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

An historic night at Putnam


The Kingsmen go unbeaten in league for perhaps the first time in school history

Friday, Feb. 28, was an historic night for Rex Putnam High School’s girls basketball team. The Kingsmen celebrated long and hard with their coaches, parents and home fans following Friday’s 64-37 rout of Wilsonville in the Kingsmen’s Northwest Oregon Conference league final.by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Putnam senior guard Shelby VanLeuven (1) is mugged by Jocelyn Welberg (14) and Karlin McNeil (30) in last Fridays league final with Wilsonville.

With the win the Kingsmen finished 14-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference, earning what is thought to be the first undefeated league season in the 39-year history of girls basketball at their school.

It’s only the Kingsmen’s fourth league title and their first since the 1981-82 season. Putnam had league champions in the Wilco League in 1979, 1981 and 1982.

In 1981-82 the Kingsmen went 17-1 in league (18-7 overall) and they bowed out of the big-school state tournament with two straight losses — losing to Corvallis 50-46 and to Grant 53-23. Grant went on to defeat Oregon City in the 1982 final, 59-51.

Putnam has had only two teams place at state. The Kingsmen finished with an overall record of 22-4 and placed third at state in 1981; and they finished with a record of 23-2 and placed fourth at state in 1979.

The Kingsmen (16-7, 14-0) ran away with this year’s NWOC league title, finishing three games in front of league runner-up Sherwood (16-7, 11-3).

“I’m overwhelmed,” said Putnam senior co-captain Ali Schooley. “I’m filled with excitement!

“Honestly, it’s more than I can explain. It’s such a great feeling. At the start of the season, we just wanted to have a winning season. But now, league champions. And league champions and undefeated, That’s even better. It’s more than I could have ever imagined us doing.”

“I knew we could do it all along,” said senior co-captain Mariah Oliver. “But now it’s a reality and not a fantasy. I’m overjoyed! Excited!

“I’ve never experienced anything like this. Last year, [when I was] at Wilson, we won a league title, but we didn’t go undefeated. And last year we had to share the title and be co-champions with Cleveland. Now I’m just league champion, and it’s my first time on an undefeated team.”

Asked how this year’s team compares with last year’s team at Wilson, Oliver said:

“[If we played that team] we’d murder them. We are more in shape, and smarter basketball players, and tougher.”

Oliver explained why this year’s team has been so successful: “We have a lot of people who are unselfish, and the chemistry is extremely good. We like playing together.”

Last Friday’s 64-37 shellacking of Wilsonville was truly a team effort. Ten players scored, led by seniors Shelby VanLeuven (11 points) and Mariah Oliver (8 points, 10 assists), junior Carly Bolander (8 points), sophomores Angela Arrington (8 points) and Brooke Snyder (7 points), and freshman Haley Brandel (9 points).

It was senior night and, senior playmaking guard Ali Schooley, who has had her season cut short by a knee injury, even made a contribution. Schooley drew loud cheers of approval from the home crowd when she stepped on the floor as the game was winding down and coolly cashed in twice, hitting a 3-pointer from the corner and a long 2-pointer.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Putnam senior leader Ali Schooley takes her turn claiming a piece of the net as a souvenir after Friday nights decisive win over Wilsonville. With the win, the Kingsmen finished 14-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference.Rebounding proved pivotal in turning the game into a rout. Led by 5-11 sophomore Angela Arrington (12 rebounds), 5-10 sophomore Brooke Snyder (12 rebounds), 5-6 senior Shelby VanLeuven (11 rebounds) and 6-1 freshman Haley Brandel (10 rebounds), the Kingsmen out-rebounded their guests 50-26, with 28 rebounds at the offensive end of the floor.

Brandel helped set the tone early, scoring all of her points in the first quarter, when she turned two close-in baskets into 3-point plays.

The Kingsmen went on top for good three minutes into the game on a fast-break bucket by VanLeuven, following a steal by Oliver. They led 30-19 at halftime and they stretched their advantage to 22 points, at 47-25, by the end of the third quarter.

Their domination of the backboards gained Putnam 27 more attempts at the basket than their hosts. Putnam went 24-of-75 from the field (32 percent), while the Wildcats were 16-of-48 (33 percent).

The Kingsmen forced 23 turnovers; Putnam turned the ball over 17 times.

The Kingsmen had one of their best shooting nights of the season on Feb. 25, as they took care of business with Liberty, winning 58-36.

They made 24-of-47 shots from the floor on the night, with two 3-pointers.

Mariah Oliver (18 points), Haley Brandel (11 points) and Kelsea Baton (10 points) were three of the sharpest shooters.

Oliver was 6-of-10 from the field and she hit both 3-pointers. She also sparked the Kingsmen offense with eight assists.

Brandel was 5-for-8 from the field. She also hauled down 13 rebounds and blocked three shots.

Baton was 4-of-8 from the field, with three assists and five steals.

Angela Arrington blocked four shots and claimed eight rebounds, as she and Brandel led Putnam to an advantage on the backboards.

Leading 25-18 at halftime, the Kingsmen put the game away in the third period, when they stretched their advantage to 44-28.

The outcome would have been a lot more lopsided, except the Kingsmen turned the ball over 27 times, missing senior leader Ali Schooley (knee injury).

Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman said that sophomore Olivia Beko stepped up big-time in Schooley’s absence, especially on defense.

“Olivia guarded [Liberty’s] Mackenzie Oster in the second and third quarters and held her scoreless,” Leatherman said.

The Kingsmen played a strong defensive game all around, forcing 38 turnovers with their baseline-to-baseline defensive pressure.

Ranked 12th in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings, the Kingsmen (16-7) were to host 21st-ranked Pendleton (10-14) on Tuesday (March 4) in the play-in round of the Class 5A state playoffs, with the winner advancing to a Friday playoff game for one of eight berths in the 2014 Class 5A State Tournament.

Pendleton and Putnam met on Dec. 30 at Lake Oswego’s Nike Interstate Shootout, with Pendleton winning a 59-56 nail-biter.

“I like our chances [against Pendleton],” said Leatherman. “The last time we played them we were still figuring out our rotation. Angela [Arrington] saw limited minutes back then, and she’s come a long way; Carly is now an offensive threat to go with her defense; and Brooke has come a long, long way.”

Leatherman added, “Talking with our girls [working a weekend youth tournament], they’re hungry for some payback.”

With a win over the Buckaroos, Leatherman said Putnam would likely travel to fifth-ranked Bend (20-4) on Friday or Saturday, with a berth in the eight-team Class 5A State Tournament on the line.

Asked how she thinks her team will do in postseason, Schooley said: “I was a little worried [about how they would play without me] at Liberty. But the way they pulled it out at Liberty, I think they can go far. I think they can go all the way, to be honest. I have faith in them.”

Schooley added, “I feel so blessed to have had Mariah and Otis [head coach Otis Oliver] join the program. We couldn’t have done what we’ve done without them.”

Mariah Oliver said of the Kingsmen’s prospects, “Not having Ali definitely affects us. She is back-up point guard and we don’t really have anybody else that can do what she does, so it makes things tough if I get into foul trouble or need a breather. I have to to be conscious of not fouling.... But [even without Ali] I think we will make it to [the 5A State Tournament in] Eugene, definitely. And hopefully we’ll win a state title.”