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

OC girls breeze by No. 6 Tigard


Also: Oregon City guys meet their match

by: DAVID BLAIR - Oregon City sophomore wing Cierra Walker (10) takes the ball to the basket in the Pioneers season opener with Jesuit. Walker has been impressive in the Pioneers first three games, averaging 13 points and half a dozen assists in wins over the Crusaders, McMinnville and Tigard.Last week’s Class 6A high school girls basketball poll had Oregon City ranked fourth in the state and Tigard ranked sixth.

But either the Pioneers deserve to be ranked higher, or the Tigers are ranked too high.

The two teams met last Friday at Tigard and the Pioneers breezed to a 68-47 victory, taking control in the second quarter, when when they went on an 11-2 run.

The Pioneers led 20-15 at the end of the first quarter and 43-29 at halftime. The 21-point victory margin would have been even bigger had not Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf elected to take off the full-court press.

The Pioneers had a balanced offense, led by senior point guard Toria Bradford, who had one of the best games of her high school career, scoring a career-high 18 points, dishing out seven assists, and stealing the sphere five times.

Sophomore wing Cierra Walker scored 14 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Senior wing Jessica Gertz (13 points) and sophomore post Taylor Shaw (13 points) also scored in double figures.

Lexi Carter, a 5-8 guard who has committed to Clemson, tallied 17 points to lead the Tigers, doing most of the damage in the first period.

With the win and an 86-29 rout of the overmatched McMinnville Grizzlies on Dec. 10, the state-title-hungry Pioneers improved to 3-0 on the season.

Shaw burned the nets for a career-high 22 points and nine rebounds against McMinnville.

Gertz scored 17 points, Alyssa Durr scored 12 points, and Walker had seven assists to go with eight points.

Sophomore wing Jordan Kelly headed the defense with four steals.

Thirteen Oregon City players played and 11 contributed points to the winning tally.

Next up for the Pioneers is the NIKE Tournament of Champions, scheduled Dec. 19-21 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Three Rivers League girls basketball teams have been impressive in early preseason, winning 16 of their first 20 games. Seventh-ranked Clackamas made some waves on Friday, defeating fifth-ranked South Salem 51-49, avenging an earlier loss.

Eighth-ranked West Linn on Friday improved to 3-0 with a 42-41 win over St. Mary’s. The Lions had upset South Salem 37-29 earlier in the week.

Lake Oswego on Friday improved to 3-0, routing Franklin 79-23; Canby improved to 2-0, handling Roseburg 67-46.

Oregon City

guys stumble

Oregon City boys on Friday tasted their first defeat of the season, yielding 73-60 to eighth-ranked Tigard.

After a sluggish start, the Pioneers made a game of it. Tigard came out fast and went up 11-0 before the Pioneers could catch their breath.

The Pioneers battled and closed to within 34-32 two minutes into the third quarter.

But then the Tigers went on a 9-0 run when the Pioneers missed six straight shots. Oregon City had to come out of its zone defense, and the Tigers took command.

“Tigard’s a great team and we came out really slow, just like we did in the Tualatin and The Dalles games,” said Oregon City senior leader Brad Martin. “We need to work on starting games strong, and coming out strong in the second half.”

Martin (20 points), Hunter Knighton (13 points) and Briggs Young (13 points, 5 assists) headed Oregon City’s offense. The Pioneers hit nine 3-pointers, led by Martin and Knighton, who had three apiece.

Oregon City guys (2-1) took care of business at The Dalles earlier in the week, outscoring the Indians 32-20 in the second half en route to a 49-36 victory.

Trevon Bradford, who sat out Friday’s game for disciplinary reasons, and Knighton headed the scoring at The Dalles, with 15 points apiece. Knighton hit three 3-pointers and he led the Pioneers on the backboards, with six rebounds. Bradford had three assists and three steals.

Oregon City squares off with Centennial at 7 p.m. this Friday on the first day of a two-day tournament at Oregon City. The Pioneers head for a tournament in Ketchikan, Alaska, after Christmas.

Three Rivers League boys basketball teams have been as competitive as the girls’ teams in early preseason, winning 14 of their first 17 games.

Fifth-ranked Lake Oswego improved to 3-0 on Friday, winning 63-41 at 13th-ranked McMinnville.

Seventh-ranked Clackamas also improved to 3-0, winning 65-46 at Cleveland and 74-53 over Sprague.

Unheralded Canby (2-0) opened its season with convincing wins over Roseburg (57-44) and Thurston (62-53).

Lakeridge improved to 3-1 with a 62-53 win at Centennial on Friday.

Top-ranked West Linn (1-1) met its match in a match-up with Class 5A power Jefferson, losing 75-66.