Republican Kavanagh, 68, is hoping for a cross-endorsement from Capital District Democrats, thereby avoiding a grueling six-figure campaign for reelection. But first, he has to demonstrate fundraising ability. Last week was a good start.

Kavanagh’s blue chip, ironically, is his age. State judges can serve until they are 70, after which they’re “superannuated” on a yearly basis until age 76. In effect, Kavanagh would be running for two years of a 14-year term, allowing power brokers another opening in 2014. Locals consider that a fair trade. The judicial nominating convention will be held inAlbanyin September.

Judicial conventions are a messy business, sometimes sleazy and entirely undemocratic, but without them candidates from the smaller counties in the seven-county Third Judicial District would find it almost impossible to win election against foes from the Capital District.

In other judicial news, Chief Appellate Court Judge Karen Peters will preside over the official hanging of the portrait of former judge Vince Bradley at the county courthouse Friday morning. Bradley, one of our more colorful and straightforward supreme court judges, died in 2006.

A bear on the bench, Bradley had little patience with flatulent lawyers. A common admonition and I’m quoting almost literally: “Counselors, you can settle this between you or I will make a decision. And neither of you will like it.”

Bradley’s son, Vince Jr., ran forUlsterdistrict attorney in 2007.

Mea culpa

I hate to write about myself, especially when it involves corrections and/or clarifications on something I’ve written.

A couple of columns back I wrote that protests over use of hydrofracking brine on local roads were “futile.” It is one of the hottest topics on the table at present. My suggestion that those attending a public hearing at Ulster County Community College were in effect wasting their time drew the ire of several letter-writers.

I don’t expect to change anybody’s mind, but here’s a recap.

The legislature’s call for the public hearing referred to a resolution that read: “A local law … known as the “Hydraulic Fracturing Brine Prohibition Act.”

A week before the public hearing, the county executive issued an order banning the use of brine on county roads (he has no jurisdiction over town roads), all but, in my view, rendering legislative action moot. I later determined that the county has never used brine on its roads, so in effect Hein was banning something that wasn’t happening.

A number of people at the public hearing, which I attended, commended Hein for his initiative, but nonetheless felt an executive order was insufficient to deal with the issue. They wanted the legislature to pass a law, something the chairman of the legislature considered legally questionable.

All things considered, I was under the impression the legislature was considering legislation to ban fracking in Ulster County, which it may or may not do, but clearly that wasn’t the case. This was about the use of brine. It was a mistake in judgment on my part, and I apologize to our readers.