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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


Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Letters: Beavers; due process; Team Clackamas; economy; etc.


I was so happy to read about the education efforts to help folks understand and live with beavers on Kellogg Creek (“Make way for beavers,” Feb. 19).

by: PHOTO BY: JON HOUSE - John Young shows where a beaver (or beavers) have constructed a dam behind his property in Milwaukie.This is often hard for residents and cities to do, but the investment brings a host of benefits that more than pay for the effort. Beavers increase the invertebrate community which means that their ponds have a higher density and diversity of fish — supporting all the birds and wildlife that eat fish.

I know that living with beavers is possible because my own city installed a flow device six years ago to control pond height. Now because of our safe, beaver-tended wetlands we regularly see otter, steelhead, wood duck and even mink in our urban stream.

We have documented three new species of fish in the creek (which used to dry up in the summer and now runs year-round). We wrap the trees we need to protect, and plant riparian willow to augment their habitat. Although there were initial worries about population growth, after six years of a single beaver family with 18 births, our population remains at six. Young disperse at 2 to seek their own territories, and since beavers are territorial, the resident family uses their natural behaviors to keep others away.

When beavers are allowed to remain in an area, their dams create and enhance habitat for numerous other species. They improve water quality and slow erosion. Here in Martinez, we organize a yearly beaver festival to teach folks how and why to live with beavers.

I can’t think of any better way to improve your watershed than to value the “water-savers” who care for it.

Heidi Perryman

Martinez, Calif.

Editor’s note: Dr. Perryman is president and founder of the “Worth A Dam” organization dedicated to maintaining the Martinez beavers in Alhambra Creek through responsible stewardship, creative problem solving, community involvement and education. Visit martinezbeavers.org for more information.

Where’s the evidence?

The words “due process” never appeared in the article “Instagram rattles student’s life,” Feb. 19.

Because Serena George is a student and a minor, she may not be entitled to the same rights as an adult in a criminal prosecution. But what process was used to examine the evidence? Was the defendant afforded the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses?

In this electronic age, can we be 100 percent certain the image used as evidence wasn’t photoshopped? Before meting a punishment that damages a student’s future and puts the school district into the position of defending against an expensive lawsuit, can the administration not find a more appropriate resolution to the issue?

As a taxpayer and parent of a teen, I want the teachers and administration to build these students up and improve their future, not tear them down and destroy their future.

Neil Wolfson


Go ‘Team Clackamas’

On behalf of Clackamas High School, thank you for writing this story (“Oregon Sports Award nominees offer health tips,” in last week’s Healthy Life — Kid’s Health special section), and for your stories about Taylor Agost and Austin Kelly — we are so very proud of these two and many other student athletes.

Jeff Erdman

Athletic director

Let’s get back in the game

Regional economist Amy Vander Vliet’s February report demonstrates Clackamas County lagging behind other Metro counties in job recovery.

One issue not mentioned is the lack of leadership by and a disdain for “Portland Creep” shown by some members of the Clackamas County Commission. Now Google wishes, with the support of the city of Portland, to build a high-speed fiber optic network in the Portland metro area. Only one non-industrial Clackamas County community is involved, while both Washington and Multnomah counties seem covered.

Every day it becomes more necessary, as an engine in the region’s economic development, to have access to high-speed internet based communication. Without this access Clackamas County will lag farther behind in the region’s economic development.

Come on Clackamas County Commission, if economic development is job one, get us in the game.

Pat Smith


Timber management

The billboard on Interstate 205 asks U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden: Why isn’t he doing more to help timber industry families?

Help is determined by the growth rates on a specific forested site and that forested site’s historic harvest rate. Where the harvest rates on a specific site have exceeded the growth rates there will be hard times for forest industry families. Growth rates are determined by soils, elevation, water tables, average yearly rainfall, length of the growing season.

This means that timber industry families living in the Owyhee Uplands of Southeast Oregon, a family in the High Lava Plains, the Cascades, the Coast Range have very little in common when it comes to the specifics of the “help” their region needs. Over all regions and families there does exist one truism — on any specific forested site for the harvest rate to exceed the growth rate is a recipe for disaster.

Elected public officials and tree scientists must deal with the realization that there exists a very delicate balance between doing something for someone and doing something to someone.

D. Kent Lloyd


Security breach shuts down state’s website

The Oregon Secretary of State’s office detected an unauthorized intrusion into its website on Feb. 4. As a security precaution, we took down certain online applications.

The investigation so far indicates that sensitive personal information was not compromised. We maintain mostly public information. It does not store complete credit-card numbers, and private companies handle credit-card transactions. As a security precaution, however, we deleted all user passwords for certain web applications. Once the applications have been restored, users of the Central Business Registry (CBR) and ORESTAR will need to reset their passwords. We also recommend that anyone who uses their ORESTAR or CBR password for other personal accounts should change the passwords for those personal accounts as well.

We take this matter very seriously. Your safety and security as a member of this community is our highest priority. Fraud experts indicate that a person’s email address, physical address or phone number is insufficient to obtain credit in the name of another individual or assume another individual’s identity; therefore, we do not believe you are at risk of identity theft or fraud as a result of this event. We are, nevertheless, providing this notice to ensure that you are aware of this incident and so that, if you feel it is necessary to do so, you may take steps to monitor your credit and identity.

Once the website applications have been restored, please log in to your ORESTAR or Central Business Registry account and change your password. If you share similar passwords with other accounts, we recommend that you reset those passwords out of an abundance of caution.

Most legitimate organizations will never ask you to verify your username or password via email. If you are at all suspicious of an email from a business you have a relationship with, open a new web browser, type in the URL for their organization, and call them using the number provided on their website.

We encourage you to review account statements and to monitor your credit reports. Under U.S. law, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.

At no charge, you can have the credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file.

You can obtain additional information about the steps you can take to avoid identity theft from the Identity Theft Clearinghouse

Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave.; Washington DC 20580; consumer.gov/idtheft; 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338); TDD: 1-202-326-2502.

Again, please be assured that your safety and security are very important to us. We regret any inconvenience or concern that this matter may have caused you.

Kate Brown

Oregon Secretary of State

Law wouldn’t have prevented those shootings

With regards to the story last week titled “Newtown families join support for background check gun legislation,” has the question ever been raised why these families would support a law that would not have prevented either the Newtown or Clackamas Town Center shootings? Why aren’t reporters raising these questions in their articles?

Samuel Dickerson-Edgington