Hernandez to Write Paramount Pictures’ “The Villas,” Inspired by Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite”

Dan Hernandez is livin’ the suite life…

Paramount Pictures has selected the Cuban American writer and Benji Samit to pen The Villas.

Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit

The project, produced by Atlas Entertainment, is loosely inspired by Neil Simon’s play and 1971 film Plaza Suite.

Similarly, the film centers on several relationship stories all taking place in a hotel. This time, though, the location is a group of neighboring high-roller villas in Las Vegas, similar to The Mansion at the MGM Grand.

Hernandez and Samit recently wrote and produced on the first season of Netflix’s One Day At A Time, and are currently writing on the ABC/Sony Television pilot Come Together.

The scribes started writing together as undergraduates at Brown University.

Obama Nominates Perez for U.S. Secretary of Labor Position

Tom Perez could play a pivotal role in the President Barack Obama efforts to raise the minimum wage and reform the country’s immigration laws.

The 51-year-old Dominican-American politician, consumer advocate and civil right lawyer has been nominated by Obama to be the United States Secretary of Labor, replacing outgoing secretary Hilda Solis.

Tom Perez

Perez, who has been serving as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice since October 2009, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is the only Latino nominated to Obama’s second-term Cabinet so far.

Perez, who received a B.A. in international relations and political science from Brown University and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard University, is expected to face opposition from some Republican senators, who say he has been too aggressive on certain immigration issues, and too political.

Perez has strong labor support and served as labor secretary for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, from 2007 until 2009, when he was picked for his current Justice Department position. Perez also served on the Montgomery County Council in Maryland and was the first Latino elected to the council. He has been the key official under Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. handling civil rights cases.

Espinosa Nominated to Serve on Connecticut’s Supreme Court

Carmen Espinosa is thisclose to making history in Connecticut once again…

The 63-year-old Puerto Rican state Appellate Judge has been nominated to the Connecticut Supreme Court by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Espinosa’s nomination must still be confirmed by the state’s General Assembly.
Judge Carmen Espinosa
If confirmed, the Puerto Rican-born Espinosa would become the first Hispanic justice of the state Supreme Court. Two years ago, Malloy named her as the first Hispanic member of the appellate bench. In 1992, she became the first Hispanic judge on the state’s Superior Court – appointed by Governor Lowell P. Weicker.

“She has been a trailblazer,” Malloy said. “She was the first in her family to graduate from college. She was the first Hispanic judge to serve on the Superior Court, then the first Hispanic judge to sit on the Appellate Court, and now poised to become the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.”

Malloy said Espinosa has had an impressive career and is one of the state’s most respected jurists.

“She will serve the people well when confirmed to the bench,” he said.

State Senator John Kissel, R-Enfield, the ranking Senate Republican on the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said he strongly supports Espinosa’s elevation to the Supreme Court and commended Malloy for making the nomination.

“We continue to seek to have a broad range of racial and ethnic minorities within Connecticut’s judicial system and this is a wonderful selection,” said Kissel, adding how Espinosa has displayed fairness, thoughtfulness and an even temperament during her two decades as a jurist.

A mother of three, Espinosa said she hopes her nomination will serve as an example to young Hispanic children that anything is possible if “they stay in school and use education as a bridge to success.”

“To be the first Hispanic to sit on all three levels of the Connecticut judiciary would truly be an honor,” she said, telling reporters after the announcement that “it’s almost surreal” to be nominated to state’s highest court.

Prior to becoming a judge, Espinosa was an FBI agent and an assistant U.S. attorney. She also taught French and Spanish in the Southington public schools. Espinosa graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 1971, received her master’s degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University in 1973 and received her law degree from George Washington University Law School in 1976.