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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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Lions take OC girls downtown


West Linn coeds turn hot from long range and beat Oregon City in league for the first time in nearly three decades \

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon City senior Jessica Gertz advances the ball up the floor during last weeks game at West Linn. Gertz scored a game-high 20 points, but it wasnt enough, as the Lions turned hot from downtown and rallied to a 68-61 victory.Ninth-ranked West Linn stunned fourth-ranked Oregon City, rallying late to beat the Pioneers 68-61 in a Feb. 4 high school girls basketball game played at West Linn.

It was the first time that a West Linn girls basketball team had beaten Oregon City in league play since the 1984-85 season.

“They beat us twice [that season],” said retired Oregon City coach Brad Smith. “I am not sure if they or Lake Oswego won league or if they tied that year. I just know we didn’t.”

Oregon City has claimed at least a share of the Three Rivers League title every year for the past 20 seasons, with the exception of 2011, when the Pioneers finished second to a team from Clackamas that went undefeated in league (15-0) for the first time in school history.

With last week’s upset of Oregon City, West Linn put the race for the 2014 TRL girls basketball title in a three-team logjam, with the Pioneers (12-6, 4-1), Clackamas (15-4, 4-1) and West Linn (15-3, 4-1) tied for first place.

Fifth-ranked Clackamas was to host West Linn on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Oregon City meets Clackamas at Clackamas at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18. In first round league games, Oregon City defeated Clackamas 43-28 and Clackamas defeated West Linn 48-39.

The Pioneers appeared to have last week’s game in hand, leading 46-36 with 2:58 remaining in the third quarter.

But there was no quit in the Lions, and they came out like gangbusters in the fourth quarter, hitting 6-of-10 shots from the floor, including four 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, someone put a lid on the Pioneers’ basket down the stretch, as their shots refused to drop.

Ashley Johnson brought West Linn fans to their feet when she hit a 3-pointer with 3:26 to play, tying the score at 59-59.

Following an Oregon City traveling violation, Sidney Kolasinski connected from downtown, gaining the Lions their first lead since late in the first quarter, and West Linn fans went crazy.

Oregon City point guard Toria Bradford took the ball to the basket for a lay-up with 1:26 left to trim West Linn’s lead to 62-61.

But then the Pioneers missed on their last five shots from the floor, while Johnson (4-for-6) and Genna Hughes (2-for-2) combined to go 6-for-8 from the charity stripe to secure the win.

The Lions had balanced scoring, with Kolasinski (13 points), Johnson (11 points), Hughes (10 points), Morgan Haskin (10 points) and Taylor Enders-Smith (10 points) all scoring in double digits.

West Linn had twelve 3-point baskets in the game, with five different players connecting from beyond the arc.

Kolasinski hit four 3-pointers; Johnson had three treys. Johnson, Kolasinski, Enders-Smith and Caitlin Malvar all hit 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, when the Lions made their run.

Oregon City senior wing Jessica Gertz hit four 3-pointers and she scored a game-high 20 points on the night. But she bricked two 3-pointers inside the final 30 seconds of play.

Oregon City sophomore point guard Cierra Walker scored 15 points and senior point guard Toria Bradford scored 13.

The Pioneers had six 3-pointers in the losing effort.

“Much credit to West Linn,” said Oregon City coach Kurt Guelsdorf. “We were never able to stretch the lead past 10 points and they shot the ball incredibly well — 12-of-27 from the 3-point line — to beat us....

“We are disappointed, but we know that the credit goes to the great shooting of West Linn. Many of their shots were high difficulty shots and most were very timely....

“Offensively, we felt good about our production. We just couldn’t finish them.... Defensively, we just couldn’t contain the hot shooting of Ashley Johnson and Sidney Kolasinski.”

“They killed us on the pick-and-roll,” said Walker. “We could have rotated better and played better defense. And we could have rebounded better.”

Walker added, “[This loss is] pretty devastating. They’re our biggest rivals.... We’ve got to come back and keep pushing ourselves to get better.”

The contest was mostly a half-court game. Oregon City had 11 turnovers; West Linn had 16. West Linn claimed a 28-27 edge in rebounding.

For the game, Oregon City was 19-of-50 from the field; West Linn was 21-of-49 from the field.

Guelsdorf had Bradford with a team-high eight rebounds, Walker with a team-high six assists and Alyssa Durr with a team-high three steals.

Oregon City returns to the hardcourt this Friday, playing Canby (13-6, 2-3) on the road.

Things went from bad to worse for Oregon City on Feb. 4, as West Linn’s number-one-in-the-state-ranked boys team followed up the girls game with an 82-42 trouncing of their Pioneer counterparts.

The Lions showed up ready to play, and they out-hustled and outplayed their rivals in every phase of the game.

Many fans left at halftime, with the Lions up 42-15 and the game already decided.

Anthony Mathis (15 points), Payton Pritchard (14 points), Ryan Shearmire (11 points), Will Matthiessen (10 points) and C.J. Sitton (9 points) led twelve West Linn players who put points on the scoreboard.

Brad Martin (9 points) was the top point-getter for Oregon City.

It was one of the biggest blowouts of the season for West Linn (15-4, 5-0), which has not lost a game to an in-state opponent this season, except for a 75-66 setback at the hands of Jefferson, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, in early December.

The Lions were to meet Clackamas (16-3, 4-1) on the road on Tuesday (Feb. 11) in their first game of the second round of the league season. They won 63-43 in a Jan. 17 game with the Cavaliers, played at West Linn. Clackamas was ranked No. 2 in the state — back of West Linn — in last week’s Class 6A boys basketball coaches poll.

Oregon City guys finished the first half of the TRL season with a record of 2-3 (11-7 overall). The Pioneers play Canby (7-10, 0-5) on the road this Friday and they play Clackamas on the road next Tuesday.