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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014

Wed
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Fri
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Ryan Braun surprised morning donors to the Hunger Task Force on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
Ryan Braun surprised morning donors to the Hunger Task Force on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Braun enters 2015 healthy, happy

The faces said it all.

Two young boys, buckled in to the backseat of a mid-sized sport utility victory, couldn't pick their jaws up, or narrow their eyes. They sat silently with frozen smiles after speaking and shaking hands with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun following their donation to the Hunger Task Force Wednesday morning near Helfaer Field outside Miller Park.

Speaking of shaking hands, Braun said it's a simple act he can now do pain-free following a cryotherapy procedure in the offseason to fix a nerve issue in his thumb.

"It feels great. I feel really good," the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player said. "I'm excited, encouraged by how it feels but at the same time I think I have to kind of be cautiously optimistic, get into spring training, start playing every day and kind of see how it responds. But, it hasn't felt this good in a really long time."

He is able to train with zero restrictions, but he's not hitting yet. He did swing a bat immediately after the procedure to see how it went, but then he'll resume his normal routine, which begins in early December.

Braun said his thumb feels amazingly good, but understands that until his hand is put under the day-to-day duress of the game he won't really know how it will hold up -- especially because after an extended offseason last year that began with a suspension in July, he felt good for a few weeks before the injury acted up again.

"It definitely worked," he said of the surgery. "It made a huge difference."

Braun had the procedure after the thumb contributed to his worst full season as a professional. He hit a career low .266 with 19 home runs with 81 runs batted in as the Brewers tumbled from first place in the National League Central all the way out of the playoff picture.

"I said it last year a few times, I really believe if I was anywhere near healthy that the season ends up differently," Braun said. "Hopefully this thing continues to feel good like it does right now and I can ge…

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What The Arena at Journal Square could look like if the Milwaukee Bucks do indeed buy that land for a new building.
What The Arena at Journal Square could look like if the Milwaukee Bucks do indeed buy that land for a new building. (Photo: ScopeBridge LLC)
A means for bringing in natural light could be a part of the interior of a new arena.
A means for bringing in natural light could be a part of the interior of a new arena. (Photo: ScopeBridge LLC)

How an arena at Journal Square might look

A little over two weeks ago, OnMilwaukee.com reported that the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks were negotiating to purchase the Journal Sentinel buildings, a block commonly known as Journal Square, with the intention of using the space as the site for a new multi-purpose arena.

While news is coming – Bucks co-owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry have both said a site will be named by the end of the year – we’re still waiting for official word.

So, we had our good friends at ScopeBridge LLC help us visualize what an arena could look like in the Journal Square area – and show that a multi-use stadium could indeed fit within that area just off the Milwaukee River and Pere Marquette Park.

The view looking northwest from the corner of Kilbourn Avenue and North 3rd Street:

The view looking southwest from above the Milwaukee River, showing the green space of Pere Marquette Park:

The view looking east on Kilbourn just west of 4th Street:

One feature of the Journal Square block that may be appealing to Bucks management is the idea of setting the court and some seats below street level.

Here are some views of what an arena could look like from the inside:

Such a design could allow for natural light to be part of the interior of the arena:


And here is a cross section the lower bowl:

 ScopeBridge LLC is a Milwaukee-based integrated design and construction consulting firm focused on utilizing technology to add value for its clients with services that include architectural design, space planning, 3D renderings and BIM consulting. The company also provides design and construction consulting services for the corporate and industrial, healthcare and government sectors. ScopeBridge received the 2014 Rising Star Disabled Veteran Business award at the Governor’s Marketplace Wisconsin 2014 Conference.

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Rice Lake forward Henry Ellenson is a consensus top five player in the country. He signed officially with Marquette University Wednesday.
Rice Lake forward Henry Ellenson is a consensus top five player in the country. He signed officially with Marquette University Wednesday. (Photo: Henry Ellenson/Facebook)

Marquette lands a top recruiting class

A summer of anticipation at Marquette University came to an official close this morning when four, top 100 recruits signed their National Letters of Intent to play basketball for the Golden Eagles beginning in 2015.

Wisconsin natives Nick Noskowiak, Henry Ellenson and Matt Heldt, along with Florida native Haanif Cheatham, all followed through in their verbal commitments to the university and new head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

ESPN.com and FOXSports.com rank this class as the fourth-best in the country while CBSSports.com has the group positioned fifth and Rivals.com in the seventh spot.
Here is a little bit about the Class of 2015:

Nick Noskowiak, Sun Prairie: A 6-foot, 2-inch, 180-pound guard was the coaching staff’s first commitment, and the staff feels he can play both guard spots. Nationally regarded, Noskowiak is ranked No. 70 by ESPN.com, No. 79 by CBSSports.com, No. 90 by FOXSports.com and No. 95 on Rivals.com. Last year, he averaged 23.7 points per game and was an honorable mention all-state pick.

Henry Ellenson, Rice Lake: A 6-10, 230-pound forward who some consider is most highly regarded recruit to commit to the program since Glenn "Doc" Rivers arrived out of Chicago in 1980. Ellenson is ranked fourth in the country by ESPN.com, sixth by FOXSports.com, No. 10 by CBSSports.com and No. 17 by Rivals.com. Last year he averaged 27.2 points, 13.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game.

Haanif Cheatham, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: A 6-5, 175-pound guard out of Pembroke Pines Charter High School is believed to be a great fit for the perimeter spots in this coaching staff’s offensive system. Cheatham is ranked No. 69 in the country by Rivals.com, No. 70 by CBSSports.com, No. 80 by ESPN.com and No. 81 by FOXSports.com. Last year he averaged 26.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3 steals per game, and also record…

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The Wagyu beef sliders at Umami Moto are the best appetizer in Milwaukee.
The Wagyu beef sliders at Umami Moto are the best appetizer in Milwaukee.

No quarters needed for a Milwaukee birthday

I celebrated a birthday with family and friends on Saturday, beginning with the desire to try the stuffed cinnamon French toast at BB’s Diner on Wisconsin Avenue. While I’ve become more adventurous with food since moving to Milwaukee, my breakfast is pretty standard – French toast and coffee and I’m good to go.

I had tried BB’s original French toast once before and saw the cinnamon option – and was determined I had to try it – if I could only get there.

As many know, the meters around Wisconsin Avenue are all quarter-only, and of course, I had just one.

I found a long-term meter around the corner on Lovell, but the one open space – of course – featured a meter that was busted.

Now, just a few weeks ago I fell victim to that area:


But I had to get that cinnamon French toast. I mean, look at it!

So I risked it …

And the birthday gods were with me my friends, as I was able to enjoy my food in peace, and come out to no ticket on the windshield.

After seeing what I call a "fun bad" movie in John Wick at the iPic in Bayshore (warning: if you do convince your wife or girlfriend to come along with you, the whole "they killed my dog" thing you saw in the trailer is definitely NOT tongue-in-cheek) some friends from Chicago surprised me by coming up and joining us for dinner at Umami Moto.

Now, I’m not a "sushi guy" by any means – but this place is home to the best appetizer in the city – the Wagyu beef sliders.

After dinner, we then headed way southwest for a guided "ghost tour" of sorts in the woods in Burlington, thanks to Brad and Mary Sutherland of the Sci’Fi Café. They typically close down their tours on Halloween, but made an exception in my case (yay birthday!). It was definitely fun, creepy, and some cool stuff happened too – I would recommend it next time they’re open.

I’m not a big "birthday" guy but any chance to exp…

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