Featured Stories

INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Nationwide tour brings Texas youth to Milwaukie


Natalie Savant picked a local bowling establishment because its where professional Shannon OKeefe got her start

A young lady from San Antonio, Texas, Natalie Savant, is on a mission, trying to promote a sport she is passionate about — bowling.by: JOHN DENNY - Natalie Savants passion for the sport of bowling brought her to Milwaukie Bowl on Oct. 5, her 28th stop on a nationwide tour. Natalie said she chose Milwaukie Bowl as the place to bowl in Oregon because it is where her favorite professional bowler, Shannon OKeefe, learned to bowl.

In March, during spring break, Natalie began a tour of the lower 48 states, with the goal of bowling in all 48 — promoting the sport she loves, while raising money for a bowling scholarship.

She travels with her mother, Ginger Savant. Ginger is a reservations agent with Southwest Airlines, which helps — a lot — with the cost of travel.

Natalie, who is 9, made a stop at Milwaukie Bowl on Oct. 5. Oregon was her 28th state on her planned 48-state tour.

Natalie encourages young people to follow her on her tour on Facebook, www.facebook.com/NatsStrikingSummer.”

Natalie writes on Facebook: “I like music, singing, dancing and I LOVE to bowl! I started bowling league when I was 5 years old....

“Both of my parents, one of my grandfathers, one of my grandmothers bowl; so do my uncles....

“I don’t understand why more kids don’t bowl in league. There are so many new friends to be made and so much fun to be had. Maybe they just don’t know about it. I have already won over $300 in scholarships that I am going to use when I go to college at Texas A&M University.

“After talking about it with my family, we decided that this summer I would try to bowl in 48 states. (Mom says we will have to see how things pan out if we want to think about adding Hawaii and Alaska.)

“My dad said that maybe along the way I could drum up some sponsorship and raise some money for a good cause. I thought that was a super cool idea.... Then, I had a brilliant idea! A youth scholarship.... What better thing to do with any monies raised than help someone go to college?”

Natalie has a dream of someday making a career of bowling. She idolizes professional bowler Shannon O’Keefe. O’Keefe first learned to bowl at Milwaukie Bowl, and that is why Natalie elected a stop at Milwaukie Bowl.

“I met Shannon O’Keefe in Reno, Nevada,” Natalie says. “She’s so nice, and she’s an awesome bowler! Someday I want to be just like her. I want to be a pro bowler and on Team USA.”

Natalie Savant is off to a pretty good start. Last year she placed first in singles for Division 10 (averages 89 and below) at the Texas State USBC Youth Championships. She averaged 124, 45 pins over her then 79-pin average, recording a personal best series of 371.

by: JOHN DENNY - San Antonio 9-year-old Natalie Savant (second from left) bowled with (left to right) Meygan Docker, Morgan Docker and Lauren Hector during her trip to Oregon. The Texas youth is on a bowling tour of the 48 contiguous states.She has a high game of 153. While bowling with Junior League bowlers at Milwaukie Bowl, she rolled games of 100, 107 and 86.

What did Natalie think of Milwaukie Bowl?

“It’s the littlest lanes I’ve ever bowled at, only 16 lanes,” she said. “But it’s got real wood lanes, which is really cool.”

Ginger Savant noted that most bowling establishments today have synthetic lanes, “because they are easier to maintain.”

Before coming to Oregon, Natalie Googled sites to see in the state and, at her insistence, the family’s first stop was Voodoo Doughnut.

“The doughnuts are humungous, and there are so many different ones,” Natalie said. “We only got to get four. I got maple-bacon. It was really good!”

The family planned a stop at Multnomah Falls after Natalie’s bowling at Milwaukie Bowl.

Natalie, who says her favorite subject in fourth grade is math, says her favorite stop on the tour through the visit to Oregon was Nashville, Tenn.

“I went to the Hermitage,” she says. “It’s the home of Andrew Jackson. It was really interesting to learn how different it was back then. There were slaves, and they didn’t get to live in the same house....”

Natalie says that for people considering a stop in Texas, the place to visit is Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels.

“It’s a water park and it’s an awesome place!” she says.

So why is Natalie so passionate about bowling?

“I like that anybody can do it,” she says. “You get to meet a lot of people. And it’s awesome!”

Ginger Savant wanted to make clear that Natalie is a good student as well as a bowler.

“She keeps very busy,” Ginger said. “At school, she’s in choir and on student council. Bowling is her only sport, but she’s a Girl Scout.”