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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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Milwaukie woman who helped others now needs help


Hit with cancer, misfortune, Jay still hopes to give back

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Son, Stephen Schwartz (left) and sister, Sue Lukrofka, are part of her wellness team, said Patricia Jay (middle), who recently was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer.What do you do when “the equivalent of a hurricane lands on your bare head”?

If you are Patricia Jay, a single mother with three sons, you reach out to your community for help, and you look ahead and set goals for the future.

Jay’s oldest son, Stephen Schwartz, 19, is the one who described the series of events that have hit his family as the equivalent of a storm. His mother lost her job in October 2012 and was diagnosed with a recurrence of Stage 3 breast cancer on Feb. 6. Then, in the midst of Jay’s daily chemo treatments, the family was told they must move by May 30 from their Milwaukie residence, where they have lived for the past two years.

Jay’s claim for Social Security and disability is still under consideration, so the family has no money coming in.

“Everybody went into survival mode,” Jay said. “The job search ends, the unemployment insurance ends, since I can’t be available five days a week to look for work. The question is: How do we get through each day?”

In spite of her illness and other misfortunes hitting her family, Jay, 52, is still able to count her blessings.

She has received “amazing” support from her wellness team at Kaiser Medical Center, her sons, and her sister, Sue Lukrofka, who recently moved to Milwaukie.

“We do a lot of laughing,” Lukrofka said, adding that the family also copes by creating music. Jay played the piano all through high school, and now plays for the DragonScales Choir, a non-audition group of mixed voices, once associated with a Portland Dragon Boat team, but now open to anyone.

Schwartz described the family dynamic as individuals who work well as a team.

He cooks for his mom, and he and his two brothers, Tyler Jay, 14, and Luke Jay, 12, help keep the house together. Lukrofka provides emotional support, while accompanying Jay to her doctor and chemo appointments.

Jay said she also is blessed by being on the Oregon Health Plan. She noted that she has no co-pays, and the plan even pays for one of her medications, an anti-nausea pill that costs $600 per dose.

“If I didn’t have this amazing medicine, I couldn’t do all the things I’m able to do, like take the kids to school and help with their homework,” she said.

Reaching out

Jay said she has not been sitting back, just waiting to see what will happen. She has set up a benevolent trust fund at Chase Bank, in the name of Patricia Jay, so that people can make donations. She has a Facebook page and is part of the website Fundrazr, where people can search for her name and make donations.

Hit Machine, a local '80s band, is considering doing a fundraiser for her, and she is checking into local housing options.

The family wants to stay in Milwaukie because the community has been really good to them, Jay said, adding that Schwartz has worked at the Milwaukie Farmers Market and she has volunteered with the Ledding Library.

“This is the longest we’ve stayed in a community, and this has been our favorite,” Schwartz said.

Giving back to the community is a concept that Jay grew up with, so it was a natural thing for her to choose that field as an adult.

She has been on the Kern Park Christian Church worship team for 17 years, and started a program there called Through the Storm, for survivors of domestic violence.

She worked for the Portland Business Alliance, learning all about nonprofits that could help people on the streets of Portland.

“If my mom had a superpower, it would be finding tools to help anybody on the streets. Her presence in downtown Portland is still felt,” Schwartz said.

The job that she lost last October was in the mental health field, where she worked helping people overcome barriers to employment.

Future goals

Jay is determined to have a future and help others as well, so when she comes through all this and out the other side, her goal is to become a patient navigator for Kaiser.

“I want to help people who have barriers to care navigate through the health care system. I want to teach them how to handle all the details of their illness. This is the new wave of care,” she said, noting that many hospitals are going to have this position in place by 2015.

“I wish this for everyone; this isn’t just about me. Cancer affects each of us differently, and we are going to learn through this and work through this and come out on a better end,” she said.

“I want to thank all the people who have reached out to us with their prayers and financial support. I know I have a community of people around us who love us, and I want to say thank you for loving our family,” Jay said.

The American Cancer Society sent Jay and her three sons to Salem for ACS Lobby Day, and paid for them to stay at the Red Lion Hotel there.

“It was very important for us to speak with our legislators regarding issues that affect all of our health. Thanks especially to Ryan Price, ACS district executive director, for faithfully checking in with me and my family, offering encouragement, help in any way and for spreading our story,” she said.

“I want to use what has been given to me to give back.”

Fast Facts

Call or go into any Chase Bank location to donate to Patricia Jay’s Benevolent Trust Fund.

Visit the website fundrazr.com and search for Patti Jay, to donate money to her family. She also has a Patti Jay Facebook page.