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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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OC thinclads rule the TRL


The Pioneers bag their fifth straight district team title in boys track and field

CANBY — Last Friday was a big day for Oregon City High School’s boys track and field program. Through depth and determination, the Pioneers captured their fifth straight Three Rivers League boys district team title, just a little over a week after they had gone undefeated in league dual meets for a fifth consecutive season.

“Our fifth straight title at district and our fifth straight title in dual meets,” said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. “Each year we graduate some really good seniors and think that our streak might end. But each year we have some young kids who step up and we get it done. It’s been the goal of this year’s seniors all year, and they’ve set the example, with their leadership and hard work. Five in a row is a huge accomplishment, and I’m very proud of them.”

“This is my third year in track and I’m so excited!” said Oregon City senior Easton Christensen. “I’ve never been first in a big event like this before, and it’s awesome! I hope that next year’s team can keep the streak going.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City senior Easton Christensen won the javelin with a personal best throw of 190.“It’s been an amazing four years,” said Oregon City senior Alex Canchola. “I’ve never lost a dual meet or district meet in my career. It’s amazing to be part of this legacy as a senior. And I think we’ve set everyone up to continue the run in the Mt. Hood Conference next year.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City senior Alex Canchola qualified for state in the javelin.Christensen and Canchola are among six Oregon City boys who qualified for state through their performances at last weekend’s district meet. But it took more than those six for the Pioneers to capture the team crown. Oregon City had athletes place in every event at the district meet and they had at least two athletes place in five of the field events.

State qualifiers for Oregon City boys included: seniors Easton Christensen in the javelin, Alex Canchola in the javelin and long jump, Josh Miller in the discus and Kyle Anderson in the pole vault. Oregon City junior Austin DeWitz qualified in the high jump and Jake Harthun, a freshman, qualified in the 400-meter dash.

One of the high points of the meet came in the boys 400-meter dash, where Harthun outclassed a field of older athletes.

“Jake blew away the entire field,” said Thygeson. “He led the entire race. Very impressive.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City freshman Jake Harthun won the 400-meter dash.Harthun was clocked at 49.70 and he crossed the finish line more than half a second in front of the runner-up, Grant junior Brandon Brown.

Harthun’s time bettered his own school freshman class 400-meter record by a second and it put him within reach of Oregon City’s school record, which is held by Jacob Hayden (49.58 in 2006).

“Our school record is 49.58 and that’s what I really want to get at state,” said Harthun.

Harthun, who also hold’s Oregon City’s freshman class record for the 200 and has the second fastest freshman time for the 100, added, “I want to thank my family and friends and coaches. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. A special shout-out to Chris Svendsen. He’s a family friend and he helped me train in the offseason. He’s my mentor.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City senior Al Lacey was tough in the distance race at the 2014 Three Rivers League district track and field meet“I’m not surprised [Harthun won district in the 400],” said Oregon City sprint coach Wayne Harris. “He runs the 400 in practice every day just like he did in the final. He runs hard, and he pukes at the end of every practice....

“Before he’s done [with high school track], I could see him running in the high 47’s.”

The Pioneers where tough in the boys javelin, where Christensen (190-0) and Canchola (165-3) went one-two respectively to qualify for state, and Oregon City junior Tristan Birge (156-0) placed third.

Canchola also earned a wild card berth at state with a personal-record leap of 21-5 for third place in the long jump.

Anderson cleared a personal best of 13-7 to take second place in the pole vault and Miller launched the discus 138-6 for second place in that event.

DeWitz took care of business in the high jump, where he cleared 6-4 and beat out Lake Oswego senior Mason Collett, who also cleared 6-4, but had more misses.

Thygeson praised senior Al Lacey for two “absolutely incredible runs” in the distances.

Lacey placed third in the 1,500 with a time of 4:05.29, and he placed third in the 3,000 with a 8:59.85 clocking. His time for the 1,500 was a lifetime best by seven seconds and his time for the 3,000 was a lifetime best by six seconds.

The Pioneers got a class record from sophomore Trevon Bradford, who ran the 200-meter dash in 11.08 in his preliminary heat. Bradford went on to place sixth in 11.22 in a very fast-paced 100-meter final. His preliminary time puts Bradford third on Oregon City’s all-time list for the 100 meters.

Oregon City had a near state-qualifier in the shot put, where junior Tyler Dent placed third with an effort of 42-0-1/2. Dent also just missed out in the discus, where he also placed third, with a toss of 133-0.

DeWitz placed third in the triple jump, with an effort of 41-2.

Oregon City senior K.C. Lopez cleared 12-7 and placed fourth in the pole vault.

Thygeson was named TRL boys “Coach of the Year” for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

“It’s not a coach of the year award,” said Thygeson. “It’s a coaching staff of the year award. I’ve got a great coaching staff. They make my job that much easier.”

The Pioneers won the district meet handily, topping the runner-up boys team from Lakeridge by over 25 points.

District meet boys teams scores were: Oregon City 128.5, Lakeridge 103, Canby 95, Clackamas 85, Grant 84, Lake Oswego 80 and West Linn 79-1/2.

Sprinters shine

for Oregon City girls

Oregon City girls continued to prove themselves among the fastest runners in the state, as they excelled in the sprints at last week’s Three Rivers League District Meet.

Oregon City seniors Becca Houk and Karrin Shriner wrapped up phenomenal regular seasons in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay, qualifying for state and setting personal-record times in all three events.

Houk won the 100 and 200 with finals times of 12.35 and 25.16. She broke her own school records with times of 12.12 and 24.91 in the district-meet preliminaries.

Her times rank her first in the state in the 200 and second in the 100.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Becca Houk (left) and Karrin Shriner excelled in the sprints at last weeks Three Rivers League District Meet, advancing to state in the 100, 200 and in the sprint relay. The two senior talents rank one-two on Oregon City High Schools list of all-time best female sprinters.Shriner placed a close second to Houk in the 100 (12.44), and she placed third in the 200 (25.46). Shriner’s finals time in the 200 was a personal best and it was fast enough to gain Shriner a wild card berth at state in that event. She turned in a career-best time of 12.23 in the district-meet 100-meter preliminaries.

Shriner is No. 2 — trailing only Houk — on Oregon City’s list of all-time fastest female 100- and 200-meter runners.

Houk and Shriner teamed up with freshmen N’Dea Flye and Maddy Griffith to set a new school record with a time of 48.66, good for second place in the 4x100-meter relay. They beat a record (48.94) that had stood since 1992.

Dye also gained some attention in the 400-meter dash, blowing away her competition with a 59.45 clocking. She finished nearly a second in front of the second-place finisher.

“I didn’t like [the 400] at first,” said Dye. “But now I love it so much.”

Dye said that her grandmother, Joyce Embers, has a lot to do with her success in athletics.

“She makes sure I’m up,” said Dye. “She gets me up at 5 a.m. every morning [to practice] basketball and track.”

Dye said that after practicing basketball a couple of hours in the morning, she does a sprint workout and practices relay handoffs with her teammates.

Houk, who placed third at state in both the 100 and 200 a year ago, said of her prospects at this year’s state meet, “I’m excited! I feel like my body is ready. I’ve trained hard, and I know what it’s like [competing at state] after last year. I’m confident and ready to bring home a state championship.”

Houk noted that she’s worked with a personal trainer twice a week since November and she took a weight training class at the high school during fall and winter semesters.

Oregon City girls had two other state qualifiers at district. Sophomore Taylor Shaw qualified with a runner-up finish in the shot put (32-6), and sophomore Jenna Hoiland earned a wild card berth with a mark of 35-9, good for third place in the triple jump.

Hoiland’s mark in the girls triple jump moves her up to No. 2 all-time at Oregon City in the event.

Shaw says her qualifying for state in the shot put was totally unexpected.

“I just started [practicing the shot put] in the middle of the season,” she said. “So it was a shock that I made it. I don’t even do a glide or anything. I just stand there and throw.”

Shaw’s mark in the shot put was a personal record and she also placed fourth in the javelin, with a personal-record toss of 110-10.

Oregon City girls scored 113-2/3 points and finished third in the district-meet team scoring, not far back of Grant (127) and Lakeridge (124-1/2).

Grant’s team victory ended a five-year streak of district-meet championships for Lakeridge girls.