Thanks everyone. This issue has been SOLVED - I think. I updated my codepen with the onUpdate function PLUS including the old v1 CSSPlugin. https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/gsap/1.20.5/plugins/CSSPlugin.min.js
and it not only fixes the font rendering but also fixes the SVG scaling. What is maddening is WHY is this now fixed? What is going on in the plugin that does this and how can we recreate without the 44K plugin?
@geedix Thanks for idea but my clients often want text scaling up to or from 40x normal size. The issue with starting with a large font is when a 35px font needs to start at 40x then I have to start with a font-size of 1400px - this ends up looking crunchy in Safari and not nicely rendered.