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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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School cafeteria to serve home-grown produce thanks to grants


In 2012, when Justin Davidson and Courtney Leeds, co-founders of Schoolyard Farms, began putting in a one-acre farm at Candy Lane Elementary School, their goal was to educate students about home-grown food.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Candy Lane students, left to right, Benjamin Barajas, Lily Rasch, Abby Purscelley and Brandon Criss cut up purple majesty potatoes to make potato salad. Two years and a lot of vegetables later, they have a new goal.

“By teaching the students how to grow their own food, we are empowering them to go home and do it themselves. Our hope is to build a network of edible gardens that radiate out from the Schoolyard Farms hub,” Leeds said.

That goal seems imminently doable with the news that the farm has received grant funding from Clackamas County’s Healthy Eating and Active Living, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, and The Whole Kids Foundation School Garden to expand the school-farm program.

The funds will enable the school to build a perimeter fence around its one-acre farm, an outdoor classroom, shed and greenhouse, Leeds said.

She is asking for volunteers to come out to the school from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 31, to help get the process started.

“We will start construction on our outdoor classroom and a perimeter fence that day, and everyone is welcome. We will provide activities for the kids and end the day with a potluck meal,” Leeds said.

Visitors can also meet Brooke Hieserich, who has come on board as the education director of all the educational programs, teaching the students at Candy Lane and designing and running the summer camp.

Farm summer camp

Although Candy Lane Elementary is located in Jennings Lodge near Gladstone, it is in the Oregon City School District. It is a Spanish-language immersion school and Merit Green School, certified by the state of Oregon for its resource conservation, waste reduction and water conservation. Students who attend the school are in third, fourth and fifth grades.

Once the outdoor classroom is constructed more than 250 Candy Lane students will use the classroom as an outdoor science lab, as well as a kitchen where they will prepare fresh, healthy meals with produce from the farm, Leeds said.

During the summer, Schoolyard Farms will use the farm and classroom to host Farm Summer Camp where first- through sixth-graders will learn where their food comes from and how to grow and cook it.

“The students will really get to immerse themselves in the farm and grow or develop a relationship with the outdoors. I’m most excited about the opportunity for the kids to cook with the produce from the farm. Every day they will harvest a different vegetable and prepare a simple meal,” Leeds said. “It’s so exciting to see kids get really excited about eating vegetables because they’ve helped grow and cook them.”

Students can sign up for camp at schoolyardfarms.org/summer-camp/index.html. The cost for one week is $250, but readers can get 15 percent off by entering the promo code: CLACKAMASREVIEW. There are a limited number of scholarships available, as well.

Creating fruit, vegetable eaters

With the addition of the perimeter fence, the school will be able to serve produce from the school’s farm in the cafeteria, making it the first school in the district to do so. It is projected that produce from the farm will be served at the cafeteria’s salad bar in the fall, Leeds said. This is significant for two reasons.

“Our goal at Schoolyard Farms is, essentially, to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables so they can be healthier, and by growing food on-site, we are increasing our community’s food security,” Leeds said.

“When the kids are learning in the garden, they are developing a relationship with their food that increases their chances of liking fruits and vegetables, but the key to developing healthy eating habits is getting them to eat the produce. It’s important to get the food that they’ve watched and helped grow into the cafeteria because they will be more likely to eat it than food they didn’t grow,” she said.

Leeds noted that the more fruits and vegetables youngsters eat, the more likely they will be to continue eating them throughout their life.

As for food security, Leeds said that a one-acre farm like the one at Candy Land can “produce up to 10,000 pounds of produce per year. Should there be an emergency and the school or surrounding community is in need of food, we could accommodate their needs. Additionally, we are modeling how to grow food on a small scale, which can be replicated at home.”

Student involvement

Students get really excited about coming out to the farm, Leeds said.

“We really try to connect what they’re learning in the classroom with what’s happening on the farm, so we design lessons around soil science, life cycles, decomposition, habitats and other topics that they are learning in the classroom. We teach these concepts through hands-on lessons, so the students are given context for what they’re learning in the classroom, as well as practical garden skills,” she said.

An example of this is a lesson she has been teaching about soil — how the texture is determined by the ratio of sand, silt and clay, why that matters, and how students can measure these ratios.

“We had them dig up a sample of soil, mix it in a Mason jar with water, and wait a week to see how the layers settled. By learning about soil composition, they will be better prepared for their standardized tests and will be better gardeners,” Leeds said.

But as beneficial as the farm is to the students, it has a larger purpose, she said. “This is a community project, and we want to invite the community to get involved. Come volunteer at the farm, become a Community Sponsored Agriculture member, send a child to summer camp, donate — any support will go a long way in making this school farm a success.”

About Schoolyard Farms

Schoolyard Farms creates healthy communities by teaching kids how to grow nutritious food that goes from their schoolyard to their plate.

The co-founders hope to one day see a farm on every schoolyard that can provide food for its cafeteria. Programs include ecological farming on underused schoolyards, access to fresh food through CSA memberships, farm stands and the school cafeteria, garden-based education, summer camp, farm tours and after-school programs.

To learn more about Schoolyard Farms, visit schoolyardfarms.org, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Call Courtney Leeds, co-founder and director of Schoolyard Farms, at 503-513-4323.

Sign up for Farm Summer Camp at schoolyardfarms.org/summer-camp/index.html.

Community volunteer day is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 31, at Candy Lane Elementary School, 5901 S.E. Hull Ave., Jennings Lodge.