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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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Nightmarish ending to a dream season


But the Kingsmen have only just begun to make an impact in Class 5A girls basketball

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Putnam players pose proudly after completing an undefeated league season and capturing their schools first league title in girls basketball since 1982. Pictured are: (front, from left) Shelby VanLeuven and Kelsea Baton; (first row) Jordan Oliver (23), Mariah Oliver, Ali Schooley, Alexis Imbler-Hudson, and Olivia Beko; and (back) coach Kris Leatherman, Maggie Batz, Megan Spaulding, Brooke Snyder, Haley Brandel, Angela Arrington, Carly Bolander, Kanani Kremers, head coach Otis Oliver and daughter Paxton.A dream season had a nightmarish ending for Rex Putnam High School’s 12th-ranked girls basketball team.

The Kingsmen couldn’t get the ball to drop and they bowed out of the Class 5A state playoffs with a 60-44 loss to Pendleton on March 4.

The loss ended an historic season and a 14-game win string for the Kingsmen, who went 14-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference, earning their first league title since the 1981-82 season. It is also thought to be the first time ever that a Putnam girls basketball team has gone unbeaten in league play.

Putnam ended up with an overall record of 16-8, the best record since 1986-87, when the Kingsmen went 17-6, after going 12-4 in the Three Rivers League.

March 4 was one of those nights where the Kingsmen could not buy a basket. They were ice-cold, both from the field (15-for-59) and from the free-throw line (5-for-18).

On top of that, Putnam’s youthful posts — sophomore Angela Arrington and freshman Haley Brandel — got out-physicaled on the backboards.

“[Pendleton] must have had 20 offensive rebounds,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “We only had 21 rebounds total. They out-hustled us and out-worked us.”

Pendleton 6-5 post Charmayne Robinson had 12 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Kiana Sperl crashed the inside for 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Pendleton veteran point guard Darian Lindsey helped make the Buckaroo posts look good, getting the ball inside for 11 assists. She also scored 13 points and dealt with Putnam’s defensive pressure with poise.

Pendleton took charge of things early on, going on an 11-0 run and building a 17-8 lead in the first quarter, and maintaining the lead the rest of the way.

Senior point guard Mariah Oliver (18 points) was the only Putnam player in double digits in scoring. Kelsea Baton had eight points and four assists.

Arrington had six rebounds and three blocked shots, but the 5-11 post scored only four points. Putnam 6-1 post Haley Brandel was held to three points.

It was the second time this season that Pendleton had beaten Putnam. The Buckaroos topped the Kingsmen 59-56 in late December in a game played at the Nike Interstate Shootout.

Pendleton, ranked 21st in the state in the final OSAA RPI rankings, improved to 11-14 on the season with the win.

The Buckaroos met top-ranked Willamette (23-1) in the round of 16 on Friday, March 7, and lost 81-50.

They’ll be back

tough as ever

Putnam coaches don’t believe that this will be the last time Oregon high school girls basketball will hear from Putnam’s girls program.

“The foundation has been built,” said Putnam assistant coach Kris Leatherman. “We expect to get to Knight Arena and get a state title next year.... We’ve got a core of girls that by the time they graduate from high school, they could dominate the state in 5A basketball.”

The Kingsmen lose four seniors who saw significant playing time this year to graduation. But they’ll return nine of the 14 players from this year’s varsity playoff roster. And while Putnam’s varsity went undefeated in the Northwest Oregon Conference in 2013-14, the Kingsmen jayvee went 9-3 in conference play, beating every conference opponent at least once.

Leatherman says he expects the varsity returnees to have a renewed commitment to get better, as they work to improve their shooting from the past season. The defense-minded Kingsmen, as a team, made only 36 percent of their field goals and 59 percent of their free throws in 2013-14.

Strengths during the past season were defense and rebounding. The Kingsmen averaged 32 rebounds and 25 forced turnovers for their 24 games.

“[Six-foot-one freshman post] Haley Brandel is going to be the focus of the team next year and she’s setting an example. She didn’t like [losing to Pendleton] at all. She was in the weight room the next day [following the loss].... She’s going to come back bigger and stronger next year, and she’s going to come back a monster.”

Brandel put up some monstrous stats this season while starting in 22 games, with 200 rebounds and a school-record 59 blocked shots in 24 games. She was also the second-leading scorer on the team, averaging 8.3 points an outing. And she was Putnam’s highest percentage shooter, making 45 percent of her shots from the floor.

The Kingsmen will also return 5-11 sophomore post Angela Arrington, who started 15 games, averaging 5.9 rebounds, 6.0 points, 44 percent shooting and 1.0 blocked shots.

Carly Bolander, a 5-7 junior wing who started in 21 games, is also expected to return.

“She was our defensive stopper,” said Leatherman. “She guarded every team’s leading scorer and held most of them to well below their average.”

Brooke Snyder, a 5-10 sophomore who saw plenty of action as a back-up post this fall, is also expected to return, along with 5-7 sophomore wing Olivia Beko, 5-4 freshman guard Kanani Kremers, 5-9 freshman wing/post Megan Spaulding, 5-6 freshman point guard/wing Maggie Batz, and 5-6 freshman wing Jordan Oliver.

Jordan Oliver had a jayvee game where she hit six 3-pointers, according to Leatherman.

Missed from this year’s team will be seniors — Mariah Oliver (5-5 point guard), Kelsea Baton (5-6 wing), Ali Schooley (5-3 guard), Shelby VanLeuven (5-6 wing) and Alexis Imbler (5-9 post).

Mariah Oliver, a transfer from Wilson who led the Trojans to a PIL co-championship and got PIL 5A Player of the Year honors in 2013, was Putnam’s floor leader this year. She averaged a team-leading 12.0 ppg, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals.

Baton started in 23 games, averaging 7.6 points and 2.7 steals.

Schooley, Putnam’s vocal team leader and the first player off the bench, played in 21 games, but had her season cut short by a knee injury. She averaged 7.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals.

VanLeuven saw big minutes as Putnam’s second player off the bench.

Imbler missed all but one game because of a knee injury. She was the top returning post from the 2012-13 season.

Even with the loss of 2014 NOWC runner-up Sherwood [The Bowmen move up to Class 6A] from their league, Leatherman says the Kingsmen will have competition in the conference next year.

“I believe our league battle next year will be between three teams located within five miles of one another — La Salle, Milwaukie and Putnam,” Leatherman says.