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SMITH: Kids' museum rises next to Sparky's

Look at that. Practical science already is happening at the future home of the Children's Museum of Sonoma County.

Great, diesel-powered earthmoving machines have cut and paved a new entrance and driveway on the property next door to late "Peanuts" creator Sparky Schulz's<QA0>

museum on Santa Rosa's West Steele Lane.

Founder Collette Michaud and a growing cast of supporters have raised about $2.3 million of the $3.6 million they figure it will take to create an indoor/outdoor place of hands-on exploration inspired by Sausalito's Bay Area Discovery Museum.

"It just feels so right; it is meant to be," said Michaud, who someday may be able to speak about the emerging museum of wonder without crying.

She, her staff and board intend to hold a groundbreaking in six months and swing open the doors in 12.

AND THE CAR GOES TO . . . We wrote a bit ago about Sebastopol auto-shop owner Kate Jonasse's desire to find just the right person to give a 1994 Honda Civic sedan that's been reconditioned and that Jonasse will service for free for a year.

She put out a call for the names and stories of folks who'd use the car to advance their lives and serve others. Jonasse and her K-Tech Automotive shop received more than 100 nominations.

As word of the giveaway spread, others in the car trade offered to further spruce up the Honda. It now boasts a new fender from Eco Automotive, a windshield from Reliable Auto Glass, a number of replacement parts from Smothers auto parts and exterior trim and seatbelts from Manly Honda.

Jonasse and her crew have picked three finalists: A writer who offers free writing-skills workshops to students and workers, a cancer survivor who<QA0>

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