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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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Wilsonville Theater presents a much-loved tale of the 'Golden' years


by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Glenn Russell (left) and Alexa MacDonald play Norman and Ethel Thayer in the Wilsonville Theater Companys rendition of On Golden Pond, opening Friday. With any family comes plenty of stories, and the Thayers are no exception.

From age, rage, regret, love, disappointment and forgiveness, the Maine family famously shared their lives with audiences across the globe in “On Golden Pond,” the 1981 Academy Award-winning film starring Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn.

Now, the Wilsonville Theater Company is taking a crack at the American classic that actually has its origin as a 1979 play of the same title written by Ernest Thompson. Thompson also wrote the screenplay for the cinematic version directed by Mark Rydell.

Fonda went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in what turned out to be his final on-screen role. Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his script. There were a further seven Academy Award nominations for the film.

With that kind of pedigree, it’s a daunting task for lead man Glenn Russell, who plays Norman Thayer, the character Henry Fonda portrayed.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Cecilia Harper (left) and Sam Ford play Chelsea Thayer and Bill Ray, respectively. Chelsea is Norman and Ethels daughter, and her announcement of engagement is met with derision from her father. “We’re alike in that we have the same sense of humor, but we’re not alike in the fear,” said Russell, who is the father of ‘Pond’ director Matt Russell. “The character has fear of death, and that doesn’t really concern me that much, and we’re pretty close to the same age.”

Wilsonville audiences will be able to decide for themselves starting with the 7 p.m. Friday opening show at Frog Pond Grange Hall, 27000 SW Stafford Road. Tickets are $8 for seniors and students, $10 for general admission at the door. Tickets also are available online at wilsonvilletheater.com and at the Wilsonville Fred Meyer store. Additional shows will be offered at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Feb. 28; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 1; 7 p.m. March 7; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 8. For more information, visit wilsonvilletheater.com.

Matt Russell will direct the Wilsonville version of “On Golden Pond.” He said the Norman Thayer character, as well as the entirety of the play, will have a unique feel to it that those familiar with the movie may not immediately recognize.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Nathan Will (left) plays Charlie, the friendly postman who enjoys visiting with Ethel Thayer, played by Alexa MacDonald. “He’s playing the Henry Fonda character, but he plays it very differently,” he said. “When people come in they’re definitely going to see something that is distinctly different from the movie. They wouldn’t want to think, ‘I’ve seen the movie, so I don’t need to see the play.’ There are actually quite a few differences.”

For one, most of the character portrayals are different.

“Our Norman is a little bit on the lighter side than is Henry Fonda’s character,” Matt Russell said. “He’s not quite as edgy as Fonda, so that’s just one example of how we’re a little different.”

Glenn Russell admitted it’s a bit of a challenge to portray a character so strongly associated with a single actor.

“I don’t want to be compared to Henry Fonda. He was a class actor, right at the top of the profession,” he said. “I don’t try to imitate Fonda in any way. It’s the thing about plays, especially plays that are movies, you never want to pattern your play after the movie.”

The story will be familiar to most viewers. It features Ethel, played by Alexa MacDonald, and Norman Thayer, an elderly couple that spends their summers at their cottage in Maine on a lake called Golden Pond. Already in his late 70s, Norman is cantankerous and not well disposed toward much of anything except watching the scenery while sipping bourban and offering caustic commentary.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - On Golden Pond is a story of love, loss, family and the ties that sometimes grow fragile. Here, Ethel (Alexa MacDonald) comforts Norman as he tries to confront his own mortality. Thus, when the Thayers are visited by their daughter, Chelsea, played here by Cecilia Harper and in the film by Jane Fonda, the introduction of her new fiancée does not go over well. Even worse, Chelsea’s new beau, Bill, played by Wilsonville Theater veteran Sam Ford, has brought his young son, Billy, to stay with them.

The boy is annoyed at first and put off at being forced to spend time with a curmudgeon. But he eventually comes to enjoy fishing with Norman - so much so it even comes to upset his mother.

Other cast members include Nathan Will as Charlie the postman and Tate Ericson as Billy.

“Winter is a good time to do a drama,” said Matt Russell. “It’s probably the best time of the year to do a drama. And this one, I mean it’s a serious play with serious issues that it’s dealing with, but it also has an escapist element. It takes place in a summer lakeside cabin, so it’s an idyllic location. It’s a nice place for audiences to go in the dead of winter; going to rural Maine in the summertime by a lake, it’s a nice place to visit.”

At A Glance:

"On Golden Pond:

Wilsonville Theater Company

A three-weekend run starts 7 p.m. Friday with the opening show at Frog Pond Grange Hall, 27000 SW Stafford Road. Tickets are $8 for seniors and students, $10 for general admission at the door. Tickets also available at wilsonvilletheater.com and at the Wilsonville Fred Meyer store. Additional shows will be offered at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Feb. 28; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 1; 7 p.m. March 7; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 8. For more information, visit wilsonvilletheater.com.


Glenn Russell — Norman Thayer

Alexa MacDonald — Ethel Thayer

Nathan Will — Charlie

Cecilia Harper — Chelsea

Tate Ericson — Billy

Sam Ford — Bill