As an expected 70,000 people descend on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for the cultural phenomenon known as Burning Man, The Sacramento Bee was afforded a rare extended conversation with the event’s co-founder, Larry Harvey.

With California in a severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board ruled last week that some cases of water waste could be treated as criminal infractions.

For Ramadan, Pastor Rick J. Cole of Capital Christian Center – one of the region’s oldest and largest fundamentalist churches – gave a sermon to about 500 Muslims and their friends at the Sunrise Event Center in Rancho Cordova on Friday. Cole, whose 98-year-old Assemblies of God church was long considered the most conservative in the region, has been reaching out to gays, Jews and now Muslims to break down barriers and biases.

The Sacramento Fire Department broke its trend of hiring within the organization with its newly appointed fire chief, Walt White. Since his first day on the job on July 2, the region, in the throes of its fire season, has kept him busy. He has already been called to address multiple fires, including one on July 4 near Raging Waters water park at Cal Expo, where thousands of visitors were evacuated.

Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner has passed two milestones – 40 years serving in the same agency and winning a sixth term. Bonner began his career as a Placer County sheriff’s deputy in 1974 after graduating from UC Berkeley. The Placer choice was an easy one, and not just because he was a local product who grew up in Loomis and graduated from Del Oro High School.

Stephen T. Webb, a businessman and community activist with roots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, has taken over as president of the Sacramento branch of the NAACP. Webb, 62, inherits a branch struggling to stay open. As of Thursday, the office phone was out of order.

How should teachers, students and administrators react when they learn of a potentially violent classmate – or when an active shooter invades the campus? Former FBI agent SWAT team commander Mike Rayfield explains how to prepare for worst-case scenarios.

The city of Sacramento has the most unmetered water connections – about 65,000 – in California, according to a recent analysis of state data by the San Jose Mercury News. The Sacramento Suburban Water District, Sacramento County Water Agency and city of Galt also were among the 10 agencies with the most unmetered connections.

Mosquitoes tend to gravitate to any standing water, no matter how small the amount. And now is the time of year when mosquitoes come out of hibernation and start breeding. But there are ways to save water and help prevent mosquitoes, too.

After publication of a story on synthetic lawns in our Home & Garden section on March 15, several readers wrote in with their recommendations and personal experiences. Most loved it, but artificial turf is not for everybody.

There are several towns across California that are in danger of running out of water in the short term. The state Legislature recently passed a bill to bring them relief. But Sacramento is not one of those communities, and because it traditionally has been among the state’s biggest water users per capita, there is a lot more that can be done through conservation to stretch its freshwater resources.

Whom do you call to report an incident of water waste? The answer depends on the area where you spot the water being wasted. Read on to get the specifics to that question and others posed by Bee readers. Got a drought question of your own? Ask our staff at www.sacbee.com/water.

Eyeing the snow on the East Coast, a Davis resident sees an easy fix to California’s drought. But getting all that white stuff here isn’t simple. Got a drought question? Submit it to The Bee’s team of drought reporters at www.sacbee.com/water.

Can Lake Tahoe water be used to ease the drought? And how can pool water be used for landscaping? Those were some of the questions readers posed to The Bee’s team of drought reporters last week.

From dams to pools to bathtubs, things that hold water big and small prompted questions from readers in week No. 3 of The Bee’s drought Q&A.

Readers appear to be curious about the Southern California in Week No. 2 of Bee reporters answering a daily question about the drought. A sampling of the week’s questions are printed below but you new questions are answered daily (Monday through Friday) at sacbee.com/water, where you can also submit questions of your own.

The Sacramento Bee’s team of reporters answers your questions about the drought.

Answers to common questions about the drought and what consumers can do to help.

Sam Starks has managed Sacramento’s annual MLK Day march for 10 years. He talks about his involvement in the march and his vision of how people today can carry on the mission of Martin Luther King Jr.

California’s tax-filing season is underway and more than 1,100 early birds have already jumped in to file their 2013 taxes

Paul Chapao Lo, a refugee from Laos, has become the first Superior Court judge in the 40-year-history of the Hmong in America.

Animals survive long, cold winters differently, but they all have to be resourceful, says ecologist Will Richardson.

Air quality in recent days has been unhealthy for sensitive groups and a wood-burning ban remains in place in the Sacramento Valley through today, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District reports.

Rancho Cordova has known only one city manager since it incorporated in 2003. Ted Gaebler, then interim city manager for East Palo Alto, was recruited to fill that spot. He plans to step down at the end of January.

The Rev. Jeanie Shaw of River Valley Church in Rancho Cordova is on the ground in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

As holiday shoppers ramp up for Cyber Monday, an Internet security expert advises consumers to arm themselves against online intruders.

Monica Miller supervises 305 agents and civilian employees over a vast portion of California that stretches from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.

Kristen Iversen, an associate professor who heads the narrative nonfiction program at University of Memphis in Tennessee, grew up in Arvada, Colo., about three miles from the plant in Rocky Flats that manufactured nuclear weapons from 1952 to 1992.

As the current session of Congress winds down, chances are that immigration reform – and how the United States deals with roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants, a quarter of them in California – will have to wait.

With winter arriving, street safety officials are informing the public that we all need to be watchful as we walk or bicycle to work, store or school.

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