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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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Tualatin rains on Clackamas parade


A rain-greased ball and pitcher control problems spell defeat in a second-round playoff loss to the Timberwolves

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas players head for the dugout after their long first inning with Tualatin. Pictured are (from left) McKenzie Giancola, Melissa Noble, Vanessa Oakden, Madisen Vrabel and Rachel Atchison.Tualatin’s softball team and the weather on West Linn’s Rosemont Ridge softball field rained on an otherwise successful season for the Clackamas Cavaliers on May 22, as the Cavaliers bowed out of the Class 6A high school softball playoffs with an 11-1 loss to the seventh-ranked Timberwolves in a second-round game of the playoffs.

Few expected the tenth-ranked Cavaliers to experience the success they had this season, after they had graduated three outstanding infielders — including all-state pitcher Sam Gutwig — from their 2012 ball club. But the Cavaliers worked hard and accomplished a lot, successfully defending their Three Rivers League title, finishing with a 21-7 record and advancing to the second round of the state playoffs. This is only the fifth time that a Clackamas softball team has won a league title and only the third outright league title for the school in softball. Clackamas teams were outright league champions in 1999 and in 2012, and they were co-champions with Putnam in 2000 and in 2001.

Relentless, record rain and record cold for the date led to a poor start to the game for the Cavaliers in last week’s five-inning playoff loss to the Timberwolves.

The Wolves put the game away in the first inning, when Cavalier pitcher control problems due to the weather led to eight Tualatin first-inning runs. The Wolves scored the first-inning runs on six walks, a hit batter, three singles, a sacrifice fly and two fielder’s choices.

Five of the runs were scored off of starting pitcher Amanda Zehr, who walked four of the first five batters to face her. Prior to the game, Zehr had given up only 17 walks in 87 innings, an average of one walk every five innings.

The Cavaliers continued to battle after the suspect start, but they struggled to get timely hitting, while Tualatin ace Emily Sorem (10 strikeouts, 4 hits) scattered five walks and two hit batsman. Clackamas left the bases loaded in the first, second and fourth innings; and the Cavaliers left two runners stranded in the third stanza.

“One bad inning doesn’t define the whole season,” said Clackamas senior Vanessa Oakden. “We’ve had a great year. And [our poor showing in this game] falls on the entire team, not just the pitchers. We didn’t score until the fourth inning, we left a lot of people on base, and we had some called third strikes....

“To pull together and repeat as league champions, after the rough start we got to the season, that says a lot about our team. I’m very proud of this team, and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”

“We have a strong program and I have no doubt they can come back and make it a 3-peat next year,” said senior Melissa Noble. “They’ll have no problem finding people who can step up and fill the seniors’ shoes.”

“We’ve got a lot of sophomores on the team and I think they’ve got the drive to make it a 3-peat next year and a 4-peat the year after,” Oakden said.

The Cavaliers started five sophomores in the Tualatin game.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t throw more strikes in the first inning....,” said Clackamas coach Dave Just. “But I’m real proud of these girls. Back-to-back Three Rivers League championships. That hasn’t been done in awhile.”

Sophomore outfielder Ashley Filler led the Cavaliers at the plate in last week’s game with the Timberwolves, going 2-for-2, with two singles and a walk. Sophomore infielder Cassie Haehlen singled to right field, and Noble hit an infield single.

Clackamas pitchers Zehr and Madisen Vrabel combined for two strikeouts, seven walks and two hit batters, while yielding five hits.

The win advanced the Pacific Conference runner-up Timberwolves (24-4) to a May 24 state quarterfinal game at Pacific Conference champion and second-ranked Glencoe (26-1).

The Cavaliers had eight seniors on their playoff roster: Oakden (catcher), Noble (outfield), Sydney Wilson (outfield), Sydney Opoka (outfield), Mariah Scholes (first base), Allie Anderegg (infield), Jessica Engle (infield) and Rachel Atchison (pitcher).

Rounding out the roster were: juniors Vrabel and Corey Erickson (catcher); and sophomores Zehr, Filler (outfield), Sammy Haehlen (outfield), Cassie Haehlen (infield), McKenzie Giancola (infield) and Jade Haehlen (infield).

Starters in the Tualatin game were: Zehr at pitcher, Oakden at catcher, Scholes at first, Cassie Haehlen at second, Giancola at shortstop, Vrabel at third, Sammy Haehlen in left field, Filler in center, Noble in right and Anderegg as designated hitter.

The Cavaliers had a .317 team batting average on the 2013 season, led by Scholes (.485), Filler (.426), Giancola (.374), Oakden (.373) and Noble (.346).

Giancola led the team in RBI (28) and extra base hits (15), and she hit four home runs. Filler led the team in runs scored, with 30.

Noble had 26 runs scored, 21 RB and she hit four home runs; Oakden scored 20 runs and drove in 18 runs.

The Cavaliers were impressive in their May 20 state playoff opener, as they rallied around timely hitting, flawless defensive play and the pitching of Zehr and Vrabel to knock of Newberg, 7-2.

Zehr and Vrabel combined to strike out four and they issued no free passes, while yielding just four hits. Zehr and her teammates retired the Tigers in order in the first three innings.

Clackamas struck early on offense, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second on a timely three-bagger by Ashley Filler (2-for-3, triple, double, 4 RBI).

The Cavaliers loaded the bases on walks by Mariah Scholes and Allie Anderegg and an error on a sacrifice bunt by McKenzie Giancola (2-for-3, two-home run, 2 runs). Filler followed with her three-run triple, and the Cavaliers were in the driver’s seat.

Newberg got two runs back in the top of the fourth on a pair of hits and two run-scoring groundouts.

And the Cavaliers put the game away in the sixth frame, scoring four more runs on four hits and a walk. Vanessa Oakden got things started in the sixth with a lead-off double.

Mariah Scholes followed with a well-hit single, scoring pinch runner Sydney Opoka. Giancola’s two-run home run over the fence in left made it 6-0 Clackamas. Pinch hitter Jessica Engle drew a walk, and Filler bought the seventh run around with a two-out double.