wolf. “When I met with the parents I told them that unless they fire me or I die, I’m going to be here seven to 10 more years. I want to be here. I’m excited about this opportunity, and I’m going to do everything in my power to turn things around.”

Wolf said he was impressed with the involvement of Milwaukie parents.

“We had probably the biggest parent meeting I’ve ever had,” Wolf said. “It’s a very good start.”

Wolf has been busy. Besides beginning a summer movement dynamics program for all Milwaukie High student/athletes, he’s become involved in Milwaukie’s youth football program.

“I’m a non-voting member of the [youth football] board of directors this year,” said Wolf. “They seem very interested in adopting [the program we use at the high school] and running with it....

“I’m working to get the youth program more connected with the high school. We’re going to get them playing games on the “M,” back on the Mustang field. We’re going to work closely with the youth program and build a relationship.”

Wolf said he plans to stick with the veer offense and stack defense that brought his teams success at Gladstone.

“I’ve got to be myself and do what I know,” said Wolf. “We’re going to hang our hat on running the veer.”

Wolf says he’s pretty much sticking with last year’s assistant coaches.

Roland Aumueller returns as a line coach, Stephen Graves returns to coach wide receivers and defensive backs, Shane Meyer returns to coach free safeties and running backs, Gary Irby returns to coach tight ends and linebackers, and Chris James returns to assist with the freshmen team.

Ian Fridell, who coached with Wolf at Gladstone, will head up Milwaukie’s jayvee program.

Milwaukie High School teacher and wrestling coach Brian Duhrkoop has joined the football coaching staff as head freshmen coach.

Richard Albes, a new social studies teacher at Milwaukie who comes from a Salem middle school, has also signed on as an assistant coach.

“I feel really lucky to be here,” said Wolf. “I know it’s been awhile. But there’s a great past tradition of success in football at Milwaukie, and we’re hoping to bring it back....

“Like we told the kids at Gladstone, “We’re going to train you as an athlete, we’re going to train you to be a sprinter, and we’re going to train you to be a team. It’s what made Gladstone special, and I think it can do the same thing here at Milwaukie.”

Wolf said he encourages participation and support from parents and the community as he attempts to turn Milwaukie’s program around.

“It takes more than one person to turn a program around,” he said. “It takes a supportive administration, and I feel I have that. It takes hard work by the players and coaching staff, and it also requires the support of parents and the community. I’m excited and ready to get after it!”