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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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Cavaliers hope to 'make a splash' in the Mt. Hood


Coach expects Clackamas to be as good or maybe even better than last year

Photo Credit: JOHN DENNY - Clackamas team captains (from left) Bryce Dickey, Brett Peterson, Nathan Kemp, Hayden Kirsch, Coby Taylor and Aidan Kragero believe the Cavaliers have the talent to be title contenders in the Mt. Hood Conference this fall.The Clackamas Cavaliers in 2013 had one of their best football seasons in years, going 9-3 and advancing all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to 2013 state champion Central Catholic.

Many of the top skill people from that standout team are lost to graduation, including Dan Sherrell, who rushed for a school record 2,266 yards and 33 touchdowns; and veteran quarterbacks Cade Wilkins and Doonie Johnson, who combined for close to 2,100 yards and 12 touchdowns passing.

And the Cavaliers are in a new league, which includes both Central Catholic and 2013 Three Rivers League champion Oregon City.

But don’t count the Cavaliers out. They return a veteran defensive unit, along with a host of talented athletes.

“A good season for me would be to win league,” said junior co-captain Bryce Dickey. “And I do think we can beat Central Catholic. I don’t think it’s necessarily who has more talent. It has more to do with who plays more physical and who plays with more heart.... We’ve got a strong core of seniors who had a lot of success last year to lead the way.”

“I feel we’re right up there with Central Catholic and Oregon City and we’ll be able to contend for the Mt. Hood Conference title,” echoed Clackamas senior co-captain Brett Peterson. “We just have to play to our strengths, play fast and execute, force turnovers.”

“I’d like us to get a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which means top three in conference,” said senior co-captain Nathan Kemp. “The key will be practicing as hard as we can at every practice, because you play like you practice.”

“I would really like to beat Oregon City,” said senior co-captain Hayden Kirsch. “I believe that’s something all of the seniors want to do. It’s been awhile since we’ve beaten them. We lost to them last year and my sophomore and junior seasons as well.

“And we want to win the Mt. Hood. Make a splash in our first year in the league. Show them what Clackamas can do.”

Kirsch said of the anticipated rematch with Central Catholic, “They’re really just another team, and I know that if we prepare well and believe it’s something we can do, then we can do it.”

Clackamas coach Joe Bushman is equally optimistic as his players.

“We lost some headliners,” Bushman said. “But we have kids with talent who have been waiting in the wings, and now they are going to get their chance. We believe we could be as good or better than last year, and last year we had one of the better teams in the state.”

Bushman is especially high on his defensive unit.

“We return nine players on defense who either started or played a lot, so we’ll be really solid on defense,” he said.

Three veterans return in the defensive secondary — Peterson, Kirsch and senior Nick Curtis. Kirsch made first team in the Three Rivers League all-star balloting last fall and Peterson made second team.

Photo Credit: JON HOUSE - Clackamas returns a host of experienced players on defensive, including standout linebacker Nathan Kemp (18), shown putting the pressure on in last years state playoff game with 2013 state champion Central Catholic.The Cavaliers return three experienced outside linebackers in Kemp and seniors Newton Blair and Tony Krake. Dickey returns to start at inside linebacker. Kemp made first team all-league last fall, while Dickey received honorable mention in the all-star balloting as a sophomore.

Seniors Kyle Anderegg and Cole Nimz return to the defensive front.

On offense, the Cavaliers return senior linemen Aiden Kragero and Colby Taylor, along with three experienced receivers — seniors Markus Golder, Nick Gilbert and Krska. Krska, Taylor and Kragero received league all-star recognition for their play last fall.

Bushman says that he also expects Kirsch and Nathan Mumford to make an impact at receiver this fall. Mumford is a transfer from Portland Christian.

Dickey, who was backup to Sherrell last year, is the front runner to replace Sherrell at running back. But Kemp and Josh Gay, a junior up from the jayvee, are also showing promise, according to Bushman.

“Bryce Dickey is not Dan Sherrell, but he’s very talented for a junior,” said Kirsch. “I believe in him and I know he’ll do a great job. He showed flashes as really good stuff near the end of last season. I’m excited to see what he can do.”

The Cavaliers have competition for the starting nod at quarterback, with Peterson and juniors Cedric Brooks and Wyatt Hutchison in contention.

Peterson was the helmsman for Clackamas’ jayvee as a sophomore; Brooks is a transfer from Putnam; Hutchinson was Clackamas’ jayvee quarterback last fall.

“I feel like they’re all giving it their best effort and I’d be comfortable with any one of them at quarterback,” said Kirsch. “I think they’ll all do a great job.”

The Cavaliers will get an idea of their competitiveness this Friday, when they travel to Los Angeles area powerhouse Paloma Valley for their season opener.

“They’re a good team,” Bushman said. “They went 10-2 last year and they lost in the second round of their playoffs.”

Bushman said the trip to California will include a trip to Santa Monica Beach, the UCLA vs. Memphis game at the Rose Bowl, and a trip to Magic Mountain.

The Cavaliers have a preseason game at Roosevelt on Sept. 12, and they open Mt. Hood Conference play on Sept. 19, with an away game with David Douglas.

They host Oregon City on Oct. 9, and they meet Central Catholic at Hillsboro Stadium on Oct. 24.