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INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)

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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Light-rail project reaches major milestone


Beautiful weather brought huge crowds for the two Rose Festival parades—and once again TriMet employees delivered safe and reliable service for the region, providing more than a half million rides.

by: PHOTO BY: ADAM WICKHAM - Trimet General Manager Neil McFarlane addresses the crowd at the June 6 celebration on Tillicum Crossing.This month, we also celebrated a major milestone for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project — construction crews completed the bridge deck for the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, being built over the Willamette River for the future MAX Orange Line. The bridge and the new light rail line are on schedule, and on budget, to open on Sept. 12, 2015.

Upgrading Our Bus Fleet: We continue to upgrade our bus fleet with more reliable, fuel efficient and lower emission vehicles, which offer a smoother ride. This past week, new buses were placed into service on the Line 70-12th/NE 33rd Ave, which provides service from Northeast Portland to downtown Milwaukie.

More Transit Investment: More people are returning to the workforce and TriMet is investing in service to meet this growing demand. TriMet’s Board of Directors approved our next year’s budget, which includes $7.1 million in service investments. These investments are possible thanks to the progress we’ve made controlling costs and additional revenue provided by a steadily improving economy.

We remain focused on doing our part to help make this one of the best places to live in the country. If you have any questions or advice about TriMet’s services, finances or future plans, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my staff, Diane Goodwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your continued support of TriMet.

Neil McFarlane

TriMet general manager

Overwhelming events require ongoing response

The tragic shooting today at Reynolds High School in Troutdale leaves us shocked and saddened by such a senseless act close to home. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the families and staff at Reynolds High, and the community of Troutdale.

In our roles as parents and adults who support students, it is important to know that news of these events could raise intense feelings and emotions for our children. They are likely to show a wide range of responses. It is important that we support each other as adults, as well as our students.

As you know, we have counselors and administrators at each school who can further support students who may be struggling. If your student is talking about this shooting, I would encourage you to listen and hear their feelings and concerns. Give them time to work through their emotions.

We need to reassure our students that our schools have safety procedures in place and that we practice those safety procedures throughout the school year. We continue to work to review our procedures to make sure our schools are as safe as possible. A North Clackamas School District Security Task Force completed a review within the last year of procedures, and they are being implemented.

We have trained safety personnel in our schools, including police officers, who work within all our schools. We have ongoing working relationships with area law enforcement.

Events like these can be overwhelming. As we close the school year, please make sure you are in touch with your school and let us know any support we may be able to provide.

Matt Utterback

NCSD superintendent

Keep our schools safe

Our thoughts and prayers are with Reynolds High School educators, students and their families.

In the face of this tragedy, Reynolds staff have shown our community and the entire nation what it means to be an educator. We have seen the uncommon courage and selflessness of the teachers and staff and our community is truly blessed to have such devoted educators. We want to show our solidarity and support in this difficult time. We vow to work together to forge an alliance with families and communities to keep our schools safe, secure and welcome to everyone.

As educators, our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all students. Our focus now at the Oregon Education Association is on supporting the educators, students and their families in the Reynolds community today and in the future. We all have a responsibility to create safe schools and communities. As a state and a country, we can and must do more to ensure that everyone who walks through our school doors — educator, student, parent or community member — is safe and free from violence.

Tony Crawford

OEA vice president

Compassion should not be considered...for some

I’m responding to the Community Soapbox on page A5 (“Oregon’s death penalty moratorium helps us escape the horrors of a botched execution,” May 21) written by Frank Thompson questioning the “cruel and unusual” in dealing with execution.

I consider myself a compassionate, loving husband and devoted father to my three adult children, and I’m now 85 years old. I have always, however, had a strong feeling of the need for the death penalty.

I’m aware sometimes an injustice takes place and an innocent person is charged with a crime they did not commit, and I’m certain in a few cases some have been executed. That’s the fallacy of our system!

But for me, anyone who takes another person’s life does not deserve any consideration whatsoever, but I do have to draw a fine line of how or why the death of someone else took place. I’m of a strong opinion that a person who kills another person while committing a crime, sexual assault or even a person of unsound mind who commits a death crime, should be executed... period!

And to me the degree of cruelty committed to the person or persons killed dictates the degree of “pain” that convict should receive when executed. Compassion should not be considered.

And to carry my personal feeling even further, I was certainly not in agreement with the Frank Thompson article when he wrote that: “Because of our concern about the psychological and emotional well-being of our staff, we spent about $85,000 in overtime for training alone.” That’s their job! And expected of them at the time of an execution!

I always enjoy your newspaper, however.

Jack Sherman

Unincorporated Clackamas

Serving the community in poverty

I am an 18-year-old senior at La Salle Catholic College Prep, just east of Milwaukie city limits, writing to you expressing my deep concern with poverty in our nation, and why Clackamas County should become more educated about it.

There are 46 million people in our nation that are in poverty, which makes up 15 percent of our population. Also, there are 20.5 million people who have an income less than half of the poverty line, and six million with no income at all. Granted, the government does aid these individuals through programs such as welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps and school-lunch programs. However, the reality is that we still have a significant number of individuals finding themselves below the poverty line every year.

I strongly encourage your reporters to look how this poverty epidemic is affecting Clackamas County. Poverty is something we struggle with on a national scale, and the citizens of Clackamas County should be more aware of how poverty is affecting their own community and what they can do to help. There are numerous ways for people to volunteer their time, energy and treasures to make a difference in poverty, but unfortunately too many people are not aware of such opportunities to serve the community at large.

Thank you for your consideration.

Christopher Dowhaniuk


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.