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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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Jon Wolf is in search of a part-time gig


The retired coach says he'd love to help out somewhere

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Retired Gladstone football coach Jon Wolf rallies the troops following a home victory last fall. Wolf, 55, is leaving Gladstone after eight seasons as head coach, but he says hed like to continue teaching and coaching part-time somewhere.Jon Wolf, who announced his retirement from full-time teaching and coaching at Gladstone High School earlier this year, says he’d like to coach and teach “part-time” somewhere.

“I just want to be halftime,” Wolf said. “Teaching full-time and coaching was like working two full-time jobs. I want to work another seven to 10 years, I just don’t want to kill myself.... I can always sub. But I’d like to be an assistant coach and teach halftime, ideally at the same place.”

Wolf, who is 55, says he will retire from teaching weight training at Gladstone on June 9. He has also taught math and physical education classes at the school, and he’s run Gladstone’s popular movement dynamics agility and strength conditioning program from its inception.

Wolf, who has coached high school football for 32 seasons (including the last 17 as a head coach) says he’s been thinking about retiring from full-time teaching and coaching for sometime and he finally made the decision to do it after his father, Frank Wolf, passed away in December.

“Life is too short,” he said. “I’d like to spend more time with my family. I’d like to camp and fish a little more than I’ve been able to.”

Wolf’s varsity teams at Madison (1989-91), Putnam (1997-2002) and Gladstone (2006-13) had a combined win-loss record of 95-77.

He assisted Gery Weber two years at Gladstone before taking over as head coach in 2006.

And Wolf’s Gladstone teams had plenty of success, winning 61 of 91 games (.670), winning two league championships (2010 and 2013) and advancing at least as far as the state quarterfinals in five of his eight seasons as head coach (2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013).

In 2010 Wolf’s Gladiators went 12-1, losing to Baker in the semifinals. It was the best record by a Gladstone football team since 1978, when Gladstone went 13-0 and won a state title, and it was the first time a Gladstone football team had advanced to the semifinals since 1987.

“I always felt like I had the best job in the state,” said Wolf. “The talent here has always been outstanding, the staff and the community have always been so supportive. This has been a phenomenal place to teach and coach. But it’s time to turn the program over to someone else and see if they can take it to the next level. And it’s time for me to see what else there is out there for me to do....

“I would love to teach weight training if I could. I also love teaching math. But it would have to be half-time, not spending so many hours at school. Between teaching and coaching, it wasn’t unusual for me to start work at 3:30 in the morning. And on practice days, I wouldn’t get home until 7 p.m. With our movement dynamics program, I was here for all but two weeks in the summer.”

Wolf helped start Gladstone’s movement dynamics program in 2005 and was instrumental in making it part of the curriculum.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished on the field, but I’m also proud of the movement dynamics conditioning program that we’ve developed here at Gladstone,” Wolf said. “It’s improved the strength, speed and work ethic of our athletes, not just in football, but in all sports.”

Wolf says one of his fondest memories was the 2006 season, his first season as head football coach at Gladstone.

“We went over and beat Newport and got to the quarterfinals,” Wolf said. “It was memorable because it changed the expectations of football here at Gladstone. We got to practice football on Thanksgiving and I was all fired up. Probably more so than the kids, because it was raining sideways.”

Wolf says the 2011 season is also memorable. La Salle beat his Gladiators for the league title, winning 36-34 on a fifth down play, when the officials lost track of downs during a last-minute desperation drive.

“I like the way we handled [the disappointing loss] as a program and as a community,” he said.

Wolf’s comments following the loss: “It was the officials’ job to keep track of downs and they screwed up. But the officials are human. They make mistakes, and there’s no instant replay….

“We’re real proud of our effort and we feel bad for our kids. But that’s life, and life isn’t always fair….

“The game was over when the refs ran off the field, and we’re not going to change anything by moaning and complaining.

“Like we tell our kids, ‘Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it.’”

Look for Wolf to surface somewhere, teaching part-time, and perhaps helping coach a football team. He’s got a talent for working with young people that would benefit any high school program.