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The Bottom Line on Bourbon Tariffs

The Bottom Line on Bourbon Tariffs

Things have been heating up this summer —literally with these hot days and between the bourbon industry and Washington D.C.

In case you have not heard, Trump’s trade war is hitting a little too close to home for a lot of us here in Kentucky.

Let me break it down for you…

Trump is slapping the European Union, Canada and Mexico with 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminum. Now the EU is stating that they are going to put tariffs on U.S. imports which includes bourbon.

In recent years, bourbon hasn’t only been booming across the United States but also has taken off overseas. In 2010, National Bourbon Day reported that export sales were increasing rapidly and up 286% in France alone. From 2011 – 2015 premium bourbons rose 28.8% over in the EU. As you can see a lot of the bourbon boom over the past few decades have included the overseas sales.

Now that you are up to speed, let’s check out what that means for our bourbon state. “Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, an industry that employs 17,500 in the state with an annual payroll of $800 million, according to the distillers association.”

With bourbon taking years to make and Europeans being still fairly new to the bourbon drinking club, distilleries are worried that with the increase of the price will significantly decrease the bourbon drinkers over time and once the bourbon that is now in the barrel is ready the demand will not be there. This means small craft distilleries might not make it or will have to cut their staff.  The big players (think Jim Beam, Makers Mark, etc) should be able to make it through this but are concerned that there might be some layoffs in the future. Not only is this affecting the EU but also Canada and Mexico. Since bourbon has to be made in the United States, there is no option to consider moving the distilleries somewhere else (what a nightmare that would be!).

Only time will tell what is going to happen and the effects it will have here in Kentucky.  In the meantime, I know I will continue to support the bourbon industry (aka just keep drinking) & hope for the best.

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Take the FOL Oaks Challenge!

Take the FOL Oaks Challenge!

The world knows about the Kentucky Derby, but it is the Kentucky Oaks that holds a special place in the hearts of Kentuckians. It has long been considered the racing day for “the People”, as locals take the opportunity to get into Churchill Downs before tourists get in for Derby day.

The Oaks first ran in 1875, over time the race has evolved from a much smaller race at the Louisville Jockey Club to an event that annually attracts over 120,000 people from all walks of life. The Oaks is more than a mile and an eighth or a garland of lilies, for Kentuckians it is a moment of a communal and unified feeling before we as a state walk become the center of the world. Where else do schools close for a horse race?

What makes the Oaks and Derby feel so Kentuckian is a unity that seems to surround the festivities. Starting on Friday, inside and outside of Churchill Downs, the Commonwealth comes together. The people set aside red & blue, political party, urban or rural, and instead start a weekend chock full of our unique Kentucky traditions.

When we started Friends of Limestone almost a year ago, one of our main reasons for doing so was to advocate for and celebrate the things that bring Kentuckians together. Indeed, FOL truly believes that we have more in common than we do differently.

With this in mind, on this Kentucky Oaks Day whether you are at the track, watching at home, or work we challenge you to talk to someone you may not see eye to eye with. Strike up a conversation about what Oaks and Derby mean to you. Share a glass of Kentucky bourbon, or just a glass of water (both of which we owe to Kentucky limestone).

From such a conversation we imagine you will find that for maybe 363 days a year you share very little in common. For two days a year, a unifying feeling takes over, making us all Kentuckians. By doing this, we as Kentuckians can show ourselves and the rest of the world, that when we come together, we are stronger than when we apart.

Here’s to hoping that the unifying nature of Oaks and Derby defines more than a weekend but also what it means to be a Kentuckian.

Join us, by taking the FOL Oaks Challenge. Share your story with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram about how Oaks and Derby bring people together.

Use the hashtag #FOLOaks to share your experience on Kentucky’s best weekend.

Take Action: The Primary Registration Deadline is Almost Here!

Take Action: The Primary Registration Deadline is Almost Here!

As the primaries approach, Friends of Limestone hopes to help equip young voters with all the tools they need to take action in this important step in our state’s electoral process. This is the first of several posts coming to help ensure you’re ready for the primaries!

By the time the filing deadline for running in the 2018 elections passed, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced an overall surge in the amount of candidates. “Nearly every race has got a challenger,” Grimes told the press. “Few incumbents are going without primaries.”

This year voters will see a record 86 women running for a seat in Frankfort, as well as over fifty educators.

Since the ballots were finalized on January 30th, these candidates have been crisscrossing the counties of the Commonwealth in the hopes of convincing us they deserve to be our leaders.

Their first tests come on May 22nd in their party primaries and your final chance to register or update your registration is this coming Monday April 23rd. 

Not registered or need to add your new address? That’s a problem. Only 12.6 percent of voters aged 17-33 voted in the 2016 primaries, and this year’s elections offer a great opportunity for young people to make an impact in our state government.

Solving this problem is easy though, thanks to Kentucky’s online voter registration.

Step 1. Visit the Kentucky online voter registration site. 

Step 2. Ensure your eligibility by answer these questions from the state.

Capture

Step 3. Enter your social security number and date of birth.

Step 4. You’ll then be asked to enter your information if you’ve never registered or verify if you’ve previously registered.

Step 5. Now you must select a political party. You can only vote in the primary of the party you register for in Kentucky.

Step 6. Next you’ll be asked for your current address.

Step 7. Take one last look to verify your information. Remember if your info is incorrect it could prevent you from voting in the primary.

Congrats! You’re ready to vote next month!

Environmental Justice 499: Why It Matters to You

Environmental Justice 499: Why It Matters to You

Welcome back!

If you have followed my environmental blogs for the past couple of months, you will know we have been talking about Environmental Justice.  If you’re new and this is your first Environmental Justice blog STOP! GO BACK!  You are missing out!  Click here to find the previous blogs.  For those who have stuck with me during this discussion, think of this as a capstone; a finale to Environmental Justice (hence the 499…horrible joke).  Now, this does not mean all four blogs can tell you everything.  Heck, scholars and activists have studied this problem for the past 50 years, and there is still so much more to know and understand.  However, it is the conclusion for our Environmental Justice discussion, for now.  We may venture into grad school one day…Environmental Justice 600, 700, 800?

This month I want to bring it home by talking about why Environmental Justice matters to you.  Everyone is affected by an unhealthy environment; some populations just get it worse than others.  I could go on for hours on this subject, but for the sake of keeping it to the point I will limit its discussion to climate change.

Climate Change

Climate Change is the mother of all environmental issues.  It is the historical product of environmental dislocation.  In other words, it is the manifestation of all our problems.  Maybe I should write a blog on climate change?  For now, climate change poses challenges for everyone because, simply, it will affect….EVERYONE! What does this mean in respect to Environmental Justice? Well, everything.  First, marginalized populations are and will experience the effects of climate change worse.  Second, these populations host the stressors that is causing climate change.  Take coal mining for example.  Right now, Appalachians host this stressor and it is a huge contributor to climate change.  This will impact you.  How, you ask?

  • Shortage of clean water
  • Increase of allergies
  • Flooding
  • Less snow
  • Sea level rise
  • Less rain
  • Food shortages
  • Harsher weather
  • Wildfires
  • Increase of health problems
  • Less global ice

These problems will only get worse. Alongside the impacts of climate change, environmental justice matters to you because it is an ethical issue.  It is wrong.  Folks like Martin County do not deserve cloudy, brown, smelly water.  No one does.  How many of you remember NIMBY (‘not in my backyard) from the first blog? I once read an EJ researcher say, BANANA.  BANANA stands for “build absolutely nothing, anywhere, near anybody”.  Shouldn’t that be the goal?

Let’s all BANANA!

Come back to next month where I will be talking about environmental policy in Kentucky.

Until next time,

Adam

My Favorite Lakes In (and around) Kentucky

My Favorite Lakes In (and around) Kentucky

Hello, all!

Last month my blog focused on the sustainable extraction of limestone. I wanted to make this month’s blog a little more fun and personal. So, we are going to talk about my favorite lakes in (and around) Kentucky. I know…I know…. it is officially fall. Why in the world am I blogging about lakes? Well, for one, you can always plan for next summer! Second, you can still enjoy our lakes in the fall and winter months. The cold weather should never stop you from enjoying what nature has to offer!

Cave Run:

Let’s start with one close to home for me. A little over 15 miles from my hometown of Morehead, Ky is Cave Run Lake. It is located in Rowan, Morgan, Menifee, and Bath County. I grew up visiting, hiking, swimming, camping, and fishing here and continue to visit every chance I get. What I love most about Cave Run is, even on extremely busy days, you can always find peace and quiet. What else does the lake have to offer?

  • Camp at Twin Knobs and Zilpo.
  • Put your boat in at 12 different locations.
  • Picnic all over.
  • Swim at two managed swimming beaches: The Beach (located in Twin Knobs) and. Or, swim wherever you like! I suggest Windy Bay and Billy Branch.
  • Try out your “lake legs” at Cave Run Marinas.
  • Hike!
  • Fish for Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, Walleye, etc. Musky fishing is very popular here!
  • Eat at Pops BBQ
  • Attend the annual Storytelling Festival the 29th and 30th of September…you still have time to make it this year!

Norris Lake:

I spent a weekend at Norris Lake with a group of friends a couple years ago. Since then, I have always wanted to plan another trip. Norris Lake is in Tennessee; located a little over an hour from Pineville, Ky. I choose to include it in this blog because, in my experience, the lake is relatively unknown and it is close enough to Ky. I fell in love with Norris Lake immediately due to its seclusion and small size. So, why Norris Lake?

  • Over 20 Marinas!
  • Camp at Norris Dam State Park Campground
  • Water Skiing. I “attempted” it…. and failed.
  • Fish for Bass, Crappie, and Walleye.
  • Over 16 restaurants…many of which are at Marinas.
  • And obviously, swimming and hiking trails.

Cumberland Lake:

Over this past summer, I had to the opportunity to spend a couple days at Cumberland Lake, located in the southeastern part of the commonwealth. However, this was the only time I have been there. So, my knowledge of Cumberland Lake is limited. The short time I was there, I really enjoyed what the lake had to offer.

  • I remember thinking every person there, but me, was on a boat. There are boat rentals all over!
  • Our lodging was through a local cabin company. There are many…many more.
  • I suggest spending time on Cumberland River, as well.
  • Do I even need to say this? Lodging, food, fishing, hiking, and swimming.
  • If you’re a coffee drinker, try Baxter Coffee.

 

I think I see a pattern with my favorites. They are all relatively located on the eastern side of the state. Maybe I need to visit some lakes on the western side next year. Any suggestions?

What is your favorite lake? Let me know in the comments!

 

Best,

Adam

Meet Our Bourbon Blogger!

Meet Our Bourbon Blogger!

Hi my name is Kaitlyn! I am an avid lover of everything Kentucky but have a secret of growing up in Indiana (it’s not that bad but the drivers are pretty terrible!)

I came to Louisville in 2009, but didn’t have my first drink of whiskey until 2011. I’ll never forget someone convincing me to try Bourbon and loving it! I knew right then, I was never turning back. Fast forward to now, and I was right. I love bourbon more than the average girl. I wouldn’t say that I know everything about bourbon, but I’m excited to learn more with you by side!

“Keep your friends close, & your bourbon closer.” What’s better than sipping a mint julep, old fashion or a drink on the rocks with a good group of friends?

One my favorite things to do is go to Silver Dollar on the last Thursday of the month for their Historic Flights tasting. I have been able to try multiple different bourbons, meet some really cool people, and learned what my palette actually enjoys. I highly recommend this event, and will write more about it later! (P.S. if you live in the Louisville area or are coming to visit, you have to try their brunch!)

To me, bourbon is more than just a great drink. Bourbon represents the culture and beauty of Kentucky, and is usually involved in some of the best memories we’ve all had. If you are from Kentucky or just stumbled upon this, I highly recommend making the trip to Bourbon Country, it truly is one of the most beautiful parts of our state, even if bourbon isn’t your thing! Exploring the distilleries, trying new drinks, and attending many events, I love learning more about the history, the process, and how this bourbon boom isn’t just a Kentucky thing anymore.

I look forward to taking you on my journey with bourbon! Cheers!

Welcome to The Quarry!

Welcome to The Quarry!

If you have found your way here, you have stumbled upon “The Quarry,” your one stop shop for Friends of Limestone content.

This is where we’ll be talking about what we’re accomplishing, what we’re passionate about and everything in between. You can expect detailed musings on our work and issues, profiles of important people you should know, and much more.

We hope that you’ll continue to come back to this space as we grow and evolve. And that you will use what you learn here to help make the Commonwealth of Kentucky a better place.

As always we’re listening too, and welcome any and all comments, questions and inquiries.

We look forward to seeing you around here!

Gabe Duverge

Chief Communications Officer