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Laon Cathedral

Laon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Laon, Hauts-de-France, France. Built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, it is one of the most important and stylistically unified examples of early Gothic architecture; the church served as the cathedral of the Diocese of Laon until 1802, has been recognized as a monument historique since 1840. The Diocese of Laon was established by archbishop Remigius of Reims at the end of the fifth century. An early church was erected soon afterward. Laon soon became one of the principal towns of the Frankish Empire. A church building, dating from the tenth or eleventh centuries, was torched during the Easter Insurrection on 25 April 1112; the merchants and bourgeoisie of Laon had procured a communal charter, soon revoked by Bishop Gaudry. The commune revolted; the episcopal palace was set alight. Afterward, the peasant population took the opportunity to pillage the town. Three months after the insurrection, members of the clergy at Laon toured France and England with relics belonging to the bishopric.

Using funds raised from the tour, the church was reconstructed and consecrated on August 20, 1114, under Barthélemy de Jur. However, as the population of Laon grew, it soon became clear. Laon's economy was booming, Anselm of Laon's school of theology and exegesis was becoming one of the most acclaimed in Europe. Additionally, Laon's communal charter was reestablished in 1130. By the late 1150s, construction on the current cathedral had begun under Gautier de Mortagne; the present Laon Cathedral dates from the 12th and early 13th centuries, an early example of the Gothic style that originated in northern France. It was built half a century after the erection of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, which originated the Gothic style. Construction on Laon Cathedral began with the choir and portions of both transepts between 1160 and 1170. By 1180, the transept arms were finished and the eastern portion of the nave was erected. In the next phase of construction, lasting until the end of the century, the nave and most of the massive western facade were completed.

Shortly after, the Chapel des Fonts and chapter house were built onto the south side of the nave. Next, spurred by the donation of a local quarry in 1205, the original choir was dismantled and the current, larger choir was constructed by 1220. Soon after, the treasury and sacristy were built at the junctures of the choir and transepts, along with a large chapel extending from the southeastern end of the choir. Over the century, additional chapels were built off the aisles of the choir; the south transept's facade was remodeled in the early fourteenth century, resulting in the current twin doors and tracery window. Laon lost its status as a bishopric during the French Revolution. Following the Concordat of 1802, the building has functioned as a parish church under the Diocese of Soissons; the cathedral was modified extensively during the nineteenth century. The tower foundations were rebuilt with masonry to prevent them from collapsing; the flying buttresses attached to the nave and transepts were rebuilt to match those bracing the choir.

An ornate but structurally artificial upper extension of the cathedral's front facade of unknown date was removed. Open doorways that had pierced the walls between the west entry portals were blocked in. Most notably, many of the medieval sculptural programs on the western facade were altered. By this time, fissures had appeared in the upper walls at the west end of the nave. To help counteract this problem, a low arch was constructed, crossing to nave near the entry portals. In 1899, timber flooring was installed between the towers in the west end of the nave to accommodate the installation of the current organ; the low structural arch became the platform's east support. This project remains controversial, as the organ pipes block the lower western windows and half of the rose window. However, the older and much smaller stone organ platform still survives under the current timber construction. Although the cathedral suffered some damage during the French Revolution and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, it escaped both World Wars unharmed.

Contemporary with Noyon Cathedral and Notre-Dame de Paris, Laon Cathedral is one of the most elaborate and best-preserved of the early French Gothic cathedrals. It is notable for the stylistic unity and consistency maintained over the different phases of its construction; the cathedral consists of a cruciform plan with the traditional nave and choir, all flanked by single side aisles. Numerous chapels have been built projecting out the exterior aisle walls; the nave has twelve bays, counterbalanced by the ten in the choir. Both transepts have four bays. A central lantern tower, the focal point of the cathedral's interior, rises over the intersection; the ceiling over the choir and the nave incorporates sexpartite vaulting, while the ceiling in the transepts incorporates quadripartite vaulting. Vertically, Laon Cathedral is divided into four tiers: ground-level side aisles, a tribune-level passageway with double arches, a short triforium-level passageway with triple arches, clerestory windows; the passageways on the two middle levels circumnavigate the entirety of the building indicating Norman influence.

The unusual four-tiered configuration was used in both Tournai Cathedral in modern-day Belgium and Noyon Cathedral, is reflected lo

Orrin P. Miller

Orrin Porter Miller was a member of the presiding bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1901 to his death. Born in Millcreek, Utah Territory, Miller was a local leader in the church prior to his call as a general authority, he became the bishop of the newly created Riverton Ward in Salt Lake City in 1886. Prior to serving as a bishop, he had been a seventy in the church. In 1900, when the Salt Lake Stake of the church was divided in two, Miller was selected as the first president of the new Jordan Stake. In 1901, Miller was selected as the second counselor to presiding bishop William B. Preston. Miller was replacing John R. Winder, who had earlier been asked to become a member of the First Presidency of the church. Miller served as Preston's counselor until Preston resigned due to ill health in 1907. Charles W. Nibley became the new presiding bishop, he asked Miller to become his first counselor. Miller served as Nibley's first counselor until he died of stomach cancer in Salt Lake City at the age of 59.

Council on the Disposition of the Tithes David A. Smith Robert T. Burton Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saints Biographical Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 307. 3, p. 764 Grampa Bill's G. A. Pages: Orrin P. Miller

Pacific Center for Human Growth

The Pacific Center for Human Growth, or the Pacific Center, is a community center focusing on LGBT people. The center operates from a Victorian house on Telegraph Avenue south of the University of California in Berkeley, California; the center was founded in 1973 as a response to a brutal gaybashing in downtown Oakland, a major city that neighbors Berkeley. Referred to as the Berkeley LGBT or gay Center, it is the oldest LGBT community center in the Bay Area and the third oldest in the country. Will Roscoe campaigned in 1976 for United Way membership for the Pacific Center, the first LGBT agency to achieve this; the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus was founded under the auspices of the Pacific Centre in 1999 before becoming an independent organization. In 2001 the Pacific Center was involved in trying to help the city curb cruising for sex by men in Berkeley Aquatic Park by getting the city to set up a support network for men who have sex with men that do not identify as gay or bisexual. However, funding was never acquired.

In 2002 the center was vandalised with anti-gay and neo-nazi-themed tagging considered a "hate crime" by the center. Flyers on the bulletin board at the entrance to the center were vandalized with the anti-gay slur "fag" and a swastika; when California legalized same-sex marriage in 2008, the youth group at the center marched around the neighborhood with the rainbow flag to celebrate the victory as the center was involved in campaigning for equal gay rights. The center, along with Berkeley and the larger surrounding region is known for their eclecticism and liberalism and the Pacific Center is not different. In the past it has offered drag-quit smoking classes, transsexual film screenings, young queer women's groups among other unique initiatives. Today the center offers peer support groups alongside mental health counseling for LGBT people from the community. There is a drop-in after school program for LGBT, Intersex youth; the center is located along the AC Transit 1R BRT line and is within walking distance of Ashby BART station.

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