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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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OC unites against common cancer foe


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cancer survivors wearing special T-shirts walked the first lap at last year's Relay for Life in Oregon City.If you are in or near the Oregon City area on June 28 and 29, and you want to do something more fun than Disneyland, Travis Swanson urges you to come to Relay for Life Oregon City/West Linn.

It’s free, there are no lines, there is plenty of parking, and visitors will be supporting members of the community, he said.

Swanson is the director of media and marketing for the event, held every year as a benefit for the American Cancer Society. It takes place on the track at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. It begins at 10 a.m. on June 28, and ends at 10 a.m. June 29.

Participants may walk the track in teams or as individuals, but the mission is the same —to raise money so that ACS can continue offering services to cancer patients for free every day of the year, 24 hours a day. That is why the relay lasts 24 hours, said Jessica Wolfram, ACS specialist for Relay for Life.

Relay round-up

Organizers choose a theme for the event each year, and this year’s is Western Relay Round-up, said Jamie Zilverberg, co-chairman of the Relay for Life OC/WL.

Men will be encouraged to participate in Mr. Relay/Mr. Saloon Girl, where one man from each team dresses up as a saloon girl and walks the track asking for money.

“We don’t ask, we entice,” Swanson said, noting that a variety of activities are set up to raise funds, including square dance lessons taught by the River City Dancers and a chuck-wagon dinner for $5 at 5 p.m.

The big musical event of the evening is the free concert by Cloverdayle, a band with local roots, now based in Nashville, Tenn.

Cloverdayle will perform in the middle of the track, while walkers participate in the relay and others sit on blankets or dance. Organizers will also pass around a cowboy boot to collect donations.

At 10 p.m. participants will light luminarias, paper bags with candles, arranged around the perimeter of the track. They may be decorated in memory of a loved one who died or may be in honor of a survivor.

“We will take a moment to honor them as we walk a silent lap. It is so moving,” Zilverberg said, adding that people can bring their own luminarias or purchase them and decorate them on-site.

She noted that guest speaker Chasity Glass, author of “Even If I Am,” will speak about her husband’s death from colon cancer.

The relay concludes Sunday morning with a pancake breakfast, a nondenominational church service held by Grandview Baptist Church, and a closing ceremony, “where we thank everyone and announce how much money we made,” Zilverberg said.

People may register for Relay for Life of Oregon City/West Linn from now until the day of the event, and members of the community are encouraged to attend.

“Come be a spectator. There will be food, music, games and activities for kids. Enjoy the day here. It is a community event,” Zilverberg said, adding that people should visit ocrelay.org for more information.

Support for survivors

The goal of the relay is to raise money, but it is also a way to “celebrate survivors,” said Tammy Angier, the accounting and registration chairwoman, and a stage-3 breast cancer survivor herself.

Special events are set up just for cancer survivors who are given purple T-shirts for easy identification, and survivors walk the first lap of the relay.

“After the federal government, the ACS is the leading research arm looking for treatments and a cure for every type of cancer in every community. I support this event because I don’t want anybody else to hear that they have cancer,” Angier said.

As an oncology nurse practitioner working at Providence Cancer Center, Zilverberg “understands every day how important research is, and this event is a wonderful way to support cancer survivors and my patients,” she said.

Swanson, the captain of team Alpha Xi Zeta, CCC’s honor society, said the relay “gives the community the opportunity to become educated about what cancer is and how it affects the community.”

Wolfram, who volunteered with ACS before becoming an employee, said Relay for Life “is the vehicle that carries the mission of ACS to each community. We are fundraising every day.”

She began participating in the relay with her family, as a way to honor her grandfather who died from cancer.

“It gave us a way to channel our grief and anger, and it is a positive and constructive way to give back,” Wolfram said.

Everyone has a story

One of the amazing things about the relay, Zilverberg said, is that “you start talking to people, and there are hundreds of stories” about why the participants are there.

Swanson said one of the many reasons he returns is to honor a childhood friend he reconnected with last year. At that time, his friend thought he had beat cancer, but lost his life several months later.

“I want to show his daughters that I am still involved. I think he would like that,” Swanson said.

Oregon City resident Dennis Bando, a 64-year-old retired teacher, decided to do something special this year, and since 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the death of his mother-in-law from cancer, and he’s grateful for his own good health, he plans to walk 25 hours.

“I feel it is important for me to do this to honor my mother-in-law, others who couldn’t be with us due to cancer, and to those men, women and children who have survived. I’m honored and humbled to take part in this in the hope that our continued support will help continue the research that will someday find a cure for cancer,” he said.

As a cancer survivor, Angier has a more personal reason for participating in relay events.

“I want to highlight how celebrated and honored I feel as a survivor when I come to these events. From the first lap I ever walked, I felt loved and supported, and I met others who were going through what I was. This is an amazing opportunity to feel loved,” she said.

Finally, Zilverberg added, “This event is a time to celebrate cancer survivors. They inspire me — they face cancer with dignity, grace and courage, and it is an honor to come out and support these people.”

Relay for Life

What: A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

When: 10 a.m. June 28, to 10 a.m. June 29

Where: The track at Clackamas Community College, 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City

Details: The event will feature teams and individuals walking to honor and celebrate those who have dealt with cancer. Other activities include food, music, games and more. Registration remains open throughout the day of the event.

More: For information about the relay, visit ocrelay.org.

American Cancer Society: Relay for Life funds the mission of ACS, which is to provide support and information to cancer sufferers and their families, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-227-2345 to talk to an ACS cancer information specialist, or visit cancer.org for online support.