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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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Cavaliers on the rise


Five standout Clackamas athletes accept scholarship offers

by: JOHN DENNY - The Clackamas High School community last week celebrated the decisions of four top football players to accept scholarships to play football in college. Pictured are (from left): David Reese, Zach Farnes, Dan Smiley Sherrell and Brody Haehlen.Clackamas High School football and track and field fans turned out in force on Feb. 5, as the Cavaliers’ celebrated five of their top athletes’ signing letters of intent to compete in athletics in college.

Four football players who helped the Cavaliers complete one of their most successful football seasons in years were there, along with track and field standout Connor McLean.

Seniors Zach Farnes and Dan “Smiley” Sherrell announced their decision to play football together at Western Oregon University, senior David Reese announced his decision to accept a scholarship to play football for the University of Montana, and senior Brody Haehlen announced his decision to play football at Northern Colorado.

McLean, the defending state champion in the pole vault, will attend the Air Force Academy, where he’ll study mechanical engineering.

McLean, who is a 3.94 student, says his scholarship is a full-ride, valued at over $440,000 for four years of education.

“I feel like this sets me up for the future, and I like the coaches there,” said McLean, who also visited the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington, and received an offer from Duke. “Someday I’d like to own my own engineering company — own my own business.”

McLean, who has a personal record of 15-10 in competition, says he hopes to clear 16-6 this year.

“I feel 16-6 is a Division I vault and I’ll be able to place in Division I with that,” McLean said.

Sherrell, who last fall broke nearly every Clackamas High School football rushing record in the books, says he is hopeful he can earn a starting spot as a running back for the Wolves his freshman year.

“They’ve got a couple running backs coming back, but I feel like I can compete,” said Sherrell. “I’m going to work hard for that starting spot.”

by: JOHN DENNY - With proud parents looking on, (from left) Dan Sherrell, Brody Haehlen and Connor McLean sign letters of intent to accept athletic scholarships during signing ceremonies at Clackamas High School last week.Sherrell says he also received a scholarship offer from Carroll College, a top NAIA school in Helena, Montana.

“I wanted to stay closer to home and play at a higher level,” Sherrell said of his decision to go with the Wolves.

A 3.4 student at Clackamas, Sherrell said his career goal is to become a firefighter, and he said that Western Oregon has a connection with another school that specializes in firefighting.

Farnes, who played linebacker for the Cavaliers, said he also received interest from Southern Oregon, but said of his decision to go with Western, “I visited a whole bunch of schools, but felt it was the right place. It’s close to home, they have a good football program, and I get to go with my best friend [Dan Sherrell], so it’s pretty sweet.”

Farnes said he’ll likely redshirt a year, “put some weight on and work my way up the depth chart.”

A 3.5 student, Farnes plans to study business.

Reese, a two-way all-league lineman who stands 6-5 and tips the scales at 250, said he also received offers from Wyoming and North Dakota State; was recruited by Montana State, Portland State and Northern Colorado; and got offers to walk on from Oregon and Oregon State.”

“I felt the most comfortable when I visited Montana,” said Reese. “I liked the atmosphere, the tradition and the coaches, and I’m excited....

“The fan base, the tradition and the coaches are amazing. My offensive line coach, Scott Gragg, played in the NFL. He’s a Pro Bowler.”

Gragg says, “There are a lot of things we like about David Reese. First, he’s got a remarkable drive to play football at the next level. With a guy of his size and stature, that’s a big plus, and it’s a necessity in a program like ours, where you have to be all-in....

“We like the fact that he’s a big guy who plays basketball, because that means he can move his feet. He’s got size and athletic ability, and he works hard.

“As David continues to grow, and if he continues to work hard to get bigger and stronger, our expectations are that he will someday help us get that national championship.”

Reese plans to major in business.

“I want to someday work for Nike, and I can do a lot with that degree,” he said.

Haehlen, who was recruited by Northern Colorado to play defensive end, says he also received offers from the University of Montana and Idaho State.

“I chose Northern Idaho because I like the area,” he said. “It’s a beautiful place. It’s a college town. I like the coaches, I like the players.... I got along really well with the players during my visit. It kind of felt like home....

“Also, they told me I’d have a chance to play right away. That was huge. I did not want to redshirt.”

Haehlen said he is contemplating a major in either sports and exercise science or criminal justice.