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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 'Battle' is a huge success


Money is raised to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis; and one of the longest high school rivalries in the nation goes on, at least in football

The fourth annual Battle for the Bridge alumni football game between alumni from Oregon City and West Linn high school football teams was a huge success.

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Rylee Ferro was the honorary team captain for Oregon City for this years Battle for the Bridge alumni football game. Ferro was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis just days after her birth in March of 2013. In four years, Battle for the Bridge has raised close to $80,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as that organization strives to find a cure.Oregon City won the Aug. 16 alumni game 24-9, an estimated $25,000 was raised to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, former coaches Ed Burton (Oregon City) and Ron Chappell (West Linn) were honored as the first inductees into the Battle for the Bridge Hall of Fame, and there was talk of expanding alumni games between the two schools to other sports.

“It’s been a great event from start to finish,” said Justin Fisher, who was one of the main organizers of this year’s Battle. “Not only did it raise well over $25,000 for a great cause, but it’s bringing together the West Linn and Oregon City communities to renew a rivalry that’s far greater than any individual involved. There was a great crowd, and it was a lot of fun....

“We’ve applied for Battle for the Bridge to become a nonprofit organization. We’re looking forward to Battle for the Bridge 5 in football, and all its offshoots.”

Fisher said he’s in conversations with Oregon City basketball coach Aaron Newkirk about extending the Oregon City vs. West Linn alumni games to the sport of basketball, perhaps as early as this year.

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Justin Fisher accepts the Battle for the Bridge trophy for Oregon Citys alumni team following the Pioneers 24-9 win over cross-river rival West Linn in the 2014 Battle for the Bridge alumni football game.“Hopefully the interest shown at the [alumni] football game will bring the administrations at the two schools back to their senses, and they’ll put the schools back together in the same league,” Fisher said. “This year the only sport where the high school teams are playing one another is in football, and that’s just not right. We’ve had tremendous rivalries over the years in basketball, wrestling, baseball and in other sports as well. It’s just wrong for those rivalries to end.”

Longtime Oregon City coach Ed Burton and longtime West Linn coach Ron Chappell were inducted into the Battle for the Bridge Hall of Fame during halftime of this year’s alumni game, and both were very appreciative of the recognition.

“That was pretty special,” said Burton. “It means a whole lot to be remembered as a person that made a difference back in the old days. A lot of the players [in this year’s alumni game were kids that I got to coach. That they’ve selected me to be a part of alumni history, I’m just very honored.

“This is my home. I’ve been here 37 years and I don’t want to be anywhere else. These are my neighbors and my neighbors kids. To come down to the field and watch these whipper snappers play, it’s just been a real treat.”

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Former Oregon City coach Ed Burton poses proudly with Oregon City alumni after being inducted into the Battle for the Bridge Hall of Fame at halftime of the 2014 Battle for the Bridge alumni game. Pictured with Burton are (from left) Doug Millard (25), Michael Canchola (21), Lucas Spooner (76) and Nick Shafer (59).Burton explained the importance of keeping the high school football rivalry going: “Every football game that’s played between Oregon City and West Linn is writing the history books. We’re the oldest consecutive rivalry between two schools west of the Mississippi. Not many schools anywhere in the country can say that. Our high schools have been competing for 94 years, through two world wars, developing young men who have made our communities the great communities that they are....

“The rivalry has been a rallying point. In football, there used to be a parade, where the visiting football team would walk across the bridge to the game. It makes Battle for the Bridge a very appropriate name for the alumni rivalry.

“My main concern is that with new people, the importance of the rivalry is lost, and it comes to an end. This year both high schools have new principals, new athletic directors and new football coaches. I think it’s really important that people let them know the importance of the tradition, and that we carry on the rivalry for as many years as we can.”

Oregon City alumnus Russell Schneider was big for the Pioneers at this year’s Battle for the Bridge alumni football game. The 2001 Oregon City High School graduate played a part in all of Oregon City’s scoring, completing touchdown passes to Tod Dekanter, Devin Hohensee and Ryan Wells, kicking a 30-year field goal and three extra points.

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City center Jason Lieby, age 43, proved a handful for West Linn defenders, as he threw a block during a drive in the 2014 alumni game. The game was played in the Oregon City High School stadium on Aug. 16.Schneider said that defense was pivotal in the game: “The defensive line played phenomenal. Except for [West Linn’s] first drive, they didn’t score again on offense.”

Schneider singled out Oregon City alumni Mike Short, Steve Stenger, C.J. Hagler and Keith Arnold for their standout play in the defensive front.

Photo Credit: JOHN LARIVIERE - Steve Stenger was a force for Oregon City on defense in the Pioneers 24-9 win over West Linn in this years Battle for the Bridge alumni game.“Mike Short is 49,” said Schneider. “He was our oldest player and I think the oldest player on either team. He was a monster on defense. He disrupted everything inside.”

Schneider said that Brandon Espy was a force at safety and linebacker, while cornerback Thad Rogers picked off a pass in the fourth quarter for the only interception of the game by either team.

Wells had a 77-yard pass reception that set up Oregon City’s first score, and J.B. Peterson had a late first-half reception that set up the Pioneers’ second touchdown, allowing them to go up 14-7 at the half.

Oregon City now holds a 3-1 advantage in the alumni football series, having beaten West Linn in 2011 (23-14) and in 2013 (16-15), and losing to the Lions in 2012 (36-35).

Oregon City also holds an edge in the high school series, 50-42-1.

In the four years of Battle for the Bridge alumni football games, Battle for the Bridge has raised in excess of $80,000 for the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Rylee Ferro, the daughter of 2000 Oregon City High School graduate Eric Ferro, was the Oregon City’s honorary captain for this year’s Battle for the Bridge alumni football game. Rylee was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis just days after her birth in March of 2013.

“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.”

Readers can keep up on Battle for the Bridge alumni events at: www.battleforthebridge.com. The organization this year added a golf tournament and, Fisher says, an alumni basketball game this fall is a very real possibility.