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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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Kingsmen survive 7th-inning scare


Advance to the Class 5A state final through a 3-2 semifinal win over St. Helens

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Putnam players celebrate their hard fought state playoff semifinal win over Northwest Oregon Conference co-champion St. Helens.The Rex Putnam Kingsmen prevailed 3-2 in a pressure-packed Class 5A state playoff semifinal softball game with St. Helens, played before a large crowd at Rex Putnam High School on June 3.

The Kingsmen led the entire game, but the contest was no cakewalk. Adversity struck in the top of the seventh.

Putnam’s starting pitcher, freshman Sarah Abramson, had a no hitter going through the first six frames and the Kingsmen were up 3-0 heading into the seventh.

But there was a huge momentum shift as the Lions picked up their bats in the top of the seventh. St. Helen’s first batter, senior outfielder Stevie Strawn, hit a ground ball to third to lead off the inning. Putnam’s third baseman fielded the ball cleanly, but her throw sailed past first base, giving the Lions their first baserunner since the first inning.

Abramson walked the next batter, junior catcher Michelle Sass, putting St. Helens baserunners on first and second with no one down.

Next up was the Lions’ clean-up hitter, junior pitcher Mariah Mulcahy. Mulcahy rapped a ground ball to senior second baseman Mariah Oliver, who got the force out at second.

St. Helens sophomore infielder Taylor Leal then crushed a double to the fence in left-center field, scoring St. Helens’ first run and leaving runners on second and third with one down.

St. Helens’ next batter, junior infielder Alyssa Giesbers, hit a hard grounder to Putnam senior shortstop Taylor Balfour, who had positioned herself near the base path. Balfour fielded the ball cleanly, and appeared to have a chance of making a game-ending double play. But Leal, who was headed for third, had other plans. She ran into Balfour’s glove going hard, as Balfour was attempting to make the tag. The ball popped loose, Mulcahy scored, and it was a 3-2 ball game, with Leal at third and Giesbers at second, and only one down.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Senior rightfielder Lauren Roberts makes a game-saving catch in the seventh inning of the semi-final with St. Helens.St. Helens’ next batter, junior Hailee Fischer, sent a long ball to right field that appeared out of reach of Putnam right fielder Lauren Roberts. But Roberts somehow got her glove on it. Leal, intent on scoring the tying run, found herself too far from third to tag up and score, so she returned to the bag.

The next batter hit a harder grounder to the second-base side of Oliver. Oliver chased the ball down and made the play at first base in time to get the out at first and retire the side. And the Kingsmen celebrated the hard fought “team” victory.

And it was truly a “team victory.” Abramson allowed only the one hit and two walks in the game, but she only had two strikeouts. The Kingsmen played error-free ball behind her until the seventh, making difficult plays look routine.

Oliver caught two fly balls and made three assists at second; Balfour caught four fly balls at shortstop; Roberts flagged down two fly balls and made an assist from right field, robbing a Lion batter of a base hit in the sixth inning; and Abramson helped her own cause with four assists from the circle.

Putnam got only four hits off of Mulcahy (3 strikeouts, one walk, two hit batters), but the Kingsmen made their hits count, scoring runs in the first, third and sixth innings.

Junior outfielder Kate Betschart drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the first, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Balfour and scored on a single up the middle by Putnam senior catcher Ashley Culp.

With one down in the third, Betschart singled, advanced when Balfour reached on a throwing error and when Culp reached as a hit batsman, and scored on a bloop single to left by junior infielder Maggie Waymire (2-for-3).

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Freshman pinch runner Justice Duval was all smiles after scoring the winning run in the Kingsmens 3-2 win over St. Helens.Waymire led off the sixth with a base hit to right; freshman pinch runner Justice Duval advanced on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore first baseman Brooke Snyder and a fielder’s choice by junior designated player Hayley Dolfay. And Duval scored with one down on a squeeze bunt by sophomore outfielder Sydney Nichols.

Putnam left the bases loaded in the third inning and the Kingsmen left runners on base in the first, second and sixth frames.

St. Helens left a runner at third base in the first inning. Sophomore Ashley Giesbers reached with a lead-off walk and advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Strawn. But Balfour handled a line drive at shortstop and Abramson handled a comebacker at pitcher to get the Kingsmen out of the inning with no damage done.

With the loss, the eighth-ranked Lions finished up with an overall record of 19-9. It was St. Helens’ first appearance in a state semifinal since 1999.

Putnam and St. Helens were co-champions in the Northwest Oregon Conference, both teams finishing with 12-2 records, and the two teams splitting in head-to-head league play.

The NWOC made a strong showing in the Class 5A state playoffs, with four league teams advancing to the eight-team quarterfinals. St. Helens defeated Sandy 1-0 in the quarterfinals, while Putnam defeated West Albany 2-1 and Liberty lost to Pendleton 4-1.

The semifinal win over St. Helens advanced the fifth-ranked Kingsmen to a state-title showdown with third-ranked Pendleton. It’s the first time since 1995 that a Putnam softball team has advanced past the quarterfinals.

Asked if she were surprised that the Kingsmen advanced to the state final, Culp said, “Not at all. I knew we had it in us the whole time.... There’s no doubt in my mind we’re going to take the state title.”

Culp said of Abramson, “She hits her spots, her pitches jump like crazy, and she pitches with so much confidence. She’s the best freshman pitcher I’ve ever seen.”

“I never thought I’d be playing for the state title as a freshman,” said Abramson. “It’s crazy. I’m really excited!’

Abramson was quick to give her teammates credit for the unexpected success: “My defense has been incredible. They’ve always been behind me, since the beginning of the season. I’m never afraid to throw pitches over the plate, because I know they can defend it.”

Asked about nerves in the top of the seventh, Abramson said, “I was getting a little nervous, but I knew we could do it.”

The win had special meaning for Balfour.

“My sophomore year we lost 2-1 to The Dalles [in the quarterfinals] and I was our one run. It was heartbreaking and I promised myself I’d never let my team feel that again.... This [win] means everything — not only for the seniors on this team, but for the seniors who have come before and the seniors who will come after me.”

Balfour said of her miscue when she lost the ball on the attempted tag, “I thought that was it.... But my teammates picked me up and made the plays. They made me feel like we were true champions. Even with our mistakes, we came together and pulled through....

“This team has so much heart. We leave it all out on the field. We all pick each other up when we’re down and we never settle for anything less than the best that we can do.”