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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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Wheeler is on the road to recovery


Determination and community support are second to none

by: JOHN DENNY - Gladstone High School senior football players stopped by the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital last week to hang out with Jake Wheeler, who graduated from Gladstone in 2008. Wheeler is undergoing rehabilitation for a spinal cord injury. The Gladstone community has rallied behind the former three-sport athlete, with multiple fundraisers. This Fridays home football game with Astoria is an endowment game and half of the gate receipts will go to help Wheeler with his recovery. Pictured with Wheeler are (from left) Sean Williams, Andrew Conway, Vinny Rininger, Trevor Browning and Blake McNall.If heart and determination and community support mean anything, Gladstone 23-year-old Jake Wheeler will make a full recovery.

The Gladstone community has rallied behind Wheeler, who is battling to recover from a fractured neck, which left him paralyzed below his chest.

“I was swimming at a friend’s house and dove head-first [into the Willamette River] and hit my head on something,” Wheeler recalls. “I never lost consciousness. I was hoping it was a stinger, but I kinda knew it wasn’t.... My friends pulled me from the water.”

“They did surgery two days later and put a post in his neck,” said Jake’s mom, Pamela Whelden. “Jake has two fractured vertebrae and a bruised spinal cord.... The good thing is his spine was only severely bruised. It wasn’t punctured or severed, which means there’s a good chance he can make a full recovery. The doctors are hopeful. They say time will tell.”

Wheeler made a trip home for the first time since the injury on Sunday (August 25), and plans are for him to be permanently discharged from the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital next Wednesday (Sept. 4).

Wheeler has been working hard, undergoing 3-1/2 to 4 hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy a day, readying himself to negotiate life outside of the hospital.

He is in his senior year of studies as an environmental science major at Portland State University, and he plans to resume his studies when school resumes on Sept. 30.

“He’s been making excellent progress,” said Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon physical therapist Traci Hutchins. “When I first saw him he wasn’t able to sit up by himself. Now he has the ability to sit up and lay down by himself and to manage his legs — which have no feeling — by himself. He’s working on transferring himself in and out of a wheelchair unassisted, and he can almost do it by himself. He can go up and down a wheelchair ramp, and he’s working on getting on and off the floor by himself. These are advanced skills that not many people can do before I send them home.... Jake will need some help when he gets home, but he’ll be very close to being able to function independently....

“He’s got a positive attitude and a tremendous drive. You can tell he has a background in athletics, and he is used to working hard.”

“The physical therapy is pretty similar to what [Gladstone football coach] Jon Wolf had us do,” Wheeler said. “A lot of the same core stuff....

“When I first came here they said it (rehabilitation) would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But they were wrong. It’s not as hard as a Jon Wolf workout. Not even close.”

A right-hander, Wheeler has become ambidextrous. At first he had little feeling in his right hand. He’s progressed dramatically, to where he now can hold a cup, has a firm grip for a hand-shake, and can negotiate in a manual wheelchair with little difficulty.

“I can do wheelies in my wheelchair,” Wheeler said. “They encourage it.... There’s a stop so I don’t go too far.”

A lifetime Gladstone resident, Wheeler, who turned 23 in the hospital, has had plenty of support from his community.

A Gladstone High School alumni girls soccer game brought in just under $7,000 and a sushi fundraiser at Fuji’s Japanese Restaurant in Clackamas raised close to $5,000.

This Friday’s Gladstone High School home football game with Astoria is an endowment game, with half of the gate receipts going to Wheeler to help him with his recovery. Gametime is 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for students — no passes allowed.

There is also a Jake Wheeler Recovery Fund Account that the community can contribute to at area Key Banks.

Family and friends have been busy at Jake’s home, where they are remodeling the first floor, which will become Jake Wheeler’s living quarters. A ramp and deck are under construction, the house is being made wheelchair accessible front and back, and the bathroom is being remodeled for Wheeler’s use.

“I’m so grateful [for the community support],” Wheeler said. “I’m blown away! It’s unbelievable! I feel blessed. I love my community!”

“We’ve received a lot of donations [of building materials], and friends and family have been picking up hammers and cutting holes,” said Whelden. “Area businesses have been really wonderful with donations.”

Whelden singled out Russell Construction and Ore-Pac Building Products for going above and beyond in donating building materials, and to family friends Amanda Schumaker and Kaitlin Bliss for their efforts in fundraising.

“They say I’m doing better than expected as far as strength and mobility,” Wheeler said. “A lot better. I’m hopeful for a complete recovery.... They say after two years you’ll get a general sense of how it’s going to be.”

“I hope a lot of people come to the [endowment] game,” said Hutchins. “Jake deserves it.”