North Babylon homes listed for sale (Douglas Elliman)Median home prices in Suffolk and Nassau counties hit record highs in November, thanks in large part to low mortgage rates, according to Newsday.Suffolk County’s median sales price was $472,500, up 18.4 percent from November 2019. That trend appears to be continuing, as pending sale prices were up 16 percent year-over-year. The number of sales was 19 percent higher.Nassau County’s median sales price hit $598,000, up 11.9 percent year-over-year, and pending sales prices were up 14 percent. Home sales were up by nearly a third compared to last year.Properties regularly attract dozens of prospective homebuyers and sell above ask. For example, a four-bedroom home in North Babylon sold for $50,000 above its roughly $500,000 asking price. The owners paid less than $400,000 for it just three years ago.Both counties came to a standstill during lockdowns starting in March, but quickly recovered in the months when restrictions on real estate activity were lifted. The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has hovered around 3 percent since this summer. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now
View Comments Chip Zien Alison Luff Charity Angel Dawson View All (4) Star Files Aneesa Folds Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday is on March 22 and what better way to celebrate than with a disco dance party? That’s the same thought the creators of the upcoming album “Losing My Mind: A Sondheim Disco Fever Dream” had. When they conceived of the album, Joshua Hinck and Scott Wasserman were inspired by “The Ethel Merman Disco Album” and Gordon Grody’s funky “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.” “A lot of [Sondheim’s] music was written at the time when disco was the popular music genre—it was what you were hearing in the ’70s and ’80s when Sondheim was writing a lot of these shows,” says Wasserman, who arranged the music for the album. “It was a natural fit to put the music back in its time period.” The album features songs from Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Follies and Into the Woods, set to groovy new arrangements. “Losing My Mind” will be released digitally on March 20. It features vocals from Alison Luff, Blaine Krauss, Aneesa Folds, Charity Angél Dawson, Vishal Vaidya, Brittnie Price, Juwan Crawley, Deonté L. Warren, Joshua Hinck, Aili Venho, Onyie Nwachukwu and a cameo from original Into the Woods cast member Chip Zien. And it’s all done with Sondheim’s permission. “He’s got a reputation for embracing creativity,” says Wasserman. “I hope he’ll be exciting by the creativity displayed on the album. This is really a celebration of his work.”Below, take an exclusive listen to an upbeat reimagining of “No One Is Alone.” According to Wasserman, the lyrics have an especially poignant meaning at this time. “The themes in ‘No One is Alone’ do ring pretty powerfully right now; hopefully it can spread a message of comfort and connection today.” “No One Is Alone” is performed by Dawson, Folds and Warren. Boogie down to the song below!
Businesses are sending thousands of low quality suspicious activity reports (SARs) that contain little or no useful intelligence, the Law Commission will tell the government today. ‘Enforcement agencies are struggling with a significant number of low-quality reports and criminals could be slipping through the net,’ law commissioner Professor David Ormerod QC said: ‘The reporting scheme isn’t working as well as it should.’ In a report ‘Anti-money Laundering: the SARs regime’, the commission reveals that a record 470,000 SARs were sent in 2018-2019, 10% more than in 2016-2017. These consisted of required disclosures – where the reporter knows or suspects that someone is engaged in money laundering – and authorised disclosures, where the reporter owns or is about to deal with property which they suspect is of criminal origin.The report reveals that, between October 2015 and March 2017, 15% of authorised disclosure SARs did not meet the threshold of suspicion, meaning 4,121 SARs should never have been submitted.It also found that 47.6% of authorised disclosure SARs demonstrated no objective grounds for suspicion.According to the commission, time and money is being wasted and the unnecessary reports are hindering law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute crime.The wave of low-quality reports is partly blamed on the broad definition of ‘criminal property’ in section 340 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The current definition requires that anyone suspected of laundering the proceeds of any criminal conduct must be reported.The report adds: ‘To balance this, the opportunity to obtain consent by making an authorised disclosure offers comfort and necessary legal protection, particularly to those who may, in the course of their profession, encounter property which they are suspicious may have criminal origins.’Unclear definitions of key terms and the threat of individual criminal liability has exacerbated the problem, the commission claims.The report makes a series of recommendations to the Home Office. These involve the creation of an advisory board and the creation of a standardised form for SAR submissions. It also says that statutory guidance should be issued by the secretary of state in order to reduce confusion.The commission said it expects an interim reply from the government within six months. Ian Mynot, head of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit, said: ‘This is a comprehensive report and we will now work with the Home Office, the regulated sectors and law enforcement agencies to consider its recommendations.’Lawyers cautiously welcomed the proposals – but said the commission should have gone further. Christopher David, counsel at international firm WilmerHale said: ‘While new, improved guidance is welcome, the commission has decided not to propose changes to the scope of reporting or the consent regime. It remains to be seen whether the changes will positively assist those that are required to file such reports and consequently improve their quality.’
REDLANDS SWIMMING Redlands won all but one event in cruising past Whittier with the women posting a 169-26 victory and the men 187-6. The Bulldogs used their entire roster, so no athlete won more than one event. Top performers included 100 freestyle winner Cathleen Penney, 100 backstroke winner Katie Clark and 100 breaststroke winner Andria Giovanni. In the men’s competition, Jeremy Block and Alex Strand both won individual events and aided a winning relay. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Citrus College women’s basketball team defeated Los Angeles Valley 67-50 in a Western State League matchup on Saturday in Van Nuys. Alexis Pope, a Ganesha High graduate, and Nicole Cunningham, an Eisenhower product, each had a double-double as they had 20 points and 12 rebounds and 14 points and 14 rebounds, respectively. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson SBVC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL San Bernardino Valley used the double-post domination of Janae Westmoreland and Rocky Malloy to beat College of the Desert 51-47, running the Wolverines’ overall record to 1-14 and 1-1 in Foothill Conference. “We’ve been playing better lately and getting closer and closer (to our first win),” first-year coach Sue Crebbin said. “I feel like this is a game we can build on and will help our confidence. Our conference is wide open.” Westmoreland scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, 10 off the offensive glass, while Malloy had 12 points and 16 boards, seven at the offensive end. SBVC pounded the Roadrunners to the tune of 59-42 on the boards. Chrystal Gonzalez led Desert (4-3, 1-1) with 16 points. SBVC travels to San Jacinto on Monday. Los Angeles Valley (5-11 overall, 1-1 in conference) pulled within five points to start the second half, but the Owls went on a 12-2 run and never looked back. The Owls (12-10, 2-0) play undefeated rival Valencia College of the Canyons at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.