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Passing Lane: September 2015

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“NEAT:” A Documentary About Bourbon

A feature-length documentary about bourbon is currently in production and slated to be finished filming by the end of the year.

The film, entitled “NEAT,” follows the bourbon landscape from corn to cocktail, highlighting the unique characters along the way. The film has signed the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism as its title sponsor and VisitLEX and Louisville Tourism as city host sponsors.

“NEAT” pays tribute to the storied history of bourbon, while celebrating its newfound popularity worldwide. The film’s audience will hear accounts from farmers, master distillers, brand presidents, bourbon experts, historians and renowned mixologists as well as interviews with Gov. Steve Beshear and Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton. Melton was the lead investigator during the “Pappy heist” that made international headlines earlier this year. “NEAT” follows the characters of the bourbon industry while exploring deeper themes of time, risk and the power of patience.

“We’ve been finding that bourbon is about more than the liquid in the glass. It’s about why you open a bottle – who is around you when you do. When you think about the time and work put into each drop, it almost forces you to slow down and appreciate the moment,” said A.J. Hochhalter, the film’s executive producer.

“This documentary will provide a historic as well as a cultural context for why bourbon and Kentucky are connected in ways that are unique and fascinating,” said Bob Stewart, secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “With the worldwide rise in popularity of bourbon, ‘NEAT’ will be a beautifully filmed educational and promotional tool for the bourbon industry if not the commonwealth itself. ‘NEAT’ will further attract the interest of potential visitors to come and experience the great tourism opportunities associated with bourbon in Kentucky.”

“NEAT” is the first documentary to be approved for the expanded Kentucky Film Tax Incentives passed this year in House Bill 340. The film will be released in 2016. To preview a trailer, visit thebourbonfilm.com.

Louisville Earns National Acclaim for ‘Best Local Food Scene’

Louisville was recently selected by readers of USA Today as one of the top 10 cities in the nation for Best Local Food Scene. The commonwealth’s largest city came in second, beating out perennial food cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and even New Orleans.

The winners in the Best Local Food Scene were MinneapolisSt. Paul; Louisville; Nashville; Providence; Raleigh, N.C.; Asheville, N.C.; Oakland; New Orleans; Portland, Maine; and Charleston, S.C.

USA Today had the following to say about Louisville:

“In a city known for small-batch bourbon, it’s not surprising that the restaurant scene likewise revolves around local artisans. Carefully curated relationships with area farmers lie at the heart of the menu at Proof on Main and Harvest, both downtown. One of the original farm-to-table restaurants in Louisville, Lilly’s, highlights free-range beef, organic vegetables and artisanal cheeses. At 610 Magnolia, Edward Lee puts a contemporary spin on Southern fare, while Chef Anthony Lamas highlights fresh seafood at Seviche.”

Innovation on Display: My Little Kentucky Home

One of the more unique exhibits at this year’s Kentucky State Fair was Kentucky Habitat for Humanity’s fully furnished cargo container home, sponsored by PBI Bank Inc.

The project involved using recycled steel cargo shipping containers and retrofitting them into an affordable home option for homeless military veterans and low-income individuals and families.

“With around 1,000 homeless veterans in Kentucky, the need is great for affordable housing solutions,” said Mary Shearer, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity executive director. “Working with Volunteers of America, we are able to identify the right housing solutions for homeless military veterans. Giving military veterans a permanent address promotes dignity and ensures they will receive their benefits.”

The Cave Run Area Habitat for Humanity managed the construction of the cargo container home. A prison partnership program with Kentucky Correctional Industries resulted in custom cabinetry for the home, which was built by inmates at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex located in West Liberty, Ky.

“PBI Bank is proud to be a part of and underwrite this important Kentucky Habitat for Humanity exhibit,” said John T. Taylor, president and CEO of PBI Bank. “This is an innovative and low-cost housing option that we believe could be a real catalyst for community transformation in our state.”

Lexmark Paves the Way for Corporate Recycling

At a glance, the pavement put down recently outside a building at Lexmark’s corporate headquarters in Lexington looks no different from typical asphalt. But at Lexmark, it represents an opportunistic solution to an old problem: what to do with leftover toner. And for the asphalt and printer industries, it could mean a major development in sustainability.

Put simply, the asphalt contains more than 9,000 pounds of toner captured from what remains in recycled printer cartridges.

The parking lot on Lexmark’s Lexington campus is the first commercial application in North America of a product called TonerPave, which uses the same toner powder in Lexmark printers to make asphalt – and possibly make it better.

“We have been trying to find an efficient way to reuse and recycle toner for well over 10 years,” said John Gagel, corporate manager for sustainability. “TonerPave is an efficient and effective manner in which to recycle toner. We’re now demonstrating that we have a solution that can be utilized in a sustainable manner. It’s part of the circular economy.”

TonerPave was developed by Lexmark’s longtime
sustainability partner Close the Loop, an Australia-based company that recycles printer cartridges from Lexmark and other companies at its plants, including one in Hebron, Ky. Close the Loop has been partnered with Lexmark for more than 15 years and is the world’s largest recycling and resource recovery company for imaging consumables.

Lexmark has been working on toner reuse and recycling options, but no other post-market solution could be found for it except in a “waste-to-energy” scenario, in which toner is burned as fuel in waste facilities to generate electricity.

Lexmark turned to Close the Loop to see whether it could help. From there, Close the Loop developed an asphalt additive, a composite incorporating waste toner and other recycled materials called modified toner polymer, or MTP. The new additive improves the asphalt quality and performance, with an environmental benefit of producing low-carbon asphalt at no additional cost.

Thus was born TonerPave.

For each 1,000 pounds of asphalt, there are 50 pounds of binder. In the new product, 5 pounds of that binder is MTP, of which 4.75 pounds, or 95 percent, is recycled toner.

The product has been used in Australia since last year; the Lexmark parking lot is the first commercial use in North America.

Besides Close the Loop, Lexmark is partnering on the project with general contractor Denham Blythe, paving company APM and asphalt mixer The Allen Co., all of which are based in Lexington.

If long-term observations of TonerPave bear out the results from the past year, it could prove to be an asphalt improvement for equal value. Performance of the pavement used in the Lexmark paving project will be evaluated over time and compared to the traditional asphalt control.

“We are able to provide a product that does not increase the raw material cost of laying asphalt pavement,” said Dean Vukovic, Close the Loop’s director of business development. “This is the model we have successfully built in Australia and expect no different in the U.S. market.”

Close the Loop has already begun work on the next generation of TonerPave, which will further advance the sustainability and performance benefits through the incorporation of rubber from recycled tires.

Keeneland to Offer Breeders’ Cup Tours to Fans

Keeneland will celebrate hosting the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships –  Thoroughbred racing’s season-ending, $26 million championship event on Oct. 30-31 –  by offering hour-long, guided tours that will give fans an insider’s look at the rich connection between Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup.

The tours began Aug. 22 and are available at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each tour group is limited to 30 people, who will receive souvenir lapel pins. The cost is $8 per person; children 12 and under are free.

“The Official Breeders’ Cup Tour will weave the history and importance of the Breeders’ Cup with that of Keeneland and Central Kentucky; all three play a significant role globally in Thoroughbred racing and breeding,” Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said. “This year marks the first time Keeneland is hosting the Breeders’ Cup, a homecoming for Thoroughbreds born and raised in central Kentucky, many of whom were sold at a Keeneland auction, have run here and will return here to compete.”

The walking tour includes stops at Keeneland’s Paddock, Grandstand and Winner’s Circle, where guests will learn how each location will be used for the Breeders’ Cup and see all the preparations for the event. They will watch a short video about the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, have photos taken in the Winner’s Circle with a replica of the Breeders’ Cup trophy and see horses train on the main track.

On weekdays, visitors are encouraged to visit the Keeneland Library to see additional Breeders’ Cup memorabilia, including original works by the internationally celebrated artist “Peb” (Pierre Bellocq) and photographs of prominent Breeders’ Cup races and horses.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at Keeneland.com or at Keeneland’s ticket office located near the Clubhouse and Grandstand South entrances on tour days starting at 8 a.m.

Tours will continue Oct. 2-14 during Keeneland’s Fall Meet and Oct. 25-28 during Breeders’ Cup Week. The schedule of those tours will be announced.