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FREE s Friday, June 7, 2013 TACOMA TRAUMA A6 TACOMA RAINIERS comedian Caroline Rhea B1 A6 Y YOUR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER - 26 YEARS OF SERVICE WHAT’S RIGHT WITH TACOMA NEW BIKE TRAIL OPENS Take a ride at Swan Creek Park PHOTO BY KATHLEEN MERRYMAN BIG SHEARS, GRAND OPENING. City Councilmember Marty Campbell cuts the red ribbon to open the new section of walking trail between Swan Creek Park and Portland Avenue. With him are, left to right: Dana Brown of City of Tacoma; Pierce County Councilmember Rick Talbert; Metro Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg; Greater Metro Parks Foundation Executive Director Bryan Flint; Active Transportation Coordinator for City of Tacoma Diane Wiatr; and Tacoma Water Superintendent and COO Linda McCrea. Tacoma Firefighters GATHER FOR FALLEN BROTHER By Kathleen Merryman Thanks to a slice of gas tax funds and collaboration among public bodies, Pierce County’s newest section of bike and walking trail had its ribbon-cutting on the last day of National Bike Month. On May 31, Tacoma City Councilmember Marty Campbell took the big ceremonial shears to a red ribbon X See TRAIL / page A10 By Steve Dunkelberger A PHOTO BY STEVE DUNKELBERGER REST IN PEACE. (Top) The Pierce County Honor Guard conducts the “Last Call” and bell ringing for Albert Nejmeh. Retired firefighter Tom Haneline wrote a song for Nejmeh’s funeral, something Nejmeh had pledged to do for him. (Middle) Fifefighters and first responders from around the state gathered to pay their respects to a fallen comrade. (Bottom) Mayor Marilyn Strickland proclaimed the day “Al Nejmeh Day.” lbert Nejmeh probably would not want all the fuss over him, but it was well deserved nonetheless. “We are the fire service and this is our way,” Tacoma Fire Chief James Duggan said during the memorial service on May 31. The service included a bagpipe and drum processional and “Amazing Grace” thundering through dozens of bagpipes in full firefighter tradition. The ceremonial “Last Call” declared Nejmeh no longer in service over the emergency radio system. Firefighters and other first responders from around the state flooded the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall to memorialize Nejmeh, who died of a heart attack during an emergency call on May 14. He was 59. Fire trucks, ambulances and medical trucks filled the parking lot and lined the arena to honor his 12 years of service to the department and the residents of Tacoma. The New Jersey-raised global sailor, musician, environmentalist, firefighter and rescue specialist certainly had a life well lived and offered his worldly views at every turn. “Everyone wanted to learn from Al,” said Kelly Sumner, a member of Nejmeh’s technical rescue team. Former Battalion Chief Tom Haneline sang an original song in tribute to his fallen friend, “Goodbye, My Shipmate,” because Nejmeh had offered to write a song for his funeral for when that day came. Haneline thought it only fitting that he return the offer, and set out to gather lyrics from the various tributes and weave them into a song. Haneline had a lot of material with which to work. Nejmeh had sailed to the Soviet Union during the twilight years of the Cold War to promote environmental issues. He had climbed the peaks of Nepal and kayaked through Arctic ice. He lived in a zero-impact, self-sufficient house that generated its own electricity and recycled its own refuse. He had become a firefighter at the age of 47, when most people his age were eyeing retirement. For his sacrifice and service to the city, Mayor Marilyn Strickland declared May 31 to be “Albert Nejmeh Day” in Tacoma. A NEW HOME Nativity House to relocate to church site PHOTO BY KATHLEEN MERRYMAN OPENING THE GATE TO HISTORY. Helen Meyer and Denny Hunthausen, from left, and Mary and Pastor Spencer Barrett met under the old Allen AME Church stained glass window dedicated to George and Mary Moore. By Kathleen Merryman Demolishing a church is a delicate business. The baptisms, weddings, ordinations and funerals blessed in it remain in the memories of people who once worshipped in it. The congregation X See NEW HOME / page A10 All stars A8 Pole options A5 TIME OUT: Nolan Garrett set to release debut album. PAGE B5 City Briefs ................A2 Pothole Pig ...............A3 Cat tale B4 Sports ......................A6 A&E ....................... ..B1 Facebook: Twitter: @Tacomaweekly Tumblr: Pinterest: Flickr:ÁLFNUFRPWDFRPDZHHNO\ Make A Scene ........ B5 Calendar ................. B6 Look for daily updates online! Two Sections | 20 Pages

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