Suspect nabbed in Ventura stabbing homicide

Matthew Paoli

Ventura Police have identified a suspect in the stabbing death of a man found at the bus stop on the corner of Main and Ash streets in early December.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 a.m., Rito Estrada, 51, was found dead from multiple stab wounds at the bus stop on the corner of Main and Ash streets in downtown Ventura. It was reported that the man, a suspected transient, had been dead for up to six hours before being discovered by a bus driver.

The Ventura PD’s Major Crimes Unit opened an investigation and, after several weeks, identified a suspect. On Tuesday, Dec. 27, 33-year-old Matthew Paoli of Palmdale was arrested near Santa Clara and Laurel streets in Ventura and booked into the Ventura County Jail on a charge of felony murder, with bail set at $2.5 million. Paoli was arraigned the following Thursday.

No further details have been released in the investigation.

Oxnard pauses water rate increase

Your wallet can breathe a sigh of relief this month, as the Oxnard city manager has decided to postpone a wastewater rate increase as of Jan. 1.

A 10 percent increase in water utility fees was to be implemented come the start of the year, coinciding with a 35 percent rate increase approved in 2016 to be gradually implemented over a five-year period.

City Manager Greg Nyhoff wrote a letter to the City Council and mayor that his decision comes for several reasons, including the fact that the city’s 35 percent rate increase is being challenged in court and a final decision there has not been reached.

“Approving an additional 10 [percent] rate increase on top of the 35 [percent] rate increase did not make sense until we hear the Judge’s final decision regarding the ballot initiative,” wrote Nyhoff.

Nyhoff adds that it would “not make sense” to approve rate increases based on an old model, with updates to said model coming later this year. Nyhoff notes that expenditures for the city’s water Enterprise Funds are significantly higher than revenues, causing a “rapid decline in cash reserves.” An audit conducted in 2016 showed that the water Enterprise Funds reserve could decline by 6 million dollars.

The city manager’s office, in an effort to alleviate the potential loss, will consider so-called “pass through” rate increases for the month of January, else the earliest that rates could be increased would be in July.