The Nobel Academy is preparing to bestow this year’s prize for literature on Bob Dylan, while a city commissioner is offering a tribute from Portland.
Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the city’s Bureau of Transportation, is temporarily renaming the block of Fourth Avenue in front of Portland City Hall. He’s arranged for sign caps to top a couple of existing street signs.
The signs will stay up through the week running up to the Nobel award ceremony, Dec. 10.
Novick says he was raised on Bob Dylan.
“It means my mom, my dad,” he said. “The sense of hope, the sense of despair of the 1960s and the early ‘70s.”
He considers the Nobel award to Dylan an affirmation an entire American generation. Beyond that, he says, “I think there’s a heck of a lot of people in Portland who love Bob Dylan.”
Novick says 2016 is a year in need of an affirmation. He pegs the cost of the signage at $269, and says he’d been thinking about doing it since the Nobel committee made its choice.
Novick is finishing the end of his term this month. He lost his re-election campaign. Chloe Eudaly will take his place in January.
“I’m actually trying to do a number of things the last few weeks that I was planning to do anyway,” he said, citing a tax surcharge on publicly-traded companies that pay hefty salaries to CEOs. “My agenda for December didn’t really change because I happened to lose the election. I got more coming. I’ve got 29 days left.”