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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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Showdown looms on water district board


by: PHOTO BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Clackamas County sheriff's deputies again came to the first 'official' meeting since a physical confrontation between the Clackamas River Water general manager and a board member on Sept. 13.The stage is set for a showdown between two governing boards that both think they’re entitled to run water service to 80,000 customers in unincorporated Clackamas County.

At the same time, two people remaining on the Clackamas River Water board now could face a recall by ratepayers unhappy with the infighting.

Commissioners Patricia Holloway and Grafton Sterling voted last week to appoint new two commissioners to the special district’s board, in an attempt to block Clackamas County commissioners’ plans to step in and make appointments.

During the Oct. 30 meeting involving Holloway and Sterling, former County Commissioner Larry Sowa was appointed in absentia to fill one position left vacant by a resignation. Holloway and Sterling also voted to appoint retired real-estate manager Jeff Monroy, president of the Hunter Heights Homeowners Association in unincorporated Oregon City, to another position.

Monroy then voted with Holloway and Sterling to place General Manager Lee Moore on administrative leave, “in order to protect CRW interests,” and declined to comment further on the decision.

A notary public swore in Sowa on Wednesday.

On Friday, ratepayer Naomi Angier filed a petition to recall Holloway and Sterling.

“The bottom line is that things have spun out of control with the county, because they don’t have the legal standing to run CRW,” Holloway said.

At issue, however, is whether the CRW commissioners’ appointments took place during an “official” meeting.

Holloway said the Oct. 30 meeting followed Oregon law defining a quorum as “a majority of the votes entitled to be cast on the matter by the voting group” of three. With Mike Cardwell’s resignation from the board in July, she and Sterling consider Board President Kami Kehoe to have vacated her position under state law by moving out of the district (“Water board clash could boot member,” Oct. 3).

But that opinion is disputed by several key CRW players, including Moore, who said that Kehoe had not resigned, therefore requiring a quorum of three. Moore said attorneys from Clackamas County government and CRW have made it clear that Kehoe remained on the board until she and Board Secretary Barbara Kemper both resigned on Oct. 31, meaning during last week’s meeting there were legally four board members, not three.

“CRW attorney Dean Phillips and Gary Schmidt with the county have both informed me that this action is illegal,” Moore said. “Once the county completes its process, hopefully we won’t have elected officials engaging in this behavior.”

Deputies respond

Holloway and Sterling also agreed to fire CRW attorney Dean Phillips last week, replacing him with St. Helens attorney James D. Huffman, who wrote in a seven-page opinion that the board consisted of three members, not four. Huffman, who represented Holloway in her legal fight with the board on access to documents, said that the county could have intervened in a two-member board, giving Holloway and Sterling a narrow window of time in which to act.

Clackamas County sheriff’s deputies were called to this month’s board meeting, the first meeting since a Sept. 13 physical confrontation between Sterling and Moore. Holloway said she asked that a security guard call the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office because former CRW Commissioner Cyndi Lewis-Wolfram had been disrupting the meeting. Two sheriff’s deputies talked with witnesses for more than an hour but took no other action in the case.

“As a ratepayer, I am appalled at what’s happening here,” Lewis-Wolfram said. “This meeting was illegally held, and ‘making efforts to get another board member’ means to try to get the other board member to show up.”

Kemper was upset that the two CRW commissioners called a meeting on short notice “without even notifying” Kehoe. Kemper said that the board has no authority to act on the applications sent to county commissioners.

“Those appointments are completely out of our hands,” Kemper said before last week’s meeting. “I was not even asked if I might be available for a meeting, which I am not... so no business can be conducted.”

A parting shot

County Commissioner Jim Bernard agreed that Holloway and Sterling didn’t have the power to appoint two new members to the CRW board, saying he was looking forward to the county making the appointments on Thursday, Nov. 8, when Sowa will be appointed along with others from the pool of 13 applications the county received.

“We’re ready to appoint a few new members to the board and hopefully turn around this insanity,” Bernard said.

Sterling, pointing out that he won his CRW election against Lewis-Wolfram by a wide margin in May 2011, warned that county commissioners could be next.

“Bernard is barking up the wrong tree, and it’s my belief he won’t be re-elected,” Sterling said.

Angier will need 4,000 valid signatures to put a recall measure against Sterling and Holloway on a ballot.

In a parting shot to Holloway in her formal resignation on Halloween, Kehoe said Huffman was in a “precarious position” to accept appointment as CRW’s attorney.

“Mainly for the reasons aforementioned, but also due to the fact Mr. Huffman represents you in a pending legal matter, CRW v. Patricia Holloway, which is currently in the appeal process due to your application for appeal. This is clearly a conflict of interest peppered with legal ethics ramifications,” she said.

Holloway said there’s no conflict of interest because Huffman secured waivers as required under Oregon Bar regulations. As the new secretary of the board, she announced a “regular” CRW meeting to take place Thursday evening, just after the county makes a separate set of appointments.

County process

A selection committee looking at new CRW board members included John Hartsock of the Boring Fire District, William Wild of the Oak Lodge Sanitary District, Pat Bigelow of the Boring Water District, public accountant Gary Kerr of the CRW Rate Committee and Wilda Parks, past president of the North Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce.

The committee considered 13 applicants, who beside Monroy, were Sherry French, Michael Galvin, Lester Garrison, Thomas Hester, James Hansen, Kenneth Humberston, Hugh Kalani, Duane Karstens, Warren Mitchell, Steven Paden, Gary Rutledge and Allen Taylor.