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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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Fourth annual 'Battle' Saturday in Oregon City


Russell Schneider returns to the helm as OC alumni take on their cross-river rivals from West Linn -

Oregon City High School’s football stadium will be the place to be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.

Photo Credit: PHOTO BY JOHN LARIVIERE - Russell Schneider (13), pictured here eluding a defender in a Pacific Football League playoff game with the Yakima Mavericks, will be at the helm for the Oregon City High School alumni team for this Saturday's Oregon City vs. West Linn Battle for the Bridge alumni football game. Schneider has had a phenomenal year as quarterback for the Oregon City-based Portland Raiders Minor League semi-pro football team this year. The 2001 graduate of Oregon City High School was in record form, completing 267-of-490 passes (.544 percent) for 4,419 yards and 57 touchdowns, with 17 interceptions. The passes completed, passes attempted and yards are all PFL and Greater Northwest Football Association records. The 57 touchdown passes is second all-time only to his own record of 59. Schneider has 370 career touchdown passes in six seasons of playing Minor League semi-pro football, just seven shy of the national record. Schneider this year led the Raiders to championship of the Pacific Football League, and an overall record of 12-1, the Raiders' only loss coming in a 10-7 early-season game with the South Lane Buzzards.That’s when alumni from Oregon City and West Linn high schools will be doing battle in the fourth annual Battle for the Bridge alumni football game. The game is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Town & Country Honda in Gladstone is title sponsor for this year’s game.

In high school football, Oregon City and West Linn high schools sport the oldest uninterrupted high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi, having played one another in football every year since 1921.

Oregon City holds a 50-42-1 advantage in the high school series and a 2-1 edge in the Battle for the Bridge alumni series.

The alumni games have been real battles, with Oregon City winning 23-14 in 2011 and 16-15 last August, and West Linn winning 36-35 in 2012.

Oregon City High School graduate Russell Schneider, an accomplished semi-pro football player with the Pacific Football League champion Portland Raiders, is back to lead the Pioneers as their quarterback for a fourth year.

“The thing about the Battle for the Bridge is it’s so different from semi-pro football,” said Schneider. “I get to come back home and hang out with people I grew up with, and make some new friends. And I get to coach. I actually do more coaching than playing. Plus, it’s for such a great cause.”

Schneider brings plenty of credentials to the cause. The 2001 Oregon City High School graduate this year led the Portland Raiders to a 12-1 record and the PFL championship, passing for 4,419 yards, an all-time record for the PFL and for the Greater Northwest Football Association. Schneider has 370 career touchdown passes in six seasons of playing Minor League semi-pro football, just seven shy of the national record.

Tickets for Saturday’s game cost $10, and they may be purchased at the gate or online at www.battleforthebridge.com.

Proceeds from the game and from a Battle for the Bridge golf tournament go towards funding research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

Rylee Ferro, a toddler who has Cystic Fibrosis and who is the daughter of 2000 Oregon City High School graduate Eric Ferro, is the honorary captain for this year’s Oregon City Battle for the Bridge alumni team.

The Battle for the Bridge alumni football game has raised close to $60,000 for the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in its first three years.

“We’re so grateful to [the Battle for the Bridge organizers] and everyone involved,” said Rylee’s mom, Johnie Ferro. “They are doing some really amazing things through research. The life expectancy for someone with Cystic Fibrosis is currently age 32 to 38, and it’s doubled in just the last 15 years.

“They have gene specific trials going on right now. They are so close to finding a cure. They’re not there yet, but they are getting there. And even if they don’t find a cure they’re doing some some stuff that could be really life-changing and make a huge difference in quality of life for kids like Rylee.”

Burton and Chappell Hall of Fame inductees

Two longtime coaches will be honored at this year’s Battle for the Bridge, as the event inaugurates a Battle for the Bridge Hall of Fame. Honored during special halftime ceremony at this year’s game as the first inductees will be retired Oregon City High School football coach Ed Burton and retired West Linn High School football coach Ron Chappell.

“We wanted to honor them for all of the hard work they did and the influence they had on us as players,” said Dave Norman, who is a West Linn alumnus and chairman of this year’s fourth annual “Battle.”

Norman said that in future years the Hall of Fame will honor other coaches and players “who have been a big part of the rivalry, as well as people who have had a great influence on the Oregon City and West Linn communities.”