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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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Two locals vie for titles, scholarships


Rebecca Anderson, 22, and Katie Busch, 18, both from Clackamas County, will be heading off to pageants in June to compete for the honor of representing Oregon at a higher level.

Anderson, a 2009 Oregon City High School graduate, was named Miss Cascade on April 26, and will move on to the Miss Oregon Pageant in Seaside June 25 to 28. The winner will advance to the Miss America Pageant in September.

Busch, a senior at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School, is the current Distinguished Young Woman of Oregon, and will compete at nationals June 26 to 28 in Mobile, Ala.

Rebecca Anderson

by: PHOTO BY WENDY TAUNTON - Oregon City resident Rebecca Anderson is crowned Miss Cascade, moves on to Miss Oregon pageant.Anderson graduated in 2013 from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a minor in sustainability. She works for a local nonprofit lawyer while taking classes in preparation for her second bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science at the University of North Dakota.

This will be the Oregon City resident’s fourth time competing at Miss Oregon. She was a top-10 finalist in her three previous pageants and was third runner-up and a preliminary talent winner in 2013.

“I am really looking forward to this year’s Miss Oregon Pageant, to making those lifelong memories and earning the most amount of scholarship money I can. After all, this organization is based on scholarship and, paying for my second degree on my own, it is much needed,” Anderson said.

At the local pageant, held at the Barclay Center in Oregon City, Anderson was given both the fitness award and the talent award, before being named Miss Cascade.

For her talent portion of the competition, Anderson sang “Let It Go,” from the current popular movie “Frozen.”

The main reason she chose that number was “because I have been through my fair share of struggles in life and always feeling like I had to be perfect. This song has become kind of an anthem for me, and so many others, that I thought it would be a perfect song to complete my last year of competing with the Miss America organization. Going out with a bang, and with a song that is truly me, I am still working on letting it go,” she said.

Anderson said she originally became involved with the program because she needed a positive outlet in her life. This was reinforced once she met titleholders and saw all the positive things they were doing in their communities.

“This program has done so much for me. I am much more focused on my education, making a difference, and discovering who I am and who I want to be. This program, in a lot of ways, changed the path of my life. I know now that being me is perfect and following my dreams is achievable. I am a much more mature, driven and confident woman than I was four years ago when I started,” Anderson said.

To learn more about the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, visit missoregon.org.

Katie Busch

by: SUBMITTED - Katie BuschAn Oak Grove resident, Busch has been involved with other scholarship organizations before, but said it was always in her plans to compete in the Distinguished Young Women program because her mother, Tami Montee-Busch, was Jefferson County’s Junior Miss, before the program changed its name.

“The unique thing about Distinguished Young Women is the program really strives to focus on the whole girl. There is a fitness component similar to other programs, but it consists of a high-cardio, full-body routine. We also have a 10-minute interview with a panel of five judges and a chance to articulate the answer to a question on stage,” Busch said.

In addition, there is a talent portion and an academic component during which a contestant’s high school transcripts are judged by a separate panel of judges with academic background and experience.

Girls are initially eligible for the local and at-large level programs during their junior year. If they win, they go to state the summer before their senior year, and if they win state, they go to nationals the summer after their senior year, Busch said.

The national competition takes place in Mobile, Ala., where the program was founded in 1958. When she gets there, Busch will spend time learning routines for the program night and volunteering in the community. She will stay with one other representative in the home of a host family.

“When the competition rolls around, we will all complete in the same areas of competition as we did at the local and state levels. There are two nights of preliminary competition with a third night for the finalists who have made top 10,” Busch said.

Distinguished Young Women has an outreach program called the National Be Your Best Self Program, and on April 21 Busch brought that message to Sojourner Elementary School and Cascade Heights Public Charter School, and to Lot Whitcomb Elementary School on May 2.

She spoke with the younger students about how they can be “healthy, involved, studious, respectful and ambitious, and how we implement those things in our daily lives,” she said. At the charter school Busch spoke with eighth-graders about how the aspects of Be Your Best Self can help during the transition to and throughout high school.

As for her future plans, in the fall Busch will attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., since it offers full-tuition scholarships to any state representative from the Distinguished Young Women program.

To learn more about this program, visit distinguishedyw.org.