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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

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What does Major League Baseball gain by throwing Braun under the bus yet again?
What does Major League Baseball gain by throwing Braun under the bus yet again?

MLB throws Braun under the bus ... again

Commissioner Bud Selig has done so much for Major League Baseball that he ultimately may end up in Cooperstown.

Still, I would be shocked if he is not conducting a major review of his office's operating procedures from top to bottom in the aftermath of the Ryan Braun debacle.

And a debacle it is.

The first outrage, of course, was that the results of Braun's first test for performance-enhancing drugs were leaked. The public should never have even known that he had tested positive in that first test. Period. If the leak came from MLB or one of its vendors, it was was an outright violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Braun denied ever taking the PEDs. The case lingered on for weeks.

Braun's appeal went to a three-person panel that included a representative from Major League Baseball, a representative from the Major League Baseball Players Association (the players' union) and Shyam Das, a presumably independent arbitrator.

Not surprisingly, the MLB and the union representatives disagreed about Braun's appeal, with MLB rep voting against Braun, and the union rep voting for Braun, leaving the arbitrator to decide the case.

The arbitrator sided with Braun, and the appeal of Braun's suspension was upheld.

Case over, right? Braun is exonerated, right?

You'd think so. But then MLB Executive Vice President for Labor Relations Rob Manfred issued the following statement: "Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball's position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less. As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party r…

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A bright future for Milwaukee water hub

Most Americans don't think twice when we turn on the tap and drink a glass of fresh, clean water.

For billions of others in the world, the procurement of drinking water is a daily chore that often involves carrying the water great distances. That chore is often performed by the women in Third World countries.

Given the scarcity of fresh drinking water around the world, Charles Fishman thinks Milwaukee's effort to become the "World Water Hub for water research, economic development and education" is a winning concept with a bright future.

Fishman, a journalist and author of "The Big Thirst; the Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water," is predicting an "incredible age of creativity" in the procurement, conservation and treatment of water.

That puts the Milwaukee Water Council squarely on a promising path of economic development in this new "revolution," according to Fishman, who recently spoke to Tempo Milwaukee.

However, Fishman warned that the development of the Milwaukee cluster concept will not happen overnight.

"Silicon Valley did not happen overnight. One guy did not build Silicon Valley, and they didn't just wake up one day and say, 'Now we are the Silicon Valley.'"

Fishman said, "You guys have two kinds of water wealth ... Milwaukee has double the capacity of water that needs. That is a huge economic lever ... That should be a great economic attractor. The second advantage is this heritage you have."

Aside from its geographic location on Lake Michigan, Milwaukee's fresh water legacy and infrastructure was developed by the city's beer barons. The Milwaukee Water Council has identified more than 130 water technology companies in the region. Many of them, such as Badger Meter Inc., were formed to serve the brewing industry in the early 1900s.

Badger Meter CEO Richard Meeusen, the driving force behind the Milwaukee Water Council, says the hub concept ultimately could generate thousands of jobs in the region.

Milwaukee's water cluster recently received…

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