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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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Glads make it 17 in a row


They go 15-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference

Gladstone last week continued on track for one of its best softball seasons in school history, putting four more games in the win column to wrap up an undefeated Tri-Valley Conference league season.

With wins last week over North Marion (4-1), Madras (3-1), La Salle (3-2) and Molalla (11-1), the Gladiators finished 15-0 in conference and they improved their record to 23-1 on the season.

Last Friday’s five-inning 11-1 rout of Molalla was the Gladiators’ 17th straight win on the 2014 season. They haven’t lost since April 1, when they fell 5-3 to Hood River, the second-ranked team in Class 5A.

Gladstone enters postseason play ranked fourth in the state in Class 4A softball — back of Yamhill-Carlton (21-1), Banks (20-3) and McLoughlin (18-3).

The Gladiators will host a game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in next Wednesday’s (May 28) first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

“I said last year that I had the best group I’ve ever coached,” said Gladstone coach Bruce Mortier. “This group has proved to be a little better. They’ve come together as a team and played well all year. The seniors have been excellent role models. They come out and play hard and everyone on the team puts in maximum effort.... Except for a few girls on the team who played basketball, everyone has been in the weight room twice a week since January.”

A year ago the Gladiators went 26-4, losing to McLoughlin in the state semifinals, after going 12-3 and finishing second to Molalla (20-6, 13-2) in league. The 26 wins was a school record for most wins in a season.

The Gladiators this year finished league play five games in front of league runners-up La Salle (18-8, 10-5) and North Marion (15-9, 10-5).

Through play last week, the Gladiators were hitting .317 as a team, led by seniors Julia Schumaker (.488, 33 runs scored) and Megan Kirchem (.450), sophomore Kennedy Coy (.345) and freshman Madi Mott (20 RBI).

Kirchem had a 17-1 record, with a 0.41 ERA, 239 strikeouts, nine walks and only 46 hits and seven earned runs allowed in 119 innings.

Kirchem pitched in last week’s games with North Marion and La Salle, striking out 14, walking one and yielding three hits in the 4-1 win at North Marion, and striking out 10, walking two and yielding four hits in the 3-2 win over La Salle.

Last week’s games with the Huskies and Falcons were both barnburners.

Trailing 1-0, the Gladiators scored all four of their runs in the top of the seventh at North Marion.

Meghan Winkle led off the seventh with a base hit. The Gladiators loaded the bases with one down on an error and a fielder’s choice. Coy then drew a bases loaded walk to force in the tying run; Schumaker reached as a hit batsman to force in the game-winner.

With two down, Mott launched a fly between left field and centerfield. Two North Marion outfielders collided in chasing down the fly, and two more Gladiators scored.

The Gladiators only had four hits in that game, but they put the ball in play a lot, striking out only two times.

The Gladiators scored early and then battled for their lives to hold off the Falcons. La Salle had the tying and winning runs on base in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Gladstone scored two runs in the third frame on two La Salle errors, a sacrifice bunt, a passed ball and an RBI triple by Schumaker.

Gladstone added the winning tally in the fifth inning, scoring on singles by Kirchem and Schumaker, a groundout by Mott, and a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Winkle.

La Salle answered with two runs in the top of the sixth. Stevie Carlos reached on an error on a bunt, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Makenzie Cook and scored on a base hit by Emily Goodman. With two down, Loryn Williams walked, and Sydney Chvilicek doubled in a second run.

Kirchem then retired the side with a strikeout.

La Salle got runners on first and second with two down in the seventh, but Kirchem then got her third strike out of the inning to put the contest in the book.

Mott pitched in last week’s games with Madras and Molalla, striking out seven and walking one, while allowing three hits in the 3-1 win over the White Buffaloes, and striking out five and walking no one while giving up three hits in the 11-1 five-inning rout of Molalla.

With the score tied at 1-1, the Gladiators scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull out the win over Madras. Sophomore Kat Kerr reached with a base hit and scored with one down when Madras’ right fielder dropped a fly ball. Kerr then scored an insurance tally on a base hit by Molly Webster.

The Gladiators stung the ball for 16 hits in last Friday’s five-inning game with Molalla. It was senior night and Gladstone’s three seniors — Schumaker, Kirchem and Winkle — combined to go 6-for-11 at the plate.

Kirchem led the hit parade with three hits in four at bats and three runs scored.

Gladstone had a practice game scheduled at home today at 5 p.m.with Colton.

In other games last week, La Salle defeated Molalla 3-1, North Marion 4-2 and Estacada 21-1 (in five innings).

Williams (11 strikeouts, one walk) pitched a 3-hitter in the 3-1 win at Molalla. Nicole Schreiber (3-for-4) had a double and a triple, and she drove in all three of La Salle’s runs.

Williams fanned nine, walked one and allowed five hits in the 4-2 win over North Marion.

La Salle scored the winning run with two down in the bottom of the fourth, on a walk, an error and a run-scoring base hit by Chvilicek.

Williams (2-for-4) helped her own cause with a two-run home run in the first inning. Schreiber and Rylee Maben both went two-for-three at the plate.

The Falcons crushed the ball for 17 hits in the 21-1 rout of Estacada.

Goodman had a two-run home run and four RBI; Cook had a solo home run and three RBI; Schreiber went 3-for-3, with two doubles; freshman Jaden Gloden went 4-for-4, with three RBI and three runs scored.

As the No. 2 seed from the TVC, the Falcons will host a state playoff play-in game this Thursday.

Noting that his Falcons have been road warriors in the playoffs the last two season, La Salle coach Walt Stockfleth said, “It will be good to have some home-cookin.”