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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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Teachers do battle to benefit NCSD foundation


A dozen female teachers from all over the North Clackamas School District will kick off Milwaukie’s First Friday by putting the fun back in fundraising, as they put their elbows on the table and get ready to arm wrestle.

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Alexis Moore (Scarlett O'Terror) puts the hurt on Denise Torres (Denise the Destroyer) as Ruby Flintjer gets ready to whistle. Hosted by The Warrior Room, a kettlebell studio located in downtown Milwaukie, at 1928 S.E. Washington St., the purpose of the event is to raise money for the North Clackamas Education Foundation.

The event is raising a few eyebrows as well, said foundation board member Jeanne Magmer, but to people who are asking why the event is happening, she has an answer.

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Alexis Moore, a fourth grade teacher at Lewelling Elementary School, swings a kettlebell as she trains for the arm-wrestling event. “It’s teachers doing it, and it is an opportunity for us to get more attention,” she said, noting the foundation has gained more attention from this event than any other.

It also is going to be “just plain fun,” Magmer said, adding that sometimes people just need a “feel-good” event.

Oak Grove resident Jodi Schreffler, who regularly works out at The Warrior Room, came up with the idea for the event, based on a successful arm-wrestling venture last September at the same venue.

She finds the fact that female teachers were willing to put themselves on the line and help raise money for their students “inspiring,” she said, but also noted that the activity is a collaboration between teachers and the community.

The Warrior Room owners are donating the space for the event; Revolve Vintage is providing chairs for seating; Sojourner School’s marimba band will kick off the event; and Schreffler’s daughter Ava, a Riverside Elementary School second grader, and her friends, Addie Mae and Khloe Watkins, will have a lemonade stand.

“This is an alcohol-free, family-friendly event, and the girls will make the lemonade at the Painted Lady,” a coffee shop in downtown Milwaukie, Schreffler said, adding that New Seasons donated the lemons.

She also said the vintage chairs will have price tags attached, and if people what to buy the chairs, Revolve Vintage will donate 10 percent of the price to the foundation.

The arm-wrestling event is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and afterward Schreffler encourages attendees to head out to participating restaurants and food vendors, as they take in all the activities surrounding Milwaukie’s First Friday.

She added, “We just found out that Pronto Pizza is offering all kids who go to the event free Zeppole from their booth at First Friday, and Breakside Brewery is offering a free beer to adults.”

And back to putting the fun in fundraising, is the fact that students will be able to watch their teachers arm wrestle.

“If I could have seen my teacher arm wrestling, that would have made my day,” Schreffler said.

But, she added, “The North Clackamas Education Foundation needs help, and this is all about raising money for the foundation, which provides equal opportunities in the classroom.”

Ready to rumble

Part of the fun of preparing for the arm-wrestling event is choosing a name; just ask Scarlett O’Terror and Dame Denise the Destroyer.

Alexis Moore, a fourth-grade teacher at Lewelling Elementary School, said her friends gave her the name Scarlett O’Terror, but didn’t provide any other details.

She chose to participate in the event to support the foundation, the community and her school.

“Also, based on past fundraising events hosted by The Warrior Room for organizations like Northwest Housing Alternatives and the Annie Ross House, it’s certain to be fun and entertaining,” she added.

“I think people, especially our students, will have a blast seeing teachers dressed up and competing in an arm-wrestling tournament to support education. I know if my teachers had done something like this when I was a kid, it would’ve been pretty memorable.”

Calling the foundation an “amazing organization that does wonderful things for our schools that the budget can’t always accommodate,” Moore said the event will be “a great opportunity for people to get out and experience all that the downtown Milwaukie community has to offer at First Friday.”

As for Dame Denise the Destroyer, Denise Torres confessed she needed help with her name, and in the end Schreffler came up with the moniker.

Torres teaches first grade and is one of the founding teachers at Sojourner School.

“I wanted to participate because of the terrific things that the North Clackamas Education Foundation does for students and teachers across the district. They work very hard to help teachers create outstanding educational experiences that enhance and extend the work done in the classroom,” she said.

She also thought it would be fun and is always up for a little goofiness.

Although she admits she is not training in any serious way, she does lug heavy books from one end of the classroom to the other all day and works on her lunges while tying her students’ shoes.

Torres added, “People should come and support this event because the more we earn, the more opportunities will be available to the kids and teachers in North Clackamas.”

Schools face challenges

The North Clackamas Education Foundation was started in 1992 to raise money to make sure music and the arts did not disappear from the curriculum, Magmer said. Now the organization has taken on other projects.

“We are working really hard to fill the gap between district funding and what kids need. We want to increase the amount of money to teachers’ classroom programs, we want to expand the Wichita Center family-support programs, and we provide scholarships, as well,” Magmer said.

“Schools are facing so many challenges with reduced funding, families are facing challenges and we have more homeless students. So this is a good idea to raise money for schools, and the foundation serves all the schools in the North Clackamas School District.”

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Pictured are Alexis Moore, Jeanne Magmer, North Clackamas Education Foundation board member, and Denise Torres.  Magmer also said that businesses along Main Street have “stepped up to the plate,” donating a portion of sales that night to the foundation.

She added, “One of our goals is to be a household word, so that when you think about schools, you will think about the foundation helping all kids in all schools. And now all those businesses know about us, and each one will get a sticker that says ‘Good schools are good for business.’"

Raise your arms

What: Female teachers arm-wrestling event to raise funds for the North Clackamas Education Foundation

When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 2

Where: The Warrior Room, 1928 S.E. Washington St., Milwaukie

Details: $5 admission for spectators, but there will be front-row VIP tickets for any donation over $10. The event will be highly visible on a stage with 48 VIP seats surrounding the arena. Children are free and encouraged to come out to support their teachers.

More: Call The Warrior Room at 503-841-0049. Visit firstfridaymilwaukie.com to see a full list of activities and vendors.

Participating teachers and their schools

Melanie Adams, Cascade Heights Public Charter; Dalene Agost, Oregon Trail Elementary; Jennifer Dove-Kiltow, Sunnyside Elementary; Stephanie Fitzgerald, Rex Putnam High School; Cheyenne R. Freeman, Alder Creek Middle School; Sarah Makarchek, Happy Valley Middle School; Alexis Moore, Lewelling Elementary; Megan Niemitz, Rowe Middle School; Jessica Oberg, Riverside Elementary; Rose Oviatt, Milwaukie Elementary; Barbara Spisla, Clackamas High; and Denise Torres, Sojourner