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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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Falcons are money in the 4A soccer playoffs


La Salle guys stun No. 3 Stayton, while La Salle girls give second-ranked Scappoose a run for its money.

The eighth-ranked La Salle Falcons continued tough in last week’s Class 4A boys soccer playoffs, shutting out third-ranked Stayton 2-0 in Saturday’s quarterfinals, after blanking 10th-ranked North Bend 4-0 in the Nov. 6 first round.

The pair of wins advanced the Falcons (15-2-0) to the state semifinals for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons. They were to play second-ranked Phoenix (13-1-1) in the Nov. 13 semifinals. The Falcons lost to Phoenix 2-1 in the quarterfinals a year ago.

“We’re glad we get to play them at our place this year,” La Salle assistant coach Derek Ray said.

“We’re really starting to mesh and play well as a team,” said La Salle senior captain David Lillie. “Everyone’s fighting for one another. Everyone’s working hard. The younger guys are stepping up and putting everything on the line.”

Lillie said of the quarterfinal upset of Stayton, which was played at Stayton: “It was our best game of the year, by far. We were very cohesive and we played well together. It was an awesome game!

“Stayton is a quality team with some very talented players.” Ray said. “We knew it would be a tough game going in, and we got just that.”

It was the first loss of the season for the Eagles (12-1-3), who entered the contest having allowed 15 opponents just six goals. The Eagles had shut out 11 of their 15 previous opponents. It was the first time they had been shut out all season.

Ray gave a rundown on the quarterfinal with the Eagles: “The game was back and forth in the first half with neither team scoring.... We got on the board in the 55th minute off a corner kick. Duran Herrera served the ball into the goal area and Dakota Eisel finished it with his head.

“Dakota sealed the game in the 78th minute. Our pressure on their back-line caused a bad pass that went to Duran. He found Dakota, who finished it with his left foot....

“They had a very talented forward up top, Javier Topete, who they tried to go to throughout the game. Our defense did a great job of forcing him outside and not giving him any quality chances. Our goalie Dylan Tran had a great game as well.”

It was the eighth shutout of the season for Tran.

Eisel turned a hat trick and the senior forward played a part in all four Falcon goals in La Salle’s 4-0 shutout of North Bend.

Eisel scored on a rebound shot just 43 seconds into the game. Greg Manzano took a shot, the keeper bobbled the ball, and Eisel cleaned up the rebound for an early 1-0 lead.

Eisel struck again just 15 minutes later, pressuring the back line, forcing a turnover and beating the keeper one-on-one on a breakaway.

Manzano scored in the 20th-minute, off an assist from Eisel.

And Eisel finished off his hat trick near the midpoint of the second half, scoring from 30 yards out, off an assist from Manzano. It was the third hat trick of the season for Eisel.

It was only the second loss of the season for the Far West League champion Bulldogs (14-2-0), who entered the contest averaging 5.3 goals, while allowing 15 previous opponents a combined total of just eight goals. No previous opponent had scored more than two goals against North Bend and the Bulldogs had nine shutouts on the 2012 season.

The unheralded La Salle Falcons were not to be denied, as they played with their hearts on their sleeves and upset eighth-ranked Junction City 2-1 in overtime in a Nov. 6 quarterfinal game of the Class 4A high school girls soccer playoffs.

Heroine honors went to Amanda Byrne and Chloe Basile, who scored two late goals to steal the win from the host Sky-Em League champion Tigers.

With her team trailing 1-0, Byrne put the ball in the net with just 4:40 remaining in regulation to force the overtime.

And two minutes into the first ten-minute overtime, Basile scored off a pass from Courtney Crain for the win.

La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino described Byrne’s game-saver:

“The ball was played through and there was a miscommunication between the defender and the goalkeeper. Amanda won the ball and put it in the back of the net.”

“I am very proud of our girls,” Cereghino said. “They fought for the entire game. They never gave up and continued to have faith in each other.

“Amanda told me at halftime that she could score and I finally made the change to move her to forward with about 15 minutes left in the game.  She fought and scored the game-tying goal from essentially a broken play....

Chloe Basile has been rapidly gaining confidence at the forward position. With three goals in two playoff games, Chloe has been on a roll.”

Cereghino also singled Crain and Regan Russell for their contributions:

“Courtney is the workhorse of the team. She will sacrifice herself and is an inspiration for her teammates. Regan, as a freshmen, has stepped into goal for the team. Our starting keeper, Sydney Chvilicek, has been out since a concussion suffered in our final regular season game, but Regan has stepped in and has given confidence to the team.”

Junction City coach Chris Bolton commended the Falcons for their high level of play.

It was the Tigers’ first loss, after winning 10 of their last 11 games, including seven by shutout. Junction City finished up with an overall record of 10-5-1. The Tigers had hammered 10th-ranked Sisters 5-2 in the Class 4A state playoff play-in round.

Ranked eleventh in the state in the final OSAA power rankings, the Falcons continued to go all out on Saturday, when they traveled to second-ranked Scappoose and lost a 2-1 heartbreaker on penalty kicks in overtime.

Courtney Crain scored off an assist from Kate Christoferson with 15 minutes remaining in regulation play to knot the score at 1-1 and bring about the overtime. The two teams then went scoreless through two 10-minute overtime periods. In an overtime shootout, the two teams tied, both going 4-4 through five kickers. Scappoose then won in sudden death on the seventh kick.

Cereghino praised his athletes: “I am incredibly proud of the team and what they were able to accomplish this season. I am sure some people did not give us a chance in this game, but the players proved them wrong.

“The team embraced a ‘never quit’ mentality and it made it difficult for opposing teams to close out games. I have to point out and credit our defensive back-line and keeper for an incredible game — Joslynn Bigelow (right back), Natalie Stone (stopper), Veronica Horton (sweeper), Yesenia Higuera (left back) and Regan Russell (goalkeeper).

“They faced a team that had scored 112 goals in 15 games — an average of about 7.5 goals per game — and held them to one goal through overtime.”